25 Days of Writing – Day 8

Day 8: What about their earlier school days? Write a scene of your character in grade school or middle school.

(This will be a little challenging, as my character did not attend school in the sense described above, but we’ll make do.)


Trey hefted the sword and glanced up at Sir Gilbert. Gilbert was poised with his own sword held in front of his body, ready for whatever Trey could hurl at him.

“Come on then, boy. Take this sword from my hand,” Gilbert commanded.

Trey glanced around him. The other boys, ages six through fifteen, watched him intently. Rion stood among the other boys, the eldest among them, smugly waiting to see how his younger brother would fare against their instructor. In a couple of weeks, Rion would undergo the trials and would become a full Mark-bearer.

Trey looked back at Gilbert and swallowed hard. He wondered if he could succeed.

Gilbert grinned, passing his weight from foot to foot, waiting. “Come on, boy.”

Trey glanced around again. On the hill beyond the practice yard he saw the young ladies gathering to watch. Rosaline would be there. He squinted to see her against the harsh backlight of the sky.


Gilbert slapped Trey’s sword to the side, snapping the twelve-year-old boy back to reality, and nearly causing Trey to drop the sword. “I’m waiting, boy,” growled Gilbert with a smile.

Trey leapt into action, thinking himself capable of quickly disarming Sir Gilbert, and imagining the glory of having done so. Rosaline would be so very impressed.

Gilbert easily stepped aside and dodged and blocked every attempt Trey made. Gilbert laughed harder with each failed attempt. Trey’s frustration mounted and his technique became sloppy. Anger flushed through the boy, and he found himself fighting not to disarm, but to injure Sir Gilbert.

Gilbert, recognizing this, quickly put an end to the duel. With a few swipes of his sword and one well-placed boot, Gilbert disarmed the boy and left him sprawled on the ground.

“Control, boy. You need control. Strength and skill are nothing without control,” admonished Gilbert. Rion snorted. Obviously he felt that Trey had a stronger sense of self-worth than was deserved.

Gilbert stepped back and addressed the crowd of boys gathered there. “Enough for this day. Go to your chores and duties and remember: it is important to know your limitations and work within them, rather than to think yourself something that you are not.” Gilbert clapped his hands and strode away. The boys scattered.

Trey remained on the ground, thoroughly embarrassed and shamed. This day had been a disaster. He looked to the hill again, the girls were still there, gossiping among themselves. Rosaline had seen and heard everything. Yes, disaster indeed.


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