Wednesday June 6th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the prospector.

It didn't rain very heavily today, so I did manage to get out to the garden this afternoon to do some weeding. As long as I focused on what I was doing and not what was left to be done, it was fairly enjoyable.

I'm currently reading The Sisters Brothers, which is what inspired today's prompt. Haven't reached the end yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll find itself on my Recommended Reading page once I get there.


In a gold-crazed daze,
He forgets to eat.
With a bloodshot gaze,
He can't see his own feet.

His clothes worn and torn,
Loose teeth turning black,
He would be forlorn
If he saw what he lacked.

His claim has no fame,
No gold to be found;
But he'll play the game
Til he's placed in the ground.


Greg said...

It's always best to concentrate on the task in hand after you've identified the whole task, otherwise it's depressing how slowly things seem to go (or how fast, in some more pleasurable cases!) I guess the rain's bringing the weeds up a treat then?
The first verse of your poem sets the scene very nicely, and then the rest of the poem just shows the futility of the poor propector's ambitions. I guess there's just not enough gold to go round!
Mining for gold is always what comes to mind when I read things like this too.

The prospector
The wiry man with the groomed goatee beard pressed an ear to the rock and appeared to be listening. Isabella Bonfontaine controlled herself carefully, not sniffing disdainfully. She'd already had two arguments with this water-prospector, and she rather thought that a third would result in one of them walking off in a huff. He lifted his head away, shook it like a dog shedding water, and put it back again. Isabella looked down at her feet and counted to ten under her breath.
"We're close," said the man. His name was Janek and she'd found him in a Foreign Legion uniform digging fungus out from the cracks in desert rocks.
"You keep saying that," said Isabella. She kept her voice calm this time, but her fingers tangled viciously in the fabric of her jodhpurs.
"It doesn't keep moving," said Janek, his voice a little flat. They'd argued a lot when he'd claimed that last time. "I've worked it out now. It's a maze; we're walking through a maze that's trying to keep us from the water. It sounds close, but then the tunnels take us deliberately away."
"So why is it close now?" Isabella actually relaxed. Mazes were something she could handle.
"Because we're almost at the heart of the maze," said the water-prospector. He seemed to be turning pale, even if the poor light from their hard-hat lamps. "Very close I'd say." He raised a hand, pointing at something behind her.
Isabella sighed, and turned to see what was coming to greet them.

Iron Bess said...

I've heard good things about the Sisters Brothers, have been considering reading it. The only thing holding me back is that I'm I'm usually not a fan of westerns.

Although her face wasn’t exactly pinched in disapproval it was the next best thing. Marra watched my moist, sticky, food covered two year old daughter like an entomologist studying a particularly toxic insect just before she pinned it to a display case. The skin around her mouth and eyes had tightened into hard planes with her attempt not to say anything disparaging. Anyone who knew Marra, knew that this was the hardest thing she could ever do. She wasn’t the type who would just let things happen without her input. I finally took pity on her and pulled the wet naps out of the diaper case and washed the worst of the mess off Emma’s face, then her hands, then her hair, then her neck, and finally the tray. When I looked back at Marra most of the tenseness had disappeared. Unconsciously she rubbed the small bump on her normally flat abdomen as she watched my daughter.

“She certainly likes her fries,” Marra stated. Her tone implying that I was probably the worst parent in the known universe for allowing my child to eat the evil French fry.

“I don’t really think she likes the fries that much,” I said. “What she really likes is the ketchup which she can then lick, paint with, and bathe in.” I smiled into Emma’s big blue eyes then made a funny face which started her giggling. “Do you know what you are having yet?” I asked.

“The doctor said it is too early to tell, I’m scheduled to go in next month for the ultra sound just to be sure.”

“Just to be sure?” I said.

“Oh I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a boy. The painters have already started on his room, Dana Morgolies did the cutest design for it. Who did the d├ęcor for Emma’s room?” she asked.

I really couldn’t resist. “Design?” I made the word sound like something completely alien to me. “I just paid the neighbour’s kid to come over and slap a coat of paint on the walls,” I said. Marra’s already pale face went white. “Oh Marra I’m just kidding. Toni and I did the painting ourselves. It was fun. Well half the time, the other half we fought like banshees over stuff like which rocking chair we wanted to put in the room. Actually it turned out great, if I do say so myself.”

I could tell that Marra didn’t really know where to take the conversation from there, she turned and looked at Emma when suddenly a look of horror covered her face. I whirled in time to see Emma with one little finger stuck so far up her nostril that it looked like she was prospecting for gold. I sighed and pulled out the, never leave home without them mom Kleenex, from my pocket. “Okay you little prospector hand it over,” I said. Emma quickly stuck her finger in her mouth and clamped down on it.

Marra gagged and brought her hand up to her mouth. “Oh Andi,” she wailed. “I don’t think I can do this.”

Morrigan Aoife said...

It all started with the tiniest sneeze
A bit of pollen carried in on the breeze
Her eyes went red, tearing and puffy
Her nose started itching and got stuffy
Now little Clara’s gone digging for gold
A sight I’d of wished never to behold
Someone please run and get a box of tissues
With these green boogies I’ve got real issues!

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, the weeds think this weather is the best thing ever, by the looks of things.

Love the description of Janek listening to the rock :D

Iron Bess - I'm not usually a fan of them either, but this is a really great character-driven story. It just happens to be a western. I'd say read the first few chapters and see if it wins you over.

Hah, great scene. Really captures that not-quite-ready-for-baby feeling that many expecting women have :)

Morrigan - jeez, if I'd known how much nose picking this prompt was going to lead to... :P

Fun poem though :)