Monday May 2nd, 2011

The exercise:

I am so disappointed and, quite frankly, pissed off at my country right now, it would be easy to go off on a rant. But I'd rather focus on the positive. So the prompt today is: breaking new ground.

Seriously, though. How do you get a majority government with only 40% of the vote?


Moving on.

Also: yes, I know how it works. It just makes me angry. And want a new voting system. Anyway.


They said it would never happen. That it was a terrible idea. That it was absolute insanity.

Well, who's laughing now? Huh? That's right. I don't hear anybody saying anything.

Sure, maybe that's because they've all gone to bed, or are off doing other things since they've lost interest in this project. But my point remains: they said I'd never build an apartment building on top of the old cemetery, but that's exactly what I've done!

Now, who wants dibs on the penthouse? Huh? Come on, don't be shy.

No, Mr. Angry Ghost, you can't have it. Why? Because your money is worthless.

Anybody else? Anybody at all...


Greg said...

Well, I can't say that I see much good about Stephen Harper in the world news, but 40% for a majority seems easy enough so long as you have at least three parties. I would have been interested to see what percentage of the electorate actually voted though, as that would be a much better indication of his support (I think the UK averages about 40% voter turnout, so our governments can never honestly claim to be popular!).
Heh, I guess you're channelling your new government in today's writing? I'd take that penthouse, and it's ghosts :)

Breaking new ground
Miss Snippet looked around at the children, who were working like labourers. Two girls were taking it in turns to swing pickaxes and break through the drought-dried crust of earth. Behind them, a team of sweaty, tired-looking boys shoveled, digging trenches. Two more girls, in pretty blue dresses, checked blueprints, and three others were fitting the air-compressor tubes to the pneumatic drill.
All in all, she was pleased. The school needed a new building, and children benefited from stimulating outdoor work that taught them new skills. She was aware, peripherally, that the parents were less happy that their five- and six-year olds were becoming navvies, but that was just more new ground that she was breaking.

Heather said...

Marc- You can keep your ghosts and luxury suite. I've never enjoyed hauntings or the atmosphere of the "finer things" so much. Sorry to hear of your political dissatisfaction. It seems ore an more people are joining the club these days. I think countries like Chile do it right: a fine for not voting.

Greg- 40% voter turn-out? I'd say that is a pretty respectable number. I wish our numbers were that high outside of Presidential elections. And I think I'll keep my kids in their current school. Thank you for the comparison.

My knees moved downward as I stretched my legs. It was no good. They weren't going anywhere except into the back of the fat man's seat. "I hate these tiny aircraft," I mumbled. Jason didn't bother to look up from his book.

"You said we should fly on a small airline. Small airlines, small seats," he said quietly in retort. I looked at the page he was on. It was the same one as half an hour ago. Flustered with the cramped conditions and slow progress, I crossed my arms and pouted. Jason continued to read.

A stewardess with long legs and a low neckline sashayed down the aisle. An older gentleman followed her. I watched her go, slowly swaying her hips as if she had nothing better to do. The man trailing her with obvious lust in his eyes and joy in his pants. Disgusted, I looked at the balding spot of the fat man in front of me.

Jason flipped ahead in his book. I glanced back to see what chapter he was on. "Flying Squirrels" was written in bold black letters at the top of the page.

"If you'll excuse me," I started to say. He stood up before I could finish my line and I moved passed him, heading to the back of the plane where the stewardess had went. If I was lucky, she would still be there. Unbuttoning my suit jacket, I continued to walk the narrow aisle. The bathrooms were just ahead. Even on a large airline, bathrooms tended to be small. On this plane, I half expected it to consist of a cup and a hose and a curtain for privacy.

"I'm here," came a whisper. I looked up and saw the firm bottom of the stewardess as it dipped down to the floor. So she was still there.

"Hey," I whispered back. As I rounded the shallow cooking kitchen, I found her stepping over 'Mark's' body. She'd taken care of him quietly. "Poison? Strangulation?" I whispered.

"Suffocation," she said as she did up a button on her uniform. "And I would avoid using the bathroom until after I clean it." I loved the way this woman worked.

Hefting 'Mark's' body into the dumb-waiter, I watched as she disappeared into the bathroom. A moment later, I put myself in the dumb-waiter. I could feel it moving toward the belly of the plane. In the dark, I sat with the damp and cooling body as I pulled two panels apart. The hole was just big enough for his body to slide through if I held him by the arms, but the air gushing in rocked the plane side-to-side. As we moved over a large patch of deep green, I let go of 'Mark's' hands.

Panels replaced, having hefted myself up through the dumb-waiter, and washed my hands in the tiny bathroom, I wondered when I would receive my next text that the company needed someone to break new ground. The thought of it made me think of her. I hoped a text would come through soon.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

During voting season Americans say that if the vote turns out such-and-such a way they're moving to Canada.

So where do Canadians say they're moving if the vote turns out badly, even if they're only joking about moving to that place?

Just curious.


I'm breaking off from the prompt and sharing a bit of that abandoned theater project I mentioned about a week or so ago.
- - - - - - - - - -
With the sun fully up, and her mind at a troubled sort of ease, Alsi descended from the roof, taking the interior stairs this time. There was never much activity here, given both the hour and the neighborhood, but she had no plans of getting spotted this morning, thank you.

After a quick left-right-left of the alley and slipping out towards the street it occurred to Alsi that she hadn't seen Roscuro and the others lately. She had no other commitments this morning, might as well swing by The Usual Spot and see what was what.

The Usual Spot was a two-story penthouse in an apartment complex among many in a low-key North Industrial Fringe neighborhood. Roscuro's respectable Roger Daioni signature adorned the long-term lease granted to him by his father, but he didn't use it for habitational purposes. Respectable though he appeared in public, the eldest Daioni son preferred the company of the literary types, the renegade artists, the urban enthusiasts, the thinkers, the dreamers, the generally more distinctive, interesting, and technically more "dangerous" crowd. It wasn't advisable for someone of his family's standing to be seen with any group of "those" people, and it always spelled trouble for "those" people if they were seen together in public at all: the intellectuals huddled in a coffee house corner, good company in Enlightenments Past, was now regarded as suspicious.

Outcasts as they might be, intellectuals still longed to get together to talk, discuss, and debate, it's simply their nature. Not even fear of punishment could deny this. Roscuro recognized this, and created an underground haven for his less "respectable" friends and associates in the top of an unassuming apartment building in a safe neighborhood.

It was still early by the time Alsi made it to The Usual Spot's building, so she met few people on the way over and on the way up. The few she did that recognized her gave her a smile and a nod that she returned. Roscuro's tenants, though not labeled intellectuals themselves, knew in their leases that his company was secret company not to be mentioned, especially to officials, and were thus contractually obligated to protect The Usual Spot and its patrons.

Not that they complained, of course. It was the least they could do to repay his proprietary generosity, and besides: they had no qualms keeping a secret from those who formed a group made of secrets that hadn't done them and other Industrial denizens any favors.
- - - - - - - - - -
... And that's all I got of that bit.

I'm debating whether or not to put this project on Protag.... perhaps not for this first go, but maybe the next?

Marc said...

Greg - they're saying around 61% came out to vote this time, which apparently is pretty low for us. The record low as 58.8%, which was for the 2008 election.

You painted a very vivid scene today - I could picture it far too clearly :)

Heather - a fine for not voting sounds like a brilliant idea. I'd totally support that.

I liked how you began that scene so innocuously - it gave the rest so much more impact.

g2 - that's a good question. I think I've heard 'a grass hut on an empty Mexican beach' a few times, but nowhere in particular comes up consistently.

I'm liking this world you've constructed. I hope it does make an appearance over on Protag at some point :)