This week is Part Three of the Rule Of Three Blogfest. Each Wednesday in October, I, and the other participants, will post a portion of a story set in a shared world called Renaissance. Other than the shared world, there are only a couple of other rules: there must be 3 characters, there is a 600 word limit for each part, each week’s entry must be based on one of several writing prompts from the organizers, and the entries go up each Wednesday or Thursday.
If you haven’t already, check out my Part One and Part Two.
Please take the time to visit the organizers’ blogs: Damyanti, JC Martin, Lisa Vooght, and Stuart Nager. Check out the rules, and visit the other participants’ blogs.
Participants were given the following prompts for Part Three:
• The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
• Betrayal is in the air.
• Relationships unravel or strengthen.
• A long-kept secret is revealed.
The Storm: Part Three
I chose the first prompt: The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
When the ferocious storm abated near mid-morning, Londehen left the only stone building in Renaissance. It housed the jail and Constable’s office, and as Constable, he kept living quarters in it.
Navigating through heavy storm debris, he headed for the Post. He rounded the corner and stopped. The Post, the old tavern his father ran Renaissance from, had sustained serious damage.
Inside, fragments of the roof and one wall haphazardly covered the floor. Finally, he spotted the old bastard slumped against the heavy wood bar. Dead? His father’s body was cold to the touch. Dead.
Renaissance belonged to him! First, a tax to increase his salary. After that, he had a list.
Still smiling, he turned to leave, and tripped over another body. Well, now, imagine that! Robehr, Eriahne’s father. She belonged to him now, too!
Riding to inform Eriahne of her good fortune, Londehen encountered a few citizens, out surveying damage. The short distance, less than a mile to the other side of town, didn’t justify using the horse, but Londehen liked the sense of power.
At the little farmstead, a moment of apprehension assailed him. Only the hearth remained to mark the presence of the shack. Had Eriahne perished in the storm?
“Stop right there, mister,” a disembodied voice growled.
“Show yourself, coward.” Londehen searched, but didn’t see the speaker.
Just feet away, a man melted from the background of sodden soil, a boulder, and a downed locust tree. “What do you want?” The handgun pointed at Londehen’s chest didn’t waver.
Shit! His gun sat useless in his desk drawer. Annoyance clenched Londehen’s fists. “Put the weapon down before I arrest you!”
“No, Teguere.” Eriahne’s voice sounded weak from behind the outlaw, where she reclined against the boulder, a large bandage on her head.
“Eriahne, what did this man do to you?” He’d kill the son-of-a-bitch if he’d touched her.
“He saved my life.” Her eyes closed for a moment. “You can go now.”
Had she dismissed him? “Thought you might want to know, Robehr died in the Post, with my father, during the storm. We’ll be married later today, after you’ve rested.”
“You don’t have a choice. No one will take care of you. You don’t have the money Robehr owed my father. Our marriage will settle the debt.” Satisfied with his victory, Londehen dismounted.
“Stop right there.” The stranger took a step. “Move, and I’ll kill you with my bare hands.”
“I’m taking what’s mine.” A blow from nowhere staggered Londehen, though the stranger hadn’t moved.
“Speak of my wife like that again, and I will geld you. Now leave before I change my mind.”
Wife? “She isn’t married.”
“She and I wed a month ago.” The man’s unreadable expression gave nothing away.
“She would have told me.” Panic edged Londehen’s voice.
“The priest came with me. No one knew.”
“Bullshit. Prove it.”
The man took a sheaf of parchments from inside his coat, and extended them to Londehen.
The official seal looked authentic. Even with careful scrutiny, the marriage contract and record seemed legitimate. Defeat soured Londehen’s stomach. Eliminating the stranger would make Eriahne his, but it wouldn’t work. Another man had already possessed her.
As the only virgin of marriageable age in Renaissance, Eriahne had been key to the spell Londehen planned to ensure his absolute power over the town. He would have to find another way.
- Rule of Three Blogfest (kenradaniels.wordpress.com)
- Rule of Three Blogfest Part Two (kenradaniels.wordpress.com)
- The Rule of Three is Here! (damyantiwrites.wordpress.com)