Up until now I have always written something new for the Trifecta prompt, that is sort of the point for me. While I am editing this novel I don’t have much chance to write new stories, and I fear the creative parts of my brain meats will dry up like beef jerky. Writing something fresh with the prompt lets me just run wild with it, as opposed to editing with is soul numbing. However I have been neglecting the editing, so today I decided to post something from the novel instead, to encourage me to do better work on it. It took almost as long to edit this passage (which started out at 500+ words, lots of which were so, really and very) as it does to write something new. I tend to be uselessly wordy, over describing things and babbling. Having word limits has helped me work on this problem.
The following is from “Lost in Reflection” which will be released later this year. The story is about Marney, a 16 year old who ends up trapped in a another world.
You can’t survive alone. Most people stay in dense, walled towns like Derry, where the buildings touch and the people know each other. The gates lock at sundown every day. Only in numbers do people have safety, because out there are dangers and temptations of darkest dreams and delightful nightmares. Every fairytale agrees about that. There’s a sort of magic here which some humans even learn to use. A wizard lives in Derry to help keep the town safe from magical threats, native beings, and for lack of a better word, monsters.
I’m lucky the worst thing I met were cranky chickens. There are so many scary things here that many don’t even have names. There are rules: Don’t be alone outside a city at night. If anyone offers you food and you’re not 100% sure they’re human, don’t eat it. Don’t play games with non-humans, just to name a few. Most rules have exceptions. If you’re out at night, light a fire, unless you think you might attract Fireflies. Don’t follow bouncing lights unless you’re already lost and think it might lead to safety. There are too many to remember, and I have a feeling they change anyway.
Mrs. Shaw let me stay and work at the Milk Maid. The work wasn’t hard; cooking, cleaning, and gardening. The sort you do with your body while your mind thinks about other things. At first I was always thinking about getting home, but soon I realized I was thinking about home less and less.
This place was great. No one had called me fat or questioned my sexuality. I didn’t miss school, and loved being treated as an adult. I liked the people, inn, and town. The happier I was the guiltier I felt. Mom had a hard time raising me alone, after my father left. Even twelve years later she has trust and commitment issues. When he left, it broke her heart in half, me disappearing must have shattered what was left.