Short Story (Introduction) No. 1

From Description to Narrative

If you have yet to do so, I invite you to visit my about page to understand the purpose of these writings.

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In the interest of keeping my presentation fresh and not falling victim to a formulaic crutch, I plan to deviate from verbal portraiture for a short bit. I will return to that approach given its warm reception, however, I want to now move from snapshot description to developmental narrative.

In the interim, my first two verbal portraits can be found below:


Below you will find the tip of a narrative iceberg. Jutting out clearly and visibly, it is the end of an indeterminate story’s beginning. From here, candidly, I know neither its length nor its path nor its makeup. In this experimental post, I only present what I have penned; the rest lies below the surface, obfuscated by the murky waters of ideation.

The Narrative Iceberg

Nota Bene: There’s good reason why I stick to writing.


If enough readers deem what follows compelling, I will finish what I have begun in a subsequent post. I will ascertain interest via qualitative and quantitative feedback: comments/messages and clicks of the supposedly-algorithmically-significant heart icon at the top, respectively.

If a misfire, onto the scrap heap it goes! In writing, you must kill both your darlings and your urchins (so Faulkner has advised). I hope to emulate famed psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s example: “When I work I have no sunk costs.”

Either way, I defer to the wisdom of the crowd. Please don’t be bashful!

Without further ado:

The Transaction

It was an indigo dark. The inky hues of the night enveloped the man as he sprinted, leaping over the low-lying wood fence surrounding his yard. He slinked past the yawning doors of the old white church, hoping to avoid those pious stragglers and hangers-on Reverend would usher out anytime now. He knew commerce was forbidden on the Lord’s Day, but there was something about transacting under the watch of the resolute steeple that made the payoff that much more bountiful. Avarice in view of sanctimony was all the sweeter.

Darting into the forest, the man peered about and trekked to the designated spot, the decaying, stinking lean-to, his new abode, and waited. He bided his breath, measuring the passing minutes with steaming exhales. After several minutes, he heard the muffled clop of the hooves and smelled the dungy horse. His heart thumped uncharacteristically as tendrils of fear snaked up his legs.

At the scout’s approach, he composed himself and donned a toothy, yellow grin. Together they lobbied pleasantries back and forth, each measuring the other’s worth with verbal jabs and parries. Glances not blows. But that’s not why they were here.

They swapped their parcels. One an oily cloth wrapped lengthwise, the other a neat, clean bundle.

Eying the small duffel he had handed over, the scout snorted with laughter, “ ‘Ow d’you divine ‘ow much’n the bag, huh?”

The man wearily met his snide glare and, with eyes glinting, replied “No use for this tonight. It’s the Lord’s Day, no?”

It was done.

One Year Earlier

Nathaniel Jacobs was a decent man. Unremarkable in appearance, soft in speech, and friendly in manner, he could be characterized as decidedly second-rate. A primary choice in no scenario (indeed the endmost in very many), he was the type of man who would not stand out in a lineup, whose visage shrunk in a portrait. His mundanity was his opportunity.


Possibly to be continued. I await your input.