Playing with names — again

Sometimes a peculiar notion arises from a character’s name. I found a delightful suggestion in the name Ellen Fremedon. A smidgeon of story told itself after I spoke her one true name. I may allow the rest of her roots to shape the whole of the short story in which she has been cast. Yeah – footnotes: but can I do a whole book with footnotes when they may exceed the text in volume?

The woman helping manage his run for office was Ellen Fremedon, famous for her photographic posters that presented a candidate, in pose dramatic, perched on various notorious structures and notable statutes about the campus, all the while carefully avoiding any clue as to their policy positions. Tall, freckled, and sporting a bob of orange hair, her opponents had dubbed her Boudicca of the Heroic Campaigns and, after one especially especially mindless election that had sunk to American levels of idiot imagery, the losing slate of candidates had taped cardboard scythes to the spokes of her bicycle while she was taking a celebratory drink in Heorot, the student’s union bar. A note demanding that she be made to drink Hemlock, and her body be buried under platform ten of King’s Cross station was stuffed into the rat trap pedals. This delighted her; She merrymade in their bleating, and took to wearing a chunky gold neck chain given to her by a Student Union president after his recall for his financial foibles.

In Beowulf: the old English expression Ellen Fremedon is translatable as Heroic Campaigns. Hrothgar presided over the great mead hall of Heorot, in Denmark. The Golden Torque that Wealhtheow gives Beowulf was a symbolic object in the story: Hygelac died in battle wearing it. Boudicca led the Iceni in revolt against the Roman invaders of Britain in about 61 BCE, and is portrayed in a bronze statue adjacent to Westminster bridge  as riding in a war chariot sporting scythes on the wheels. Some legends suggest she was forced by the emperor Nero to drink Hemlock, a poison. Other folk-tales report that she was buried under the current location of platform ten of King’s Cross station, which maybe the basis for the departure point of the Hogwart’s Express in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

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About Ian Whatley

Ian Whatley -- British born, bred, educated, and then deported. His fiction has been published in The Legendary, Lost and Found Times, 3S and so on and so on and...

Posted on May 16, 2010, in Ian W and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Interesting thing about names…very important to a character’s development; they become somebody when the right name is found. It is a strange chemistry, but when the ‘true name’ is discovered a story unfolds around them; happened to me numerous times…
    (BTW…Boudicca’s revolt against the Romans was in 61 AD or (CE) not BCE).

  2. Nice catch! Thanks.

  3. So, mostly I just wanted to say: Awesome.

    Not particularly the most helpful comment, but still appropriate, necessary and deserved.

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