Monday August 26th, 2013

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: the horizon.

Feeling quite tired, so I'm just going to get to it.


Professor Kairos Damus stood on the balcony attached to his hotel room, a pocket watch dangling from his right hand as he contemplated the western horizon. Festive noises floated up to him from the pool deck far below as other guests reveled in the afternoon sunshine. The professor would not be joining them, for that was not his purpose there. In fact his bags remained packed in the bedroom behind him, despite his having arrived the previous day.

He hadn't expected to observe anything until that afternoon, but he'd been concerned his calculations had been flawed and had therefore caused his instruments to be less than perfectly accurate. Had that been the case he wanted to know exactly how far off their prediction had been, which would allow for corrective tinkering.

But so far everything was going to their schedule. Professor Damus was struggling to contain his excitement as he continued his watch, first counting down the hours and then minutes. 

That was not his real name, of course.

He was experimenting with aliases at each of his destinations, trying to find one that he would go public with once his work had been honed to perfection. His true identity must remain secret, for some would surely confuse prediction with causation.

People could be such fools when advanced science was involved.

As minutes descended into seconds he raised the watch to eye level. He could not stop himself from counting down the final moments out loud.

"Five, four, three, two, one... there she is."

With that he returned to his room, collected his bags, and took the elevator down to the parking lot beneath the building. One accurate prediction was not enough to satisfy his requirements, and the next tornado was scheduled to touchdown in less than two days on the other side of the country.


Greg said...

It's nice to have a slightly longer piece from you :) And this one's a delight to read as well, with the scene-setting so deftly done. The professor's reason for aliases is rather nice as well, and sure to cause bigger problems down the line, and the hint that there might be confusion between causation and prediction is slipped in there so neatly that it's almost possible to miss the threat!
Great work today!

The horizon
An artificial line around
a pocket universe describes
Event Horizons. Standing there
a lonely man can hear his heart
beat twice, echoed from the edge
a moment later. He pretends
he's not alone; he knows his world
is shrinking though. In too few days
his nose will press against a wall
that isn't there. Horizons break
and bubbles burst. We patiently
await the next to rise.

morganna said...

Creepy, Greg. Mine is just a little nonsense poem that popped into my head.
Run, run
My dear, as fast
As you can, over the
Horizon and far away, soon
They will surely discover who robbed the
Bank of Wonderland. You don't wish
To be here when they find
Out it was you.
Run, run.

Aholiab said...


Nice build to the tornado; had no idea what was coming. I also appreciated the meaning of the professor's name (thank you Google!) "Giving at the opportune moment".

Greg, clever description of the black hole. Especially enjoyed his nose bumping into the invisible wall.

Morgana, hopefully the stolen fairy dust will come in useful. Nicely done.

The Horizon

Sam watched the liquid gently slosh in the glasses as he carried two Mai-Tais to the sundeck of the yacht.

His wife looked up from her book and smiled, “How did you know I was thirsty?”

“Ah, after twenty-seven years together, I’ve begun to recognize the meaning of certain facial expressions,” he said as he settled onto the lounge next to her. “For example, your current expression hints that I should have shortened any mention of time by at least of couple of decades.”

She tried to maintain the indignant furrow of her brow as she took the drink he offered, but nothing could disturb the well-being she felt as she leaned against him. Sipping their drinks, they both watched the waves gently rolling past.

“How long do you think we can keep up this strenuous lifestyle?” she asked, biting a slice of pineapple from the umbrella decorating her drink.

“Look out there. Do you see that line between the sea and the sky?”

“You mean the horizon?”

He hugged her close, “We’ll be together like this until we cross that line.”

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, this one started writing itself in my head pretty early in the day, so I had some catching up to do once I finally sat down to capture it :)

Wonderful work with yours, really inspired stuff. Loved what you did with the prompt.

Morganna - really like the way yours loops back on itself, tying everything together so neatly.

Aholiab - thank you :)

That's a peaceful, idyllic scene. Makes me yearn for something similar for myself.