The Deadline

WRITING EXERCISE #2

  • Your story must include, word for word, ALL of the following SIX descriptions (describing whatever you want):
    • SHINY, SILVER
    • COLD AND GREASY
    • SCRATCHED AND WEATHER-WORN
    • SWEET AND PUNGENT
    • INK-STAINED
    • SHRILL, PIERCING
  • One of these six descriptions MUST appear in the first sentence of your story. (The rest, wherever you like.)

The Author closed his manuscript, running ink-stained fingers over the scratched and weather-worn leather sleeve. The pages came together with a slight huffing sound, a sighed communion of secrets. The Author painfully straightened his hunched shoulders, feeling the bones crack as they shifted into an unfamiliar position. The Author’s ageing dog fixed him with a baleful stare as he stood and edged around the enormous grandfather clock that was currently taking up most of his small one-bedroom house. “Don’t give me that look, Scribe” he grumbled, as he squeezed himself into the kitchen and started to make himself a peanut butter and jam sandwich. “Sustenance is required if I’m to save the world”. Scribe, unimpressed, turned his stare to the uncurtained window which rose over the Author’s desk.

Outside, the world was in turmoil. Clouds boiled an angry red in the sky, accompanied by ominous snarls of thunder and illuminated with spider veins of quicksilver lightning. People were running about haphazardly in the streets, breaking shop windows and looting with abandon and without purpose. Others stood, mouths open, taking photographs on their phones and uploading them onto social media #endoftheworld (currently trending). Yet others were attempting to make every moment count: cradling babies, hugging grandmothers, falling into vats of previously off-limits ice cream, feverishly copulating, or whatever else people who had only minutes to live, did. Every now and then, police and ambulance sirens emitted shrill, piercing whines and it was to this soundtrack that the Author resumed his seat and re-opened his manuscript.

The wooden floors of his house groaned under the weight of their unexpected guest. The enormous clock had appeared out of the blue, in tandem with all hell breaking loose outside. Just another augury of the end of the world, albeit one seemingly just for the Author alone. The oddest thing about the clock apart from its presence in the first place was that it was going backwards. The time on its clock face was utterly inaccurate – it had started with both hands on 12 (even though it was 9 am on Sunday morning) and since then the hands had steadily moved backwards. The clock’s shiny, silver pendulum swung ponderously to and fro and boomed out chimes counting down the hours. The Author wouldn’t have had any idea how much time he had unless someone hadn’t helpfully stuck a post-it note on the pendulum with the number “72” written on it in thick black marker. He’d taken that to assume he had 72 hours to… do something. And he had decided that thing was to finish his book, because it was the one thing the Author had failed to do in his long and literary life. A bestseller multiple times over, he had retired in a funk of gloom because he knew that he had one final book inside of him, but, like a stubborn tooth, it refused to budge. Instead of pouring out onto the page like all his other books had, this one had stayed resolutely inside of him, clogging him up like a blocked drain. Continue reading The Deadline

Meetings and Misleadings with Drummer Boys in Airports

Or, Meeting Gypsies of the Bohemian Variety at Airports – Part 2 (Click here for Part 1)

There he was. I don’t know how, but I’ve always been able to spot drummers from miles away. He was tall. Muscular. So buff you wouldn’t believe. He was faced away from me, but I could tell he was handsome. There were a few other people at the airport cafe, but I only had eyes for this big, manly drummer. It was destiny that we were at the airport at the same time – and although I had said no to his earlier request to meet, I was too curious to let the chance pass me by. Privacy be damned.

Funny. I didn’t know what he looked like, but somehow, I just *knew* that I would know him as soon as I saw him.

I was concentrating so hard on what I was going to say to this man, that I tripped and caught myself on a chair nearby, accidentally tapping the shoulder of the person seated there. I steadied myself with a mumbled apology and turned to the beautiful man who was still oblivious of my presence. I reached out and touched his shoulder.

“Excuse me” I said, trying not to sound nervous. “Are you RD?” Continue reading Meetings and Misleadings with Drummer Boys in Airports

Tag 5

My first tag, courtesy of the Don Corleone of Kottu Blogs – RD.

Rules: 5 words about how you feel about recent events in Sri Lanka. 5 bloggers tagged afterwards. Sit back and relax.

 

1. Bewildered — Is it over? Is it? Really?

2. Worried — That all the celebrating is distracting people from what’s more important

3. Inadequate — In terms of how I can help the people in the North

4. Confused — Should I be happy that it’s over? Sad at what it all cost? Relieved? Unafraid? Terrified? Patriotic? Depressed? Determined? All of the above? None of the above?

5. Hopeful — That we will grab this incredible opportunity to make a real change


I tag Cerno, Suri, Angel, DeeCee and Absent.

Simple pleasures…

umbrella_girl_by_endintears

Umbrella Girl, by endintears

It’s taken a while, but here’s my list of random, silly things that make me happy. Inspired by RD’s adorable post. More than ten, but I’ve always been prone to rambling :)

  • Coming home after a long, tiring, crowded day and finding myself deliciously alone, left up to my own devices for the evening.
  • Hugging someone and breathing them in.  Safe, warm, loved.
  • Getting that urge to write – I never know when it’ll hit me or what will come out of me when it does, but I love that feeling of sudden, uncontrollable  inspiration. Like I’ll go mad if I don’t find a pen and some surface to write on.
  • Watching babies do anything.
  • When someone strokes my hair. It (literally) makes me purr.
  • Curling up to a movie or book with cookies and milk. And a blanket. And chocolate.
  • When I reach the last page of a great novel and want to cry because it’s over and I feel too much a part of it to let go.

Insightful much?

 

Thanks to TMS, as always, for providing me with a fun 5-minute distraction from my current lack of literary inspiration.


Your Brain is 73% Female, 27% Male


Your brain leans femaleYou think with your heart, not your head

Sweet and considerate, you are a giver

But you’re tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!

You know it’s time to worry when you read something like that and you don’t know whether to go “Damn straight!” or “Yeah right”.
:/