Monday July 24th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: passing through.

Another day in the books as summer keeps on keeping on.

Now down to only five more Town Hall cleans before the end of my contract. Not that I'm counting or anything...


Time's gone by
In a big hurry
It seems,
While you've been
Out there just chasing
Your dreams.

Dad's dying
And our Mama is
Long gone;
Who knows if
I'll get to see one
More dawn.

But you're here
And it's so good to
See you,
Even though
You say you're just
Passing through...


Greg said...

That's quite a bleak poem, especially for you! I like it, I like the cadence particularly and the suggestion that the narrator has been waiting a long time and is making the most of what little there is with the passer-through. The last stanza is the most moving, I think, though the second definitely hits a great note of pathos. Wonderful work!
And I'm quite enjoying your countdown to the end of the Town Hall Clean. You should do it advent calendar style ;-)

Passing through
"Others" said the angel.
The silence that followed lasted too long. The angel clearly wasn't going to say anything without being asked now, and she was staring at it as though she might make her gaze on it as painful as its gaze on them. Adam just waited, expecting that this cat-and-mouse game would have to end. He rubbed his arms: they felt as though they were getting sunburned even though his lumberjack shirt was covering them up.
"What others?" she said finally, the muscles in her neck strained and her lips pulled tightly back. "More angels?"
"Others," said the angel. There was a pause, it might have been hesitation. "They are passing through, but I am here and it will draw their attention. Maybe not their awareness, but... it's a chance it would be unwise to take."
"I can't evaluate that chance," she said, her voice wobbling. "You're not telling me enough."
"The exact probability is 9.47%," said the angel. When it came to the word probability there was a sudden breeze that carried a crisp note of fresh snow and Adam saw a black void suddenly crossed by a million swirling snowflakes. With absolute certainty he knew that this was something the angel had experienced.

Greg said...

"Ten percent? That's not enough."
Adam put his hand back on her shoulder, feeling the taut muscle and hard bone; once there had been flesh there, soft and yielding and lovable, but it had burned away like so much else after the angel had entered their lives. Now where there had been accommodation and compromise there was only determination and an almost fascist belief in the future. "You buy lottery tickets still," he said.
"What does that matter?"
"The chance of a lottery ticket winning is 0.0000007%," said the angel. "You will accept that chance, but not a ten percent one?"
"The difference is between something good happening and something bad," said Adam. "A minuscule chance of something good, with only the loss of a dollar if it doesn't is the one case. A noticeable chance of something bad, with something less bad is the other chance."
"And on the gripping hand," said the angel. They both looked over at him and his voice stopped for a moment."Wrong species. Remember it if you will, but it doesn't matter. On the third hand, grafted on by an innumerate surgeon, it isn't you that will draw their attention but me. You will just be–" the angel seemed to hunt for a phrase–"collateral damage."
"We don't know how you're trapped here," said Adam. The words seemed to hard to say, it felt like he was hearing his voice from a distance and little pinpricks of light kept sparking in his vision. "I don't know how to free you."
"You must hide me from them," said the angel. "And there is so little time left. You will have to follow instructions."
"Yes," said Adam, shouting over her.
"No! And three times no! It's unnatural, it should just go, not stay here and make us do things! I hate it!"
"First," said the angel, "you must fuzz the signal. The controls in here can be made to say that too little power is being drawn, and then the connected stations will draw more from it to balance the network. That is the first task."
"How many tasks are there?" Her voice was bitter as she watched Adam cross the catwalk and descend to the control panels, dangerously close to the angel.

Marc said...

Greg - thank you very kindly :)

Hah, advent calendar style would have been a great way of doing it. Wish I'd seen this sooner!

(only 4 more to go now)

Ah! More of this mysterious tale! Much appreciated, and I hope to discover more along the way to being fully caught up on my comment backlog :)