Thursday September 12th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: neglected.

My niece Natalie turned two years old today. Strange thought.

Stranger thought? Max is less than two months away from his first birthday.

What in the world.


The grass in the front yard is tall now, waving at passersby whenever the breeze picks up. In the quiet surrounding midnight you can hear creatures stirring within. If you are especially unlucky you will see those nocturnal beasts as well.

Neighbours stopped filing complaints months ago, once they realized town officials had as little interest in entering the property as they did. They have redirected their energies from letter writing to keeping their children and pets well away from the offending yard.

Though, truthfully, the pets know enough to keep their distance all on their own.

There are rumours and whispers and countless stories about the unknown owner. Some claim to have seen him, others are adamant that he is long dead. Threats to drop a lit cigarette in the grass are uttered daily, but none have been followed through on so far.

Perhaps because they never really meant it. More likely that they fear the retribution that would surely come their way.

However where, precisely, that vengeance would originate does not seem to be a subject anyone in the town seems eager to discuss...


Greg Bennett said...

It feels to me like a little less than a year since Max was born, but then I don't see him everyday. Certainly it continues to amaze me when I realise how long I've owned a dog for, so I think it's the habituation effect: if you see something every day then it seems like it's been there forever.
Which is, I guess, where your prompt comes from :)
That's an eerie house you've described this morning, with just a touch of ominous overtones. I'm kind of curious as to whether you'd take it in the direction of spine-chilling horror or Disney horror.

When Harris left the office, his last act to send round a spiteful email to the company listing all the malicious gossip about everyone (including links to tumblr in some instances), everyone relaxed. His desk was pushed into a corner, his laptop quickly covered with abandoned paperwork, and the remaining signs that he'd ever been there gradually eroded through neglect.
Then the company grew a little, and a few more desks were squeezed in, but no-one wanted to sort out Harris's desk, so it was neglected more until finally the intern started and needed a desk. He was pointed at Harris's old desk and told that his first job was to tidy it and file the paperwork in either the bin or the filing cabinets.
When he got to the laptop, he found it was still turned on. Slightly surprised, he opened it, and discovered that it wasn't even password locked. Instead, there was just a countdown on the screen, ticking away every second. It had just dropped below 8,000.
"Oh shit!" said Marcus, the nominal head of IT. "What the f–"
"Harris," interjected Anna, who hated swearing. "It was Harris's laptop. What did we neglect to do when he left?"
Everyone looked blank and heads were shaken.
"Well," said the intern at last. "It looks like we've got less than three hours to find out!"

Marc said...

Greg - hmm, that's a good question. I'd say I'm leaning toward spine-chilling, but my mood's been known to change while I'm in the midst of writing things like that.

Well now I'm very curious as to what happens when the countdown reaches zero! Perhaps I can figure out a prompt that will lead us there...