Monday, November 01, 2004

Nano: Day 1 -- Enter Fred

Hokay! I'm stopping today at: 2061! W00t.
Now for the DISCLAIMER: This is cut and pasted directly from my writing. Meaning, there's no editing AT ALL. I've shut my internal critic up in a little box and mailed him off to Honolulu for vacation. As such, there's all kinds of stuff in here that makes me wince everytime I even scroll past it. So please...be gentle :)

Second disclaimer, this isn't everything I wrote. I got bored with this and went off and wrote a fight scene with another character. Maybe I'll post that tomorrow, heh.

Fred sat heavily at his desk and gazed forlornly at the column of numbers and figures on the sheet of paper before him. "Freddie!" shouted his boss’s wife, coincidentally his third cousin on mother's uncle's side. "After you're finished computing the morning’s balances, take out the garbage and polish Master Paulson’s shoes!" Fred groaned. Another day of boredom, another day of meaningless numbers and humilitating footwear buffing. He tried to do the calculations, the numbers failing to add up as he cursed the day he accepted the job. For the umpteenth time that day his thoughts wandered off to the night last week at the tavern, and the storyteller who had painted a picture of exciting adventure and fortune. A life as far removed as this as you could get, Fred muttered under his breath, scrapping his calculations and leaning back in his chair. Glancing out the small window adjacent his desk, he observed that lunchtime was only a short while away, judging by the suns position in the sky. Old man Paulson’s shoes could wait until his belly was full of whatever was roasting on Maddy’s spit at the tavern and a tall pint of ale Fred convinced himself. Pushing back his chair quietly, so as not to disturb the Mrs., he slung his coat over his shoulders and snuck down the stairs and went out through the bank’s lobby.
The autumn air was chilly, and Fred was glad of the coat as he stepped onto the street. It was fairly busy, the noonday shoppers and businessmen alike in force, many seeking lunch as he was. Fred threaded his way through the hustle and bustle and made his way to Maddy’s Bar and Grill on the streetcorner. He nearly tripped over a poor, rag clad soul on the way. Fred recognized him as the local beggar, Apple Core Man. While most beggars plied their trade in behest of monetary recompense, this individual pleaded for seeds, of all things. His favorites were those of fruit trees and the like, and Fred had saved various rinds and such from his noonday meals for Mr. Core often enough in the past, to recognize and greet him as he passed.
“Please, Goodman, spare a pear!” pleaded the beggar.
“Well, Mr. Core! This isn’t you’re usual spot I daresay. Aren’t you usually further down, in front of the Blacksmithys?”
Apple core gave no indication that he recognized Fred, as he ever did.
“Aye, I’ll try to save you a core from my midday meal, if you like.”
Giving no heed that he had heard him, Mr. Core continued to plead with passersby for fruit, his arm palm up extending from his ragged clothing. Fred shrugged and pushed his way into Maddy’s, already near full of hungry patrons. The low, cheerful fire in the hearth and the steady background noise of conversation was a comfort, and Fred briskly rubbed his hands together to take the chill out. Making his way up to the bar, he caught the eye of one of the serving girls; a comely young lass in tight bodice and frilly skirt. She nodded acknowledgement and Fred took in the surroundings as he waited for her to make her way over and take his order.
The musician in the corner stummed his guitar, providing background music for lunchtime. Obviously it wasn’t a piano player, as this is not a ritzy, suit and tie 500 dollar a plate dinner, but your average bar and grill where people go to have a good time and enjoy the food.
One of the patrons at the bar raised his voice over the din in an angry shout.
“I ordered the steak! NOT a sandwich!” he roared, startling the patrons sitting next to him.
“Sir,” the serving girl started in, “that IS a steak.”
The gentlemen grumbled and harrumphed, then peered closer at the plate until his nose was touching it, his drooping white mustachios swimming in the juices of the meat.
“Arr. So it is, so it is.”
He pulled his big hat off, ringed with crocodile teeth in the band, pulled a fork from underneath his vest and dug in, making appreciative slurping noises. She rolled her eyes and made her way over to Fred.
“Hey, Freddie. What’ll it be?”
Fred winced. “Ah, the usual Maisy.”
“Roight, pastrami on wheat, mayo, cheese no crust with an apple, right?”
Fred grinned and nodded assent.
“Coming right up,” she said, reaching under the bar for a mug and filling a pint.
“How’s work going?”
Fred groaned.
“That bad, eh? Well don’t let the witch get you down. The day’s half over right? Then you can come back ‘round again for drinks,” she said with a wink.
Fred grinned stupidly, then took a swig of ale as she moved on to take the next order. There was something odd about the man with the crocodile tooth hat, Fred mused as he nursed his ale. It might’ve been the six inch long knife he picked at his teeth with, or the bleary eyed way he peered about the room, but there was something unusual about the fellow.

1 comment:

prodigal_agent said...

Guy! That was good! I love the way you work Apple Core Man in! I haven't been writing this past week. *looks away to avoid dissapointed glares*
It's not like I wanted to suddenly lose interest. But, this week, I just couldn't think about my story with out feeling guilty that I was thinking about it and not Grandpa. I have since remembered, though, how he always told me I would "go far". You know what his last words to me were? "Keep studying those languages. You can go so many places with that."
So, yeah. Remembering that, and reading your story, has got me all inspired again. (yay)