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.


39 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Hot Wreck Ahead)

  1. Oh, the past is coming back to potentially bite him in the behind. Love the description. Without telling me I knew she was a swan. Great 8!
    BTW, I’m looking forward to reading all those well-written paragraphs in between the snippets;).

  2. Nice introduction of the character. Like P.T. Wyant, I’m trying to gauge Tom’s feelings. Maybe a little hint in the dialog tag could add to the presentation of Leda? Just a thought that you are free to ignore. You’re probably adding to this in the next 8. 😉

  3. Wonderful imagery! I can’t wait to read Tom’s response. She seems pleased to see him, but I wasn’t so sure he was pleased to see her.

  4. Oh, she’s so a swan. You did her physical description as well as her mannerisms so well I knew her “other” self immediately. Happy New Year!

  5. Tom didn’t seem as happy as she was somehow…loved all the discussion about “Swan Lake”. This is such a fascinating and different story, can’t wait for more. Give me all those “well-written descriptive paragraphs” — I crave them LOL. Great snippet!

    • Thanks, Christina! I like other people’s underused characters—there’s a lot of room to play! 😀

      The history is coming, if I can fit it all into 8 sentences!

  6. She certainly sounds swan-like in appearance, with the type of look I’d expect of a high-society woman with money. I love how you’re drawing inspiration from Swan Lake.

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