Thursday January 14th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something: fancy.

I'd just like to say that yesterday was an example of how much better my writing is when I get it done during the day, rather than at night when I'm fighting off sleep. And that it tends to be better when I actually write it out first, like with a pen and paper, instead of just typing it up.

I should probably apologize now, as today's writing features neither of those things. Winging it as usual with sleep knocking on the side of my head, demanding to be let in.

Kat and I went up to Penticton today for a midwife appointment. Up until now we'd been seeing them every five weeks but we'll be switching to every three weeks until we hit the final stages, which features appointments every week. 

The start of April is fast approaching.


"What is that?"

"What is what?"

"... are you being serious right now?"

"I  honestly don't know what you're talking about!"

"What is that... monstrosity you're wearing?"

"This? That's harsh, dude."

"Just answer the question already!"

"You said to wear my fanciest suit! This is my fancy suit!"

"That cannot possibly be true."

"Well, it is."

"That is not fancy. That is something my Aunt Gertrude would pick to reupholster her couch with."

"Then she must be a very fancy la-"

"She's not."


morganna said...

Just one line today ...

Flying high in the gold lame´

Greg said...

@Morganna: sometimes one line is all you need :) I smiled when I read it!

@Marc: I think I envy you the luxury of writing things out by hand first. I pretty much have to type everything up as I go... much the same as the job. I had to apologise this afternoon, when I was finally able to send the email I'd started writing in the morning, noting that if this is how busy I am after one week people can expect no replies at all in three weeks time! I feel I ought to also point out that while yesterday's writing was definitely better, that doesn't make today's bad at all. It's still amusing and the banter works well, as does the pair of voices in the conversation. And Aunt Gertrude sounds like a classy lady to me!

The reflections of streetlights glittered in the puddles caught in the muddy ruts either side of a badly-gravelled drive. At one end of it were the yellow-painted steel gates adorned with a sign reading Snippet Construction Projects: serving the community right and at the other was a double-high portakabin. The door in the base cabin was padlocked closed, but a steel staircase switchbacked up to the second floor, and the door there was slightly ajar, yellow light spilling over the doorframe. Inside, Miss Snippet stood leaning against grey filing cabinets, a cup of builder's tea in one hand and an attentive look on her face. A little way away a ten-year-old girl, Sarah, was sat on a steel-legged stool, tapping a ruler against a blueprint. And stood right in the doorway, looking as uneasy as though someone had put fire ants in its underwear, stood an elf.
"The terms of the contract–"
"Threat." The elf's voice was oddly modulated: it started off loud and then went ridiculously quiet, like a poorly-tuned radio.
"Contract," continued Sarah as though she hadn't been interrupted, "are quite clear. You've violated them, and Miss Snippet is simply enforcing the terms of the contract as regards the violation."
"You're a child," said the elf, it's voice coming and going in waves.
"I've studied both human and elvish law," said Sarah calmly. She tapped the ruler against the blueprint again. "I have scored over 90% in human law, and I've beaten four Féorags in Elvish law. In the unlikely event that I'm wrong I think you'd be very hard put to find anyone who could satisfy a court that that was the case."
"A child!" The elf hissed, sounding pained.
"Fancy," said Miss Snippet, allowing her smile to fade away for the first time. "You took what was mine. I'm taking what was yours. A trade exactly as the contract states, no more, and no less. Measured to the featherweight."
"Driving steel into my bones!" The sibiliants were hissed like a snake, and the strange changes in volume were like avant-garde poetry.
"Driving steel into your bones, concrete into your heart, and ice into your soul," said Miss Snippet. "As I promised you I would. This comes as no surprise, Fancy, unless you really believed I was too soft-hearted to carry through."
"Humans are all weak." A purplish, lizard-forked tongue flickered over charcoal lips and eyes dull like limestone never blinked. "You are an elf."
Miss Snippet raised her cup, perhaps as a toast, and drank from it.
"I honestly think Elves would exile and banish Miss Snippet," said Sarah. She caught Miss Snippet's eye and shrugged. "I do. Probably hoping that you'd go and make the unicorns' lives a misery."
Fancy and Miss Snippet shared a rare smile.

Kyle said...

The candles were lit, burning low. Just enough light for the mood I wanted to set. I put out the expensive placemats, the ones that she was surprised I was able to pick out - I still don't know if that was a compliment or not.

Fine silverware, check. My aunt's antique china, check.

I looked at my phone for the time; she'd be home within the next half-hour. I hit the dimmer on the overhead

lights and beamed at myself over how well this was all coming together.

I smoothed the collar of my shirt and checked my hair in the small wall-mirror in the hallway. The microwave

beeped at me as I turned to enter the kitchen - impeccable timing thus far. I took out the container of reheated food, courtesy of my mother, and doled it out onto the plates.

Yeah, cooking the food myself would've been the romantic thing, I know. But I didn't really think my wife would appreciate an anniversary dinner of burned chicken and frustration. She'll probably know I didn't cook it, but I hope she understands that it's because I want her around for the next anniversary.

Anonymous said...

I took a small bite of the pile of brown before me, expecting to taste only the blandness of quickly made, mass produced food. The mush in the bowel did lack many of the complex flavors of the cuisine within the palace walls, and the squishy texture left much to be desired. Yet, the food was oddly satisfying as it left my mouth and traveled to my stomach. It left a pleasant warmth in my core and actually lifted my spirits a bit.

I took another bite.

Syn's head leaned in close to me. "Stop eating like that," he muttered around his own mouthful. "People are staring."

My spoon was poised in front of my eager mouth. "Eating like what?"

He gestured to me. "You're back is too straight, your elbows are neatly tucked in at your sides, you're bites are too small. You are acting like you're better than everyone else in the saloon, Cow Maid."

I sent a mental check through my body. Yes, my back was straight, but that was how I was always taught to sit. Any slouching was instantly disciplined out of me as a child. The same with how I placed my arms and how much food I allowed on my eating utensil. How else was a princess supposed to eat?

“I worked in the palace,” I said eventually. “I was taught to eat this way so to honor the royal family.”

Syn chucked. “A cow maid eating like a princess. I never thought I would ever see such a sight.”

The very opposite of my nature, I felt my blood boil throughout my body. “And what could a barbaric hunter such as yourself know about etiquette and social mores?”

His glare forced me to bite my lip. True, his words were unfounded and, had he known who I really was, were worthy of severe punishment. I, however, could not afford to snap at the only person in my kingdom willing to help me, my unknown identity notwithstanding.

Syn suddenly sat up straight, his back like that of the ruler that my teachers used to tie around my body. His arms were tucked neatly at his sides, his hand lightly grasped the spoon it was holding. He barely dipped the spoon into the slush and brought it elegantly to his lips, gently taking the small amount into his mouth and chewing before swallowing.

He gave me a look. “Just because I spend my days in the woods does not mean I am a stranger to etiquette, Cow Maid.”

Marc said...

Morganna - an intriguing start. I shall look forward to reading more, should you get back to this opener :)

Greg - I very, very rarely write things out by hand first. My writing always benefits when I do, but time rarely allows for it.

Work sounds very busy already! I hope you're enjoying it.

That is some fantastic scene setting in your opening today. Perhaps some of your best. Could easily be the first scene in a movie, as I visualize it in my head.

I like that you've made the prompt into the name of an elf. An elf who seems to be in a world of trouble, but an elf nonetheless :D

Kyle - haha, love that ending. A nice blend of romance and practicality :D

Ivy - these two are quite the pair. A great little scene for the two of them to interact in, and their back and forth is nicely handled.