Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prompt 6: uncanny valley

Prompt 6: Think about an inexplicable event in your life. Write an explanation.

My response to today's prompt was going to be about this time when I lost a pair of earrings -- one at a time -- and over a week I found one, two, and then three of the earrings. I was about seven and I truly believed that a ghost or gnome had taken my earrings into the netherworld and screwed up when bringing them back.

But I just can't bring it on home.  This happens sometimes: you get an opening and an ending but you don't know how to connect them. (See: all my novels.) Sometimes it helps to see your story in another context, so I'm posting the beginning. Maybe a little time and perspective will help.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to respond to this prompt in the comments, your own journal (please link back!), or the privacy of your own imagination.

Gravlax and Graeloor were arguing over the proper shelving configuration for disfigured Civil War mortar shells when a very familiar, very tiresome Collector cracked into their hall.

"Hallo, old son," the noisy blob with one leg said. He tipped his hat at the two ghoul archivists. Peruvian, mid-century, most likely stolen.

"We are not 'fellas,'" Gravlax said, taking it upon himself to be the speaker for this century.

Graeloor stamped the date on a stack of cards, grunting. It was an enormous stamp, bigger than his head; it contained the date of accession to the geologic nanosecond.

"Look," said Collector #3592304 -- Gravlax recognized him by the bit of clumpy hair behind his ear. "I wasn't here, right?"

"But you are here."

Graeloor grunted.

"But I won't be in thirty seconds," the disreputable creature said.

"How will we know that?"

Collector #3592304 slapped a filthy handkerchief onto the desk. Gravlax recoiled, in case it moved or attacked or spilled something on the books. Graeloor sniffed it; he hadn't had his lunch break this century.

"You don't know where you got this," Collector #3592304 said," and you can't catalogue it."

"Certainly not," Gravlax said, "until you fill out an accession card --"

The terrible Collector disappeared with a crack of energy, leaving a hazy cloud of ozone and the odor alcohol.

"Well," said Gravlax. "That was fetid."

Thump went the stamp.

Photo credit.

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