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Thursday, March 22, 2012

SHAPE OF HER HEART_Friday's Romantic Challenge

She wears my ring.

That is Friday's Romantic challenge given us by Denise Covey:

This is an excerpt {444 words} from NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE (from a chapter told through the eyes of Victor Standish):

The shouting was deafening. "Mei-lo-ri! Mei-lo-ri!"

Sam and I hurried out of my room to the balcony, overlooking the front of the jazz club. I swallowed hard. It was filled to overflowing with Ningyos brandishing swords in a frenzy of devotion to the regal wife of my father, Sam McCord.

Sam rasped, "She wears my ring."

I looked up. "That's a good thing, right?"

"It is the ring of King Solomon."

I went cold. "The one that controls demons?"

Meilori answered for me as she called out to her devoted followers. "Long have you questioned me marrying a barbarian. But see? Now, I possess his ring that will have an army of demons sweeping the world clean of the filth of humanity. Clean for us to rule!"

Sam's face looked like he'd been gut-shot. "No. No."

Meilori's face beamed as she spoke, "When first I met the barbarian, he was wearing this ring. And I knew to possess it, I first had to possess him!"

This was ancient Greek tragedy plotting worthy of Medea or Elektra. I looked to Sam. He weaved as if faint. I went a little crazy. No one hurt Captain Sam when I was around.

"Yo, she-bitch!" I yelled, walking across the balcony, right up to her.

"No,Victor" rasped Sam. "You don't know the shape of her heart."

I said, "What shape does a vacuum have?"

Meilori sneered at me. "Speaks the bastard son of my husband."

I laughed, "Better than your son, your Hind-Ass. There aren't enough scalding baths in the world to wash me clean if I were yours."

She reared back her ring hand, her fingers now straight to slap me. Sucker. I moved through the seconds, plucking Solomon's ring from her finger, tossing it back to Captain Sam.

Beside Meilori, dagger in hand, her Prime Minister gasped, "Impossible! No one can take Solomon's ring as long as the wearer lives!"

I snorted, "Sure they can, your pompousness. Anyone who doesn't want the ring for him or herself can do ...."


I saw it hit the Prime Minister as fast as it did me. With him standing behind Meilori, his dagger took on a whole new meaning.

This whole scene had been a ruse, planned by Meilori and Sam. Meilori could take Solomon's ring from Sam because she hadn't meant to keep it in the first place. This had all been a set-up to draw out the real ....

"Traitor!" snapped Sam, and I heard his Colt bark once.

The Prime Minister reeled to the carpet dead, the dagger still in his hand. Meilori arched a cool eyebrow to me.

"Standish, despite what the arrogance of youth believes, we adults know what we are doing."

Her brows knitted together dangerously. "Now, about that 'she-bitch' remark ...."

I sighed. Ever have one of those lives?


  1. Definitely fits the "she wears my ring" phrase. Good job integrating your developed characters into the theme. And in keeping your characters "in character".

    What an awesome pair Victor and Capt. Sam make :)


  2. Thanks, Donna:
    Yes, I did a twist on what was expected of the theme, "She wears my ring."

    Thanks for thinking Victor and Captain Sam make an awesome pair. They are two of my favorite characters. Pace yourself now, Roland

  3. Clever way of working the prompt phrase into the story without changing the charcters. I agree with Donna, and she says it so much better.
    Great read!
    Best wishes,
    I'm back with the faeries, this time with a family of trolls!
    Anna's RFW-challenge No. 34 'She wears my ring'

  4. Anna:
    Faeries are some of my favorite characters to write, too! Thanks for liking my little effort.

    L. Diane
    Yes, sometimes Victor isn't as smart as he believes -- like the rest of us!

    Poor Victor did get snookered this time, didn't he? Thanks for visiting. Roland

  5. Poor Victor. I like that you used a MS for this prompt.

    Oh dear! My eyes have gone squiffy from the white on black

  6. Roland this is another prime example of your fantasy world that I am beginnning to enjoy, because your imagination is so original and vivid. Your dialogue makes this piece extremely active and face-paced, and the most interesting thing about your work is this consistant element of surprise. That's what fascinates me. I think you share this trait with Clive Barker, who liked to surprise his readers, too. But sometimes your surprises are (for me) somewhat leftfield, because I don't quite understand what Sfumato has to do with the ensuing action seen. Perhaps that needs a little elaboration. I'm not too bright when it comes to connecting the dots. Please do tell me, what does painting technique have to do with your scene. I'm sorry I'm a little frustrated. I'm delighted with this surprise element "Sfumato" (it says a world in just one word), but I feel so horridly ignorant because I'm not making the dot-connection. I keep seeing Antonio da Corregio's "Abduction of Io" in my mind's eye, and trying to integrate in this scene.

  7. Roland, this is definitel the most 'exciting' take on 'she wears my ring'. I love the way you slipped it into the scene so early in the piece and built on that. As Weissdorn says, you continually surprise your reader and this is what good fiction is all about. You've gotta keep us hanging on the edge of our seats and you do this so well, master storyteller.

    Hope things are going better for you.


  8. Very clever treatment of 'she wears my ring' theme and a nice twist at the end. Not sure what kind of magic was used to pluck that ring off her finger, because rings usually are hard to remove, but then I'm being too much of a realist. Nice job.

  9. Hi Roland
    Excellent job. A ring with a whole new meaning to it.

  10. Hello.
    Whoa! I'm still trying to catch my breath. What a fast-paced, riveting excerpt. That's some ring! I definitely like your take on the theme. Thanks for sharing.
    Nice song too...first time hearing it.

    The Beloved