Wednesday February 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the keeper.

Busy bakery today, aside from a stretch in the afternoon that allowed me to get a start on cleaning up the back. Had a lady come in fifteen minutes before closing who bought two out of the last three loaves and two out of the last five epis. Unfortunately no one else came in after her, but I was pleased to have hardly anything left to put in the freezer at closing.

My cold didn't bother me too much, as the congestion isn't too bad at this point. Just have to remember to have a glass of water at the front for when my voice starts to give out.

Back at it tomorrow.


A keeper of secrets, that's what they call me. Oh, I might have a secret or three. Many more, almost certainly. An exact number, however, you shall never see. That's just one of my secrets, obviously.

Do you have one you wish to share? I shall keep it with such great care - I swear! Go on, speak it, if you dare. No others shall hear it, only myself and the air.

I see that it is hard for you to trust. Take your time, if you must. Perhaps it would be easier for you to entrust your secret if you just thought of it as writing it in dust moments before an obliterating wind gust?

Here and then gone, no more permanent than the dawn or a yawn. So let me hear it, go on.

Oh, my - that is quite dark. I should think that carrying such a burden would leave a terrible mark. It must have felt permanent, like a birthmark. But it is shared now, so go forth and walk a little lighter through the park. I daresay you deserve to have a bit of a lark.

Go on, laugh like you'd forgotten how. Your secret is mine now.


Greg said...

That sounds like a good day all told, and having the glass of water handy tomorrow will no doubt please all those people who couldn't hear you today ;-)
Ah, your rhymed prose! I didn't actually spot it until halfway through this time, so I'd say that you're really making it look completely natural now. There's an air of mystery, or even mysticism about it, which is nice and fits well with the overall arc of the story. I really like the tone of shock in the penultimate paragraph, and the last line is beautifully appropriate. Nice!

The keeper
Midday: if you asked people on the streets of the Unreal City they'd tell you that magic never happened then. Some of them, the ones with secret thoughts and hidden agendas, might explain a little further if you pushed them: magic was broken by sunlight, perhaps, or magic required darkenss and shadows to be performed and was burned up under the sun's all-seeing gaze. And then there were those who would sigh very softly and wait for a moment so that you could invite them into a nearby tavern and buy them a drink. And then they would lean in across a rickety, water-warped wooden table and with halitotic breath tell you a deeper secret: midday was a transition point just as midnight was, and that was what made magic possible then. And then you'd have to endure small talk and bitter conversation until they'd finished their drink, lingered to see if you were still buying, and then gone on their way.

The Piccadilly Throne walked out of the salon and behind him two tall young men followed dragging the Russlander between them. They both shaved their heads and wore varying numbers of small gold rings in their ears and while they were explicitly not uniformed, as had been agreed by the Thrones in '31, their dark grey jackets, soft wool trousers and starched white shirts were similar enough to confuse a casual passer-by. If you could find such an innocent in the Unreal City. The rooms waited until the Throne and his entourage were gone, and only then resumed conversation.
"Lilies," said Keeper. She was sitting on a cream-coloured couch, long legs stretched in front of her. They were shapely and covered in red-and-orange tiger striped leggings, making her two companions think uncomfortably of fire everytime she moved. "From Paysdumort, naturally."
"They come in on Third-day," said Master Jonathan. Though the couch could seat three Keeper was sat on it alone; he and David were sitting at either end in hard-backed chairs. "Just before noon, naturally."
His tone was just a little too sharp and Keeper looked at him until he squirmed.
"You have a problem with that?" she asked.
"I don't. You do." His hand reached up and scratched the back of his neck reflexively. David, opposite him, stared at the floor between his feet. "Everyone knows you can't do magic at noon."
"Everyone knows wrongly then," said Keeper lightly. "And perhaps it's time that they learned there are more things in heaven and earth than in their petty philosophy."
"Bacon?" said David, looking up. His face was like that of a rabbit caught in the glare of the night-hunter's torch.
"I was at the playhouse last Saturday," said Keeper. "I was... impressed."

Marc said...

Greg - thanks for the kind words on mine :)

This is all kinds of fascinating. I really enjoyed your opening paragraph, and then things transitioned to that intriguing ending scene. This is a fun setting to explore!