Thursday January 11th, 2018

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: jade.


Marc said...

Prompt inspired by the jade stone massage I had done on Tuesday. First time I've had that done, and likely the last.

Started off on a bad foot, as the stones placed on my back felt like they were burning me. They were fine once a towel was placed between me and the stones (it was just a blanket to begin with) but it took a while after that for me to trust the masseuse and the treatment. I'm not sure I ever got totally comfortable with the alternating hot and cold stone massages.

At the end of the session I was relaxed and everything, but I'm pretty sure next time that I'll just go with a standard massage.

Greg said...

I've just read you comments on the spa day prompt and I think you did mention that you'd got the spa gift certificate, so it was a fairly educated guess :) My sentiments are better reflected by the first haiku though... people pay for this?

Today we're revisiting this, partly because I like the characters and partly because it's a shame neither of us came back to that idea since.

The front of the temple was far too bright for the typically grey streets of the Unreal City. Huge red and gold banners swooped down from gold-ornamented balconies flanked by brilliant evergreen trees that spread rich chestnut branches and emerald leaves like welcoming arms. The temple had long, low blue-white marble steps leading up to the double doors that were as tall as three men standing on each others shoulders. Large stone urns fumed with incense outside the doors causing clouds of patchouli- and cinnamon-scented smoke to drift around like tiny clouds of sensory explosion. Even so, it wasn't the gaudiest or most-tasteless building on Wesson Street.
"The Jade Temple," said Dax. He was standing at the foot of the stairs looking like an extra from a Bruce Springsteen video. He had a green bandanna tied around his head, the knot above his left ear and his dirty-blond hair cascaded down his neck to the middle of his back. He was wearing a sleeveless leather tunic that looked like it had never been washed, and blue-denim Levis that looked completely water-repellent. His boots were calf-high and there were guns in both holsters at his waist. Next to him, wearing a blue pin-striped suit, a bowler hat, and carrying a brown leather briefcase, was Mr. Bendix. "Why?"
Mr. Bendix who was somehow failing to look out of place even in front of the temple, started up the steps. Dax had to concentrate to keep him in sight: the man was referred to only half-jokingly as the Invisible Bureaucrat because, he claimed, he was so boring that most people chose to ignore him.
"Why is it called the Jade Temple?" he asked.
"Full of jade," said Dax promptly. "Everyone knows that."
"What does jade mean?"
Dax snorted. "It's a green stone," he said. "Precious. They say there's jade in here that's hundreds of years old."
"They do," said Mr. Bendix. "And they're right." He reached the top of the steps and the double doors in front of them swung open. "That's done by counterweights, by the way," he said. "Look down."
Dax did, and saw Mr. Bendix was standing on a couple of flagstones that were slightly lower that the ones around them, though he had to concentrate again to see it. "You knew where to stand," he said.
"Yes," said Mr. Bendix. "Let's go in."

Greg said...

Inside they were stood in a large ante-room that was empty. There were pictures on the walls, and an unattended reception desk at the far end.
"We're here for the pictures," said Mr. Bendix. "And now is probably the right time to tell you that jade is also a word for prostitute."
They walked over to the first picture, and Dax observed that he was walking far enough to feel like he was in an art gallery again.
"This is more of those paintings that show you what's really there?" he asked.
"Yes. You need to acquire the habit of looking," said Mr. Bendix. "And here we have something interesting."
"This is a picture of a leech," said Dax, frowning. "Funny colour, bit grey really. And big, really big based on the trees in the background."
"Yes," said Mr. Bendix. "This is Joanna. She's available in room 7."
They walked in silence to the next picture, and Dax's voice was quieter when he spoke this time.
"This is a ghost," he said. "Long nails, red teeth... maybe even a ghoul? I've killed these. Pickman knew...."
"Annaliese," said Mr. Bendix. "Room 12. Quite possible one of the antique jades you were describing to me; there are stories about her going back at least eighty years."
Before they reached the third painting Dax stopped. "Do people really...?"
"Yes," said Mr. Bendix. "We need to look at all the paintings."
"Because I'm going to kill them?"
"Because you have to choose one to sleep with."

[@Marc: since you posted while I was putting this together, hearing the inspiration for the prompt was really interesting and resonated oddly with what I'd already written... quite cool actually! I'm not sure I'd much like the massage as you describe it, but maybe it grows on you?]

Marc said...

Greg - are you searching the blog, picking random dates, or do you have these posts bookmarked? You've got me curious after some of your choices this month :)

I appreciate you bringing these two back around, as they are certainly an intriguing pair. I do not envy Dax his task, that's for sure.

And yeah, I think it probably would grow on me. It certainly would help knowing what I was in for ahead of time... but I'm still pretty certain I won't try it again.