Sunday March 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: signs of life.

Apologies for the excessively late posting. Spent the day pruning blackberry bushes and being outside as much as possible in order to enjoy the warmer weather.

Apparently that tuckered me right out.


Scorched and smoking black earth
Has a dark story to tell:
They must have made their homes
From things which burn very well...

You're looking for signs of life
In this bleak, miserable hell?
Well, my friend, I'm afraid that
You'll find yourself S.O.L.


Greg said...

I guess you compensate for the lack of snow with the happy thoughts that the snakes are waking up and Mr. Wriggles will soon be keeping the insect pests down? The only snow I saw this year was passing through Germany en route to Budapest and I may be a little bitter about that.
A bleak little poem, with the thing that intrigues me most: I was expecting the last line to rhyme the full words, not the abbreviation you used. So you took me by surprise there, but I think it actually works better because I wasn't expecting it! Well done :)

Signs of life
The monk, a short man with arms as thin as winter sticks sticking out of a robe that looked like a previous wearer had been mauled to death in it, toddled along the row of statues, stopping before each one and inspecting it carefully. His hair was as yellow and floaty as a dandelion clock and the tourists could hear his near-autistic mantra as he checked out the statues.
"Four arms, one tail pointing south-west, a leg that's too short for its body and a head like the Abbot with wind. Two arms, six legs, scales on the belly and no tail. A face like the Abbot after hearing about Brother Shogun's time in the West. Three arms...."
"He's checking for signs of life," said the guide, his face immobile. The tourists, less well-behaved, were already quietly chuckling and pointing at the monk.
The guide didn't realise anyone had spoken for a moment, and then the realisation of the question hit him like the time the produce truck had struck the rear-wheel of his bicycle and thrown him into a nettle patch. "What?" he said, startled.
"Why is he checking for signs of life?" The voice was patient and yet that didn't reassure the guide at all. He looked at a... person. They had an indefinable gender -- short-ish hair, green eyes, a faint but wary smile and androgenous clothes. Oddly enough he felt certain upon seeing them that they were hired help of some kind, maybe even a sidekick.
"Because if the statues of the demons come alive," said the guide, remembering the Abbot's words, "it means that someone has taken the idol of Beretta from the inner temple."
"Only that one's moving," said the henchling, pointing at the first statue the monk had checked.
"What?" The guide's squeal caught everyone's attention, and his shaking, pointing finger got them all to look as a nine-armed, twenty-seven legged statue came to life.
"Bugger," said Bill quietly at the back of the crowd. "Time to leg it."

Marc said...

Greg - I'm sad that you missed the snow this year. Perhaps you'll be a little less crazy at work next winter and will be able to make time for it?

Thank you for the kind words on mine!

Wonderful details bring this one to life, and I'm always happy to have a visit from Bill and his henchling (though of course Ben is terribly missed).