Wednesday July 20th, 2011

The exercise:

Tell me about: the map.

Had a good harvest this morning for the restaurant. Unfortunately they only wanted some of the raspberries this week, rather than all of them. But on the plus side, the pick went a lot faster and there was actually some leftover for me to freeze for our own use.

After the strawberry debacle, in which we sold pretty much all of them and hardly saved any for ourselves, this is a nice change. I'm already looking forward to having them on top of pancakes come January.


The president stood over the map, hands folded behind his back and eyes shifting from country to country, from troop placement to troop placement. There were several points where his men outnumbered the enemy soldiers by a small margin and he needed to make a decision before reinforcements arrived.

He glanced up at the man across the table from him but said nothing before returning his gaze downward. What he really needed, he suddenly realized, was a very stiff drink.

"Enough delay," he announced after another minute of silent study. "I have decided to invade Australia."

"As you wish, Mr. President." The man across from him allowed a small smile to appear on his lips as he picked up the two white dice. "Will you be attacking with three armies at a time, or just two?"


Greg said...

I'd be thrilled to have some raspberries to keep back for myself! They're fantastic fruit, and so easy to cook with. I can see though, that as a business, you have to occasionally make that tough call to sell all the produce and forgo the pleasure of it yourself :(
Heh, great piece of misdirection today, I had no idea what you were up to until the last paragraph! I think I particularly liked the stress the president was feeling causing him to want a stiff drink. Are all your games of Risk like that?

The map
The cartographer sat very still, listening. His pen was poised above his desk, and he moved his arm very gently, soundlessly, until it was away from the map he was drawing, so that the ink couldn't drip and blot. He wasn't sure what he'd heard, but he was sure he'd heard something.
For interminable seconds all he heard was the dull thump of his heart in his chest, and the soft shush of blood in his ears, and just as he was relaxing, thinking he must have been mistaken, he heard the tiniest rattle of metal on metal from the other room.
He laid the pen down and turned on his high stool, away from the drawing board, and then slid off it noiselessly. As he reached the door, he picked up an ancient curved scimitar from where it leaned against the wall. It was far too heavy, so he swung it up and stepped through the door together, shouting wordlessly.
Isabelle Bonfontaine looked up from the counter, dropping the map she'd been looking at. The half of her face unaffected by the stroke showed surprise but the other half was motionless, and the cartographer, already scared, thought for a moment that a demon with two faces was in his shop.
Then the scimitar dragged his arms down and smashed through a display case setting off a shrill, ringing alarm.
"Bob?" said Isabelle backing away. "It's me, Bob. Isabelle."
"I... I thought you were someone else," he said, now red with embarrassment. He went behind the counter and fumbled with a switch to kill the alarm.
"You're not the only one who wants your map," he said.

Denin said...

Ah, Risk. I have fond memories of staying up until 3 AM with my best friends playing that game. Not that we ever finished a game, but. Most of the time was spent laughing at whoever the coward that hid in Australia was. :)


The map was our final mark on humanity. Our red X marking the spot. Our spot. In a moment of terror and panic, we cast it out in hope that it would somehow ezcape the war and seek out the hands that would bring it back to us. But the war raged on,and we were forced to flee. As darkness descended on our race, I held the candle for my brothers, sparing what little hope remained. The darkness concumed them one by one, until only I was left, and the shadows began to fill my soul.

The sun shone brightly over the walls of the cave as I emerged for the morning. The trees were full with their green garb. And out of the forest emerged a young man holding a rolled up cloth. The map.

Marc said...

Greg - we're trying to be more conscious of saving some for ourselves; that's part of why we're doing this, after all. It can be tough though, especially when people are banging down your door like they were for the strawberries.

And yes, I've played a few games of drinking Risk. It's not a good idea, for the record. But it's fun :P

I quite like Bob the cartographer!

Denin - so, so many games of unfinished Risk. It's a bit ridiculous, really :P

That's a great intro to a story! Makes me want to read on.

Eddie said...

Lol haven't written in a long while! But here goes

Luther stared up at the sky frowning, straining to recall what he learned years ago. "Let the stars be your guide. Let them help you find your way." Janice stood by her husband's side with her arms crossed. She tried to be patient with him, but could not understand why he was being so stubborn. "Honey, we're going to be late. Why don't you just-"

"Let the stars be your guide...", Luther interrupted, reciting his mantra.


"I know what I'm doing. Don't worry. We'll be on our way in just a minute."

"Are you really looking at the stars for direction? Look, we're late enough as it is. Stop goofing around already and lets get going!"

"Let the stars be your guide.", Luther repeated, becoming more frustrated. A few minutes elapsed and he looked down at his watch. He glanced at his wife who stared back at him with her arms still crossed. "Alright, alright. Fine." Luther and Janice returned to their car and turned on their GPS navigation system.

"Happy now?"


Marc said...

Eddie - welcome back!

Haha, fun scene :) Very well executed.

Anonymous said...

What if life came with a map?
It'd be so much easier, wouldn't it?
We'd know exactly where our decisions would take us,
Exactly where our futures lie.
We wouldn't have to blindly guess which way to go,
We wouldn't have to worry about getting lost,
About losing our way, or at all.

But unfortunately, life doesn't come with one.
Not even a hint as to how to get where we desire to be.
All we have is a broken compass that doesn't point north.
An our end destination - happiness.
But we don't have a sure way of reaching it.
Thus, it's risky business,
This journey called life,
But we all dive in anyways,
Headlong, headfirst without any sense of direction.

Marc said...

Anon - most of the time, I like not having a map. But there are days when I can certainly sympathize with the sentiments of your piece.

Andrew said...

Every pirate, as a rule, has to obtain at least one treasure map in their lifetime and find the chest it leads too. This works very well, for most pirates, but when it comes to, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything," well...

Marc said...

Andrew - haha, I'd love to read a story about that group of pirates. Lots of possibilities there.

Maddy said...

"Go to college
Get a job
Get a career
Get rich
Find the girl
Marry girl
Get filthy rich
Live glamorously"
Sam looked at his list. He would have this life if it took everything in him.