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01 November 2012 @ 10:22 pm
NaNoWriMo!  


So I'm officially doing it for the first time.  Yay!  Like I have in the past for my NaScreeWriMos, I'm going to post what I have as I go, as a motivator for myself.  And hell, why not?  What am I doing this for if not to tell a story?  I am following NaNoWriMo guidelines and am not editing as I go, so there will probably be typos and I'll change things as I go and have to leave notes to myself to Bill and Ted things in later, etc., etc.  Such fun!

As always, feel under no obligation to read and/or comment. 



Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers turns his head and looks at me. He moves his head slow slow slow, his eyes are wet-dirt and they look at my own eyes. I can see his teeth, dry-dirt and dead-leaves and crumbling. He clicks his teeth together, click click click, and two long strings of drool hang out of his mouth.

Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers wants to eat me.

They all want to eat me, every day, but Father does not let them. Father moves, we all move. Father stops, we all stop. Father eats, we all eat. Father does not eat me and Sister, so no one eats us. But they want to, they want to.

Father turns his own head to Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers and makes his teeth go click click and his face is angry and Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers stops looking at me with his eyes. Father always has to watch the others. Sister squeezes my hand, and I know she sees. I think she sees things that I do not see. Sister is shorter than me. Maybe the others call her Shorter-Than-Me Eyes-Like-Sky, but I do not know, because I cannot ask them, and they cannot answer. Sister is the only one who has eyes like the sky. My eyes are like the grass, this is what Sister tells me. Father's eyes are like dirt when it is wet. Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers has eyes like dirt when it is wet, also. Same as all the rest of the others. Only sister and I have eyes that are like flowers, like flying-smalls, like grass and sky.

This is why they want to eat us.

Not just because of our eyes. Our skin is smooth. Father has skin with bumps and sores and scrapes. It is the color of dry-dirt and sky-fluffy and bad-wet, not all one nice color like my skin and Sister's skin. Sometimes the sores get big big, and wet comes out, sometimes like water, sometimes like sky-fluffy and flower-dust with a bad bad smell. When that happens Father will not let us touch him. He is afraid that we will become like he is. Then our eyes would turn wet-dirt and our skin would turn like the skin of animal parts we do not eat.

Sister and I are different in other ways, also. We can eat the things that grow from dirt. Father cannot. He tries, if he has not eaten in a long long time, but it makes his stomach feel angry and he spits the grass or dirt-things back up. And we can make sounds with our voices, sounds that have straight sides and curves and round parts, sounds that start and stop when he want. Father can only make sounds like big-big-head-horns when they are angry, or flying-small-wet-dirt when Bright-Bright-Bright first comes out of the ground. Sister and I make the sounds to each other, the sounds mean different things. One sound means “stop” and one sound means “go” and one sound means “run fast fast fast now” and that is the most important sound of all.

Now Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers stands up, now he moves. He moves because Father moves. The rest of us move. We all stand up and move. Legs moving, arms moving, quick, quiet, we are one animal moving, down into the water, quiet quiet, up onto the grass, quiet, under the trees, quiet quiet quiet. The other animals know, they run away, they fly away. Ugly-Face One-Arm grabs a small-small-long-tail before it can run away, she crunches its bones with her hand, there is bad-wet on her hand and on the small-small-long-tail. Ugly-Face One-Arm bites the small-small-long-tail, her teeth tear and rip, and No-Nose stops and grabs the tail and pulls and the small-small-long-tail tears in two pieces. Ugly-Face One-Arm makes a sound and No-Nose makes a sound, and then we are not moving.

I grab Sister's hand, I make the noise that means “stop” and she stops, and I stop. We watch with big eyes. Quiet. We move behind a bush. We wait.

No-Nose eats, bad-wet drips out of his mouth. Ugly-Face One-Arm makes another sound, loud loud, and she grabs for the rest of the small-small-long-tail. Shorter-Than-Father Eight-Fingers grabs with his fingers, teeth clicking. He wants to eat. Father is taking all of us to eat but they are not smart, they do not know. They want to eat now.

I hold Sister tight. I look around and see that her foot is sticking out. I point and make a sound, the sound that means “look,” and Sister moves her foot closer. Now they cannot see it on the other side of the bush. I know that if Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers were hiding behind the bush, he would not know whether someone could see him or not see him. He would think that if he cannot see someone, they cannot see him back. But I know, and Sister knows, and that is another way we are different. Another reason they want to eat us. And if they fight fight fight, if they are angry angry, if Father does not stop them, they will forget that Father does not let them eat us and they will try to eat us. That is why we hide.

But Father does stop them. He takes his hands and he grabs onto hair, Ugly-Face One-Arm's hair and No-Nose's hair, and he pulls. The rest of small-small-long-tail falls to the ground. Shorter-Than Father Eight-Fingers falls down and eats the rest with his mouth, he does not use his fingers. He must be very hungry.

Father pulls hair and he makes lots of sounds. His sounds do not mean anything, but Ugly-Face One-Arm knows that Father means “stop fighting,” and so does No-Nose, and so do all the rest. They stop fighting over the small-small-long-tail. They look all around at each other, faces all wrinkly with angry. Father looks, he does not see us, so I stand up and Sister stands up, and now he sees us, and his mouth makes a shape, big and round on bottom. A happy shape. I think the others can make this shape with their mouths, also, but they do not. Father does, when Father looks at us.

Sister and I run to him. He puts his hands around us, but soft soft. Father is safe.

***

Bright-Bright-Bright is getting sleepy. He is falling back down into the ground. The sky looks like bad-wet where Bright-Bright-Bright is, but looks like wet-dirt on the other side. This is my favorite time of day. There are many small-small-small animals making sounds. Flying-brights move around in the air, all over. It is cool, and after Bright-Bright-Bright is underground it will be cool cool. I know that before, it was cool cool cool, sometimes even cool cool cool cool, and wet came from the sky but it was soft and big and like sky-fluffy. Later it will only be cool, then warm, then warm warm, and then even warm warm warm. I know this, and Sister knows this, but they do not.

Why do they not know these things?

We are at soft-needles-under-trees, which is my favorite place. The ground is covered with needles from the trees always like grass, but these needles are the color of old dry-dirt. The needles on the trees are sharp but the needles on the ground are soft. Sister and I push piles of them together to make soft soft places to sleep. But the sky is still light, though not light light, so Sister and I sneak away from soft-needles-under-trees. Bright-Bright is just now waking up, she is small today, a shape like a happy mouth. Brights over on the wet-dirt side of sky go blink blink. There is a smell in the air like the taste of cool cool cool water, like the color of flying-smalls, like the feel of sleeping warm next to Sister and Father. Usually all I smell is dead meat and bad-wet, so I sniff my nose into the air. Sister sniffs, also, and she makes the sound that means “I am happy.”

Under the trees, up up and down, and then Sister squeezes my hand hard. “Stop,” she says. “Look.” I stop and look.

There is a pounding in my chest, and a bad taste in my mouth. A taste like bad-wet, like dead meat. Sister's hand squeezes tight tight. I want to run but my legs cannot move. I make a sound, a sound that doesn't mean anything, just a sound that is not happy, a sound that hurts my throat and makes my eyes wet. Sister's hand squeezes tight tight tight.

There is a woman, and two small ones. They may be boy ones or girl ones, I do not know. They are wearing animal skins and I cannot see what is between their legs. The small ones are in a tree, but they are not high, they are on a low limb, I could probably jump and touch their feet. The woman has a small-small-long-tail and a small-big-ears-hopping stuck on sticks, and their fur is hanging from a limb. The woman puts the sticks over a small bright. Now I can smell the meat, not like dead meat and bad-wet at all. It is a good smell, a good good smell, and drool wakes up in my mouth. The woman looks up, looks around, and she sees us. She stops moving. Her eyes get big.

I look at the small ones in the tree. One is the Same-Tall as Sister, one is Shorter-Than-Sister. They do not see us. They look at the small-small-long-tail and the small-big-ears-hopping over the small bright. I think they could be new Sisters or new Brothers. I think the woman could be a Mother. What would it be like to have a Mother? I take a step toward the woman, and another. I make my mouth shaped like happy. I make the sound that means “yes.”

But the woman's mouth goes down, it looks like it is dying. She leaves her meat and climbs into the tree. She makes the small ones climb up, and she climbs up. Up, up, up, and I cannot see them anymore.

But I know they are still there, even though I cannot see them. They are hiding in the tree, like Sister and I were hiding behind the bush. No feet sticking out or anything, but they are still there.

Sister and I go back to soft-needles-under-trees. The others sleep. They all sleep in one big lump together, all legs and arms and bad-smell skin. But Father is not asleep, he is awake, he watches. He will not sleep until Sister and I are with him, and he has his arms and hands around us tight. His face is good to see, he makes happy with his mouth. He holds out his arms. Sister goes to him, but I do not.

It is hard to tell Father things. The sounds I make, sometimes he knows what they mean, but sometimes he does not. I move my hands, and sometimes he knows what my hands say, but sometimes he does not. “Look,” I say. “Look. Run fast fast.” I move my hands to say “up.” I pat my chest, I pat Sister's head. I point my finger at Father. Up. Up. I point to where Sister and I had walked.

Father understands some, but not all. I say the sounds again, I move my hands again. Now I click my teeth together, click click.

Sister is looking at me. Her face is angry. Her eyes are not like sky at all, they are wet-dirt, they are dead meat. She does not want me to tell Father, I know. But why? Father is hungry, Father must eat. I do not care if the others eat. I know I do not want them to eat, if I think about them eating. I know that I do not want to see them at all, but there are always others, no matter what I want.

Now I wish I had not told Father. But he understands now, his mouth is happy, and he goes to the sleeping ones and wakes them all up with angry hands. They make sounds, big angry sounds, but Father moves, and they follow Father.

Sister and I follow, also. I try to take her hand but she will not let me. She hits me in the arm, and when I say “stop” she hits me again. Why is Sister so angry?

Father and the others move under the trees, up up and down. Sister and I follow. Father and the others move to the tree. Bad-Wet-Hair sees the small bright, the small-small-long-tail and the small-big-ears-hopper, she runs to them. I say “stop” in my loud loud voice, and I make my face angry angry. Bad-Wet-Hair stops! She turns her head and looks at me and does not move. The others have never done what I tell them to do. They only do what Father does.

But Father and the others are moving past the tree, they do not know the woman and small ones are hiding up up. I say “stop” again and I point. Sister makes a sound and wet comes from her eyes, and she runs away, she crawls under a small tree, she pulls her legs tight. She is angry. She is not happy.

Father must eat. If the others must eat also, then they must.

Father and the others are all around the tree. They make sounds, many sounds, bad sounds, angry sounds. Even though I know they will not eat me, my skin still goes all bumpy and I feel my chest thump, and I taste the bad taste in my mouth. I want to run, but I cannot move. Before, when we saw the woman and small ones, this feeling was good. It made me feel awake awake. Now I want to hide like Sister, and it feels like my man part needs to make wet.

The tree moves. The woman and small ones are climbing, I know. Father and the others are not good at climbing. They can move their legs and arms the right way, but they do not always know which limb to climb to next. I can see it, but they cannot. Another thing that makes us different. But if they all climb the tree together, it does not matter if this one or that one does not know the right limb. They will figure it out.

It does not take long.

There are sounds, the tree shakes shakes, and the woman falls. She has been bitten, bad-wet is all over. She makes bad bad sounds, she tries to move away. There is wet in my eyes, it falls down my face. I want to run to her and help her, but I do not move. Now the small ones fall, one and another one. And Father and the others follow. They bite and rip and tear and eat. The woman makes no more sounds. The small ones make no more sounds. They are dead meat now.

After the eating is over, the others move back to soft-needles-under-trees. Father finds Sister under the small tree, he touches her all over to make sure she is safe, and he touches me all over to make sure I am safe. Father always makes sure we are safe. He pushes our backs, he wants us to move back to soft-needles-under-trees. But I push my feet down into the ground, and I say “no no,” I say “stop.” Father's face makes an angry shape. I move to the small bright, though it has gone to sleep. The small-small-long-tail and small-big-ears-hopper are still on the sticks. The meat does not look like dead meat, it looks different. The meat is the color of cool cool leaves, and also of wet-dirt, but in a good way. The smell is strange but also good. Drool in my mouth, the bad taste is gone.

I touch the meat. It is warm warm, and not like dead meat at all. It is not soft and slick with bad-wet, it is hard and crisp and dry. I take the meat off the stick and bite into it. Good taste in my mouth! I bite and bite, I do not have to rip and tear with my teeth, the meat is warm and good and I chew and chew and swallow and my mouth is happy and I look up at Father and his mouth is happy, also.

I give the other stick to Father. He sniffs, he bites, but he does not chew. His mouth goes from happy to not happy. He makes a sound like when he tries to eat grass and dirt-things. He gives the warm meat to Sister. She does not want to take it, she is still making an angry face at me, angry angry, but she can smell the warm meat and there are lines between her eyes, and she takes the warm meat. She bites, and chews, and makes a sound like wanting.

I eat the rest of my warm meat, and Sister eats hers. Father's hands are on top of our heads, like holding us, like making us safe. He watches us eat. His mouth is happy again. The sleeping small bright is still warm, I move close to it. There is still bright deep inside, I poke it with a stick, it wakes back up. I see that the bright is made out of sticks. I put more sticks on top, and the bright wakes up wakes up, it is only small not small small. It is now warm warm. I put my hands in the air over it and they are also warm, like holding Sister's hand.

Father's eyes are small, he needs to sleep. He moves to the tree and sleeps. Sister and I find what is left of the woman and the small ones. There are pieces all over. We find their animal skins. The skins are not dying, they do not have a bad smell. They are dry. The wet has been scraped off and the insides are soft, the outsides are made of fur and they are warm. Sister and I help each other put the animal skins on our bodies, we put the outside furs against our skin. They feel warm and soft and we make happy sounds in the air. Sister is not angry anymore.

Now we look different different. We look like the ones that we eat, the ones that always hide. But Bad-Wet-Hair stopped when I told her to stop, and I know how to hold a rock and use it to crack open small-small-small-hard-meats from the trees. I will find a rock, and find a rock for Sister, and we will carry them. We can crack open Bad-Wet-Hair's head, and Ugly-Face's head, and Taller-Than-Father Eight-Fingers's head. Then it will just be me and Sister and Father and no others.

We will grow tall tall tall and no one will ever eat us.


 
 
 
vjs2259: nano2012participantvjs2259 on November 2nd, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
A brief Yay!, fellow traveller. I probably won't read along as I am easily discouraged, and way short of time as always. But count on a cheer for every update!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 4th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! And no reason necessary for not reading; I doubt I'd have time to read anyone else's, were they to be posting it. But I didn't get a coherent section finished yesterday in time to post and by God, it motivated me today, even though it's not like anyone would have called me on it.
singer_shapersinger_shaper on November 4th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
I am utterly blown away by this writing style, and how you create the primitive atmosphere through simple words and effective repetition. I do wonder why you emphasize seeing with the eyes at the beginning; are you implying that there's another way to see?

Also, if you want to send me updates through email, for this or The Orphan Queen, please feel free to do so. It's always a pleasure to read your work.

Good luck!
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 4th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
You have no idea how much your encouragement means to me. Especially on the writing style of this; I was really apprehensive going in, and probably spent way longer than you're supposed to during NaNo trying to make sure it was understandable. (How do you write in words the thoughts of someone who has no words at all? Which words do you use and which ones do you not?)

I do wonder why you emphasize seeing with the eyes at the beginning; are you implying that there's another way to see?

I see what you mean. I wasn't trying to emphasize it - it's just really awkward writing, to be honest - but the way you put this makes me think. So thanks for that! I'm going to have to ruminate on that one.

I actually finally finished up Part One of The Orphan Queen - it only took me about 14 months, heh. (Though I didn't work on it much at all from January-June, or so, when I was working hardcore on scripts.) I'm going to have to do some research before continuing on, but I think it's a really solid start. (Start, Lord, it's 87,000 words. I'm far too garrulous.) I will definitely take you up on your offer! Let me read through it and make sure there's no grotesque typos!

Edited at 2012-11-04 04:50 am (UTC)