Thursday June 9th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: purple.

The bakery had its busy moments this morning but was generally pretty manageable. Back to picking strawberries tomorrow morning for Saturday's market.


"Hey Dad."


"... what?"


"Oh come on! I didn't even ask for anything."


"You've become very cynical in your old age, you know that right?"


"Will you at least let your only son tell you why I'm visiting you?"


"... okay, can I at least tell you why I'm visiting you to ask for money?"

"... fine."

"Do you see that sweet looking car out there? With the badass rims? There's a wicked engine under the hood too, and th-"


"Well, yeah, it's also purple. But it's, like, a dark purple."


"Yeah, I think we can agree that's what color it is. But here's the thing, okay? My friend needs to sell it real quick like and I-"


"... who? Oh, the friend who's selling it? Yeah. But I don't see what difference that makes. The price is am-"



Greg said...

Heh, I think I've been one side of your story before now. Mostly the "no" side, but that was fun :) I like the dialogue and the structure you've got, and the enthusiasm of the child comes across really well. I also like the way you convey that the father is listening but only really out of politeness, and the strong implication from the beginning that the answer isn't going to change. Great characterisation.
The only question that remains is, what did Max do to inspire this?

I turned my hands over. My arms were stained purple from the wrist to the elbow, reminding me of birthmarks that we'd studied in class when I was a student. There were – are, I suppose – theories that pregnant women who drink large quantities of phlogistonic wine can bear children with birth defects, and the birthmarks were taken to be a strong indication that the mothers were dissolute and drunkards. At the time I remember being impressed and convinced, but later, after I'd gone through the training and the... the... indoctrination into the Unified Authority I suppose, I'd reviewed the material and doubted it. It wasn't scientific enough.
But it was certainly true that raw phlogistons stained skin, and I was worrying, night and day, about why my hands weren't stained. When I'd first taken the bandages off I thought I'd somehow escaped all the possible ill effects when my hands were unaffected; it was only when the soft cotton cloth carried on unwinding that the purple appeared. I'd had to bite back a scream then, if only to not upset the urchins. I'd not slept that night, and I was having trouble sleeping still.
The obvious solution would be to immerse an urchin the phlogiston and see which bits of them stained and work from there, a proper scientific study, but I'd started to get fond of them now Cecily was gone, and it seemed a little brutal. I wondered if I was losing my scientific dispassion.
I sighed, and put my hands behind my back. I'd polished up the apparatus in the barn and checked it over about twenty times. It was time to see what the other two devices did and how they changed the phlogistonic wine. My hands were shaking when I depressed the large lever that turned on Thorns.
And I really wasn't expecting the entire barn to start to tremble.

Marc said...

Greg - thanks! And... I don't remember, but it probably was him that inspired it in some way or another.

Ah, so pleased to see you return to this saga. The prompt certainly lent itself to it, but I'm glad you took advantage of it.

The bit about the urchin immersion was both worrying and hopeful. Worrying that he'd still think of doing it, but hopeful the he didn't actually do it!