Full disclosure, this epilogue chapter began life as one of my daily writing exercises from back in October — which, itself, began life as s section of Forward, the Lyte Brigade that didn’t quite fit into the main story.
Now, I’ve written all of these epilogues after the fact, which afforded me the opportunity to essentially un-cut a cut scene from the original story.
Man, I’m like the Ridley Scott of Fantasy Novellas. But, like, much less angry and resentful at millennials on the Internet…
So, anyway, here’s the epilogue of close out Forward, the Lyte Brigade.
Copyright J.B. Norman
“Who keeps kicking me?” Nolan exclaims as the Lyte Brigade sits at their table in the corner of the Lyte family public house.
“You want to stop getting kicked,” Matilda mutters, “find us some work, Captain.”
Nolan glowers across the table
“I mean, um, it was Falcata,” Matilda adds hastily.
As always clutching her beloved rabbit doll, Sally, the youngest of the Lyte siblings passes by the table.
“You shouldn’t lie like that, Matilda,” she tells her sister. She holds up her doll. “It makes Count Bunnyescu sad.”
Matilda gesticulates indignantly in the direction of her sister. “Look at this, Nolan! Look!” she exclaims. “We’re adventurers now! We shouldn’t have to put up with this!”
“Did you just kick me again?” Nolan asks.
“She did!” Sally declares. “I saw her leg under the table.”
“Go to your room, Sally,” Matilda mutters.
Nolan sighs. “Look, it’s going to be hard to find out first job. But I’m working on it, I swear,” he says. “In the meantime I have an idea.”
Matilda stares sceptically at her brother.
“Wait here,” he tells them. He dashes to the kitchen.
“I swear, if he comes back with a guild anthem, I’m declaring a mutiny,” she tells the others.
Nolan returns with an armful or condiments, foodstuffs, and tableware.
As the five other members of the Lyte Brigade regard him sceptically, Nolan begins to lay out the items on their table. Matilda in particular regards her brother with scepticism enough for another five people.
“So, I’ve got this idea,” he explains. “We can work out some of our strategies by running through them on the table. We’ll, uh, we’ll have to use this stuff to stand for each of us. I’ll be the salt. Matilda can be the pepper. Pela, you’re this olive.”
The Half-Goblin narrows her eyes indignantly. “Oh, sure.“Make me the olive. It’s because I’m small and green, right?”
“What?” Nolan exclaims. “No! I swear, I just — Look, I’ll be the olive. Pela, you can be the cookie. Amara, you can be the napkin.”
“I don’t want to be a napkin!” Amara protests.
“I can be the napkin,” Tancred offers.
“Thank you,” Nolan says to the young knight. “Okay. Tancred, you’re the napkin. I’m the olive. Pela, you’re the cookie. Amara, you’re the salt. Falcata’s the pepper. And Matilda is the vinegar.”
He heaves an exasperated sigh.
“Is that okay with everybody?”
He receives no objections and is — finally — able to continue.
“So,” he says, “a lot of the adventuring manuals I’ve been reading—”
“You would,” Matilda mutters.
Nolan gives his sister a sideways glance, but otherwise ignores her.
“The manuals have been saying that it’s best to start out a fight in a standard 2-1-3 formation,” he says.
He begins arranging his culinary stand-ins for himself and his guildmates on the table.
“Tancred and I both have shields, so we’ll be up front,” he says.
“But if I’m at the back, I won’t be able to see what’s going on!” Pela notes.
Nolan nods. “Okay,” he says. “I can work with this. We’ll just adjust our formation to a 3-3. Pela is volunteering to join me and Tancred up front —”
He glances over at the Half-Goblin.
“Thanks, Pela. We’ll appreciate the support.”
The colour drains from Pela’s green face. “Up front?” she repeats.
“Like, where the bad guys are? That is not what I meant, Nolan!”
Nolan, however, has become too engrossed in his strategies to make note of her objection.
“So, while the three of us engage the enemy directly,” Nolan continues, his excitement and strategising both reaching a crescendo, “Amara and Matilda, you’ll be supporting us with your magic. And, Falcata, you’re a good shot with your bow, right? You’ll be providing fire support.”
Sally wanders back towards the table.
“Oh, a cookie!” she exclaims, snatching up the cookie and stuffing it into her mouth.
“You just ate me!” Pela gasps. She looks up in horror at the others. “She ate me!”
“That’s, uh, that’s not part of our strategy,” Nolan stammers.
Ignoring the reactions of the five members of the Lyte Brigade, Sally looks eagerly up at the table. “Are you there more cookies?” she asks.
She reaches for the napkin and wipes the crumbs away from her mouth.
“I told you I didn’t want to be the napkin,” Amara notes, suddenly feeling quite pleased with her decision.
And that’s another Realmgard story down.
I’ll be posting the Forward, the Lyte Brigade story page within the next couple days, and it’ll be added to the master list of stories. Which is here:
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