I’m beyond thrilled that Tremontaine Season 3 is out! I’m so happy to be back in Riverside, back with Rafe, Micah, Kaab, Diane the Duchess of Tremontaine. It’s a wonderful experience reading the book serially. I had the pleasure of reading the first two seasons back to back as full books. This is my first time reading a season one episode at a time.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, start reading now! Tremontaine is told serially, much like a written television show. Thirteen episodes, one a week. Tremontaine is set in the thrilling world of Ellen Kushner and acts as a prequel to her thrilling Swordspoint series. To say that I love Tremontaine would be putting it too mildly.
To learn more about Swordspoint and Ellen Kushner, click here: http://www.ellenkushner.com/the-world-of-riverside/
As part of the celebrations around Season 3, there are weekly challenges. I thought I’d try my hand at this one:
So, come with me to Riverside as we meet Jamieson (cough!) in the Dog Tavern….
Ink and Shadow
Jamieson knew that there were shadows in Riverside.
Some of the shadows were imagined and some of them real. As he sat, trying to write by the guttering flame of a fat candle, he watched the smoke move around him. He wondered what it was about fire that was at once so cleansing and so dangerous?
There was a thump on the table as someone set their drink down. Ink from Jamieson’s bottle spat out and landed across the parchment, blurring out a few of the words he had written. Looking upward, Jamieson was ready to give the person who had dared disturb him a few choice words (imbecilic, lowlife and slobbering degenerate being just a few of them) when he saw who it was.
All the words dried up in his throat as he took in the beautiful face of Rafe Fenton. Some of the smoke from the candle crossed his face so that it looked as if Rafe were some kind of spirit made of smoke and whispers.
“All right there, Jamie?” Rafe said, sitting down.
“Never better.” He meant that to sound somewhat acidic, but it came out like in a happy sigh as Jamieson’s gaze took in Rafe’s deep brown eyes and his lush full lips. Jamieson cleared his throat. “I mean,” he said, trying to sound stern, “Yes, yes, I’m fine.”
Rafe cocked his head to the right and gave him one of his piercing looks, as if he was seeing right into you. “Are you sure you’re all right, Jamieson? You look a little flushed.”
“No, no, I’m fine. Really. I’m just writing.”
“Always scratching something out, aren’t you? I quite liked your last story, actually. A bit trite, but it had a happy ending. There’s something to be said for that.”
Jamieson felt a stab of joy and a stab of pain both at once. “I’m glad you liked it.” It had been his best writing yet and his biggest printing. Tess the Hand had set him up with a printing press and he had put the books out himself. He was so filled with words that it was all he could do to get them out fast enough.
He felt joy that Rafe would have deemed to read the book and a stab of pain because Rafe had called it trite. The book had been one of his dreams fictionalized, the one where Rafe and him ended up together, where Rafe looked at him and suddenly found he couldn’t live without him.
Jamieson had changed the names of course, but the emotions were still there, Rafe’s mannerisms that Jamieson knew so well, Like the way he ran a hand through his hair before he got up to get something else to drink. The way that mannerism always released the smell of the oil that Rafe used in his hair.
“You’ll need to tell me where you get your ideas from. I just don’t understand it; my mind is too filled with numbers these days.” He grinned and Jamieson melted into his wooden chair. “You want a drink?”
“Yes please.” Jamieson croaked. At the very least, it would ease his dry throat.
Watching Rafe go to the barkeep to get more brew, Jamieson wondered what he was doing. He had spent the last few years lusting after Rafe and had been unable to write about anything other than his fantasies.
That is why the shadows intrigued him. Jamieson wondered if he could somehow step into the shadows and become someone that Rafe would lust after…or even love? Rafe tended to go for the more roguish kind of men and, as a writer and a lover of literature and books, he was far from being that kind of man.
Jamieson wondered what it would take to get Rafe to notice him? He had been doodling with his finger on his paper with the droplets of ink that had landed there. Jamieson was so distracted, he had not noticed Micah sitting beside him until she spoke up.
“That seems like an odd way to write, Jamieson. Maybe it would be better if you use your quill?”
Looking up from the paper, he gave a little laugh. “I’m sorry, Micah. I was a little lost in thought. Have you seen Rafe? He was supposed to be back with drinks.”
“He’s up there.” She pointed towards the bar.
Another devilishly handsome man was talking to Rafe and Rafe was looking at the handsome man entranced. Jamieson wished that Rafe would look at him that way. “Oh, but he was going to get me some brew.”
“He gave it to the man he’s talking to. But look, I brought you some and a tomato pie. I hope that’s okay? I’m a little hungry and it’s always better to have someone to eat with.” She took a large bite of tomato pie and washed it down with some brew. “That’s what my mother always says.”
“Yes, yes.” Jamieson said, still looking at Rafe.
It was silent for a moment until Micah spoke again. “You will set Rafe on fire faster then a candle if you keep looking at him like that. Besides, staring isn’t polite.”
Letting out a laugh, Jamieson took a swig of brew and gave Micah a weak smile. “I’m sorry for being such terrible company tonight Micah.”
“That’s all right. Rafe says that all of you artistic types should be excused from normal behaviours as your heads are always somewhere else. I don’t know quite what he means by that as your head is on your shoulders.”
The laugh that came out this time surprised Micah for it was loud and joyous. It also surprised Jamieson. “Thank you for that, Micah, truly. I’m just such a mess.”
“It’s always that way when you love someone who doesn’t see you.”
Jamieson gave her a shocked look. “How did you…?”
“I read your last story. I read all of your stories. You should write something longer. They are always over too soon.”
“Are the stories that obvious?” Jamieson asked meekly.
“To those that aren’t too blind to see.” Micah shrugged. “You should fall in love with someone who can see you. Like that guy over there. He’s been staring at you hopefully for the past hour we’ve been here. You should go and say hello. He looks even more shy than you.”
Looking to where Micah had pointed, he saw a tall broad-shouldered man with short hair and a kind smile. When the man saw Jamieson looking at him, he began to blush and Jamieson swore he could feel the heat of his skin from where he sat.
“I don’t even know his name.” Jamieson said.
“There’s only one way to find that out.” Micah said, taking another bite of tomato pie.
Gathering his courage, Jamieson rose to his feet and began walking toward the other man whose blush deepened when he saw Jamieson walking toward him.
As Jamieson walked across the floor, he thought: ‘This would make a great beginning to a novel…’