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by lethe222 

Posted: 01 February 2009
Word Count: 1126
Summary: this is a snippet from a book im writing...the style evolves daily...im not happy with the tone even now and ive written half of the intended pages...any feedback gratfully accepted...

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It is just 5am but there is little respite from the usual people noise even at this time of day. It's still the dark before any hint of the coming sunlight, the stalls of the nearby street market are already overloaded with buyers for the many essentials of the day they purvey. These are the ragged poor seeking to obtain enough food for a day to be spent in one of the many factories that abound in the industrial areas that surround, usually a loaf of bread or maybe some cheese.
Other early risers are the servants of the middle and upper classes, consigned there to cater to the needs of their masters, ranging from a single scullery maid to an army of lesser flunkies surrounding a housekeeper, arrowing through the crowd, being free with short wooden cudgels they seldom had to connect with, as the crowd knowingly peels away before them.
There are many faces fixed upon going about their lawful business, heated, red puffed with exertion, eyes narrowed in calculation, concentration. But other businesses are conducted here as well, there are the cut purses, the smallest of boys weaving in and out of the crowd sneaking beneath eye level to snatch a piece of something edible or a silk handkerchief perhaps. Their larger brothers, in gangs using their size to dominate, one eye open for the police and the other for a sign of weakness shown by anyone. The crowd created its own needs for servicing.
None attended the markets that didnít have to they were places that brought the people of London together of necessity not pleasure, though entertainment was also available. The jugglers magicians and musician competing with all of the other users of the street.
Black was a good colour for those wishing not to be noticed, it is my top to toe colour of choice and I slip easily past the busy, the merely interested and those of a more than evil intent.
How does one become more than evil? Its a case of degree I suppose. The evil amongst us may have least some desire to know it. To know at least they are less than they should be. But there were those around me, jostling up against me, pushing past quickly with their own purpose; who had given up thought of wrong doing long ago. For them now it was simply a case of expediency. The cutting of the throat of any that made their death required, merely a choice of that. Were they in the way? Whether it was required or not was the matter of just a secondís hesitation.
This was the language of the streets. A shiver passes down my spine as I visit the knowledge yet again.
I watch them moving slowly through the mass, bland faces detached by their absolute unconcern for any others wellbeing. I pick them out like over ripe plumbs in a barrel of those still healthy. Slow movements. Hands hidden as if they werenít needed. Eyes flitting here then somewhere else, quickly passing over my face as if it werenít there. I knew they missed nothing and I knew to keep a distance between us. The crowd would support my body long enough for them to move on if they had a use for the deed. I've seen the eddy that created before, a body lying as if fallen asleep; disappearing just as quickly retrieved by loved ones, or like as not perhaps a more sinister conclusion.
Veraly Taddash was in his usual place keeping a prominent eye on the members of his troop as they entertained the crowd. His practiced ease was cover for his more intent nature eying the audience as well as looking for those of miscellaneous evil intent. He was known for his quick arbitrary dealing with them. Broken wrists were a common quickly dealt out judgement and the more extreme breaking of his laws resulted in the loss of an offending hand or even the ultimate losing of a life. his eyes flicked a quick recognition of my presence and a smile that was more like a grimace as he sent a signal to one of his minders and there is a convergence of bodies around a florid type whose face is partially concealed by his high collar. I pull a memory from somewhere of a dark night and an argument that resulted in blood but passed it passes from my mind as his head disappears and the crowd shuffles to fill the space watching the daring young man that is the current centre of attention belch fire, somehow managing to prevent his ornamental handlebar moustache from catching alight.
I have my own person of interest to look out for. This is the best place for a public meeting between old adversaries. Somewhere like this. The proximity to the docks makes the decision easy. Busy men always have an eye for time, and the trip from France has its own distinct perils for an important man.
There will be a public house near by, perfect for the formal discussions but the initial point of contact is the street. Only when safety is assured would things progress further. I spotted the Frenchmanís flunkies quickly, we'd had dealings before and though they didnít recognise me, particularly the face of Marinot was burned into my brain. The evil little brat loved his sadistic pleasures and I've seen him at work up close. There are six of them, all small men, hands hidden probably on knives as a preferred weapon.
My own sharp device digs my ribs in its accustomed place and I flex the fingers of my hand where it rests on my cane. Ah yes my sweet beauties there will be trouble here.
Marinot is nothing if not thorough he's taken a position near a statue that commemorated the Crimea. The occasional spit tells what he thinks of that. His body is busy all the while giving signals in a code they have worked out. Thirty minutes later I notice him relax and there is a movement from the shadows behind him. A large man, also covered head to toe in black moves toward the front of a small bookshop where a similarly clothed figure waits backed by an entourage of his own hard faced men. Ah there you are my beauty waiting just for me I see. My chuckle is almost audible and I move myself away from the crowd better to concentrate on the tableau being performed before me. An historic event that few would ever know took place.
Life is grand. I take a deep breath. All the spiders webs that I'd ever seen sown, come down to this moment on this day.

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Comments by other Members

NMott at 13:04 on 05 February 2009  Report this post
This is an interesting, I especially loved:

This was the language of the streets. A shiver passes down my spine as I visit the knowledge yet again.

And I really liked the paragraph that followed it.

I agree with yuo that the tone is a little flat, and that maybe because the whole extract is being told by this one character; it doesn't give the immediacy of the action one would get if he was in the thick of it - hearing snatches of conversation as he pushes through the surging crowd; cries cut off in mid shout from those that have been cut down. The character is giving a sometimes dispassionte view of what is going on around him and the otherwise exciting scene loses some of it's energy because of this.

- NaomiM

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