Under the Oak Tree


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

It’s Red Writing Hood again!  Write on Edge offered up this challenge for the week:

A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a handwritten letter.

Link up your own story, or go on over to see what everyone else has come up with.  Concrit is always welcome.

I missed the ‘stand alone’ part initially, and had to give up on the start of the first piece I was writing, connected to one of my other story pieces.  And then, mysteriously, I couldn’t shake the idea of Peter Pan.  In a tree.  I’ve been reading the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series recently, by James A. Owen, which I suspect is a very strong factor in this sudden fixation.  And, in case you were wondering, yes, you should definitely read that series.  Also, I really wish I could illustrate my own stories.  The man has talent.  As seen below.  I found the drawing through the link that you can go to by clicking the image, which appears to be James A. Owen’s live journal account.  It is the artwork of James A. Owen, whose other link is above.  The artwork is from the book The Red Dragon, and is of Laura Glue, one of the Lost Boys in the series.  I could tell you more, but why ruin a good book?

Marco froze, a leaf-dappled shadow, bare feet gripping the rough bark, listening.  Sure that he remained unnoticed, he slid out along an overhanging branch and peered down curiously.

The girl pulled an envelope out, smoothing an oft-read letter on her knee.

He struggled with the writing, sharp eyes picking it out easily, but unable to decipher the characters as they were, full of flourishes and extra loops of ink.  Foppish.

The girl didn’t seem to mind it, though.  She clutched the letter to her chest with a sigh of contentment.

“My knight, my love,” she whispered.

In a flash of decision and action, the boy landed facing her, with a soft thump, hands on his hips.  “Boo.”

The girl clutched her letter in surprise, as she let out a small shriek.  She then delivered surprisingly solid kick to his stomach, knocking him from his heroic pose.

“What’d you do that for?” he yelped, skipping back out of range.

“Me?” she cried, struggling to her feet.  “You attacked me!”

“Never did!”

“You accost a lady of the realm in the woods, and dare to talk back?”  She drew herself up and bestowed upon him a withering glare.

“What’s wrong with yer face, then, Melly?”

She tried to smooth the expression from her reddening face.  “Nothing.  And I am Lady Amelia.  What are you doing here?”

“S’ my tree.  What’s in the letter?”

“It is from my beloved, Sir Erwin.  He is courting me.”

“Why’d you want to marry such a girly man anyways?”

Amelia gasped at the insult.  “He is not girly!  He is a brave Knight, kind and good, and he is the bravest man alive.”

Marco snickered.  “With his girly writin’ an always last in the lists an’ all?”

“It’s not…” Amelia hesitated.  Her brave Knight dotted his ‘i’s with flowers.  “He’s just trying to appeal to my delicate female sensibilities is all.  Go away, Marco!”

He let out a crow of laughter.  “Delicate female sensibilities, my arse!”

Amelia reached out, unthinking, and smacked him over the head with the ratty letter, which he promptly tore from her hand for her efforts.  “You’ve ruined it!” she wailed.

“Never did…” he concentrated intently on the paper in his hand, sounding out the words.  When understanding came he stared in shock at the blushing girl.  “You’re runnin’ away with him, Melly?”

She crossed her arms. “Father won’t let us marry.  Since when can you read, anyways?”

Marco glared sullenly at his grubby feet.  “Since you told me we couldn’ be friends no more ‘cause I was uneducated.  Erwin’s a pansy, an’ he treats his horses like dung.”  He peered up at her for a moment, dark eyes flashing. “King said you can tell a lot about a man from how he treats his animals.”

Amelia flinched, remembering an incident with a puppy.  Even babies ought not pee on Sir Erwin.

“Maybe… maybe you could walk me home, Marco?”

All smiles, he offered her his arm.  “Don’t worry, Melly.  I’ll write you a better letter.”

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22 Comments

  1. I love LOVE! LOVE! this! Charming and fanciful and delightful and Brilliantly Perfect in every way! Applause and applesauce all around!

  2. Oh I have to agree with Shelton. What a lovely piece. I loved it!

  3. Reblogged this on @McTells Place and commented:
    Great writing from Red writing Hood…take a look…

  4. Totally enjoyed the dialogue. So vibrant and fresh! And I think I’m inclined to agree with Marco (if this Sir Erwin dots his i’s with flowers). 🙂 Enjoyable reading!

    • thanks. Hearts might be a sign of romance, but flowers are a sign that he spends too much time thinking of how his writing looks, and too little on what it says.

  5. Instant win 😀 ” Erwin’s a pansy, an’ he treats his horses like dung” – I have great friends who talk just like that. Glad she made the right choice. Marco’s a rough diamond.

    • I really want to meet your friends! He’s definitely still quite rough, but just look at Aladin! He was a diamond in the rough too 🙂

  6. So sweet, and a canny hero indeed!

  7. Dang it girl, you need to be getting some of this stuff published. You’ve got talent!!

  8. I love the detail you put into this piece. Those little things like dotting the i’s with flowers really bring the scene to life. And I’d love to see Marco’s letter!

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I’m not even sure what he would write her – probably not a love sonnet 🙂

  9. Awwwww! The voices are great, and give us a good sense of setting in time. My only question is the age of these two? I thought they were young–like ten or eleven–but then they’re talking about eloping, which makes me think maybe they’re older.

    • I picture Marco being in that age range too, maybe with her closer to 13-14… but with an older-enough knight interested in her to sweep her up in ideas of marriage much too young.

  10. Very nice. I enjoyed this story.

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