Kick ass moment #15

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Like last time, it's been a while since I posted a kick ass moment. This one was an instant grin. It's not a grandiose scene, but it's the kind of passage that I cherish. This time, it's about a certain saying a cardinal utters to his son about erring...

“Are you going to be sick again?”
“Has the river stopped flowing?” I asked.
Snorri snorted.
“Then yes.” I demonstrated, adding another streak of colour into the dark waters of the Seleen. “If God had intended men to go on water he would have given them . . .” I felt too ill for wit and hung limp over the side of the boat, scowling at the grey dawn coming up behind us. “. . . given them whatever it is you need for that kind of thing.”
“A messiah who walked on water to show you all it was exactly where God intended men to go?” Snorri shook that big chiselled head of his. “My people have older learning than the White Christ brought. Aegir owns the sea and he doesn’t intend that we go onto it. But we do even so.” He rumbled through a bar of song: “Undoreth, we. Battle-born. Raise hammer, raise axe, at our war-shout gods tremble.” He rowed on, humming his tuneless tunes.
My nose hurt like buggery, I felt cold, most of me ached, and when I did manage to sniff through my twice-broken snout I could tell that I still smelled only slightly less bad than that dung heap that saved my life.
“My—” I fell silent. My pronunciation sounded comical; my nose would have come out “by dose.” And although I had every right to complain, it might rile the Norseman, and it doesn’t pay to rile the kind of man who can jump on a bear to escape a fight pit. Especially if it was you who put him in that pit in the first place. As my father would say, “To err is human, to forgive is divine . . . but I’m only a cardinal and cardinals are human, so rather than forgiving you I’m going to err towards beating you with this stick.” Snorri didn’t look the forgiving kind either. I settled for another groan.
“What?” He looked up from his rowing. I remembered the remarkable number of bodies he left in his wake coming in and out of Maeres’s poppy farm to get me. All with his weapon hand badly injured.

Mark Lawrence - Prince of Fools


Anonymous said...

I laughed out so loud reading this, im pretty sure my co-workers think me mad at this point. Well done!

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