Thursday October 22nd, 2015

The exercise:

It is time, once again, for the Random CD prompt.

So go pick a song as randomly as you can and make use of its first line as your own. Then, after credit goes where it belongs, take it from there. Poetry or prose, whichever you're inspired to write.

I've got Max booked for a haircut appointment tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck. Er, him luck. Us luck?

Yeah, let's go with that last one.


I Found by Amber Run

"I'll use you as a warning sign."

"Sorry, what?" I mean What the hell is that supposed to mean? but I don't need to go there. Yet.

"I'll keep an eye on you," he says with a knowing smile. The one that drives me up the wall crazy. "That way I'll know when it's time to leave." 

"I'm not following." Partially because I don't quite understand what he's talking about. Mostly because I'm fairly certain he's about to walk off a cliff.

"Look. We both know that you hate these dinner parties the Kelly's insist on hosting." I nod because this is as obvious as the stench of air freshener in the house after he uses the toilet in the morning. "You can put up with it for a little while and then... you know."

"I know... what?" Okay, I'm starting to go there now.

"Then your... uh... your disgust starts to show." He licks his lips and his eyes begin to dart around as he seeks an escape from our conversation. Good. "Like, before your face goes red? It starts, at like, your neck?"

"So when my neck begins to turn red...?"

"That's my sign to get out of there!"

"You mean our sign for the both of us to leave?"

"Oh... uh... yes?"


Greg said...

Good luck with the haircut! I'm sure one of you will come out unscathed :) And good luck getting the Hallowe'en costume for Max too; perhaps you could tell him its for Kat in order to keep the surprise?
Hmm, I vaguely remember Amber Run from a previous random CD prompt so it's nice to see them return! And boy did you write an awkward conversation there! I like the side you picked to show it from – the side that is going to be offended no matter what – and that there's a calmness that overlies the growing sense of danger. I rather think the first speaker should be checking for his warning signs right now :) There are some great (and terrible – that air freshener line makes me dread meeting this guy) details in there too.

Breaker by Deerhunter, from their new album.
"Christ or credit?" The shopgirl looked utterly normal, and the thin gold necklace around her neck didn't have a cross dangling from it. There were no crosses tattooed on her fingers, wrists or arms that I could see, and no little ikons sat on the top of her till. Maybe I'd misheard her.
"I beg your pardon?" I said, as politely as I could muster. Behind me some aggressive pensioner was repeatedly, but slowly, banging his trolley into my ankles.
"Christ or credit?" she repeated. Her eyes weren't glazed over, and I hadn't heard her being afflicted with glossolalia.
"Christ?" I asked. There were gasps from the people in the queue behind me, and I readied my defence: I was inquiring what she meant, not asking for Christ. But the security guard by the store exit wasn't running over or even pulling out his camtaser to get my picture before shooting me.
"Insert this into the card reader," she said, handing me something small and beige. I looked at it: it was a crisp circular disc about the size of my nose. I turned it over, looking for the cross, or even a simplistic representation of a fish, but it was unmarked. An itch at the back of my head finally scratched itself and I recognised the disc as a communion wafer.
"OK?" I said, making sure that everyone could hear the question in my voice. I slid the wafer into the card reader. The card reader beeped, and the price of my shopping appeared on its little screen. Then it beeped again, and Luke 9:16 appeared on the screen. The shopgirl leaned over and looked at it.
"Oh lucky you!" she said, her smile genuine and her dentistry needing better medical cover. "Would you like some help taking it all out to the car?"
"I've only got..." my voice disappeared as the groceries I'd bagged doubled, then doubled again, and again and again. Thirteen multiplications later I said, "Yes, thank-you," in a much smaller voice.
As I left the store I heard her asking again, "Christ or Credit?" and wondered how long it would be before the theopolice caught up with her. As well as wondering what I was going to do with over 400 gallons of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.

Marc said...

Greg - huh, I'm pretty sure I hadn't used them for this prompt before. Maybe I'd mentioned them otherwise?


Thanks for the kind words on mine :)

That's a great choice for this prompt, and you did marvelously with it! Really enjoyed the narrator's assessment of the shopgirl at the start. And the ending was deftly handled as well.