SepSceneWriMo #3.7 – Carvings

“I swear that looks like, like a duck. Not a real one. More like…”

“Jan, come look at this one. Is that a pig wearing… a ribbon?”

“A bow tie.”

Jan and his wife, Besra, had started out that morning set on hiking through the woods to the furthest reaches of Waltner Valley. On their map the terrain showed that a thousand foot escarpment encircled the far end of the box canyon. One way in, one way out.

Three kilometers into what looked like a twelve klick trek, they came upon boulders carved into figures. Stones the size of shuttle-pods, as tall as Jan, showed moss-covered mounds of rock chips piled at their base.

Besra kicked at the rubble and reached her hand to the snout of the smiling pig. “Look how worn the details are. And these fragments, they’ve been here for decades.”

“They look familiar. I can’t place them, though.” Jan wandered in a circle, his iEyes flashed a direction indicator when pointed into the forest toward their previously chosen destination. “The trail’s gone, but we can still find our way.” He took a sip from his camel-pack. “Does it look like, I don’t know, like a park in here?”

His wife took the offered spigot and said, “Let’s take vids. I didn’t see any mention of these when I searched the area online.” She sipped and swallowed. “Maybe there’ll be others.”

The couple began to notice shapes, many covered by mounds of pine needles, some emerging like mushrooms from the mossy forest floor. Besra took it upon her self to free the figures from their ageless slumber.

“There’re cats and more pigs and dogs and…” She used both hands to brush the debris and growth that had covered a shape the size of a booster-engine. “I think this is a mouse. The ears and nose… But look at how muscular it is. Some genetic test subject perhaps?”

Jan stepped cautiously around it helping to uncover the visage. “It’s wearing a cloak or something.”

Besra spoke the command to capture the vid. “Who would go to all this effort?”

“They’re getting more numerous. Lets…” Jan cocked his head. He spoke softly to his agent, then to Besra, “There’s a hammering sound coming from,” he rotated slowly, “there. I can’t imagine anyone still…”

Besra had stepped through a kind of gateway, shrubs built up to either side of a pair of ancient fir trees formed a kind of passage. As she entered she tripped a wire alarm. A sack full of empty cans toppled from high in the branches and fell in a cacophonous crash, the contents burst out like an exploded delivery-bot.

“Holy shit.” Besra launched herself sideways and fell up against another stone effigy, her shoulder knocking the woodland litter from what appeared to be a rabid badger, erect and as muscular as the mouse-thing. She cried out at its face, a pinched and grotesque snarl.

Jan jumped to her aid, helped her stand and reported that the pinging in the distance had stopped. “I think who or what was making that hammering knows we’re here.”

“Sorry, I didn’t…”

Jan picked at the cans. “Look at these things, they’re made of aluminum and, I think steel. Some are almost museum quality.”

Besra scanned the pile, lifted her eyes and froze. Thirty meters away, next to a boulder into which the relief of a bizarre auto had been carved, one with tubes as wheels, a man stood, nearly naked, his limbs spindle thin. In one hand he held a heavy hammer and a dark chisel. He steadied himself against the auto-boulder.

“Tiz, ain’ no, meuzmen pauk. Youzen, gee outta heya. I bash yee dem hed ein.”

13 thoughts on “SepSceneWriMo #3.7 – Carvings

  1. Jan and his wife, Besra, had started
    Weren’t you the one cautioning against passive verb use? And wasn’t I the one who said all us would-be editors should STFU till September is in the rear view? I thought so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who want’s (or even will) go back and read any of these things — rear view style? Nobody. And sure, I’ll eliminate passive when I can (or where I fail to nix it while I write). There are no rules, or badges. You’re the one set on holding back.
      And that’s not exactly passive, I don’t think, that’s past participle. They’re in the “present”, the paragraph moves into the past to set the scene and we’re then back into the present (past present or perfect or whatever).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had squints started. Jim and Bill started out that morning to kick the shit out of each other. Was, had, had been all arrive and fail the passive verb test. I had probably thirty bad chapter starts with that shit. That when Glen was sitting, had been sitting on x became Glen stood from his seat on the x it all rocked solid. It’s a nearly invisible sissiness in writing. Jim kicks Bill. Back to basics.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s still a useless, excessive modifier, weakens the sentence and is considered a passive device. Prove you need it for anything in that sentence and I’ll play. Jim kicks Bill. Jim kicked Bill. What’s had got to do with it, do with it?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Can’t prove it. Could easily have written it sequential.
          However, the concept of mixing time in a story is a thing and a popular thing and often creates a syncopation that humans and their predilections to remembering past events and dreaming of future ones appreciate from time to time. (ha!)
          And the only way to go into the past is with past perfect, past prior, “had” bullshit.
          Otherwise, a story is serial, the end.

          Liked by 1 person

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