Wednesday March 9th, 2011

The exercise:

Let us write about: static.

Definitely feeling better again today. Still not fully clear of the cold, but I'm damned close.

As far as my take goes, if you're not familiar with Henri feel free to click on the label at the bottom of this post to see more of his story. He's one of only a handful of recurring characters for me on the blog, but I've grown very fond of him.


Julie's phone rang five times before she answered it, just before the answering machine would have picked it up. She held it a safe distance from her ear and grabbed a couple of pieces of notepaper with her free hand.

"Good afternoon," she began, knowing full well that her official greeting would be cut off. She was not disappointed.

"Julie, what were you bloody thinking?"

"Henri! So good to hear from you." It was difficult to keep the smile from her lips, but she managed. She knew he'd be able to detect it in her voice. "Could you speak up? It sounds like you're standing in the middle of a monsoon."

"That's because I am!" Henri yelled. "Because you booked an outdoor meeting in the middle of nowhere during monsoon season!"

"Did I? I'm so sorry," Julie said as she began to crinkle the paper. "You should probably take your taxi back to the hotel then."

"The driver already took off and I don't have his phone number - you never gave it to me."

"Oh dear! That is... unfortunate... he... back... right?" Julie said, leaving out more and more words as she brought the crinkled paper closer to the receiver.

"What? What's that noise?"

"... sorry... breaking up... call back... later..."

"Julie, don't you dare hang up that phone!"

"... connection... static..."

Julie returned the phone to its cradle, finally allowing the smile to arrive in full force. She knew there would be hell to pay, but he really had it coming after the map incident.


Greg said...

Heh, much as I'd like to feel sorry for Henri, at the moment I feel like he's only getting what's coming to him. Will he end up with your cold, I wonder? Or do you have something more pernicious in mind for him?
I can tell you're getting better, you're writing slightly longer pieces again :) Which is good, because once Gabriel gets his next How the Best was Won chapter up it's your turn!

We'd lost Rainer and Matias before we figured it out. If we didn't move, they couldn't see us. So whenever we saw them, we froze, as static as we could, and waited for them to go away again. It wasn't easy.
Sense stealers Matias had called them when he was writing in his journal last night. We had made camp in a room that was almost free of the gelled ice that is everywhere and he was trying to record what we'd found down here. When they catch you they lay their hands (or paws, or whatever you call something at the end of an arm that looks like a hand but can fuse together into some kind of ice-skate. They race across the frozen upper surfaces of the walls like water-striders) on your face and steal a sense. When we found Matias this morning, half-frozen a corridor away from our camp, his eyes, ears, nose and tongue were all missing and his skin was pocked with tiny petechiae.
"Must have been taking a slash," said Guilder shaking his head. "You can't just stop...."
We've been static now for eight minutes by my count, and the Ilmatu are still gliding around us, their featureless, smooth heads turning and tilting on long, articulated necks. I wonder what they do with the senses they steal, and I hope to Ukko that they can't make use of them.

Marc said...

Greg - ah crap, he's posted his chapter. I'll hopefully find time this weekend to follow up.

God, that's some creepy stuff. I can just picture that scene in the final paragraph and it gives me the heebie jeebies.