Wednesday July 7th, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt today shall be: stuck.

I don't want this to be my writing today, so here's the quick recap of my accident yesterday:

I was heading into Penticton in a 70 km/h zone and a car heading the opposite direction was waiting to turn left. She started to go, realized there was no time for her to make it and tried to stop. Unfortunately her gas pedal got stuck under her floor mat, so she kept on coming and hit my driver's side door with the front left of her car. I pretty much had nowhere to go and no time to get there.

I'm still not sure how I walked away with just a little scratch on my left elbow from where my door hit me. The car had to be towed away and I'm still waiting to hear if it's fixable or if we'll be car shopping again.

Now, on with the fiction.

Oh. Also: we got our internet hooked up today. Hurray!


It was a beautiful day for a walk along the train tracks. The sun had finally come out of hiding to raise the temperature back up to the normal range for July and only a few puffs of white marred the deep blue sky. Lavender that had escaped a nearby garden years ago now crowded both sides of the metal tracks and drenched the air with their fragrance.

Heidi had been feeling trapped in her office the last few days and had decided to call in sick that morning when the day dawned bright and clear. She was usually a very dedicated worker but lately things had not been going her way and she was in desperate need of a break.

The walk was the perfect remedy for her cubicle blues and her guilty conscience had been washed away by a light breeze moments after she had arrived on the trail. When the train had come racing around a curve in the woods an hour later, she had been pleasantly surprised since she hadn't realized the tracks were still in use.

Her delight lasted only as long as it took her to realize that her foot was stuck.


Heather said...

Marc- Liked the story. Kind of knew the direction it was going early on. Unlike you so I couldn't tell if it was purposeful this time or not. Still, great work!

Also wondering if the accident prompted this prompt as well. Now that it's been a day, do you feel like you were hit by a train?

Very glad you are okay!

The material glided through the machine. It seemed our fits and struggles had come to an end. With more speed than I had managed to use in the past, I guided the material through the needle and on to the table where it piled. One sleeve done. The tunic done. A belt done.

I picked up the last piece and began sliding it through the machine, effortlessly. A sudden desire to pull away fast over took me and I jerked my hand without releasing the pressure on the gas pedal. I looked down, unsure as to why it hurt and why I couldn't move my hand.

A portion of the needle stuck from my finger, the end of it still threaded and attached to the fabric. Panic rose. I swallowed hard, reaching for the shears I doubted I would be able to reach. They simply were too far.

I swallowed again as panic rose more forcefully. Tears brimmed. My phone was also out of reach. Methodically, I used the on-board cutter of the machine. It was dull and the thread pulled mercilessly before finally snapping.

My freedom came at the cost of great pain and the jail break of my panic. Slowly, I crossed the small room and picked up my phone. "John?" I said and then sobbed. "I need you to come home."

Greg said...

@Heather: Wow, that's a powerful piece! I hope it's not a true story, though it has the feel of one.

@Marc: You are definitely lucky to have walked away with just a scratch, and I'm very happy for you! Oh, and well done for getting your internet back :)
I liked your story, though I was a little surprised that the tracks weren't mentioned before the train, I had to go back and re-read the paragraph to check I'd not missed anything.


Writer's block
Has me staring at the page,
Seemingly stuck forever,
Feeling a growing rage,
That my easy words elude me,
That I don't know what comes next,
I'm staring at an empty page
I'm completely vexed.

Marc said...

Heather - yeah, I was hoping to provide some misdirection with her feeling 'trapped' in the office but I don't think I expanded on that idea enough.

Still feeling just fine, so it looks like I'm in the clear for any late developing crash related injuries. Hurray!

All I have to say about your piece is: ow.


Greg - you mean like how I mentioned them in the first paragraph? ;)

That's a great little ode to writer's block. Also, vexed is a great word that doesn't get used nearly enough.

Greg said...

Hah, you're quite right! Does it show that I've got too much work and too-tight deadlines at the moment?
Sorry, my bad. Normally I go back and re-read the whole piece; the one time I don't...!