Orphaned Stories

I say we blame Justine Dee and Peter Dawes equally for this shite. They both posted about orphaned stories, things we’ve started and never gone back to, either because of lost inspiration or lack of faith in ourselves or for whatever reason. Most of my abandoned stories are a combination of a silent muse, too much real life getting in the way, and generally hating everything I write. That said, of all the stories I’ve abandoned in my past, I really only have one that I’ve always kept. One that I really did like and would like to finish at some point. It’s got over 3500 words, so it’s definitely something I was working on before abandoning it. 


Amidst cheers and jeers from the group watching, a woman’s voice rang out clear. “No, Will! You’re doing it all wrong!”

The young man shook his head, bits of grass and leaves flying out of his shaggy blonde hair. He’d just been knocked silly by a giant of a man wielding a staff. A giant man who now stood over him, grinning ear to ear.

“Come on, Scarlett, on your feet,” the big man said in a gruff but friendly voice as he helped Will Scarlett up. The woman who had shouted the warning hurried over to the two and punched the giant in the arm.

“Damn it, John! I told you no head shots!”

“Then tell him to stop blockin’ everything with ‘is ‘ead!” John Little retorted. He surveyed the lass, remembering the day she’d joined the band. It had been a cold, wet Spring day and the hunters had come back to camp with a half-dead girl instead of a fully dead deer, explaining that they’d seen her wandering about in a daze. She had an arrow in her shoulder, shot from behind. They hadn’t done it. The wound was festering.

John ordered that she be taken into a tent, and one of the men saw to her wound. He had been a soldier, and knew about these things, and carefully removed the arrow and cleaned her up as best he could. The poor lass had been in a fever for days. But, just when they’d thought all was lost, the fever had broken and the girl opened her eyes. She’d tried to speak, looking around for a means of escape. John handed her a bowl of water, which she had sniffed at before drinking.

“What’s yer name, lass?” John remembered asking her. She’d stared at him for a while before answering.

“Call me Kelly.”

“Ha! That’s a strong name to live up to. You’re a warrior, then?” he’d kindly jested.

Kelly looked away from him, eyes glassy. “I was.”

Since then, John had not doubted that Kelly was indeed a warrior. She had first proven herself by stubbornly learning to walk again. In the few days that she’d been unconscious the tendons in her ankles had constricted, keeping her feet pointed and making it very difficult to stand. Kelly had stretched her legs, feet and toes painfully until she had a slight range of motion with which to begin. The entire camp had been awed at her refusal of help, though she did graciously accept a pair of crutches that Will Scarlett had made for her. Kelly was running in no time, easily beating the men in foot races, and she was about to prove her prowess once again.

“So, you think you can do better against this giant than I did?” Will challenged. “I heard you say I was doing it wrong… go on then! Show us how it’s done!”

“You sure you wouldn’t like a go at me first?” Kelly asked, a smile playing at the edges of her full lips. “I promise, I wont hurt you too badly! What’s wrong, Will? After all, I’m only a girl!”

Will looked nervously around at the band of men that had formed a circle around the two, and cleared his throat to speak. “What do you think I should do? If I say yes, and I beat her, that would be ungentlemanly… but if I don’t, I’m afraid of a girl!”

Kelly pouted. “Oooh, looks like you’re in a bit of a predicament, William… what ever shall you do?” She ignored the roar of laughter from the small crowd and used the end of her staff to slap Will on the rear.

Kelly calmly looked into Scarlett’s eyes as he spun around to face her. She saw his teeth clench, and his right shoulder drop, signaling a blow to her left. She blocked Will’s clumsy swing without moving her eyes from his own, and stood still. Will tried the same move, and when it was as easily parried as the first, swung even harder from the opposite direction. Kelly once again blocked, this time taking a step toward Will, her eyes still locked on his.

A few swings later, Will Scarlett realized that he had yet to strike the woman, and she had yet to try striking him; and also, that she was so close to him that he could smell her hair, and feel the heat radiating off her body. He was drawn to her eyes, the pale green that almost wasn’t a color at all, pupils so small they couldn’t be seen. He couldn’t turn away. His heart was pounding, he couldn’t breathe, his skin grew pale, and he broke out into a sweat. Jaw clenched, he resisted the urge to reach out to her, to touch her, to breathe her in.

After what seemed like an eternity, Kelly smiled sweetly at Scarlett and turned away, giving a bow to the cheering crowd. The spell was broken. Will stood there a moment, trying to understand what had just happened. Realizing she’d left him distressed, Kelly returned to Will and kissed him on the cheek.

“That, my darling Will, is how to take you down… I can’t say it wasn’t fun,” she whispered in his ear, sending chills across his skin.



  1. writerinplay said,

    September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I take full responsibility for it. And I’m thrilled I got to read this after you talking about it before. I love it babeh and I think if the muse hits you that you should run with it.

    • brattymac said,

      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      The muse went silent on this story after a little while. I don’t think she liked where I was going with it, so there’s gonna be some backtracking.

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