Monday February 23rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that is: uncanny.

Had fun driving around and taking pictures this morning. Went out for a look around White Lake and Twin Lakes, then came back through OK Falls and around the east side of Skaha Lake up to Penticton. I only had a very general idea of where I was going in the first stage, but it proved to be good enough.

I took this shot while I was trying to figure out which way to go to get down to the shore at Twin Lakes:

Turned out? Not this way.

At least I didn't go much further before realizing I needed to turn around.

This afternoon I hung out with Max at the play cafe while Kat taught yoga and ran some errands. It always feels like there are a thousand little interactions when we're there and I want to share most of them.

But it's late and any one of them would take some time to tell, so I'll just say 'My son is friggin' awesome' and leave it at that for now.


I can't stop staring at the woman standing alone at the other end of the bar. High heels, short black dress, curly blonde hair. She's checking her watch when she's not keeping an eye on the door, and when she's not doing either of those things she's swirling the ice in her drink.

It's all rather captivating, but not the reason she's got me looking.

I mean, I'm trying not to be obvious about it. And I don't think she's noticed yet. But it's only a matter of time if I keep this up.

The bartender returns, asks if I want another. Maybe I should send a drink her way. Probably not a good idea. Besides, what if proximity ruins the effect? Best to keep my distance, just take in the view from here.

But I'm telling you, man, it's crazy how much she looks like my sister. Damn, do I ever still miss her...


Greg said...

I like that picture, with its sense of isolation and the winding road. It's really easy to just keep looking at it and appreciating it. But... I thought it was snowing up there in Canadia? That picture looks summery!
I believe that your son is frigging awesome too :)
Hmm, I like your tale with its unfulfilled expectation. The descriptions are really nicely done, and the last line hints at all sorts of things. So... stealing a lead from Morgana yesterday, I think I ought to continue it :)

What the hell, I think abruptly. "I'll have a Coors," I say to the barman, though the last is still half-full, "and send the lady in the short black dress a Pisco Sour." He nodded assent and attends to the bottles behind the bar, and I remember my sister sauntering into the kitchen, still tanned from her six weeks hiking in Machu Picchu, and showing me how to make one. She ran a hand through her curly hair and used the other to throw the drink back in one, and declared them to be her new favourite drink.
"We're out of bottles," say the barman, placing a shiny metallic tin on the bar in front of me. "But we still have cans." I shrug, I've drunk worse.
"Robert?" says a voice from behind me, and my shoulder blades slam back so fast I can hear my ribs crack. There's not just a ghost walking over my grave, there's the entire crew of the Marie Celeste performing Riverdance on it.
"Selina?" I turn, and the blonde woman in the heels and the black dress is stood there, holding the Pisco Sour like she's going to throw it at me.
"How do you know my name?" we say simultaneously, and then stare at each other in shock. Somewhere now behind me I hear the barman mutter, "Oh God, not more of them!" She starts laughing, and the Pisco Sour spills over the edge of her glass slightly.
"You look like my sister, Selina," I say. "She... died. In a BASE jumping accident."
"Wow," she says, looking taken aback. "You look like my brother Robert. I was told he died in a BASE jumping accident too."
There's another pause, and the barman might be scoffing under his breath in it.
"Malaysia?" I ask, and she nods. "Did your mother tell you–"
"Yes. Was she called Elsa?"
"Yes," I say. What the hell is going on here?

morganna said...

Off Greg's:
She sets down her drink and pulls out her cell phone. "Mom, good, you're there. Why did you lie to me and Robert?" Silence, then I can hear my mother's voice spouting lies and explanations -- none of which quite seem to make sense.

Selina speaks again. "We're coming over. Yes, I'm in town. You better have a good explanation and not this BS you've been spouting by the time we get there." She presses the end button and turns on her heels. She looks back at me. "You coming?" Hell, yeah, I'm coming.

Her Jeep is just outside the bar, so we take it. We pull up in front of our childhood home, but it is dark. Even from the street, it feels empty. There is no car in the drive.

Selina swears. I didn't even know some of those words, let alone that my baby sister would know them. "She's pulled a runner, Sis."

"Yeah, I can see that. But why?" We stare blankly at each other. I hear a tiny noise. I know that noise. I grab Selina's hand, fling open the door, and crouch with her behind the Jeep tire as someone shoots up the Jeep. When they take a break to reload, we bolt for the back of the house, barely sliding onto the back patio as the barrage of gunfire resumes.

I laugh shakily. "Sounds like Mom wants to keep her secrets."

morganna said...

My own:
He could feel them watching him as he hurried past the cemetery. They were dead, they had no more claim on him. He had another life now. Even so, he broke into a run when the rustling started. He barely pulled open the door and fell inside as the rustling came up the stairs behind him. He slammed the door, dropping the bar in place, muttering the incantations against the unquiet dead. His sister and his wife stared at him in consternation. "Are they back again, then?"

ivybennet said...

That picture is really nice, Marc. And from your descriptions, I'd have to agree: Max does sound pretty awesome. :)


There was just something about her face that I couldn’t quite place. Was it the curl of her honey blonde hair, the twist of her lips in that carefree smile? The way that she’d glance around every once in a while? Or was it the way she talked, that lithe elongating of vowels that spoke of southern ties still binding her the land of grits and rundown cotton plantations? Then again, her eyes were an unusual shade of blue—haint blue if specifics be required; that color I’d only seen a handful of times.
Or maybe it was the fact that this woman, not much older than me, looked exactly like my mother in an hold photograph I kept in my wallet.

Marc said...

Greg - most of the snow here is melted now. The lakes were both still frozen, though showing signs of thawing, and there are patches of snow up in the hills as well.

So glad you continued mine. Loved the detail about the Pisco Sour, and how you conveyed the barman, and that you managed to end with another compelling cliffhanger.

Morganna - which apparently you couldn't resist! Haha.

More good fun here, and I like the fact that mom wasn't around by the time the kids showed up. The gunfire is a surprising development that adds a nice touch of darkness to things :)

I also appreciate that you took the time to add your own take on the prompt as well! It's an intriguing piece that leaves me wanting to know more, so well done.

Ivybennet - thanks :)

Ooh, I like your take, not only on the prompt, but how at the start it could easily have been a riff off of mine. The twist at the end was very nicely executed.