Here is a chapter of my latest novel, Ivrick. The story sets in medieval times with dragons, Vikings, and knights. There’s a lot of drama, magic but most importantly, there is comedy, romance, and action; the very basics of a good story.
Chapter x The serpent’s cross
I skipped town and went the meadow and the river bank and went underneath the cool shade of the tree. the grass was cool but short and prickly and it tickled harshly my legs. I wrote in my diary.
I’ve made it! I’m finally a Viking, a man now. This means I won’t be able to go to the loner’s bar ever again. But i guess i can rellax a little bit in terms of waht’s in store for the future sinc ei know tha ti wll become cheif one day. I thought i saw champeron in the forest when we were hunting that boar, but now i think it was just my imagination. I must thank that image though for it gave me the courage, summoned the courage and determination from within me to make the final kill.
We had a marvelous feast this morning. We were so hungry and ate it as soon as it was cleane,d gutted and cooked over a fire. I ate fast but now i feel slightly sick. My sister ran up to me as soon as i arrived home and she hugge dnad congratulated me. then she had to go prepare for schoo. I didn’t see champeron yet. But I’m sure he’s somewhere close.
The bell chimes coming from the tokwn hall building (wich was in front the square), gave me a little jolt of surprise. Then, i smiled, packed up my things and hurried off to The Square where everyone was going to meet, men, women and children a like. The only people who weren’t allowed to come there was the half-men at the Loner’s bar but no doubt, STeve was watching me from a distance somewhere.
But as i came nearer to the crowd of [eople who were already gasthered at the square, a sense of foreboding went into my blood stream and i knew sometihnh was wrong, especially when i saw the princess herself and the elders at the stage where my father was. Chaperon was also on stage. Peeople saw me and they hurrdiely made way and moved asie so tha ti cold go pass them. I made my way up the steps and stood in front of my brother and my father. I looked to the right where the Princess was. Her fsce was covered in a viel but even so, her body was slender and petite. She had long hair that even the viel coldn
t fully cover. It was long, silky, like a horse’s mane.
“Ahem,” said my father
I looked to him ans then to my brother, who was wearing the Serpent’s cross of betrayal.
He was chal;lenging me over my rights as the heir to being the next cheif in command.
The serpent’s cross was in the shape of a simple crucifix but a snake was wrapped around it with it’s red and gold tongue, slithering out. Whoever wore it, meant that he challenged someone’s man hood, that the hunt that accused had been to, wans’t actually successful because of him and therefore, the men who had fought bravely along side him, as well as the accused, were not made men, but had faiiled and so were now Half-Men.
Champeron’s face was one of cockiness and smugness and he was always that way. But his face was slightly red and his fists were crossed-signed of tense in his body. But it was probably more because of father’s prescenese, then because of me. To me, he was looking a tme like he was ready to squash me and send me over to the Loner’s basr, me adn my companions.
Those brave vikings, those men, they were at the foot of the stage and didn’t dare look a tme even once. their fate was on the line as well as mine. But i dare say, my fate and my face was bigger than theirs and so more disastrous if champeron suceeded in proving the hunt was a faux. But he had no proof. I had the last word, the last action toward the beast, the ast kill.
“What are your accusations and your evidence?” i asked him “Explain yourself in front of everybody,”
He started off by soffing a tme, showing deep disrespect and loathing.
“I was there. you proably saw me,” he said “you knew i was there. and you may have cut off the eye of the beast, but i have its tail,”
From his puch which was made of animal hide, and in his pelt, he took out and showed it for everyone to see, a long tail with a poitny traiangle arrow thing at the bottom end.
The crowd gasped and the people, espcecially the women, started tlaking all at once in whispered murmurings.
“I knew you were there,” i said “actually, i knew you wold follow us there and you dd it so questly so bravo. But the thing is, It wasnt the cut of the tail or even the eye that made the boar breathe its last. No, it was when i plunged my knife into its neck and it couldn’t breathe becasue i had slit his thrfoat. That was the final kill and it was done by me.
The only thing i can say about your efforts, is perhaps, you are now a man as well as all these vikings right next to us,” i gestured to the men at the bottom of the stagre then turned back to him. “But i can assure you, that this by no means challnges my status or worse, my man hood. I completed the man hunt test, and i succeeded,”
My brother and I eyed each other, level on for a breif second, then my fasther went in between us and pushed both of us away from te podium, with a loud chuckle that sounded like thunder.
“Ha ha ha ha,” he boomed “This brings tears to my eyes, my first son’s mercy over the betrayal of my second son. But what do you do with boys, eh? Boys fight all the time,”
This brought a few smiles to the audience but i noticed that the men seemed a bit tensed, up, like wired toys or stongs.
“This won’t do,” said fatehr, shaking his heasd “nno, no, no. I cna’t mhave two men in my household, because that will lead to a lot of blood shed. The only way to settle to really killed the boar, and who, out of these two boys, are true viking men, is to offer another test. But not any old hunting test. We will give them the mother of all tests, tha tis, a quest to behead and bring back the head, the mother of all dragons.”
No body breathed, a sharp inhale of the breathing.
“The mother dragon,” said my father.
I could hardly believe it.
But i looked at the serpent’s cross on my brother’s left chest, and i knew that this really was happening. I was to embark on a quest that wi==ould leave one of us the victor and one of us dead eother by the merciless dragons, or either one of us.”
“My sons,” said mt father “It had been decided. The ultiate test to show stength asnd endurance and goucrager and will power, is coming to you very soon. Join mew in the oath, that one of you will return adn the other, if returned, wilk return as a half men and live in the Loner’s bar. While the other one, either ivrick or champeron, will e the next chief after me.”
“I swear,” said champeron and i
I took my knife and slit my hand then squeezed the blood onto a bowl provided. Champeron took out his own knife and did the same and squeezed his blood into the same bowl. Then the wise keeper ladyman, poured water into it and mixed the blood with a stick.
“The oath is bounded and completed,” she said “Nothing shall break this oasth. it is set in stone,”
“Indeed this marks a grand day,” said my fathe,r nodding his head. “This will surely be in the history books of vikings and on the styone walls of wnbich was inhabit.”
Then, loudly so everyone could hear and with his arms raised up, he boomed; “Let the quest for the next chief adn the real viking-man, begin!”
The crowed roared back in a series of cheers and huzzahs and they slwoly but surely, went back to their home sor schoosl or wherever they had come vfrom. I looke dback where the elders and the princess was, but they were well on their way back into the town hall building. My father left with some other men and heaed to a bar. Ipnly men were allowed to go ther,e not even women dared set foot because what happened in the Man Cave, stayed there. However, it was urgent tha ti spoke to my father about the hinting traps business. Butbefor ei could take another step, champeron pushed me backwards. I rubbed my chest and got back up.
“You!” he said with a snarled tone and a pointed crooked finger “I will win trhis quest. i will kill the mother dragon and i will be proved to be the best viking ever lived. Adn you will die under the cold blade of my sword,”
He grinned, showing his yellow stained teeth asnd then he turned around and juped off the stage and ran to, who knew where. Maybe he was trying to find other viking sto go with him on his quest.
But i wondered if his quest was to kill the mother dragona dn thus, ending the disease that had been inflicted in the village, or if it was an assassination mission on m ylife. I shuddered. Then i snappe dmy head out of my daydreams and rushed for the Cave man bar towasrds my father tpo tell him the news about the booby traps in the woods.