Friday February 28th, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which take place in a: pool hall.

The last day of February. That went quick.

Operation: Get Max a Haircut was a partial success today. He was fine right up until the first snip, at which point he started crying. The barber said something along the lines of 'Now that we've started we can't stop' and I told him to do the best he could.

So his hair is out of his eyes, at least we managed that much. I might have to give him a little trim around the ears, but the main concern has been taken care of. Even if it's not particularly even (what with all the fidgeting and fussing), I'm sure it's a whole lot better that what I would have done.


Pool cue held loosely in one hand, a half empty beer bottle gripped tightly in the other, he watched his opponent's movements closely. Something underhanded was happening here, he was sure of it. He just had to figure out how, exactly, she was cheating and then he could finally call her on it.

With a long, smooth stroke she sank her shot before flashing him a quick smile; suddenly he had forgotten, yet again, what he had been thinking about.

Thursday February 27th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about an: intrusion.

I tried to take Max to get his haircut this afternoon but I guess it was a bit too late in the day for him, as he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. I wasn't interested in forcing the issue, for his and the barber's sake, so we'll try again tomorrow.

If it happens again we'll just have to cut it ourselves while he's sleeping. Should we get to that point, I take no responsibility for how goofy he'll look.


An abandoned beach, the sun warming the sand with its rays as it slips toward the horizon. Waves roll gently onto the shore before whispering their unhurried retreat. A bottle of wine in one hand, a wicker picnic basket in the other, heavy with the promise of a long, leisurely dinner.

That report is due on Monday. If they don't like the results heads are going to roll.

Log cabin, a roaring fire in the hearth. Through the windows snow can be seen drifting down to earth between the pines. Nearby an owl calls out. Thick blankets, hot chocolate, bookshelves crowded with the finest works of literature produced in the last five hundred years.

Dad is in the hospital again. The doctors don't sound optimistic.

Perfect silence. A view that reaches for eternity in all directions. Breathe in peace, breathe out stress. Feel at one with the earth beneath my feet. Ponder the vastness of the universe, the meaning of life and death.

Beeping, beeping, beeping. Louder, louder, louder. Groggy fingers fumble for the alarm clock.

I wish reality would stop intruding on my dreams.

Wednesday February 26th, 2014

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: rising above.

Got to bed relatively early last night. Max woke up extra early this morning. There is no winning.


The spectators in the stadium were so absorbed in the action on the playing field that not a single person in the stands noticed when the massive black blimp first appeared overhead. Not that its arrival would have garnered much concern - such airships were a common sight at major sporting events such as that one.

It floated menacingly while the game continued to unfold far below, the captain steering the ship in slow circles. Eventually it was spotted by a man in the midst of rolling his eyes at an official's missed call. He pointed it out to his friends, who directed those around them to look up. Not long after that every eye in the stands was turned its way.

And still it circled above them.

During a timeout on the field players and coaches realized that the spectators were no longer... well, spectating. Then they too were standing with their heads tilted back, just as puzzled as everyone else.

Satisfied that they had everyone's attention at last, the crew aboard the blimp began to drop their bombs.

Tuesday February 25th, 2014

The exercise:

Give me two options, in haiku form, for words that could be engraved on a: tombstone.

Yours, someone famous, someone fictional, whatever. Serious or silly, I leave that up to you.

Brought a wheelbarrow full of wood down to the house today, which was fine. The problem, however, is that I had planned on bringing much more than that. It's just that, apparently, I am not yet sufficiently recovered from my cold to deal with slogging through a snow-covered orchard.

Seriously, weather. We could do with a little less of the white stuff any day now.


He loved his dear wife
almost as much as he loved
his six mistresses

*     *     *

She made music with
each and ev'ry breath she took;
listen, she sings still

Monday February 24th, 2014

The exercise:

The list prompt is making a return visit, so use each of the following words in your poetry or prose today: strike, bare, slope, broken.

We've had quite a dumping of snow the last couple of days. That's enough for this year, I think. Let's get to the whole spring arriving thing, thanks.


Sky touches earth with a lightning finger,
A sudden strike that does not linger;
Staying only to light a wooded slope
As wild creatures flee in search of hope.

The raging fire marches to the lake,
Leaving bare, blackened earth in its wake.
Here, where wonder was already meager,
A broken land made somehow bleaker.

Sunday February 23rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the siren.

Max woke me up just in time to catch the final five minutes of the hockey game this morning. Thankfully the only tense moments involved waiting for the online stream to load, as Canada was up 3-0 and they were rarely challenged during the small portion of the game we watched.

That was a pretty dominant defensive performance, giving up only three goals over six games and finishing things off with back to back shutouts. Not nearly as dramatic as their gold medal game in Vancouver, but at that time of the morning I will not complain about that.


The siren which sits atop the towering pole in the main square is silent now. Only echoes linger, but they too will be gone soon. A chilling wind blows from the north, bringing with it hints of the winter that is drawing steadily closer.

It is almost enough to clear the stench away from this town.

I walk the streets, utterly alone. Even the strays that once pestered passersby are gone. If I had more sense I would join them - those that are still alive, that is. Though keeping company with those that were taken in the first attack may be a better choice than to be here, breathing this air.

Those savages will return, of that I am certain. Still I roam through my town, searching. The ticking clock in the back of my head is growing louder and more menacing, but I cannot leave yet. If there is a heartbeat more to spent here then I must spend it.

Though my chances of success fade with every step I take, I cannot leave without finding her first.

Saturday February 22nd, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: a threat.

Today I survived my first full shift in two weeks, though there may have been a ten minute nap in the bowling alley included in there somewhere. Hard to say.

Either way, I am very tired. My bed is calling, and I don't think it's going to be very interested in allowing me to get up to watch any part of the hockey game tomorrow morning. So I shall just have to hope for good news whenever I do wake up.


You don't want me
To do this thing.
So please behave,
Don't make me sing.

Friday February 21st, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: tension.

Coming into this morning's game, Team USA had scored a whole lot of goals so far this Olympics. Team Canada, on the other hand, outside of a 6-0 thumping of Team Austria, had not. But they'd given up even less, which is how they'd won all their games so far.

The trend continued today, as Canada won 1-0 and are off to the gold medal game to meet Team Sweden on Sunday.

Here on the west coast, that game begins at four in the frickin' morning.

Unless Max has an especially terrible sleep Saturday night, I won't be catching the start of that one. Maybe I'll be awake for the end of it though.


With such a narrow margin of error, every moment is heavy with import, weighed down by portent. All eyes in the room study each movement; every decision is second guessed by those blessedly free of responsibility for their outcomes.

I must forget about all that, all of them.

I have a job to do.

Thursday February 20th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the launch.

While I was catching up on comments this morning I had the women's hockey gold medal game on in the background. With the Americans up 2-0 with five minutes left in the third period I almost turned it off, but I decided I'd give the Canadians a little more time.

Three and a half minutes left, 2-1.

Less than a minute to go, goalie pulled for an extra skater, 2-2.

About eight minutes into the sudden death overtime, 3-2. Gold medal for Team Canada.

There's no way tomorrow's hockey semifinal between the men's teams is going to top that. Right?


"What's 'er name goin' ter be then, Cap'n?"

"I... be still mullin' over me options."

"Yer jokin'! The christenin' is gettin' done at noon, right?"


"That be less than an hour from now! Yer namin' yer ship, not yer fifth born child! Ye don't leave this sort of thing to the last minute!"

"Don't ye think I know that, ye pox faced donkey?"

"Well then, what be the problem?"

"It be... ye won't believe me."

"Tell me it has nothin' to do with yer mother, rest 'er evil soul. Tell me it be no dyin' wish nonsense. Please, Cap'n."

"Leave me be."

"Oh ye flea ridden fool. It be those blasted flowers she loved so dearly. Oh, Cap'n, ye can't!"

"Git out of me sight! Be gone, and never show yer face to mine again!"

"But Cap'n, I be your First Mate since we were wee lads! Why would ye-"

"I'll not have yer insubordination a moment longer! Yer not welcome aboard me new ship, whatever I happen to call 'er. Be gone, I said!"

"Fine... fine, Sandy. Just... please, no matter what that old sea hag wanted, promise me you won't call her The Pink Daffodil..."

"Be. GONE!"

Wednesday February 19th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the radio station.

I was feeling well enough to take Max back to StrongStart this morning, the first time he's been there in about a week. It was badly needed, for all of us. If he'd been stuck in and around the house for much longer something or someone was going to get broken.

Team Canada managed to get past a very tough quarterfinals match against Latvia this morning, which means they get Team USA up next in the semifinals. That's happening on Friday, I believe, and will likely be the game of the tournament.

Hopefully it will be one I remember as fondly as the last time these two hockey teams matched up against each other.


I sat slumped in the passenger seat, fiddling with the radio dial, while Wesley drove. His eyes never left the road ahead of us while I sampled every flavor of static I could snatch out of the airwaves: steady, intermittent, heart-stoppingly loud, prayer-inducingly quiet.

Listening, straining my ears for even the slightest hint of a word, a note, anything man-made. Anything that would let us know that there were others out there still, that we were not the last of our kind.

There was nothing to be found. Mile after mile of desolate lands, hour after hour of uninhabited numbers on the stereo. Wesley kept driving though, so I kept searching. I don't think either of us had any hope left, but it was either continue to push forward or give up.

And giving up was a short, brutal voyage to meet Death and all his friends. We weren't quite ready for that.

I almost missed it when it came through the murk of static, to be honest. I must have been on autopilot by then, my fingers working while my brain remembered lost friends. Wesley jumped a little when he heard it and that jolted me fully awake.

"What was that?" he asked, eyes darting in my direction before returning to the road.

"Hold on," I said, leaning so far toward the stereo that my nose almost brushed up against it. "Let me get it again."

It took nearly a full minute. I feared I'd lost it, or that we'd imagined it in the first place. I'm not sure what would have been worse. But then...

"Hello? Hello... if you can hear this... please, please come to 455 Patrick Street in Chicago. I promise you, this is no trap. Hello? Hello..."

Tuesday February 18th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the goon.

I didn't really miss going bowling tonight. I (almost) always had fun once I was there, but it was a weekly hassle to get out of the house on time. Maybe it's just because I'm sick right now, but I appreciated having a more relaxed evening this week.


They always ask me
how much I can bench, never
which school I went to.

*     *     *

"Scare 'em straight, that's all."
Fair enough, I suppose, but
they're only toddlers.

Monday February 17th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the handshake.

Took the night off work this evening and thankfully it wasn't particularly difficult to find someone to cover for me. I was feeling well enough to manage it (though it wouldn't have been very fun) but Kat is pretty sick still and I didn't want to leave her for the evening to take care of Max by herself.

Another sleep tonight, we'll see where we're all at tomorrow. Maybe I'll even be able to find time to catch up on some comments again.


My little brother claims to be the president of some very important, very mysterious club. Top secret though, couldn't possibly tell you who's in or what they do or even what it's called. Those are just the fine print details, and that stuff has never mattered to him.

He has, however, made absolutely sure that one of the few things in this world he does care about has been included: a secret handshake.

That's what he calls it anyway. I've seen him perform the ritual on several occasions, paying far more attention than he figured anyone ever would. That means I know his secret. I know what he's really up to.

You see, the handshake varies each time he does it. Only the ending is consistent. That final move, the one he obviously enjoys the most, tells me all I need to know.

The big, stupid gorilla just wants a way to get away with punching people right in the face.

Sunday February 16th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the pyramid.

My cold is better today but I feel worse.

How does that work, you might wonder? Well, my nose hardly bothered me at all today. It didn't run very much, so there was almost no blowing and I don't think I sneezed at all. My cough was far less frequent than it has been. Good stuff, all of that.

Trouble was, the muscles that I wasn't aware I was clenching every time I've coughed the last few days were very, very sore when I woke up this morning. So basically my entire chest, my upper back, and, worst of all, my abs. Which meant that every time I did cough today, it hurt like [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted].

So yeah, hopefully another decent sleep tonight will get rid of the last of this stupid cold and then I can finish healing.


It arose in the solemn silence following a lengthy incantation, sliding up out of the earth with startling speed. Even the men who had called for it, who had expected its emergence, took hurried steps backward. After an initial pause the quicker thinkers took several more.

Watching from my hiding spot in a tree at the edge of the vast clearing, I wondered if I was far enough away myself. Just how wide would the base be once the pyramid completed its ascent toward the stars?

I held my position, figuring that if I needed to flee at the last moment the men I came to observe would be too busy worrying about their own hides to notice me saving my own. Though that didn't mean my heartbeat was anywhere near normal, or that my shirt wasn't soaked with sweat.

In the end, there was plenty of breathing room between me and the bottom level of the pyramid. I'm pretty sure most of the men who had summoned it managed to survive its arrival as well, though to be fair I couldn't see what happened on the far side of the structure.

No words were spoken for quite some time, as though they were stunned that it had actually worked. I could hardly blame them for that. But then, eventually, voices began to fill the void once more. It was difficult to tell who was speaking from where I was, and I guessed the men had the same difficulty since their heads were turning this way and that in apparent confusion.

Then I realized that the words were coming from within the pyramid.

Saturday February 15th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: fighting fire with fire.

I got a text this morning from the girl covering my shift, as I expected. What I wasn't planning on was that it was to tell me she was getting sick as well.

My heart sank at first, but then I saw that she was asking to split the shift with me. She ended up taking the morning (which is when I feel the worst when I'm sick) and I went in at one to finish the day off.

On my way there I stopped at the pharmacy to grab some cough syrup (more on that in my poem), hoping it would help me to not cough every time I spoke with someone. It made it a little better, I think.

The best part, however, was definitely arriving to discover that the birthday party I'd been thinking about, the one with 20 people, is actually next Saturday. Nothing was booked for the alley at all.

So basically I spent the next four hours performing the function of Warm Body Behind Counter and not much else. Thankfully it was a very quiet day, as I couldn't have handled much more.


This illness is like the plague.
This medicine tastes like grout.
Surely such horrible things
Will cancel each other out?

Friday February 14th, 2014

The exercise:

Happy Valentine's Day - I hope yours was a happier one than what we experienced here. Write four lines of prose about: date night.

Kat and I were both sicker today than either of us had been yesterday. Max is getting in the tooth from hell. Plus I'm pretty sure he was worried about his parents acting so strangely. And, just to top things off, neither of Kat's parents were available to watch him for us until late afternoon.

I've had better days.

At least I finally found someone to cover my shift at the gym tomorrow. Though the only person available doesn't know how to run the bowling alley, and I'm reasonably certain there's a birthday party booked for the afternoon.

I told her I'd come in to take care of it if there is. I'm hoping I'm remembering it wrong, but even if there is a party to deal with I'm hoping that some extra rest in the morning will make enough of a difference for me.


A candlelit dinner. Curling up on the couch together to watch a movie or two. Walking hand in hand along the beach, down the street, anywhere at all.

They'd all been done to death, Francois knew; that's why he chose a visit to the newly installed zombie exhibit at the local museum for the site of his first date with Michelle.

Thursday February 13th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the transfer.

Kat and I are both sick, though I seem to have been gifted with the worst of it. I'm certainly bitching and moaning more, at any rate.

Trying to get to bed early tonight, hoping that some extra rest will help hurry this one out the door.

You know, in case you were wondering why today's prompt is up so (relatively) early.


When our plane arrived at its destination personnel from the Centers For Disease Control were already in place. In fact, they had been waiting for nearly a day.

The wing of the airport containing our gate had been evacuated, with passengers replaced by men and women in hazmat suits. Three large tents had been installed in the hallways; there was no possibility of getting around them.

So we passed through them. In the first we stripped down. I found it awkward and uncomfortable, but I understood the risks. In the second we had our showers. The water could have been a little warmer. And in the third we were given fresh outfits. They were kind enough to provide stacks of shirts, socks, underwear, pants and shoes in varying sizes. Everyone found something that fit their bodies, if not their sense of style, and carried on.

In the end, none of our clothing proved to be contaminated. Which made all that hassle entirely unnecessary, but nobody thought to complain. We were too busy being relieved.

If only that group of tired vacationers and businesspeople and flight crew had made up the entirety of that plane's occupants.

I wonder, as they raced across the tarmac and into the surrounding woodlands, if those two rats were aware of what those first bites and scratches would bring to our continent. They couldn't possibly, I suppose.


Wednesday February 12th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the daredevil.

I haven't been watching much of the current Winter Olympics, just following along with the results. That's about to change though, as the men's hockey tournament has just commenced and Canada plays their first game tomorrow morning.

If you've been here a while you may recall that the previous competition in Vancouver ended rather memorably for the team I pull for.

Anyway, I was just catching a bit of the qualification round for men's slopestyle skiing and... my goodness, those people are nuts. Impressive as hell. Not enough money in the world to get me to try it.


They think I'm crazy.

Of course they do.

What else can they do? Stand up here beside me? Certainly not. So much safer to throw stones from afar, securely attached to their sofas and bar stools. No guts, no glory. They obviously have no guts.

So I get all the glory.

Hopefully I survive to enjoy it.

Tuesday February 11th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: authority.

Tuesday night bowling is pretty much dead and buried at this point. No one else showed up at the alley this evening, nobody even bothered to call. I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario which would see me back there next week.

I think the thing that annoys me most is how interested everyone seemed to be in continuing on. I'd really have preferred if they'd just been honest from the onset.

Oh well.


Ignored again. Is
this clown suit undermining
my authority?

*     *     *

He rules the office
like a lion - care to stick
your head in his mouth?

Monday February 10th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the fever.

Max managed to get past the 15 month mark without contracting a fever, so I guess I can't complain that he didn't make it to 15 months and three days. We're pretty sure it's related to teething but we're going to keep a close eye on things and have him checked out if it persists or gets too high.

He still managed to have a good time tearing around the coffee shop with me in town this morning. But then, he's never really been overly bothered by being sick.

During the daytime, anyway.


I am a beach, besieged by a burning ocean's fiery waves. They crash down on me, again and again, until the passage of time dies away and each moment becomes forever. Each wave suffocates me for an agonizingly long heartbeat before receding, always taking a souvenir of my flesh with them as they go.

They are wearing me down, slowly but with complete certainty. There is no hurry, no reason to rush. They are supremely confident of the end result: they will continue until there is nothing of me left to drag into their depths.

One might think I would grow numb, that the heat would subside. Not so. Each wave burns as dearly as the last. The wait for the next arrival is torture.

Distant voices whisper empty promises of relief. Of treatments that will save me from this place. Let them try! the waves scream as they charge the beach once more. They fill my ears with roaring, mocking laughter.

Let them try.

Sunday February 9th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the masseuse.

This morning Kat and I finally got around to cashing in a Christmas present from my parents, as we went for a couples massage at a local spa. Max hung out with his grandparents while we were pampered into a barely functioning daze.

It was nice.


Helen waved her final customer of the day out the door, her smile as fake as the dead squirrel masquerading as a toupee atop the man's head. Once he was out of sight she locked the door to the shop and turned away, determined to clean the place up before she headed for home.

Home. Where she was called either Helen or Dear or Mom. Never Helga. Anything but Helga.

That was the name her boss had insisted that she go by while at work. He'd said it would get her more business. He was probably right, but Helen wasn't sure that it was worth it. Not with the sort of clients it attracted.

Well, to be fair, the name change wasn't the only draw. The blonde wig brought in its fair share of creepy men. She pulled it off as she moved through the empty rooms, struggling with the urge to toss it in every trash can she passed by.

It had been a long day. No longer than usual, but plenty long enough. She needed to see her family. Receive their hugs and hug them in return. Eat with them. Talk with them. Normally.

Not, as she had since nine o'clock that morning, in that godforsaken Swedish accent.

Saturday February 8th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that is: shady.

Work went all right today, with two birthday parties in the bowling alley taking up most of my afternoon. Since Monday is a holiday here (the relatively new Family Day), I've got the night off. So other than possibly working a couple hours on Tuesday night, I'm off until next Saturday.



He claims that his dealings
Are truly above the table,
But you can get a deal
If your bank account is able.

Friday February 7th, 2014

The exercise:

Today we shall do continuations, four lines of prose at a time. So just pick things up from where the last person left them and go where you will for the next four sentences.

Max turned 15 months old today. I'm not sure how every single passing month manages to catch me utterly off guard, but they do.


The folder, thicker than a hamburger from my old man's grill, appeared on my desk ten minutes before end of shift on a sunny Friday afternoon. I could hear the weekend calling me, its breath already reeking of alcohol, as I stared at the handwritten pages spilling out of it.

I wanted to leave it until Monday, wanted to believe that it could wait.

But some part of me, barely audible above the laughter of leaving coworkers, knew different.

Thursday February 6th, 2014

The exercise:

Today we return to the Random Book prompt. Take the first line from any book, chosen as randomly as you wish, and use it as your opening line before taking things in a direction of your choosing. Credit goes where it is due, as always.

I have yet to read the book I borrowed my line from, but I plan on getting to it soon.

Once again I am caught up on comments. Perhaps one day I will get back to replying to them every day, like I used to do.

You know, back before I became a father.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm. Not very large, not many ducks, but I loved it all the same. A sense of belonging would come over me every time I sat on its shore, my back resting against the cool bark of the weeping willow.

Time seemed to slow down while I stared into the still water, contemplating whatever happened to be troubling me at the time. And something was always troubling me. Sometimes the answer would come to me while the sun paused in its journey toward the horizon, sometimes it did not.

No matter to me. Just being there was often help enough.

But of course time did not change its pace for little old me. Angry shouts from the kitchen would eventually draw me back to the house for lunch, or dinner, or even bedtime. Mumbled apologies were never acknowledged, though I harbored no resentment over that.

It's not like I meant any of them. They were just part of the routine and I never failed to play my part.

My very last day on the farm was spent by that pond, from sunrise to sunset. I planned ahead, packing enough food to ensure that my family would leave me be. When I'd left the house in the burgeoning light of morning I'd promised to be back before night overtook our land.

And I'd honestly intended to do just that. Truly.

Sometimes, however, life-changing adventures arrive at the most inopportune moments...

Wednesday February 5th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the collapse.

I don't know where everybody came from yesterday, but consider this an unofficial welcome to each of you - I hope you'll stick around and continue to share your writing with us! I'll get to replying to all the new comments as soon as I can - possibly tomorrow morning, if all goes to plan.

Dropped by the local writing group meeting this morning. It was a short visit and no writing actually got done, as I had Max with me. Still nice to see folks again though.

It is getting very, very cold overnight these days. Things get a lot warmer during the day, but it's a lengthy climb up from -16 and it's not long before it starts sinking again. Thankfully the worst should be behind us by the end of the weekend.


She moves slowly through the ruins of the building, bloodied and stunned. It had come crashing down so suddenly, with no whisper of warning. One moment: music and laughter and space. The next: falling debris and screams and claustrophobic chaos.

Encountering a collection of broken glass and the stench of spilled alcohol, she pauses. Her head tilts to the right as she tries to remember who had been standing there when the world had collapsed around them. Nothing comes to her. No names, no faces, nothing at all.

She stumbles on.

The dust is long settled now, the wounded taken to hospital rooms, the dead carted off to... much smaller rooms. Police tape hangs limply around the site, a weak attempt to keep people out. She'd barely noticed it when she had returned that evening. No one in their right mind would want to enter that haunted place anyway.

She, clearly, is no longer in her right mind.

A shoe halts her progress once more. A dust coated red, the heel snapped off. Who wore it that night? Not her, surely. Flats were more her style. Weren't they?

Cars pass in both directions on the street, in another world. None stop, but she worries one might. There is so much anger in the community, too many eager fools ready for vengeance. Blame has been thrown around with abandon, at one target above all others.

She can hardly blame them though. She had designed the building after all.

Tuesday February 4th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: skeletons.

It was just me and one other guy at bowling tonight, which was disappointing. Two other people called to let me know they weren't coming due to illness, but other than that it was radio silence.

We'll try again next week and see what happens. I don't know what my minimum number is for other bowlers showing up in order to make it worth continuing, but it is certainly more than one.


Regrets and mistakes
are never far away - they
live in my closet.

*     *     *

While no one watches,
wind sweeps desert sands aside;
dinosaurs emerge.

Monday February 3rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the attack.

Happy to report that Max is fine, just going through normal teething stuff. Nothing to worry about, no teeth need to be pulled.

Though the dentist did think that with things looking so crowded in there that Max is likely headed for braces later in life.

Hopefully not, but I'll take the good news for now.


He never suspected it was coming. Later, once the debris had finally settled, he would wonder why that was. There were signs; of course there were. Hints of the violence that would shatter his life, break his faith, were plentiful.

If he'd been looking for them they would not have been hard to spot. If he'd had any reason to be suspicious. If he had trusted a little less, questioned a little more.

If, if, if...

The lesson has been learned though. His defenses, rebuilt and reinforced, are firmly in place at all times now. Weaknesses have been shored up or eliminated entirely. There will be no further dropping of guards, or slips in attentiveness.

He will never be hurt like that again.

Sunday February 2nd, 2014

The exercise:

It is time for our second monthly installment of Vancouver Irrealis.

I know that it's only the second day of February and I've given no warning that this was coming today. But I haven't had much mental space to come up with a writing prompt today and I've also been wanting to write this since about five seconds after reading Morganna's January entry.

Kat was back assisting the online course today, so Max and I went to our favorite coffee shop this morning. I think he got a little too wound up (hmm, that sounds like he was drinking coffee...) as he didn't go down for his nap until 2 o'clock. Usually it's around noon. So that made for a pretty long stretch.

Tomorrow we head up to Penticton for our visit with the dentist. Wish us luck.

Well, wish Max luck. Although, if you have a bit extra to go around, I wouldn't mind a bit for myself.


"He really does look the part, doesn't he?" Tristam's waitress said thoughtfully, taking a half step back to take him in from head to toe. "Not like that guy we had show up last week, hey Yakth? Remember those short, stubby fingers he had?"

"Oh goodness, I just about fainted I was laughing so hard!" While his waitress and her friend carried on, Tristam looked down at his hands again, wiggled his fingers experimentally. "Wait a half-second, Anne-Marie." Tristam looked up again at this. He was certain her name tag had read Maryann when he got there. Which, to be fair, was no longer there. As it were. "Do you think he's one of... those?"

"One of which?" Tristam asked, as much to remind them he was still an active member of the conversation as anything else.

"People from your side have begun showing up on our side looking like one of us," Anne-Marie said, her expression still friendly but now tinged with concern. "Seems harmless to me, really. The Icepol though... it's ridiculous, honestly."

"The Icepol... you mean the police?" Tristam felt like he was starting to get the hang of things, just a little bit. "What do they think?"

"It's an invasion," Yakth said with a shake of her head. "They say folks like yourself are the first wave, spies or some such."

"How do they even know when someone like me shows up?" Tristam looked around the restaurant, suddenly feeling nervous. A few of the other patrons, all of whom seemed vaguely familiar, were speaking into devices that must have been their equivalent of cell phones. One in particular looked away quickly when she saw him looking in her direction. "People report them."

"Those that are caught before returning to the other... your side are arrested, dragged away for questioning." Anne-Marie said in a whisper heavy with promises of secret horrors. Tristam didn't bother asking what sort of methods were employed in the interrogations. "You should probably get out of here."

"I wouldn't know where to go!" Tristam checked the sidewalks and streets but saw no sign of approaching law enforcement. Not that he'd know what uniforms they'd be wearing, if any. He tried to swallow and found that he could not.

"Come on, then," Anne-Marie said after exchanging a long look with her coworker. "Grab your bag and follow me."

Tristam stood and gathered the duffel bag at his feet, the grip of terror forcing questions to become actions. As he followed his waitress's hurried steps through the restaurant he almost forgot that the bag he was clutching to his chest had been a briefcase when he'd first sat down to eat.

Saturday February 1st, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: multitasking.

I managed to work 4.5 hours of my 8 hour shift today, which is slightly more than I was expecting. Max ended up staying with Kat while I opened up in the morning and that was for the best with all the running up and down the stairs I had to do.

A part of me still thinks it would have been fun though.

I've made a few minor (but badly needed) updates on the blog recently, the main thing being my list of weekly themed prompts and the addition of the yearlong prompts on the lower right, just above my prompt cloud. Which is getting much too large. I might have to change the requirement for inclusion from all prompts that have been used more than once to something a little more... exclusive.

Also: I've added Stephen King's 11/22/63 to my recommending reading page. Because it was fantastic and absorbing and brilliantly written. So, yeah, check it out if it sounds like your sort of thing. I'd say it's not your typical King novel, but it's honestly the first work of fiction by him I've ever read.

So I'll say instead: it doesn't seem like it would be a typical King novel.


This is no problem,
I can do it all;
Posters in the crib,
Baby's on the wall.