It's the start of Character Takeover Week! So happy to be talking about the amazing characters from The Martyr's Tears!
From the Main Character: most awkward memory.
“Maker’s breath, when am I not embarrassing?” Wyn giggled. “Too many to choose from, I’d say.”
“I would be very happy to forget mine,” Danielle sighed. “But I fear it will remain with me.”
“Go on, then,” Wyn urged her.
“It is too awful.”
“I remember a funny one!” Wyn interjected. “I was nicking a key from some high muckity merchant… don’t remember his name… Oh! Ballsack! That was his name, Ballsack!”
“Are you… certain?” Danielle asked, a smile twitching on the corners of her lips.
“Balzac,” Sir Killock suggested. “Traded in iron.”
“That’s the one,” Wyn agreed. “I found the key in his study, middle of the night and all’s quiet, right? Popped it in my pocket and was about to slip away when in comes Ballsack, has his hands all over this lady he was keen on.”
“Did they see you?” Danielle asked.
“Course not,” Wyn pfft’d at her, “but I had to hide, and there were not too many spots to choose from. It was the privy or under the desk. So into the bog I went, not too bad, him being a high-muckity and all and having some poor lowly to clean it every day. But I was in there for absolutely ages, just listening to the most amazing noises from the study. Old Ballsack was having a few problems, you see, but it weren’t from lack of trying, I’ll give him that.”
“What did you do?”
“I was there so long, you see, that of course I needed a wee. And I thought, ‘it’s a privy’, right? There I am, with my pants around my ankles, when the bloody door opens and there’s Ballsack staring at me. I about died laughing.”
“What did he say?”
“Well, he was quite cross, really, and it was not the easiest of escapes, what with having my pants down and having the giggles, and all. I’ll not soon forget his face, though.”
“You found that to be embarrassing?” Killock was skeptical.
“No.” Wyn admitted with a grin. “Bit of a laugh, is all. In any case, it’s your turn.”
“I am not sure I have a story to add,” Killock replied, his face a mask.
“There must be something,” Danielle challenged.
“Perhaps we should return to your story, instead?” Killock suggested.
“Absolutely not, we are now speaking of your moment,” Danielle insisted.
“I don’t have one. My life is one of simple duty,” Killock declared.
“Is it.” Wyn snorted in disbelief.
“Wyn, you must know of something he did,” Danielle said.
“You have met him, haven’t you?” Wyn said resignedly. “You can find out more from asking a stone.”
“There is nothing to tell,” Killock said serenely. “Just a lifetime of humble dedication to the Temple.”
“What? Oh, Maker, of course, you’re a Templar.” Wyn’s eyes flashed with glee. “Did they make you wear robes? When you were anointed? You must have felt daft.”
“A bit,” Killock admitted. “There was chanting.”
“Awww, I wish I could have seen it. It must have been precious.”
“It was hot,” Killock frowned. “We should move on.”
“I’ve thought of another funny one,” Wyn announced.
“Do you not think it is Danielle’s turn?” Killock asked.
“I should like to hear another funny story,” Danielle said hopefully.
“No, go on, Dani, please, I won’t laugh, I promise,” Wyn pleaded with her.
“That is my fear.” Danielle sighed, and gathered her courage. “Percival Cornett proposed to me in front of all the guests at the First Day ball,” she said in a rush.
“And…?” Wyn asked expectantly.
“And… and I had to tell him ‘no’. In front of everyone. I did not know what to say. It was mortifying.”
“Well, for him, I suppose.” Wyn wrinkled her nose as she considered.
“I am certain it was, the poor boy. His father had told him it was arranged.”
“Wait… how old was he?”
“I believe we were both fourteen. None of the Cornetts ever spoke to me, again.”
“That does sound really awful.” Wyn rolled her eyes.
“It was,” Danielle insisted. “I did not leave my room for days.”
“Dani, how many times has someone asked you to marry them?”
“A few times,” Danielle admitted grudgingly.
“Perhaps a dozen.”
“And how many times have you said ‘no’?”
“Well, there you are, then. It can’t possibly be embarrassing just to say ‘no’ to one boy.”
“It was. I had to stay at the ball all evening, pretending not to hear everyone laughing at me behind their hands.”
“Just you wait until the time you want to say ‘yes’ to someone,” Wyn laughed. “Then you really won’t know what to do.”
“Well, I do hope that one day… although I have not thought… not really…” Danielle muttered quietly, and she blushed a lovely dark red from her throat up the sides of her neck.
“Oh,” said Wyn, and she examined the toe of her boot for a moment. “I just meant someone… I wasn’t saying, you know, anything…”
“I know.” Danielle’s blush rushed to cover her cheeks.
“… about us,” Wyn concluded lamely. “Oooo, I’m so confused. I can’t help it, Dani, the words just come out of me.”
“Oh, my Lord.” Danielle covered her face with her hands and started to laugh. “I do love you, Wyn, and if I do not die from embarrassment, I am certain all will be well.”
“Perhaps you would both like to re-think your most awkward moment?” Killock smiled at the two women fondly. “If you are uncertain, I have a suggestion.”