Thursday, May 31, 2007

vignette: housename

Marianne regarded the profusely sweating man with a smile derived from countless hours of exercise. He was tall, perhaps even handsome enough in a roughhewn way, and dressed in ill-fitting clothes that reduced his shape to a baggy mass. And he was sweating, his dark brown hair rendered almost black by a wet sheen. She did not care for him immediately, but then again she did not care for anyone immediately, so she forgave herself and him. And, she reminded herself, no man was turned away from Cedar House, not even if he evinced enough perspiration to drown everyone in sight.

“I’m terribly sorry,” the man said, wiping his forehead with a piece of cloth that resembled more a table napkin than a handkerchief. “I do not mean to take too much of your time, Miss-“

“Marianne,” she smiled again, offering her Housename.

“Miss Marianne, my name is- well, you might call me Wallace,” the man replied, pocketing the large cloth. “That is, if you are so inclined.”

Against her will, Marianne found herself fascinated by the wet man’s provincial charm. It was one of her weaknesses, and she had many.

“Given as it’s the only name you’ve given me, I will take to calling you Wallace, Wallace,” Marianne said, drawing herself up to her full height of five feet and two inches.



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