Writing 101, Days Seven and Eight: Give and Take (Draft)
Day 7: Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.
Day 8: Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.
I thought it would be interesting to mix up the two assignments into one! Hope you like it!
I had no idea that pushing the door Uncle Oliver led me to would warp me to an entirely new and different universe; I had set foot in one of the most unusual places I have ever been in; some sort of a mix between a tavern, a lounge, a playground and a kitchen. As soon as I swayed the large, ancient door open, a volley of darts pierced through the air and only missed me by a few inches. This place was nothing like I pictured it when my uncle told described it to me while dragging me there. I simply imagined a few gentlemen lying on large sofas and mixing brandy with their tea, discussing whatever your stereotypical gentlemen discuss; I had never been so wrong, especially considering my uncle was the exact opposite of a high-class patrician.
The whole room was filled with a smell that made me retch as soon as it filled my nostrils, a mixture of strong, foreign tobacco, probably brought from overseas and good old sweat that smelled the same everywhere. It was a fairly large room, yet the lighting was so sparse, especially at the corners, that it eluded the eye into thinking the room was much larger than it actually was. The colour of the room was a mixture of dark beige and light brown, unevenly painted on the worn out, wooden walls, giving a surprisingly cosy and homely feeling to the place, aside from the excessive bawling of the ‘club members’. The only forms of decoration I could distinguish are some elk antler’s hung high enough on the walls so as not to be reached by one of the drunkards, broken spittoons that littered every corner of the room, and a large chandelier that was home to a bowling ball, and which was missing half of its glasswork. It was real, legitimate liquor-fuelled pandemonium that was happening inside. Some men were brawling on top of the already crumbling rustic wooden tables, other were playing billiards, except that they were hurling the cue balls all around them, aiming for anyone in their vicinity but missing every shot. There were some that were so drunk they were going around, yelling in a language unknown to me, dropping on the floor with every beat of the music that was playing in the background, then standing back up and continuing their routine.
I clearly didn’t belong to this crowd. The average club member’s moustache was at least as long as my forearm, and most of them looked like sailors, blacksmiths, harbour teamsters, lumberjacks, blacksmiths, and every other imaginable profession that would usually result in you looking like you eat five horses every lunch.
‘Why did you bring me here?’ I turned towards Uncle Oliver, who was already smiling smugly while staring at the revelry that was raging before us.
‘You need to grow up, lad. I thought it’d be a fine idea to introduce you to some of my friends!’
A stray wine bottle flew straight towards Uncle Oliver’s forehead, and he didn’t even flinch as it shattered in a violent crash. He simply continued smiling, expecting some more protesting, but probably planning on ignoring it.
‘No I do not! I was fine where I was, minding my own business and reviewing my history for tomorrow’s test before you came up’ I said, trying to look as angry as my child-like features allowed.
He laughed heartily before shoving me inside the room with all his force, or so it felt as I was being flung in the middle of an impromptu acapella performed by four sailors.
‘Ohoho, looks like minikin here wants to join eh. Sing with us pal! Oooooooh…’ he began chanting furiously, obviously ignoring my pleas to spare my life. I did, however, manage to literally slip between the strongmen and catch up to my uncle, who was already heading towards the further half of the room, where the party was even wilder.
‘I beg of you uncle, you need to get me out of here. I’m about to get sick, I can’t stand racket, and everyone around me seems to enjoy punching or kicking me as a joke. I swear I shall come back here next year, when I’m older and stronger’
Uncle Oliver looked at me for a second, grinned to the ear, revealing a set of teeth that involved more gold and silver than actual teeth, fiddled with his moustache for a moment, and then royally betrayed any confidence I had in him for that night.
‘Oy lads! This here my nephew could use a little drink, and he just asked me to teach him some of our shanties and our famous dances. Any volunteers to make a man out of him?’
The room roared in joy and excitement. My uncle obviously held high regards and respect amongst his peers, and dozens of the club members answered his calls and stampeded towards me, flailing their pints around while bumping off each other but without completely losing their balance. I didn’t have time to react before I was carried away with such ease I almost thought my weight had dropped to that of a feather.