Thursday, May 23, 2013

Prompt: Fly Away Home, New Moon, Two Brothers, Room with a View, Wild Orchid (use at least 3 of these)

Tanna thinks its punishment to send me up to the loft. She has a wicked smile she never shows Father. And it’s true the heat shimmers from the bread ovens below, cozy in winter, unbreathably hot in summer. But I have a secret. Tanna doesn’t know about the window.

You can’t really see it from the yard below, hidden by the gables, ivy, and the old oak. It was boarded over on the inside, and I only found it out of desperate boredom when she locked me upstairs for an entire week when Father and Uncle Jake took a cartload of baked goods across the river to Festival. One of the planks had come loose, and I started prying it away and discovered the glass underneath. Real glass! I wondered if Father even knew it was up here. He probably would have pried it out long ago, though. I wonder if Mother knew.

Once I had pulled off the boards that covered it up, I found the window frame held eight rippled glass panes. I couldn’t see any hinges, but there were catches along one side like the fancy picture frame Mother used to have over the hearth. Good thing Tanna didn’t know about pocketknife Uncle Jake gave me, either. I used the thick blade to pry open the catches. But the damn thing wouldn’t move. It was stuck so fast I couldn’t even figure out which direction it would go. I pushed and pulled along every edge, every grip, starting in one corner and working my way all the way around the window again and again and again. Finally, it loosened up enough to swing in the slightest bit. From then on, it was just patience and time. I will give Tanna credit for giving me plenty of both.

Opening the window was like opening the world outside. I didn’t care anymore when Tanna pulled out her switch and motioned to the stairs. In fact, I’d just as soon be hiding up here, staring out across the river and the savannah across the banks as working downstairs, wondering when she would next flick the switch across my arm, or leg, or cheek.

From up here, I could see forever, I thought. I could smell the mud on the river banks, the water flowing by, the cattle grazing, the sweet grass waving. I brought my sketchbook and drew all the birds I saw flying by, circling overhead, resting along the river banks. I drew the crocs hiding in the water, and the cattle moving in tight herds. 

Once a giraffe family joined them for a day, and I drew the baby a dozen times before darkness fell. I wanted to see if giraffes stood or lay down to sleep, but it was a new moon and no light shone on them. They were gone in the morning. How I wished I could go with them. Everywhere. Anywhere. Anywhere but here.

[TBC perhaps]

Dogs in house:

Time writing:
25 minutes

May word count:


  1. Prompt: Fly Away Home, New Moon, Two Brothers, Room with a View, Wild Orchid (use at least 3 of these)

    "I asked for a room with a view," Marcy said, scowling.

    "Well, it has a view, My Lady," I said with a practised tone of long suffering, crossing to the windows, which looked out over what might have been the space station's recycling centre.

    "I meant a view of the new moon," Marcy said, petulantly. "Everyone should know that. The man-made moon is what this system is famous for, after all. Doesn't everyone know that?"

    "Yes, My Lady," I said. Marcy was close to overdoing it, but she said no more.

    We waited for the bellhop to leave, carefully not making direct eye contact, and eventually he did with a pointed door slam. Step one accomplished. The staff of Wild Orchid Tours would surely spend at least a moment or two moaning about the entitled, stingy, new-money patron who had just joined. Enough, we hoped, to let them be receptive to my overtures as the overworked lackey who just wanted a little freedom from her charge.

    Marcy sighed, and I resisted echoing her. We dare not break our cover now, when who knew what surveillance might be present in these rooms.

    Time writing: over an hour, with baby who would not sleep!!!

    1. Nice world building and character strokes in very little space! Well done! Did you recognize the movie titles :)

    2. Ah, movies! Room with a View was familiar, but I think from the book to me.