The World according to Rich

Stage One Day Ten – Scraps

Little more dealing with My Brother’s Keeper –

This was kinda how I imagined the story opening –

Xandar hated dry land.  He hated the dammed tradition that kept him on it for one month out of three.  Hated to pretend to be less than he was more than anything else.  He looked up at the young woman for the hundredth time since he was forced to dock; she leaned on her sword lecturing him about balance.

“I cannot understand how one so graceful on the deck of a ship can step like a lame foal on land.”  She laughed as she offered a hand to help him to his feet.

“Let us practice on the deck of my and we’ll see how things change.”  Xandar took the hand and stood.  He was a proud man, but he was also a prudent man.  He understood the ruse.  Another tradition handed down since the first of his line sat on the throne.

The captain of the king’s elite guard gave him a wink as she helped the young merchant sailor to his feet.  “The king said you’d say that.”

“My brother knows me better than most.”  Xandar gave the woman an appraising look.  She was much too sharp for his own comfort.  If Roland wasn’t careful about what was said in her presence he might have to exile her.  “Captain, I appreciate the drilling, but I grow tired of being knocked to my back for the day. “  He bowed to her taking her gauntleted hand and kissing her fingertips like he would a lady of the court.  Then he swept away towards his apartments.

“Prince Xandar, I…” she stammered.  She stared daggers at the Prince’s back as he walked away.  Elsa Daggerforge hated the training sessions with the arrogant prince but her duty to the king and royal family made her keep up the sessions.  She hated his flirting.  She hated having to beat him so badly in the practice duels.  Though there was something satisfying about putting the man on his arrogant backside she found appealing.  If he were not so handsome it would not be so distracting but the man’s arrogance made her realize the flirting for what it was.  Though there was something about Xandar that did not add up.  He was so deft of mind, yet so unsure of foot on dry land.  She had seen him aboard his ship; he was a captain that worked beside his men.  He was like a spider in the rigging moving with inhuman grace.  Put him on good old fashioned solid ground and he moved slow and deliberate like he did not trust the grounds stability.

Two weeks ashore with another two maybe three to come.  There were pirates in the west that needed to be tended to, and the only crew Xandar could trust to do the deed was stuck in harbor waiting for its captain to finish his penance for being born into the royal family.  Xandar thanked the gods that Roland had been born first.  Looking around he grimaced he missed the rolling of the deck beneath his feet.  The salt in his face the wind in his ears called to him.  Duty was duty however.  He and the rest of the elder four behind Roland took turns cycling through the court keeping abreast of current events.  Xandar found it painfully dull.  He missed the sea.  He missed not having to pretend to be a foppish fool, instead of what he was.  It was hard to hide his predatory nature, the longer he stayed away from the sea the harder it was to control.  On the Surface Xandar appeared to be a typical spoiled royal brat, but out on the waves he was able to be a hero.  Yes his people thought he was a villain and hated him, but there were those that knew that the greatest scourge of the seas actually worked for the king.  Pretending to be his enemy to draw out those that would harm the king was something Xandar was trained at since he could walk.


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