Will tossed his homework, the thick manuscript finished last night, into the puddle ahead of her slender left foot. While less absorbent than the cavalier's handkerchief, it was more intellectual, and also thicker (so as to better elevate the lovely lady foot out of danger). He finished his follow-through with a dramatically upturned nose and a wistful gaze skyward.
Diane's sharp heel pierced the first few pages, drawing a bead of water from the puddle below to spread silt trails across the title page. Will gasped at the power wielded by the words he'd chosen to invoke the image of that exact heel in the third line of his second sonnet. Never before had his poetry so precisely summoned reality. He whipped the pad from his breast pocket and hurried to caputre a vividly imagined kiss in two perfect iambs, just as Diane stepped past him, a small corner of pentameter still flapping from her heel.
"Good afternoon, madam. How may I help you?"
"Good afternoon. I'd like a FrintArms HandCannon, please."
"A--? Oh, now, that's an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady. I
mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I
say they have a right to. But I think... I might... Let's have a look
down here. I might have just the thing for you. Yes, here we are!
Look at that, isn't it neat? Now that is a FrintArms product as well,
but it's what's called a laser -- a light-pistol some people call
them. Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won't
spoil the line of a jacket; and you won't feel you're lugging half a
tonne of iron around with you. We do a range of matching accessories,
including -- if I may say so -- a rather saucy garter holster. Wish I
got to do the fitting for that! Ha -- just my little joke. And
there's *even*... here we are -- this special presentation pack: gun,
charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster
with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your
next battery. Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free
lessons at your local gun club or range. Or there's the *special*
presentation pack; it has all the other one's got but with *two*
charged batteries and a night-sight, too. Here, feel that -- don't
worry, it's a dummy battery -- isn't it neat? Feel how light it is?
Smooth, see? No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, *and*
beautifully balanced. And of course the beauty of a laser is, there's
no recoil. Because it's shooting light, you see? Beautiful gun,
beautiful gun; my wife has one. Really. That's not a line, she
really has. Now, I can do you that one -- with a battery and a free
charge -- for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special
offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for
"I'll take the special."
"Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice. Now, do--?"
"And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three
six-five AP/wire-fl'echettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a
Special Projectile Pack if you have one -- the one with the embedding
rounds, not the signalers. I assume the night-sight on this toy is
"Aah... yes, And how does madam wish to pay?"
She slapped her credit card on the counter. "Eventually."
-- Iain M. Banks, "Against a Dark Background"
This page was last modified on 2011 December 20. "Will Wrote for Love" by John Sullivan is Copyright ©2003 - 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.