Tuesday, April 27, 2010

V is for Villians: An Excerpt from The Goddess of Vengeance

Can I just say that coming up with posts for the last week of this blogging challenge may drive me mad? We're down to V, W, X, Y and Z. Yeesh (oh, that can be Y!).

So V is for villians.  I like villians -- I like mine at a minimum sympathetic in some respect, and ideally,  complex and funny. A witty villian greatly ups my entertainment value. I'm not sure Nemeses, the Greek Goddess of Vengeance who possess my MC Lauren's body, is quite witty. She takes her position of meting out justice and maiming people very seriously. But I like my first glimpses of her anyway.  Do you want to meet her?

Lauren knew she was dreaming, and she had every intention of having a nice time of it for once.

She had read an article about dreams that stated that, once one realized they were in a dream state, one could choose to do anything desired in a dream – alter the course of events, fly, invite the Queen of England to tea. After all the nightmares in which she had been dragged along, incapable of stopping to think for an instant, she felt a surge of joy. She turned in a slow circle, taking in her surroundings.

The dream world she was in now was green and lovely, a hillside with a soft golden sun and fluffy clouds above it. Lauren approved.

“Now what?” she asked aloud. “Perhaps I could order some dinner? Fly? Flying first and then dinner; that sounds like an excellent plan.”

Lauren spread her arms out, closed her eyes, tried to think of what flying would feel like. The ground remained solid beneath her feet. Lauren made a little jump, gave her arms a good flap, but found herself once more on terra firma.

“Oh, stop that.” The voice was cool, feminine, and posh. “You look positively ridiculous.”

Lauren opened her eyes up quickly. The figure in front of her wore a neat white suit, devastatingly tall white heels. Her long masses of dark hair were pushed back with what appeared to be a solid-gold headband. Lauren couldn’t imagine that was very practical as a hairpiece.

Once Lauren had finished her once-over, though, she found herself stuck on the other woman’s light blue eyes – so light, they were almost colorless, the iris a tiny black dot in the center of her nearly white eyes.

“This is my dream, thank you very much,” Lauren said peevishly. She was almost never rude in real life, but this was her own dream, after all. She could act as she pleased.

“All your dreams are mine now, my dear.”

Lauren suddenly realized who was in front of her; she wondered if the dream-state had made her thick. “Nemeses.”

“Oh!” Nemeses clapped her hands together. “We’re finally on the same page. Lovely.”

“What are you doing in my dreams?”

“Giving you a bit of a vacation,” Nemeses said. “There’s no need for it, though, if you’re going to be nasty. There are some truly horrid things going on in the city; we can go back to that, if you like. Would you like children tonight?”

Lauren blanched.

“Let’s talk, my dear,” Nemeses said. She put her arm through Lauren’s, which meant she had to take Lauren’s wrist and adjust her to form a crook. She then patted Lauren’s hand and started to drag her along on a walk. The goddess had a surprisingly iron grip and Lauren found herself trotting along.

“I certainly have some questions for you,” Lauren said.

“Don’t be tiresome,” Nemeses said. “I’m the most vengeful of the gods – I mean, it is my occupation. It’s not very wise of you to irritate me.”

Lauren didn’t see what was so irritable about questions, but she decided to wait her out and let the goddess speak.

“You have been nothing but trouble since I transferred over from Willow,” Nemeses said. “I don’t think you understand the delicate position you are in as my host, or how wise it would be to become more hospitable.”

“What should I do to be hospitable?”

“Stop fighting me. I’m the goddess; you’re the lucky mortal to act as my tangible link to the world. You have little power here.”

“Then why do you need me to be hospitable?”

Nemeses smiled, although Lauren noticed the motion did not wrinkle the perfectly smooth and white skin around the goddess’ eyes. “Because your flimsy resistance is disrespectful and annoying.”

“Perhaps you should have asked before taking my body over,” Lauren said. “There are all different types in the world. I’m sure there’s someone else who would just love being your instrument of vengeance.”

Nemeses drew her to a stop. She was still smiling the creepy Rockettes smile that did not crinkle the corners of her lips of eyes. “Because I. Chose. You.” She punctuated each word with a gentle tap of her finger on Lauren’s nose.

“And. I. Don’t. Know. Why.” Lauren said, in the same tone. She did refrain for tapping the Goddess of Vengeance’s aquiline nose, however.


Old Kitty said...

Oh excellent V post!!!!

What an utterly fabulous villain! I do like them naughty like this - playful and wearing proper heels!!!!!

Good luck to Lauren though - she gives as good as she gets! A really worthy heroine to this amazing villain!

Take care

Matthew Rush said...

I usually don't comment on people's excerpts but I like this one. I find your villainess quite fun!

Lola Sharp said...

What Kitty said! (especially the proper heels!)

I'm new here (from my sweet friend Coutrney's blog).


Anonymous said...

Villians is my favourite V word now. I really like 'creepy Rockette smile.' Congratulations on reaching this far in the challenge too!

Gina Leigh Maxwell said...

Ooh, I like her a LOT! You really have her character down. Great post, girl! There were so many things I liked, which I will now list here:

~ I love the words: terra firma, blanched, tiresome, irritable, aquiline

~ “Because your flimsy resistance is disrespectful and annoying.” The use of 'flimsy' is great becuz it tells us that Lauren's resistance is hardly even worth recognizing in Nemeses's eyes. This one sentence conveys her thoughts simply and perfectly. Love it!

Here are a few (MINOR) things I would suggest looking at:

*She had read an article about dreams that stated that, once one realized they were in a dream state, one could choose to do anything desired in a dream* ~ This reads a little awkward to me. I think you can switch a few things around to make it a bit more simplistic in nature. Like "She had read an article that stated one could alter the course of events in a dream - even invite the Queen of England to tea - once they accepted it wasn't reality." Or something to that affect.

"...the perfectly smooth and white skin around the goddess’ eyes." I would replace the word 'and' with a comma to make the sentence flow a little more. Great way to describe how a smile doesn't reach someone's eyes, btw. :)

"She was still smiling the creepy Rockettes smile that did not crinkle the corners of her lips of eyes." Personally, I love the 'creepy Rockettes smile' so much that I think the rest of the sentence after that detracts from that awesome description. I'd get rid of the other stuff and stick with that very clever phrase - it tells us all we need to know without having to embellish further.

Sorry for being so long-winded!! I really liked it and I was being picky. Your villain is super awesome! Check out my Wee-Bit from last week if you have time. I put a scene in with my villain, but instead of my villain being the snarky one, he's just plain scary and bland. Dom is still the one who takes the snarky title!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great post. And major props to you for making it through the challenge. :)

Guinevere said...

Thanks Old Kitty! I'm glad you like Nemeses and find Lauen a worthy foil. If I were going to have a villian in my life, I'd want her to be stylish like Nemeses!

Thanks Matthew, I'm glad you found her enjoyable!

Welcome Lola! I'm so glad you stopped by. :)

Guinevere said...

Lynn, villian IS a nice word that we don't get to use nearly often enough in modern life. I'm glad you like the Rockettes line, I wasn't sure how it would go over, so that is helpful to hear. :)

Gina, thank you so much for your comments! I loved hearing what worked for you and what could use some ironing... please feel free to leave such detailed comments any time. You're awesome. :)

Thanks Sarahjayne! I must admit, I'm looking forward to returning to my normal posting schedule, but the challenge has been a blast!

Donna Hole said...

Yeah, probably a good idea not to taunt a Goddess with their own iritating action!

I'm really liking this villain; but I'm sure that was the point. We all have - if not redeeming traits - at least nuetral ones.

This was excellent insight into both characters. I like how you showed that Laurel could be tough in her own way.