Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 76- Arryk

weekend writing warriorsIt’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Last week, we joined Anton while he got ready for his first big battle. Not too much later, we find Arryk in the thick of the fight, Larisa at his side. Unlike Anton, it’s Arryk’s first time in combat and it’s not going as well as he’d hoped.  Slightly edited.

Warning: a horse dies, though not graphically. 🙁

His horse veered around the body of a fallen officer. Arryk, caught by surprise, fell off, but rolled onto his shoulder and got back up again. He looked for his horse but it was gone, along with the pistols still holstered in the saddle. Cursing under his breath, he drew his saber, just in time to meet a halberdier who’d come from nowhere. The man wore little armor and went down in a spray of red when Arryk sliced his blade across his neck. He grabbed the halberd, though he didn’t need it and looked around wildly for Larisa.

She was on the ground, on her hands and knees, next to her thrashing horse.

“Oh gods,” Arryk said, certain she’d been hurt.

Larisa got to her feet unsteadily, grabbed a pistol from the saddle and shot the horse, then pulled a flail from somewhere else. Arryk remembered laughing at her when she practiced with it; now as it hissed around her head, he was glad she never listened to him.

Previous snippets are here.

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38 comments on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 76- Arryk
  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Good snippet–plenty of action. The poor horse, though…

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    How many children were forced to grow up like that? We will probably never know. Great piece, as always Christina

  3. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Such a gruesome battle. Poor horse!

  4. Nicely handled scene, Christina, and a well-described battle. Well done!

  5. Fine snippet. The action superb, well done.

  6. Frank Fisher says:

    Too bad for the horse. I’m glad the death wasn’t graphically described. I think tell is better than show in this case. Loved the details leading up to the horse’s demise.

  7. Great scene! I can’t see how adding more details about the horse would make it more effective. I’m sure this is going to be emotional for Arryk, maybe as much as for Larisa.

    ~Marcia

    • Christina says:

      Yes, I’m generally not too keen on getting too graphic in my own writing, and I’m especially sensitive to the suffering of animals. In this case it would be unrealistic to gloss over the fates of the thousands of horses that were routinely killed in battle, but I don’t like to dwell on it.

  8. Thank you for the warning about the horse.
    Fast paced – and about to be emotional.

  9. I so admire anyone who can do a great fight scene. Superb! And I so understood from those last lines that he realizes he should have had more faith in her. Great snippet!

    History Sleuth’s Mysteries

  10. Alexis Duran says:

    Your battle scenes are awesome.

  11. Fallon says:

    Great scene! Really loved the last line.

  12. Cara Bristol says:

    Killing an animal in fiction is a great way to get readers to hate the villain. Works everytime. I learned a new word today: Halberd/halberdier. I had to look it up. Love it. Good action scene.

    • Christina says:

      Yes, it is! Unfortunately, Larisa is not a villain, so I hope people don’t hate her too much. I sometimes get carried away with the weapons-porn. Halberds are particularly attractive. 🙂

  13. That’s the problem with taking horses into battle, it’s so easy for them to get hurt beyond saving… 🙁
    But I love those last lines, where he realizes she’s more competent than he thought!

    • Christina says:

      Yes, I’ve always hated that about pre-20th century warfare. Arryk really doesn’t know what he’s got with this woman, but he’s gonna learn!

  14. Everybody is sad about the horse, but nobody mentioned the halbedier (?) who had his throat cut, poor chap. A good battle scene – quite tense. Good piece. Now off to Google ‘halbedier’.

    • Christina says:

      I’m always a lot more concerned about the animals than the people. It probably isn’t very nice of me, but I figured the poor horses never asked to be there.

  15. Great action! Heart-pounding scene, and yes, poor horsey.

  16. Fantastic visual, Christina. Loads of action that never slowed. And–it made me smile. Arryk should be careful what he laughs at; it might come back to save your life someday. 🙂 Good snippet!

  17. Graphic scene but that’s what war is. Not pretty.

  18. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Great action scene and great imagery. Felt bad for her horse, but I’m glad she’s tough and ready to fight.

  19. T. M. Hunter says:

    Oh no! Not the horse!!! 🙁

  20. Good for Larisa, she can handle the horrors of battle.

  21. Plenty of action and a strong heroine. That’s a great combo.

  22. bonniegill2 says:

    I loved the action. Great scene. Thanks for the warning 🙂

  23. Daryl Devore says:

    Great snippet. Lots of battle sadness, but not graphic.
    Tweeted.

  24. Jenna Jaxon says:

    I think having Larissa have to shoot the horse before taking up the flail shows how well she’s adapting to the battle. Much better but harder to put the animal out of its misery than sit and cry. She’s a strong character and this shows that well. Well done!

  25. Awesome, action-packed snippet! I feel bad for the poor horse. 🙁 Also, Larisa! I always loved her. 😀

  26. chellecordero says:

    You handled that scene very well, both the horrors of the fight and the death of the poor horse. Well done.

  27. Well-done action sequence, and Larisa is a kickass character. I hate when animals die to, but it was clear that she shot it so that it wouldn’t suffer. Great snippet!

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