February 24th – The Ladder Men
February 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Okay, So I’ve been a bit haphazard. Done thinking, done writing – but haven’t posted up. Gonna be a slight flood today as I put them up. The other participant’s stories can be found here: Allie, Tara, Pinky, Olivia.
Prompt: Write a science fiction story about your own ancestors.
They cared for El Cantar De Mio Cid with the bravery of the newly noble, read it to their children as often as the Holy Bible, speaking it to them with the fervency of preachers. They were the Escalante, the siege-brothers, the Ladder Men.
Family did not question, friends were few enough to be killed in war, their officers soon replaced, their King trusting. They were the men that rushed beneath the walls, that leaped against them with rungs of wood and metal on their back. Only the brothers were never burnt, never fired on, never cut down.
The Ladder Men were the heroes unseen, achieving nobility and speaking little of it, loyal faultlessly to the ideal of the Cid and to their lord. This is how they lived. When it was that their children achieved favor amongst different circles, they were uneasy. When fealty was given in different places, they spoke in hushed tones. In the war of Communities, they were not allies. They whispered to each other on night before the battles came. Before the siege.
There were no ladder-men in the morning. No walls broken, no rungs bravely lifted without those two. It was a lost battle without victors, and their families found themselves alone. Their lords, who they had counseled against war, woke to tattered copies of the Cantar in their beds.
On the outskirts Madrid, inside a ring of broken ladders, lingered two patches of scorched earth and the scent of the written word.