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Barrel, Mirror, Telephone & Into the Wild

Exercise #134 : "Barrel, Mirror, Telephone"

In three sentences or less, describe the barrel.
In three sentences or less, describe the mirror.
Where is the telephone?
Describe what happens.


Barrel - It's round - of course - and wooden, but it looks as if it has weathered decades of wear and tear. It is held together by iron hoops and bolts, but it doesn't appear to hold anything despite its obvious sturdiness.

Mirror - It's not a typical fairytale mirror with a gilded frame or a translucent face hovering in the glass. Instead, it is a worn panel of glass without a frame. Scratches cover the surface.

The telephone is at the far end of the room, next to the doorway that leads into the kitchen.

Yvonne impatiently paced up and down the length of the living room. It was wrong, and she was going to be held accountable. What do I do? she thought. She took a moment to stop and look at the barrel standing ominously in the corner of the room. Its simple existence implicated her, but she couldn't just get rid of it. That was impossible.

Suddenly, an idea hit her, and she practically ran to the phone and dialed frantically.

"Hello?" someone answered.

"Yes, it's Yvonne Hastings," she said. "I need the Master."

The person on the other end of the line paused. "The Master?"

"Yes, it's extremely important."

"Hold on one second, please." The line clicked over to a track of calming classical music, but seconds later the operator returned.

"I'm sorry, Miss - Hastings, was it?"

"Yes. Yvonne Hastings."

"Well, Miss Hastings, it seems that the Master is out right now, but if you -"

"I know for a fact that he's not out," Yvonne yelled, clutching the phone. "Did you tell him my name? He'd talk to me if you said my name. Yvonne Hastings."

With a sigh, the operator said, "Hold on for a second." More classical music played over the earpiece.

After a few moments of waiting, the phone clicked over again. "Yvonne?" It was the Master.

"Yes, Sir."

"What's wrong?"

"Carl put it in a barrel, and it's just sitting in my living room. I can't handle it."

"Yvonne," he said calmly, "relax. Just take a minute to take a deep breath."

"I can't take a minute. I have to get it out of my house."

5 minutes up.

What on Earth did I just write? Not only that, but I completely left out the mirror. Ah, well. I guess that's what you get when you only give yourself 5 minutes to write an entire story arch.

I'll make myself feel better if I add an obligatory mirror picture.

There. I feel better now. Crisis averted.

In other news, school started back today, but not really. 2 of my classes were canceled because my professor for both of those classes missed his flight back to Nashville from New York. It was pretty lovely.

Additionally, I have started to read Into the Wild by Jack Kerouac. I've read it before, but I have to read it once again for my English class, and I'm not exactly happy about it. I don't dislike the book. Truly. It's written excellently. I just get annoyed, though, because, while Chris McCandless's ideal is admirable. But the problem is that he seemed - to me, at least - to be entirely unprepared for what he planned to do in the Alaskan wilderness. He came off to me to be a little rich kid who was throwing a tantrum. I'm sure that's blasphemy to some of you, but the book did little more than annoy me.

Have any of you read Into the Wild? What did you think?

Well, it's time I headed off here. I hope you've all had a lovely Monday!


P.S. Work on the work-in-progress is dismal. I took a couple weeks off from it because I had reached a point where I just needed to remove myself, but now that I've returned to it... well, it's like I said: dismal. I'm just having a really hard time getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully if I just persevere through it I'll be able to push past this little sticky spot. What do you guys do to get momentum while writing?


Unknown said…
You always have the funnest exercises!!! Love it!!
Kendall said…
I think that was an excellent setup to something twisted. Have yet to dig into any of Kerouac, haven't had a good sitdown for a read in it seems forever.

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