Wednesday April 2nd, 2014

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: the expiry date.

Finally spent some time in the garden this afternoon, raking out and marking a section for peas and greens. The plan is to get those seeded tomorrow while Kat takes Max to his first ever eye appointment.

There's nothing we're overly concerned about, just one eye that might be a little weak. We figured it's better to get it looked at sooner than later though, just to be sure.

Speaking of Max, he finally got through a day today without getting hurt. He's not had the best of stretches lately: his neck got caught in his coat zipper on Sunday, he fell into a rose bush at Kat's parents place and sliced up his left hand on Monday, and he dropped a pot lid on his right big toe yesterday.

So it was a nice change getting him to bed tonight without any new injuries.


The beach is crowded. Bodies glistening with sweat and suntan lotion lay side by side like sardines in a tin can. Noon is approaching on sluggish feet but no one seems to be in any rush to come back to the hotel for lunch.

I am not pleased to be here.

This is not my kind of scene. I prefer the dark and the cold. I like my space. Solitude brings me comfort, not colorful drinks festooned with ridiculous little umbrellas.

If I had any choice in the matter I would be elsewhere. Anywhere elsewhere. But I do not. The man I am searching for is here. I think.

He better be.

He has escaped me for much too long. His expiry date was so long ago that I should be able to smell his rotten stench from the oasis that is my air conditioned room. But I cannot. For whatever reason, I cannot.

This man has somehow discovered a secret that is not his to know. Disguises, illusions, smoke and mirrors. The game ends here, today, finally. This pursuit is over. He has avoided death for far too long.

And Death is not pleased.


Anonymous said...

left in me to do so now. I only longed for the end of suffering: for myself and others.
The guard shoved my shoulder closer to the block where the man chosen to be executioner stood, axe in hand. He wore the traditional head covering, keeping all features save his eyes a mystery. The darker part of me wanted to see the face of my killer. After all, a warrior should know by whose hand he dies. Even though the warrior class was a distant memory in the peaceful time I had attempted to break, my blood would never cool. This was the only way to silence the war within me. The executioner’s brown eyes seemed almost familiar to me. Perhaps in another life, I had known this man. Or Fate was granting me a glimpse of what was to come: welcoming me into her arms with familiarity.
I saw my mother—how I longed to have seen her face for all of my twenty years now—crying. I saw her sadness even after I had caused her so much pain and knew she would have loved me with all her heart. I never would have been a crafted pawn in her care. Amicus was embracing her, my uncle who certainly would have treated me as his son. Lucan stood to the side, the declaration of my death in hand, staring at me as if from a great distant. Seeing my reflection in him still jarred my soul. We could have been such friends had we remained together: the twin princes of Renterra. No enemies would have ever rose against us.
The only person absent was Abelinda. My sweet, sweet Abelinda. Surely I had caused her too much suffering to ever be reconciled in her eyes.

Greg said...

Poor Max, though I think everyone has a clumsy phase now and then. Well, everyone else, I mean :) Still, I bet he's pleased to have no new injuries to nurse as well! And I hope the eye-doctor goes well :)
Hmm, your second paragraph got me wondering what was going on, and the revelation at the end was very nice. I like the whole idea, of a man who's escaped Death so well that Death is now actively seeking him out. You should turn this into a longer piece!

Expiry Date
Lucinda sidled into the living room and sat quietly down in a chair. Mariella looked up immediately, aware that something was wrong with the normally bubbly blonde girl. Marcus, legs over the arm of the armchair, didn't look away from the television.
"What's wrong, Loo?" asked Mariella. She didn't really want to know, but her microwave pasta still had three minutes to go and the television show ("Let's give pre-schoolers too much sugar!") was an all-time low in reality tv.
There was a long pause, and then, in a very quiet voice, "Do you have any dates on you?"
"Kitchen," said Mariella. "Probably the low cupboard, unless Marcus has gotten all OCD again." Marcus snorted, but didn't stop watching the tv.
"No, like, printed dates."
"I think I found my expiry date," said Lucinda, her lips quivering. "It's on my thigh. It was yesterday!"
She leapt up and fled the room, and Mariella stood up to follow her. Then she noticed Marcus's shoulders shaking.
"You little bastard," she said, swiping at his head. "You did that while she was drunk last night, didn't you?"

Marc said...

Ivybennet - very vivid, emotional scene. I think you did a good job of capturing the sort of last moment thoughts a man would have when faced with his imminent execution.

Greg - it does have the potential to be expanded, doesn't it? I shall add it to the pile.

Oh goodness, that is a horrible trick to play on a naive soul. I mean, you know, obviously hilarious, but so terrible!