Thursday January 23rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the fireball.

When I was texting Kat about Max's visit to the fire hall, I accidentally typed the building as one word. Autocorrect decided that what I actually meant was fireball. I managed to not notice until Kat replied (making fun of me, obviously).

I caught up on a week's worth of comments today which... still leaves me well behind. Hoping to get all the way back tomorrow and yadda yadda promises to not let it slip again yadda yadda.


When he emerged from the shelter beneath what had once been his home, burning debris fell from the sky like hell's rain. After a long look upward he drew his hood over his head, stuffed his hands into his pockets, and began to walk.

Smoke choked the streets of his neighbourhood, limiting his vision to a radius that fluctuated between five and ten meters. He didn't mind that. It meant that he couldn't see what had become of the Miller's across the street, or the Chan's next door, or...

What did bother him, though, was the smell. There was no avoiding it, and thus there was no way for him to not think about its source. All he could do was walk, so he did.

Step by step, alone in a smouldering chaos, he did his best to leave it all behind. To focus on what must come next if he were to survive. Thriving would come later, if it came at all.

As for revenge? That lurked somewhere in the middle distance.


Greg said...

Why was Max visiting the fire hall? Inquiring minds want to know! (I'd have made fun of you too for such a text. Just sayin')
Well done on catching up with the comments so far, and you've had a pretty busy week from your blog posts, so I don't think anyone blames you for not being right on the dot with them :)
I love the details in your tale today; with the mention of the smell, the hell's rain of burning debris and the smouldering chaos. You use such evocative vocabulary that I'm almost there as well, suffocating in the aftermath and wondering dazedly where to go next.

The fireball
The quartermaster's tent was medium-sized and guarded by dogs as they were more loyal than the soldiers that the quartermaster provisioned. Around his tent were three wooden supply sheds, the large mess marquee where the soldiers were fed and the cooks turned things into food, and a corrugated-iron lean-to where the volatile supplies were kept.
Jared and Ashton were dragging the freshly-killed body of a Hydrax past the iron lean-to as Mordechai and Alanna slipped inside.
"Do you think they saw us?" Alanna's whispers were ridiculously penetrating and could wake sleeping children from two hundred feet away.
"No, but they've probably heard us now. Grief, do you think that we're having Hydrax for dinner then?"
"Curried, probably," said Alanna. "We used to eat it like that when I was a child."
"Yes, but you're from the mountains. You'd eat rocks in a pinch."
"You don't have to eat dinner."
The smell of oil filled their nostrils, killing their appetite. Alanna looked around: the lean-to had been erected over a natural oil-spring and then the camp's provision mage had woven spells around the spring to increase the flow. Wooden barrels stood nearby filled with oil, and pools of oil had accumulated here and there on the dead grass and seared earth.
"Is this really the right place?" Alanna sounded nervous.
"I need to tap the extra magic," said Mordechai. "Scrying is more accurate the more power you can put into it." His hands moved reverentially in front of him, conjuring his scrying medium.
"Yes...," said Alanna. "But you're scrying with a fireball...."

Marc said...

Greg - oops, I hadn't realized I didn't mention that here. Tuesday was a busy day, I guess.

We went with his StrongStart class to visit the fire hall. Lots of kids came out for it and the fireman who showed us around was quite good.

Hah, and here I was, thinking that I knew where the prompt would tie in to your story... great ending to a fun little tale :D