Sunday June 7th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: vicious.

Good lord it is hot here. I think the high was 35 this afternoon, but the house is still sweltering as midnight approaches. All the windows are open and we've got the fan going... but I think it's about time to get the air conditioner in our bedroom window again.

Max's cousin and aunt returned north today, which was sad. But this time is different. This time they'll be back in just over a month. And that time? That'll be the last time.

Any day now the foundations will be laid for their new house on the farm. It's not looking like it'll be completed before they move down, so they'll be joining Kat's brother at their parent's house for what should hopefully be only a few weeks.

And then... then Max will have two houses he'd rather be at than his own.


"When I throw them out I don't want them to come back. I hope that the struggle to return here is so long and arduous that they die of starvation. I hope that on their journey back to this place that they fall prey to a predator - preferably one who gifts them with a slow, painful death."

"I'm n-"

"I want them to get so lost that they never find their way back. Death by exposure to the elements? Sounds about right to me. Failing that, I want them to take so long in returning that by the time they do get here no food remains for them to eat."

"That sounds a little... vicious, don't you think?  I mean, they're just bugs, after all."

"These bloody little bugs are eating my bloody strawberries!"


Anonymous said...

Hope is a cruel thing,
One that draws you back
Again and again, each
Time with the false promises
Of a new beginning, a fresh
Start. Hope is the definition
Of insanity. You continue
To let her draw you back
Into her warm bosom,
Where the world finally
Feels safe and you secure
Only to find that the
Warm this actually
Dry ice or even
Liquid nitrogen,
Burning your skin off
In pieces. Yet you continue
To fly into her waiting arms,
Praying that things will
Be different this time around.
But they never are, are they?

Greg said...

@Ivy: For a poem about hope there's a fair amount of what feels like despair in there! The emotions do come through strongly though, and some of the word choices are very provocative (in a good way): the lines about dry ice and liquid nitrogen for example. Stylistically, I'd probably have not capitalised the first letter of each line as I feel this is slightly more of a prose-poem and the run-on lines style would work better. But that's always a matter of personal choice :) I also don't feel like the poem reaches an ending, it seems to kind of trickle out with a shrug of the shoulders and a sense of resignation. This may be what you were aiming for, but for me it lets the strength of the rest of the poem down a bit.
I enjoyed reading it, and overall I think it's good though!

@Marc: Is your air-conditioner Max sat on the windowsill and blowing his hardest to cool you down? ;-) And I'm not saying you've been reading too much Miss Snippet, but a casual reader of the blog might not quite understand things the same way as us when you refer to Natalie and her mother arriving for the last time and then talk about concrete foundations :)
Your story today sounds like it's born from bitter experience, so I shall nod quietly in sympathy and step away from you, urging you to put the axe down, while reminding you that snakes are good predators ;-)

The smell of sweat in the air was so strong that you could taste it when you swallowed. There were damp towels piled on the end of the locker-room benches, and only a few had made it into the white linen collection bins near the showers. Pools of water were dotted around, slowly drying up in the heat, and a couple of the battered aluminium lockers had doors swinging lazily open on broken hinges. Chris sighed as he surveyed the mess, and then grabbed a collection bin. He wheeled it along the main path between benches, hauling up the towels as he went and dumping them inside. At least this time they'd won the game and there wasn't a naked player tied to a shower pipe, gagged with his own underwear, his eyes silently pleading for release.
There was a sound from the showers and Chris sighed again: clearly he should have checked before making assumptions like that. He left the bin behind, and peered cautiously into the showers: there had been that one time with the goat, a mascot for the opposing team.... He looked around, but there was nothing there. The collection bin bumped against the back of his legs and made him jump, and he laughed a little, nervously, as how timid he was being.
Then he turned round, curious. The collection bin was surely too heavy to roll along by itself.
The bin was just as he'd left it, but now at his knees instead of nearly twenty feet away. He pushed it, puzzled, and something crackled. Looking down he realised the floor had iced over and that had let the collection bin roll, or rather slide. But how had the floor iced over?
A bifurcated hand, glossy white but made of something closer to hard chitin, rested on his shoulder. The finger-like appendages were viciously curved and sharp. A chill, as though he'd walked outside in a winter blizzard raced down his spine and he felt his legs going numb. And something ran another hand over his face, feeling for something to steal.

Marc said...

Ivy - I'm with Greg on the dry ice and liquid nitrogen lines, those are clearly my favorite. But I rather like the way the poem draws to a close, so we differ there :)

Greg - that... would be a highly amusing air conditioner. I shall talk to him about this tomorrow!

Good lord. You set this one up beautifully. I did not see that creepy bastard coming at all, which made the ending all the more effective. Damn you :P