Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THE THREE MUSKETEERS: Prolog. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZZY!!!


 

The villagers all gathered at the local tavern that evening listening to the story the old man told as he stood before the blazing hearth. Outside the wind howled against the windows but inside it was nice and cozy.

“…and so we were all saved from the beast that was Lord Fowley!” The old man finished grandly as he stretched his frail arms wide, dramatically.

Suddenly the door the inn burst open, interrupting the enthusiastic applauding of the audience.

A wild wind swept man dashed through, his middle aged eyes wide with panic.

“The Cardinal’s men are coming!” He shouted.

For a moment all was still as the villagers set in stunned silence.

“Are you sure, Jed?” The tavern owner asked shakily.

“Yes! I’m sure!” Jed screeched and fled back out the door.

Immediately there was movement as all the villagers tried to leave at once. Chaos reigned as panic took over. No one was getting anywhere. Children were crying as their mothers clutched them close. Several people tripped and no one stopped to help then.

“ENOUGH!” The shout was followed by a gunshot.

Pieces of debris fall from the roof where the bullet had ripped through. Everyone paused to look at the stranger in their midst. He had come just before the story teller had told his tell but has been so still, everyone had forgotten about him. Now there he stood, tall dressed in a simple but elegant traveling cloak with a gun in his hand. Power and confidence radiated off this mysterious stranger as he looked calmly around the room. Slowly he lowered his gun and put it away.

“What is the meaning of all this?” His voice was not deep but had a pleasant soothing tone to it that told it’s listeners that this person was highly cultured and educated. “If this is the Cardinal’s men, surely you are all safe! He is the head of the Church of France after all.”

“Where have you been, man?” Another villager stared at the stranger incredulously. “No one is safe from the Cardinal’s men!”

“Surely you jest.” The stranger smiled beneath the wide brimmed hat that overshadowed his eyes. “Unless you lot are criminals, there is nothign to be afraid of.”

One little boy caught sight of a smooth face underneath the shadows.
“We are not criminals, Mister.” A frightened woman told the stranger.

Sounds of many horses thundering on the ground came closer. Underneath their feet the ground trembled as if dreading the arrival.

“We knew we would be next.” The woman whispered in dread as her wide eyes stayed fixed on the door. “We should have left!”

Wearily the stranger sighed and pushed passed the villagers who were now trying to press as far as they could from the door. “Relax. I will go talk to them.”

“No! Please, Sir! Don’t go out there!” A child cried out and tugged at the stranger’s callused hand.

“Sir…I like that.” The stranger gave a little laugh as he looked down at the child and ruffled his hair. “Don’t worry little boy. I can handle it.”

Without another word the stranger walked through the doors and greeted the new arrivals.  A half dozen horses galloped up to the tavern ridden by men dressed in scarlet. Even in the candle light the stranger could see the unfriendly looks in their eyes that hid secrets not meant to be messed with. For the first time the dark traveler wondered if the villagers were right.

“Greetings, Messieurs! Are ye all travelers to this fine village too?” The stranger began with flair and a wide smile. “Come! Let us make merry and have us a round of ale, and perhaps a lass or two!”

“You are not from these parts?” The Captain of the squadron barked at the stranger with suspicious eyes.

“Indeed not, Monsieur!”

“Then move aside! We have business to conduct!” the gruff Captain shouted as he signaled his men to dismount.

“At this time of night?” The stranger kept up the friendly demeanor but did not move out of the way. “You need to relax more!”

“I will not repeat myself a second time. Now MOVE, BOY!” The Captain’s face darkened with rage.

“Boy? How odd that I am referred to as a boy so often.” The laughter in the stranger’s voice was clear. “I am no boy!”

In one smooth motion the stranger flung both hat and cloak aside revealing a slender young woman with soft brown hair curling slightly just below her ears. “Now tell me what…BUSINESS… you have with these good villagers!”

The scorn in her voice showed clearly the contempt she was feeling for the armed men in scarlet.

“We are the Cardinal’s men!” The Captain of the guard proclaimed proudly. “We don’t tell anyone, especially a young snip of a girl, our business.”

With a nod of his gray head a couple of his men rushed the girl as if to take her down.

“Oh! You want to play do you?” She laughed as she nimbly dodged them then elbowed the men in the back, knocking them down. “Anyone else want to play?”

“You!” The Captain bellowed as he pointed at the girl.

“Yes, ME!” She laughed in his face.

“You will pay for your insolence!”

“No. You sir, will be the one paying!” All traces of laughter were gone as she faced the men who by now had all drawn their rapiers. “I don’t like people who take advantage of their rank to bully people, especially their fellow country men. Now STAND DOWN and leave this place! This is YOUR last warning!”

“Your dead, girl!” The Captain himself lunged forward with his sword.

Having anticipated this, the girl had her own rapier out and easily blocked the blow. Then just as swiftly she cut off the feather from his helmet then rested her blade against his cheek before he even knew what had happened.

“Who are you?” He asked in stunned amazement, fear showing in his eyes.

“I am Elizabeth Blair d'Artagnan, NOT at your service.” She gave a small stylish bow, not taking her eyes off his men.

“d'Artagnan?” The old man’s face paled even further. “Not the same d'Artagnan who was the King’s champion in the Musketeers?”

“That was my mother you twit!” the young d'Artagnan sneered. “I would have to be an old woman if that was me.”

The rest of the guard looked at each other uncertainly. Going after villagers was one thing. But going after a noblewoman was quite another.

“What are you doing so far from your lands?” The old man was still suspicious.

“If you must know, I am on my way to becoming a Musketeer just like my mother and father were and my grandfather before them.”

Slowly the old man backed away and signaled to his men. Obediently they all got back on their horses.

Curtly the Captain nodded to the young noble swords woman.

“I will be seeing you again, Lady d'Artagnan. You can be sure of that.”

“Oh, good! A play date!” She replied with a smile and a wink. “I look forward to that, Sir! Until then, au  revoir!”

With a flourish she bowed mockingly as they rode away.

“Just like a typical bully.” She muttered as she watched them disappear into the night. “So bent on harming those who are weaker, but the moment someone shows up who can bite back, they disperse like rats!”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Friend Named Sam

HI everyone! :D
I have created a new blog to present some stories I plan on doing where I take well known classics and put a SP Blogland spin on them.The first up will be The Three Musketeers.
Before I tell you more about that I want to take a moment to thank Sam for the WONDERFUL EPIC design he created for my blog. I am so happy and grateful that he took the time to help me out. (and so quickly too) :D


THANK YOU SAM FOR CREATING A BEAUTIFUL BLOG FOR ME! It's PERFECT!
*hands Sam a million cupcakes (that never rot teeth or causes weight gain) and hugs*

I have always loved the designs Sam comes up with and am honored and privileged now to have a BLOG designed by him.
That boy as TALENT! :D

I will have the first part of The Three Musketeers by tomorrow, Tuesday at the latest.
Thans you all.