Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another update

Still prepping for NaNoWriMo...working on character development/back stories for the most part. I'm a bit frustrated that all the puzzle pieces aren't quite fitting right, but I'm pretty confident tha solutions will present themselves if I just keep at it.

For lack of content, I'll just share a song I just downloaded because I can't get it out of my head. I have this theory, you see, that earworms can only be vanquished by feeding them until they die.

I think once I have committed "The comfort of the knowledge of a rise above the sky but could never parallel the challenge of an acquisition in the here and now" to memory, I'll be over it.

Listening to: OutKast - Hey Ya!
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mid-October Update

Preppin' like mad for NANoWriMo. This time, it will happen!!!

I've hated outlines ever since middle school, but I'm trying hard to make one work.

Listening to: Radiohead - No Surprises
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday - How To Walk A Plank

How To Walk A Plank

This morning, first thing, I got a paper cut - a deep one at a weird angle. It left a little flap of skin, one that I could peel open and close, starting and stemming the blood flow as I wished. I was pissed at the time, but now am so grateful for it.

Once I had put a bandaid over the cut, I inspected the itinerary (which was the paper I had cut myself on) that was slipped under our cabin door overnight. It was rather light compared to the previous ones on the cruise, only one item - a gathering on the top deck. I turned the paper over to check if there was anything on the other side, but it was blank. I absentmindedly tossed it on the dresser and went over to the bed, kneeling down and giving Karen a soft kiss on her forehead. Her moaning reply made it clear she would not be up for joining me this morning. "Feel better," I whispered in her ear, and then I left. I am so very grateful for this little, seemingly meaningless interaction. You have no idea.

Between the paper cut and the fact that my wife was seasick, I was sure it was going to be a bad day. The seas had been very active the day before, though they calmed significantly over night. Checking myself in the mirror, I combed my hair and left for the top deck, where I arrived into this nightmare.

I was sure I hadn't heard the man right; he did have a very thick accent. A flash of knife blade and a nod toward the railing aided in my comprehension. "Walk the plank," he had said.

I goggled incredulously. Do they even do that anymore? I refused to believe they did, even as they were shoving and threatening me toward the starboard railing. As we got closer, I saw a length of board sticking out over the edge. The other passengers were screaming and yelling, but it sounded very far off, as if I were hearing them from a nearby island rather than from the same boat.

A makeshift staircase had been cobbled together to help me up to the plank. It felt almost like I was floating up them due to all of the pirate hands that were helping me along. Once on the board, all the hands disappeared, and I knew for the first time in my life the feeling of being truly alone.

The wind had picked up again. I was worried for a bizarre moment about being blown off the board before I had walked off the end. The absurdity brought a laugh up from somewhere in the depths of me, but it erupted instead as a wailing sob. I felt so pathetic, so embarrassed. I wished I didn't have to do this in front of everyone.

Now that tears were flowing, a procession of images that had been clawing at the back of my mind burst forth: my wife...what would happen to her? They didn't know she was still in the cabin. Would she be killed? Raped? I scanned the horizon for any sign of rescue. It was an extremely stressful proposition to look out past the end of the plank, but for my wife I did it. There was only ocean.

I was shaken from my thoughts as my hands were pulled behind my back and tied. One of the men asked me if I wanted a cigarette. I thought long and hard about it. It was an unbelievably difficult decision for me; the toughest one I can remember in my life. I don't smoke. Eventually I said yes, but spit it out into the sea almost immediately. The pirates laughed. I had a tiny cruel hope that maybe they would decide that I was OK, that they'd take me down, maybe even welcome me into their ranks. Would I be OK with that, with stealing and killing? I wondered.

My hands were, as I mentioned, tied behind my back, but they were positioned such that I could feel the paper cut I 'd received this morning. My bandaid had fallen off, probably due to all the sweat. I stood there on the plank, unbelieving, rubbing my thumb across the flap of skin. I was very happy to have something to focus on, to distract me.