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Friday, September 26, 2008

Humorous Scene Tryout

This is from an erotic novel I completed, and have been working on edits with, using December Quinn’s insights into writing erotica from her blog site. The novel brings forth the Arthurian legend into the present with a very quirky, funny group. In this scene, Lancelot, Viviane (the Lady of the Lake), Merlin, and the young Arthur are brought together after a thousand years. Lancelot has been the only member of the group to have endured the entire millennia on earth. It's supposed to be a funny scene with Lancelot and Viviane meeting up with Arthur for the first time, after picking him up at school. :)

“Arthur is highly intelligent, and has handled the onslaught of his first visions with courage,” Merlin explained. “He doesn’t make friends easily, and he’s rather hard to get along with. They advanced him three grades, which didn’t help the situation with his making friends. Arthur seems to have a photographic memory, and an uncanny ability to grasp adult concepts. He can read and speak as well as many adults. You will find Arthur’s language a bit abusive. It’s a defense mechanism he uses far too often. What worked the first time around for encouragement, makes little impact on the boy this time. Arthur didn’t have the stunning impact of all this outside stimuli a thousand years ago. Where once I could move him to greatness with simple guidance, this modern environment leads him astray.”

“How much have you told him?” Lancelot asked.

“So much he thinks I’ve gone around the bend. I’ve shown him some of what I can do; because frankly, the little turd told me one day to fuck off.”

“You zapped him?” Viviane chuckled appreciatively.

“I merely showed him I could and would make him follow my rules,” Merlin replied. “He will test us. That’s why I’m so happy we are all together. I need help.”

“An eight year old beards the powerful Merlin in his own den,” Viviane clasped her hands in front of her in prayer like fashion, and looked up with eyes closed. “Oh, thank you, Lord. I love this kid already.”

“I hope you enjoy young Arthur as much after you meet him,” Merlin stated with a knowing look, Lancelot saw in the rear view mirror, as he looked for the old man to take offense.

***

“Hey, who ordered the hooker,” the boy asked, peering into the Pontiac as Merlin guided him over from the entrance to the school.

“Why you…” Viviane reached for the door handle, only to be stopped by Lancelot’s hand. “Watch your mouth, Doogie, or growing up will be the least of your worries.”

Arthur laughed, as Merlin went around and entered the Pontiac from the other side, leaving the boy to enter from the curb side. Lancelot looked the boy over with excitement. He had been waiting a thousand years to be reunited with the man who had died at Camlann in his arms. Arthur wore his hair long, straight, and ruffled, the light brown strands hanging over his forehead. His face, grinning in the peevish way of pre-adolescent boys, used to getting their own way, stared in at Lancelot and Vivian with glee. Arthur was thinly built, almost gangly, in Lancelot’s thinking as he watched the boy slide into the rear seat next to Merlin. Arthur smiled hugely at Vivian, reaching forward to touch her hair after closing the Pontiac door.

“Do your tricks pay more for red hair?” Arthur asked innocently.

Again, Lancelot grabbed Viviane, who had launched toward the boy with hands in claw-like fashion, while Arthur simply leaned away, laughing in delight. Merlin shook his head, wondering if this was the torment allowed for past wrongs done to Camelot and its King.

“Let me go, Monte!” Viviane hissed out the order through clenched teeth as she strained against Lancelot’s easily maintained hold on her.

“Calm down, Viviane,” Lancelot urged, seeing their initial meeting was drawing the interest of the kids and parents passing by. “We don’t need a scene right now.”

“Monte… Monte?” Arthur leaned forward again as Vivian collapsed back into her seat angrily. “Whose the mook with the sissy English name, Merlin?”

“I will warn you only once, Arthur,” Merlin stated, staring down the boy, who calmed immediately at Merlin’s tone. “Ride silently until we arrive at our place, where I will make introductions. Do you understand?”

Arthur nodded reluctantly. He gave Viviane a little wave when she looked back, complete with his hand formed as if gripping something, and making in and out movements with it to his open mouth. The ensuing scuffle between Lancelot and Viviane took five full minutes, as Viviane attempted a full out assault into the back seat. Lancelot retained a solemn look on his face as he handled Viviane; but the nasty edge to the boy gave him hope, rather than disappointment. If trained properly, this boy would be a man to be reckoned with. After convincing Viviane her rage would have to be harnessed for another time, Lancelot exchanged a look of understanding with Merlin. He drove them to Merlin’s building, where the mage maintained a group of suites for him and the boy.

Merlin guided Lancelot into his own private parking lot, and next to an already parked limousine. The group exited the Pontiac, Lancelot gripping Viviane’s arm in a final silent warning. She gritted her teeth and nodded in compliance. Arthur, dressed in a school uniform of navy blue pants, white shirt, and blue windbreaker, skipped around Merlin as if unable to keep still. Lancelot’s size stopped the boy in his tracks, as he gazed up at his former First Knight.

“Holy crap, Merlin, you got me my own private troll? Wow… Shrek, say something… how’d Merlin coax you out from under your bridge?”

Lancelot laughed, evoking a look of confusion from the boy, who was unaccustomed to adults taking anything but offense at his verbal barbs. Viviane looked at Lancelot with annoyance, having assumed he would kick the crap out of the boy. Merlin observed the sparring with interest, assuming rightly Lancelot took the banter as easy penance for sins committed centuries ago.

“Hello… Shrek…” Arthur waved at Lancelot, “You don’t have a little talking donkey do you?”

“Not until now,” Lancelot quipped, prompting laughter from both Viviane and Merlin.

Arthur’s face reddened, and his mouth tightened in a childlike rage. Lancelot stuck his hand out toward Arthur.

“I’m James Lancelot Benwick, Arthur. You knew me simply as Lancelot when you once were my King and friend centuries ago.”

Arthur stared at the huge hand outstretched toward him. The bitterness and angst built up within him melted away. He gripped the man’s hand in his own small one. The two shook solemnly.

“I… I’m sorry about razzing you, Lancelot,” Arthur said finally, releasing Lancelot’s hand, and then gesturing at Viviane with outstretched thumb. “So, who’s the hooker?”

Arthur was in full flight toward the elevator by the time Viviane gasped and started in pursuit. Lancelot caught her up before she could take a step.

“Oh my, for a moment there I thought perhaps we could have peace,” Merlin opined while Lancelot gripped the growling, squirming Viviane.

“We’ll have peace, old man,” Viviane blurted out in a frenzy of movement as she tried to detach herself from Lancelot. “I’m going to bitch slap Doogie Howser till his eyeballs pop out.”

“Will you calm down?” Lancelot ordered, shaking Viviane finally with enough ardor to get her undivided attention. “You’re being baited by an eight year old, Viv. Young Arthur’s reeling you in every time he throws a line out. Get a grip.”

Lancelot saw his words were having an effect. Viviane broke into a smile, as Lancelot released her, nodding in agreement.

“The little dweeb is making a fool out of me.”

“He nailed me pretty good too, Vivian,” Merlin added, “and I had much the same reaction. I kept expecting instant respect. I found out quickly, his respect will have to be earned.”

“We can beat him, right?” Viviane asked hopefully. “I beat Lancelot, and it didn’t do him any harm.”

“I was irrevocably damaged,” Lancelot hung his head, pretending deep pain.

“Yea, right,” Viviane remarked, looking toward where Arthur was dancing around by the elevator. Arthur waved at her.

“No, we aren’t going to beat him, Viviane,” Merlin said, as the three walked together toward the elevators. “I like his spirit. It will serve him well. I believe it has already helped him deal with the night terrors his visions have begun to cause.”

“Hey, Shrek, did you rearrange the bimbo’s face,” Arthur called out as they approached, disregarding any bonding he might have felt in shaking Lancelot’s hand. “She tried to stiff you on her last trick, didn’t she?”

“Is he like this all the time?” Lancelot asked, gripping Vivian’s arm, as her whole body tensed involuntarily.

“You two are the first adults other than his instructors he’s actually interacted with,” Merlin replied. “He doesn’t do these verbal eviscerations with them because I made it plain to him it would be very bad.”

“You zapped him,” Viviane accused Merlin, pointing her finger at him disparagingly.

“Not exactly,” Merlin disagreed. “I took all his privileges away for two weeks: TV, video games, computer, everything. He barely survived.”

“Yea, but that was when he told you off and you zapped him, right?” Viviane pressed Merlin without hesitation.

“Yes,” Merlin admitted, as they neared Arthur. Merlin activated the elevator from the keypad, and the doors opened.

“He really did a number on you, Vicky,” Arthur commented with false concern, peering up into Viviane’s face. “Don’t mess with Shrek, baby. Do your business and pay up.”

Lancelot snatched Arthur up in one fist, the boy’s shirt and windbreaker ripping slightly on Arthur’s quick ascent into the air. In a split second, the boy was staring into Lancelot’s grim face, his mouth working without words. Lancelot shook him gently.

“We must show respect for each other, young Arthur. I know not where you learned to be so abusive, but we will not abide your continued insults. We have a long way to go together. The four of us have an important destiny to fulfill. Will you give us a chance to earn your respect, or will you force us to earn your fear?”

Arthur looked around to Merlin and even Vivian. Merlin had turned away the moment Lancelot intervened. Viviane met his appealing look with one of smiling appraisal. Arthur quickly returned his attention to Lancelot.

“I…I’m afraid already,” Arthur conceded haltingly.

Lancelot grinned. “That’s good. It shows intelligence. Our story, I’m sure, is a little farfetched for you to accept. Hear us out, boy, we have only your wellbeing in our hearts.”

“Can I talk… from the ground?”

Lancelot lowered Arthur to the elevator floor.

“After Merlin explained who he was, and… and who I’m supposed to be, I studied Camelot and the Round Table legend,” Arthur said, glancing around at the adults encircling him. “As I understand it… I got hosed.”

In seconds, all three adults were laughing so hard tears were streaming down their faces, as Arthur watched what his comment provoked with satisfaction. Lancelot gripped the boy’s shoulder affectionately after a few moments.

“Just tone down the verbal attacks, okay?”

“Sure, Shrek, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” Arthur grinned up at Lancelot, and winked at Viviane. “Think you could give me a freebie, Vicky?”

Viviane grabbed the boy by the ear, and then turned him on his tiptoes, searching for something with her free hand. “Where’s the on/off switch, Merlin? I know there has to be one.”

“Sor…sorry,” Arthur gasped, his hands out, trying to keep his balance. “Don’t pull my ear off, Vicky!”

Vivian released the boy reluctantly, as Merlin pushed the elevator button for their floor.

Arthur rubbed his ear, looking at Viviane accusingly. “Holy crap… Vicky… I didn’t think you…”

“Careful boy,” Lancelot broke in with a warning finger. “I’m not intervening anymore on your behalf. I’ll let Vic… Viviane, give you an attitude adjustment I doubt you’ll forget.”

“You three need to lighten up,” Arthur complained. “I have a genius IQ, and now I’m teamed up with an Alzheimer patient, a troll, and a beat-up hooker: all of whom screwed me a thousand years ago. Cut me some slack.”

“Can we at least gag him?” Viviane pleaded.

13 comments:

Jordan Summers said...

Bernard, This is terrific. A YA if there ever was one. :) It's funny, I'm working on something similar. Must be something going around. You really should pursue this one. It's good. Strikes a terrific tone.

BernardL said...

It's all done at 91,000 words, Jordan. Thanks for taking a look and commenting. I appreciate the feedback. It's not a YA, though the young Arthur is my comic relief throughout. It has erotic scenes, vampires, werewolves, and an Arthurian legend cast with a twist on Excalibur. I put this scene out there because I wanted to see if the humor worked. I'll be sending out queries on it next week. Thank you! :)

Virginia Lady said...

This sounds like fun, Bernard. I like the interactions between the characters. I really have a feel for all of them right away, and I like them.

BernardL said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, VL. I appreciate the input. If this particular scene fell flat, the interaction through the rest of the book would fare no better. It was a lot of fun to write. Thanks for commenting.

Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely found it humorous. Some good laughs in the interactions between Arthur and Vivien. An interesting updating of the legendary characters.

raine said...

I like the basic idea. An interesting take on the legend.

I do, however, think Viv should be allowed to give him a good spanking...

BernardL said...

Thanks, Charles, some laughs were what I was looking for here. :)

She gets her licks in, Raine. In this first meeting, young Arthur still doesn't have a clue how powerful his companions are. :)

Beth said...

Bernard, I love to hear these venerable characters talking like modern-day punks. It's very amusing.

BernardL said...

Thank you, Beth, I had fun turning the legend inside out in this book. :)

Vesper said...

Bernard, this is very funny! I'm already annoyed by this Arthur :-) and very intrigued by his character and the others, of course. I hope to read more of it one day.
A tale with humour, erotic scenes, vampires, werewolves, and an Arthurian legend with a twist... sounds interesting... :-)

BernardL said...

Thanks, Vesper. Yea, Arthur has a very funny, yet touching part to play. It is a wild ride, and I'm hoping to interest someone into getting beyond my query letter. :)

Miladysa said...

"vampires, werewolves, and an Arthurian legend cast with a twist on Excalibur"

I like the idea.

BernardL said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Miladysa, and thanks for commenting. The heroes are still heroes throughout, but some of the villains decide they've had enough of Excalibur. An ancient vampire offspring of Lilith named Dunkan refocuses the attention of all. :)