2/11/09 – consign


            Yes sir, it’s been a while (see?! I told you I write this all the time!). But at last, I’m back. I went camping my birthday weekend (which was suh-weet!) and then…well, I just didn’t get to writing the last couple of nights. As far as camping goes, I gotta say it gave me some sweet – and especially realistic – ideas for Shadows. There’s something about getting out into the real world that gives you ideas you never would have thought of. Like perforated ice, four inches thick, being blowing onto the shore, and the sound that makes. Or how the full moon will play a critical role in the Shadows story, and what it’s like to be in the woods under a full moon (surprisingly easy to see, if you keep the lights off). So it was a good weekend. And as far as the last couple of nights…well, I didn’t learn much from them. But I do think that the old writing muscle is loosening up a bit and getting a bit of oil into the gears. I was almost thinking that, eh, I might not need to do these exercises and that I could just work on Shadows. But then I figured that exercise is still needed; just because I play on a basketball team doesn’t mean I don’t need to run throughout the week, or if I’m in a band I don’t need to practice when not playing as a group (both of which I do and did…). If anything, I think the time and length of the exercise will shorten. A quick ten minute drill before dipping into the ink well. Hey, that rhymed. (Rain on the Oregon coast, by the way.)

            So, the word: consign. (What?! What does that even mean? “Deliver (something) into a person’s custody, particularly in order to be sold. He consigned three paintings to Colby’s.” Oh. Boy….)


            The gulls were a sharp cry in the air, flashing rays of white and gray as they swooped by the dozens across the open shore. Sharp staccatos, an unsteady stream of squawks and calls from one air current to another, were thrown repetitiously over his head as he waited, his eyes fixed on that lonely, mossy staircase built into the side of the cliffs. He had been waiting since dawn, but even by now, at the sun’s pinnacle, no one approached. His patience was wearing thin.

            The rain didn’t help much. When he had pulled his small boat onto the cluttered beach (drift wood lay haphazardly scattered along the length of it, tangled in slimy messes of dark green and brown seaweed) it had only been a drizzle, the thin clouds filtering the rising sunlight to a pale glow in the eastern sky behind the cliffs. He had hoped with the coming day that the rain would move on, but instead it worsened, till by midmorning he was soaked through, though he huddled close under his oilskin slicker at the bow of the boat, a standing, cloaked figure dim against the ocean’s rolling, silver expanse. At last, near midday, the rain had eased, leaving the customary blanket of clouds across the sky. The sun was reduced to a glowing light bulb, which hung straight above him now, and though he was grateful for the expanded visibility he would have given anything for a bit of warmth and clear light.

            Anything, save the small wrapped bundle lying next to him in the sand.

            It appeared to be a small box, wrapped in a tan skin. One corner lay sunk in the sand, belying an internal weight that drove it down into the loose ground. The waves, despite being several yards away, still ate away at the ground, and if the bundle and its owner were to stay for another day, or perhaps two, it would find itself near buried, consumed by the voracious, tireless appetite of the sea. But the sea was not to have it this day. This bundle was meant for a different consignment, a more profitable one than any salty wave could offer.

            But that profit refused to appear, and suddenly the sailor sprang into action and with fluid movements swept up the bundle, placed it inside the boat, shoved the boat back into the waves, and leapt inside like a rider into his saddle. Dangerous it was to wait too long, no matter how high the price. he grasped the oars and plowed his back into the waves, keeping a steely trained on that fading wooden staircase. The unknown future tempted him from its soggy steps, echoing like the call of the gulls. The birds swirled about his head like the thoughts in his mind, but with a shake and a deep dig of the oars he pulled farther out into the waves and away from shore. Tempting it was, but today fortune would have to wait.


            Hot!!! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Nice. Sure, it doesn’t answer any questions, but I’m five minutes over my time and I had to wrap it up quick. Someone showing up would have added a lot of more words and time. And besides, this is a writing exercise, not a completed story. Although, I really like this atmosphere. I think I’m going to start a side document of all the really good ones, in case any full story ideas come out of this. 



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