He was notorious amongst the townspeople
Gravel in his belly & fire in his yellow eyes.
Mean; solitary; as dark as black ash upon the night. But his eyes – his seldom-flashed teeth – they gleamed. An ember sparked within, slow & hidden & unwavering: constantly stoked.
He loved to wear black to suit his ash-black soul; his raven locks framed his sallow face from where they peaked beneath his black-brimmed hat. He frequented the streets in patchwork shirts, oddly-defined collars stark against his cool bare neck. Heavy coats enclosed him, cementing his armor against the world, & he sloughed through the town with hands buried deep in his deep dark pockets.
He was notorious due to his mean-bellied streak, and his devil-may-care abandon. Don’t get close to him, they said, lest he bare his teeth – lest he kick dirt in your eye or swill ale in your face. There were tales, spread to every soul who saw him; splashed about like confetti on the winds. He was a swindler, they said – a brawler & a hellion & an asp amongst tall grass.
& then, there was his voice.
Then… – & then everything else fell away.
Or perhaps the stories served only to lift his voice higher – perhaps the glory and raw grandeur of his voice was heaved into the heavens, pouring down upon the townsfolk from atop his tall cruelty & his strangeness & his stories. Perhaps the twofold beauty of him served to make of him a deity.
They wished to hate him; tried to loathe him; they embellished his wrongdoings & splashed his misdeeds about the town in crimson: he was always upon the pyre.
But the dulcet violence of his voice – the glorious arching & hypnotic plummet of his tangled tones – it drew them every time.
As moths, they burned upon his open flame over and over, his notoriety spiraling high into the heavens.