Thursday May 14th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: ulterior motives.

Man, that has to be the first time I've typed ulterior. It does not look like it is spelled correctly. At all.

Anyway. I did some more weeding of the strawberries this morning and then this afternoon I mulched all that I've managed to weed so far. Which is about two and a half rows.

Thankfully, that's some of the worst areas to deal with. Hopefully once I finish this third row things will move along a bit quicker.

Anyway, the second. On to my ulterior motives...


Two weeks ago today I got a phone call to invite me in to interview for a job that I'd applied for... I think the previous Friday. Or maybe two Fridays before that? Either way. It was nothing full time, or anything even close to that. It was an opening in the relief pool for the Town of Osoyoos, to cover absences at Town Hall and the community center.

Just something small to help supplement the farm income in the summer and another way to make money in the winter - that was the reasoning behind applying in the first place. The interview, as it turned out, wasn't scheduled until this Tuesday. I don't know if I've ever had to wait a week and a half between finding out I had an interview and actually doing it.

Let me just say that I spent most of the intervening period avoiding thinking about it.

I had the interview Tuesday morning (thus, two haiku about interview questions) and I felt like it went pretty well. I didn't get stuck on any questions and the two interviewers seemed to like my answers, a couple of them in particular.

On Wednesday a lot of mental space was expended on second guessing my answers (oh hey, that was the day we wrote about an interview answer, wasn't it?) and wishing I'd thought of this thing to say or that story to share.

This morning I got a phone call while I was weeding the strawberries, informing me that I'd been chosen for one of the two additions to the relief pool. So I figured maybe it was time to explain what has been going on behind the scenes.

It's not going to be a lot of hours, as assignments are handed out in order of seniority and I, obviously, will be sharing the bottom rung of that ladder with my fellow co-hire. But we're going to be brought in for a training session later this month and then after that... I guess we'll see how it goes.

I don't really want a whole lot of work before strawberries are finished, and then even after that I'd be happy with minimal calls until autumn arrives. My hope, at this point, is to just start to slowly accrue seniority. Maybe later (as in years later) I might look to transition into something more full time with the town, depending on what sort of direction we end up going in with the farm.

Right, right now though? I'm just pleased to have done well enough in my interview for them to have chosen to bring me on board.


Greg said...

I rather like the word ulterior, but it is something that seems more likely to crop up in my writing than yours :) I did wonder where these prompts had suddenly come from, but it sounds like it's all gone very well for you! Congratulations on the new job and the prospect of growing in seniority with the town council; I'm looking forward to the day the prompt is "Mayor for the day" and your sheepish admission that you were asked to step in wear a gold-ish chain and furry robes and preside over the "Prettiest Pig' award at the town fair. And were asked never to do it again after Max started riding the winning pig.
It sounds like a very good part time job to have as it happens, and I hope you'll get the chance to finish the strawberries before you're out there making municipal decisions and rezoning things on maps :)

Ulterior motives
Honoré St-Decencé decided against taking pictures of the garden since he couldn't find a good picture that didn't have both suns in the picture, and he was a little concerned that people might realise that an army of gardeners would be expensive and not come out and view the property. He turned round to go back round the front of the house, and noticed that there were sixteen backdoors; two rows of eight, all next to each other with perhaps two inches of space between architraves. He looked at his keyring, and sure enough, there were sixteen near-identical keys labelled 1-16 on there. He sighed, wondering why you needed so many doors to let into one room, and picked the leftmost lower door (well, he couldn't have reached up to the one above!).
The key turned easily in the lock, and beyond was a long room that smelled strongly like wet dog; the smell rolled out and over him and made him cough. He got his breath back, breathed through his mouth to try and avoid the smell (that didn't work, he just tasted wet dog instead and went back to breathing – shallowly – through his nose) and went in.
When he drew back the curtains he found windows in the right-hand wall that couldn't possibly be there, since there were seven other doors in that direction, that appeared to be looking out onto a herb garden. The room was sparsely furnished and the floorboard creaked no matter where he stood nor how still he stood, and he suspected that this room could quickly drive people mad. There were three doors leading off, but he had no idea what room he might be from his notes, or if he should be taking photographs.
"They're called ulterior motives," said a voice behind him, sounding young and cheerful; a child maybe. He turned, wondering who was here to greet him, and found only a tortoiseshell cat sitting on a rug, licking its paws. He turned again, wondering if the child was playing with him and hiding from him, but there was no-one there either.
"You see, each room of this house is a motive," said the voice again, "which is a theme or motif, in fact. But each of them is intentionally hidden, so that you have to figure it out in order to leave."
Honoré whirled, that sounded like he was being told he was trapped. The cat stopped licking itself and looked at him. He went back to the door he'd entered by, but it was locked and there was no keyhole on this side.
"You seem clever," said the voice. "I'm sure you'll figure it out!"

ivybennet said...

Marc, I'm not sure if you'll see the comment on an earlier post that answered your question but I'll repeat it just in case. Some of my prompts do involve characters and stories that I've been pondering/writing for a while. Other times, I want to continue my prompts because I like the characters I created on the spot.

Ulterior Motives:

“You let me think I could change the world.” Tears were starting to roll down my face like rain in a violent storm. “You allowed me to send my brother to war. He died, Yahuete. It’s because of you that Baeryn is dead.”
Yahuete just angled his head down ward, as if looking into his cup of tea. He didn’t even dignifying my grief with those blind, sympathetic eyes. “You had to think Baeryn was the one meant to save your people. The actions you have took have lead you down the right path. Soon, everyone will know that I was the one that trained you in the ways of wisdom and war. I will again establish a good name for the Luegalle people. I will be sought out to train others and to give my wisdom to the world. I—“
“You? You! All of this was to raise your station in the world? What about my people? They are suffering under the Vahlborgian rule. I should have been the Crown Jewel and Baeryn the Crown.”
Yahuete just shook his head. It was still a strange sight to see his thick neck able to accommodate such a movement.
“You were always meant to be the Crown, Fayomi. You just needed an incentive to want to rule and Baeryn’s death was just that.”
I spit at the floor, right onto his holy straw mat. “And you needed a campaign to boost your own agenda. I’m glad by brother’s death meant something to you after all.”
I turned and left his tend, ignoring his pleas to stop and listen. I was done listening to his foolish wisdom and corrupted advice. If I truly was prophesized by the last Luegalle to save my people and reclaim the thrown as Crown, then I would have to do it myself.
All by myself.

Marc said...

Greg - I am impressed by your ability to come up with such a delightful tale when the only inspiration was me getting a job with the town :)

Ah, quite pleased to see this one continued. Though Honore seems to be in a touch of trouble now! I am intrigued by the mischievous owner of the disembodied voice now.

Ivy - I did, but thanks for making sure I saw your reply! I see comments in the dashboard in order of date left, not by the post they were left on. Which is good, otherwise I'd have a terrible time keeping track of comments on older posts!

I quite like the image of the Crown and the Crown Jewel that you use to represent the ruling couple. The emotions and motivations of your characters are very well conveyed as well.