Sunday, September 18, 2011
The idea was that I was going to use Arthurian legend in a story I was writing, and for that reason I should really know more about King Arthur than can be conveyed in the musicals "Camelot" and "Spamalot". But I appear to have gone overboard (me? Go overboard? Never!) on the research. When (if) I get out from under the pile, and actually write something, it'll be up here. I promise. And it'll be longer than 100 words.
In the meantime, I'm also making a corset! And teaching myself embroidery! It will be fantastic, or maybe awful, but it will be a corset! You can read about the first day of work here!
In other news, I think maybe I need to scale back on the grandiose plans. Maybe? Or would that be no fun at all?
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Abby didn't really like the poem her teacher had chosen for her, a complicated tangle of words that she could barely pronounce, much less understand. But she liked the way her teacher had smiled upon handing her the script, whispering “I saved the best one for you.” And so Abby dutifully forced her mouth into awkward positions that would yield the knots of language until the clots tripped off the end of her tongue lightly.
Years later, whenever she heard the poem, she would smile with proprietary pride, her nostalgia making up for the obvious and plentiful textual shortcomings.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
“Oh no, I'm sure I can handle it,” was his continual reprise. First, when the drain was clogged. Then, when the caustic chemicals he was using began bubbling back up towards the kitchen. Again when the floor was covered in lime, eating through the mop he was trying to use to clean it up. You couldn't fault his confidence, or his collected nature, simply the results of his actions.
“Stop it,” you would say. “We should call a professional.”
“Oh, no, we don't need to pay a plumber for this. I'm sure I can handle it.”
But! Here is a drabble about lies and ham, because Gammon means a lie, but it sounds like ham.
The ham gleamed in the center of the table, succulent and golden. Christopher's mouth watered. This was his favorite part of Christmas: the ham. And better, his cousins were visiting their other grandparents.
Christopher only had to share with his parents and his father's friend, who had nowhere else to go.
“You don't keep kosher, do you?” Christopher's father asked. “Chris loves ham. Insists on it.” This was too good to be true!
And then the reply: “It's fine. It looks delicious.”
Christopher's heart fell, but not far. One old man was still better than four cousins.I know, I know, no four people could eat a whole ham in one sitting, especially if one of them is Jewish and another a small child. But this is America, land of excess, so they'd certainly try.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Percy checked again to make certain that all his things were properly packed. If something was amiss, it was an excuse to repack. He hated disorder. And every moment packing was another moment not fighting monsters. It was safer here.
The message from the king had been very clear on one thing: all able-bodied young men were to go the northern border. It hadn't mentioned what they would be fighting.
The rumors were not particularly comforting. “Apart from the usual dangers,” a soldier had said at the inn last night, “I hear there's another dragon to contend with.”
Sunday, September 04, 2011
“That's not what bell peppers look like.” He meant it as a warning, but I heard an attack.
“My peppers are lovely,” I bit.
“Your peppers are black. Are they rotten?”
“Rotten! They're delicious.” He looked at the plant dubiously. “Taste it,” I insisted, picking a particularly dark pepper. “It's safe.”
Hesitantly, he took a bite. His suspicion melted away, but nothing replaced it. “Oh,” he said. “Can I have another?”
He'd be back to criticism all too soon. But in the meantime...
“Water,” I said.
He picked up the hose.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Anyway, you should check it out!
My blue-jean bustle!
“There are… things in the fog!” His voice is shrill; almost crazed.
“Stop crying like a scared child,” you chide. There are always shapes in the fog, little shadows and depths. Fog is never a uniform white blanket. You see it every day.
But you’ve never felt it before. There’s a thickening in the fog around you. Your vision clouds. You can still hear him, but muffled as though someone was covering your ears. You can feel a tendril of the fog – an individual tendril – as it fills your mouth.
“Don’t ssscream,” it whispers. “Thisss will only hurt a little.”
And it's early enough; maybe I'll have time for another one today. Or a post about something else. That'd be crazy.
Friday, September 02, 2011
The pool shone darkly in the moonlight. Caitlynn dipped a toe in experimentally, half expecting it to be solid as glass, or thick as molasses. It wasn’t. The ripples shivered away from her foot, blotting out the image of the moon, and then they were subsumed as she waded in. She leaned back and closed her eyes, floating. Peaceful. She didn’t notice clouds washing in, until the stars were gone and the moon was a faint light patch. The pool had turned velvety-black. It clung to her skin.
She dried herself with a towel, but the shadow wouldn’t come off.
(EDIT: I totally thought that setting the "Published on" time for sometime, like, six hours from now would hold this for six hours. No such luck. Either I'll figure out a way to do that or I'll just know in my heart that I'm one ahead on drabbles for the month.)
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Weird, huh? You'd think I would be all Michaelis-Menten with this one, but no, I chose Stoppard. Let this be a lesson to you: I will always, always choose Stoppard. Of course, now that it's written, I'm not sure I got across what I wanted to.
The cart trundled sadly into town; its uneven wheels making up for the cement roads and giving it a suitably lopsided, lurching appearance. The banner was barely legible: “Carnival Veronica.” I remembered it being painted in crisp, bright colors, trailing flags that glittered in the sunlight, but now it just all seemed brown and gray and decrepit. Crumbling. Sad.
“Daddy! Daddy! A circus!” cried Bethany, and she tugged on my hand. “Let's go see the circus, can we, daddy? Can we go?”
“Of course,” I answered, seeing my memory reflected in the glow of her face.
The canceled flight should not be a big deal. Any other trip, you would smile and find a seat that isn't horribly uncomfortable. But it's early, or late – you can't tell, you've been traveling for sixteen hours – and you need a shower and a bed.
You can't tell how you look, crumpled against the wall, exhausted. But you're brought out of your misery by a tiny hand on your shoulder. A child anxiously offering a stuffed toy. It takes all of your strength, but you smile gamely, shake your head, and try to find a cup of coffee.