Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Pale Little Fancy

I have spoken before on the subject of how helpful it is to keep a notebook of some sort in which to scramble down ideas that spring upon you at inopportune moments. Sometimes I will have a phrase rattling through my brain and it ends up becoming an actual page or two when I start writing and let it fly.

"My pride? You question the pride of Darron Ap-Brainard?"

That phrase was stuck in my head a few weeks ago (though I didn't have a name to pair it with back then), and when I started writing I found that it belonged to some piece of Gloamingswood. This piece may or may not ever make it into the book, but it became a good introduction for myself into the crazy, arrogant Darron Ap-Brainard. In fact, this was the first moment I even knew there would be such a character.

       "My pride? You question the pride of Darron Ap-Brainard?"
       He (Richmond) thrust his chin skyward. "I do. I think you're an arrogant louse."
        Darron pulled the embroidered reigns of his jennet and cocked his head to one side. "You poor fool." The jennet pranced sideways and Darron took the opportunity of leaning close to Richmond's face and repeating himself: "You poor, fluff-pated fool."
        Richmond felt his hackles rising. Pericles had intimated that Darron was a bit on the windy side of arrogance, but Richmond had been none too prepared for the man. Darron paced away on his white jennet, the soft cream doeskin of his suit blending into the creature's hide.
       "We of the Ap-Brainard clan are mighty men!" Darron shouted, and his jumpy mount danced back, nicking Richmond's horse with her lips and dancing off again.
       "Will you please control that horse?"
        Darron's eyes sparked blue and Richmond groaned. "She's not a horse--she's half ass."
       "You're an ass."
      "Is that so?" Darron's lips pulled back in a smile and the sudden burst of white into his tanned face unnerved Richmond. "Then I have finally made it into manhood, thank heaven." There was no following the fellow. Darron kicked his jennet into a surprisingly swift canter--Richmond had not known donkeys could run--and swooped over the crest of the hill. Richmond's mount slogged up the slope with many a billowing sigh, and paused at the top.
      A white form hurtled up the hill toward them--straight toward them--and Richmond squeeze his knees tighter into his horse's flank. The horse shifted and Richmond shouted. The shape--Darron Ap-Brainard and his wild jennet--continued straight for him.
       "Move!" Richmond screamed, and he would have jumped from the saddle were it not for the certainty of being trampled by his own horse. "Move, you Ass!"
      "She is moving!" Darron shouted, near enough now so Richmond could see every gleaming tooth in his smile.
       Richmond squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the shuddering, bone-cracking impact. Pericles knew this would happen. Pericles had sent him with Darron on purpose, knowing Darron would kill him by accident if not by design. Richmond didn't didn't mind the dying so much--he just hadn't prepared himself for death by donkey-hoof.
      However, the impact never came. Richard at first thought he had died without knowing it and skipped the painful part. Then he heard a sound that could not possibly in any way belong to Heaven; it was the sound of Darron Ap-Brainard's laughter.
      "Fool, fool, fluff-pated fool!" Darron cackled, and even the sudden rays of sunlight seemed to side with him. "Do you not know that it's pride my kinsmen live on? It's pride we eat and drink and ride from the first moment we step foot into the world to the last we dance out of it? Would you mewling little creatures try to tell an Ap-Brainard how to deport himself? Oh, you think humility is a virtue, do you? A pale little fancy."

1 comment:

Carmel Elizabeth said...

Splendid! I love writing that makes me giggle & grin. Which this totally did, so thumbs up for you! :)