Contumacious – definition: stubbornly defiant or rebellious; disobedient
I share with you an excerpt from my novel, Life in Slake Patch. Evan is my POV character and he has been charged with bringing the rebellious Tribe to justice. This scene has Evan and the Tribe leader, Aiden meeting for the first time.
As the riders moved toward u,s it was plain that all were young men. Just before they reached our barricade a rallying cry rung out
“Brothers fight for supremacy.”
Gripping my dagger even tighter in readiness, I shouted orders to my men.
“Stand firm behind the wagons, let them come to us.”
The clash of metal against metal and wood against wood filled the valley air. Cries of pain rung out as wounds were inflicted and cries abruptly silenced. A shadow blocked the sunlight above me; I looked over to see a horse’s belly level with my head. Swiftly I turned to look up and face the rider. He was no older than me and swinging a baton toward Peter’s head. I let out a cry and dug my dagger deep into the rider’s thigh and pulled with all my might. The rider’s scream of pain seared through the air as he fell from his mount. I held him fast with a foot against his chest and my dagger’s tip pushed into his neck.
It was then I noticed the deafening silence around me. Looking up, all faces were turned toward me as if everyone had become frozen. One by one the Tribe riders weapons began to drop to the ground, my men took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed their opponents. As the Tribe members were secured my victim groaned.
“Don’t fail me brothers’ fight.”
But he could see all heads hanging down in defeat turning away from his stare.
In truth I was shocked. It had not occurred to me or any one of us before, that there might have been a leader to the Tribe. We had thought it was a few disgruntled young men wandering the plains, surviving by stealing. This man must have recruited his followers. I looked down at my captive.
“What’s your name?”
“I am, Aiden, leader of the Tribe and proud of it, you down trodden oaf.”
At the insult I could feel my muscles tense and pressed the dagger tip deeper into his neck. He cried out again and I released the pressure.
“Secure this man with the others. Medic Jones, please tend to the more seriously injured first.”
I made my way to the south side of the camp searching the valley for any sign of horsemen. The tell tale dust plumes far below would show me their progress. We would have to guard these men well and trust there were no more members hidden in the small copses of trees along the range of hills. My group had fought well and from Medic’s report none were too seriously hurt. His only real concern was the rider named Aiden, whose deeply sliced thigh required treatment he was not qualified enough or sufficiently equipped to give.
“His blood loss has been significant and without timely treatment he may die, Merchant Evan. I do not have sufficient bindings to close the wound tightly enough.”
“Follow me, Jones; I have something you can use.”
Evan’s opinion of Aiden’s beliefs changes gradually from this point in the novel. Although Evan stands firm with the matriarchal law there is a shift in how he views the separated compounds.
Who is you favorite rebel?
There is of course James Dean forever cast as a troubled teen and Paul Newman in Hud and Cool Hand Luke. Rebels have a fascination for movie watchers. Is it the bad guy made good? Or just the excitement of their struggle?