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Sometimes blood means squat

By Renessa NortonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Tony Findeisen on Unsplash


It was 12:12am, on December 12, 1212. Frederick plucked a narrow, golden sword from his pelt before determinedly launching down the stone staircase toward the front door of the castle. There was no time to wake Nigel. If this were going to happen now, he was not going to waste any time attempting to rouse the old man from his mead-induced stupor. No, he would have to hope that Nigel’s hearing wasn’t so daft that he slept through the whole event, and that he would eventually come and be of some assistance, even if that were simply mopping up the inevitable blood fall from the flagstone floor post-battle before it stained, forever evidence of what was about to transpire.

Frederick cursed himself for taking too much wine before bed, resulting in the drawbridge being left down. The thick walnut of the door was vibrating with incessant hits and knocks, bangs and blows. Frederick jumped back as a thick metal pole pierced the wood, narrowly missing his thigh. He wasn’t about to allow himself to be at the intruders’ mercy. Instead, he threw open the door, taking the attackers by surprise.

“I liked that door. My great-great-great grandfather cut down that oak and carved these doors for his first wife from a tree planted the day his grandfather was born. Now you’ve destroyed his legacy, and that of his forefathers but there is no way you will be destroying mine.”

And with that declaration of loyalty and resolution, Frederick raised the sword with the might you would expect from a king and energy you would demand from a knight. The three men surrounding him had followed suit, pure rage entrenched in their sweaty faces. At first Frederick held them off, his intensive training forced upon him throughout his adolescence finally paying off, but he was no longer a young man, and his energy drained far more quickly than it would have some 10 years ago. After one particularly forceful swing of his weapon, his shoulder twinged as he lost his footing and fell back against the windowsill. His eyes welled with pain, but even through the tears, he could make out a sword plummeting toward his chest. He threw himself sideways, collapsing against a small table, causing a vase atop it to fall and shatter. Frederick had been quite fond of that piece, but was even more so in its demise when the shattering sound caused his assailants to jump back and take stock for the briefest of moments. That second was all it took - Frederick threw himself back to his feet and out of the corner of his eye saw Nigel’s leathery hand grasp a firepoke which was subsequently thrust into one of the men, who fell with a thud. Nigel was well worth his wage as Frederick’s protector, and swore to provide more generously for him in his will should he live to see tomorrow.

“Brother, you shouldn’t have come,” shouted Frederick to one of the men.

“You did not deserve to be first born. This should all be mine,” William returned, thrusting his sword into the space near Frederick’s ear. The empty air that met his weapon caused William to topple over, rather undignified as a squeak emanated from his person. Frederick seized his chance and sliced William’s cheek, before pointing his now glossy red sword at his heart.

William cowered.

“Leave, and never return. Tell Mary you failed. This will never be yours.” William and his comrade scampered away. The drawbridge was hauled upward, and Nigel and Frederick each poured themselves a goblet of mead after patching the door.

*Chink chink*

“To the only brother I ever needed.”

Short Story

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Renessa Norton

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Comments (1)

  • Test9 months ago

    I couldn't stop reading. Your writing was really well done!

Renessa NortonWritten by Renessa Norton

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