Hello, lovely readers! Happy Monday… er, Tuesday, now, I suppose. C and I have been up to our ears in editing and, though progress has been slowed due to our ongoing war with technology, we have been making some great headway.
As proof: we present a teeny tiny tidbit from chapter six of Killing Mercutio (still a working title, but I’ve grown rather fond of it…).
So give it a read and let us know what you think 😉
*Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Romeo
“Come, my lofty friend!” Romeo bellowed over his shoulder to poor, uncomprehending Mercutio. “Let us share a fair dose of this city’s finest villainies.”
He goosed a buxom wench who had beckoned him with a bawdy smile, and continued lampooning his way deeper into the seedy southern district of Verona. Benvolio jested that the city’s finest villainies were, in fact, the lewd tongue and groping fingers of one Romeo Montague. Romeo laughed, basking in his devilish public role. Though he was a Montague by name and birthright, none thought to conceal their wrongs before the self-proclaimed prince of debauchery.
“This way,” he called, beckoning with his entire arm as though already fighting the drunken man’s battle for balance. The afternoon was young, but Romeo and Benvolio were known to frequent the city’s taverns from dawn ‘til dusk. There was no better way to gather intelligence first-hand. The exception, of course, was house Capulet. Try as they might, Romeo and Benvolio had never come across a loose-lipped lackey of Verona’s most devious lord.
They meandered through an alley and came out in a small square surrounded by the backsides of several inns of ill repute. Mercutio looked thoroughly irritated. “If this is some kind of jape, you will find I have no interest in playing along.”
“Oh, calm thyself, Mercutio, thou pompous dewberry,” Romeo chuckled. “We aim to assist you. If you like us not and should so choose, death awaits with open arms, I assure you.”
Benvolio scouted the area and, when satisfied they had not been followed, made his way up a set of stairs attached to the back of one of the edifices. Mercutio watched him ascend, gasping audibly as he swung out onto the smooth wall of the building and deftly climbed the rest of the way to the roof.
“He is an unusual man, isn’t he?” Romeo said, following Mercutio’s gaze.
“Man? Methinks I beheld an ape…”
Romeo laughed at that. He clapped Mercutio on the back and beckoned him to follow with a jerk of his head.
Mercutio snorted and took a step away from Romeo. “I would sooner not break my neck attempting such a feat, thank you.”
“You need only use your feet, old friend,” Romeo said, happy to play upon Visconti’s words. He remembered that, as a younger man, Mercutio had a rather delightful gift for word play.
Mercutio crossed his arms. “So you are aware that it is, in fact, feet that I possess? They are not paws nor claws nor talons. I repeat: I am not game for your jests.”
As Mercutio spoke, Romeo turned with a flourish, waving his hand before him as a rope ladder quietly descended from Benvolio’s perch upon the roof. “After you.”