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Exposition-->Rising Action; Open to all, Late Junior Year
Topic Started: Jul 13 2012, 03:33 PM (2,008 Views)
Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Rhiannon looked at the knife on the table. It was quite lovely. The handle looked ornate, the wood of the handle must have been carved from a century-old tree. A diamond pattern was carved into the handle. The blade itself was crescent shaped, with small etchings on sharp end. "Servire nocte" the steel letters read.

"An old language," Rhiannon thought to herself. "What does it mean?"

Rhiannon may not have understood the language on the knife, but she knew the secret language of the knife itself. Whoever sent the blade to her made a clear statement: they were going to kill her.


Rachael looked at the text on her laptop screen. She had spent the last few weeks working on a short story she hoped to submit to a literary magazine. The story was about a noblewoman who finds a knife in her bedroom, leading her to believe an assassin is after her so her enemies can seize her lands.

Rachael still had a long way to go though. She only finally began to write the story after laboring over the details of who the woman would interrogate, what her actions result in, and what the knife was really about. But fortunately, she was in the final week of her Junior year, when classes were much more relaxed and she could spend her free time sitting in one of the Aurora High gazebos typing away on the laptop she got last Christmas.

Rachael grabbed the bottled green tea next to her and took a sip. It was pretty hot today. She wore a light shirt and pants, but the humidity was starting to get to her. She had plenty of time before the next class period (where she would most likely just keep working on the story, but hopefully near an outlet for her laptop), so she decided to keep writing.

Okay, time to begin the interrogations. First, Sir Waldo of Rhiannos Wood.

She picked up her mp3 player and flipped to a song from Wicked. She started typing on her laptop and watched as the document filled with her story.
Edited by Laurels, Sep 21 2012, 02:34 PM.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sir Waldo, I hope you understand why I brought you here," she spoke to the knight in silver.

"Yes m'lady," he responded. "I assure you I had nothing to do with that


Rachael was suddenly distracted by some movement. She quickly looked up and noticed that there was a girl standing above her, greeting her. Rachael quickly removed the ear buds.

"Oh, uh, hi there," she quickly muttered.

She took a quick sip of her drink and put the ear buds back in her ears. She didn't really know the girl that well. She knew who she was, Yasmin Carroll, but never really spoke to her that much in the three years she'd been at Aurora. Rachael then turned back to her story and tried to keep typing.

Yes m'lady," he responded. "I assure you I had nothing to do with that knife. Rhiannos Wood doesn't produce materials to make such a weapon."

"Yes," Rhiannon said, "but you are rich in lumber. The trees in Rhiannos Wood produce some of the finest lumber for construction in the country. I'm sure someone of your wealth could easily purchase a knife like this, or supply the wood for the handle. So, where did you get it from?


Rachael paused. She needed to have Rhiannon list a few fictional places, but none were coming to her. Maybe it was the humidity, or maybe it was writer's block. She needed to think of a few names.

That's when she remembered that Yasmin was still in the gazebo. Rachael removed her ear buds and began to speak.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. If you could build your own fictional kingdom, what would you call it?"

Rachael hoped that she heard that.
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Yasmin seemed a bit uncertain about names. Rachael was okay with that. Not everyone could get deep into a fantasy mindset, especially with how limitless fantasy could get at times. Coming up with a name from scratch could be difficult for some.

How about...Runedara? Maybe Yundrasa? Sorry if they aren't very good.

"Uh, no, it's fine. Those will work perfectly," Rachael responded, typing into her laptop.

"So, where did you get the knife from? Runedara? Yundrasa? Any of them would love to have me out of the way."

"Yeah, I can work with these. I just need names to assign people to," she said aloud, "like the King of Runedara and such. Thanks."

I better be sure to ask her for help if I need it. These names aren't like Rhiannos Wood, but they can suggest foreign countries that might want Lady Rhiannon's land. So in which case, the King of Runedara would probably be her next suspect, then I guess the Lady of Yundrasa. Yeah, this will work. This will work for the narrative. Three figures, three kingdoms to suspect, three people to declare war against.
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Well, the deed was done. Sir Waldo was in jail. The lord or Rhiannos Wood would probably take offense to his brother being arrested. She would let him go, once she knew he wasn't responsible for the knife. She at least had a knight of Runedara and Yundrasa in her castle, so Rhiannon knew she would be able to find the intended assassin by then.

Queen Lyrrine's favorite knight was next. Sir Essmall of Yundrasa would likely crack if Rhiannon interrogated him enough.


What......What are you writing?

Rachael quickly looked up. Yasmin was curious about the story. Rachael figured that was likely, since Rachael asked her to contribute.

"Oh, uh," she said, taking her earbuds out, "just a story I'm writing. I, uh, like to write, and submit to some magazines. Nothing has been published yet, but this might be the one."

She took a quick sip of her drink.

"Yeah, this one is about a lady who finds a knife in her room and thinks someone's trying to kill her, so she investigates a few people and arrests them."

"So, uh, what are you drawing?"
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Rachael watched as Yasmin flipped the sketchbook open and tossed the pages. She showed Rachael a terrifying image, explaining that it is supposed to be some kind of monster in the woods.

"Yikes," was all Rachael said when she saw the image.

One of the things Rachael enjoyed about literature was that it allowed her to form the images in her own head, so any sort of person or creature could look the way she envisioned it. If the person or thing was shown to her with an accompanying image, she found that it could spoil the fantasy of it and force her to view it that specific way. This was particularly awful if it was something terrifying. Cthulu was terrifying to imagine, but Rachael had seen plenty of illustrations of the monster that drove men to madness at the sight of the unearthly monster, and that terrified her. Same with any detailed image of the mechanical dog from Fahrenheit 451 or Carroll's Jabberwocky.

Yasmin then mentioned getting sending photographs to magazines as well.

"Oh, I didn't know you could do that," Rachael said. "I thought magazines hired photographers for specific stories. Or, is it for art magazines, where anyone can get their pictures published? Any success so far?"
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Rachael nodded as Yasmin explained the magazines. She thought that was cool. She didn't think someone Yasmin's age would get pictures published in a magazine, so that sounded like quite the accomplishment.

Yasmin then turned red and buried her face in her hand. Rachael paused.

"Uh, are you alright?"

Huh. What's wrong with her? Oh, the story!

Rachael quickly turned back to her story and clicked the save button. She had no idea how much time she had left on her laptop battery, so she quickly saved the document so she wouldn't lose anything.

She then turned back to Yasmin. Was she any better?
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Rachael sighed when Yasmin revealed she was okay. That was weird, and Rachael wasn't sure how to react about that. Yasmin explained that it was mostly just her overthinking what she says. She asked Rachael if she every did that.

"Um, I believe so. Well, at least if I'm near people I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I really need to make a good impression to them, although it can be weird at times. Especially if they make it hard to feel comfortable."

"Do you get what I'm saying? Sorry if I'm being confusing."

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Rachael quickly turned to the sound of the voice that suddenly responded to her conversation with Yasmin. It was Arthur, one of Rachael's friends from Book Club. How nice, he was outside today as well. Rachael then noticed the sketchpad in his hand. She knew Arthur liked to draw, and he, like Yasmin, must have wanted to sit outside and draw.

The gazebo is turning into the Villa Diodati. Hmm, maybe Lady Rhiannon's Knife will become a classic short story then.

Arthur then joined them. He noticed Rachael's laptop and asked her what she was doing with that.

"Oh, since there's very little going on this week, I figured I work on some story ideas I had. Presently, I'm working on a story called Lady Rhiannon's Knife, a story about a lady finding a knife in her bedroom and assuming that one of the neighboring lords and ladies is trying to kill her."

Rachael brushed her bangs aside as she focused on Arthur's sketchpad.

"But, I don't want to tell you too much right now, so you can read it when I'm done. What are you working on right now?"
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Arthur seemed interested in her story idea. He asked a few more questions about plot details, as well as if he could try to draw it.

"Well, a picture would be neat to go along with the story," said Rachael, "but I think I'd rather finish the story before letting you read it and draw a picture for it. It's not just that I'd rather have the entire story fleshed out, but I figure you would like to get the whole idea of who Lady Rhiannon is beyond her appearance and the look of things around her."

Rachael noticed Arthur flip through his own sketchpad, something that got Yasmin's attention. Rachael found herself curious as to what Arthur might be drawing as well. She quickly saved the word document and closed the laptop. Lady Rhiannon could until Math class.
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((Double posting because it's time to leave this thread.))

Before Rachael could look at the sketchpad, she heard the bell ring. Rachael let out a sigh. Of course the bell would ring when she, Yasmin, and Arthur were being really chummy.

"Well, I got to get to class," Rachael said, packing her laptop into her bag. "We should hang out again. See you later."

Rachael stood up and made her way out of the gazebo. Next period would be a similar free period, but the teacher was still taking roll. Plus, she would need to charge her laptop soon, especially if she wanted to finish Lady Rhiannon's Knife.

((Rachael Langdon continued elsewhere))



Lady Rhiannon held the knife in her hands. The source of her misery. The cause of everything. It still shined like the moon on a cloudless evening. The curve resembled a large grin, the kind her fools would bear during their performances. It sickened her.

The door to her room burst open.

"Sir Rolay."

Before her stood a large man, covered in mail and armor.

"M'lady, it's as you figured. The Yundrasan forces will be meeting the Runedarans at the border of Rhiannos Wood. We will meet them there at dawn."

"Thank you, Sir Rolay."

"M'lady," the knight said, reaching his hand out. "Let me take that knife away. The message was made clear, and you do not need it anymore."

"Very well," Lady Rhiannon said.

She stood from her chair and handed the knife to Sir Rolay, ensuring he grabbed the hilt instead of the blade. The knight bowed and exited the chamber. He made his way down the steps of her tower, keeping the knife in his belt. He soon arrived to an area near the castle walls, where most of the waste would be collected before being disposed. Sir Rolay pulled the knife out of his belt.

"You have caused enough trouble. Thousands will die because of you. Begone."

He dropped the knife in the garbage and walked away. As he left, a figure appeared near the trash pile. A small boy, around eight years old, approached the pile. He had been employed to help in the kitchens of the castle along with his father and older sister. He was taking some scraps of food to the pile when he noticed the knife. The boy reached for the knife and picked it up. It was marvelous.

"Hey! Where did you get that?" asked a voice.

The boy turned and saw his older sister standing there.

"I found it," he said. "It was in the garbage."

"Well, it's not garbage," the girl said. "It's Father's knife."

"It is?"

"Yes. It's a knife he uses when Lady Rhiannon asks for a fruit and cheese plate. It's perfect for slicing bread and cheese. He hasn't been able to find it in days."

The boy then noticed the writing on the knife.

"Sister, what does 'servire nocte' mean?"

The girl took the knife and looked at it.

"It's from Father's home country. It means 'serve at night'. It's just a reminder so he doesn't mix it with any of the other cutlery in the kitchen."

The boy understood and looked down. The sister looked at her brother and grinned. She put the knife in his hands, and they began to walk back to the kitchens.

"Come on," she said. "Take it to Father. He's been looking for that knife. He'll be happy to see it."
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