Trifecta: Escape

After dinner, when the adults were sitting by the fire, his grandfather with his feet up and his mother with Cala in her lap, Cy slipped out into the alley behind the house.  His father’s saber gleamed in his hand, the only thing that seemed to make sense any more.  He raised in front of him, and started the first of the sword drills his father had taught him.

His aching back started to loosen.  Cy wasn’t sure he’d had a single good day in the last ten months, but today had been worse than most.  He had tripped and put his hand through a piece of silk still on the loom, and his grandfather, normally restrained about Cy’s shortcomings as a weaver, had blown up.  His mother had said she could salvage it.  Cy knew better than to believe her.  His clumsiness had cost them probably two weeks’ work in materials.

He was probably the world’s worst weaver.  He was the only one of them beside his mother who was big enough to work the loom, but the work he did made his grandfather raise his eyebrows and shuffle it into the back cabinet.  They were accumulating a disturbing number of second-best sheets and rug rags.  Even his spinning was a total loss.  Brevar was better at it than he was, and Brev was only seven.  Cala would probably be better at it as soon as she started walking.

He heard the door open, and a square of light fell at his feet.  He ignored it, and led the saber into the next exercise.  An irritated huff came from behind him, then a soft voice.  “Let him be, father.”  An inarticulate grumble followed, then his audience withdrew and the light disappeared.

The saber cut cleanly through the night air.  Up.  Across.  Spin, and down.  In his mind, the pattern stood out like a lacework of light, and for once, things were simple.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word
ALLEY (noun):

1: a garden or park walk bordered by trees or bushes
2a (1) : a grassed enclosure for bowling or skittles

     (2) : a hardwood lane for bowling; also : a room or building housing a group of such lanes
  b : the space on each side of a tennis doubles court between the sideline and the service sideline

  c : an area in a baseball outfield between two outfielders when they are in normal positions
3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings

This one follows on last week’s response.  Thanks for reading!

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  1. Tessa says:

    I loved your story. I could feel the poor boy’s hopelessness when it came to the weaving. The defeat he felt when he couldn’t do it right.

  2. k~ says:

    I love this line: “a square of light fell at his feet.”

  3. brenda w says:

    Excellent story….persistence pays off. Love it.

  4. Jester Queen says:

    The patterning of weaving vs. the patterning of sword play makes for an excellent contrast here. I feel compelled by this whole family. The grandfather feels as complex as any of them, even though he is the most immediate antagonist. One thing — I think you mean ‘two weeks” (with the apostrophe after the s). I loved the conclusion where Mom and grandfather look at him out in the alley and he doesn’t stop and they choose not to make him.

  5. Annabelle says:

    Oops, good catch, thanks!

  6. jannatwrites says:

    I feel bad for the poor kid. It seems he can’t catch a break and winds up feeling inferior no matter what he does. I like the last paragraph especially, and the phrase “lacework of light.” Nice!

  7. Gina says:

    This isn’t the first time I’ve felt sad for poor Cy. I can feel his disappointment and lack of confidence. I, too, am happy he chose to go on practicing and his mom and grandfather didn’t make issue, this time.

  8. I can feel the hopelessness in the words. Coming from a long line of crafters, I understand how it can trap and release at the same time.

  9. Love the imagery in the last paragraph, the way the words mimic the motions. Well done.

  10. Wonderful imagery! I love your descriptions…

  11. Imelda says:

    Poor boy! Being forced to do something that he is not up to and prevented from doing what he is most suited for.

    I am waiting for more of this story. 🙂

  12. Michael says:

    I was hoping to hear more of his story. Very nice. I loved the imagery in the last paragraph, with the lacework of light and so forth.

  13. Carrie says:

    Its tough being who you are expected to be when all you want is to be the opposite. I’m glad his mother is letting him follow his dreams…a little anyway 🙂

  14. Christine says:

    You write exactly the kind of thing I love to read! Like JQ above, I like the juxtaposition of his ineptitude with weaving on the loom against his skill with weaving with the sword. Fantastic!

  15. Sandra says:

    What an intricate story of weaving and sword skills! I enjoyed the complex emotions and great imagery here.

  16. Trifecta says:

    Thanks for linking up with Trifecta this week. What a great followup to your story. Like the others above me, I love the juxtaposition between the softness of weaving with the hardness of sword fighting. I completely understand your character’s frustrations, and I love how you chose to portray them. Great job with the prompt.

  17. Annabelle says:

    Thanks, everyone! Cy has some tough times ahead, but I think he’s the kind of person who will manage to find happiness one way or the other.

  18. sonya says:

    That means of course, that you have to keep writing his story for us so we can see what’s happening! Good job.

  19. Annabelle says:

    I’m pretty sure there’ll be more of Cy sooner or later…

  1. […] story.  If you’re interested in seeing other episodes in his life, take a look at The Saber, Escape, and The Wanderer (about Dyan).  Thanks for reading!  Be Sociable, […]

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