Wednesday July 26th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: litter.

Very busy in town today - had to drive by Lions Park three times before I could find a parking spot so that I could restock the washroom this afternoon. Happy to be taking a break from all the traffic for the next four days.

Sorry for all the late postings. Sleepiness combined with lack of inspiration.

Hoping to get back to catching up on comments tomorrow.

Edit: sigh, never mind.

Mine:

What's that lurking in the shade of that maple tree? Ah, just another kiss between you and me. I remember how young I felt then, how happy and free.

And this piece of paper, crumpled up in the grass? Just one of many love notes I wrote for you in class. No wonder it took three tries at History for me to pass.

Look, over there - two empty bottles of wine. One was yours and one was mine. I can still feel the tingle that ran down my spine as we crossed a line that no one had bothered to define.

Not for me at least. But then I was never very good at listening to my priest.

Memories of us litter the landscape of my dreams. All the whispers, all the stutters, all the screams. But nothing here is really as it seems.

For you are not here, just what you left behind. Trust me, I've looked all over the hills and valleys and forests and beaches of my mind. Just bits and pieces scattered about, fragments that only serve to remind me of ties that no longer bind.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Sleepiness is often the cause of lack of inspiration! I'm a little surprised, but not very much, that there isn't a dedicated parking spot for you since you're a town employee, but I guess in a way that's wasteful. Still, it would make your life easier!
I quite how you mix up the memories of the past with the idea of them literally littering the landscape inside the narrator's head and being as welcome. There's a dream-like quality here, helped by the rhyming paragraphs that helps build the overall scene and illusion, and does so very nicely. Great work!

Litter
There was another corpse in two-acre field. Helberg held his breath while he trudged over to it, and kicked it over onto its back. Fresh -- no bloating and the flies that rose up were a cloud, not a thunderhead. Worms were wriggling under the skin on its face and where it showed through the scorched rips in its clothing, but the skin was grey-white still and mostly intact. The eyes were still there, which surprised Helberg the most, but the raucous cawing in the stand of trees by the entrance to the field reminded him that they wouldn't be there much longer. He was about to turn away when he noticed that the cause of death wasn't the claw-marks or the demonic scorching: an ordinary knife handle was just about visible in the folds of the jerkin. He deliberated a moment, but tools were tools and metal wasn't that easy to come by. He put his foot firmly on the rib-cage of the corpse and pulled the knife out.
It was hot in his hand immediately and there was a whine, just at the edge of hearing. He tried to drop it but his traitorous fingers closed tightly around it instead and a warm voice in the back of his mind that he'd never heard before assured him that he just needed to hold it for a little while. Just to take somewhere safe. He staggered backwards, breathing heavily, and the voice went quiet. His fingers still refused to drop the knife though.
The crows decided he was far enough away from the corpse now and descended, cawing with glee at the food available to them. Helberg turned away, his hand unconsciously sliding the knife through his belt, and he trudged away. Was the corpse really litter if it fed a new generation? The birds, the worms, the flies would all grow and get fat, but then they'd die anyway and fertilise the fields. Ultimately he and his family would eat the corpse as well, but only after it has been through many other systems.
There was a cry in the distance and he turned, crouching. The field offered little shelter but he was wearing brown, grey and green and might be missed against the mud and grass. Two men crested a hill, maybe a mile away, pursuing what looked like a nebrin. The stunted thing, like a mobile tree-trunk with too many branches, leapt up onto a rock three times it's height and hurled a shower of spikes at the men. They dodged with practised ease and both let fly with crossbow quarrels – Helberg realised they were both carried dual hand-crossbows. Three missed, but the one that struck emitted a plume of white light that lit up the whole landscape for a second, and when it had vanished again the nebrin was on fire. It danced on the rock for a moment, and then toppled off, and the two men closed in on it.
Helberg stayed crouching and moved slowly, painfully, across the field. If the corpse was litter then the nebrin was trash, but he wasn't keen to meet the trash-collectors. They were too indiscriminate.

Marc said...

Greg - I've got a spot I can park at the main beach and most other places I can pull up on the sidewalk if I need to. Lions, however, is problematic because parking goes from one end to the other with no way to get on the sidewalk or grass if the place is packed. And it's a narrow, one way street there so I don't have any good options (other than try to get to it early in the day, before it fills up).

Thanks kindly for your thoughts on mine :)

Fascinating and grim tale here. Populated with great details and intriguing tidbits... more please :D