It’s the end of the month, so I’m giving you an excerpt of real writing, instead of all that instructional stuff I usually post. This is the beginning of a book I haven’t technically started writing yet, and in the true spirit of BeKindRewrite, it will probably be scrapped and completely rewritten before it sees print.
The book will be composed entirely of letters from Alexandre Barneby, assistant of Mardon Troupe, to an unidentified lady.
The only thing you really need know about Mardon Troupe, is that he was an impossible man. To answer your last question; I don’t know for sure, for that was before I knew him. But let me put it this way. A butcher once asked me if it was true that Mardon Troupe had really survived a stampede of one hundred head of cattle, while carrying an open jar of antivenin, without spilling a drop. “Of course not,” I replied, “It was two hundred head of cattle.”
So you may assume your story of the dragon was true, but it probably had five heads instead of two. I think Troupe plays the stories down when he tells them.
Yes, Mardon Troupe was impossible. He never tired. We could be hiking through the jungle for three days, nonstop, without food, I on my knees, dragging myself with bloodied fingers, mumbling incoherently, half mad with exhaustion.
“Come on, Barnaby,” he’d say briskly, looking down at me, “life is too short to be wasted on dawdling and cheap wine.”
On the note of alcohol: no one could out-drink him. He could guzzle an entire barrel of rum and then win a tongue-twister contest against a perfectly sober elocution expert. He never even grew tipsy.
Food had the same effect on him. That is, none at all. He went some days eating constantly, alternately snacking and feasting, and never gained a pound. He went other days eating nothing at all, maybe for weeks even, and never lost a pound, never grew faint.
And I never saw him sleep. Oh, there were occasions when he would lean back, legs stretched out, arms folded, hat pulled over his eyes, snoring softly—but that does not mean he was sleeping. I have a strong suspicion that he only pretended to be sleeping to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. Even when we took lodging for the night, he would stay up reading, or smoking, or watching the stars. I think his mind never slept; I doubt his body did either. If you say that is impossible—you are beginning to understand Mardon Troupe.