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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

By mick dawson



Dehoran stood beside the throne. He stared concerned at the Blue River Guardsman before him. The elite soldier of Nusalle stood resplendid in his mail hauberk and deep blue tunic.

The orange crest of the snarling dog emblazoned boldly across his broad chest.

Long jet black locks flowed from beneath his horned helm. There was strength in the stormy eyebrows and brown eyes, but the expression contradicted him. He looked broken, weary as he stood before the new monarch with his double edged, long hafted axe in his hand.

“Are you sure you wish to abdicate the throne to me?” the king asked.

“Aye.”, Muttered the previous monarch.

Dehoran mounted the stairs and seated himself, staring after the retreating back of the Guardsman.

“May an unknown God walk with you!” he called after him.

There was no slowing of movement. The burly figure continued to trudge out of the throne room. He wandered aimlessly down the main thoroughfare of the city and into the back lanes of the poorer quarter. A physician was closing for the night. He tossed the surgeon a few coppers for an armful of bandages and tucked them into his belt.

“How much for your mirror?” he enquired.

The physician looked to the copper oval mounted on his wall.

“It is merely for personal use.”

“Would you accept a gold coin?” the Guardsman asked.

“Done!” beamed the man and snatched at a ‘guton’ flipped in his direction.

With mirror in hand, the Guardsman continued his walk. A thief passed him in his meanderings squinting closely.

“What is your name?” he asked.

“I have forgotten.” He said sourly.

“Ah so you are the forgotten one.” He taunted, smiling as he shook his head.

The burly figure turned the corner into an alley. The light of the full moon slashed across the narrow lane. He stood the mirror on top of a barrel and looked at the man he most hated. There was hardness to the visage that stared back at him. The broad nose, the hard mouth and the clean shaven jaw seemingly carved from granite.
The reflection sneered at him.

‘What was strength without love?’ he thought.

There was the man that ignored his wife and unborn child. There was the man that neglected his kingdom and now they were all gone.

Turning away from the reflection he cursed and battered away at the offensive face with his fists. Pain rippled across his visage. The more he felt, the more it spurred him on until he dropped his arms, weary with the effort. He looked at his image again.

It was marked with little trickles of blood but it was not obscured enough.
Tearing the bandages angrily from his belt, he began to wrap his face until nothing but his eyes showed. He looked down at the exposed flesh of his arms and covered them too. In fact any area that could be seen.

He looked back at the image finally satisfied. He felt no longer worthy to be looked upon, or even fit to be among others.

Newly bound like the lepers, he trudged the streets once more. He had not gone far when he decided to drop the last of his coins in a blind girl’s cup. She sang so heavenly, bringing a tear to his eye.

“Bless you, what is your name?” she queried.

The once king thought back on the taunting stranger.

“I am…The Forgotten One.” He said.

“Is that all the name you have?”

“Aye.”, he answered as he trudged on. “It is all the name I deserve.” He muttered to himself.
“And it is all the name I will have until the day comes that I learn to love others as I should.”

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This article has been read 677 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard02/21/08
This is very well written. Your description and dialogue is excellent.

I loved your MC, "The Forgotten One". This is a very compelling story, and you have pinged the topic well.
Jan Ackerson 02/22/08
Great job with setting!

In an early sentence, I think you want either "splendid" or "resplendent".

This is a great genre piece.
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
This story kept me riveted throughout. I could see this being part of a longer story. Good job.
Joanne Sher 02/22/08
Excellent descriptions and sense of place - and what a message. You won't be in intermediate long. Wow.
Holly Westefeld02/22/08
You convey vivid descriptions and powerful emotions. Good take on the topic.
Glynis Becker02/23/08
I enjoyed the descriptions and could feel his despair. I would love to hear the rest of his story. Great job.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/25/08
It is obvious from the other commenters that I am either dense, not a good reader, or easily confused; so consider the source when I say that I was confused from the first to the end of what was happening. However, it is different, unique, and "Way OVER my head, (intellectually speaking)... so pay no mind to my confusion". Perhaps it is meant to be a mystery...therefore, Very Well Done! Kudos!
Cherie Millsap02/26/08
I liked this a lot! Love is essential isn't it? All things are tied to it! I found my imagination journeying on ahead of him, to at last finding the love needed, to heal his wounds! Great Job!
Joshua Janoski02/26/08
i got a little bit confused as to who Dehoran was, but when I re-read the first section, it made sense to me. Very well written. I would love to see this turned into a full blown novel chronicling the journeys of "The Forgotten One."