Monday January 13th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: retribution.

That was a very long day. Between watching Max from breakfast until 2 o'clock while Kat was assisting an online counseling class and working a 3 to 9 shift, I hardly had any time to myself to rest or relax.

So I'm going to try to pull something together for this prompt and then go to sleep.

Also: I'm fully aware that I'm getting hideously behind on the comments again. I'm hoping to work on that tomorrow morning.


Way out west
There's a town left blind
By righteous deeds
Of the very bloody kind.

And there sits
Upon his black throne
The one-eyed king,
Miserable and alone.


Greg said...

I worry that you're thinking about retribution... what on earth can Max have done while you were watching him?!
I hope our comments are enjoyable to catch up on too :)
Heh, I like your poem, both stanzas are equally good. If anything, it's a shame it's not longer (but I appreciate that you're tired).

Retribution, n. Possibly from the Old Norse trygge, meaning to drop off a load of treasure from the last pillage at the chief's hut, re meaning 'oh not again', probably from the chief's wife, and -tion, one of those endings that Graeco-Latinate educated professors like to litter the language with.
Retribution in the modern sense means the return of tribute to someone, and derives from the Norse Chief's wife's demands that he "get rid of all this bloody golden junk that's cluttering up my clean floors! You can't eat the damn stuff" (Elder Eddas, Saga III, v17-48, plus an Appendix of further complaints). The Norse Chief, piqued by his lack of home comforts, would descend on the giftor and retribute heavily. And occasionally bloodily.

morganna said...

They whisper to me
I hear them night and day
I cannot sleep -- they whisper to me
My lost family, my clan
Shall I revenge them?
Will the whispers cease?

Tom said...

They say "an eye for an eye" and that "in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"; so what should I do? Should I seek revenge and perhaps start a blood feud that could go on for generations? Or, should I say that there are more important things than retribution and that it is better to live my life the way I want? I don’t have to forgive if I don’t exact retribution; forgiveness is another matter altogether and quite without my beliefs; but that does not mean that I have to exact retribution. I could simply turn my back on her and try to forget, or I could gladly see my foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Let me tell you what happened, and perhaps you can think about what you might have done. My brother courted her for a long time, all the usual courtship rituals were there; nothing fancy, but done with his usual quiet propriety. He presented her with beautifully wrapped gifts, he gave her meals, he stroked her and made a fuss of her. This went on for a long while, much longer than she deserved. I always thought it was a bad match; she was so cold it would make you shudder; but my brother was infatuated, driven by desire and would not listen to reason; certainly would not listen to me. In fact he drove me away and out of his life. I know that some of his other friends were also trying to court her, though he was always her favourite; the one that he would accept gifts from, the one who was allowed to get close. I think all his other male friends were simply jealous of him. But, I couldn't help worrying about him and the way that he kept going back to her. So I got on with my life and my loves and watched from a distance.

After they had been courting for a while she finally relented and they consummated their love in a frenzy of passion, but no sooner had they finished than she murdered him. She murdered him in their love bed! To this day I do not understand how anyone could do that, but she did. You must be thinking how terrible that is, and so it is; to lose ones brother to his lover and not have a body to bury for she turned cannibal and ate him. Not all at once, but over the next week she ate him all except for his skeleton which she discarded.

Could you let such behaviour go? Or would you consider it your duty to exact revenge? How I called retribution down upon her, praying to all the gods I knew that she should be cruelly punished; that she should see all her children die in agony before slowly dying herself, or that she should be trapped in her love nest and slowly starve to death while all around her there was plenty of food. But I knew that if there was to be retribution I would have to do it myself. So I waited and I planned and I thought and I waited until her children were born, and I took myself down to her web and ate all her babies.

Marc said...

Greg - your comments are always a pleasure to catch up with; it's a wonder I get so behind at all.

And yes, I wish I could have made it longer as well. Maybe I'll come back to it another time.

Ah, I do enjoy your definitions. This one was particularly good, especially the bits pertaining to the chief's wife :)

Morganna - that could almost be the opening to a rather epic story. Full of promises of guilt and bloodshed and all that good stuff.

Tom - hello and welcome to the blog! Thanks for dropping by to share your writing with us :)

That's a very vivid tale, and I like that the narrator was not fully revealed until the final sentence. Nice work!