Thursday February 2nd, 2012

The exercise:

As promised last week, today brings us part two of the list prompt, consisting of various objects submitted by you fine folk.

And now for a brief moment of honesty: I was super tempted to type 'fine folkers' up there.

Carrying on! Select any three objects from the list below and include them in your writing today:

- air compressor
- black coffee
- white stuffed cat with a missing nose
- Koala shaped earmuffs
- blue bird stress ball
- metal lily pad dish with dancing frog on its edge

Also as previously promised, here's a link to the extended version of my Q and A response.


As she sat contemplating her assignment, Emma could hear her two grandkids playing in the backyard. Dear to her heart, without a doubt. Quiet, not a chance.

She picked up the white stuffed cat they had brought with them and studied where its nose should be but was not. Erica claimed it had just fallen off, but Emma suspected Colby had bitten it off. That boy was born wild and had been progressing toward feral ever since.

With a soft tut tut she reached for her needle and thread. The metal lily pad dish that held them had been a gift from the grandkids, one she had abhorred at first. But it had grown on her, especially the dancing frog that adorned its edge.

"Well James," she said to the frog, "I've had my day's worth of coffee and it's only nine am. Let's get to work!"


Greg said...

What an interesting list! It kind of makes you wonder what kind of people we all are....
I think I really like your narrator talking to her frog today, it brings her to life for me.

Milk or no milk? She decided not to put milk in the coffee, she'd save it and have it on her cereal later. She picked the cup up, realised how hot it was and changed her grip so that she was holding it by the handle. Then she went across the kitchen to the garage door.
Johann was leaning over his workbench whistling tunelessly. His hands busy, planing down the edge of the wood that was becoming her bookcase. She'd joined a book-club two months ago, and now that she had four books she'd wanted somewhere sensible to keep them, so Johann had volunteered to come over and build her a bookcase. She was grateful, though she suspected his intentions.
She smiled. He was wearing koala-shaped earmuffs; the garage wasn't heated, and they went nicely with his dolphin-patterned finglerless gloves. It also meant he couldn't hear her walking up behind him, and the temptation to surprise him was too strong to resist. She tiptoed over, and tapped him on the shoulder.
He jumped, dropping the plane on his foot, so he jumped back and collided with her. She shrieked in surprise, and dropped the coffee cup. It clunked and gurgled.
"Agnes!" he said, pulling off the earmuffs. "You startled me! Are you alright?"
She smiled, aware that this was really all her fault.
"I'm fine," she said. "I dropped your coffee."
They both looked down; the coffee had spilled into the air-compressor attached to the nail-gun.
"Oh dear," she said. "Is that important?"
"Let's find out," said Johann, picking the nail-gun up.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc – very endearing. I totally know that grandma, and those kids, I swear... well thankfully my boy seems to be growing away from feral.

@Greg – interesting, I’m just hoping he plans to use it on the bookshelf, not her, but knowing you... And really, never surprise a man working. *eyeroll*

Miscellaneous Items

Nancy set the coffee down next to her grandmother, “black and hot just like you like it, Gramma.”

“Thank you dear.” The woman patted the girl on the head.

“Can I go outside now?”

“Go on, but be sure to bundle up. There’s a new pair of ear muff by the door.” Gramma didn’t look up from her work.

“Koalas!” The squeal from Nancy made her grandmother smile. “Oh thank you thank you!” She hugged her grandmotrher tightly and kissed her cheek.

“Now go and git out,” Gramma shooed her, “I can’t finish this dish and from for your ma with you interrupting every five minutes.”

Nancy giggled and skipped her way out of grandmother’s work room to play in the snow outside.

Krystin Scott said...

When I started writing, there were no responses and it had me puzzled... Did you all sleep in on this fine Friday morning?

Daniel sat at his desk, printed copies of the quarterly sales laid out before him. Profits were nil, the figures highlighted by bold and red font clear evidence of that. The inventory balance sheets showed that there had been a considerable loss of inventory. Someone was stealing from the company, but who could it be? He kicked back in his office chair, and ran his fingers through his sweat laden hair. There had to be an explanation, the people he worked with were his friends, some he considered family.

Agitated, he picked up his blue bird stress ball and began pumping away. It had been a Christmas gift from his son, Gavin; he purchased it in the school book store and paid for it with his own money. Daniel smiled as he thought of it, and the little bird looked back at him, willing him to calm down.

From in the shop an air compressor began to fill. The noise was deafening which was why he insisted that everyone who worked for him wore protective ear covering. His four year old daughter Katie had initially refused, but when his wife Sarah offered to buy her special koala ear muffs she quickly changed her tune.

A sad smile crossed his face as he thought of his family. He had made a good go of it, put all they had into his business and now he had failed them. He would not be able to keep the business open, before long the bank would come to collect the mortgage and he had nothing to offer them. Angry now, he threw the ball and watched as it bounced off the wall and rolled to some unseen place.

Picking up the framed picture of his family, tears began to stream down his face. Just then Stan rapped twice on the door scaring Daniel half to death and causing him to knock the whimsical frog dish from his desk scattering paperclips across the desk and floor. “Sorry boss.” said Stan apologetically. “I’ve assembled the guys; they are waiting for you in the break room. Is there anything I can get you?”
Without turning around Daniel replied “Coffee….. Black.”

Iron Bess said...

The smell of coffee was almost enough to make, the Pann’et Azar, rip the door from its hinges trying to get into the small convenience store. He waited somewhat impatiently until the elderly woman blocking his way and wearing, koala shaped earmuffs, inched to the side. Whatever she was going to say to him died in her throat when she saw the insignia on his jacket, he watched as she made, the sign, with her fingers before quickly hiding them in her pockets. He was torn between the desire to rip her arms off and beat her senseless with them for such a brazen insult, and the desire for a hot cup of black coffee. The coffee won.

His entrance into the establishment caused the usual wave of silence to descend upon the occupants of the store. Everyone stood like wax figurines watching as he poured himself a cup before walking back to the cashier. The hand in his pocket convulsed, more than squeezed, the incongruous blue bird stress ball Ja’alin had given him. “How much,” he barked at the small wizen man behind the counter.

Anonymous said...

Walter stepped forward carefully, his face a study in grim determination. He knew, deep down, that this wasn't going to be easy but it was something that needed to be done.

The devastation was, while not entirely complete, enough that any right thinking person would declare it complete. The house was gone. There were still bits and pieces of it in situ but they were far and away the minority. He could see one large chunk of the family room wall up the street where it had been caught by the tangled roots of one of the massive oaks that had been torn down.

The driveway had been scoured clean and it led to the remains of the garage, which perversely enough, were the most complete.

“Thanks a lot Big Guy,” he muttered to himself, “you left us all the junk we put in storage.”

He shoved his way past the air compressor which was lying on it's side and stepped over the little plastic bucket with its collection of blue bird stress balls. His eyes lit on a beat up old metal 'lily pad' dish with a dancing frog along the lip and he found himself involuntarily fighting back tears. The girls had been so proud when they'd presented that as an anniversary gift, all those years ago. They had carefully saved up all through the summer and had then trolled the local yard sales until the found 'the perfect' gift'. Oh how he and Donna had laughed. Still, it was happy memory amidst all of 'this'.

He caught a glimpse of something white and fuzzy under a torn sheet of plywood from somewhere else in the neighbourhood and flipped the wood out of the way. He picked up the white stuff cat with it's forlorn, missing nose and turned toward the road.

“Hey Emmy! You were right...JP is safe and sound.”

He held up the trophy as evidence to the little girl standing there in her weathered old poofy winter jacket adjusting her Koala shaped earmuffs against the cold.

She smiled a little bleakly, but with an obvious show of bravery and then clapped her hands.

He walked out to meet her and give her good old Jean Paul Sartre which she embraced in a hug.

“I knew JP would be safe,” she said quietly. “He's clever.”

“That he is,” replied Walter as he upended his now cold, black coffee onto the ruined boulevard.

“Let's go now. The police said we can come back in a day or two and have a better look around.”

Marc said...

Greg - anybody else writes that, and I wouldn't be sitting here wondering how he's planning on testing that nail gun...

Cathryn - sweet little scene :)

Krystin - rough times for Daniel. You really get a feel for his situation in that scene.

Iron Bess - the stress ball in the pocket totally makes that scene for me. Awesome touch :)

GZ - poignant scene. Liked the comment about the junk being spared. And the 'clever' comment was nicely done too.