Sunday August 15th, 2010

The exercise:

Another lovely, restful Sunday is in the books. Let's write about: the law.


"I'm the law in this house," Dad would bellow at us whenever one of us did something to displease him. "Whatever I say goes!"

Usually we'd just nod silently with our eyes on his plaid socks. If Tommy was in one of his smartass moods he might snap Dad a crisp salute - and then run like hell.

We couldn't wait to move out so we could reign over our own homes. It would be all our rules, all the time.

Funny thing is, now that we're all grown up with families of our own... our laws sound a whole hell of a lot like Dad's.


Greg said...

I'm rather pleased to be able to say that the rules in my house are rather different to those of my father's; I'm a lot more lenient and accommodating of other people's wishes :) My Sunday was reasonably restful, but I needed it after Saturday. I've picked up the chapters I created for Manderly on Protagonize with the idea that this might be my NaNoWriMo novel this year!

The law

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law," said Vince, his head buried deep in a dusty, eldritch tome he'd found on the bookcase. Dave looked up; he'd been idly spinning the globe in its polished walnut holder, seeing how fast it would go.
"Who said that?" he said. "Sounds like a bloody good law to me!"
"Aleister Crowley," said Vince. "He was a nutter back in the day."
Dave swallowed his words. Vince had been acting odder and odder ever since they'd been working together but it wasn't until he'd talked about Vince down the pub with his mates that he'd realised how different he was these days.
"Of course, that a magickal law," said Vince. "I dunno if it would apply in general."
"You have to be careful with magic," said Dave.
"Magick," said the saturnine man who'd just entered the room, "with a k on the end. Crowley was very particular about that. But he got one thing right, you have to have laws."
Dave clutched the switch of Anubis tightly in his hands and wondered what he'd got himself into this time.

Zhongming said...

Marc – My family is slightly different, my mum being the law. I am still quite scared of her when I think of my childhood days, where I often got spanked by her for my super mischievous behavior. Today, we are happy family, living simple and peaceful life together and I really have to thank her for teaching me basic discipline when I was a child. :)

Your writing style is really consistent and beautiful, I’ll be glad if you can teach me a thing or two :)

Greg – That is really some amazing writing. The thought of magical law certainly never come across my mind :)


I remember about a self-proclaimed law when I was in the army, serving my nation – “you can do anything illegal, but don’t ever get caught!” Yet, people still get caught for things that are illegal.

This little phrase is really powerful. One of the soldiers that I knew previously, turned into deaf ears as I told him that it is too dangerous to go out alone at night in such a remote place (It’s in a forest, very quiet and dark at night). He wanted to explore into places where enemies usually spied on, he wanted to feel what it’s like to be in the dark watching everyone else’s movement. He was so excited to be out there being a spy; he thought he could learn about something unique by doing that. He is lucky enough to come back alive after being chased by military-trained dogs; they could have held him as a hostage if he is not fast enough.

Heather said...

Marc- I hear that story a lot, although rarely so eloquently.

Greg- I do not think I want to live in a society that operates under that law. Forgive me. However, it does make for a very interesting story perspective.

Zhongming- How scary of a story in many ways! Incredibly grateful I live where I do. I am glad your friend came back and was safe.


Amid all of the screams, begging, and tears, I never felt it was my responsibility to help. Time after time, I asked myself the same question, "Why does she allow this to happen? She could stand up for herself or walk away. No matter how bad it gets, she never does anything different." As long as he did not lay a hand on me or my sisters, it was merely a sad fact of life. One that I felt no responsibility for. That is until I turned sixteen.

It wasn't the day I turned sixteen, rather a rainy fall night when he decided my mother had had enough and he was still angry. I stood by the phone, keeping quiet on my way back to my room where I could shut the door on that sad fact. This time, he stopped me. Asked me where I was going. Looking down at his feet, I stammered, "To my room."

"What the hell are you doing out of your room in the first place?" he stormed on.

I looked up to his face, too surprised that he would even question it. There was no rule that we were to stay in our room while they were fighting. It was a safety precaution we chose to follow ourselves. My stunned silence lasted too long and I felt the flat of his hand land sharply against my cheek. I fell backwards, barely catching myself. Rage filled me as I looked at the floor and felt the stinging heat on my cheek.

Standing up, hands clenched at my fist, nerves shaking uncontrollably, I stared at his shocked expression. I wondered if he was shocked that he had hit me or shocked that I bothered to stand back up, something my mother would never dare to do. We looked at one another for several seconds, neither saying a word and both holding our posture, unwilling to let the other see a change in our demeanor.

"I'm sorry...." he finally said, his eyes falling to the ground. "I didn't mean to...."

I didn't care. He'd never apologized before, not to my mother or any of us for his actions. It wasn't enough. That's when I realized why she stayed. She loved him, wanted him, needed him in a sad way. I did not. I didn't care about this sorry excuse for a man; a husband; a father. "If you ever touch me or my sisters again, I will call the cops and we will all be gone. I am not strong enough to deal with you, but the law is on our side."

He almost toppled over, taking two full steps before regaining his balance. I stood taller, my arms still straight down at my sides, my hands clenched tighter. I stared at him, silently daring him to leave a mark. He didn't. He simply turned and left.

Marc said...

Greg - I'm starting to ponder NaNo ideas, but nothing too promising has presented itself to me yet.

Ah, a continuation! Most excellent. I love the image of him spinning the globe to see how fast it would go :)

Zhongming - thank you very much! And I think yours is improving every day - that's the great thing about practice :)

That's just an entirely different world than what I know. I'm glad he made it back okay!

Heather - your writing is so vivid that it makes me squirm when you tackle subjects like that one. Very nicely done, as always.