Monday December 30th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: caution.

I was back at work this evening for the first time in two weeks. It was a bit of a struggle at times, but overall it was good to get back into things. Spent most of the night in the bowling alley, which was definitely a plus.

Still plugging away on the comments. Hoping to catch up, or at least get very close, tomorrow.


The highway is littered with warning signs, urging drivers to slow down, keep their distance, watch out for wild animals trying to dash across the asphalt. Many of the signs are battered and bent, most sit atop posts that twist and turn in every number of ways.

It is not just the road itself that brings tidings of doom for new arrivals. The ditches on either side are like parking lots for abandoned cars. If a vehicle is in need of a spare part, locals come here before visiting the nearest wrecking yard.

Assuming, of course, they are able to get in and out without incident.

They still try, despite all of the warnings. Despite all of the evidence on display that the ghosts that rule this road are best left unchallenged. No soul has ever reached the end of this stretch of highway.

That will never stop them from trying though.


Greg said...

Work always comes back to us! I'm back at work on Thursday, but I'm kind of looking forward to it; there's a lot to be done and some new stuff to get started on, and a probation review to get through. If I fail that... well, then there's the "excitement" of the job hunt again!
I like the detail in this piece about the locals coming there first for spare parts. That adds a little bit of depth that I think is needed. I wasn't expecting no-one to be able to get to the end of the stretch of highway though, so that was good too. And now I wonder, what is beyond it?

Charles Asciugimento, Head of Building Security, stood back and looked at the signs that his staff had put up around the shopping centre. Each was arrow-shaped, a neat blue indicator with the word CAUTION printed in white capitals on it. Each arrow pointed to something that someone had complained about as being unsafe in 2013.
"Is this really the right way to handle this, Charles?" The speaker was an older woman with tanned skin that had the tension of a face-lift rather than youth; she was well dressed in a air-force blue suit and carried a clipboard under the arm whose hand was holding a briefcase. Her hair was auburn and piled up on her head like a 50's movie star.
"I think so, Maude," he said. His words were unusually softly spoken, and he lacked some of his characteristic aggressiveness. "The people have spoken, and I have listened."
"You've been made to listen," said Maude, her voice thoughtful. "And you're never happy when you have to bend the knee."
"But my knee has bent!" There was a momentary flash of anger, a fleeting sighting of the real Charles.
"Indeed," said Maude. "Though I notice that if you pay attention to these signs it will take at least twenty-five minutes of walking and detours to get into any of the shops."
"Well we had to listen to where people felt there was danger," said Charles. "And the sniper's sightlines are apparently all dangerous, which was a problem."
"You could have disarmed the sniper."
"Breach of security and violation of trust!"
"Well," said Maude. "I also note that outside all the designated exits of the shopping centre are now deep excavations."
"Not my remit," said Charles, though he couldn't quite stop a smile twisting his lips. "I'm Head of Building Security."
"Quite," murmured Maude. "And you're a caution yourself."

Marc said...

Greg - I'm sure your review will go just fine. I hope you're enjoying the new job?

Well, wonder if you like. But I wouldn't suggest trying to find out for yourself... :P

Really enjoyed the back and forth between these two. And I think that is a very reasonable response to all those safety complaints :)

Hey, would you look at that? All caught up on comments again. Just in time for the new year!

We'll see how long it lasts this time...