This is really the best blog ever.

Look, I wrote something! (Tales of the Storm Watch) | May 26, 2011

(just a little prologue scene for a book, probably a sequence of related short stories. rough draft, not looking for strict critiques, just sharing, wouldn’t mind feedback)

PROLOGUE

In the 712th year since The Landing…

The Upper City was burning. The smell of burning wood (both from the trees of the forest that bordered the Upper City as well as from many of the hovels there) dominated the air, though there were other smells. Burning cloth, oil, and, yes, even flesh, if you knew what that smelled like.

Garn knew that smell, all too well. It was the first thing he remembered, from when he was just a wee boy. They called him Fire-Touched, because of the scars on his body that he carried to this day, well into his fourth decade.

He stood atop the watch tower on the islet that sat in the middle of the bay. There was little fear of fire where he was, some five hundred feet from the docks. Even if there was, he would not leave his post. Sacred duty mandated that he stay until his shift was over, even at the risk (and should it come to it, cost) of his own life.

Forcing his eyes away from the flames that lit the night, he turned his gaze out to the sea. He looked for the signs, but there were none. There was no sign of The Great Storm. There were no signs of any storm, not even any ships (though the dim lights of any ships would likely be harder to see, what with the light of the burning city so bright.)

He lifted a spyglass to his eye and peered. He saw Southern Station, a mile to the south. The Watchman there – Elgrid, it would be – flashed thrice, the proper code at the proper time, the signal that all was well.

Garn turned the spyglass to Northern Station, almost two miles away. Three flashes were given, all was well there, too. Tonight, the Watchman… Watchperson?… would be Delhara. It would take time getting used to that – the Storm Watch had only recently allowed women in their ranks, but even so, Delhara was the first to be honoured with assignation as a Point Watchman.

He smiled, picturing the younger woman standing atop the tower at Northern Station. She was very serious about everything she did, so intent on proving herself equal, if not better, than every man in the Storm Watch, that she’d gotten a reputation as an Ice Queen. She probably still had her full uniform on, even though it was a bit warm for a mid Autumn night.

Not that Garn didn’t take his assignment seriously. He did – it was important, it was the purpose of the Storm Watch – to wait and guard against any threat from the sea. But, after a decade-plus of standing atop a tower five nights out of each month, he’d become more comfortable, relaxed in his position. Not slack, never lax, just adjusted.

The Storm Watch originally was created to keep on guard against Het Onweer d’Komt, the storm which comes, as prophecied by Yehama Geb’hoge, the last oracle, during the first days after The Landing. Though that was over seven centuries ago, the Storm Watch still watched, though their calling had expanded to watching the seas for any storm, any threat – whether it be vloedgolf or pirate or hurricane.

There was a loud roar behind him, and Garn turned to watch as an oil storage shed exploded as the fire reached the older parts of the Upper City. Fire exploded into the air, and would undoubtedly spread into the Lower City now.

This was actually a good thing, because as long as the City Proper, with its wealthy citizens, was not threatened, the response to the fire would continue to be insufficient. Now, however, he suspected that every man of the fire brigade would be roused from their beds to fight the fire in all levels of the city.

Regardless, the fire was bad, one of the worst Garn had ever seen. In fact, he was sure it was as bad as any fire since the Great Burn of 678 (which was the worst in the past four hundred years, since the city was walled, 319 years ago.)

He stood there, still atop the tower and watched. In the back of his head, he listened to the mechanical clock that counted till the next time he had to check the signals from the stations. He would turn away from the fire in ten minutes, no more, but he couldn’t help but watch the fire, and remember…

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1 Comment »

  1. Bet that felt good. 😉

    I don’t have much feedback for you, other than simply to encourage you to go on and see where this takes you. 🙂 Keep posting links to Twitter so I know when to come read.

    Comment by Alesia Matson — May 26, 2011 @ 12:33 am


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