A writer's nightmare by Jay Ess

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
life in another time

Submitted: May 08, 2009

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Submitted: May 08, 2009

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A[RA1] [RA2] [RA3] [RA4]  Writer Nightmare
 
Post the great carbon fusion we in. Post that 2049 in AD dating and, as we know, CF from ever on. So we in 120 CF.
Course, all the damage done by then. Damage? Upheaval happening. Massive upheaval. An AC 389 child, one of the last britons to arrive at Niknatatut. My grandad. Still have relatives in Apenizm. One of my cousins an archio diver. Does top ‘change trade. Amazing what people’ll buy of the past.
Carbon gills’d let me do it too, should I go down. As it is, I’m ballast rooter but with a sideline in carbon snackery. Stuff you find, down here, perma defrost booty, can be traded, if you know the ways. Not to be caught, I’d say. Here I’m laughing and if you could see my gills, they’d wave orange. Ha. Ha. Good stuff load possible. Course, it’s supposed to go HQ for microbe analysis but that’s just a trick, getting us to back off from it. Scare tactics don’t fool me. Nor Mate Minerson, who’d find a place for it. Price it too.
I know I should be ayre sensitive and not associate with those cash lummocks but since they cut me in on most times, I’m going along.
Course, I’m a lucky one, by way of the molecule transition during the great overcast, so I outta know better, do better. Always the fams great hopes in me, gills as they are, saying I outta keep away from those methanic deposits, rich as they are. They can make you mad, take you over. Not safe, all that volupt.
Now here’s volupt itself. Squishy sound of boat shoes but I’d know that tread, anywhere, moth light.
“You’re brave” I say, as she slips down on the ground beside me. I can smell that tart smell she has, even over the methan thick, she’s that close. Her flutter of a shrug is close enough to run me through too. “Not afraid the marsh glitter’ll have you?” I can’t help adding, though she’s made her keeness clear.”
“Have you come for me?” I ask, finally. I want to hear her say yes. I want her to tell me she’s here for me. Not just for now, but for the all ways.
Course she’s downright. Wouldn’t be the one she is, the one I rooting for, my bit of methane tat, the one’ll light up my world. And keep it lit, I can say.
“Don’t want to unit with a Gilly.” Her tone of disgust. I knew the methane had her gills at blue but that disgust would show on them a tinge of green. My own, I knew, were moving at my thought of hers. Such a delicate filament of flesh. On her they’d show up pinked slashes, she’s that bloodless. Narrow pulsing slashes. Out of the dark she’d see mine, with their fringe in a green glow. She’d know me thinking of her. Good we’re in dark.
A rustle to the far side of me. I sling some meth tat toward a tussock. I miss first throw, next piece scag hits, the splash having the rustle move off in a hurry.
I feel my anger with Glee. How I want her to want me and not some runty Free B. “They don’t last, you know that, don’t you?” I say to her. Testing her the way I always do.
“They run outta stam. Can’t oxygenayt themselves enough. Can’t get the carbon molecules filtered through enough, the way we do with our gills.”
“Sebik, Sebik” she says back. “Reading that book stuff. You think you know everything. Mo-le-a-cules” and she laughs. “And who’d want to go with a Scaflig?”
I may be scafliving now, I tell her, but when I get the big one, who’ll be laughing then? There’ll be a team for me then, I’ll be Headsman, a given with the look. Who gets the cut then, I ask? Where’s scaflig now?
Over in the distance we can see the pale shape of the methane globe, where Kern is. His shadow falling in a dark straying mass across the inside meth light. Men’s heads a row of still circles in an edging to the glow, his Peri Meters.
I want Glee as my tent girl. When it happens, and I get my own Peri Meters.
The big one. The find. A metha. Metha are the ancient parts of decayed trees buried aeons down in the perma solid with gas. As solid as the gas is unsolid. Metha glow, glimmer radiating chunks the way the bog does. We scaflig paint the metha over with a bog tar till it’s hidden by a hard shell. Big piece of metha get you a big lotta ‘change, people want it. They want the glow in the dark, a shape glow, crazy outline. Just keeps on coming, and even with the metha sick. They want the metha sick, they say it gives them dreams so they can see into the future.
A metha find is like the entry to a mine. Just the first of tree pieces going out into the bog. Everyone want a piece but the finder get to be Headsman and gets to direct people where they can look. A methane dome gets put up for the mine gas and the pipe laid out from it. After that ‘change get org’nized and everyone has what they need.
Us Gilly’s are good at finds. We can stay on the bogs longer, stay closer to the ground looking. We don’t suffer the bad breath. But no-one wants gillys around. Muits. Non people. Gillys, people say, and spit to keep away the bad luck.
No covering up my apts, this gilly aint for hiding. Maybe covering keeps them safer but I’m not doing shame. Even if the gills show feelings that’s no get for shame. The feeling part of apts – it’s great. A better blush than any body’s. Beg’s me to see Glee’s give way. For the longest time she’d kept them out of sight. I knew of them though.
“How could you know? I’ve never shown them.” Knows them as colouring as she asks.
“Dunno.” Honest an answer as any. Something tells me but I can’t say what. Perhaps it came by the way of being asked about his. The painfulness in a curiosity most turn from.
Shadow cuts over the glimmer radiance, breaking the sequence of lumin ripples, their darting across the tarry blackness of ground level or through the air thickness above.
“Mother Satcha.” Kettin picks up a meth poke and waves it in a quick glimmer cross warning her where they are. “Out on the look.”
Mother Satcha the first of them with the gill apts. Only later as more had come along people had turned away. From fear. Pointless fear. So Gill people are stronger, survive better, those without the new mech weaker. But not wanting to think so. Afraid of being supplants. Such things happen. They had Mother Satcha take care of the Gilly young but now she refused to do it, wanting to make herself a find, have herself a strong moment before the end. Kettin doubted she succeed. 
“I’ve got a source for a find. I’m sending there. I’ll send all I can and then I’ll leave. It’ll take time but I’ll be outta here.”
“To where?” Glee asks. “What if they scan on it?” Her grey eyes, lashed pale as they are, under the narrow streak of grey brow, the spiky frieze of hair fringing. Her face so close it could tickle on mine is an add to the question, soft and concern uncertain. I am leaning in towards her, I must learn to think this way, it will take me to her. I feel myself dropping down towards where the wind is blowing, down the deepening hollow of the rippled metal culvert, this scene receding from me.
Sitting out there, a wind picking up around us, me and Sebik, safely hunched into our boat shoes, distant points of light pricked up all over the sky, I cling to the array. A streaming from the gas bubble breaks as if waving lights at us. I want to get the feel of a gill, I know my own well enough, the tingle of a touch on it but from another...? This too how I must imagine myself, in a gilly love I never wanted, with a voice in the dark, caressing, promising, to hold on.
No holding the culvert, back suck down, in a wind hollow tunnel spill. Is there light. Reaching for it, the dark is waning. Where I was. That glimmered dark. The body is going too. That other self. If I am not him, must I too now imagine myself? Some where in between. Being a body, ungilled and no longer lost in that companionable dark full of whisped up brilliance and a presence close enough to touch. Still inside the sense of gilly shame, that wanting to be their same. Even of sickies. So familiar a shame hold. A hold in which I too must imagine myself, as of an existence elsewhere and yet of this one too. Where was it I was there? Is this wake up, back in this time, mine? Or is it being taken from a moment held before this other one has shovelled me in? Am I to be there, then? Or is it a seeing? Of what is to be? As sleep mists clear, landscape shifts. I grasp at that landscape slipping out of conscious even as it strains to hold. A reality, somewhere? Reality preseen? To come? And me in it, in that time? Or as I am now? Feeling sad to be parted from that other self, still, if maybe, waiting in somewhere else.

 [RA1]
 [RA2]
 [RA3]
 [RA4]


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