Word of the Day: Pericope

Word of the Day: Pericope

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

The writer leaned back in his chair, blinked twice and took in the message sitting at the top of his cluttered inbox.

“So, the publisher wants a short pericope?” He hummed contentedly, a surge of joy tickling the back of his throat. The writer stifled a giggle. “Then I’ll give her one.” He scanned through his manuscript to find a reasonable snippet.

He was alone in the small, dark office nestled deep underground. Save for the tiny beacon that seeped from his lamp and another slight glow trickling in from the hallway, all other lights in the building had been extinguished. This far below the surface, there was no humming or bustling from the city sprawl above; the only noise was the soft siphoning pulse of warm, throbbing blood as it coursed through his veins. It zipped up through his ventricles and looped back around his circulatory system, replenished with an inky darkness signaling fresh nutrients as it flowed through all his interconnected arteries.

Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

Even his breathing was quiet; the dry filtered air in the cold subterranean lair sometimes made him cough, but today, it felt light on his lungs. His deep, sputter-free breaths did little to drown out the constant beating of the pumping crimson tide that cascaded through his system.

Thump, thump.

The office was normally a place of quietitude and peace. It still was on this particular day, save for the thick slip of linen paper that weighed heavily on the man’s hands, binding him to his desk and keeping him from moving so much as a muscle. Given how weighty the note felt, it seemed as though it could have been made of iron bearings; but the perceived heft was only an illusion. The shackle that bound the man’s thumbs and fingers was no heavier than a few ants or a half dozen dried oak leaves.

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