Uprising In Gonjolard (Part 5) | Freewrite: 3/22/24 | Prompt: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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Source: @wakeupkitty for contest purpose...

PART 4:
From above, Peasant Raul lifted the heavy wooden door and stood gazing upon the dark outline of Vicar Tibost's face. Two weeks earlier, he had fled through the dark, narrow passage in the opposite direction from Alphonse.

Now, he was hiding in his cellar from the King's army. "Thank you brother and thank God for my safety and the important part brave members of the Sons of Bodars have played. Have you any word of Alphonse?" Vicar Tibost questioned in a hoarse voice.

"None, vicar. I hope all is well and proceeding to plan." That Vicar Tibost was weary was no doubt as Peasant Raul watched his wide jaws consume the food. His heart ached for his sacrifices. Raul left his friend sitting on the crate with his head hung low.

How quickly the vicar realized the extent to which the true nature of his once magnificent country had deteriorated. Proclamations exposed the evil within the castle walls under a ruler whose intentions were not for the good of his subjects.

In darkness, Tibost formulated his thoughts on the uprising and how best to achieve victory. He would present them at the meeting of the SOB. If he was lucky enough to make it to the meeting.

Now, Part 5

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Raul's loyalty to the rebellion in helping to free his fellow peasants was noble. That Raul would risk his life to offer him shelter was indeed a test of that friendship. Like many others, he too worried about his family in case he were captured and condemned to debtor's prison.

Fourteen days under cover in his friend Peasant Raul's small cellar without knowledge of the rebellion's final plans brought renewed worries.

However, nothing can be done. The time has not yet ripened, Vicar Tibostthought, so he retired to his makeshift bed. The meeting for the final plans of the SOB would come at dawn before others have stirred.

Almost immediately, a sudden loud commotion that sounded like banging on the cottage door awakened Tibost. He rushed from the bed and crouched in a dark corner.

"Have you seen this traitor, peasant?" Tibost heard the husky voice penetrate the floor board from above. He couldn't see the commotion, but hoped Raul wouldn't be hauled away that night.

Upstairs, Raul had opened his cottage door and stood blocking the entrance inside. He remained quiet as the soldier raised a lamp to his face then repeated the question. This time, the soldier pushed Raul backward inside his home and away from the entrance.

"No matter. Take these leaflets, peasant! And I want them distributed to every family in the village." He searched briefly inside, then motioned to his men, who carried torches ready to carry out his orders, to retreat.

"I don't get paid to do spread filth and lies," Tibost heard Raul retort in an angry voice. He prayed for Raul as he placed his fist in his mouth to repress the anger he knew Raul also felt.

A hearty laugh ensued as the soldier backed away from Raul.

The last thing Tibost heard was mumbling and more laughter that faded as the soldier turned to his men and proclaimed, "this peasant's got courage, I'll give him that."

What Tibost didn't see were the leaflets thrown on the floor at Raul's feet.

Raul waited until the soldiers were far down the road before rushing to the cellar. He searched for Tibost. Trembling, he pushed the leaflet into his hand. "You now have a bounty on your head, vicar? Will you dare continue on the SOB's mission? The reward is a tidy sum."

Vicar Tibost settled back on the cot and read the paper. He gave no thought to the danger it presented. Nothing would stop him from attending the meeting with the SOB. With this thought, he returned to his bed and pulled the cover over his head.

He tossed as he slept. He cared not for his safety. Whether plans for the SOB's interruption of the annual Gonjolard Town Fair would reach the Crown safely was his only concern.

Vicar Tibost woke early and set out on his horse, careful to keep off the main road, as he headed toward the nearby village of Laudlay.

As he rode, thoughts of Alphonse returned. He hoped that the young lad would forgive him for offering him up as barter to get close to the Crown, and the king and prince in particular.

That he be kept safe and taken to the castle in due time was imperative.

Tibost's faith rested in Simon.

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A somber hush settled over the room. Owin, the leader of the Sons of Bodar, entered. He wasted no time in getting the meeting in order.

"Has Alphonse been delivered to the Crown? And can he truly be trusted as you believe?" Owin shot a quick glance at Vicar Tibost and rested there until all other members of the SOB followed his gaze.

Vicar Tibost nodded, then proclaimed loudly. "I trust him with my own life."

Tibost knew of Alphonse and his family. He knew him to be loyal and trustworthy. If tasked with a mission, he would do his utmost to carry it out. He also knew that the young lad was a forgiving soul. But would he forgive him for what he considered a betrayal? He had no knowledge of the SOB's plans to use him as a decoy for the group's plans.

A diversion.

But would the diversion be believable? King Hartfelt was an old, but astute gentleman. A kind leader of his kingdom, he was wise. That is, except when it involved his son, Prince Gawdawfel. The prince, shrewd and ruthless with spies throughout the palace and kingdom, ruled the Crown. Of that, all in the kingdom agreed.

Accepting details about the SOB's plan was crucial. And Tibost believed that Alphonse was the only person he knew who could present the information.

Tibost trusted Alphonse. And Owin trusted Tibost. Upon hearing this confirmation, Owin moved on to finalize their plans. But first, he extended his hand toward the vicar.

Vicar Tibost reached into his vest and pulled out the list. The authentic list of members who'd pledged loyalty to the SOB that Alphonse had delivered to him that night of the raid on his home in Gonjolard.

All Peasants and Bodarts who had pledged to participate were present.

Owin strode over to the back door of the cottage. As soon as it opened, all men gasped, except a few.

"What's the meaning of this?" Vicar Tibost shouted.

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Lauryn stepped across the entrance.

Vicar Tibost turned to Owin. With more disappointment than anger, he hissed, "our first and most important rule. None of our women folk are allowed in. Too dangerous, especially for women of child-bearing years. Keeping our precious carriers of our bloodline is imperative. Are you mad, Owin?" Tibost rose and spread his arms as if soliciting the agreement of other members. They were quick to comply.

Lauryn meant no disrespect to the vicar, but she had to defend and prove herself from a young age. She swiftly extracted her long sword. In the other hand, she wielded her knife. From her boot, another.

"I'll bet you a year's worth of crops I can keep you safe and carry my own. Who do you think helped defend the villages while you were hidden away in Gonjolard old man?"

The other men let escape a belly-aching laugh.

Lauryn stood with bronze, long layered hair pulled back to reveal a striking facial feature. A short cropped layer of strands hung gently almost to her brows adding a aura of mystery that highlighted her smoky eyes set in deep sockets with extra long lashes.

She stood high above other young women, having taken after her father and five brothers. Her tongue is sharp, her wits keen, and her battle knowledge matches her tactics all acquired at first from eavesdropping on their battle stories. Her compelling insight drew her out of the shadows into their conversation as she held her own with knowledge of the inner workings of the Crown and surrounding kingdom, especially in the town of Gonjolard.

How she acquired that knowledge was a thing the family forbid ever to speak of. The fact that she survived their lord's attention was a wonder to all. They knew not until later of her ordeal. It was to serve her well as an adult.

Tall, yet strong, with a tenacity matching any of her male counterparts. A small cut on her upper left eye didn't detract from her beauty. Instead, it added a touch of mystery and bravery other women whispered about. She mused, then asked her father if she could wear a patch. An unusual request; however, he relented.

How dashing a female warrior she presented to her brothers. Impressed, they elevated her to their status.

Lauryn of The Long Sword.

She strode over to the only empty chair, then sat and brushed her hair to the side so the group could fully take in and appreciate her statue.

Tibost backed down, then calmed down. He took a long drink from his cup. Owin read the list of men who'd pledged loyalty. He then looked at Lauryn and read her name.

The room fell silent.

Vicar Tibost stood and explained Alphonse's role in the plans. Upon mention of his name, Lauryn held her gaze straight ahead. The less they knew, the better, she thought. As far as they knew, she'd never met Alphonse.

Lauryn wished that were true. In the beginning, her only knowledge of him came from accounts of his bravery. Raids along the roadside with his deadly arrows were legendary among the bandits. She yearned many nights that she could have met and accompanied him. The enemies at the mercy of her long sword.

It didn't happen the first time. Nor did it happen several more times. But when she finally met Alphonse, all she expected to happen did. Immediately, her pulse quickened. Immediately, she turned away so as not to expose the rosy tint that rushed to my face. The fierceness in his eyes and sorrow on his brow broke through her own pain. She knew that something terrible had occurred in his young life. At that moment, she understood that his resolve, like hers, would never be broken.

And she also knew at that moment that she would follow him from one end of the kingdom to the other and beyond.

Lauryn had promised never to speak of her ordeal with the castle, the king, and especially, the prince. But now her knowledge was useful to the SOB's plan for the rebellion.

She cleared her throat. Owin and all others turned toward her. "My brother is Simon. He has assured me he and Alphonse are on their way to the castle. I know the inner workings of the castle and all who dwells there as I once lived behind its walls. I'm trusted there. No suspicion will be put to me as the king and prince once looked favorably upon me. My father was sentenced to debtor's prison for his refusal to release me to the Crown. There he died despite my efforts to intervene on his behalf. For that, I have a date with Prince Gawdawfel. My brothers there can assure you of what I speak."

The group turned to her brothers, but kept quiet as she continued. She drew out a diagram of the castle and grounds.

Lastly, Lauryn told of King Hartfelt's private room where his battle strategies were kept.

"Prince Gawdawfel often boasted of and confided its contents with me. I have seen it. The king ordered several small groups of soldiers at lookout points around the kingdom. I know of those areas where the SOB can draw them away from the castle during the Gonjolard Town Fair. I know of the brave Alphonse. Having him deliver false plans and guide them to a false location will divert the majority of his army leaving the castle exposed."

All listened intently. Then Owin spoke, approving Lauryn's idea. "But you must not act alone. Josiah there, is a member of the castle guard. He will accompany and protect you as you deliver our plans to Alphonse."

Lauryn started, then stopped. "I need no protection," she silently insisted. But she relented. Her pulse raced at thoughts of returning to the Crown. I must be the one to go to Gonjolard. I must see Alphonse, she reasoned.

The next morning, she readied herself.

Her deliberate stride matched her determination as she and Josiah rode hard toward the town of Gonjolard. She dismounted, then tethered her horse.

As she walked across the sands toward the castle, her long sword, as light as a feather in her strong and practiced hands, ached for the revenge she long sought that resided inside the palace walls.

[to be continued...]

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Welcome back to my freewrite prompt story for this week. The photo that is the subject of the story spoke to me about a female who is headed toward a destination.

Describe what you see.
Clouds roll in under a grim sky. Crows overhead are flying close to a female as though protecting her since she is traveling alone. The woman is dressed in her garments with a robe. In her hand is her long sword. Her boots protect her feet from the hot sand as her shadow follows. In the background is a tall castle. It appears as though castle guards surround it. She appears to be headed toward it. The mountains rest behind the castle.

Describe what you feel.
I feel that the woman is on a mission. She is headed toward the castle, so her fact is hidden from me. I can't see the expression whether she is worried or happy. I feel she is worried or angry by the position of her long sword. It's out and ready for use should it be called upon to defend her.

Write a story or poem about what you think is going on. I leave with you my story for: A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words - 3/22/24.

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Image used with permission of contest owner

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Good luck everyone with whatever your endeavors.

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SOURCES:
a) JustClickindiva's Footer created in Canva utilizing its free background and images used with permission from discord admins.
b) Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by me with my (i) Samsung Galaxy 10" Tablet, (ii) Samsung Phone, & (iii) FUJI FinePix S3380 - 14 Mega Pixels Digital Camera
c) Purple Butterfly part of purchased set of Spiritual Clip Art for my Personal Use
d) All Community logos, banners, page dividers used with permission of Discord Channel admins.
e) Ladies of Hive banner used with permission of and in accordance with the admin's guidelines
f) Thumbnail Image created by me in Canva.
g) "Flames." What is Apophysis 2.09. https://flam3.com/

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Wow, the Crown's oppression goes deeper than I'd read in the past chapters. The SOBs are a courageous group. I almost feared Raul and Vicar would be arrested by the unruly soldiers. Worst, there's a bounty on Vicar Tibost! Their position in Gonjolard gets more precarious with rising tensions and threats from the oppressive regime.

I love the introduction of the brave and ruthless Lauryn of The Long Sword. I see she has many reasons to seek justice against the king and his son, Gawdawfel. The stakes are getting higher and I foresee an action-packed confrontation in the next chapter. Let's hope the SOB stay loyal to each other and Alphonse delivers as Vicar promised. Captivating! Looking forward to the next part and seriously rooting for the SOB at this point. 😄 Beautifully written! !PIMP 💕

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Hello @kemmyb. Yes, Vicar Tibost must tread lightly now that he's been suspected of working with the SOB. Others will have to step up and carry out the plans. And yes, the Crown is oppressive and uses its army to intimidate the common people. A classic setting for protest of deplorable conditions.

I feel as though taking the peasants' women and thinking the peasant men will sit quietly by for decades was the Crown's mistake. I can imagine the villagers not knowing who their families are in the mix of all that confusion with swapping the women. At some point, enough is enough combined with other oppressive tactics.

It was fun introducing Lauryn of The Long Sword. A perfect match as an opposite for Alphonse. Let's see if their reunion is steeped in the memories each one shared. Hopefully they can work together to help bring down the Crown.

We'll see. Next, we'll meet the Crown and hopefully understand why the kingdom is in such disarray. Is the SOB the answer to stability and chaos? I certainly hope so.

Thanks so much for your visit and lovely compliment for my story. I'm pleased you liked this chapter in the saga. It's a fine line attempting to divulge the backstory instead of constant action.

Take care and have a good rest of your week.
!ALIVE

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@kemmyb! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @ justclickindiva. (2/10)

The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on @alive.chat, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want, plus you can win Hive Power (2x 50 HP) and Alive Power (2x 500 AP) delegations (4 weeks), and Ecency Points (4x 50 EP), in our chat every day.

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A great follow up. The more I read to better the story is! So far I only read it twice but I'll be back.
🍀❤️

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Hello @wakeupkitty. Thanks so much for your visit and lovely compliment for my Part 5 of the story's series. I appreciate you took the time to view it. Some new developments and a surprise heroine from your awesome PIC1000 image. I wanted her to be in integral part of the story once I saw the image, and carefully wove her into the conflict, pairing her with Alphonse. Let's see how they can stir things up and help the SOB.

Thanks for your support. Stay tuned.

!ALIVE
!LADY

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@wakeupkitty! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @ justclickindiva. (1/10)

The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on @alive.chat, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want, plus you can win Hive Power (2x 50 HP) and Alive Power (2x 500 AP) delegations (4 weeks), and Ecency Points (4x 50 EP), in our chat every day.

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