Monday August 7th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: an occupied city.

Spent most of the day with Max and Miles so that Kat could get some work done. Hard being stuck inside for most of it due to the smoke, but Max and I did make it out to the garden to pick some veggies for the house late afternoon.

Met up with bakery folks for a couple drinks and some dinner tonight. Was good fun and I hope to do that again soon'ish.

Back to town work tomorrow. Not excited about the smoke.

Edit: well. That was interesting.

Had some people yelling and shaking our gate to get my attention somewhere around 12:30. Was pretty sure they were drunk... right up until they told me there was a fire in the hills behind my house.

I'll share a picture or two tomorrow, but long story short: woke up Kat, we packed up some things, the fire was getting closer, we woke up the boys and drove up to Kat's parents house to wait it out there. Were up there for maybe fifteen minutes before it became apparent that the firefighters had things under control, so came back home.

Just finished getting the boys back to sleep. It's now 3 am and I need to be up in about three hours for work. So... good night.


It is a delicate balance, living in the sort of conditions I find myself in these days. Be polite to the soldiers, but not friendly. Don't want the neighbors thinking I'm working with the enemy. But certainly not hostile, either. My city, my home, my life is in their hands. No need to antagonize them.

I try to go about my daily business as usual, though every fibre of my being screams for me to stay inside and hide. Keep out of sight, keep out of their way. They would not see it that way though, would they? I would rouse their suspicions, perhaps they would think that I am working against them.

It's a fine line. I am still learning to walk it nearly two months after these men took over my city. I hate the line, and I hate them. I hate how powerless I feel in the face of it all.

I know others are trying to do something about it, but I am too frightened. The price for getting caught is... well, it's too horrific to contemplate. Better to keep myself to myself and wait for this nightmare to pass.

It will pass, right? We will be liberated. Even now our soldiers and our allies must be working to regain our freedom.

It is only a matter of time.

So I shall wa-

Who could be knocking on my door at this hour?


Greg said...

Evacuating the house (even if was only for a half-hour) must have been exciting (that may not be quite the right word, but...)! I'm glad that the fire was under control and you weren't actually threatened. I guess that's another reason for wanting the fires to stay out and the smoke to drift away.
Hmm, your occupied city comes across as not-too-terrible until the end there; the cliff-hanger leaves me wondering if he's been denounced or if there's a resistance effort under way (I'm actually slightly reminded of Vancouver Irrealis when I think about it). I think this would be another good addition to your "to be continued" list (how long is that now, by the way?)

The occupied city
The lawns in front of the houses all have brown patches here and there, and the pink plastic flamingos have been dotted around to avoid them. Lawn-chairs, sagging, yellowed plastic with mould-infested cushions, cluster here and there, occasionally listing where their legs have melted and buckled in the afternoon sunshine. All down the street the pattern repeats itself, the only difference being in the layout. An occultist might observe that each lawn defines a different sigil, but the occultists left three weeks ago. They weren't the first to go, they won't be the last. The city is occupied now, and the occupiers are winning a war of attrition.
A rusty flat-bed truck belches black smoke from an exhaust pipe that looks like a sieve and it trundles down the street. The driver might be drunk or the steering might be shot, but it weaves around. An obese man in stained, khaki shorts lumbers across the sidewalk and into the road; the truck slows to a crawl to avoid hitting him. He shakes a fist, not even bothering to look at the driver, and browned flesh jiggles. He is out of breath before he reaches the other side of the road; his bulk looks as though it would be more at home in the sea where the water could support it.
On the far sidewalk two children in rags, literal tatters of cloth that could have been anything once, but probably didn't fit even then, ignore him while they scrape holes in the dirt. They might be looking for something, or they might just be learning vandalism from an early age.
A smell of licorice floats past, ignored by the occupiers: it's too far removed from their expectations. The hot greasy hunger of fast-food would attract them; the sweet, unnaturally-coloured sodas would pull them in. A bird rises up from a tree, and as though it is a signal flag all the other birds in the neighbourhood rise up as well; a small dark cloud flies away. More refugees, fleeing the occupied city.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, definitely exciting. And worrying. And stressful. It was a relief that things didn't get out of hand. We were very lucky the wind was calm that night.

Oh, the to be continued list is probably a mile long now...

Fascinating scene you've presented here. Such great details and descriptions. And that ending image is just about perfect.