Dactylio or Dactylo

Inspired by another fun illustration at Gorilla Artfare.

Etymological concerns mostly based on this page.

Enough of that crap.

My introduction to [dactylio] came illicitly enough in the form of spying on my older brother one summer he visited back from [cool sounding magic school or guildish name]. Since I am merely a pawn of the author’s devised to clumsily shoehorn a block of description into an otherwise stunning bit of action/plot/theme allow me to proceed:

First, Ozo dabbed the cedar resin onto his forearms. At first I was drawn to the care he took doing so. Each time beginning at the wrist he dabbed proximally all the way to his elbow—ten times. Then he moved to the next row and dabbed upward ten more times. On his slender muscular arms it was easy to see the regularity of his applications.

Next, he removed the jangles—thin bi-metallic strips—from the case Father had given him. One by one he pressed them onto his sticky skin copper-side touching, nickel away. When he finished with all six jangles he slowly inspected his work, taking care that none peeled away by his movement. The silvery metal reflected brilliantly in the sun and contrasted nicely with his rusty-black skin.

Grasping the end of the cloth tape in the hand of his prepared arm as an anchor, he used his free hand to wind the cloth around his fore-arm concealing but securing the jangles in place. He tore the tape with his mouth and pressed it securely [thesaurus anyone?] to his sticky arm.

With slightly more effort he repeated the ritual with his right arm.

Father’s kit only contained four of the possible twelve rings. I soon learned it was only a novice’s set despite it being of ancient [and storied] origin.

Ozo selected two rings—I couldn’t tell which at the time, but I now know to be [this] and [that]. He struggled to pull them over his wrist and passed the repulsive edge of the jangles there. Once he did they jerked into place like a cart going over a tree root growing into the roadway.

The rings hovered at his wrists when his arms were down, but as he drew his arms above his head to stretch, the rings drifted down near his elbows like [some other metaphor here].

The whole spectacle warmed a place inside me I’d not known before. I felt compelled to stand up from my hiding place and announce my presence. I felt equally compelled to slink away and give Ozo back his privacy. Before I could make a decision, Ozo lost concentration and coughed a ball of fire that set the bushes I was concealing myself in ablaze.

Word count: 456
Day 199

Update: Apparently this character is from the “Street Fighter” video game.

Day 134: Paradise Theatre Overhaul

I’m really in my office. Thirty-four floors above the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, Colorado. I feel as if I am in a Polaroid from the 70’s. The blues faded, the reds indistinct, and the blacks turned a sickly green. The “Welcome Back Kotter” t-shirt I’m wearing is an iron-on and the collar isn’t the same color as the shirt. I have on that first round of Nikes: blue with a yellow trademark. I’m twelve, but the look on my face is veteran. I’ve been effected by what I’m seeing, but I don’t care.

There is no such photograph.

In the memory that follows I don’t wear those clothes but pretend I do because they are the only ones I can recall from that era.

[a whole buncha stuff here]

From that summer there is a single recording of me. Its corners rounded in the style of the day; it’s format clearly 110. I’m on the back of a motorcycle, t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and a helmet–“Gotta protect your head.”

Word count: 187 

Day 103: The Balance of Marrow

I’m pressing the crescant to his neck and he’s saying words like magic.  Words that feel like they could unbreak a jar, maybe raise the dead.

"The best waters are swift and shallow."  He’s trembling as he chants, "The best waters are swift and shallow."  I realize he doesn’t believe the words, doesn’t trust their power.  This makes me angry.

I gave up my daughters and ruined my wife.  I burned my parent’s home and salted their orchard.  I eat the same meal and swallow the same wine.  Every day I guard this gate from nothing and no one comes.  I even cut my hair.  And he doesn’t believe.  I did all of this and he still fears these words have no meaning.  He rakes at might unyielding arm.  He pleads again, "Please, please.  The best waters are swift and shallow."

In an instant I decide answering this coward is not worth the trades I made.  I’m going to release this crux, let the prophesy fail, go back to my cold hearth.  He must know his death is next because I feel him swallow through the contact of my weapon on his flesh.  His tremors subside.  He makes his final breath.  He’ll beg for his life of course.

Then I feel like I am falling, like something I can’t explain has happened, like soon this something will hurt very much, but for now I just know something I can’t stop is coming.  He’s kicked me in the groin and I am on the ground inhaling air, but unable to exhale.

"I said, ‘The best waters are swift and shallow!’  I’ll be inside when you are ready to complete the couplet."

Eventually I’ll smile at my son’s return, but for now I’ll just puke.

Word count: 293