Wednesday October 5th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the newspaper.

Had a pretty efficient 8 to 11 shift at the bakery this morning. Sold a fair amount of stuff, managed to get a few dishes done, and things were slow enough by the time the other sales associate arrived at 11 to do the closing shift that I got to go home.

Natalie came over after Kindergarten to play with Max for a few hours, which was generally good.

Unfortunately, while she was still here we got a call from Becky telling us that their Saint Bernard had just died. Bailey had been sick the last few days and we could see it coming... but that doesn't make it any easier on them. Natalie is taking it especially hard.

We haven't told Max yet. I'm curious to see how it goes. He wasn't very fond or close to Bailey, but it will be the first death of anything bigger than an ant or a fly for him.

Guess we'll find out tomorrow, as we didn't want to tell him right before bed tonight. I expect there will be lots of questions.


"All right, all right! I've got a hot tip on a hot story here! Who wants it?"

"I think it's more of a matter of who's available to look into it, boss."

"What about Frank?"

"He's still working on the story about that pig that saved them kids on the school bus."

"Right, right. Jake?"

"Doing field research on that talking horse down in Green Meadows."

"Still? That guy... okay. How about Penny?"

"She's tied up with follow up interviews on the skunks versus raccoons piece."

"The what... oh, the which one makes for a better pet one? Dang, I forgot about that one. So who does that leave me?"

"Who do you think it leaves?"

"I don't know, wh... oh. Aw, man! Really? Brock?"

"Ain't nobody else to take it. Unless you hired somebody new that I don't know about...?"

"No, no... okay. Well. Here, type this information up for him. Just... use the biggest font you got. And try not to use any big words."


Greg said...

The bakery shift sounds quite pleasant the way you describe it! Maybe you're just used to it by now though.
I'm sorry to hear about Bailey; the loss of a family member is always difficult, even when you can see it coming. It sounds like Max won't be badly affected by it, which is probably good too :)
Poor Brock, I guess he's mostly responsible for Page 3 then, given his, uh, abilities? I really like the articles that this newspaper pursues though, you can tell it's coping well with the onset of the digital age in finding things its readers care about and will pay for. My money's on skunks making better pets, by the way. And on that pig being in a later story about how it became bacon for the same schoolkids it saved....

The newspaper
"Hugo?" David Suture frowned. "What makes you think of him? And, if you don't mind me saying so Ernest, isn't naming a criminal you've not even seen here a little... bold, even for you?"
Ernest Derby didn't mind, he never did. "Hugo is a dropout from the College, isn't he?"
"Well." David busied himself putting the notepad away to try and hide his distaste for yet another aspect of college life he'd rather other people didn't know about. "There are certain students who are determined, very early on I must say, to not ha-"
"So yes," said Ernest. "And he lives here in Manchester. The spell we just saw is surely beyond an untrained magician?"
"Oh, of course! We call them Lay-wizards though so as not to confuse the public. After all, magicians do a noble job and serve the Realm-"
"Just as you do." Ernest waved a hand casually. "And I think I have heard you abbreviate Lay-wizard to lizard when talking to your peers."
David blushed.
"Anyway, that spell needs someone more trained than a lay-wizard to cast, Hugo lives around here, and we investigated him a year back on suspicion of working with an anti-military cell, if you recall. He might not be our culprit, but I'm sure he knows who they are."
"I... see." David leaned back on his seat, feeling the jostle and roll of the train as it headed north. "Yes, I see... Oh well done, Ernest!"
"It was simply good fortune that we'd been here before, I think. Tell me, David, shall we go and see what the bar might be serving?"

The bar was an entire carriage panelled tastefully in wood. Two-thirds was open to anyone, and one third, where Ernest and David were sat at a table by the window, was reserved for the First Class passengers. Their end was less busy, but the general hum of conversatoin and the drifting smoke of cigarettes and cigars concealed the separation. David had plain water in his glass; Magicians never drank alcohol. Ernest had bitters-and-tonic, his joy at discovering the bar had Cherry bitters had caused even the bartender to smile in pleasure. Between them was a copy of the afternoon newspaper acquired by the trainmaster in Manchester. Ernest had taken and solved the crossword first while David scanned the Items of Magical Note pages, harrumphing at articles he considered frivolous. Now Ernest was reading the rest of the paper and David was writing down details of a magical conference in Coventry in his diary.
"This is curious," said Ernest. He laid down the page he was reading and tapped a section of text.
"Society pages?"
"Good lord no! What makes you think I'd bother myself with gossip and near-libel? Rather the obituaries, David. Lord Campion's is here, but so is Lady Campion's!"

Marc said...

Greg - it's been just over two weeks now and things seem to be going okay. Although perhaps part of Natalie's behavior problems are a result of missing Bailey? Who knows.

Happy to see these two return. And I have not forgotten my promise of a weeklong prompt. I just haven't had the inspiration quite yet.