Monday July 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Let us do some more continuations today. I think you know the drill by now.

Smoke from the nearest forest fire was bad again today. At least it helped keep things cooler. But I would have appreciated better air quality to go along with a lack of wilting heat.

Beggars, choosers, blah blah blah.

One more day and then my weekend arrives.


The smoke burns my eyes but I am too captivated to blink the pain away. I do not want to miss even a moment.

All the books and audio interviews I have consumed in recent years as I prepared for this night were an utter waste of time. I am wholly unprepared for this.

My nerve endings are tingling. The intermingling aromas are overwhelming my ability to process them. The rhythm of the drums have become my heartbeat. Colors whirl and blur and separate until everything before me becomes one.

I can hardly breathe.

The ritual has begun.


Greg said...

See, winter wins again! You don't get poor air quality in winter, and you appreciate fires then too :)
Hmm, a fascinating start, just enough to get us all wondering where this is going, hints that nothing is going to be as expected, and then a cliffhanger! Let's see some more about this ritual then....

The hierophant steps forward, holding a glass bowl filled with a red liquid. The bass-note of the drums is so loud that the surface is quivering in time to it. The smell of smoke is whisked away for a moment and I smell... pear drops?... and then the woody, slightly acrid smell is back again. My eyes water.
Someone nudges me. They're not gentle. I realise I should step forward, but then someone to my left does, and someone to my right pushes past me. A queue is forming and I'm being left out. I feel a moment of panic, and then I shuffle across. I'm maybe fifth in line now and it feels like I'm standing on someone's toes, but the drum-beat is too loud to hear anything else.
The first person in line takes the glass bowl and the hierophant -- looks surprised? I can see shock in her eyes, which is all of her face that I can see, the rest is covered by a soft white mask of something silky. The person at the front -- I recognise her hair now, I think it's Jillian, drinks deeply from the bowl.
And then drops it.
Red splatters everywhere. Jillian collapses.
The drums stop, but they've been so loud that I still can't hear anything. People are starting to scream but it's like they're screaming in the next room.
I pick the bowl up, puzzled. It's cracked but not broken and the red liquid left is viscous and sticky. I touch it, sniff my finger. Nail polish. Jillian's gone and drunk a good decilitre of nail polish.
My hearing is coming back now, and I can hear the heirophant talking to someone on a phone.
"...idiot. Graduation is ruined for the whole class now."
I can feel anger welling up inside me.

Marc said...

Greg - winter is slowly gaining favor in my brain. But the fresh fruits of summer are battling hard.

Great details in your continuation. I especially like your continued use of the drums throughout. And the turn at the end was delightfully unexpected :)