Yesterday and Way Before That

I should do some planning.

Or maybe some transcribing…

20101121 – I’ve been thinking more about plotting lately. How many times have I written that bullshit?

Maybe if I appended “…Bringer of Mist.” at the end of that sentence it would help some. Fortunately it happens to be true. I have been thinking of it. I haven’t been doing it, but have been thinking of doing it. I had a lot of stuff there. Some good intra-family conflict that could scale well I think.

Mr. Johnathan Goffe fails to save his brother-in-law from the Bringer of Mist and because of this his sister hates him, Or something like that at least. When he decides to go find the Bringer of Mist (don’t recall why) he discovers that the Bringer of Mist is his brother-in-law. The previous Bringer of Mist and the brother-in-law switched or the brother-in-law inherited the role for some reason. There are plenty of permutations available here. I should consider that most aren’t storiable.

Ah, yes, he went looking for the Bringer of Mist because no one was dying. He discovered not only that his brother-in-law had taken over but that he had refused to perform his duty for some reason.

###

I’ve come down a different permutation since a year ago. I think I ended up with something I like better. The Bringer of Mist is Johnathan’s older brother, and he has inherited the mantle of Bringer of Mist from his father. His first act of bringing, a ceremony with aged volunteers and their sponsors, he selects a number of tinkers and unexpectedly brings Jennetta’s husband, Warren Harrfield, who was there in the capacity of a sponsor.

280 words on day 898

A Concocted Role

http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/tag/bringer/

I’m trying to get Mr. Johnathan Goffe out of the city. A city requiring a name.  I’ve had him take his leave of various folks.  I’ve only written his departure with his Grandmother.  Before he leaves he picks up film for Camera.  In many ways I’m stalling getting him on his journey or maybe I’m looking for clues to give him or I’m fluffing up a world I don’t yet have a descriptive grasp on.

What I’m not doing yet is providing conflict. No resistance.  No blockade.  Which may be fine if I make sure to write a good deal of conflict into his meeting with his sister Jennetta.

He goes to her looking for help on his journey.  But since she doesn’t support the outcome she’s not going to give him aid (transportation, direction, bodyguards).  In fact we get a hint that she may even find a way to oppose him leaving at all.  Which should be good for putting some tension in the two scenes I’ve already written if I decide to keep them.

Let do a little recollection here since I’m not certain these things are written out anywhere.

The Bringer of Mist is both a role and a person.  This role is effectively the embodiment of death.  It’s a concocted role so that Tinkers can be allowed to die peacefully and without violence.  The current Bringer is Johnathan and Jennetta’s [unnamed] brother.  He is in self exile because he ‘misted’ Jennetta’s husband.  (I’ve not given any thought to how misting is governed, but I’d intended it to be at least mystical and involuntary).  Since he’s away no one has died.  Because no one has died certain but not all resources are getting tight.  Which increases demand for these resources and foments the populace.

As a result of The Bringer taking Jennetta’s husband, she’s not too pleased with her brother.  But she’s worked out a profiteering scheme from the lack of these resources that she’s not interested in giving up.  I’ll have to work out the economics of all that so that it makes sense to me and informs my writing.  As I recall, I had something in mind that implied a bodypart equilibrium.  Old Tinkers drifted off and were replaced by new ‘births’.  Thus the headcount was fairly static.

There should be lots of ways to go with that.

Or maybe it’s all great.  Maybe ‘births’ don’t decline and growth means more money and less resources—I think I have two conflict resource issues here.  Anyhow there must be a contingent of folks that would like balance to come back.  Would like for the the Bringer to return.  I need a reason that matches the economics, but also appears to be just plan ‘good old days thinking’.  As for Johnathan, his main driving goal is to see his brother again and rebuild the family.

Is Johnathan a patsy?  So caught up in his personal goal he doesn’t see that the GOD contingent is coruupt?  And are they?  Maybe this all turns out to be ebb and flow type story.  THe balance between good and evil.

As I recall in all this, I also was thinking the happy ending was that Netti’s husband wasn’t dead after all.  That there was some way to bring him back.  And of course reason for that subterfuge in the first place.  Maybe I just need a different happy ending?

Interrupting Mrs. Xenoworth

I have not visited Mr. Johnathan Goffe is quite some time.  I’d like to see what he’s up to this morning.  Last I recall he was headed to some part of town to get some film for his camera.

Grandma followed a different magic than my sister.  Grandma’s enchantments harnessed a deeper power, but they were fickle and often [unspecific].  Jennetta may stalk the hereditary manse[?] presiding over friend and foe alike while Nonni putters in the Old-old Conservatory, but give me the least of Nonni’s spells over the best of Netti’s—I’ll be happy.  I left the leaves in their packet and returned to the lane under my own direction.

:?camera requires film,: I ask the camera.

:.camera requires film,: it replies.

:?list film shops, sort by proximity, with directions relative to the Book Gate:

:.danforth Road Photography (0.26 miles, 11.5°)
:,[something that sounds like a mini-mall] (0.84 miles, 85.5°)
:,bonar Balfour: Haberdasher & Milliner (2.67 miles, 127.3°):

:?haberdasher: I’m trying to imagine a shop that sells clothing, woman’s hats, and photography supplies. As well as decide if I want to go that far out of my way.

:.public inventory all known stock sizes and custom cutting services:

:?stocking men’s hats also: I could really use a new hat.

:.affirmative:

:.map it; call in the quickest order to fill; shut-down:

I stop listening before the camera acknowledges my requests. I need to think.

Bonar Balfour’s resides in a narrow alleyway off Bent Street.  Bent is already a subsidiary outlet of the main circle of shops in Surland Wood, so Balfour’s nicely secluded and separate.  Mr. Goffe is glad to have come the extra distance.  Even before he swings the wood and crystal paned door inward he’s thinking this is his new camera shop—providing they actually have what he needs.  The pleasant trinkle of the bell as the  door glides open on well oiled brass hinges and the top edge strikes the clapper confirms his tentative decision.

“Excuse me a moment please Mrs. Xenoworth.  I need to greet the gentleman.”  A younger tinker smiles brightly as further apology for the conflicting requirements of politeness.  Mrs. Xenoworth pats him on the shoulder pushing him in the direction of the door.

“Go.  I’ll be here deciding a bit yet anyway.”  The boy thanks her in a whisper then departs.

“Good afternoon, sir.  I am Ben Balfour.  My father is still preparing your order and will be out front shortly.  Can I offer you a cup of tea while you wait mister…?”  Ben waits for me to fill in my name.  My camera certainly relayed that information when placing the order and it’s unlikely anyone in this town does not know me by appearance.  It’s polite to pretend.  I ignore him as is also polite, instead addressing the older woman.

“Madam, my apologies for the intrusion on your shopping.  I won’t keep Ben long.”  I clasp my hands and make a short bow.

:,arrange for her purchases today: I command Camera.  My predilection for going among the people like a commoner often result in these sorts of disruptions.  Camera runs a routine that negotiates with the shop’s system to pay for Mrs. Xenoworth’s good.  I’m guessing Balfour’s will smooth over that audacity of my presumption by making the offer to her themselves without my appearing to be involved at all.  This will likely result in my order for film being gratis.  Blah blah blah.

Day 306

Relative to the Book Gate

:?list available shops, sort by proximity, with directions relative to the Book Gate:

:.danforth Road Photography (0.26 miles, 11.5°)
:,[something that sounds like a mini-mall] (0.84 miles, 85.5°)
:,bonar Balfour: Haberdasher & Milliner (2.67 miles, 127.3°):

:?haberdasher: I’m trying to imagine a shop that sells clothing, woman’s hats, and photography supplies. As well as decide if I want to go that far out of my way.

:.public inventory includes stock films and custom cutting services:

:?stocking man’s hats:, I could really use a new hat.

:.affirmative:

:.map it; call in the quickest order to fill; shut-down:

I stop listening before the camera acknowledges my requests. I need to think.

Word count: 113
Day 246

The Camera Requires Film

Read here first. Here second.

Now here…

Grandma followed a different magic than my sister.  Grandma’s enchantments harnessed a deeper power, but they were fickle and often [unspecific].  Jennetta may stalk the hereditary manse[?] presiding over friend and foe alike while Nonni putters in the Old-old GreenhouseConservatory, but give me the least of Nonni’s spells over the worst of Netti’s and I’ll be happy.  I left the leaves in their packet and returned to the lane under my own direction.

:?the camera requires film:, I ask the camera.

:.the camera requires film:

Word count: 89
Day 245

Her Dry Tin Fingers

Read this first if you haven’t already.

“He will not be easily found that one. Speak his name to these and they will aid you.”

Grandma’s words felt like a memory or a dream compared to the unexpected firmness of her grip. She gave me other instructions I think—maybe something about employing them before they became brittle and maybe something about speaking to the redder ones first. I know for certain, because I can still feel the matte texture of her dry tin fingers, I no longer underestimate her power.

I packed the leaves into an empty film packet from my vest. Grandma picked up my camera bag and offered it to me with the flap folded back. I placed the packet into an unoccupied slot and buttoned the flap down and told the camera not to peek into the packet.

“Thank you, Nonni. I’ll remember you to him when we meet.”

“Don’t.”

“It’s no bother. I won’t forget like I used to when I was a kid.”

“Don’t. I don’t want your brother to think on me at all.”

She may have sat down at the bench. She may have walked into the woods. She may have vanished in a puff. I got on my way and she on hers and I never told my brother.

Word count: 215
Day 244

Practiced and Without Fail

The unifying theme for the week will be “The Bringer of Mist”. Check out the ‘bringer‘ tag for more. I’ll step off from a post from day 51: “Grandma has a Wolf’s Heart“.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/37451064@N00/1480066693

The newly fallen leaves stacked poorly in her hand. These red and yellow and gold leaves retained their suppleness. This natural, nearly flesh-like offering, contrasted her brittle metalic fingers. The leaves’ tones wavered through the various shades of autumn. Their organic patterns occasionally punctuated with a spot of green or a tear or an insect-made hole. Haphazard symmetry drew my eyes to the web of veins branching from larger to smaller paths and out to the rim. The brown wind-worn edges showed the future for each.

Her knuckles were stamped and folded tin. I hadn’t seen a tinker of this generation outside of picture books. I would have expected a rime of [chemical name here] darkening the simplistic joints, but she seemed greased and newly made. I knew she wasn’t. Her arthritic posture and shuddering movements betrayed her age. The gleam of her naive but precise frame was the result of care not recent making.

When I did not immediately take the leaves, she spoke.

“Take them or I will unmake you.”

###

I felt my seals dry and crack in that instant. I imagined the golden fresh lubricants from my recent tuning bleeding out and staining my distal framework. I would overheat next and lock-up. Grandma would move on with her elegant hunched gait, but I would be here, under this tree, till the mist came.

Then the world came back to the present.

I wiped my greasy hands on the canvas flap of my bag and dropped it to the ground. I rolled my hands from anterior to posterior looking for any grime or foreign material that might taint the leaves. Finding none, I took the leaves singly with my left hand and stacked them in the opposite order of Grandma’s in my right.

As I reached for the last leaf her tin hand grasped my brass one like a bird lighting on a branch in a storm: practiced and without fail.

Word count: 150
Day 243