BULLshot: Armantin Varona

BULLshot: Armantin Varona

PW: A modern dating story told in an olden language and voice reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. Will you tell us about the creative process for choosing this voice?

AV: A close friend of mine once told me about some guy or another who
wrote her sugary notes. Except for a few oddly specific requests, the
messages were innocent enough. Standard stuff, really—forever not
being long enough, something about every passing breath, planets and
their supposed music. Well, he did write excessively. But not even his
prodigious output bothered her as much as this other thing. See, the
real problem was, above all, his style. How she described it, “thee”
and “thou” were the most frequent words used.

Of course, I wondered, “What if it worked?”

A question, though, is hardly a story. I had to come up with a
character. One with enough charm to accomplish his goals. Not knowing
the actual boy of HER story, my imagination was free to create
whatever felt right. In this case, what came out was an insufferable
snob. Eager to condescend, but also yearning acceptance, I found that
his contradictory voice came easy. He thinks of himself as being
supremely cultured, yet surrounds himself with what he considers “the
very basest of the base.”

Great. The voice and the beliefs were there. But the initial
question…wasn’t quite doing it. The more I became attached to this
dandy, the more I found his relationship’s destruction to be the more
scientific pursuit.

So the question became, “How would somebody like this screw it all
up?” It was obvious: he would bring about his own demise—kind of like
the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart.” That character, though, doesn’t
seem to learn anything. Would mine? Would he dare become modern? Those
answers were obvious as well: no; he would turn it all into a
self-affirming philosophy.


About the Author

Pete Witte writes and is the BULLshot Editor for BULL. He lives with his family in Arlington, Virginia.