Sunday September 21st, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the adjustment.

With our harvest boxes being picked up tomorrow afternoon instead of Tuesday, we're having to shift things forward around here. Today that meant only taking the morning off to recover from the market and then going out in the afternoon to start the pick.

We don't have an excessive amount of stuff left to collect tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping for a reasonably manageable day before we hit the road early-ish Tuesday morning.

Still lots to be done before we get to that though.


When the engines began to sputter and the needles on the dashboard started spasming back and forth, I knew time was running away from us. Looking out the cockpit window I saw nothing but rolling ocean waves and circling sharks.

Though I'll admit that the sharks may have been a creation of my overactive imagination.

"What the hell is going on?" Carl, my less than observant co-pilot demanded.

"You know how we were supposed to fly to New York today?" I asked as I began flipping switches and turning dials.

"Of course I do! I'm not an idiot!"

Well, Carl, actually...

"That plan is currently undergoing a minor adjustment."


ivybennet said...

There, that should do the trick.”
Tenerbaum coiled the corrected wire back into the panel, shutting the metal protective plate after it and giving in one good pat with this hand.
He smiled at the little golden MM12 stationed before him. The Protector model. Now it could speak like a real friend.
Tenerbaum laughed. “Yeah, I’m good.”
“Content, Ray. I’m content.”
Tenerbaum could remember the red MM09, his first model. The firing mechanism had been a little itchy, misfiring every so often. But in war, when the models were always going off, a quivering trigger wasn’t so bad to have. At least he had a working model which was more than he could say for others in his regiment.
He never wanted the MM12. Too new, too shiny. What could it do that he couldn’t? All he needed was something that would shoot. Tenerbaum could do all the rest.
That was before the MM12 caught a stray shell out of the air and destroyed it before it could reach Tenerbaum’s back.
Now it was Ray and not the model number. When things get dirty, it takes a machine to clean it up. He never realized how true that statement would be.

Greg said...

Sounds like a productive day, I wonder if you ended up spending longer packing for the trip than picking for the boxes? :) I hope it's a fun trip, and that no-one turns up late for their box either!
Heh, I'm not sure I'd be so comfortable with the adjustment you've got going on there! Carl sadly seems like he'd survive a crash on account of his skull being too thick to do more than dent slightly!

The adjustment
The clock was a present from her ex-husband, brought back from his latest expedition. He looked tanned but thin when sat opposite her in the restaurant, and he only picked at his fettucine-with-smoked-goat's-cheese. When he asked the waiter if it was cheese from a smoked goat, or a goat's smoked cheese she'd sighed, picked up her present and left.
It was an ormolu clock, about the size of two fists, and she hesitated to put it in the living room where it was on display. Eventually she put it on the mantlepiece in the bedroom, over the long-blocked-up fireplace, where she fancied it gave the room a gentle golden glow. As she set it down something clinked, and she discovered that the winding key was taped to the base. Pleased, she inserted it and wound it up, listening to the clicking of the clock mechanism as the spring tightened, and then phoning the speaking-clock to make sure that she set it to the right time.
She was disappointed the next morning to find that it had lost a minute, but she set it back right again anyway. She did the same thing the next morning, and the morning after that for nearly two weeks. Then she looked up the clock mechanism on the internet and discovered that just a small adjustment was all that was required to get it to keep proper time.
As she lay in bed that night, on the edge of sleep, comfortably warm under the blankets and her mind wandering with the starts of dreams, she heard a soft clicking, just like the winding of her clock. She lay there listening to it, vaguely pleased that she didn't have to wind it herself in the morning. It stopped for a moment, and then it started again, and she suddenly worried that it might be overwound. The moment of doubt was enough though, and her mind cleared suddenly, realising that nobody should be in her bedroom winding her clock.
She sat bolt upright, but even in the gloom of the room, subtly yellowed by the ormolu, she could see that there was no-one by the mantlepiece, no-one winding the clock. She sank back down to the mattress, her heart pounding but relieved that she'd just been imagining things.
The soft clicking started again.

morganna said...

Adjustment: to write in the evening instead of the morning.

Today has been a very busy day, and I am squeezing in a little writing at the end of the day.

Adjustment: to return to a previous state of being.

My son is too thin, and the doctor wants us to push calories again, as we did when he was little.

Adjustment: to rethink one's expectations.

Reading through the responses to the prompts, I am realizing that my expectations are too low for the outrageous imaginations that frequent this site.

Marc said...

Ivybennet - intriguing scene. Especially liked the back and forth between the robot and Tenerbaum at the start there.

Greg - well, I pack pretty quickly, but probably overall between Kat and I it was pretty close to amount of time we put into the harvest :)

That's a wonderfully creepy scene you've given us there. Excellent details, as always.

Morganna - write whenever you have the time and energy, that's my goal. Though sometimes I'm forced to write without the energy...

And I hope your son responds well to the adjustment.