Thursday April 23rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: hanging around.

Because after a tight 2-1 victory tonight, that's what the Canucks are doing in their first round series - hanging around. Now the next job on the list is to return to Calgary for game six and find a way to bring the series back to home ice for the deciding game.

Spent some time with Max at the park this morning before returning to the garden with Kat this afternoon. We finished pruning the raspberries, got a big start on pruning the blackberries, and even did a bit of weeding of the strawberries.

Berries, berries, berries.


In the city night came quickly, swallowing entire city blocks the second you dropped your guard. A moment's distraction was all it seemed to take for the light of day to be snatched away by the black of night.

Electric lights replaced the sun, casting shadows this way and that. Alleyways that were intimidating during the day became menacing, impenetrable places. The good, honest folk fled to the apparent safety of their homes, while men and women with less... impeccable morals emerged from their hiding places to rule the streets.

That was how the system was supposed to work, anyway. But like I said, night's arrival was always a stealthy one. Sometimes those good people got caught hanging around after sundown in places they'd have been better off never knowing about. And they weren't hard to spot, let me tell you. Stuck out like a sore thumb, no doubt about that.

And those sore thumbs were never, ever shown mercy.


Greg said...

See, those crafty Canucks are keeping you on the edge of your seat with their tenacity and determination to not give in! It's never over till the fat lady falls through the ice :)
All those berries make me hungry now, though I guess there's no sign of any yet. Still, at least you'll know that you'll get a good crop from them because of the effort that you're putting in now.
That's an interesting city you've got there... anywhere real? Or just your imagination? I quite like how the sore thumbs are dealt with though; it seems efficient....

Hanging around
The thing about the Eidolon's city was that you were never more than eighteen feet from a gibbet, and the gibbets seemed to be in continuous use. The eighteen feet requirement was a mandate from the Eidolon herself. It had taken nearly seven years and an entire forest to construct enough of them, and two mathematicians had been driven mad working out the optimal placement of them all, but now if you couldn't see a gibbet then pretty much all you had to do was either open your eyes or turn around. The continuous use element was mostly down to a successful war being waged against Carmet and the Eidolon's approach to spying: if you had eyes, ears, a nose, a tongue, or more than fifteen squares centimetres of skin then you were considered a spy as soon as you came within forty-two feet of her. Rumour had it that bio-geneticists were attempting to breed a baby that failed to meet any of those requirements, but they were dark and horrible rumours that gave people nightmares when they slept.
Mac looked up at the corpse on the gibbet he was sheltering from the rain under. Slowly a rain-slicked eyeball (the other one had already been pecked out by a hungry seagull) rotated until it was looking back down at him.
"Hanging around?" asked Mac. His voice was as gravelly as an abused cement mixer in downtown Cairo and he was hunched in on himself like the Hunchback of Notre Dame with rickets on bonus-scoliosis day. His clothes were threadbare and soaked through, and the blue mottling might have been the skin underneath.
"Oh very funny," said the corpse in a liquid voice. Maggot spilled from its chewed and torn lips when it spoke and writhed in the rain puddles where they landed. "I died so you could make poor jokes about it?"
"You died because –" Mac paused. "Actually, I don't know why you did die."
"I was caught stealing and repainting horses," said the corpse. "I was good at it."
"Until you were caught," said Mac. "Anyway, I want to speak to the spymaster."
The corpse swung squeakily on the gibbet for a moment and then stiffened. A leg dropped off with a ripping sound like aged cotton fraying apart, or the untimely ripping of the canvas strait-jacket.
"What do yo – oh, it's you, Mac," said a new voice. More maggots spilled from the corpse's ruined mouth. "Oh lord, why can't you use a fresh corpse like anyone else? You know I can taste this, right?"
"Not at all," lied Mac. "I've got a lead for you on the bio-geneticists."
"And about time too," said the corpse. "So tell me who's playing Bene Gesserit on my watch then!"

Marc said...

Greg - there are blossoms in the strawberries, but apparently that means we still have another 30 days before the first of them ripen. Still feels like an hourglass running out of sand in my head...

Strictly from my imagination. Glad you liked it :)

Ah, Mac. Good to hear from him again. In all this disgusting glory :P