Monday November 2nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that is: volatile.

Did some much needed cleaning around the house this morning before going out to chop and haul firewood. Felt good to get that done, as I'd been putting them off for a while. The cleaning in particular, to nobody's surprise.

Hung out with Max this afternoon. He was feeling pretty tired, to the point that I thought he'd fallen asleep in the grocery cart at one point. This whole time change thing is not a friend to little ones. Or big ones, for that matter.

Though having a little one makes the time change significantly worse for big ones.

I should just get to the prompt now.

Mine:

"We need to keep a close eye on this," Wilson said, tapping one of the video screens arrayed before him. "These civilians are not happy and they are getting more defiant by the day."

I glanced over to see which city he was talking about and grunted my agreement. That place was a riot waiting to happen. Only a matter of time before a word or action sparked the flame that would burn it to the ground.

"I assume our troops are in position?" The voice came from behind us but Wilson and I kept our eyes on our respective monitors. We both remembered what had happened to Hamilton when he made the mistake of taking his attention off his assigned cities.

"Yes sir," Wilson replied. I heard him lick his lips and tensed. Any communication between us and our supervisor that stepped beyond the boundaries of necessity was nearly always trouble. For us. "They should be in place before an hour passes after the initial... disruption."

"Excellent. Do you have a problem with that arrangement?"

"No sir," Wilson said without hesitation. I let out a relieved breath through my nostrils. Stupid me. "It's just that... if they're so close, couldn't they move in now? To act as a preventative force, rather than to perform... cleanup duties?"

"That, young man," our supervisor paused to spit on the floor directly behind us. When he continued the smile in his voice made my skin crawl more than the puddle of phlegm now lurking on the floor. "That, young man, is no concern of yours."

4 Comments:

Greg said...

I didn't realise the clocks went back this weekend for you, ours went back about a week ago. Dogs don't seem to have any problem with the time change, but that may be because they're quite happy to sleep in in the mornings when they're warm and everywhere is quiet :)
Chopping the firewood is always good; you have something to show for it afterwards and your body tells you about the effort you've made to get there.
I like the slightly sinister overtones this piece has, with the suggestion that the security(?) forces have an agenda of their own that isn't necessarily aligned with what the citizrenry might wish. The little details in it, like what may or may not have happened to Hamilton, build the atmosphere, and the characterisation is building despite the oppression. Good work :)
In response to your comment-response yesterday: yes, Norm and Henry are turning out to be an interesting pair of characters and it's a little hard to leave them alone at the moment. However, I was thinking about Partners in Rhymes this morning as well, so I think today might be time for them.

Volatile
The laboratory was a collection of stainless steel surfaces, racks of equipment that looked utterly mysterious, and little wall-mounted glass fronted boxes that contained bottle and bottles of chemicals. Cecil, his bulk unsuited to the laboratory, was stood between two steel-topped benches blocking the aisle, while Katto consulted a piece of paper. She looked up and looked round, and then walked down the length of bench and round the end so that she could see past Cecil. She pointed, and Cecil turned gracelessly to see a door with a number panel to one side of it.
"That's the greenhouse," said Katto, "and the room we want should be on the other side of it."
"Were we given a passcode?" Cecil's voice was mournful and together with his bulk put people in mind of a lonely walrus.
"Hah." Katto snorted. "Were we warned that people her stay late because they enjoy working and like it here?"
"Point," said Cecil. "Shall we go out and see if there's a door into it from the corridor?"
"No," said Katto. "The security cameras will still be working out there. We need to get through that door, and presumably the one on the other side."
"Good Lord, who are you? Are you the cleaners? You've been told not to come in here!" A young-ish woman with oversized pink glasses and hair pulled back into a tight bun had come through the door at the front of the lab. She was carrying a padded box that contained four Erlenmeyer flasks.
"Gardeners, miss," said Cecil with a smile. "We come in and sing to the plants."
"Only someone's changed the passcode and not told us the new one," said Katto quickly. "The plants are missing out on hearing Cecil sing Toccata in Verte to them right at this moment."
"The code's not changed," said the young woman impatiently. "Look, I'll show you." She pushed past Katto, realised she couldn't push past Cecil, and pushed past Katto again to get round to the door. The pad beeped musically and the door opened. The young woman ushered Katto and Cecil in, and closed the door behind them.
"So far so good," said Katto. She produced a brown bottle of something with a little volatile stamp on the label. "I'll sort out the other door, you'd better get singing."

morganna said...

Very explosive
Open at your own risk
Let me back
Away slowly
To another room
I'll just
Leave, actually, I think it's about to
Ex -

Marc said...

Greg - sigh. If only Max enjoyed sleeping in. If only.

It's nice to have a visit from Katto and Cecil, as it feels like it has been a while since last time. Well worth the wait, might I add.

Morganna - an impressive acrostic, as always. I'm always blown away (pardon the pun) by your ability to pull these off so well with a bare minimum of extra words.

morganna said...

Thank you, Marc!