Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Trace of Mischiel

She had a heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere

Robert Browning ~ My Last Duchess

“Which would you rather be?” asked Trevor. “A hero with a trace of villainy or a villain with a trace of heroism.”

“I would rather be the hero, even if it meant having a bit of the villain,” answered Wilfred. “I figure the good qualities of a hero would keep the flaws of the villain in check.”

“I’m with Wilfred,” said Skandar. “I’d rather be a flawed hero than a defective villain. Although it is rather odd to think that a villain with a trace of goodness is defective. Why do you ask?”

“Just curious,” said Trevor. “I’m writing a story and couldn’t decide whether to make it about a hero or a villain, so I decided to incorporate both into one character. What do you think, Rhino?”

“Hmm…I can see the advantages of both,” said Rhino. “A hero with a trace of evil can empathize with the villain; and a villain with a trace of goodness has a hope of redemption.”

“So, Trevor, which did you decide for your character?” asked Wilfred.

“I’m making her a good woman with a touch of evil.”

“You’re goin’ to write about a female?” Wilfred was scandalized. “Now why would you want to do that?”

“If you ever read, you would notice that most literature is about men and that women are just part of the background, like furniture. I want a woman to have fun for a change. If I make her a villain with a trace of heroism, she won’t have a chance to do any good. Sure as anything, as soon as she shows up, she’ll be burned at the stake. But if I make her good, then she’ll have a chance to sneak off and get into mischief.”

“It sounds like you’re writing about Amalia,” said Skandar.

“Maybe I am. Amalia is not above breaking a few rules, and we all love her for it.”

“Whatever you write, don’t let my sisters read it,” said Wilfred. “They are trouble enough without getting any radical ideas.”

“Wilfred, they have you for a brother,” said Elbert. “That makes them all heroines in need of a bit of fun.”

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