FFfAW: Standpoint

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Scott of Scott’s Place. Thank you, Scott  The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the picture prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © David William Laughlin
Photo Prompt: © David William Laughlin

Standpoint

“It’s just not right.” Steall idly scratched Noble’s neck as the horse head-butted his chest. He barely noticed the rain drenching him – troubled thoughts consumed his attention.

His only task was to look after the troop’s mounts. Overhearing the knights as they talked around their campfires and in the taprooms of roadside inns was an unpleasant extra. The casual cruelty they showed him was nothing compared to the stories they laughed over, making his stomach churn in horrified disgust.

He could listen no longer.

Those were his people they found pleasure in abusing; people with lives and families of their own. How dared they!

A chill blade pressing against his neck startled him alert. He froze as a voice whispered, “Don’t move, don’t shout and you won’t get hurt.”

Stealthy figures moved through the rain, weapons in hands as they surrounded the inn. Rebels, he realised – the very people the troop hunted.

“I’ll raise no alarm.” Steall relaxed as the knife lifted away. “I wish you every success.”

Their abuse would end tonight.

Word Count: 175


As you may know, I generally like to give my characters names with meanings that fit them. For a ‘real world’ story I’ll usually look through various baby name sites but when it’s a fantasy story I’ll often use Old English words. For today’s character I wanted to give him a name connected in some way to horses. When browsing the results in the Old English Translator I actually managed to find a word that worked on several levels, adding extra layers of meaning that perfectly fitted with the story I wanted to tell.  I thought I’d share these meanings with you:

steall Strong Masculine Noun
1. a standing position 2. the way matters stand position of affairs state condition standing se steall cirican the state of the church 3. position place standing 4. place stead brihtweald gehalgode tobian on his steall brightwald hallowed tobias in his stead 5. a place for cattle a stall stall (for cattle) stable 6. a place for catching fish fishing ground

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56 thoughts on “FFfAW: Standpoint

  1. Steall, I was wondering cause I havent heard the name before, thanks for the meaning at the end. It must-have been horrible for Steall, to hear day after day abuse towards his people. I’m sure at the end, he felt, they had it coming to them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he’s probably had to bite his tongue on many occasions! I’m glad you liked the name and it’s meaning – I was quite chuffed to find something that worked on so many levels. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Ameena.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so talented. I love seeing your name pop up in my reader because I know I’ll be entertained for a minute or two at least! I love these short pieces. I try to stay to 100 words on my posts just because of the limitations. And yes, I know there are no posts on my blog. I just set it up as I was having a problem with my previous one. I guess I’d better get to work. But I’ll be back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Emilio. 🙂 I’m very flattered by your comment. I’m really glad you enjoy my stories. I like to use whatever word limit is given me – I like the exercise of writing to lots of different lengths. You can tell a much different story in 175 words than you can in 100!

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    1. I intended to write a western – the versions of this I scribbled in my notepad involved cowboys! The medievalesque setting somehow came about once I sat down at my computer. 🙂 His name works on quite a few levels! Thanks for visiting.

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  3. A great example of the importance of treating people who work for you well, especially if they’re guarding your horses! I like the idea of choosing names that mean something, too, and Steall is a good one — sounds strong. Funny, with the extra L, I didn’t even think of “steal” until just now.

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    1. Too often people in power think their underlings are worth less than them and so are deserving of abuse. These knights will soon learn the error of their ways! It’s rare that my characters aren’t named meaningfully, although their are a few who’ve been in my head for several years who are exceptions to this. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

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  4. I liked your take on the picture putting it it in a more medieval time with Knights. It is horrible that they are treating the common person without dignity and basically just doing bad things to them. Luckily, they rose up. Good ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Huma. Unfortunately the mistreatment of people lower on the social ladder has been a recurrent theme throughout history. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I too love the name Steall for this character. I think it is great that those abused by these knights are rising up against them. Loved how it ended, “Their abuse would end tonight.” Great ending! Wonderful story.

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    1. Thank you, P.J. 🙂 How much success the rebels will have in the long term is debatable – most such instances in history end with the more powerful (and wealthy) bringing their full resources against the rebels. Hopefully the rebels have a few influential people on their side as well! I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

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  6. Glad to learn a new name and its meaning. It’s a shame to be thought of so poorly by the ones that depend on you, and your doing your job like you should. As in this case, their indulgence in abuse may come to an abrupt end! Wonderful story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jessie. I can sometimes spend ages looking through old words trying to find something that works as a name. 🙂 Unfortunately, some people come to enjoy and abuse being in a position of power over others. Hopefully the rebels will put an end to it in this case. I’m glad you enjoyed the read.

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    1. Thank you, Michael. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂 I was really pleased by just how well the name fitted both the character and story.

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  7. I can imagine his grim satisfaction as the rebels take out those cruel people. I wonder if he’ll join them once they’re done? Great story as always 🙂

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    1. He’s very lucky – although I’d like to think the rebel holding the knife is a man of principles… He’d only kill if he had no other choice. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. While reading, I wondered where you got his name from, and the meaning. It is enjoyable to use names that tie into the character’s personality or aim. Great take on the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very cool story. You’ve got everything a good story needs in here. I hoped the knights inside would find retribution, and you delivered that. I enjoyed this one very much!

    Liked by 1 person

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