John, 6, sat on the white bench, nightshirt still-crisp, hair damp-curled from his bath. The sky changed colour, making everything seem cool, magical. His parents were gone, uncles, aunt. Eunice and Melissa were caring for him, his four young cousins, as a treat.

The girls played Blind Man's Buff on the big porch for once in their nightdresses, spinning, turning, swaying, dodging lightly. The blindfolded girl found another, touched her face, hair, guessed which child, the taller ones crouching to hide their height. John watched. Mattie looked to him, smiling, as she danced gracefully. He fell in love.

Year: 1857
The Rules:
1. You can only say YES or NO!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone comments to the entry and asks!

Taken a picture naked? No
Made out with a member of the same sex? Yes.
Danced in front of your mirror? Yes
Told a lie? Yes?
Gotten in a car with people you just met? No
Been in a fist fight? Yes
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? Yes?
Been arrested? Yes
more! )
Again fleeing Texas, crossing New Mexico, John hired a camp cook and choreman who loved beans. Polecat Adams. Beans rice and coffee, though John still insisted on tea. Dried peas, fruit, game shot on the trail. But mainly beans, boiled to paste with a little molasses. John never travelled that way again.

What John really likes are green beans - whole, firm, glazed with almonds, garlic, a little basil. Their shape and bright colour please him. Their crunch between his teeth speaks of cultured health. He becomes a connoisseur in the elegant Denver restaurants. He is a gentleman, not a cowboy.

Years:1875, 1885
Snakeoil - venom - was added to buffalo-camp alcohol. From neither corn nor rye, John will not call it whiskey. Snakeoil gave bite and substance - poison, addling thought, vision, co-ordination... digestion. It impressed the skinners, commanding higher price. John left them to it.

Misnamed snakeoil salesmen of patent medicine were far more worrying. John's mother, desperate for ease, taken from herself by pain and fever, had begged for specific bottles of coloured water, and worse. John has an indelible horror of what so often contains tincture of mercury. Pictures of its effects in dental manuals - alveolar processes exfoliating - are nightmarish.

Years: 1872, 1866
John enjoys travel in summer. There is no pretense that he is other than vagrant. His companions are necessarily in the same situation. He is voluble - a captive audience cannot spurn him. He tends towards confessions of inner attitude and musings. He is frank and earnest - startlingly so. Clum concludes John is an undesirable citizen. His stories enthrall the drivers. When the dust permits his lungs, he likes to sing.

The stage offers opportunity for shooting practice different from horseback or a stable footing. John happily aims and fires out the window, compensating for the jolts and lurches, always diligent.

Year: 1880, and in general
The mayor's stagecoach was ambushed. He jumped, traveling cross country on foot. John, the Earps and their lawyers were threatened - messages and dire promises were delivered daily. Nobody traveled alone.

John received a beautiful succulent. Flowers the size of dinner plates - white, speckled in purple, seed pods larger than his fist. No botanist, he was enchanted but puzzled. Morgan enlightened him. A Carrion Cactus, pollinated by flies, with a rotting odor - meant to terrorise.

He cared for it tenderly beside his bed. When they departed Tombstone on the vengeance ride he left it to the Alhambra where he dealt Faro.

Year: 1882
John does not live anywhere, in specific. The railroad hotels he prefers and fancies vary from town to town. The rooms are strange, yet familiar. The only things that are the same are his trunk open at the foot of the bed and the variety of his own small items that anchor him to himself. Yet, each contains the essential elements that differ mainly in the forms of scrolled or inlaid woodwork, the painting on the china, the pattern of the wallpaper, the design woven into the thick carpets, the samples of cloth presented in the quilts.
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1017
Please comment if you wish.
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Jun. 13th, 2008 10:54 pm)
John believes his childhood would have been a Utopia, had it not ended in grimy chaos. He has given up looking for traces of Utopia in the West. It will be a gift after he dies. It is not that John does not feel pleasure. He seems a sensualist, easily and congenially distracted to wrap himself in pleasure. He will not discard pleasure for anything less, but it is not an element of Utopia. That is reserved for depth, meaning, communion with his fellows. He looks for those he wants to see again - with richness of soul to last until the end of time. John does not believe in Heaven - Utopia - as reward or punishment. It is fulfilment granted when people have enough inner substance to be loved. It is the only thing of Utopia that John seeks. He will have known company when he arrives. He strives for worthiness.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 150
Please comment if you wish.

I am trying to write to specific word counts. Drabbles maybe. 150 words is less intimidating right now.
Give me a story I never wrote ( crack!AUs, crossovers, etc. totally a GO! as well as any of my characters you know of or you know I could write (even Henry)), and I'll give you a line from it. Tag more than once if you have other ideas or stories!

Yes! I will limit myself to a line! I can do it!

Have had difficulty writing lately. It will pass. Meantime, this is fun.
1. The storm is over, in my head.
2. The rain has stopped pouring from my eyes.
3. I am quiet.
4. I am resting calmly.
5. I am still here.
6. I am thinking.
7. I remember.
8. I am tired. I am weary. I could sleep a thousand years. A thousand dreams that would awake me - different colours, made of tears.
9. I am waiting for sunrise.

for makeyourlist
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Jun. 1st, 2008 01:53 am)
John looks at his hands. He has to be careful with them, the way a pianist does. When he was first learning cards, they had become blistered. The blisters had broken and bled. He had kept on until calluses formed. He had cut and filed them off, made the skin smooth again. Now he keeps his fingertips smooth, the bends in his fingers, his palms, the web between his thumb and forefinger.

He marvels that he still does what he did while he was learning, repeating the same pressures and movements with the cards, against the cards. He riffles them, bends them with the same force, yet they do not build up into his skin in pain. They do not mar it - his fingers are smooth. And they must be for the subtler moves where a touch of a fingerpad or a hollow in a knucklebone must be sensitive enough to hold a single card in place or draw it from amongst its fellows.

His hands are naturally dry, but sometimes he sweats when the heat of his fever turns to cold. But to grasp the surface of a card with the traction of fingerprints his hands must hold exactly the right amount of moisture. Too dry and the cards slide. Too moist and the cards stick. Every night he rubs lotion well into the skin of his hands. Sometimes he covers them with lotions and holds them over a basin with steam from a kettle. Sometimes he pulls gloves on over lotion-covered hands.

John investigates and experiments with all types of lotions and creams. The gamblers discuss new products and formulae, seek them out, try them, compare. Some lotions work for one but not for another.

John's hands are strong. But the skin is soft, smooth, very sensitive. His touch is knowing and sure.

For guns, for cards. For cards, for guns.

as per M. F. Andrews discussing this very thing in 1903.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 812
Please comment if you wish.
john_h_holliday: (Default)


( May. 26th, 2008 07:09 pm)
I'm still my own worst enemy.
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( May. 20th, 2008 10:11 am)
plays solitaire, exhausted, straight-backed, drinking scotch.
There Are Stars that Shine in the Western Sky.... It is a cowboy song. John does not know the rest. It is not important. It is only the one line he contemplates.

John dreams. He often dreams. It is a function of fever. He sees things differently and they really become for him what he sees. What is real?
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1419
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( May. 4th, 2008 04:12 pm)
If you could get anyone drunk, who would it be and what would you do?

I always have scotch. My cough demands it, my throat and lungs. And my mind too is soothed, quieted, focused. It has become as a friend, always reliable and to hand with no delicate manoeuvrings. I drink to comfort myself.

I offer scotch to others, as hospitality sometimes. Or sometimes it is to ease their own agitation or to fill their need to simply drink. Mostly it is habit and politeness.

My friends are different. When I am with someone who I care for, who intrigues me, who lets a smile for them rise through me, I offer them my scotch for both of us. It is like a gift then - to me, yes - but also a gift between us. Communion. A small ritual of offering, and of being accepted, touching glasses, acknowledging that we are there together in space and time. L'Chaim, I say now. And, as I have said before, an answer means that we choose Life, at least for that moment while we are drinking. It is an action, a little rite, that makes it a fact, and that choice is a truce of sorts. That one, for the sake of the time with one's friend, is setting oneself apart from the darkness of one's inner struggle. To be present with another. But the scotch... it gives us something in common, a shared internal mental pattern of warmth, of mutual openness, so we can be together, so we can talk, listen, learn, feel maybe.

I can drink a great deal, and the more I drink, the steadier I become. Without it, I can barely - no, I cannot get up in the mornings. I have an unfair advantage, when getting people drunk. Maybe I would do it for vengeance, but for my friends... no. If what I want is to see them purely, cleanly and truly that I may love them; if what I want is to be known and still... wanted, then making them drunk will never give me that, no matter how I yearn to see, to share. To get someone I cared for drunk, so that they could abide my presence, my gifts, my darkness - that would be hard to bear and more pain than solace. For touch... it is tempting, but it would be a lie for touch is just speech without words. More pain than solace.

No one need worry.

John is inclined to bow his head, wrap his arms about himself protectively, but he is dignified and shows nothing. Loneliness is nothing. It is nothing. Nothing. The steady words sound softly, though they are imagined, and he is comforted for imagining he is known.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 448
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I'm going to describe myself in 6 words. Please respond to this message with your own 6 word description of me. Then put this in your own LJ and see if people can describe you in ONLY 6 words.

dentist: dead diligent misanthrope, streaming wonderment
He insisted I put 'dentist' first.

Lucius: Weighed down under those heavy thoughts
reply: the heavy thoughts make me smile
The Doctor: Perhaps my most interesting friend yet.
reply: Really? *is mildly surprised, as the Doctor has many extremely interesting frinds*
free stellar gypsy; displaced anachronous friend
Remus: A quiet, and very honorable man.
reply: *smiles* quiet with too many words.
Camilla: Quick with cards, quicker with guns.
reply: coolly beautifully appreciative; nervously folding inside
Amy: Contingent on what may not arrive
reply: *blinks* exactly right. It's nice to be known. I miss you. I've been holed up depressed, just working. The pho was awesome. John at least will write soon, perhaps today. I'm sorry I missed your questions. I'm looking forward to seeing your new face. *warmth, you know.* I do miss you.

Lucius: chilled light, kept hollow by family
Remus: stolen life brought home; warily hidden
Severus: shredding your soul for others' sakes
Tonks: giving energy splattered healing over everyone
I haven't answered this meme. I really only know one of your characters, mostly, and that one is the obvious one. Or I have asked you this before. Especially as it is usually the first thing I ask. But I still fail to have a ready answer to the question Why John? So I will try to save it here. Again, there is nothing to ask me. It will be John. For my amusement, his, and perhaps yours, I will answer in 100 words.

Name a character that you know I write or have written, and I'll tell you:
a. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him/her.
b. One of his/her best traits.
c. One of his/her worst traits.
d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.
e. The story/thread/chapter/post/paragraph/tag/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character.
f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

a. John dedicated himself to his code of honour with unfaltering tenacity. With debilitating disease, he rode, worked, and fought, leaping again and again to the defence of anything in which he believed. He was always an alien, as product of another place and culture, and created alienation by knowingly giving himself fully to what he valued and throwing all else away. He lived in depression without accepting pity. He was sensitive with wholehearted and unapologetic love. He was wistful and appreciative with shaking hands; a killer and his hands were true. His diligence was constant, as he sought the horizon.
b. Commitment (to principles, to actions, to learning)
c. Jealousy
d. I don't write John, I just listen. It is either easy to write him or impossible.
e. These are for my reference, maybe. First young John:
Bringing Thomas Home
Leaving Georgia
Then older John:
The Tombstone Cycle
Then feverish John:
Magic Mirror
John Dreams
f. Everything for John. I shall continue much as I have been. I am trying to write more stories. He hopes for RP. Somehow I will figure out how to do that for him, with luck and an absence of poor management.
He has Faith in the natural order of the world, John is realising, even if he cannot bear to have Hope. It is larger, vast, encompassing the future, cycles of discovery, joy, loss pain, trying again. He is losing the ability to look forward. There is no one there. No One. But as he loses that, he finds within himself the steadier star of faith. He learns, always learns. Even in the valley, the abyss, he learns and grows. Somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, he rests quietly after losing hope. Hope is specific. Hope is looking for his friends, coming down the hills to him. Faith dictates that somehow, and he knows not how, there will be another summer. How strange to find this within him, after lying in the dark, haunted by his own singularity. Somehow there will be another summer. He sees himself lying back on the grass, cradled in his verdant but shadowed valley. He sees the world looping dizzily around the sun. And at the backswing of the loop, the world, and himself riding upon it, tilt away from its warmth and the valley grows chill, icy, dark. His bones feel very distinct, devoid of the warmth of even the nearness of his flesh covering his other bones. But he has faith, that there will be a forward swoop to warmth and light again, that he will have more to do than to curl in upon himself, holding himself dense to retain as much heat as possible. He has faith that there will be sun to pass over the blades of grass and catch his light hair, to quicken his heart and take the painful bite from his lungs.

John looks forward to Summer. And he rides out from Pueblo towards Denver, Leadville and Glenwood Springs.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 302
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
It was supposed to be 5, but I got carried away. These are in no particular order, especially not that of importance. They are not complete. They are musings from observations, mostly and I reserve the right to think something else at any point. There is something important I have not mentioned. It slides away as I write. Perhaps I will remember, in which case I will post it (of course.)

All or Nothing )

Death )

Fear of the Mundane )

Diligence )

Alienation )

Heaven )

Memory )

Illness )

Unknown People Could Be Worthwhile Despite the Odds against This )

Forgiveness/Acceptance )
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Apr. 4th, 2008 06:15 pm)
The eleventh elusive thing is: Disappearance
I think. I am typing on the run - ten minutes at lunch, but I am somehow keen on writing today. If you have any questions, please ask. I hope I am making sense. Apparently I am more enthusiastic about this meme than I anticipated.
cut for probable length )
john_h_holliday: (So the wind won't blow it all away)
( Apr. 4th, 2008 06:12 pm)
"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?"

That may be true of some, but I saturate those moments in words, every word a filing card, a reference - to remember. History is not what happened. It is what is remembered and recorded. I remember. And I am careful to note everything - the texture of dry skin and tiny ridges of fingerprints; eyes of light, eyes of darkness; the small inclination of a head at a thought; the slight shift of shoulders, relaxing or tensing. I need to remember, and at those moments - of quiet companionship, of a speeding of my heart at new realisations, of loss or care - at those moments I pour words like water, tell everything. To remember, yes. But also to share. That you have reference cards as well, to remember if you use them. Words are anchors, scarcely existent, yet they are more concrete, more sure than simple sensory experiences. And they add, enrich, deepen - to let you see through my mind as well as my eyes, to feel through my mind as well as my hand. With their inherent weight of metaphor, words render those meaningful moments not only moving, but moments of communion, knowing and tenacity.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 200
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Mr. Holiday became friends with the brothers Earp. Said brothers, being respectively Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan, were all splendid shots and sterling folk of standing, character and force. The brothers Earp and Mr. Holiday became friends at sight. It was a though a fourth had been born into the Earp family.

We're going to miss him. We'll surely miss him from our midst. And when I think on his career, sort of run over it hitting the lofty places, I'm here to obsere that he was the vividest invalid, and the busiest, with which I ever crossed up. He certainly was an indefatigable sick man; and that goes. Red Jack, proprietor of the Four Flush saloon, in California Gulch in Colorado.

Both from Alfred Henry Lewis' book Sunset Trail, written about and with Bat Masterson who was his friend. Thus they are not first hand quotes, but they were surely approved by Bat and thus have some slight provenance. And they are from 1905.
I swear I didn't put those...
...bullets into Stillwell.

True, I went with Wyatt to the train station, to see Virgil off, and the others.

True we looked for him and I would have shot him if I had seen him.

But I never would have put so many bullets into him, so much lead. It was never my way.

On the other hand, it was not exactly like Wyatt either.
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 992
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 24th, 2008 01:14 am)
It is Easter. Thus the anniversary of John's own Christening, Exorcism, Forgiveness in Colorado, after Albuquerque. After Mattie had become Sister Melanie.

He goes to church now, when he can, in this new time. In the other century, he had not been welcome - dissolute sporting man as he had been. Now there are no questions. He does not speak to the others. They do not believe as he does, but it pleases him to stand, to kneel. And he prays wholeheartedly, even with different thoughts and reasons.
cut for religion )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 812
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
John had appeared late one night, a fugitive over the Georgia/Florida border, a thin blonde dentist, heavily armed in the warm air, breathing heavily and coughing as a result, though his eyes and body gave an impression of unusual stillness. He had been leading his horse, its hooves wrapped in sacking, and tied it to a post of the porch ready, should his quiet knock be unanswered.

Thomas. It was Thomas. He would understand. He had understood when John had shot at the usurpers at the river. He had been in the war and knew that sometimes one had to kill.

He stood outside, poised to knock. On the other side of the door was light, warm lamps, a friendly calm, a small self-contained family, food and hospitality. Outside, it was so starkly real, adrenaline and excitement vibrating in the air around his ears, his hands feeling dry, and aware of every single texture, from the usually imperceptible grain of the leather harness to the horse's coat with every hair defined, to the touch of breath and air and then the grain of the wood under the smooth white paint when he knocked.

And then, there was Thomas, haloed in light, opening the door to him, a question on his face, a finger to his lips. It was late and everyone else was asleep. John was embraced though - solid arms around him, glad to know him present and safe. He put the horse in the stable, after a whispered exchange and went to sit on the chesterfield with his young uncle. There was coffee from the stove and leftover chicken stew, biscuits and jam. John felt ravenous, very aware of each mouthful, yet at the same time scarcely realising he was eating.
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1019
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
We all strive to make believable characters. What have you done as a mun to write your character believably? Do you think you have successfully pulled this off? How do you as a writer keep your character balanced and believable?

I read an article recently that suggested that one should balance muses, if one loved them, so that they had flaws. And the test of whether such a flaw was genuine was whether one, as a writer, found the flaw annoying or would dislike it were it real. It was suggested that love of a muse tended to lead towards agreeing to, approving of or being able to justify all of a muses actions, and that that would mean the muse was too good to be true. It suggested that sorrow made a muse rather less than more real, but that inexcusable behaviour served to make him balanced.

I read an article recently that suggested that we create a world and a worldview with our muses that should be true. And the test of whether it was true was whether it was realistic, if muses would do as they do in one’s writing as people would do in the real world. Would, it asked, they really be apt to murder or harm others, and if they would, it further queried, is that what one ought to be writing and so promoting, even as a ‘meme?’

In response, for my own edification, and hopefully to improve my writing and portrayal, I should like to address the way in which I write John.cut for length and poll graphics )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1026 (excluding poll)
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Lemonade, with Ice
Ice Cream
Bare Feet
The Old Songs
The letter 'S'
Cedar Trees in the Sun
Gone with the Wind

Peaches go in every category.
John does not pray for justice. Justice exists hand in hand with innocence. Both are the converse of guilt. Justice is not personal. It is not what one deserves, but what is produced by the limitless intricate web of causality. Justice is what results. It is the product of all that has gone before, spreading over all the world like a blanket.

Justice is what he reaches for. Every choice is trading one thing for another. One life for another. Peace for truth. He does not pray for justice, he tries to create it. Creating justice is creating the future, and it is within the hands of everyone. Causality is complex, without blame, simply with what comes to be, and creating justice results in success or failure. To avoid choosing is to fail to live. With each choice and its aftermath John learns; John becomes; John can see justice more clearly.

And it is innocence that builds it. Innocence is moving forward – it is created by the past. It is knowledge and experience, growing from pain, growing from mistakes and guilt - growing from smiles and pleasure, growing from skill and pride. Innocence is a process of becoming more and more certain of what will be justice.

John does not pray for innocence. It is not a goal. It is what lies always at the feet of everyone. It is a matter of degree and those who have known most have the most innocence. It is the opposite not only of guilt but of naivety.

John prays instead for the courage to choose and sacrifice.

But he is human, and John prays more for inspiration, for patience, for trust, for the strength to resist jealousy, for chance and eyes to see what he can respect. He prays still more to be known. He prays to smile, to give smiles. He prays to love, and thinks sometimes of praying to be loved. And when he is weak - or is it faithful - he dares pray for touch and company.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 340
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 04:56 pm)
How this works: Pick a band/musician and answer the questions with song titles by the band/musician you chose. If you would like any, please ask.

Band/Musician: The Pogues, because we have all their songs.

Who are you?
I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day

Are you male or female?
The Gentleman Soldier

How do you live your life?
If I Should Fall from Grace with God

How do you see yourself?

How do others see you?

How are you feeling?
The Ghost of a Smile

How do you love?
Sit Down by the Fire

Who do you love?
Boys from the County Hell

Where do you wish you were?
Cotton Fields

What is your advice?
Streams of Whiskey
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 04:54 pm)
Please fill these out if you would. John himself has never posted one before. Leave your name or post anonymously, as you wish. We are ever curious.

Johari Window

Nohari Window

Thank you very kindly.
Not medicine.
Not Doktor Maximus Markuse’s Anodyne Cordial with tincture of mercury.
Not laudanum.

A magic potion

John muses.

It is another way to ask the question: What do you wish in this world? Stand in the room alone, naked and warm from the bath, arms spread. Feel your own self and the air on your body. Potions change you; they do not change the world. Not health – that is medicine.

John stands as asked, turns slowly, alone, not to show or to display but to feel, to move, to become simply present and aware of himself. Experimentally he lifts his feet, stretches to his toes, sways his outstretched arms. His head is full of people. Everything can be taken from him but their memory. It is all that matters. Memory and the tiny hope of Heaven. There he stands.

Perfect memory then?

But John’s memory is better than perfect. Fever breaks down the barriers to feeling and to dream and the people in his head live and change as he talks to them there.

John, what about hope? You don’t dare ask for anything. What would your life be if you hoped?

“It is the most frightening thing there is.”

I thought you most feared hurting your friends.

“Today it is hope. I can’t think about the other today.”

All right. What if you drank a potion that gave you hope? What would happen? What would it be to you?

“I can’t even imagine.” And John puts on his clothes, all thirty buttons.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 254
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
1. My perpetual silver flask of scotch
2. My silver cup
3. The pocket set of nesting silver cups
4. The Colt Lightning
5. The Colt Thunderer
6. The double-action Webley boot revolver
7. My diamond stickpin
8. My pocket watch
9. My Pocket Dental Kit I made in Dodge
10. A knife
11. A deck of cards
12. A silver pencil
13. Handkerchiefs
14. A hat
15. money
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 03:38 pm)
John knows what to show and what to hold. Poker. The familiar given cards vary only in sequence. He can bend their order as well – a slight rotation of his thumb, a straightening of his little finger, a small movement of a knuckle at the edge of the deck, busy barely perceptible pressures of his fingers beneath it, a shuffle that is not quite a shuffle, a cut that is not quite a cut. Every deal has a perfect and correct reaction - a star in the grey of dawn. John calculates odds and probabilities. He watches the other players, the way they show and hide disappointment, fatalism, eager hope, or triumph. John remembers every card dealt; remembers every corresponding narrowing of an eye or twitch of a hand. He floats above any interest. He erases the part of himself that cares, reaching only for the perfect reaction to each deal. And part of each reaction is to show and to hold – to smile, to lift his lip, to add momentum as he throws cards, to hesitate, to appear to drink too much and sway with gravity, to look up with a cocked eye, teasing and daring. Am I lying? And then, afterwards: Why yes, I was. There is always a correct, a perfect thing to do. Poker.

But now it is not poker. The cards are not Ace to King in four suits.

John sits across the table. He is always sitting across the table. Now he does not deal cards but invoke Platonic Forms. Innocence. Darkness. Warmth. Fear. Bravery. Love. Want. Sacrifice. It is as if every ideal is an ace – at once low and high. cut for length )

And you will win. And he will win.
john_h_holliday: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 03:36 pm)
These songs are alphabetical.
If you would like any songs to download, just let me know.
These are songs John likes, songs he thinks represent him.

1. Chopin's Nocturne Number 1 in Bb Opus 9 Number 1 - Adam Harasiewicz no lyrics
John’s mother was a piano teacher, and this is his favourite piece to play. If there is a piano and he plays for you, this is what he will play, unless something else is imperative.
2. Dixie - Bittersweet and Briers lyrics
A song of the Confederacy. I have never managed to find a recording of Stonewall Jackson’s Way or it would also appear here.
3. The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo - Del Monico Four lyrics
An old sporting man’s song, slightly after John’s time, but he is still fond of it.
4. The Bonnie Blue Flag - Douglas Jimerson lyrics
Another song of the Confederacy.
5. Today Is the Highway - Eric Andersen lyrics
Did someone say wanderlust?
6. Trumpets - Flipsyde lyrics
This is my song to John. The lyrics alone do not do it justice
7. Look at Me - John Lennon lyrics
Sometimes John feels like this. Humble and giving.
8. The Harp that Once through Tara's Halls - John McDermott lyrics
A song of Long Ago. These are by Thomas Moor and real John and his mother surely sang and played them.
9. On the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe - Knights Bridge lyrics
John loved the railway. This particular railway was the enterprise of one Cyrus K. Holliday, and John himself fought for them in the railroad wars for rights of way in the Royal Gorge.
10. Gabriel - Lamb lyrics
John and Gabriel, John strong and daring to want.
11. Farewell but Whenever You Welcome the Hour - Mary O'Hara lyrics
If John has a song, it is this one. A song of Long Ago he truly sang. Thomas Moor again, from his time, that speaks of his passing
12. Gathering Storm - Matewan Soundtrack no lyrics
Acapella. Oh yes, john considers himself worthy, but... mostly it is the woman’s voice he likes. The lyrics are not really necessary. See Matewan. It is a great movie.
13. Walk On - Neil Young lyrics
Carrying on despite reputation.
14. John Saw that Number - Neko Case lyrics
John dreams. Again, the song is more than the lyrics.
15. Cross My Heart - Phil Ochs lyrics
Sacrifice. Despite, well, anything. I’m going to give all that I’ve got to give. Cross my heart. And I hope to live.
16. Lou Marsh - Phil Ochs lyrics
Fighting for others, despite them. An action movie.
17. Power and Glory - Phil Ochs lyrics
What are we fighting for? A great patriotic song, and John was very patriotic...
18. There But for Fortune - Phil Ochs lyrics
I could have been you. And you could have been me.
19. If I Should Fall from Grace with God - The Pogues lyrics
The worst that could happen.
20. Streams of Whiskey - The Pogues lyrics
Scotch and being adrift.
14 more )
The Character Physically

1. What is the character's stature and build? Is he overweight? Thin? What is his height and weight?

John is five foot ten inches and one hundred and twenty pounds. He is almost frighteningly thin and thus looks taller than he is.

2. How old is he?

36, though he looks older. He is not aging beyond the age he reached.

3. Describe his posture. Is it good? Does he carry himself well? Is he crooked? Straight?

John stands erect – it is something he has maintained so long it is natural. But... he is ill and is sometimes less erect when he is feeling especially poorly. This is a natural effect of tuberculosis.

4. Is he in good shape or out of condition? Is he muscularly weak or strong?

He has very strong hands, but he is fragile and weak. He still does not give in to it but carries himself with will beyond his physical resources.

5. How is his health? Any illnesses or conditions? Any physical disabilities?

Well, obviously he has tuberculosis. And he was born with a cleft palate, but it is scarcely noticeable now, the scar beneath his moustache. His health is terrible.

6. Is he physically active or sedentary? A fast or slow mover?

He is surprisingly active for his condition. But again, he overextends himself and finds himself exhausted.

7. Is he clumsy, awkward, graceful?

Generally he is precise, every movement perfect with purpose. In most social situations he is nervous and his hands shake. When he is working or in emergency this does not happen. He can be extremely graceful, but only rarely, when he is especially happy. He is never clumsy.
cut for length )
It was a different place and a different time. Prejudices carried by the characters are by no means held by the writer. Warning for language and bigotry.

My father told me he believed in the South and the Confederacy. He told me in word and deed. And he lied.

Fifteen years old, John started school.
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1892
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
For [ profile] the_iscariot's Truth or Dare game
Active Death Eater warnings: torture and murder

cut as per warnings )
11. What was the first fandom you wrote for? Do you still write for it?
That would be John. Obviously I still write him. Type for him.

12. Name your OTPs and explain what it is about them you love to write. Yes. Relationships in general.
I... don’t know. I Hate things where one must select some people over others. If John loves you, he will tell you. He is shy but cannot stop from telling you. Me? I follow John. If John loves it is like all the world opens in visions and beauty. He is so lonely, rejects so much, that when he does love Heaven opens. And I am filled with joy as I look to see why, what it is, what it means, who he loves. Even if his love is just pain. He loves not to be loved but to love. To wonder. To feel. To remember. It is amazing to him. And to me.

13. What would you call your writing style?
I have a writing style? I have nothing to say here. Honestly, I don’t think about it. I just write.

questions 14 to 20 )
john_h_holliday: (Severus)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 01:34 pm)
the_iscariot writing for john_h_holliday

John waits.

He is a patient man, the consummate gentleman and perhaps the rarest of hosts, because he is sincere. John feels wholly and simply and without demanding you do the same. To do so, would be vicious and he will not so, not now at least. Perhaps once, long ago, when he was a different sort: he could have been vicious, or cruel, or taunting. Once, he may have hurt you because he wanted to. Someday soon, he may do it again. John’s dreams, whims and desires are as vast and endless as Arizona deserts, his nightmares, and wrongs as black and arid.


But, his voice is smooth, welcoming, and it warms like a good Whiskey. He knows that most precious of all gifts, how to listen and how to make people listen. He hides secrets- yours and his own- behind the languid pools of his eyes. He dreams easy and laughs easier.

One day soon, he will die.

But until that day, John sits, smiles and speaks to you when he chooses to, but mostly, he’ll just chase the horizon, any horizon he finds, like he did when he was a younger man and death not so real.
Because John was never any good at waiting.
john_h_holliday: (20 and all the world ahead)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 01:32 am)
The fighting was over, but the war went on. The roads, and even the fields, crawled with soldiers coming home defeated, and they crawled with carpet-baggers, racing the soldiers to take, legally or extra-legally, their unprotected homes and farms from their hungry and over-worked wives and children. And they crawled with recently emancipated slaves, many of whom milled directionless without possessions or goals.

John watched his world with growing horror.

a story at last, cut for length )

Mattie’s lips pressed a soft kiss that shivered into his pale neck. “Though it seems impossible, I have perfect faith,” She said.

And John brought his uncle home from the war.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 1111
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
I love peaches. *smiles sunnily*

1. Peach Caramel Pie
2. Peach Ice-Cream
3. Pancakes with Peach Syrup
4. Whipped Cream and Potato-Flour Cake with Peaches on Top
5. Peach Upside-Down Cake
6. Dumplings with Peach Sauce
7. Dried Peaches
8. Peach Muffins
9. Peach Crumble
10. Pudding with Stewed Peaches
11. Tinned Peaches
12. Peach Cupcakes
13. Peach... Jello?
14. Peach Cobbler
15. Peach Jam on Toast
16. Peach Juice, with Ice and a Mint Sprig
17. Peaches with Cream
18. Peach Shortcake
19. Peach Brandy
20. Peach Schnapps
21. Peach Cider
22. Peach Milkshake
23. Fresh Peaches
john_h_holliday: (warm eyes)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 01:09 am)

John has been seduced
Though not in the usual way,
And perhaps not at the intent of his seducers.
He waits and watches for those he can love.
And sometimes, not expecting, but merely observing,
He finds some one person suddenly shines for him radiant.
And he is lost.
Seduced )


John waits. He waits to talk to you alone -
All night if need be. If he loves you.
If he can see you, can hear you.
Many nights. All the nights.
But he never loses patience. He never loses hope.
If he has hope,
For he has learned he can rely only on memory for solace;
For he is dying and there is no time for such things.
What he has is a glimpse of your heart and will,
Which shine for him – glow – so that their light fills all the world.
And he wants to be near it.
But more, he wants to warm you with your light.
That there will be such a thing as warmth.
To warm himself.
Seducer )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 560
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
This, John thinks, is ridiculous.

The thought is the comfort of talented children trapped in circumstances that hold their bodies and perhaps warp their hearts, while their minds reach for something if not higher, then surely more. He thinks of a wild bird caught indoors, beating its wings to propel itself through a closed window, expending its energy until it is forced to flap frustrated on the floor.

Sometimes such children become great. Sometimes events continue to ensure they are thwarted. Sometimes they nurse this phrase as justification of failure and never reach for greatness. Sometimes those without talent cling to this thought when they are not recognised, holding it as proof of greatness they do not hold. Sometimes those who become great were children raised with love and opportunity. There is no formula.

John had taken comfort in this thought at home as a boy after his mother had died. he had honed mind and hand, waiting in resentment to be freed to become great. He knows the comfort of the thought is necessary, for there is little else when you are brilliant and all alone but the thought that you will show them all, someday, someday, someday. It is the reason he so avidly encourages education and study. Schools are a means of escape from misunderstanding and if they can offer tools, ideas, and intellectual companionship, they can offer hope and the breeze of fresh air if not freedom. It can offer a real possibility of someday.

"To be great is to be misunderstood." This can spur those who are both brilliant and supressed to greatness, that they might justify the comfort they derived from it in childhood. But it is a delusion.

Greatness gives one voice and influence.

To be misunderstood is to fail to communicate, whether the fault lies with the actor or the audience.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 309
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
This is a piece with a happy ending (revealed below for your reassurance.) Nevertheless, it is disturbing and it is rated NC-17 for graphic almost-sex, violence and language. If you will wish you had not read it, please stop here. John is in fact embarrassed and reluctant but resigned to speak of Kate this once. He surely does not want pitytm. For remember, it has a happy ending.

cut for disturbing nastiness )

Eventually Kate comes with him to Tombstone, to Wyatt’s admitted stunned dismay. Eventually she tries to have him killed and the debt he owes her is rendered void. Eventually Wyatt helps him and they give her $1000 to leave him forever and ever and ever.

And he never sees her again.
john_h_holliday: (soapy!)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 12:35 am)
John does not cook.
He takes his meals at lunch-counters and restaurants.
He has hired others to cook for him on the trail.

Nevertheless, here he is in a modern supermarket.

First he wanders the liquor aisle, amazed and bemused. It seems like a dream - everything is available in such bewildering array he cannot take it in. He buys what he fancies.

He has a basket and quickly fills it with:

1.Laphroaig single malt scotch
cut for listiness )
72.a packet of mojito flavoured Orbit gum

Eventually he makes it to the checkout counter, where he is gently steered from the Express line. Naturally, he pays cash.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
List Items: 72
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
Sometimes even John is utterly discouraged.

John is just tired. Everything is an effort. He is oppressed by tasks that others do not even consider extant as tasks. He has to still his throat and work his breath around the desire to cough. His body is so frighteningly thin he tries not to look at it, even himself. Fever gives him odd realisations, imperatives and visions. His hands shake and it seems almost unimaginable effort to simply walk down the street to the lunch counter. Unsteady hand on his cane, he regards the distance he must travel and it seems a vast desert with pitfalls he must brave – the loose board in front of the gun shop and the step down to cross the uneven road. Once he is there, he must eat. He must eat, and again must swallow carefully around his cough, and then he must digest. Often he fails at this last, and then the horrible acid taste or the additional pain in his abdomen. And exhausted, he must concentrate to space his words around his cough and palate, as he had learned as a child. Nothing is easy.

He walks to lunch, then to the saloon where he is dealing Faro, always, always upright and alert should he be wanted or needed. In his breaks and after his shifts at the job he barely holds, he practices by playing solitaire. As he walks and as he works, the only eyes upon him are predatory, trying hungrily to judge an ill man’s poker ability. They are wrong, of course – he retains his faculties. Other eyes follow him, accompanied by whispers of fearful yet fascinated revulsion. No eyes offer warmth, concern or friendliness. There had been no one willing to lend him five dollars, when it would have prevented him being beaten to death. It did not end that way for, shaky hands aside, he can still shoot. After, he plays poker with them anyway, into the night, still winning, avoiding the bed and fitful haunted sleep where coughing wracks him helplessly and painfully.

He is so tired. Exhausted. An arm around his shoulders, supporting him, letting him sleep cradled without drowning in the fluid in his lungs. A hand in his fine cream greying curls. He used to like that. Even yet, he keeps his breath so sweet, himself so clean, his thin skin so soft. Just for a moment, he wants that so much. Just a moment, to remember. Just a moment – it is Christmas. It is not even a pipe dream for no part of him believes it or trusts it or avoids seeking it.

A crystal ball in brutal Leadville, where he has been twisted by the smoke he inhaled fighting their fire, and then pneumonia, and now this.

A crystal ball in brutal Leadville: How much longer?

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 476
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus


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