Monday June 6th, 2011

The exercise:

The word of the moment is: crushed.

Because the Canucks got absolutely shellacked tonight in Boston. It's extremely important for them to come back strong in game 4 on Wednesday night after a result like this one.

Quite the day around these parts: two birds flew into the house (we really need to get/make a screen door), there was a marmot hanging out in the front yard (picture tomorrow if I remember), I saw my first hummingbird of the year (in Canada, anyway), and there were two snake sightings. I saw one behind our house, and Kat saw one in front of her parents' place.

Ah, Osoyoos.


Andy walked with a limp ever since the day his toes were crushed by the weight of his neighbour's car. Old Harry professed to have not seen him standing there, but Andy was never quite sure. It was, after all, less than a week after he'd broken Harry's lawnmower.

He tried to not let it keep him from his favorite hobbies, and it certainly didn't stop him from working his desk job, but things were never really the same afterward. Something had changed, and not just on the outside. Andy knew it, but he couldn't find a way to bring himself back to the way he was before.

That's what he told me, at least. But in here I got my own worries. Andy wasn't fit to watch my back, so I didn't bother to watch his.

Looking back, I can see now that was my biggest mistake.


Greg said...

Well, the Canucks have had a pause before when they've lost a game and then come back from it, so let's just hope that that's what's going on this time too. Go Canucks!
Was your snake sighting Mr. Wriggles, or one of his drinking buddies? And we definitely want to see the marmot picture!
And one of Mr. Wriggles. He's starting to feel like a friend of the family.
So today you've given us a murder mystery, I think, possibly involving the odd couple. Old Harry is fascinating, given he seems to over-react to provocation!

Jeopardy! questions to the answer above that never made it on to the show:
* "How do you like your eggs in the morning?"

* "How did I feel after my boyfriend asked me to marry him?"

* "Shaken or stirred?"

* "What happened to my favourite sex toy after I lent it to Yo Mama?"

Heather said...

Marc- Your piece doesn't ring with me today. I can't put my finger on why, but it feels like it is missing something. When you get to my piece, you will find I am in your company.

Greg- Completely off subject, but how reliable is the Guardian in the UK? Read a short, but funny piece, about Thatcher refusing to meet with Palin.


Dread made me cold and I pulled my shawl tightly around my shoulders. I didn't know why I had come. The outcome had been decided two weeks ago when John stood mute before the judge. I knew he was innocent, but couldn't readily admit to it. My husband would have beat me senseless and I would have lost both my boys and my daughter. They were just young children, each of them no taller than my waist. I just couldn't lose them.

The door opened and the tall man in front of me stood to his full height, obscuring my view. All I could see were John's muddy feet. He must have been pacing the floor of his cell last night. I wished he had spoken, said something. I knew his silence had been measured. By remaining silent, he was protecting his own family and mine as well. He was also asking for his own death.

I heard rustling and refocused on what was happening in the small square. A large crowd had gathered. Some were crying, begging for mercy. That group must have been his family. Others were celebrating the entertainment. The man in front of me called over to another man. "They've got him tied down now."

I bowed my head. I had prayed for two weeks for his release. Now I prayed for a quick end. I knew it would not be painless. I could hear men grunting as the first large stone was lifted and settled on to the plate. I imagined the immense weight of it pressing down on him. My chest ached as I rushed to catch my breath. Tears soaked my collar and discolored my eyes.

The judge asked him to admit his guilt. More grunting and a soft thud was the only answer. I could feel my lips tremble as I prayed more fervently for a miracle. I had emptied my lungs and forgotten how to take another breath in. Feeling dizzy, I sat on the ground. The earth trembled with the effort to move the next stone on top of the plate.

Women began screaming and children bawled. I rocked back and forth, not caring if a foot pressed into a hand or leg. Violently I drew in the air John had been deprived. Over and over I moved as the cries and cheers grew fewer. When all was silent, I looked up to see the large mound of boulders piled on top of him. His arms, legs, and head stuck out from under the plate. His body seemed deceivingly intact, but I knew it was as broken as my heart and my future.

Slowly, I gathered up my skirts and my basket and headed home. My husband would be in from the fields soon and the children still needed tending. I would have to wait.
Found this to be interesting:

Marc said...

Greg - definitely a different snake. I hear Wriggles is stuck at the border between Mexico and the States. Something about his paperwork being no good.

That last one of yours is highly disturbing. It's just... wrong.

Heather - I found it a struggle to write, so I'm not surprised it's not that great a read. Good thing we're just practicing here :)

I think yours held together much better than mine. It's been a long time, but it reminded me a bit of The Crucible.

Probably because that's the only other place I can recall reading about that sort of crushing.

And because I remember having to read Giles' part out loud in English class for that scene... and that the other person reading kept mispronouncing 'Giles' as 'Gills' and I had a hell of a hard time not laughing.

Ah, high school.

Greg said...

That's a really striking piece Heather! Superb work, absolutely.

The Guardian's pretty reliable actually; it's own by a trust rather than Rupert Murdoch -- I'm sorry, I mean an individual. We're not quite in the monopoly situation yet. It tends to research its stories quite well, and is left-leaning in its politics. It was, for years, lampooned by Private Eye as the Grauniad for its complete inability to produce an edition without spelling mistakes, although I don't believe they ever misspelled the masthead.

motherinToronto said...

After much heartbreak and tears, she decided it wasn't completely destroyed. It wasn't ruined, she could just pick up the pieces and work from there.

"Ava, don't pick it up! I'll buy you another one, you can't eat ice cream off the ground!" 5 year old Ava looked at the pitiful melting crush ice cream cone and realized it was Humpty Dumpty.

Just trying to catch up here.

Marc said...

Greg - that would be something if they *had* screwed up the masthead :D

Mother in T.O. - it's all about the 5 second rule ;)