This is a scene from my latest book THE SUNDER OF THE OCTAGON, a magical fantasy adventure aimed at older children.
This scene was inspired by the idea of "What would happen if a guy who was trained to fight in a very Kravvy way was magically turned into a geriatric...BUT then magically regained his youth and turned on his multiple attackers."
An hour later Jeroth sat in the chair in his small room while Calson sat on the floor, cross legged, happily brushing away at the left boot. Jeroth looked down at his gnarled, calloused feet and winced. Glancing across at the boy he snapped, “No, no. Brush in one direction only, towards the toes. You got it now?”
Calson squinted at the boot and held it up then smiled. “Think so…”
“Good, when you’ve done that there’s…”
Before he could finish there was a mighty bang and the door crashed open. Three huge men stood in the doorway. Calson jumped with fear and leapt to his feet. Jeroth stared at them in disbelief.
“There he is, the little runt!” one of the men growled. Calson looked terrified.
“You shouldn’t steal from your betters boy!” another snarled as they pounded into the room, their huge feet making the walls shake.
Calson ran behind Jeroth and gibbered “I didn’t do nothing like. Wasn’t me.”
“Don’t lie you little wretch!” the second man said. They were all hugely powerful men and they ignored Jeroth as they advanced on the cowering, frightened boy.
Jeroth stood, his anger raised more by them ignoring him than their unwanted presence. “What do you want?”
The men stopped for a moment, looked at each other and then laughed.
“Ohh, ho. Silly old fool” the first man said sneering. “Don’t be a stupid old man, just get out the way.”
Jeroth stared at them. There was a time when he could have put all three of these men down in seconds, in a fair or unfair fight. He felt his anger rise again. Calson stood behind him, clearly terrified.
“Just go and leave us, you have no right to be here!” Jeroth shouted, his voice cracking. He brought his walking stick up and caught the middle man in the crotch with it. The man yelped and his eyes crossed as he sagged to his knees.
“Right, that’s it!” the first man snarled and drew a dagger. Before Jeroth could react the man plunged it into his chest. He grinned as the blade went through Jeroth’s jerkin.
“Gave you your chance old fool!” he hissed. Jeroth glared at him as he started to fall forwards, his hand fumbling weakly for the handle of the blade.
As the thug went to pull the knife free Jeroth’s face lit up with a blinding glow, the rays spreading rapidly down his body.
“Gods Theub, never seen your blade do THAT before!” the first thug said blinking in shock. Jeroth collapsed on the floor, his whole body shining brightly as the men looked down.
“Oh well, stranger things…and all that” Theub said and turned back to Calson. “Now look what mischief you’ve caused. You’ll pay dearly for this!”
The man on his knees struggled upright, drawing in breath in big gasps. Jeroth’s body continued to shine. “Weird” the man said shaking his head. “Get the brat outside.”
Calson squealed as Theub grabbed him by the ear and pulled him upright. As the man turned to the door a heavy hand descended on his shoulder. He turned to find a stranger glaring at him. Bearded, over six feet tall and heavily built. Theub’s dagger was sticking out from his chest.
The man looked down at the knife and with his other hand pulled it free. “Tsk, tsk” he said tossing the blade away. “We won’t be needing that now.” Before Theub could react the man punched him in the face. He flew back across the room. Calson stared in confusion at the newcomer. “Wait outside boy!” he barked. “This is not for your eyes!”
As Calson shot out the door and down the steps he heard the man laugh loudly.
“Right! Who wants to go first?” CRASH!
“No sorry, sorry…it was a mistake!” SMASH!”
“It's naughty to tell lies!!” THUD! CRASH!
“PLEASE…we’re sorry! Aahhh! No, no….!” SMASH!
“Just you two left now, tell you what I’ll fight with my hands behind my back!” THUD! CRASH! SPLINTER!
“Ha! Haa! Never said I wouldn’t use my head and feet though did I?” CRASH!
“Ugh! Stop please, we’re sorry!”
“Not as much as you’re going to be!!!” THUD! SPLINTER! CRASH!
Calson stared at the window as the noise continued. Suddenly the glass shattered and Theub came hurtling out and landed on his back in the street. He groaned and moved weakly, cuts and bruises on his face.
The bearded man came down the steps, holding his newly polished boots and whistling.
“Ahhh, that feels better!” he said pulling on his right boot and then kicking the prone figure as hard as he could. Theub groaned again. “Just what I needed,” he smiled happily, pulling on his other boot and then turning to Calson who flinched in fear.
“It’s alright boy, it’s me” he said. He held out his hands and Calson moved towards him. Jeroth quickly took him under the armpits, swung him up in the air laughing before putting him down again.
Calson stammered, “But what, what happened to you?” he asked, totally confused.
“You appear to be an ‘innocent’ as hard as that is to believe,” Jeroth replied, winking. He reached down and felt into the groaning man’s pockets, grunting with satisfaction as he found a thick leather purse. He opened it and emptied gold coins into his palm. “Time for a steak, a fine wine and clothes that fit. Maybe even to ride a horse again.” Calson stared on in amazement.
Jeroth kicked Theub again and walked off. He turned to Calson. “Well, come on lad, you saved me. You get to come too!” Calson fell in step behind him.
Jeroth began singing his favourite song. It was a song about a blackbird and a milkmaid. Life was good again. Now the Emerald Queen’s spell had been reversed.