A Charming Teenager


I am still into novel writing mode, rather heavily.  Because of that, I thought I might offer you an extract from my work-in-progress, with a sketch giving the introduction of a sweet young thing and of the hero not exactly coping too well with her.  What emotions do the characters arouse in you?

       He was filled with dread when he reached home, and the first words he heard as he let himself in the front door seemed to warrant that feeling completely.  It was a girl’s voice, with a slightly whiny and complaining quality and sounding thoroughly bad-tempered, coming to him clearly from the direction of the sitting-room.    ‘… want to go to Granny’s now.  I need to change and freshen up.  I don’t ****-well see why we have to meet this stupid **** retard before that.’
The voice of a woman replied.  This was a pleasant one, and he liked it immediately.  ‘Please don’t use that language.  You know I hate it.  And please don’t call him that.’
‘Why **** not?  He is one.  I mean, just look at that **** picture of him.  Just like all the others I’ve seen.  A complete **** village idiot.’
At that moment Donald came from the direction of the kitchen, holding a tray of tea and coffee things, and spotted Hugh in the hallway.  ‘Ah, you’re home, Hugh,’ – everyone seems to state the obvious on such occasions – ‘come and meet Raine and Tyrentia.’
Suddenly conscious of the fact that he had a rather rumpled appearance following his climb, leap-and-roll, and dash for the bus, Hugh shambled into  the sitting room.  Mother and daughter stared at him, and he stared back.  Both had long, very black hair.  Both had very fair complexions – in the case of Tyrentia, startlingly white.  Both, surprisingly, had blue eyes.  Tyrentia’s were of a particularly vivid shade.
The most noticeable thing about them, though, was the difference in expressions.  Raine’s was sweet, serene and humorous.  Tyrentia looked exactly as disagreeable as she had sounded.
Raine smiled and rose from her chair saying, ‘Hello, Hugh; how nice to meet you at last,’ and came over to give him a hug.  The boy wasn’t sure how to respond, but ended up by dropping his bag on his foot and mumbling, ‘Dja do.’
Tyrentia didn’t get up.  She gave Hugh the sort of look one would normally reserve for rotten fish, and said,  ‘Hello.  Right; now we’ve met.  Can we ****-well go to Granny’s, now?’
Her mother frowned at her, resumed her seat, and then said to Hugh, ‘Tell me about yourself.  What are your favourite sports?’
Hugh was looking at the tea things, and the sight reminded him.  ‘Cupcakes!’ he blurted.
Donald glared at him and jumped in with, ‘Oh yes, Hugh baked some cupcakes for us this morning.  Let me fetch them.’
‘Oh, for ****’s sake!  It cooks!  Look, I’m just going for a walk in the **** garden.’  Ignoring her mother’s protests, Tyrentia let herself out.

© Colonialist May 2013 (WordPress)

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Books, Fantasy, Humour, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to A Charming Teenager

  1. Marco says:

    **** awesome! if they leave any cupcakes over, can I have one?

    Like

  2. gipsika says:

    Not yet revealing the title? Is it part of your Magic Circle cycle?

    Like

  3. nrhatch says:

    My thought . . . if an author is going to use expletives, s/he should spell them out. I tire of translating astericks. :mrgreen:

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      This character uses expletives. This author doesn’t. Besides, it is fun to encourage readers to use imagination. I’m sure you will come up with something like, ‘I don’t darned-well see why I should meet this blooming retard …’, won’t you?

      Like

  4. adeeyoyo says:

    There’s really NO excuse for using that language – shows complete disrespect and if she were mine she would have been smacked/slapped the first time. I guarantee that would have been the end of it. There, now, I’ve got it off my chest.

    Like

  5. Sonel says:

    Well written as usual Col and a “charming” teenager Tyrentia is indeed. Quite a little brat and needs a good hiding for sure but it sounds like Hugh is going to change everything. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Like

  6. The Asian says:

    She seems like and obnoxious little cow, who is very demanding and seems to have a short fuse. Hugh seems quite shy and doesn’t have a strong personality like she does. Not too sure how they will fit together.
    I’ll reserve judgement until you give us a bit more, that is, if you give us a bit more

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  7. disperser says:

    He should go for the mom . . .

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    • colonialist says:

      His father is doing that!

      Like

      • disperser says:

        As leftovers go, he’s getting screwed . . . wait . . . is that premonition?

        Seriously, assuming you want serious feedback, I would personally drop the swearing. I think it would be just as effective. The swearing takes me out of reading it as it seems forced.

        But, that’s just me, and I don’t hang around young girls, so I don’t know if that’s how they talk these days.

        Like

        • colonialist says:

          I really appreciate serious feedback, and you have a definite point. However, the aim here is for the girl to be deliberately obnoxious (alas, I have known some young girls who think it ‘clever’ to have filthy mouths) and flouting authority. She does, as you can imagine, have underlying reasons which emerge in the book.

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          • disperser says:

            Having just a snippet, I can’t tell the broader arc . . . perhaps when we read of her thoughts, perhaps some insecurities, it will “humanize” her and highlight her false bravado . . . just saying it does not come across here.

            . . . I still think the kid should go after the mother . . . older women like younger men. Something about stymie . . . . no wait . . . Siamese . . . no, no, I got it: stamina (whatever that means!)

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            • colonialist says:

              Nope, the kid is stuck with the young witch, and like it or not she is going to be one of his partners in a major fantasy conflict.

              Like

              • disperser says:

                You know, as I keep thinking about it (see, you got me hooked already), I have to agree with the other comment.

                Were it my kid (I must stress I do not have kids), I would not allow that kind of language, but most of all, I would not allow that kind of disrespect. And not only the mother. His dad is right there, and he says nothing as his son is treated rather badly.

                I guess that’s part of what for me did not ring true in the scene.

                I could believe a cool detachment, and then maybe a similar exchange one-on-one between the two, but that scene as written stretched my credulity a bit.

                And it’s not so much her behavior, but the total lack of response from the parents.

                Perhaps that’s what parents are supposed to do these days, thus reinforcing the soundness of my decision with regards to reproducing.

                Like

                • colonialist says:

                  I do agree that the scene in isolation will have elements of unreality. It has to be seen in the context of various yet-to-be-revealed sub-plots: the fact she has worn down her mother who has reasons for making allowances, and the reluctance of the boy’s father to interfere – yet, at least – while he is in early stages of developing a relationship with her mother.

                  Like

            • disperser says:

              So, mainly baggage . . .

              Like

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