Caevant Didemius

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Scribe Scribbles

So, how did it go world builders and plot firsts? Did you learn more about your antagonist or about your theme? Let me know in the comments.

Here’s a bit from what I worked on with my own Antagonist  

This is a bad idea, the thought pounced on me as the throng of men and women in red robes closed on the coffee station. The rest of the little cafe patrons were doing their best impressions of statues. I don’t think anyone breathed.  While the redclad sorted themselves out against the wait wall and the barista began to stir to life, I looked across the distance to the door marked ’emergency exit’ which was wired to an alarm over head.  Out of the tail of my eye  I could see the redclad were  still standing, arms buried in their voluminous sleeves. Sweat pricked behind my ears. Those long flowing pieces of fabric were boxy. They didn’t hang with grace as they did when the redclad were unarmed.

“Ah, here we are, cafe mocha for you m’dear and a nice bowl of their broccoli cheddar soup. Your favorites, and” the voice moved into place opposite me accompanied by a short, dapper fellow with wire rimmed spectacles, neatly trimmed blond hair running to silver at the temples, and fresh  ageless face so plain that you’d never look at it twice, “And a cookie I thought we might split for dessert. They do make them so large here.” I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think.

He arranged the spoon and the napkins, and settled the coffee in front of me as he made the rest of the table ready for a meal.  “Now now, you are not wax works” his gray eyes met my gaze and I felt the faint tingle at the base of my skull which was a warning that if  I didn’t snap out of this hypnotized state, there wouldn’t be enough of me to bury. “I came here for dinner and  to spend time with a delightful dinner companion” he said. “I intend to enjoy both.” Past the ringing in my ears, I heard the clink and clatter of tableware, and the hiss and chug of the cappuccino machine.

“Ah” I croaked and managed to put my hands in my lap.
“Eat, m’dear. Can’t have you wasting away now.” He said as he spread his own napkin and started on his sandwich.  “You are after all the story teller. Must preserve them you know, or what will become of histories?” His smiled.  “You know this is very good” he commented, he raised a hand,  and one of the redclad came over, her face obscured by the dark red mask,  a comical  smiling grimace, cut into red jade.

“I want to thank the cook, tell them that I am very delighted with the quality of the food.” The red clad bowed, and then was gone.  I managed to get my hand out and cup my fingers around the too-hot paper. “M’dear talebearer, I am growing tired of this kitten trapped by a cobra routine of yours.” He tapped my wrist “You are not an automaton . I expect some words to come out of your mouth. Ones” he said, gray gaze cornering mine, “That makes sense. ” I nodded to show I understood.

“Right” my voice croaked “So” I cleared my throat “So, I suppose Caevant I should ask you why you work so hard to suppress truth? Why you had all the st-storyteller’s tongues cut out and ” I swallowed “Dried and mounted in your office?”

“Actually” he wiped the corner of his mouth with his napkin “I’m glad you asked that my dear word weaver.  I had their tongues removed because I have found, at least the ones that were in need of alteration, they were such dreadful pathological liars.  If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a liar.” He paused and then leaned over the table top “Their tongues aren’t  dried,” he smiled faintly “They’re preserved. A very costly process. And it’s not just their tongues, it’s the tongues of  everyone in their whole family. Rather interesting to see the genetic similarities there.  I’m surprised no one has ever asked to write a paper on the subject of identification via that particular muscle. I would gladly open my collection. I keep them under glass, preserved, mounted, to serve as a reminder to others on the value of truth.”

I took a deep sip of the coffee he’d bought me.

“When you say lying won’t be tolerated. . .you mean really. . .anyone who says anything different from you. lying.” I stared at the formica counter top, waiting for his reply.

“Yes, exactly” he gave the table a bright wrap with his hand “That’s just so. You’ve summed the whole point I was going to make rather well. Oh, I am pleased.” He resumed his meal, taking small, neat bites of his sandwich “I’ll save my chips for later I think. I’m trying to watch my cholesterol and I really want to split that cookie.  I am  such a martyr to my sweet tooth, but one has to allow for a small vice when one is so careful with the large ones. That’s one of my pieces of advice to anyone seeking public office” he continued “Cultivate a small, harmless vice, it will keep the bigger ones at bay.”

So that’s part of the interview with Caevant Didemius. I learned quite a bit. I’ll post the rest on Friday along with another writing challenge, but until then, encourage one another,  Scribes.


Be brilliant, be peculiar, be peculiarly brilliant.

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