Sunday July 17th, 2011

The exercise:

Let's give the random book prompt another whirl, shall we? So grab a book, preferably one you haven't read yet, and use its first line as your own (credit where it's due, as always).

Had a restful day off - slept most of the morning, enjoyed a visit from someone I worked with at BC Hydro in the afternoon, and then did a quick survey of the garden in the evening to see what needs doing this week.

Going to try to get to bed early tonight so I'll be ready to go tomorrow morning.


I confess that when first I made acquaintance with Charles Strickland I never for a moment discerned that there was in him anything out of the ordinary. He possessed no mannerisms that would suggest brilliance, or anything that led a casual watcher to think he was worthy of continued observation.

No, I must say, he appeared on the whole quite uninteresting.

How could I have been so mistaken? Was Charles that accomplished an actor? Was I that big a fool? I wish I could say that alcohol was involved in my part, but that would be a lie equal to all those he told me that night.

It is past time for such thoughts. Now I must busy myself with determining how to tidy up the mess that trickster has left in his wake.

I must save thoughts of revenge for later.


Greg said...

Well, so far Gibraltar is being fairly welcoming, though the heat less so -- it's 30C outside and nary a cloud in the sky.
Sounds like you had a great day off! I hope the coming week isn't too tough :)
Hmm, Charles sounds quite interesting as you paint him here, though I think there are hints of Henri about him too. I should definitely be interested if you write more about him.

As for mine: since I'm away from my books I went to google books and picked the first one they offered me. The author sounded vaguely familiar, and though I've read nothing by him, I realised that I did know he'd written Westerns.

To the Last Man - Zane Grey
At the end of a dry, uphill ride over barren country Jean Isbel unpacked to camp at the edge of the cedars where a little rocky canyon green with willow and cottonwood, promised water and grass. His immediate first thought as he looked around was that there were no power sockets to be seen anywhere. He cursed a blue streak and dropped his KitchenAid blender, just missing his foot.
Gradually getting his calm back he sat down, his back to his mule, and thought morosely about the microwave, the toaster oven and the flat-screen tv that he now couldn't use unless he could find an adaptable source of electricity. He'd spent three days trekking through this mosquito-ridden god-forsaken wilderness and every evening he'd been denied a decent meal and his favourite soap-opera. It was enough to drive even a rugged, champion cowboy like himself to tears.
Something bonged sadly in a saddlebag, and he realised that even his grandfather-clock was running out of power. With that gone, how would he tell the time.
He stood up again, faced upwards to the empty sky, slowly darkening towards dusk, and screamed. His rage and anguish combined into one primal, heart-felt shriek of pain that echoed around the wasteland. When his lungs were finally empty of air, he stopped and bent over, his chest heaving, feeling as though it were on fire. He felt better.
He never saw or heard the bear that, attracted by his scream, decided that he'd be perfectly fine eaten raw, without microwaving, cooking or blending first.

Marc said...

Greg - Zane Grey is one of my dad's favorites, so good choice :)

Love how far you strayed from that opening line. It was pointing quite forcefully in one direction and you just ignored it completely :D

Maddy said...

It is interesting how I write the work that I despise reading, although this is the first time I have written a character that I hate. This assignment was much more challenging than I thought. I have never read this book before, but I'm pretty sure I will now, it starts off quite well.

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

'Almustafa, the chosen and beloved, who was a dawn unto this own day, had waited for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.' It had been all too long sense he had been on the rock where he had craved and dreamed to leave all his life. Sadly, the experience of the real world had left him with a turned view of his home; it always changes such fresh and naive minds, even the chosen one's.

The ship came into dock and Almustafa stared with a sigh in his eyes at the place he was leaving. He would miss looking around and seeing unknown faces all around. He would miss the excitement, the restlessness of such a large place. He would miss getting piss drunk without a family member coming across him and hearing a lecture. But most of all he would miss the strip clubs he went to almost every night sense he moved here. If he hadn't decided to move back he would probably hired a striper for himself and than more than likely a hooker. He liked the professionals much better than any 'real woman'.

So why move back? Simply because he would rather live in that stupid isle than get robbed every day. Last week was his first mugging and he would have been stabbed if a policemen hadn't walked by at that time. It was the last draw; he was sick of coming back to his apartment day after day, his window broken and everything gone. It was enough. So with a heavy heart, he turned and went back home.

He went back home a 19-year-old boy who fancied himself a man because he could charm all around him. Life came easy to the praised boy, but soon life would change. Soon, he was about to start the journey spoken of when he was born. The journey that would take his simple opinion, filled with evidence of simple men, and toss it around, throwing it this way and that till he'd go crazy of confusion. He would suffer, that would be certain. And he would feel pain and his world would never be the same.

It shall be like this until he would become strong enough to overcome the struggle. It would be than, and only then that he would become a man, and not just any man; the one spoked of in prophecy.