Wednesday June 24th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the light.

With Rebecca and her boyfriend's help the raspberries were fully harvested by shortly after 10 this morning. The remainder of our time in the garden was spent mulching the new strawberry patch, which I'm hellbent on being better managed than the current patch that is drawing to a close this season.

So, yeah, felt good to get going with that.

This evening Rebecca's boyfriend, who is originally from Mexico, made us tacos with salsa and guacamole for dinner. Uh... yum? Yes, yum.

He's heading back to Vancouver tomorrow but is planning on returning for another visit in July. He is, needless to say, welcome back at any time.


"You got a light?"

That's how it all started, with those four little words. I was standing on a bustling sidewalk, part of a crowd of people waiting to get into a night club. Everyone else seemed to be part of a group, doused in cheap cologne, perfume, and pre-drinks, but I was on my own.

I wonder if that's why she chose to approach me.

"Yeah, I do," I said. I started to reach for my lighter but then I noticed she didn't have a cigarette in her hand or, more noticeably, between her ruby red lips. "Uh... do you need one?"

"Not yet," she said with a smile and a wink, then turned and disappeared back into the crowd.

I tried to watch her go, craning my head this way and that, getting up on my toes. But it was like she was a ghost that had appeared only for me - no one else even seemed to notice her.

I shook my head, eventually, and returned to whatever thoughts were occupying my brain. School, most likely, but I can't say for sure now. That would have been as good a reason as any for me to hit the bar solo on a Wednesday night.

After a wait that lasted far too long (as per usual) I managed to escape the outside world and find solace in the dark, pounding heart of the club. I went straight to the bar (also as per usual) and ordered a drink. While I waited for my overpriced rum and coke, she appeared at my elbow.

"Hi again." Good lord, that smile. She must have practiced it. If she'd always smiled like that she must have been pretty damned used to getting her way with the boys.

"Hey." Ah, I was a smooth one.

"You still got that light?" I pretended not to hear, forcing her to ask again closer to my ear. Okay, maybe I was a little bit smooth.

"We're not allowed to smoke inside," I replied, feeling like a bore. Uncool, actually. And I so desperately wanted to seem cool to her.

"Oh, I know that, silly." Her eyes twinkled and she bumped her shoulder into mine, playfully. My knees went weak and I had to hold on to the bar in order to remain upright.

"Then why do you need a light?" I tried for teasing but I felt like I was coming across closer to stupid.

"I forgot mine at home," she said with a cute little shrug. "So how else am I going to burn this place to the ground?"


Greg said...

Tacos sound good! I'm intrigued though that all it takes to get an invitiation to visit is the promise to cook :)
Good luck with the new strawberry patch, I hope you manage to get it arranged so that it causes you far fewer headaches (and backaches) than the current one has.
The descriptions in this story are really good, and it's nice that you've written a longer piece than usual; it lets things build a little more and makes the club seem a little more real. I could easily picture myself in there at the bar as well, enjoying the music and noise, being annoyed by the press of people and the cost of the drinks. I did figure out that you had an arsonist, but not until the "we can't smoke inside" line :)

The light
His tongue poked pinkly between his lips, just protuding a tiny little bit. His fingers, grimy from pulling the ivy and plants away from the tunnel entrance, and then later shifting the rockfall, fumbled with the torch. "It won't light," he said at last. "I think it's wet with water, not with oil."
Isabella Bonfontaine sighed and shook her head. The cavern they were in was dark; a little greyness differentiated the dark here and there, but it wasn't enough to see by. They'd abandoned the night-vision goggles back at the boat at the river-delta when it became clear that modern technology wasn't working so well out here and she'd started worrying that they might explode. The only reason she could see his face at all was that they were both wearing glow-sticks coiled into necklaces around their necks. Both of which were now fading and she realised, all too late, that they should have just used one at a time.
"We're going to have a hell of a time getting out then," she said. Her voice seemed flat in the cave; there were no echoes, just an infinite black space that swallowed things up. "There was a pit trap before the rock-fall I think."
"And the hopscotch trap," said Marcello, frowning. "Very Indiana Jones, I thought."
"You get it a lot," said Isabella. "Engineering didn't advance all that fast until the last century and a half, so the same kinds of traps recur in these places because it's too hard to build much else. But I reckon I can do that one."
"In the dark, and backwards?"
"Yes. I've had practice."
He smiled at her, and the glowsticks chose that moment to die.
"I guess we go back then," said Isabella.
"No, wait," said Marcello. "There's no source of light in here now, right?"
Isabella stared around, but the room was utterly black. Tiny phosphors went off in her eyes, but that was it. "None," she said. "Keep your hands to yourself."
"Heh," said Marcello. "I can't guarantee this will work, but I've always wanted to try it!"
Isabella waited silently, and a moment later he said, "Fiat Lux!
And then there was light.

Marc said...

Greg - hey, if you want to cook for us you're welcome any time! :)

Great descriptions of the cave - I really liked the detail about the lack of echoes. And I appreciated that Marcello turned out to be a more useful fellow to have around than I was expecting! Perhaps even Isabella feels the same... even for just a few moments.