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.


Greg said...

Surely, as the blog owner, your welcome is the official one? But wow, that's a good number of haikus yesterday!
Your weather sounds nice; I've barely seen frost on the ground this winter, though at least it's rained, that's been quite cheering :)
That's quite a claustrophobic little piece this morning -- have you been reviewing Lessons in the Dust lately, by any chance? You got some excellent little details in there, and the punchline delivers a nice kick.

The collapse
Collapse, n. dangerous. From the Spanish, col meaning a passage and the Latin lapsus meaning to forget. This is one of those words invented by some insufficiently fastidious writer who threw letters at a page and hoped that enough stuck to make some kind of sense (q.v. Dickens, Austen, Woolf, etc.) to describe an unusual phenomenon found in the Panamian foothills, where there are several mountain passes where, for short distances along them, gravity forgets to work. Unwary travellers stepping into those regions find themselves floating slowly upwards, and if they don't grab on to something quickly and haul themselves back down to earth, they float away until they die of cold in the upper atmosphere and the wind pushes them back into the effects of gravity where they fall and shatter into millions of bloody pieces.
Ahem. The noun is also used to describe the precipitate fall.

Marc said...

Greg - eh, I suppose unofficial was the wrong word. I just wanted to say something in case I didn't get to individual comments for a while... which has been known to happen recently :P

I'm trying to get myself organized to edit Lessons, so maybe that was part of it. Either way, thanks!

Lord a'mighty, I do enjoy your definitions. And this one leaves me wanting to tell a story or two taking place in one of those mountain passes...