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Writing Prompt 3 – “We Shouldn’t Be Here”

Hello, all!  I’m keeping it light this week with another writing prompt!  Trying to keep the writing fresh while I edit my current novel.  I hope you enjoy!

The actual writing prompt?  The first two lines of dialogue start the fun.  🙂


“We shouldn’t be here.”

“No,  you shouldn’t be here.  I, on the other hand, have to.  That’s what happens when you give your life to serving the kingdom.”

Hershal’s uppity attitude irked me.  He always did this, leaned on the scales to make our roles as petty thieves and liars seem a noble necessity.  I’m mean, sure, he was bleeding through the bandages under his tunic from wounds he had received instead of the king, but that had not been from “giving his life.”  “Please keep in mind that I was there, too. And I helped.”

“Ah, but did you give your life?”

“You’re.  Not.  Dead,” I reminded him.  “You tripped off the wall above the king’s head and conveniently fell in front of him just as an assassin came at him with a poisoned dagger.”

He waved that off.  “Semantics mixed with a strong helping of divine intervention!  Perhaps I meant to trip.”

“You didn’t.  Trust me–you didn’t.”  Nor had I.  I’d landed right on the head of the dumbstruck would-be killer–a scrawny, young lad.  It apparently didn’t take much more than a full-bodied, confused interloper to knock him unconscious.  A touch amateur, I must admit, but a complete breakfast would allay such maladies.

Removing my attentions from my partner for the moment, I once more took a scan of our surroundings.  I had to say, we could have been in worse confinements within the castle. They had taken us to a spare bedroom in one of the main towers, a room with two luxurious beds, ceiling-to-floor curtains, golden intricacies, jewel-encrusted things, and polished wood stuff.  I felt like I was inside a fancy jewel box; all that was missing was the pithering gears of the built-in lullaby.

But a prison, I fear, was a prison.  The grand double doors leading in had been locked and bolted, and the windows were reinforced.  This was, I’d overheard as the guards had been gathering us from our “sacrifice,” the room that royal traitors were detained within until they were led to the guillotine.

So.  Not precisely honey and baubles just yet.

Sighing, I returned to Hershal.  He was bracing a hand against his shoulder, but his face glowed like that of a martyr as he gazed beyond the iron bars of the window.  “I wonder if they’ll hold a parade for me.”

I hated when he did that.  “We’re not out of the clear, you know.  Yes, we saved the king from death and harm. We were also caught red-handed with about half of his wife’s jewelry collection.  The crime of thievery on the streets is losing your hand. Do you even want to imagine what we’re set to lose in here?”

For a splash, Hershal dropped the pompous act.  Whipping his head about, he snapped, “Stop lumping us together.  I saved his majesty’s life!  I sacrificed myself for the kingdom.  You are just a clumsy oaf I’ve been forced to shack up with since I found you starving in the lower quarters!”

That stung–partially because it wasn’t fully exaggerated.

But Hershal continued before I could interject.  “I’ve done all I can for you. I’m sorry, dear friend, but these are the dividers that have been built.”  Taking in a deep breath, he rose to his full, erect, absolutely regular height. “If they had intended to kill me, they would not have extracted the poison from my wounds, nor tended to them so carefully.  My fate has been set, as has yours. Here, our paths diverge.” Thus said, he rose from the foot stool we’d been sitting on, strolled over to the chair that flanked a gorgeous writer’s desk, and lowered himself imperiously.

Indeed, I thought, watching him as the sound of heavy footsteps ascending stairs reached my ears.  Indeed–our paths, in many more ways than one, have fully diverged.

End


Thank you for reading!  If you have any favorite writing prompt or writing prompt sites that you frequent, please let me know!

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