Sunday September 27th, 2015

The exercise:

With a thank you to Greg for reminding me of this prompt, today we return to the Blocks. Today our writing must include these three words: zebra, leaf, iron.

I'm pretty sure, anyway. Max has, at some point, taken crayons to most of his blocks and it makes the words a little hard to read.

Enjoyed a quiet day off today, despite another 5:30 wake up. Max spent part of the morning with Kat's parents and most of the afternoon with Natalie and Becky's mom, and I very much appreciated having some space as well as some time with Kat.

The nights are starting to get awful chilly around these parts...


It's been four days since the safari's tour bus broke down in the middle of this nearly empty plain. Two mornings ago we woke to find that our guards had abandoned us in the middle of the night. Not so much as a note left in their wake. At least they didn't take all the food and water with them.

Not that what remains will last us much longer. But it's the thought that counts, right?

The only shade to be found is a tree with a single leaf remaining on its branches. It's about a hundred meters from the bus and a few desperate souls took cover there on the first day. They haven't been back since, not with the family of lions chewing their way through what's left of a zebra hogging all the shade now.

It's just me and seven other fools out here with the wild animals. None of us were paying enough attention at the start of the tour to be able to find our way back to camp. I doubt any of us would survive the attempt anyway.

Well, maybe Kevin. His personality is probably even off-putting to the predators who call this place home.

The couple from Germany - I can't remember their names for the life of me - are convinced that the guards have gone for help and will return any moment. I just smile and nod whenever they say this (about twice an hour during the day, more often at night) because it's a lie we need to believe until the truth begins killing us off.

I'm not sure yet what I will do. Time is running out, I know that much. And I'm aware that should some creature with teeth bigger than my head come calling, this tire iron won't do me much good.

But it just might keep me safe from my fellow tourists.


Greg said...

The blocks are probably washable... just don't give Max anything that makes marks more permanent than crayon :) It sounds like you're having a pretty good end to summer now that the fires are out, the produce is easier to harvest and there are people around to watch the children for a few hours.
Your first paragraph is superb today, and the story carries on very well after that as well. I rather like the lions hogging the zebra's corpse, and the optimism of the German couple, though I think I agree with your narrator at the end; the tire iron might just be the right kind of insurance to have. Though maybe not against the lions.

Iron Zebra Leaf
The iron zebra was a sculpture in the middle of Sixticton's sculpture park. The park was an initiative that the Mayor had proposed and the Sixtictonites had heartily endorsed, but then it had proven difficult to find affordable sculptures from reputable artists. For a while they'd had a Wendigo sculpture by the park café, both a nod to First Nations beliefs and remarkably affordable too. Then they'd discovered that it was sculpted from asbestos, and that the dust that blew off it when the wind got up was toxic, and the sculpture was promptly covered with an elasticated shroud and renamed We should have seen that coming.
Geraldinium Holmes had provided them with two items: the first called In Memoriam that was assembled from the wreckage from bike accidents and was near the entrance to the park. Local schools brought the children to see it as part of the bike-safety programs, and everyone ignored the fact it appeared to be haunted by dead cyclists. The second was a covered walkway where nearly eighty kittens were shown doing traditional crafts and sports. There had been some trouble when it was discovered that the kittens were taxidermied and not sculpted, but ultimately the folk had decided to keep it.
The iron zebra was probably the most relaxing sculpture in the park, surrounded by evergreen trees that never shed a leaf and adjacent to a small fountain that gurgled and bubbled in a zen-like fashion. So it was rather a surprise for everyone one morning to wake up and find Sixticton's skinny thug naked as a jaybird and tied on to the zebra's back.

Marc said...

Greg - eh, he'd just color all over them again anyway. I don't care (if I did I'd have tried to stop him from doing it in the first place) though his younger sibling might not like his handiwork...

I love the renaming of the statue to We should have seen that coming. That's brilliant :) Though you have left me wondering just how (and why) our dear skinny thug wound up on the Iron Zebra.