Regardless – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 15 November 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Regard
  • Ruler
  • Format

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

JM PAQUETTE:

“Regard Less?” she read the name from the list carefully, focusing on each syllable as she spoke, not wanting anything to run into the next sound. She put the paper down and looked around the room. “Seriously? Regard Less? That’s your name?”

A boy in the front room nodded miserably. “It’s a family name,” he muttered. “My grandfather was Beauregard, but my ma thought that was too long.” He paused, then went on, “She wanted something nice and short, like our last name.”

The instructor nodded sympathetically. “Like Less. I see.” She paused, then read out the name with all of the dignity she could muster. “Regard Less, ruler of Garmin, land of Dragons and Misery.”

The class was in awe until she read that last word. A few awkward giggles swept through the assembled royal children.

“Are dragons all that bad, mate?” asked the boy sitting next to Regard, forgetting the etiquette and proper format of address.

The teacher squinted down at her paper, then held it up to the light. “Mystery,” she corrected in a low voice. “I see now. I really must get a new scribe.” She cleared her throat and tried again, “Sir Regard Less, ruler of Garmin, land of Dragons and Mystery,” she intoned. “Much better,” she decided, and Regard smiled at her.

She looked back down at the list of names. “Irr?” she asked, scanning the faces. “Regard…Oh, come on! Irr Regard?” She put the list down in disgust.

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LISA BARRY:

When I saw Ben take out the ruler, I turned and ran. Down the hallway and straight out the back door. The man was obsessed and despite my pleas he would not let it up. There was absolutely no way in hell that the distance between my cauldron and edge of the table was 2.5 inches and there was no way I was going to blow up the house. His lack of regard of my sensibilities was absolutely discouraging and I could not, nay, would not stay married to him another moment. My cauldron was my life and had been ten long years longer than my marriage. No man would ever tie me down again. Never. I stopped breathing hard from the run. I found myself in front of the local ice cream shop and perked up. Ben walked out the door and held out chocolate mint on a cake cone. He was lucky to have the format of dimension twisting down cold to have beat me here. He smiled sheepishly and showed me a ruler broken in half in his other hand. Gawd, he was handsome. I took the ice cream, watched as the ruler hit the ground and took his arm for the walk home.

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ANNE CARGILE

The plans just weren’t coming out. Dana rubbed her forehead, where a steady thump had developed. She regarded the paper in front of her and said, “Screw this”, threw her ruler down and turned off the desk lamp. A nice cup of tea might help she thought.

Colin was in the kitchen, where he’d been very nicely minding his own business while she’d worked. He looked up from whisking something that would probably end up being fattening and yummy and grinned at her.

It never failed. That grin had the power to make her heart stutter every single time, and the bastard new it.

“Did you figure out the format for the wedding reception?” he asked, winking.

“No,” she said and groaned. “There are too many people who don’t like each other. I can’t figure out where to put them that a fight won’t break out.” Dana groaned again and reached for the whiskey instead.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

“Your problem is that the format of your spell is wrong,” Moss pointed at the pile of feathers at the end of the pentagram. “What is that?”

Sara looked at the bloody mass, and her face colored. “I’m not really sure. My cat brought it in this morning, and it seemed fresh enough…” She trailed off at the pained look on Moss’ face.

The wizard pinched the bridge of his nose, gave a deep sigh and pulled out a ruler. He knelt down, being careful not to touch the cat’s offering, and began to measure the lines she had drawn. “Off by two inches. Off by two and a half inches. This one’s better-only off by one and a quarter.”

Sara was fighting tears, determined not to let him see how upset she was. Fortunately, he was so intent on critiquing her spell that he didn’t have attention for her. “And with regard to the placement,” he pointed at an oblique angle towards the door. “It should be lined up with the point to the North-north-west. If you truly want to summon the spirit of your grandfather, you’re going to have to start again.”

Sara sighed, and went to get the bleach. That blood was going to take some work to get out.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

Without regard for the wishes of any of the office, and while the rest of us were still considering the options, our branch manager Patsy had booked us for a team building exercise reenacting the civil war at the memorial.

This was from the woman who once tried to format her Word document with a ruler and a marker. Needless to say, I had a feeling it was going to go strangely. I was nearly certain that she’d gotten the job through nepotism or blow jobs.. There wasn’t any other way to quite make sense of her placement atop our branch’s pecking order.

So, on the day of, my first sign that the team building exercise was going sideways was that just after arriving, Patsy started trying to storm back to her car, saying she’d been gypped.

“Obviously, this isn’t the real battleground. I mean, there aren’t even any bullet holes in the statues! We got scammed.”

Rob from accounting talked her down – thankfully he knew better than to try to explain her mistake – while the rest of us clambered into tents to change for the mock battle. Dear God I hope there wasn’t any live ammunition, because I was certain to try to use it on her if there was.

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

Frank stared at the blank white paper and the ruler that he had placed neatly next to it and breathed out feeling ready for the next phase…making the architectural drawing. His feeling of satisfaction was fleeting as he realized he didn’t know what to design. The client had given him specific instructions, a format to follow, but the whole thing seemed odd. However, Frank couldn’t disregard the client’s very specific instructions. The client warned him that if he did, there’d be consequences and Frank believed him or to be more specific believed the very sharp fangs he saw in the client’s toothy smile.

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BRANDON SCOTT

Coming Soon!

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