Nano 2017 Kiss Me, You Fiend Chapter Thirty Two
Alex looked up from his Nintendo Switch, which was probably running Skyrim. Neither of those products endorsed this story, but then there’s been so many brands mentioned in this “book” already that it doesn’t really matter any more.
“Oh hello. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably looking for the latest installment of Lego Thing, the non-award-winning story I’ve been writing for Nanowrimo this year. It’s filled with a bunch of random Lego characters from various game and film properties, and its only governing logic is ‘whatever Alex happens to find funny at the time.
“This place right here is the perfect place to mention that I find a lot of the grammar rules surrounding quotation marks to be a little ridiculous and frustrating. If I want to start a new paragraph within this same quotation, I have to leave that other paragraph up there just kind of dangling without a closed quotation mark. This sort of madness is common in the grammar world, and uncommon in the math and programming world, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to reconcile those two things inside my brain in a world that demands I should know at least a little bit about both those things.
“Anyway,” Alex continued, pausing for a moment just so he could close off at least one set of quotation marks somewhere on this page, “it’s Thanksgiving. Holiday of Turkey-eating and family-seeing, and hopefully, a little Skyrim playing. As of this writing, my real self hasn’t actually played any Skyrim yet but hey who knows, that could change by the end of the day! I hope that wherever you are, you got to eat some good food and maybe buy some things for cheap on the internet.
“This roundabout line of rambling brings us back to the original point: my ongoing story. Much like most of America, my story is taking a day off today. However, this being Nanowrimo, and the point of this silly exercise being that something new made of words must appear every day, I am very pleased to announce I have something special to show you.
“In lieu of a new chapter of the mess that’s my Lego story, I am very pleased to present to you a previously unpublished chapter of a previously unpublished romance novel entitled Kiss Me, You Fiend! This rousing historical romance novel is a delightfully saucy tale that’s probably not suitable for all ages, has almost nothing to do with either Lego things or Thanksgiving, and is very likely never going to be published outside of this once-in-a-lifetime chapter you’re about to see today.
“I hope you enjoy this brief taste of Kiss Me, You Fiend! And have a Happy Thanksgiving!”
KISS ME, YOU FIEND
CHAPTER 32: LOST IN LOVE AT SEA
Lord Grimlow and Lady Cordelia stood aboard the deck of the now-ragged ship, surveilling all the damage the previous night’s storm had done to it. The sail was ripped in several places. The riggings were all loose and floopsy. The mast was still intact, but their sail master Count Dugan appeared to have taken the lone life boat and made for land in the dark of the night.
“My dear Lord Grimlow,” said Lady Cordelia, producing a piece of battered paper from within the folds of her white dress, “I found this note inside the captain’s quarters while you slept upon the morning. It is from Count Dugan. It seems he took the only lifeboat and made for land in the middle of the night. I do hope he wasn’t dashed apart on some rocks during the terrible storm.”
Grimlow studied the note and looked sternly out to sea. He noticed that land was not far away now, but still far enough to the horizon that the ragged condition of the ship worried him. “Grim tidings, indeed! With Dugan gone, my lady, tis but you on I left upon this now-rotting ship. We may have to make the rest of the journey on our own.”
Lady Cordelia sharply sighed and pulled her gloved hand up to her mouth. “Oh no! That’s terrible news! I know nothing of how to repair these ships, and without Count Dugan’s help, I fear we may never make it to the Isle of Groomhaven. How are we to claim the rights to my family’s estate and live out the rest of our lives in decadent luxury if we don’t make it in time?” She turned to face the sea. “Surely my foolish cousin Lord Foppery is out there right now, in a ship of his own, traveling at speed, trying to claim the fortune for himself.”
Grimlow walked over to Cordelia and embraced her from behind. She felt his warm rough hands through the cloth of her fancy gloves, and blushed. “My lady,” said Lord Grimlow, “surely your cousin was also caught in the storm.” He spun Lady Cordelia around gently to face him. “He will not make any faster time than we could. This was the fastest, most hardy ship available in all of New Haven. Perhaps it is he who was dashed upon the rocks during the night.”
“You shouldn’t say such things!,” said Lady Cordelia. She raised her eyebrows. “And yet, I can’t help but hope that such a thing could be true. Do you think such a terrible thing might have happened? Could we possibly be so lucky?”
Grimlow embraced Cordelia once again. “I think we very well could. Now, all we can do is rest here inside the captain’s quarters while Dugan acquires the help we need. He is the finest sailor I’ve ever met, and he was sworn to me at birth. I’ve no doubt that he will succeed in his mission. In the meantime, I’m sure we can think of something to do, no?” Grimlow leaned in close enough that he could smell the blush upon Lady Cordelia’s cheek, and he went to kiss her.
Lady Cordelia took a step back. “My goodness, you roguish knave! We are not yet married. I am not even yet a proper lady. What would the world say if they knew you were out here trying to place your lips upon mine?”
“I do not care what the world would say, my lady! I only care about what I would say.”
Lady Cordelia gave a small curtsey. “Well, while you might have the luxury of thinking that way, I do not…even if I do find your advances just slightly above disgusting. See me safely to the water’s edge, my Lord, then we can talk about our next move.”
Unbeknownst to the Lord and the Lady, Count Dugan was indeed alive. He had just reached land in the small dingy he took after the sails broke in the night, his arms burning with a fire that outstretched even that in Lord Grimlow’s loins. He made his way onto the beach, and noticed another party about 100 paces to the south…lead by none other than Lord Foppery!
“My goodness!,” exclaimed Dugan alone to no one. “Foppery has beaten us to the island! How did we not see his grand ship in the night? If he makes his way to the reading of the will and claims the manor before we do, then all hope is lost! How will I ever marry my Lady Cordelia and make my way in the world if she’s not even a proper lady! This whole plan is falling apart.”
A member of Lord Foppery’s party looked over in Dugan’s direction, and he, paranoid, quickly ran and jumped into some bushes. This solicited a giggle out of the curious onlooker, a lass of but 19, dressed in a bright blue gown and carrying a parcel of books in her hands. She excused herself from the landing party, and bounded over to the bushes where Dugan had ensconced himself.
“Excuse me,” said Amelia, peering into the bushes, “I think I saw a man bound into these bushes just now. I’ve never been on an island before, so I’m not sure if that’s proper behavior, but I couldn’t help but come and look.”
Dugan thought for a moment about what to do. “Um. My dear lady, there are no men inside the bush, I know not of what you speak.”
Amelia suppressed another giggle. “Oh very well then, I suppose I shall have to go and tell the men I’m traveling with that these bushes are cursed, and they should all be burned immediately.”
Dugan all at once popped out of the bushes, and immediately found himself struck by Amelia’s appearance. “Oh no miss, I really wish you wouldn’t do that?”
“Aha!,” said Amelia, “so there was a man within these bushes. A handsome man at that, though a little poorly dressed.”
Dugan gave a short bow, “I apologize for my appearance, I had to spend the entire night rowing here as our boat suffered greatly in the storm.”
“Perhaps the men I’m with can provide you some help?”
Dugan spat upon the ground. “I’d no sooner accept help from Lord Foppery than I’d accept help from a mangy squirrel!”
Amelia clapped her hands together and giggled. “How fun! You know of Lord Foppery do you? I can’t stand the man myself, but it’s not proper for a lady to express her opinion first.”
Dugan raised his eyebrows. “Oh? I thought you might be his ward, or related to him in some way…or perhaps his lover.”
Amelia’s expression quickly darkened. “My goodness, you’re a fiend, aren’t you! No, I’m not in any way associated with that miserable lout. They were simply going the same way I was and offered me passage on their ship. My aunt lives upon this island if you must know.”
Dugan gave another small bow. “Well then, I would be delighted to escort you to your aunt’s house, and perhaps from there I might acquire the supplies I need to repair my ship.” And perhaps find a way to delay Foppery, he thought to himself.
Amelia smiled. “Certainly I’d prefer the company of a random man I only just met who was hiding in a bush. If you find me so scary, I know you can probably be trusted."