Progress Report 1 – Camp Nanowrimo, April 2013

Hey, how about an excerpt? No context necessary.

Many came to visit Conya when she was free, for the witch woman wasn’t needed to heal often. She passed her time preparing herbs and collars, sharing stories with anyone available to listen. When they drank, they were merry. He had seen fights spill into streets in the Empire and the fighters hauled away by armored police. He had seen wealthy men drinking, staring sullenly into their glasses.

This reminded him of home, of drunken warriors holding trials of strength in firelit rooms or dark fields lit with wavering touches. Or of hearing the songs of farmers weaving their way home from the fields and homekeepers singing in front of their homes. The Thurzin were free people, free from the Empire’s laws. The homekeepers and farmers worked long hours and rested equally well, while the warriors fought in the Rajah’s wars to keep them free.

He wanted to go home, to his mother’s warm kitchen, where his grandmothers helped her cook bread-wrapped meat and the thick stews that kept the warriors and farmers working. To the longhouses of the warriors, where it smelled of steel and leather and wool, where there was always the clang of weapons and curses. To the trees where the young warriors would perch to watch the farmers work and trade stories of their training and compare wounds.

He could go home. If he was strong, if he was brave, he could go home. They would conquer this place, sell it to the Rajah or build warrior longhouses and family roundhouses here, and he could go home. Even with no honor, ever if he’d be reduced to a farmer or homekeeper, when the Thurzin conquered here, he could go home.

I reduced my goal to 15k words, but I’d still like to make it to 25k. My current count is 5k, but I have more to get typed up today.

Nano progress

(Trigger Warnings: Claustrophobia, horror, injury, mental illness)

I know I said I’d post some writing, and here you go. This is from November when I was trying to mostly work on a comic series called The White Knight.

This was a bit of a character study. Eric Ryddatz, aka Techrat, has some serious mental problems. When I get around to finishing stuff with him, I’ll get an actual computer guy to double check the error messages Eric throws up when he’s freaked out.

Eric frowned, a slight tightening of the corners of his mouth. He could see the key just through the hole in the wall. He was not going to fail HER (they had asked why she was female if he thought women were illogical, but she was mother, lover, guardian. He could make her perfect if he tried hard enough and she could make the world perfect.) His breath was faster, his heartbeat skipping, his palms sweaty, his stomach lurched. Fear. (Alexithymia, they called it, an inability to distinguish emotions, and they made him learn symptoms, like the glitches and error codes he learned to make HER perfect, but he couldn’t remove them, not as long as he was subject to hormones and glands.)

He tried to control his breathing, envisioning neat rows of zeroes and ones. He was afraid. It was nothing; an irrational phobia, but it was just a hole, not one of the cuffs locking down on his wrists, grinding flesh against bone.

Zeroes and ones. Beautiful, logical, perfect.

He stuck his hand through. He could reach the key that would let him out. Let him back to HER.

He did not scream when the wall closed on his wrist. Others would have. He did not curse or struggle wildly, like others, less rational people would have. His eyes widened and he broke into a sweat, his heart pounding like a walking tape drive. He tried to pull his arm free, squeezing his hand as small as he could. He could hear the key drop to the floor over the pounding in his ears. Biology, weak and imperfect.

He made no noise, but his lips were moving, reciting commands like prayers.

System Error. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
I/O Error. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
GPF. Abort, Retry, Fail? Retry.
C-x C-e
Buffer Overflow. Abort, Retry, Fail?

His eyes were burning. Sweat in his eyes. He could feel his skin tearing as he tried to free his hand. Contaminants. Weakness that could fail HER.

Kernel Panic.
HCB.

The lights went out and the neat white on black letters behind his eyes broke into neon blurs.

He was not like others. He did not scream. He did not swear. If it was because his throat locked down so he could hardly breathe, that was irrelevant. If his methodical attempts to escape had changed to frenzied thrashings that pounded bone against concrete, he did not notice because that was when the sounds began.

Chittering dry sounds, that crackled like static.

He did not scream, but his computer prayers changed to purely human pleas to HER, as he collapsed, his biology too weak to even hold him up.