Starter for Ten – 09/07/19

Starter for Ten is a daily writing exercise where the aim is simply to write for a full 10 minutes. No editing or revision is allowed after the 10 minutes is up. The aim is to try new things, experiment with voices and styles and be bold. Suckage often occurs.


The lance pierced the breastplate just below the heart and the knight fell with alacrity as the weapon broke his spine. It was swift and brutal enough to snap three feet of the lance off. A jet of blood pulsed several feet out of the hole, suggesting that some vital connection inside had been severed.

Body and Wretch waited until the victor had circled back to loom over his competitor’s prone form, wave at the crowds and then spur his mount away. They had to be quick, Cecil liked to keep the jousts punctual and a bored crowd was a dangerous crowd. They had all seen the master of ceremonies dragged onto the field to be beaten or savaged by hounds just to keep the audience amused. They raced out from under the stands and assessed the body.

The weight of the knight was obviously multiplied many times by his heavy battle armour. It really didn’t help that he was a deadweight either. However, for Wretch the real difficulty was that the lance had gone entirely through the knight and protruded by a foot on the back and two feet on the front. This meant dragging him would be akin to ploughing the field, which would see them beaten. He selected the mallet from his belt and Body lay on the floor and using both feet, rolled the knight onto his side so Wretch could access his back.

Body brought the mallet down onto the tip of the lance several times, until the laquered wood split and he was able to work the tip around in a circle and so break the piece off.

“Help…me…” the voice was liquid and quiet but loud enough for Body to look up from his position on the floor and see that it had emanated from the helmet of the knight on the floor. This wasn’t good. They had already been at their removal job for seven minutes and they had three left if they were to avoid the lash.


Body brought the mallet down on the side of the knight’s helmet from a height of about a metre. The metal crumpled in on itself and the sound of a scream was tinned within the helm. Wretch watched the body for a second, alert to any further noise. He jumped to his feet with relief when no further sounds were heard.

He grabbed one gloved hand and Wretch grabbed the other and they leaned backwards and started to heave as the herald flags of the next jousters were raised.

One thought on “Starter for Ten – 09/07/19”

  1. I really want to edit this one. It’s not a bad vignette (I like the way he works the tip of the lance off and I’d like to know more about Body and Wretch’s view of the world) but there’s lots of fluff that needs combing.


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