Thursday, December 05, 2013

May I Have this Dance?

Angels Dancing on Head of a Pin
Where's the point of that?
Google Books

I've had no time to scrape together something original, so I'll just post this passage from the story I'm working on, a passage in which Vladimir and Kropot teach the protagonist a new dance step:
"Where are we going?" I asked, once we had stepped outside the apartment building and into the chill of a windy, overcast day, the clouds hanging low and murky.

"To see an old friend of yours," replied Vladimir, "a man with the curious name of 'Wei Guk-in.' He might be able to tell us of Sharikov's whereabouts."

"Why would he know that?" I asked.

"He knows Seoul as well as any Korean," said Kropot.

"And," added Vladimir, "he has contacts in this city who might know about Sharikov."

"But we don't," said Kropot.

"Nor do we know where he lives," said Vladimir, "but we know you know."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"We know some things, not everything," Vladimir replied, his tone intimating that I shouldn't inquire too deeply.

"The point," said Kropot, indicating me with the long sharp nail of his left index finger, jabbing it forward to make his point, "is that you can take us to him."

"No cause for concern," Vladimir gravely added. "We only wish to talk with him, ask him a few questions."

"Maybe rough him up a bit," Kropot growled.

"But only if necessary," said Vladimir.

"By 'only,' we mean 'usually,'" explained Kropot.

"We do," agreed Vladimir.

"Stop right there!" I cried, halting myself as I spoke.

My two companions looked puzzled.

"Stop where?" asked Vladimir. "Right here?" He tapped a foot to indicate a spot.

"No," Kropot reminded him. "He said 'right there.'" With his foot, he pointed to the same spot.

"That's where I meant," said Vladimir, sounding irked.

"But," replied Kropot, triumph in his tone, "he said 'there,' not 'here.'"

"It's all relative," countered Vladimir, sounding more irked.

“You think you’re Einstein?” retorted Kropot with a tinge of ridicule to his tone.

"Drop it," Vladimir warned. "We're agreed on the spot. My 'here.' Your 'there.' That's where we stop."

"Both of us?" asked Kropot. "In the same spot? That'd be like standing on the head of a pin!"

"Should be easy for us," observed Vladimir, "since we've danced where angels fear to tread."

"May I then have this dance?" Kropot asked, hand extended in courtly fashion, transformed into all charm.

"Delighted!" replied Vladimir, delicately accepting the proffered hand.

The odd couple clasped hands, leaned away from each other, and spun about a mysteriously stable center of gravity as they tapped out a rhythmic beat, alternately striking either toe upon the exact same spot, while singing:
To stand upright will ask thee skill?
That was a bit of overkill!
We smitten with amazement fall?
Oh, that won't happen, not at all!
Come join us in a happy throng --
And see if you can dance along!
We prance as on a steel pin head --
You do it too, or you'll be dead!
With those mortal words, the two reached out and grabbed me by my hands, pulling me abruptly into their spinning circle, where I too tapped away as we spun faster and faster and faster and faster till I could no longer see the world whirled round us, nor our madly tapping feet, nor the rapidly shuttering lips of Vladimir and Kropot, but only the unmoved moving parts, particularly their dark eyes, relentlessly fixed upon me, so fascinating in their darkness, a black mass that seemed to expand until all light was gone and even my eyelids closed under the heavy darkness . . .
Hmmm . . . sounds rather grim. But all is not lost. The unconquerable mind lurks in that heavy darkness . . .

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At 4:48 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

" The unconquerable mind lurks in that heavy darkness . . ."

Indeed, brooding over the abyss.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suppose there are several minds unconquerable . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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