Monday July 21st, 2014

The exercise:

Day four of Baseball Theme Week already? That feels quick to me. But apparently it's true, so today we write about: twins.

Hung out with Max at our favorite coffee shop while Kat got her haircut this morning. It's been a while since we've been there and it was a little startling to be seated at a table with Max sitting across from me, on his own chair. He was mostly steady and I only had a couple of minor heart attacks when he seemed to forget where the edge of his seat was.

Here's a picture I took to commemorate the occasion:

This evening I picked blackberries with Becky for tomorrow's boxes and this week's bakery order. And possibly for Kat's mom to make jam with, as there were more than I was expecting.


The Twins jointly held the position of Navigator on the unnamed ship. Now, there are two things that might surprise you about that statement. The second is easier to explain, so we shall begin with that: the nameless ship was born not from a dearth of creativity but from a desire to remain anonymous.

If there was no name associated with the ship, then it was nearly impossible for her or her crew to gain a reputation - of any sort, good or bad. Each sailor was encouraged to refer to their boat by a different name at each port of call, leaving behind a trail of confusion and making each stop a blank slate. They could be whoever they wished to be every time they stepped ashore.

So that's that. Now, to the matter of two Navigators on a single vessel.

The Twins, who unlike their ship did in fact have names, were usually collective referred to as such: The Twins. On the odd occasion that they were seen separately a gender was tacked on to the end of their moniker: Twin Boy or Twin Girl.

Each of them were highly skilled in their trade and any crew would have considered themselves lucky to have either twin guiding their voyage. And it was not like their abilities were stronger together; they performed equally without the other. It's just that... well, they didn't like to.

Be apart, that is. Not out of some sibling attachment or loyalty or comfort, mind you. It was more along the lines of, if they were apart too long they might forget where they were in their decades long argument. And then, if too much time passed, the whole thing could be entirely forgotten.

And then who would be declared the winner?

The Twins agreed on very, very little. The ship's current speed was not one of those things. Nor was their position on whatever map they happened to be consulting. Nor was... well, I could go on for quite some time.

The point is that when they did agree on something, everyone on board took notice. So when word began to spread that the Twins were amiably discussing the strange coincidence that Padre Diego's specified route happened to take them on a wide detour that passed within sight of a miniscule island hosting a stranded, slightly mad pirate... questions began to be asked.


Greg said...

Max is looking very solemn in that picture; did you tell him that he had to wait for you to take his picture before he could have his blueberries? It is amazing how times flies when you're watching your child grow up though :)
Those blackberries sound very tempting though!
Hmm, your twins are quite likable (which is slightly surprising as I was expecting you to make them much more abrasive!) I like their contrariness and desire to stay together, I get the feeling that there's a lot of backstory to be told when you have time. And their agreement at the end... that's definitely unsettling given what you've told us about them!

The ship continued East overnight and when the sun rose the next morning Chef von Trabihand woke Heinrich with a bucket of cold potato peelings dropped over his head. Heinrich brushed them sleepily away, cursing as he realised that he'd need to pick them all up from off his hammock as well, and his thoughts muddled by the remnants of a dream that now ended with him being caught in a rain of fish. When he finally stumbled out on deck and started walking to the galley where the Chef could heard slamming things around he looked around the glittering ocean and tried to work out where they were.
When he looked over to his left he saw the Twins, which confirmed to him that they were definitely heading for either Cittadoro or La Mastitan. His stomach tightened a little as he'd been hoping that the class were simply pranking him and had intended to change their heading during the night. With a soft curse he walked into the galley.
Chef von Trabihand raised an eyebrow.
"Cursing already, little pig? I haven't even started with you yet! You lazy swine are all the same, you'd rather run your mouths than your legs and couldn't taste the difference between syrup and brine."
"I saw the Twins out there," said Heinrich, not entirely sure why he was answering back. "It means we're going to La Mastitan."
Trabihand shrugged. "So long as people want to eat we have a job to do. What the Twins anyway?" He looked out of the galley's tiny portholes, but he was peering out the wrong side. Heinrich tapped his shoulder and pointed him the other way.
"Those stone obelisks are the Twins," he said, indicating two tall spindles of rock on the near shore. One stands at the gates of Inukis and the other stands in the middle of the desert."
"Why call them twins then? Surely any rock looks much like any other?"
"The desert was once a city too," said Heinrich. "It was the Eidolon's realm before she -- it -- invaded the Isle of Wrens. The cities were supposed to be almost exact opposites of one another, save for the pillar outside them. There were stories that the Twins formed a shortcut, but...."
"But what?"
"But they're just stories," said Heinrich, turning back to the galley. "What am I doing for breakfast?"
"Gruel", said von Trabihand becoming businesslike again. "Find a barrel with grain that looks like it's on the turn as we'll have to use that first. Boil it good, I don't want you making people sick!"

Marc said...

Greg - so, so much back story potential with mine. I think I tried to cram too much into a single week.

That's some excellent interpretation and inclusion of the prompt. I recall worrying that my planned team names might throw you off toward the end of the week but that's obviously not the case here!

Also: the gates of Inukis? You tease!