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Friday Fictioneers – Guard

21 June, 2013

Happy Friday everyone! And that’s means it’s FriFic time again. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and posting and generally inspiring. Visit her site here if you want to join in, or if you want to read others’ posts. Here is the prompt pic for this week:
copyright-managua-gunn

And here are the 100 words that fell from my fingers in response:

 

‘The sentry guards wear this traditional nineteenth century uniform’ the tour guide explained, ‘and are posted at the Palace gates twenty-four hours a day.’

A young voice at the front of the party sniggered. ‘His helmet’s stupid,’ the lad said, pointing, ‘what’s he gonna go, bend over and spike attackers?’

‘That gun’s so lame’ his friend added, ‘And it’s not as though the President’s in there most of the time, so what’s he even defending?’

The guard remained motionless; his eyes, his stance fixed forward. But he spoke clearly through his static lips. ‘Tradition,’ he declared, ‘and your national pride.’

 

 

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28 Comments
  1. I confess I am not much for tradition or nationalism. I hold to the words of the poet laureate of Hibbings, Minnesota who wrote: “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.”
    But this was well written, and I could feel the anger and irritation of the guard. Well done.

    • Hi Helena. good point, pride (in self or country) is a good thing up to a point but patriotism can be used as a trumpcard reason for too many ills.
      i wrote this by thinking of the guards at buckingham palace. They are trained soldiers but their role is largely ceremonial. I can imagine though their pride at having that iconic role

    • It takes a certain kind of commitment to join the military in the first case, to put up with ceremonial duties like this when you’ve been trained for ‘real’ soldiering must require that commitment squared. So I can well imagine the palace guards thinking this, even if not saying it aloud. The Reclining Gentleman has well caught a believable mentality in a few words.

      And Helena, I’m delighted to hear that Hibbings, Minnesota regards Samuel Johnson as their poet laureate! 🙂

      • Thanks for reading and commenting. hmmmm you’re right, it would have been more realistic for him to *think* his reaction rather than speak it.
        It probably makes a better story this way though

  2. Whether you abide by tradition or not, it’s all about respect.

  3. As a former soldier, I thought it was a very nice tribute.
    “So what’s a sweetheart like you, doing in a dump like this?” (Hibbings, Minn.)

  4. Love this so much, although I have to admit there was a little part of me that was hoping the guard would bend slightly over and ram that spike smack dab in the middle of that little brat’s forehead and did I just type those words? hee! Sorry it’s the anglophile in me that envies the kid’s ability to actually see something up close and personal that I’d love to see myself 🙂
    Well done writer-man, well done. (and I agree, Hibbings Minnesota sounds like an awesome character name :D)

    • Haha the guard was MUCH to professional to do that! he may have thought it though….

      • I’m so envious of your Country, damn revolutionary war! if it wasn’t for that i’d be living in England where i belong 😀

      • We may have lost that war but we’ll still let you in if you want to come and visit the motherland

      • whew! because that’s one of my must-do before i die, and we’ve got a tornado warning here in my little state of NJ right now, if one comes by i’m going to hop a ride and ask it to drop me off somewhere in England, the closest I’ve got is standing at the very tip of NJ and trying to convince myself that i can see England from the beach- every member of my family has been except me :(‘
        my dad even got to run from the buzz bombs- i’m not wanting to run from bombs but if it meant i could get to the motherland, i’d do it

      • sounds like you are way overdue a trip over here. ive been to Lands End and peered over the Atlantic. Im fairly sure you can see across with the right binoculars

  5. The discussion’s as interesting as the story. Joanne, I’m kind of on your side on this and TRG, I’m glad the soldier said those words. Tradition and nationalism, like most other -ism or things can be good or bad depending on a variety of factors. If there weren’t some of these, why even have a nation? What would hold it together? But carried to an extreme, therein lieth a problem.

    janet

  6. Nicely written. But the words will have fallen on stony ground. Use the spike, soldier!

  7. Dear TRG,

    Happy to have you officially among us this week. I’d say that boy has a lot to learn about national pride. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  8. I quite like the idea of him spitting his response through static lips. Nice one, well done.

  9. Very good RG. As always. xoxoxoxxoxoxo

  10. Having stood there outside the palace myself during my military service a portion of what you say is true… great write.

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