A Fresh Start

29 06 2011

The Clarion event is going well I think. We are three days in and considering I’ve had to work two of those three days and run around on the third, I think I’m getting a nice chunk of work done. I finished outlining a VERY rough plot. As I said before organic doesn’t really do well with me but neither does too much structure. SO I’m going with a “Planned fly by the seat of my pants…with cliff notes!” sort of approach. Which I am copyrighting that for future use after it takes off and becomes a popular method required to be taught in all state english curriculums. Or it may fly like a lead balloon, as it were. REGARDLESS I am working my way through it and have achieved a decent start to a nice body of work. Thus, I thought I would provide a brief excerpt from the beginning of the work. So without further interruption, the first few paragraphs of the first chapter.

Chapter 1 – Josephine the Bright

Barclay had been proud of his daughter. Perhaps more so than any other father would have been of their child, had their child been as odd as Josephine. He beamed with pride at her creative spark, her inquisitive nature. And even though she was a thinker, she stood out – he didn’t mind. In fact not only did he not mind but he encouraged it. She was turning out to be something of an anomaly. After the chores were done, most girls would settle inside to read a book or trundle about in the fields in search of bright-colored butterflies. Josephine would do all these things and more. She’d run through the streams, climb trees, wrestle in the mud. Most days she would return home after dark with a plethora of new cuts and bruises covering her arms and legs, a dash of mud across her face. She stood out and that was for certain. Other girls her age, early teenagers as she was, found a decided lack of interest in those extra things that Josephine did. Most of them would end their lives contented to be the wives of some strong, at least partly successful men. They all shared the same romantic ideas of being swept away by a prince held aloft a great, beautiful horse very much unlike those around the family farms. But that was nonsense. Everyone knew that there were no princes. They had all been eaten up.

At one point someone may have said to you that the land around the greatest city in the Empire, the capital – Rook’s Falls, were the most pleasant in all the country. At one time it was probably true. But the real truth of it is that the lands about the capital are no different than anywhere else. People suffer the same hardships and endure an overwhelming lack of essentials the rest of the population does, no matter what province you considered. The province of Lords had been harder hit then most when the Union Crusades had ended. The monarchs that ruled there had been put to death, the great ruling councils finding a lengthy and drawn out demise at the hands of angered peasantry, fueled by the great armies of the now Emperor Gage. The cities where their mansions and keeps and stood were ravaged by fires, riots and loathsome acts of hate. The provincial population had been reduced to less than half of what it was at its peak. Amongst the aftermath assuring speeches were made, the oppressive monarchs had been ousted, murdered – and a new breed stepped in. They promised it would be rebuilt, that the damage would be repaired and that it would be under fair guidance. The speeches were nothing, empty. Some towns still lay in ruin and some places were abandoned all together, left to stand the tests of the elements, destined to fall sooner or later.

This is where Josephine lived. The people of River Crook had come from somewhere else. From Josan, the town apothecary to the Aro brothers who spent their days tilling and planting – they were all displaced. Refugees from an earlier time and a different world. Decades ago there was nothing where the town now stands – founded by military men, imperial soldiers working to move a disjointed populace. The smaller settlements of New Moon and Low West had been consolidated somewhere near the center point of the two along a pronounced bend in the East Lance river. Both of the towns had become little more than two great piles of ash, the left overs of bonfires marking the passing of an age in human history. The original buildings that had been placed by those soldiers still stood. The old structures were durable, made of dragon bone – the largest of the adult beasts. After the Union Crusades the creatures had been hunted to the point of extinction, their bodies being made into buildings and weapons and a host of other things. They provide a stark contrast to the more modern homes of field stone and mortar. To those for whom they were made however viewed them as something entirely different. To those refugees the bone-homes were reserved for things other than living. People who did make those places their dwellings soon found alternatives anywhere in which the whispers weren’t. Old tongues hissing harshly in the night seeming to echo through the very walls, making for anything but a welcoming environment.

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