Archive for December, 2010
I wonder if the following really reads right. Is it too pedantic and does it really hint at what it’s like traveling by horse through Essex in the 17th century. Comments would be welcome.
The Ladies were soon packed into the coach and the last of the luggage bound in place before the sun had begun to peak over the roofs and gables on the town. They moved out at a brisk pace, letting the horses burn some of the restlessness that had them whickering and stamping while loading. Even the normally placid team of four pulling the wagon were frisking a bit and nipping the air. As the day wore on they cleared the outskirt of the Tilbury and were soon wending their way through the cots and pastures. Once out of the village they made good time and before the hour they were just pulling into Laindon.
I’ve another little faerie tale to post. It is told in the voice and tenor of my characters from Redmantle. One of the strangeties of Speculative fiction is that the characters never have any sort of fantasy life. With the exception of the adventure books mentioned in Rigney’s Wheel of Time (WoT), it seems that people in fantasy and scifi aren’t people at all. It’s as if the writer, having stretched himself to create a fantasy world where his magic/tech/alien is real, he’s overtaxed and can’t let his character’s be real enough to have a fantasy life of their own.
There is the obvious bugaboo about not wanting to break the forth window or remind the reader that they are in fact reading speculative fiction. But I say that failing to allow characters to further fantasize about things and realities that are NOT possible in your world of fiction does exactly that. It makes the characters less than fully fleshed. They become hyper literal automatons with no imagination of their own. Thus when they arrive at creative and ingenious solutions it just smells of magic bullets and cheating!
Real people tell foolish, simple and fantastic tales. It’s part of the condition, like religion or philosophy. That’s why I have faerie tales. The tales in these stories are no more real to the characters that tell them than they are to you. No less so I’d wager either. But they reveal the rich fantasy life and imagination my characters possess in their own right and make those characters somehow more human.
But now I have a dilemma. I have another called The Bullfinch and the General , but I realize it may be too soon since the last tale to post another. Well having taken the time to rant I guess I know what to do. I’ll simply wait until after new years and post it as the first blog of 2011. Thanks for your patience and I hope you like it.
This is a little piece I wrote as a fairy tale that might be told by the characters in the world of Redmantle. I hope you like it.
A farmer was returning from the fields late one evening, when he met a beautiful maiden wandering naked in the wood near the road. She was bruised and disheveled so, fearing she’d been set upon by robbers, he coaxed her to his cart where he had an old cloak to cover her. It soon became clear she could not remember her name or her people, so he took her to his little cot, where he lived alone, to care for her wounds and clothe her. She was very beautiful and charming and soon the good man’s heart was filled with her praises. He was kind and fair to behold, so she reasoned that he was a good match.
They pledged to wed, but she refused to enter the village church, insisting that their love was so pure no ritual nor magic was needed bind their sacred oaths. She was so beautiful and his heart so filled with the music of enchantment that he soon relented and they were wed in the ancient tradition, by leaping over a rod of ash bound with straw. But from the first, their home was filled with sadness. Though he was quite fair and she was an enchanting beauty, it came to pass that they were unable to lie with one another as married couples ought.
She had no shadow and could not conceive a child with mortal man. In fact she was so frail she was unable to lie with her husband in the way of married folk, because his touch was too painful and burned her flesh like ice. In the evenings, they would lie very close to one another until he fell asleep. The while he slept, he would whimper quietly as his sorrow escaped him, while she smiled gleefully.
A shepherdess drove her flock past his fields each day, as he worked. She was a pretty young maid and he was a gentle man with a strong back. One day her sheep wandered, quite by accident, into his field and he helped her to gather them. It was tiring work but he took it with good nature and the sheep were soon collected. His good humor and quiet wit charmed her more than his fair face and she was instantly taken with him. He told her of his tragic marriage and her heart was torn to hear such a sad story, for she was a truly tender and virtuous maiden.
Being quite impetuous, she determined to try and help the man and his poor wife, but when she arrived at the farmer’s cot, she was dismayed. For, no sooner had she arrived at the front of the house, but, she saw the nymph rush from the back door into the woods tearing her clothes from her body and leaving them strewn in the hedges.
The maid followed and was nearly lost in the dark and misty forest. Finally she saw the farmer’s wife in the distance and sensing some danger stole closer to see what fever had taken the woman. The virtuous maid was angered to see how ill used the farmer was, for his chaste marriage was a sham. Though by night the farmer’s wife was a frail beauty who couldn’t bear his touch, during the day, while the farmer labored in the fields, his wife transformed into a naughty woodnymph. The nymph enticed every woodsman and traveler she could find to lie with her under the spreading oaks. And from each mortal victim she took just a sip of hearts blood, then feeding them from her breast the milk of nepenthe she fuddled their minds and sent them on their way sated but befuddled. . . .
Our story continues:
If you like this story and want to read more check out the eBook Neverwas: Forgotten Tales of Albion on Smashwords.