Welcome to Three Word Thursday #29. This week, joining the quondam obscure word-list, we have obstrigillate; ossifragant; & mariturient. We also have a whole list of perspicacious writers. If you enjoy reading my story, leave a comment then click on the names of the other players and go see how they used these bygone words. You’ll be entertained (and possibly educated) all at once.
The 12th Knight of Strawberry Fife
Evaard woke in the morning to find Vernal already hard at work. A kettle full of hot water sat on one side of the hearth. A pot of porridge bubbled happily above the flames, and Evaard’s clean jerkin and tights hung from the back of his chair. The boy was nowhere in sight, but the rhythmic cracking noises emanating from behind the shack led Evaard to believe Vernal was splitting even more firewood.
Evaard, wearing only his braies, approached the table. He couldn’t help but smile. Just over a week ago he had been Sir Tomlinson’s squire. Now he had a squire of his own. He thought it was marvelous — and terribly odd. He was used to serving, not being served. Still, it would be a pity to let the porridge burn. Evaard filled his bowl to the brim, looked at what remained in the pot, then returned some of the porridge to the kettle. The boy would need food for energy. Too often Sir Tomlinson had left Evaard with scant victuals.
The sun was just starting to rise as Evaard opened the door and stepped outside, dressed and ready for work. Vernal came around the building with his arms full of firewood. “Sir Evaard!” The boy exclaimed. “I didn’t know you were up! Your breakfast …”
“I’ve eaten, boy.” Evaard said. “You had it all laid out and ready for me. Filling my bowl and pouring my tea was no task. I can see you’ve been hard at work.”
“I’ve plenty more to do, Sir. If I may –”
The pounding of hooves startled them both and they turned to the East. A lathered war steed galloped out of the sun with a young boy sloped low across his back. The horse came to a stamping stop a few feet in front of Evaard and the rider slithered to the ground. “I am Fencil,” he said. “Sir Chevall was my master. He is … he is ….” The boy dropped to his knees sobbing.
“Sir Chevall was your master?” Evaard cried. “Tell me this instant what has happened!” He reached down and lifted Fencil to his feet. Vernal disappeared inside the cottage and returned with Evaard’s mug. It was filled with water. He thrust the cup into Fencil’s hand, then grabbed the warhorse’s reins and tugged the huge beast toward the water trough.
Words tumbled from Fencil’s mouth. “While my master stood watch over the strawberries, I stood watch over him. A mariturient lady, Mistress Comida Patisserie, passed the first hour after sunset with him. She has made it her habit this season to be there the same time every night, though my master gave her scant encouragement. Tonight, moments after she left, we heard her scream. My master and I dashed into the alley.”
Fencil struggled for words, his thin shoulders shaking under his tunic. Evaard urged the boy to drink from the cup. Over by the water trough, Vernal rubbed the war horse down with handfuls of sweet grass, carefully drying the sweaty beast without removing the tack.
“In the alley –” Fencil stammered. “In the alley we found the lady pushed aside, unharmed but three huge men stood shoulder-to-shoulder between her and us. They had clubs. Sir Chevall demanded they disperse and leave the lady be. The men hefted their clubs and stepped away from one another. By then the lady had already hastened away, but Sir Chevall raised his sword and yelled, “Curs! You dare obstrigillate justice?” One of the men swung his club. Sir Chevall blocked it, but his sword went flying. One of the other men swung at Sir Chevall’s head. I heard an ossifragant crunch and I … I –.” The boy sagged in Sir Evaard’s hands, sobbing. “I ran,” he wailed.
The slight child was probably no more than 8 years old. Evaard sighed wondering how the boy had become a squire. He patted the child awkwardly on the back and kindly said, “Of course you ran. It is good you came to me. Now stay here with Vernal. I must go to town.”
to be continued
The 3WT #30 words will be: your choice from previous the word list, though you must use at least three.
Got it? Good! In that case: Your story is due on: October 1st, 2009