Thursday, June 11, 2009

Heroes... Chapter Six - Tzal

Greetings! This is the introductory chapter of the last of our five main characters, even though you got a glimpse of him last time. Tzal is a short chapter, barely 7 printed pages - less than 2000 words.

For those who need to know, Tzal is pronounced like the second half of "pizza" with an "L" on the end.

Remember, I am actually rewriting an already-written novel. Since I am seeking publication for this, feedback is the most important thing I need. If you can do it, please let me know what you think. It can be as short or as long, as gentle or as harsh as you'd like. To me, receiving it is the point.

You can leave your comments here, or contact me via email, Twitter, or Facebook. I thank you!

(You will see the exact message on the next page, should you choose to continue reading. Please don't worry about it; I'm still trying to figure out the best way to work this new twin-blog format. Thanks for your patience.)


Chapter Six - "Tzal"

The bald man led Tzal to a building fronting an alley off Anchorage Street. It was old, and a decade ago it had badly needed paint. It hadn’t gotten it. Tzal tried to remember which turns he had taken while keeping up his end of a mostly one-sided conversation. The bald man, he had learned, was Ruben Verner. Ruben used to be a member of the Seaman’s Brotherhood with this other man, Gitto. Gitto’s wife, Zenna, had taken sick a few days ago and had not left the bed. Tzal glanced around the shabby neighborhood, not wondering what could have caused it, but now many different illnesses she may have picked up.

They stopped at the door of the building and Ruben beat on it. After a moment, a short man with the build of a dumpling and a face like an old foot answered the door.

“Gitto,” Ruben said.

“Wait here,” the short man said, slamming the door on them.

“Doorman?” Tzal asked.

“They pay extra for that,” Ruben answered.

A few minutes later, a different man opened the door. He was short, thin, and hunched over. A patina of grime lived in the pores of his skin and Tzal doubted that anything as simple as a bath would remove it. Gitto had an aroma of his own, not a pleasant one. When he grinned, a missing tooth high in his smile broke it. Tzal felt a pang of shame. Had this wretched little man, and not Ruben asked for help, he would likely have dismissed him as a beggar.

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