Friday January 22nd, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: familiar territory.

I got a call late this morning, asking if I could work the closing shift (4 to 9) at the community centre tonight. Very unexpected, but equally welcome. And then they called again a couple hours later, asking if I could do the same shift next Friday night.

It would seem that I'm finally getting some paying work out of this job. Only took more than half a year!

Tonight was fairly busy (compared to my shift right before Christmas anyway) but it was nice to have somewhat recent experience to help me out. If this starts to become a regular thing I might even be able to eventually go in without bringing my three pages of notes with me.

Mine:

He finds the silence uncomfortable, like a faint itch that he is unable to scratch. There is a temptation to squirm, to change positions constantly, even to get up and leave the room. But then the yelling starts up again, a cacophony of accusations and expletives.

And he returns to a placid stillness, for this is what he has known all of his life.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

Well done on the job! It sounds like things are snowballing a little now; perhaps next they'll have you standing in for the Mayor and being a body double for his wife! Though I suspect you'll need more than three pages of notes for that role!
Hmm, I really like the setting that you establish, and the odd calm that the last line brings despite the noise and yelling. Nicely done.

Familiar territory
Every cat that wanders through Elm Park is a companion to a witch or wizard, for this is familiar territory. Small mammals cower in fear in dark burrows or beneath still, overhanging bushes, for such cats snatch souls like theirs as casually as breathing. The moon is gibbous and gibbering and the clouds robe and disrobe it like a woman dressing for the second date. Choose a cat and follow it, though not too closely, and see where the beast will lead.

Kyle said...

The rough cobblestones under my broken-in loafers don't feel quite so rough anymore; the feel of the crisp autumn air and the sound of the trees' dead leaves lamenting the encroaching winter, though, these are pages straight out of my past. I approach the rough, hand-formed wrought-iron gate, still creaky and loose on its hinges, and give it a gentle push. It gives way to the same crabgrass-ridden courtyard, the same squat, drab-gray stone hut nestled on the same weathered hill. The door is a different color now - a dark, leafy green instead of the dull tan of my childhood, but otherwise, the orphanage of my youth remains practically untouched, like a tomb.

Marc said...

Greg - our mayor is a woman, actually, so I'd need less notes on standing in for her husband than being the mayor, I'd think :P

Ah, I appreciate the alternative take on the prompt. This one did not occur to me at all! And you've done some really nice work with it as well.

Kyle - ooh, this could definitely be the opening to a much longer tale. It stands nicely on its own, too, but I'd love to read more about this setting and your narrator.