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September 20, 2008
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Four over Five
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Whoever’s idea it was to host a bar in the beached hull of a long-forgotten mariner should be labelled a genius. The black sea sloshed sleepily outside, blanketed by a sky loose-knit enough for the stars to peek through. I’m romanticising it all; grungy high-rises pushed the beach back day by day, sand was doped up on forgotten syringes and Heaven lay like some beached whale against the moon.

Heaven. Stupid name for a bar, really. I’d lost track of how many drunkards had shambled in hollering for entertainment, having mistaken the buzzing neon sign outside to be advertising a brothel. I felt the name a last resort, so out of place. The décor protested it. Countless shelves and crannies inside the bull boasted a maritime theme that was difficult to ignore. A brass teapot sat proudly in the porthole beside me, one of four I’d counted through my visits, and bearded maps peeled free of their sticky-tape constraints. Splintered wood didn’t agree with them. All the compasses, miniature gloves, wheels and other paraphernalia were either bolted or glued down, too tempting in a bar fight to be left just lying there. You can’t trust anyone these days, especially not with thirty-cent pieces of junk.

Wind swept through the walls on occasion yet Heaven was surprisingly drip-free. Despite it being the only place open after ten for miles around the crowed almost never rose above a pleasant hum, an occasional group of university students breeching the monotony every so often. They were ignored by the regulars who crouched over their meals, the same every night, no questions asked. The kids would talk loudly, slosh away dollars out of their mugs and onto the floor, and leave. The place wouldn’t change.

Old Franklin, a man who looked as if he’d been born and bred on a ship like this, was rooted to his seat by the window, his gin mug barnacled to his weathered hands. His beard, a scraggly grey mat, often crept into his alcohol, sneaking it’s share as he dozed in the firelight. Stains often marred his shirts for days at a time and I was strongly in the belief that his carer visited on Tuesdays. It was the only day he was presentable and that never lasted long.

It was Tuesday tonight. Mrs Baker, the pleasantly plump housewife who sat across the room from me, met with a variety of young men and women here on Tuesdays. She was a social worker and these her ‘clients’. You never saw them twice: she met them, fed them and left with them but never, ever saw them twice. Both Bakers appeared on the Friday, after Mr Baker’s six o’clock flight back home. No-one said anything

The Asian Man – I could never tell where he was from exactly – nested in one of the corners. The triangular booths there seemed to appeal to him. A week after the man’s first appearance the bar’s owner had set up a gas-lamp above the favoured table; sallow under the flame, Asian Man’s thin fingers, nails cut painfully short, fumbled with squares of gaudy coloured paper. Cranes, everyone supposed. Who hadn’t heard the story about a thousand of them? He never answered if you asked who they were for, only give a gummy, shaky smile as he crushed another paper wing.

Other patrons could have been found in any pub; the drunkard, the young musician with calloused, ink-stained hands and the ancient couple that never seemed to finish their meal no matter how long you waited. Oh, and there was her.

She was another one of those customers who you knew the face of, smiled at perhaps, but never dared speak to. A writer of some sort – she never appeared without her note-book – the only person she’d let associate with her were the barkeep and the musician, who fawned under her attention. Some creature out of pulp fiction, her hair looped into loose curls at her shoulders and her eyelids were always darkly stained, lips red. No outfit was ever used twice, why I was never sure as it was near impossible to tell in this light, yet I noticed. After midnight party scraps aside, she was the youngest regular; no veins spidered across her calves, no shadows curved under her eyes. Odd, that, considering the hour.  She was totally, utterly unapproachable and she knew it.

A few had tried their luck, some of the one-nighters. They received a disbelieving, smouldering stare for their trouble. ‘Are you talking to me?’. If that alone didn’t drive them off then she would sigh, a short, sharp breath of irritation.

"Solve the square of sixteen over the square of twenty-five, fractional form. The answer, now, and you have a deal."

Infused with liquor she could have asked them what half of ten was and they would have been stumped. Everyone went quiet when The Question was asked, everyone knew the poor sod wouldn’t get it. The aim was to humiliate as much as it was a diversion. They couldn’t win, and she knew it. She’d watch them squirm under the pressure, under the scrutiny, squeezing lip-gloss like toothpaste from the tube and spreading it on top of her lipstick. It was a move designed to remind them that those lips were something they would never have. The answer was something that they would never know.

I knew.
Yay, I got it done! After how long? XD Too long, that's how long.

Well, this is the Kiriban entry I wrote for the lovely :iconrandompedestrian: because she came closest to my 1, 234 profile view. Yay! The prompts were:

Origami crane, brass teapot, minature globe, toothpaste and tape. Oh, and Heaven. XD Heaven was very, very loosely interpreted, as you can tell!

So yeah. 899 words. Not my best, but I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out. I was trying out first person - I don't use it often - and also trying my best to describe a scene rather than action. Why? Because I suck at it, that's why. XD

Hope you like it, Jenner <3

Edit: Math is now corrected : D
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:iconterraile:
Terraile Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008
Your interpretation of the prompts is really fascinating. I never would've been able to guess what they were xD

I like it :3
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:iconvyvianlee:
VyvianLee Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
You mean they -don't- stand out like a sore thumb? Whoohoo! When I read it they seem to glaringly obvious to me...but I guess that's 'cause I'm reading with knowing them already. XD I'm glad you liked it!
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:iconrandompedestrian:
RandomPedestrian Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008
Ohmygods it's so good. <3 The only thing I have to critique you on is your math. I dunno if you're right about 4/5. >> isn't that square of 16 over the square of 25? >> << [/nerd]

But ohmygod the imagry in this. <333333 It's so <33
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:iconvyvianlee:
VyvianLee Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Well I'm glad you like the imagry! That's what I was trying to work on, I'm glad it mighta worked.

Ah, well, the math, you see...Joe gave me that. >.>; I didn't work it out on my own. I can always change it, if it's wrong!
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:iconrandompedestrian:
RandomPedestrian Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008
Oh he did, did he? xDDDD -just amused- xDD

The imagery is beautiful. <333I love it Osi. -HUG-
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:iconvyvianlee:
VyvianLee Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so glad *clings* It took me long enough!
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