Monday August 15th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something: tightening.

Busy day of getting ready for our trip. Mowed the lawn this morning, ran several errands in town this afternoon, picked some produce to bring with us this evening, and packed up most of my things tonight.

Now for a good night's sleep and a smooth voyage to our first destination tomorrow.

Mine:

I've grown used to the pain, it would seem. Or perhaps I've just gone numb? Either way. It is a pleasant change. I would not say I'm comfortable, of course. But this is a definite improvement.

I should put on more of a show, lest someone notice and feel the urge to do something about my newfound relief. Bring back that pained expression. Maybe grunt and groan.

Okay, easy now. Don't overdo it. They know what they're doing, how much pain they should be causing me.

What if I'm supposed to be dead now?

Okay, that moan of despair was legit.

So why is he looking at me like that? Oh no, he's coming this way. Quick, think of something. Anything. Make him stop. Don't let him d-

Oh no, the leash is tightening again...

2 Comments:

Greg said...

I don't think I knew you had a lawn. I guess I kind of figured you had a lot of grass around you because of the farm, but I didn't think any of it was a lawn. Nice :)
Hmm, I can't decide, after the end of that tale, if you're talking about a dog or a person. Either way, I feel sorry for them. And I've seen dogs here in Malta being walked by people who clearly don't realise (or possibly care) that they're pulling the dog's head up when it's uncomfortable for it) so I sympathise a lot with whoever you're writing about today!

Tightening
Jack laid his hand, palm flat, on first one closed door and then the other. Both were cool to the touch, neither were vibrating. There was no guarantee that they weren't trapped, but at least he could be sure that there were no fires on the other side and they weren't under tension. Unlike himself; his heart was thudding heavily in his chest, not helped by the drum beat and muffled chanting from down below. He mentally tossed a coin -- even after the war times were straitened to the point where money was scarce -- and it came down Crowns. He put his palm against the right-most door, his body against the left-most door, and increased the pressure.
The door latch popped open and the door slowly swung away from his palm. A rectangle of darkness still waited for him, and he reached around the door-frame hoping for a light-switch.
None. He wasn't surprised; if there was oil-cloth on the stairs and a candle in the hall then electricity was probably too much a luxury. He pulled his hand back and inhaled deeply, his nostrils flaring. No smell of gas, that was good. He fumbled in his jacket pocket and found his lighter. The flame popped up on the first click, and he looked through the doorway.
It was a bedroom, and his throat tightened as his stomach flipped: on a narrow single bed, on top of crumpled sheets, were three large knives with stained, wet-looking blades. He thought he recognised the knives; he'd been assigned briefly during the war to work with a Ghurka regiment and they'd all carried them. And been brutally effective with them too, but he didn't want to remember that. The knives looked like they'd been thrown there in a hurry.
He had to concentrate not to sigh, and the familiar tension surged through him as he braced himself to open the other door and see what the knives had been used for.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, it's not especially big, but it gives Max somewhere to play. Plus on hot days it's nice to put a blanket down in the front yard underneath the walnut trees and enjoy a picnic lunch :)

I think I was intending it to be a person, but I can't say for sure at this point. Ah, the joys of being three weeks behind on comments...

You do an excellent job of first creating, and then ramping up the tension with this one. And I, too, do not wish to know what is behind the second door...