Word of the Day: Coxcomb

Word of the Day: Coxcomb

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

He skipped down the cobblestone street, but no music could be heard. An old woman carrying home the day’s bread dropped her groceries when he grabbed her hands and playfully waltzed. She screamed and hit him with her loaf, sending crumbs flying, but he just laughed. The giggles were high-pitched, bizarre noises; something in this coxcomb’s mind was not quite right.

He dipped his head into a quiet tavern where the lunch crowd yet to arrive and jovially screamed but two words: “SPARE CUTLERY!” The odd man continued to laugh and spin and trot around the square while worried townsfolk peered out their windows and doors at the foolish brouhaha.

Finally, as though by the grace of an unseen deity, his buckled leather shoe found a crevice between two stones, caught tight and sent him flying, the contents of his pockets scattering along the road near his tall, fallen powdered wig. For a moment, the man went silent; then, yet again, he burst out in the loudest fit of guffaws yet, his stringy black hair matted to the scalp.

A startled tavern woman approached him cautiously.

“Jeremiah Newhouse, what daemon possesses thy heart?”

He quieted instantly, spun his head in her direction and replied: “Infatuation, my dearest wench, pure ardor!”

Even from several feet away, she could smell the strong odor of brandy on his breath. She leaned in closer, whispering, “If thou keeps spinning like a fool, thy love shall leave thee quite unceremoniously.”

He laughed again, then fell over and heaved.

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