Onlangs kwam het eerste Engelstalige boek van Fanflicks uit. Rat-catcher is het eerste deel uit de Blade of the Capulets serie van Amanda Collins, en is een verhaal in de stijl van Shakespeare, in de wereld van Romeo en Juliet.
De lezer belandt in de eeuwenlange feud tussen de Capulet en Montague families, die gaande is in de straten van het middeleeuwse Verona. Tybalt Capulet komt in deze scène zijn aartsvijand tegen - Mercutio, neef van de heerser van Verona en aanhanger van de Montagues, die van elke gelegenheid gebruik maakt om Tybalt te ergeren...
A pleased grin was gracing Mercutio’s lips as he clutched to Benvolio’s arm, but his eyes were solely focused upon the Capulet.
“By my heel, I care not,” his voice was a lilt, a melodic teasingly tune. His brown curls clung to his face, having swept forward in the motion and having been trapped by the sweat that the hot summer’s sun had evoked. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes and Tybalt tilted his head slightly, his eyes narrowing, while Mercutio’s eyes only widened in delight.
“By my arse,” he said, his grin expanding while he tilted his head cockily to the side as if presenting a challenge, “you can lick it.”
“Shouldn’t that be kiss?” Tybalt sharply responded, unwittingly falling into the trap.
“If that is what you prefer. Although, now you mention it, I suppose a kiss would be more pleasant for the receiver as well,” Mercutio feigned a thoughtful pose, tapping his fingers against his lips while his eyes rolled up to the sky.
There was an audible groan by Benvolio, but Tybalt paid him no mind. He shook his head, uncertain that he had heard Mercutio’s words properly. “What did you just say?” His question was through gritted teeth, challenging Mercutio to have the guts to throw the insult at him one more time.
But Mercutio was cleverer than that and recognised the underlying trap with ease. He regained his footing, pushed Benvolio’s hand away, and straightened up. “Why, my dear Prince of Cats,” he said, voice filled with feigned disbelief. “I have heard there’s an old saying that toying with one’s hand can cause for the ears to turn deaf.”
Now it was getting too hard for Benvolio to keep from laughing, and Mercutio let out a chortling sound that made Tybalt flinch. Here he was, standing in front of two of his nemeses, and he let them make a fool out of him? Never.
“What nonsense is this?” he said, louder now. What the devil was Mercutio hinting at? His voice was a hoarse growl, like rocks scraping along gravel. “Playing with my own hand?” To turn his question into a threat, and to give his words extra strength, he reached for the blade attached to his hip. His hand curled tight around the hilt, the leather of the handle pressing against the leather covering his palms. “Of course,” he inclined his head and bared his teeth, “if it is the art of playing with one’s sword that you mean?”