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FICTION: CBLB, Zoro the King of Hearts

May 21, 2010

Author’s note: Kat could not relax in her egg chair. He seemed as sneaky as her therapist, this Zoro character.

The following story, which will be serialized once a week on this blog, is FICTION. Though set within actual cultural set points of time and place, as one would find in historical fiction, no one character is based on anyone living or dead, but imaginary.

This is satire. I hope it’s a fun ride, which is my sole intention as the author.

This work is registered with the Writers’ Guild of America and is additionally protected.  Law will prosecute any use of the following work without explicit permission by the author.

The King of  Hearts

“So, Zoro where are you from?” Kat hit him at the outset.

She didn’t give him an introduction, though various qualifiers ran through her head.” Zoroastrian, whatever that meant. Flamed heart pins. Wanna be designer. Asexual, like  Michael Jackson…” But she couldn’t say that since his warmth made her not want to retract her hand from his cupped palms just a few moments ago.

“I lived in Tehran until I was four, when my parents sent me to France to live with my cousins during the Iranian Revolution between Muslim fundamentalists and followers of the Shah, the more modern Iran.  Then I came to the States where my parents met me.”

“Was your family affiliated with the Shah?”   Kat asked. She remembered this Shah, the secular stylish leader of Iran, exiled to the States.

“Well, yes actually, they were.  The fundamentalist lifestyle was not for us.”

“Well I guess not. You’ve broken into the top social circles here. Is there some kind of Persian syndicate that taps into New York high society?”

“Hardly. I grew up in Queens.” Zoro grinned  in a way Kat was certain disparaged her. The back of  her neck felt like a pulled rubber band, but she still struggled to face the videographer on a diagonal to capture her best sides.

“What is it you want to know?” Zoro leaned across the table now. He was stroking  Kat’s forearm, but this time Kat felt exposed.  The camera was rolling and Zoro could unravel her, live on cable.

“You son of a bitch!” Kat yelled, her voice bellowing despite her perfectly cocked side angle, and she pulled her fingers away.

“What kind of spell are you operating?”

“There’s no spell. I’m at peace.” Zoro laughed, leaning back on the egg chair.

“Yeah, explain this peace. The peace to worm your way into parties when no one invited you? The peace to offer yourself as an escort to actors and daughters of famous old moneyed families? The peace to partner with some Orthodox Jew on 47th Street to turn your drawings into gold? How about the peace to con one of those famous daughters who works at Vogue to wear one of your ridiculous peace-loving pins in the magazine?

Explain yourself.


Do you believe that just because your family, a bunch of stylish Persians, escaped the ayatollah that New York City represents your own personal home shopping network?”

“Well yes I do.” He grinned. “In my religion, Zoroastrianism, we believe that through good deeds we channel the creator, Ahura Mazda. I feel that I can connect people with positive energy. Giving people I treasure special jewels can only promote good feeling.”

“But you sell these jewels, don’t you? Or do you just give them away to the ladies?” Kat’s throat pinched.

“Mostly, they commission me to make them pieces.” Zoro quipped. “They ask me to create something inspired by them distinctly.”

“But you only make hearts engulfed in flames!” Kat popped forward off her chair for a minute.

“Yes, but if you look closely.” Zoro’s words unfolded with an even gait. “Each one bears a different combination of jewels, diamonds, emeralds, even opals if we can find them. No one is exactly alike, just like each girl who inspired each piece.”

The chirpy director had entered the studio and was signaling with her hands like a referee. She must have perceived something in Kat’s movements, her nervous twitch, how  she now pulled at the curls on her forehead. The director pointed to the sheet sitting before Kat on the table, the instructions for how one should conduct herself on  the Cable King network.

“Screw the Cable King network!” Kat hissed to herself, then started again, attempting again to position her head in the most flattering manner possible as she spoke.

“What is your ultimate goal, Zoro? You’re in the tabloids every week. You support yourself by convincing girls you are giving them a part of your heart…”

“I give them their own hearts.” Zoro countered, folding both his hands and meeting Kat’s gaze.

“Explain yourself.” Kat asked again.

“Well. Often, these girls find me or I find them in a broken state. I cannot give specifics but it all goes back to the father or the lover who becomes a surrogate father. When this father or lover works too much or searches for his ego, his sex, outside of his family or inner circle, the girl is left behind. She feels he has taken her heart with him. So the hearts I make for them signify purifying the heart with fire.”

“And you don’t sleep with these broken girls?” Kat asked.

“They are my dear friends.” Zoro replied, his teeth gleaming.

“Yes, but do you sleep with them?” Kat repeated.

“That’s not my goal.” Zoro trailed off.

“Are you at least turned on, Zoro?” Kat was yelling again. She could see the chirpy bird  pacing offstage. Kat’s intern appeared to be chuckling behind the cameraman who focused the zoom on Kat’s round flushed face.

“Let me tell you what Ahura Mazda says.” Zoro folded his hands on the desk. “Ahura Mazda says to give freely without expectation, to channel unconditional caring. Each time I do this I receive something greater than gratification of the flesh.”

“Ahura Mazda?”

“Yes, Ahura Mazda is the unconditional creator of all that is good. He is the force of light that unites the world.”

Kat tried to picture this perfect tawny man with his hand down his pants. She wanted him to do something vulgar, to level the playing field.

“Tell me something, Zoro. Do you have a Facebook page?”

“Yes, of course.” He laughed.

“How many friends do you have on the page?”

“Roughly a thousand.”

“That’s not much for the King of Hearts.” Kat chortled. “I have fifty  times that.”

“Of course you do.” He stroked her arm again. “You are Mamma Kat and there’s only one Mamma Kat. Why don’t we talk about you? It’s far more interesting.”

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