Tuesday, 29 July 2014

WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: The Ray Bradbury Noun Twist List

For today’s challenge, try a twist on a technique Ray Bradbury used to beat writer’s block. 

Your Mission is to write a new piece that includes at least five nouns: Garden, grass, slugs, cat, salt

New Back Garden

Today was the day. I am having my back garden revamped. Everything is planned for an early morning start, Mr. Swiss confirming that he would be up and ready to go at the crack of dawn. I was glad. If I told you that my prize winning collection of photos have many showing the golden sun sinking slowly in the West, but none showing the rising sun in the East, you will understand what I mean. No sunrises in the collection but plenty of sunsets.

We had decided to have the grass removed from the garden as it was no longer grass but a superb botanic mixture of all plants generally qualified as weeds, although I always found daisies and clover to have a mystical meaning. The reason why fairies would definitely be at the bottom of my garden, but unfortunately due to the damp summer the slugs ate the fairies. Every evening when I entered the garden to take breathes of the scent of the flowers; I heard a fairy scream somewhere. She was being attacked again by the brute of a slug. She had no defence and his slimy body held the fairy in a tight embrace. I decided to take action.

Armed with a kilo box of salt, iodine and fluor free, I began my search for a long brown, or perhaps black, shiny body. I carefully approached the fairy killer on tip toe, not wanting to alert the slug into a quick getaway. I am no longer the youngest and was not sure that I would be fast enough to surround this killer. It had double strength being both male and female. Probably this was the reason for slugs to be so unsatisfied with their life. They did not feel that Spring was in the air, they had no reason. Their sexual needs were combined in one body. They could not even get a divorce if they were unhappy with their partner, their partner being themselves. How boring the life of a slug must be.

Suddenly another high pitched scream filled the air at the bottom of the garden. I now knew no mercy and I lifted the leaf from where it came. There it was. A long slimy slug that was about to entwine a poor defenceless fairy and cover it in slime. This could not be, fairies also have a right to live. I shook some salt in my hand and sprinkled it on the slug. The slug twitched and was then still. A pattern of white spots formed on its skin where it had been hit by the salt grains. The fairy escaped to be met by my cat Tabby who decided they tasted even better than butterflies. Yes, so is the life of a fairy, out of the slug into the cat as the old saying goes. Actually it would be out of the frying pan into the fire, but I adapted the sense of the words.

I have now used all my words, so now to tell the rest of this story full of suspense, murder and shock.

The fairies now hid from the stealthy steps of my pet cat and the slugs were slowly disintegrating in a sea of slime caused by a salt attack when the gardener arrived. As a new lawn was planned, he scooped away the old grass surface and the pools of dying slug slime disappeared as well. I again heard a few fairies scream, I think he scooped some of them up as well, but as he did not believe in fairies, he never noticed it.

To make the job worthwhile and to ensure that I paid enough, the gardener also fitted a nice stone border around the vanquished lawn and made some stone paths. I organised the stone paths for the fairies to make it easier for them to escape from the slugs and my cat, but I did not tell the gardener. He may not have believed me.

To put the icing on the garden cake, the hedge was also trimmed. Then the head chief gardener, capo di tutti gardeners arrived to tell me the bad news. It seemed due to unexpected amounts of rain our new lawn could not be delivered tomorrow. It was too wet to be transported. I must explain. We were not having seeds of grass planted for a new lawn. That would have taken two months and the fairies did not have so much time. The complete tribe would have died for lack of grass. We organised a lawn that was already grown and would be delivered in meters. Unfortunately this prefabricated lawn was now delayed and we would have to wait one to two days. I asked the fairies and they said it would be OK. I did not ask the slugs, as most of them were now liquid slime and the remainders were all standing at the edge of a barren garden where there was nothing specific to eat for slugs in any case. I had placed a line of salt around the fairy settlement to protect them from a slug invasion.

Now we have a nice border with bushes and flowers, edged with tiles and an empty barren space where the lawn will be planted. One of the disappointments in life: the gardener told me to spread anti slug pellets around the edge to keep them out. I checked the packet of pellets and it said fairy and cat friendly, meaning that the two species would have to live with the problem until the new lawn arrived.

Now I am sure Ray Bradbury never had the success I had with the fairies and I do not remember reading a book where he told us how he wiped out the slug population of a planet with one kilo of salt. He always did it so complicated with firemen and books and thermometers. I am sure a packet of salt would have done the trick. He forgot to put salt on his list. 

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like quite a battleground!!

    Should look good when the new turf is laid.