Sunday, 6 May 2012

Harts Change: Scribbly Bit - Meeting with Evelyns Father.


A bit of scribble from Harts Change that I'm working on.  It's an argument between Evelyn Oneeye and her father, Sor Esteele.  It's been five years since their last little talk and this one threatens to go much the same way.

At this stage its very heavy on the dialogue but that's because I write dialogue first and then fill in the scenery afterwards but what I want to set up is the introduction of Evelyns adopted daughter, Warchild who will be sent to live with Sor while the war continues.

NB: don't worry too much about the names of people.  They really are just placeholders until I can come up with something more fitting.

There is a touch of bad language which may or may not be left in.  I'm on the fence about it really since it fits that she'd use it to shock her father and also because she's been on the outskirts of the law for so long but at the same time I don't want to use it so much that it loses its power.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.  On with the story!


After the liberation of Tardeel, the meeting between the king and her new appointment:
Evelyn is walking down the hall of the Baronial mansion with Prince Nichus and Lady Florencia when Sor Esteelles servant appears with a message that he would like to talk with her at her convenience.]
“Go ahead Lady Oneeye” the prince says “I am quite safe enough”

“If he really has something to say then it might be worth listening to” she says, more to herself than anyone else and bows to Prince Nichus before following the servant to his master.

You've delivered the message?” Sor nodded at the servent as he entered before stepping back in surprise as Evelyn entered the room.
“He has. What did you want to see me about?”
He gulped down the cup of wine far too quickly “Evelyn. I didn't expect to see you so very soon” 
“Your man caught me between meetings and the prince gave me leave to come to you” she says, aware of his nervousness.
He unbuckles the baldric and hands the sword to his servant “Have this sharpened please. There's quite a chip in the old blade”
The servant bows and takes the sword
You think that's necessary? That we can't even talk without trying to kill each other?”
“It think that it is merely a precaution”
You've grown cautious old man” but she unhooks the warcleaver and hands them to the servant anyway.

They settled on the low couches and Sor poured more wine from the decanter.

DISAGREEMENT::I saw your coat of arms being flown today. Its different”
“You wouldn't believe how long it took to get that simple design through”
“I've had to deal with those people as well. If the king sent them against the Ambians this war would be over tomorrow” His joke falls flat but he continues on regardless “You've done great things since you left, if all the stories are to be believed”
“I can't see you hanging out at the kind of places those stories would be told”
“After everything that happened on your wedding night the king summoned me to the court. He publicly lectured me and, well, after that my star was never held in high regard. People delighted in letting me know your every move” he held up his arm which had a long white scar running down the redness of his velvet fur “I broke a mans nose for telling me I was wrong in sending you away and he answered me back with a knife”

Unimpressed she pointed to her missing eye “You want to compare scars? I lost this to a knife and I killed the son of a bitch that did it” Her finger moved to the burns on her cheek “this was done by Trailins chief torturer. You do remember who Trailin was don't you?”

It's been suggested that I was perhaps wrong in my actions”
“Perhaps you were wrong? You fucking disowned me!”
“It was the right thing at the time! If your mother”
“Were alive” she interrupted “spare me the lecture. I've heard it too many times for it to have any effect on me now”
“I was going to say that if she were here she'd know what to say. She was always the one with the clever tongue”

“Like your secret passage. We were all prepared for a long siege at best but you arrive and just like that the situations resolved”
“Don't make it sound as I'm some kind of criminal mastermind. I only knew about it because that was how I got in the last time”
but the point is that you did know about it. That's your mothers gift, to look at a problem and solve it just like that”
“Certainly that plays into it but you plan and improvise when you need to. There's a lot of your mother in you is what I'm trying to say”

“But why?” she asked suspiciously
“You say I'm a planner. Well mum wasn't the only schemer in the family. You've known where I was for years and it's only now that you deign to recognise my presence? I could be missing both eyes and still be able to see that you're angling for something”
“You're mistaken girl”
“Don't give me that. Just tell me what you want so I can say no and we can get back to happily ignoring each other”
“ Infuriation! There's no scheme. No plan. I just wanted to talk. About us. About where we stand”
“I'm sorry. Where we stand? Old man there is no we”
“The ties of blood”

The fine vase smashed against the floor as she spun round in a rage “Blood? Where were the ties of blood when I found love? Where were the ties of blood when you sold me to Cole Trailin? Do they only apply when I've made a name for myself? Tell me father I do so wan't to know”
“Now that the world has changed so much. Blood and family ties us together so much more tightly than before.” Sor breathed deeply “I thought this would be easy but there isn't an easy way to say this. Your brothers are both dead. We two are the last of the Esteele line”
“Dead. How?”
“Rupert and Frank never survived the change. Well they did but the earthquakes that followed claimed their lives “
“And Albert?”
“Killed himself for want of a dead womans love”
“He always did lead with his heart”

“You don't seem to badly affected by the news”
“I'll feel sad later. I still remember them standing behind you that night”
“The thing of it is that, as the only Esteeles left”
“I don't believe this. Even now it's all about you! You were never happy unless I was your perfect little doll. If you'd just accepted Tobias we could have been happy!”
“Happiness” Sor scoffed “I'll freely admit that I used your marriage to form closer ties to the Northern Reaches. Perhaps if you'd stayed with him he would have stayed loyal to the king”
“Cole Trailin was never loyal to anyone except his own damn self” Evelyn stated “and you can't argue that it didn't all work out. You got your money back and I got to live with the man I loved. There's even a song about it” she drained her goblet quickly not trusting herself to continue.
“Just you and your son? I had heard about your, man being killed. I'm sorry about that”
“No your not.” she stated flatly “ that's just what you think I want to hear. “your grandson is dead, he didn't survive the change either “
“Evelyn I am truly sorry”
“Whats to be sorry about? He was just the bastard offspring of a thief and his woman right?”
“That's beneath you”
Is that what this is all about? You don't have any family left and you must make up with me so that I can look after you in your dotage?”

Sor rose to his feet and visibly counted to ten before he answered “I dreamt about your mother last night. She told me that I was doing nobody any good by holding onto my bitterness and that I had to talk to you properly”
“I met with my Toryans spirit some time ago” Evelyn admitted “he told me much the same thing”
Is this the new world then. If we're not doing it right then the dead haunt us until we do?”
“We've been living in that world for a long time”
What I'm trying to say” Sor began hesitantly “what I'm trying to say is that enough people have died because of the great change. I do understand if you don't want to wear the Esteele name. I really do, but let us not snap forever more at each others heels. Can we not call an end to this” he visibly hesitated “daughter?”
She shook her head as she got to her feet and rang the bell for the servant “Not daughter. You lost the right to call me that a long time ago”
If you ever wanted to visit”
She took the cleavers which had been sharpened well enough to shave with and hooked them onto her belt. “I'll make no promises”


  1. I got a little confused as to who was saying what. But I liked the dialogue. It is very convincing in the way it is being said.

  2. I'm certainly looking forward to chopping this thing to pieces (again) and tidying it up.

  3. I agree, very convincing and engaging. I also like your phrases you that I particularly loved was when Sor says, “I broke a man's nose for telling me I was wrong in sending you away and he answered me back with a knife”. I also really liked Evelyn's "I could be missing both eyes and still be able to see that you're angling for something”.

    Good stuff! XD