The Flimsiest Cord

Day 467

Yesterday I tried to clean up an old bit of script, but spent more time than I should have tweaking and remeniscing. Noticed too late that whatever it was I had was not the complete story I’d written back in college. The distance of time helped me see how poorly I’d learned the screenwriting craft at that point and how dull the dialog had been. I can’t decide if I should move on, novelize, or edit the short piece. They all have different educational appeals.

I don’t have to decide now. All I have to do now is write.

Zhirvon propped back the shotocar pelt he slept under and slipped his feet onto the ox-blood floor. Years past, after he was a young man but before he was old, he decided never to linger in a warm bed on a cold morning. He sifted a few nut sized coals from the grey ashes of his overnight hearth and layered on shaved pine. Heat emerged slowly so he stepped outside to relieve himself—naked.

Whenever he wasn’t reticent in a conversation he was brusk. When he wasn’t brusk he was inadvertantly rude. Chelly would cling to his arm and pat his chest at the end of an evening with friends apologizing, “He has a warm heart though, my Zhirv.” He would form a practiced smile. If they had just spent the evening drinking and eating with his brother, Marken would reply, “Someday maybe it will warm up his tongue.” And they would laugh and he would form a better practiced smile. The truth Zhirvon knew was a fierce heart. An often angry heart. A sometimes vile heart. A demon heart he kept tied down with the flimsiest cord and a practiced smile. His warm feet melted frost while steam rose from an unending stream of urine.

Zhirvon was a lean muscular man who would be gaunt in a few more years. His once taunt skin slackened. His ribs easier to count. His knife hand trembling unless the whole arm moved. A thoughtful Zhirvon appreciated these changes and accomodated for them in a fight. A willful Zhirvon despised them and fuel his anger with them. His skill, his training, his experience were no longer equal to the task he’d set himself against, but maybe his bitter heart could be tapped. Maybe the vileness he’d stoppered all these years could garner him his revenge.

402 words