Thursday April 12th, 2012

The exercise:

Let's go with: drawing a blank.

I'm headed off to Vancouver for a quick visit and some errand running. I'll be back Saturday afternoon, so the next couple of days will be scheduled posts.


"You don't remember me, do you?" the man asks, crossing his arms and smirking slightly.

"Of course I do," I reply with a dismissive laugh. Hoping to avoid further conversation, I return to my newspaper.

"Oh yeah?" He actually reaches out and pulls the sports section from my hands. "What's my name then?"

"Give that back." It's not a request; it's a demand. I may be getting on in years but I can still command respect and instill fear when I need to.

"Sure, but it'll cost ya. The price is simply my name."

"I'll say your name," I tell this mystery man, "right after you tell me mine."

Two can play this game.


Greg said...

Have fun in the big city... are you watching one of the play-offs while you're there then?
Hmm, I like the interplay between these characters, there's a punchy little atmosphere and it feels like it's building up to something interesting. I'm a bit short of time today, otherwise I'd definitely think about continuing it.

Drawing a blank
Madame Sosostris sniffed. Her cold seemed as eternal as her vision, and despite it being nearly thirty outside she was sniffing, hawking, and blowing her nose (badly) every minute or so. Her crabbed, rheumatic hands mangled the shuffle of the cards, spilling them across the table. With a frustrated sigh she gestures to you that you should gather them up.
"Use your left hand!" she snaps as you reach for the cards, and you jump a little. Surely, if you're paying for the reading, she should be politer? When you've neatly stacked and squared the cards again her eyes go milky, like she's got Polaroid cataracts, and she seems somehow thinner, less real.
"Cut the deck, with your left hand," she intones, her voice stronger but dulled, monotonous. "Draw the top card from the cut and turn it over. This will be your signifier."
You follow her instructions and turn the card. You stare at it in horror, cold fingers seemingly walking down your spine as leisurely as a pallbearer. You've drawn a blank.

writebite said...

I got a notification on my iPad for the Drawsome interactive game. Thats's where you sketch a pictogram of one of three words from which to choose and send it to your opponent.
The sketch came up. I watched as it unfolded - black lines and curves formed a badly drawn picture that looked like a box with dots and dials on it plus a stick thingie coming out from the middle. I drew a blank. Even the letter clues didn't help. I passed.
Turns out it was a deejay. Whoa.
i got three clues on what to sketch back. One was just three letters, one was a word I didn't recognise, the
last was ladygaga. How the heck is one supposed to draw her? (I had to google her, too)
Another blank drawn, I resigned and freed up some more reading time on my Kindle book.

Krystin Scott said...

Marc- thank goodness. when I checked my email for prompt responses from yesterday and there were none from you I immediatly thought WTH!

And zoomed to the site to make sure all was well.
Visiting others is good for you, have fun!

Krystin Scott said...

Sorry about all those deletions. My phone went a little crazy and posted the same thing half a dozen times.


The time for inspiration had passed. I sat thoroughly annoyed by the sight of the deadline written in red upon the calendar. I love to write and I’ve always had stories to tell but when pushed none come to mind. I turned back to face the computer. The blinding white page of an empty word document stared back at me.

“It’s just a simple children’s story.” I chastised myself. “You can do this! You’ve done it for years, don’t choke now!” I perused the list of possible of plots in my mental catalog.

“A young child is afraid of the dark?”

“No, it’s over done.”

“How about please go to sleep?“

“That has got to be one of the most over used plots in human history!”

“Okay I’ve got it, a monster under the bed?”

“Ugh! Woman quit kidding yourself; most kids think there is a monster under their bed at one time or another.”

“Think! Think!”

“How about a kid saves the day story?”

“Ahhhhhhhhhh! Could you at least attempt to be original?”

“Forget it! I give up! I think it’s time for lunch!”

Iron Bess said...

“You know who I mean right?” I try looking at Estvan but the kink in my neck stops me. “Tall, kinda squatty East Indian with brown hair. Maybe blond? Sorta not right in the head, or maybe just a little too smart for his, her, own good?”

Estvan squats down beside me and looks at the blank Google page on the monitor. “Are you shittin me?” he asks. “A sorta tall squatty guy, or girl, with brown or blond hair? Mentally challenged, or possibly brilliant? And I’m supposed to know who you are talking about.”

I tap my fingers on the desk top and stare at the monitor as if somehow by magic the answer is going to appear there. “Name starts with an S.” I tap my fingers in a way that can only be misconstrued as a rhythm by deaf people.

“Starts with an S,” Estvan ponders. “Do you mean Susan? Sam? Stuart?”

“Wallace,” I call out in relief.

“On what plane of existence did you think I would be able to help you? Wallace happens to be a short, skinny, Russian bald guy with a lisp. And,” he pauses before continuing, “his name starts with a W.”

I quickly tap Wallace Chomsky into Google and grin. I hate drawing a blank with names it makes my head do all kinds of weird acrobatics while it is trying to process the data. I frown after a couple of seconds Google hasn’t matched Wallace’s name with any of the key words. “Maybe it’s that other guy,” I say. “You know the tall Asian guy with the purple fro who always wears Goth makeup and rides a Harley?”

“Let me guess,” Estvan says. “Martha Stuart?”

Cathryn Leigh said...

Love everyone's inputs, but I saw the prompt and got imediately inspired so I wrote it down first and then started reading. I'm glad I did. I like it... Even if it is a bit on the dark side *mua ha ha ha he*

Drawing a Blank

Closing her eyes she reached into the bucket. Her fingers brushed against burnished metal and she dug them in, letting the casings cover her hand. Down and down she plunged her arm, sifting through the shells, feeling for what she wanted. A smile slowly grew upon her face as her fingers felt the one that was different. Her hand closed upon it and she drew her arm up out of the bucket, back to the air.

“Have you chosen?” The Master’s voice betrayed no emotion.

“Yes.” She handed him the bullet, keeping her eyes closed from the carnage around.

Listening she could hear him take the bullet and load it into the gun. She heard it click into place.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes Master.”

She stood her ground, bracing for impact, suddenly afraid she had chosen poorly. Gunshot echoed through the room as a something imbedded itself into her stomach. She fell back, upon the bodies of her classmates, wind knocked out of her and consciousness fading fast.

But she didn’t black out. Despite the pain in her chest, she was still aware of each second that ticked by. As the echo of the shot died her eyes fluttered open. She saw the Master, hand outstretched, above her. Carefully she raised her hand to grasp his. A ghost of a smile haunted his face as he pulled her up.

“You have chosen wisely, talented one.”

Marc said...

Greg - nah, playoff tickets are unaffordable and I was just happy to hang out with friends :)

Wonderful second to last line.

Writebite - haha, I've seen that in action. Looks pretty fun, but I'm glad I don't have a phone or other mobile device that'll run it. I could easily waste a remarkable amount of time on it :D

Krystin - no worries, all is well. Appreciate your concern though :)

No worries about the deletions, I've taken care of them.

Writing is definitely at its toughest when inspiration refuses to come - I think you captured that perfectly.

Iron Bess - hahaha, love the interplay between these two. So many great lines :D

Cathryn - dark but good. Intriguing setup you have there. Wouldn't mind hearing more from this world.