4 January 2011

I Love When This Happens

Filed under: Fiction — ktismatics @ 12:22 pm

I’m working on a novel, Part Two Chapter Eight: Yeats, the daughter of the long-lost Tyler Misch, has just arrived in town. Or I should say alleged daughter: Martin and Stephen, the two guys we meet in the bar at the beginning of the story, aren’t persuaded that Yeats’s claim is true. Tyler had been moving around a lot just before he disappeared twenty-one years ago: why, Martin wonders, would Tyler have acknowledged this particular child from what might well have been a multitude of dalliances? Besides, if Tyler had been right and people really were out to get him, why would he expose his daughter to possible danger by acknowledging her existence?

So this morning I’m writing the part of the story where Yeats first tells Martin that, every year on her birthday, she receives a letter from Tyler:

“Jesus,” Martin whispered. “What’s he been doing all these years? Where is he?”

“Every year the letter is mailed from a different place.”

“Still on the move.”


“What, you think Tyler takes a lot of vacations? Or business trips? Sorry, but I mean… all these years…” Martin held his head in his hands.

“Tyler could…” Yeats hesitated. “Dad might arrange for other people to mail his letters.”

“But why? Of course, because the bad guys are after him. But he always mails them to your address, right? Pretty cavalier with other people’s lives. His daughter’s life.”

“I don’t think anyone knows about me. You said it yourself: he stayed in our town for only a very short time, just one of his layovers.”

“Layovers – that’s a nice way of putting it.” Martin, who had been pacing around the small room, grasped Stephen’s desk chair and rolled across the floor, positioning it just in front of Yeats…

Usually while I’m writing I listen to classical music, or sometimes instrumental jazz. This morning though I tuned in an online radio station that I suppose is classified as “adult alternative”: stuff like Neko Case and the Black Keys and Massive Attack, along with some oldies. So I’m writing this bit of dialog between Yeats and Martin when a tune by the Choir of Young Believers wraps up and this song begins.

As it plays I finish Martin’s little speech and continue the dialog:

“…If your papa was a rolling stone, he might have been dropping little bundles of joy all along his trail. There might be a dozen kids who every year anticipate with eagerness, or with dread, the arrival of Dad’s birthday letter.”

Yeats leaned forward, confronting Martin. “So what? Maybe all of Tyler Misch’s illegitimate spawn are converging on this town, preparing for the big showdown. Maybe when you get back to your office another one of us will be sitting in your waiting room.”…


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