Tag: Breaking Formation

  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 77

    “Your aim was about an inch too high,” Bernard said yesterday. 

    That line had hit home for Marc. When he did some target practice with a pistol, musket, crossbar, or bow, his shots always landed an inch or two high. That meant little when the target was a man, but an inch could mean missing the hare entirely. 

    Marc controlled his breathing as his finger slid onto the trigger. When he was ready, he took a breath and held it as he squeezed the trigger. First there came a spark as the flint struck the pan, followed by a flash to the side and out the barrel. When he released his breath, he was enveloped in a large grey cloud, and the presence of brimstone burned his nostrils.

    As the smoke dissipated, along with the ringing in his ears, Marc spotted the lifeless hare. Brimming with pride, he smiled as he went to claim his prize. As he picked up his meal, Marc remembered a detail. I don’t have a blade with me

    Teenage boy in the woods firing flintlock pistol as though in a duel, including smoke and fire from the gunfire. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 76

    This time Marc repeated the steps in reverse. He carefully set one foot ahead of the other to avoid anything that would make noise, like crackling dead leaves, or snapping a twig. He would freeze on the spot if the hare moved unexpectedly. Pistols were notoriously inaccurate, which meant he needed to get close. A lot closer than the fifteen paces taken in a duel

    There were risks of him getting too close, while slow and steady had gotten him this far, his presence alone might spook it. Alas, the longer he took, the more likely it was that the hare would hop away in search of more food. 

    Once he was under twelve paces, he raised his arm and aligned his body perpendicular to the hare. With his head turned right, his dominant eye focused on the single bead at the tip of the pistol.

    Teenage boy in the woods taking aim with a flintlock pistol as though in a duel. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 75

    Next he grabbed his pistol, readying both barrels with powder, and a ball while using his horse as cover.

    He knew the steps well, Bernard had seen to that. At the thought of the man, Marc paused, took a deep breath through his nose with closed eyes and let it all out through his mouth. I hope he’s alright.

    After pouring in two seconds worth of powder, Marc returned his focus to the hare. The woodland creature was still there, nibbling at the bark off of a tree. So he capped the horn and placed it back into the saddlebags. 

    Next came a wad of cloth, and a lead ball, which he rammed into place using the one attached to the barrel. After the barrel was loaded, he rammed the ball into place, he added a bit more powder to the flash pan, and brought back the flintlock’s hammer.

    Teenage boy loading a flintlock pistol in the woods. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 73

    Marc dismounted from his horse and stretched out his legs. He patted Enfers on his side, holding his hand in place long enough to get a feel for the steed’s breathing. The laboured breaths made it obvious they would need to rest for a while. 

    After a search through his saddlebags he found his horn and pistol. He smiled at his luck. A pistol may not have been as useful as a musket for hunting, but firearms would deter those seeking to do him harm… long enough for them to come back in greater numbers

    Other than the weapon he came up empty. It came as no surprise that there were no provisions or supplies. They were meant to go on a day trip, not a journey to find a sacred ring.

    “No one planned for this,” Marc whispered.

    Several adult brigands surrounding a teenage boy. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 72

    If he was in Spain, the guards would not follow him. Unless he hires an assassin

    However, there were perils inherent to being a French member of royalty. Bernard often spoke of avoiding Spain altogether. If captured they would use him as a bargaining chip to gain concessions.

    If this was France, then his Father would have him hunted down and enlist the help from his extended family. His options on where to go were limited, especially if his father put a price on his head. Still, finding him would be made more difficult if he was not recognised on sight.

    An assassin creeps out from out of the shadows with a dagger in hand. Approaches an unsuspected and unarmed teenage noble. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 71

    This was the crack of dawn and brought the promises of a beautiful day considering the cloudless sky. Still, that meant the world would still be asleep for a while yet. He suspected his father would send guards into those tunnels in a couple of hours. Around noon they would return empty-handed to the Comte. Fear of his wrath would ensure they were thorough in their search.

    Assuming they missed the grate he tampered with, the guards would begin an extensive search of the Keep and grounds. While his ability to travel distances at night was limited at night on foot, and no one would suspect he had Enfers with him. That meant he was at least a half-a-day ahead of his potential pursuers… That doesn’t answer my question.

    A wooded area with a creek and mountains in the distance. A horse with saddle drinking at the creek. Early morning, with the sun low in the horizon, and no clouds. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 70

    After rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Marc took in the view of where he was. Trees, shrubs, mountains, and a creek were the only details that popped out. It was not all that different from the terrain near the Keep. Still, it was not familiar to him.

    When he looked over the horse’s flank, he spotted what appeared to be a well-travelled road. That implied this was an established trade route. I just need to make sure that I don’t go the wrong way and end up in my father’s tender gasp

    The wind picked up as the sun peeked over the mountains. He shivered from the cold, but Enfers did not appear concerned. His horse was too busy drinking water directly from the source. He must be exhausted.

    A wooded area with a creek crossing the terrain, mountains in the distance, and a dusty road is also visible A horse with saddle is drinking from the water. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 69

    Marc awoke when his Enfers came to a stop. Once all that adrenaline tapered off, the warmth of the horse and rhythmic footsteps put him to sleep. 

    There was drool on Enfers’ mane, while Marc’s cheeks reddened at the thought of someone seeing him, he remembered there were other priorities. Where am I?

    That was the first pertinent question of the day. As was the custom, one that did not come with an answer. Nor anyone to tell me

    Picture of a dusty road with some sort of castle in the distance. Horsemen are using the path located in a wooden area.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 68

    Upon closer inspection, the distance between rungs appeared to be the same. However, they varied in depth. He squeezed his head through, followed by one arm and then the other. However, as he shifted he slipped down and wedged himself between the bars.

    Given the slippery rocks beneath his legs, Marc could not pop himself out of his position and pass though. He was tempted to call out, but something brushed up against his cheek. 

    His hand grabbed onto something leathery. This was his horse from earlier today, the one who must have wandered back to see on his own. Since the main gates were closed, it remained chose to spend the night near the water. 

    “Good boy, Enfers,” Marc said and made a clicking sound.

    Horse standing besides a wall with a grate in its side to allow a stream to run through. Scene is at night. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


  • Man of War – Excerpt No. 67

    Marc placed his boots against the handle for leverage while holding onto the outer bars. Despite his legs doing most of the work, he knew this would strain his arms and shoulder, but he was out of options. 

    He pushed hard against the poker. The force applied worked as a lever and pushed out the middle bar, while pulling in the one adjacent. The pain was intense, so much so that his eyes were blurred with tears. Still, he pushed on until the handle went flat with the bars. 

    “I need more to play with,” Marc said. 

    He repeated this process two more times, above and below the original bend point. The last time he did so, he could not immediately bring himself to go through with it. However, after taking several hard breaths, he fought through the pain until the poker snapped in half. 

    Picture of teenage boy inside a dark tunnel with water at the bottom. Trying to bend the vertical metal bars with a fireplace poker. Clothes and background appropriate for 16th century France.

    Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.


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