It’s another short story today, this time quite short. The Quiet Man was written about a year after World Inside My Head. I’ve got it is as being penned in 2014 and World Inside My Head was in 2013. It’s a darker story. Not that I was going through a dark phase or anything like that – probably far from it. But I do remember being somewhat inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes in the writing of it.
I’ve drawn on Conrad on several occasions actually. Heart of Darkness formed the seed of the idea that eventually became Star Frontier: Descent. And while that novel grew into its own thing, that seed is still there. Finally, Conrad’s novel Lord Jim very directly inspired another short story of mine, which I’m going to republish in my next post.
Until then however, I’ll leave you with The Quiet Man…
The Quiet Man
By Hamish Spiers
Elena Mihaylov lived without companionship. She shared no meals, nor laughter with friends and nor did she work. The lameness in her left leg that had troubled her since she was a child prevented her from that.
To the casual observer, the fact that she could limp to the market every day and keep food on her table and logs in the fireplace was an unsolvable mystery. But the person who watched her for some time would observe that every week she went to her letterbox, pulled out an envelope and within it, she would always find the means to survive. To keep going. And on the back of this envelope, there was never any address. Just the name of her benefactor, Iosif Yakovlev. And for the keen observer, that would be the sum of what they could ascertain with regards to the mystery of how one Elena Mihaylov, aging widow without any income of her own, could get by and make it through each day that remained to her.
As to Iosif Yakovlev, one could credit far more enigma to this man than Elena Mihaylov carried about her person, with the first striking fact being that Mrs. Mihaylov had never laid eyes on him. All she knew was that, not long after her husband had died, this man, whom she had never met, had started leaving her money and for her, he was her savior, the one man in all the world who cared for this poor ageing widow.
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