Lately I have been on the horns of a dilemma so to speak.
I know that most of my readers would prefer a daily blog as opposed to my hit and miss style. Unfortunately a lot of the time in the summer especially, I am out of reach of technology and therefore I am not able to publish a daily blog. There isn’t a lot that I can do about that part.
Another thing is, as you may have noticed my life, like yours, isn’t a constant daily parade of fun and exciting events. There are a lot of days where I do nothing or just mundane daily chores that aren’t very interesting to me let alone any one else.
I have been trying to figure a way to fill in on the days when I have nothing interesting to report.
You probably have noticed if you have been following this blog for a while that among other things I am a frustrated writer of stories. I know that I‘m not very good at it but it is a compulsion with me. Often when I least expect it a scene or idea for a story will pop into my head. Most of the time I don’t do anything about it but on a rare occasion I will actually write the scene down.
I was sitting in the cabin the last time I was there, looking out the front window at the dining hall and thinking of cool names for the hall. I went through a long list.
Here are a few of them;
“The Boars Tooth”, “The stags head”, “The Drunken Patriot” (that one is not my idea it was the name of a tavern that was set up at a rendezvous we used to go to) and “The Kings Cudgel”. You may think that is an odd name for an inn and so did I but it triggered one of those mental scenes that I was telling you about. I was near my laptop and I had nothing else pressing to do so I quickly turned the computer on, brought up the word processer and started typing.
The original draft was just a quick study of the interior of the inn and an introduction to a couple of the characters. The battery on the laptop was running out so I couldn’t do more than that. When I got home, I started fleshing out the draft. Since then the story has been growing.
Then it hit me. This might be the filler that I have been looking for.
I don’t know where the story is going or what characters we might encounter along the way or if it will have a nice neat ending or just fade away but here is what I am proposing.
On days when I don’t have anything entertaining to relate, I will publish a page of whatever story I am currently writing on. That way you will have some thing to read with your morning coffee or dump or whatever.
I am going to publish a few of pages in this post. Just to give you some idea of what I’m talking about.
Read it and let me know if you would like me to continue.
There is a comment thing at the bottom of each blog, I don’t know how it works but I think if you can do face book it will work for you. Otherwise most of you have my email address so you can do that but please let me know if you are interested in me continuing to post the stories or not.
Okay, here goes, the first three pages of,
“The Kings Cudgel”
The Kings Cudgel
On a lonely stretch of the kings road a low building, squatting along the edge of the road looms out of the gloom of a bad winter storm. The snow of midwinter has piled up along the walls almost to the eves. The roof is covered with deep snow and long Ice-sickles hang from the eves reaching deep into the drifts. Smoke streams away in the wind from a large chimney at one end of the building. The snow has been cleared from the door and forms a short tunnel leading to the Inn. A sign on a tall pole in front of the Inn swings wildly back and forth in the wind. From the crossbar of the post hangs a large crudely made club shaped something like a short base ball bat with two metal bands wrapped around the business end. A sign with large painted black letters hanging below the club reads,
“The Kings Cudgel”
The “Kings Cudgel” ? “What a strange name for an inn“, Jack thinks as the cold winter wind swirls snow around him. He shrugs, pushes open the heavy door and steppes across the threshold into a long low room. The only illumination in the inn comes from the yellow flame of guttering torches set in holes bored into some of the gnarly tree trunks that are the supports for the low peaked roof
and a large fire place. Jack stops just inside the door shakes the snow off his traveling cloak and pulls back the cowl. His long dark hair hangs in curls to his shoulders. A halo of frost rings his strong face and melting ice cycles drip from the tips of his mustache, goatee and the cuffs and hem of his cloak. He waits a moment before continuing further into the room absorbing the heat from the large fire place about thirty feet away which covers one whole end of the room to his left. Three fires burn in the hearth, a couple of braziers are set to one side with kettles on them. Steam rises from the kettles and smoke rises from the fires as a small pig and a lamb drip fat onto the coals while being turned on spits by a small boy and girl dressed in tattered, dirty, greasy rags.
Stirring a large kettle with a wooden paddle over the third fire is a very large girl with fat cheeks and squinty eyes. Her straggly greasy hair is damp with sweat and sticks to the sides of her face. Her ample bosom sways under the damp, stained, cotton, of her off the shoulder blouse as she stirs the contents of the pot. Her skirt is of rough sacking that is tattered along the hem and is darkly stained with who knows what. Her feet are large flat, thorny and unwashed.
“I’ll have to remember not to drink the house wine,“ Jack thinks absently”. The girl catches him looking and winks at him. Embarrassed, Jack turns away.
To his right several low rough tables are set against the wall with equally rough hewn benches. On each of the tables, are the large flat shells of some sort of mollusk with several unlit candle stubs set on them.
There are other tables randomly set about the room, with stools, stumps and small benches placed around each.
Jack notices the bar across from him. It is no more than two split planks laid across a couple of tree trunks and leveled with rocks. Behind the bar is a very fat man that Jack supposes is the proprietor.
He swings the small pack off his back knocks the snow off it and makes his way to the bar. The roof beams are so low that Jack, a tall man, has to duck to keep from bashing his head as he crosses the room.
Behind the bar, the fat man with a very large head and a very receding hairline, watches jack through slit eyes as jack approaches. What is left of the man’s hair is tied back in a cue that sticks straight out from the back of his head for couple of inches and then blooms into a little tuft. The man had full jowls that waggled when he moves his head and a little rosebud mouth that looks out of place on the other wise hard face. His almond shaped eyes are tiny slits in his cheeks on ether side of a wide flat nose.
Behind the fat man, on a rough shelf are several brown misshapen hand thrown jugs. On each end of the shelf is a wooden keg with a tap stuck in the bung. On a high short shelf are two, what appear to be actual glass bottles. The bottles are covered with a thick layer of dust but they are clean enough to see the level of the amber liquid they contain. Glass bottles are a very rare thing these days and very precious. If the liquid inside is actual commercial “Whiskey” they are even more precious. Jack was puzzled that the bottles were being displayed in such an open fashion.
The fat man spoke and Jack had to control the impulse to jump back and draw a weapon.
The mans voice seamed to come from every where. It was deep and rumbling like boulders rolling down a mountain. The voice was felt as much as heard.
“You seam to have an interest in my back bar” The fat man rumbled and if possible squinted his eyes even more as he peered at Jack.
“I am relatively well traveled at least in the north and I have only seen two other glass bottles in my life.” Jack exclaimed. “They belonged to the Earl of Stone Bridge and were kept in a safe box. They were only brought out on special occasions. The liquor in bottles had long since been consumed but the bottles were venerated as if they were some sort of religious relic. Aren’t you afraid some one will steal yours?“
“Ha-ha. No one would have the balls to steal from Quintar Rogan! The hero of the battle of Black’s Ford. Sacker of the white city of Contenell and General of old King Grogan’s Black Guard. Have no fear bucko, woe unto he who tries.”
“I take it that you are this Quintar Rogan person of witch you speak? Jack asks sheepishly.
“Yes, that I am. And who might you be my curious young sprout?
“I am called Jack.
“Jack? Jack! The proprietor ruminated a moment. “Jack, An odd name, I don’t believe I have ever heard that name in these parts before. Do you have a second name, you know like a last name? Like maybe your fathers name?” Quintar asks.
“Well, no, actually, my father’s name was also, Jack. In fact my grand father and his father and all their fathers before them were named simply “Jack”.
“This is very odd indeed. How do people where you live tell you and your father apart?” Quintar asks, rubbing his chin.
“Well that’s simple” Jack replies. “We look different”
“No, no, no, I mean when they are talking about you and your dad, how do they differentiate between the two of you.” Quintar urges.
“Oh yes, I see now what you mean,” Jack replies. “They just call my dad old Jack and me they call young Jack.
Now, what about your grand-dad, is he still alive? Quintar asks.
“Oh yes indeed he is sir very much so“ Jack replies enthusiastically with a shake of his head and a small chuckle.
So, now, when people want to differentiate between your grand-dad and the rest of the Jacks, what do they call him. Quintar realized as soon as he asked the question what the answer was and he spoke in unison with Jack.
“Oh!” The fat man mumbles as he slaps both hands to the sides of his face and sighs deeply.
“What brings you south then young Jack?” Quintar asks resignedly shaking his head. “And how may we help you” he adds.
I am on my way to “Granite Ford”.
“I seek food and a nights shelter.” Jack replied.
“Granite Ford eh!” growled the fat man. “Off to see the king then, eh ?”
Okay, that’s the first three Pages of The kings Cudgel. Let me know if you want me to continue.
Patti and I are going up to the cabin for one final time this week. We are leaving in the morning tomorrow and won’t be home until Saturday unless we run out of firewood before then. Who knows maybe we will have a bear sighting.