#500WED - Day 4

Writing Prompt

Cecily Kellogg:

#4: Please forgive me for cheating a bit? Today's prompt.

So today I moved my small family of three from the suburbs into the city (I know!), and my brain is a pretty much a ball of mush because MOVING BLOWS. :) So today's prompt is this: Moving Day. Write a short piece – memoir, fiction, poetry, or essay – about a day you made a big move. Geographical move, job change, moving schools, whatever. :)

500 Words

It's amazing how much you can fit in a suitcase.

You need to be able to wash, and of course clean underwear is a must.  Comfortable shoes, because the ones you wear during the day are lovely and shiny, but you can't wear those in the evenings too. Nobody's feet are built to cope with that kind of punishment, are they?

A few items of clothing.  Not many, because you don't get out much, but some.  Laundry won't be easy to do, but not impossible either.

You rely on a bunch of stuff that needs charging.  There are several cables, and you can't trust that there'll be more than one spare mains power socket in the wall, or that it will be somewhere convenient for you to use it.  So, an extension cable, one with two or four sockets at the end, and the inevitable  adaptors that will plug into the sockets to provide ten watts of five volt USB power.

Finally, the tools of your trade. The small aluminium laptop that holds your life's work. The phone that both connects you to the world, and helps you capture and record it.  The small pair of headphones, with the little bobble microphone halfway down the cable, and the encrypted USB memory stick made from grey gunmetal.

It all goes in the suitcase.

Plus, a luxury item.  A loudspeaker in the form of a small brick that provides high fidelity sound when you connect your phone to it.  Well, everyone needs something, and music is your thing.

It goes in the suitcase with the rest.

You have to push down a little to get the suitcase to close, and then hold it down while you zip it up.  It's heavy, as you lift it and set it upright on the floor.

It's time to go.  You leave, dragging the suitcase on strabismic wheels, fighting to get it to follow you instead of swerving randomly, or simply locking one of its wheels against you.  You drag it complaining over a bump, and the sudden jolt straightens them out. The relief as the wheels suddenly start working for you rather than against you provides a small moment of pleasure.

You approach the train and bump the suitcase inside. Lifting the heavy case into the luggage rack, you take a seat and look tiredly out of the window.  You drift off into daydreams until, with a jolt, the train starts to move.  The houses and buildings  that you have known so well, gradually thin out to countryside.

A change of train, and within few hours you arrive at your destination.  A city, of millions of souls.  You hardly see it, as you trudge towards the subway, and manhandle the case down the stairs into the underground tunnels of the system.

Half an hour, some more luggage lugging and you've finally arrived at your new home.  "Hello, Mr Smith, how are you today?  How was your journey? Are you staying with us for three nights this time?"

Soon you're standing alone in the hotel room - your home for the next four days.  You open the suitcase and unpack.

It's amazing how much you can fit in a suitcase.


This one just flowed.  I found it the easiest yet, although it's probably not bang on topic.  I'm more pleased with it than with any of the previous exercises.

However, I almost feel like I have to apologise for using the word "strabismic".  Strabismus is the name of the medical condition where the patient's eyes point in different directions , and "strabismic" is the associated adjective.  It doesn't feel like very a good communication strategy to use obscure words, especially ones that I didn't know myself before I Googled for it.  Still, suitcase wheels that insist on pointing different ways from each other are the pits, and I've never found a better word to describe them.