Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Little Sword Play

And a little backstory: Our Damie had a run-in that afternoon at the conference/documentary with Dr. Herb Sutherland after his lecture...

Damie cringed when she saw al Zaim and Sutherland approaching. Sutherland meandered. As usual, al Zaim slid. She turned her back and locked her door.
Sutherland had been loud and obnoxious at dinner, abusing the waiter; until the Fish Lady, her white hair bristling, said something sharp and shut him up.
Damie busied herself with checking her bag. Sutherland stopped, teetering, close beside her, breathing whiskey all over her.
She hated the smell of whiskey. It always made her want to sick up.
Al Zaim merely favored her with one of his blank stares and continued on his way.
Sutherland put a fat hand on the wall to block her off.
"Little Dr. Tempest," he breathed.
"Fresh from her perfumed bath...a regular little tempest, aren't you...Tempests are exciting...Are you exciting, little Tempest?"
For one instant she stood immobile, shocked by the suddeness, the raw crudity. Surely the idiot...he was actually leering at her....he was sliding a damp palm up her arm. This cretin, this leporous lout was trying to fumble...
John Connors leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms.
No intervention necessary, he told himself.
He had turned the corner just in time to see Sutherland fondle at her front, Damie neatly hook a heel behind Sutherland's and push hard at his chest. Sutherland landed flat on his generous behind. Damie stalked toward him, chest heaving in indignation.
She wore jeans and a white T-shirt. It was nice to watch.
He fell in beside her. "Sutherland wanted to play 'doctor', Doctor?"
"Ohh...that disgusting slime ball, that abject burbler, that sedulous fool!"
She took another deep breath, "...and if you think that little act by that slithy toved prick had anything to do with sex, you're another one...It had nothing to do with sex. It had everything to do with conceit...and power and ego!"
John glanced behind. Sutherland had risen unsteadily to his feet, shaking his head like a bewildered boar.
"Well, Ego just got up. From the way he's limping, I'd say Ego just got somewhat bruised..."
He resisted the urge to go back and help Sutherland on his way via the toe of his boot.
"That was very neat ankle action, by the way."
"Bleah. He was only half drunk after all."
She heaved another breath.
34-36C, he decided.
"I've learned in the last while that the word 'widow' is seen as an open invitation to all sorts of idiots who should know better..."
Widow has nothing to do with it, lady, thought John, looked in a mirror lately?
"Idiots who seem to think that a widow is simply panting to get laid, who think all they have to do is show up at the door sniffing and grinning."
John realized he was grinning and instantly sobered his face.
"I've been propositioned more times, more crudely, by more idiots, in the last year or so than I can remember from university...I hope you don't think I invited..." Her voice throbbed in a combination of embarrassment and outrage.
"No, no. Not at all. Of course not. Most unpleasant, I'm sure," John interjected as he held open the door that separated the main hotel from its other facilities.
He was glad to have something civilized to do with his hands.


Sandra Ruttan said...

Hands can be such a pain. I think this is why people take to drinking, so they can have something to hold on to and occupy at least one hand with.

Bernita said...

So wicked so early, Sandra?

Robyn said...

Okay, I just fell in love with John. I love men who are strong enough to let women slay their own dragons but are still nearby if they are needed.

Bernita said...

Good, good, good. Thank you, Robyn.
He's cynical about women - she continually surprises him - but he has no problem with "equality" issues.

Dennie McDonald said...

You know - I re-read this twice - you have a subtle humorous undertone that I think works great. I am on a humor kick right now - don't know why, but I really enjoy reads that have it in there w/o slapping you in the face with punchlines - a lot of authors have none and the reads are dry.

of course there was the time I said that to a fellow chapter mate - telling her how she was subtle - to only find out later it was supposed to be a comedy - if that's the case call me dense and delete this =)

(I have a killer headache so please forgive my ramble state!)

Rick said...

"Little Dr. Tempest" - the guy's off to really a bad start, isn't he? (Sutherland, obviously, not John.) What kind of doctor is she, anyway - I assume a PhD, not a "real" doctor.

A purely blog-formatting thing, BTW; I think you should double-space between paras - otherwise, without the indents, it sometimes takes a moment to realize that the speaker has switched.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Dennie! Yes,it was meant to be there. Headache didn't interfer with your faculties at all.

A good suggestion, Rick, wondered about spacing. Thank you. And you assume correctly.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Early bird catches the worm, Bernita!

Bernita said...

A non secateur approach.
Should we tell Bonnie?

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

This was so clever and funny, Bernita! I really enjoyed it. And I love your witty drawings.

Sorry for being absent from your blog for awhile. As you already know, I have all the results from my pseudonym blog and character name blog compiled and posted and you’re profiled there along with the other participants. It’s a long post but fun, and from the e-mails I’ve received, readers are enjoying it. I’ll have to do more of this sort of thing in the future. The only downside is that it took me forever to do and now I’m way behind on my blog commenting (not to mention my writing).

I also read your previous post about Language Nazis. Excellent. It’s just a pity that some people can’t find activities more positive and productive than sitting in judgment of others. Grade school rules of grammar, while an exceedingly important base of knowledge--especially for writers--aren’t meant to govern every facet of writing. Particularly when we’re talking about fiction. You were right-on, Bernita, when you said, “They are an effective tool, used skillfully, to provide pacing and emphasis. To separate and focus images in the reader's mind like a series of frames from a still camera. To cue in humor.”

Bernita said...

Thank you, Daisy.
I can highly recommend Daisy's blog just for sheer fun for those writers who enjoy a blend of comedy and errors.
She does a superb job effortlessly.
And somewhere in her archives is the tale of sex toys on the bed, a naked lady locked in a bathroom and the imminent arrival of a real estate agent.
I was torn between laughing myself sick and a state of profound sympathy.
Daisy is a delight to read.

Erik Ivan James said...

The entertainment value of your talent, as I enjoy it, is unlimited. I imagined myself as John in this writing. But, as usual, you have confused me. I thought Damie lived back in the 1100's. What's she doing at a writer's conference?

Bernita said...

Ah, Erik, thank you so much for that identification. It suggests that I might, just might, have gotten the male voice right.
Back somewhere in the archives are other snippits of this novel series, including a few pages ( though now revised) of the first chapter.
Damie is a forensic consulatant, occultologist and myth-buster who is invited to present at a conference/documentary on the Conyers Falchion and the Legend of the Sockburn Worm. During which she finds herself dumped in the 12thc.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Did somebody mention pruning shears!!!!!Mauhahah!!1

Sorry I'm late. It was a really ratty time to even breathe!

I love Jon's character...he so has respect for Damie's abilities...and as for that Nitwit, Damie was way too nice!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

See...I can't even spell 'John' the day over yet?