Shut Up & Write! (Day 6) – Choose Your Own Adventure

She sits on the living room chair and knits. I watch her from the table while I take a sip of my chai. Her forehead wrinkles as she tries to focus on her work. The eyes are not what they used to be. Her lips are strongly shut together, forming two creases at the corners. It may seem like a hobby, but it´s work to her.

“To which of my kids should I knit for next? Ah, my oldest, so far away from me. I always make clothes for her child, I should do something for her. I wonder what she is doing right now. She must be so tired. Yes, she is a mother now. Like me.”

It may seem like it´s something to kill time, but she is actually running against the time. “I should send this by mail next week so that it arrives there before she travels. I have to hurry.”

She looks peaceful, knitting her copper-colored scarf – or terracotta, I have been corrected. But she is worried. I know she is. I watch her and wave my head lightly. See, she never relaxes. Or sleeps. It used to drive me mad, and it still does sometimes.

“Why is this sitting here? Oh, you will use it? Put it away until you do.”

“I don´t like to eat with this fork and you always put it for me.”

“Don’t mess up the cake, we have nothing else for snacks!”

The tiniest things, really. I should be more patient. I´m not exactly a zen person either. I guess that, after a while, it´s not really about what is being said at the moment, but how often the same things keep happening over and over again. I´d call it an effect of familiarity.

I keep watching her. She may even be worried about me, and I am right behind her. It amazes me sometimes, how much I can count on her. Need a ride to the airport at 3 a.m.? Yup, let´s go. Want to sew these old pants that you love so much? Give them to me. Gonna burst into tears like a toddler? I won´t judge. Always there, strong, like I have always seen her. She may be worried, but she will always smile through it. I remind myself not to take her for granted.

Now I have this huge urge to get up and hug her. But I´m afraid I´ll make her worry.

So I keep watching her from over here.

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I love my mother so much and I should tell her more often. I have written about her before, here (in Portuguese).

Yesterday´s exercise (Day 6) was also to just write away. We were supposed to write for 15 minutes, but I had to do some editing and add a few nuances afterward, or it would have been chaos! Is my English okay? I always worry. Guess it runs in the family. Check out the challenge here: http://www.shutupwrite.com

 

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Shut Up & Write! (Day 5) – Eye of the Tiger

Phoebe

 

Day 5 Assignment was to write a journal about your pet.

And our dog is as adorable as she is stubborn .

 

Friday, April 5th

6 a.m. I woke up early today. There were some people close by, making noises, even though I kept warning them to keep away. I couldn´t see what they were doing, but I could smell the freshly cut branches. Aline came down the stairs. I thought she was going to pet me, but all she said was, “You woke me up!”. She sounded very drowsy, so maybe she forgot.

It’s breakfast time and I rest my head on Father´s leg, hoping for a little treat. He is usually easy to convince. Aline usually disapproves. Eggs? Great. Orange peels? Not really. Give me something good!

2 p.m. It is a grey, mildly rainy day today. To humans, this means “TV and blankets day”. To me, this means “no outside day”. On the television, there is a pretty, colorful, blonde girl whose name is Phoebe, just like me! They laugh at her too, so she must be a good girl. I wonder what she smells like.

I hear something outside, I think it´s the cat. I will be right back. Someone must open the door for me! Don´t make me cry for it, because I will.

2:30 p.m. I just got back inside now. I passed through Mother’s legs when she went to take the garbage out and got yelled at for entering the house with my wet paws. I think now I will just curl up in my bed for a bit.

6 p.m. It is still raining. I wanted to go outside again, but this time, I was not allowed.

Mother is in the kitchen. I scratch her leg to come to play with me. She waves a lettuce leaf above my head and runs away. I chase after her and try to bite it.

Father is on the couch, drinking dark water. I can smell it in his mouth as well. I scratch his leg to come to play with me. Father strokes my fur and waves his napkin at me. I jump and grab it right out of his hand and take it with me to my bed. He laughs. I like his laugh, but not his sneezes.

6:30 p.m. Aline is in the chair looking at the tiny screen. It is so bright I can´t look at it. I scratch her leg to come to play with me, but she pays me no attention. She keeps looking at that screen. Wait a second, she is upset! I can feel it. Is that water on her face? Yes, the salty kind! I must lick it, so I climb on her legs to come closer, but she yells “Down!” She swipes her hand through her face. Now her hand is wet, and I can finally have a taste of the salty water. But Aline is still upset, I can tell.  I give up, she is not in the mood. I rest my body against her leg and growl. Finally, she turns to me and puts her hands on my face. She always talks to me in a funny voice, except when she is mad. I cuddle on her arms. She gets up. We ran.

Come, Aline, come outside. Let´s go to play. It is just a little wet rain, it will dry away. It is much darker in here, and outside it is still day.

 

Check out the challenge here: http://www.shutupwrite.com

Shut Up & Write! (Day 3) – A construction worker gets the subconscious transferred into a robot!

I have signed up for Shut Up & Write 30 Days of Writing Challenge! It is an amazing opportunity to develop good writing habits, with really interesting exercises to give your brain a little workout! Check it out here: http://www.shutupwrite.com/

Day 3 came with an interesting assignment – pick two numbers for a character and a conflict, and go from there. I thought I was doomed, because I got:

A construction worker gets the subconscious transferred into a robot!

 

The Faculty of Engineering is the pride and joy of Green Hill University, and probably the reason people know about this town. That is why everyone was so shocked when the news broke about the explosion inside the Department of Robotics. The reasons were unclarified but surprisingly, no one got hurt. Apparently, some student messed up with a few circuits. But who knows what really happens in those facilities…

A couple of weeks later, Rico and Johnny got a call from their boss to go work on a contract he had just gotten, in no other than the Department of Robotics. As neighbors and good friends, the two met early in the morning to commute to work. The Faculty of Engineering occupies a whole campus location and is very well connected to the rest of the town through one of the four metro lines in no time. The campus is vast and busy, with students, academics, and visitors running around everywhere. It was only natural that Rico and Johnny took long to find the Department of Robotics. As they impatiently waited at the reception for some guidance, the two young men suddenly heard a weirdly paced, loud, metallic voice behind them, and turned around in a quick motion.

“Greetings, visitors! My name is Walter.” The voice belonged to one of the first humanoid guide robots that walk around the Faculty, and the beloved mascot of the Robotics.

“What is your name?” Asked Walter, with well-programmed humor. The men reluctantly reply, still recovering from the shock.

“What is your quest?” Asked the robot again, in clear nerdy fashion. “I have texted the person in charge, she will come to meet you soon.”

Sooner than that, Dr. Dhanya Kaur was arriving at the lobby to meet our boys, looking busy as usual, with a grumpiness that she did not bother to hide. Fair enough, as she was the one who got blamed after one of her alleged undergraduate students exploded one lab and destroyed the other two beside it.

“Follow me, gentlemen.” Said Dr. Kaur after her introduction, already turning around and walking away. They took the elevator on the East side of the building, which was still operational. Rico broke the silence:

“Our boss will be here tomorrow, he told us to simply remove the items  – “

“I know.” Interrupted Dhanya. Rico turned his face to Johnny as soon as the elevator doors opened. His eyes instantly said, “I hate her”.

“Items in these rooms are classified, you must not speak of what you see here.” Instructed the scientist, looking straight ahead. “Move them to the first room, touch nothing else, and if something appears to be on, you call me immediately.” Dr. Kaur received a text at that precise moment and left, angrily calling for Walter.

“Well, let´s get to it, I guess.” Said Johnny, already exploring the assets. “Look at all these cool stuff!”

“Don´t start, Johnny.” Rico replied, in an unwilling voice. He was still hungover and completely amnesiac from the night before, after Johnny made him drink all those shots at the bar.  Somehow, he could always convince Rico to go along with him.

As Johnny was turning and tossing the explosion debris around, he noticed this shiny, round, blue metal object hidden underneath. “Whoa, look at this cool Mega Man helmet over here!”

“Yeah, old man.” Joked Rico, showing up a tiny smirk.

“I´m not old, just cultured.” The other replied, unaffected. Johnny quickly grabbed the helmet. “Put it on and I will take a picture!”.

“We are clearly not supposed t-“ Rico tried to reply, in vain. Johnny bursts out a loud laugh at the sight of Rico with the helmet on, and the two start to play around. Not for long, however, as they are surprised again by a sneaky Walter.

“Greetings, visitors!” interrupted the robot again. Rico and Johnny turned around, startled. Rico put his hands on the helmet to try to remove it, but a small light beam got switched on at the front. Walter portrayed the best panic face he could, as the light got increasingly bigger. Suddenly, for a split second, the entire room got completely, blindingly bright.

After a couple of minutes, the men were brought back from complete paralysis after hearing the sound of an angry Dr. Kaur´s footsteps on the otherwise empty aisle. In a swiping motion, Johnny took the helmet out of Rico´s head and threw it to a corner. Dhanya stormed in.

“It seems my instructions were not clear enough, because I can hear you two from downstairs. Walter, I sent you here to supervise them, not to play along!” She said, with a cold face. After a quick scan through the room, Dhanya spotted the helmet at the corner. Trying not to show any concerns, she picked it up and left without saying anything else. Rico and Johnny sighed in relieve. Walter sighed too, in adoration.

“That was close.” Said Rico. “Man, she is stuck up. And we are stuck with her.”

“I disagree.” Screamed the robot, getting on the young men´s nerves. “She is like a beautiful angel in this otherwise horrible day. The mere sight of her changed my entire existence. That caramel skin, that lustrous, dark hair, that cute little frown…”

“Okay, creep.”  Joked Johnny. “We got a masochist robot over here. She treats you like junk!” He added, finally engaging with Walter.

 “And that´s what I am, a big piece of junk, a nobody, a weirdo. What would she say if she could see me dancing on the top of that table yesterday?”

Johnny´s eyes widened. “Wait, what did you say?”

“C´mon, you were there, at Mad Hill´s bar.  I slow danced to that Cranberries song.” Continued Walter, ashamed. Johnny turned to Rico, completely pale.

“Hum, Rico, you really don´t remember what happened yesterday night?” He asked, with a worried tone.

“No…” replied Rico, clearly confused. How does the robot know the bar? What is up with Johnny? He has never seen him that pale.

“Rico.” Said Johnny, with his most serious look ever. “We have a problem.”

A skin is a garden

I have recently taken upon myself to develop a horticulture garden at my parent´s house, which has, for several months, also become my house. We have transferred the first few seedlings in the late autumn, and after months have passed, with continuously rainy days, we have seen our once little plantlets grow large robust leaves. Along with them, came the weeds – those useless, annoyingly persistent plants – as if that little piece of soil belonged to them. It did, in fact, once belonged to them, during the years we have neglected the garden, together with a decent pile of construction debris. Whether it was for a lack of time, patience or willpower, we do not know anymore. It seems as if it all suddenly happened, while we were not looking.

Continue reading “A skin is a garden”