Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Entry #97

Mercury Charms
by Guilie Castillo-Oriard

“… And, be angered, puffs away from this, turning his back on the dew-dropping sun.”

The applause was thunderous. Mercutio was James’s favorite, Shakespeare’s masterpiece of wit, careless bravery, and utter disdain for convention. James sauntered through the theater after-party as if the sword was still strapped to his waist, as if he wore tights and puffed sleeves instead of slacks and shirt of purple satin.

He abandoned the pretty thing, starstruck at his panache and the credits he’d shamelessly dropped, and went in search of drinks. Women bored him; they had nothing to say. People in general bored him, actually.

At the bar he saw him. He was surrounded by enthralled listeners, the women arching their backs, the men posturing, striving for camaraderie. He wasn’t familiar; must be a newcomer.

James approached the circle, taking as his due the parting of the crowd, until he stood at the stranger’s elbow. His studied boredom faltered, then evaporated; the voice of the stranger was compelling, his gestures hypnotizing. A sun among lightless planets spinning senselessly. James could not stay away.

“Why are you following me?”

They were in the mens’ room. James lowered his eyes to the lather on his hands.

“Hey. I’m talking to you. Stop following me, creep.”

James was fast; he was at the door first, and the stranger’s look of annoyance melted into confusion then something else as he saw the thin blade in James’s hand.

Never turn your back, not on the dew-dropping sun.


Joni said...

I'm seeing Romeo and Juliet onstage this very night! And I agree with your character, that Mercutio rocks.

I like how you've interwoven the bravado of a well-known character like Mercutio with your own character, shown his inability to make distinctions. Hmph, actors, right? :P

Honestly though, nicely constructed and paced. Good writing.

Guilie Castillo said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Joni! I have to say Mercutio is definitely my favorite, but I can (sometimes... mostly) distinguish reality from... well, otherwise ;) Thanks for the read!

Deb Smythe said...

I love the way this piece came full circle. Way to bring it home.

Aimee Laine said...

It's probably me that I don't know Shakespeare well, but I'm confused at his motivation for pulling the knife (again probably because I don't know shakespeare!) :)

Unknown said...

Mercutio is one of my favs from R & J...Shakespeare rocks! I like the feel, the way the story rounded out. Nicely done!

Dottie :)

Erratic Thoughts said...

There is some sensous creepiness in your piece...I was hooked :)

SzélsőFa said...

hm, well, i thought this would turn out a male/male erotica type of thing... but the ending left me surprised. there must be a longer backstory to this character... :)

jrthumbprints said...

... melted into confusion then something else ...

Nice stalker element here; and I do like stalkers as main characters.

Guilie Castillo said...

@ Deb: glad you liked it! 250 words is such a tight canvas to work with; I'm glad it worked for you.
@ Aimee: don't you worry. James's psychosis has nothing to do with Shakespeare; he's just an insecure portrayer of false confidence that doesn't take rejection well :)
@ Dottie: thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
@ Erratic Thoughts: Oh, you're one after my own heart... Yes, I like creepiness too, especially when it's not resolved.
@ Austere: thank you so much!
@ SzelsoFa: I agree, and I think James is worth exploring in a longer piece.
@jrthumbprints: I'm so happy you liked my stalker!

Thank you all for reading, and for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

It's high school all over again - without the knife, of course. Jealous much? Wow... some people really do get caught up in themselves a bit much. Great portrait of an unhealthy personality here!

Precie said... unsympathetic yet vividly intriguing character. I'm fascinated.

Mystico said...

Ahh...chilling. Though what really hooked me was the "Women bored him" part. *winks* Great job on the twist-ending.

bluesugarpoet said...

Your stalker doesn't play nice. :) Wonderfully crafted! I definitely didn't expect the turn of events in the end. Actors are scarier than I thought. :) ~Jana A

rachel said...

It's twisted. I love twisted. Well done!!

Old Kitty said...

Very very very dark. I love the madness of James and he is a psycho isn;t he really? but you got into his head and I can understand - which is disturbing! Yay! Really enjoyed reading this, thank you! Take care

Michele Zugnoni said...

Any piece that mentions Shakespeare is awesome in my book. Add to that a Shakespearian feel teeming with purple satin, swordplay and a poetic last line, and I'm hooked. Nicely done.

Thanks for sharing!

Richard Levangie said...


I thoroughly enjoyed this entry, and the character's compelling need to be the center of attention. The writing was simple and riveting.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

I actually DO love Mercutio....

This felt like an indie movie - sort of the single camera, Rachel Getting Married effect. I'm impressed with anyone who can write that way!

B. Nagel said...

I love this piece. And not just because I was a theatre geek for so long.

Great job.

Anonymous said...

Super creative. And I loved the interplay and how the character was drawn to this rival. Great job! A high scorer.

Congratulations on the Honorable Mention!