Monday October 12th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place at: the polling station.

Today was the final day for those wishing to vote in the advance polls ahead of next Monday's federal election. Kat and I took the opportunity after having lunch in town and Max came with us. I'm quite confident he had no idea what was going on but I was still glad to have a chance to expose him to the process.

The Blue Jays put together another huge game today, this time winning 8-4. This sets up a deciding game five on Wednesday. I suspect I will be watching between my fingers.

Heading up to Penticton tomorrow for an appointment and to run a couple errands. It still feels a little weird to not be going up there on Saturdays.


"So... who are you voting for?"

"Um, what?"

"Who you voting for?"

"I'm pretty sure that's none of your business."

"Ah, come on. I'm just making small talk."

"In fact, I'm pretty sure it's illegal for you to ask me that."

"What are you gonna do girl, call the cops? They got worse folk to worry about than little old me, don't you think?"

"What I think is that this is highly inappropriate."

"I'm just a dude talking to a chick. What's so wrong with that?"

"I am trying to cast my vote..."


"... and you're the one who will be accepting my ballot."

"True. Be a doll, won't you, and make sure you put your number on there too."


Greg said...

You're good at picking teams to support who enjoy high stakes and high tension deciding matches! Enjoy the bits of the game that your fingers don't obscure :)
I usually take the dogs with me to the polling station. I haven't broken it to them yet that they'll never officially be allowed to vote though.
Hmm, great little back and forth today, and the slow revelation about who the speakers are is very nicely done. I rather like the request for a number there at the end; I'm pretty sure that he's not going to get the number he's hoping for!

The polling station
"Single file." The words crackled from the loudspeaker, mechanical and harsh. In the evening drizzle the line of people: men, women and children, each standing alone, no-one seemingly with anyone else, shuffled a little into a slightly straighter queue.
"Move forward." That monotonous statement came every five seconds, and upon hearing it everyone in the queue would take three steps forward.
The drizzle fell relentlessly, a misty, thin curtain falling straight down in the absence of any wind. It soaked slowly into coats and jackets, through shirts and dresses and blouses and finally caressed skin in an emotionless, chilling embrace. The grey cloud was monochrome; no breaks in it to the sky above, no whiteness to indicate that the rain might let up. The evening darkened it slightly but uniformly, and slowly the streetlights came on; pools of arc-light white like the spotlights of a prison camp. Shuffling out of the light into the shadows it created was a momentary relief before the loudspeasker squawked again and you had to shuffle back into it.
Tears might have run down faces, but they mingled with the drizzle and washed away like the last vestiges of hope.
At the front of the queue was the polling station; each person walked inside and was assigned a number. A hypodermic syringe plunged into their biceps, skin burning where the disinfectant fluid that kept it clean made contact, muscle burning where the drug was injected. Numbness spread out from the point of impact, spreading quickly so that the next mechanical demand to "Move forward" was obeyed automatically and they moved on from the polling station and out into the next queue. Moments later their name, their family, their previous life forgotten they would look down as the tattoo gun wrote their number on their skin, and a satisfaction spread through them. They had been polled; they were known, they were acknowleged by the system. They had their number, and they could move forward.

morganna said...

No inspiration today for a polling station. Here is one of the latest installments in my huge poetry project.


Trudging along, one foot after one foot
A sudden thundering pounding
The dust circling, thrumming
Turning in circles with the sound

A sudden thundering pounding
Out of the dust, a cry: Hai, brothers, shall we kill today?
Turning in circles with the sound
A flickering, whipping shape catches a foot: Thump!

Out of the dust, a cry: I am at your mercy!
The pounding slows, then stops
The rope lies slack over the foot
The horsemen look down at their captive

The pounding slows, then stops
The horsemen look down at their captive
The dust circling, thrumming
Trudging along, one foot after one foot.

Marc said...

Greg - yes, so it would appear. Sigh.

And yeah, no hope of him getting a phone number that will actually connect to his target in any way, shape, or form :)

Great descriptions in a deeply chilling scene. I feel like there are many stories to be told in this world. And that I would like to hear at least a few of them.

Morganna - no worries, it was a bit of an oddball prompt anyway.

Thank you for another sneak peak at your project. I am left intrigued, as usual :)