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**Spare hour, thought I'd add my two cents! By no means a writer, but had a fun daydream so thought I'd get it typed.**


Ribs cracked and lungs heaved heavy, laboured breaths as they compressed from the force of the blow. Batton’s vision blurred as his dilated pupils struggled to realign the competing midday suns his swirling mind had concocted. Knees buckled, legs fell and the worn dirt granted its dry embrace. A wretching cough threatened to spill his tasteless lunch gruel over the painted lines of the grass, with only a hastily pressed fist keeping his lips shut.


“Well…he saved it at least?” Tapper said, head cocked to one side as he stood underneath the shade cast from his team mate.


“I guess. Doesn’t look like the lad’ll be blocking any more today though, shall I get the next one?” Stave asked.


“He’s the last.” The captain sighed.


“She’s doing this deliberately you know, she doesn’t see the point in one.”


Batton’s eyes watered as his breathing struggled to settle, hot dust caking the side of his parched lips as he rose unsteadily back to his feet. Groggily he stepped back to his mark once more and beckoned over to the player opposite him. This time it hit him in the gut, and his tempestuous meal cascaded freely as he doubled over from the shot.


“She’s going to kill the boy at this rate…” the hulking Stave sighed indifferently. “Then you’ll have to explain to the Valentian winemakers why you can’t fulfil your end of the pact.”


Tapper stroked his beard absent-mindedly as he watched the boy again return to his mark and signal the striker to fire once more. The weighted leather ball fizzed across the courtyard and smashed into Barrow’s shoulder as he recoiled in agony, clutching his dulled limb loosely. The Valentians’ economic support was a critical piece in his defence against Esters’ political machinations, and they expected to have one of their own representing the Brewers, but their convoluted passing style did not sit well with the Brewers brawling game. The boy was different though…he had something a little more about him.


Tapper’s musings were snapped back into reality as a howl ripped out of Batton’s crumpled form, his arm contorted in a grotesque parody of knotted treebranch as yet another virulent shot hit its mark.

“Friday! That’s enough!” The captain bellowed.


The blond striker smirked defiantly from across the pitch as she stared down at the broken rookie while physicians rushed to his aid with clanking tools and hip flasks of maldriven whisky. Her saunter tempered slightly as Tapper closed in on his wayward forward.


“I suppose you think you’ve proven a point?” He asked.


“We don’t need one, why waste time protecting the goal when we could get another forward? You think that boy the equal of the Ratcatcher or Butchers’ hulk? Look at him, pitiful like the rest. You’d do better to put the damned cat in goal instead.” Friday hissed as she retrod a familiar argument.


“He saved all of your shots though…” Tapper stated coldly.


“If I was aiming for the goal that might be the case.” Friday mocked arrogantly.


“…but you were, and the boy stopped them…and I’d wager he’d do it again tomorrow.” Tapper challenged.


Batton’s pain subsided as he watched Friday storm away from the captain in the centre circle, his view obscured as the towering Stave pushed a pint to his mouth.


“Ere you go lad…best get that down you to dull the pain. You did good today…now catch your breath. You’re down in the pit with Pint Pot this afternoon.”


The rookie choked on his beer as the physicians dragged him away to prepare…

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A brave choice to view the poor lad from Tapper's perspective, but I think you pulled it off. Maybe take a quick look over their speaking patterns compared to the books, occasionally a word or two seems just a shade off - generally dialect (which you got nicely on Stave). But it is just a slight thing, you're pretty close :)

Definitely a fun piece!

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