Wednesday January 13th, 2010

The exercise:

Kat gave me my Valentine's Day present early - I get to go to drumming classes every Tuesday night for six weeks. The first class was last night and we stuck to the djembe drum but there's all sorts of neat stuff that we'll get to play with in the weeks to come.

Today's prompt was one of the rhythms we learned to play: calypso.

So of course I went off and wrote something that had nothing to do with drumming.

AFC Word Count: 13,433
AFC Word Target: 13,000


It was hard not to think of how far away we were from home whenever I looked out the window of our temporary residence. The miles and miles of rock and sand were a far cry from the lush forests and tranquil lakes that populated my youth; the continuously black sky messed up our circadian rhythms, making sleep difficult at best; and of course there was our constant celestial neighbour, its massive bulk swallowing the horizon to my right.

I wondered once more what lay beneath the swirling black and red clouds that enveloped Saturn as I rested my elbows on the windowsill. We would find out eventually, I knew; it was just a matter of time before the captain realized wed have to go down there ourselves if we ever wanted to discover the truth of the matter. If we survived the journey we might even be allowed to return to Earth with our results.

Feeling claustrophobic, I slipped into my oxygen suit and out the back door, closing it gently so as to not disturb the others. I stood staring up at the mysterious planet and felt my smallness, realizing with a start that if we failed I would be forgotten just like the men and women who were sent before us.

I dont want to be forgotten, I whispered hoarsely.I want to be remembered.

And so I turned away and began to walk. But instead of returning to the house I circled around it and headed for the ship.


summerfield said...

hi, thanks for helping me. i've been in a rut the last several days and couldn't write anything, try as I might. this one here is not one of my strong works, but i guess it's still writing. again, thanks.


I wonder if you can hear me, Martha, as you lay there in your bed. The doctor says there's nothing more that he can do for you. I have signed the forms, once you take your last breath, they will start harvesting your organs, as you have wished in your will and in that little green card you kept in your wallet.

Martha, I regret about the accident. I know, I know, there's nothing I can do about it now. I have played it in my mind over and over, even in my sleep. And yet it baffles me that I am whole, nary a broken bone. But you, you're dying. Are you really? Martha, if you can hear me, do something so I would know.

It's not fair. Oh, God, it's not fair. How can I make things right, Martha? How?

We were fighting just before the accident. Just before we saw that big truck flying across the median on the highway and in a snap it crushed us, made us one with the glass and metal of our car. Just before that, you asked why I never sent you flowers? I told you, it's not my thing. Trinkets, lingeries, jewellery. I gave you hundreds of those. And yet you want flowers. Something that wither and then thrown away. You forget about it afterwards.

And yet, now you cannot see this. This flower that you so wanted. What good would this do for you? It will not bring you back; it will not cure you. Ironic, isn't it, Martha, that now I spent so much for these orchids that you wouldn't see, wouldn't smell, wouldn't touch, wouldn't know. This is not my thing, Martha. But here, have these. I got them especially for you. I love you, Martha.

Greg said...

@summerfield: that's a very moving piece, the narrator's anguish comes over clearly. Nicely done!

@Eloo: The drum classes sound like a lot of fun, and your enthusiasm is clear from the way you write about them :)
The Calypso story is also rather good, very atmospheric (if you'll pardon the pun). I like the narrator's determination to make an impact on history.


I hear the drum, and it hears me,
I sway, it beats; and rhythmically,
A dance is made, Calypso play'd,
Carnival comes, sweeps away the staid,
Body paint sparks, glitters and glows;
We chase the girl whose outfit shows,
That she's Calypso; she leads, we go.

Marc said...

Summerfield - you're most welcome, and thank *you* so much for sharing that!

I hope you'll come back and write some more :)

Greg - that has a nice, fun rhythm to it. Nicely done!