Tuesday July 22nd, 2014

The exercise:

Day five of Baseball Theme Week would like for you to write about: royals.

If you're not writing a week long, connected piece then you're welcome to write two haiku today. If you are... well, I'd be impressed if you're able to slip just one into your writing. As I'm typing this I have a strong desire to include one in mine, but I have absolutely no idea how to go about it.

Boxes went surprisingly smoothly today - there was even some time leftover this morning for Becky to do some weeding and for me to work on cleaning up some more garlic. Highly unusual.

The heat broke as well today, with rain making a brief appearance in the morning. We're supposed to get more of that for the next couple of days but the weather should be good again by the weekend.


"You sent for me, father?" Prince Matthew asked from the doorway, his voice just strong enough to carry to the bed where the king lay ashen-faced.

"Come closer," King Tobias said. Even in his weakened state his words demanded obedience. "Closer, now. There is nothing to fear... I am not contagious."

"That is not what I fear, father."

"What then, death?" A trembling nod in reply. "Death is not so bad. Not when a man has lived as long as I have. It will be a relief to be taken into his embrace."

"I will be lost without you, father." Prince Matthew bit his lower lip hard, desperate to prevent tears from escaping his eyes. "If mother were still here I would have hope, but -"

"Your mother watches over you still," the king said sternly. "And soon, so shall I."

"No, surely there is still more time! There is still so much I don't know! Who will teach me if not you?"

"I have left instructions." A cough shuddered its way out of the king's lungs and there was a lengthy, painful pause as he regained his composure. "You are in good hands. The best. Padre Diego will guide you, help you to be a better ruler than I ever was."

"But father," the prince replied, "no one has seen the Padre since last Sunday!"


Greg said...

Unusually I'm not complaining about the heat! The papers over here are talking about a three-week heat wave, but the daytime temperatures are only reaching the high twenties (and usually not quite that at the weekend) and night-time are a little too warm at 18-19 but tolerable. So I'm accepting that I've better off than if I were living in a desert ;-)
Well done with the boxes too! That sounds like good work.
Hmm, I wasn't expecting the twist you took today, though to be fair I wasn't sure how you were going to handle royals when I saw it either! I think it's a good addition to your story and I'm enjoying how the various threads are being revealed and then brought together. Especially since the Padre seems to definitely be up to something! I quite like Tobias too, but he doesn't seem long for this story :)

An hour or so after noon the sun was slipping in and out thin white clouds and the class dragged two small chests up on deck. Heinrich wandered out of the galley waving a cigarillo ostentatiously while behind him von Trabihand fumed and patted his apron ineffectively looking for his own smokes. On the horizon was what looked like a black band, but Heinrich was sure that if he found a spyglass and looked through it the band would resolve itself into a La Mastitan ship. He drew on the cigarillo, releasing a plume of fragrant smoke into the air around him, and paused to wonder for a moment if anyone knew if the La Mastitan ships were warships, passenger ships or barges.
The second classmate stepped forward and addressed the first chest. The chest was the size of two fists and had an ornate lock wrought from brass holding it shut. He spoke solemly:
"Coins of steel and brass,
Blessed by our mother sea,
A gift from this ship."
A third classmate stepped forward next and addressed the second chest, the same size as the first but held closed with a bright aluminium clasp:
"Coins of rosy gold,
Blessed by the father earth,
A gift from this ship."
Now both classmates opened their chests to reveal two handfuls of their stated coins in each chest. As they scooped them up, taking care to pick up every last coin, Heinrich took the cigarillo from his mouth and stubbed it out on the railing at his side. He suddenly knew what the class had planned, and its audacity took his breath away.
The two classmates cast the coins over the side of the ship, and the coins glittered brightly, caught by the sun as it emerged from behind a wisp of cloud again.

Greg said...

Oops! I managed to miss mentioning that each coin was a royal! Sorry...

Marc said...

Greg - shortly after I posted mine I realized I could have turned three lines of dialogue into a haiku with relative ease. This annoyed me greatly. To the point that I almost went back and changed it.

At any rate, I am impressed with the way you not only handled the potentially awkward prompt, but also by your two haiku. Very skillfully done!