Monday April 27th, 2015

The exercise:
 
Write about: the jungle.

Finished off the last of the blackberry pruning this morning, which means I can now focus most of my attention on weeding and mulching the strawberries. With school stuff slowing down, Kat's going to be able to help out in the garden and greenhouse more so I won't have to worry about that stuff for the next little while.

Max and I went to the park after lunch and he insisted on bringing one of his balls along with us. When we got there he proceeded to kick it away from the play area and all the way to the other end of the park... which was where he discovered the "jungle".

It was just a small area by the water filled with trees and bushes, but there was enough of a path (or two) through it for us to explore a bit deeper.

I have a feeling that will not be our last visit to that end of the park.

Mine:

In the black heart of the jungle, a beast awakens. It lifts its head slowly, blinks away the fog of sleep, and considers its surroundings with apparent disinterest. Nothing has been disturbed since it lay down to sleep - no blade of grass has been bent or flattened, no branch or bush has been pushed aside.

All this is as the beast expects it to be.

The air is stale and heavy here, as though no breeze has ever penetrated this far into the lush foliage that encircles the beast. With an unhurried stretch, the beast rises to its feet and sniffs first to the north, then the east, then south, and finally to the west.

It smells nothing but the clearing it calls home - which smells mostly like the beast itself - and it is satisfied.

A distant bird cry reaches its ears every so faintly. The beast knows that this, at nearly a mile away, is the nearest living creature. Nothing else dare encroach further on the uncrowned king of the jungle's lair. None have been foolish enough to try in a very, very long time.

Which just means the beast, who has begun its slow walk into the neighbouring jungle, has to roam for hours in order to find its prey. Far longer than it would choose to, had it been given the choice.

And when the beast does finally find its first meal of the day... it tends to take out its displeasure with vicious enthusiasm.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Max's jungle sounds very exciting for someone his age! I can imagine that you're going to have to explore it until he's confident that he knows all about it and all its secrets.
Hmm, your jungle beast seems best avoided, although clearly that decision by all its food prey has only made its temper worse! Still, I like the way you build the atmosphere throughout, and all the tiny details that you put in. Your prose is just as unhurried as your hunter :)

The jungle
The bar was on a sideroad that abutted a sidestreet that was really a capillary off an alleyway; it was so deliberately obscure and hard to find that three townplanners had written "Here be dragons" on their map instead of actually checking to see what was there. The bar was the only building that could be entered; everything else was a side-wall or a back-wall, or in one case a glass-shard-studded, barbed-wire adorned threat of a wall. There was a woman stood just outside wearing what was either a security guard's uniform or a very elaborate fetish outfit, and the bar's name was The Lesbian Jungle.
Rumour[1] had it that straight women went in believing they were just going for a quiet drink in a tea-house and came out horny jezebels desperate for a bit more skirt. In actual fact, what was going on at the moment was a lot more typical.
"Hi Doris," said a butch-looking woman trying to walk in. Doris's arm shot out and stopped her dead.
"Jim," said Doris. "You know this is a lesbian bar. The sign even says so."
"Well yeah," said Jim, his fake frontage slipping a little, transforming him from voluptuous to saggy. "But you know,..."
"You're straight, Jim," said Doris. "You're not even a transvestite. You're just a sad pathetic little man who wants to find a lesbian and try and convert her."
"...yes Doris," said Jim in a small voice, looking down at his shoes.
"Oh for fu–." Doris stared at him. "Fine, you can go in. Just don't ask where the gents are."
"Thank-you Doris!" said Jim, scuttling past her in such a hurry he forgot to adjust his cleavage. Doris sighed after him. The only people in the bar so far were Derek, now Jim, and Tony. She rather hoped that at least two of them would get overexcited and hook up with each other.

[1] A downmarket woman's magazine, a bit like Cosmopolitan but running stories like "10 Waterproof Mascaras to wear for your next break-up", "Prison boyfriends: what to look for", and "Trailer-park fashions for 2015".

Marc said...

Greg - hah, love your opening description of your setting. And your follow up is even better, I must say. So many little touches that work together to make the whole thing hilarious :D