Monday January 18th, 2010

The exercise:

Let's go with a variation on the random CD prompt. So grab a CD, scroll through your iPod, turn on the radio, whatever you want. Now choose a song title at random and use that (not the first line of the song, just the title) as the subject of your poetry or prose.

Mine ended up being shorter than I planned because today I got to write a chapter in A Fighting Chance that I had been looking forward to for months. As you may be able to tell by the word count, it went quite well.

AFC Word Count: 20,059
AFC Word Target: 18,000


Hard Road by Sam Roberts

The man advanced slowly, feeling the flattened earth beneath his feet with searching steps. The path continued in a straight line until the horizon swallowed it whole, with thick, bushy trees not much taller than the man crowding both sides like eager spectators at a joust. He held both of his swords at the ready, his eyes never resting in their quest to detect the slightest movement.

He knew he would be spotted eventually if he stayed in the open but the trees hid much worse dangers, ones he wouldn't be able to defend himself against. So he continued his deliberate progress and remained vigilant.

Another mile crept slowly by before he brought his body to stillness and his breath went silent. He dropped to his knees, crossing his swords in the dirt before him, and pressed an ear to the earth. The rhythmic rumble of several horses approaching at a gallop reverberated in his eardrum and a smile sprung to his lips.

They had come for him at last.


Greg said...

Yay, more AFC! The chapters recently have been showing signs of benefiting from your new approach, so I'm sure I'll be very pleased to see what this brings :)
I like your Hard Road too, it's an intriguing little tale, one that will hopefully get a continuation from you at some point too. The third paragraph is probably the best, in my opinion.

<a href=">Rasputin</a> by Boney M

"This man will be your target," the etiolated man had whispered as he passed me a photograph, a grainy black and white image printed on rice paper. "We have tried to kill him before, with poison, guns and ice, and still he survived. We want to make sure the job gets done. You will be paid generously: the first of three equal installments is in the chicken."
I ate the photograph slowly, thinking hard and eyeing the chicken, which looked back at me nervously and clucked.
"Chef-Assassin?" whispered the etiolated man, his dry, papery words rustling in the stillness of the early morning kitchen.
I reached for the chicken, lifting it out of its cage and wringing its neck simultaneously, and the boned it out in thirty-five seconds. This is slow for me, but I'd not plucked it first and I didn't want feathers getting everywhere. The money was jewels in the bird's abdominal cavity.
"I'll do it," I said. "Collateral damage?"
"Is permitted, but try not to harm the Queen or her son. We have... you don't need to know."
"The theme of the banquet tonight is hedgehogs," I said. "I think this will be entirely easy."
The etiolated man must have seen my face, because he shuddered.
"Make sure Rasputin dies," he said. "He must not survive your cooking."

Greg said...

Oops, I messed up that link, sorry. It should be Rasputin

Glorya said...

@Greg Ohmygawd that's funny! It's so ridiculous I - I...

Good job ;)

@Eloo I could visualize the swords crossing in the dirt, which seemed to me the most powerful image. I'd actually like to see where that piece would go if let to go a little longer...

¡Viva La Gloria! by Green Day [no, I did not purposefully choose this song...]

Gothic-steepled, print tattooed
To brick
Cement identities
Forever remembered

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Again, yours almost cries out for a continuation, 'Loo... although, a new AFC chapter would suffice as well. (;

Greg- That's really something. It'd be interesting to explore something like that, history from another's perspective.

Glorya- most intersting, I rather like it.

Constellations, Jack Johnson

Rogers stretched, supressing a yawn. He wasn't sure he could stand any more of these all-night star-gazing sessions. What was his mentor even looking for? He never bothered to tell Rogers, claiming to not want to sully his judgement, to not expect anything.

Rogers rubbed his eyes, then returned to his small telescope. Might as well take another fruitless peek, he figured. He swept the lens across the sky, a bunch of speckled nothing, nothing...
...interrupted by a flare of light.
Rogers jumped back. "What in the world...?!" he hissed, his eye glued to the telescope's eyepiece. The flare subsided, but had been replaced by a gently glowing object about the apparent size of the moon. In amazement Rogers trained the scope on the object, following its slow descent into the nearby forest.
"Great Scott!" he cried, clammoring to pick up his telescope. "I've to see what this is!" With as much coordination as a young lanky scientist's assistant off-set by a telescope could muster, he set off through the trees in the object's direction of landing.
- - - - -
Huh. Interesting.

Irish Gumbo said...

If I wasn't so tired, I'd give it a song prompt was Wild Flower by The Cult :)

Loved the swords imagery, very well done.

Marc: I wish you and your fiancee much love and peace on the farm :)

Marc said...

Greg - bah, you and your insistence on continuations. Fine. Fine! I'll come back to it :P

"I ate the photograph slowly, thinking hard and eyeing the chicken, which looked back at me nervously and clucked."

I think I just bore witness to genius.

Archi - gah, you too? I'll continue it later, yeesh.

I like yours too, the first and final lines the most :D

g2 - haha, well at least you gave me an out with the AFC chapter request :P

Excellent song choice and... dare I say that could use some continuing of its own?

Irish - I bet you could do something awesome with wild flowers.

And thank you very, very much. Both for the well wishes and for expressing in your post exactly what we've been feeling.