Sunday May 31st, 2015

The exercise:

Write something about: what's his (or her) name?

You'll see where the inspiration came from in a minute. Let me just say that I texted Kat an abbreviated version of the tale this afternoon and was left feeling like it needed to be told in all its glory.

Quiet day off around these parts. Much needed. Back at it tomorrow.


Max and I were hanging out at our favorite coffee shop this afternoon. He was having a snack, I was having an iced coffee (because it was too hot for the normal kind - go ahead and laugh at me, mom). There was a big family at the table next to us and as they were leaving the father gave us a smile and a wave.

This got Max's attention.

"What's that?" he asked as he watched them walk down the sidewalk.

"What's what?" I countered, though I was pretty sure I knew what he meant.

"That man."

"That man?" I'll admit: I was buying myself some time. "He's a man." Obviously I needed more time.

"He has a name?"

"I'm sure he does."

"What's his name?"

"I don't know, sweetie." I was about to say something about him being a stranger, or me not knowing who he was because I had never seen him before in my entire life, but Max cut me off.

"His name is..."

"You're giving him a name?" I was very much caught off guard by this.

"Uh huh."

"Okay. What's his name?"

"His name is... his name is... his name is... Suss!"


"Sussssssss. Sussssss. Sussssssss. He's Sussman!"

Do not ask. I have no idea.


Greg said...

I'm afraid I'm laughing at you with your mom there, Marc: hot drinks are actually a good way to cool down on hot days :) And I'm pretty certain that your summers fit the description in that experiment :-P
I rather like that Max has decided that everything needs a name and that if they don't already have one then he gets to name them. We should all do that more often. It sounds like a slightly challenging conversation to have at the time though!

What's his name?
"Welcome to Everything's Gone!" burbled the host, a tall man with salt'n'pepper hair, immaculately white teeth and a tan that promised skin cancer in years to come, "the gameshow that got burgled just three hours before going on air! We're here today with our lucky, lucky contestants and we're going to ask them embarrassingly personal questions until two of them run away and we can give our winner the contents of the losers' handbags!" He turned to the guests, each stood behind a narrow plywood podium adorned with flashing lights and randomly placed pieces of tinsel, and beamed. The guests, all women, gazed at him uncertainly as though they'd not really understood what he was saying.
"Margaret," he said, spreading his arms wide as though to hug her, "you were here at 10 this morning, weren't you?"
"Uh, yes, Bob," said the woman. Her namebadge read 'Maggie' and her makeup was smudged.
"And while you were in the greenroom there was a problem with the lights, wasn't there?" There was a titter from the audience as some of them guessed where this was going. Maggie nodded, her eyes narrowing as she wondered what was going on.
"And we provided some rather well-muscled young men to fix the lights, didn't we?" The audience 'Ooohed' and Maggie blushed, her face turning beetroot purple. "So Maggie, for ten points, and the opportunity to ask us not to show the footage we've got of you and the young man getting frisky, what was his name?"

morganna said...

A clearing in the woods
Clipped grass, a vegetable garden
A small group of fruit trees
Someone lives here.

Behind the orchard,
A tiny cabin, chimney smoke rising sky-ward
Slipping quietly past,
No need to disturb the people.

A bent figure rises from the garden
Croaks, "Wait, stranger!"
Traveler stops and waits, alert for danger.

The bent woman grabs the traveler's hand.
"I see you seeking, seeking.
Learn the name of the one you seek,
And you may defeat him."

Traveler opens his mouth,
Questions ready to fly out

The old woman darts in the cabin.
Traveler continues on his way, pondering.

Anonymous said...

Max is so cute! He could be a fantastic writer with a mind like that!

Greg, I would not want to be on that kind of game show. Geez, just take my bag and be done with it! Haha.

Interesting poem, Morganna. I like the imagery of the old woman in the tiny cabin. I'm intrigued if this ends up being a longer piece or if the old woman is simply crazy.

What's His Name?

The man standing before me was tall, well over a foot taller than me. There wasn’t much muscle under his black shirt and leather vest, yet his presence was just as intimidating as if it was Corvinus standing there in anger. I could still tell that he was strong, that he could damage me if he wished it. It must have been the way his ice blue eyes looked at me behind the impassive mask he wore. He looked at me as if I was nothing but a sapling in his path, a sapling that should not have been growing where I stood.
His hair was cropped short; the blond strands laid against his scalp. He stopped his own gazing and noticed me staring at him, his mask breaking into a scowl. His angular jaw worked slowly, becoming squarer each time he clenched his teeth.
“And just who might you be, little Candrian?” His voice was a little higher than what I would expect for someone so tall.
My throat was far too dry to speak, my tongue stuck to the bottom of my mouth.
“And she’s willing to give herself in exchange for this man?” He gestured flippantly towards Amicus. The bleeding wound at the side of his head must have been bad; he kept drifting off to sleep.
“Claims he’s her brother,” Evander mumbled around his bite of turkey. “She’s bound to be fun, don’t you think?”
The shiver that passed through me wasn’t entirely due to the draft coming in from the opened door of the cottage. All the stories of what Renterran men did to captive Candrian women assaulted my mind, even as I tried to think of other things. But if I had to be used in that way, if I had to become Evander’s doll and do everything he asked of me, at least Amicus would be safe. He was more of an asset to Candra than I would ever be. As soon as they unshackled him, he could use his gift and slip right out of their camp without notice.
For my realm, my queen, and for Amicus most of all, I would give away my freedom.
“Let me take her, Sir,” the tall man said, his long arms crossed against this chest. That impenetrable mask was back as he scrutinized my body. I felt naked. “That is, if it’s your wish.”
But this man, Renterran though he was, couldn’t possibly be as bad as Evander. Maybe my sentence would not be as long and drawn out as all the stories. Maybe he would give me a quick and painless death instead of toying with me.
“You? I’ve never seen you interested before. Are you feeling alright, Val?”
Val? All hopes were crushed in an instant; an ant under a boot had a greater chance of survival.
“I wish for some company on this night, Sir.”
There were many stories going around the camps about the immortal Renterran warrior. His gift was of speed and, thus, he couldn’t be killed. Vitus had spoken of his ruthlessness and cruelty towards others. Evander’s right hand man, Val, wanted to take me.
Evander stood up, turkey leg still in one hand, and walked over towards Amicus. The shackles clanged open. Amicus dropped to the floor like a felled pine. But the impact woke him once more. His brown eyes wide, staring frantically around him, found mine and began to water. He knew what was happening after all.
“If it is your wish, then it is mine.” Evander said. “Take your price, friend.”
My death would be a long one.

morganna said...

ivy: My poem is part of a longer piece I'm working on.

Marc said...

Greg - it's a long story, but the basic gist of it is that growing up I gave my mom a lot of crap for drinking her coffee in the summer with an ice cube in it, downstairs in the basement where it was cooler. My thought, at the time, was why not drink something not hot to begin with?

At that point in my life I was... not expecting to become a coffee drinker one day :P

That... is one heck of a game show. I think I'd pass, if given the opportunity to go on it.

Morganna - that is an intriguing slice of the tale, to be sure. You've definitely left me wanting to hear more from this setting!

Ivy - yeah, he's got quite the imagination. I suspect he'll outdo me before too long.

You've done a great job of conveying an extremely unpleasant scenario for your narrator. I find myself wanting to help her out of there... but at the same time I'm not feeling particularly optimistic about my chances of success.