Sunday October 19th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something that is: smooth.

Had a lovely morning with friends at the park. Sun shining, kids playing, relaxed adults catching up. Could use more of those.

Kat did up some roasted pears for dessert tonight, which I had never tried. I, uh, would be willing to eat those again.


A gentle breeze ruffles my hair as I stroll along the edge of the water with her by my side. Our hands are not quite touching, though I can sense the warmth of her fingers whenever they draw near. The sun is sinking steadily toward the horizon.


I hesitate for a few more steps but the knowledge that there will be no better time than this nudges me into action. Without a word I drop into a crouch and begin digging around in the sand, discarding lumpy rocks with casual flicks of my wrist.

I can feel her eyes on me but she remains silent. Amused? Curious? Expectant? I can't say for sure, but I'll take anything other than bored.

At last I find what I'm looking for. The rock is like glass, no thicker than a pencil, and sits comfortably in the palm of my hand. I return to my full height and look out across the water. I've been practicing all week. My best throw was yesterday, a good twelve skips.

I know this one will be better.

I give her a smile, somewhere between bashful and watch this. Leaning to the right, I bring my left arm out for balance. Just as I've done hundreds of times before. A nice, long, slow backswing, and then bring it forward quickly with a hard flick of my wrist.


Smooth, man. Real smooth.


Greg said...

Roasted pears, like baked apples, are delicious. I hope you had them with custard! If you have any plums still you should try pan-frying them as well :)
I really like the way your story builds today. Each paragraph adds to the overall story, and for most of it I was wondering how the title was going to come into play. Then the narrator starts hunting for a stone, so I figured that the description of the stone was going to be the link. And then... well yeah. Very smooth ;-)

The tarot deck had been hand-painted in France by a magicien ancien around the time that Helena Blavatsky was introducing Theosophy and the Secret Doctrine to the world. He lived in Paris, of course, in one of the poorer arondissements, and was rumoured to know much more about the vintages of cheap wines than the cards he painted and sold, and the fortunes he professed to tell. This deck was one of two that he never offered for sale, and the only one that was intact. The images, though following the usual cycle of the Fool and his journey through life, were disturbing, and that was the reason the doctor had them.
He turned over the top card of the deck, carefully avoiding looking at it himself, and laid in front of his patient. "Tell me what you see," he said, his voice deep and throaty with a cold that had woken him up that morning at 4am. "Don't leave anything out."
There was a momentary pause as the man's brain was rearranged and... reinterpreted by the image on the card, by the archetype it portrayed forcing itself out of his personality and into a dominant position. Then:
"I see the moon, or rather, I see both of them. They orbit endlessly, eternally, spinning mindlessly across the backdrop of the universe. Like mirrors they scatter the sun's light; unliving, they seek to destroy the source of life when it reaches them. They are zombie-planets, they would like nothing better than to apply cosmic brakes and crash into the Earth, denuding it of life as well."
The doctor let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding, and placed his hand over the card again, hiding the image from view. He fumbled it slightly as he turned it face down so that neither of them could see it any more. Only then did he look directly at his patient.
The man's skin was as smooth as polished marble and had taken on the same colour. Eyes whitened by fresh cataracts stared forward, dismally trying to make sense of the shadow-play that was all they could perceive before them, and his clothes were bleached and silvery, as though exposed to strong light for decades. The doctor carefully put the card back into the deck and locked the deck in his desk.
"And how do you feel now?" he asked. This was always a fraught question; barely an eighth of patients gave a suitable answer.
"Smooth," said the patient, standing up.

Marc said...

Greg - pan fried plums? You clever man, I shall have to try those next.

Thank you for the kind words on mine :)

Jeez, so casually horrific. Excellent descriptions as always. I feel as though the doctor's time with that deck will not end well for him...