Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Good, Bad and Ugly

Continuing with the sneaky CV.

"Really?..." He had given himself away. The term "forensic" had his fastidious knickers in a knot.
Many people associated it exclusively with a crime scene, with blood spatters and finger prints and autopsies. The closest she usually got was photographs, though some of those were sickening enough...

"I have done some academic work, Dr. Sutherland, which, incidentally, has been referenced in books and periodicals, on the Grail legends, the wasted land, the knight champion, the magic sword, etc. -- and their archetypal survivals in modern literature. The subject is not entirely foreign to me. I also have some slight knowledge of Anglo-Saxon, Old English if you will, and its extant literature. As well, my comprehension of Norman French is sufficient to interpret period references. One can hardly assess Anglo-Norman motifs in literature without it."

She deliberately adopted the slightly snotty tone she had heard some academics use to depress presumptous undergrads. She also stretched her fluency in ancient tongues like an elastic band, but unless Sutherland demanded a cappella translations of Beowulf and The Song of Roland on the spot, she figured she was on safe ground. People got so hung up on archaic spelling. Phonics was often the key... and if this idiot had read her conference bio, he knew her academic credentials were adequate.

"And as for forensics," she concluded, after a deliberate pause to allow her flanking attack to fully sink in, "...the Worm's slaughter of assorted villagers certainly qualifies as a crime scene. Perhaps the organizers thought the title would look impressive on the list of contributing consultants, suggesting a meticulous examination of the facts. It's odd you should describe that as 'absurd.' I was of the impression that a detailed and comprehensive examination of the Legend was the point of this Conference."

She saw his eyes narrow and his lips purse as he reassessed her. Had he assumed she was a bit of Barbie fluff blown in by an academic air current?

"Mixed lot, aren't we?" Sutherland shifted gears smoothly, caressing his mustache. "Al Zaim here was particularly anxious to meet you, very keen on Canada."

"How nice." She looked at al Zaim. He looked at her. He did not look keen.

9 comments:

Tsavo Leone said...

*Huge Smile*

Feisty, isn't she?

I might make more of Sutherland's 'changing gears' since he's (presumably) the principal antagonist in this scene and I'd like to 'see' a little discomfort on his part prior to regaining his composure, but that may simply be because I've already got him pictured in my head as having something of a caddish veneer (does the name Terry-Thomas ring any bells?).

You have a very nice narrative flow going on here which I like. I'm looking forward to seeing how the whole scene plays out so that I can get a better feel for the characters and the situation, but for now: Bravo!

Bernita said...

Good morning, Tsavo,pleased you like.
Earlier he is described as "floridly handsome."
I save his discomfiture/ego bruising for Chapter Two where it will serve the plot.
No,I am woefully ignorant, but I will go look Thomas up now.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Cool, what an attitude. Hey I was turned onto this cool side by Brandilyn Collin's blog (She's one of my fav. authors) It's called Gender Genie. You put a sample in it, and it tells you whether the perspective is true male or female. It works pretty good when your a woman trying to write man dialogue or the reverse.

http://www.bookblog.net/gender/genie.html

Tsavo Leone said...

Just read all the pieces I can find that you've written relating to The Conyers Falchion, and I'm hooked...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bonnie, think I checked that out some time ago. It informed me I write like a male.I didn't know whether to be pleased or miffed.

Tsavo, colour me pink.

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, I like that girl.

And should she ever need to impress someone with obscure references to epic swords in the Anglo Norman or Old Norse original, I'm glad to oblige. Because I have indeed studied that stuff. ;-)

Bernita said...

Indeed, Gabriele, I had you in the back of my mind as a possible resource. Thank you very much.
I studied Anglo-Saxon myself - though it was some time ago.

Robyn said...

"...bit of Barbie fluff..." Ha! Great. I used to work at a university. Nice job with academic snobbery.

jason evans said...

Mirroring the other comments, nice! A sharp exchange. Liking this character!