Wordly Wise Wednesday | Rapscallion

Hello and welcome to another Wordly Wise Wednesday!

I don’t much to say in introduction, except that I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on these. I hope you’re still enjoying these posts. I am!

Have a lovely Wednesday 🙂


n. (rap-SKAL-yun)

  1. Rascal; ne’er-do-well


The word rascal has been part of English since the 15th century, but on its own it apparently didn’t quite capture the disagreeable nature of the wily knaves of yore. By the 17th century, English speakers had modified rascal to create rascallion. But it seems that even that term didn’t sound quite mischievous enough. By the century’s end, rascallion had been further altered to create rapscallion. Today, rapscallion is still commonly used as a synonym for blackguard, scoundrel, and miscreant. Rascallion is still around as well, but it’s very rare.

Info comes via Merriam Webster Dictionary

 The window looked higher up at night than it had that morning. And was it just his imagination, or did the tree look less solid than it had a few hours ago too.

“I’m getting too old for this,” he muttered under his breath. It was true too. He wasn’t young and spry as he once had been. Age had worn away his muscular form, leaving him thinner and feebler. He wouldn’t accept it, though.

That’s why he was standing there now, in the darkness of the evening, the moonlight concealed by ominous clouds. Dressed in black, he embraced the shadows. In a few moments he would shed them all to embrace the light of a woman.

A deep breath lessened, but did not eradicate, his nerves. He reached for the lowest branch on the tree and began a slow and painful ascent.

His joints cracked as his arms dragged his body up the old oak. He wondered if he was crazy or just plain stubborn. People never changed. That’s what his father had always told him. He had proven it to him too, getting himself killed while in a drunken state over a game of cards. Maybe that’s why he kept doing this.

This will be the last one, he promised himself. Then I’ll turn honest for good.

He pulled himself onto the branch that extended closest to the window and paused to take a breath. His heart pounded in his chest, his face slick with sweat. He hoped he would have enough energy to get himself through the next few hours.

Scrabbling onto the window sill, he tapped upon the pane.

Her face appeared, plump and worn with anxiety. She opened the window to let him in.

He alighted upon the floor with a soft thud and grimaced.

“What took you so long? You said nine o’clock.”

“I know. I got held up. Now,” his lips curved into a suave smile, “come here.”

She giggled as his hand wrapped around her waist and drew her in close to him. His lips met hers and he felt her desire like his own. 

The door to her room slammed open.

They pulled apart and turned in chagrin.

A young boy no older than ten stood in the hall, brandishing a sword. A fierce scowl darkened his features.

“Rapscallion! Leave my mother be!”

“Mother?” How had he not realized. He observed the woman before him. She bore no wrinkles, only youth.

“Get back to bed, Daniel.”

“Mother,” he repeated. It tasted sour on his tongue.

“I will not let him besmirch your honour.”

He shook his head, bemused by the sight of the trembling lad.

“No need to exert yourself, lad. I’ll be off.”

“Scoundrel! Bastard!” The boy shouted insults.

Being chased off by fathers had always been the most thrilling part of his dalliances. This was just plain humiliating.

Stepping into the night air after a few more awkward accusations and apologies, he thought again with the greatest conviction: Never again.

He sighed, then noted with some pleasure a different truth: perhaps his father had been wrong. Perhaps change was possible after all.


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

© 2016. Faith Rivens.

8 thoughts on “Wordly Wise Wednesday | Rapscallion

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