Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Hot Wreck Ahead)

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Last Sunday, Tom began to follow the maître d’ of the Poisson d’Or through the high end French restaurant.  A couple of extremely well-written descriptive paragraphs later—just trust me—they arrive at the table where Tom’s wealthy client is waiting to hire the agency, be pleased with their discrete investigative services, and recommend them to all of her equally wealthy friends.

It’s a good plan.  Except . . .

Odette and Odile

Her hair was straight and long and very blonde, hanging down her back in a way that emphasized her small face and long neck. Her eyes, ice blue with very black pupils, were wide under thin brows.

She looked very expensive and very troubled—and nothing like Mrs. Justin P. Featherton.

“Hello, Leda,” I said. “It’s been a while.”

She looked up and her troubles were wiped away in favor of a delighted smile and even wider eyes. “Tommy!” she said. “It’s you.”


Some of you might remember Leda coming up in conversation a few Sundays ago, in a bit of the story that belongs farther along the timeline than this one.

Leda is your classic Odile . . . or she started out that way.  In Swan Lake, Odile is ordered by her father to do a particularly nasty bait and switch on the hero, by impersonating his True Love.  None of the versions of the tale that I’ve read or seen bother to ask her how she felt about this.*  I didn’t mean to ask, either, but Leda ended up telling me anyway.


*Okay, that’s a fib.  Barbie of Swan Lake—which is wrong in so many ways I just can’t even—thinks Odile is a adenoidal, spoiled, whiny, evil idiot who will do what her father says if it means she gets to be queen.  This is almost lazier, in a narrative sense, than ignoring her, but not as bad as the purple unicorn and the cute animals who used to be people.  Leave Tchaikovsky alone, Mattel, please?  He suffered enough.


Image located on the website of the Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg Conservatoire, but it appears to be owned by the City Ballet of San Diego.  Funny world, this.