The Benign

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Sammy J McMillan
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:23 am

The Benign

Post by Sammy J McMillan » Mon May 09, 2011 10:18 pm

She looked up. The sky wasn't a sky anymore. It seemed to her a strange and ethereal thing, something burthensome and unfamiliar, like an old uncle who had asked for a piggyback. That thought further occured to her as infantile. The sky could not be unfamiliar, or at least strikingly so, since no-one really knows it. Even those great and brave men, those fools who risked their lives to pilot a tin can as it was shot forward and out into oblivion, they were themselves surrounded by metals and plastics so complex it could not be said that they had any true communion with the sky. Okay, she didn't know it personally; but is it not possible to know from afar? To observe and in so doing to understand, to sympathise, to grow close? The thing was, in outward appearances, that sky was no different from the sky of last year, or the year the riots started, or the year CMN stopped broadcasting, or the year the army left for that crusade of such daring and yet such brevity.

Remember the faith that took men from home
At the call of a wandering preacher.

Neither its hue nor its composition had truly changed. Though the clouds of years gone past had long since gone, they were not truly gone, but had rained themselves to the ground and resumed their place in the great cycle of the water of life, and had been churned and returned and re-raised once more by the sun across the oceans and reprised their role as clouds. Though unlikely, she thought, it's possible these are the very same water molecules. They could be. And yet how then could the sky seem so insubstantial? Those clouds were not less or more wet or airborne than the previous ones, more or less likely to yield their bounty on some unsuspecting plantlife or town or city. Still, her rationality was tabled in favour of a motion of uncertainty. Attempts to reason in the face of emotion failed time after time. It was the start of a new day and she had to get to work on the farm.

It wasn't a large place; and while when her father was still alive he had been regarded as backward, puny, pathetic, unmodern, uncommunist, unsatisfactory, in these times where petrol was like алмазы, a smaller scale farm made better use of its land and could defend it all. Small enough that she could work it all herself. She would tend to the animals (birthing, feeding, shearing, slaughtering), satisfy the crops (sow, reap, sow, reap), maintain the structures (chop and smooth, hammer and nail). алмазы, almázy, diamonds, rare and beautiful, when he had sat her on his knee and called out to her mother and said: these eyes aren't yours, Eugenia, nor mine, they're something else, a gift from some place higher, and though she didn't know what it meant at the time that moment was a gift, a gift that would be there in times of hardship, the true unbreakable, the real almáz. But for all the strength she took from that moment, for all the hardness of that diamond, she could not understand why father had said a higher place. The sky had always been there before. What had happened? she thought as she stuffed her coarse feet into boots and wrapped her body in a thick coat, for it was a morning like many in March, rainy and overcast, overshadowing nothing but the landscape beneath it. An uneventful day.
Sammy J McMillan
ANTICAN LIBERATION DEVICE. Allow curiosity to seduce ya: ... =320&t=992
Citizen of the Republic, friend of :sammyj:
In the quotes thread, Ardy wrote:You know, you are a bit of an arse - even by the standards of this hobby (which is an achievement).

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Scott Alexander
Posts: 1777
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:20 am

Re: The Benign

Post by Scott Alexander » Mon May 09, 2011 10:22 pm

You write like a late 19th century Oxford-educated gentleman. I don't think I have ever heard that style of prose from someone born after 1950 or so before, and I wouldn't be able to imitate it no matter how hard I tried. Impressive.

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