This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”
We were about three days out from base when Rosie found the shaft. She almost missed it as, over time, the top had filled with dirt. It was the readings from deeper that gave it away. Anyone less experienced than Rosie probably would never have made the connection. She radioed Marie about the discovery, and Marie jumped on her Precipitant, found me, and we both sped off to find Rosie.
We had no idea what it was that Rosie had stumbled across, but we were excited to find out. The scanner showed the first 2 ½ metres below the surface was most likely nothing more than dust and topsoil that had blown in over the last several hundred years or so. However, at this point, we were still unsure of the age or purpose of this shaft. Below that, the returns were noisy, scattered, and hard to read. We couldn’t make out anything definitive. Rosie floated the idea that it might have been a burial shaft. We didn’t know anything for sure. I sent her to fetch one of the pneumatic excavators from the Professor, who was not far behind us. Marie and I explored around the site looking for clues.
“What do you think this is, Richie?”
“I don’t know for sure, but maybe it’s an old mine entrance or a well. We should be able to find out soon enough.”
Marie panned around with the scanner while we waited, but we didn’t find much before Rosie came back. There were signs of a large metallic object beneath the surface about 15 metres west of the shaft, but it pinged back with a lot of scattering so whatever it was seemed to have been broken up pretty badly before it wound up buried. We had no idea if it was buried intentionally or if it’s internment had resulted from the severe dust storms that had covered everything else. We planned to investigate that after the shaft.
When Rosie returned with the excavator, she brought Marcellus along. He rode the Precipitant XL, so we used his Precip. to power the earth-moving equipment. Based on what we had seen on the scanner, we removed the first two metres as quickly as possible, then turned the equipment down to half-power to take out the next half meter, and after about fifteen minutes we started unearthing rocks, smooth rounded rocks. We’d seen them before and knew that they were generally formed that way after long periods in flowing water. Old river beds had tons of them, but there was no indication of there ever having been a river here, not even a stream. Where, then, had these river rocks come from? If that was indeed what they were.
As Marcellus continued to pull round rocks up from the shaft Rosie began looking more closely at them. Some were red, some were grey, some were greenish tinged, and some even looked blue. There were no black stones. On many of them, she could make out what appeared to be writing or pictures. Most were indecipherable, but eventually she found a grey one that said, “HEALTH.” From a little deeper Marcellus uncovered one with a crude drawing of what appeared to be a nude female torso, from the knees to the neck. Soon a red one surfaced that read “HAPPINESS.”
I had an epiphany, “I think I know what this is,” I said to anyone who might have been wondering, and the others gathered around. Marcellus turned off the excavator to join the discussion. I continued to expound on my theory, “I read recently about a practice, or maybe I should call it a belief, in some early primitive civilizations, called a wishing well. If someone wanted something badly enough, they could toss a coin or some other sort of token into one of these. The believers then thought that their wish would come true. Look what we’ve found here. I think these are wishes. Someone’s desires to be happy, a hope for health and a desire for sex.”
Marie and Marcellus simultaneously developed unpleasant expressions on their faces.
“Yeah, I know, but that’s the way it used to have to be if we wanted to reproduce.” I countered their distaste.
Rosie tossed me a bluish coloured stone from the pile that of excavated river rocks. “Look at this one,” she said, smiling. I looked at the rock, turned it, puzzling. When I realized what it reflected, I felt my face start to burn and then turn red.
Rosie held out her hand for the rock. I gave it back to her. She studied it closely. “Marcellus?” she got his attention, “Maybe we should have lunch together today. There’s something we might want to investigate. What do you say? We could go over by that hill out that way.” She pointed toward a low and distant mound in the direction of the suns.
This week’s prompts are:
- dig two graves
- not to be avoided
- the red cards
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!