5,000 posts crit (900 words)

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I like this reminds me a bit of Bluestone 42 which is hysterical.
Yikes. It's 5,000 posts, and in honour of the tradition, here is something:

"You'd make me die laughing." He struggles through the higher branches and breaks out into the sunshine. He's a big guy, Maken, full grown he'll be as big as Da, and theirs is not a build that takes gracefully to tree-climbing.

I tug a couple of leaves from his silvery hair. "Did you leave any of these on the tree?"

"It doesn't deserve any." He shakes his head, trying to dislodge the rest of them. No chance; they're wedged in his plaits. "Bloody thing poked me with branches all the way up here."

"You go round the branches, not through them."

"There's no space to go round."

"That's because you're getting fat."

I think the humour is belaboured a bit which is diluting it. "Bloody thing poked me with branches all the way up here." Is the better punchline.

I grin down at him and immediately regret it. His smile flickers, as it has a lot recently. With a sinking heart, I wish that I was down in the skirmish where things are straightforward and physical, not in a tree dealing at close quarters with my cousin who has suddenly turned into a stranger. Suddenly turned serious.

Personally, I'd like just a word or two about what has turned him into a stranger I know it's stating the bleeding but instead of suddenly which is kind of wishy washy maybe: "who the war/battles/fighting/sex/blue footed booby has turned into a stranger" or whatever you feel has done it.

I catch a blade on my own, twist it outward, and stab with the short sword in my left hand, up under the rider's arm. A heave, and I drop him in the dirt, block another swinging sword and this time, Maken slices into the rider's neck. Blood splatters over both of us. I wipe my eyes on the back of my wrist and push forward. The dense bodies of horses block my view of my father. The horsemen are turning, milling, not using the weight and the speed of their mounts to advantage. Fine. Milling horses are vulnerable. I drop a couple without stopping. Hear the crunch of axe on mail as Maken ends the riders behind me. Carve a road through the screaming mass. Beside me Soraya is breathing hard, but not slowing. We can't. Can't slow until we've reached Da.

This could do with a bit more of things like the sounds and the pressure on his wrist when he catches the blade.
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