Chatterbox: Critticism

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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This month for Chatterbox (Haven't heard of chatterbox? Read about it here.) Rachel cleverly chose the topic of Criticism, instead of the Love everyone suspected. (Good, thank you, I'm really horrible at making love a chatty thing, and I was worried that's what you would choose.)

That much being said, criticism is something I usually attribute to the writing itself, not as a topic - my characters are no stranger to harsh words, but I don't naturally throw in bouts of degradation. I suppose it's something I must learn one way or the other - a certain balance is to be attained there, see. So for you, Rachel, I'm making a concious effort. You're welcome.

--

There was a green firefly-light at the bottom of the chipped tea mug, and Kaitlyn heckled it with her spoon, listening. All around, the dim light of a late February evening was dancing a solemn, operose dance; it sounded of home and the winter that was soon to close, and of the first sparrow-songs of March. She determined it in her favor.
"What are you so enamoured with?" And Kaitlyn looked up.
"The sky." Evening had come upon them quietly, and now examining the brown curves of Rune's face she noticed how dark it was - how dark both were. "You're brooding tonight."
His stare released her reluctantly, as if he'd eschewed a theory that had been troubling him lately.
"It's dark, we ought to go in."
"The stars haven't come out yet - I'm staying out here." Kaitlyn set her hips firmly with balled fists.
"It's dark and you're coming in, if I've anything to do with it."
"You don't have anything to do with it, you'd do well to recall. I refuse to be bottled up for your personal convictions."
Rune looked sick. "Well I won't leave you alone." He sat stiffly by her side, arms crossed and elbows set on his knees, and they waited, not speaking.
The stars came, slowly at first and then all at once, till the sky was freckled as thickly as the pale skin beneath Kaitlyn's lashes had grown since she boarded the ship. Something not far in the distance was making a light, bright and yellow against the deep indigo sky.
"It is well worth your patience, is it not?" She glanced furtively in his way, and Rune bit a lip.
"I never said it wouldn't be."
"Always ready to be snide, aren't you, Rune?"
"I wouldn't say as much...though it is in my way to be selective with compliments, and I don't hide it."
"But you don't like to think well of people?"
"Do you?" It put her to thinking; perhaps he was right.
"I wonder that you should care."
It was too prim a sentence for Rune. He looked at her queerly, and Kaitlyn twitched her lip guiltily.
"That is, it seems unlike you."
"To care?"
"Quite."
They glared each other down depths like ages, eye to eye for several long seconds unwavering until he sighed and turned his head.
"I'm curious."
Kaitlyn thought this too simple, but kept her lips sealed.
"Take that tea, if you like, for an example," he carried on. "Why do you drink it? It has few benefits to your health - not that you have a knack for that sort of thing anyway - and tastes awful. What's in it for you?"
She, in fierce defence of the injured drink held it close to her heart. "I like the taste of it. It reminds me of home."
"And there's another thing: you talk about 'home', but refuse to tell any of us your origins. It makes me wonder..."
"Well don't, because I've not changed my tune - and I won't, either."
"Blast it, I didn't mean to ge you started there. But you see, I like to know things. I feel a cripple without knowledge."
Her tongue lashed quickly. "That's your fault?" It wasn't precisely meant to hurt him, though; it was more a question of interest.
"Don't criticize me, you've got faults aplenty if you'd let me name 'em."
"But I don't." She was aloof now, combing and cleaning her proverbial Coat. It was a favorite practice, when time could be spared to indulge the activity.
"Any final words before I drag you off to your kennel, Miss?"
A half-snort. "Goodnight, Rune."
"Goodnight, Kaitlyn."
They turned each his seperate way, and the white-spotted blanket of midnight overhead seemed, by some accounts, to be winking at them. Of course, none could say for sure...

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