Wednesday, 19 October 2016

After-School Visitor

After-School Visitor

Of all the days for Harold to be kept after class! Miss Penny stared at her open ledger, and then at the clock on her desk. Four thirty-two. He would be here any minute, and today they would have a very unwelcome witness.
Miss Penny glanced back at Harold, who was obediently copying out the words “Knowledge is Power.” Well, she might as well get on with her lecture, before Rex stepped in the door.
She swiveled in her chair. “Harold, may I have your attention for a moment?”
Harold turned his head but did not stop writing on the blackboard. “Sure, Miss Penny, but can I keep writing while you talk? I gotta get this done so I can get to baseball practice.”
Miss Penny drew in her breath disapprovingly. “That’s ‘may I,’ not ‘can I,’ Harold. You may continue to write, but give me your ears.”
“Sure, Miss Penny.” Harold grinned, turned back to the blackboard and said in a murmur, “I am not spending enough time on my homework, and thus my grades are suffering. You are disappointed with my behavior in class. Must you remind me that knowledge is power? My education is very important and I must be dutiful in meeting the requirements set before me.”
“Harold Porter!” Miss Penny exclaimed, rising from her chair in indignation.
Just then Rex entered the room. As soon as he saw Harold, his hand, which was holding a white box tied with a pink ribbon, shot behind his back. Miss Penny thumped back into her chair, feeling embarrassed. She wished fervently that all her classmates would become as good as angels, and she would never have to go through this again.
Rex strolled over to her desk. “How are you this fine afternoon, Miss Penny?”
Miss Penny looked at him with an almost exasperated expression. Couldn’t he come back in fifteen minutes when Harold had gone home? Now she would not even be able to properly scold Harold for his impertinence. “Very fine, Mr. Dartmoor.”
Rex leaned his arm on her desk and smiled. Miss Penny was very aware of Harold’s grin behind her. How she wished she might reverse time and simply send Harold home with a note.
“Are you still willing to go out to dinner with me this evening?” Rex continued gaily. Miss Penny felt that she could rise from her seat and beat him over the head with her ruler. He knew perfectly well that she had been in the middle of a lecture, and he was having too much fun to let her finish.
“Yes, Mr. Dartmoor,” she said coolly, “but I am not yet done here, if you would excuse me.”
Rex continued to lean against the desk. “Go right ahead, don't mind me.”
Miss Penny glowered at him, then turned to Harold, who had stopped writing and was grinning widely at them both. “Harold, continue writing please. Now, first I must reprimand you for your impertinence. That you have memorized what I have to say to you does show that I need to be a little more varied in how I speak, but it also shows that this is by no means the first time you have been scolded because of laziness in regards to your homework. I’m ashamed of you, Harold. You ought to know that a boy of your age should be putting more effort into his schooling.” A wave of frustration welled up in Miss Penny over Harold’s impertinence, his laziness, and the whole present situation. “I cannot understand why you do not work a little harder. You have the brain for it, but you don’t seem to care enough to try.”
The tears she felt starting to rise must have been audible in her voice, for Rex’s demeanor suddenly changed. He stood up straight and looked at Harold firmly. “Listen here, young man. You listen to Miss Penny, starting right this moment. I want to hear that your grades have started picking up immediately. So you start working hard, you hear me? If not, you’ll have your uncle to answer to. Now get to writing.”
Harold stared at Rex a moment, then nodded, looking sheepish, and started writing hard. “Yes, Uncle Rex.”
Miss Penny turned and stared at Rex. Rex grinned, looking sheepish himself. “My sister’s son, Marie. I apologize for my earlier behavior. Shall I wait in the hall?”
Miss Penny sniffed down the tears and smiled. “No, that’s all right. Have a seat, Mr. Dartmoor. We shall be done in a moment.” Turning back to Harold, she stood and touched his shoulder. “I shall expect better work from you in the future, Harold. You might actually find that you enjoy learning, once you put your mind to it. After all, knowledge is power.”

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

"The Old Watchmaker"

The Old Watchmaker

I skidded to a halt in front of the shop, my hand gripping the small paper bag in my hand.
Crazy. Weirdo. Loony. The words floated through my head as I stared at the lettering on the glass window the shop: Watches Made and Fixed.
Snow drifted onto my head, and the tops of my shoes began to be covered with a fine mist of flakes. I tried to see into the little shop, but couldn’t make out anything definite from my position on the street. Should I go in?
Nutty old man. The words of the boys at school rushed at me and I started to turn away, then stopped, looking down at the bag in my hand. Dad had no hopes of getting his watch fixed. With money tight, and mama about to have my seventh sibling, we couldn’t afford to get it repaired, no matter how precious it had been to him.
I remembered how quiet I had had to be to sneak the watch out of my parents’ dresser drawer, and then how innocent I had had to act as I slipped down the stairs and out into the cold street. I couldn’t have done all that for nothing. I had to at least go in.
I stepped onto the small doorstep and pushed open the door. A small bell tinkled, and a shadowy form rose from behind a pane of glass that separated the entryway from the workroom.
I gulped.
“Can I help you?” The man had soft white hair receding from the top of his head and falling in wispy strands down to the edge of his collar. His glasses had many lenses in one eye, like a small telescope, and his hands were wrinkled. He didn’t look crazy, only very old.
I grasped at my courage, prayed quickly, and stepped forward. “My dad’s watch... can you fix it?” I emptied the sack into my hand and held out the smashed watch.
The watchmaker took the timepiece from my hand and examined it carefully, his eyes peering closely at the tiny springs and cogs. “What happened to it?”
“It got run over by our car,” I replied, pulling my coat off and dropping it by my feet. The shop was very warm, and my cheeks already felt heated and dry. “Can you fix it?” I repeated.
The old man sat down and pulled the goose-neck lamp closer to his desk. “With God’s help, yes, I can.”
I rested my fingertips on the wood partition and leaned my forehead against the glass panel, watching as he slowly began to work, using tools I had never seen before to tinker with the tiny parts of the watch. The back and front were separated, he removed parts, added others, carefully tapped the back into its proper shape again and lined up a new glass front. I shoved my hand into my pocket and felt my money, nervously wondering how much this would cost. Would I have enough?
Suddenly the old man looked up at me. “Why did you come here?”
I stared at him.
“Why not go to the other watch shop on the next street over?”
I shuffled my feet a little, then looked him straight in the eye. “You helped out my grandpa once, my dad said. You got him out of jail and helped him start over. My grandpa said you were the best watchmaker ever.”
The watchmaker picked up another foreign tool. “But everyone thinks I’m crazy. The children, at least.” He looked at me again. “Somehow that hurts the most, you know. I’ve never had children, and all the ones around me think I’m a daft old man who still has this shop only because the town is afraid to turn me out. They don’t care to actually get to know me.”
I swallowed hard and rested my forehead against the glass again. “I don’t think you’re crazy.”
He looked at me carefully. “When did you stop thinking so?”
“Just now,” I admitted quietly. “I’m sorry. Why do the kids think you’re crazy?”
His hands gently maneuvered the watch dials into position. “Just as I said. They don’t care to get to know me. People can imagine all sorts of things about people they don’t know. It’s called jumping to conclusions, making assumptions that are not based on fact, but on prejudice. Old people... some of them do go a little off it in the end, but not all of them. It’s not fair to assume that all are the same as some.” He glanced up once more, his voice still as quiet as when I had first entered the shop. “As you grow older, remember that.”
I took the watch back as he stood and handed it over the glass partition. “Thank you, sir. How much?”
He shook his head. “No money, if you will promise me something.”
I moved around the partition so I was standing by his side. “What is it?”
“Never let anyone make your judgements of people for you. Be discerning and make your own assessments of people’s character and personality. Don’t be swayed by what others think.” I wrinkled me brow. “Now I’m not saying don't listen to those whom you respect, like your parents,” he said. “When you’re young, your parents protect you by deciding whom you should be around. But, especially as you get older, don’t let one single person’s words sway your opinion of someone whom you don't actually know.”
“I’ll try,” I whispered, tears coming to my eyes for some hidden reason.
He touched my shoulder gently, then sat down again and smiled. I hadn’t seen him smile before. “Take care of that watch now, son. I hope your father enjoys many more years of using it.”
I slipped the fixed watch into the bag and started to walk away. Suddenly I turned back and gave the old man a gentle hug. I felt his fingers pressed tenderly against my back, and then he held me away.
“Merry Christmas, boy.”
“Merry Christmas, sir.”
Outside in the snow, I glanced back at the shop, once more unable to see anything definite about the inside. But this time, I knew that even if I couldn’t see anything clear from here, all I had to do was come closer, and find out.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

That Wall

Wow, I haven't been on here in months! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I wrote this short story about the Berlin Wall. Here it is.

That Wall

“Get over into West Berlin. Once I’m freed, I’ll follow you there.” Axel stared at the ceiling of his room as his brother’s words echoed over and over through his mind. Ten years. Ten painful, grueling years of sorrow and waiting and praying. And still his brother hadn’t come.
Turning over onto his side, Axel watched his nephew Wilfrid as he slept. The little boy had never even met his father. He hadn’t been born yet when they’d fled East Berlin. Ten years without knowing even the sound of his father’s voice.
Axel sat up and walked to the window. From their apartment, he could just see the wall in the distance, a black line in between dark buildings. He sighed slowly and clenched his fingernails into his palm. That wall. Someday he was going to knock it down.
Wilfrid opened his eyes to see Uncle Axel standing by the window, his face pressed against the glass. From his position, Wilfrid couldn’t tell if Uncle Axel was crying or not. Last night he had been, and the night before that. He sighed quietly and waited until Uncle Axel crawled back into bed and buried his face in his pillow.
Wilfrid climbed out of bed and tiptoed out of the room. Crossing the tiny hall, he opened his mother’s door a crack and peeked in. She was lying on her side, fast asleep. Wilfrid went over to her and touched her arm.
She sat up with a start. “Wilfrid!”
He sat down and leaned his head against her.
“What is it, honey?” she whispered.
I want Papa to come to us, he signed. Can’t he come soon?
“Oh Wilfrid.” Mama held him close and rubbed her nose against his hair. Wilfrid felt a tear drip into his scalp and he pressed against her. “Papa can’t come to us right now. He’s under arrest. And even if he weren’t, the guards won’t let anyone across, certainly not an anti-communist writer.”
Wilfrid stared up at her. When will we be free?
Mama choked a little on her words. “I don’t know, honey.”
There was a soft knock, the door opened wider, and Uncle Axel stepped into the room. “Did he wake you up again?”
Mama nodded. “Yes. It’s all right.”
Uncle Axel sat down on the bed and rubbed his face with his hands. “Do you mind if I stay a moment?”
Mama shook her head and wrapped her arms around both Uncle Axel and Wilfrid. Wilfrid looked at his uncle’s face. He had been crying. Wilfrid leaned close and kissed his uncle’s cheek.
Uncle Axel took Wilfrid’s hand. “God’s got to change this sometime, Etta. They can’t hold us in check forever.”
Mama stroked Wilfrid’s back. “I know. Every night for ten years I’ve been praying that He’ll change something. I know he will one day. We just have to wait.”
The room went silent. Wilfrid looked at his mother and uncle, and then at mama’s window in the corner. Pulling out of mama’s arms, he walked over and stared out at the streets of West Berlin, at the wall. Somewhere in East Berlin there lived a father he had never seen, a father he had never touched. A father he wanted so desperately to meet. Only one thing stood in his way: a wall. A massive, strong, impenetrable wall, the symbol of the terrible Communist hold on East Germany.
As his mother and uncle came to stand beside him, Wilfrid gripped the edge of the window sill with his fingers. That wall. Someday he was going to knock it down.
Axel wouldn’t let go of her hand as they made their way, crouching, along the narrow passage. Etta stared at the dark sewer that stretched out before them and shuddered. Her baby was in peril every moment they stayed this awful place.
“Can we go any faster?” she breathed, not daring to whisper.
Axel shook his head. “I don’t know how much this thing echoes. If anyone is working on the pipes, they might hear us. We have to take it slow.” He was silent for a long time. “Are you okay?”
Etta closed her eyes for a moment. Stifling back her tears, she tried to stop thinking about Stefan shut up in their house. “No, I’m not. But we need to keep going.” For my baby’s sake.
Axel removed his hand a moment, sniffed, then took her hand again. Etta could feel his tears against her palm. She tightened her grip and smiled. “Come on. If we can escape, we can try to free Stefan. Maybe it will be easier this time.”
Axel nodded and peered ahead into the tunnel. “We’re almost there.”
Footsteps echoed behind them. Etta started to whip around, but Axel clenched her hand and pulled her forward. They almost ran towards a faint beam of light gleaming hopefully ahead of them. But the footsteps sounded louder and closer. Etta could hardly breathe. One hand on her stomach, the other in Axel’s grasp, she felt as if she was going fall. She was going to fall.
“Axel!” Etta sat up with a jolt, her whole body shaking. She stared around at the room. It was her room. Of course. Lying back down, she started crying. In real life, they had escaped without being caught, but in her dreams, they were always caught by the guard, always brought back to be jailed in East Germany.
Maybe they should have stayed. Etta sat up again and buried her face in her hands. Maybe I should have stayed with Stefan. Given him comfort instead of seeking my own freedom. Maybe I should have let Axel go by himself.
But that wasn’t what had happened. She shouldn’t feel guilty. Besides, Stefan had nearly ordered her to go. He wanted her and the baby to be free. And Axel wouldn’t have been able to survive on his own. He’d been only fifteen at the time. He wouldn’t have been able to live without someone else to help him. Besides, Stefan had argued, if they were already free, it would be easier for him to escape, being only one person instead of three.
Etta got out of bed and pulled on her bathrobe. The sun was coming in the window, and she sat down in its light and sighed. She had done the right thing. She knew it. And perhaps soon, Lord willing, she would see a good result come from her heart-rending decision. Stefan would come and be reunited with his family.
Stefan paused in his work and stared around the small courtyard. Thirty-two years old and his professional career was gardener. Pitiful. And right now there were hardly any flowers left, so all he could do was weed among the terribly boring shrubs that surrounded the walls of the East Berlin government building.
Getting to his feet, Stefan stretched the crinkles out of his neck and shoulders. Perhaps someday someone would notice his hard work and promote him. Maybe he could become a janitor. At least then he would be indoors. Then maybe he could save enough money, and then maybe he could find a way to get across the border. He had to get over soon. It’d been too long already.
He shook his head and picked up a spade. At least he’d been released from house arrest. After seven years, the government had decided he wasn’t very dangerous anymore, and had allowed him to once more move around East Berlin. But he was still heavily watched, and had no way of sending any word to Etta and Axel.
“....It’s going to be tonight, really!”
Stefan glanced towards the back entrance of the building as two officials walked out. The one with a beard was speaking excitedly to the other.
“Are you sure?” the other man asked, his face tense.
“I heard the spokesman say so himself! At midnight tonight, we’re allowed to cross the border!”
Stefan dropped his spade and rushed over, grabbing the man by the arms. “What did you just say, sir?”
The man laughed and clasped Stefan in an embrace. “We’re being freed! Our superiors have decided to open the wall! At midnight tonight, citizens of both East and West Berlin will be able to go to whichever side of the city they choose!”
Stefan yelled and shook the man hard. “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! I can’t believe it!” The thought of his wife, son, and brother filled his mind, and he grinned. “I’ll get to see my family!”
The other two men weren’t listening; they were too busy talking to each other. Stefan left them and went back to his garden patch, his arms trembling. They were going to be free. In just seven and a half hours, they would be free! How could he contain himself until then?
Someone was shaking his arm hard. Wilfrid opened his eyes to see mama and Uncle Axel standing over him. “Wilfrid! Get up, honey!” mama said, tears on her cheeks.
Wilfrid sat up. What’s wrong? he signed.
“Nothing!” Uncle Axel almost shouted. “Now get up and and come on! We have to go!”
What are we doing? Wilfrid asked, climbing out of bed and squinting in the dim light of the rising sun.
“You’ll see,” mama said, her voice all choky.
Wilfrid tugged on his coat and shoes and followed his mother and uncle down the stairs of the apartment and out onto the chilly street. Why were so many people up at this hour? Wilfrid stared as both younger and older people hurried past him. They all seemed to be heading in one direction, and Wilfrid’s stomach trembled as he realized what direction that was. Towards the wall. They were all going towards the wall.
Walking closer to his mother, Wilfrid glanced at Uncle Axel and saw that he was carrying a huge chunk of cement block. What’s that for? he asked.
“You’ll see,” Uncle Axel whispered, his hand grabbing onto Wilfrid’s.
Mama, what’s going on? Wilfrid persisted, stopping entirely.
Mama took a deep breath and crouched down so that she could look him in the eye. “Wilfrid. How would you like to meet daddy?”
Wilfrid screamed, jumped to his feet, and took off towards the wall, mama and Uncle Axel laughing as they caught up with him. Holding their hands, Wilfrid strained himself forward. They had to hurry! Daddy. He was about to see daddy.
Stefan shoved his way through the crush of people. Of all the nights to be called in for questioning, why had it needed to be this one? It had taken him hours to get of the building, and now it was already sunrise. He had to get through the gate. He had to get to his family.
Suddenly, he stopped and stared at the wall ahead of him. There was no way he would make it through the gate quickly enough. It was jammed, literally jammed with people.
His eyes strayed to the wall itself. People were grabbing at the cement, trying pull themselves over. His heart raced, and he ran forward, then jerked to a stop, staring at his feet. He had come to the sand trap. A snowy white blanket stretched before him, showing hundreds of footprints. They would show his footprints.
Stefan took a deep breath and started moving again. That sand didn’t matter anymore. The wall didn’t matter anymore. They were free. And each step he took brought him closer to his family.
They were so close. Wilfrid broke from his mother’s and Uncle Axel’s grips and charged the last few feet towards the wall. He ignored the jammed gate several feet away, and instead dug his fingers into the cement itself, trying to find a grip. Someone gave him a boost from behind, and Wilfrid felt himself lifted up, up until he was chest high with the top of the wall. Grabbing the huge pole that sat atop the wall, Wilfrid hauled himself up and glanced back to thank his helper.
It was an East Berlin guard.
Wilfrid froze. He stared at the guard, the machine gun strap still slung across the man’s shoulder. The guard looked up at him and smiled. Wilfrid gulped, blinked, and then smiled back. Placing his hand on his mouth, he brought it away and downwards. Thank you.
The guard grinned and stepped away, and Wilfrid turned around. He was the first person on top of the wall. For a moment, he stood tall, gazing across at East Berlin, the city that had held his father prisoner for ten years. His shoes balanced carefully on the rounded pole, and the cool breeze brushed against his forehead.
“Wilfrid, do you see daddy?” mama called from below in the churning crowd.
Wilfrid recalled the picture of his father that mama kept on her dresser to his mind. Dark, curly hair, light eyes, a tiny scar on his forehead. Looking down at the boiling, noisy mob below his feet, he stared at the East Berliners, trying to find his father.
Uncle Axel hoisted himself up beside Wilfrid, then pulled mama up too. As others joined them on the wall, all calling out, laughing, crying, Wilfrid took his mother’s hand and kept searching.
Then suddenly he was right there, right below Wilfrid, staring up at them all. Wilfrid gazed at the strange man for a moment, his heart racing. His pawed at mama’s arm, trying to get her attention.
His daddy looked at mama, and then right into Wilfrid’s eyes, and held out his arms. “Wilfrid!”
Wilfrid dropped to his knees, and slid off the top of the wall into his father’s arms. His arms closed around daddy’s neck, and he placed his face against his shirt. He heard mama crying, sliding over the wall, and felt her suddenly against him, her arms going past to him to wrap around daddy. Looking up, he saw them kissing, and once more buried his head in his father’s chest. Daddy. He had found his daddy.
Axel stood on the top of the wall, staring at his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew as they hugged each other and laughed. Tears ran down his cheeks, and he grinned, then slid over the side of the wall, landing with both feet on East Berlin ground. Picking up his chunk of cement, which he had dropped over the wall while climbing, he turned, heaved it into the air, and smashed it into the wall’s ugly side. His hands stung from the blow, but he recoiled and did it again. He had told himself that someday he would knock down this wall, and now he could do it. His cement block smashed again and again into the wall, and then suddenly, with one last blow, he let it drop, feeling too weak to do anymore. He sank onto his knees and cried, his head pressed against the wall. All the emotion from ten years of waiting came pouring out, and he couldn’t decide if he was more sad, angry, or relieved. Maybe all three combined.
Stefan finally broke from his family and knelt beside Axel. “I missed you, Axel,” he whispered, putting his arms around his brother’s shoulder.
Wilfrid and Etta came over, and the four huddled together next to the wall, crying and holding each other. Around them, people laughed, shouted, cried. Everyone seemed to be feeling the same mix of emotions.
Wilfrid tugged on Axel’s sleeve and Axel glanced down at his nephew. “What is it?” he asked.
Only today is the war really over, Wilfrid signed.
Axel stood up and nodded. Wilfrid was right. On November 9, 1989, forty-four years after World War Two ended for the rest of the world, it ended for the people of Berlin with the destruction of the wall.
Axel picked Wilfrid up and swung him around. “The war is over! It’s finally over.”
Wilfrid grinned at his uncle. And the wall is finally no more.
The End

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


This story is for Quote Queste, over at The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls. This was the quote for this month.

Tybalt shifted in his saddle and turned to look at Thea. She was watching his opponent trot his horse in a wide circle, not paying any attention to him. Tybalt tried to take a deep breath, but his armor restricted his chest. Choking out the air he'd just drawn in, Tybalt, turned his horse around, trying to clear his hand.

He didn't want to fight. Not at all, not even for Thea. She always pretended she didn't care during these fights, always pretended she was cheering for Tybalt's opponent as much as she was cheering for him. He wished she would actually openly pick a side. If she would actually say she didn't love him after all, well then, he could go and leave this tiresome fight and never come back. But she wouldn't say anything. He had only spoken to her once in the last two weeks, and that once had been under supervision of her governess.

"I commend you, Tybalt, for winning the first match today," she had said softly, letting him kiss the air over her hand.

"Thank you, my lady," he had muttered, trying to look straight into her eyes without drawing the attention of the governess. He wanted to know what she really thought. Did she love him still, like she had three months ago, before the French raids, before the government uprisings, before everything had heaved up and then just as quickly, just as strangely, settled down again?

A bugle screamed the final warning for the match's commencement, and Tybalt pulled his horse to a stop and faced his opponent. This was to be the final battle for Thea's hand. Did he even want her hand? Would she actually love and respect him, and could he love and respect her?

As the second bugle sounded, Tybalt turned and watched as his opponent, Sir Doran, rode up before Thea and her father, removed his helmet, and bowed as well as he could clad in full armor and sitting in a saddle.

As Sir Doran trotted his horse back to his starting position, Tybalt urged his horse towards the stand, and halted in front of the king and Thea. He pulled off his helmet, bowed to the king, and then stared at Thea, his eyes trying to pierce her face, her expression, her thoughts.

Thea looked at him squarely, all elusiveness suddenly gone from her face. In it's place, Tybalt saw pride, fear, and love. A great, steady love that was outshining the other emotions. She wanted him, not Sir Doran. She really did love him.

Tybalt lowered his head towards his horse's neck in respect towards the princess he loved so deeply, his heart galloping against his ribs and the armor that protected them. As he sat up again, he looked straight at Thea and took a deep breath as she smiled at him. Then he turned his horse. It was time to fight Sir Doran.

As the two knights held their horses in check at their starting positions, Tybalt tried hard not to panic. His lungs felt compressed together into a lump, and he felt like a page again, unsure of everything.

The last bugle sprawled through the air and into his ears, and Tybalt kicked his horse into a gallop, holding his spear tightly. Sir Doran flew towards him, and Tybalt suddenly felt the crashing sting of his opponent's spear flipping his own out of his hand. Then they were moving away from each other, and Tyablt wheeled his horse around, his teeth, his head growing hot. He had to win. But he had no weapon.

He charged again.

Sir Doran swung at him with his spear, and Tyablt felt the wooden pole strike his on the chest. He catapulted backwards off the horse, his armor creating discordant symphony. Thea screamed and Tybalt tried to get up, but everything was swirling into blackness...

"Cut! It's a take!"

Aaron clambered to his feet, pulling his helmet off his head and swallowing fresh air. Leah slipped off her throne, waved, and walked towards her trailer, already answering the questions of five reporters who had been allowed to watch the shooting.

Aaron clanked himself over to Betty, who was sitting on a camp chair, watching him. "How did I look?"

"Very brave, but that fall must have hurt. You shouldn't do your own stunts."

Aaron laughed and pulled off his gloves. "I like the excitement."

Standing up, Betty took his arm. "Come on, let's go get lunch. Then you have to be back on set."

Aaron glanced at Betty's watch, then smiled. "Okay. Let's hurry; we only have an hour and a half, and I want to spend every moment with you."

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blog Party Tag Answers.

Over at Miss Dashwood's blog, a blog party is being held for Masked, the modern-day Scarlet Pimpernel adaptation I've mentioned on here before. Anyways, a tag was put out to be answered, and I am answering it. If you want to do so yourself, you can go over to Miss Dashwood's blog, linked to above, and answer the questions!

1. The obvious question... how'd you get introduced to the Scarlet Pimpernel?

Umm... I don't know when I first heard about it, but it was I think through my older sisters. My first taste of it was in the way of several clips from the 1982 movie adaptation on my sister's blog, and then I read the first book for school. I saw the whole of the 1982 movie when I was thirteen, or maybe fourteen. I think it was thirteen. I loved it. :)

2.  If you could meet any of the characters in real life, who would you choose and why? (you can use the obvious answer of Sir Percy if you really want to, but this is your chance to get creative. ;))

Well, I think I would like to meet Sir Percy, because he's the hero, and really amazing, but it might also be fun to meet some others of the league, like Lord Tony and Sir Andrew. As to why... um, they came into my head? (I'm very bad at "Why" questions, sorry.) Chauvelin might also be interesting to meet in a kind of scary way. Just to see what he's like. (I will say here that I think I like the Sir Percy of the 1982 movie better than the Sir Percy of the books, and so will most likely be meaning him most of the time when I talk about Sir Percy, as I was in this question.)

3.  What are your top 3 favorite quotes from the books or movies? (yes, just three)

"Sink Me. So 'tis. But then, if you were to look out of that window, you would see me yacht, the Day Dream, ready to take me-- and my men-- safely back to England." (Not 100% sure that is exactly the way the quote goes, but that's basically it.)

"Call it what you will! I will have the Scarlet Pimpernel's head or your brother's." (A violent quote, I know, but it's fun to say so fast, like Chauvelin does.) (Little fun fact: Chauvelin has his own Wikipedia page. :))

I like the whole scene where Percy is going over Chauvelin's dress. (Not dress dress, but dress as in what he's wearing.)

~All three of these were from the 1982 movie, though they could also be in the books. I don't know. :P

4. Who is your favorite supporting character in the books? (Percy and Marguerite are ineligible)

I haven't read many of the books. I think I've only read all of the first three... So I don't know. :) Sorry.

5. Which film versions have you seen and which do you like best?

I have only seen the 1982 version in entirety, though I have seen maybe a minute or thirty seconds of the 1934 version. I like the 1982 version the best, though that isn't really fair to the other, seeing as I haven't seen it fully.

6. What's your top-absolute-favorite scene in the first book? (if you've read it-- if not, what's your favorite scene in whichever movie you prefer?)

Mm, I don't know... (sorry). It's been a long time since I read it. I did like the ending part, though. I didn't think I knew about the beggar. As for the movie, (I'm allowed to answer that part of the question as well) I don't know. I like the scene where Marguerite comes to see Percy in *SPOILER* prison. *END OF SPOILER,* and the ending fencing scene and all, and the proposal.

7. If you could dream-cast a new adaptation of the book (a period piece, that is) who would you choose to play the roles of Sir Percy, Marguerite and Chauvelin?

Hmmmmm....... well, without remembering descriptions from the books on Sir Percy and Marguerite too well.... (And these are picked just right now-- I hadn't thought about this, so it's not really a dream-cast. :P)

Aaron Tveit as Sir Percy.

Stephen Moyer as Chauvelin. (I picked this picture because he looks sinister.)

Sierra Boggess as Marguerite.

8. Do you think the Scarlet Pimpernel does his rescue work purely for "the love of sport," as the narrative would tell us (and as he would often claim) or does he have more noble motives that he won't admit?  Explain your answer.  Show your work.

I think he does it for the sport of it... but.... then... he's so upset when he hears that the King has been beheaded, and he goes to such great risks to save the Dauphin, so I think he does care about the people he's saving, and wishes to help them even if it's dangerous.

9.  Second to Chauvelin, who is the worst villain in the book series, and why?

Maybe Robespierre, because he is evil. :P (I'm pretty rotten at these questions, aren't I?)

10.  What's your favorite novel in the series (if you've read more than one)?  If not, which one are you most excited to read?

Again, I don't know. I was looking forward to the third one, I think, because it was like the ending in the movie.

11.  If you could change one thing about your favorite version of the movie, what would it be?

The scenes with Armand and Louise. Unnecessary, They could have done it the way it is in the book. 

12.  Lastly... how would you convince a skeptical friend to read/watch TSP?  What is it that you love about it?

Oh, I'm not sure. The romance, the thrillingness of it... maybe I could just try showing the friend a trailer, and talking about Sir Percy's heroic deeds.

Yet Another Period Drama Blog