Oi, you. Yeah you. You with the nose. Stop what you’re doing right now. Stop it. Put down whatever you’re holding and back away from it, unless all you are holding is your mobile phone or laptop, in which case absolutely do not put it down and back away; instead widen your eyes and press your nose up against the screen, because I have something truly wonderful to show you, you lucky sod.
I’ve written some 6,000 words of my novella, which should be near enough 20,000 when I finish it in around six weeks. That’s right – I am almost a third of the way through. You know why? Because I am just bloody marvellous. No, it’s no use arguing. Hush. I am a marvel.
Because I have not posted anything on here for a little while, and I hate seeing my beloved blog sit empty, I’ve decided to publish the first 1000 words or so. It’s a work in progress, ‘aiight? So if you read it and think it’s about as witty and interesting as a steaming keg of ox vomit, I’d like to offer you a preemptive ‘fuck off’.
“Hellfire and fury, ashes and dust! She is gone! My beautiful wife, my Astra; the queen, she is gone!”
The guard stationed outside came jogging into my chambers upon hearing my howls. He found me nude on my knees in the centre of the room, fists raised to the sky. I was trembling with rage, visions of violent retribution flickering before my eyes like flames.
“Good morning your Highness. What seems to be the trouble?” asked Edgar. Edgar was the new captain of the palace guard (the old captain got a splinter in his toe and died of sepsis) and an insufferable dunce. I made a mental note to fire him later. Out of a cannon and into a wall, ideally.
“Your queen, you cretinous villaine; she hath been stolen!”
“I see,” mused Edgar. “Are you sure she didn’t just leave?”
“Nay, oaf. Verily, I found this scrap of her dress snagged upon the window ledge!” I held up a scrap of blue and gold fabric. “And look! She didst leaketh blood!”
I pointed to a damp corner of the material, which was stained deep red.
“Aw, don’t worry, Sire,” smiled Edgar. I waited for him to elucidate. He did not.
“Don’t- DONT WORRY? What in Christ’s name am I paying you- er, thou for anyway?” I screamed, hurling a leather glove at him which, to my great satisfaction, slapped him across the forehead. “O! Woe is me.”
I collapsed on the bearskin rug and shuddered with horrible sobs. Edgar apparently found the sight of my nude convulsing a tad uncomfortable, as when I had finally finished loudly weeping and heaved myself upright, I found I was alone in the room. I hurled obscenities after my useless staff and set about smashing the room to smithereens, shrieking like a Ringwraith on a hen night.
As I was about to give the boot to an old chest of drawers, I spotted something that gave me pause: a small letter, sealed with ominous purple wax. I picked it up with trembling fingers.
“Mayhaps this be a note from mine wife’s eville abductor!” I whispered aloud as I tore it open.
My ravenous eyes ran over the calligraphic handwriting. It read:
Let it be Knowne that this note shalle be Addressed, to he whom I hereby dub, a COWARDE
My eyes bulged in my head at the insult. My hands shaking, I continued to read.
I am Writinge to thou by means of Penne and Payper, to Convey a Message moste Fowle and Dyvious. My name is Prince, and I amme in Love with thine Wyffe. I gazed Upon an etching of her several Moones ago, and whence I Witnessed her Divine Bosomme, I knew I must Have her.
Note that I did use a Capital Letter for the Word ‘Have’, as I wish it be Knowne that I intend to not only Win your Wiyffe as my Wiyffe, but that I desire her for Mine owne wicked Endes. And thou should believe me, Mine is a particularly Wicked Ende, if thou doth catch mine drift.
I have Absconded with thine Whyffe, and I shalle never Giveth her Backe to thee,
For thou art, And thou Shalt always remain, A COWARDE.
Cold Regarddes to thee, COWARDE,
I could not believe what I had read. I stared at the paper so hard that my eyes may have burned a hole through it, had I not first screamed and shredded the note into a thousand pieces that fluttered away like funeral confetti. My Queen, my darling Astra, sweet star of my life, alone in the clutches of a wicked Prince! I could not sit idly by. Something would have to be done.
The castle drawbridge squelched happily into the mud as it was lowered. A crowd of my idiot subjects had gathered to see me off on my journey. They didn’t even know where I was going. They just liked to see big horses ride past with purposeful looking members of the aristocracy atop them. Unfortunately, as I discovered that morning upon barging into the stables demanding the kingdom’s fastest steed, all the horses were currently under the weather with a nasty bout of swell-snout that was going around.
And so, dressed in my finest armour, my long hair bouncing around my shoulders in handsome ringlets, I thundered out of the armory, over the drawbridge, and down through the streets of my city riding the only animal available that I could rugby tackle, pin down and strap a saddle to: a very large, floppy eared sow named Margaret.
I will not lie to you and tell you that straddling a fat-bellied pig through streets packed with guffawing peasants was my proudest moment, but it matters not. My queen needed me. Accompanying me on my noble quest was that blasted oaf Captain Edgar, because although a blithering idiot he was the only guard who had managed to get dressed on time. He was riding the second best steed available, an epileptic donkey name Alfonso.
A third member of our company rode alongside Edgar, using the third best transport available; a sledge pulled by wild raccoons. He was a young mercenary called Dedmiht, and he was very handsome and charming but you shouldn’t get too fond of him because he is going to die a few pages from now and it’s going to be very upsetting for you if you are emotionally invested in his character.
Also in tow was the pungent stable girl, Glob, who wasn’t invited along but got her arm tangled in my stirrups, and since there was no time to untie her, she was compelled to run alongside my hog.
Together, our mismatched quartet rode (and ran) boldly through the streets, and fortunately Glob’s body deflected many of the tomatoes hurled in our direction. I couldn’t help but sigh as we left the bustle of the city behind; I had a strong suspicion that we did not have an easy journey ahead of us.
To be continued…