After having a great start Monday, yesterday was a wake-up call. I had a really tough time writing, and got stuck a number of times far short of my writing goal. The election didn't help much either. But, I did manage to hit my goal and am plodding along towards another 2k today.
I'm not going to post anything I did last night yet, maybe later. This fight scene with an as-yet unintroduced character is pretty good though, so I'll put that up for now.
Sang slammed the butt end of the staff down again, the rings of metal on its end clanging together and chiming.
“Look old man, I’m in a terrible rush here,” began Fred, already sick of the stupid ringing bells on the end of the staff and wanting terribly to take it away and club the old man with it.
“Bwahahahah!” interrupted the red-cheeked old man, laughing loudly and bawdily.
“No wine, no problem!” he slurred.
“Wait. That doesn’t make sense. Are you or aren’t you?”
“You go bring me my wine now,” said Sang again, with a wink. Tucking his staff underneath the backside of his left arm, he stood on one slightly bent leg the other extended and bent with his foot resting on the knee, arm positioned in front of him and slightly crooked with two fingers pointing up, unwavering.
Wondering how the old man managed to hold that position, completely sloshed as he was, Fred began poking through the bushes, looking for the lost jug of rice wine. The blasted thing had to have fallen out somewhere nearby he mused to himself. Dammit, if only he had been watching where he was going. Now he had a broken cart and a runaway mule to deal with. A few steps further into the underbrush and he had the jug, a red rounded beehive looking container with a stopper in one end. Fred pulled the plug and inhaled, a little too deeply. Whew! Rubbing his singed nose hairs with one hand and replugging the jug of foul smelling liquid, he stood up quickly, branches from the overhanging trees painfully grabbing at his hair. He wobbled slightly from the remnants of the fumes, and then began making his way out of the underbrush. Bursting forth onto the path, his shout of triumph died on his lips. The ‘broken’ cart was halfway down the road, Sing in tow, gleefully cackling. Fred noticed the majority of his supplies piled in the back of the cart. “Hey! HEY!” he screamed, dashing after the disappearing cart. Sing glanced over his shoulder, startled, then whipped the mule, urging it to run faster. Fred smirked. Obviously he knew nothing about this particular stubborn breed of jackass. After the first lash cracked the mule bleated, then ground to a halt. No amount of cajoling would persuade the animal to continue. Fred ran up alongside the cart breathless, and yanked his rapier from its sheath, leveling it up at the old man perched in the drivers seat of the cart.
“Ohohohoho. Don’t think you want to be doing that,” leered Sang, swaying slightly in the seat. His eyes widened when he saw the jug.
“My wine! Good good, you give it here.”
“Don’t think so, cart thief. I suggest you disappear before I run you through.”
Sang feigned a shocked look. “Mymymy, I was merely returning the Ass and Cart to the nearby village, where I would lodge it for the night!”
“Bullshit. The nearest town is 50 miles out. It would take days.”
“Yes, well. Lets trade, neh? I’ll trade you this fine cart and donkey for ride to the nearest town. And that wine you have there,” beamed Sang.
“Uh, hello? That’s MY cart, and MY donkey. I found the wine, even! I’ve got a better deal. You pick up your stupid little stick and hit the road before I toss you into the dirt.”
Sang wagged his finger at Fred, taunting him.
“Ah ah ah! My offer very generous. You take, or you be the one begging for seat in back.”
Fred almost thought twice before thrusting the point of the sword at the old man, intuition sounding a faint warning. The blow was aimed at the thieves leg, intending to cripple him. But, even before he began the motion, Sang’s leg was no longer there. In a blur the old man was airborne, body straight and spinning towards Fred, his staff flicking out and slamming down on the rapiers edge with a loud clanging. Surprised that the blade hadn’t broken, Fred staggered back, regaining his balance and setting his feet and guard.
Sang shuffled towards him, swaying slightly with the motion. Fred feinted a low attack with the rapier, then lunged forward, thrusting at Sang’s chest, which, oddly enough, had disappeared. The old man had dropped to the ground like a stone before Fred had even began the motion, and was lying on his back, head propped up under one elbow, legs crossed. Like a snake Sangs legs shot out, one foot hooking behind Freds and the other pushing forcefully on his knee. Suddenly Fred found himself on his back, staring up at the sky. Before he could leap to his feet, the ringed end of Sangs staff was leveled at his head.
“Touche” muttered Fred as Sang shook the staff at him, the metal rings jingling infuriatingly. Sang giggled.
“New deal. I get wine, passage to nearby town, and you buy chicken dinner.”
Fred pulled himself slowly to his feet, grumbling all the while. At least he had his cart back. He’d never seen anyone move like the old drunkard. Was the intoxication all just an act, to get Fred to underestimate him and drop his guard? He turned, facing the cart, to observe Sang already perched in the back, noisily pulling at the red jug of rice wine. He belched loudly and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.
“Hurry up! Gogogo!”
Fred muttered and cursed his luck for the third time that day as he coaxed the stubborn donkey forward, trying to ignore the incessantly hiccupping old man in the back of the cart.