Sunday April 10th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the keepsake.

We're in Penticton now, came up late last... er, early this morning actually. Progress stalled during the day and we're basically waiting around to see if things pick up again tonight.

I should probably get some rest, if not sleep.


Kat and I went for a walk this afternoon. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we needed to get some fresh air. Plus it's a good way to get labour moving along.

We had to walk along a busy street in order to reach a path that runs along a nearby river. I happened to notice a small wrench sitting on the road - I guess it fell off a truck as it drove by? Or maybe a bike? Either way, I stooped down and picked it up.

"Huh, that's -" Kat began but I cut her off as I stuffed it into my pocket.

"For Max."

"A keepsake from when we went away to get his little brother out of my belly?"

"Yeah," I said. "He's going to be so confused. Did you use that to get the baby out of Mommy's belly Dada?"

"Oh jeez..."

"Yes, Max. You should have seen the size of the toolbox we needed to get that job done..."


morganna said...

Wedding is off, won't
Ever take place
Dammit, I miss him, so I'm keeping his
Dead body.
If I can't have him,
No one can, even if I
Go to Hell.

Greg said...

@Morganna: Oh wow, a continuation to your Wedding acrostic! I like this one, it neatly resolves the anger issues and the sheer tension of the others in a hot tight bundle of denial and doing the wrong thing. Really excellent work!

@Marc: I know that labour can effectively stall at points, but it still sounds odd to hear it described like that. Still, it clearly all got moving again in the end, and I'm sure that that was the most important part of it!
Well, I hope Max likes his keepsake, and I hope you've left him utterly confused and unable to become a obstetrician as a result of it :) And that Kat has forgiven you for that!

The keepsake
There were dirigibles in the air to the south today, and I sat with the urchins at the top of the hill overlooking the forest watching them. They were moving around, seemingly disordered until I concentrated and realised that they were conducting a search for something. They were actually moving in a steady grid pattern, two ships going north-south and the other two moving east west to ensure that enough eyes saw all the ground. I knew what they were looking for at that point.
As we walked back to the farm I scanned the vineyard and made sure that I counted all the mechanical spiders properly. At this point of the year the grapes were ripe to bursting and I was actually worrying about rain in case it spoiled the harvest. The spiders would be expected to be out in full force, working to their steam-driven limits, and I was pleased to see that they were. As we walked past the outhouses I took a moment to check all the locks on the doors, and they were sound. I picked up soil from the ground, soft and friable, in need of some rain but only after the grapes were harvested, and rubbed it over the locks to remove the shiny newness. I couldn't see how they could be seen from a dirigible, but I wasn't going to take any chances.
Two days later, just as I was stepping outside, holding a cup of coffee and intending to take five minutes of dawn before I started the day – Cecily had, I thought, died the day before – three uniformed Gendarmes called out to me.
They apologised nicely for making me drop my cup and lose my coffee, but their eyes were flint-grey and their demeanour was one of seriousness. All I could think of was that Cecily was probably dead and lying, staring sightlessly at the ceiling, in my cellar. Only, a little voice interjected, it's not your cellar is it? You murdered the previous owner.
"Do you live here? How long have you lived here? You make wine? Can we see your equipment? You're a long way from other farms out here, aren't you? Do you ever go walk in the forest? By yourself? How do you run a farm of such a size by yourself? Where do you sell the wine?" They had a lot of questions and curiously they got easier to answer the more they asked; it was as though the lies came together and coalesced into a solid shape with structure given by their interlocking nature. Finally they smiled thinly and left, and I went inside to make another cup of coffee.
Cecily had to be dealt with, and it looked like I'd need to move my keepsake from the meteorite site to somewhere a little more secure, because I was sure that they'd be coming back.

Marc said...

Morganna - ah, now that is a definite ending to the saga! Thank you for taking us all along for the ride with this tale :)

Greg - he did like his keepsake, though there wasn't as much confusion as I expected. Probably because he kept asking questions about where I got it and I couldn't bring myself to lie about it :P

Ooh, that's a fascinating continuation of your tale! I like the introduction of the dirigibles and the intrusive arrival of the Gendarmes. Also: you're a big tease, what with not saying what the keepsake was.