Saturday, February 20, 2010

Eaglethorpe Buxton and the Sorceress: Chapter 11 Excerpt

As the sorceress said, disconsolateberries grow all over the southern coast of Lyrria. As you may know, disconsolate is a word meaning sad. It is a medium powerful word for sad, which is to say that it is more sad than crestfallen, but not so sad as woebegone. A disconsolate person is somewhat worse off than a person who is merely downcast, but not in nearly so bad a shape as a person who is inconsolable. You might suppose that the name of the berry comes from the feeling that one may feel after eating a few disconsolateberries, but you would be mightily mistaken. If anything, disconsolateberries lighten the mood of anyone who eats a few handfuls of them. It is my understanding that their name comes from a young man who lost his love. Wandering the hills along the coast, he was determined to die of starvation, but was unable to because he tasted one of the berries and thereafter kept eating them, despite his sadness and desire to die.

“You just made that up,” said the sorceress.

“Made what up?”

“That bit about the young man who lost his love.”

“Were you reading my thoughts?”

“No, you said that aloud.”

“I did?”

“I heard that the disconsolateberry got its name because being so tasty that one cannot stop eating them when out picking them, one can never gather enough to make a whole pie, leaving the maiden who is trying to do so, disconsolate.”

“I like my story better,” said I. “Although your story does have the benefit of having a pie in it.”

“I see you’ve finished your piece,” said Myolaena. “Would you like more poison pie?”

“Yes please.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“So I can’t have any more?”

“Why would you keep eating the pie, once I told you it was poisoned?”

“For one thing, being evil, you are probably lying about the poison…”

“I’m not evil.”

“Evil people never think they are.”

“What about Shakespeare’s Richard III? He is determined to play the villain.”

“I’ve never heard of him.”

“Who? Richard III or Shakespeare?”

“Neither one of them.”

“One was a king in a faraway country. The other is the greatest writer of all time.”

“Which is which?” I wondered. “Never mind. I don’t care about a king in a faraway country, and clearly I am the greatest writer of all time.”

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