Thursday December 17th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the tunnel.

How have I not used that one before? Anyway, here we are.

Our washing machine stopped working a few days ago, quite out of the blue. I called a repairman to come check it out, dreading how much it might cost to fix it. Or worse, replace it.

He came this morning. Turns out? After checking out a couple of the internal thingamabobs (can you tell this is not my area of expertise?) it just needed to be reset. Which involved unplugging it for a minute and then... plugging it back it.

I guess when I was trying to figure out the issue on Monday night I only unplugged it for a few seconds. Silly me.


"They're saying on the radio that they've crossed the river."

"Well, there is a bridge over it, isn't there?"

"Our troops burned it down last week, remember? Hoping to keep these monsters at bay?"

"Ah, right. Didn't really work out so well, did it?"

"Aren't you afraid? They could be breaking down our door before midnight. Tonight!"

"Afraid? Me? No, no. I'm much more concerned about this port - I think it might have gone off. Do you remember when we opened it?"

"Have you gone mad? How can you be so calm?"

"Calm? I'm actually quite upset. I paid good money for this bottle!"

"Not about that, you dolt! About the men with guns, marching toward our home, who would just as soon shoot us in the face as look at us!"

"Oh. Them. No, can't say that they bother me much."

"And why not?"

"Well, my dear, you know that wine cellar I spent so much time building? The one you threatened to divorce me over several times?"

"... yes?"

"It is merely an access point to a tunnel that will take us far, far away from any danger those fools with guns may pose to our well-being."

"... it's what?"

"Speaking of which, we should probably get going. Be a dear and make sure to pack a bottle or three of red with your things?"

"... what?"


Greg said...

That's good news about the washing machine! The rule I heard (and use) about electronic things like that is unplug and wait ten seconds before plugging back in, as lots of them these days have capacitors in so a brief power outage doesn't stop them from working. It's usually a fairly tense ten seconds though :)
Port going off? I'd be pretty upset about that too! Still, it sounds like one half of your couple definitely has things under control there and understands the world a little better than their preoccupation with wine would suggest. The personalities of the speakers is shown very nicely, and, while I think this is a case of opposites attracting, I'm sure they'll have quite an adventure on their way after the tunnel :)
So many of your worlds have wars going on in them: that's not a very Canadian trait you know :-P

The tunnel
"Darling?" The King, dressed in robes of heavy ermine and velvet, turned away from the arrow-slit window where he'd been reading an invoice in the dying light of the afternoon.
"Yes dear?" Rapunzel's voice indicated that she was hoping he wasn't going to talk money again.
"The man you hired to spin straw into gold?"
"What's the special clause in his contract again?"
"If we can guess his name before he finishes then we get the work for free. We've got, according to the spies, about eight hours to guess it. The price otherwise is one of the children."
"Ah." The King tapped a fingernail against his teeth.
"Why, what's the problem?"
He was slow to answer. "There's no problem, I'm just trying to decide if paying him is cheaper in the long run than raising a child. Do we know what he wants to do with the child?"
"Eat it, probably."
The King sighed and lowered the invoice, looking at Rapunzel for the first time. She was frumpy, and nursing their eighth child: it seemed that they'd been cursed with fertility. "That's blood libel," he said. "That's a court case waiting to happen. Even if he does eat the wretched thing. Look, the sappers I hired to build us a network of tunnels under the castle –"
"Because I wouldn't let you dig them yourself?"
"– yes, fine. Look, one of their tunnels broke through in existing ones – no, wait, it's fine. There's no army down there, thankfully. Just, it seems, a nest that your spinning-fellow lives in. And he's carved his name into the walls about eight hundred times, so I know exactly what it is. And that he's not very stable, mentally."
The royal couple looked at each other for long moments.
"Probably not someone we should give a royal child to," prompted the King.
"Fine," said Rapunzel, her tone expressing the opposite sentiment. "You go tell him his name then, and I'll worry about the fact that my period's late. Again."

Marc said...

Greg - eh, conflict is interesting. I suppose I turn to conflict on a grand scale rather often though, don't I? Hmm.

Hah, oh my goodness. This is some great dialogue, and the extra details in between are fantastic. Excellent... though I was surprised that the final decision was to not give the child away :)