Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Timed Writing: 2/13/2012



Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: Tell him I'm going to punch his head
Source: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrecker


"Tell him I'm going to punch his head." Charlie was drunk. So was Riccardo, the possessor of said head.

Expression and comprehension of a foreign language tend to improve -- to a certain point -- with intoxication. Fortunately, Riccardo seemed to have moved beyond that linguistically optimal state and sat on his stool, one elbow on the bar, with a sleepy grin across his pock-scarred face. When I told him that Charlie wished him good health and a good night, he burst into laughter and waved and nodded and scrawled something illegible on his slate.

"Charlie," I said, turning back to my charge, "drink this cup of water and put on your coat. I can't have you starting a row. Not here, not now."

"He's laughing at me! Did you tell him? You didn't tell him. Tell him, Tippo. I won't strike a drunken alien without fair warning -- especially a mute."

"Have you forgotten, Charlie, my friend, that you are the drunken alien here? And pray look around the room, my boy. Do you observe all of these rough gentlemen at the tables? Do you see how their countenances bears greater resemblance to Riccardo's than to your own? Do you mark the lengths of their knives and the girths of their arms? Perhaps they would stand by, amused, while you assault their townsman, but I won't let you take that chance."


(about my timed writing exercises)


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