Thursday April 3rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: an exchange.

Max passed his exam with flying colours this morning, I'm happy and relieved to report. What seemed like it might be a touch of cross-eyed is actually just a result of where his eyes are naturally positioned. The optometrist wants him to come back in a year to have another look to make absolutely certain, but he didn't seem too concerned.

In the garden the first of the peas are in the soil, while the apricot trees in the orchard are beginning to bloom. It's almost like spring is here or something.

Mine:

He said it would be an exchange of ideas. Thoughts and suggestions speeding along an eight lane superhighway, the results of which couldn't possibly be anything other than groundbreaking. Fame, glory, fortune all seemed so inevitable.

Stupid me for believing him.

It was too good to be true. Of course it was. I was lured in by my own needs, by my own greed. I wanted it to be true, so I convinced myself that it was. I could place all the blame on him but I know better. I suspect you do too.

The truth, that I can see is so painfully obvious from here, is not terribly complicated. What he offered was not an expressway of innovation. It was a one way street.

And I was left stranded at the wrong end.

3 comments:

Greg said...

Well done to Max, I can imagine your relief!
Heh, I think we've all had a moment like the one you describe today. Very nicely done.

Exchange
It was a cafeteria, fluorescent-lit and smelling faintly of old bolognese sauce and cheap disinfectant. The tables were formica topped and the chairs were orange plastic and steel. They'd come in, and stopped. Their parents - mother and other-mother for James and fathers one, two and three for Darren, were sat around a table looking too large for the furniture, clearly having agreed something.
James started to run to them, then stopped. Something was wrong.
"Boys," said father one. Mother and other-mother nodded serenely. "We've reached an agreement. Detente, if you will."
Neither child knew what that word meant, but they knew better than to ask.
"We are going to exchange children for a period of six months to see what we can learn from the experience."
James and Darren forced smiles on their faces and started walking to the new family group. Resistance was, after all, futile.

ivybennet said...

“You’re the man they caught in the east wing,” Lucan said to the dark cell in front of him.
The form in the shadows shifted slightly. A nod, perhaps?
“You attacked Silvia, the Queen Mother of Renterra. I am—“
“I know perfectly well who you are,” the man said. His voice was gravely in an oddly familiar way. “Lucan, King of Renterra, the Bastard son of Val who was also a bastard son himself. Your whole family is composed of bastards.”
Lucan clenched the bars tightly. “What gives you the right to address a king in that manner? We may be in Candra, but the peace between our realms has never been stronger.”
Slowly, the form rose and ambled closer to the bars. “I have every right to address you in that manner, bastard king.”
When at last the faint light from the dungeon window cast its glow upon the prisoner’s face, Lucan had to force himself not to step back aghast. The man before him was tall with a build like a cat: slender, yet powerful. His wheat colored hair brushed the tops of his shoulders. Pale blue, almost grey, eyes drove themselves into the depths of Lucan’s soul. This man looked exactly like him.
“You are not the rightful king. That honor goes to me, brother.”
“Gemn?” Lucan whispered. “How can this—you’re supposed to be dead.”
Suddenly, Gemn placed his hands on top of Lucan’s. “A life for a life, brother. It is my turn to bask in the sun.”
It was as if a storm had erupted inside of Lucan, swirling all that he knew and catapulting him to and fro. He felt himself drain out of his body like water from a sieve. He couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and could barely think through the distortion of his being. When at last things stilled, he noticed that somehow he was within the cell, dressed in the ragged tunic Gemn had been wearing. What’s more, Gemn was somehow in his tunic and vest.
He withdrew his hands from the bars. “What did you—“
“I ‘died’ before you or Mother could find out my gift,” Gemn said. “I possess the gift of soul flight, dear younger brother. I am now you and you are now me. The war between the realms can at last continue, with the Renterran King at the helm. Look after this cell for me, would you? It’s all you have left now.”
He turned to leave.
“Gemn! Why are you doing this?” A soul flyer? His brother was alive? Lucan tried to keep all his thoughts straight. “We would have welcomed you back. Mother, Uncle Amicus, and myself, you need not do this.”
Gemn paused at the door. “Oh but I must. You see, Candra can never be at peace until it’s under Renterra’s control.” Then he left.

Marc said...

Greg - jeez, poor kids. I am, I admit, curious to see what might be learned from the exchange though...

Ivybennet - great descriptions in this scene. I must say I'm a big fan of the idea of this soul flying business.

Very, very intriguing stuff.