Monday August 19th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: dismantled.

Max is certainly becoming very adept at taking things apart these days. I look forward to the time when he starts putting them back together afterward.

Also: apparently he knows how to open cupboards now?

Trouble is a coming and there's no end in sight.

Mine:

The base had been dismantled years before our arrival, stripped clean of equipment, weapons, food. In short: everything that might have been useful to us in our dire state.

Everything, that is, except the roof over our heads and the walls surrounding us. Barriers between our ragtag group and the harsh elements outside. The biting wind, the miserable rain... we were safely beyond their demoralizing grasp.

For a short while, at least. It was a respite, though we knew it could only be brief. Our supplies would only last for so long before we were forced back outdoors to find more sustenance. We would delay that moment as much as possible but each of us was aware that it was drawing closer with every intake of breath.

And that, somewhere beyond those comforting walls, they would be waiting for us.

4 comments:

Greg Bennett said...

You realise he may be an artist rather than an engineer and that although they'll go back together, they may never work again? Or look the way you thought they should? :) But if he can get into the cupboards it sounds like you're going to have a spent an hour making sure that there's nothing unsafe in all the lower cupboards now. Or nailing them shut; your choice ;-)
I can feel the chill emanating from the world in your piece this morning, and it's a grey, miserable world out there! The first two paragraphs really build the mood, and I quite like that the next two slowly insinuate that this is only temporary. Nicely done :)

Dismantled
The Geology professor came into the lecture hall and made a show of taking his coat off and hanging it on the coathooks at the front. Then he looked at his audience, who were trying not to yawn visibly, and said, "I have dismantled. A mantle is another for a coat."
Someone started a slow clap near the back, and the Professor half-smiled.
"It's not that impressive, is it?" he said over the clapping. He walked to the front and turned the holo-tank on. It came to life and planets and moons danced around a distant sun. The class as a group sat up a little and leaned forward; the Professor always used the holo-tank for the really interesting bits of his lecture.
"This is Gliese 4187," he said, pointing to a small brown planet. "It's about 700 light years away."
He pushed a button on the console and for a moment nothing seemed to happen. Then dark lines appeared across the surface of the planet, crazing like a mirror dropped on a hard surface. Bright orange light began to spill from the cracks, and the class realised en masse that it was magma. The whole planet seemed to sneeze suddenly, a brisk unexpected shudder and then huge lumps of the surface burst free, launched up and out into space to become comets and meteors and eventually dead asteroids, eternal grave-markers to an atrocity.
"This is also dismantled," said the Geology professor with a tone of quiet satisfaction. "Removing the outer layer, or mantle, from a planet." He looked at the horrified faces in front of him. "What? It's a backwater part of the galaxy anyway!"

morganna said...

One Step Ahead is an amazing mail-order company with a huge variety of child-proofing latches and gates (among other things). I highly recommend it -- they kept my future engineer safe for several years until he understood what not to do. And my pediatrician says nothing beats a padlock on the really dangerous stuff (like the under-the-kitchen-sink cabinet with the cleaning supplies) -- it looks awful for the decor, but worth it.

And the following is based on a true story -- yes, he's fine.
-----------------
(A small boy, about 18 months)
Ouch! I guess I really shouldn't have stuck my finger in that neat hole after dismantling the nightlight and removing it from the wall. Mommy!!!

David said...

The last bolt was removed on January 11, 2037. It connected the left shin plate to the knee. They had begun with the head, removing it from the torso. Then removing the antiquated brain. The arms came next and then the legs.

"They don't feel a thing"

"How do you know, Father?"

"That's what they tell us."

The boy took the bolt from his father. He watched as the last pieces were carried to the scrap heap. An older model they told him. The boy and his father would not be obsolete for many years to come.

So they told him.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I could easily see that being the case :P

That is quite the class. Love the language in this one.

Morganna - thanks for that, we'll be sure to check that site out!

Hah. Oh boy, more visions of the future...

David - friggin' brilliant stuff. Really establishes the world we're visiting, and makes me want to hear more.

A whole lot of potential for this, it seems to me.