Immediately you are struck by the misplacement of the man in the garb. Gane is like a rabbit wearing a hat or a puppy in a shirt. Doable; just not right. But you don’t know what you would change.
From top to bottom he’s Solex Guy. Gane’s dreads are rubbed evenly with alizarin crimson and pleat evenly left and right when he’s at Mass or ride high in a ponytail bound in a tight clasp near his scalp when he’s on the job. His split-sleeved cassock fits smartly. His blue and gold subdermals pulse professionally from the gaps. His cincture is tied expertly in the old style–thank-you brother Chabe. When he walks his boots clip precisely on the stoneways.
Gane’s hres are error free. No one unit tests their prayers as effectively as he. His knowledge of circuits, networking, hymns, and chants is unparalleled. If you had three sons and you wanted the third to be in the clergy you want him to be just like Gane. You just wouldn’t want him to be Gane.
He’s a faker, an impostor, or a liar. Or he’s deluded, confused, or biding his time. Clearly he’s unwilling to be bad at what he’s pretending but he’s not bothered to fully obscure what must be disdain.
Leaving it there. Everything else that I tried fell flat.
Word count: 219
Consecutive numbers day. w00t!
Jansa closes her eyes to better inhale the music. Listeners talk of letting the notes flow over them like water, but she’d rather inhale them like air, mixing the melody with her soul then releasing it to the rest–if she releases it at all. This Onsals’ Eve tune grants her the sensation of deciding to cry and then not following through.
The quick tune shouldn’t. It’s brightly played on the wood flute and an easy one to dance. It’s Winter, not a season of sadness. Not Spring.
To her right her mother sits as upright as seventy years will allow her. The old woman’s hands rest in her lap as if abandoned. Jansa snatches one up and holds it closely. She warms her mother’s cool skin with her own, rubbing lightly over the papery surface. Like a page from an ancient text it proclaims no more life will be written here and, soon, no more read. Jansa looks at her mother. She doesn’t steal a glance or polite familial moment, she looks at her and doesn’t turn away.
Juena’s experience reads like the stones of a shallow stream, but her thoughts pass like the water flowing over, always coming, always going. Never. Right. There.
Augur’s scars too close and too many to count, most to old to discern from the wrinkles of age, line her mother’s cheeks like the delicate bipinnate pattern of a honey locust leaf–rough and smooth at the same time. She looks foreign, almost unreal, with her hair shorn.
I’ll have to come back to this. It’s not going where I’d expected.
Word count: 280
“The whirlwind is in the thorn trees. It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Till Armageddon no salaam, no shalom.”
Johnny Cash provides musical accompaniment to my morning writing.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buchard Frels walked in the morning. From a distance Buchard looked like he might entertain as a clown at children’s parties. His hair was quite white and had a tufted quality that might need trimming in a week or so.
One did not need to get too much closer to discover that this man was not entertaining–at parties or otherwise. Profoundly set lines pointed to the center of his face. He looked as though he’d been plowing into the setting sun and angry about it his whole life. His short white eyebrows angled downward and unhappily along with the balance of his countenance. Though they argued equally well that it would be hard to take this short German Texan seriously. Buchard looked like someone you’d call a zealot, except he wasn’t Jewish. He most certainly wasn’t Jewish.
Buchard was raised in Schulenberg though he’d been born in New Braunfels. His father had been born in New Braunfels, but moved east when San Antonio encroached on the immigrant town. Burchard moved east toward Houston of all places when his son graduated from the University of Texas and got a job with Schlumberger. His son, who now went by Mark, lived out in Katy, but worked in the city.
Buchard had spent much of his life on a farm or near the earth. His tan Carhart pants testified to that. His shirt was crisp and as white as his hair. His boots were black. He was dressed more to emphasize a religious gradient from sin to purity than for a walk. Buchard only ever had one thing on his mind at a time–it was more practical that way. Currently his thoughts focused on walking.
Mrs. Frels a step behind Buchard wore a blue kerchief. She had other things on her mind.
Word count: 329
Of course it’s a heroic pose. Dispassionate and aloof. Practical and inspiring. But wrong.
Nothing about Mr. Goffe is dispassionate, aloof, practical, or inspiring. For that matter nothing is heroic. Missing is his gear, his photographs and his art. And the stupid-ass hat.
He’s a typical Tinker: brass and exactly two meters in height. He has very few patches and only subtle modifications. The occasional ornamentation is tastefully done in a leaf motif near his joints, not scrolling up the shaft of a limb like some Tinkers. These days it’s all about asymmetrical add-ons and looking wrenched, but Mr. Goffe is a bit of a throw-back. The most obvious mods reside below his knee joint on both legs. He can swap out his original lower legs for something more suitable to the terrain. He is a walker.
Where the good Mr. Goffe has over embellished is with the etchings. Etchings are nothing new with the cranks and the windups to be sure. Even a few of the rougher new model Tinkers are etched. But not the antiques. In that regard Mr. Goffe is quite unique.
He’s got quarter, half, and full etchings symmetrically wrapping his face but not entirely bilateral and not applied along the sagittal plane, just off a bit. Nearly in line with his left eye and somewhat vertical. The pattern brings to mind a leafy vine trying to be a composite geometric primitive or arcane handwriting. But it’s none of the three.