Word of the Day: Bel-Esprit

Word of the Day: Bel-Esprit

In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it.  My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations.  It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!

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By Alex Seise

“NON!” the eccentric man with the thick, gray muttonchops hollered. “ZAT IS ZIMPLY NOT TRUE!” His cheeks flushed pink like the glass of rosé wine long since spilled over the desk and floor. It pooled on the oiled floor boards, unable to permeate the thick glossy layer protecting the wood grain.

His colleague, a thin leering man dressed entirely in black save his white shirt, shrugged. “Eef it iz like you say, zhen, my friend, zhere zimply must come a time vhere you must accept defeat and…” He moved his fingers across his left palm in a walking motion.

“Non! Jamais! You! You are no bel-esprit.” The larger man huffed as he threw his words like blunt spears. “You… You are a CHARLATAN! A zhief who steals ze verk of others!” The man spat a great wad of milky sputum that landed at the toe of his slender companion’s shoe. “Zhat was my theorem and not YOURS, zut alors!”

The thin man laughed, his thin lips rising beneath his thinner black mustache. “Oh? Iz zat true? Zhen vhy iz my name on ze award and not yours, hein?” He turned to leave, then whipped his head around for a last jab. “It iz not about vhich of us was right, Gustav, but about who zhey think was right.”

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