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Marlowe and Kyd

Title: Kyd and Marlowe

Author Eglantine_br

Rating G

Word Count 840

Kyd and Marlowe

The cart creaked away. It was full, or nearly so. The next stop would be the pits.

I sat for some time, folded on the doorstep, in upon myself. I think I must have shut my eyes, covered my face, as a child does, wishing not only not to see, but to be myself unseen. In any case, I was left alone.

There is a place of words. (It lies in the mind, somewhere nearby that silent grove that we find at the edge of sleep.) Words and thoughts are joined there, to think the first is to readily have the second. I have prided myself, always, on being able to go there, and to return with the proper words in my grasp. To do this well is a matter of life, to me. This is the pride of writers. Modesty is affect, we all glory in it.

The power is real, of course. We pin experience down with bodkin words, we trap details of life , to wiggle and whine on the page. And we examine everything, keep or discard, mix, rearrange. That is one thing, but there is another. Life, pinned thus, is far less able to hurt us.

And so, I reached for my words, crumpled as I was on the doorstep. The morning was golden around me. My city, stretching and yawning, the smell of food, and the sounds of the street. These were the sounds of my childhood, the house and street of all those years. And now the words would not come. I was exposed, alone in my own skin. Horrible.

The sun was over the buildings when I looked up. My legs were stiff with sitting, and suddenly I was terribly thirsty. There where the road sloped down the muddy hill, was an alehouse. It was new. (They spring up like toadstools these days.) But the drink would be welcome. Even the sourest ale would soothe me.

I was standing up, stretching, when I head it, a scrabble, a weak mew from beneath the steps. I had put things here, as a child, a boyhood's ragged treasures, in the damp earth. The leavings of those days were gone, rock arrowheads, carved sticks, who knows where such things go? My hand was bigger now, I scraped my knuckles, reaching into the dark.

It kicked and wiggled as I drew it forth. A puppy, tiny, more dirt than dog. He-- yes, a he-- was small enough to fit in my palm. A ridiculous scrap of life. The butchers had come through earlier in the week. Dogs and fleas spread the sickness. Maybe he had shown sense enough to stay silent. In any case, he had been overlooked. He nipped at my fingers now, hungry. His tiny tail beat against my arm. Well, we would be leaving the place of death together. I tucked him in my shirt. He rooted for a moment, hoping for milk. Finding none, and being a dog, he gave no thought to the future. He simply fell asleep.

I went down the muddy hill. He slept under my shirt as I drank my ale. The bench I had taken allowed me to rest against the wall. I stretched my legs, filled my pipe. The chimney here drew poorly anyway, more smoke would hardly be noticed.

After some time I was half asleep myself, smoked to torpor. (I am accustomed to late nights and to sleeping all morning. It suits my work with the theater, but in truth I have always been so. I caught a hiding more often than I care to think, for being late to school.)

So, I jumped terribly as the door banged open on its hinges. The light rioted in nimbus around a small and very angry man.

“Aye, run away! Thou raggedy arse, thieving son of a whore--” He slammed the door again behind him, and stalked into the room.

It was a fine voice he had, clear, delivered from the belly. A dark brown voice. But I heard no more of it just then. Words had left him. His speech terminated in a wordless huffing growl, such as lions make. He stalked toward me, and sat down on the bench. He raised his hand to signal for drink, and I saw the blood.

“You have cut your hand, friend..” I kept my voice mild. I held out my handkerchief.

He turned to me with a lifted brow. His lip was curled in a snarl, his teeth were white and fine. His gaze swept me up and down, and he made his decision. I saw him decide. He smiled, and it was like daybreak, like sun after rain, like something astonishing. He smiled, and he plucked the cloth from my grasp. He applied it to his bleeding hand with a neat knot. And he looked up at me again. There was something shy in this second look, but laughing too, at his own reserve.

So, that is how I met my Christofer.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2012 09:36 am (UTC)
Marvellous. No it is offical: You have TWO folders on my hard-drive :) One for Hornblower and one for Kyd and Marlowe :)

How do you do this???? You're an artist, honestly. So - go on. We want to know what happens to Kyd, Cristofer and the puppy, of course :)
Sep. 11th, 2012 11:47 am (UTC)
You are so good and kind. I hope Kyd keeps talking to me. I like him. The puppy needs a name. Do you have any ideas?
Sep. 11th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
I enjoy reading what you write. I'm assuming plague. Did they really connect fleas with the spread of sickness? I've read a series set in Cambridge England during and after plague years (about 1300) and the protagonist (a physician) is trying to convince people that open sewage draining into the nearby river, source of their drinking water, is bad for you. He is laughed at, of course.
Sep. 11th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Plague, yes.

I am not sure they really connected it. They thought that things that smell bad made you sick. But they did kill off dogs and cats. (Of course, this just made the dog and cat fleas jump onto people.)

This is about 1588. As far as i can determine, they knew that being dirty could make you sick. They tried to be clean. They knew that being cold or overtired or upsetting made you vulnerable as well.

They had some cures for some things that worked sometimes. But nobody had much idea why.
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Really makes you glad you live in a world of modern medicine!!
Sep. 11th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
I am grateful for that every single day!
Sep. 11th, 2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
Brilliant! I've been traveling all day, to and from Manchester, so I read this on the train on the way home, just after I'd finished reading an interview with Alan Garner, one of my favourite novelists and a truly unique writer. When asked what he would have done if his first novel had never been published he answered: "I'd have carried on writing. There is no option. It's not a job but a condition."

That's what Kyd's place of words (your place of words) reminded me off. This whole piece is excellent but those two paragraphs are something else all together.
Sep. 11th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
I think Garner is right. I have have spent my whole life either writing or feeling miserable because I for some reason could not seem to write.

Most of my stuff over the years has been excruciatingly awful. (Trust me, I read it when I went to the Vineyard!) but it was heading me in the direction I wanted to go.

Reading, I suppose is part of the condition too. Sometimes I think we who write are like anemones,we reach out with our little arms and grab all the debris floating by. We may be stuck on a rock but we can still taste the world as it flows around us.

(Of course maybe you don't want to be an anemone,in which case ignore...)
Sep. 12th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
There's a lot to be said for being an anemone. I think I'm a bit of an anemone myself. I'm quite rooted to my little bit of rock :}

I can't say I've written my whole life though. Writing seems to be something that I've done at various stages for one reason or another. And it can take different forms. Writing fiction came as a real surprise. Until I came across Archie, I don't think I'd written anything fictional since I'd left school! I'm still not sure where it all came from, or whether there will be much more.
Sep. 13th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh, I hope there is more... I love your version of Archie. And I still don't know the provenance of the silver razor!

Still, with that said, I don't know how much more I have either. I have thought all along that I was close to the end myself. You can see how that turned out!
Sep. 13th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
I sincerely hope there is more too! From you and me! Hopefully the silver razor will see the light of day sometime. I have parts of it drafted and parts of it in my head. I also have a longish Justinian piece I've been writing on and off for ages. I don't particularly enjoy writing Justinian fic though, so I keep shying away from it. Hopefully I'll get both finished, though all the work crap that's been going on this year has not been very conducive to fic writing :/ There are a couple of pieces I'd like to write from Horatio's POV too but I haven't quite got the words for those yet. Hopefully they'll come :)

Sep. 27th, 2016 09:26 pm (UTC)
I am so very glad that you both did indeed keep writing. How sad we would be if the story had stopped!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )