Sunday, 19 October 2014

The prophecy is written on the back of a Thai take-out menu

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

*I'm not good at making up prophecies so I borrowed (stole) a random one from Nostradamus.
She stood on the other side of his desk and handed him the paper.
He glanced at it before flipping it over, turning it sideways and looking up at her. “The prophecy is written on the back of a Thai take-out menu?” He sounded personally offended.
“It was all I had.”
“Do you think the nature of the paper affects the words?”
He made a face. “No... that would be-” he glanced up and caught her eye, “-that would be silly.”
“Yes, it would.” She shifted on her feet. “Honestly, when he starts spouting, I have seconds to get it all down.”
“It’s well written given you have so little time,” he conceded. He read it again. “Any hints?”
“No idea.” She recited it from memory.
“Seven conspirators at the banquet will cause to flash
The iron out of the ship against the three:
One will have the two fleets brought to the great one,
When through the evil the latter shoots him in the forehead.”
He sighed. “It sounds like another war prophecy.”
Another one.”
“Shooting... ships of iron.” He scratched his chin. “So who are the three?”
“And two fleets. It sounds like nations at war.”
“But there is a ‘great one’.” He used finger apostrophes.
“Not that we know who he is yet.”
“Who says it is a ‘he’?”
She ignored that.
“So where is he now. The prophet?”
“He’s asleep. It wears him out.”
“Asleep where?”
She blushed and didn’t answer him.
“Right...” He shuffled some papers on his desk and cleared his throat. “So, other than spouting gibberish occasionally, he’s normal?”
“Of course, he’s normal,” she protested and then blushed again. “I mean, he eats Thai take-out doesn’t he?”
“That does not rate as normal, in my book,” he commented.
“Not good with chili, huh?”
“I had this meal once-” he looked embarrassed and unsure of why he was confessing this to her, “-I thought they were small green beans and I swallowed them whole.”
She made a face. “Ouch.”
“You bet. It was worse the next day.”
“He’s fine with chilies, not so good with conversations.” She made an odd shrugging movement.
“Unless they are cryptic-”
“-and have four lines. It is always four lines.”
He grinned at her. “So try to write the next one on a blank sheet of paper?”
“I’ll try, but they’re pretty random.”
“You know the company needs him to keep making these prophecies?”
“I know that and so does he. That’s why he gets so tense about it and then has this collapse afterwards... so much is riding on it and we don’t know what causes them to happen.”
“Yes.” A pause. “It’s end of the world stuff or it could be.”
“Yes. Yes, it is.” She sat down with a whump as if all the air had just gone out of her.
“It’ll be all right,” he said. “He’s on our side.” He reached a hand put to her as if to comfort her.
“I know... it’s just... sometimes-” She looked at him and her face was conflicted.
“Sometimes you’re not sure we are the good side?” he asked.
© AM Gray 2014

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