Dripping Red Strands

Day 460

I have this title that came to me from somewhere some time ago. I associate it with a scene from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator movie in which the gladiators walk through dripping red strands of cloth. The scene is handled ambiguously enough that I’ve never been sure if I should recognize this event as some traditional blessing of the gladiators or just a bit of scenery dipicting life in Rome not having anything to do with the arena—just a shortcut passageway to the fight. Maybe I should know. I don’t though. I’ve not bothered to research it as I’d rather not know.

Why this scene and this title are linked in my thoughts escapes me. The one overt linkage between the two is the most tenuous. That connection is the spark but not the flame. Ambiguity fires my title.

My title is not ambiguous. My title is susinct and specific. My title is the kind which immediately tells you all about the story. Except it hasn’t told me all about the story. The story is the part I can’t figure out.

In an expansive 100-character high fantasy trilogy this story would be the subplot not incorporated. It’s the novella or short story collected posthumously in a poorly sold compendium—if it were written at all. Lately I’m wanting to write the commoner’s story: not the princess, not the foundling, not the dragon killer. I want to know how the nobody baker, the unattractive barmaid, or the sallow footman contribute to the dismisal of the ultimate evil. And not in the heroic caught up in the whirlwind of important people way, but in the quiet unspoken almost uninteresting way.

This Dyemaker’s Conjecture.