Thursday August 25th, 2016

The exercise:

On this, the 3,000th day in a row of Daily Writing Practice, we write about: the guardians.

Inspired by my finally getting around to watching Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix over the course of a couple nights this last week. Good fun.

Bakery was significantly quieter than it has been this morning. The opening lineup actually fit inside the shop, and we had lots of cinnamon buns left for most of the morning. And they were still open when I left at quarter after twelve!

I guess we're starting to get into the quieter time of year, as tourists head home and students prepare to return to school.

Although not all that quiet - all that was on the shelves when I headed for home was about ten loaves of bread and one macaroon.


I have been feeling... conflicted, these past few weeks. The work that I do has not changed... yet, somehow, it feels different now. Or, at least, I feel differently about it.

Do the others feel this way? Have they felt it too? We've worked together so long now, we know each other so well. If they are not experiencing this... shift... then surely they have noticed the shift within me.

Hesitation has crept into actions that required none before. I carry so much guilt around with me that it must alter the way I speak, walk, sleep... the way I shoot.

My aim is not what it used to be. I could blame it on age finally catching up with me. But that would just be another lie. I have already collected enough of those to last two life times. I am done with them.

So what is the truth? I am a member of this team of guardians. We still guard this place. We keep the people here safe.

But who are they, really? Do they deserve to be kept safe? What have they done that makes others wish them so much ill that they require our presence and protection? Am I a good guy, a hero? I had always thought so.

Recently, however, I have begun to feel much more like a villain...


morganna said...

I have stood here
Through rain and sun
Winter and summer
For these many years
Slowly turning to stone.

Protecting the castle
And all who live here
What price honor?
I am stone,
Yet I live.

Greg said...

@Morganna: I don't know if you've ever read the Fool's books by Robin Hobb, but your poem reminds me of the end of the first trilogy. It's beautiful and fairy-tale in quality, and part of me really wishes there was another stanza or two to tell me more.

@Marc: When quiet means that half-way through the day you're practically sold out you know you have a good business! Congratulations on 3,000 days, that's quite a number. That means about 8 years or so? Did you think you'd get this far?
I like how you introduce the self-doubt that your guardian is feeling; it's quite unusual I think. It's actually very nice to see this stage, as it seems in popular literature we only see these people after they've already made the change. I wonder what might help your poor guardian now?

The guardians
The train stopped at Manchester en route to Edinburgh to allow the passengers to have lunch, and though many of the passengers disembarked to avail themselves of the station's dining room, almost as many remained on the train. One or two, brave souls, thought David Suture as he stood at the window watching them leave, ventured beyond the station in search of a restaurant.
"Do you think they realise that any reasonable establishment must make them late for the train's departure, Ernest?" he said.
His companion laughed. He was sitting cross-legged on the bench with a leather-bound book in his lap and a propelling pencil in one hand. "What makes you think they're looking for food, David? Not all forms of sustenance are like that."
David tensed very slightly, then relaxed again. His fingers drummed a brief cadence on the glass of the window. "Of course," he said. "And I, being a doctor, should have thought of that."
"Ah!" Ernest detected the wayward tone in his friend's voice. "You're still upset about Lady Campion then?"
David stayed at the window, his back to Ernest. "No," he said. "She was a little rude, but I'm sure she doesn't see it that way."
"And she has plenty of friends who would support that view. But I don't, David. And no-one in Elysium does either."
"Well yes,..."
"And society will not be overthrown because of hurt feelings."
David turned at last, and there was a wry smile on his face. "And I can always go and live in China if I want to live in a truly meritocratic society, right, Ernest? I swear, you turn words on their heads and make sit up and beg for you. You're a swine, Ernest, you know that?"
"You've said it before," said Ernest. He took a leather bookmark from the front cover of his book and used it to keep his page, setting the book aside and then standing up. "I've been thinking about what you said though."
"About Lady Campion?" David looked a little surprised. He turned back to the window, and noted that the platform was now empty save for a porter leaning against a wall and whistling. "What about her?"
"Not her, her necklace," said Ernest. "I'd like to see it for myself, so I think I may have to pay her a courtesy call. But -- and you know I can be wrong -- I think it might mean she's one of the Guardians of Arthur's Seat."
"The last time you were wrong about something I had to write it down because it was so surprising," said David. "And I'll have to look it up to remember the date."

Marc said...

Morganna - ooh, that's an intriguing start to a longer tale (that I clearly would like to read). I particularly like the line 'What price honor?'

Greg - I managed to forget the 8 year anniversary in June this year, but yeah, you've got it right. Hmm, when I first began? Probably not. But after a year or so I don't think I could ever see myself stopping. I suppose I shall have to eventually though...

Ah, even more of this tale! Most excellent. Really enjoyed the back and forth here, as well as all the details you sprinkled throughout.

And it's good to see the beginnings of the larger story playing out as well. Bravo :D