The Diamond Necklace: Part 3

Well, it’s about time I got this little shindig over with.  So here goes.  THE EPIC CONCLUSION!

—-

The husband-the-governor held the box containing the necklace.  He didn’t trust any of his family members with it, seeing as they were all competing for it.  The niece, the cousin, and the aunt all strode up Paris’ driveway with confidence.  None of them were worried.

Paris was playing basketball in the driveway when they approached.  Setting the ball on the ground, he greeted them.  “Hello, sir,” he said, nodding to the husband.  “Ladies.  What’s up?”

The husband briefly explained the situation to the boy, noting that he seemed like the type to judge things fairly and could you please help us out?  Logically, whomever Paris thought was the prettiest girl would receive the necklace.

The husband stepped back for a few moments to let him decide, and that’s when the catfighting really started.  The ladies swarmed in on Paris, determined to win the contest.

The aunt was first to stop showing off how pretty she was and to start bribing.  After all, she thought, this is just a stupid kid.  Of course he’ll want something in return.  So she told him, “You know, my husband has a lot of power.  And you’re such a strong leader type.  If you’re ever interested in government I’m sure we could help you along.”

The cousin flicked back a stray curl in disgust.  The aunt really had no idea how to talk to people, especially when pursuading them.  Of course, she was in law school.  She could win this.

“Look, kid,” she said to him, “I’m a lawyer.  You ever need any help, you ever get into trouble, you give me a call, okay?”  And she handed him a business card for a job she didn’t quite have yet, but would in a few years.  She figured the boy still had a few years until he got his first charge.

Now it was the niece’s turn.  She, of course, knew what boys really wanted, so she batted her eyelashes at Paris.  “Is there anyone in your life, Paris?  Girlfriend?”

Paris shook his head slowly.  “No, not really- why?”

“Oh, nothing.  Just that there’s this really pretty girl down the street, just moved here.  Dying to meet someone, she is.”  The niece held a hand over her mouth in mock surprise.  “Wait a minute!  I’ve got it!  I’ll hook you two up!  I can do that, you know.  My boyfriend is friends with her brother.”

The boy’s eyes shone with hope.  “Really?  And she’s hot?”

“Oh, of course.  Just say I’m the winner and I’ll hook you up.  It’s practically a done deal!”

Paris made up his mind then and there.  How could he not choose the niece?  She was hooking him up.  That deserved something.

Ooh, Tiffany. Good choice.

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The Diamond Necklace: Part 2

She strode into the reception as if she owned the place.  That was the point, actually.  She had to look like she belonged at this wedding.  If she did that, surely no one would be suspicious, even if they happened to notice her in the throng of relatives and friends.

A fast song was playing, just her luck.  The table she wanted was straight across the dance floor, beyond hundreds of writhing bodies.  And, of course, most of them knew her.  “Great,” she muttered.

But she had to go on with this.  It was all she had thought about since visiting her sister.  So she hugged the decorated box closer to her chest and squeezed through the first layer of dancers.

—-

The table in question was occupied by five people, most of them related to each other.  There was the aunt, an uptight and upright sort of woman; there was the cousin, who was putting herself through law school at the moment; and the niece, both the beauty of the family and the spoiled one.  Also there were the aunt’s-husband-the-governor, and the niece’s new boyfriend, a brawny fellow in a leather jacket.

The aunt frowned at the jacket as they all sat down, finally, to start the meal.  “Excuse me, young man, but this is a wedding.  Not a bar.”

“Auntie!” squealed the niece, then she turned to the boyfriend.  “Don’t worry, hunk, you look gorgeous.”

They shared a quick kiss as the aunt looked on in horror, mostly at the usage of the word hunk.

All three were interrupted by the sound of the cousin clearing her throat.  “I’m sorry to butt into the middle of this little exchange, but I think you may want to look at this.”  She pointed to the center of the table.

There, lying equidistant from every place at the table, was a velvet-lined box, the lid of which had been removed to reveal-

“A necklace!” squealed the niece.  “Oh, it’s so gorgeous!  Are those real diamonds, they’re gigantic!”  She reached for the box but was stopped short when the cousin smacked her hand away.

“Paws off,” she growled.  “Look at the note.”

Sure enough, there was a paper napkin taped on top of the jewelry:

Hey Beautiful.  Bought this for you.

Your Admirer

“Obviously,” said the cousin to the other women, “he means me, seeing as you two are already taken.”

The aunt disagreed.  “In my day I had all the town boys after me.  I’m sure he means me.”

“I’m sorry?” squeaked the niece.  “But are you two blind?  Look at me!  Clearly I’m the Beautiful one this guy was talking about!”

“You tell them, doll,” rumbled the boyfriend.  “But if this Admirer guy comes after you I might have to take care of him.”

“Oh, you’re so sweet, hunk,” giggled the niece.

The cousin spoke again before they could say any more.  “On the outside, yes, maybe you’re the prize winner,” she said to the niece.  “But there’s inner beauty, too.  Meaning brains.  Smarts.  So, really, you see it’s meant for me.”

The aunt scoffed.  “Please!  You two are nothing compared to my beauty- inside and outside!  Dear, tell them!” she shrieked to her husband-the-governor.

The husband massaged the bridge of his nose for the longest time.  “You know I’ll never judge this fairly, dear.  I don’t know who this boy meant, but I’m not about to hold a beauty contest.”

Then he snapped his fingers.  “I know.  That boy down the street, what’s his name- London?  Tokyo?”

“Paris, dear,” the aunt said.

“Yes, Paris.”  The husband nodded.  “We’ll let him decide.  He’s a judge at all the talent shows these days, and he’s such a nice boy.  Let’s pay him a visit.  It’s better than having me decide this, at any rate.”

—-

Stay tuned for the epic conclusion, The Diamond Necklace: Part 3!

Also, who guessed what the myth is?  Come on, I know you know!

Happy reading!

The Diamond Necklace: Part 1

As promised, I’ve written some short fiction.  This story is based off of a Greek myth, though I won’t say which one quite yet.  We’ll see if anyone can guess.  This is only the first of maybe two or three parts.  Enjoy!

—-

The couple were together yet again, planning their wedding in his apartment.  The bride sat on the groom’s maroon couch, feet tucked up beneath her, riffling through guest invitations.  “Are you sure about this guest list?” she asked.

The groom wasn’t really looking; he was too busy taking yet another “break” and watching the game.  “Yeah, sure,” he muttered.

The bride sighed.  “Hey!” she said, snapping her fingers.  “Earth to-”

“Well, what’s wrong with the list?” the groom replied at last, turning to face his love.  “It’s not too many, I know, because really, honey, that reception hall is gigantic.”

“Yes, but what about-” the bride pointed to one name on the list.  “I mean, does she really have to come?  Remember that dinner party?  She’s not exactly the most pleasant person to be around.”

The groom whistled through his teeth and ran a hand through his dark hair, which was what he did when making decisions.  Then, after a pause, he said, “Well, you’re right, I suppose.  You really don’t want to invite her?”

The bride raised her eyebrows.  It was enough.

“Right,” the groom conceded.  “Fine, then, don’t invite her.  We’ll have pictures on Facebook anyway.”

—-

She would never have known about the wedding if she hadn’t been at her sister’s house.  If the sister hadn’t had been invited.  If the invitation hadn’t been sitting right there, in plain sight on the coffee table as they sat down.

She picked it up, mildly interested.  The invitation was pretty, pale blue with swirling letters.  “What’s this?”

“Oh, you don’t know?” said the sister.  “They’re finally getting married.  Apparently the governor himself is springing for it.  He’s some kind of relative or something, I think.  Simply everyone is going.”

I never got invited,” she pouted.  The glare from the TV illuminated one side of her face with bluish light that mimicked the blue of the invitation.

The sister smirked.  “I wonder why.  I’m sorry, sis, but you’re not exactly Ms. Congeniality.  Especially last year at that dinner party, do you remember?”

Her cheeks burned.  “I remember.  But that isn’t a reason not to invite me to a wedding, is it?”

“Oh, who knows?” said the sister, after another sip of coffee.  She wondered how her sister could drink so much coffee and still have teeth so dazzlingly white.  “Don’t worry too much about it, is my advice.  Perhaps they simply forgot.  After all, planning a wedding is a messy business, to be sure.  Especially theirs.  I hear it’s going to be simply the biggest bash of the year!”

“You’re not making me feel better.”

“Oh, sorry, darling.  But they forgot.  I’m sure of it.”

But she wasn’t so sure.  Maybe, she thought, I’ll go anyway.  Just to see.  And perhaps I’ll get a little revenge on them for “forgetting” me.

Why Any Other Name Would Just Be Less Exciting

I’ve been thinking a lot about the naming of characters.

I’ve learned that it’s a very delicate process for some writers.  And, it turns out, these are the writers I tend to like.  A lot.  For instance, take J.K. Rowling.  Do I even need to name the books she’s written?  (It’s Harry Potter, in case you don’t know.)  EVERYTHING IN HER BOOK HAS SOME SORT OF MEANING.  EVERYTHING!!!  It’s the most incredible thing.  I’m guessing a lot of Internet research about the Middle Ages and name etymologies went into it, but I could be wrong.  She could just be an expert namer.

I don’t think the word “namer” is even a word.  But I don’t care.

Let me show you what I mean here.  Also, by the way, these meanings are borrowed from Mugglenet, which I consider a leading voice in the Harry Potter Internet fandom.

Remember Errol, that poor old doddering post-owl owned by the Weasely family?  Apparently Errol is an Old English word meaning “Wanderer.”  It certainly makes sense to me.

Also, Fenrir Greyback’s first name (that would be that nasty werewolf) comes from Norse mythology.  Fenrir was a gigantic wolf who caused the gods a lot of trouble in the past and was prophesied to be featured again when the world ends.  Which, when you think about it, is basically what Greyback did during the whole You-Know-Who takeover(s).

Another series whose naming I enjoy (actually, I enjoy the series in general.  It’s definitely in my top three) is The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins.  This is a YA trilogy that has been taking the world by storm over the past couple of years.  The final book, Mockingjay, came out almost a year ago, and a movie is now in production (squeal!  More about all this will definitely be coming later, but that requires its own post).  I don’t think I actually made any connections with the names and their meanings on my own during reading this series, but there is definitely something there.

Again, I’ll give some examples.  These come from another great fan-made etymology.

I’m sorry, anyone who’s only read the first book, but I just love Beetee, a District 3 tribute introduced in Catching Fire (the second book).  His name comes from a unit of energy measurement, the BtU.  I find this name most fitting for someone so adept with all things technology.

Also, I quite enjoyed finding out Peeta Mellark’s etymology.  Turns out his first name comes from (it seems obvious now) pita bread!  Mellark, on the other hand, isn’t as straightforward.  It probably came in part from the lark, a bird which carries all kinds of metaphors for the character’s ability to use words so well.  It also means a bunch of happy things like “good fortune” and “hope.”

I’m sure there are other books I’ve read whose names carry inner symbolism as well, but these two are the ones that have impressed me most with the author’s knowledge of mythology, history, and general awesomeness.  They have convinced me that in order for my books to be the best they can be, the names have to mean something.  At least, that is, if I’m writing fantasy or post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction as these two authors were.  But I think this lesson can count for any and all genres.

I’m not trying to sound like a copycat here.  I really think that names are a great way to convey more information about the character.  Of course, I’ll probably never be able to do it as well as my examples did, but I can try, right?

Then again, this probably means I have to go buy a gazillion mythology-related books now…