Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts and going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is ‘Rinky Dink’. This probably should come much much earlier in the story but I’m making this up day by day. Not easy to introduce ideas when it’s so linear. I based it on a poem thingymajig I did once that you can see here.
The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it. It’s certainly taking me longer than ten minutes but I will keep going with this for as long as I can and see where each days takes this. Either that or Ill stop if no one is reading it because its either too long or too ridiculous.
The roar of a dozen cannons split the eerie silence, thunderous volley after volley whistling overhead as smoke drifted across the battlefield. The long lines of French infantry shuffled nervously, muskets loaded and bayonets fixed waiting for their orders as the guns, with their superior range, pounded the Prussian lines.
“Oh Gentlemen this is a glorious day to be sure” cackled O’Rourke, his thick Irish accent causing the French around him to stare. “Relax Frenchy” he continued staring down at them from atop his most impressive chestnut mare, “we’re here at the request of Emperor Rinky Dink himself and a fair price he has paid indeed for us to help you out with your particularly pressing Prussian problem.”
A shell landed unnervingly close to where they waited, throwing up smoke and raining down sods on their position. O’Rourke cursed, pulling back on the reins of his horse and patting her neck to calm her.
“That’s no way of a man of the cloth to speak is it?” came a voice from behind him.
“Elizabeth” O‘Rourke exclaimed slipping from the horse and wrapping his arms around her. She squirmed uncomfortably and pushed him away. “So very good of you to join us” he said “I thought you weren’t going to make it. You’re looking as lovely as ever I see.”
Elizabeth winced at the smell of whiskey on his breath. The Prussians seemed to be finding their range and another shell impacted only a short distance away causing everyone around them to duck with the exception of her and O’Rourke.
“Oh, and that’ll be ‘disgraced man of the cloth’ to you, a badge of honour I wear with distinction. ” He said proudly.
McCann took a step back before speaking. As great a leader in battle as he might be O’Rourke was a man of very little moral repute and even less faith. She was a slight girl with short cropped dark hair and pale skin and somewhere in her late twenties. She wasn’t exactly sure herself given that she had grown up orphaned and in some of the worst of London’s work houses.
“The others are with me too” she said quite matter of fact. “Usual rates and expenses as agreed?” She posed it as a question though now that they were here they could hardly leave.
“Oh that’s grand indeed, yes yes and not only is it the usual rates but the promise of a pretty penny in gratitude when we are victorious.” O’Rourke smiled and climbed back onto his horse as another salvo of cannon fire made the earth tremble.
Whatever the amount, Elizabeth was certain that O’Rourke would have his cut.
“So exactly who have you got?” O’Rourke asked. “Did Taylor make it.”
“Yes He’s here” she replied with a note of distaste in her voice. “Managed to pry him away from the school with the promise of something a little exotic.”
O’Rourke let out a loud laugh. “He is a cad indeed.”
“Jones, Simpson, Sparrow – they’re all here.”
“And Mason? Please tell me Mason is here the Prussians aren’t going to know what’s hit them when they see him.”
“Mason’s here yes, took some persuading after that Egyptian business but he’s saddling up as we speak.”
“Oh how brilliant, this is going to be a real blast for certain.”
McCann shifted uneasily. “I brought Sparrow too. He needed the work.”
O’Rourke bit his lip, his eyes narrowing and nostrils flared. “Can we trust him?”
“Do you trust me?”
“Fair enough” he answered and turned his horse towards the Prussian lines.
“Oh and there’s one more, a friend of the family ans someone I know will fit in perfectly. Charles Crompton. Ex army and handy as hell in a jam.”
O’Rourke patted his horse as more cannonballs ploughed into the earth now just feet away. “Let’s do this then shall we my dear, it’s time for the Galloping Gadzooks to ride once more.”
“And what’s the plan then?” she asked.
“Plan?” O’Rourke replied. “Oh I have no plan other than to wade into those blue coated ranks and cause the most delicious mayhem and carnage.” He grinned and took a slug from a small silver hip flask.
Elizabeth sighed. “So same as usual then.”
I scratched his head and leaned forward in my chair. “So what happened next?” I asked.
Crompton smiled and tapped the side of his nose with his forefinger. “Aah well that is for another day, but let us just say that that Prussian Mob had a little more spirit than we had anticipated and the lack of a plan was to be our undoing.”
“So you all…”
“Indeed” he grinned. “But it was only the beginning as it turned out and as you have seen yourself. The Galloping Gadzooks continue to ride and luckily for you my boy they will be helping you to get Margaret back.”