Friday, November 23, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: [Pargons Of Virtue: book #1] Day #1

Here is day #1's writing. I think that you will get a good chuckle, when you see me changing the story line in mid-paragrah. The rest of my post shows you all.

John stepped off the train, and headed straight for the coffee shop, across from the train station to meet Carl. As he walked there, he looked at almost all the young girls, the big buildings, and the new shops. Central Station never seemed to stop growing. He rarely had a chance to go to the big city. The advances in technology always fascinated him. He looked inside the window, opened the door, just enough to peek inside, and scanned the room for Carl, his schoolmate from elementary school all the way up until graduation. “Ah, there he is,” John murmured to himself. to went in to see a friend, but he did not know what would happen. He expected to go for coffee or a beer. The friend did not show up. The friend did show up.

Carl walked through the crowd, with a bit of a bounce in his step.

When John spotted him saw Carl wave, John noticed that Carl no longer had the cast on his leg arm.  The friend had some great ideas. They chatted. John expressed his admiration for a particular paladin, who always seemed to show up at the right time, doing things that were heroic. The Paladin, Captain Edward, saved many people from thieves, villains and natural disasters. He had the scars to prove it.

John often imagined what the life would be like, if he just spent time following Captain Edward. Perhaps Captain Edward could mentor him. John thought, “Perhaps Captain Edward would need an assistant.” John needed a job, and thought that that would be a great idea. He became a bit embarrassed and afraid. He wondered if Captain Edward might laugh. He wondered, “What could I do for him? Am I good enough?”

John realized, that even if Captain Edward were willing to hire him, he would still need to get to Captain Edward. Captain Edward needed was often surrounded by women.


After the crusades, a special group of elite warriors had been appointed to defend Jerusalem and to maintain its peace. They had gained much respect from the people, because of how impartial they were in bringing about judgement. Both Christian and Muslim, and local citizen and traveller sojourner were treated the same. This was especially seen when some Christians arrived celebrated Christmas. They had several pints each, and then when made a nuisance of themselves. Their mildest infractions included invading the private space of Muslims, who happened to walk by. Their worst infractions included starting a tax on all Muslims. The Paladins, who happened to be patrolling, saw this, and arrested them, put them in stocks in the city's main square, and they did it to them, while they still wore their Christian uniforms. Muslims saw this, and the news spread like wildfire. Muslims began reporting civil disturbances, and the reputation continued until this day.

Unfortunately, their only weakness was funding. They needed to eat, also, and since they did not have enough funding to maintain the full strength of the ranks, they were too weak to defend the next onslaught of Muslim warriors. At the end of the battle, they left Jerusalem, and travelled back to England Europe. However, they were a strong people, and they brought back with them their standards of excellence. Their reputations preceded them, and they were appointed the task of keeping the peace of Rome. Paladins,  There, they continued on up until the present day, in the same manner, with the same virtues and goals. In addition, they and also fought corruption.

John and Carl were both on the high school basketball team. They were just over a foot taller than the average person.

John said, “The plaza sure is alive today,” as he looked about at the dense pedestrian traffic.

Carl said, “Yeah, is there a festival going on?”

“I don't know. I couldn't imagine that there would be. What is the special occasion?”

Suddenly, a scream broke through the chatter of the crowd. John and Carl turned their heads to the right. “My purse!”, a woman said cried out.

“Stand clear! Stand clear!” a man said. John and Carl turned their heads to the left. A couple of paladins pushed through the pedestrians.

“Stop him,” she said.

The paladins finally pushed through towards the damsel in distress.

The lead paladin said, “What did he look like?”

“He was tall and dark skinned, and had a baseball cap on.”

“Where did he go?”

She pointed down the street, and .

The lead paladin said, “Stay here,” and they continued on in the same direction.

# # #

Tom and his partner, Dick, picked up the pace, as they chased. He scanned the crowd for anybody running, and anybody who had a baseball cap on. Baseball caps were not popular in Rome, so he figured that he would be able to spot the thief easily. He said to Dick, “He might have taken his cap off. You scan for a dark skinned person. I'll scan for the cap.” To get a better look, he stood on his tippy toes, but he still could not see over the people's heads.

Dick said, “Come on. Let's check that alley.”

Tom felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned.

“Hey. My name is John. I see that you are chasing after a thief. Is it okay if my buddy, Carl, and I help? We could scan the crowd for you?”

“Did you see what happened?”


“Okay, but I'll need you to stand by for questions. He was a dark skinned man.”

At the alley, everybody looked by saw nothing. It was a dead end. John looked up, but figured that the thief would not have made it up any of the fire escapes.

They went across the street to another alley. They saw the thief stuffing the purse into a bag, and then stash it behind a dumpster climbing into a man hole. Tom unsheathed his gun, and said, “Stop! You are under arrest! We are the Holy Regiment of Rome.”

The thief quickly dashed deeper into the alley, and Tom pulled his trigger.

A tranquilizer dart pierced the thief's neck. He slowed down but tried to keep running. He tried to reach to the back of the neck to pull out the dart, but before he could his hand slowly relaxed and it began falling down to his side. He ran in a groggy manner, stumbling along. He fell down. He

John entered the hospital. The scent of cleanser and something foul wafted over him. The room seemed dimly lit compared to the sunny outdoors.

He approached a hospital worker in scrubs, and said, “Hi. Could you tell me where the intensive care unit is? I'm a volunteer.”

“Fourth floor. As soon as you step out of the elevator, there should be a sign directing you to go left, and the main nurses station should be a short walk down the hall.”

“Thanks!” He did as he was told. The hallways were quiet, and only a few people meandered about. At the desk, the nurse directed him to room 404. He walked in. There were four beds. He saw a man in bed, with a wheel chair beside it. He checked the other beds, which were recently made or had nobody sleep in them the night before.

He turned back to the nurses station, but when he stepped into the hallway, he saw a lounge at the far end of the hallway. He decided to check it out.

He saw a few people watching TV, but none of them seemed familiar from behind. He walked around to look at their faces. A man in a wheel chair said, “Hey, John! I'm glad that you could make it.”

John did a double take. “Hey,” he said softly and hesitantly.

“Come on. Let's go outside. Let's leave these guys to the football game.” Tom wheeled down the hallway. “It's just a game, but hey won't want to be disturbed.”

“Hey, uh, why are you in a wheel chair?”

Tom smiled in a friendly way, and said, “Because I can't walk.”

John said, “Yeah, but why don't you lay hands on yourself, to heal yourself?”

Tom said, “That's not how it works. Laying on of hands basically restores one's vitality, and one's energy, but it doesn't actually heal one's injuries.” He extended a hand, and said, “Here. Pull me up.” When John grabbed it, Tom fluffed the cushion behind him. “Thanks. My back is so sore.”

John looked at Tom's face, which revealed a bit of relief, and a bit of pain as he slipped back into his uncomfortable position.

John confirmed the address of the senior's home in front of him, and then closed the app, then tucked away his phone, and then went inside. He breathed a sigh of relief at being fifteen minutes early, and then followed the signs to office #139. The door was completely open. He leaned over to peek inside. It was a small single occupant office. His motions caught the attention of the lady at the desk.

She had a baby face, and she smiled cheerfully right away. “Hi!” she said in a sing song way. “You must be John! Come in, come in,” she said, as she gestured to the seat on the other side of the desk.

He looked past her, at the name plate on her desk.

“I'm Sally. Yep, you're in the right place.”

As he sat down, he felt himself smiling in response to her warmth and cheerfulness. John liked her blond hair tied up in a nice pony tail. He figured that she was in her thirties.

She said, “Thank you, so much for coming.”

He chuckled, and quietly said, “You're welcome. Thank you, also, for the opportunity.”

“Did you find the place okay?”

“Oh, yeah.”

She moved some papers from the side of the desk to John. “Okay, I have some papers for you to fill in.” She placed a pen on them.

When he filled in the papers, she took them and signed on the witness line, and then placed them in a folder. As she arose from her seat, she said, “So, the first thing volunteers need to learn, is safety. To do that, we go on a tour.” She smiled. She led the way to a map on a wall, near the stair well. “Most of your time will be spent in his room. This map is slightly different than the map for his floor, but he would be right here. If you hear a fire alarm, then you need to get him out through that exit.” She looked at him until he nodded. “That being said, you do have the freedom use the common rooms with him. Also, you might need to use a washroom, so take a brief moment to know where the exits are on this floor, and the fourth floor, when we get there.”

The first floor, was “L” shaped, and there were exits where he expected them to be. He nodded.

“Okay.” She lead him in the direction from which he came to the next door in the hallway. “First thing to remember about the people living here, is that we treat them as residents.” She said in a subdued sing song way, “We don't just barge in and start talking to them.” She returned to her normal tone, when she said, “We knock. This is their place. Sometimes they are in such a weakened state on a day by day basis, that they can't answer very loudly. So, then we just wait a moment, and then go in. You probably won't need to worry about it, since you'll mostly be with a guy who can speak loud enough, but we let every volunteer know that. Who knows? Maybe you and he will visit with other residents.”

She pointed to a strange diamond plastic piece hanging on a screw. It was near the top hinge. “The next thing that we want to point out is the room inspection tab. When there is a fire alarm, we go from room to room to make sure that everybody is out. When each room is cleared, we close the door, and flip that tab up.” She demonstrated, by rotating the diamond plastic on the screw, and rested it on the door post. “This way, if somebody, like the resident, were to go inside in the confusion, then we would know that the room is no longer cleared.” She paused to see if he understood, and noticed a look on his face. “When the door opens, then the tab will fall down again.”

He nodded, with a feeling of enlightenment, at the ingenuity.

She said, “Yeah, it really saves us time. We don't have to look through every room to make a final check. For you, though, the important thing is to not open any doors, when you see that diamond leaning against the door post. If you are by yourself, and the alarm goes off, and if you decide to check on your guy, then check the diamond first.”

He had never thought about that specific application, and nodded.

“Let's go to the rec room next.” When they started walking, she said, “Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the fire alarm. We tend to do drills in the morning, and you won't be here then. Just be prepared, though.”

As they walked, he got another strong whiff of something that he could not identify. It was coming from one of the resident's rooms.

They passed the main entrance, which slid open, when somebody came in. The weather blew in a blast of cold air. He felt a tinge of guilt, as he relished the fresh scented air from outside. It was a moment of relief.

The rec room was a green carpeted area. The shag carpet was worn down, and there were a few bare spots. Visitors sat with many residents and chatted. Some of the visitors were young parents, and they tried to encourage their young children to speak. Some residents seemed cheerful and alert, but John felt that the eyes of the others seemed vacant.

“Sometimes, we have an entertainer. Sometimes we just pop in a CD. So, you and your guy can come down here. You don't have to stay up there.”


They finished off the tour ten minutes later.

“Do you have any questions?”

“No. I'm good.”

“All-righty then,” she said, as she turned to a stair case. She led the way to the fourth floor, and said, “You're probably eager to be introduced to your senior. His name is Tom. He was a paladin. He retired a decade ago.”

As she continued sharing background information, his ears perked up a little. He could not believe that he was paired up with a paladin. When he first entered the care home, he felt a bit of regret. He wondered if he should have taken that art volunteer job. He still wished that he did, but the thought of meeting an actual paladin seemed like a dream come true.

At room #404, she knocked.

A man said, “Hello.”

She turned the handle, and gingerly pushed the door open. They walked into the room.

Beside the bed, sat a wrinkly old man, with sparse grey hair. His two hands trembled and held a blanket over his lap.

John wondered if the old man were angry or perhaps afraid. “Hello, sir.”

Sally said, “Tom, I would like to introduce you to your volunteer buddy.”

Tom looked in John's direction, but not directly at him.

John instinctively leaned forward an imperceptible amount to see what Tom would say. An awkward silence passed. John wondered if Tom was trembling or nodding.

She looked at Tom with a smile and then nodded in anticipation.

John widened his eyes in surprise. Tom didn't respond, so John waved.

The nurse said, “Actually, I forgot to mention that John can't see very well.”

An awkward silence passed, and John realized that Tom must be blind, so he said, “Um, hi,” and then reached forward with extended his hand. When he realized what he just did, he then immediately silently shook his fist.

The nurse chuckled.

Tom said, “He's not making fun of blind people, is he?” and chuckled. When she laughed a little louder, he said, “Not off to a good start, are we?” He winked.

Even though John felt that Tom seemed genuine and kind, John felt that Tom's laughter seemed forced due to breathing problems.

John laughed nervously, and said, “Nope.”

She gestured to a small bookcase, and said, “The previous volunteer read to him, but you can talk or do whatever. Are you both okay if I leave you be?”

Tom said, “So soon? You just got here.”

She laughed.

When she glanced at John, he said, “I think that I'll be okay.”

“Okay, then. If you have any questions, you could ask staff, or the nurses at the station. You could also borrow a phone and dial my extension.”

“Okay. Cool.”

As Sally left, Tom extended a hand, and said, “Okay, now let's try that again. My name is Tom.”

“Hi. I'm John.”

“Oh, come on. I'm a senior, not a bubble. You can squeeze harder than this!”

John, responded in a like manner.

“That's better. You know, you're going to have to start talking some time. You're the volunteer. Not me!”

John chuckled again. “So, you're really a paladin?”

“'Was,' you mean? It's been a while, since I put on some armour, and carried a sword, but yeah.”

“Yeah, 'was.' What's it like? Do you still have your sword? What kinds of stuff did you do?”

“Ah, so that's the ticket. We have to talk about paladins, or I don't get a peep out of you, right?”

“Huh? No...”

“Oh, now, now. Don't lie to me. You like paladins. That's okay. I do still have my sword and armour, but let's start at the beginning. What do you know and believe about paladins?”

“I don't know. Um, you're good. You fight're the good guys. You don't use swords anymore...but you still have them. What was it like fighting demons? Have you fought any demons? Actually, have you you believe in them?”

“Nope. I don't believe in them. I believe that they exist. I know that they do. The people that we believe in are the people that we believe will succeed. They are the people that we cheer for.”

“Oh.” John waited for Tom to continue. He watched Tom look aimlessly to the floor. “So, can you really lay hands? To heal?”

“Not anymore.”


“I'm getting old. I'm out of practise.”


“...Because people tend to get old after a number of years, and because there aren't many life threatening situations during retirement.”

“But if you...but why don't you just lay hands on your eyes every day? If you had done that, and kept up with it, then you wouldn't have gotten like that.”

Tom chuckled, and smiled. “Ye-e-eah. It's not like that.”

“What do you mean?”

“The laying of hands for paladins and clerics are like what the paramedics do. You know who the paramedics are, right?”


“The paramedics don't prevent you from getting old. They don't prevent you from getting cataracts.” He rubbed his head emphatically, and said, “They don't prevent you from getting bald. They just prevent you from dying due to injuries.”


“That's the way it is with paladins and clerics. Well, maybe not clerics. They are just a bit more like doctors, but still, we can't prevent some things from happening to people.”

“Hm. Okay.”

Tom said, “You know what I'm wondering? Why? Why do you want to know about paladins?”

John said, “I don't know...they're cool, I guess. You guys are tough. You fight for freedom. Nobody is allowed to tell you what to do. You're fair. You're tough. What's not to like? We should make people want to know about paladins.”

“Do you really want to visit me each week?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Do you really want to learn about being a paladin.”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Then here is your homework. Think about what basic training is like for us. Better yet, go and learn about it. Find a place. Surf the web. Figure it out.”

That's it for today. Check back here for the next bit. Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment