Thursday, January 29, 2004

Coffee originated in the highlands of Ethiopia
where its beans were originally chewed
rather than infused
for their invigorating effects.
It spread into the Islamic world
during the 15th century
where it was embraced as an alternative
to alcohol
which was forbidden (officially, at least)
to Muslims.
Coffee came to be regarded
as the very antithesis of
alcoholic drinks
sobering rather than intoxicating
stimulating mental activity
and heightening perception
rather than dulling
the senses.
-The Economist
Obviously he has orangutan arms. they swing and there is a long pause before they make contact with the object, who may have long since forgotten that he was in danger. A regular knuckle-dragger.

In regards to the early importation of "coffee" from Islamic world... perhaps that kvas ain't really kvas after all, eh?? That would draw in some roubles, non?? Maybe Fana himself can get an angle here.

Fana has a stout heart, which we see via x-ray periodically à la Popeye's biceps, what with pistons and Sherman tanks and whatnot that make it immediately clear that his mind is made up.

His renowned relationship with bees: a devoted horticulturist despite veneer of antipathy to his surroundings. Perhaps some romantic allusions to Queen Bee, who may provide him with salty dialogue (NOT imagined). In addition to breath vapors and random Specks hovering about his person, Fana sports a halo of loving bees.

Foma is a jaded mall rat who ran away from Dal-Tokyo because it did not provide his with enough stimulation. He is not very deep, but not simple either. Interested in meaningless relationships and sensory stimuli. Has continual monologue with anyone in earshot, or talks to himself like the pimply adolescent he is. Boogery woodland punk, sticks with Fana because of change of scenery, monsters and money. There is no sentimental bond whatsoever. Who likes Foma? Princess Maria thinks he's cute. Olga has lascivious thoughts about him, only because she has a crush on all of God's creatures. Alnus has no problem drinking with him, although that's not much of an accomplishment either. Haji-Girei and Scand in particular think he is a hopeless cad who should be fed to the wolves. Poisoned, shot and drownded as it were. Friends include Perkin Warbeck.
Brotherhood of all believers... plus um, others. Fana sneaks into Dmitri's hideout and plays tricks. Flaming leather pouch with wolf poop in it.
These cloaks should never leave the forest.
Thumb sized bully with giant moustache.

Balaban Pasha.
Whittling on a birch branch, Dmitri Shemyaka listens attentively to the report by his drone Mahmudek, whilst the twin brothers Kasim and Yakub look on menacingly. Their spy is infiltrating the court of Ivan III and will finally poison the pretender

Monday, January 12, 2004

Foma ignored everyone around him and continued crouching over the icy puddle, disturbing the water periodically with his thumbs, and daubing the manure onto his face. He appeared to be making the letter L, or a sideways smile, or some kind of imaginary scar.

ANNA: You don't know where that manure has been, Foma. That could irritate the skin, or

FOMA: This is going to make me a WARLORD, man. A WARLORD.

HAJI-GIREI: It will keep the flies away from the rest of us, which I look forward to.

F: You have no IDEA how many powerful people wear these markings, to distinguish themselves from zombies like YOU. HA! This is probably the best day of my whole life!!

AFANASY: Foma, do you mind getting some firewood together? I'm going to incinerate you.

F: What's that?

AFANASY: Nothing.
Afanasy pensively unwrapped his right foot. As he afternoon sun passed cheerfully through the clouds, he made a mass of scraps of fabric, twine, gum and fur that had kept his beloved foot warm for the past three months. Sure enough, he had lichen again. Monak began to bark convulsively, and vultures began to whistle approvingly to each other and convocate overhead. Afanasy leaned back onto his elbows, grinned and waited for the lichen to unfold into the Russian spring.
AFANASY: She hangs around with him because she thinks he's going to get rich.

HAJI-GIREI: He has way better interpersonal skills than you, yozhik.

A: He's a psychopath who kills for sport. He ate one of my old girlfriends and made pants out of her. Doesn't that count for something?

H-G: Not if she doesn't know about it.

A: I told her about it.

H-G: She was drunk. Tell her when she's sober.

A: When is that? At church? I'm supposed to tell her this stuff while the priest is talking?

H-G: Have Maria tell her.

A: She doesn't believe most of what Maria tells her anymore, cause I told Maria to tell her all that nonsense about the civet salesman from Tashkent.

H-G: Send her a letter!

A: I can't write. Except for numbers.

H-G: I'll write it for you, yozhik.
It appeared to Afanasy that all three of them were moments from asphyxiation, what with Furtwangler throttling Mathis der Mauler, and Mathis garroting der Krusher with a filthy towel. Der Krusher was just stepping on Furtwangler's purpling face. They were humming in unison, some solemn teutonic lied. Afanasy, thinking quickly, dipped into Mathis' cloak pocket and disappeared into the howling snow with the Fernstrom of Power.
Only Ali Qushji appreciated the humor in the situation. He gestured to the moon, whispering lovingly as if to a spurned lover, and began working the dart from his neck.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Afanasy's brows creased into a tangle of gulleys, like unto a parched saltbed. He was swinging with inhuman focus and intensity, back and forth, from the unlikeliest branch of a frightened birch, and was moments from swinging himself completely around.
He blamed his discomfort on the impertinent ladle and began to throttle it, pinching it murderously between thumb and forefinger with both hands. GGGGGGGK! he croaked. The poisonous gas sauntered disinterestedly through his clenched teeth and trachea, and nestled approvingly into his alveoli.

Foma thought he may have blacked out entirely, but it was difficult to judge with any certainty given the notable want of light at the bottom of the well.
So, Foma fell for a long time and no time at all. He landed on a gauzy mound of mosquito bodies, bruising his duodenum.
Afanasy told Foma again about the thick acrid gas coming out of the well. Monak growled disgustedly at the cloud, as mosquitoes dropped, confettilike, into the dirty snow. Foma immediately grabbed the kvas ladle from Afanasy's hand and leapt, wordlessly, into the stone-lined well. The occasional ring of the ladle striking the walls would periodically carry up through the mist. Afanasy turned to Haji-Girei and asked what sort of taverns were close by, as he was feeling a little ready for supper.

"That boy is asking for trouble. Got less sense than a bear cub." announced Haji-Girei.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Haji-Girei then reappeared on the haystack, his right pinky extended coolly as he held the bowstring taut and quivering, moments from releasing the arrow into Potsherd's skull. "Do you have anything of value that might dissuade me from ending your sad little life?"

Potsherd rolled his eyes in two different directions and put his fingers into his ears. The frosty wind blew his badly-trimmed hair back and forth across his balding head. His pig, rooting vigorously, bit his toe.
"My belly has ticks on it, and they roam in ever widening circles like a Busby Berkeley movie."