18 September 2012

Temps Perdu

Filed under: Fiction, Reflections — ktismatics @ 8:46 pm

[Rereading what I wrote ten years ago in Nice, I remember.]

Bent permanently forward from the waist at impossible angles, their lank gray hair hanging across their faces, the two old women looked older than anyone could possibly be and still live. They held themselves up on three canes between the two of them, their contorted hands clasped together over the central cane. If one of the women fell – which seemed imminent – the other would topple over too. Together, the two functioned like a single extremely ancient and fragile creature, the last of a fabulous and archaic and maladept species that had somehow survived into another era.

“Shouldn’t we help them?” Mrs. Dervain asked; we were walking on the other side of the street.

“I’ve offered before. They always act like they don’t see me.”

“But it’s raining.”

I looked across at the Two Old Ones, who were struggling in slow motion to climb the curb onto the sidewalk. Their awkward mode of locomotion prevented them from carrying an umbrella, yet somehow they looked completely dry. I shrugged and walked on. Mrs. Dervain kept pace: I knew she thought a little less of me.


1 Comment »

  1. I’ve finished rereading and rethinking this old text, and it’s going better than I’d hoped. Previously I had cannibalized the book in which this posted excerpt appears, incorporating a big chunk of it into one new book and a smaller piece into a second book. The parts that remain constitute a whole story, requiring only some minor editing, a few gaps to be filled, and a few inconsistencies with the other books to be remedied. But it’s only been a week and a half and I’ve already made those emendations. I don’t see the need for any new material to be incorporated into it. Tomorrow I’ll decide whether to add a bit onto the end in order to make the transition to the next book. But that addition shouldn’t take more than a few days either. So that means the first 5 books in the series will soon be completed, along with a 7th that’s also finished. I can then focus my attention on book 6, of which I’ve written nothing yet, in order to complete the entire series of 7 books.


    Comment by ktismatics — 26 September 2012 @ 5:35 pm

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