Thursday May 3rd, 2012

The exercise:

Let's go with: voices.

It was a chilly, rainy day here but that didn't stop us from getting the remaining cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower transplanted into the garden. Not much choice, really, as it was badly in need of doing and at this point we can't afford the luxury of being delayed by inclement weather.

Tomorrow isn't meant to be much better, but then the sun and heat are scheduled to return for a lengthy visit starting Saturday.

At the moment I'm patiently waiting for the neighbour's dog to bark himself hoarse.

Okay, not patiently at all.


He follows instructions very well, the report concluded, but rarely displays any leadership skills or initiative. Not likely to advance beyond the lowest levels of the organization but will be a reliable foot soldier.

Robert crumpled up the paper and hurled it against the wall. His eyes locked on the dinner table across the room, its surface decorated with fine china and two bottles of red wine. He was halfway to the table with every intention of overturning it when he came to a sudden stop.

"Childish," he said, his lips hardly parting. "Won't change anything." A firm shake of his head set his long hair to swaying. "No, of course it wouldn't."

He had to do something, though. But what? It had to be dramatic. And satisfying. And send a clear message to those who were blind to his greatness - this was the most important factor.

"Yes, of course," he declared nearly an hour later, finally moving from his position in the middle of the room. "That's perfect. Thank you."

In crucial moments like that one, he could always rely on the voices in his head to be his trusted guides.


Greg said...

Every so often I disturb the people at work by smiling and assuring them that they're just jealous because the voices in my head don't talk to them ;-)
Gardening the wet probably isn't much fun, but I bet the plants enjoy it! I wouldn't count on the dog barking itself hoarse, but you could wander over and say hello to it. Distracting dogs tends to quiet them down.
I love the first paragraph today, I'm sure I've been described like that before :) And the way the paragraphs shorten as the story progresses to build tension in the reader is masterfully done too.

No vote without a voice,
– so mute people have no choice?
Society is stagnant now.

Bemused people stand waiting
In timeless streets. Newspapers
whip by, driven by a voiceless wind
and gunned down by headline noise.

Buildings tremble, the skyline quakes,
Upheaval comes as conscience wakes.
A voice starts shouting.

[This feels unfinished, but I haven't got enough time to work any more on it now. Hopefully that won't be a disappointment :) ]

Anonymous said...

the voices inside her head were friendly, companionable, even guiding at times...which shoes to buy, what goes with that dress, who was ringing on the phone, slow down at the next bend, there's a flock of sheep on the road ahead...
only when she got on the rollercoaster of taking drugs did they change...we're not talking illegals here, no, we're talking bona fide doctor approved stuff, and not much either...they were subtle at first, not guiding, more suggesting, then manipulating until, finally, commanding...they told her negative things, harmful things, nasty images accompanied them, their chatter wasn't constant, just menacing...they wanted to control...but she resisted

when she kicked the habit, the voices receded, just once in a while she would here a guiding message, but she didn't always trust it, just in case...she tested it with her gut reaction, that was always right, in her experience

Cathryn Leigh said...


There once was a girl from Nantasket.
Who sold her wears in a basket.
When asked why she did,
She simp-i-ly said,
The voices inside had tasked it.

Something short and simple for today as I’ve already ‘wasted’ enough time on the net.

Yeah having a whole week for one prompt does feel like a luxury. Almost begs me to wait until the last minute. But I refrained and got it done last night. The only odd part was not adding in conversation as we often do here. The next odd part will be receiving feedback from the instructor. *grin*

Anonymous said...

Marc- I am curious to see how many blends you can come up with for anonymous and Heather.

Your stories have been a bit dark lately. Are you feeling unusually anxious?

I haven't had this conversation with myself yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did and it was lengthier.

“I am both excited and terrified,” I confided. “Everyone seems to think that it is all going to be fun and games in the hot, hot sun.” I sighed, remembering the week or two that I had thought the same thing. Sunshine, humidity, the ocean, dancing, bright colors, three toed sloths—I had been seduced. “But what they don’t seem to realize is the sheer amount of work it will be. It’s not like I am sitting on a beach every day. My time will be filled with classes, strange customs, misunderstandings, and who knows what else! It gives me a headache just thinking about it.”

I sighed again, wondering if it really was the right choice. “And then there is the issue of leaving my kids at home. I’ve never been away from them for more than a week and that has only happened once. They want to talk to me every day and I’ve promised that they can do that, but it will be detrimental to my adjustment. I want to tell them that it isn’t an option anymore, but that isn’t an option either.”

I looked at my reflection in the mirror. There was a brief moment of silence. “Stop talking to yourself!” I finally said as the voices of my family floated through the door.

Iron Bess said...

Sanding, painting, painting, and more painting. No time to chat. Here's mine.

Anna slept curled into the smallest ball now, as if even in her sleep she was trying to be as insignificant and inconspicuous as possible. She woke in the middle of the night to the sound of voices which had her scuttling backward and away from danger. It was so black in her little shelter she did not know if it was night or day outside. She felt the rough, jagged broken concrete under her hands and squirmed into the tight little alcove which no longer was large enough to actually hide her. She stopped breathing the warm, fetid air into her lungs when the voices grew louder.
“What the hell was that?” a gruff male voice asked from the air beside her head.
“I don’t hear anything,” a female voice said.
Everything was suddenly silent and Anna breathed as shallowly as she could afraid to give herself away again. It was never a good idea to let anyone know of her existence under normal circumstances, let alone by herself in a black hole in the ground.
After a long span of time even Anna was starting to think that she had hallucinated the sounds when suddenly she heard another voice. “See James, it was nothing but your imagination.”
“I’m sure I heard something,” the voice said now not actually sounding so sure.
“Listen we don’t have all day,” the female voice said. “I have to be back in the office in less than fifteen minutes.”
“Yes me too. If I’m gone much longer people will start to notice. So what time is the detonator set to go off?” the gruff male asked.
“Tomorrow exactly at noon. Anyone in the city, or a fifty mile radius of it, will be singing with the angels at one second after that.”
“So we meet at the airport this afternoon at three,” the female said.
Years later when Anna no longer had to sleep in the sewer and ate meals at regular intervals she had the luxury to feel guilty about not alerting anyone to that conversation, but seconds after she had scuttled out into the bright daylight her primary goal had been to put as much distance between herself and the doomed city.

Krystin Scott said...

I'd really like to write
But it's time to say, Good Night.
Because the voices in my head
Are telling me to go to bed.


Marc said...

Greg - I don't know if it went hoarse or not, but it did shut up shortly after I posted.

I'd love to see you keep going with that, but I'll take what I can get. Particularly enjoyed the second stanza.

Writebite - love the perspective in this one. Always good to look at things from a different perspective.

Cathryn - good for you; I have a tendency to wait until the last minute, mostly because the extra pressure seems to lead to better results.

Also because I'm terribly good at procrastinating.

Heathermous - yes, me too :D

Well, I've been writing while tired a lot lately. That tends to cause me to go either darker than usual, or to silly nonsense. Not sure why dark has been winning recently.

I could totally picture myself having a very similar conversation if I was in that situation. When are you leaving?

Iron Bess - intriguing scene. I'd like to think in a similar situation I'd have made sure a warning got out, but probably not. Self-preservation is powerful stuff.

Good luck with all the painting!

Krystin - and yet you still managed to write on the prompt :D

Hope you slept well!

Shamar Pippen said...

"I hear voices in my head
They council me
They understand
They talk to me"

The voices in my head sounds like my parents.
They tell me to make the right decision in life.
They tell me to always treat others with respect.
They tell me I will be successful in life.
They tell me from right to wrong.
When I'm down, the voices in my head picks me up.
They will always tell me to never give up!