Thursday December 12th, 2013

The exercise:

Trying something a little different today: the blocks prompt.

One of the presents Max received on his birthday was a big bag of wooden blocks from Kat's parents. Each block has a letter or number and some symbols or pictures on each side. Here's a picture I took shortly after they were opened:


So the plan is this: every once in a while I'm going to reach into that bag and pull out three blocks at random. Whichever number or word is facing me on each block gets jotted down and then we get to use all three words in our writing that day.

We'll see how it goes, but I think there should be some interesting combinations.

Let us begin with: owl, egg, yo-yo.

Mine:

"You should have held out for more money." I tried to block out my partner's voice and focus on the task at hand. But, just as it had for the previous twenty minutes, that effort met only with failure. "Seriously, man. They must be making a mint off of this."

"Work is work," I countered, inching my way across the rock face. "We can't afford to be picky, not in this economy."

"Right, because there are hundreds of other guys out there lining up, ready to do a job like this? Please."

"Can we discuss this later? I -" A sudden gust of wind cut me off as I jammed my fingers and toes into the closest cracks I could find. I reminded myself that looking down was a bad idea. "I think I can see the owl's nest from here."

"Great. Really happy to hear that." I clenched my teeth together until my jaw began to ache. "You know we're screwed if that giant bird comes back while we're in the middle of stealing her eggs, right?"

"Not going to happen." A little bit closer. "She'll be out hunting until dusk." Almost within reach. "Plenty of time."

"All this, just so some rich prick can give his kid a one of a kind yo-yo for his fifth birthday." Another blast of wind. "I bet the brat cracks the egg on his first try. Better get at least five of them, save the extras for the inevitable request for more." The distant flap of wings... drawing nearer? "You really should have held out for more money."

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Max looks quite serious in that picture -- any plans for him to become an architect? The blocks look like fun though... I wonder, when Max is old enough for Lego, are you going to buy the kits and them play with them yourself? :)
Excellent use of the prompt items in your story too! I can almost feel the wind at my back while I'm reading it, and I can definitely feel my fingers flexing to find crevices in the rock face as well. Very evocative writing :)
And I do wonder what will happen when the owl returns....

Mine
Uruk poked the nest with a long bone. The owl-bear -- clearly a product of some insane breeding program by a mage with more time than brain-cells -- had been quite frantic in defending it, so he was expecting some kind of young in there. He had no idea whether an owl-bear would have cubs or chicks or some combination of them... chubs, maybe? He poked the nest a bit harder, dislodging branches. He paused, and looked closer. No, not branches. Bones. Just how many people had been down to this dungeon over the years?
"Sqwrawk?"
The noise had come from in front of him, and he bounced backwards like a yo-yo on the upswing, both feet leaving the ground and his sword pulling free from his scabbard. His back thumped against the wall and he swore; he was certain it hadn't been that close earlier. Then, as something monstrously huge, but still owl-bear shaped, stood up from the nest, the wall clicked and he found himself swivelled round with the wall.
The new chamber he found himself in was lit by torches in wall sconces and had various hybrid animals chained up to the wall. Leaning over one of them, the glow of magic around his hands and head, was a white-haired, burgundy-robed, urine-smelling old man. Probably a mage.
"Eggs of Cholondra!" swore Uruk, nowhere near as quietly as he should have done.

Marc said...

Greg - when that boy focuses on something, there is no interrupting him :)

I don't know why I *wouldn't* play with his Lego!

Ah, another enjoyable entry in the saga of Uruk. Great details, excellent use of the prompt words. So glad, by the way, that you chose to do your Christmas week story with him, despite the obvious challenges.