Thursday February 8th, 2018

The exercise:

Write about: the oasis.


Marc said...

Was going to do the yearlong today but things did not go as planned. Expect it on Sunday instead.

I think, since I'm here anyway, I should probably toss something together for the prompt...


One more dune to climb...
And then another.
Soon the oasis will appear,
Instant relief for parched lips and a
Salve for skin that's long past seared

Greg said...

It's always nice to get some of your writing too though, Marc, so I'm pleased you decided to write to the prompt as well :) I like the acrostic, it's the first thing I spotted, and I like the note of optimism that permeates your poem. The last two lines are quite powerful in my opinion; I kept thinking about them as I went to make coffee after reading it :)

Sberychev watched Snake scurry to the side of the shack, and then he disappeared out of sight as he sidled around it towards the back. The Tesseract lifted up, moving away from the shack and gaining height. There was something else out there in the mathematical landscape that coexisted with the world, something that felt like a source to the sink here. To his slight surprise he found it quickly: it was less than 500 metres away off to the left of the shack. The Tesseract slid over; he could have taken a short-cut but he wanted to understand what else was in this desert. The answer, almost disappointingly, was 'nothing'.
In reality the new place looked like the rest of the desert locally: grey sand baked to death in an arid atmosphere with hints of scrub grass and the skeletons of tumbleweeds. In the mathematical realm there was an oasis sat there: a brilliant pool of near-water surrounded by the ghost of marble forming a pool that made Sberychev feel hot, sweaty and in need of a bath just by looking at it.
He smiled, suddenly possessed by the idea of settling the Tesseract down by the pool and taking a short break; the ransom, after all, didn't need to be resolved until 5pm.
There was a humming noise, which might be the soft breeze that was rustling the palm trees leaves attempt to get into the Tesseract, and there was a sudden scent of patchouli, and he relaxed a little more.
Palm trees? His brain nudged him. There had been no palm trees when he first saw the oasis, just the pool and the marble.
The Tesseract pulled back slightly, and he studied the area around it more closely. He found nothing, so he did it again, and then again, and finally, on the fourth try, found a line of what might be smudged footprints. If you weren't looking for exactly that, you'd have missed them -- he had, three times already.
"Genius loci," he muttered. "Something built this, and this is the real trap."
The Tesseract drifted back towards the shack while he thought. "This is... this is what they want. They want to get into that, and then expand it. A way of controlling people but... but the Genius Loci is the spirit of the place, and it doesn't spend all that energy for nothing. They have no idea that it's a predator."
The Tesseract halted as a new thought struck him. "I had no idea there were predators in this realm," he said out loud, staring ahead of himself. "There's an ecology here too. What else...?"
The Tesseract had drifted around the shack slightly during the journey too and from the oasis, and now he could see Snake standing by the back door of the shack, the ugly, polluting generator that was building the strange superstructure, and the man in the trenchcoat back at the pick-up truck out front, pulling another sports bag out of the truck. This one seemed to be struggling with him though, as if there was something alive inside it.
"More than one Genius Loci?" he muttered. "I wish I knew what was going on here."

morganna said...

This is based on Greg's story :)
Sliding through the dimensions
Preying on unwary travelers
Ripe for
Imaginary succor,
Not noticing the
Greedy teeth.

Sometimes other
Predators attempt their own seduction
Robbing the oasis
It has learned
Neat tricks to exploit greed
Gaining extra nutrients in the process.

Anonymous said...

Morganna, nice one, I could see that.
Greg, brilliant.
Marc, good to see your words again, “seared” ew, that reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets too much sun and Newman looks longingly at his seared skin.

The Oasis

I approached the ice cream vendor’s bain marie. The colours of the different ices were enticing to the senses, but I was only interested in one sense - the cooling, quenching taste of lemons and limes in a tangy sorbet, (dairy-free, of course).

I fronted up with $4.50 in coins held tightly in my fist.

“The usual?” he asked.

I nodded, with a smile. What can I say? Yeah, I’m that predictable, but really: sorbet is the most refreshing antidote to the blistering heat outside the mall.

“How’s business?” I asked, for polite small talk. “I bet it’s busy with this heat wave...?”

“Well, it was yesterday, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in business and in life, it’s that you should never worry about the things you can’t change,” he offered with a smile.

“Hm, that’ll be my take-home message today, thanks for that,” I returned, admiring his street-sense.

We exchanged money and food and I sat down, eagerly digging into my cup of single serve sorbet. I got lost in the world of my own thoughts, encased in a mental oasis as I watched the shoppers busily chasing down the latest bargains in the stores all around me.

In five minutes I was done. I placed the cup and spoon in the recycling bin and went on with my day, thankful for the tiny break in an otherwise predictable routine.

Marc said...

Greg - thanks :)

A predatory oasis. Something alive in the sports bag. Snake about to break into the shack. This is approaching a crescendo, I think, and I can't wait to see it!

Morganna - that's fantastic! And a double acrostic as well, very impressive :)

Dragonfly - thanks!

Annnnnd now I want sorbet. Even though it's the middle of winter here.