Sunday June 5th, 2011

The exercise:

Let's go with: the trigger.

Very enjoyable day off, spent mostly lazing around the house before going out for a drink with Kat after dinner.

Twas an absolutely gorgeous day, and they're calling for 30 degrees tomorrow. Yes, please.

Although I would also take 3-0. Go Canucks!


It was my job to determine what had triggered the explosion, to provide answers for the questioning victims and their families. I took the responsibility seriously, moving through the debris deliberately, studying every shattered item.

Nearly an hour had passed before I finally found what I was looking for. The white liquid had gathered in the far corner of the room, its container only a few feet away. It appeared to have cracked when it was dropped, but seemed otherwise intact. I placed it in a plastic bag and went to confront the perpetrator.

"All right, Danny," I said to the toddler handcuffed to the toy box. "Who spilled your milk?"


Greg said...

It was a rather good Sunday here in the UK too, we had a lovely rainy afternoon and evening. English summer rain is somehow very calm and appealing.
Danny seems precocious :) I hope he gets away with it!

The trigger
The baby crying was the trigger. He'd learned to distinguish the different cries she had: too cold, too hot, sensation-I-don't-understand (usually pooping). This one was just hungry.
The kitchen, tiny and dirty, barely had space for the refrigerator, a huge iron thing that must have been fifty years old. The only thing in it was a lump of mould that had been parmesan in a better life. There was nothing for the girl.
So, he picked up the grapefruit knife and went out, down the tenement stairs and on to the street. Rain splashed down around him, soaking through the thin, torn shirt he was wearing in seconds. A car sped past, splashing him with dirty water from the gutter, and he stood there, shouting after it, until he remembered her cries.
At the end of the street, sheltering under a umbrella with the logo of a economy-destroying bank on it, was Manny, a second-generation Italian with too little facial hair for the goatee he was trying to grow. Manny looked at him, and his eyes narrowed. The man held the grapefruit knife out in front of him, his hands wavering.
"You want blow? 'Cos that's not gonna get you very much," said Manny.
"I want milk," said the man.

motherinToronto said...


Decades had passed since he had been to this seaside. Playful voices carried on the floral scented sea air as people gathered for the warm sunny day. He had been to many beaches over the years, but none carried quite so specific smell as this one that it triggered a flood of memories. He drew the saliva back in his throat to swallow the memories that left him with a tangible bitter sweet taste in his mouth. As he reached the summit of the tall steep sand dune he had been climbing the sound of the waves crashing down on the soft sand met his ears. How much of it was the actually sensory input and how much was his memory adding to the deafening effect? He couldn't be sure. But more than anything the scent triggered more tumultuous and conflicting emotions than he was prepared to deal with. The dark blue sea and pale blue sky were open widely to him. Only the smell of the sea, sand and wild flowers triggered a scent memory that was suffocating.
Regrets aside, he chose to embrace the best memories the smell proffered. Standing on the highest point for miles he held out his arms to the lush wind and breathed deeply.

Marc - You reminded me of my 2 year old. "Who used spagetti to paint the walls?" 2 year old with big proud smile: "I did it!"

Sorry it's rather long.

Greg - The man has my sympathy. :)

Heather said...

Dear Aaron,

I thought of you today. I was driving down I90, talking to my mom through the hands-free, and flipping stations. I stopped on the oldies station. Can you believe the music we sang at the top of our lungs while speeding down Main Street is now played on the oldies station? The oldies station! I always thought of that as my grandfather's generation of music. God, are we really getting that old?

No! That isn't it. I'm not old enough to be anyone's grandma. I still have two little kids. One isn't even old enough for school yet. And you have that beautiful son of yours. What is he now? Nine months, I think. I know he isn't a year yet. The weather is still too warm.

He must be crawling by now and calling out for his dada. I bet he is absolutely precious and I am even more certain that every time he babbles those syllables you get that crooked smile I have always loved. I would have walked over hot coals to give you a kiss when you smiled like that at me. I only saw it come out in the most innocent situations, but it was so languid it felt a little dirty. You must know by now how seductive your smile is.

But that was all such a long time ago. We aren't those young love struck teenagers anymore. Look at us! We've grown up and moved our own separate ways! We have beautiful families and are so much wiser. Thinking of all the time that has passed makes me feel old.

Did I mention that "I've Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime" by Firehouse came on the radio this morning? It made me think of you.



Marc said...

Greg - summer rain certainly has its charm.

The (usually pooping) was entirely unexpected and made me laugh :)

Intriguing ending you've got there.

Mother in Toronto - you had me worried we were headed for an unhappy or tragic ending. Glad to see I was wrong :)

Heather - wonderful take on the prompt. I liked that you managed to make the tie-in to the prompt clear without needing to use the actual word.

Anyway, you really brought your narrator to life for me. Great job.

Miss B said...

I walk through the cave,
It's got a ghostly feel,
I step on something a light turns on. Take foot off. Off. I did this for about an hour. I like activating triggers and pressing buttons as they are fun.