Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dungeons and Dragons

This week's sentence was taken from Émile Zola's laugh-a-minute 'Germinal'.

It was:
"So, you fancy going over the road for a bit of looting and pillage?"

Dungeons and Dragons

Having decapitated her muffin, Janie extracted the juiciest-looking blueberry, popped it between immaculately glossed lips and treated Marcia to her most wicked smile.
"So, you fancy going over the road for a bit of looting and pillage?"
Marcia glanced at the crowd outside.
"D'you know, I rather think I do."
"Excellent! Though they open in five so we'll have to rush coffee."
She applied the coup de grâce with the usual twist, elongating the 'i' of his name into a sneer:
"Because Brian didn't see fit to get us here early."
She graced him with a condescending nod and a nasty, tight little smile. He knew better than to argue.
"Yes, dear." and returned his attention to the Guardian Review.
"And do get your nose out of that paper, darling."
Brian looked up, startled.
"Eh? What?" and suddenly noticed the near riot outside.
"What in Heaven's name is going on out there?"
"Shoe sale, darling. It's why we needed to be early today. Don’t you remember?"
"God, Janie, does he ever listen to a word you're saying?"
"Not knowingly, do you darling?"
"Er, yes dear. Could you not at least wait until the crowds have died down? It looks awfully unpleasant."
Marcia enunciated her words slowly, as if to a child.
"It's a S H O E – S A L E, Brian. Manolos? Jimmy Choos? The crowds won't die down until the place is stripped bare."
"Well, if it's alright with you two I'll just stay here and finish the paper while you do whatever it is you need to do."
"Oh, no, darling. You're coming, too!"
"Yes, Brian. We need you to carry our swag."
"Be our native bearer."
Their laughter scraped fingernails down the blackboard of his soul.
"Yes, dear."
"Besides, you're always lingering in here with your bloody paper; it's almost as if you'd rather mope about alone than enjoy the pleasure of our company."
"Yes, Brian! How could you?"
"Honestly, darling. What could you possibly find in here that's more scintillating than our repartée?"
Marcia cackled and leaned forward.
"You know, Janie: I think your Brian might be having some kind of sordid liaison with that floozy, Vampirella."
She nodded toward the counter where a sullen, disinterested goth girl gave the coffee machines a desultory wipe.
Janie almost shrieked with laughter.
"Marcia, that's just too delicious!"
Then, glancing across the street, "Sharpen your elbows, Missy, they're about to open.
Brian! Pay the floozy, then hurry and catch up. We're going in!"

Up at the counter Brian paid the goth girl.
"Girls' night out tonight?" she asked and he nodded.
"They're off to see some appalling musical full of ghastly z-list soap stars."
"See you at The Dungeon at eight then. Miss Whippy will be waiting."
She handed him his change and Brian bit back a yelp as she pinched the palm of his hand hard between her sharp, gloss black nails.
When he turned and followed the rioting mob of elbowing, kicking and scratching women into the shoe store, he was smiling.


Vanda said...

Oh Dive... You don't disappoint. I can't tell you how much I love the ending.

Vanda said...

By the way, when I first read the title I thought the story was going to take place in the virtual world.

dive said...

Vanda: Yes, I … er … confess to also having enjoyed Brian's little secret.

As for the title, it was almost "Wife Of Brian", but when the dungeon appeared (a last minute addition) it went so well with the two dragon ladies that I had to change it.

Vanda said...

Heh, Wife of Brian is pretty damn witty too.

I wonder what your process is for writing these stories. I realized that I have to find the protagonist and than just follow where he/she/it is taking me. I'm surprised every time I manage to finish a story.

dive said...

Vanda: with this one I started by dozing on the train with Britten's Symphony for Cello and Orchestra in my ears and the sentence wandering around my empty head.
To my surprise - and perplexity - it beceme a conversation between two harridans contemplating a shoe sale.
Brian only came in later.
I seem to have written this one from the middle outwards and the S&M twist only came in right at the end.

The creative process is truly weird.

Scout said...

This is delicious! Was that Brian or Dive getting to know the Goth girl?

and I'm shocked you know about Manolos and Jimmy Choos. I barely know what they are, and I LOVE shoes.

dive said...

Robyn, I am surrounded by weemen at the office so I probably know more about shoes than Vogue's shoe editor.

And it is definitely Brian and not Dive going off to the dungeon! Yikes!

MmeBenaut said...

Oh that wicked Brian; and shoes and goth girls - this one has something for everyone!! Brilliant my dearest Dive.

dive said...

Brian? Wicked?
Hee hee, Mme. I felt rather sorry for him; the submissive type who suffers terrible humiliations from his dragon wife at home and whose only pleasure is in the secretive physical suffering he gets from Miss Whippy.

And yes, he is based on somebody I know at work (and so is his wife … sheesh).