Thursday, January 3, 2008

Friday Snippet, January 3, 2008

I suppose it was inevitable that I'd make the New Year's resolution to write more. I'd like to get 500 words a day--it's a doable goal for me. So how have I done so far? In the first three days of January, I've written 500 words of fiction. I like to think that number will steadily rise until I get my goal every day. We'll see.

This short snippet follows right from last Friday's.

First draft. Please do not quote or repost anywhere. Thanks!

Sabri shivered, and hugged herself to stay warm.

A vision of huddling on a street in a city, her arms wrapped around herself for warmth, a cold wind cutting through her as if her layers of clothing weren’t there-

Sabri shook her head. She went swiftly into the house. No one lingered in the foyer, or sat in the main sitting room. She took the stairs to the second floor. After a couple of abortive tries at closed doors, she found the library.

Floor to ceiling shelves on three walls met her gaze. The fourth wall contained tall windows, curtained in a heavy velvet that reduced daylight to dim shadow. Sabri tried to draw back the curtains at one of the windows, but she couldn’t get the heavy stuff to pull back or stay parted. Large oil lamps were strategically placed on desks and tables in the room, but the thought of lighting one of them daunted her. Finally, she compromised by peering at the books in the dimness and bringing likely ones to the window for a better look.

She found books on the art of husbandry, the weaving of cloth, and the poetry of some woman whose name she did not recognize. Her fifth book choice turned out to be the closest thing to a dictionary. A Brief Description of Common Words and Their Meaning by Theodore Cline. Sabri eagerly flipped through the pages until she came to the words that began with the letter v.

Vagabond-- the historical term for the host of a second soul. Controversy has arisen over whether the second person actually exists. Some medical experts consider the confusion and lack of familiarity with their surroundings displayed by these persons to be a complicated mental disorder rather than the presence of a second person. Vagabonds tell fantastic stories of places and people and things that do not exist, and never have existed. Religious significance has often been attached to the Vagabond.

Sabri searched the book for more information, but the book did not go into further detail on the subject. She looked at more books but found only hints of the Vagabond’s existence.

She closed the books and stared at the covers in frustration. Why didn’t they say more about Vagabonds? Was the subject not important? She could scarcely believe that. The impact on the families of Vagabonds, and on the Vagabonds themselves, had to be staggering.

A different method of finding facts, one that seemed to draw the information from the very air, flashed through her mind, but she dismissed the unhelpful thought with impatience.

Sabri replaced the books and left the library. As she turned, she heard someone hiss, “Leave, you spawn of Satan!”


IanT said...

It just struck me that this would make a good start for a video game... protagonist gradually learns things about their environment and what's happened to them. Have you ever seen Dreamfall?

But anyway - aside from that - your dictionary entry implies that some medical authorities do believe in Vagabonds, which is an interesting situation to be in... and, I guess, may save Sabri from being burned as a witch!

KnitTech said...

I like it. Poor Sabri she doesn't know what's going on, but Mom seems to.

Gabriele C. said...

Ouch, not finging the way in your own house is pretty scary. And is Hedge whispering evil things there or someone else?

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, no! Well, we know what a Vagabond is, but not the significance. I'm with Ian--hopefully she won't get burned as a witch!

Ann said...

Oh my, things aren't looking good for Sabri. Very cool scene (I agree with Ian- it'd make a great game).