Monday February 7th, 2011

The exercise:

Here's the word of the day: climbing.

Note: I'm away on my honeymoon so this is a scheduled post.


There were three trees in the Peterson's backyard. The oak in the middle of the lawn had only been planted the year before and so was hardly taller than I was.

The fir in the back left corner was fighting a losing battle with some disease I couldn't spell or pronounce. They had removed all of its branches in an attempt to regain control and I thought it looked rather depressing. They should've just taken it out.

The last tree, a pine in the back right corner, was the oldest and healthiest of the bunch. It loomed over the neighborhood like a watch tower, full of prickly needles and covered with sticky sap.

So of course it was this tree that Fluffy the cat chose to climb to the top of when I was taking care of her.


Zhongming said...

Marc - Poor little tree! You've painted a nice scene with the cat climbing up the tree :)

Greg,David & Heather - thanks very much for previous comments :)



"Should I continue? It's just inches away."
"Keep going! Don't stop and don't let that mind of yours go into hibernate mode."
"I must've over pushed myself but I won't make it to the destination if this is my limit. Is this gonna be my graveyard? The end before it even started?

"Times up! Please hand up your assignment."

Heather said...

I find myself back in the same hole I was in only a week or two ago. Slowly, I am climbing the sides, but the soil continues to slip beneath my feet and proves to be unsteady under my hands. I hope to plant some kind of routine that will grow sturdy roots so that I might not worry about the earth falling out from beneath me and return to writing with gusto instead of exhaustion and an open book to my right. Pray the day comes soon!

David said...

@Marc - feels like the opening of a good family story. Be interested in the next part.

@zhongming - like the twist, the symmetry between our perceived dangers and the truth.

@Heather- I'm praying. You can do it.

Here's mine:

The vine sprung up overnight. And now Jack stood on his front lawn, staring at the weed that covered the front of his house. It moved. For the love of God, it continues to grow. Every five minutes it seems to be three feet longer.

“What are you going to do about it, hotshot,” brayed Jeanette from the porch.

The vine obscured his view of her.

“I said, what are you going to do about it?”

Jack thought about an ax. Then he thought about gasoline. Crash. The vine broke its first window, their bedroom window. Its fingers probed inside, he could see it creeping towards their bed.

“It sure is beautiful,” Jack offered.

Flowers sprouted in front of the porch, blotting out a little more of Jeanette’s wide profile.

“You lazy good for nothing, do I have to do everything for myself”

Jack watched Jeanette pull one of the flowers off of the vine. She flailed at it, trying to push it away. The vine lurched and grew again, right around Jeanette’s wrists.

“Call Philippe,” she wailed.

Jack watched the gorgeous vine grow, engulfing her waist and wrapping her torso.

“You fired him yesterday,” answered Jack.

The vine covered her mouth. Muffles, then no more. Jack saw her eyes and he smiled.

“I told you to never fire a Haitian.”

Greg said...

@zhongming: An aspirational take on the prompt -- nice! I really like the idea of the narrator's brain having a hibernation mode.

@Heather: Also aspirational, though the sense of worry comes across more strongly than in Zhongming's piece I think. The open book comment made me pause for a moment -- I read from some author once that reading is the worst thing you can do when you're trying to write. Perhaps you should avoid books for a couple of days and see if that helps?

@David: A great take on Jack and the Beanstalk, with a little bit of extra mythology thrown in for good measure. I really like it.
A quick note: you switch tenses quite noticeably in the first paragraph, past to present and back again. It's quite jarring that early on, I think.

@Marc: What other tree would Fluffy the cat climb though? I hope you have a follow-up piece somewhere about trying to de-stick her from the tree!
Unusually for your pieces, this has the feel of a writing exercise, but knowing that you were writing all of your posts for two weeks close together, perhaps that's not unexpected.

A spiral staircase
Winding round and round,
Leading to another place,
Rising from the ground.

Winding round and round,
Stretching to the sky,
Rising from the ground,
Climbing; with no reason why.

Stretching to the sky,
Where angels may alight,
Climbing with no reason why
Winding in and out of night.

Where angels may alight,
A spiral staircase:
Winding in and out of night,
Leading to another place.

Heather said...

Greg- Your poem is beautiful. The pace and length of sentences certainly supported the idea of 'growing'. I like it.

And if I don't have the book open next to me, it is quite likely I will fail the class. I would love to have an opportunity to read for enjoyment. Perhaps this summer that will become a reality. Or maybe Spring Break?!?

Marc said...

Zhongming - thank you for reminding me why I`m happy to no longer be in school :P

Heather - I`m pulling for you!

David - loved it. Absolutely loved it.

Greg - if this was the only one that showed I was writing them all so close together, I`ll be very happy indeed :)

Fantastic poem. I`m very fond of that format.