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Tuesday Tales – Tight

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This week’s Tuesday Tales word prompt is tight.  I’m continuing with Thatcher and Miranda.  Didn’t think I could work the word tight into it but I did!  Hope you enjoy – and don’t forget to check out the other incredible tales written by the talented authors of Tuesday Tales!

The authors of Tuesday Tales are taking a week off next week so remember to stop back on April 2nd to see what our next word prompt is (and what we do with it!)

dark woods

Thatcher’s horse sauntered behind the others weighed down by the bulk of the three knight’s belongings.  He walked alongside the grey steed holding the horse’s lead tight in his hand.  He didn’t have the heart to abuse the animal further with his own weight.  He silently cursed the oafs who drug him along on this mission.

Thatcher and his horse followed six of the king’s knights.  Each had been chosen by his majesty himself to attend this training.  Ahead of the entire band proudly rode King Thaddeus.  Thatcher’s heart wrenched when it came to the monarch.  Just like the other citizens of the kingdom he was devoted to the just and fair king.  However, he was also the bastard who took his Miranda away from him.

Thatcher’s eyes snapped to attention as he heard shouting ahead.  A band of rowdy cloaked marauders rushed the path approaching the group.  Even from the distance Thatcher was he could see the army uniforms beneath the robes.

This was the biggest farce Thatcher had ever seen.

The knights disembarked from their horses and engaged in battle with the marauders.  The sword fight was brief.  The mob fled into the forest before any blood was shed.  Thatcher glanced at Thaddeus.  The king was far from impressed.

“Good work, men,” Thaddeus praised, his voice flat and unemotional.  “Let’s return to camp.”

Thaddeus urged his own white steed to return down the path they had come.  Thatcher bowed his head reverently as he passed.  The group weaved their way through the countryside back towards the camp.  The path grew narrow pressing the entourage through the tight wood.

Thatcher searched around as he heard a dull thud land nearby him.  He looked up to the thick, tightly woven overhanging branches.  Like evil, gigantic raindrops black garbed men fell from the trees.  He instinctively reached for his scabbard and drew his own sword as an attacker grasped Thaddeus and pulled him to the ground.

Thatcher ran through the horses, his voice shouting in warning as he charged the attackers.  He swung his sword engaging one black garbed man after another.  His final blow against the assailant who assaulted the king sent the rest retreating into the wood.  Panting Thatcher surveyed the scene.

Thaddeus lay crumpled on the ground, his hand gripped tight around his forearm.  A thin stream of blood trickled through his fingers.  Thatcher dropped to his knees next to Thaddeus then turned to the six knights for help.  He froze in shock as he found them still mounted on their steeds their eyes equally opened wide in surprise.

“Don’t sit there like frightened children,” Thatcher chided.  “Get down here and help him!”

The knights each slid tentatively from their horse and rushed to Thaddeus’s side to care for him.  Thatcher felt a hand wrap tight around his bicep and rip him from the ground.  He was slammed against the nearest tree, the rough bark scratching his flesh through his tunic.  The burning furious eyes of one of knights glared at him.

“You made fools of us,” the knight growled.

“You are the king’s brave knight.  Where were you when he needed you?”

The knight shook him violently.  “You will regret it when we reach camp.  There will not be anything left of you to send home to your father.”

“Sir William, unhand the soldier,” Thaddeus commanded.

William slowly let go of Thatcher.  Thaddeus slowly, painfully stood then motioned Thatcher to him.

“Boy, what is your name?” the king asked gently.

“Thatcher, your majesty.”

“Your quick wit and courage are great assets to my army.”

“Thank you, your majesty.”

“They would be an even greater asset to my inner circle of knights.”

Thatcher’s eyes grew wide.  They both turned as they heard William clear his throat.

“My liege, you already have the maximum number of knights you need for your protection.  I cannot see how you can do this,” William objected.

Thaddeus’s eyes drew to slits.  “I could get rid of one of you.”

William’s eyes grew wide in panic.  Thaddeus laughed and continued.  “There are two of us in the palace now that need protection.  Another knight in our ranks would be beneficial.”  The king turned to Thatcher.  “Kneel.”

Thatcher dropped to his knee as Thaddeus drew his sword.  He gently laid the blade on Thatcher’s left shoulder than the right.  “Rise, Sir Thatcher, Knight of the King’s Army.”

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