Apr 01 2018

B #AtoZChallenge Brydanz Sulguni #Fiction #SFF

AtoZChallenge Theme 2018 J Lenni Dorner #SpeculativeFiction
26 parts of a Speculative Fiction story by J Lenni Dorner

#AtoZchallenge Letter B on Blog of author @JLenniDorner

If I were sober, I could drive away. Somehow, I think my wife has sent this guy with his heavy accent as punishment for napping beside her grave. Again.

“Genuine leather? Cannot be very warm.”

“Full Grain. Genuine is crap.” I pull out my phone to check the time.

The man pets my left arm. “Ah, so it is. Not many wear leather fencing jackets in America, eh?”

I stare at him until he takes a step back. “I have places to be.”

“We all do.” He winks.

I drop the remaining half of my sandwich into the cooler, chug the rest of the water, and toss the bottle into my recycling box. My slamming liftgate is louder than I intended.

“Your black vehicle is called an Escape? How unusual! From what and where do you escape?”

“Listen, I don’t work for Ford. I needed a new truck, this was in my price range, so I bought it. The name wasn’t a factor.” This guy is creeping me out.

He nods. “So sorry. It seemed like a fact of interest, eh? Perhaps not. You have blue in hair.”

“Cake icing.” I reopen my liftgate, grab another baby wipe, and remove blue from auburn.

“Someone smash cake on you? That is odd custom. Waste of food.”

It’s gluing my thick waves together. Even with short hair, this task is impossible. I need a shower.

“No. Look, I have to go.” I close the liftgate again and head toward my driver’s side door.

“Something is on hand.” He touches the back of my left hand. I instinctively curl my fingers, protecting my wedding band from possible thievery.

“Yeah. It’s a tattoo.”

“Very strange. What is these markings?”

I’ve about had it with this guy and his questions. “Who are you?”

“Oh! So sorry. Manners. I am Brydanz Sulguni. I see you from over there.” He points to the sidewalk at the end of the parking area. “Thought to myself, why is such a strong looking fighter out here freezing? Maybe I can help, eh?”

“I’m a dancer, not a fighter. And I’m not freezing or in need of help. Thanks.”

He shakes his head. “You may dance, but you are a fighter. I know one when I see one.” He taps the tattoo on the back of my left hand. “Markings of wins?”

“Sorry to disappoint you. The black capital T with the red circle around it? That’s for the Boston commuter rail red line. Savin Hill is where my family is from. The thirteen little shamrocks around it represent my siblings and myself.”

“This is Philadelphia, city of brotherly love, not Boston The Olde Towne.”

“Go Soxs.”

“Both the Cradle of Liberty, like Switzerland.”

Who memorizes all the nicknames of places? This guy is like potato salad sitting out on a hot July afternoon. “Yeah. I moved here from Boston five years ago.”

He runs his finger around the circle of shamrocks on my hand. It’s strange how comfortable this guy is with touching a stranger. Must be a European custom. “Why not all green? Shamrocks grow in grass, no? They should all be like color of your eyes.”

Does he ever run out of questions? “There are five green ones. Two for my older brothers, two for my young brothers, and one for me. The seven white ones with the thin green outline represent my three older and four younger sisters. The orange shamrock is for my brother who died as an infant.”

“All your siblings have this tattoo?”

“No, just some of us. And my dad. I have to go. My kids are waiting.”

“You raise goats?”

“Children. Three girls.” I pause to correct myself, but decide it’s not worth explaining to this guy. “Nice to have met you, Brydanz.”

He reaches to shake my hand. “Good to have met you as well. Three girls? You must have much to arrange for them to marry well, eh?”

“They’re too young to think about marriage.”

And it better stay that way, or I’ll be burying boys in the backyard. Or lesbians, if they go that way. Whatever, it’s still too early. I rub my stomach and excuse myself as belch tasting of stout, cake, and the sandwich fills my mouth. Tastes like regret and sorrow. The guy stares at me as though he’s expecting me to answer a question. Did he ask me something important?

“My job is to get them through high school and into good colleges. Education is key. I really have to be on my way.”

“Dancing pays that well in America?”

“Yeah.” I don’t feel my fiances are his business. My stomach rumbles. I should have finished the sandwich. At least this interrogation has sobered me up.

Brydanz pulls a business card from his jacket. “Here. In case maybe you need more than dancing to send girls to university. Talk it over with family, with wife and parents, when you get home.”

“My parents are still in Boston.” I cram the card into my pant’s pocket.

He nods. “Of course, of course. Savin Hill train stop. Talk to wife about card, eh?”

I look to the graveyard. “Yeah. We’ll talk. Bye.” I get in my truck and drive off.

cake with blue icing

line break

What is the most unique tattoo you’ve ever come across?

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    • Juneta on April 1, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    Intriguing story. Happy A to Z.
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    1. thanks
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    • Jacqui on April 1, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Great start to this challenge. Good luck–and happy Easter!
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    1. Thank you
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  1. Lots of good stuff here. My daughter had me write the words “La Vita e Bella” and she had them tattooed on her arm with 6 birds (five black ones to signify our family and one outline to represent our cat who died, her first pet). If I had known she was going to get the tattoo exactly as I wrote it, I would have written smaller as it takes up her entire left forearm.
    Janet Miles has this post to share Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – A is for AppMy Profile

    1. That’s cool that she’ll have your handwriting forever. Neat idea.
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  2. Hooked! Nice work. Will check in tomorrow!
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    1. Glad to have hooked you.
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  3. Worth coming back for B, can’t wait to see where the story is going 🙂

    My husband has a few tattoos, one he designed is a J and S intertwined and birds around it, one for each child.

    1. I love the tattoos with children in mind.
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  4. I’m settling in for a great April story.

    1. Cool!
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    • Varad on April 1, 2018 at 10:29 PM

    Ah! The mysterious stranger. Bryndanz is such an irresistible character. One would’ve thought that Attie might have brusquely brushed him off, but no he opened up more than he would have preferred to.

    The most unique tattoo I’ve come across was on the calves of my tattoo artist. He had the images of his father and grandfather on each calf. But that’s not unique, there was a skull tattooed next to both. I didn’t ask him about the significance.

    B is for Boss
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    1. Sounds like an intriguing story behind those tats.
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  5. I like their dialogue and relationship already. Look forward to seeing where they end up.
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    1. Thank you.
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    • Ronel on April 2, 2018 at 5:14 AM

    Love the tattoo. Lots of symbolism there…
    Ronel has this post to share The Reasons Branding Confuses You and How To Fix That Right Now #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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    1. Indeed. Thanks.
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  6. This guy’s too nosey, too many questions – he makes me uncomfortable.
    Nilanjana Bose has this post to share B is for Baskets…and Butterflies…My Profile

    1. Wait until you discover why he asks them…
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    • Susanne Matthews on April 2, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    What a weird man. Great story. Looking forward to more.

    Susanne Living the Dream

    1. Thank you.
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    • Debs on April 2, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    You’ve done it again J, I’m hooked.

    A-Zing this year at:
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    1. Thanks.
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    • Deepa on April 2, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Would have totally creeped me out! Now you have me hooked!!! Waiting for the next instalment!

    2018: A-Z
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    1. Thank you.
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  7. He was a lot calmer than I would have been. Good story.
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    1. I’m pretty sure the story wouldn’t work as well with a female MC because most women would have the good sense to step away.
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    • Diane on April 2, 2018 at 4:34 PM

    Can’t wait to read the next part. Congratulations on a strong start to the challenge. I think I’m 349 on the list – In my own words at http://www.dianeweidenbenner.com/brrr-someone-frosted-the-trees/
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    1. Thank you!
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  8. So excited to read more!

    Jayden R. Vincente
    Erotic Fiction Writer
    Jayden R. Vincente has this post to share C is for Caged #AtoZChallengeMy Profile
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    1. Thank you.
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    • Eli on April 4, 2018 at 1:14 AM

    Excellent dialogue, my friend. Such a strong sense of these characters right away! Most unusual tattoo – a soccer coach/chef who had artichokes on each of his calves. On the same staff: Another coach with “life” and “death” on each forearm.
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    1. Oddly, I’ve seen both of those tattoos.
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  9. I am looking forward to finding out what is on the business card and when it is finally read.
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  10. My, this stranger is mighty chatty! I’m so curious what is on his card now ….

    I used to have a friend who was a massage therapist, and she told me that she once had a client who had an entire rainforest scene (in color) across her back.

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