Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 9.4

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In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter nine, part four.

“Do you want to talk about that, Hannice?” Max asked.

“Not really, but I think I probably should.”

“I know it will be difficult, and painful, but it will help you,” Kanene said.

“Are you saying that as a friend, as a counsellor or as a shaman?” I asked.

“All three. And as someone who cares for you and who owes you and Max a debt of gratitude she can never hope to repay.”

“Okay then. Over the years, during my recovery from that stupid fall, I have had reason to be grateful to a number of people: Ayesha Subramanium, the doctor who looked after me in Dar; Harry Khan-Smith, who was my spinal consultant in London; Fan Yung, who tortured me into walking again and I mustn’t forget Lockhart at the KGT clinic. However, there was a constant thread going through that lot. That thread was Sophie. Her combination of pushing and pulling, threatening and cajoling, driving and supporting was exactly what I needed to motivate me to try harder. And when she accepted my proposal subject to my walking down the aisle with her, that gave me the impetus I needed to make supreme efforts. I think I sometimes forgot that, in addition to my health, happiness, fulfilment, confidence, well-being and self-esteem, I also have to thank Sophie for my mobility. Without her, I believe my recovery would have taken a great deal longer, and I may never have achieved what I have. And now she’s gone, and it’s too late to tell her just what a massive change she made to me.”

“Now let me tell you a few things, Hannice Knight,” Max said, “things you know but don’t know how important they were. Yes, Sophie was brilliant with you when she was helping you to regain your mobility, your independence. But you need to remember that you were there, and being brilliant during the early stages of her pregnancy, in fact rather a lot of the period, when she was so sick. And you were there for her when she was suffering from menopausal symptoms. You allowed her to remain close to her parents, even making accommodation for them in your home. You were like a son to Eddie – he told me as much. And through Sophie’s final illness, you remained patiently supportive and did every last thing you could to make her happy. I think she knows how much you love and appreciate her.”

“Don’t you mean loved and appreciated?”

“No, Hannice. I don’t believe your love and appreciation have diminished simply because Sophie isn’t physically here.”

I started crying. Again. Through my tears, I could swear I saw satisfaction on Max’s and Kanene’s faces as the looked at each other. That apart, they just sat there silently whilst I blubbered. I must have been weeping for almost ten minutes when I slowly calmed, took some deep breaths, looked at Kanene and said, “Your turn!”

Kanene laughed. “Okay,” she said, “I don’t know Sophie anything like as well as either of you, but I can tell you this. From the day I did those changes in Nocturne to make it easier for when you came in your wheelchair, Sophie has given me massive support and boosted my confidence no end. I know it was not just her, that you both supported and encouraged me, Hannice and Max, but Sophie was independent of the company. You should have seen her when it was just us girls running through design ideas for your bedrooms and other things in Knight Towers. We threw ideas to and fro while giggling like a pair of schoolgirls. Some of the ideas would never have amounted to anything, but they were stretching our imaginations – thinking outside the box, she called it, although when I asked her about the box, where it was, how big and made of what, she just laughed. But the silly ideas fed the sensible ones, and I think the result was fabulous. That’s what she meant to me.”

“Thank you, Kanene,” I said, “I’m glad you made me talk about my Sophie. I think I should call David and Jess now, don’t you?”

“That may have to be a job for tomorrow, Boss,” Max said, “No signal here. We should be okay when we get to the villages in the morning.”

“Dinner and an early night, then?” I said. No-one objected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once more into the breach

Yet again, I’m going to go public with this. That way, I leave myself no way out, no way to wriggle away from doing what I have set out to do, no way of avoiding the challenge, the self-doubt and any other negative emotions that are sure to beset me.

Here goes.

For the sixth consecutive year, I shall write the first draft of a novel this November during NaNoWriMo.

There. I’ve said it. Now I have to do it. Thirty days, fifty thousand words.

Will this interfere with other stuff? Of course it will. But you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs!

This year’s effort is currently in a state probably best termed pre-embryonic. The sperm of inspiration is swimming towards the egg of a concept but hasn’t yet made landfall and is being buffeted by contrary tides and currents.

Hopefully, I’ll have a better idea once I start writing, perhaps even before!

Noble, or nob?

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“I say, Pater, this is a jolly good wheeze, what?”

“Learn well, boy. This is the life into which you were born.”

“I’m delighted to be accompanying you on this little jaunt, Pater. I do have one question, though.”

“What is it?”

“Must the peasants be allowed to watch us?”

“Remember, Primo, we are only where we are today because these people you dismiss as peasants give their labours, and sometimes their lives, to ensure we can live in the lap of luxury.”

“Shouldn’t they be doing that, then, and not standing there in squalor and filth gawping at us?”

“Shouldn’t they be doing what?”

“Working for us. What was it you said? Giving their labours and sometimes their lives?”

“Primogenitus Topdog, I am surprised at you. Surprised and disappointed. From where do such cruel and heartless thoughts spring, pray?”

“Nanny says we’re better than them. She says they’re not fit to untie my bootlaces. Nanny says that the lower classes can never aspire to the ranks of the upper-classes. And she should know.”

“Why should Nanny know about that?”

“Because she’s one of them. A low-born. She knows how fortunate she is to have the honour and privilege of being my Nanny. And she knows she has the job through my generosity and grace, not through any inherent value or quality of her own. Tell me I’m right, Pater.”

“We may have to agree to differ on that, Boy. All human beings have their own, intrinsic value.”

“Are you listening to yourself, Pater? Ewww. That horse has just defecated.”

“It happens. Get over it.”

“I appreciate and grant that every creature that eats must dispose of its waste. I’m not stupid, you know. What I don’t appreciate is the beast doing it right in front of my eyes. Who was supposed to have trained this animal? I’ll have him flogged. Teach him some manners then maybe he’ll teach the horse some.”

“Your training is going well, my boy. Before you know it, you’ll be reclining in the seat of power.”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 229 published on this site.