Thursday June 18th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the destroyer.

This morning I began work on our sprinkler rows, one of my least favorite jobs on the farm. They run between the garden plots and cannot be tilled by the tractor because the lines run too close to the surface (not to mention the bits where the actual sprinklers stick up out of the ground). So that means we either weed spray them (no thank you, not right next to our veggies) or use the weed eater on them.

I do not enjoy using the weed eater. It is loud and heavy and awkward and it makes my hands sore.

Anyway, I managed to get a row fully done, leaving three to go. It was probably the least overgrown of the bunch, but I had to start somewhere and I figured the least problematic row was the way to go.

During breaks from that I did a bit of hand weeding around the broccoli, beets, and carrots. I'm quite pleased with how little weeding remains to be done in the garden itself.

Now if only the same could be said about the sprinkler rows...


"He's gone missing."

"Who has?"

"Who... are you serious? Are you being serious right now?"

"Uh... yeah? I don't know who you're talking about."

"This is unbelievable. I just... I just don't even know you. Maybe I should just go."

"Or... maybe you could tell me what the hell you're going on about?"

"If you don't already know then I'm not sure why I should even bother."


"All right, fine. The Destroyer's gone missing."

"The who now?"

"The... seriously?"

"Oh, just get on with it!"

"The Destroyer. That's my nickname for my right bicep. I was just in the weight room an-"

"You have a nickname for your right bicep?"

"You don't?"

"... just finish the story."

"I was just in the weight room and, as you well know, Thursdays are arm days. I was doing curls and... and... I couldn't curl my usual dumbbell with my right arm. It's like... The Destroyer vanished on me or something! I don't understand it, man. I just... I just don't!"

"How tragic. I'm leaving now."


Greg said...

You could try counting the number of weeds left to eat in foreign languages. The mental effort would distract you from the physical effort and make it seem less arduous :) Or maybe you could get Max to walk along beside you taking dictation while you write your next novel?
Still, it sounds like you've almost won the first battle of the weed war for this year, so well done!
Heh, I wasn't expecting the Destroyer to be that! Although it doesn't exactly surprise me that a bodybuilder would have nicknames for his favourite muscles either, after all, he/she must spend a lot of time thinking about them and training them! The conversation flows really well and I particularly like the listener's responses; they're spot on!

The destroyer
Destroyer,noun, O.Du de strouyer via O.Lde schrouver. The original Latin was a phrase meaning of the shrubbery, which were novel inventions during the first part of the Roman Conquest. Rich householders had just started the practice of taking things from far off places and transplanting them home (which would ultimately result in the British pillaging the world, putting the loot in the British Museum and trying to pass it off as history, archaeology, or self-defence according to the flavour of government when questioned), and in the event of plants the decorative (and occasionally defensive) borders that resulted were known as schrouvii, or shrubberies.
When the Flemish had gotten over their issues with tulips they turned their horticultural fervour onto shrubberies, and with an inventiveness that can only be admired they perfected what the Romans had started: the defensive shrubbery. The plants in there were thorned, barbed, poisonous, clinging and occasionally acidic and caustic, meaning that anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in a shrubbery (such as when fleeing a home because the householder had returned inopportunely, or while attempting to find ingress through a conveniently located hedge) rarely emerged and often became compost, feeding the shrubbery ready for its next engagement.
Rumours of mobile, fighting shrubberies, Monty Python notwithstanding, are just that.
From this then comes the modern English noun, destroyer, referring back to the devasting properties of those old Flemish shrubberies.

Anonymous said...

Marc, I love how you took a potentially serious prompt and made it so fun and ridiculous. Even though there is only dialogue, you write it so that I can see the scene perfectly. I can even imagine to an extent what these two look like. I want to see what other conversations these two have.

Greg, nice work! I think you've done prompts before where you began with a definition, yes? I enjoy the snarky voice of the piece and love how it somehow jumps from destroyer to Monte Python. I feel like you could write a much longer piece just like this and it'll be completely successful.

The Destroyer:

He came upon me with a sword of burning flame. Reds, oranges, yellows, whites blazing against the night sky, diming the world to a shade darker than black. That sword of his posed high above his head; the tendons and ligaments of his arm stood out like bits of coiled rope, ready to loosen their burden upon the world.
He opened his wings behind him, widening his wide set shoulders and increasing his substantial size. Those white feathers glowed an array of the warmest colors as the flames from his sword flickered over the plumed canvas. They were like the moon, reflecting fire to create their own light in the darkness.
There was no stopping the destruction by his hand. He let lose that flaming sword upon me, his wings snapping shut to give more power to his thrust. I didn’t stand a chance against him and his glory, his hand destined to break me. I had lost any power to stop him long ago.
That, indeed, was his true power, not his flaming sword or his wings of light. His eyes held all the truth in the world and through them, the ability to strip your defenses down to walls of sticks and mud. All the barricades I had built to protect my treasure were nothing when caught in his gaze. I was vulnerable.
And with that first look, he destroyed any chance of me being content with my isolation. And with one sweep of his sword and flap of his wings, my heart was stolen from my chest like a jewel taken from a thief in the night.

Marc said...

Greg - I feel like my best bet is to just wait until Max is old enough that I can make him do it :P

Ah, I've missed your dictionary definitions. Thank you for bringing them back for this prompt :)

Ivy - hah, thanks. And now that you mention it, I think these two could have all sorts of fun and entertaining chats...

Fantastic imagery in yours. I would not want to come face to face with your destroyer. Or face to sword, for that matter.