Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"The holly and the ivy..."

I've been humming this all day, though the greenery in the excerpt—yes, I said excerpt, everyone contain yourselves—that I'm going to give you is neither of the two. I think you can figure out what it is for yourselves, though.

A bit of background on this snippet. Brighteye, a young man of the travelers, and Andraste, a young woman from the village of Glenscar, have been quietly courting for a few months, despite the strong prejudice of Andraste's mother against travelers (the words "filthy beasts" have come up).

Today is Christmas Eve, and Brighteye has just asked his beloved's father for her hand in marriage. Her two younger siblings and their friends, both from the village and from the caravan, are shown here reacting to the news of what the father said in response.


Upstairs, in the schoolroom, there was much rejoicing.

Cob, Ronan, and Sergeant were doing a three-sided stomping dance, grinning all over their faces, with little Trimmer trying valiantly to keep up until Cob scooped him off the floor and set him on his shoulders. Blanid and Sinead were hugging each other, shrieking under their breaths, and jumping up and down, with Joy and Stray running in circles around them.

Darkeye burst in through the door, and Sinead let go of Blanid to charge at her and drag her into a three-way hug. "I always wanted another sister," she said, beaming at Darkeye's tearful, triumphant face. "And now I get one for Christmas, and a big brother too!"

"You get all of us." Darkeye picked up Stray and passed her to Sinead, who cradled her naturally on one hip. "We're all family, somehow. All kin." She turned to look at the boys, her smile seeming too big to be contained on her face. "All of us, now. No more sides."

"I don't know." Ronan stopped dancing. "Ma'd be perfectly happy to be a side of her own."

"That doesn't matter now," Blanid said firmly. "This is Christmas, and your sister—" She pointed at Ronan and Sinead, one with each hand. "—your brother—" Both hands came around to point at Darkeye. "—and all of our cousins, one way or another—" The hands circled twice in the air and came together in front of her chest in a praying position. "—have just got themselves engaged to be married, and we're not going to let anything stop us from being happy about that! Are we?"

Heads shook all over the room.

"I didn't hear that." Blanid stuck her hands on her hips and looked down her nose at everyone, even Cob, who had at least three inches on her. "Are we?"

"No," Ronan said defiantly, followed by Sinead and Darkeye's quieter, "No."

"Are we?"

"No!" This shout was louder, more in unison, with the littler ones joining in as well.

"Are we?"

"No!" The noise rattled the window, shaking off some of the snow which had collected on its panes.

"Then let's go downstairs and be happy!" Blanid pointed theatrically at the door, and the majority of the group charged through it, yelling, leaving her alone with Cob. He was watching her, as he often did, though she thought his face had a bit more respect in it than usual. One hand slid into his pocket and withdrew a small item, which he displayed to her.

"What is—oh." Blanid giggled. "I've heard that's been going around the house all day. Use it and pass it on, isn't that the rule?"

Cob nodded. His eyes, the same intense green as the leaves in his hand, hadn't left her.

"Well, come on then." Blanid turned to face him directly. "I won't bite."

A small hand reached back into the schoolroom and discreetly pulled the door shut.


So. Cute? Interesting? Make you want more? The writing continues well, with Chapter 18 complete and Chapter 19 likely to be the last one before I launch into the finale...


  1. Do me a favour and never listen to anyone who tells you that you can't write! Despite this being an excerpt and therefore incredibly annoying to my poor mind (which is getting desperate for an AnneStory, fanfic or original - I can't wait for this book ;)), you've still managed to capture my attention and I'm reluctantly stopping myself for begging for more - I can be patient, I will be patient, I must be patient...

  2. woooooo! lovely little excerpt!
    and anne i must apologise for not commenting on your blog for the past month... until this past weekend i had those dreadful things that lecturers like to call exams... but now im free for three months so you can expect prompt reading and replying from me! and i agree with emeralds dont listen to anyone who doesnt like your writing because i think its amazing... so off to your writing whether it be original fanfic or an amazing mixture of both! i will enjoy all! Callie