Thursday September 8th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: flowing.

Bakery was even quieter this morning, but still steady enough to keep me moving until I left shortly after 11. It's a very different crowd now, as I can see the locals returning and the number of tourists dwindling.

Spent the afternoon with Max. Took him to a nearby park so that he could ride his bike around some more. It's impressive to see how comfortable and skilled he's become so quickly.

Mine:

I stand on my roof and watch the water flow past, carrying with it trees and fences and bits and pieces of my neighbour's lives. Was it only yesterday that this was a street, belonging to cars and trucks and the odd motorcycle?

I look up at the dark clouds looming over me. At least the rain has stopped. Not for long, it would seem, but I will take small blessings wherever I can find them right now.

I look down again. The flood waters have reached above the windows on the top floor. I can feel them stretching upward, their liquid claws eager to snatch me off my sanctuary and drag me off to the end of the world.

I take a step back, sit down on the ridge board that runs along the peak of the roof. The view would be impressive if it wasn't so terrifying. I suppose it still is. Just harder to appreciate in my situation.

I take a deep breath. Try to ignore the hunger gnawing at the walls of my stomach. Acknowledge the loneliness and despair, but refuse to be swallowed by either. Pray for a helicopter on the horizon.

I prepare to die.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Given your choice of prompt and the description of the bakery I guess seeing the customers changing like that has put you in mind of floodwaters receding. I wonder if you'll miss it?
I really like the outlook of your narrator in the second paragraph and how that permeates through to the final line. The description of the street was nice as well, neatly contrasting the normal with the now.

Flowing
Flowing, n. prob. from Old Eng. and maybe Plattdeutsch. While most of you poor illiterates probably think that flowing is a gerund (you may wish to look that word up; luckily for you I'm a dictionary. Unluckily for you my compilers have narcolepsy and occasionally miss words out. Plus the entire section of words beginning with E. Ha!) it is also a noun, deriving from the Old English word flowen which describes the noise made by a cow with frostbite. It appears to have arisen from the Plattdeutsch word "Aue!", which was onomatopoeia (I doubt you fumble-fingered idiots can find that in the O section because you'll keep forgetting how it's spelled, but it is there). This got converted to "Owe" as it travelled East across Europe, and then became confused with "Low", the sound that cows make when they don't have frostbite. Then the Ancient Angles tagged the "n" on to the end for mellifluidity, and the "f" appears to be the result of a subgroup in North Essex that had a bad lisp. I mean, really. Who can't afford dentistry? However, this mess resulted in a pleasant sounding word to describe an animal in pain, which is something we ought to be grateful for. Next!

Marc said...

Greg - miss it? Not sure. It's nice to be more relaxed and to have more time with customers, especially those who come in week after week (rather than just being in town for a few days or a week).

Thanks for the kind words on mine.

I hadn't realized how much I'd missed your dictionary entries until I read this. Now I want more, more, more! :P

Also: 'which describes the noise made by a cow with frostbite' might be the funniest thing I've read all week.