May 18 is the anniversary of the beginning of one of my favourite historical events: the Great Siege of Malta — which was not, in fact, so great for the Ottomans, who lost one of their best admirals and a couple dozen thousand dudes breaking themselves on the rock that was Malta under the leadership of Order of St. John Grandmaster Jean de Valette, who was more of a badass at 70 then most of us are probably going to be at, well, any point of our lives.
So, of course, the Great Siege of Malta is naturally an inspiration for my own writing… about characters writing about the history of Realmgard.
“Here’s your script, Kat,” Annie says, holding up the document to Kat. “I helped Mr. Whitehead make sure everything’s historically accurate, so you don’t have to worry about that.”
“Yeah,” Kat mutters. “Thanks, Annie.”
“Your lines are marked in red,” Annie explains, before moving on to hand out the next script.
Kat glances down at the pages in her hand.
The Great Siege of Northgate: Being an Historical Drama in Four Acts
By Sir Sandford Whitehead,
With Editorial Assistance from Miss Antiqua Darkstone
She starts flipping through the pages and comes to the list of characters to find the character she’ll be playing: Créuse von Ivanhoe-Hauteburg; a Junior Member of the Order of the Tern & Heroine of the Siege.
“I don’t see why you’re so grumpy about all this, Katherine,” Amara says as she sits at Kat’s side. “You’re Créuse von Ivanhoe-Hauteburg. You single-handedly win the day for Northgate! Why, you’re practically the star!”
The Elf heaves a put-upon sigh and frowns.
“All I do is get kidnapped by Sir Tancred,” she notes.
“Yes,” the young knight says. “I do hope you won’t find me too presumptuous, Miss Amara. the stage directions do call for me to throw you over my shoulder like, and I quote, ‘a sack of potatoes.’”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, Sir Tancred,” Amara says.
“You must be Miss Kat. Miss Amara talks about you quiet extensively,” he says, extending a hand that Kat half-heartedly shakes. “I am Tancred Gildas Mallory…”
“I don’t —”
“…Astolfo Ambrosius Winnifred…”
“You can stop—”
“…Perceval Galahad Cervantes Orlando von Ivanhoe…”
“Did you say Winnifred?”
“…Hauteburg,” Tancred concludes. “Isn’t this exciting? Cast for a play by Sandford Whitehead himself!”
Kat rolls her eyes. “Whatever. I’m just glad he isn’t making be a dude —”
She directs a pointed glance at Sandford Whitehead.
“Oh, hush, Katherine,” Amara says, gently patting Kat’s arm. “You were a remarkable Jacobus. It wouldn’t nearly have been such a tragical history without your efforts. And your Morfilodish accent was rather quite impressive.”
“That was you?” Tancred exclaims. “Why, Mother still tears up whenever she talks about you and Ricarda dying in each other’s arms.”
“Ugh,” Kat groans.
She hates theatre.
“But I must say,” Tancred continues. “It is all rather ironic that the von Ivanhoe-Hauteburg is playing the man famous for getting a rock dropped on his head by a von Ivanhoe-Hauteburg.”
“Just aim for his forehead,” Matilda interjects. “You can’t possibly miss a target that big!”
“Yes,” Tancred replies. “Thank you, Miss Matilda.”
Dunstana and Sally eagerly run by, with Ginger following rather less eagerly.
Dunstana looks up at her sister. “Kat! Kat! I’m the Spirit of Haakon Sterkenn’s Ofermod. I don’t know what that means, but I get a cool costume!”
“I’m Fortitude!” Sally says. She holds up her rabbit doll. “And Count Bunnyescu is Resilience!”
“I’m Burgher of Northgate Number 3,” Ginger notes. “But that’s okay, because I don’t have to talk.”
“I’m sure you’ll do perfectly fine, Miss Ginger,” Amara offers.
“Indeed,” Tancred adds. “There are no small parts. Only small actors!”
“Hey!” Pela calls from across the room. “I heard that!”
Incidentally, the rest of my short writing exercises are here:
New chapter tomorrow.
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