Wednesday August 6th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the reminder.

With Becky leaving us after Saturday's market, we had yet to line up another WWOOFer to come help us out for part or the remainder of our season. That might have changed this evening, as we were contacted by someone looking to stay with us for a week or two.

It'd be great to have someone for a bit longer, but even that short a time would make a big difference. Hopefully it works out.

This morning was spent harvesting for our biggest bakery order ever. They've been more keen this year to get all of our extra berries in order to freeze them so that they can have them throughout the winter. Today they lucked out with the blackberries, as our oldest bushes finally started producing and Becky ended up with over twenty pounds of them.

Toss in a few pounds of raspberries, tomatoes, zucchini, nectarines, and peaches, as well as a few bunches of herbs, and things added up quickly. Hopefully they're not regretting their enthusiasm now...


The alarm on his phone went off with enthusiasm, dragging him back to the waking world with enough force to trigger a hoarse expletive. He fumbled around his bedside table until his hand latched onto the device and flicked the noise out of existence.

Staring at the screen with bleary eyes, it took a few moments for the time to register.

Two in the morning? Why the hell would I set the alarm for... dammit. I should know better than to let Cody play with my phone.

He dropped the phone and rolled away, pulling the covers back up to his chin. Within seconds the previous jingle was replaced by rumbling snores.

It wasn't until his actual alarm sounded hours later than he remembered the reminder he had scheduled for his wife's surgery.


Greg said...

A WWOOF sounds like a big dog, but I doubt that they'd be any good at harvesting things in the way you'd prefer :) They might be really good for weeding things though, if you can train them which plants to dig up and which to leave alone. Good luck with your next short-term placement though!
The berries sound delicious, as do the non-berry items in that list :)
Heh, great little story and a fantastic, if slighly disturbing punchline. I do wonder where you'd take this next if you were to continue it!

The reminder
The alarm on his phone went off with enthusiasm, dragging him back to the waking world with enough force to trigger a horse expletive. His mother had been a domineering woman with quick fists and a hard eye and he'd learn to swear in ways that she didn't recognise (Mandarin speakers would occasionally compliment on his fluency until they discovered that he could only swear in the language). His fluency in horse expletives was due mostly to his days as a jockey, and was the reason he was now a research assistant at the xenolinguistics laboratory on the seafront.
He looked at his phone, his eyes still half-closed, wondering why the alarm was ringing. It took several seconds before his sleep-addled brain remembered how to turn it off and then several seconds more before he remembered how to pull up the reminders screen. He only dropped the phone twice while trying to do so.
Call Cody was the reminder, and suddenly he was coldly awake. Cody was the jockey who'd unseated him during his last race, and ultimately the reason the horse he'd been riding had broken a leg at the last fence and been shot on the course. His fingers dialled the number, automatically adding in the code to hide his own. As he listened to the phone ring at the other end, he felt cold rage chilling him and bringing up goosebumps. The phone went through to voicemail, so he redialled. On the fourth ring, a sleepy voice answered.
"I'm going to kill you when I find you," he said, in perfect horse, and then hung-up.

Anonymous said...

The blaring, resounding tone of the alarm jolted him from his sweet dream of her face. He snatched the device off his nightstand, swiping and entering the code quickly so as not to be even more offended by the interruption. It seemed that he always had the best dreams right before it was time for Remembrance.
He rolled out of bed, slipping out of his stained bed shirt as he did so. He moved towards the South facing window and unrolled the course hemp matt and knelt in front of the greasy pane of glass, the faintest light from the rising sun struggling to pierce through.
He picked up the whip. The cold leather was shiny from the oils of his fingers. He waited.
The gong sounded throughout the city signaling the commencement of the daily Pledge of Neoallegiance. He struck his back, reining in the pain with a bite to his lip. He waited.
The second gong. Another strike.
Third. Strike.
Fourth. Strike.
Fifth. Strike. Groan.
The anthem began to play over the large speakers standing tall at every street corner. The notes were supposed to inspire patriotism, loyalty, regret. For him, however, only anger and pain were felt.
And defeat.
Ten years had passed since the war. Ten years since the government destroyed the “rebels,” silencing what they assumed to be the only resistance to their harsh laws. A decade without her. He longed for a day when the pain of the whip on his back was more substantial than what memories of the distant past brought him.

Marc said...

Greg - man, if we could train dogs to do this work...

Hah, excellent variation on my opening, and you really ran with it. I can only imagine being on the receiving end of a phone call from a horse in the middle of the night!

Ivybennet - fantastic scene here, with some vivid details bringing it to life.

You've left my both fascinated with and curious to learn more about this setting.