weak tales

“I have everything you want but nothing I can mention here, I heard him think, the treasures of the Orient found only in the back room, bought from shady characters in the pages of weak tales. The mystery of unexplored worlds, dancing girls, beyond beautiful in the sequin shining shadows of a lonely married man’s dreams. Worlds away from the reality of the actual women actually there, the imaginary coffers overflowed, songs sounded from the walls like the bells and whistles defining his perfected reality.”

— Lord Malinov, Song of Songs

gift bags

“Nearer the glass, back from the stage, raised by another six inches was a room with a row of tall tables, an array of long low tables and a pair of booths. For most parties, team celebrations and office gatherings, the low tables would sport bows and gift bags and balloons. We took our place in the back sometimes when we needed to speak to someone away from the chaos and noise surrounding the stage.”

— Lord Malinov, Song of Songs

fallen kings

“When Paul arrived at two, things got worse. He, at once, recognized what had happened. My strong, gentle hero was reduced to a blubbering fool. Every move he made toward Alyssa was rebuffed. Every act of kindness he gave was mocked. I caught him wiping tears from his eyes as he sat huddled curled up on a broken throne backstage. I thought he was going to sit on the ground and talk about fallen kings. Paul was completely useless.”

— Lord Malinov, Flowers of Malinov

so stern

“As the run of our play ended, Claudio even believed he might seduce our Isabella, but this was not to be. She had fixed him as her brother and gave no more thought to him than she gave to the all-too-cruel Angelo. We could suppose the novice found her cloister and renounced men altogether, so stern was her refusal of these two cads. Yet that would not be a proper ending.”

— Lord Malinov, Journals of Lord Malinov

faintest details

“Rita spoke of men, seemed uninvolved, hurt and cast aside, but over time we never saw the blokes, never witnessed any love first hand. The passions churned, the anger simmered and popped furiously, her voice, echoed and exclaiming the feelings so complicated by life. I’ll buy you diamond rings my friend. Baring her soul in the faintest details, taking her anguish into the chords, working in circles around her voice, the lyrics evoked the memories held within, want the kind of things released in the belief she’d reach a better place.”

— Lord Malinov, Song of Songs

meaningless job

“Ralph, like most karaoke DJs, began as one of us, a singer. A large, loose and somewhat sloppy man, by looks he could easily have been a radio DJ. Again, like most of his ilk, he had quit a meaningless job, acquired some gear and a large library of vocal-less recordings and used a connection with a bar’s management to secure a few evenings to raise some cash.”

— Lord Malinov, Song of Songs

offered device

“I got it,“ said Steph, breathing hard and holding up the small grey camera. Liz grabbed the offered device and dashed down to hall. Steph leaned over, putting her hands on her knees and smiling while she tried to steady her racing heartbeat. “I can’t believe I did that.”

— Lord Malinov, Journals of Lord Malinov