Thursday August 18th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the fairy.

Made it to Comox, despite some early morning traffic fun on the way to catch the ferry. Max loved the boat ride and Miles enjoyed looking around at all the people.

We're all ready for a good night's sleep. Kat and the boys are already snoozing, so I guess it's my turn next.


I've made a lot of mistakes when it comes to Reggie.

For instance, when they told me to Follow the smoke I thought I'd find her helping to extinguish a forest fire. Instead I discovered her working her way through her second (of four) package of cigarettes for the day.

And like when I saw her chugging her canteen I assumed it was filled with water. Not whiskey.

Worst of all (maybe... I think) is that I thought she would be helpful.

Reggie hasn't helped a soul beside herself since the day she was hatched.

What? What do you mean she wasn't hat...


Oh, Reggie.


Greg said...

Sounds like the ferry is popular given that you had traffic issues both on the way there and back. Still, it doesn't seem to have bothered you too much :)
I like this sound of this Reggie, and your second paragraph definitely made me laugh. I think you should add this one to the "to be continued" list (and I think you ought to start writing from that list too!) as I'd like to see some more development of Reggie :)

The fairy
The classroom was austere: the walls were white-tiled and kept spotlessly clean and the dark hardwood floorboards were swept after each class. Four rows of desks, long benches six feet deep with high stools tucked under them, took up the body of the room, though a u-shaped bench ran around the three sides of the classroom without the door and held retorts, alembics and other arcane apparatus. At the front was a floor-to-ceiling blackboard, a small brazier filled with fresh coals, and a demonstration bench. Usually a classroom like this would be lit from gas-lights in sconces set high up near the 5m-high ceiling, but because this was a teaching classroom for magicians-of-the-realm it was instead illuminated by a soft white sourceless glow that fell from the entire ceiling.
The students came in quietly. Most of them were middle-aged men, but there were two older women in the group as well. They spread out, filling up the seats at the benches with no conversation. Bags, each about the size of a doctor's bag, were set briefly on the desk while notepads, pens, and wands were taken out and arranged neatly, then each bag was set on the floor beneath the desk. By the time the lecturer entered everyone was seated and waiting with the anticipation of a freshly-set mousetrap.
She nodded to the class and stood in front of the demonstration bench. "Class," she said, her tone clipped and military, and snapped her fingers. Immediately the door opened and a young man with acne on one side of his neck came in. He was wearing the brown overalls of the support staff and he set a bell-jar down on the demonstration bench then hurried out.
"This is a fairy," said the lecturer. She gestured to the bell-jar, in which a spindly figure like a cross between an anorexic lizard and a feather duster with mange squatted. She tapped on the jar and the fairy hurled itself against the glass in fury, like a moth battering itself against a window. "They are found in most temperate areas, including mountains up to 3000m and deserts with minimum rainfall of 15mm per year. They carry diseases: malaria, dysentery and kwashiorkor are the most common, but they also transmit the magical afflications of poolish, mawkeen and leventhulme." She snapped her fingers again and the same young man hurried in with a fine mesh cage open at the bottom that he placed over the bell jar. It fit flush with the desk, and when the lecturer had checked it and nodded, he produced a wand on his own and caused the bell-jar to disappear. The smell of rotten meat filled the room in seconds, and the students reacted for the first time; noses wrinkled and head turned slightly to the side.
"They also stink to high heaven," said the lecturer, a slight smile on her lips. "So a fairy infestation is quite easy to diagnose. Now, who would like to tell the class what the four main ways to address such an infestation are?"

Marc said...

Greg - well, there's no bridge, so the ferries are the only way to get a car to the island (and back again). And in the summer enough people are visiting in both directions to make it a bit of a nightmare.

Re-reading mine just now, I think I would also like to hear more about Reggie. And... maybe I should figure out where I put that 'to be continued' list...

This is a fascinating setting. With not at all the sort of fairy I might have expected. From someone else. From you, it seems about right :)

Speaking of things which could use some continuing...