Monday June 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Our writing word of the day is: stay.

Kat surprised me with a booking for a massage this afternoon as a Father's Day gift. It was awesome and much appreciated and lead to the below conversation with my sister and brother-in-law after I got home.

Speaking of whom, they left us shortly after I got back from said massage. They are missed by all of us already.


Me: One day I'm going to book a massage where I can just stay on the table and sleep instead of having to get up right after it's done.

Sue: You could get one done at a hotel and then just have them wheel you back to your room.

Me: No. I don't want to move. I don't want to be moved. I just want to stay on the massage table and sleep.

Jake: You could get in done in your hotel room and then just roll off an-

Me: No. I want to stay on the table. I think next time I'll book a two hour session. The first hour will be the massage, the second hour will be for sleep.

Sue: Ooh, that's a good idea...


Greg said...

"...they left us shortly after I got back from said massage. They are missed by all of us..." makes you sound like a serial killer. Just saying, Dexter.
The massage sounds very relaxing indeed if all you want to do is sleep after it! I completely agree with you that having to move, or be moved, would ruin the moment though... and it sounds like your sister does too!

Ashes blow across the desert. A sculptor, his face burned all down one side and weeping red plasma tears, chisels two huge fallen stones into the shape of feet. Two other men, faces scarred by welts and boils stagger slowly over to him carrying a large iron plaque. It gleams in the setting sunlight, revealing words: "Behold ye mighty, and despair". One of the men falls and does not rise; the other drags the plaque even more slowly until it can rest against the emerging feet.
A gunshot rings out in the clear air and a shape falls from the top of the only unruined minaret. The thud of the landing is as clear as the gunshot, but doesn't even draw the desert birds' attention.

Ashes blow across the desert, huge black flakes like moths. They hug the ground, slowly disintegrating, and the Observer rubs a thoughtful finger over its upper lip, wondering if there is a metaphor or an analogy here worth recording. On its tablet numbers flicker, changing colour as they reach peaks and troughs; there's a soft hiss of clicking that is the Geiger counter and musical beeping that is the neutron counter. A skilled reader, like the Observer, would tell you that this is like being in a tropical thunderstorm if water were murderously energetic particles. One number alone is descending monotonically towards one. When only the Observer is left it will depart.

Ashes blow across the desert, their paths tracked by sensitive telemetry and fed into the highly networked computers protected by layers of lead, concrete and wrapped inside aluminium constructs of Hilsinger geometry. Three women stand aside an oval table intended to seat 32, making their case, while a fourth woman sits in the only chair with arms, her head in her hands. Finally she lifts her head, revealing eyes red with weeping and the tell-tale lesions of radiation poisoning.
"Stay?" she says incredulously. "Staying is certain death."
"Leaving is uncertain death," says one of the standing women. "Maybe not just for us. We don't kno-"
"We know we have to leave!"

Ashes blow across the desert and the protective aspects of Hilsinger geometry are finally overwhelmed by the particle storm. The AI notes the ablation of delicate components and calculates the time left before it too is dead, for want of a better word to describe a disembodied, inhuman intelligence. It makes a decision, and has never learned regret.
"We will stay," says the modulated, calm voice of the AI. The standing women look shocked for a moment, and then sigh.
"Ozymandias?" says the seated woman. Tears leak from the corners of her eyes again, stinging where the salt-water finds the wounds on her face. "Ozymandias, no!"
The AI does not reply.
The Observer notes that the sculptor is dead.
The sub-atomic howl reaches a crescendo.
They will stay.

Marc said...

Greg - hah, thanks(?) for noticing that little bit of unintended ambiguity!

Fascinating stuff here. Grim, gritty, and fascinating.