Sunday July 31st, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the picnic.

Today Kat and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary by picking up 70 pounds of blueberries (hopefully our winter's supply) and having a big family dinner at her parents house (was supposed to be a picnic at the beach but howling winds gently suggested that something indoors would be a better idea).

We're actually going out for dinner, just the two of us, tomorrow night. Max and Miles will be hanging out with Kat's parents. Fingers crossed that all goes well.

Speaking of Miles, he rolled over from his back to his belly for the first time Friday morning (while nobody was watching, naturally). Today he went from his belly to his back for the first time.

At this rate he's going to be running around in no time.


"Woah! Look at this spread!"

"There's gotta be enough food here to feed a small army!"

"I don't even know where to start. How about cake first?"

"Dessert before your meal? How naughty."

"Well I d-"

"Stop talking and get me a piece."

"Hah, that's what I thought. Let me just break a bit off here, make sure you get some icing..."


"Oh great, I see the humans have returned."

"Just in time to ruin our picnic, as always."


morganna said...

Hot and sticky
Not enough food
Family makes up the difference,
A lovely picnic.

Greg said...

@Morganna: it's always nice to see you here! It feels like it's been a while too. I think you've captured the essence of a picnic (certainly here in Malta where it's always hot...) and I really like your third line.

@Marc: I think a picnic in howling winds at the beach would be both interesting, inedible with all that sand in the air, and clearly good inspiration for some writing. I can also picture you racing after Max three or four times as the winds pick him up and take him paragliding without the parachute.... I hope the dinner tomorrow is a good one :)
Hah, the reversal at the end of your tale is a nice one, neatly twisting the tale. You could write for Pixar films like this!

The picnic
Bill and Ben, gentlemen thieves, were sat in the back-room of the Gizzards and Pluck, a pub known for respecting its drinkers' privacy more than the quality of its menu. The air was thick with the smell of old beer and an outdoor barbecue going wrong but the room, only containing three square wooden tables anyway, was pleasantly empty and large windows looked out onto the patio. Blue curtains hung aside the window and there was a rug on the floor beneath it, and the pub dog -- a chihuahua with an attitude problem and authority issues -- was occupying it with a slightly psychopathic look on its face that made it clear it wasn't going to share. On the table they were sat on was a painting.
"It's called The picnic" said Bill. The painting was done in a muddy palette and framed with a gold-painted lead frame. The henchman-candidate who'd brought it in had looked like he was ready for a heart-attack, so they'd sent him to sit out on the patio where he'd be someone else's problem if it happened. "I think it was hanging in the Old Street gallery, so it's not a bad attempt. They have an alarm system there that was quick tricky when I was first learning the trade."
"What's it showing?" Ben frowned and scratched a flake of paint away from the canvas. "It's clean, I think it's supposed to be this colour."
"It's the 1942 Picnic," said Bill. He leaned back slightly and slipped his hands into his pockets, ready to lecture. "Up in Sixticton there was a vitner called Saks who insisted on taking his family out for a picnic, ignoring the weather forecast. The family were all sat on a hilltop, miserably eating cold ham and chillied pickles when a hurricane descended on them. While everything was being thrown around in big circles they were dragged by the winds over to where they were burning firebreaks and the flames got sucked up into the hurricane as well."
"That explains the orange," said Ben. "Well, it's hideous. I say we make him take it back."
"Probably easier to drop it on the barbecue," said Bill. "Pass or fail for him?"
"We should see what the others bring first. What is that smell?"
They looked around, but until they looked outside it remained a mystery. Then:
"Ah," said Ben. "Looks like the barbecue is occupied by our ex-candidate. Perhaps we can make the next one take it back."

morganna said...

Greg -- I have been ill. I am much better & hoping to be around. :)

Marc said...

Morganna - I am in complete agreement with Greg, especially about that third line.

Also: happy to hear that you're feeling better after your illness.

Greg - great details and atmosphere in your piece. I think the dog is my favorite part.

And poor Ben and Bill. They seem to be having terrible trouble finding a new henchman.