A Sort of Fairytale: Preface

An editor writes:

So, this was started a while back and it looks like the Boss is bringing it back. This is not really a first chapter, more of an introductory taster, a preface, if you will.

How would I describe it? Well, first off, it’s not Spashley. It’s more like the dark version of The Princess Bride, I suppose. Robin Hood-y. Medieval-ish. In fact, I know no more than anyone else who’s previously read the beginning of this, so read for yourself and find out!

Rating: A (a little bit Adult). Implied violence, no sex.

* * * * *

Eleanor crouched on the floor in the corner, cradling her right arm gently. Trying to run had been a bad idea, and, since it had never worked in the past, it had been foolish to think that it would now.

She heard the ominous clattering of horses’ hooves against the cobblestones outside. Suddenly, the grime-addled, rush-strewn floor of their hovel seemed like a haven, a place she never wanted to leave.

But it was a place from which she was about to be ripped.

It had never been the happiest of homes; in fact, it had never been a home. It was a filthy little shack that had offered nothing but tears and hunger, anger and bitterness. Her family had always been held together loosely by the ties of blood and nothing more. There had been no love here; there had been no love lost, either.

But she really, really, really didn’t want to leave.

Blinking the unbidden tears from her eyes, Eleanor pushed herself further back into the corner. The blood which raced through her veins was cold.

She eyed her father with trepidation and a sizeable amount of fear.

There was nothing she could do: she knew that; he knew that. He must have believed she was helpless or he wouldn’t have told her what he had planned, about the evil machinations which he had already put in place and which were now rapidly approaching fruition.

The very concept of resisting her father’s wishes had been beaten out of her long ago in her short seventeen-year life. And yet, when he told her what he was about to do, it had never occurred to her not to run. Some things were worth a broken arm, or at least a severely bruised one. She couldn’t tell which state her arm was in, only that it hurt and that her hurt was about to be multiplied a thousand-fold.

Too late, they’d arrived.

The sound of those ominous hooves now became bone-chilling footsteps that near-thundered to the door. And all this followed by a long second – an eternity of a second – that ended with a knock.

Eleanor tried not to faint.

* * * * *

The small town of Chalash was nothing more than a cluster of hovels surrounding an inn. A slightly larger house, not much more than a shack, sat next to the inn and housed the sheriff. He was a self-important toady of a man, far more concerned with his own advancement than his job looking after the townspeople.

He paid homage, as did all the towns within a wide radius, to Lord Barnabas. A powerful warlord, Barnabas barely gave a nod to the king under whom he held his fiefdom. The most powerful land owner in the whole realm, he commanded an army that held most men to fear and a personal presence that did the same.

It was he who ran the town, not the pathetic whimpering simpleton who was nominally sheriff.

Barnabas’ personal guard were known throughout the land as the Silver-Tongues. It was an odd name. They didn’t lie, because they didn’t have to. They had never acquired the skill of coercing through sweet talk, because they took what they wanted by force. The only ties they still retained to their old name were the strange shield-like silver badges that adorned their uniforms. Their black uniforms were edged in silver silk; their black sword scabbards and shining silvery mail glistened against a sable underlay.

And it was the leader of this illustrious group, Captain Harfoot, who presented himself at the door that evening. What words he exchanged with her father, Eleanor did not know: she was too busy cowering in the corner and could only see their lips move. Her eyes darted to the small leather pouch that exchanged hands. She noted her father weighing it in his hand greedily before stowing it in his pocket.

With a casual wave of his hand, her father indicated towards the dust-ridden alcove that sheltered Eleanor. It was to be her haven no longer.

Later, she would wish that she had fought harder when the two soldiers advanced to retrieve her. As it was, she was so frozen with fear, she merely emitted a terrified whimper and tried, with futility, to remain glued to the floor.

The two soldiers responded by picking her up bodily and carrying her out of the house.

And within seconds she was tied to the saddle of a waiting horse, her hands bound with rope.

She was lost, and she knew it.

* * * * *

Up next: Chapter 1 [A]

10 Comments

  1. Makiki
    Posted 2 February 2009 at 7.47pm | Permalink

    Oh! New story! No time to read, because they are children waiting for me…but I’ll review later. Yah!

  2. DaniZGE
    Posted 3 February 2009 at 3.23am | Permalink

    Thank you so much!! I have been looking forward to this. Thank you.

  3. dev0347
    Posted 3 February 2009 at 1.32pm | Permalink

    I shoulda said that I also like/liked this one a lot. And I like not knowing where it’s going for once.

  4. ballgirl10
    Posted 3 February 2009 at 2.30pm | Permalink

    Ooh new story – yeah! You definitely have me intrigued. I enjoyed Eleanor’s spirit.

  5. Posted 3 February 2009 at 4.46pm | Permalink

    I will be honest.. I don’t really read fanfic’s anymore.. I kinda lost the interest in them.. But seeing as this is not a Spashley one I thought I would give it a try.. and there was something about Robin Hood.. Robin hood is one of my fav. disney movies ever.. I have seen many versions of Robin hood series an movies and I like that.. so If this is anything near that I think I will really enjoy this one..

    at the moment I’m tired and there are a lot of words in there that I have never seen before but I think as the story carries on I will get the point of it..

    Anyway I think Iam done at the moment.. okay that was a long coment.. Sorry for rambeling on..

  6. Ringo
    Posted 3 February 2009 at 9.36pm | Permalink

    Oh, I remember this one! I’m quite excited, I won’t lie. I always hoped you’d bring this one back.

    *bounces excitedly in her seat*

    I agree with Dev, btw. No idea where this is going, and that intrigues me….

  7. Fort
    Posted 4 February 2009 at 12.16am | Permalink

    I read this when you first posted it on the other site. But reading it now, I think I appreciate it a bit more, to be honest. It’s a interesting set up, you get across some of the key initial info well, and introduce the character and her background a bit. I honestly have no idea where this will go, we have no female character yet so I cant start speculating who the love-interest might be. It’s intriguing because it is genuinely different.

  8. Noodles
    Posted 4 February 2009 at 6.50am | Permalink

    Hm. Didn’t know this was out there before. Interesting.

    So, honesty time. I loved BFM, but couldn’t read LM because I don’t do period pieces. And LM wasn’t a period piece as much as this one is. Difference is reading spashley in a period piece bothered me.

    But this? Yeah I can dig this. Finally reading a story where characters are new. Yay! I’ve been so stuck in a fanfic cycle, that ive actually been carrying a book to and from work everyday that I haven’t read one word of. (Second sentence that has ended in a preposition. I’ve heard its an Ohio thang.). I’ve thought about reading it, or finishing the other one but I can’t seen to find the energy to invest the time.

    Hopefully reading this original piece will help me get out of the intense cycle.

    The intro has me excited. Where is she going? What’s going to happen? Where’s her prince or princess? Did her dad really just sell her? Wow, horrible.

    I will say, I said the town name about 6 times, twice outloud just to get a feel for it. Its one of those words that feels funny.

    Um…..I guess that’s it.

  9. Packingforthecrash
    Posted 4 February 2009 at 11.46am | Permalink

    First thing I noticed when reading this, has to be that I actually saw the scene very vividly. I can at times have problems seeing the scenes before me, but I was instantly in the hovel with Eleanor, seeing it play out before me. That’s a good thing. A very good thing.

    Second thing I noticed was your different choice of words. I never really have to look up or guess any word’s meaning anymore (except slang), but I had to several times here, and for some people it might take away some of the reading experience, but for me…I LOVE it. I love seeing how words can play together, and learning new words along the way. Your writing style is different in this one, isn’t it? I still like it though, I like it alot. It seems like it runs deeper than just a spashley story, and honestly? I’m a little sick of them (generally), and have been craving something else.

    I will without a doubt be reading this, if you keep it up. I have read this before too, once I think, I wonder if I even commented on it? Probably not, knowing my commenting history (nill!).
    You’re an excellent writer Clom, know that and trust that, and don’t get all sulking when people don’t instantly comment, you should write this for yourself as much as everyone else.

  10. yeahbutno
    Posted 4 February 2009 at 12.00pm | Permalink

    oh i remember this one over there too, but i think bits have been changed?

    i’ll be honest and say that i’m not a fan of medeival/historical set stories in general, The Labryinth helped hammer that nail in the coffin! but anything with a spunky herione in it has my interest.

    there is one historical based novel that i loved and damn i cannot remember the name of it, ian pears i think wrote it. fab book.

    Errr was it just me that read Captain Harfoot as Captain Harlot?

    I like the imagery so will be looking out for an update, i’m hoping it doesn’t get too dark or “lets kick the wench whilst she is down”, also can they have regular baths?

    Im watching out for this one Clom.

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