Writing

Viking Siege of Paris 845AD (Flash Fiction Exercise)

#FlashFiction is something that I have only been doing this past year, so it is fairly new to me. Through my university course my teacher has encouraged a variety of writing styles and exercises to get us practising our writing. This exercise is to write ONE scene, from THREE perspectives, naturally main things will re-occur during these scenes but the POV will be different, the feelings will be different and what the character can SEE, HEAR, TASTE, SMELL and TOUCH will be different. Give it a go, let me know what you come up with! Happy Writing 🙂

As told by a Warrior King, a Princess, and a Child

King Ragnor

New plans have been laid, the ladders to scale the city’s walls have failed. Set alight by the soldiers. But today is a new day – we will find a way through those Paris gates or die trying. Valhalla welcomes great warriors and if that is how today shall end then so be it. In any other case, I will be through those gates and into the city of Paris. The men are ready, primed for battle. Our plan ready to enact as soon as the horn sounds. They have been in the city for days, soon to be running out of food I am certain. The sight of the city from our camp across the river looks peaceful, but I know that inside they are preparing their defences.

The horn sounds and my men rush forward, gripping tightly onto both axe and shield I run with them, kinsman altogether under the Gods’ eyes, soon to claim new fortune. The gods have been generous today, today shall be a day for victory. The battering ram brought forward, rope to help prise open those giant gates. Bang, bang, bang. They are just on the other side of that door – bows and swords at the ready to defend their precious city. But these Christians are no match for our axes and clubs. The city of Paris will fall. Hooks thrown over the top of the gates,

“Pull down!” my voice harsh and slightly drowned out by the noise around us. Men with their bows raised, poised, and let go. Our front line falls to the floor. Moving onward still the gates are eventually prised open, men and women clambering through, axes raised to deliver a mighty blow, like Thor with his anvil crashing against the skies in a storm. The yelling is deafening as our cries of battle merge with those against us. Swords clash, axes clang against metal helmets. Blood spattered, I push on through the crowd further into their beloved city. It is everything I had been told. Making our way into their church, cutting down as many men as we go. Their priest was the first to go, leaving only the emperor and his princess. Knife drawn from its sheath I grab the girl by her hair. She is a feisty woman. Kicking out at me, screaming obscenities (I would assume) in her French. Hand raised I am tempted to strike her, but not now. She will be coming with us. A ransom for their city’s treasures.

Back within the city walls, many men have fallen from both sides. Soldiers running to their highness’ aid, I dispatch as many as I can with only the one hand to use. A sharp pain burns in my side, a grunt of agony and my hand loosens grip on the princess. The princess holding my knife, escapes through the hoard of people still fighting. A whimper, almost too quiet to hear, comes from somewhere near my right. Rummaging through the empty wooden crates and boxes, my eyes fall upon a young woman crouched. Hauling her to her feet, my hand resting on her neck I move back towards the city gates. Soldiers now regrouping and surrounding us, there are more of them. We will have to fall back, regroup, attack again. We are weakening their forces. The men standing here are all they have left and they will fall.

“Retreat!” I yell to the warriors left by my side. I drag the girl with me, I don’t know who she is but she may be of some use. Tomorrow we will return and we will get what we came for.

 

Princess Gisla

“The people are frightened my lord” My father scowled at me, his counsel. The pagans have reassembled at the gates. Their siege on our city has lasted days so far, and does not seem likely to give in. These heathen monsters power on, fewer in number, lacking the strategy, and yet they do not weaken. The crashing from the gates can be heard even from here inside the church.

“You can rely on my doing everything in my power to reassure the people of our inevitable victory” I bowed slightly in the direction of my father. The yell of the pagans resonated throughout the church. They’re here. I wanted to be out there, urging the men on for our country. For France. I’d sooner die than see our city at the hands of these beasts with human features. The priest, whispering prayer as he went, tried his best to barricade the door. I assisted him, pushing benches back towards the doors, as many as I could. The crashing, banging noise grew louder, they have moved further into the city, got past our front line.

“Father!” I screeched at him, “I beseech thee please, our men need guidance! Strength! Stir and make haste, show your people their emperor and give them spirit!” He withdrew further towards the back of the room. He had no intention of leaving, not when there was a chance he might die. My father was a coward. “Bite your tongue Gisla!” he scowled at me again. The door slammed open pushing our barricade easily away, pagans running in collecting treasures of our god. One of them moved towards me. Slash. He struck the priest and I muffled a scream. He grabbed me by the hair and tugged me towards him. Vile creature. I kicked out at him again and again trying to make him let go screaming,

“Get your hands off me you dirty heathen! Repulsive creature, you will regret this!” I kicked out again. His hand gripped tighter in my hair and pulled me outside back towards the city gates. His axe dripped with Parisian blood as he struck down more of my father’s men.

“Fight! Fight for your God! Fight for your emperor!” I yelled to the remaining men, more were coming I had no doubt, from the rest of the city. The pagan’s knife stuck out from the leather around his hip. Grabbing it I thrust it into his side. His hand let go – I ran.

 

Carine

The pagans are coming through the gates. The soldiers are not able to hold them off for much longer. People are running, screaming through the streets, men, women… children. The gate is heaved open, heathens clambering up and over, into the city cutting down every man in their path. I am not safe here but there is nowhere to run. I’m surrounded by battle on all sides. I don’t want to be here… I don’t want to die. The boxes of food and resources in the corner of the street – mostly empty, there is not much food left in here not while we’ve been stuck here. I climbed into one of the bigger boxes, crouched low. I can hear the screams of people all around me. The crunch as bone and metal collide. The thud as each new body falls. A high pitched yell resonates over all other noise – Princess Gisla. Peering over the wooden crate I can see her. Being grabbed by that heathen demon, her fighting will do no good, his grip on her too tight.

The man groaned in pain, I could see Princess Gisla, knife in hand, and blood now staining the man’s side. The princess ran, still clutching the knife, back behind the safety of her soldiers. The pagan continued still, a determined scowl etched on his face like stone. His eyes fall to me. Crouching down as low as I can get, a whimper escapes my lips. Shaking in fear, my hands trembling, I shut my eyes and pray he will not see me. His feet stop right in front of me. Frozen with fear I can barely breathe let alone try and escape. I am not Princess Gisla, brave and strong. I am terrified. Pulling me up his hand gripped around my neck, I quiver at the sight of him. Tall like a giant, covered in blood, his face a terrible glare. Dragging me back towards the gate, yelling to his men and they began to retreat. I twisted and pulled, jerked in any way I could but his grip was too tight. Don’t take me. Dear god I am going to die.  

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4 thoughts on “Viking Siege of Paris 845AD (Flash Fiction Exercise)

  1. Chilling! I feel the fear of the last character. I’m glad the princess was strong enough not to let herself be taken. But why take the last girl? Who is she? Is she someone as important as the princess?

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      1. Looking forward to the next part 🙂 I write flash fiction too on my blog and I’d like to set up a comment/feedback exchange with other writers on wordpress. I’ll try to keep up with your story and give feedback whenever I can, and if you don’t mind I’d like to hear your opinion on my flash fiction too. Keep up the good work I’ll definitely be back on Monday 🙂

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