Sunday December 4th, 2011

The exercise:

Let's go with: sabotage.

We finally got around to building our backyard compost this morning. It'll be nice not to have to walk all the way up to the one by Kat's parents house anymore.

Okay, 'all the way' might be a slight exaggeration. But with the weather getting colder it was about to feel a whole lot farther away.

Mine:

His technique was flawless. His timing impeccable. It was as though he knew exactly what to say at the precise moment his words would cause the most devastating result. His actions, both subtle and ostentatious, were equally magnificent.

Often he wasn't fully aware of what exactly it was he had wrought until well after the fact. Some might call it a natural gift, possibly dumb luck. His victims preferred to label it as ignorance or raging stupidity.

Regardless of your point of view, the end result was the same: he'd sabotaged yet another promising relationship.

6 comments:

Greg said...

How long does it take a compost pile to get going? I imagine that this is something you'll add to over winter in order to have compost for spring, but I'm intrigued to know more!
Ostentatious is a great word, but I actually prefer your second paragraph where the language just builds on itself so beautifully.

Sabotage
"This isn't the Netherlands, you know," said Christie. She was walking next to the flame-haired woman trying to act like they weren't together, and she was even staring into a shop-window as she spoke. She paused, pretending to be interested in a corduroy brocade kimono, letting the other woman walk past a little, towards the Santa's grotto area. In her clogs.
"I know," said the redhead stopping and walking back to peer at the dress as well. "How heavy do you think that dress is?"
"Too heavy for the dress-size," sighed Christie, "you'd be crippled just trying to stand up wearing it. Why, then, are you clattering around in clogs? Are you doing it just to annoy me?"
"No. Salted caramel?"
"No. Thank-you. Why then, why? Why are you wearing those damn shoes?"
"Sabotage." The redhead lifted one slender leg and slipped the clog off, then repeated the action with the other one. Underneath her clogs she turned out to be wearing cerise silk slippers.
"Sabotage?" asked Christie.
"Oh yes." She turned and threw the shoes, one after the other into the machinery of the Santa's grotto. "I'm trying to make an urban etymology come true!"

writebite said...

Sabotage

“One more twist to the left and it’ll do,” Dan muttered to himself.
The notes in his pocket bulged prominently as he skulked off into the night. It was an easy way to make a quick buck. Five thou down and five to go if the operation was successful.

Next morning, earlier than the birds rose, the characteristic blue-white light of the O.R. could just be seen six floors up from the street below. 
A prominent figure was undergoing a fairly minor yet needed procedure that required a light mix of general anaesthetic. All was going well. Vital signs were good, O2 saturation right on, heart rate low but not brachycardic. The monitors beeped in time with the music on the surgeon’s iPod. Fifteen more minutes and he’d be heading to the golf course for a quick round, then brunch.
Suddenly, the machines roared into life, flashing and beeping triple time. The patient went tachy, blood pressure rising to boiling point. The heart arrested. “He’s coding!” yelled the anaesthestist, and began cardiac massage. 
All efforts failed. A simple appendectomy became a catastrophic fatality.
Autopsy revealed a strange mix of blood gases plus extra potassium in the IV. It shouldn’t have happened.
The mayor-elect died on the table - dying from a simple mistake, a careless error. Or was it sabotage?

His opposite number won the election.

Cathryn Leigh said...

I love these prompts and this one has me thinking of one of my characters. The question is can I do this skillfully enough to, never mind, if I say it he’ll know it *mysterious wink* :}


Sabotage

The men had their orders, so through the woods they trudge keeping the lake always to their left. It was a two day trek before they made it to the damn. The sight was puzzling to them, because that’s all it was, a damn. There was no mill house connected to it to use the flowing water to power a grind stone.

It was a shame in their minds. They’d been hoping to find a Miller’s wife, or better yet daughter. Still, breaking the damn to sabotage the enemy country’s army testing was a good reward. Having found women there would have been a bonus. Still the coins in their pockets would be enough for a good time. Waiting until the next day, as their commander ordered, they made camp up by the top of the damn.

When the sun rose, they got to work axes hacking at the dam’s wood. Slowly but surely the torrent of water flowing over the dam increased. It still wasn’t enough to break it. The men looked at each other as they rested to eat. If they failed the mission all of their lives would be forfeit, and it wouldn’t be a swift death. The sergeant cut straws and each man pulled one from his hand. The short straw fell to the youngest.

Swallowing the boy turned from his leering companions and shouldered his ax. He made his way carefully to the base of the damn. He found a spot to stand, feet planted into the ground, water swirling around them. With each swing of the ax, his heart beat faltered. When water began to seep through the crack, he made his way to the other side. There he repeated the process.

A second man was sent down, grumbling the whole way. He set about making the first crack wider while the first man hacked at the second. The only warning the two men got of the damn breaking was the loud crack on the wood. But that wasn’t warning enough and they were swept away by the rushing water as the lake emptied.

Above the broken dam, with his remaining men, the Sergeant smiled. Their task was complete. He sent the men as a rapid pace, back the way they came. There was more sabotaging to be done.

Marc said...

Greg - I'm actually still learning about composting myself, so I'll get back to you on that :)

If you're trying to make me start thinking about Tagged again... it's working :P

Writebite - intriguing little tale. It's sparked a few thoughts in my head about something I was mulling writing myself. If I end up actually getting it down I'll let you know!

Elor - glad you're enjoying yourself here :D

Your Sergeant is an interesting character. Which story were you thinking of when the idea came to mind?

writebite said...

marc, cool!

Cathryn Leigh said...

Marc - Well as I believe there is only one story of mine that you are reading, it should be easy to figure out. *grin* However, the piece I wrote is essentially from the antognist's side of things. The Sergeant and him men are nameless and faceless soliders of a certain man's army. :}