English: A Knight in a re-enactment of the Battle of Tewkesbury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hey there! I just found out about The Daily Post’s latest Weekly Writing Challenge. I’ve been keeping my eye on those for a while now, but I never had the stomach to take one on. But tonight’s a warm night and I’m feeling quite well of myself. The day has been good to me and I think I could handle one challenge.
For this week’s challenge the writer is to tell about a character in their life. It seems simple. But I won’t be doing exactly that. I haven’t met anyone in person that would be interesting enough to be turned into a sketch or story so I’ll be using a fictional character. A character that I created myself out of all the inspirations I’ve had in my life so far.
His name is Ivan. (Yes, I know – I used my name. But I like it) Ivan is a knight of the King’s guard in a kingdom of Greatness (I never had a thought about the kingdom, but Ivan’s the star here). In my story, he tells a story about the recent happenings in his day. (I’ll be writing this introspectively, I feel it would be a lot better if I wrote it in “Ivan’s” point of view.)
Ivan The Knight
The night is silent. A peculiar thing. I would usually hear the wolves of the weary woods howl their despairs, or the Keep’s stable horses huff and puff against the cold winds of the world, but tonight? it’s different. It is as if the world ceased to rotate, the mother earth refuses to live. But neither are true for I still sit here on my desk with my inked quill diligently writing another entry of today’s mishaps, while a lit candle dwindles as its remains melt into liquid.
If mishaps were a thing then I would be laden with such item. Not far into the day this morning I was to complete my first task as a man of the Knighthood. Ser Jory, captain of the King’s guard, personally handed it to me in the form of a scroll and to that I surmised that it must be of great importance.
The task wasn’t what I expected it to be. According to what was written, I was to deliver a basket of fruit to a lady outside Greatness and have it to her safely. I found it quite odd that a mere task of a street fool would be assigned to a knight. Don’t they see the insolence? But as a Knight, I vowed to do whatever there is provided by the captain and those who fall above me. And whatever task may it be, it shall be granted.
The ink has run out and I dip back for some more. The night is still silent and the moon still a sphere of radiance from the way I see it from my bedroom window. The candle still burning bright but slowly melting into nothing, the hearth still lightens the room with a crimson glow of fire. I don’t think I’ll be needing if it is lost.
It was when the sun started to set did I come back from my travel. The lady that needed fruit was old and frail, she walked with a swatting stick on hand trembling on every step. She had a companion though, a young boy in the primes of is youth, helping her. He took the basket from me and gave a curt nod and handed over three copper pieces. He waved back and returned to assist his Lady woman back. She herself nodded at me in approval while she looked into the contents of the weaved basket, rummaging as if in search of something deeper in it.
I came back to the castle quarters not long after and handed Ser Jory the pieces of copper. He still wore his armor, it gleamed silver against the glow of the hearth inside. I extended a hand to give, but he pushed it away and closed my fist around the coins. He looked at me with eager eyes and revealed a smile then left the room. Was this a sign of thanks? Maybe so, he did let me keep the reward. At the time I thought of going to the town Inn for a mug of ale, but I debated with myself and ended up deciding to take some rest instead.
I walked to the door of my room and opened the thick wood open. A gust of wind escaped, as if it were imprisoned for so long, sending shivers down my spine. The hearth was unlit and the sun slowly taking its final hours of the day leaving the room darker by the second. I moved towards to the looking-glass opposite the hearth. I examined my face, prodding my hardened jaws and cheeks. My eyes blinked to the sudden realization of how my silver eyes turned stark plain in time. I moved up towards the dangling streaks of my chestnut hair, brushing it up. It has grown very much since my cut a few months ago and I think I must shorten it soon. I squeezed my bony nose and chapped lips flowing downwards off the beard I’ve been wanting to grow. I glanced away.
I’m not sure how long I looked at myself but the light started to dwindle, it started to get dark. I lit up the hearth with the few firewood I had and in seconds the room blasted in colors of red and yellow. A silhouette formed behind me by the light, flickering from the flame’s constant movement. The cold seemed to dissipate, slowly being overwhelmed by the warmth and by the end of the minute the room turned cozy warm.
I walked around disarming myself of armor untying leather harnesses here and there. I hung my breastplate against the door while I laid my visored helm on a table next to it. I put the rest in a potato sack and secured it with a tie. I took off my sweaty clothes and wore a fresh new tunic and trouser from a cabinet next to my bed. I stretched a bit and brushed off dust from my garments, which I thought to come from lack of use. I scarce wore casual clothing after becoming a knight. Day in and day out I’d always be in my breastplate and helm appearing gallant to those who see me. It’s an arduous feat to keep in it all day, especially during hot weather but colder days are just as difficult. But I’ve grown used to it in time, it somehow becomes lesser of a hard task by each day.
After much grooming I decided to calm myself down with quill and paper. To which now I find myself here. I spoke of mishaps at the first paragraphs but it turns out the day was not as close to it. I frown upon the fact that sometimes I overlook my days and see it differently and most of the time as a bad one. It’s a curse of my childhood that I’ve always doubted myself. Mother would tell me at these times “Ivan, my love, just believe.. the days are not divided but is a long strand of time, you are endless.” When I hear these words, my worries would start to fade and a confidence would seep into me. And even to this day I feel the same. All I had to do is remember it.
I left the table and set down my quill. I thought it would be better to only put into paper the things that occurred today and not my thoughts. I capped the bottle of ink and pushed the chair backwards and rose. I bend down to blow off the candle’s fire while I rolled into a scroll another entry of a day in my life and tucked it in a drawer.
As I walk to my bed, the wolves start to howl and the horses alive with annoyances. I myself was annoyed, for the expectation of a tranquil night was destroyed. Nonetheless I lay myself down on my straw stuffed bed, my side facing the hearth. As I stare deeper into the fires, I see the prancing horses of joyful Knights, a great feast in the long table of the court and an uncontrolled revel. Then darkness. I slept.