Wednesday August 27th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the strike.

This morning was spent harvesting (mostly berries) for the bakery, this afternoon featured delivery of said harvest, along with stops at the bank (deposit), liquor store (returning empties), and grocery store, and tonight was all about using the weed eater on the sprinkler rows.

And so now, rather unsurprisingly in my opinion, I am tired and ready for bed.

Mine:

He had stopped reading the papers several days ago, having realized that they had no more knowledge of the situation than he did. Baseless rumours and unfounded predictions were of no use to him. There was, sadly, nothing to do but wait.

Or, he supposed, to start walking.

As ridiculous as the idea was, he had given it some serious thought on more than one occasion. With no end to the train strike in sight it was even possible that he might arrive before the next train did.

Just as momentum began to build and he started to plot his route, he'd remember his bags. And how seriously, depressingly heavy they were.

He didn't have the strength for that undertaking.

So instead of carrying them through the woods, over hills, and alongside meandering rivers, he sat on them. Tried to make himself comfortable. Ignored all of the other restless and muttering passengers on the platform.

And waited.

4 Comments:

Greg said...

Ah, your narrator clearly isn't accustomed to French or Italian strikes then, or else he'd have sold the contents of his bags... no wait, I can use that for my writing today ;-) I like the subtle air of futility you've put in there, the word choice is exquisitely done! You have a definite talent with atmosphere.
Of your daily chores, the one that stands out is "liquor store - returning empties" which makes you sound like a particularly diligent alcoholic :-D Perhaps you should (or perhaps you shouldn't!) consider starting a little homebrew with some of the fruits you harvest: cider or perry perhaps?

The strike
The station seemed filled with people both sad and angry at the same time, many of whom were either standing around in small knots and talking in controlled but manic voices, or were sitting by the walls, often on their luggage. A short distance away he could see a man with some very heavy bags and a guarded look on his face who looked as though he was determined to wait out the train strike.
Matt looked again at the departures board, which, in gentle bureaucratese, was basically giving him the finger and decided that he'd rather get to where he was going than sit around and hope for a miracle.
When he first starting shouting like a fairground barker people looked at him as though he were mad, but after a minute or two they edged closer to see what it was he was selling from his bags. As it became obvious he was selling everything they edged closer still, clearly hoping that he'd have some embarrassing underwear or adult toys that he's forgotten were in there. And when they got close enough he got them under the salesman's spell, and soon his bags were empty, and then indeed were sold as well.
He looked around and smiled; he was now unencumbered and the people around him looked happy despite having more things to carry now than they did when they arrived. He looked harder, looking for someone who looked strong, and ignored the hate-filled glares he was getting from the guy camped out on heavy-looking luggage. Finally he spotted someone, a rugby-player and a student judging from their dress, and not having much money either from the way they were looking hungrily at the station café.
"Let me buy you a sandwich," he said, his arm falling companionably around the man's shoulders and watching his face light up. "I have a business proposition for you."
And so it was that twenty-five minutes later he was riding piggy-back on the young man out of the station, hoping to reach his destination before midnight.

Marc said...

Greg - hah, love that your comment on mine lead to your writing :)

Do you guys do bottle returns over there? We get (a tiny, tiny amount of) money for bringing back empties. I brought a crate's worth (which probably took three months to accumulate) and got $2.50.

Really enjoyed what you did with my setting. The ending image is utterly brilliant, by the way.

morganna said...

Let's go somewhere different -- sorry it's late, took me an entire day to come up with (yesterday was crazy busy)
--------------

Slam, bang!
Turn,
Repeat!
In the morning, in the night
Keep it moving, building the
Eastern railroad.

Marc said...

Morganna - that's a clever little acrostic take on the prompt. And no worries about timeliness or a lack thereof. Just look at how long it takes me to reply to comments!