Diaskeue (di-as-keu’-ee): Graphic peristasis (description of circumstances) intended to arouse the emotions.

I was panic-stricken. I kept hearing a scratching noise down in the basement. It would be quiet for about ten minutes, then it would start again, slow at first and then faster and faster until it abruptly stopped. I was running in circles in the living room with my fingers in my ears. But, my fingers couldn’t block the sound. I ran out my front door yelling for help. I yelled “There’s a scratching noise in my basement! Help! Help! Help me!”

My neighbor “Bad Eddie” came running out his front door holding some kind of pistol. He was a biker, a member of “The Killers” a motorcycle gang he had been in since Junior High when he first got his motorcycle license. Although the gang was called “The Killers” nobody in the gang had ever actually killed anybody. It was formed by Vietnam veterans in the mid-1960s, and Eddie’s main goal in life was to be the first “Killer” to kill somebody.

The scratching noise in the basement presented a great opportunity to kill somebody in self defense—an intruder lurking in the basement waiting to do me harm—maybe a serial killer, or just some angry person looking to vent their rage on a random homeowner. Exactly what Bad Eddie needed!

We went into the house. Bad Eddie yelled, “Ok. You go down first. I’m right behind you.” He had a gun and he wanted me to go first! What a bunch of bullshit. So, I turned on the basement lights and started down the stairs. Bad Eddie was about ten feet behind me. I heard the scratch! It got faster and faster and then it stopped. I looked in the dimly lit corner by the furnace. Omg! It was my crazy brother who ran away from home when he 10. Eddie asked: “Should I shoot him?” I told Eddie to “Go the “F” home.”

I had thought some random food was missing, along with a can opener, and a large soup spoon. Anyway, my brother was holding what looked like a belt buckle, and also a nail he was scratching the belt buckle with. It looked like he was scratching an “M” which is my first initial. My birthday was in two days and he was “engraving” the belt buckle for me! He said, “You can wear it to the rodeo.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I had never been to a rodeo, and I didn’t care—I was just so happy to see my brother after all these years! We had a lot to talk about, especially since he had been on his own since he was ten. He pulled a pile of small gold bars out of his backpack. “I am rich,” he said.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Print and e-editions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

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