Styling the Fight: Mark Twain

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of Mark Twain. [1]

I asked him his name, and he said, “Thou’lt be afraid to hear it.” Well I didn’t put much stock in that. I can’t think of a time I ever met a man and was afraid to hear his name. I wondered if maybe that was his roundabout way of calling me a coward, and if it was I reckoned two could play that game. I held my ground and told him that his name couldn’t frighten me even if he were the Devil hisself, although truth be told I frightened myself a little and purely hoped the Devil warn’t listening when I said that.

I needn’t to have worried though because the stranger just said his name was Macbeth which warn’t a name that were that frightful at all. And then I recollected that were the very name of the fella my pap’s friends were aiming to kill and him the rightful owner of all the truck in my bundle, him still being alive and all. Well, I allowed as how I hated to hear that, and I spected he’d be demanding an apology soon and his things back sooner if he didn’t just lay into me.

But he didn’t do none of that and just called me a coward again which I found plain rude. It occurred to me then that maybe he was trying to get under my skin a little on account of he looked like he was spoiling for a fight but didn’t want to throw the first blow for some reason.

Well I wasn’t about to fight him what with him towering over me as he did and waving that sword. I was sore tempted to call him a liar over his calling me fearful but I settled on just leaving my bundle on the floor and backing out the way I come as the less risky course. Still he called after me, “Thou wast born of woman.” Well, I couldn’t argue with that, my mam being a woman and me born of her or so my pap told me. I let him have the last word.

I figured that’d be the last I ever saw of him but later when I did bump up against the rest of ‘em, my pap and his friends, I noticed one carrying a long pole and on the end of that pole was a head and on that head was face and that face was awful familiar. He stuck that pole up in the courtyard and hung a little sign under it what read, “Here may you see the tyrant.” I asked the feller next to me what was a tyrant but if he knew he didn’t say.

Next time: in the style of John Scalzi.

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[1] Specifically Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Young Siward channeling Huck Finn is the first iteration of the character in my style exercises that’s clever enough to avoid a physical confrontation. Huck’s nothing if not pragmatic. The Tom Sawyer version would be a very different story. 

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