Prompt 85-No

Write about a time you said no.

“Zealots have ingratiated themselves among the king’s council and inner circle,” Kita explained. She leaned over Leo’s table and stared fiercely at the local map they had been given.

“What do they want?” Leo scowled at the map. He was far better at navigating at sea than planning a coup on land.

“The throne,” Lucas supplied.

Kita nodded. “They believe the royal family has led them astray in recent years, progressed too much. They wish a return to the old ways. They believe last year’s famine to be punishment from the gods and believe the only way to right things is through ritual sacrifice.”

“How do we know they haven’t already killed her?” Leo growled.

“They don’t have everything they need yet,” Kita answered confidently. “Removing the royal family through ritual is no easy feat. Time is the one thing we have on our side.”

“I don’t like this,” Lucas groaned. “Remind me why we got tangled up in this mess?”

Leo opened his mouth to answer but was silenced by Kita with a flash of her hand. Her eyes were fixed on the ceiling of his cabin. He listened hard, trying to pick up whatever had caught her attention. She donned her mask and disappeared through the door before he registered the metallic clank of grappling hooks overhead.

“Rouse the crew,” he ordered as he ducked out of his cabin.

Lucas obeyed with a harried “Aye!” and disappeared below decks.

The scene on the top deck was chaos. Several masked and hooded soldiers lay still on the deck, but dozens more poured over the rail, fighting off a blur of an attacker.

He didn’t know why they had boarded his ship, but he was not about to suffer it lightly. Lucas joined him moments later with several of the crew and they all dove into the fray to help Kita stave off their trespassers.

Leo drew his sword and cut down the nearest soldier. He did not bear the insignia of the monarchy on his breastplate. It was a coat of arms Leo did not recognize. If these were the zealots Kita had just been warning about, he couldn’t fathom what they wanted on his ship.

The battle raged on around him. His crew beat back their unwelcome guests. Some went over the railing into the harbor. Others fell on the deck, swords or axes or shuriken spilling their blood where they stood. Time stretched out as the minutes ticked by. They were making a good push. It would be over soon.

“Finish them,” a soldier bellowed suddenly from the bow. “We have what we came for.” Leo turned towards the source of the voice and found it with Kita limp in his arms. He was already retreating down the gangplank to the dock.

“No!” Leo shouted. Kita. What use did the Vikings have for a ninja? He pushed the rabble back, but by the time he reached the railing, her captor had disappeared, and her with him.

Notes: Have some angst to bookend your day. Don’t worry, Kita will be fine. I think she got captured on purpose. I wouldn’t put it past her, anyway. She and Leo really need to get on the same page. I need to sleep more so these aren’t all so terrible.

This prompt is great because there are so many ways you could go with it. Are you scolding a child/pet? Are you answering a simple yes/no question? Are you venting frustration that something didn’t go the way you wanted or expected? Is it a counter argument or a correction? Is it a soft denial of a painful truth? Is it tentative or decisive, calm or panicked? “No” is such a versatile little word. Think of all the different ways you use it in your daily life! Write them down!

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