Thursday December 8th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that is: underground.

Yup, much quieter at the bakery today. Ended up with 18 loaves at closing, along with lots of bagels and a few croissants and cinnamon buns. Didn't get out of there until just after 4:30 after starting at 9.

With this being my second day in a row, I am very tired right now. Not sure how I'm going to get through the next few days, especially with the Town of Osoyoos staff Christmas party tomorrow night.

Pretty sure I'll be making an early exit from that one.


Consciousness returns slowly, stumbling along on drunken legs. Nausea is close on its heels, moving with unwanted enthusiasm. Memory... memory is absent.

"What...?" I was going to ask What is going on? but that first word did not sound right. It echoed, but it was more than that. It was the... proximity of the surface from which it bounced back to my ears.

Okay. Take a moment to take stock of the situation. Of this continuing blackness. My eyes are open, right? Deep breath. The air stinks of sweat and piss. It's earthy and stale as well. Hints of... a wood of some sort. Is that pine?

Okay. Another deep breath. I feel like I didn't get as much oxygen that time. Maybe not so deep the next time.

Okay. I am flat on my back. My head aches. It seems to be radiating from a point just behind my right ear. That's... probably not a good sign. Is it bleeding? Best check now.

Except... my hands seem to be bound at my waist. Rope. Attached to my belt? I sit up to take a look...

And hit my forehead. On the previously detected wood.

I'm not liking this. The more I discover, the less I want to know. But knowledge comes anyway.

I've been buried alive. In a pine box. Bound and possibly bloody. My oxygen supply is only going to decrease. How did I get here? Don't ask me.

I can't even remember my name.


Greg said...

Good luck with the shift tomorrow and the party -- and if you get a chance to take it a little easier on shift then do so, don't be a hero :) I hope the party is fun: I tend to avoid work parties at all costs... well, all parties at all costs, I'm not really a people person. The last person who invited me to a party looked a little surprised when I asked if I could just skype in instead :) (They said yes, they know me. But I think they're going to try and force me to go along anyway).
Hah, wow, that's a creepy piece! It starts off being a little bit creepy, but the details that gradually come in just make it worse as it goes along somehow. Until you reach the end and realise that you're in a box with someone who's clearly been buried alive, so now there's two of you suffocating in there.... Great work!

"We have half an hour before lunch," said Ernest. "Are you busy, Ignatz?" They left the room with Ernest leading the way; outside he turned back slightly to speak properly to Ignatz.
"I should look in on Jane," said Ignatz. "Her order are wonderful, and truly dedicated, but they are more at home with warfare and destruction than they are with healing, and I would feel happier if I knew Jane were being helped rather than just encouraged to do her best. Also, I think Samual is waiting for you."
Ernest turned around again, and sure enough Samual was stood nearby, shifting his weight nervously from one foot to the other and biting his lower lip. He caught Ernest's eye and blushed, looking away.
"So he is," said Ernest. He turned back briefly to Ignatz. "Please assist Ms. Melody, and if there's anything I can, any service I can provide, just let me know."
"Thank-you, my Lord," said Ignatz. His face creased with pain. "I'm sorry, my Lor-. Ernest. I'm sorry, Ernest."
"It can take a little getting used to," said Ernest with a smile. "Now, Samual! To what do I owe this honour? Is all well?"
Samual led the way to the public bar, his words minimal and his attitude conveying that he wanted to speak where it would be hard for anyone to eavesdrop on their conversation. Ernest considered for a moment telling him that Mages could simply impose their Will on a column of air between their ears and a speaker's mouth and hear as clearly as though it were a lover's pillow-talk, and then decided that this would likely only mean Samual trying to find a broom-closet where he could whisper into Ernest's ear.
The bar was emptier now than it had been when they'd passed earlier; two tables were still fully occupied, though the people around them had their original glasses still half-full, and a people at a third table were getting up to leave. A few stragglers were sat at the bar, and in the far corner of the room, underneath a picture of an Australian opera singer, was a red-nosed drunk falling asleep with his glass still in his hand.
"What would you like to drink, Samual?"
"I cannot Sir, I'm on duty."
"As am I, as am I." Ernest caught the bartender's eye. "Is it too late, or too early, for coffee? No? Then two coffees please, black, no sugar."
"How did you know how I take my coffee?" Samual was clearly taken aback.
"We had breakfast together this morning, Samual. Less than four hours ago."

Greg said...

"Not everything is deduction," said Ernest as their coffees arrived. The barman smiled, and left. They had moved to an edge of the bar with their backs to the window so that they could see the whole room. Ernest was keeping a watchful eye on the drunk, not because he had any suspicions, but because Samual seemed so on edge.
"I'm glad," said Samual. "Because your deductions seem like magic to many of us. Even when you explain them, they seem like magic."
"I have no talent in that direction," said Ernest. "Ah, Samual, who are we avoiding? Might I ask? I can see a man at the reception desk from here, and he keeps looking over in our direction."
Samual stood up, knocking his cup so that black coffee sloshed into his saucer, and then stood on tiptoe, straining to see as far as Lord Derby. A moment later he sank back, and tugged at Ernest's sleeve.
"Not avoiding," he said. "Waiting for. Exactly him, my Lord, and I refer back to what I just said: how you deduced that that man was of interest is beyond me!"
"But I didn't," said Ernest. "I noted that he found us of interest. Who is he?"
They made their way back across the bar, and out to the lobby.
"Lord Derby," said Samual, bowing very slightly, "may I please introduce Kevin Tresclef? He is the Master Interrer, and the Keeper of the family tombs. He is responsible for ensuring burials take place in the right place and the right time, and looks after all the tombs of note and significance here in Edinburgh."
"That sounds like a time consuming job," said Ernest. "I think there are one-hundred and forty noble families in Edinburgh alone?"
"Actually one hundred and thirty eight," said Kevin. His voice was thick, almost choked. "Last year the only scion of House Reedmayne died, and the King allowed the line to lapse. Two years before that Donald Muirness was arrested for selling military secrets to the Italians and his House was struck from the records."
There was a pause, in which it became apparant that Ernest was entirely aware of the Muirness case.
"The Lieutenant here said to take you underground," said Kevin.
"To see the tomb," said Samual.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I'm not much of a party person either. It was okay though. Would've been more fun if I'd known more people.

Thank you :)

Another solid continuation, with interesting touches sprinkled throughout. I think I shall enjoy getting to know Kevin in the coming vignettes.