Every participant of this exercise was asked to pick one random word each from the dictionary and write a short story that must contain all the chosen words. The words chosen were: dairyman, egg, ubiquitous, queen, and rant. One hour only and around 500 words.
The death of the dairyman
His daily routine demanded that he wake up before the sun shone over the short line of craggy and ubiquitous hills to the east. Failing that and he would have to work double time the rest of the day to finish his daily chores before sundown. His name was Gino Carpio, the kingdom's keeper of the royal dairy farm providing for the needs of the royal family. The provincial populace in this unremarkable town likes to call him the dairyman. He rather enjoys the title, thinking it gives him a sense of importance that escapes most of the rather unremarkable townsfolk made up mostly of farm tenants and shepherds scattered over a miserable patch of this war-trodden country.
Still in his bed, the dairyman fought against the temptation of staying prone an hour or two longer. If only there was a way he could bargain with the sun to delay his majestic rise over the horizon just a bit longer, he would. But alas, his duties waited, and already he could hear the wailing of the cockerels answering each other's piercing cries of hunger like rants on a crescendo.
Slowly tensing his aching back and arm muscles, Gino muffles a cry from the sudden painful reminders of his day before. He had toiled hard all day yesterday to fulfill a sudden request straight from the palace. The queen, rumored to be pregnant, had demanded quite so suddenly that a royal mid-afternoon breakfast be served to her and to her maids.
The request had been relayed to him all so suddenly by a retinue of rough and dirty palace guards. They had caught him while he was in the middle of his weeding chore, laboriously working his vast tomato patch in the boiling midday heat. Riding down from the western footpath normally used by the villagers going into town, they had wasted no time and had apparently been the kingdom's fastest riders.
"The queen needs ten jugs of your finest milk, and without delay", the lieutenant had demanded in a commanding voice with nary a hint of power but with the obvious threat of force hanging cold like morning mist, if the request be so lightly taken. Gino, a simpleton by the age's standards, could be many things, but he was not dumb.
Never mind that he had to toil with a painful back that had bothered him for two winters past, the queen's request must be met. So he made haste, hurrying and scurrying about. In his stressed condition, Gino forgot to clean the last jug before filling it up. It had been the last batch and the soldiers had egged immediacy.
Then the sudden realization of what he had done struck him. Had he, in his absentmindedness, used the one jug that was reserved for mixing poison that was meant to control the rat infestation plaguing his barn? Forgetting his condition, Gino suddenly sprang up with all his feeble might and ran to the barn to check his stock of jugs. Struggling through the darkness, he found his way blocked by a dark and burly figure.
The sudden frightful realization that he was not alone swept him off his feet.
In the faint but creeping morning light, Gino slowly made out the faces of the soldiers who had visited him the night before. Their faces were grim and their blades were drawn. The lieutenant gave curt orders to arrest Gino. Not comprehending the situation, Gino, now shaking from fear, muttered incomprehension.
One of the soldiers stepped forward, pulled him roughly by the hair and dragged him suddenly across the floor. "Why are you doing this to me"?, Gino wailed while flailing his weak limbs to hold on to something, catching the kitchen table and shaking the baskets until it teetered on the edge with it's fragile contents.
The lieutenant answered, "The queen is dead. You have poisoned her and you are to be executed at once". With one swift blow, the dairyman's simple life came to a painful and violent end, like the eggs that now came crashing to the ground.
Posted at 07:04 pm by bisoy