NaNoWriMo Madness Continues! Day 2!

Posted: November 2, 2011 in National Novel Writing Month, sci fi
Tags: , , ,

There’s only 28 days left. So far, I appear to be on target for 50,000 words by the 24th. 

And now, as promised/threatened, here’s an excerpt! But first, some exposition: 

This is a work of science fiction. As such, weird stuff happens. It’s the future, as it often is. Oddly enough, everybody in this excerpt, despite the oddness of their names (tip: they sound just like they’re spelled, sound them out) is human, or at least human derived. Finally, and this is important: I don’t have any idea where this is going, either. So with that, enjoy.

 

New Temple was named for the building in the center of the town. Once, there were ruins by a river, spreading out in a jungle of overgrown green. Settlers cleared away the brush, built a place to worship on top of what they assumed was the Old Temple, and a town grew around it. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, the city that sprang up was not as pious as the founders would have liked. There were still worshipers, flocking to the building once every seven days, even though the Union standard week was metric. The men still covered their heads; the women still entered through their separate door. Other townspeople merely shrugged their shoulders at them; at the strange fish and star and crescent symbols they adorned themselves with; at the hair knotted together in long, uncut, snakelike ropes sprouting from their heads like overgrown grass. As long as they weren’t hurting anybody, the rest of New Temple left them to their beliefs.

Whenever they came into town, Ruri found himself entranced by the tall buildings, the vehicles scooting along under their own power. People who lived in a world of screens and lights, of constant power. There was a central energy source someplace – there were no portable solar generators, no Mr. Fusions. He wondered if they ever thought about those things, or if they just took them for granted. Once upon a time, he mused, most people lived like us.

The pedal truck pulled into the market, right up to their assigned spot. Fusu, as always, was the first out, before the truck had quite stopped moving. He pushed open the side panels, took out the tables, and began setting up the beans, grown and roasted on their plantation. Sutu helped their mother out of the truck, as Kuse and Ruri wrestled with the folded awning. Nisi began assembling the brewer, making coffee for samples. The aroma filled the marketplace, was a beacon, announcing: The Setetenepini family was here, with the best coffee on Seventh.

Several stalls over, the Rututeripeni brothers set up their wares – fruit from their orchards. Melons were in season this time of year. Across the way, baked goods and cheeses from the Ileilenuri farm. Daughter Pilitepi smiled and waved at Ruri, who blushed and waved back. Kuse thumped him on the shoulder, grinning mischievously. Fighting from earlier had been forgotten. A string band began tuning up, started playing their poly-rhythmic, impossibly complicated and fast folk song repertoire. The Lundquivst family was here, also – it was apparently not one of their holy days – tables full of fresh caught river fish. The New Templers mingled about, sampling this, scrutinizing that, bantering, chatting, laughing.

The woman was not from around here, clearly.

She didn’t have the golden complexion of Ruri and the others, nor did she have the sombre countenance and dark clothing of the observant Lundquivsts and their ilk. Her dark brown, almost black, skin, was magnetic. Her dress was elaborate, intricate, even. It seemed to be a sea foam colored costume from long ago. She made her way to the Setetenepini table, eyes wide in astonishment.

“What is that incredible smell?” She breathed.

 

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

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