Friday June 15th, 2012

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the message.

We collected thirteen pints of strawberries this morning, two unexpected pints of raspberries this evening, and a few bags of greens to go with our (still too large) collection of plants to bring to the market tomorrow. Hopefully we won't be bringing too much of it back home!

This afternoon I went for my quarterly blood test, which I plan on actually staying on top of for once now that I a) have a family doctor, and b) actually like her. Anyway, on top of that I'm also getting my blood type tested since Kat is O negative. I wasn't aware of this before, but apparently if mine is positive she'll need to take a shot of some sort if we have any interest in having another baby.

One of the people at the medical lab told me that a hundred years ago we wouldn't have even been allowed to marry with conflicting blood types. So, um, hurray for modern times?


I reach for my phone the moment the man in the black suit enters my office and my heart sinks when I discover there's no dial tone. He is carrying a duffel bag in his black-gloved hands and without a word places it on my desk.

He unzips it slowly and begins to unpack it; my breathing becomes ragged and sweat breaks out all over my body at the sight of the hammer, pliers, and toothpicks.

"Good evening, Mr. Sanchez," he says as he picks up the hammer, "our mutual friend Mrs. Matthews has asked me to deliver a message to you."


Greg said...

Those raspberries sound delicious, and you've only told me you have two pints of them! I think I have some frozen in the freezer still, I shall have to go and find them now. With thirteen pints of strawberries, it sounds like summer's finally gotten under way up there in Osoyoos :)
I'm a little puzzled that you'd not have been allowed to marry on account of incompatible blood types a hundred years ago, especially since blood types were only discovered around the 1900 mark and it took another twenty or thirty years to work it all out properly. Still, O- is a great blood group to have :)
Lots of atmosphere in four lines, you're getting very good at telling a story in just a few words! You'll be writing flash fiction next....

The message
When the first extra-terrestrial message arrived it was found by SETI and so was rapidly distributed to interested individuals throughout the world. Thousands of people, and quite a lot of government organisations set to work trying to decode what the message said. So when Sarah got up from her computer with a worried smile on her face and told me that we'd cracked the code and had the message, I was initially ecstatic. I was less so when I read the message: "Gh'urgh's energy bars are three times less radioactive than the competition and are cheaper too!"

writebite said...

(from my blog,, entitled, Dandelions and Angels, re-titled here for the message)

The Message

I was driving through the countryside yesterday and saw an angel. It was unexpected. Well, it wasn’t a metaphysical angel. It was a real one, well - maybe not real; if you happen to believe in angels then only metaphysical ones would be real to you. This one was physically real and, thus, metaphysically unreal. Confused yet? I am. This one was made of wire and fabric and was erected in someone’s front yard - a field, actually, because we’re talking farming country here. It was as unexpected an apparition as the appearance of any angel might be. I thought it was cute. ’Angels mean messages’ - I tucked that little crystal shop wisdom snippet deeply inside my brain’s filing cabinet and enjoyed the rest of the drive.
We changed drivers so I could read whilst riding shotgun. I opened up Kindle on my iPad and resumed reading Tom Sawyer, a classic by Mark Twain. The words “garden angel” leapt out from the screen. 
That song by Police, ’Synchronicity’, began rolling around in my head, adding music to the angels flying around in my cranial filing cabinet.
Last night I turned on the TV and The Simpsons were on. I haven’t watched that for a long time. I kept watching when I saw Lisa digging up the skeleton of an angel. They started seeing the word everywhere - even cartoon characters were experiencing synchronicity. I wonder if they hear the Police song in their heads, too?
This morning I opened up a competition magazine I bought that day. I don’t always get them. Inside the back cover (yeah, I’m one of those people who read mags from the rear) there was a picture of a baby doll called Little Angel. I kept turning pages until I reached an article entitled, He Thought I was an Angel.
The Police song sang louder.
In addition, I saw two instances of dandelions this morning. Dandelions are a symbol a psychic once gave me many years ago. When I see them I take notice. One dandelion was a picture in the magazine and the other was the word used on a writing blog I participate in some days (noted here as ’dwp’).
’Angels mean messages!’ the crystal shop wisecrack shouted at me.
Hm, with Uranus squaring Pluto soon, two eclipses this week and a retrograde Venus in rare occultation with the Sun, maybe I shouldn’t just stand up and pay attention, maybe I should be saluting or something.
’Strange things are a-foot’, a cliche surfaced from one of the file drawers in my grey matter.
Okay, I get it, but what’s the freakin’ message?

Cathryn Leigh said...

Ah yes the RH factor (positive or negative) can be annoying. My hubby and I never had a problem, but my mother had to get a shot when she got pregnant with me. If you don't then the mom's immune system attacks the embryo, trying to kill it.

The Message

They tried to sent it via their pios servants.

They tried to send it via their knights.

They tried to send it with their special assassins.

But Wholwaski never got the message right.

*giggles* more poetry than prose, but hey it worked. *grins*

Morrigan Aoife said...

The Message,

Dear Marc,

I saw your post today. I am o- too. The shot is for the RH Factor and it's majorly important so I'm glad you found out about the dangers of a possible blood type conflict now.

The bodies of O- moms can literally try and fight off a + baby, considering the blood of the baby a foreign "substance". Check it out online. I was just as stunned as you when I first heard about it.

I'm not feeling the least bit creative today spent the day in the hospital with my daughter who's got a concussion, is on pain meds and can only walk with crutches. I'll spill the whole story tomorrow if your interested. I'm too tired now and just popped in to leave "THIS MESSAGE".

Marc said...

Greg - summer is definitely thinking about trying to get going here. We've had several false starts.

Hah, terrifying that we won't be safe from spam and mass marketing even in space...

Writebite - funny how sometimes we see the same item or word over and over again, everywhere we look. Surely it must mean something, but what?

Cathryn - yeah, pretty much. I'm just amazed I'd never heard of this before now.

Hey, I've been guilty of rhyming prose on more than one occasion, so you know it's welcome here :)

Morrigan - totally bizarre to me. It's a wonder humans have managed to survive this long.

Oh my goodness! Best wishes to your daughter on a full and speedy recovery! Concussions can be nasty business.

Would definitely like to hear the story if you're willing to share it.

writebite said...

marc it just means one is on track, i think, that something important is happening and the univere knows it ;)
morrigan, poor kid!