Thursday June 14th, 2012

The exercise:

Stealing (and tweaking slightly) a prompt from tonight's local writer's group meeting, your word to work with today is: again.

It's late and I'm tired, so I'll just share what I wrote at the meeting.

Between us, Kat and I got a lot of weeding, seeding, and yard work done today. Tomorrow we're back to the market prep before returning to the farmers market on Saturday morning.


"Darn it, you've done it again!"

I brought my hand to stillness and breathed silently through my nostrils. My eyes blinked of their own accord as I searched for words of calm and reason.

When none came I resorted to my standard fallback plan: anger and confrontation.

"Done what again, exactly? Done what you've told me you wanted me to do? Followed your every instruction, no matter how insane it may have been? Please, do tell: what have I done wrong?"

"Don't you take that tone of voice with me, young man! Didn't your mother ever teach you to respect your elders?"

"My mother taught me plenty. How to stand up for myself. How to speak my mind, how to know when enough is enough."

"So what, are you quitting on me, is that it?"

"Quitting isn't the word I would use."

"Sure it isn't. You've probably got twenty fancy words that all mean the same thing. But at the end of the day it's all loser talk."

I stared at the tip of the wrinkled finger she was pointing at my face and considered my options. Reaching out, grabbing it, and breaking it seemed the most satisfying. Also, the most likely to land me in jail.

Instead I rose from my chair and began to pack up my supplies. As she began to gather wind for another assault on my character, I spoke first.

"I'm done here, Mrs. Rockford. You'll just have to find someone else to paint your portrait. Though I should warn you: whoever you get to replace me is very likely to, as you put it, make you look fat. Because you are. Hideously so, in my opinion."

With that I wished her the best of luck and left.


Greg said...

Sounds like a very busy day for you! Were there more than two of you at the writer's group meeting this time then? ;-)
I really didn't guess that it was a woman talking until you told me, but I don't know if you were trying to keep it hidden or not. I did really like the way the artist got in a parting shot, it felt very natural.

"Darn it, you've done it again!"
I raised my eyes, unable to believe that I recognised that voice. Sure enough, glaring at me from the sitter's chair was Mrs. Rockford, her squinty little eyes shining out of the folds of fat on her face, and her wrinkled finger pointing at me. How could I be stood here again, with that woman sat in front of me, accusing me?
"Didn't your mother ever teach you to respect your elders? Answer me, boy!"
I couldn't though. I just stood there, my eyes feeling as though they were actually bulging from my head. It wasn't possible. I couldn't possibly have agreed to take Mrs. Rockford as a client. Again.
"Steve?" I half-turned towards the new voice, that of my business partner Michelle. "Steve, I forgot to tell you, we've got a new job. A... well, I think she was a woman, but honestly, she looked like the love child of Jabba the Hut and Juggernaut. She said she'd come by today for the initial sketches."
I pointed, still mute, to where Mrs. Rockford had been sat. She was rising to her feet, her fat cascading about her like some semi-freddo waterfall, quivering with indignant rage.
"I'm done here, Mrs. Rockford," I heard myself say again. "The door is that way."

Cathryn Leigh said...


"Oh baby, baby..." Montana sang along with Britney Spears as she drove down the road, hoping that for once she'd get to...

"Turn that thing off and concentrate on your driving," her mother scolded with a click of the radio.

Montana frowned, "I'm driving, why can't I..."

"Because I'm you're mother and you're lucky to be driving this car at all after that stunt you pulled picking up that dirty old Indian."

"MOM!" Montana swerved to the side of the road and stopped the car. "That was eight months ago and Pele was neither old nor dirty." But he was the handsomest Native America Montana knew her age.

"What do you think you're doing young lady?" Her mother asked as Montana exited the vehicle.

"Walking home." Montana pulled her bag from the back. "You can drive yourself. And," she turned defiantly to her mother, "I'm taking Dad's invitation up to go to Spain for University. they've already accepted me."

Pivoting on her heal Montana started walking down the road, back towards Flagstaff, Arizona. She wasn't going to be sorry to see the last of this place for a while. Especially her bigoted, hypocritical half Native American mother.

Montana and Pele are characters from one of my few successful short stories on Protagonize - In the Wilds of the Grand Canyon :}

Morrigan Aoife said...

"Darn it Krystin, you've done it again!"

It's impossible for one person to save the world. I know this, yet again and again I open my heart and my home to all the neighborhood strays.

I held my head in my hands as I considered my options.

There are times when there is just enough to food to feed the mouths that already reside here.

Yet, I wouldn't be the person I am if I turned my back on a creature in need, leaving it homeless and without the necessary provisions.

Would my husband forgive me? I promised him just yesterday it would be the last time. Yet i'd already found another young sole that needed saving.

I'd reacted to the situation without regard to the consquences. It was too late now and truth be told I don't feel the least bit sorry. I smiled in spite of myself.

"Philip, welcome to Scott Farm. You'll bunk with Casey and Keith. Everyone here pulls their own weight, They'll show you the ropes. Breakfasts and 7:00am Dinners at 6:00pm. Don't be late.

Marc said...

Greg - yup, there were four of us this time :)

Ha, love the expansion on mine. The description of Mrs. Rockford getting up was delightfully unpleasant.

Cathryn - I though I recognized those characters! Nice to get an update on them :)

Morrigan - there are worse habits to have than insisting on trying to save the world :)

writebite said...

Grandad and Baby were on the floor, playing with some toys. The Tv was on in the background but no one paid attention to that. All eyes were on Baby.
Toys became scattered in the frenzy of pre-toddler play.
One soft one caught his attention. It was a toy cat.
Grandad squeezed the cat’s head and said meow, making it look like the cat was animated. This sent Baby into hysterics. Grandad repeated the action many times, saying “Again?” before each action. Several reps later we all swore we heard Baby say “Agen” (phonetically) and we were the ones squea
ing in hysterical delight.
Baby was only ten months old.

Marc said...

Writebite - ha, I could picture that scene perfectly :)