Readers, A Figure from the Common Lot is off the blog, as I’m preparing a fresh edit; next to send it out for consideration by publishers. But I’ll leave behind a sample, below.
Cette Illusion de la Mortalité
We are important
Our three letter alphabet
Constructs our limited language
The gravitational center
Draws our attention-seeking message
The message is
I am important
Yet you don’t know me
Honoré Gremot wanted careful arrangements. He had his sketchbook, but the light needed to be right. The wooden box, where he kept his pencils, he preferred to have within reach, within sight. Yet, out of the way. His satchel needed to be where he would not trouble his mind over it; still, he did not want it close by, drawing attention. Three pencils, three qualities of lead: dark, medium, light. Each in its own sphere.
The patch of grass where he sat prevented his arrangement of pencils from achieving satisfaction. They would not remain evenly spaced and wholly in view. He could place them in order, but liked to see that they were in order. Time permitted, however. The balloon he meant to sketch had been buffeted about; it had risen―while seeming to shrink away―to a calmer height, hovered there in abeyance, an ornament of red and gold against a blue sky…and begun its descent, growing again in size. The balloon approached; it might yet land.
M. Dupuy, close by, drew attention. A man of an agitated nature, Dupuy had nothing to do at the moment, no one with whom to find fault. He paced, pivoted, craned to study Honoré’s sketchbook―thus far turned to a blank page. To occupy Dupuy’s mind, Honoré said: “Do you know who this is?”
He allowed the officer to consider the question. He saw Dupuy decide, straighten his shoulders; the military man speaking to the journalist. Honoré waved his hand, and added, “No, I am wasting your time. You must ignore me; I am too stupid. Some army message-bearer of no consequence. You, of course…”
“It may be,” Dupuy cut in, “that the Comte de Boussac has brought with him one or two assistants. These men may be, to your way of thinking, of no consequence. François-Marie Serrigny de Boussac has,” Dupuy cast a severe eye on the sketchbook, where Honoré had added treetops, “achieved great fame as an aeronaut.”