Sunday October 14th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the manual.

Aside from a fair bit of rest, today was spent doing baby preparation work - setting up the co-sleeper we got from one of Kat's friends, putting our first load of donated newborn clothes through the laundry to freshen them up, and figuring out what we still need to get (not much at this point, thankfully).

Tomorrow is our final box program day of the year. It's pretty funny just how much I'm looking forward to that.


"What's going on?"

Patrick had just walked into the room but he could already tell that something was wrong. Chris, his roommate for the past nine months, was slumped on the couch staring at a package that had been placed on the coffee table. It was obvious that he hadn't moved in quite some time.

"I don't know what to do... this just seems impossible."

"Maybe I can help?" Patrick was suddenly very worried about his friend.

"No, I can't see how you could." Chris, normally bursting with life and energy, sounded as though a hole had been punched through his neck and through it all his vitality had leaked out until there was none left.

"Come on, try me." Patrick came over and sat gently next to his roommate. "Between the two of us I'm sure we can figure this out... whatever this is."

"Sure, okay. Why not?" Chris struggled to a more upright position and sighed deeply. "Here's the thing: it says, quite clearly on the box, to read the manual before doing anything else."

"Right." Patrick waited a few moments before he realized no further information was forthcoming. "And?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Chris pointed at the package, disgust contorting his features. "The manual's inside the box. How in the world am I supposed to read it without opening the package first?"


Greg said...

Heh, just as all your farm-related activities are drawing to a close for the year, your person-based activities are starting to ramp up! I suspect you've timed it well though :)
Heh, clearly that box is from a computer or software manufacturer, as they're notorious for trying to claim that you have to do the impossible in order to have any rights. Poor Patrick – clearly the only thing to do is destroy the box utterly and claim the contents came without packaging!

The manual
The manual for the microwave seemed a little odd to Gladys. However, her children and grandchildren all seemed convinced that she shouldn't be trying to live by herself still, yet there was no way she was selling her house and hoping she could afford a decent retirement home. They were full of old people, after all.
"This must be the attachment for the hose and nozzle," she muttered to herself, feeling her dentures slip in her mouth. "And that must be – hah! – the notorious Slot B. But why on earth is there an arming switch?"
She flipped a little panel open, and looked at the switched revealed by it.
"Irradiate," she read out from the tiny labels she had to squint to see; "Exterminate. Hmmm. I think someone had too much to drink when they were building this."
She checked the manual again, which cautioned against using either switch except during home invasions.
"Heh," she said, turning the page to the next chapter: 'Dealing with unwanted visits from neighbours pets'. "I think I'd like to meet the guy who wrote this!"

morganna said...

Mysterious machine
About to eat me alive
Needing to stop it
Under the casing lies
A red button
Looming -- without the
Manual, how do I know
A push will achieve the
Needed result?
Under great stress, holding my breath,
A finger of mine gives the great push
Limp and logy now, the thing shudders to a stop.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Well now Marc, you wanted Leigh to get her own story and since I was reading about a Bass A$$ Biker Faerie last night – here we go. *grins* totally took a turn I didn’t expect though :}

The Manual

“And the manual?” Leigh glanced to the grease stained binder on the work bench
“Yours if yah like,” the man nodded, as he gave her the once over. “Did all the maintenance myself, though you may find it easier to let someone else do it for you.”

“Maybe,” Leigh smiled slightly as her eyes turned back to the bike, “but I”ve nursed a few bikes back to health before.”

This owner had definitely cared for it. The chrome was polished to a shine, the paint without a scratch. She placed a hand on the tank, reveling in the cool feel of it’s darkness on her skin. The sun broke through the clouds and Leigh looked a little deeper at the color. This was no black Harley low rider.

She smiled as she caressed the tank, the saddle bags, the plush seat, watching royal purple ghost flames dance in the sun. Then the clouds were back and her smiled faded. She turned back to the man, starting slightly at the appearance of a tear in his eye.

“She’s well loved.” Leigh cocked a puzzled smile at him. “So why are you selling her?”

“Well she was me wife’s ride,” a sniffle broke through his gruff mask. “But it’s been two years since she passed, and it ain’t fair for a bike like her to sit unridden for so long. But why are you looking?” His eyes looked into Leigh’s and she knew he was testing her.

“Well,” She thought about her answer carefully, her head cocking to the other side. “My sport bike has served me well for my daily commute, but...” She looked into the man’s eyes. “I promised my father, before he died, that I’d take a cross country trip on a bike before I was forty. And if I’m going to do that I need a bike I can get parts for, fix myself and love.”

Both the man’s eyes looked wet now as he smiled and the negotiations began. Leigh really did get the pretty cruiser for a steal, but she’s also adopted a grandfather and someone to share her trip with. Her father would approve. And so would his wife, he told her.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Normally this is the time of year when I can start to rest after a long farming season. Not so much this year.

I quite like the way Gladys responds to a rather unusual appliance, taking it all in stride. I think she'll do just fine on her own for many years yet!

Morganna - a double acrostic! Very impressive, and smoothly done as well; I didn't even notice the first few times I read it!

Cathryn - I like the back and forth between these two. And thank you for indulging my interest in this character of yours :)