Thursday July 2nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: the emperor.

Spent the morning rototilling the paths in our garden, as the weeds were really starting to get out of control out there. It looks a whole lot better now but there's still quite a bit of hand weeding that needs to be done - mostly around the leeks and onions, which seem to nearly always need to be weeded.

After a brief rest I spent most of the afternoon with Max and now I'm getting caught up on various things while he sleeps and Kat and Rebecca are out in the garden.

One of those things being the comments here on the blog. Unsurprisingly.

Mine:

Alexander relaxed as he eased himself onto the throne and a contented smile inched its way across his lips. He considered resting his left ankle on top of his right knee but decided against it, considering it too unstately. Instead he gazed around the empty room and thought about the coming days.

"Are you sure this is a good idea, Alex?"

Well, almost empty room.

"What are you talking about?" Alexander countered without bothering to look at his companion. "Of course it's a good idea. Why wouldn't it be?"

"Well, for starters-"

"And don't call me Alex - even when no one else is around."

"Because it sounds too unstately?"

"Exactly. You should know better, Leo."

"Well, I think it sounds just fine." Alexander didn't need to turn his head to know that the soft rustle of clothing meant that Leo had crossed his arms across his chest. "And I still think this is a bad idea."

"You're just afraid, Leo. That's why you're standing beside the throne, not sitting on it."

"Yeah, well... if Emperor Cornelius walked through those doors right now and saw his stable boy sitting on his throne, I'm pretty sure your heart would stop and you would soil yourself and your eyeballs would-"

"That's quite enough, Leo." The emperor's voice froze both of the boys in place, like inglorious statues. "I think young Alexander gets the point."

4 Comments:

Greg said...

I wonder if leeks and onions aren't as hostile as other plants then, so they don't put out as many "don't grow near me chemicals"? Or maybe you've just planted them on top of an ancient First Weeds burial ground and the weeds are sacrificing themselves to distract you while they summon an Inuktitut weed monster to scour you from the land! Actually, there's probably a week-long prompt story in there :)
(By the way, I'm looking forward to getting back to the Colony again!)
Heh, I like Alex's moxie and he's got a good friend there in Leo, I can see them surviving adventure after adventure together! I thought you had thieves planning on stealing the Emperorship, so your twist was unexpected and refreshing. The back and forth between the two boys is rather good too.

[Posting my take separate as blogger insists it's too long]

Greg said...

The emperor
The room was dusty and lit by the afternoon sunlight as it filtered first through leaves and tree branches and then secondly through unwashed panes of window glass. There was a smell of licquorice in the air that caught in the back of Charlotte's throat, and there was an abandoned cup of coffee, the milk forming a crusted ring around the top of the liquid level, at the back of the desk. The front and centre of the desk was taken up by the butterflies.
They were laid out in neat rows, pinned to the purple velvet overlay with tiny white cards beneath them indicating the kind of butterfly that they were. The whole thing was covered with glass, but she still wondered if beneath the licquorice odour she couldn't quite make out formaldeyde.
"The one in the middle is the Emperor, of course," purred Jared, his voice like honey falling over marshmallows. He placed a paw – a hand, she corrected herself, a very hairy hand – on the glass as though stroking it. It rested there a moment and then he extended a stubby forefinger to point to the orange-and-blue wings of a medium-sized butterfly. "It's very, verrrrrry rare." He rolled the r's in the very's as though there was something sexually satisfying in doing so. Charlotte shuddered, and her breath condensed in the air before her.
"Why is it called the Emperor?" she asked. She shivered; for a moment there had been a cool draught. It didn't seem to be stirring the dust though; she imagined that Jared had been preserving this room for so long that the simple weight of tradition was pinning it in place.
"It was thought to have the same marking as Emperor Nero's crest," said Jared, and she could hear the sniffy dismissiveness in his voice. "That's probably rubbish, but it is, for a fact, known to be a harbinger." Something scratched behind the case and Charlotte had to resist the urge to bend down and look under the desk. She'd met Jared's cat earlier and rather liked it.
"A harbinger of what?" She shivered again, the breeze had reappeared. It seemed to gust across her shoulders, even though she was facing the window and had her back to the door. The evening light seemed to go out suddenly and the room just seemed shadowed.
"...no-one actually knows," said Jared. His eyes were screwed up staring at the case, and he pulled his hand sharply in by his side. She recognised the signs of annoyance and knew she'd have to find an excuse to leave before it degenerated into one of his black moods. "There's a theor–"
His voice was cut off as a faceless woman stepped out of the shadows behind him and put a hand over his mouth. The draught became a chill blast like an air-conditioner on full and the scritching and scratching seemed to come from inside every wall. Charlotte noticed something odd about the woman's hand; it was bifurcated, as though it could hinge apart down the centre, and the fingers were grouped into wedges, or blades. But this was to avoid looking at the horror of a head that was utterly featureless; no hair, no eyes or nose, no lips, no ears. Egg-like and reflective enough that she could see Jared's look of horror distorted and reflected in it.
He clutched at the weird bifurcated hand over his mouth, but his eyes were already rolling up into his head, and as Charlotte turned to run for the door, something cold and strong seized her ankle.

morganna said...

Patiently waiting
Egg will hatch
Not too long
Going to be such an
Unbelievably cute
Itty-bitty, fluffy
New emperor.

Marc said...

Greg - I think the main issue with the leeks and onions is that they don't provide much/any shade to the area around them. So the soil gets a hot of direct sunlight, which weeds seem to thrive on. Either way, it's annoying because they're both in the ground for so long. Though we have finally started harvesting some onions recently.

And yes, there's definitely some potential for a longer prompt there :)

I'm glad I'm reading this early in the day. Reduces the chance of nightmares tonight.

Obviously excellent work, as you always seem to pull off when these creepy bastards are involved. Particularly strong scene setting this time out as well.

Morganna - hah, the 'Itty-bitty, fluffy' line is most appreciated. The acrostic forced your hand a little bit, but there were definitely other i words that could have worked there. So... thanks for choosing what you chose :D