I have had a bit of writer’s block. So, I am attempting a writer’s challenge website I found. It gave me random ideas and I had to put them into a story.
Writing Challenge 9/7/2014
Character lies / misunderstood
Jonathon stood staring at the map spread out before him. It was almost hopeless. He didn’t see a way to save his troops, much less win the coming battle. There was no retreat. His scouts had just let him know that during the night they had become surrounded. Their position was defensible for a while, but if they fought it would eventually end with all their deaths.
He was going to have to do something none of his men would stomach well. He was going to surrender himself. The missive had already been sent. The rules of war and honor would not allow the enemy’s commander to attack. Once he was in their hands, his men would be safe.
It was the only way.
There was a sharp wrap on one of the wooden support posts of his tent. A short wiry man stepped inside. It was Raphael his second-in-command. The curly black hair on his head looked like it had experienced little in the way of pillow contact and much finger brushing. Likely the commander had gotten as much sleep as he had.
“Good morning, Raph,” Jonathon said.
“General Winters,” Raphael replied. He came to stand over the map, but looked at it only casually. “So, do you have a plan to win the day?”
“Absolutely,” Jonathon answered.
He grimaced at Raph’s loud snort. “Unless you have another three divisions hidden up your sleeve, we are going to be dead by nightfall and the city will be taken tomorrow.”
“There will be only one casualty today,” Jonathon said.
Raphael’s brown eyes were cold and bitter, but not surprised. “So, you think your surrender will save us all?”
“Yes,” Jonathon answered. He began rolling up the map. No reason to put off packing any longer. The messenger should be back anytime with the terms of his surrender.
“So, you give yourself up and the enemy troops leave. We go back to our homes and get back to our lives like nothing happened.” Raphael said with extreme sarcasm. “What a fucking joke.”
Jonathon grit his teeth and continued to pack.
“Who the hell gave you permission to declare our defeat? Who the Fuck are you to deny us the honor of fighting to our last breath for our country!” Raphael shouted. The furious man stepped over and grabbed Jonathon by the sleeve and yanked him around. “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!!” He shouted.
Jonathon drew himself up to his full height a good six inches taller than his second-in-command. “I am your General. The Royal family knows my plan and approve.” His cold blue eyes met the angry brown boldly. “What I do will save everyone.” Jonathon’s voice rang with complete confidence.
He knew it would work, because he had caused the war in the first place. Raphael had been an excellent officer and companion, but he didn’t know who Jonathon really was. He was the prince. When he refused to honor his betrothal to the princess of their neighboring country, she had been furious. Then her father died some months ago, Analie was crowned Queen and declared war on them. Once he came to her in chains, she would call off the war. His parents hadn’t been willing to bend to her demands, but with the destruction of the capital city imminent, his pride had already cost enough lives.
His parents didn’t know yet, but they would soon. He wrote the letter last night explaining his decision. It would go to the capital as soon as he had confirmation of the terms of surrender.
“Bull fucking shit!” Raphael yelled. “You’re going to the bitch. You think she is going to save you.”
Jonathon jerked in surprise. No one was supposed to know who he was. How did Raphael know about the Queen? “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Liar,” Raphael’s fury contorted his face into a horrible mask. “General Lorington,” Raph spat the name out like it fouled his mouth, “I know you have been fucking her!”
Jonathon froze on shock. “Caristian Lorington?” he asked softly. He tried to picture his Cari, laughing sweet reckless, General of the Army sent to crush him. It was true, he was her lover. She knew him only as the Prince he was. He had fallen for her when he spent a month with Analie, to acquaint themselves before the wedding. Cari had been one of her ladies in waiting. The princess had been angry, stubborn, and ill-tempered; just what you would expect from a spoiled royal brat. Caristian had known exactly how to handle her, they were actually good friends. She hadn’t allowed him any liberties, completely loyal to Analie. It made him only love and respect her more. He knew there was no way he could marry the princess and be in love with her best friend. It was impossible. So the betrothal was broken and he returned home. Then she sent him a letter and arranged their first meeting. Since then they had been meeting regularly in secret. He had already told his parents that his bride was chosen, if not her name.
“Yeah, like you didn’t fucking know.” Raph looked at Jonathon with such loathing it was difficult to take. “You are going to sell us all out, in the hopes that your whore will save you from the Bitch Queen.” Raph moved to the tent flap. “You can do what you like General,” he sneered, “but we aren’t going to stand down until the King himself tells us to.” With that he stormed out.
Unable to completely wrap his mind around the information just given to him, he sank down on to his cot. He stared at the dirt floor. He was about to give himself to his enemy slash lover, who would hand him over to her queen. He had been lying to everyone, pretending to not be the prince. Plus, he lied to his lover by not telling her he was the general of his kingdom’s army. Now, to find out she had kept the same lie from him. He was hurt and angry. She was the perfect honorable one on the high white pedestal. He was the one worshipping from below, completely unworthy. How dare she shatter the beautiful dream?
Jonathon was jerked from his stupor by the harsh rays of the morning sun striking him in the eye. He lifted a hand to shield his eyes. Someone had pulled back the flap of his tent. A scroll was held in front of his face. He took it and turned so the light was to his back. Unrolling it, he found the terms of his surrender, they were agreed to and signed by General C. Lorington.
“How soon will the General be here?” Jonathon asked without turning around.
There was a moment of silence then the soft reply, “Now.”
Jonathon felt the air freeze in his chest. He couldn’t move.
The tent flap fell back in place cutting off the sun’s rays. The white canvas of the tent caused the harsh light to be soft and glowing. Carefully Jonathon stood and turned to face his lover.
There she stood watching him with bright clear blue eyes. Blonde hair pulled back from her face, bouncing curls securely squashed. Her stare was strong, loving, and unapologetic.
He had considered for a moment that she would indeed try to save him from his fate, but looking in to her eyes was like looking into his own. They might love each other, but their honor was more important. She would take him before her queen. There was no doubt in his mind.
“Jonathon,” she said.
“Cari,” he replied. She smiled and he felt the tension lift a little. “I wish things could have been different.”
Her smile turned sad, “So do I, my love.”
He picked up his bundle from the cot and turned to leave. “At least we will have this little time together.”
There was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, “we’ll ride slowly.”