- Hey. Syawn Here.
- I’ve started a weekly challenge for my author. It’s a good way to keep her on track. This challenge will be to write exactly 100 words on whatever subject I’m wondering about at the time, every Tuesday.
Why Tuesday? she asks. Because today is Tuesday, and I’ll not let her put it off for one more day.
Why whatever subject you’re wondering about? What about subjects I’m wondering about? the author asks, affronted. Because if I let her pick, she would be all day dithering between one musing and another.
Why 100 words precisely? she asks. Because I said so.
Why “Carbuncle?” Because I wanted Tirzah to have to work for this one.
Stand by for our hundred-word wonderings on the topic of carbuncle.
“Punk,” Tirzah says. “I’ll make you go first.”
She thinks to turn the tables on me, see? I’ll show just what a wonder I can be. There isn’t a word I cannot muse upon, be it a gem from ancient history, spoken lately, or anon.
Not because my knowledge is so great, but because even if I know not the word’s meaning, I can yet find something to say of it.
She thinks the word lacks proper shape and polish. I say she’s narrow-minded. In Yaa we’d think it a fine enough word for a jewel. It sounds a fit stone with which to bedeck a beauty.
All fine and a good way to say nothing; we know not even what manner of gem it is. I’ll prove the power of research.
Hah! A simple single googling reveals that “carbuncle” is now more commonly used to speak of a contagious abscess exceeding a boil in size. Bedeck your poor beauty in that!
Secondarily, ‘tis an archaism for (usually red) cabochon cut jewels, particularly garnets. I suppose you were not far off to make mention of shape and polish, for to cabochon is to do so without faceting.
What did folk learn from all your hundred words? Little.
And what if we combine the powers of one who is unhesitating before the blank page, and one who would first learn, author dearest? Join me.
The roses wilted as the she-beast neared them; she had eyes like rubies and a still-redder whim; and a mouth like garnet—though there’s no sure knowing if ‘twas their natural hue, or a more sinister glowing.
She was stunning and shapely and smiling and fetid, with a carbuncle’s beauty and a carbuncle’s stench. She was more than a woman, she was less than a beast, with her blood-red eyes and her mouth red-drenched.
…And thus did it turn out far more metaphorical of the whole writing process than we had anticipated. Let that be a lesson to you all: a dash of research plus a dash of charging ahead equals creepy monsters and sorta-poetry.