M is for Mustering – #AtoZChallenge

M is for Mustering

Godwin grunted as he hefted the log into his arm. He ambled cautiously back into the house and dropped the log into the rack beside the fireplace.

“There you are,” said Joan. “What are you doing up?”

“I’ve got to earn my keep,” said Godwin. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been useful at all.”

Joan hustled toward him, blocking his way back outside to collect more wood. “Father said you should rest.”

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K is for Kuk Sool Won – #AtoZChallenge Special Post

K is for Kuk Sool Won

Yesterday, Saturday April 13, 2019, my son and I participated in our first tournament in the traditional Korean martial art called Kuk Sool Won.

The first-ever Fingerlakes Kuk Sool Won tournament, organized by my school, Kuk Sool Won of Greater Rochester, NY.
Ribbons for all the divisions and events.

My son has studied Kuk Sool Won for about 3.5 years, and is very close to starting the two year cycle that leads ultimately to a black belt. I started a little over a year ago and will be promoting to my blue belt in a couple of weeks.

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L is for Lift – #AtoZChallenge

L is for Lift

Godwin sat with his legs dangling off the side of the bed.

“Planning to go somewhere?” said Kenrick.

“A journey starts with just one step,” said Godwin. “I need to walk.”

“And then what?” said Kenrick.

“Then I’ll do as I’ve promised. I’ll make myself useful.”

“Boys,” said Joan from across the room.

Kenrick sighed. He slapped his thighs and stood up. “Well, I’m going to wash up.”

“You do that, father,” said Joan. She pointed at Godwin with the knife she was using to cut vegetables. “And you’re going to sit right there, David.”

Godwin smiled. “Well now, how am I supposed to be useful all the way over here?”

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K is for Kenrick – #AtoZChallenge

K is for Kenrick

Godwin enjoyed watching Joan cooking. In truth, he just enjoyed watching Joan. She was cheery and full of life. Maybe plain, but real, and earthy. Bertram would never have approved. She was perfect.

He chuckled to himself, then struggled to sit up a little better.

“And you’re moving around,” Joan said, looking up from the pot that hung over the fire. “How are you feeling today?”

Godwin shrugged, looking away.

“A man could question your motives,” said Joan’s father from across the room. “I see how you stare.”

Godwin moved his hand slightly, expressing mock surprise.

“No doubt you’re not completely innocent,” said the father. “Surely there’s some reason for the beating you took.”

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J is for Joan – #AtoZChallenge

J is for Joan

The spoon touched his lips and Godwin opened his mouth. He wasn’t sure he could really taste the broth, but he knew that’s what it was. He could smell it.

He groaned slightly. The effort to swallow was unbelievably exhausting.

The woman cooed over him. “Another bite,” she hummed.

Godwin whimpered as a spoon touched his lips again. He was so urgently hungry.

He blinked and thought he saw the flash of the fire. He turned his head slowly to look. It was there again. A tiny bit of light.

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I is for Injuries – #AtoZChallenge

I is for Injuries

Something cool was dabbed on Godwin’s face. He heard the crackling of wood in a fire, and could just barely smell it. But his eyes would not obey his command to open and look for the flames.

A woman was singing, cooing over him.

He wanted to move, but pain was everywhere and heavy. His body refused to move.

The woman hushed him.

Something sweet touched his lips. He licked at it.

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G is for Gyrations – #AtoZChallenge

G is for Gyrations

TW: Torture

Grant returned soon after with three other men. Together, they hoisted Godwin from his restraints and dragged him down several passages into a large atrium. At the center of the atrium was a large tower, with long arms and chains extending from the top. Gears and ropes connected the arms in a complicated tangle.

Dangling down on a thick chain from one of the arms was a circular metal cage, no more than four feet in diameter. A man stepped forward and opened a thick door into the cage and Godwin was tossed inside.

Godwin looked around the cramped space as they locked him inside. Steel loops were bolted inside. Godwin gripped one and righted himself, looking out between the bars.

“What are you—?”

The cage lurched. Godwin grabbed for another bar.

“I recommend you hold on,” smiled Grant. “Or not.” He shrugged and motioned at a pair of men standing within the base of the tower. “This will be interesting.”

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F is for Fire – #AtoZChallenge

TW: Torture

“So then,” remarked Grant. “Is today the day you become king?”

Godwin turned his head away.

“It’s quite simple,” Grant went on. “Just put it on your head. Aldred will tell you what to do.”

“I won’t,” mumbled Godwin.

Grant turned and poked at the fire. “Shame, really. Won’t you reconsider?” He pulled a glowing rod from the flames and turned back to Godwin. “I think you’d be a fine king.”

“I won’t.”

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E is for Executions – #AtoZChallenge

E is for Executions

TW: Murder, torture

When Aldred left, they took every source of light. The smells of the dungeon pressed in on Godwin, the occasional sniffle and distant cry the only reminders of life elsewhere. He shook, not certain if it was the cold, fear, or the pain in his head that was causing his muscles to spasm. What was Aldred doing?

Noise erupted in the distance. Feeble cries. Angry shouts. The crack of a whip.

Light flooded into the room as armored guards forced – even dragged – unwilling people to stand against the wall at Godwin’s side. Godwin squinted into the brightness. Grant appeared in front of him. Aldred was close behind. Smirking.

“This one’s already dead,” remarked a guard as he dragged forward the limp body of a man.

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