Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bollocks and Beginnings


Day 2 of the A to Z Challenge, otherwise known as the letter B.

The first thing that popped into my head when I pondered what to write that would reflect today's B-theme was "bollocks".

I love this word. It shows up often in some of my favorite romance novels, especially regency-era. Though it means testicles, in novels it's essentially used as a curse word—uttered mainly by male characters—regarding something believed false or incorrect, or to express annoyance. And although the heroine of my novel is English and her story begins in Britain, she quickly lands in turn-of-the-20th-century America, so I've not yet found an appropriate use for the word bollocks in my work.

Until today.

In honor of the letter B, and the word bollocks, I decided to begin a new novel—as yet untitled—and for fun, sprinkle in as many B-words as possible.

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Deborah

Untitled WIP

The barrister heaved his bulk forward to push a sheaf of paper across the desk. His bloated hand trembled slightly as he extended a fountain pen, and the whites of his beady eyes seemed to bulge in his fleshy face more than Bradshaw remembered, like button mushrooms with perfectly round blemishes of black mold in their centers.

"If you'll sign by the X," Beasley murmured. "His Grace will grant you a month's reprieve to find alternate accommodations."

"Bollocks!" Bertram exploded. "Boynton is—" He broke off, scowled at Bradshaw's upraised hand, but obeyed. Jaw muscles flexing, Bertram glowered at Beasley.

The beetle-browed barrister's wattles wobbled as he swallowed, and his pasty skin faded another shade when he brought his gaze back to Bradshaw, but he did not retract the fountain pen. But then he wouldn't, not with His Grace in the next room listening, expectant.

The Duke of Bellingham expected a lot, and usually his wishes were granted. It was hard to find someone in Britain who had failed to fulfill the duke's wants, or comply with his demands, at least someone alive. With a lazy smile, Bradshaw lowered his hand to flatten the palm on the polished desk top and lean forward.

Beasley's eyes widened and he tried to tilt away, but the high back of his burgundy leather-bound chair prevented his retreat. A flush of thin red lines bled into his flabby cheeks in the approximate vicinity of his cheekbones. Sweat beaded on his shiny brow. Brandy fumes wafted on his breath.

"I say now, Bradshaw," he blustered. "There's no need to—"

Bradshaw paused with his lips a hair's breadth from the barrister's bulbous earlobe, whispered so only Beasley could hear. The bibulous man squirmed in his seat. His breath rasped, and Bradshaw imagined he could hear the frantic thump of the barrister's heart beating the underside of his barrel-shaped chest. When Bradshaw straightened Beasley slumped in his chair, his bald head bowed, breathing hard, his elbows buttressed on the arms of his chair and his button eyes closed.

Bradshaw lifted the pen from the beleaguered barrister's bloodless fingers, laid it silently atop the stack of paperwork. Behind him, Bertram sighed, whether in relief or disapproval, Bradshaw wasn't sure.

His baby brother was as fearless as a Bantam rooster. He was also a libertine. He could as easily be bereft over a denied opportunity to bandy a few blows, as he could be gratified he did not have to return to his favorite brothel with a broken hand when he needed both intact, one for a bottle of bourbon and the other for buxom buttocks. Bradshaw stepped back from the desk.

No sound came from the next room. The heavy ornate door with brass fixtures behind and to the left of Beasley's desk remained still, silent. But Bellingham was there. Bradshaw could feel him, smell him.

And soon, he would bankrupt him.

Copyright 2013 Deborah Small

Justice is a concept. Muscle is the reality. ~Linda Blanford

 

 

 

 

3 comments:

Lara said...

Love it! Can't wait to see what you do with the letter 'C'!

Grammy said...

Hello. Jolly blasted, blinkin' good. Best regards to you. Ruby.

Deborah said...

Thank you, Ruby. It was a pleasure to write and a greater pleasure to know others enjoy it. :)

Take care!