Thursday January 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: entry.

After spending most of the morning wiping Max's nose, I drove down to Osoyoos to help Kat's dad work on our bathroom renovation. We removed a bunch of wall boards that we'll be replacing with drywall, and that earned us enough space to take the bathtub out.

It's a great big mess in there right now, but Kat's dad is getting a plumber in (hopefully tomorrow) to have a look at things and then it should be time to start replacing stuff. Sadly, the demolition phase appears to be over.

Very excited that Sue, my sister who lives in Calgary, is arriving tomorrow evening. Really hoping that all that good stuff we stuffed into Max today will help him feel better for his aunt's visit.

Mine:

The warm July air drifted into the house through an open window in the kitchen. It circled the room, slowly, slowly, before slipping into the narrow hall that led to the front of the house. The door to the office was open, so it paused to take a look.

A cluttered desk, two disorganized bookshelves, thick green curtains drawn across a small window. None of these held its interest, but it did linger for a while in front of the calendar tacked to the back of the door. A snowy scene loomed over the days and events of January, marred by only a few hastily scribbled reminders.

With what might have been a sigh, the air returned to the hall and continued on its way. An empty bathroom was left uninspected, as something at the front door had caught its attention. Four pairs of winter boots sat on the mat, one small red boot tipped over on its side.

How strange, thought the air.

The silence in the house was heavy, like a thick fog had come across the lake and made itself at home there. It was unbroken by words or footsteps or laughter. But... was that breathing coming from the living room?

Yes. A man sat there, slumped on one of the couches. Expressionless, holding an abandoned book in both hands at his lap, he stared a distant stare out the front window. He did not seem particularly happy, thought the air.

After only a few moments the air flowed quickly back the way it had come from and returned to the outside world. It had seen enough of that place.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

You may be wiping Max's nose now, but in twenty years time he'll be sat with you in your old-people's home wiping yours for you :) I am disappointed for you that you didn't even get to use a chainsaw in the demolition phase, though I suspect it would require more than just a plumber if you had done!
Your July air seems like an errant, fickle creature, but it is certainly enjoying itself looking around the house. I wonder what's being going on in the house though, there definitely seems to be some tension there! I think it's whoever wears four pairs of winter boots simultaneously who's at fault :) The descriptions are beautifully done though, and really draw the reader with the air through the house.

Entry
Vaillant, merchant adventurer, stood at the walls of Tax Xlitif. He had walked the entire way round the walls now, which had taken him three days, and there was no way in. The only things he'd found were the little guard-house here, which had no hidden doors through the wall, and a colony of gnomes whose homes he'd systematically looted while they jumped up and down and screamed imprecations about his mother at him. Since a gnome was less than a foot tall and were effectively stone-age from a weaponry perspective, that had been the best they could do.
He leaned against the guard-hut and sighed.
"Evening," said the guard inside the hut.
"Still no secret bloody doors?" asked Vaillant. The guard shook his head.
"Part of the mystery of the city," he said. "They say you can only see the gates during a full moon."
Vaillant looked up at the darkening sky. "I can't even see the moon, let alone if it's full or not," he said.
"Ah," said the guard. "They say you can only see it from inside the city."
"How bloody convenient," said Vaillant. "What are you doing here then, guard?"
"I'm not a guard!" The man looked indignant. "I'm a sentry!"
The speed at which the smile spread across Vaillant's face would have given the sentry pause to worry, but Vaillant's sword-arm was just as fast, and beheaded him in a single stroke.
"And a headless sentry," grinned Vaillant as the gate appeared, "is just an entry."

Marc said...

Greg - in twenty years? I hope to be doing a bit better than that at 56, thank you very much!

Hah, quite the take on the prompt. I enjoyed your description of the looting of the gnomes :)

Oh, you might want to mosey out West and have a look around, when you have a few minutes...