The Voice Is The Thing

For the three of you that follow this blog, you’ll be aware that I’m writing a book for my newly acquired son, Magnus. Nearing the finish line, I thought I would share this little tidbit of goodness. Enjoy…or don’t, only remember two things: 1) This section is an unedited excerpt and 2) This was not written on a typewriter.

TypewriterThe sun rose quietly over the Lady’s city, casting dark, oblong shadows atop the rising columns and peaks. It warmed cold stones ensconced in ancient streets, enlivened lone flowers waiting patiently upon sills, and broke through curtains, stealing night from gray interiors. The gentle rays, pouring through a nearby window, slowly crept over Nim’s shoulder. She had drifted to sleep in a chair before Durante’s fireplace after they had discussed much of grave import late into the night or, rather, early into the morning. As she began to stir and stretch, a knock — quick and decisive — rapped upon the door. Not fully awake, however, she heard Durante both answer the door and converse with the morning’s intruder (for he had broken the days silence) in a dreamlike state. She wasn’t sure if what she heard was real or fancy or both.

“No, no, to bet — it’s for her,” the man said in a strangely thick accent.

“So the missive bore badly?” This was Durante’s voice wafting down the hallway and into the ear of Nim, whom had thrown a blanket over her face in protest of the dawn.

“Aye. And the Lady calls for your guest. No doubt a sweet one, but she’ll be answering for sure.”

“Guest? Mine? But why? It’s too soon.”

“Not for it myself, you know? I’m but a lowly messenger. I deliver. I ain’t the one to question.”

“I see.”

“And I see that you do.”

“Well, that’s the thing.”

“What?”

“The thing.”

“Of course.”

“Yes. Wait, what?”

“Questioning is not my business, yeah?”

“No, sir. The seeing is the thing.”

“Is it, now?”

“Yes. Quite right.”

If Nim were a fly flitting beneath the lintel, then she would have seen two pairs of blinking, confused eyes.

“Then,” the intruder, in a dazed and reluctant stupor, continued, “you’ll be off?”

“Soon, yes, soon. Did the Lady say when?”

“She said: ‘Right before the sun,’ she did.”

“But the sun, sir, is already up.”

“Aye, true, true,” the man squinted, “not hard to ascertain, of course. But I can see,” he said, with an effortless tilt, “you’re a quick one.”

“Late, sir!” said Durante, clipped and flustered.

“Am I? Yes, yes. So it seems. But I had stop in a doffer to pick my way up, yeah?”

“No. But thanks nonetheless.”

Nim heard the door slam, which finally and irreversibly roused her from her lingering slumber.