#ShortStorySaturday – Keep Your Enemies Closest – Part 1

I was going to write a condensed version of this story and post it all today, but then I thought, why not do a similar thing to what Ink and Papyrus is doing for her Short Story Saturday posts, and serialise a short story I already have half-written. Like last week’s, this is backstory for my upcoming WIP, A Friend of the Enemy. Captain Gallivan becomes Professor Gallivan at the school where my heroine is sent, and serves as something of a warning to her (she is currently between names as I am switching everyone from real-world names to fantasy names; I really should re-name Mireille, too, but I really like her name so I’m putting it off :P) regarding getting friendly with someone from Trilvain (though mostly he’s just bitter). This story is why. It’s about 3000 words at the moment; hopefully it won’t get too far away from me as I attempt to complete it. Either way, I’m going to post between 400 and 500 words each Friday/Saturday, for your enjoyment. And look! I even made a banner!

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He was a captain in the 39th Battalion when he first met her. They had come ashore earlier that day and so far, it seemed, had not attracted the attention of the Trilvainian army. This was a good sign; it was hoped that the majority of their army would be defending the main border between their country and Dodgis. While they were busy doing that, the 39th Battalion had orders to land on the beach and take control of Esperen, Trilvain’s biggest port. With Esperen under Dodgish control, some of Trilvain’s main sources of trade and supplies would be cut off.

Captain Gallivan had been unable to sleep on this night; there was just enough starlight visible through his tent to be annoying. He decided to go and get some fresh air and see if that helped; they had set up in camp in amongst the trees, but the beach was still nearby.

He had just crawled over to the door of his tent and untied the ropes keeping the flaps together when he heard a twig snap, followed by the rustle of leaves. A moment later, it was silent again, but it was enough to put Gallivan on high alert instantly.

He parted his tent flaps and looked out into the darkness. As his eyes adjusted, he made out the shapes of the other surrounding tents, all off-white canvas. He could see the tree branches overhanging the nearest tents, and the stars in the spot just ahead where the trees parted.

And then – there! Another twig cracked and Gallivan’s head snapped around in time to see a head duck behind a tree trunk. He edged himself out of his tent as quietly as he could and in a few steps was on the dirt path they had surrounded with their camp. He wouldn’t make any noise walking along it.

He took a few steps towards the tree where he had seen the person duck out of sight. As he approached, the figure darted out onto the path and took off towards the beach at a run. Giving a shout he hoped would attract attention, Gallivan began running after the intruder. The fact that they were running across sand made it difficult for both parties, but Gallivan saw that he was catching up.  In a few more moments, he had caught up completely. With an extra burst of speed, he launched himself at the person he was chasing, and sent them both to the ground.

If you would like to join us for Short Story Saturday, add a link to your blog at this linky. I’m still figuring out how to make linkys go at the moment, so it just has an extended closing date for now and you will only need to leave your link once. Once I figure out how to make them repeat (do I need to delete the previous week’s links and change the dates?), I’ll let you know.

I’ll see you back here on Monday for Music and Mirth Monday and a ROW80 check-in. Until then, tata!

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