Sunday June 5th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: extended.

So hot.

Brain all melty.

Night night sleep time.


I rose from my desk slowly, sore muscles protesting at the sudden movement after having been still for so long. My chair was high quality, but I don't think anything could have kept me comfortable for the amount of time I'd resided in it.

As I grabbed my keys and headed for the door, I could hear running in the hallway. I did my best to hurry, as I'd dealt with more than enough students for one day - especially that twenty minute session with Chloe in which she mostly discussed the cultural relevance of Beyonce - and I wasn't interested in any last second questions.

Alas, I am too old and too slow. Just as I was closing my office door an arm dove through, clutching a thick roll of papers in its fist. The thump of the body attached to it hitting the floor outside was quite impressively loud.

"Mr. Newell!"

"Yes, Tommy?" I could have recognized that dolt's voice in Central Station during rush hour.

"I've got my Trump essay! Did I make it in time? Please tell me I made it in time. I ran all the way from my dorm!"

"Ah, so that's why you weren't in class this morning."

"Sorry about that, sir. I just thought it was more important to get this done on time than to... uh... to..."

"Listen to me drone on about some nonsense you don't really care about?"

"That's not what I was going to say!"

"Well, Tommy, if you had been in class this morning, you may have heard me drone on about extending the deadline for this assignment."

"... You did?"

"I did. Now would you please be so kind as to get your arm out of my doorway so that I may go home? Or should I go fetch my knife and... that's a good lad."


Greg said...

I like the idea of your brain being melty for some reason :) It's getting hot here in Malta now too, though it's not near 40 just yet! Another month...
That's a very nicely told story for someone with a melty brain! The descriptions and analogies are really nice, especially the Central Station one. Oh, and I think you should have transcribed the conversation about the cultural relevance of Beyoncé for us!
Posting this as two posts as Blogger complains about the length otherwise :(

Greg said...


Symphonia held the last note for fifteen seconds, during which time rabbits came bounding to the door, birds gathered in the branches of the trees, and two deer appeared at the kitchen window. It was the deer that upset Madeleine.
“Stop that at once!” she screamed. Her fingers clutched the dish-washing sponge and convulsed, squeezing warm, grey water out of it and splashing it over the clean dishes in the dish-rack. “And look what you’ve made me do!”
“Sorry, sis,” said Symphonia, flushing. She had a blush as impressive as her singing voice: it started at her fingertips and rose up her arms and neck until it suffused her entire head and she glowed the kind of pink that makes small girls talk of Barbie dolls and the desire to be illiterate and innumerate (but well-married) when they grow up. “I’ll go and let them out, shall I?”
Madeleine didn’t answer but set to work rinsing the dishes off once again, and was most of the way done with the dirty dishes by the time Symphonia returned from the edges of their property.
“Why do we even have a deer gate?” asked Symphonia. She shut the kitchen door behind her and sat down at the scrubbed table.
“Damned if I know,” said Madeleine. “Every time you sing we get more of them inside it than out. I mean, ideally it would keep them off the bushes and the vegetables, but that doesn’t work if you keep bringing them inside. Oh, and we’re Canadian of course, so it’s kind of expected that we have one.”
“I’ve never a moose turn up to hear me sing,” said Symphonia. She looked thoughtful, and took a pinch of salt from the orange ceramic salt-pig that sat in the middle of the table. “That would be impressive.”
“Not photogenic enough,” said Madeleine. “You might get a reindeer if you sing something snowy though.”
“What about something by Lady Gaga?”
“Tigers, I should imagine.”
They shared a moment of laughter, which tailed off as they heard a door slam upstairs.
“She’s awake then,” said Madeleine with a sigh. “Better get ready for the extended tantrum.”
“Four hours, last time wasn’t it?”
“That’s if you don’t count the sulks, the plate-throwing, and that bout of self-pity where she tried self-harming and decided that it hurt too much.”
“Oh yes.” Another burst of amusement, this time stopped by the kitchen door opening. In marched a young girl wearing a stunning dress made from some kind of metallic fibre that caused it to cast streamers of light around the kitchen like a strobe-lit disco-ball.
“Wow,” said Symphonia. “What the hell, Cinders?”
“I’m going to the ball!”
“You’re going to be able to receive satellite television dressed like that,” said Madeleine. “Hey, can you get the extended version of Eurovision on it?”
“Philistine,” said Cinders, using a much shorter word beginning with C. “I hate the fact that we’re half-sisters. Don’t wait up for me, I’m expecting to marry a Prince.”
“On the first date?” Symphonia’s eyes grew wide.
“You don’t wait around for royalty.” Cinders cut Madeleine off mid-syllable. “There’s no extended dating there, you make a decision on the spot.”
“God help the man,” muttered Madeleine turning back to finish off the dishes.

Marc said...

Greg - thanks! And... no, I don't think so. Another time... probably not :P

There are so many great details in yours that I don't know where to begin. That ending conversation between the three of them was definitely my favorite part though :)