Monday April 22nd, 2013

The exercise:

Write about something that goes: smash.

This evening while emptying out the dish rack ahead of doing the dinner dishes, I was shaking the water off one of our mugs when the handle broke off. It fell into the sink with a bang, landing - and breaking - one of our plates.

When I smash dishes, I don't mess around.


The second hand inched its way around its glass prison once more, unaware that anything unusual would happen when it reached the ornate 12 at the peak of its circuit. Surely, like most of us in the room, it expected to hear a tick, a slight shift by both the minute and hour hands, and nothing more.

Most of us in the room, but not all.

For there were those among us who knew exactly what that final tick would spark. The plan had been discussed at length, fine-tuned until all possible faults had been ironed out. They had their supplies, their weapons on hand.

They were prepared.

When that clock struck midnight, it was smashing time.


Greg said...

Never hold a cup by the handle to shake it. The handle's the most fragile part (as I think you've now seen) and I've had far too many break on me just from fatigue – it's no fun when a handle of a cup full of hot liquid breaks as you're picking it up! Still, getting the plate was a good show, and I hope Max wasn't watching :)
I quite like your scene setting this morning; the discussion of the clock leading to the people in the room and then back to what happens when the clock hand completes it circuit. Excellent structure!

The bronze plaque ("Brass is cheap!" his secretary had said in clipped tones that made people listening feel like they were being pecked by hungry hens) on his door gave his name as "Lord Admiral Smash", and a second, wider and deeper plaque beneath listed all the letters that came after his name. The door itself was made from Indonesian wood and the purchase order for it had been accidentally shredded; some whispered that it was to conceal that it was made from a tree so rare as to be considered endangered, while others muttered about varnishes made from coagulated blood. The threshold that the door guarded was Portland stone, kept pristine white, with gold cement between the pieces.
So it was a little startling for visitors, suitably awed by the entrance portal, to find that Lord Admiral Smash was an energetic man in his early thirties with a wispy beard, a moustache like a marathon-running caterpillar, bright green eyes and a mischievous smile that made you wonder what he'd been up to before you arrived. He would leap exuberantly around his office, his attention flitting from this to that and then to the other with all the staying power of a caffeinated hummingbird.
The only time you could get him to concentrate is when you wanted something blown up. Then his face would grow serious, he would focus on you, draw you closer, lean to your ear, and

yell SMASH! as a precursor to showing you his latest high explosive and missile delivery system.

David said...

Further proof that you cant control where your writing will go....

Hulk smash. Smash real hard. Smash big. Hulk ride tricycle and knock nice lady down stairs. Hulk smash cars and say, "l'm too old for this shit." Hulk smash big Nazi mechanic into propeller of airplane. Lots of implied carnage offscreen as blood sprays fuselage.
Hulk still no like snakes. Hulk try and blow up bird but smash coyote instead. Hulk no say meep or meep. Hulk falls in love. Lover dies. Learns love is never having to say Hulk sorry. Hulk's heart smashed. Hulk contemplates God's existence. Swedish man tell Hulk, God is silent. Hulk's spirituality smashed. Hulk alone. Hulk no cry. Hulk just smash.

MosesMalone said...

Look, you need to know that this story isn’t going to end well. There were injuries – lots of them. There was crying – a lot of crying. I’ll try to tell this story exactly the way it happened. There was music and dancing, and somehow the place found itself split into 2 groups. For the sake of the story, I’ll just say I found myself on the side with the older people. Both groups just stared each other down like a really ridiculous real life Michael Jackson BAD video. The other side was bored, and they didn’t want any of us there anymore. Heated arguments erupted. There was nothing I could do except stand my ground. I wasn’t going anywhere. The music playing was great, but we could see that we were out of place. It was for them, but the longer we watched them taking advantage of their life, their youth, their able bodies… well, we turned. I became the leader not because I was the best dancer, but I wanted it more. I wanted to dance to that song more than anyone, and that’s when I stepped into the middle of the room, I threw my hand in the air, and I yelled, “Let’s smash it!” With that, my side of 30-40 year olds tossed sippy cups and diaper bags aside. We danced like we were 21, and we paid dearly for those sore muscles the next day. I’m not proud of myself, but I and 10 of my friends totally served our 5-year-old daughters at a dance birthday party when Fresh Beat Band came on the playlist.

Aholiab said...


Charles looked up from his mixer as the event coordinator, Evelyn, stepped into the sound booth. He nodded at her as he murmured into his microphone, “Lower the house lights... good.” He watched the auditorium below begin to dim. His hand slowly moved several sliders as he continued into the mic, “Music fading... main mic is now live. Bring up the screens.”

Darkened screens in the hall began to lighten and the name of the presenter was soon emblazoned on each. Thunderous applause roared as the motivational speaker strode confidently onto the stage. “Spotlights on the speaker... switching display control to his remote.” He flipped his mic away from his mouth and turned to Evelyn, “Well, I hope he can run his own PowerPoint presentation, because it’s out of my hands now.”

She nodded distractedly as she worked her way down the checklist on her clipboard. “Everything ok, with the sound and lighting?”

He looked out over the audience and studied the setup. “Looks good from here. I guess this must be the ‘You will reap boundless goodies if you follow my instructions’ speech,” he joked as he watched the man gesturing toward several horns of plenty decorating the stage. “He really knows how to work a crowd.”

Flipping a switch, Charles piped the sound to wall speakers in the booth. “...and how do we do that? We don’t just sit back and wait for someone to give it to us. That’s not how we break records! That’s not how we defeat our competitors...” He flipped the speaker back off.

“Have you ever heard this guy before? Sounds like he is on a roll.”

Evelyn shook her head and Charles watched her lips move as she enumerated each item on her list before checking it off. “Um, no, I haven’t. They must be paying him big bucks though. He had a list of requirements like I’ve never seen before, and the Conference had no problem paying for all the extras.”

Charles chuckled and said, “Well, maybe I ought to listen to him then!”

He switched the speaker back on and watched as the man picked up a pumpkin from one of the cornucopias. “What are we going to do to our competition?” He held up the pumpkin, then flung it to the floor. “We’re going to SMASH it!” He began picking up tomatoes and shouting, “What are we going to do to our profit record?” More vegetables were flung. “We’re going to SMASH it!”

By now the crowd was on their feet, joining him each time he shouted “SMASH it!” Piles of crushed fruit covered the stage as he yelled, “Now the bar is open in the lobby, but don’t you dare get SMASHED! Thank you!”

Shaking his head Charles turned to look at Evelyn. “Wow, that was short and sweet!” Then he noticed her pale face. “What’s wrong?”

Her hand hovered over the last item on her list that remained unchecked. “Install protective sheeting on stage”, she gasped.

Marc said...

Greg - well, *now* you tell me :P

This is a wonderful character description. The hummingbird line was probably my favorite.

David - indeed! That certainly went to a lot of places on its shot journey. Happy to report I got most of the references!

Mo - holy lord, do I ever want video of this :D

Aholiab - that's some motivational speaker. I have this sad feeling someone like that would do very well...