When I recently heard Julia Nunes' song "I Think You Know" I was immediately reminded of Mercedes Thompson, the VW mechanic and coyote shape changer at the center of Patricia Briggs popular urban fantasy series. I wasn't sure at first why I made that association - was it just that I was in the middle of reading Silver Borne, the latest Mercy Thompson book? Or was it that,
"i only like you for your large hands, i must admit i'm jealous, cause mine are small, but i'll still use them to slap the grease off of that photogenic man,"
made me think of the mental picture of Mercy's oil-stained mechanic's hands?
"I scrubbed my hands with pumice soap and a nailbrush. I’d already cleaned up, but every little bit helped. A lot of the dirt was ingrained, and my hands would never look fashion-model tended." Silver Borne
And yet, I've increasingly come to the opinion that this really is a good song for Mercy.
"i'll hold my arms up till the blood drains from my finger tips
my shoulder blades will burn but i wont be the first to quit
but i cant watch as your appendages fall from your sleeves
i wanna put you back together if you let me"
Mercy is a rescuer. We learn that from the very beginning of the series when she helps out a starving, and dangerous, teen.
"... he certainly looked as though someone ought to help him.
The knees of his jeans were ripped out and stained with old blood and dirt. Over a dirty tee, he wore a too-small flannel shirt—inadequate clothing for November in eastern Washington.
He looked gaunt, as though he’d been a while without food. My nose told me, even over the smell of gasoline, oil, and antifreeze permeating the garage, that it had been an equally long time since he’d seen a shower. And, under the dirt, sweat, and old fear, was the distinctive scent of werewolf." Moon Called
Mercy is familiar with werewolves, and knows how dangerous they can be, especially a young one who hasn't learned much self control yet. Nevertheless she takes Mac under her wing, hiring him under the table, feeding him, arranging a place for him to sleep, and, when bad guys come after him, risking her life to draw them away from him.
Mercy is a hero, too. She isn't content just helping out people she knows. She repeatedly imperils herself to protect others, extending her rescuing impulses to the world around her.
""What about all the people who died?" I asked. "The family of harvest workers, the people in the hotel?" The poor woman whose only crime was working a crummy job at the wrong place and time. What about Warren, screaming in agony, and Ben who refused to be human again?" Blood Bound
When she sees danger to the innocent she goes out and tries to fix it herself. It terrifies her and leaves her traumatized, but it never occurs to her to hold back, regardless of the consequences to herself.
i believe in something
thats looking down
and you've watched that something smash my face into the ground
i was convinced that there was nothing left to put me through
until i thought that i might lose you"
Yeah. I think that song works for Mercy.
Books: Moon Called, Blood Bound, Silver Borne, all by Patricia Briggs
Music: I Think You Know, Julia Nunes