Friday, May 30, 2014

Two Glasses of Vodka, an excerpt from "Antosha in Prague"

From the work in progress.
"I have come to see the Japanese girl, Fan."

Vera pouted and smoked her cigarette. "Fan is very popular of late," she said. "I’m sure by now she’s as worn out as an old sofa, all the cushions pounded flat, all the springs broken, and the silk rubbed threadbare. You can do much better than Fan, my darling Vladimir. Buy me a glass of port, what do you say?"

"Why do you call me Vladimir?"

"Are you going to tell me your name?"

"Of course not. Just as your name is not really Vera."

"Then why not be Vladimir? Vladimir Vladimirich, for this afternoon."

"As you wish." Antosha unbuttoned his coat and sat down on a wide sofa, holding his hat on his lap. "You may call me Vladimir Vladimirovich Vladimov, or any other name you care to invent. But I am not buying you a glass of port."

"Do you want some vodka, Vladimir?"

"I want to see Fan, the Japanese girl."

Vera sat beside Antosha and crossed her legs. Her silk gown fell open and exposed her naked calves, and her feet in silk slippers. She puffed on her cigarette and then called down a hall. "Proshitka! Bring two glasses of vodka to the parlor!"

"I am not buying two glasses of vodka," Antosha said.

8 comments:

  1. Nice, Mr. B! Although you are teasing us without providing the background for why Antosha is in this place. And I finally get to start reading The Hanging Man. I got delayed reading an 800-page book club book that took me far too long.

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    1. Antosha is at that place to see Fan, the Japanese girl. He says it twice, Dr M! Why he wants to see Fan is another thing entirely.

      The Hanging Man? That old thing?

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  2. Davin, you will like The Hanging Man! You will like the bear, I think, and the dust storms. Scott, this is a lovely scene. You may call Ivana, if you wish. ;)

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    1. Yes, Ivana is a swell name. I'll use that in one of the new stories!

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  3. I see banter. Is this going to be a bantery novel?

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    1. There's banter in everything I write. I blame Mr Shakespeare. But there's also action and description and internal monologue and all those other hoary novelistic tricks.

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    2. Though I realize that two (at least) of the stories written so far have no dialogue whatsoever. So a quasi- or semi- or parti-bantery novel, I guess.

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    3. Different species of storytelling. Gotcha.

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