Yesterday, the healer, the warrioress, and the king were invited to spend Christmas with the Charlatans. Today, Ambrosia and Wildfire receive two new guests.
Ambrosia of the Phoenix
Wildfire of the Valkyrie
Setting: A log cabin with a roaring fire and two couches facing each other.
Ambrosia: Greetings, Lady Rosa and Sir Guilleme.
[She leans forward in a bow from her seat, her hands clasped upon her lap.]
Ambrosia: Thank you for coming all this way. I am called Ambrosia of the Phoenix and this is Lady Wildfire of the Valkyrie.
Wildfire: You don’t have to call me ‘lady.’ That’s just Ambrosia’s thing.
Ambrosia: Oh, I do hope I haven’t mispronounced any of your names. All of you have such unique ones! I haven’t heard anything like it before. Tell me. Do they mean anything?
Wildfire: Really? That’s the first question you want to ask them?
Guilleme: Ladies, if I may. You can call me anything you like. Guilleme, after all, is only one of my many monikers. That said, it does have quite some backstory to it. Rosa, care to explain?
Rosa: M-Me? Uhm.. The question is directed at you..
Guilleme: Nonsense. I have the mind to infer that you won’t even talk unless coaxed.
Guilleme: Come on, now.
Rosa: So… You want me to explain to our interviewers how unique your name is?
[Guilleme flashes a charming smile.]
Rosa: You’re an a.
[Guilleme is still smiling, clearly amused at his own joke. Rosa sighs.]
Rosa: Guilleme is a variation of the French name “Guillaume.” The English equivalent is “William.” Both “Guillaume” and “William” didn’t really give the perfect impression of the character in the writer’s head, so “Guilleme” stuck. A lot of French speakers pointed out that the name “Guilleme” is not French at all. A French sociologist even said that in 18th century France, non-biblical names were considered a travesty. Instead of changing it, the (stubborn) writer decided to weave it into the story, providing the first clue to Guilleme’s identity in his name as someone who doesn’t belong.
Guilleme: I would say it’s also very characteristic, since I wouldn’t be against naming myself “Brad” just to piss off the French.
Guilleme: Well, go on, Rosa. How about your name?
Rosa: Rosa was a name Catherine gave me since my favorite flower is rose. It doesn’t have any meaning besides that.
Guilleme: Very symbolic though. The rose is the flower of romance, after all. How about you, lovely ladies? Any significance to yours?
Wildfire: Of course. On Virgo Island, you aren’t born with a name. You earn it. And I’m someone who can’t be tamed. On the battlefield and off it. But I doubt either of you know anything about fighting. Unless looks are deceiving.
Ambrosia: As for myself, it’s the name of a plant. My clan of the Phoenix has always been drawn to nature.
Wildfire: Heh! Like that’s the only reason.
Ambrosia: Ah, well…that’s more than enough about me. Anything more would hardly be of interest. Why don’t you both tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Wildfire: Oh, please. You’re a horrible interviewer. What you see is what you get. Why don’t you tell us about the worst thing that was ever done to you?
Ambrosia: But if that’s too personal, you don’t have to answer that! You can just answer my question.
Wildfire: Her boring one.
Guilleme: Hm… A name you earn. Now that is a quite a sterling concept. I would say “Wildfire” does capture your spirit, my lady. Don’t worry, I’ll answer both questions. After all, I don’t think the questions are unrelated.
Guilleme: One thing to know about me is I am an open book. What you see is what you get–
[Rosa scoffs, and Guilleme ignores her.]
Guilleme: Or rather… I will show what is necessary. I try not to complicate things too much. As for the worst thing I have done… Trying to be untrue to myself is the worst thing I have done. Many times I could have saved myself a lot of gripe if I just accepted who I am instead of trying to fit in. Ah, but that is not an interesting answer, is it? I realize now that the worst decision I may have made is not ever visiting Virgo Island in my long life. If I had, I might’ve known Miss Ambrosia’s gentle grace sooner.
[He smiles sincerely at Ambrosia. Rosa muses as if deep in thought.]
Rosa: I feel like “worst thing done” cannot be taken in finality. We all make mistakes. But I think the worse thing anyone can do is get drunk.
Guilleme: I thought you were going to say something more profound.
[Guilleme bursts into laughter, as does Wildfire.]
Wildfire: No, you can’t. Sounds like someone had a bad experience with drinking! I thought you were a shy, little rabbit, but you have a secret wild side, don’t you?
Ambrosia: You can hardly make such a hasty accusation, Lady Wildfire! It may very well be that she came to that conclusion through the power of observation or her experience with another. But be it far from me to act presumptuous. If she wishes to explain her answer, she certainly may in her own words.
Wildfire: I’m more curious about how you both act when you’re falling-over-yourself drunk. More fun, right?
[Rosa blushes furiously.]
Rosa: I… I’d rather not talk about it.
Guilleme: You’ve opened up about it, don’t leave us hanging now.
Rosa: Uhm… N-Next question?
Wildfire: What a letdown.
Ambrosia: I hear the holidays are approaching –
Wildfire: Oh, no. Not one of these questions again.
Ambrosia: Since Christmas is nearly upon us, it is reasonable to ask them about it, is it not? I know we don’t have that holiday where we live, but it sounds amazing.
Wildfire: You want something holiday related? Fine. But let’s make it interesting.
[Wildfire walks over to the doorway on the far wall and snatches the sprig of mistletoe hanging from the top of it. With a flick of her wrist, she tosses it at Guilleme.]
Wildfire: Here. Do something fun with this.
Ambrosia: L-Lady Wildfire, please don’t force our guests into any strange imposition.
Wildfire: I’m not forcing them into anything. But you aren’t going to disappoint, are you, French William?
[Guilleme is stunned for a moment, but then, he smirks and tilts his head innocently.]
Guilleme: I admire your audacity, Lady Wildfire. [Guilleme picks the berries with his thumb.] I wonder if you are wild in other ways as well.
[Rosa turns to Ambrosia and tries to whisper something:]
Rosa: I think we better go…
[She rises up from her seat and, clasping her hands together, leans forward in a quick bow, a habitual gesture of farewell. As she heads for the door, she leans towards Rosa and lowers her voice to a whisper as well.]
Ambrosia: Again, thank you so very much for coming. Since you came all this way, Lady Rosa, I feel the least I could do is pour you a cup of tea. Unless you’ve already made plans for the holidays? If you haven’t, I would be more than happy to spend it with you. It’ll be my very first Christmas.
[Rosa smiles at her.]
Rosa: Thanks, Lady Ambrosia! You’re very gracious. Oh! I really don’t have that many plans at all–
[The sound of Guilleme and Wildfire’s giggles interrupt – or, in Wildfire’s case, her chuckling. She has never been known to giggle. Nevertheless, Rosa tries not to look. Ambrosia does the same, her face coloring faintly.]
Rosa: –Just a good book by the fire. T-Tea sounds lovely!
Ambrosia: Mm, y-yes…but, ah…perhaps, we should step out first? I believe there’s a town nearby. I hear it’s filled with wondrous lights! And the loveliest selection of sweets. We’ll have to try some…
[As the pair slips from the room, their conversation continues indistinctly. Rosa says something that makes Ambrosia laugh softly against her fingertips. Ambrosia replies with something that leaves Rosa with a hint of a blush on her face.]
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Next: War: 13th Day