It is Thursday and, as promised, I am offering you an excerpt of my NaNoWriMo project.
I want to warn you that this has been written quite fast, as any NaNo novel, and hasn’t been edited at all. Please bear in mind as you read that it isn’t perfect; it is a very early draft.
A little context before you begin. The main character, Tatiana, and her twin brother Damian are sitting in a tavern for dinner. They are blue blood searching for a crew, ideally a pirate crew, they could join. Éloi, a French sailor that later proves to be a pirate, has already accosted Tatiana once while her brother was getting their food.
My mouth dried up pretty fast from all the talking and the salty stew. I then noticed my brother didn’t bring me anything to drink. I reached for his tankard which he promptly withdrew from my grasp.
“You just accused me of being unladylike and now you keep me from manly drinks. Make up your mind or fetch me some wine.” My fiery comment attracted the attention of a few drinkers, including Éloi. He elbowed his way to the table with a wineskin and a metallic goblet.
“I’m afraid the wine of this establishment isn’t very agreeable, madame. Allow me.” He showed the goblet for my inspection. Its cleanliness was approved with a nod. Éloi poured a sip at the bottom of the receptacle and offered it for tasting which I performed with a smile. If his crew proved as well-mannered as him, we might find a place on his ship.
The wine’s deep color allowed the dim light of the candles to hit the metal beneath and reflect it. The clearness’s token of quality equalled the softness of the taste. No vinegary accents or displeasing staleness flavour from the wineskin.
“This wine is indeed quite pleasant to the palate.” I commented. Pleased, Éloi repossessed the goblet and filled it halfway.
“I’ll have some water brought over.” Damian said, raising his hand to attrack a waitress’s attention.
“Sacrilège!” The Frenchman yelped. He covered my goblet with a comical air of disgust. His puppy-dog eyes silently pleaded me to make things right, to reassure him that English people knew how to properly appreciate wine.
“Yes, Damian, how dare you suggest to dilute that nectar?” Éloi relaxed his stance and released my drink. My brother fumed on the other side of the table. “Oh love, you know I can hold my liquor.”
“Your reputation is what worries me the most.”
“It’ll be our secret then.” Éloi offered. He bowed to my ear. “Find me if you want more.” Had he departed right this instant, my memory of him would have been fond. He would have been immortalized as a gentleman with a charming face and an undeniable elegance.
But he didn’t leave; he brushed my ears with his lips.
I seized the pitcher of water a waitress just settled on our table and poured it over the man’s head. I made sure to avoid getting wet myself. Once today was more than enough.
Éloi yelped. My brother burst in laughter, only to cease, seconds later, when it became apparent our finder-bender attracted the attention of half of our surroundings. My instinctive reaction hadn’t considered the risks. Every sailor of Éloi’s crew stood frozen, waiting on his reaction to dictate their next move.
Unabashed the Frenchman pushed a strand of stray dark gold hair behind his ear and adjusted his vest. An unshakeable smile stretching from ear to ear, he bowed to kiss my hand.
“I’m most grateful, madame, of the honour you bestowed upon me. I usually have to pay if I wish women to bathe me.” The gaggle of faces laughed. Did he mean I was cheaper than a prostitute?
“Well, sir, someone had to do something about the smell.” Damian replied. He cut me short which gave me the necessary time to bury my nasty, and potentially deadly, retort deep inside my chest. Éloi laughed, leading his friends down the same path.
“I knew someday I would pay for my laziness.” Upon those words, he curtsied and returned to his supporters.