Friday, June 29, 2007

Writing Exercise Results

Minions have submitted descriptions that may or may not come from their novels. But they've carelessly neglected to name what it is they're describing, forcing you to make your best guess. Think of it as a literary blind taste test. Each correct answer is located beneath its piece in invisible ink. To read it, highlight it with your cursor.

1. Oily grime seemed to infect every nook. Beads of moisture, unnatural and unclean, clung to places where moisture had no business clinging. The stench--something between rancid salami and stale ashtrays, or a combination of both--reached out at me like hands from the grave. Above me, fluorescent bulbs buzzed like a swarm of flies. I half expected to see flies swarming, but it was clear that no self-respecting fly would ever buzz or land there. The bluish light draped a shroud over the already gray fuzz which seemed to cover everything. A wheezing, almost a gasping, echoed around me like the last breaths of an asphyxiated cow. -- pjd
Meeting a blind date

2. I heard the massive steel doors slide shut behind me. The guard removed the blindfold and there it was - neither round, nor cigar-shaped, nor cubic, but radically tubular like the curl of a wave. A serpentine shape that folded back on itself like a Mobius strip and coiled around itself like a Klein bottle. Its width nearly touched the walls and its height reached halfway to the ceiling. It did have an up and down because it sat on four leg-like protrusions. Big as a house, it seemed to be a series of chambers connected by narrow tunnels. The outermost ring, levorotated backwards as I watched. No human had any understanding of how the thing worked, let alone had gone inside. -- Dave
A Spaceship

3. Tendrils of blue reached out across a pale shell, curving and parting like rivulets searching for the sea. These were rivers in winter, sluggishly winding under gleaming ice, compelled to struggle and flow to their destination, even when the surface lay still and silent. I wanted to touch it, follow the rivers with my fingers, feel the silky softness above, but my fingers quailed, afraid of the ice. Nothing here smelt of life, nothing offered freshness and perfume, only the sharp, nose-biting scent of intervention. --McKoala
The head of a child who has lost his hair due to chemotherapy

4. I peer through the dark, sooty tunnel, gleefully anticipating. Glistening globs of gunk adhere, malodorous deposits of creosote-like residue, against the inner curve. Patiently, my tools of the trade at hand, I scrape and twist, tease and twirl, one load, two loads, three. Carefully – now warming to the task – not one for wasted efforts, I am methodical and thorough as I add to the bulk and shape of the incongruous chimera-fetching fuel. The way is clear; my work here is done. After a cursory sweep, I pack up and I’m ready to go. But first, I down a cold one and contemplate the capriciousness of life. Now the flame ignites my passion and life is sweet, like a beautiful flower, once more. -- ME
Chimney sweep at work

5. Slowly, fearfully she inched forward, hoping beyond hope that all of their wishes might be granted. They had come so far, endured so much . . . he couldn't deny them. One by one the three before her made their requests, and seemed pleased with his responses. But her . . . would he give her what she wanted? Could he? She didn't think so. There's no place like home, she thought. She so wanted to be back home, to have this over with. She asked him. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, a disembodied voice crackled unintelligibly. Overwhelmed with fear, she held her ground and meekly repeated her request. -- EE
Going through a McDonalds drive-through on a stormy night at closing time.

6. Harold looked at the object, his brows furrowing. It was unlike Jasfoup to be concerned with collecting such trivia; the demon was more likely to crunch them underfoot. It was fist sized, if you discounted the sharp points which added an extra inch or two and was a combination of peach and sand in colour, the striations lightening as they spiralled to a point. It looked more like the skeletal remains of the lionfish they’d had for dinner last night than anything else Harold could imagine.

Checking that his friend was still in the bathroom (lionfish, apparently, disagreed with him) Harold picked the spiny object up, feeling how smooth the surface was under his fingertips and put it to his ear. He could hear, as if it was on a distant horizon, a crashing sound.

“Do you mind?” said a tinny voice. “That’s my china cabinet gone over.” --leatherdykeuk
Spiny Murex seashell

7. Everything is in motion. The sound of pages being shuffled, stacked and clipped. “Damn it” is heard, muttered softly as the keyboard keys click. Drawers are opened and shut. Doors whoosh, pneumatically closed. The water cooler lets loose another blub, blub bubble. Keys jangle in the hall. The elevator doors slide open; suits and dresses rustle, packages are crumpled. In another room, a phone rings and rings. Not my problem. The deadbolt locks in place as I turn the key. -- ME
Closing up the office at day's end

8. It was once a beauty but now it's sagging. I spent a lot of money on it, a necessary business expense, to set me apart from anyone else. I would show it off with pride to any man, or occasionally woman, who made an appointment. My goal was to use it to get lots of money,
but that is now lost with it's age. Older. And instead of the gravity-defying appearance of yesteryear, there seems to be a sad droop right down the center. My back hurts whenever I try to hoist it up, to reclaim it's original glamour and glory. -- Alison
A custom clothing rack

9. About the nun who discussed Stephen Schneider’s penis preoccupation with his skinny black-haired worried little mom, well, I’ve seen enough torpedoes in World War II movies on television on Sunday afternoons to know that old nun’s boobs are right on target to be torpedo-shaped. Mushier than those torpedic warhead receptacles, I guess, because you can see the two of them swinging around some under her habit, which is kind of creepy, really, but the shape seems to me to be the same. Those long torpedo-shaped boobs of hers look like they’re lassoed in at the waist with the black belt of her habit. So I think she shouldn’t be talking about Stephen Schneider’s love of his little penis, when she herself has got her big long boobs to be worrying about. I confess that these things bother me. And they’ve bothered me more than two times. Or three. -- Robin S.

10. It was my favorite part of the grocery store. The aromas wafted over me like a neap tide of mango puree. Tomatoes. Avocados. Peaches the size of apples. Apples the size of Casabas. Casabas the size of volleyballs. And then I saw them, calling to me from the tropical fruit rack like the sirens to Odysseus, like a bird feeder to a squirrel. I had to have them. I squeezed them. Soft and yet firm. I buried my face in the entire rack and sniffed deeply. A state of perfect ripeness. Did I dare sneak a taste, here in the store? Could I even resist? -- EE
The breasts of Kroger produce clerk Margarita Sanchez

11. It was the smell Janna noticed first. The hint of disinfectant overlying the fug of humanity-- sweat, garbage, bilge-- and the familiar grunge of machine oil and hot metal that lingered in every garage and repair deck she'd ever passed through. The scrubbers never worked well on the rim; too much traffic in and out. And the security lights, too bright, designed for maximum stimulation. What they were was blinding to eyes unused to the glare. Janna sighed and donned her shades before hoisting her duffel on her shoulder. She began the lengthy trek to the check in, boot heels clicking on the steel deck. Above her, the mechanicals clanked on their tracks, casting knife-edged shadows, their distant echoes overlapping to become nearly as loud as the original. Like a mech-rock track, except the singers were hollering coded commands from the mech cabins to the lumpers working below. Apparently, the net comms were still out since the last bombing two weeks ago. -- writtenwyrdd
A space station carved out of an asteroid; on the cargo dock

12. It came in the back door -- tentative, teasing, not quite convincing, like a tap of one finger softly on the shoulder. You turned, and saw nothing. An elusive hint of something almost forgotten hovered just out of reach. It left small clues to its presence and then fled. It kissed you lightly, aroused you, confused you, abandoned you. You dreamed of it and cursed it, and longed for it to stay.

The same day it showed itself, became undeniable fact, it was gone again. Its successor's footstep was heavy, its touch oppressive. All subtlety had fled. --mb

13. I stopped dead in my tracks the moment I saw him. I couldn't help but let my eyes run over every inch of that handsome body--those sleek muscles, that shiny red-brown hair, those warm, brown eyes framed with long lashes. I even found myself adoring his long nose. It was shapely. Heck, even his ears were shapely. His face carried all the signs of intelligence. I couldn't hold back a possessive smile. The way he was built, he was sure to have stamina. Yes, he could easily beat all the competition.

I just had to have him. -- Deborah
My horse

14. I looked at the framed glass rectangle before me and was struck not by the natural beauty, not by the classic wool coat or the pince-nez, but by those magnificent muttonchops. Try as I might, I could not take my eyes away. -- EE
Staring out the window at a bespectacled man hacking a sheep to death with an ax.


Sylvia said...

#1 scares me.

writtenwyrdd said...

I think EE had more fun with this than anyone! Loved #14. You are a sick fellow, EE!

Anonymous said...

14. Genius, squire. Hilarity ensues.

Rachel Green said...

#14 was sick indeed!

Loved the exrcise and the guessing afterwads. Thanks, EE

Dave Fragments said...

#14 is what?
I worked with a guy who raised, butchered and cooked 200 chickens for the daughter's wedding.
He also used to deep fry road kill.
I'll swear to this in any court of the land!

These are all good and fun to read and guess.

Anonymous said...

Thanks EE! These are great minions. Well done -- #8 had me guessing and #10 & #14, well, let's just say I'd definitely read more!!!

Anonymous said...

Debora, Love the horse description!
Mckoala, very poignant. Loved it!
MB's spring was my favorite.

All of them were great! Kudos!


McKoala said...

Some great descriptions! #5 (yes, EE, it's yours) and #9 for me - for the tone in #9.

Robin S. said...

Great fun to read! Really goood descriptions - I don't wan to pick - but have to point a few out-
liked "curving and parting like rivulets searching for the sea" in # 3, "the striations lightening as they spiralled to a point" in #6,
"the mechanicals clanked on their tracks, casting knife-edged shadows" of #11, and "It kissed you lightly, aroused you, confused you, abandoned you" of #12.

And EE, #14 is royally sick.

Happy Sunday.

I agree with writtenwrydd- EE - you were on form in a big way, as well.

Loved the fresh fruit and the breasts. Loved the Oz drive-thru.

Anonymous said...

Okay, here are my guesses.

1. My fridge
2. A mecha dragon
3. Varicose veins in a dead man
4. Either a chimney sweep or weird sex
5. American Idol contestant
6. A tiny man in a seashell. Or a telephone
7. I am late for work and trying not to get caught
8. I should have gone for the silicon
9. Former Catholic
10. That's when she slapped me
11. Steel mill on Mars
12. A dream come true
13. Puppeh!
14. There was something magnetic about Mr. Roosevelt, even so long after his death

Anonymous said...

#5 gets my vote.

PLaF said...

#11 - where can I read more of this????

Evil Editor said...

If you click on writtenwyrrd's name above her comment (2nd one down) you'll link to some potential contact info which may or may not be up to date.