Juvenalia II: Action!

Proceeding with my sudden urge to bare all…er, literarily speaking…I present three action scenes from my high school novels, beginning, once again, with The Golden Sword. This is from page 144 of the manuscript, quite near the end:


Suddenly there was a cry of triumph from the doorway and Cotin spun to face Kyle and Costil. "You are about to die, Cotin! Are you prepared?"*

Cotin flung himself at the Golden Sword, but Kyle spotted it and grabbed it first. Cotin pulled up short and looked wildly around. Suddenly he leapt to the corner and picked up Kalon's sword from where it had fallen. "Come and get me!" he snarled, and Kyle closed in on him.

Kyle's first slashing blow was easily parried, and Cotin drove in at the same instant with his sword point. But Kyle's shining blade swung around and slashed Ctoin's sword sideways. Then he drove in with his sword, only to have it knocked sideways the same as he had stopped Cotin's.

Then they settled down to a steady series of thrusts and counter thrusts, slashes and parries. Cotin cut Kyle's left arm, and Kyle pinked Cotin in the right leg. Then he got him again in the left leg, and a moment later in the right arm.

Cotin began to lose ground. He was tiring, having just finished a battle with Kalon, and Kyle had the edge on him in skill. Finally he was backed against the balcony rail and forced to stay put or fall.

He stayed put. But he was losing blood from half-a-dozen cuts while Kyle had only two on his left arm.

Kyle sliced off Cotin's right ear, and a moment later laid open his shoulder. Cotin weakened rapidly. Finally, with a single flashing stroke, Kyle's golden blade sent Cotin's sword hurtling in a twinkling arc out over the coutyard. Then, in a last thrust, Kyle's Golden Sword tore through Cotin's heart and stilled for ever its beat.

*Believe it or not, I wrote this long before seeing the movie of The Princess Bride.


Meh. Pretty bland stuff, 14-year-old Eddie. Let’s see if 15-year-old Eddie can do any better, in Ship from the Unknown. Two-thirds of the way through, for reasons I can’t remember right now, my heroes are flying over the Amazon jungle in a helicopter which is under attack by a jet (which fortunately doesn’t have any missiles):


The first shot hit the tail of the 'copter, damaging the tail rotor. Instantly, we began to pitch and yaw, shaken up like fitness freaks in a vibrating machine. "Better buckle up, Paula!" I yelled. She nodded, and buckled herself in my seat. I tried to buckle myself in, too--but the straps had been cut by the machine gun bullets that had hit my seat from the man with the tommy gun.

It was the proverbial position of "Between the devil and the deep blue sea" that we were in now. Below us lay the steaming jungle. Above us was a lead-spitting airplane. If one didn't get us, the other would--and maybe both of them would.

The jet circled in again, machine guns blazing. Another cannon shot ripped a hole in the rear of the cabin. Machine gun bullets tore through the cockpit, miraculously missing us all.

The jungle loomed green and menacing below us. We were already down past the tops of the tallest trees. In a few minutes or seconds, we were sure to hit one.

More bullets tore in and out, this time demolishing the useless control board. Sparks sizzled and spat in the wreckage.

The end came suddenly, and from two directions at once.

In front of us loomed a huge tree, reaching up from the jungle floor as if to grab us. "Down!" I said. "We're going to hit it--" But a moment before we did, another cannon shot hit us.

This one found its mark in the whirling rotors above us, transforming them from smoothly whirling blades to viciously hurtling bits of ragged metal.

The blast hurled us sideways, causing us to miss the tree. But the 'copter was now just a chunk of metal and plastic, and we hurtled down into the lush foliage.

It's a good thing the tank was as near empty as it was. There was no fire. But the crash was violent enough.

We were at seventy-five feet, but a lot of the trees in the Amazon grow that high or higher.

We hit what seemed to be ten or more of them on the way down.

That's a rough approximation; I wasn't counting. In fact, all I really remember of the crash is a long time of crunching and jolting, just before something tore open my door and sent me hurtling out into empty space, that swallowed me up in a black abyss.


Apparently I really liked short paragraphs.

Sometimes I still do.

Not too bad, really, 15-year-old Eddie. I particularly liked “shaken up like fitness freaks in a vibrating machine.” But now let’s give 16-year-old Eddie his chance. From The Slavers of Thok (our hero is on a steel-clad steamship in the middle of a sea battle):


At the same moment our steel bow struck and shattered the hull of one ram-ship, the other's iron-shod ram hit our stern.

The shock of the combined collisions threw me on my back and I staggered dazedly back to my feet, expecting at any moment to feel the ship listing as it sank. But to my amazement, we seemed to have sustained no damage--and the ship that had rammed us had joined her sister-ship in a watery grave.

All over the ship men were looking back to the stern, wondering that we hadn't been sunk. But we had small time to wonder. From the sinking ram ship drifting near us, a swarm of men came.

My sword was in my hand in a falsh, and I found msyelf facing a big, husky sailor carrying a battle-axe. He swung at me and I leaped aside, but he recoered suddenly and swept the axe toward my legs. I leaped up, then had to fall to my knees a moment later as the axe swung over my head. The giant, with lightning-fast reflexes, raised his axe to deliver the final blow--and fell with an arrow in his neck. I dodged the axe as it clattered to the deck, thrust my sword into the back of a Thokian near me, and leapt into the fray once more.

This time the battle was more equal. I was faced with a young man, only six or seven years older than myself, and I immediately saw that he was little better than myself at swordplay.

We parried each other's blows successfully for a long time; then he began to press me. I fought back as skillfully as I could, but he drove me back until my back was at the mast. There I was forced to stop. Time and time again he came within a hairs-breadth of killing me, but each time I managed to turn his blade at the last possible moment.

Then, unexpectedly, he stumbled on the now blood-slick deck, and I was on him. Before he could recover his balance, my sword slid between his ribs, and he was dead.


Bloodthirsty young guy, wasn’t I?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final installment of Edward Willett’s Juvenalia: Romance!

I blush to contemplate what I will find.

Permanent link to this article: https://edwardwillett.com/2008/07/juvenalia-ii-action/

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