Writing Prompt: It was your worst attempt thus far.

Slept through my alarm this morning and am now racing to catch up with the day. Never a good start for a Friday. And not my favorite way to end a month. Still it is time for the last writing prompt of July. Can you handle it? Let’s find out. Timers set and off we go.

why is it when I have the worst mornings I end up with the writing prompts that I like the most. Wednesday my sinuses were making my head pound and I loved the prompt, today I slept through my alarm and feel completely off balance and I really like this prompt. I’m sure there is a good reason for it, but I’ll leave that to the shrinks to figure out.

Friday, July 29th: It was your worst attempt thus far.

“It was your worst attempt thus far,”: Jeramiah said.  Gavin slumped.  They had been practicing for hours.  Now his muscles were shaking, his bones ached and he could barely lift the sword let alone attempt to disarm his opponent.  Jeramiah was of course having none of it and so he was sent back to his position to begin again.

Micah grinned at him and tipped his own practice sword in mock salute.  Micha was three years older,  more than four inches taller than him and at least double his body weight.  His arm length alone was sufficient to keep Gavin’s sword from reaching him to do much damage.  The other boys were paired up with opponents more or less the same size.  There was an uneven number of trainees this quarter and so Jeramiah called in Micah to serve as Gavin’s opponent.  He had been training with the regiment for five years now, his larger size causing him to be accepted early. 

Given that his father, uncles, brothers and cousins were also part of the regiment, Gavin knew that Micha had been preparing since birth for his position.  There was far more than five years between their experience levels. 

Knowing there was no escape, Gavin lifted his sword.  The wood of his was chipped.  It had been smooth and polished when they began.  But Micha wasn’t holding back.  He, like everyone else in the regiment, knew that Jeramiah did not like Gavin.  He had not intended Gavin to be chosen for the regiment and in fact Gavin had not gone out for placement in the regiment.  Still when assignments were given, Gavin had been placed in the training group. 

Not for the first time he wondered why.  He was not particularly strong or particular fleet of foot.  He considered himself more or less average.  His height blended with the others of his age, he wasn’t the fastest runner but he wasn’t the slowest, generally coming in the middle of the pack in any race he participated in with the other boys.  There was nothing to make him stand out and he was generally over looked.  Others were smarter, others were dumber.

Yet someone took notice of him and deliberately placed him here.  ‘If I could find out who, I might know why,’ Gavin thought.  He took a deep breath and tried to steady his shaking muscles.  While they shook and burned now from the exertion of the day, he knew they shook and burned less than they had a month earlier when training began.  Each day was a litany of action and failure as he sparred against Micha.  Gavin wasn’t getting better, but he thought his body might be adapting to the efforts.  This morning he had only been mildly achy when he rose to begin the day. 

It was a vast improvement form the days preceding it.

‘But Jeramiah hadn’t worked me this hard before,’ Gavin thought. 

Today Jeramiah seemed to target him more than usual.  As he stepped into the ring the trainer’s eyes grew hot and his mouth turned down.  Now when the other trainees were sent off to clean up from their training, he was still set up for another sparring set.  The court yard was empty now except for the three of them.  The others had been sent away for dinner and recovery.  The other trainees were gone as were the other trainers.  It was only Him and Micha in the ring while Jeramiah watched, looking avidly eager for his pain and humiliation in defeat.  Even as the first clash of their swords sent shocks up Gavin’s arm, he wondered what happened to bring out todays intensified anger.

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