Friday, December 9, 2016

(Due Dec. 15th) Post #4 - Sight and Blindness

There is a persistent fog that has settled over the city.  The tops of the buildings are shrouded in it. During the early morning hours, 4 AM to be precise and rather unexpectedly, a train rolls down the tracks.  There hasn't been a train in years, but it rolls through once at 4 AM and then at 4 PM. The early morning train's whistle blows several times, and at least 50 cars roll through fairly quickly and a bright red caboose ends the procession.  Strangely, Munny Pang is standing on the caboose's platform, and as the train moves by, he is throwing orange peels onto the tracks.

At 4 PM, however, the train creeps along the tracks and eventually stops.  The train is quite long and blocks all the roads that cross it in town. Once the train stops, the door to the boxcar opens and a small man accompanied by a young boy of about 13 get out and make their way to the small park next to Only Way street. The boy, whose mouth is covered by duct tape,  sets-up a small tent under a very old oak tree. The old man sits on a blue blanket spread by the boy and takes off his worn-out hiking boots. As they walk to the park, people observe that the old man is blind and the young boy is helping him travel. Because the fog is so dense, they really just look like shadowy figures.

Your character, for some reason, must go through the park.  Once he or she does, the old man shouts a prophecy at your character.  (You've drawn a prophecy from the coffee cup and should use it in some way.)

1) "The truth with all its power lives inside me."
2) "How terrible--to see the truth/when the truth is only pain to him who sees."
3) "What will come will come/Even if I shroud it all in silence."
4) "So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you..."
5) "Your great good fortune, true, it was your ruin."
6) Ah, but aren't you the best man[woman] alive at solving riddles?"

Because it is Wednesday, the bells at St. Cecilia's church begin to ring at noon.  Instead of stopping in the usual 10 minutes, one bell in the tower keeps ringing in a soft, yet persistent tone, as if calling people to church.  In the grave yard across the street, a nun, a priest and a policeman stand over an old grave that has been recently disturbed.  The headstone is a cross that appears to have some red paint brushed across it.  On one arm of the cross, a jade pendant dangles at the end of a silver necklace.

Throughout the day and into the evening a woman can be seen walking around the streets.  Her appearance contrasts those around her in the fog. Her outfit is various shades of red. Her boots are burnt sienna and the color makes her look as if she isn't actually touching the ground when she walks. The long, maroon skirt is stitched with sparkling beads and the scarf wrapped around her head is of such a bright salmon color that it appears to be glowing.  Around her neck sways a large tooth of some kind, attached to an old leather string. She doesn't seem to have a direction, and she stops various people and asks them a question. (What question does your character answer?)

DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE ALL OF THIS IN MY BLOG?  Of course not. This is a creative writing exercise to make you think about literature and the choices an author makes.  Many of the details are drawn from your suggestions. But you must include the prophecy.  You should try to capture the mood and tone of the post and include as many elements as possible while keeping your word count to 450 - 500 words.

Friday, October 28, 2016

#3 - Thirst Due date -Nov. 9th

As the reporters leave town, the cities water leaves with it. There is a problem with the main water line heading into the city and the whole city’s water cuts off. No one knows why it was shut off or for how long it will be off, and the mayor has mysteriously left town. The fishing pond and Rainbow River immediately become hot spots for local residents to take showers and wash their clothes. Tensions rise throughout the city as people fight over the little water left in the area. School and some jobs are temporarily cancelled in this state of emergency and as expected, most residents begin to panic.
Some people band together to collectively search for water while others simply stay put and manage their remaining resources. Nevertheless, everyone is out and about dealing with the tough situation.

Everyone in the blog city interacted with at least one person this week
The confirmed interactions are as follows:

Annabell Amelie Adamson either Wren Henry or Jamie Medina
Autumn Moore-Wren Dillan
Candice Arnett-Scarlett White
Sasha Tary-Rick Flame
Hal South-Olive Roderiguez
Henry Johnson-Lucien Marr
Howard Chapman-Laurelil Steson
Anthony Moretti, Sophie Stone, or Milton Brock
Baker Shefield-Rory Langely
Barnabas Evergreen-Rebekah Mershire
Cecelia Fisher-Philip Hornbuckle
Colette Mikealson-Nephele Neil
Ellen Davis-Munny Pang
Elliott Varane-Masie Waren-Loe
Harvey Potter-Jenn Sonyac
Gaia Lux-Jackie Wackerman

Man Low- ????

Monday, October 3, 2016

#2- This is living? Due date: Oct. 11th

The editor of Southern Living crooked a discerning eyebrow at the underwhelming façade of The Victorian. It was 8:30 am, but she’d been up since 5, and her crew had a long day ahead of them doing interviews and photoshoots. They were covering this town for a piece titled “15 Southern Towns Making a Comeback”, but she had yet to see what exactly was supposed to be coming back in this tumbledown town. Her proposal team was going to get an earful when she got back.

The apartment building groaned as if to protest her thoughts. Anica Mathews scanned it critically once more, wryly wondering how she could sell this ancient, hulking establishment to her readers. A lived-in feel? Nostalgia for an era gone by? The quaint touch of antiquity would be stretching it a bit. She resolved to think about it later. Turning sharply on her heel, she issued orders to the veritable army waiting behind her.

“Reporters, make-up artists, photographers, pair up! Knock on every door! I want to know everything about everybody who lives here! Where they work, what they eat, when they sleep, hell, even hows deys momandem? Give me pictures! If it ain’t pretty, make it pretty! If it ain’t interesting, make it interesting! If they slam the door in your face, pick the lock! We have a magazine to produce! You got it?

“GOT IT!” They chorused back at her, enthused, then scurried through the crookedly hanging front door, ants ready to swarm. Anica could already hear indignant shouting issuing from the lobby. Smiling smugly, she resettled her designer hat atop her perfectly coiffed hair and set off towards city hall. She had a meeting with the mayor to get to.

This is how your story continues: accosted by pushy magazine employees, determined to include you in a feature of Southern Living. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#1 - A Whiter Shade of Pale

The sunset fills with puffy clouds that shift through hues of oranges, blues, reds, and yellows as the sun fades. The city is bathed in this light for most of the late afternoon, and now everything sinks into a pale gray. There is a cool breeze that shuffles through the neighborhood occasionally shuffling a discarded section of the newspaper, maybe rolling an empty plastic bottle toward the sewer drain. 

It’s a pleasant evening in a place that doesn’t always see pleasant things. And there are more people than usual out and about.  The evening seems perfect in a calm and gentle way.  Most in the streets don’t notice this lull in the sharp edges of this city. They simply feel the need to be heading to dinner, going toward some shopping that they neglected or simply to visit the park.

It’s 7:30 and just when the sun gives up its gentle lulling of the city, and sets behind The Victorian, a loud pop jumps from one of the street light generators.  The entire neighborhood is suddenly without power.  A few turn their heads in the general direction of the sound, but after all it is a city.

For you, gentle readers and writers, the day starts here, in this evening, in this way.