Wednesday March 7th, 2012

The exercise:

Give me what you've got for: the conspiracy.

Went to my local writing group this morning and enjoyed myself as usual. We wrote on a couple of interesting prompts, at least one of which I think I'll bring over here at some point.

It felt like spring this afternoon, so I went up to our current (far too small) greenhouse and seeded some more onions. Hoping the missing part for our new greenhouse will arrive this week so that we can finish putting it together this weekend.

This evening I went up to Oliver to watch the final movie in this year's film club series. Kat took a pass on The Skin I Live In and... I wish I had as well. So. Strange.


"They're up to something," Bernice declared, eyeing the other women over top of her teacup. "I can smell it."

"You're getting paranoid in your old age," Lucy replied. After a moment's consideration, she placed a lemon tart on her white napkin. "I mean, honestly. Those boys are saints."

"And you, apparently, have gone blind in yours," Bernice countered with a wave of her hand. "I, for one, will not shed a tear when the authorities figure it out and strap my grandson to the chair."

"Bernice!" Helen gasped, hand at her throat. "How can you say such things about a six year old!"


Greg said...

Well, that film certainly sounds interesting, but the director alone makes me think it would be an interesting and probably difficult film :) Sounds like a busy day though!
I'm with Bernice today. Strap all six-year-olds to the chair! (It's a fairground ride, right?)

The conspiracy
Charles Asciugimento, Head of Building Security, tapped a long, pale finger on the floorplan of the third floor.
"This room here is where the conspirators will be meeting," he said. "The security cameras have been covered in spray paint, but the secret security cameras are working just fine. There are at least three of them: a young, artistic looking man, a woman with striking red hair, and a street urchin. Who might be female."
"The... how do you pronounce the name of that room, Sir?" Lance-commander of the third floor wrinkled her forehead as she stared at the room-name.
"Euouae," said Charles dismissively. "Just like it's spelled." He'd said 'Ee-vo-vay,' which definitely didn't sound like the way it was spelled.
"Right, and how do we know it's a conspiracy?"
"Intelligence," said Charles crisply. "Now go and flush them out."
The Lance-commander saluted and scuttled off, and Charles gazed at yet another hidden camera. Who would have thought that Red-5 would choose his building to plot and plan?

Anonymous said...

The Conspiracy

It was July, 1947. Post-war Europe had begun rebuilding and the new generation of baby-boomers were being born to parents who were beginning to prosper. Optimism was returning, along with a new sense of trust that things were all right.
In the middle of the desert in New Mexico, a small town was about to become famous for a most unusual reason.
As the sky lit up for a moment in a blinding flash, a rancher was outside taking out the trash on his way to checking that the animals were bedded down for the night.
What happened in the days that followed would not be believed for generations to come.
And the government made sure it wouldn’t be.
Early next morning, defence force trucks came out from the nearby airbase, gathering what looked like bits of metal trash from the site of a crash. The rancher and his son also had a piece of this trash. It looked like the shell of a broken weather balloon but you could fold it and it would spring back again. This stuff was stronger than steal. They secreted it away in the house, away from the prying eyes of the officials.
The newspapers initially posted a story about a crashed flying saucer leaving tell-tale debris all over the place but before long they retracted their statement and towed the party line, saying it was a weather balloon. But the collective imagination was a
ready primed. People weren’t going to let it rest there.
’Some mighty big weather balloon that’d have to be to warrant a dozen army trucks in to pick up the pieces,’ the rancher thought. ’I smell the beginnings of a conspiracy here.’
He was right. 
Roswell kick started the biggest conspiracy of the twentieth century.
And no one really knows the truth of it, even now.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc – I shall continue feeding you tidbits until you’ve finished the trilogy *MUA ha ha ha ha ha ha!* Hey I really can’t help it, your prompts are feeding into needed back story and character building. Plus the world is built, I need to use it. Anyway I agree with Lucy – Bernice is getting paranoid!

@Greg – why do I sense that there’s some trickery here and Charles is using that poor Lance-commander for his own purpose... or am I reading way to much into it? :}

@Writebite – for some reason I thought you were talking about the atomic bomb... then I realized you were talking Roswell... only I could remember the name until I read it. :}

And now, going back in time with our Traitor, before my Phoenix Trilogy begins...

The Conspiracy

James first heard the whisper of it at the presentation of new recruits to the King of Azure. There was no Queen by the man’s side, nor an heir, though the King himself looked as though he had one foot in the grave. Not that it couldn’t have been that both were not present at the occasion.

For all James knew they could be just inside, or on a part of the balcony he couldn’t see. As it was they had spent at least two hours standing in the field awaiting His Royal Majesty’s presence. So, that night, out of curiosity he posed a simple question to a man in his troop.

“Does the King normally view the troop without the Queen and Prince?”

It had been asked quietly, but the room became quieter still.

“The Prince died last year,” someone whispered. “Strong lad until the age of five, no one knows what happened.”

James’s mind raced, “but I thought the Prince was older...”

His voice trailed off at the stern look from his superior. “You do not discuss these things. They are matters of our commanders, not ours.”

Late that night a soldier next to him whispered, “I heard the new Cornel Jakubus Wholawski has an eye on the throne and conspiring with the Nobles to make it happen.”

Three days later the man was gone, and no one saw him again. James took the warning, but not speaking about the issue, didn’t make them any less real given the evidence before his eyes.

Iron Bess said...

Sorry I'm so late...just got back from town.

I got up this morning, bright and early, and decided to sit down and do some writing. But the sun is shining, it is warm, the birds are singing, and the dog really needs to go for a pee. Quickly I don my shoes, grab my coat, and charge out the door. My what a lovely morning.

Having returned from my walk I fire up the computer to sit down and write. But the hubby is hungry, the cat needs to be fed, the dog is muddy, and the birds need their seed. Quickly I rush out to the kitchen and start breakfast, feed the cat, dry off the dog, and fill the bird feeder. My what a busy morning.

After finishing what needs doing I decide to go back into the bedroom and write a few lines on my computer. But the bed needs making, the floor needs sweeping, the laundry needs folding, and I can’t find my glasses. My what a disaster this house can be sometimes.

Alright everything is finished for sure now. I definitely am going to sit down and do some writing. Are you kidding me? We have to leave right now? This is bull shit. My what a conspiracy it is.

Anonymous said...

Cannot brain today...will return tomorrow to play.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, I certainly didn't think it would take so many words to set all this up(and I didn't know there was a limit on characters). Probably could have tightened it up a bit if I wasn't so tired. Sorry for the length. : (

Also, before now, I never considered using anything from work in my writing. None of this is my experience but some definitely comes from the office environment I work in. And a certain infamous movie of course:

The faded white cabinet made what Ellen thought was a very satisfying bang. She huffed out of the break room, making her way to the tiny prairie dog hole her manager referred to as a cubicle. It seemed slightly ridiculous but she was certain it had actually shrunk in size since last month. The important bulletins and emails she had pinned to the pale blue walls were still there but the space between them was definitely smaller. This time she had measured everything.

But back to the cabinet. This was the fourth consecutive time she had requested her very favorite tea through the business office and, within two days, the whole box had disappeared. She had tried affixing a variety of sticky notes to it, the range of which went from polite to begging to screaming on paper. Every time, there was no response that she could at least have submitted to the 'Passive Agressive Notes' website that she laughed quietly to on occasion. It was just gone, stolen by some selfish ass, probably from advertising. Those blonde bitches.

It was all very like the sad fate of her coffee mug, a handmade present from her niece in California. For a year, she drank hot chocolate out of it and put it in the dishwasher. Like everyone else did, right, no problem. Then, Tuesday the 11th of June at 9 AM, open the dishwasher, no mug. Several company wide emails and 2 dozen reward posters later, nothing, not so much as a trace of it's beautiful lavender glazed handle.

Normally, a few deep breaths during the walk back to her desk was enough distraction for her to move on with her day, but every step only stirred more anger. She flung herself down into her chair, then back up as a crack of plastic sounded beneath her. The comfortable, ergonomically correct chair she had scavenged from a vacant position in IT was broken. Somehow the swearing stayed in her head.

Anonymous said...

Ten minutes later, maintenance was upstairs retrieving a replacement and Ellen was frantically pacing in a 4 by 4 foot square, her mind racing. The tea and cup were maybe just coincidences and the shrinking cubicle might only be in her head. Perhaps the chair was just overused. But, if she added in the relocation of her favorite co-worker, her own relocation away from the window, a recent(but supposedly temporary) assignment to spreadsheet data entry, the ban on music in her department, and, yesterday her manager, Stew, insisted that her Swingline Limited Edition Series 747 Rio Red Business Stapler had been recalled due to safety concerns, in spite of the fact that she could find no such documentation on the internet, well, it was starting to sound like a conspiracy. In fact, all this had started when he stepped in for her former boss who was out on maternity leave.

As if summoned by her radiating waves of hatred, he appeared in front of her, the disapproving look he gave her clearly meant a missing chair was no reason not to be working.

"Ellen, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we're going to have to move your cubicle again. You're going to be doing some data entry for advertising and you'll need to be closer to them," he silenced her protests with a stern, withering look, "The budget is tight. Everyone needs to sacrifice some for the company and you're no exception."

"Fine," she said evenly, picking up a large stack of paperwork and the peace lily from the stand next to her and turning towards advertising.

"Oh, you'll have to leave that here," he said to her back.

She froze where she was for several very long seconds before carefully placing the plant back on its stand. Later, as she sobbed the whole story out to her husband, certain details became fuzzy, lost in the flood of emotion. She definitely shrieked at the top of her lungs right into Stew's face, called him every vulgar term she had ever learned reading the Urban Dictionary, and threw her set of office keys at him. The papers she was holding filled the air like giant snowflakes. Yup, she definitely ripped the blinds off his office door as she stormed past and pushed the bottle off the hallway water cooler

"Good riddance," she thought, driving away and feeling a curious lightness fill her.

He stood at the window and watched her drive away. Mr. Williams, Chairman of the Board, sidled up and handed him a cup of coffee.

Stew tried not to appear too smug, "I told you I could save us paying her severance."

Marc said...

Greg - ah, Tagged. I miss it so.

Also: I'm glad in their world they don't have Charles to deal with!

Writebite - it's a fascinating period in America's history, and I think you did a great job of capturing it.

Cathryn - ooh, wonderfully intriguing. Great tension and details in those scenes.

Iron Bess - hah, I think I've been caught in that conspiracy (of my own making) more than a few times!

GZ - no worries, thanks for dropping by to let us know :)

H.N. - anything remotely to do with The Office makes me happy.

That final line is just nasty, nasty business though!

Krystin Scott said...

My husband switched our cable
From BrightHouse to The Dish
Now our network is unstable
And all I can do is wish
That i'll finish this by three
and get to type it on my phone
I know patience is the key
But all I can do is groan
the guy says he doesn't know whats wrong
But I think it's plain to see
Its taking him so long because
It's a writing conspiracy!


Marc said...

Krystin - ha, perfect!

I feel your pain though :(

Hopefully things get squared away soon.