Showing posts from January, 2016

Half Shaman, 5

Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night

4: The Yellow City Dream

Jeb spends three years in prison with cells either side empty, and gets a mysterious neighbour on the same day that she discovers the ArkShip again orbits Lotor. How is that not suspicious? She is the hereditary bio-captain: how will the ship contact her, and how does the signalling feel compared to the malign dreams that the planet sends? 

5: In The White Cell, Still

Anyway, I’m forgetting. There can be no preparing until I have contacted the ship and the ship has replied. What do I know so far? If it is the ship orbiting, it will have dropped sensors. So it is said, I add for the comfort of it. I set myself to recalling the business of making contact.
I’ll need the code. Got it. By head and by heart. Didn’t I just prove that? 
Don’t get cocky, my crow reminds me. 
Then the totem singing. A lot of learning there. Revision revision revision. 
So, revise the totems. 
Need more voices. And a …

Half Shaman, 4

Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night


Last week, after Jeb discovers the ArkShip in the night sky, she works out how to talk to the ship. This section has her dreaming a prophetic dream. Whilst dreaming she needs to learn the difference between Lotor's input and the ArkShip's input. Both try to influence her while she is asleep. 

I've tried to signpost the different modes with italics but wonder if that really works. Let me know in the comments what you think?

4: The Yellow City Dream
I dream. In the dream I think, when do I not dream? I’m walking in the streets of the Yellow City again. In my reality I’ve never been there. It doesn’t lie along the Great Parallel. In my dreams I’ve been a frequent visitor. 
But only since I have been in the prison, part of my mind reports. How is it possible that I can know that in a dream? I wish I had learned more in the shaman school.
Lotor learned about yellow dye from a settler, how to …

Half Shaman, 3

Links to Previous chapters1: The Vigil2: Wake Up Call

Jeb, the Half Shaman, is still in the prison, still incognito. In the previous instalments she met Tayne, a possibly suspect fellow prisoner housed in the cell next to her. The wall between them doesn't go all the way to the ceiling. She has to be careful with sound. 

3: ArkShip in the Night Sky

During the night, when I stand below the window leaning against the white-washed wall and staring into the quadrant of sky where I was instructed that the ship will re-appear, I see a speck of light on a regular if speedy trajectory. My heart lurches. I reach up to clutch the edge of the window hole. Could that fast-moving spot of light be the ArkShip? Lightness-of-being fills me: its other name is hope. Is it really, after all this time, the ArkShip repaired and coming to fetch us? 
The Shaman School had fourteen teachers when I was taken. All of them shamans. Therefore all of them the ArkShip’s Crew. They were six-year trained, an…

Half Shaman, 2

Previous Chapters: 

1: Vigil

2: Wake Up Call
“Hear that?” the chained man said. “Guards tramping up the stairs, echoing in the stairwell. Do something!”
I hear them too now. Or rather, I finally realise what that sound means. There’s nothing gentle about the sound of guards tramping. I wake into the moment finally. “We will sing the Eagle’s Totem. Repeat each phrase exactly as you hear it.” I don’t tell him which Eagle Totem we’ll sing.
“A sing-and-response chant,” the prisoner says.   
“He soars with his great wings reaching across the …”
“his yellow feet clench the fish that is his …” 
We both aspirate the final word of each phrase, needing that little silence to keep track of the guards along the stone corridor. They stop midway and make a lot of work unlocking and opening a fibre-glass door. An awkward squawk sounds when they thrust someone into the cell.  
The guards tramp away and down the stone stairs while the prisoner and I sing the rest of the Fishing Eagle’s lines: “he gras…

Half Shaman, 1

This story takes place on Lotor, an imaginary planet, in a real star system. The meaning of the name will help you discover the name of the star. But that's necessary only if you want to know ahead of time. It's the first draft. Comments on glitches are welcome. I'm still looking for some good art to accompany these posts.  
1: Vigil
Jeb gulped water. She flailed and splashed but sank to the top of her head. She hit a wall with her knuckles. Rose. Breathed, big gulps of air. Saw the sky, a round dark disk. No stars. Called. “Help!” Heard a couple of someones running away, their feet pounding on the hard dust of the central yard. 
She trod the water faster, to keep her head above it. OldEarth water was thinner than Lotor’s treacle-like stuff. The OldEarth-born ate Lotor’s water from a spoon. She bent her neck. Sucked. Cool melt-in-her-mouth water with hardly a scent or flavour. 
No cistern-woman would ever tolerate someone dunking in a cistern. Accidental or not, Jeb would …