Sunday May 25th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that has been: captured.

As I type this help is, quite literally, on its way. If the bus schedule is accurate then our incoming helper should be pulling into Lake Louise shortly.

Oh boy, are the strawberry plants looking forward to seeing her...


It sits on a cluttered desk, collecting dust that is wiped clean once every month or two. Surrounded by books and scraps of paper littered with hastily written notes, it is a silent reminder. Of another time.

Of another life.

Unburdened by the weight of the meaning that has been placed on its shoulders, it is unremarkable. A lengthy examination would reveal no surprises, no hidden value. No secret beauty.

But it cannot be divorced from the memories that even a casual glance has been known to spark. It is one and the same with a laundry list of emotions he associates with it. He may neglect it for a time, may even forget that it waits for his attention, oh so patiently.

He will always come back to it. Sooner or later, he must.

For the seemingly simple photograph in that plain black frame captured a moment that he is not ready to lose.


Greg said...

For her sake, I hope that your helper won't be literally pulling into Lake Louise :) And given that you're posting this at about 1am, what time does the bus arrive at all??
That's a touching and poignant piece, though I didn't guess it was a photograph you were referring; I had to wait for the reveal. I thought it might have been a journal of some kind. But excellent descriptive passages, as always!

The laundrette was busy because it was Saturday morning; all the washing machines were full, and the driers that weren't in use were already being staked out by skinny students with wispy beards (the men were worse) and matronly women with fists like stevedores. Dolores peered out from her little room, made smaller by the presence of the two huge washers (service wash and heavy items, such as duvets and pillows), a large drier, and her ironing board, and nodded her head in a bird-like fashion as she checked that everything was running the way it ought. The air was thick with the competing scents of washing powders and drier fragrances, but there was a common note of soap to it all.
She returned to her ironing and pulled a delicate duck-egg blue blouse from the basket, noting with a practised eye the bits of lace that couldn't be ironed. Then she felt the change as it happened, and set the blouse back in the basket, away from the hot iron, and looked out again.
The room was utterly still; the washing machine and driers had all stopped in mid-cycle and the matrons and students were frozen still as though suddenly all playing Grandmother's footsteps with her. A tea-towel, falling from a careless student hand, was captured in the air as though gravity had gotten bored and gone on holiday. She looked the other way.
A heavy-set woman with the beginnings of a blonde moustache was struggling in through the door with two large plastic, plaid-coloured bags that clattered. She looked up and winked at Dolores, and her eyes seemed more like holes into another universe than anything human. Dolores smiled back, a little forced, and made herself say hello.
"Lachesis! How nice to see you again!"
"Hah," said Lachesis, freeing the bags from the door and staggering slightly under the weight. "You never mean that, Dolly. But it's still nice to see you. I've got some fresh-captured firmament here that needs a good cleaning, and you're the best."
"Usual rates," said Dolores, and this was the reason she put up with this. "Two hours of time for myself."
"Of course," said Lachesis, her eyes twinkling in that disturbing fashion again. "I'd say I'm in a hurry, but we've got all the time in the world!" She laughed, and it seemed to echo from walls much further away than the laundrette possessed.
"Bring it through," said Dolores, opening the door to her little room. She allowed herself a little smile; her day might be hours longer than anyone else's as result of things, but the gossip that Lachesis had was the stuff you never got from anywhere else.

Marc said...

Greg - luckily, she did not :)

Thank you kindly for your thoughts on mine, they are much appreciated!

Loved the way you set the scene, and the description of Lachesis' entrance as well. Fun little vignette :D