Starting a new story

This start­ed out as a short sto­ry, but I have a feel­ing it’s part of a much larg­er work. At any rate, here’s what I wrote tonight (re-wrote, actu­al­ly, since the orig­i­nal sto­ry has a quite dif­fer­ent beginning):

Glo­ria woke in the blood-warm water, feel­ing like clawed hands had rent her heart. She sur­faced, drew a breath, and asked the time. The house oblig­ed, pro­ject­ing blue numer­als onto the inner sur­face of the dome. Beyond the num­bers she saw the pale sweep of what her peo­ple called the Snake, or per­haps the Sky Riv­er. Her hus­band Man­drake’s peo­ple knew it as the Milky Way.

By the fad­ing num­bers pro­ject­ed by the house, there were hours yet till dawn. She should return to the bot­tom, try to sleep. She knew there would be no more sleep for her today.

Some­thing had gone deeply wrong. She felt it in her heart, her bones, in her liq­uid soul: a rift in the uni­verse, a wob­bling of the Earth on its axis that she alone in all the world could feel. She stared at the great and eter­nal Snake in the sky. A part of her won­dered how it could be that the stars had­n’t yet fall­en loose from their places in the fir­ma­ment, to rain down on the fens and the sacred marsh­lands like frag­ile sil­ver balls drop­ping from a shak­en Christ­mas tree. Each star, she felt sure, should shat­ter with a sat­is­fy­ing musi­cal sound. In their dying moments they would score a dirge, an end­less mourn­ful cho­rus for her late husband.

For Man­drake, she knew, had just died.

With­out giv­ing too much away, Glo­ria is an undine, Man­drake is was in the mil­i­tary, and there’s a war on.

2 thoughts on “Starting a new story

  1. did you write the short sto­ry “the wait” ?

    I need to select a short sto­ry to use for my under­grad film class.. this evoked emotions…

    I want to cre­ate imagery for it.

  2. I did indeed. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m dou­bly glad you find your­self inspired by it.

    The beau­ty of that par­tic­u­lar sto­ry — and any of the sto­ries I wrote on the Ficlets site — is that they’re licensed using the Cre­ative Com­mons Attri­bu­tion-Share Alike license. What that means, in a nut­shell, is that any­one has the right to remix, adapt, and cre­ate deriv­a­tive works from my sto­ry — with the caveats that a) you have to give attri­bu­tion to the orig­i­nal author (ie, me) and b) you have to release your deriv­a­tive work under the same license.

    If that’s fine with you, it’s fine with me. I’d love to see what you create.

    If you want to con­tact me direct­ly, you can do it via this site, or, if you’d like, I can con­tact you at the email address you used to post your comment.


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