Sunday September 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Today I'm going to give you a list of words and you have to use all of them in your poetry or prose. Here they are: floor, storm, cinnamon, intruder.

Did a bit more work on the cabin today - Kat put primer on all the walls of the second bedroom and I got the subfloor installed in the bathroom. The plumbing is basically done and the electricians need to come back and finish some things off, then we're basically left with stuff we can do ourselves - with a little help from a carpenter Kat's parents know.

Good times.


They sat huddled on the couch, sharing a blanket but no words. The storm that was thrashing against the windows had knocked the power out at least three hours ago and they'd been forced to light the cinnamon scented candles he'd given her last Christmas.

She despised the smell of cinnamon.

The kids were having a sleepover at a friend's house that night and were probably having a blast. He imagined them sitting on the floor, telling ghost stories by flashlight. She pictured their excited faces pressed up against the windows as they waited for the lightning to illuminate the sky again.

But there was no such fun to be had within their own home. Bitterness and apathy had left their indelible marks, like two masked intruders intent on stealing the love from their marriage.

And so the wind and rain raged on outside, while silence reigned within.


Samantha said...

Marc, that was excellent. I would have never thought to combine those words like that. Excellent job.

The smell of cinnamon filled the kitchen as Kendra made apple cider. The morning had gone wonderfully; breakfast had been perfect. The adults were sipping coffee as they watched the living room explode into a storm of wrapping paper. The children crawled across the floor with unimaginable speed and agility, eager to compare gifts.

Bubbles emerged in the cider as it came to a boil. Kendra quickly removed it, allowed it to cool, and began pouring it. It was when she began loading the tray with mugs that she heard the door slam against the wall in the distance. Concerned, she peered around the corner, astound to see three armed intruders.

Greg said...

@Samantha: wow, that makes for an exciting holiday!

@Samantha, Marc: I thought you both used the words really well, so naturally that I had to go back both times to see where you'd used the prompt words.

@Marc: the cabin's sounding pretty good! Are we going to get a couple of photographs at some point (I realise now I should have suggested before/after photos when you told us you were starting renovating it)?
Oh, and I really liked the "She despised the smell of cinnamon." paragraph, it works so well as a story-telling element.

Building security

Charles Ascugimento, head of Building Security, prided himself on his creativity. His clothes had all been modified by hand, so that even if the shop origins were still visible, it was clear that he had a one-off, something unique, and in his mind therefore, better than the people around him. His lunch invariably featured odd food combinations that made his colleagues turn their noses up in distaste; today he had cinnamon mackerel pasta in tea-infused mornay sauce. And it extended to his remit as the head of Building Security: all the floors were named for flavours instead of being boringly numbered, and all "events" within the building were tagged with natural disasters, which reflected his innate pessimism and distrust of human nature.
It was just after eight in the evening and an intruder had been discovered, a skater kid who'd managed to fall asleep in some office lobby and been overlooked when he decided to run a full fire-drill.
"All floors, prepare for a perfect storm," he said over the intercom, his voice amplified and blasted at deafening levels to his staff. "When the alarm sounds you are to evacuate the floors in order that a small child would choose the flavours if offered ice-cream of that variety!" he barked.

morganna said...

Caty Cookie cowered on the floor of the bakery. She hated storms. The thunder and the lightning terrified her. She ought to be in her bed upstairs, but she had to make sure all the locks were secure. She wasn't taking any chances after that threatening note from Billy Bread.

Suddenly she heard glass shattering in the back. Oh, no. Billy Bread was making good on his threat to steal her special cinnamon from the Isle of Lemurs. And she was down here with the intruder.

Heather said...

Marc- Great story. I can really feel the coldness between your characters. I feel bad for them, mostly her though.

Samantha- Nice story. I'd prefer it without intruders, but don't blame you at all. It's Marc's fault most certainly.

Greg- I loved the peculiarities of your head of security! What an interesting character. So glad I had a brief encounter with him.

Morganna- Neat story. I like the characters names. Bliiy Bread as the intruder. I hope he is the soft kind. Perhaps Caty will be okay then.

Mine is a bit lengthy. Seems that writer's block has started to move on. You can see
it here.

summerfield said...

samantha, your story invokes christmas as i could really smell the apple cider with cinnamon in it. nice!

greg, i love how your stories never fail to take me right there at the scene as it happens. you are so good!

morganna, i used to be so terrified of storms, too, although i loved playing in the rain as a child.

heather, i haven't read yours, but will do so shortly.

marc, i love your last line, and wish i came up with it instead. but it just planted a story idea in my old brain.

the unexpected rain storm sent the intruders inside. but as soon as they got in, they scampered, surprised at the trap they willingly stepped into. some tried to leave through the large opening, others fell into the puddles that had begun to seep at one end of the room. they marched back and forth. the water would kill them, if not the cinnamon powder that had been sprinkled all over the floor.

my mother was right; ants don't like cinnamon!

Marc said...

Samantha - thank you :)

Loved the image of the kids crawling across the floor like that! And way to work with those words, that was well done.

Greg - I did take some before pics, but I refuse to post them until the 'after' are ready :D

I quite like your head of building security. And that final instruction is fantastic :D

Morganna - love the names! Cute story :)

Heather - very happy to hear that writer's block is packing its bags. I shall have to check yours out shortly.

Summerfield - nice reveal at the end there, I couldn't figure it out until you let me in on the secret :)