I missed this week’s session because of arthritic pain and project overcommitment. (I really do need to say “no” when needed and not feel guilty about it.) So, here’s last week’s (my fourth) session with the VA OT Creative Writing group I’m participating in. The writing prompt for the day was “The Overheard Remark”. This is what I came up with.
“Soon, the time comes” a voice whispers into the darkness.
He turns to look around for the speaker. There is no one there, as is to be expected, under normal circumstances. “Opportunities-to-excel” are usually lonely jobs at the best of times for the lowest ranking enlisted guy in a maintenance unit. Cleaning a drop ship in a hangar bay on a weekend only makes it moreso.
He shakes his head, picks up the hard bristled push broom, and goes to work on the undercarriage, always the worst part of this cleaning job.
“Soon, the time comes,” the same voice whispers out of the darkness.
Airman Darwin Moore shrugs his shoulders and decides to ask for clarification. “Soon, the time comes, for what?” he asks.
“I think one of the mortals can hear us,” another voice speaks out in surprise.
“What?” asks the original voice, somewhere between surprise and incredulity.
“Don’t mind me,”Amn Moore responds to the unattached whispers, and goes back to working on the backside of the right landing skid.
“I think you’re right,” the original voice speaks to the other. “I don’t know how this is possible.”
“Maybe we can convince him he’s going crazy and just hearing voices in his mind,” the other replies.
“Works for me,” Amn Moore replies to the darkness. “I got work to do here anyway.”
“Just don’t mention the prophecy,” the original voice says. “Maybe we can talk around specifics and still make our plans.”
“But the 30th of February is coming soon,” the other voice answers.
“You idiot,” the original voice says.
“No kidding,” Amn Moore adds, “everyone knows February only has 28 days, unless it’s a leap year, then you get 29 days. Never 30.”
“Says you” the other voice says defiantly. Then, addressing the original voice, it adds, “See he knows nothing of the workings of this world.”
The original voice speaks up again, “silence, you fool. In your effort to be right, you’re educating the mortal.”
“I’ll distract him,” the other voice says and then begins chanting, “tse roma siriuqer douq enmo.”
“Is that ‘All You Need Is Love’ in backwards Latin,” Amn Moore asks, recognizing the tune from a childhood of being raised by a Beatles-fan father.
“How does he…,” the other voice cuts off in shock. “He knows way more than he should,” the other voice huffs angrily. “We may need to just kill him to be safe.”
“No,” the original voice shouts with command. “We just wait until he finishes his job and leaves the area. The dimensional walls are thinner in this area than I thought.”
“Thanks guys,” Amn Moore says into the darkness. “I’m really busy here and don’t really have time to worry about your plans or getting killed.
He shrugs and goes back to scrubbing the drop ship. He shakes his head knowing no one’s going to believe this story.