Thursday, February 16, 2012

Timed Writing: 2/16/2012

Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: The exotics have already been placed in the green-house
Source: Jules Michelet, Autumnal Aspirations

The exotics have already been placed in the green-house, as have the last of the provisions and the heating fuel. Icy claws of wind rake my nose and lips. The earth is free of frost, but come morning, it will crunch and sparkle. Scrubby tufts of grass sprouting from the exhausted beige soil tremble in the breeze. Tomorrow they will stand rigid and crack at a touch. All that remains now is for me to check the levels in the fire-point magazines at the perimeter, and then join the exotics and the other children for count-off and seal-out.

At the first fire-point I find the magazine full, the warming coils clean, and the seals intact. The second has one of the old butyl rubber seals and it has cracked. Most of the liq in the magazine has evaporated away. I pull off a glove and fumble in my belt pouch for a new seal. I scrape away the crumbly black rubber with a stubby screwdriver and fit a bright silicon replacement into the flange of the magazine. I refill the chamber from one of the bladders on my back. The hose is narrow, so it takes nearly two minutes. In the cold it seems much longer.

The veiled glow of the sun retreats behind a wall of red stone topped with pine skeletons. I relive last night's dream -- the one that caused me to move seal-out up a week and to carry extra seals and liq on my rounds this evening.

In the dream I was locked out of the green-house and I was naked. It was night and the only light came from the flood above the gate. I pounded on the steel panel, but there was no response. I would either freeze to death or become food for the scavs -- or both. I walked toward a fire-point, considering whether I might warm my hands over the heating element or maybe even splash some liq to the ground start a fire for warmth and protection. I had no flint, nor matches though. Then I saw the eyes of a scav out in the darkness. It was a large one, judging by the height at which the glowing points floated above the ground, and it was well within the range of the fire-point's trigger eye. Why wasn't the fire-point spewing? And then I heard the hum of its pump, spinning dry. The magazine was empty. The eyes drew closer and I saw the grass and rubble behind the scav distorted by its transparent body. Then I woke.

I replace seals on two more fire-points and I top off the magazines of all of fifteen. Then I return to the gate.

(about my timed writing exercises)

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