Thursday June 30th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: vacant.

Tomorrow is Canada Day and we have plans to catch the parade in town in the morning. We also have two young boys, so we'll see if any of our plans actually work out.

Another busy bakery morning. When I left at 12:30 we were completely sold out of all the bread loaves, cinnamon buns, croissants, focaccia, ciabatta loaves and buns, and were down to one bagel, one butter tart, and a handful of coffee cake slices.

So yeah, they were pretty much closing up and getting ready for tomorrow's craziness as I was leaving. Feeling very glad to not be working there either of the next two days.

This afternoon we spent some time at the beach with the boys, which was very nice. A dip in the lake is a great way to cool off when the heat hits like this.


People lived here,
A long time ago,
Or was it just
Hard to say.
Time is funny that way...

Children laughed here...
If you listen
With all of your being
You just might here them
I don't know how.
Maybe they echo in the walls,

Now this is a spider
Here resides a moth,
A cockroach,
A mouse.
What's more,
The ghosts of all those
Who lived here


Greg said...

Wow, you seem to have a knack for getting things to sell out, whether at the market or the bakery. I'm guessing you've either got a winning smile or a small handgun :-P
I like the progression of your poem and the setting you've used for it. I was a little uncertain at first but I was won over after the first three lines, and the clever way the rhymes turn up and the overall rhythm of the poem really work for me. Some of the lines work really well, like "Maybe they echo in the walls/Somehow." and "Yesterday?/Hard to say."
Perhaps it might be less verbose to say I like your poetry!

The Winterqvist Museum was home to the DeHavilleau Collection. Olivier DeHavilleau had bequeathed a large sum of money to the museum along with a collection of artefacts that he'd collected from various hard-to-reach locations around the world. The money had paid for an entire wing of the museum, which proved to be large enough to house the collection of artefacts, and to fend off a number of lawsuits alleging that Olivier had, in fact, looted rather than collected. The artefacts were all famous to some extent, and the number of accidents, incidents and mysterious happenings associated with them had made a number of them rather notorious as well. Of all the exhibits the strangest one was a ten-foot square of carpet whose little brass plaque, mounted on a black-steel stand in front of it, simply read "Vacant."
Isabella Bonfontaine stood in front of the black-steel stand. She was familiar with many of the artefacts in the Museum, and had been hired several times to find missing parts of the collection and to consult on the museum's security, and she suspected that she'd finally understood what the "Vacant" exhibit was all about. Next to her, holding her hand, was a girl aged about eight.
"This is bor--ing," said the girl, pouting. She had a pretty face but her clothes were cheap and tawdry.
"It's only going to get worse," said Isabella, who didn't believe in sugar-coating the truth. She dipped her free hand into a pocket in her sports-jacket and when she took it out again her fingers glittered in the museum's spotlights. She splayed her fingers out and held her hand vertical as though about to start a mime-act or stop traffic and pushed her hand forwards. Suddenly it stopped as though meeting a glass wall.
"You're boring," said the girl, staring at Isabella's hand. The sparkle on her fingers twinkled and then suddenly exploded outwards. It raced in fractal patterns over an invisible surface like frost forming and melting in stop-motion, tracing out a cube that complete encompassed the carpet. The patterns twisted and writhed around a gap that was, if you were looking for such a thing, door-shaped.
"Really boring," said the girl, but her heart wasn't in it.
"Let's go," said Isabella, and dragged her charge through the doorway.

Inside was the same square of carpet but in the middle of it was a chair. A man in Victorian garb was sitting in the chair with a top-hat on his lap and a silver-topped ebony cane in his hands. He looked up, bright-eyed, as Isabella entered. Behind him the rest of the museum could be clearly seen.
"Oscar DeHavilleau," said Isabella. "Olivier's son, unless someone got here before me."
"You have me at an advantage, madam," said the man with a smile. He stood up and the doorway Isabella had come through vanished.
"Sit," said Isabella to the child, who did as she was told. The doorway reappeared.
Oscar raised an eyebrow.
"Let's go," said Isabella, and ushered him through the doorway.

"Your child?" said Oscar as the cube around the carpet faded from view again.
"Not mine," said Isabella. "She was standing around outside being rude to people. Anyway, it's not like she's in any danger in there."
"Indeed. But I am curious: why have you freed me?"

Marc said...

Greg - a little from column A, a little from column B... :P

And thank you again! I quite enjoyed re-reading this one as well. I must have been in a good writing rhythm these days... hopefully I can refind it, as I feel like I've been missing it lately.

Awesome scene setting at the beginning, brilliant details and story to follow. Perhaps one of my favorite Isabella scenes... and that is saying something!

Also: hurray, caught up to July now! Progress.