I don’t actually remember watching it as a kid, but The Princess Bride is a pretty well-known, well-respected movie.
And the whole “I’m not left-handed” scene is probably one of the highlights.
Basically, today’s writing was an opportunity to put what I feel is a pretty neat twist on the whole “deliberately fighting at a disadvantage” thing.
“There’s no need to resort to violence,” the bandit leader tells the Lyte Brigade as they confront him and his bandits on the river road.
“You’re bandits,” Matilda protests.
“Yeah,” Pela agrees. “You do nothing but resort to violence.”
“True,” the bandit leader concedes. “I suppose what I mean is here and now, in this very minute, in this one specific moment, there is no need to resort to violence.”
Tancred nods. “Very well,” the young knight says. “We accept your surrender.”
“No, what I mean is that I hereby propose that we resolve this dispute in the manner of the Gallicantiens,” the bandit says.
Five members of the Lyte Brigade stare blankly.
“He wants to duel,” Tancred explains to his companions. “You know, single combat, man to man, and all that.”
“What do we get if we win?” Nolan asks the bandit.
“I will surrender myself into your custody,” the bandit answers.
“And if you win?”
“Then you must promise never to pursue me or my companions ever again,” the bandit says.
“Fine,” Nolan says. “We’ll agree to the duel.”
“Very well, pick your man,” the bandit leader tells the Lyte Brigade.
“Falcata,” Nolan says without hesitation.
“Falcata,” Matilda agrees.
“Falcata,” Pela says.
“Miss Falcata,” Tancred says.
“She is the obvious choice,” Amara declares.
The Amazon nods and steps forward, armed with her spear and shield. The bandit draws his own sword in his left hand. He dramatically flourishes his sword and bows. But being, well, a bandit, he does what bandits do and decides to fight dirty. He doesn’t give Falcata time to prepare herself.
Fortunately, the Amazon’s reflexes have been honed to perfection and Falcata is able to deflect his strikes with her shield.
Falcata fights defensively, content to let the bandit wear himself down futilely bashing away at her shield, or else knocking his sword with her spear.
“Would you care to know my secret, my good woman?” the bandit asks as his sword collides with Falcata’s spear.
“I’m not left-handed,” he tells her, shifting his sword to his other hand and pressing the attack with renewed vigour. The other members of the Lyte Brigade gasp, but Falcata herself seems entirely unperturbed.
She gives the bandit a shove with her shield and momentarily disentangles herself from the combat.
“It is funny you should mention that,” she says.
He plants her spear into the ground at her feet and unstraps her shield from her left arm and lets it drop.
“Falcata!” Matilda exclaims. “What are you doing?”
She reassuringly raises her hand to her companions and looks at the bandit.
“You say you are not left-handed,” she notes as she draws her sword — with her left hand. “I am.”
“Oh, bother,” the bandit leader mutters.
Falcata’s entire strategy flips. She presses the offensive, striking with the speed and ferocity of a hungry Turboshark and making the bandit look like a kid haplessly flailing around with a pointy stick.
With a final, well-placed blow, she sends the bandit’s sword flying from his hand and sailing away through the air.
With a despairing groan, he watches his sword disappear into the nearby river with a loud splunk!
The bandit looks pleadingly up at the Lyte Brigade.
“Best two out of three?”
Note to self: Falcata is left-handed now.
Note to you: please check out my social media and email list.