|War and History Script posted September 21, 2019|
Loyalty to the crown
The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
1640: The knight dressed in gold and yellow livery encouraged Thomas the Archer to follow him into the Castle. Thomas spoke French fluently, his father was a priest, mad, but loyal to the throne of England. He remembered not to utter a word of French before the English King.
Thomas entered the castle keep, thinking he was safe and being taken to the ruler of the land. He couldn't have been more wrong.
A cudgel split Thomas's skull; stars, and then he was falling, falling into eternal darkness.
When he awoke, blood flowed into his eyes and his headache was like a trebuchet firing huge stones.
He found himself manacled to a wooden post, he then heard footsteps approaching and the great door was thrown open.
Two guards came through the door carrying wooden planks and chairs. Thomas was thinking he was for the rack.
Out of the shadows walked a tall thin man, dressed entirely in black. A scribe followed him with parchment and quill.
"Well, Thomas the Archer, how do you feel this fine morning?" The inquisitor smirked.
Thomas ignored the melting tones of the man he knew as the Crow. Through the veil of blood his hatred of this man increased.
"You killed my father and my woman." Thomas mumbled through split lips.
"Ah, yes, your father, the mad priest and you, his bastard son."Crow laughed.
The two guards returned with iron pokers, obviously torture instruments.
"Stoke the fire boys, good and hot. We need this heretic to scream. Oh, by the way, while you are at it, strip him naked!"
The men lifted Thomas and ripped his jerkin and then his leather breeches were cut off. In the freezing cold, Thomas shivered terribly.
"No, please, no!" As his breeches were torn asunder and his manhood exposed. He couldn't even cover himself because of the manacles.
Lady Belue strolled into the room and stared at the skinny white man trying to cover himself.
"Don't worry Thomas, I have seen it all," she was the lady of the castle and her Lord was dead because of the arrow Thomas had put through his mouth at the battle of Jointure.
The three pokers were now glowing red in the newly stoked fire. Thomas tried to focus on his lost love, he failed. Shaking with terror, knowing what was in store for his innocent body.
"Thomas, you have nothing to fear from me as long as you answer my questions truthfully. Your priest-father that I killed had a book written about the Holy Grail. I want to know about the book, most of all, I want the Grail. Understand me, boy?"
"The book is nonsense, my father was mad, you know he was mad!" Tears streaked with blood ran in rivulets down his face.
"Hmmm, I don't believe you, you know where the Grail is?" Crow removed one of the iron pokers, glowing red. He walked towards Thomas, got down on his haunches and laid the poker on Thomas's naked leg. Moving it up and down, watch the skin peeling off in the wake of the heat.Crow was enjoying his playtime.
The screaming ricocheted around the empty room. Thomas had fainted.
"Leave him now, he will recover." Grinning Crow went out of the room to find his dinner.
Throbbing pain woke Thomas as he watched for the return of the Crow.
Next day, the pokers were heated again. "You can end this now, tell me the truth!"
"I know nothing about the Holy Grail, it is a story, only a story." Thomas cried.
The red-hot poker was dragged down his chest from neck to stomach. The skin puckered and he fainted again.
When he came to, Thomas realised he must spin a tale to the inquisitor or die trying.
"I will tell you everything I know." He spat blood.
"You know, Thomas, the Church is not allowed to draw blood. I abide by her rules. Still, I have been able to make heretics sing loudly through torture."
"My father wrote a book about the Holy Grail, before he died, he asked me to go on a quest to find it. I am not a heretic, I am a Christian that does not believe the ravings of a mad priest."
"Bring out the thumbscrews and toe screws." Crow motioned to his henchmen.
Within half an hour the men had attached the implements of torture to his hands and feet.
"How many fingers does it take to pull back a bowstring, Thomas?" Crow was smoking his clay pipe.
"Two fingers, you know it takes two fingers!"
The henchmen were told to screw down the metal on Thomas's hands and feet. For every joint, a cracking sound was heard as they broke every bone in his hands and feet.
Mewing like a kitten, Thomas cried into the filthy blanket he had covered himself with.
Blood oozed from every joint, he would never be a King's archer again, perhaps he would not walk either.
"Where is the Grail, Thomas? Crow blew smoke into the boy's face.
"The Grail is...is lying at...at Glastonbury Abbey." He croaked.
Suddenly, a smashing of glass and falling shards filled the room. Large booted feet had smashed through the floor to ceiling window. Landing deftly, the giant known as Peter the Large let fly with his jewelled dagger, catching the Crow in the throat. Following his entry, two of Thomas's friends came crashing through the giant hole in the window, with strung bows they brought down the Crow's henchmen.
The giant Peter gently lifted Thomas in his arms, just like a feather.
"I will never walk or pull a bowstring again," moaned Thomas.
"Now, don't you worry yourself about that my good friend. I, Peter the Large will take you to a healer, you will be walking again and practising your archery once more."
"You could have left the Crow to me, I wanted to kill him myself!"
"Nay, laddie you dinna have the strength to even piss in a pot." Great laughter rumbled from the giant as he carried his friend out of the castle.
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