Thursday January 26th, 2012

The exercise:

With items provided by many of you, we're going back to the list prompt. I'm actually splitting this into two separate prompts because I got so many responses - thank you! So pick any two of the following and include them in your writing today:

- a fishing rod
- a basket filled with balls of multicolored yarn
- paint
- a red Chevy pickup truck, covered in fresh snow

Fun fact: just before posting this I checked to see when I'd last used a list for a prompt: September of 2010.

Fun fact number two: I'll be making up for that this year, as I'm planning on using the rest of the objects you guys sent my way next Thursday.


Judith mixed the oil paints on her wooden palette as she studied her fidgeting subject. She was having trouble matching the green of his vest, which was unusual for her. Normally she could do this sort of thing in her sleep.

"Douglas, hold still," she told her nephew. Maybe a touch more white? No, still not quite there. "I'll have your portrait finished much sooner if you stop fussing."

"If you want my picture why don't you just use a camera like everybody else?" Douglas turned to look longingly at the sun-dappled back yard. "It's like, way faster."

"Honey, anybody and their dog can take your picture," she replied, adding a dab of black. Nope. "A painting, on the other hand, is something extra special that only a handful of people can do well. It takes more time and care, and you'll remember these moments for the rest of your life."

"Only because this is gonna take the rest of my life," he muttered darkly.

"Watch your tongue, young man." Why in the world was the color not turning out the way she wanted it to? "Where did you get that vest, anyway?"

"Daddy bought it for me on the way here," Douglas replied in a bored tone. "He said something about it allowing him some extra quality time with his fishing rod this weekend."

"Is that right?" Judith put down her palette and stood up, beckoning the boy over. Douglas rushed to her, seeing her smile but completely missing the anger flashing in his aunt's eyes. "Well then, I think it's time we took my boat out to visit your father on the lake so that I can have a word with him."


Greg said...

*snicker* Fishing rod so sounds like a euphemism in yout story. I don't care if I do sound like a five-year old now.
Judith seems like an interesting character, and this seems like the beginning to a much bigger story. I rather liked the detail about the green of the vest (I'm assuming that it's the North American usage of vest rather than the British one!)

On the stage, the news anchor spun the tombola and plastic balls rattled and danced in the cage. Off to the left of the stage, the condctor stifling a yawn with one hand, waved his baton lazily at the drummer who produced a laconic drum-roll. Janice was sure she could a sarcastic paradiddle in there, but perhaps it was her own cynicism creeping in.
"Number 81!" called out the news anchor, his voice oddly higher pitched than it was on the evening news.
"Me!" squeaked a little old lady with nicotine yellow (once white) hair, bouncing up from her seat like a puppy-dog given its first bone. "That's my number!"
"Well, congratulations," grinned the news anchor. "You win a brand new fishing rod, carbon composite, eighteeen feet, and a trip to the largest lake in the Yukon!"
"Eeeeeeee!" squeaked the little old lady, but the tombola was spinning again already.
"Number eight!"
"Oh!" Janice started from her near-torpor. "Oh, that's my number...."
"You win... a red Chevy pickup truck covered in fresh snow!"
The catch, as she discovered thirty minutes later, was that it was covered in sixteen feet of fresh snow and she had to dig it out herself. Still, it had to better than that fishing trip to the Yukon.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@ Marc - so her borther picked the vest so that she'd have a hard time matching the color huh? *snicekrs* Ahh the sibling rivalry I missed out on. *giggles*

@Greg - wait the Brittish use vest diffently from North America? Do tell!

A Truck and a Rod

Standing upon his tackle box, Eric looked longingly out the window. His dad soon came into view, shovel in hand, headed towards the pickup. Slowly but surely the new fallen snow fell from it's side, revelaing red paint. When the exaust blew a puff of smoke eric squealed. Grabing his fishing pole from where it had been resting beside him, he ran out the door.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Greg - he he I got so sidetracked on my own story I forgot to read yours. It seems we had the same two items in mind. :}

David said...

@Marc - sadly, my juvenile mind agrees with Greg - why else would she be so angry about the father's fishing lol

@Greg - loved the ending - and the fact that she would rather the snow covered truck than fishing trip

@CathrynLeigh - this is one of my favorite things that you have written. So succinct and to the point. Takes me back to being a kid (and makes me appreciate how my kids get excited when I take them somewhere).

David said...

Here is mine ... what can I say

Sarah lay in bed, inspecting the inside of her right thigh. She picks at the dried spots of yellow paint that cover her skin, provocatively stretching her limbs for some unseen artist. She is her own muse though, and as she runs her fingers across her naked belly, she lets her mind creatively wander. She dreams of the soft woolen caress of the multi-colored balls of yarn nestled in the wicker basket at the foot of her bed. Fantastic pictures dance across her brain as she circles her index finger slowly around her belly button. Now a stiff fishing rod blowing in the wind and a red Chevy pickup revving its powerful engine under a blanket of fresh dawn snow. The pristine images flood her wicked little mind. She presses her fingertips to her lips and smiles her devilish smile, the one that has launched so many mischievous works. She slides out of bed and envelops the cold tile floor with the bottoms of her warm feet.

Krystin Scott said...

Dear Auntie Persephone,

How are ya? I am doing alright.

We got to the cottage on Wednesday bout lunchtime. The place looks just like it did in those pictures ya showed me but the ole picket fence needs to be mended and could use a fresh coat of paint.

There is a kid up here bout my age, maybe a little older, staying at the Moose Head Lodge just down the hill. Her name is Ophelia. She's here on vacation with her grandmother but she ain't been havin' much fun. All her ole gran will do is sit in one of them huge rockers on the lodges front deck. She just sits there all day with her little basket of yarn crocheting the most god aweful toboggans.

It's really cold out on the lake, not at all like back home. Everyone here dresses in layers of clothes so thick that they look like stay-puffed marshmellow men.

It snowed last night so we had to dig out dad's old chevy pickup this morning. Then after breakfast he went off to Ed's Bait and Tackle to get himself a new fishing pole. He fell asleep in the boat again and a big fish came along and made off with his old one.

Well Auntie, Ophelia will be along soon. Were gonna go explorin' before poppa gets back then were all headed down to the lake.

Wish you were here,


Anonymous said...

@ Greg - That is one awesome contest...right out of the mind of Terry Gilliam it seems to me.

So, I apologize for the length...I couldn't control it. It wanted out. Perhaps I am overcompensating for missing a day (danged system re-installs).

Phillip slowly flipped through the old LPs not really all the interested in the collection but just giving himself something to pass the time while he waited.

Charis was hunched over the coffee table intent on her task.

At some point Phillip realised he was going backwards but in his current state of mind it didn't really matter.

"Let's see. The Pogues...Pink Floyd...Parsons- Holy Shit! You've actually got an LP by 'Paint?'"
He whistled whilst casting a quick glance at Charis who was now carefully rolling the paper.
"And it's *the* album, A basket filled with balls of multicolored yarn! Who the hell even recorded that?"

Charis got a huge smile even as she dabbed the quite significant blunt with her tongue.

" turned out one of the stoners in the audience in '78 had a reel to reel and was actually coherent enough to set it up. The quality sucks but the music is awesome."

She gathered up another paper and cradled it in one hand while reaching into the bag for contents. She got a really far off look in her eyes.

"Dude. Back in '86, me and Marv used to have this beat up, red Chevy pick-up and on my Birthday he pulls up in the driveway and yells at me to come on over. I was out shovelling the walk. Anyhow, I climb in and without a word he jams this cassette in the tape deck and out comes this absolutely crazy shit."

Phillip sees that she is completely there, in that past, her task forgotten.

"Anyhow, I'm just blown away and Marv is smilin, this huge shit eatin' grin, and then they start on 'Fishing Rod'. I don't know if I cried or what but I was tripping."

Charis is obviosuly misty now.
"When Lemon started in on that flute solo and there I was sitting in the old truck with a fresh layer of snow piling up outside and my mind was just-," she gestures with her fingers and the proto blunt and contents go flying across the table and the carpet.


Marc said...

Greg - sigh, kids :P

I would also happily take the truck over the fishing trip to the Yukon.

Elor - I'm with David, that's a nicely handled scene.

David - sigh, you boys :P

The stiff fishing rod and revving truck engine were a great way to work in the items :)

Krystin - some great descriptions in there. The names add a rather... sinister touch to things.

GZ - as I like to say, write for as long as you're inspired to write :)

Haha, some unexpected ways of working in the objects. Very nicely done, and the scene comes across quite authentically I think.