Wednesday April 27th, 2016

The exercise:

Was our last continuation prompt really in November? That seems too long ago. Let us correct that.

Carry on the story from wherever the previous writer stopped. Run with it for a little while and then try to give the next writer something to work with.

Work at the bakery went well this morning. Sleep deprivation is kinda kicking my ass right now though. Had to have a little nap after lunch before going out to the garden to transplant our broccoli, cabbage, and onions.

Pretty sure I'm about to fall asleep again. So I should get to this prompt pretty quick, huh?

Edit: not quickly enough, it would seem.


It was a cold day for April in that part of the world. An icy wind was blowing from the north, forcing folks indoors as it wound its way along the city's streets. It scattered newspapers this way and that and pushed empty playground swings, setting their chains to squeaking as though they were haunted by the children who had sat upon them only the day before.

In an apartment in the very heart of the city a man stood, hands clasped behind his back, waiting for a visitor to arrive. The visitor was technically late but that was expected, which left the man wondering if that still qualified as being actually late.

The rooms were sparsely decorated and spotlessly clean, giving the impression that the man had not lived there long - or lived there at all. This was not the case, however. He simply harbored an intense desire for cleanliness and therefore maintained a cleaning regime that even Mr. Clean might suggest was excessive.

A knock came and the man turned, not toward the entrance which led to the hallway, but to the glass door that opened onto his tiny balcony. He did not seem surprised as he moved to answer it, despite the fact that his apartment was on the twenty-third floor.


Greg said...

November does seem like a long time ago... I would have guessed that you did these maybe every couple of months or so. But Christmas gets in the way and confuses things, so maybe that's part of it.
Enjoy the sleep deprivation while it lasts: the whole world seems different with it :)
Hmm, an intense desire for cleanliness, an expectation of visitors from the wrong door... this is a curious scene you've set us. Let's see:

He unlocked the door – keeping it locked was a precaution, even this high up, that had served him well in the past – and slid it open. Outside a young man in a Spiderman outfit was standing on the balcony, the effect of an impossible entrance ruined only by the swinging rope dangling from the balcony above. Spiderman shivered, the April wind was too cold and cutting for a lycra costume. He tried to move forward, but the man in the apartment made no move to let him in.
"It's cold here," said Spiderman. His voice was youthful but solemn.
"Your feet and hands will be dirty," said the man. He ran a finger over the balcony railing and held it up: a smear of grey grime revealed the whorls of his fingerprints. "Unstoppable, even this high up. It's pollution. I tried setting up an auto-clean system based on third-world irrigation systems but the downstairs neighbour complained that whenever they looked out all they saw was rain. I pointed out it was clean, disinfected rain but they didn't understand."
"I remember them," said Spiderman. He hugged himself, his arms wrapped tight around his torso to try and mitigate the wind. "Tidy apartment, big-screen tv, jacuzzi bathtub. She collected sermons from famous ministers and he collected pictures of dead kids from newspapers."
"Did we use you for them? I had forgotten."
Spiderman shuffled his feet, wondering if he could jog on the spot to get some blood-flow going again. "You used me for all of them," he said. "I've dealt the with occupants of forty-three flats in your building. Estate agents are giving up on trying to sell them, because everyone thinks they're cursed, and the police have three – three! – paranormal investigators secretly helping them to work out what's going on."
"It has become a more pleasant buildling."
"So, what's the job then?" Spiderman blew on his hands, which had turned corpse-white, and tried not to act like he was desperate to get somewhere warmer.

Marc said...

Greg - hah, I seem to be having trouble enjoying the sleep deprivation... but perhaps your perspective can help to change that!

Ah, I see you've made our mystery man quite thorough in his desire for a pleasing living space. I'm curious to know some more about previous jobs... but it looks like we won't even find out about this one!

Unless I bring us back around on the next continuation prompt...