Sunday January 11th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the shortage.

The power went out in our neighbourhood for about 45 minutes this evening, while Kat was out at a meeting for work. I'm very glad Max didn't wake up until after it came back on, as I don't think he would have been too happy in the dark without Mommy.

Otherwise it was a pretty quiet day. Went for a short family walk this morning, watched most of The Lorax (too many scary parts for Max to finish it), and did a lot of playing inside. Planning to go out to take more pictures tomorrow morning, I'll be sure to share any that turn out okay.


There is never enough.

Not enough time. Always too many things to do and too little time to do them. Rush, rush, rush. Try to catch up but never quite get there. If you're lucky. Mostly there is well out of sight.

Not enough money. See the toys, big and small, that the other kids, old and young, get to play with. Know that they will never be within your budget. Scrape and save, focus on getting by. Feel the debt growing, pushing you down until you have to crawl to get anywhere. Doesn't matter how hard you work, you're stuck in the mud at the bottom of the ladder.

Not enough friends. But who has time and money for friends? Better off without them.

Not enough sleep. Not enough joy. Not enough love. Not enough life.

Maybe enough needs a new definition.


Greg said...

45 minutes is an uncomfortably long window to be without power in the Canadian winter, so you sound remarkably calm about it. I suppose that might be because you're sat back in the warm again with the lights on though. At least you can always put the food in the fridge outside to keep it cold :)
Hmm, I think I agree with your narrator; their definition of enough seems like it needs work. Though I can completely sympathise with how they reach that conclusion. I was drinking coffe (after playing squash) with a friend of mine yesterday who was complaining that his bodybuilding seemed to use up all his time, and I pointed out that it was his hobby, and that's what hobbies do. I'm not sure I helped :)

The shortage
Mum said she was sure that we'd put the Christmas lights away in the attic last year, and I immediately looked at my sister and said, "I bet you just bundled them up in a tangle when you did that."
"ME?" (She's loud). Mum shushed her and sent us up to the attic to sort them out, and squabble where she didn't have to listen to it.
When we got up to the attic we found the god tied up in the Christmas lights.
My sister poked it with her foot, and it opened its eyes. They were crimson where ours were white, and had iridiscent irises and its pupils were too bright to look at; it looked like they gave light out rather than taking it in. It muttered something and my sister's shoe wriggled and twisted, grew eight short, muscular legs, and pulled itself from her foot. It ran off into the junk of the attic, and disappeared.
She slapped the god.
Which, in hindsight, was exactly what she was always going to do, and exactly the wrong thing to do. I don't want to try and describe what the god changed her into, nor am I keen on remembering what it looked like. I just hope that she, whatever she is now, can't breed.
"We need the lights for the Christmas tree," I said, standing well back. My sister hissed and tried to eat a tea-chest.
"I am comfortable like this," said the god, and it was as though he didn't speak, he just changed my memories so that I knew what he'd said. It felt hot inside my head and made my ears itch.
"Fine," I said, and picked him and the lights up and carried them down to Mum.
She put him and the lights on the Christmas tree and professed herself very happy.
"But he changes people into... things, mum," I said.
"Good," she said. "There's a shortage of faith in the world, and he can put some of it back.
"But my sist–"
"Seems quieter, and better house-trained. Be grateful I haven't asked him to do the same to you."

Anonymous said...

I really liked your piece for this one, Marc. I liked what idea the narrator was going through and I think the fragmented way you delivered it was perfect.

The Shortage:

I fumbled around in my purse, searching for the extra coin I knew in the pit of my stomach wasn’t there. I kept searching with my outstretched fingers, praying I’d find at least one more. In vain, I slowly looked upward and into the ice eyes of the prince of the clan.
I knew no one could walk away from a deal if they hadn’t lived up to their end of the bargain, especially when that deal was struck under the full moon with a member of the Tragaboed clan. And a deal with the prince of that clan? I was as good a dead if I couldn’t come up with another form of payment fast.
I saw the ice eyes slide down and up my wolf-raged cloak and dress. I didn’t have to follow his gaze to know that a great deal of my bronzed flesh was showing through the once modest clothes. It was hard to swallow around the lump that was quickly forming in my throat. If there was any hope of seeing my family again, I needed this deal between Tragaboed and I to work out.
I took a deep breath and tried to mentally prepare myself. I had found another method of payment but I wished it was only money he was after.

morganna said...

Another poem from my post-apocalyptic world (yes, I need a title). It's the next one after the last one I shared here. For you, Marc :)
He was quite comfy, in his mother's house
Aside from the nightmares writhing
in his sleep
But he was scaring the babies,
Food was running short --
Men were afraid to leave for hunting
Afraid the killers would return
He was another mouth to feed
And so -- he was asked to leave

Marc said...

Greg - I breathed a pretty noticeable sigh of relief when it came on, I'll say that much.

That's quite the family you've shared with us. I like that the narrator carries him downstairs, despite her obvious discomfort.

And the mom's response seems... very mom-like, when moms have been pushing just a little too far.

Ivybennet - thank you!

Ugh, that's an especially unpleasant situation to be in when you're coming up just short of what you need. Nicely conveyed, it really made my skin crawl.

Morganna - hurray! Thanks :)

That's a great continuation. You're creating a very vivid story through your poetry here.

And, once again, I'm left wanting to know what comes next...