Writing Every Day in February: Day 27

‘We’re fine. We’re all fine here. Now. Thank you. How are you?’

To provide a brief bit of inspiration for today’s scene: there was a point in the first Dragon Age where your main character and the most prominent companion ended up arrested and you then had to select two other companions to spring them out of jail.

On the one hand, it was possible to just go in guns swords blazing and stomp everyone in your way. On the other, you could also try to bluff your way in. Depending on your chosen pair of companions, those bluffs can range from the utterly plausible to the patently ridiculous, and I imagine that the Bioware writers had a lot of fun with this scene.

I know I had a lot of fun with this scene.

Also, as you might be able to glean from that byline, this was also inspired by the Death Star infiltration in the original Star Wars.

I’m admittedly a little unclear on why exactly Lucia and Alda need to bluff their way into the guildhall of a bunch of mercenaries. “The map” is pretty vague, but perfectly serviceable. If I do revisit this scene for a full story, there’s definitely going to be a proper motive.

“They have the map. We need to get in there,” Lucia says.

“But I’m just a kid,” Alda protests. “What am I going to do?”

“Just follow my lead,” Lucia tells her.

Alda nods and follows Lucia up to the big, burly swordsman guarding the door of the mercenaries’ guildhall. He holds up a big, burly hand to stop them as they approach

“And who might you two be?” he asks. “I don’t recognise you. Which means you’re not members of the Sparkly Butterflies. Which means you two need to keep moving.”

“Your band of mercenaries is called the Sparkly Butterflies?” Lucia asks.

“It was the Captain’s daughter’s idea,” the guard mutters. “And, for the record, we happen to be the finest mercenaries operating out of Middlesbrooke, thank you very much.”

“I mean, yeah,” Lucia says, her brain barely able to keep up with her tongue. “Of course, the Sparkly Butterlies. Who hasn’t heard of the Sparkly Butterflies? And if you’re them, that means they’re you and that means we’ve been looking for you. And we’re right where we want to be.”

She glances down at Alda.

“Right, Alda?”

“Uh, yeah,” Alda says.

“I doubt that very much,” the guard says. “Sparkly Butterflies only.”

“What, the Captain didn’t tell you?” Lucia asks, desperately trying to formulate a backstory. “We’re here to, uh…”

“… Perform!” Alda offers. “You know, for the Captain’s…”

“… Birthday!” Lucia concludes.

“Hm. I thought that Captain’s birthday was in the fall,” the guard mutters. “Hmm. Maybe it’s one of those things that’s on a different day each year.”

He looks sceptically at Lucia at Alda.

“And just who are you two?”

“Oh, um,” Lucia stammers. “We’re the, uh…”

“Spectacular,” Alda offers.

“Selvario Sisters?” Lucia concludes.

“Sisters? You two are sisters? Really?” the guard asks.

“Yes,” Alda and Lucia answer simultaneously.

“We’re twins?” Lucia adds.

Twins?” the guard repeats incredulously. “But you look nothing alike. And you’re not even the same age. And you’re a Wilderling!”

“No, no, no,” Alda interjects. “What she means is that we are twins, but we’re not twins with each other. Like, we each have our own twin. But neither of them are performers like we are.”

“I see,” the guard says. “But you are sisters?”

“She’s adopted,” Lucia and Alda say, each pointing to the other.

“So, let me get this straight,” the guard says. “You’re the Spectacular Selvario Sisters. You’re both adopted. And each have a twin who isn’t a Spectacular Selvario Sister.”

Lucia and Alda nod.

“And you’re here to perform for the boss’ birthday. Even though the boss’ birthday is on a different day than it was last year,” the guard continues. “Is that about right?”

“Yes?” Lucia replies uncertainly.

“Makes sense to me,” the guard says cheerfully, stepping aside from the door. “In you go.”

Lucia cannot believe that worked.

“Well,” she stammers as she recovers. “Thank you very much.”

“Wait,” the guard declares suddenly as they reach for the door. “Just one more thing. What, exactly, is your act?”

“Oh,” Alda says, exchanging a nervous glance with Lucia. “I, um, ride around on a unicycle playing the accordion…”

“While,” Lucia says, reaching for something, anything, to say, “I juggle waterlemons. On fire?”

“So are the waterlemons on fire, or are you?” the guard asks.

“Yes,” Lucia answers. “It’s a very particular skillset. Needs very specialised equipment. Took years of practice to master.”

“Wow,” the guard says. “That really does sound spectacular.”

I, for one, cannot wait to see Lucia juggle waterlemons on fire.

I’m impressed with how well today’s scene went. But, also, I’m glad there’s only one more day, because I’ve really been struggling for good ideas for scenes lately.

Come back tomorrow for the last of my February 2022 daily writing exercises. And stay tuned for everything else by following me on social media and my email list:

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