Sunday March 13th, 2011

The exercise:

Today we write about: the arrest.

Kat and I have been watching Arrested Development on Netflix the last few nights. It is good stuff.

Did some more planting in the greenhouse today. It was nice to do garden work while it was raining and not get wet. I hope to be able to do garden work while it is not raining at all some time soon.


They came in the night while we were sound asleep in our bed. I'm a very light sleeper but I didn't wake until they were shining flashlights in our faces and screaming words my drowsy brain couldn't process.

He didn't resist, he just did as they told him to. He kissed me on the cheek before getting out from under the covers, very slowly, always keeping his hands where they could see them. I think it would have been a different story if he thought he could get to the gun under his pillow before they emptied their guns into him.

They escorted him out of our room, leaving me where they'd found me. I wasn't sure if it was some terrible dream or if I was bearing witness to an even more terrifying reality. It took me a long time before I was able to get up and move to the phone.

It wasn't until I reached for the receiver that I realized they had never identified themselves.


Greg said...

Gardening in a greenhouse sounds very civilised, especially when it's raining. I guess if the rain keeps up (and didn't you tell me BC is officially in a rainforest?) you'll have to get one of those golfing umbrellas so you can stake it into the ground to keep you dry while you farm :)
Your story is chilling, I think because of the calm and matter-of-fact voice of the narrator. Each little increment of terror is reported so casually that by the end I'm really quite nervous!

The arrest
Swarthy men with clean beards
Place hands upon my shoulders
And escort me away from the agora.
Their armour, made of plates
Of boiled leather, studded with iron
That catches and turns swords
Rustles as they do so.
Children watch us pass in silence,
Their mothers hurry to bring them in.
The sun above seems hotter than before,
Sweat forms on my forehead,
And pale terror grips my heart.

In a courtyard of sandy brick
Clothes hang on a washing line
And the Black Pharaoh waits.
His majesty, surrounded by the prosaic,
Is all the more awful to behold.
The guards who brought me bow,
As terrified as me,
And retreat as fast as they only dare.
I am left alone, before the Unholy King,
Arrested, wishing I wasn't there.

Aaron said...

Marc I really enjoyed your prose today. The narration was so calm it added great interest to the scene. I like that you like to add a twist at the end it makes it so fun. Thats cool you garden I just WOOFed in Maui HI for 6 months and am about ready to plant in my raised bed.
Greg your poem reminds me of an epic poem excerpt.
My poem uses the arrest as a metaphor I tried to carry through the poem.

The Arrest
I never meant to arrest you or your wandering eye
But I must confess I detest those who linger, by and by.
It all makes sense the detainment in that moment
Became flirtatious containment in an instant
You should pass I will not book you and throw any key
You aren’t who I suspect after investigating your morality
So thank you for the drink now wander on wayward one
This is the last call for convictions and I will use my gun
To shoot you down if you press me to arrest the unwanted
Your guilt is unwarranted so don’t feel that I taunted
If I didn’t dress to impress the power of my station
I would never be able to lock any in conversation.

Marc said...

Greg - BC may be mainly rain forest but Osoyoos is actually in a desert. Canada's only one, as a matter of fact.

I liked the clothes hanging on the line, that's a great detail. And I'm quite certain I would be just as reluctant as your narrator to meet this Unholy King.

Aaron - in Maui? Consider me jealous.

My wife and I actually run a market garden business. We sell at the farmers market and to a local restaurant - we're hoping to add a second one this summer.

That's a great poem, it flows very nicely. Some great imagery and rhyming words. Good stuff! :)