a little man stands in the forest [notes]

Unhitched chapter notes …

Read chapter on AO3

First off, the idiom “ducks in a row” wasn’t popular enough to recognize until the late 70s. Shut the fucking door, did I really use it in 1972?! Damn right I did! Such a rebel.

So my friend shared Rob Cantor’s Shia LaBeouf song (below) about one-million-and-a-half years ago, and I laughed hysterically. At the time, I had no story arc for Colorado Guy nor Unhitched in general (I think I was on chapter 9), so I thought, what the fuck? How about Colorado Guy is actually Shia LaBeouf?

I’m not writing award-winning literature, here. I’m writing fanfiction (Becs writes award-winning literature). And since it’s fanfiction, I’m making this shit fun (if I don’t, I fear that I will drown in phallic symbols and metaphors for dicks).

So here’s the video:

I just followed the song, and that’s the chapter – no great mystery, but I will say: IT IS FUCKING BRILLIANT, RIGHT? I mean, come on. Butcher had set up the “Colorado Guy” shit before I even saw the damn video. It just fell in my fucking lap one day. Colorado Guy was kind of a mistake, too. I forgot Boulder was inColorado because I’m stupid. Colorado Guy was supposed to be Nevada Guy, because originally they were going to meet the Truckee River Killer in Reno and piss off the Reno 911! crew. Aren’t you glad I derailed from that arc long ago? JFC.

To top off THAT, the boys needed new names and … NIGEL. COME ON. I mean, get it!? Charlie Countryman! With Shia LeBeouf! I’m still proud of that one.

And then you have the whole Axeman and “my axe is my true love” … that was corny, but sometimes I have to bite the bullet and smash the metaphor RIGHT IN MY READER’S FACES …  like a creampie.

I watch a lot of porn – don’t judge me. It’s research for that fic you like so damn much. #ColbyKeller4Life

Point is … I have no point. Oh wait, A Little Man Stands in the Forest. I did have a point. Do you know where my title came from? If you read Hannibal Rising you’d know!

It’s a German children’s song, “Ein Männlein steht im Walde”. Hannibal and Mischa sing it together. Awww, right? But really, my inclusion of the song is fucking sad as hell. From Hannibal Rising,

“No,” Mischa said. “Anniba sing ‘Das Mannlein’!” And together they sang about the mysterious little man in the woods, Nanny joining in in the swaying wagon and Mr. Jakov singing from horseback, though he preferred not to sing in German.

Ein Mannlein steht im Walde ganz still und stumm,
Es hat von lauter Purpur ein Mantlein um,
Sagt, wer mag das Mannlein sein
Das da steht im Walde allein
Mit dem purporroten Mantelein—

No, Anniba! Sing it in English!

Gladly.

A little man stands in the forest completely still and quiet.
He wears a little, pure purple cloak.
Say! Who can that little man be
Who stands there alone in the forest
With the little crimson cloak?

The little man stands in the forest on one leg
And has on his head a little, black cap.
Say! Who can that little man be
Who stands there alone in the forest
With the little, black cap?

The little man out there on one leg,
With his little, red cloak
And his little, black cap
Can only be the rose hip.

Any of that imagery ring a bell? It’s about rosehips, which are the little red seed of rose bushes. Colorado has a couple native rose species and if you were perceptive, you’d have noted that Axeman was getting snagged on rose bushes on their way into the forest. From Unhitched,

I keep stumbling and snagging my jeans on thorny bushes covered in little red berries; they keep catching my attention like beady little eyes when my light swings over the ground.

Axeman’s getting snagged on ROSE BUSHES. Let’s just consult my vast knowledge of Victorian Flower meanings … *peers over glasses at giant book about roses* Ah yes, here is it … love. Oh yes, the rose is the classic symbol of love. How trite and stupid and lovely.

So, roses … foreshadowing. Also, rosehips – I’ll probably use those somewhere. And wild roses are pink and a timeless symbol of love, beauty and balance. All coming up as major themes.

And of course, I couldn’t include the little nod to the song without … giving Nigel a red shirt, describing Colorado Guy like a rosehip at the end, and of course, mentioning little Mischa.

Axe learns a bit about Nigel’s past and feels his pain when they talk about the girl. So sad. So tragic. So delicious.

Just remember that any inconsistencies in Axeman’s dialog, personality, or behavior are all totally intentional. He’s an unreliable narrator after all …

If you enjoy my writing, please consider dropping me a comment here or, if applicable, on AO3 or by supporting my hot beverage habit on Ko-fi. Thank you!

—joanielspeak
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