Thursday, January 14, 2016

Talkin' Heads #8

TITLE: The Rain Crow
GENRE: Adult - Historical

Lorena is returning with her teacher Imogene, who has fallen and sprained her ankle, to Virginia from her visit to Baltimore. A unit of Union Zouaves have stopped the carriage to search it for contraband.

            "Is all this really necessary?" the captain asked when the third row of drawers was opened.

            "Not if you prefer women who care nothing of their appearance. There's a reason southern men don't stray."

            "Because they fear for their damned lives mostly."

            "Language." I continued to fan myself, watching the soldiers grow more agitated the deeper they dug.

            "Miss?" I turned to see Lieutenant Cormac. "We can't get Miss Boudreaux's boot off. Our button hooks are too large. She has seventeen buttons and refuses to let the doctor cut the boot off!"

            "Of course she does! It's a Vermache boot known for their delicate buttons. If the captain would allow me, I could fetch it for you. If it's still where it was though heaven knows I seem to have a summer storm blowing through everything from caplet to corset."

            "I ain't touched no corsets, ma'am," said one of the poor conscripted soldiers.

            "The day is young." I pulled a button hook from the top vanity drawer of Imogene's trunk. "There you go, sir. Is there anything else she requires?"

            "Well, she is quite upset and in pain. Perhaps you can come comfort her?"

            "Tell her I will come as soon as we've been thoroughly searched. Do not tell her your comrades are rifling her unmentionables."

            "Oh dear God, no, ma'am. I would never in life tell her that. Trust me."

            "Ma'am! I'm not rifling no unmentionables! I ain't even got a gun near 'em."


  1. I liked the dialogue, which seemed authentic to the period and each speaker voice seemed unique. LOVED this: "Oh dear God, no, ma'am. I would never in life tell her that. Trust me." Pacing and details are good, making me want to read on.

    What could use work:
    the first paragraph needs to be changed from passive to active. For clarity, I'd like to know what 'all this' is–lingerie, makeup, hats. Also, Drawers on what? Please tell us what exactly he's rifling through. Your MC's name is missing. You could have the capt. address her (Miss Last Name) at the end of the first sentence.

    I did question why the captain would say 'Because they fear for their lives'. Does he pick up a hidden knife, gun, etc.? If you've covered this previously, please ignore this comment.

    An action response is missing after Cormac's line before she says, "Of course she does!" Show us her face, her frustration.

    The last line is fun, but save it for later. It says the same thing as the previous sentence which is very effective. I'm not sure who's saying the last line, so it needs a tag.

    Interesting snippet! Good luck with it.

  2. I'm not sure if this is meant to be comedy, but the Union soldiers come off as idiots. Also, it would be good to know how old Lorena is, since she's smarting off at soldiers. So it's hard to say how realistic this is. But I could certainly follow the dialog.

  3. SanWrites thank you so much.

    Yes, it's a bit confusing as readers are dropped in the middle of the scene. Lorena has an idea they will be searched for contraband so they purposely loaded up the drawers in the wardrobe trunks with as many vanity items and undergarments as they could to wear them down a bit.

    Wardrobe trunks were set up like small dressers with drawers on one side.

    I'm going to make adjustments thanks to your input.

    Thank you again.


    "'Because they fear for their lives'. Does he pick up a hidden knife, gun, etc.? If you've covered this previously, please ignore this comment."

    I actually picked this out of a some journals and letters from Union soldiers who talked about how they thought southern men were more afraid of their women than they were battle.

  4. Anonymous, thanks for taking the time to comment. Lorena is twenty-two.

    I'm sorry you felt it was unrealistic. I'm confident in my research, but not every story is for every reader.