Thursday July 7th, 2011

The exercise:

Pick one of the following and go wherever it takes you: captive, captivated, captivating.

The heat is here at last - it hit 36 yesterday, was up around 32 today. And with it comes lots of good growth in the garden... and lots of bad growth too. But it feels like we're getting a handle on the weeds, and Kat's dad has most of this week off and he's been helping a lot.

Tomorrow shall be spent harvesting and preparing for the market on Saturday. It's looking like we'll be bringing onions for the first time this year, which is rather exciting.

Mine:

He lay awake for the third night in a row, the campfire dancing across his closed eyelids. His body was exhausted after yet another day of hard marching, but his mind was still going at full speed. He knew he couldn't last much longer at this rate, but he had a feeling that this would be the night.

Gregory had pulled the middle watch at dinner and he was notorious for falling asleep when he was meant to be keeping the group safe. Gregory's shift had just begun, so he waited for the onset of snores that would let him know it was safe to act.

He didn't have to wait long. Taking a slow, deep breath, he eased his eyes open. Clouds had come with the night, masking the stars and moon. Perfect.

Moving deliberately, he escaped his bedroll and tiptoed between the sleeping bodies of his companions. At the far side of the camp he found the captive, hands and ankles bound, a thick rope tight around his neck at one end and secured to a tree at the other.

After a nervous glance over his shoulder, he pulled out his knife and set to work. His actions were so silent and careful that the captive didn't wake until he reached out and shook his shoulder with one hand, while the other covered his mouth.

"Come, my brother," the man told the captive, "it is time to go."

11 Comments:

Greg said...

So... is the name of the bad watchman a little dig because you're jealous of Isabelle Bonfontaine? You're more than welcome to take her and use her (ahem, that sounds a little risqué!) in something you know :)
Great story though, I really didn't know what protagonist was going to do, though I did rather doubt he'd kill the captive, given it's you writing. I really liked the first and third paragraphs, which I found very evocative.
And getting excited about onions! I wouldn't have thought that possible.

The captive
He shifted uncomfortably. The ropes binding his arms were too tight and bit into his flesh; no matter how he moved or shifted his weight something hurt. He shrugged as best he could, trying to move them to hurt a different part of his biceps. He shrugged a little too hard and his weight shifted, causing the chains at his ankles to clink softly as the balancing stone he was sat on rocked. A shadow by the entrance immediately shifted, and he froze.
Still the treacherous stone, a large boulder sat precariously atop a narrower column, continued to rock until it settled again, and the chain at his ankles clinked with each oscillation. The shadow grew larger and darkened as the jailer approached.
Gerald Bonfontaine curled up, uncaring now of the rocking of the balancing stone -- it was too late to care, the jailer was coming to punish him. As it stepped into the dim light from far above, the teddy-bear grinned, a death's head rictus with dead, shiny eyes. In its hand was a tiny, barbed whip, and though Gerald stifled a cry of fear, soon his cries of pain echoed around the dismal cave.

Andrew said...

I really liked your prose, Marc, and it makes me wonder if the captive and the rescuer really are brothers, and whether that was kept secret from the other guys in the gang. That would be interesting.

Greg, I thought your idea was interesting, very dark and dismal.

Captivated

Centered on the light,
Always showing bright,
Pulsing, a strong glow,
The light moves so slow.

In the sky it sits,
Very seldom it quits.
At nighttime, a break,
Then a new day it makes.

Every day sits in the sky,
Damaging, hurting my eyes.

***
Well, I really like how that came out!

morganna said...

Her mysterious eyes
Captivate my soul.
------------
I'm sure there's more, but that's it for now. I'll let you know if anything comes of it.

David said...

Great work folks - trying to rebuild writing muscles, so here's a short one:

The talking heads flickered on the glass, arguing about the dead little girl.

I slipped another kernel of popcorn into my mouth, experiencing the horrific tale as it unfolded.

Trapped, I watched and listened, hearing the arguments, and outside, the kids playing, where I should have been.

Denin said...

Captivated and unable to sit still.
Unable to comprehend emotion.
A warm swelling of your whole body
but not of pain or injury.

Quivering with the resonance
of your soul
and crying with the agony
of the words.

Sweat slipping from the brow
of lunatic groovers
guffawing with gusto
and relinquishing control to the sound.

Intensity in flames
and screams only heard in dreams
from your throat
while you envision the future
and the impact.

Music.

Marc said...

Greg - his name is Gregory not Greg. Of course it's not a dig! :P

I never would have thought I'd ever get excited about onions being ready. But then, you might be too if you ever tried the ones we grow!

That is one seriously creepy jailer. Poor Gerald :(

Andrew - thanks! In my head, they are related and it was kept secret, so I'm glad I got you thinking along those lines.

I liked how that came out too! It has a very nice rhythm to it.

Morganna - I shall be waiting :)

David - intriguing scene. You've got my imagination kicking in.

Denin - very nicely done, once again. I think the final line of your third stanza sums up my relationship with music :)

Heather said...

I've just returned from American Players Theater. I think it is one of my favorite places on Earth and tonight was no different. The actors and actresses never fail to captivate. Plus, Noel Coward is funny and smart.

I had such grand plans for this. None of them materialized.
-----

I am a human being. The living- breathing- blood- pumping -through- my- arteries- type human being. I am young, curious, and intelligent. But, I have a deadly virus. A computer virus. Please! Keep your distance so that I don't infect you.

My name is Xelha. I have dusty blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses. I use to weigh a buck ten. I was incredibly thin! I doubt I weigh less than 247 now. I am quite literally growing exponentially. It's the virus.

You think I am crazy. I didn't believe it myself at first so I don't blame you. Believe me when I tell you I am just an obvious case. One that is at such a late stage, it is impossible to dismiss I have an illness. There are many more like me all over the world. You've probably talked with one at the office water cooler or cursed at one driving down the road. We are everywhere and we spread quickly!

I have the recluse variety. You know. The kind of illness that keeps me from abandoning my abuser. Only, its not so much an abuser as the source of the infection. My computer, or rather, computers. I think there is a term for it. If you give me a second, I can google it. Yes! There it is! Stockholm Syndrome.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes. I am a human being with a computer virus. My symptoms present themselves at all hours of the day. I must be within reach of a computer at all times. I am help captive to their electrical pulses and twinges. On the rare occasion I have to leave the house, I attach one (or several) to my physical being. These constantly evolving devices feed off of me like parasites. And I depend on them like a drug addict depends on his next hit.

No, no, no, no. Physically there isn't anything wrong with me. Well, nothing that a little exercise wouldn't resolve. The weight gain and bad vision are just side effects of being sedentary and staring at a screen for hours on end.

Why am I telling you this? Because someone has to be aware. Someone has to recognize how serious access to technology is becoming. Someone has to help me and my infected brothers to break free and remember how to live. Someone has to find a cure!

Marc said...

Heather - well, if you hadn't mentioned that your grand plans didn't come together I certainly wouldn't have noticed. I thought that was great. Very much on target for our society in general.

Anonymous said...

CAPTIVATE
I cannot help it.
Your smile is captivating.
I mean, it's your fault.

Marc said...

Anon - totally the other person's fault. You have my full support :)

Papple said...

CAPTIVE
We draw straws. I pull mine out. I have the short straw. I run. I must get our lollies back before they eat them. Almost there.... " AHHHH" I shout. I'm flung into the air by a net. I've been captured by the wretched girls. They take me out of the net, handcuff me (with rope), and throw me into a messy wooden cage. I send the signal, " CACAAAA!, I'm being held prisoner by the girls, HELP!" I yell. " We are being invaded by the girls at the moment, can't help you right now mate." The boys reply. " LET ME GO!!!" I shouted. The girls giggled. " Please" I whisper talked. I sit. Better get used to my surroundings. I'm gonna be here a while.