one more thing
January 31, 2014 4 Comments
I think my favorite thing about this series, apart from the story, itself, is the fact that it shifts from one character’s point of view to another from week to week.
When I read the first A Song of Ice and Fire book, Game of Thrones, that was the element that impressed me the most. George RR Martin makes good use of perspective, wielding it in a way that enhances the story. Stoker did the same thing in Dracula.
For me, the fun of it is in getting inside each character’s head. The novel I’m currently working on a second draft of is told from a single perspective. I’m on fairly intimate terms with my main character, who doesn’t narrate, but whose point of view is the foundation for the story. I’ve enjoyed that process, and am still enjoying it, but jumping from one character’s point of view to another’s provides me with an entirely different vantage point.
It’s more challenging, in a way, though made easier by the fact that I’m currently only writing one episode a week for this series. This week, we dip into Ormar’s head, still reeling from the kiss, no doubt.
If you’re new to my website, you should know this story is just one part of a longer series. You’ll want to read the other parts before jumping into this one. Just click here. The posts will display starting with the first, so you can kick back and read them in order.
one more thing
The remainder of the REI trip was uneventful. Ormar and Kenna loaded up the rented Mercedes SUV with their newly purchased supplies and agreed that lunch was in order.
They ate at a Chili’s, which was serviceable if a little below Kenna’s standards. Ormar noticed that she only sneered once when looking over the menu, though. Something had her in a good mood.
He wanted to believe it was the kiss. That had been a surprise, though a welcome one. He’d been caught completely off guard. Had he seen it coming, he might have attempted some kind of follow up. Maybe a witty quip or, if he was feeling especially lucky, a returned kiss on the lips. But his mind was a tumbling mess at that moment. Kenna was expressing faith in his abilities in the field, something she had not done to that point. He was trying to process that combined with the prospect of an actual encounter with an angry god, and then she kissed him.
Demigod or not, she was like every other woman in Ormar’s experience: an explainable mystery.
She had some kind of grilled chicken breast for lunch, opting for one of the menu’s offerings with so many modifications that Ormar was certain no one had ever ordered that meal before. He had a burger and fries, and, he suspected, enjoyed his meal a great deal more than she enjoyed hers. Their conversation was light, focusing mostly on the differences between British and American food and dining.
When they left, Ormar expected Kenna to hop back on the freeway and take them to the hotel, but she did not. Instead, she punched an address into the GPS from memory and navigated them away from the highway, toward a less refined part of town.
“Where are we going?” Ormar asked.
“We have one more errand,” Kenna said. “The last of our supplies.”
Ormar glanced over his shoulder at the literal pile of stuff in the back of the Mercedes.
“Seriously?” he asked. “We forgot something?”
Kenna’s lip tugged upward, toward her right ear. The half-grin was both cute and menacing. “Forgot? No. But there is one more thing we need that REI did not have.”
“Is it a surprise?” Ormar asked.
“Of a sort,” Kenna said, still smiling.
They took several quick turns, traveling only a few minutes, and Kenna pulled into a parking lot to their left: Garrat’s House of Blades.
“You know,” Ormar said, “They had knives at REI.”
Kenna brought the SUV to a stop and turned off the engine. “I know,” she said. “But they did not have swords.”
She bounded from the car, headed for the front door. Ormar slowly released his seatbelt, got out, and trailed behind her. Swords, he thought. Odin help me.
Of course they would need weapons. They still had Big Georgie’s gun, a pistol the small-time mobster had been kind enough to carry with a full clip. Ormar had assumed they would simply buy more ammo and maybe another gun, but, on further refection, he realized how stupid it would have sounded if he’d said as much to Kenna. Arawn carried a blade, himself, and Kenna was a well accomplished sword fighter. Ormar wasn’t even sure a gun would work against Arawn, given his divine status.
So, they went inside to buy more suitable weapons.
The sales person, who was, in fact, called Garrat, was friendly, if a little condescending. When Kenna started asking about swords, he was happy to lead her to a large display behind glass. He unlocked the case while Ormar ogled the price tags.
Pulling one of the larger blades from the case, Garrat handed Kenna a broadsword. It appeared heavy, but she hefted it with little effort. Pulling it from its sheath, she inspected the blade.
“It’s like the Braveheart sword,” Garrat said. “Not a replica, but same kinda style. Nice, huh?”
Kenna frowned. “This is a show sword,” she said. “I’m not looking for something to display. This is hardly good enough.”
“Lady, that’s my nicest sword,” Garrat said, clearly offended. “Jesus, just because it ain’t Excalibur, you don’t have to be all hoity-toity about it.”
Kenna handed the sword back to Garrat and calmly explained, “You misunderstand. It’s a fine piece, one I’m sure your usual clientele will find delightful. However, I need something more practical. Something with a sharp edge, made to be put to use. Do you have anything of that sort?”
Garrat eyed Kenna and then Ormar. Ormar could see the question in his eyes. Who are you people?
“This is what I sell,” he said. “People don’t come here to outfit themselves for battle. They come to buy nice looking weapons, and I have the best.”
“Pity,” Kenna said. “I was hoping you might have what we’re looking for.” She turned to leave.
“Hang on a second,” Garrat said. “I might have something. Follow me.”
He led them to the back room, which was one part stock room, one part office, one part work room and all mess. Discarded on a shelf to the side of one of the work benches lie several weapons. They were nothing like the stuff out on Garrat’s show floor. No jeweled hilts or chrome plating. No, these were rougher looking pieces with leather strapped around the handles, nestled in plain leather sheaths.
“There’s this guy over in Loveland, he makes these swords,” Garrat said picking one up. “Says they’re for ‘home defense’. The guy’s a nut. I think he’s gearin’ up for the zombie apocalypse or something. Anyway, he says these are the real deal. I tried selling them on consignment. It’s not really what my customers come looking for, but, hell, I told him I’d try. He’s supposed to drive over and pick ‘em up next week. I had ‘em on the floor for 6 months and no one even batted an eye at ‘em. Take a look.”
He handed a sword roughly the same size as his ‘nicest blade’ to Kenna, who immediately smiled. Though she showed no more sign of effort, Ormar could tell this sword was heavier than the one she’d held a few minutes before. She pulled it from the sheath and inspected the blade.
“Steel?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Garrat said. “Stainless, if it matters.”
She ran a finger along the edge.
“He does fine work,” she said. “The blade is sharp. How much?”
Garrat raised his eyebrows. “I had that one marked at $500–Jim, the guy who makes these, set the price. I told that moron it was too high, but he wouldn’t budge.”
“Not for this one,” Kenna corrected. “For all of them. You have four, it seems.”
Garrat laughed. “More than you wanna pay. Those two sabres are $400 a piece, plus $500 for the broadsword you’re holding and $300 for the dirk. That’s…” he paused, doing the math in his head, “$1,500.”
“$1,600,” Ormar said. “The total should be $1,600.”
“Yeah, that’s what I said,” Garrat said. “$1,600 for all of ‘em.”
Kenna nodded. “How about $2000–for the swords, your discretion and the trouble?”
Garrat looked confused.
“When Jim or anyone else asks who bought these,” Kenna explained, “you don’t really remember. Just some guy…getting ready for the zombie apocalypse.”
“For two grand, I’ll tell him my mom bought ‘em,” Garrat said giddily.
“Very well,” Kenna said to Garrat. “Please ring these up.”
He gathered the swords and moved quickly toward the front room, perhaps afraid that if he didn’t collect the money soon his new customers might come to their senses.
“Now, we just need to bless them,” Kenna said quietly to Ormar. “Then we’ll be ready to drive to Glenwood Springs.”