Friday, 1 June 2012

Romantic Friday Writers' Challenge!

The prompt for RFW this time is: 'Yes. No. Oh, All Right Then! '
Well, typically I had to modify this to fit existing prose, because I've again cheated with snippet from present WIP.

Brief: Lt Herne British Royal Navy (newly promoted to Commander Herne) and Countess Roscoff are highly attracted to each other. Although he knows the secret of what she is and what she has done, he has to prove it and is wary she may be one of Napoleon's spies...BTW, she lost her monkey and he's found it, or rather it found him... 

Lieutenant Herne, Lieutenant Herne,” rang out like sweet music to the ears. For there was Therese, skirts hitched up, petticoats frothing and hat held to head and of all things, she was running like a wild young girl, not her usual elegant poise. Ropo squealed, deafeningly as he leapt from his shoulder. Subsequently, his naval hat bit the dust of the quayside steps. “You found him,” she managed, semi-breathless almost toppling over the edge of the quayside in her mad rush. The damn little monkey clung to her and chattered crazily as she hugged him to her temptingly exposed cleavage, and how he envied Ropo that treat. “I am so sorry my little love, so sorry you witnessed such a terrible, terrible happening. Poor, poor Ivan.” Tears brimmed and spilled forth, and it once again became his duty to offer a kerchief. “Thank you,” she said, a half smile, as he clambered ashore. “I already owe you so much, and now this. My Ropo safe and well.”
    “I had little to do with his rescue. He was more intent on robbing my pocket.”
    “Oh no. He tried to rob you.”
    “Only, in that I had demonstrated my pocket held nutty treats.”
    “Oh, I see.” She beamed a smile. “I heard you and Lord William tried to lure him from a rooftop but he wouldn’t oblige.”
    “We did, and finally gave up. I assumed he recognised the residency and would stay close if not finally venture to it in hope of finding you.”
    Damn, he should have kept quite, for her look implied wariness and he rightly expected a white lie in response. “But Ropo has never been there.”
    Thinking off-the-cuff and not wanting to alienate her, he said, “Yes, but primates like other animals have a greater sense of smell than you or I. Is it not more than possible his refusal to leave the rooftop implied sense of your presence, your scent keening his attention?”
    She scowled. “You choose to insult me by implying I smell?”
    “You know perfectly well what I meant.”
    She chuckled, a soft infuriating Therese chuckle. “I so love it when your eyes turn devilishly defensive, yet your tongue rebukes whilst visage a picture of amusement.”
    The waiting seaman coughed, a polite cough to attract attention. “Commander Herne,” said he. “Do you wish to stay ashore?”
    “No, I’ll be with you shortly.”
    He caught up Therese’ elbow and steered her out of earshot of the seaman, whilst she in excited haste exclaimed, “Commander Herne. Oh, I do apologise most sincerely. I had no knowledge of your promotion.”
    “No matter, it is of no great importance. Mere formality. But, what say you to a sea voyage, a short one on HMS Penultimate?”
    “Aboard your ship?”
    “All prim and proper and above deck, I assure you.”
    Her lip curled at the edge, provocative in extreme, her words tantalising. “Not to see your cabin, the captain’s cabin?”
    “If you wish.”
    “I wish.”
    Then will you grace Penultimate’s decks, tomorrow?”
    “Yes. No.” There was a long, excruciatingly long pause, and, “Oh, all right then!
  In exuberance he broke with protocol, leaned forward and kissed her forehead.    
    “I do smell, then?”
    He laughed, leaned forward again and this time placed his lips to hers. Mercy mercy, this was dangerous territory for she could be one of Napoleon’s many spies.

Over word count: who cares...

To see entries by other participants, go here.


Li said...

Keeping within word count is a struggle - I suppose you could have cut here and there, but then it might have been too fragmented. So she might be a spy? Ah, men will always take that risk won't they :-)

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Ah, well F, you know keeping to the word count is part of the challenge and we don't like leading newbies astray do we?

I had a smile on my face for most of this. I thought the dialogue tantalising and the monkey a mischievious little motif that moved the story along. Love the mystery at the end. What will happen next? Sounds promising...


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Li,

I used to religiously stick within word count, but I was at that time a co-host so had to set an example! I'm still supporting RFW not for the winning of badges etc., I participate for the fun aspect. I really didn't have time to pen a flash-fiction piece. Time is short at best! ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...


I know word count was top-heavy, but I don't have to set examples any more! ;) That's Yours and Donna's task to keep order...

Ropo (monkey) is a major character...And believe it I've set out to let the reader know Therese' secret right from the start in this Georgian/Regency murder mystery. Lt (commander) Herne knows it, too. It's just proving it, and how he proves it is the plot factor... :o


Heather Murphy said...

I think the monkey is the spy :) Great piece, despite the word count. I felt the tension of anticipation between them

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Heather,

Thank you for stopping by. Who knows, Ropo is pretty darn cute in many ways... ;)


SongoftheSea said...

So looking forward to reading this. Love the sense of sensual tension between these two. Well done.

Kiru Taye said...

I really enjoyed reading this, Francine. It's heading to my TBR. And of course, it meets the theme.

Donna Hole said...

So much fun. And oh, is she being naughty by going aboard ship and visiting his quarters? Excellent use of the prompt words.

Thanks for participating Francine.


Anna said...

What fun, Francine!
You let our imagination take care of what happens aboard his ship! Good use of the prompt words.
Best wishes,
Anna's RFWers Challenge No 37 'Yes, No, oh, alright then.'

Andy David said...

My dearest Francine,
I have to be honest and say... I would have kissed her lips first before her forehead (smile). I will only imagine what happened on that ship. Thanks for sharing my friend.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Suzie,

Thanks for dropping by and your kind comment!


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Kiru,

Thanks for stopping by...

I am enjoying writing this one. So love Venice. ;)

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Donna,

Does she though, go aboard? ;)


Scheherazade said...

You made excellent use of the prompt words, but I have the feeling she wasn't really caught up with indecision. She demured, but then eagerly played the coquette.

Thanks for sharing.


Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Francine,

I really liked you historical references and descriptions. Nicely done. This genre is one I always enjoy reading because not to many specialize in it.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna,

Lot's of things implied, here. But a shock is yet to come! ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Andy,

I quite believe you would, wicked man! ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Linda,

Ah, but upcoming shock will cause her to tack a different course and cause a parting of the ways: no getting near that ship of his any time soon. ;)


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for dropping by. I so love a historical novel: true escapism from the modern world. ;)