2/18/09 – life


            Hello! Good to be back. I downloaded a free dictionary yesterday for my PC, called  TheSage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Pretty sweet. I think I’m really going to like it. The file was about 18 MB and I found it on the site www.downloads.com.windows. Just the thing I was looking for. Not that I don’t like my paperback Webster’s New World Thesaurus. I’m the type of guy that likes something tangible and physical (thus I don’t like downloads off of iTunes). But in the case of a dictionary, which I don’t have, TheSage works just fine. Quick and accessible, especially since I don’t have internet on my laptop. Oh, did I mention that? It doesn’t need web access. So it’s ideal for what I need, such as quick definitions of the word of the day. Sheesh. Like consign? I mean really. By the way, today I’m going to do something with dialogue. I’m slowly getting back in the groove of describing stuff – though not as good as I need to be – but the dialogue, and how to mix it with action without it being dry like a screenplay, needs work. So today’s writing (seriously, only 10 minutes. I want to go to bed early) has to be a conversation with movement.

            So, the word: life. (Wow, that’s almost too broad….)


            The tankard fell and splattered on the ground, sending its warm contents flowing over the worn floorboards. The sailor looked down and grimaced, then turned round on his stool and faced the tussle happening in the middle of the room. A brawny man, with thick ocher hair and a squat frame, threw a hard punch at the small, thin man with glasses weaving before him as the surrounding crowd shuffled to get a good view of the fight. To everyone’s surprise Smalls ducked and spun round to Brawn’s back quicker than anyone had anticipated, let alone Brawn himself. With talon-like hands Smalls took hold of the bigger man’s shirt, and with a quick twist threw the man down onto the floor with a loud crack of the boards and soft thud of flesh meeting the ground. The collective air withdrew from the room before billowing back in with a chorus of approval from the crowd. They crowded round Smalls and hefted him into the air.

            The sailor felt a touch on his elbow and turned to see a lean man, gaunt in the cheeks and neck, with dark, quick eyes and a day’s scruff and dirt scattered about his chin. His clothes were patched and smelled of earth and wood. A splinter of wood rested delicately between his thin lips, and his eyebrows, long and narrow, danced in the flicker of the nearby lamps.

            “Hello, sir.” His voice was quiet and nasally, yet just the right frequency to cut through the cheers of the crowd. “Mind if I have a word with you?”

            The sailor turned back to the bar and motioned to the tender. “I’m all ears.” The barman brought a second frothy mug and set it dripping and warm on the counter.

            “Well, not here, you see, sir, not here, if you mind,” sniveled the man, his eyebrows wriggling and the toothpick shifting back and forth between his lips; his face looked like the sea at dusk, all moving and golden. But there was an ill scent about him, and so the sailor took hold of his mug and shook his head.

            “If it can’t be said here, it can’t be said a’tall.” A swallow of the warm ale and turn to the crowd, where Smalls and Brawn were shaking hands.

            A touch on his elbow again. This time a shiver ran clear to his ear. “But you must, you see, sir. It’s a matter of life or death.”

            He looked at the man out of bored curiosity. The man grinned, revealing whitecaps in the midst of the waves and drew a square bundle wrapped in oily leather from the shadows beneath the counter. “I need this delivered, see, sir. And you’re the only one, you see, to do it.”


            Hmm…. Ominous. Well, that was over 10 minutes. Gotta go. Ciao!



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