A Villain

Some people grow up in such wealth and privilege that it is never pointed out to them when they are being rude. Their parents aren’t around, too absorbed in their work or their hobbies to pay their child attention, so they pay the nanny instead. The nanny is so concerned with keeping the job that even when she does speak up, the backlash is so severe that the words are soothed with sweet bribes… just please don’t tell mommy and daddy. This, of course, only enforces the crude behavior. And strangers wouldn’t dare reprimand the precious little angel of someone with so much influence in a town they could land you square in the gutter with but a word. Thus, these children never learn. Gavin Wyncott was such an one.

Atop all his privilege, he was also given poor excuses for parents. They were hardly decent examples of human beings. Together, they enjoyed entertaining the upper crust by hosting lavish parties. His mother favored stirring up the gossip channels with vicious rumors, then blaming the victims of her attacks for the behaviors and mishaps she herself had invented. His father, on the other hand, took pride in always taking advantage of a bargain but never being taken advantage of – though it could be said that those at the other end of his business often felt precisely the opposite. Gavin’s sister, Lilly, of whom he was not very fond, emulated the best qualities of her parents. She had a shrewd mind when it came to business, which she took from her father, and her mother’s grace when it came to arranging a bouquet. When she ran off at age seventeen to start her own flower shop, the family had all but said ‘good riddance’. She took not a thing with her when she left.

Gavin, of course, had gone into investments like his father. At twenty, he was the talk of the town. Not just because he’d jilted three young ladies the week of their wedding, all of whom the town had whispered his piggish face was lucky to have had a chance with, but also because of his uncanny success in choosing terrible investments that made sudden turn-arounds mere weeks after his buy in. Experts of the industry began to lose their standing if he bought into a company they’d deemed doomed to fail. His success had even caused the coinage of a new term: Wyncotting.

It had different meanings, of course, depending on who you spoke with. Officially, it referred to meeting success when the odds were almost certainly against you.  As in, that farmer would have to Wyncott in order to pull a harvest after this year’s drought! But if you asked around the shop folk, Wyncotting referred to deliberately tricking someone into doing something not in their favor, yet leaving them thinking it was. To the Rouge Ladies down at the docks, a Wyncott was a customer you knew’d slip the bill, but you took ’em anyway ’cause with their physicality, they’d tire out quick but keep the sheets warm a while. Women of marriageable age used Wyncott as a synonym for a man sure to jilt you at the altar. 

As he aged and increased in wealth, he seemed to care less and less of public opinion and image. By thirty, his odor had become as swinish as his features. Many of his colleagues began to scent themselves with herbs in attempts to overpower his pungence, though in the high days of summer it was utterly futile. Gavin would occasionally berate them for smelling as women, which would lead him to make cruel jokes about their wives and inappropriate ones about their daughters. His colleagues could only endure the abuse after what happened with Roy Thatch. The young Wyncott had slurred his name so badly, after Thatch had told him not to speak of his daughter in such a manner, that no one in three counties would hire the man or court his eldest. Rumor had it the Thatches had sought relief from Wyncott’s work by moving to the coast.

Still, despite his crass behavior and adverse company, he seemed but an unsightly blemish. No one expected he could get much worse.

Then he found that clouded blue bottle.

Today’s morning reads consisted of catching up on Street of Dreams, which reminded me to do a better job of supporting lesser-known writers, and Lauren Sapala, who is no longer on WordPress but was kind enough to leave us a trail of breadcrumbs. Her popular posts regarding INFJ/INFP writers are quite insightful, addressing issues that I knew I had but had never related to personality identifiers.

Then it was on to finding someone new. I searched WordPress for ‘villain’ and discovered a lot of Batman-based artwork, which was interesting. Then I found Between the Cracks of Here and There, which is currently documenting a book writing camp for youngsters in Vancouver. How fun! There’s also a bit of travel mixed in. Check it out.

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