By now the news is all over the world. The Packers are the Champs! Packers
How cool is that! Wish I still had my NFL Sunday Ticket and had seen all their games this year. I did see all the ones that were on free TV. I sat through the playoffs figuratively gnawing at my fingernails fearing that we would end as we had several times in the last few years, by losing with a key mistake when trying to force a play.
I feared that we would lose to the Falcons, to the Eagles, to the Bears during the Playoffs. We were sixth, a wildcard, had finished 10-6 just a little above a winning season. The Bears were the favorite in our little division.
We won. I sat there hoping that Big Ben would fall and play poorly. Every time Rodgers threw the ball and the receivers let it slip through their fingers I lost faith that we could hang on. Hines Ward was the deadly secret weapon that would defeat us.
But then, the Steelers, hated more than the Bears, pushed to hard. Our defense without Woodson still dominated. They stopped the Steelers and we won.
How sweet is that.
Why a Packers Fan? The announcers kept saying it last night, the smallest city with a franchise. The city that owns their franchise, no billionaires here. The team that thinks their fans are worthy of the Lambeau Leap. The Team that plays on the Frozen tundra, no dome, that’s for sisssies. That is why I’m a packers fan.
But that doesn’t mean I stopped writing this last weekend.
Cold is still around, in my throat and it hurts.
Had to drive out to babysit for my niece and nephew so my brother could take an anniversary vacation. Loaded the writing onto a flash drive, setup my brothers computer and typed away.
The month of January, 5 weeks of writing, ends with 202,000 words.
Hoveria, the 2nd KoTohLan started in December got finished,
Lord Falmont’s Muddle started and finished.
The Prize is not as Great as You Think, our Ruritanian Romance is now at 44,000K, over 100 pages and growing.
Here is the first part of Chapter 1
1) An Audience with Father, the Prince
“We Perry’s have a responsibility to so many, and for which we get this as our reward. Do you boys not see how it all connects. We have certain duties and I know that neither of you like a good many of them very much but they are duties. Now boys, you and a few others have to do these for we have the original blood in our veins of the Conqueror. To think the same year that William the Bastard took over that little island to the west, we here had our own conquest and so many do not give us credit. 836 years ago this next Saturday and the damn Archbishop is on me because you both said you had enough and won’t appear in the procession.”
The three were in the very small throne room. The room that their father thought would intimidate them in a comfortable way. He sat in a gilt rimmed upholstered chair. Recently reupholstered for each year the Grand Prince decided he wished it down and the foam in the seat needed it for the Grand Prince was quite corpulent. The room had three large tall windows that looked over the inner courtyard of the Celebont Palace. The largest Palace in the capital of Almondy, and the home to the Perry family. Here giant red draperies from the top of the windows, almost to the height of the twelve foot ceiling hung and framed the windows. The room was devoid of any other furniture but tall metal sconces for fat candles that used to give the room light, but gas lamps had been installed in all the rooms of the palace. The heavy gold cast floor sconces had yet to be removed since no one could decide whether to sell them, or melt them down.
The throne was atop three steps, and a little stool was placed in front of it should the Grand Prince choose to rest his feet there. His many illnesses caused him to use more often then not. Across from the windows was a fireplace, one in each room, though the palace also had radiators throughout now also. Here though three large logs had been laid and were burning brightly.
Their father the Grand Prince was not happy. The First FitzRoy Perry by name, Michael the Bloody Handed, had come to Almondy in the year 1066 with his vassals and retainers and a goodly part of the men who knew that going west with William was death. No one could beat Harold, that was the wisdom of the day and why would anyone want to. William had no claim. All fabrication and a toad’s turd if you asked Athalan. He had a short name, while his elder brother, heir to the throne and born of a noble lady had a good long name, Reginald Baxter Simeon Fitzroy Perry. Athalan Perry, no extra cognomens since he was a bastard child, though when the queen died, the king had the courtesy to recognize him and declare his blood Fitzroy.
Athalan was not a prince though and was only treated marginally respectfully by Reggie. Reggie and lately by the Grand Prince. It had been Reggie’s idea to protest the yearly celebrations where it was the princes with Fitzroy blood who lifted the palanquin on their shoulders and carried up the hill, the long hill, the steep long hill from the Assembly Hall to the Castle.
Some said the road was steeper than the road in Scotland that led to Edinburgh castle. Reggie had gone in all ceremony and seen then came back and assured all it was true. They had a longer steeper road. But then the Scots did not think then that anyone would ever threaten their castle any longer. Here, all Almondians could tell you how they were the only country in Europe that when Napoleon came knocking almost a hundred years ago, he saw the Grand Prince and heard those famous words, “Piss off you little Runt!”
Seventeen days the foolish French did their best to assault that hill. Their cannon balls could not reach the walls that were fifty feet thick. Their men became exhausted on the climb up to the castle, just as Athalan knew he would too for this would be his seventh year if Reginald was convinced to attend the ceremony. Volleys of the Almondy’s own cannon and shots from their rifles destroyed tens of thousand of the French. Napoleon sat down to sign a treaty ceding to the Principality what had been their rights since Michael the Bloodly Handed had come and seized the throne and lands by treachery.
Bordered north of Switzerland and to the east of France and now Belgium, the Germanies to the west, and finally the Netherlands to the North, they were landlocked, but two great rivers flowed to the sea and the French and Walloons, no one called them Flemish since all thought it funny to call them Walloons, would never try and stop their trade. An Almondian roused to anger, was not a pretty sight.
Such was the legend at least. “Father, you have not marched in the Saint Michael day parade for nearly forty years. It is a tradition that has long since fallen into disdain,” Reggie said except that wasn’t true. It was in disdain in Reggie’s circle of nobles. The common people, Athalan well knew, loved the festival, especially the part where those of Fitzroy blood were pelted by Almonds and Tomatoes. Mostly very overripe tomatoes.
Fortunately only children under the ages of 15 were allowed to throw them just as tomatoes had been thrown at the First Michael who had used subterfuge to come and kill his wife’s distant cousin who held the castle, much smaller than. No Almonds either, that had been brought in during the 1700s for a country called Almondy needed to have Almonds the Grand Prince thought then.