And, since I am going to do it anyway, I thought of having my strange modus operandi work to my advantage : I'll start posting Black Fox (horrid temporary title) once a week, comments and discussion will influence the development of the story.
Hope to have you on board,
I had been fighting my way through the Ten Courts of Hell for the last two days and it suited me fine, I was just approaching the throne of King Yama when the doorbell rang.
Please, just go away, please, I thought, wishing the message to go through, but the visitor was nothing if not persistent; at the third ring I gave up, saved my work and went to the door grumbling under my breath. “ Thank you, but I don’t need anything… Oh, sorry Lucia!” I back-tracked recognizing my next-door neighbor. Smiling brilliantly she waved a couple of paper rectangles under my nose: “ Well, it’s a pity, but if you are really, really sure…I’ll just have to find someone else to come with me to Hu Xiaowen’s concert”.
It took me a moment to recognize the name: “ What?” brilliant repartee Viola, you definitely have a way with words “ How did you manage it? The tickets have been sold out for months! … Wait, isn’t the concert on Thursday?”
“ The concert is, but the dress rehearsal is tonight, and my cousin, who, as you should remember by now, is in the orchestra, has managed to get me two tickets. I’m sorry you aren’t interested” She sighed, striking a dramatic pose “ What shall I do with the extra one at this point? And poor Paolo went through so much trouble…”.
I waved her in, laughing. “Come in before we get an audience. Give me ten minutes to get ready, I wouldn’t miss this for the world”.
I have always loved dress rehearsals even more than the actual concerts. For starters they are much more relaxed things: the public is limited, a number of tickets are given to the musicians themselves for friends and family members, others go out to music schools, critics and theatre sponsors. Moreover, the audience at dress rehearsals is there for the music, not to see and to be seen as too often happens at opening nights, that also means that one doesn’t have to undergo the high-heels-evening-dress torture of more formal events.
A quarter of an hour later we were on our way, most people were still at work, no risk of turning a ten minute drive into an half-hour queue. “What is it that has you turned hermit this time, Viola?” asked Lucia while I turned into the theatre’s boulevard, “Classic literature, literary fiction, historical novel?” her voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper “ science-fiction or fantasy?” .
“ A book-snob…I’m spending my time with a book-snob!” I ribbed her, “ It’s a fantasy novel by a new Taiwanese writer, actually a series of interlocking tales within a frame-story, and it’s magnificent. The language is wonderful too: rich and beautiful without being flowery or pretentious. It took a while to get the right register, I hope I’m doing justice to the original”.
“ I know you are, you care too much about your work for it to be otherwise. Forget that rubbish: traduttore, traditore, a good translator is as much of an artist as the author is”.
I felt myself blush, I’ve never been able to accept compliments with poise, no matter the source. An empty parking lot saved me from having to answer: “There! And it’s a free one, no blue lines”.
“ Bene, it must be our lucky day, no need to go looking for the parking meter then. Do you think they hide them on purpose, to fine you while you are looking for one?”, as I backed the car into the white-lined space she snapped her safety belt open. “Come, we are just on time!” .
NOTE: edited as per suggestions. Thank you!