Welcome, friends! Come in, and let me tell you a Story A Day, all May long…
In June and July, I’ll be drafting two new Kifo Island novels. I know something about 5 of the 6 point of view characters, and I’ve got a sketchy idea of the plots – but I need to learn more about these people and their stories.
So, in May, I explore. Every day, I’ll follow the prompts in A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ll play while moving through my planning efforts. Some of these stories may become part of the eventual novels, but my goal is to invite these characters to show me who they are and what they want – and how their lives fit together to make a novel.
I’ve been writing my story each day, but I slipped behind in my posting. I’m hoping to catch up by the 20th, and finish the month out on time.
I continue with May 12, following the daily prompt, “Your Flawed Protagonist.”
Yvette Perrault is visiting a fortuneteller – and tempting fate.
Week Two’s theme is: Elements of Story.
Warning: This story is rated R contains adult themes and language.
“Your Fatal Flaw”
“I see your fatal flaw.” The woman waved her hands gracefully over the bowl of water. Silks and satins, in shades from beige to rust to chocolat to an umber that matched the bowl exactly.
“De quoi?” Yvette asked, leaning forward, as though she, too, could peer into the shallow, lovely basin of iridescent glass. Trois temps. Three times, already, the fortuneteller had charmed the bills from Yvette’s tugged-tight purse, and still she was left wanting more. “What is it that you see? I must know.”
Zeke said this woman Aneesha knew more of her craft than any other, that her tellings ran so true it was as though she climbed into the heads of those whose fortunes she read, or their skins, their blood vessels, their lungs…
And their loins.
Suitable, then, that they were renting a room from her, where Yvette would paint, and they would make love, now that Xavier knew where Zeke lived. Maybe she’d paint the woman, and capture her elegance and mystery along with the richness of those many simple and supple browns, all together, finery made out of the seeming plain. Or the way she sat unmoving over the bowl, peering within.
Waiting for another bill.
Whether the woman could see as she said didn’t matter. Not to Yvette, or the young whipcord of a man leaning against the pole in the center of the tent. Zeke’s shaggy mane made a halo around him, framing his seductive smile. Yvette’s mouth went dry, and she grew wet elsewhere. It would be comical, if she didn’t want him with such desperation.
“Will you learn your fatal flaw this day, Madame Yvette?”
“Do I want to know, Zeke?” She had exhausted the tiny amount of money she was able to steal from her husband. Her money. He had never done an honest day’s work in his life.
“You want to know, gorgeous.” he came to her and Yvette’s tingling got stronger. Sweet young Zeke, who only wanted to love her, to make love with her, pulled out a twenty and laid it on the table. He wasn’t close to wealthy, but he’d happily give her all he had. “She wants to know, Estelle, so -”
A roar from outside silenced him. “Where is my whore wife? Half this sleazy village saw her come in here in a red kimono. She just sashayed in, carrying my money, too damned stupid even to be discreet. Like she didn’t think a soul would notice!” His scornful sneer was audible in his voice.
“Through the curtains, Madame Yvette, you’ll find privacy, and escape from your husband. He will be your undoing, if you return to him.” Her arm waved out to a doorway draped in heavy silks, with a large man with a huge knife standing like a statue on either side.
Zeke tugged her toward the curtains, but Yvette resisted. Let Xazier see her. Let him try to come for her in this place. He was an old man now, and no match for those men, even without the blades. Let her see the fury in his eyes as she slipped away with her lover.
He wanted to believe she was nothing but a drunk whore, like his own mere.
“Come, love – if he catches you, he’ll beat you again!” Zeke pleaded as he wrapped an arm around her, but Yvette rooted her feet to the ground, lifting her chin defiantly.
“That man?” She laughed an intentionally loud, bell-like laugh. Xavier couldn’t miss it; he’d know it was her and come running. Just as she planned. “That man will only beat me when he knows it’s safe. He won’t touch me here, Zeke my lover. And we’ll go as soon as he knows we’re here, together.”
At the fortuneteller’s table, the woman nodded, and slipped Zeke’s twenty Zeke into the sumptuous brown folds of her silks. “Ah, Madam. There it is.”
“There what -”
Another roar of rage, this time en francais, and much closer. “Be ready, Zeke. When he comes in, we go to our room, and not before.”
Zeke trembled, but he didn’t fight her. He never did. As wrathful as Xavier was, Zeke was as gentle.
And then, Xavier bulked into the doorway. One of the guards stepped casually between as Yvette wrapped an arm around her lover, then spun with him and glided to the curtained entrance.
As they reached it, the fortuneteller spoke in a soft whisper.
“Your fatal flaw, Madame, is arrogance.”