Thursday August 14th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: explosive.

I drove up to Oliver this afternoon to pick up some things from the farm supply store. Finally picked up the right containers for our berries and I'm looking forward to returning them to their original price at this weekend's market.

We got rained on in the garden this morning but it eventually petered out. Still not particularly fun weeding wet plants though.

My parents got in touch last night, which was a relief. They're planning on getting here on Monday, which means they'll just miss seeing Natalie and her parents. But at least Max will have some new playmates to replace his cousin.

Mine:

Sitting at his desk in the darkened office, he studied his computer screen while drumming his fingers on the arm of his black leather chair. Otherwise the building was silent, as the others had gone home hours earlier. At a reasonable time.

He stood up, considered making coffee. Thought better of it, sat back down. He eyed the words on his screen again.

Was it true? The research was solid, the sources reliable. It was as true as it could be... but was that enough?

The city was teeming with poorly restrained discontent. Like a forest that has gone without rain for years, it needed little encouragement to ignite into an unstoppable inferno. And those words, that headline waiting for his confirmation before it hit the morning newsstands, was like a lit book of matches dangling from his fingertips.

So... was it true enough?

4 comments:

Greg said...

I guess the big discomfort with weeding in the wet is the mud? Or are Canadian snails particularly big and vicious? It was raining here as well, so the dogs refused to go out for a walk since they don't believe in the wet. Or the cold. Or anything that might be vaguely uncomfortable... :)
Hmm, I'm all curious about what the headline is now! And I really like the last line, "true enough" speaks volumes! The whole piece is streamlined and elegant, which is another point in its favour.

Explosive
Sometimes I wake up in the mornin' with the smell of accelerant in my nostrils again. My hands are twisted in claws, those that I remember from the aftermath. There was the noise that started off loud and then went out the other side into the most oppressive silence you can imagine, and then....
Sometimes I dream some more but the dreams are no comfort. I walk through flames like Daniel in the furnace, and though they don't touch me everyone around me is screaming and dying, trying to breath superheated air into merely mortal lungs. Orange and red seems to be only palette that my brain knows any more, except for black. There's far too much black now.
I keep my wounds without a bandage, baby and I wear them like a badge. They say that I was there, and that I walked out. Well, crawled out on my hands and knees, skin falling from my arms in burned, black blistered ropes, and I threw up when the cool air hit my face and it felt like I could breath again. I think I tried to cry for hours, but there wasn't enough moisture left in me for even one tear for the people I left behind.
...
And I came to get hurt. I honestly thought I'd die, but they never told me that the bomb I was planting was using shaped charges. I stood there, biting my lip, holding my breath, and the bomb exploded and left me untouched. The inferno grew around me, air sucked out of rooms until the windows imploded in aching beautiful and icily lethal diamond shards and then I knew I still wanted to live.
And now I have no choice to prove that I deserve to.

morganna said...

When he looks at her,
He feels like his heart will explode
If he cannot touch her
She is not for him
Though his fingertips burn
Another waits for him at home.

ivybennet said...

As I looked into the sneer of the man my friends despised, all I could think of was the slack, opened-mouthed expression Cris wore as his life force was taken from him. I felt heat radiate from my stomach, down my arms and into my hands. The small dark hairs on my skin stood up on end.
“And now I will do to you what I did to the renowned warrior of Candra; the one who couldn’t be beaten and yet fell so easily.”
Adrian lifted his arm in my direction. I could feel rather than see him reaching deep within himself to activate his gift.
I wasn’t paying too much attention to him, however. The heat tingling my palms turned from the barest brush of a sunburn to the scorching rage of a rocket’s blast. I commanded the clouds to form above me, begging them to turn the deepest shade of grey.
Just like Cris taught me, I thought of a warm blanket wrapping itself around me, shielding me from Adrian’s power. My barrier, Ignatius’ famed gift, would protect me from him. All I needed to worry about was revenge.
“Say goodbye to your precious Candra.”
The heat at the tips of my fingers flared as lightning began to rein down upon that horrid Renterran king. For the first time, I used my gift to inflict pain on another person. The shock on Adrian’s face as the first bolt hit him square in the chest, right where Evander’s arrow had struck Cris, weakening him, was deliciously sweet. I knew what electricity could do to a person. Hell, I’d even smelled the singed fur off a cat that found its way too close to a tree in a storm.
But then I thought back to all the stories I’d heard about what Renterrans did to Candrians during the war. I remembered the tears contorting Todd’s typical smiling face after he heard of the death of his fiancĂ©e. I remembered seeing Corvinous fling himself in front of nocked bows after he kissed Lupe’s still lips one last time.
I thought of Vitus and how he was raised, never knowing an ounce of love from the man standing frozen before me. How a man could treat his own son in such a way…no one like that deserved any kind of mercy.
I kept Cris’ face in my mind as I commanded another bolt of lightning to strike Adrain, this time in his back. He arched in such a way, almost resembling like the crooked trees in the courtyard outside the Candrian palace. His teeth were clenched together, his eyes seemingly welded shut. I smiled and let loose another bolt from the clouds above. Again and again I struck him, even after he could no longer stand. His jolting body amused me. I giggled, first slowly, then louder.
By the time his body was black and charred, I was laughing uncontrollably. Inconsolably.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, it's mainly the mud. Wet knees and hands don't help either.

Goodness, that is some powerful prose. Fantastic descriptions, as always. Wonderfully creative take on the prompt.

Morganna - excellent final line, it really hits home with some serious impact. The other lines set it up so well, too.

Ivybennet - that is an equally powerful take on the prompt. Great details littered throughout and a seething undercurrent of emotion. Fantastic.