Free Write #49: Everlasting Window – Walking down Roal Street – Carlos

by on Dec.05, 2012, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Character Windows: Short little pieces of flash fiction that have characters from your novel doing everyday things. I’ll be doing this for my free writing for the foreseeable future. The goal is to help create highly distinct characters  for my current ongoing draft of Everlasting.

We’re continuing the last window: Walking down Rodeo Drive! Except that we’re in Everlasting and Rodeo drive doesn’t exist. Instead we have Roal Street, which is the city of Qual’s equivalent. We’ve already seen the street in the prior windows, so this will be more or less a re-hash, except the characters will be focused more on the street itself rather than the theater that resides on it.

Today’s piece is Carlos walking down Roal Street. To read Carlos’ prior windows click here.

~~~

Everlasting Window – Walking down Roal Street – Carlos
By Nojh Livic

Carlos was forced to step into the roads by a small group of women who were talking animatedly to each other and not paying attention to how they were forcing the rest of the populace to avoid them. Their chaperons followed up behind them, carrying various bags and boxes, offering apologetic looks to some of the more disgruntled civilians. He was afforded one of these looks and nodded politely to the servant before resuming his pace.

Roal street was not one for much transport traffic which left the street empty for most civilians to walk through, so Carlos remained in the street, keeping close to the sidewalk in case a buggy or carriage decided to co-occupy his route. He diverted his attention between his path and the various shops he passed. Roal street was not one he was very familiar with. The contents of most of the shops appeared to be clothing or personal effects of a high pay-scale then his own. The people, as well, were not the type he would normally rub elbows with. Families, particularly daughters and sons, of officers, rather than the officers themselves. He recognized a few faces as he made his way down the street but none recognized him, which was just as well. He had a mission.

He passed a theater which he remembered visiting once with Sergeant Tricks. That evening was difficult to forget as the entertainment was decidedly not to Carlos’ taste, although the company had been far more pleasant than expected. He hurried past it to avoid any crowds.

Shops that specialized in foods he slowed his cadence slightly. It was just past second pop and he had time to visit the mess before he was asked to deliver a message by a colonel. It was urgent so he had made his way immediately. This left his stomach almost painfully hungry and his steps a little slower than usual after his morning workout. A pastry shop almost made him fully stop before he had to shake his head and keep going.

He wondered, not for the first time, about the idea of sending a knight to deliver a message. He understood the representative was a visiting warlord, and therefore respect should be accorded but if an officer rank was required, he knew of at least two squires that could be tasked for such a mission, and one captain in particular who would love to brown his nose on a warlord. Carlos ultimately surmised that he had either been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they had specifically selected him in order to avoid selecting the captain. He couldn’t decide which.

He was beginning to think he had mistaken the order when he spied the location’s banner. Rudy’s was proudly etched into a wooden banner half his height and hung by two metal lamp posts. There seemed to be a slight wait as couples and groups were gathered outside the establishment, chatting amongst themselves. Carlos ignored them and stepped up to the entrance briskly. A host stepped in his way before he could enter and Carlos stopped himself. He wasn’t wearing full armor but he was in uniform, and was slightly taller than the young man. He felt confidant he could muscle his way through but he didn’t feel it would be necessary.

“Good day, Sir,” the man said quickly. “Can I help you?”

“Yes. I have a message for one of your guests,” Carlos said, reaching into a hip pouch and pulling from it a scroll case.

“Very good, sir. I can have it delivered-” the man began before Carlos cut him off.

“I’m sorry but it is official military business. I can’t hand it off to a civilian. You may conduct me to him however,” Carlos said, feeling that would be a simple compromise. The man, however, did not seem to think so as his expression darkened slightly.

“I”m afraid that is unacceptable, sir,” the man placed emphasis on the last word for some reason Carlos couldn’t’ fathom. “The seating area is for patrons only. I can have a waitress take-” The man reached for the scroll and Carlos had to pull it away, surprised by the young man’s gumption. For a brief moment the two locked eyes. To his credit the young man didn’t flinch.

“Be advised, you are impeding an officer of the army in his duties. More specifically you are disrupting military communications. This is not something you should do lightly. I may suggest you contact your superior now,” Carlos said. He kept his tone even and level but he did not whisper. The pair had garnered the attention of a few of the waiting patrons who had tired of their own personal conversations. This was not lost on the young man, who gave them a glance before speaking.

“I’m afraid that-” he began to state again and it was becoming obvious the man considered himself something of a Golden Eyed Penguin. Luckily for him a hostess who had walked up behind him saw the storm brewing and dashed off. Carlos let the man make up some flimsy excuse and instead waited for the woman to return, his arms crossed. She did rather promptly with an older woman.

“What seems to be the problem?” she asked, directing her attention to Carlos rather than the host. When he began to speak she lifted up a hand and pinched her fingers shut without looking at him. He held his breath. Carlos was immediately impressed.

“My apologies for disturbing you. I have an urgent message for one of your patrons that I must deliver,” Carlos explained.

The woman nodded slightly. “May I ask who it is for?” she asked.

“War- Archduke Riley,” Carlos stated quietly, correcting himself and using the man’s civilian title rather than his current military one, in order to be less confusing. This seemed to catch the staff, both the host, his manager, and the hostess who had returned, by surprised. Carlos inwardly sighed. “It may be an error but I was informed he would be eating at this establishment. If I may I would like to search for the duke.”

“But of course. We would not wish a knight to feel unwelcome,” the woman said, recovering and offering a smile and a wave of her hand. “Allow me to escort you, sir…?” Few people recognized a knight’s rank outside of full armor. The armor’s rank insignia was somewhat famous in fiber serials but out of armor and in standard field uniform, they were most indistinguishable from normal rank.

“Knight Silverman, at your service,” Carlos said, half bowing.

“Charmed. I am Serise Yuve, owner of Rudy’s. Please follow me,” she said.

Finding the duke actually proved to be incredibly easy. He had settled himself near the common room with a few of his friends and was enjoying various food and drinks. Carlos surmised he was a fan of the establishment. He had not declared himself a duke an indeed wasn’t really dressed for the part. Rudy’s seemed to an establishment that catered to all types as it was not simply nobles and officer families but also soldiers, guildsmen, and workers, albeit somewhat segregated by section, which explained why they did not want him simply wandering about on his own.

To her credit, Serise made no real fuss over having an archduke in her establishment. She actually stood back as Carlos delivered the scroll. The archduke paused in his revelry to open the scroll and read over it, thanked him, and then excused himself from the table and his friends. The stopped to politely thank Serise, who he obviously knew was the owner, for the meal, before exiting. Carlos stood attentively until the duke had left, his attention mostly focused on attempting to determine what might have been the contents of the tube. However, even over the pleasant music being piped through sounding tubes, his stomach growled audibly.

“Care for some refreshment, Sir Silverman?” Serise asked coyly, startling him out of his thoughts. He felt his cheeks heat slightly.

“I- actually yes. Thank you. And you may call me Carlos,” he said graciously as she lead him to a table in a quiet corner.

“And you may call me Serise,” she said as she settled into the seat next to his.

 ~~~

So Carlos is a military man. So I noticed my diction changed slightly. I tried using words like cadence and civilian. The conflict in this story is a little weak. I already know how I would change it but since this is a free write, no major editing is allowed. But I’d introduce the hostess and have Carlos non-verbally interact with her more, so that he was doing a more active role in resolving the conflict, rather than just standing his ground and letting someone else resolve it. I was also pressed for time so the last paragraph might have been expanded. Anyway we didn’t really learn anything new about Carlos other than he associates higher class people with “the families of officers” which since most officers are nobility, makes sense.

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