For Want of a Nail

This was a multi-challenge response to both girlontheedge’s six-sentence word of the week BOOKMARK, and the invisible ink challenge based on the picture below. I am happy with what I came up with, a rather strange little piece about a person with too many bookmarks and none when it counts, which many of us bookish types may see themselves in.

My most innate talent was the ability to lose things in large numbers, which is why when I went to the library to work on my paper I could not find a bookmark to save my life, even though I knew I had to have at least 50.

It wasn’t a joke, an exaggeration, if anything it was an understatement with the truly ridiculous number of bookmarks I had been gifted over the years, on top of those I purchased myself when the mood took me.

I never threw a single one out from the Shhhhh! bookmark from the scholastic book fair I got in the first grade, to the rather obscenely shaped one I got from my best friend as a thank you gift for the wild bachelorette I threw her.

That said, when the need arose, I could search my entire house a find nary a sign that they existed which is why I used everything from my lunch money, to the napkin that came with it, to the receipt to mark my place.

Today I sat at the library, similarly bereft, taking using a pen, a paper-clip I found in my pencil case, and the cloth strip attached to the hard cover to allow for me flip between my three sections with ease while I scribbled down my notes.

All good things come to an end though, the pen pressed into service after an ill-timed ink shortage, the paper-clip needed to clip the papers, and so I surrendered my left hand, two fingers holding the places where anything else would have sufficed, and I mourned the absence of a good bookmark.

Gone Forever

This one is a little piece about someone throwing something away. There is a lot left to the imagination, what is it, is it important, is it nothing? Sometimes you just gotta go for it and throw something away when you know there is no chance of getting it back, alternatively hoarding might be the lifestyle for you…

Manda rushed the garbage to the dumpster, seeing the truck coming down the lane to take it away. Throwing it out might come back to bite he later, but it was the right thing to do. It wouldn’t matter anyways, because no amount of backlash would bring it back.

No amount of garbage can recovery, or dumpster diving would find something heading for the landfill. It was gone, forever, and she felt a small amount of anxiety with her relief. She had long since learned the lesson “It was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”

Precious Cargo

The word of the week is EXCHANGE and I will admit this one is a little weird.   I went with the definition of exchange, as an exchange of goods.  I have to admit, this is not my favorite six, and sometimes you write something and just go, ya, okay, that’s odd.  This is that story.

There is something about using the barter system that makes me feel like a peasant in the Middle Ages, a drug dealer or a spy.

As I stand on the darkened street corner, waiting for the guy with the goods to make it to the exchange, I think that today we are leaning more towards drug dealer.

He finally shows on foot, looking around furtively as he crinkles the top of the folded paper lunch bag with one hand, and is that what I think it is?

He asks if I have the stuff, and I pull the plastic covered pages from the inside of my jacket, hesitant to expose them to the low drizzle starting, and startle when he wretches them from my grasp, shoving the paper bag into my flailing hand. 

He fingers through them quickly, as I desperately try to get into the bag, relief forming as the delivery seems unaffected, exactly as I wanted, but when I go to say so he is already walking away, so I cradle my precious paper bag in my arms and speed walk home.

Finally there, I delicately lift my precious out, looking into the curious eyes of a perfectly adorable kitten, worth every comic book, and I wonder what possessed the man to put her in a rolled-up paper lunch bag…

For anyone wondering about the paper bag, this one is actually based on reality.  When I bought my first cat, the man at the pet shop put it in a lunch bag, rolled it up and handed it to me. I was three, and the confusion about how the cat was going to breath as I took the bag is one of my first memories. 

Not All Those Who Wander…

Ok, I have to admit, that this one was a bit of a wild ride for me. The prompt was “You are an explorer searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Tell us about your search in the form of a log or diary”. I started out with the idea of the end of the search, they haven’t found the city, but are running out of time. Then I just went with it. Pretty happy with what I came up with

Day 856

This is it.  The final month of the expedition.

I thought we were over when out grant ran out, or the first benefactor threw in the towel, but we persevered. 

Now we are 856 days into a 120-day search for the lost city and I finally have to admit it’s over.

The money has dried up, and our rations won’t stretch any further.

In 23 days we will have to head home….

Day 858

I guess I always thought this would flop quick, and then when we got the extensions, that we would find the city.

It never occurred to me I was going to be going back home and explain a 2 year and change gap on my resume.

Oh, yes, I double majored in history of ancient civilization, and languages, with a minor in geography 3 years ago.  What have I been doing since then?  Well that’s an interesting question, ever heard of Atlantis, because I definitely didn’t find it!

Day 863

We found something. 

It’s official, Atlantis existed, and we are on the right trail.  Now, all I need to do is find it in the next 16 days, and we are golden…

Day 870

We found another artefact.

We are so close now, I can almost feel it. 

I sent word to all our previous sponsors, but it seems like they lost interest.

I can’t believe we are going to have to turn back after coming so far.

Day 875

6 days left, and the artefacts we have found…

We didn’t find the city, but these alone will change the face of history. 

I just wish we had more time.

Day 877

We are turning around tomorrow, a couple of days early, because….we are lost.

Apparently navigation is fried, and according to our navigator we have probably been following unreliable signals for days, if not weeks.  Which means it may take a while to get back, and  when we go, there will be no way of knowing where we were.

Day 877…Later

The crew doesn’t want to turn back.

We put it to a vote, it’s unanimous, we are continuing, we might not have the supplies to get back, but we will find Atlantis.

Day 888

We found it.

Oh my god we found it, and it’s… indescribable. 

This changes everything.

** These pages from the log of Dr. Clara Savannah were recovered by the crew of the Divergent, a science vessel studying currents in the Southern Ocean.  It appears that this was the Doctor’s last entry, the rest of the log is too badly damaged to be sure, though the date it was written corresponds to the that of the last recorded GPS signal for the ship.  Recovery efforts have yielded no results, likely due to the navigation error referred to by Dr. Savannah in her log.

Sixteen subsequent expeditions have been launched to discover the lost city, and so far only three have returned safely.  The lost city of Atlantis remains lost.