Monday December 19th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the thief in the night.

Fell asleep Monday night before I could even come up with a prompt. Woke and figured I should just call it a day and try again on Tuesday.

So... here we are. Thank you for your patience.

Max and I got haircuts late afternoon. It's always a bit of a show with him there and he was in fine form. I had asked him on the way there what he wanted for a haircut this time and he said something very Christmassy. I asked him what he meant but he was unable to get more specific than that.

I told our hairdresser that he had a request while I was getting mine done. The three of us couldn't come up with anything he liked by the time he was up (he did not care for my suggestion that she make a Christmas star on the top of his head), so he ended up with his usual.

It was a long, roundabout, winding route there, but we ended up in the same place we nearly always do. Why does that feel like a metaphor for parenting?

Mine:

Night consumes the house
And then,
Quiet as a mouse,
He comes a creeping
And without warning
He's done stealing
My waking mind
And I end up
Reclined
And yet at the same time
Wandering
Through dreamscapes
And pitch black
With no escape
Until...
"Dada? Wake up!
The house is cold,
You need to get the fire
Going!"
What time is it?
Oh, no...
The sleep thief 
Has struck again.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

I like the idea of a Christmassy haircut, but short of putting holly in the recipient's hair I'm a bit lost as to what it would look like either! The Christmas star was a good idea though; tell him you found people to agree with you ;-) I think you're right about parenting being about going round and round in circles, but at least the circles steadily get bigger and bigger so that you feel like you're getting somewhere each time round.
And while you may have been a little late with the prompt it's surely better that you didn't fall asleep in the middle of it! And the poem you produced from it all is excellent work... I really like the last few lines (which sound suspciously like they actually happened).

The thief in the night
The tunnel narrowed slightly as they continued on, and the next halt that Kevin called was at the first thing that might have been an entrance. A heavy-looking stone lintel was supported by neatly stacked blocks of dressed stone, and graved into the lintel itself was the word MacKeegle. There were the rusty remnant of hinges on one side and dusty splinters of wood on the floor of the tunnel, suggesting that perhaps there had once been a door there. Kevin halted them several feet away from it, and he eyed the blackness beyond the portal as he tapped his teeth with a fingernail.
"Mostly safe," he said, gesturing casually. "But not always."
"MacKeegle hasn't been a family name since Henry IV," said Ernest. He stared into the darkness as well, his eyes distant as he remembered history lessons from his youth. "They were one of the families that rebelled against the decree that you could hold lands in England or France but not both, as I recall. They claimed that as Scots they were neither English nor French and so exempt."
"They were all slain at the Battle of Bulochain," said Kevin. His voice was flat and unemotional. "The tomb was sealed up then."
"I've never seen the name MacKeegle in the graveyard," said Samual. Kevin glanced at him and looked away again.
"That's because it be all sealed up," he said. "Plus there was the thief."
"Thief?"
Kevin gestured casually at the doorway again. "There was a door'n there, once. Thief came down here, came in this way. Learnded hisself some of the secrets, best as'n we can tell, and got hisself this far. Found the door locked, as'n you would if you weren't supposed to be here, and decided to break in 'gardless."
"What happened?" said Samual when the silence had dragged on longer than he could bear.
"Dunno," said Kevin. "That's what's left off'n the door'n'all; never tried to go inside of it misself. Wouldn't. And then there's the ghost."
Samual shivered. "There are ghosts down here?"
"Hundreds."

Marc said...

Greg - ah jeez, when did I fall this far behind on comments again? Bah.

Yeah, Max may have woken me up that night with those words. Maybe.

Quite enjoyed this little side tale you've shared with us. And that ending... shivers.

Also: Kevin never going in there himself is a wonderful touch.