So, today is six months since my Dad passed away. It seems almost impossible that it's been that long.
I wanted to write a post today in his memory, but I was struggling to know what to write. To be honest, I feel like I've already said what I can say.
Then I was thinking about one of the last conversations I had with my Dad face to face - and it was about The Last Knight. It hadn't been long published and I had been quietly shocked that Dad actually really liked it. Not just 'my daughter wrote it so I have to like it' but honestly, really liked it. According to Mum he read it cover to cover three times or more between it's release and when he passed away.
But I digress. In this conversation I asked him who his favourite character was (expecting him to say Lance, or Cara, or Wyn) and he surprised me by saying Percy. Who I have to admit is probably my favourite character too.
So just for you Dad, a little Percy scene that I wrote a while back and I never planned on seeing the light of day. It's just a bit of silly fun, but I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
The foil crinkled in his hands as he turned it around. The bright colours on the front made it hard to imagine this was some kind of food. He turned it again and shook it. The contents rattled.
Percy glanced up at Merlin. “Are you sure this is food?”
“Yes, Percival,” Merlin sighed. “It’s food. They just – do things a little differently here.”
The bag popped slightly as he opened it and the smell of some kind of fried goodness rose up out of it. He breathed in. He glanced into the bag and found a pile of thin, crisp bits of what looked like fried potato. But why were they cut so thin? He sighed in disappointment. He wanted meat, and lots of it, slow roasted over an open fire pit, dripping in grease. He wanted vegetables, also swimming in grease, but big chunks of them that he could stab with his knife. Not these strange, thin little bits of nothing.
And he was hungry, damn it. Of course, according to Gwain and Lancelot, he was always hungry. It wasn’t true. He wasn’t hungry when he was sleeping, or fighting. Just – the rest of the time.
The bag was almost too small for his big hand as he reached in for one of the ‘crisps’. It did smell good, he couldn’t deny that.
Lancelot was laughing from across the table. “Just eat it already. It’s not going to change no matter how long you stare at it.”
Percy glowered at him. It was all right for Lancelot. He seemed to have fitted into this new world quite easily, but the whole place still felt strange to Percy. The clothes were stiff and uncomfortable. He missed his armour. He felt naked without his armour. And there was stone everywhere, the forests he loved were gone, swallowed up by cities that seemed impossibly big. As for the people, he found them hard to believe. Why, just a few moments ago he’d seen a man come into the room in front of a woman, and not hold the door open for her. Unfathomable. He’d considered challenging the man for the affront, but he didn’t think Gwain or Lancelot would approve. Besides, the man had looked so small and weak it wouldn’t have been a very fair fight.
He sighed and looked back down at the thin piece of potato in his hand. He wasn’t sure he liked this new world one little bit.
With a final sigh of resignation he shoved the ‘crisp’ into his mouth and crunched down. His eyes widened in surprise as flavour flooded across his tongue, salty and fatty. Damn, that was good!
He demolished the rest of the packet in a matter of seconds and reached for another, then a third.
He only stopped when he heard Lancelot and Gwain laughing at him. He shot them a dirty look. Let them laugh.
Maybe this new world wouldn’t be so bad after all…