Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1,000 Daily Challenge: Day Three

Today I had the fun of introducing a new character to The Color of the Sky.  Until today, the only people who had put in real appearances in the story (and did not merely show up in fragments under my "Things to be added later" section) were Margot and Fina (the sisters around whom the story revolves), their mother, Philippe (their brother) and Chantal (an elderly maidservant).  But today I was privileged enough to write two scenes that featured Bernard Anthoine.  And the act gave me great pleasure, great pleasure indeed.  Because, you see, Bernard's been formulating in my mind for some time (and I character cast him as soon as I thought of him... see below... cough, cough) but until today I had yet to commit him to Word document.

That's not Ivanhoe.  That's Bernard.
Except that he doesn't wear chain mail. 

Snapping twigs crackled in the bracken, and Margot’s heart had barely enough time to speed up before a dirt-streaked man ducked under a low-hanging branch and was facing them. Running would be futile, she was sure. Besides, he had a bow slung from one shoulder. She wondered how much an arrow would hurt, and how long it would take for them to die.

Beside her, Fina stiffened. The disturbance of the underbrush and Margot’s sudden silence spoke volumes—she knew there was danger. Her hand groped slowly but surely for Margot’s and clasped it. The mild pain of Fina’s fingernails digging into her palm brought Margot to her senses. Whatever might happen, she could not stand here staring into this fellow’s deer-brown eyes all day long. If he killed them, he killed them. So be it. At least they would not have to suffer hunger pangs any longer.

“What is your business here?” She tried to make her voice as authoritative as possible, aping Philippe’s most stentorian tones.

“My business here?” The man stood up straight, pushing swaying leaves away from his face and tugging a stray one from his tousled blond hair, but he touched neither his bow nor the knife at his belt. “My business is to do a bit of hunting for my family—perhaps a better question would be to ask what business two maids have out here, unescorted.” There was no anger or threat in his voice, merely interest.

“And if we are unescorted? What is it to you?” Margot squeezed Fina’s hand so hard she could hear the bones creak, and hastily she loosened her grip.

“Nothing whatsoever,” said the man, smile lines creasing the corners of his mouth and eyes. “Only that I should not like to see you come to any harm. These woods are not the safest place to be out alone, you know.”

Margot narrowed her eyes. His face had a weatherbeaten kindness about it, and he had still not reached for his bow. Perhaps—just perhaps—he did not intend to kill and eat them after all. (Just when her terrified imaginings had expanded to include cannibalism she did not know, but it was at least slight relief to know that he did not intend to do anything of the sort at present.)

~The Color of the Sky, chapter three

Oh, and final count for today is 1,057.  I wasn't aiming for 1500 today.  No, seriously! I wasn't!


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Hmmmm, methinks I'm going to like Bernard! And his real world model- hehehe. :)

Molly said...

SQUEEEEEE!!!! It's Sir Percy!

Anonymous said...

LOVED This, Miss Dashwood! Excellent writing, and I love Bernard! :-) But really, I was laughing so hard about Margot and her fears of killing and cannibalism: "Just when her terrified imaginings had expanded to include cannibalism she did not know.." *laugh*

Oh me, I think I shall love The Color of the Sky!


Alexandra said...

1. I loved Bernard. DUH.

2. I loved that bit.

3. I could totally picture *cough* Certain People in that scene...and could TOTALLY hear their voice. :-P

4. Tousled blond hair...squeak.

5. Grrrrrrinning through the whole thing. Fantastic. Can't wait for LOTS more. Like, every scene he's in. The end.