Wednesday March 28th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the carpenter.

Canucks won again tonight. With five games to go in the regular season they're guaranteed one of the top two playoff seeds in the Western Conference. First is within reach, but it'll take St. Louis losing a few games to happen.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the start of the playoffs.

Mine:

Carl surveyed the proposed work site, his teeth clenched around the stem of his wooden pipe. He'd carved it himself years ago and it was badly in need of replacement. But there were too many memories in those teeth marks for him to let it go.

"So what do you think?" his partner Mitch asked, rubbing his hands together to ward off the early morning chill.

"I don't care for it," Carl said, his eyes narrowing. "But we need the money."

"And this would keep us busy for years," Mitch added.

"Yeah, assuming we survive to see it finished."

The two men turned their gazes upward in unison, each picturing the finished product. Carl dropped his head first.

"If we do this," he said after a lengthy silence, "you get the top half."

**  Inspired by this  **

5 Comments:

Greg said...

So are you going to be sitting in the stands at the St Louis games with a sniper rifle then? ;-) But if the Canucks can keep this run of wins up, they'll not need any extra help!
Heh, I liked your story, but it makes more sense with the context provided by the article (and I happen to think that using wood like that is a good idea). The images at the end are very good.

The carpenter
"June? June? Are you home, honey?" David's voice rang like a bell in the tiled hallway that June had insisted be decorated like she imagined Spanish villas were.
"In the kitchen, dear," she called, sounding far-away in thought. David put his briefcase down by the radiator (which they'd never turned on), and walked down the hall, his shoes tapping sharply on the terracotta floor. In the kitchen, he found June staring out of the window at the half-complete summer-house.
"What's so interesting?" he said, slipping his arms around her. "Has the carpenter got his shirt off?"
"No," she said slowly, snuggling against him. "But... where did you find that carpenter?"
"Let me see now," David lifted his head and tried to remember. Nothing came to mind. "I don't really know," he said at last. "Probably the business pages. Why?"
"He's odd," said June. "Really odd."
"How do you mean?" There was a note of worry in his voice now; after all, June was at home all day when the carpenter was around.
"You won't believe me," said June, but keep watching.
"Tell me anyway."
"Ok. He's been drinking on the job. A lot. But that's because he can turn water into wine. His lunch is always a bag of crusts, but somehow they turn into huge sandwiches and he had leftovers to throw – drunkenly – at the birds. When he thinks I'm not looking, strange white men that look like the Pet Shop Boys appear and actually do the work for him..." She was still talking, but David was staring in astonishment at the carpenter now, who was casually standing on the pond, in the middle, effortlessly walking on water.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@ Marc – I agree with Greg the article makes the story that much clearer... actually the picture was all that was needed I read the article about half way though. A very interesting idea, but what’s involved in making the wood that strong? Is that process environmentally friendly? - but enough from me. :}

@ Greg – lol! I was wondering if that particular carpenter would be making his appearance, but I was wondering if there was a non religious way to do so... You sir have found it, and it is hilarious. *giggles*

Hm... Now I have to think of something.


The Carpenter

“What are you doing?” Ryan watched Scout Manuel with wide eyes.

“Whittling,” he grunted.

Blowing dust off the piece of wood in his hand, Manuel looked at his handy work. The bark had been carefully peeled back to reveal a smooth reddish interior. The stick itself was just one of many that lay next to him.

“Why?” Ryan piped up again as Manuel tossed the stick into the pile and picked up another.

“You’ll see.” Manuel went to work carefully removing the bark off this stick.

“But you could tell me.”

“But then you wouldn’t figure it out on your own.” Manuel eyed the boy. “And if you want to be a Scout, you need to learn how to figure things out without asking the obvious question.”

“Why?”

Manuel groaned and went back to work. “Because a Scout’s job is to watch, observe and learn, not talk.”

“Why?”

“RYAN!” Martha’s sharp voice cut off anything Manuel might have said. “Stop bothering the man and get in here to tend your chores. The wood won’t carry itself into the house!”

A few hours later Scout Manual stopped by and gave Martha one of the dolls he’d made from the red wood. “I know you don’t have any girls,” his face flushed slightly, “but Ryan did want to know what I was making.” He turned and left before Martha could thank him.


For those who’ve read my Phoenixes Manuel is Mathew’s new name. I’m trying not to reuse names so much anymore and Prince Mathew had dibs. :}

writebite said...

The Carpenter

He’s in his shed again, pottering around, fiddling with some woodworking tools. It’s dad’s hobby; what he does when he’s not working six days a week putting food on our table.
Mum gets a bit annoyed because she knows there’ll be a mess to clean up - sawdust over the benches and floor and in the tracks of the aluminium window that looks over the garden outside which he helped plant out some years ago.

Us kids looked forward to these special Sunday creations. You never knew what was going to eventuate. Neither did he, half the time, I’m sure.
One day he presented his creation to the family. Now, dad’s no carpenter and I’m no judge but I say he did a pretty good job of it. He built a unit to house the stereo, TV and the few books they’d brought with them from the old country. He stained it mission brown as was the fashion. He fitted fake gold handles on the cupboards along the bottom on the unit, giving it a touch of struggling middle class, and finished off with a light coat of satin varnish which you could still smell if you went up close.

Decades later the fashions changed. Mission brown was no longer in but the unit hadn’t aged a day. Mum had kept it polished with Mr Sheen and dad kept up that Friday ritual once she had passed on to greener pastures.

Today I looked longingly at the unit, recalling when he’d made it. We are all at dad’s wake. He’s gone on to those same greener pastures. I know this stuff has to be sorted and will eventually go. I can’t think about it. I just want the memories to survive...

And they have.

Krystin Scott said...

This is an attempt at a Tanka,
It sounds forced and it's terrible
but I make no excuses for it. And on that note I bid you and my headache goodnight :)

<>

Licensed Carpenter
The job that my husband holds
Building custom homes
Is the task that he likes best
Thou it often makes him stressed

Marc said...

Greg - hah, don't tempt me. But St. Louis did lose tonight, though not until overtime so they still got one point. But that's better than the two points they would've got for a win!

"... strange white men that look like the Pet Shop Boys appear and actually do the work for him." <-- definitely my favorite image (out of many very good ones).

Cathryn - Manuel will take a little getting used to, but it's definitely a wise move to not repeat names unless there's a reason for it.

Writebite - love the way the crafted piece flows through the story, connecting everything together.

Krystin - I had to look up the Tanka form, so thanks for helping me to learn something new today :)

It can be hard to escape work related stress, even when we're doing what we love, huh? Strange creatures, we humans.