Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Falchion...continuing

She boarded her flight with a minimum as hassle as Steve had promised and settled in her window seat, clutching her carry-on on her knees. So far, so good.

She watched lights in the sky become form, enlarge, become massive, as another plane touched down. Soon, they would be winking lights in the night, arcing across the Atlantic, far above the swan path, the ice-laden, loud-sounding sea, like a lonely bird rising to meet the sunrise...She shook her head at her images.

She wished Steve had faxed or couried the information as he usually did - or simply have had it handed to her direct with a "Hi. This is for you. Steve sent it." These touches from his shadow world, his alternate reality, she did not like. Let him test his new boys' techniques on someone else, next time. She felt silly back there.

She slid the envelope from the side pocket of her carry-on. It bore her name and title, neatly typed: "Dr. Damery Tempest, Forensic Consulting," her address and even a cancelled stamp. Oh, too cute, thought Damie. Fallback plan: "Did you drop this, Madame?" Stupid silly buggers.

Movement and bustle warned her. Reluctantly she pushed the envelope back and tucked her case between her feet. She had hoped the seat beside her would stay empty. She might have to wait hours now.
A woman on tiptoes stuffed a coat in to the compartment above. Beyond her a balding male with a black goatee was re-allocating the contents of his pockets. The woman dropped heavily into the seat beside Damie with a jangle of chains and bracelets, a gust of perfume and a tight smile. Under the curly mop, the woman's eyes seemed like Doog's.

Damie offered a tentative smile in return, filled with the fancy that she was sharing this bank of seats with a large and lush purple iris, shaded from the tinted lilac of hair through the mauve top down to the stem of the green pants. The coat had been purple too. This iris had a yellow stamen, Damie observed, when the woman stuck out her tongue, picked a lemon drop off it, inspected the lozenge, then popped it back in.

"Going to London?" the woman asked.
"London," Damie replied. It was a through flight.
"Visiting family? Or business?"
"Conference..." Damie suppressed a sneeze. The violet scent was sweet but a little strong.

"So are we. Well, not a conference exactly, more of a convocation. Like a pilgrimage, you know." She shuffled her pastille to the opposite cheek and kneaded at her neckline.

The woman wore more chains than a winter transport from Kapuskasing, Damie thought. She recognized a standard pentagram among the clutter of pendants. Running through the approaching anniversary checklist of Roodmass, Need Fire Night, Walpurgis Nacht, Damie picked Beltane and ventured a guess.

"Stonehenge? Or Glastonbury Tor?" It was a fair shot.
"Why yes! We're going to Avebury and Glastonbury. It's the most psychic place in all England. A Magical Tour!"

At Damie's polite smile, the woman immediately uncorked about ley lines, dragon lines, mist walks and mazes.

Pilgrimage. Damie examined the word. That's three of us then, in the belly of a silver bird, on route to our personal Canterbury's, in pursuit of legends, lured by imagination, by invitation - at least in her own case - by an invitation from a sword.


Ric said...


Lots of info in this story. Lots and lots.

Curious - though it probably wouldn't bother me as a reader -
more chains than a winter transport from Kapuskasing,
Where or what is Kappuskasing? Is this something the average reader would know? Or does it matter? Or do we have to go look it up? And if I do that, will it be germane to the story?

Keep going, Bernita, It's going good. Secret Agents, Inspector Gadget, and now Ghost hunters, way cool.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Great story...I'm hooked!

How much are we going to get? I'm afraid that now that I've met this character, you're going to snatch her away!

I agree with ric. I was just thinking that it must be a place in Canada that gets a lot of snow!

Bernita said...

Good point, Ric.It is in Northern Ontario. I dithered over that, but like Bonnie said, thought perhaps the inference was a northern town w/Indian name with lots of snow.
I think the figure of speech indicates that the actual place is not important, just the winter aspect, but its something easily changed. - to say "Hudson Bay."
I thought, Bonnie, to post a little more than one might send out to an agent in a paper query, say 10 or so pages, and possibly the odd scene from hither and yon.
Thank you, both. It's very useful, I find, to re-type sections on the blog. Already made some improvements, thank to your suggestions and knowing your eagle eyes are upon it.

Sela Carsen said...

Excellent work! You've layered in a sense of place, of character, and purpose in your first pages here. And you've also let the reader know that this is no ordinary spy story. I'm rooting for your heroine already.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sela!
I tried to mix a little of Temperance Brennan with a bit of Mrs. Polifax.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I STRONGLY dislike the lilac woman. But that's a compliment to you. Very well described in all of her annoying detail. Loved the perfume!