I Invoke Parley! – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 27 April 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Fought
  • Slur
  • Parley

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



“I invoke parley!” the man shouted at the butler. I watched and shook my head in sympathy. Dumb ass had gotten so drunk he’d slipped right into his role playing character. At least I think that’s what was happening what with the pirate slurs of captain’s and planks and what not. I turned away to see my boss, the CIO haul back and punch her assistant smack in the jaw. Merry went flying back, landing on the snack table before falling still. I turned to see the other employees of Don, Morton and Kauffe in as they fought in various brawls, screaming matches or some getting undressed. I looked in my drink and suddenly realized that it must have been the punch. I of course was a DD and hadn’t had any. I quickly looked around and at the top of the stair landing, I saw him. The slim and GQ assistant to the President stood with a bright smirk on his face, he leaned into the balustrade and watched. What a bastard. I headed up the stairs to end this.

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Tensions were at an all-time high since the parlay began. The men who were sitting at either end of the long oak table had now risen to their feet balling their hands into fists. It was clear that the talks were quickly degenerating into something much more uncivilized. The copious amount of ale each had consumed had not helped the situation. They each were now slurring their words as their jackets came off and they rolled up their sleeves. The first mate was beside himself as he stood off to the side watching the events unfold. These two captains had fought for so long and peace was finally within their grasp, but it was not to be.

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Temerand waited beside Gordon, his muscles tense, his fingers poised to draw his blade. His eyes were locked on the two who had come to the parley. The Black King had sent someone in his stead, an older man with black eyes and a black beard. Beside him was Esmera. Temerand clenched his jaw, refusing to acknowledge her presence. They had not seen each other or spoken since they had fought. Her slurs still made his blood boil.

“Greetings,” Gordon said. “You have the terms you wish to present.”

The black-eyed man smiled. “Yes. His Majesty requires an unconditional surrender from the rebels, and hostages from each family to ensure their continued obedience to his rule.”

Temerand could not believe such insanity was issuing from the man’s mouth. They would never submit to that.

“Done,” Gordon said.

Temerand turned a startled gaze to his friend. “You can’t be…” he started, but Gordon held up a hand to silence him.

“It has been decided,” he said.

“No, it hasn’t,” Temerand said, and his sword appeared in his hands, though he did not know who to point it at.

Thunder grew on Gordon’s face.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” he growled. “You’re ruining everything.”

Temerand wavered, unsure of what to believe. When Esmera moved, he made up his mind, and turned the weapon on her.

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This was simply the worst idea the Leader had ever had, she thought to herself.

“A parley… seriously?” she muttered under her breath.

“What?” one of those super-hot, feather-winged, do-gooders said next to her. They thought they were so perfect. They were, but terribly boring. The last one she ran into “never fought unless provoked”, “never swore”, “never got intoxicated and slurred his speech” … blah blah blah.

They were exasperating to say the least. She hated being around them. The sound of bells as they moved. The harsh light as they ascended into the clouds, when you looked up their robes. The fact they were always happy was the worst part. You could slap them in the face, which she had, many times, and they would just try to find out why she was so “angry”.

She was now getting angry just sitting here thinking about it. Why the hell would Lucifer want to find a resolution to the centuries of bad blood between them now? And why did he bring only the succubi to the negotiation she wondered until she looked around and realized the Angels were all male.

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Jack had parlayed a history of violence into a pretty kick ass underground street fighting and MMA career, but one of the better side effects of that kind of glory is that he almost never got recognized in public.  And here he was having been flown across the damn country to San Francisco for a meeting with some internet tycoon, when instead, he’d been met in the lobby by some little shit man in a hoodie throwing slurs.

“Nobody, my ass. Dude, Why you throwing insults at me? Have you ever fought someone twice your size? Hell, have you ever fought at all?”

“No, I called you a nobody. That’s a good thing.”

“Explain, little dude.” Jack crunched his knuckles, wide shoulders a full foot above the little shit’s head.

“See, we at Woogly need someone to be our champion in Japan, at the underground fights at techCON Tokyo. And we want it to be you. No one there has ever heard of you, but we need the best fighter in the world that no one’s heard of, which will worsen our odds. That’s why it’s good you’re a nobody. You’ve fought in 60 fights undefeated, uncovered in the press. How much was your best take?

He decided to tell the little shit, impress him some. 100Gs.

Okay, I’ll give you 100 million – tax free in Maldives. Dropped as soon as you win.

Jack realized who he was talking to. This little shit with the pimply face and the wrinkled hoodie was the billionaire CEO of Woogly.

“How about second place?”

“If you don’t get first, you’ll be dead and won’t need the money. But that’s not going to happen.”

“Damn right it’s not.” and he started to walk away.



“You remember that song, right? ‘I fought the law and the law won’? It’s by Bobby Darrin or something…” Jake said.

“The California Raisins ‘I heard it through the grapevine’ guy?” Sam asked, face crunched in confusion.

“No, dude, the song, the one about breaking rocks in the hot sun!” Jake insisted, raising his drink to take another swig.

“That’s not in the raisin song, man,” Sam told him. “And Bobby Darrin never sang about breaking no rocks. Don’t slur a singer like that, man. It ain’t cool.”

“It’s not a slur!” Jake exclaimed, voice rising as he got more involved in the discussion. “That song is awesome. C’mon, sing it with me, ‘Breaking rocks in the–’”

“I’m not getting into it with you,” Sam said. “Bobby Darrin never sang any such thing.”

“Well,” Jake said, hurt entering his voice now, “fine. I didn’t mean to turn into some big parley about your favorite singer ever Bobby Darrin.”

“He’s not my favorite singer,” Sam defended. “But I know he sang that grapevine song, you know, the one with the raisins in the video…”

“Guys!” Jason’s voice cut across the muddled conversation. “Are you really arguing about Bobby Darrin again?”

“No,” Jake said. “I was just telling Sam about this great song he sang. It’s called ‘I fought the law and the law won’…”

“You mean Bobby Fuller?”

“Bobby who?”

“Darrin! Man, I love that  grapevine song!”

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1 Comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

One response to “I Invoke Parley! – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: These two captains… – Alanna Cormier

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