My Ranking Points
Next chapter is up! I hope you enjoy 🙂
Presenting: @arian2, @gracelynnofmadinvail, @leslie1912345, @lanaalan 🙂
Chapter 10: A Small Doubt
Everything was hazy and Laurence felt faint. All he could remember was the excruciating pain when his head struck glass, then the world had flickered and he had collapsed, his smarting head numb with the splitting pain that seemed to shatter his brains. With agonizing effort, Laurence opened bloated eyelids to see that his body resembled a mummy, swathed in bandages and the hazy image of five people kneeling over him. It took around ten minutes for Laurence’s eyes to adjust to the sunlit room, but eventually he identified Cheshire, Mason and Aron, Julie and a dazzling lady with bewitching emerald eyes and a waterfall of glossy golden locks.
“Laurence?” The lady had an enchanting voice. “How are you feeling?” Laurence observed her.
“Aunt Sophie!” He clapped his mummified hand to his mouth to stop the stinging pain of speaking.
“Now Dean Sophie to you!” She purred. “Your incident on the Valor banister!” Laurence forced himself awake. What had really happened?
“I spoke to Professor Alexander. He says you had the foolish idea of walking on the Valor Banister, that I have not the slightest idea of why you would even dream about doing such an absurd thing!” Laurence opened his mouth to say testily that Alexander was a liar but Sophie continued earnestly. “You broke his prized stave, and I won’t blame you this time as you are daring boy, but do not be so reckless next time!” She cocked her head. “But I should let you off, seeing as I’m your aunt! The odd thing was that the entire class was positive the lovely Professor made you in this state! Well!”
Laurence was seething with rage and the sweat gushed faster than ever now! Seeing this, Cheshire desperately cut the Dean of Evil off with a curt ‘no.’
“Forgive me, Dean Sophie, but Professor Alexander ordered Laurence to walk on the banister with his books and his own stave on his head! He said Laurence would be instantly failed if he didn’t. I know this seems unbelievable but-”
Sophie was clutching her sides and guffawing. “That man is lovely! What a wave of imagination you had!” She peered at the name on his basket of books. “***** Cat!”
“Cheshire,” He scowled, averting his eyes. “It’s true,” He badgered persistently. Mason and Aron joined in with a chorus of “It’s true!”
Sophie frowned now and her insistent confidence of this man wavered.
“I will look into this!” She promised. “In one week you may resume to your classes Laurence!” Then with some appealing gestures and charming flows of nonsense pouring from her mouth, she galloped out of the room, her high-tailed purple cloak trailing behind her.
“One week!” Aron spluttered. “But you’ll miss all your classes!”
“We can take him to class and Dean Sophie won’t see.” Cheshire’s face was set in a grim line and the creases of his forehead grew deeper as he sat, thinking in silence.
“Dean Sophie, won’t take any of our Good classes and we can smuggle him to Lunch.”
His roommates nodded, then Mason realised a problem.
“Wait!” He blurted. “Only I’m in his Good Deeds class! She has her class at the same time right next to ours! We’ll need another Ever to help me smuggle him!”
Julie, who had been listening, piped up. “I can help! I’m in the same Good Deeds class!” The four Everboys looked dubiously at the keen-faced Julie. Laurence lingered, then inhaled.
“Oh alright!” He pulled a ridiculous face at Julie, which made Cheshire snort with laughter. “Just don’t do anything stupid!”
Now it really wasn’t done for Laurence to be so extraordinarily rude to Julie when she was trying to help, Laurence thought with a sense of rebellion. But hadn’t Julie got him in this pickle in the first place? His ears suddenly went fuzzy and he had to strain to hear.
“No messing up this time Julie!” Cheshire’s dancing green eyes were sober.
“I won’t!” Was the meek reply.
“Hurry! We’ve got Swordplay in two minutes!” Aron scrutinized Laurence’s golden watch. “I don’t think Laurence can handle Swordplay!” At the mention of Swordplay Laurence perked up.
“Hold on! I think I’ll be able to handle Swordplay! From what I’ve heard, Espada’s a pretty decent sort.” Laurence knew nothing about Espada, but the thought of being confined to his own company made him shudder and simmer with dread. He hobbled out of the bed, and supported himself on Mason.
At the last second, they sprinted back (or in Laurence’s case, scuffled and left a tail of unwound bandages) to swipe Excalibur then hurtled back to the Great Lawn one second in time for Swordplay, gasping for breath. Laurence pressed his fingers to the firm, thick steel that seemed to tingle with power. A prickle of thrill jumped and cavorted up his spine as he felt the glistening three metres of steel radiate magical glory. Espada was a tiny man, with curled moustache and a lithe, sprightly poise. He was spry and dainty as he frolicked about in nimble leaps and hops and the class watched him, fascinated.
“Alright!” He called. “I shall go over some basic moves which you should all know!” He took off in a series of twirls and springs once again.
“Parry! Feint! Lunge! Attack! Now!” Twenty Everboys holding glimmering swords ****** them out to try and disarm their opponent Espada had paired them with. Laurence propelled forwards on his back leg and flicked Aali’s sword in a smooth curve into his sore hand.
“Now dueling!” Espada called. He glanced at the torn-up Laurence dripping bandages. “You can stay out! It doesn’t look like you’ll survive in that state!”
Laurence was dismayed and he gazed beseechingly at Espada who considered, then nodded.
“Since your play at the Welcoming was up to a fair standard, you may play.” Laurence beamed, but Espada flinched when he surveyed the black and blue bruises draping themselves all over Laurence’s chest. He winced again then sighed.
“You can duel. . .” He scanned the Everboys for a opponent. “*****.”
“Cheshire!” Cheshire grimaced at the name. He held a slim sword with a green-leaf hilt carved with pixies and fairies. “Well! Orion, meet Excalibur!”
A voice echoed from the sword. “Is this my competition? How are you?”
Excalibur stayed silent, but it tinkled and vibrated in Laurence’s hand as if greeting Orion. Orion stopped speaking and the two swords chinked and rattled in their owners hands as if having a conversation. Excalibur almost vaulted out of Laurence’s hand and vibrayed back and forth, chiming merrily.
Orion switched fleetingly back to English. “Nice fellow! Now I’m ready!” The Everboys started dueling with feisty vivacity. Orion inserting pointless comments here and then, succeeding in distracting both Evers.
“What a lovely day it is! Dreadful storm last night though.” This made Laurence blanch and Cheshire flipped Excalibur up.
“Cheshire! How dare you put me upside down!” Orion scolded.
“To block Laurence’s riposte!” Cheshire shot a glance at Orion, and Laurence, once more, twisted the vexed Orion upside down much to his disgust.
The contest extended, and didn’t end, and the lesson finished in a flash. Both Everboys were bone-weary again and Laurence felt he could drop dead. He had no sleep whatsoever, from last night’s events, he had been forced to walk and slip on a banister, and now he had exhausted himself in a sparring match which had no winner! The black bags under puffy eyelids bulged miserably and he was deathly pale, and his head exploded in agony. His back gnarled and he was hunched and crippled. Laurence was terror-stricken as he examined his aching, bleeding person and for the first time, a small doubt wormed inside his head. Would Laurence die here?
Sorry! A little bit to long and dramatic, this one!
Any criticism is welcome.
If you were interested, you can read the other parts at @peppy 🙂
Thank you for reading! 🙂
I loved it 🙂 but are you saying that their swords could speak? Or are you using personification?