Thursday July 25th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about something (or someone) that has been: tied down.

Our tomato plants have been sadly neglected recently, and as a result are badly in need of pruning and tying. We've been trying to make amends this week and there are definite signs of improvement.

Still a ways to go though.


The wind came screaming across the water in the black of night, dumping the captain and his ragtag crew out of their bunks with zealous glee. As waves slapped the side of the ship and threatened to wash across the decks, shouted orders were drowned and swallowed in the chaos.

Not that the men needed to be told what to do. The captain just felt like he needed to do more than keep his feet beneath him.

The ship rocked and heaved in a way that would make weak men ill. So only a third of the crew paused in their work to visit the railings and empty their stomachs overboard. The rest moved about in varying states of digestive distress, making sure that every item on board was secure.

Except, the captain noted as the black and green container was launched into the roiling waters by a particularly enthusiastic wave, the last of their food supplies.


Greg said...

I'm sure the tomato plants appreciate the attention now they're getting it! Lucky plants are pretty hardy without us really :)
That's a great start to a story, though it sounds like something that would happen aboard the Pink Daffodil! I like how everything's brought back under control until the very last line, when one of the really important things turned out to have been missed :)

Tied down
The babysitter sat down on the couch. The parents had disappeared out of the door muttering something about 'being late for Henri' and looking very pale, but they'd left her a list of things to know and to be done, and a phone number.
"Don't call us," said the father, who was looking ill. "Really, don't call us. Henri will be furious."
She checked the list. Food in the fridge, but don't touch the fermented fish – like she was going to! TV had cable, not satellite, and the child-lock number was 7746. Could she feed the goldfish? Yeah, she could do that.
She looked around again. Oddly no one had introduced her to the children yet. They must be upstairs?
She went upstairs, admiring the wallpaper and the expensive looking pictures hanging on the walls. At the top there were more stairs, and several doors. She opened one at random.
There, tied down on the bed, was a very scared looking man with a sock stuffed in his mouth. She closed the door and opened the next, dazed. The same scene.
This time she made herself go in and pull the sock out of his mouth.
"Run," said the man immediately. "Run now!"

Lynn said...

Marc, I've been following your blog for a long time, but haven't posted in quite a while. I loved both your piece and Greg's. Great twist endings with lots of opportunity for continuing on.

Here's mine.
Two men in black suits had picked her up at the appointed time, taking her respectfully to the grave side. Words were spoken in hushed tones, prayers were lifted up, heads were bowed. The few people who had come reached out to touch her shoulder or take her hand, speaking their condolences in whispers as if being overheard sharing some private moment would be a sin. The men had escorted her silently back to the car and driven her home, leaving her in the driveway of the house they had occupied together for so many years she had lost count.
She entered the house and locked the door behind her. She wandered from room to room unsure of what to do now. The sound of the silence in the house was overpowering. She had been tied to her mother’s side for as long as she could remember, first after her father had died as a companion. And then as her mother’s health declined as a nurse and protector. And now that her mother was blessedly released from her life, held prisoner by a mind that no longer knew what had happened in the hours before, she sat in the quiet and wondered how to begin her own life again.

Marc said...

Greg - aye, I have to admit I was thinking of Captain Bottoms while writing that...

My goodness, what in the world has Henri been up to? Most curious :D

Lynn - welcome back! So good to hear from you again :)

Wonderfully powerful writing. Really conveys the sense of loss and the sudden lack of direction. I've missed reading your work!