It’s been nearly five months since MBW, the HA, and I pulled into the driveway of our new home in Texas. Five months of adjustments, slogging through bureaucracies (both governmental and private), home-improvements, etc. If you’ve moved from one state to another recently, you know what I speak of.
Things are beginning to fall into a comforting routine. The HA has settled into her new school. Though she misses her friends at the old one and occasionally pines for Oregon, she seems to like her new school and (most) of her new classmates. MBW has a new career as a mortgage agent (one of the primary factors driving our move here). She is busy. Unfortunately the high inflation rate we are currently suffering and the concomitant hikes in interest rates to fight it aren’t helping. Yet this too shall pass, unless something breaks the cyclical nature of the economy.
And the swimming pool is (nearly) finished. Huzzah. Just in time for cooler weather. Sigh.
I’m continuing to write. The work in progress is just a few words shy of 110,000 with four more chapters to go. So, with all that on my plate I of course decided to write a short story as well, employing all my copious free time. But when the muse has a stranglehold you just have to cry “Uncle” and get the thing written. First draft done, so I hope she’ll loosen her grasp.
Now, before proceeding on to the next installment of Savage Journal, please consider picking up one of my books. Thank you.
P.S. Note to new readers — if any: You might be seeing a number of posts with the addition of “Resurrected Post” in the title. My site suffered some sort of catastrophe a few months back. That catastrophe took with it years’ worth of web log posts. I found a trove of these lost post elsewhere and have been systematically (more or less) uploading them again. Anyway, on to Magnus Stoneslayer’s diary.
I spend a great deal of time alone, dear diary, as a wandering barbarian swordsman will. Given so much time for introspection I believe I have achieved a reasonably solid self-knowledge. I have lived long in the company of men as well, either in various armies or outlaw bands, or thieving and carousing my way through one decadent city after another teeming with men, good, bad, and indifferent. So I have a fair understanding of men.
Now, I hate to resort to cliché, dear diary, but women are another matter. Sometimes I think I have them pegged. Other times they are completely unfathomable. (Speaking of unfathomable, a brief aside: do you recall Yaslina, the young woman to whom, along with her companion the wizard Vetrius, I gave an escort through the northern wilderness? A caravan master in his cups held forth on news from the north and he let fall that a certain chancellor of the Zantian Empire was in a frenzy over his missing daughter – one Yaslina – and her trusted companion Vetrius. (Trusted? A wizard? I ask you.) End of digression.)
I mention the perfidiousness of women – all right, I did not use the word perfidious, I employed unfathomable, but perfidious best fits the following anecdote – because I have just dealt with a duplicitous, diabolical specimen of the conniving sex. A tavern girl, a working girl, a practitioner of the oldest profession –pick the euphemism you prefer. She was a beauty: red hair to mid-thigh gleaming like polished bronze, ample in the proper locations, gracile, ruby lipped. Have I sketched her sufficiently?
Well, she accepted my coin readily enough and took in my broad shoulders with appreciative eyes. So the double dealing was unexpected. I’m not referring to another man. I could no more object to her taking on another client than I could to a publican drawing a tankard for the next drinker in queue at the bar. No, my objection is to her allowing two accomplices to enter the room while I slept and lay hands on my belt pouch and sword. Of course, I sleep as lightly as a jungle cat and in a trice I threw one bravo through a wall with my right hand while I crushed the throat of the other with my left.
Leaving me to deal with the woman. Now, I hold to a rough, barbaric chivalry. I do not war on women. Why? Perhaps as a savage I am subconsciously aware that the survival of the tribe depends upon women producing the next generation of warriors. I will ponder that at length some other time. But this rude nicety of mine, this discriminating peccadillo, left me with a dilemma. To resolve it, I grasped her by her shimmering locks, tugged hard, pulling back her head, stretching taught her coppery glory, drew my dagger, and cut – leaving a ragged, uneven stubble atop her naked pate.
I wonder, dear diary, how much silver I can get for these tresses from a wig maker?