Friday, December 28, 2012

Taproot: A fragment

I cleaned out my big walk-in closet today, the one that I haven't actually been able to walk into since moving into this house. Well, it's clean and organized now. One of the things I found was a notebook with the beginning of a story written in it.

I have a very vague memory of writing the pages. I know the characters Will and Francis are William Shakespeare and Francis Bacon, and I think the story was going to be about how Shakespeare was inspired to write A Midsummer Night's Dream, but I have no earthly idea where I was going with it. It seems to be titled "Taproot." So since it will never see the light of day otherwise, here's the little bit of story for what it's worth.


Midnight, or nearly midnight. A tall, thin man dressed impractically in city clothes of hose, breeches, and doublet stumbled across a field. A handful of sheep, made sinister by the moonlight, stared at him from the shadow of a hedgerow.

The man climbed a stile with caution, his slick-soled shoes making him unsteady. He jumped down from the top rather than risking more steps.

"Ouch! That's torn it. I've twisted my ankle."

A second man approached. He was shorter and rounder, and his voice when he spoke had the jocular tone of someone who relished both drinking and pulling elaborate practical jokes. "Good night, Will. Finally made it, did you?"

 Will glared. "You sent me the wrong way on purpose. Damn your eyes, Francis."

"Damn your balls," Francis said, and laughed heartily. "You should see your face. But you can't get a sense of the countryside at night if you don't spend some time here."

Will wiped sheep droppings from his shoe onto the grass. "You told me there were fairies here. All I've seen is sheep and a courting couple--who weren't very keen to greet me."

"Oh, you haven't seen any of the fair folk?" Francis' broad face went babyish with exaggerated surprise.

Will narrowed his eyes. "You know I haven't. I'm going home."

"Stop by the wood first, that way." He pointed a pudgy finger at a dark stand of trees in the distance. "I daresay all the good folk are dancing, it being such a fair night. It's not far."

"Come with me."

"I can't, Will. My niece would be terribly upset if she woke and her Uncle Francy had gone. I'll be inside if you need anything."

His face tingling with fury and shame, Will limped up a rutted lane. He was quite certain Francis had

...not finished the sentence, much less the story, apparently.


Paula RC said...

Play around with it KC and see where it takes you in the New Year. Happy 2013 to you, KC

K.C. Shaw said...

Happy new year! I've got a fun project in the works so short fiction is not going to get much love from me, but maybe I'll finish it eventually.

Kelly Robinson said...

Will limped up a rutted lane. He was quite certain Francis had distracted the writer in such a manner as to ensure this story was incomplete and stashed in a closet.

Fun stuff -- and I love the title. Whatever it means.

K.C. Shaw said...

I wish I could remember what the title meant and where the story was going.