#A2Z Challenge: K for Kilo

During 2018’s A-Z Challenge, we wrote the first draft of “The November Deadline” and to celebrate that this is now (finally) out with beta readers, we’ll be producing a daily piece of micro-fiction linked to it – some prequel, some containing a detail not included in the story, some snippets from sequels currently being written.

Her face hot & flushed, Juliet grumbled to herself.

Hildr was concentrating on getting the forge ready and had tasked Juliet with measuring out small and most precise amounts for a complex compound. Juliet hated this type of work – fiddly in the worst of ways, requiring precision & attention to detail – while completely lacking in flair. Realising this was probably precisely why it formed such a regular part of her training programme simply made Juliet grumble all the more.

Worse, it was a lovely Spring day – the sun was shining and she wanted to be outdoors. She never minded being indoors when she was smithing, but this type of work was unremittingly dull.

What had added insult to injury, was her discovery over half-way through that, for some reason, Hildr had written out the measurements in metric, despite normal forge practice being to work in imperial measures. Talk about adding an extra level of complexity!

Having had to re-do the whole process she’d complained , of course, but had wisely waited Agnarr ‘s arrival, being a little afraid of Hildr – only for Agnarr to explain that as she’d been making such good progress, they’d needed to add a new level of complexity to stretch her.

She supposed it was a sort of compliment. But she was still hot…if a little less bothered.

© 2021, David Jesson & Debra Carey

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business can be found on DebsCarey.com.

17 thoughts on “#A2Z Challenge: K for Kilo”

    1. Stu, I was brought up with imperial measures, but had to learn to adjust when my daughter went to school. I still think in miles per hour rather than kilometres, despite having driven a car for years whose speedo was solely in kilometres. I learned the conversions rather than adjusting my thinking, a sure fire way to not learn!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ah, ok. I didn’t know that 75 MPH and alike are called Imperial measures.
        They tried to switch to metric a looooong time ago in elementary & middle school. It only stuck with the Science & Math geeks…um…students.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There is a great little footnote in Good Omens, which has the ring of being 100% Pterrry, where pre-decimal British currency is explained:
        “NOTE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND AMERICANS: One shilling = Five Pee. It helps to understand the antique finances of the Witchfinder Army if you know the original British monetary system:

        Two farthings = One Ha’penny. Two ha’pennies = One Penny. Three pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). Once Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.”

        For some reason, despite the fact that I live and breath SI units for work, I cannot think of my own height and weight in anything bit imperial measurements. The measurements for a basic sponge mix are also indelibly printed on my brain in imperial measurements: 2 oz each of flour, sugar, margarine for every egg.

        The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated.”

        Liked by 3 people

  1. What a cool way to get people interested in your story. I also love that you’re using the NATO phonetic alphabet for prompts. SMART.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Akilah! When Debs and I first discussed this story, we talked about using the cockney rhyming slang alphabet (A is for ‘orses etc) but for a reason I can’t remember we dropped it in favour of NATO. There have been a couple of convoluted entries along the way, but we’ve never regretted it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Breaker of Things quoted Terry Pratchett’s footnote about the former British currency. it is worth a side note to say that the florin – two shilling piece – was introduced in 1849 as a first attempt to decimalise British currency. (Failed!) The first issue was known as ‘Godless florins’ because they omitted a reference to God in Queen Victoria’s titles. Another side note is that the coins, last minted for general use in 1967, were the last coins to be demonetarised after Britain went decimal in 1971.

    Today’s entry in the ‘useless information’ stakes! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For some reason, a florin feels like it should be older than that. In the process of writing a short story about Billy (and his side of the story of the Giant Rat of Sumatra…). Will try and weave in this information :0)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The last actual minting of the florin was 1970 as a ‘special’ for decimalisation, and for a time both florins and 10p pieces circulated alongside each other. I may still have one or two tucked away somewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Understanding Metric vs. Imperial is a superpower in itself! Nice glimpse into her character, and a very realistic thought about wishing to be somewhere else enjoying some good weather instead of stuck in work – something most readers can relate to!

    Liked by 2 people

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