Monday December 3rd, 2012

The exercise:

Let us see what comes from: the sacrifice.

Went to the gym this afternoon for the first time in... years. Not sure exactly how long it has been. Too long, apparently.

At least, that's what I expect to feel in the morning.

Kat's mom got me an early Christmas present in the form of a 3 month pass to the gym. They have a special going on at the moment that got me an extra month for free, so I'm good until the start of April.

Which should be right about the time work in the garden will be picking back up again.


Uncle Albert served our country on some of the nastiest battlefields our species has ever created. He's left bits of himself behind on all of them, both figuratively and, sadly, literally. Uncle Albert is proud of all those sacrifices though.

There was the ear he lost in '86. It was hard for us kids not to stare at where it used to be, especially since he never even tried to hide it. He could've grown his hair long or invested in a hat or two, but he had no interest in that.

He told me once that his heart was broken in a muddy trench in late '93. A good buddy of his died right in his arms. I can't even imagine. Uncle Albert said his old ticker hasn't been the same since.

But the one he was most proud of, the one he loved telling us about the most, was the tale of how he lost his left hand. Mom and Dad didn't like it when he brought that one out. After Uncle Albert had a couple of drinks in him, though? No stopping him.

He'd gather us kids around the living room couch and hold court as day faded into night. We'd listen hard, holding our breaths as much as we dared. Only having one good hand was worth it, he'd say, absolutely and without question.

Old Uncle Albert would have done just about anything to get out of bed and escape from Heidi 'The Hippo' Ferguson. I was always just glad she hadn't fallen asleep on his... uh, 'third leg', as Uncle Albert used to call it.


g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Simon didn't much like his position. It had its perks: he was one of the few Madame Neta actually called by name instead of rank or number, he had a certain degree of freedom in his words---though it was more an idiot's freedom than anything, he knew that. He hated what she had done, what she stood for, but he never made that thought explicit. There was no point trying to fool her into thinking he admired or supported her---she was too smart for that---but for some reason he was one of the very few people she trusted.

He was by no means a master of persuasive rhetoric---or trickery---so of course Simon was a little surprised when Madame took him up on his suggestion. But he contained his surprise well enough so as not to arouse any obvious suspicion.

The two came to a passage overlooking the robotics storage facility. Madame flipped the large switch and scattered the flouresents to life, casting a tinny light on the large room's tinnier occupants.

"Now then Martin, what did you have in mind?" She sidestepped, inviting him to the rail. One good thing about her, he thought as he overlooked the surprising magnitude of the collection before him, there's never a thing out of place.

And hopefully this would make his search easier.

"Something small," he began slowly, "and nothing intimidating. Nothing lethal, either---"

"Right. Those children need to be kept alive."

He agreed, but in all likelihood they agreed for very different reasons. "Something with a powerful computer. Beyond that I'd need to see it."

Madame motioned for Simon to follow her to a rickety lift behind them a good few yards. They descended to the warehouse floor, and in her crisp manner she led him to a set of shelves in the middlemost row of the room and gestured to robots occupying the bottom two rows. "See anything you like?"

Simon nodded, fixed on the unit on the leftmost side of the bottom shelf, and he knelt to get to its eye level. The robot looked like it had seen better days, but there was something endearing in its cylindric, dinged-up body set on spindly legs, its lopsided head and off-kilter photoreceptors. He touched the side of its head and tried not to smile at it.

"This'll do," he said. Madame nodded and motioned for him to follow her again to pick up its controls, held in a secure room down the hall from the warehouse. Simon followed behind at a slight distance, gingerly carrying the small robot. This little guy is the make-or-breaker, he thought. This little guy's either going to help bring back what we all lost, or we're going to lose what little we have left.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I have no idea what's happening for this one, but I went for something.

-jazz hands-

morganna said...

She gathered the goats, kids and all, with tears in her eyes. She had already doused the goat shed with gasoline. If the bank would insist on foreclosing on her family farm, well, she wasn't going to be around to see it. And she wasn't leaving her precious goats to the bank's tender mercies.

She locked the shed door from the inside and pulled out her big knife. The goats would go quickly with their throats slit, the fire would take care of the rest, and everything would be okay again.

She grabbed the first goat. It looked at her trustingly as she laid the knife against its throat. She sobbed. She couldn't do this, couldn't sacrifice these innocent lives to her problems. It was all her fault, not being able to keep up the payments after Momma died. She laid the knife down and sobbed again, head in hands.

Then she lifted her head, dry-eyed, and picked up the knife again. This time she laid the cool steel against her own throat. She started to press down, but a hammering came at the door and she lifted the knife to hear what would happen next.

"Miss Sally, Miss Sally, I know you're in there!" the deep male voice continued, "You can't do this, Miss Sally." The hammering stopped. She lifted the knife again.

She heard running feet and a heavy thud. Pause. Running feet. Thud. Running feet. Thud. And again. The door splintered. She stared in fascination. Another thud, and Joe came crashing through the broken door into the goat shed.

He shook his head and looked straight at her. He lifted the knife away from her and laid it on the windowsill. Then he lifted Sally to her feet and gathered her into his arms. He spoke into her hair. "Oh, honey, it's gonna be alright. We'll figure something out. We can save the farm. Why didn't you tell me about the pending foreclosure?"

She pushed away from him and wrapped her arms around herself. "Because I can handle it myself. I'm gonna take myself and the goats into the world to come." She sounded sulky.

"No, Miss Sally, that's no solution. Let's go back to the house and figure out something else. Let me see the books." She allowed herself to be led out of the shed, towards the house. The goats followed, not liking the strange smell of their house. She looked back at the goats prancing straight-legged after her and Joe and smiled. Perhaps there was hope after all, she thought, as Joe led her into the house.

Cathryn Leigh said...

I bring you an exceprt of Unearthing Magic, my NaNovel 2012, edited.

Herbert's Sacrifice

Kneeling beside Lori, just beyond the crystal dust, Herbert let the Princes’ conversation wash over him. Right now he didn’t care if Magi took over Tabithia, or Aaronia came under the control of Nora, whomever she was. All he wanted to do was heal Lori. He could see where bones had broken, though no blood had been spilt. The fall should have killed her, yet she lay before him, her chest slowly rising and falling with her breath. If he looked hard, he could see the faint beat of her heart, as it pumped blood to her brain.

Pulling from his younger days, when there was still hope he would have the Source to do magic, Herbert remembered the Level 1 spell they had been taught. Knowing of no other way to heal Lori without touching her, her tried it.

“Sendatu zeure burua," he whispered, hand held over her heart, not touching the crystal dust.

A tingling sensation began in his finger tips, and slowly ran up his arm and into his body. Pulling back his hand from where it was over Lori was impossible, he was frozen to the spot. His whole body now tingled as if it'd been asleep and had woken on pins and needles. Then it reversed.

The sensation began to center itself upon his heart, and the only thought he could keep in his head, was that he hopped Lori would live, that she would survive and heal, so she could help. He was nothing but a non-magi, not worthy of her affection, not worthy enough to feel the affection he had for her. He would die to save her.

His heart began to race, the pain in it caused Herbert’s other hand to clutch at his chest. He barely noticed Andrew and Travis turning to him and shouting. All Herbert could do was think, holding the thought ‘I will give my life to save hers.’ Pain burst in his chest ripping through him. Collapsing forward, his arm touched her body, his head landing upon her heart, the crystal rising like sparkling dust mites in the sun. From him rushed his life force bridging the gap into her body, her heart beat strengthen. He smiled and knew no more.

Marc said...

g2 - fascinating follow up. I've no idea what's happening or where things are going, but I'm keen to find out!

Morganna - woo, powerful stuff. Glad it ended on a positive note.

Cathryn - jeez, another powerful scene. Very well written. Even without knowing all the back story, I could still feel the emotions behind it.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Really? *Blush* yeah ... I guess so. still a few places that could use work...

But thank you. :}
Glad I have it saved. Now to manage to do that to the rest of the novel (once I'm done writing it) and maybe I might have soemthing that's publishable.