Monday November 10th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the omen.

It is very, very light, but it is currently snowing outside. I don't imagine there will be much to see in the morning, but the fact remains that snow is falling from the sky right now.

Oh well, the fireplace is keeping me nice and warm.

Expect a return to our yearlong prompt on Wednesday. I should have time to figure out my next steps by then.


He stood at the edge of the forest, staring out at the seemingly empty meadow. The sun had set behind him only a few minutes earlier so there was still enough light to see by... but hopefully not enough to be seen in.

Dark clouds were gathering at the north end of the valley, carried his way by a wind that brought with it hints of woodsmoke and something harder to identify. Much less pleasant, certainly.

He chose not to make an effort to determine its source.

Instead he focused his energy on watching for movements in the tall grass before him, ones which were not caused by the chilling wind. He remained that way until it was nearly dark, one finger tracing unconscious circles on the hilt of the sword sheathed in the scabbard at his left hip.

He began to turn away, ready to make the long walk back to camp, when a dark shape rose suddenly into the air. He paused a moment to locate its source, another to watch the crow wheel away to the south.

And then what was to be a long walk transformed into a frantic run.


Greg said...

Yay! Snow! I bet you wish you'd moved into that tent outdoors now :) You won't even need the fridge any more!
The fireplace does sound quite cosy though, since you mention it....
Hmm, your story starts off pleasantly enough and then gets a little bit creepy; certainly very scary for your poor protagonist too! I like the little details, like the scents carried on the wind, and the grasses moved by things other than wind. Very atmospheric!

The Omen
There was a persistent squeak echoing through the narrow corridors of the submarine. It came maybe once every eight seconds; each time it was drawn out for slightly too long, and it sounded like metal tortured to the limits of its ability to cope. After a minute casual listeners found themselves wishing that someone would put it out of its misery and kill it, saving them all from the recurrent, hideous noise.
In the command hub the noise was getting louder, and when the great brass door slid aside at last, with a whoosh of air that revealed that it was air-tight, the first mate positively flinched. Which wasn't missed at all by the ancient Captain Nemo as he wheeled his chair through the door, the left wheel squeaking painfully with every full rotation.
"Is there a problem, Naymark?" he asked. The first mate lifted his head and looked at the ancient captain. Nemo had been shot and wounded at Benares a year earlier and had never had the injury properly tended to. His shoulders were covered in a lacy green mat of mould that was starting to tangle in his salt-and-pepper hair, and there was a smell of unflushed latrines about him. One arm was almost mobile, the twisted, blackened hand lying claw-like in Nemo's lap, and the other shook perpetually, even when it was steering the wheelchair.
"You could oil that damn thing," he said, but his words were impotent and faded away. Nemo tilted his head to one side, revealing a gleam of white bone where the bullet had gone through. "Oil the Omen?" he said. His eyes flashed with momentary anger. "The Omen has carried me faithfully for a year. I will not sully her now with some pathetic unguent. She will be oiled when -- and only when! -- you have retrieved the Tears of Shiva from Calcutta and she can be oiled appropriately."
The first mate looked up again, surprised. "Calcutta?" he said.
"Yes. Where we're headed!"
The first mate shook his head. "We're headed to Tierra del Fuego," he said. "You said you wanted to go to the arse-end of the world."
Nemo's screams drowned out even the squealing of the Omen then.

Anonymous said...

Snow! It always looks so pretty when you are inside. But once you go out, it somehow gets gross really quickly. I'm jealous you have a fireplace--stupid apartment in the city. Oh well. I'll make a fire when I visit my parents this weekend!

The Omen
The waters were calm, drifting into the dock and back out towards the horizon. I couldn’t even find a trace of the larger waves that would come in large intervals, intervals too large for anything but a creature of the sea to notice. The sea was too calm.
“Well it looks like a marvelous day for a voyage. Would you say?” Captain Niall asked from his position behind the wheel.
Dommel laughed. “Indeed it does. But how did the sky look last night?”
Captain Niall smiled at him. “Red as a bleeding heart, she was.” He then started shouting commands to the sailors, instantly setting them into motion.
As much as I wanted to observe how these men made something as large as a wooden ship move from land to sea and into the right direction, how they could tell where they were going without landmarks or distinct rock formations, I was too concerned with the sea. The captain and Dommel thought the journey would be as dandy as a barnacle on a shallow rock, but they were wrong.
The sky wouldn’t churn the seas. But something was definitely coming and I had no idea what it could be.

morganna said...

Ominous and
Everything threatening
Nothing ever to be the same

Marc said...

Greg - hah :P

I can see you had great fun with this one. Wonderful details really bring it to life, as usual.

Ivybennet - yes, when we lived in the city we always wanted a fireplace. At least you have one you can visit!

Great continuation of our previous visit with these characters. I am curious to see what is headed their way.

Morganna - I'm impressed you were able to pull off an acrostic with only a four letter word to work with. Nice work!