Wednesday October 9th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: The Make Believe Machine Repair Shop.

It's a long story, and I'm not sure if it's worth telling. I'll just say that my take on the prompt was inspired by something I read online earlier today. Or last night. Whenever it was.

Harvested for restaurant and bakery orders today, as both places are gearing up for Thanksgiving this weekend. Speaking of which, it will be a family affair here on the farm as Kat's aunt and uncle from Calgary are coming on Friday and my sister and her husband are arriving on Saturday (also from Calgary, as it happens).

In other news: all of my bowling muscles are sore. Also? The last time I was in a bowling league was 97/98, not 98/99. I somehow managed to screw up the math in my head yesterday going strictly off the fact that I knew I was in second year university.

Either way, it has been a long time.


"And what can I do for you today?"

The words greeted me before I had even fully entered the shop, afternoon sunlight still trying to piggyback its way indoors as though I was on its side. Couldn't it see that my skin was too pale to be its ally?

I closed the door behind me with enough force to rattle and jingle the contents of nearby shelves, leaving that blasted light outside where it belonged.

"It still doesn't work," I said, dumping the contraption on the counter between me and Angus. I hated dealing with Angus. He always had this almost laugh infused into his words, as though he didn't fully believe what he was saying or the work that he did. "I need it fixed before the end of the week."

"And remind me again," he said as he tilted his head to the right, "what exactly it's supposed to do when it's working?"

That damned almost laugh again, lurking around the edges of every syllable. Infuriating.

"I was here two days ago." I took a deep breath, focused on my need to have the machine working again. "You know damned well what it's meant to do."

"Remind me, dear boy... won't you?" It was like he was mocking me.

"This," I replied through gritted teeth, "is my Sarcasm Converter. When fully operational it allows stupid people," a brief pause while I silently thought like yourself, "to understand when sarcasm is being used on them and translates the message into more obvious language."


Greg said...

Sounds like it's going to a busy weekend up your way. I've finally left my job (well, technically I'm on holiday now for nearly two weeks) and am waiting to start the next one. The oddest thing about it? Yesterday, around lunchtime I sat down and wondered what I was supposed to be doing right now. I'm not used to not having work to do, or work to worry about, or work other people probably aren't doing while I'm not there to worry about... you get the idea!
Heh, i'm surprised that your narrator needs such a Sarcasm machine, I'd have thought people would have picked up on it straight away :-P Still, you've created a beautiful atmosphere (as always) with your piece, and I find myself quite endeared of both your narrator and Angus!

The make-believe-machine repair shop
Angus stood up from his stool behind the counter when I came in. His shaggy black hair, cascading in curls down his shoulders to mid-back, quivered like a lion's mane. He raised a spatulate hand, and pointed at me like God in a Michaelangelo painting.
"You!" he roared, and even though he was angry there was still an almost-laughter in his words, a hint of amusement at things the rest of us cannot see. Or possibly understand. "Get out!"
"Hey, hey!" I said spreading my hands in a placatory gesture. "What's up, man?"
"You've been using your weather machine again, haven't you." It was an accusation, not a question. "Every time I leave the shop it rains on me. All. The. Way. Home."
"Not me," I said instantly. I pulled a device from my back, about the same size and shape as a smart phone. "Here's my weather machine. It's been broken for three days, ever since Heather sat on it." I passed it to him, and he inspected it.
"She's a big lass," I said. "And she doesn't look when she sees a seat come free on the metro."
"Fine, so it wasn't you." Angus still sounded a little grumpy, but the hidden amusement was stronger now. "You want this fixed?"
"Yep!" I smiled.
"Cash up front," he said. I nodded, and pulled my cash machine out of the bag. "Eighty," he continued.
I typed the numbers in and steadily a pile of bills eased out of the front like valuable receipts. Angus collected them up and checked them, then dropped them in the till.
"Three days," he said, same as always. "I'd love to know where your machine gets the money from, though."
As I left, I could hear the tailor next door shouting at his apprentice. It sounded like money had gone missing from their till.

Marc said...

Greg - hurray! I can imagine it's a very odd feeling for you to not have work to do, especially with the schedule you'd been on. I hope you've managed to enjoy it :)

Love the characterizations here, as well as the combination of machines you introduced. Great ending :D