The Makers Marcail

“Bugger off! Of course she’s got a name.” The fist I thought would punch me square in the chest swings down to the gunwale and opens to a caress. “Come over here, lass.”

The captain or pilot—I don’t know which—beckons largely, so my eyes follow the hands up to the face. Until now I’d been careful to stay clear of the eyes, but not this time. My body stayed put, but my soul drew closer. This happens occasionally; this time I knew it would.

“Bloody Hell.” I broke the moment by turning my head forward. Below us lay the carcasses of broke ships and rusting sargasso. I was now bound to another human.

“Come over here, lass.” The hand patted a golden-gate red post like nothing had passed. I steadied myself for the off-balanced sway of the small ship but none came. No slosh, no swing, no sag, no dip. “She’s static at anchor.”

Strong hands gripped my shoulders and turned me around. I couldn’t see everything but I could see enough. A patchwork of metal welded together from flotsam like a boy-made tree house stuttered before me.

The pieces were well picked for shape and size and utility, but, in every other aspect, they were incongruous. A flash white bulkhead pocked with bullet holes stood next to a mustard yellow door. Marine blue paint dried where it dripped from something above. A fiberglass roof made from half an amusement park whale and clashing blue tarpaulins ended abruptly at the red again wheelhouse. Atop that two jet engines mounted with vent pipes, a ladder, and bumper stickers—round and rectangular—exhaled black smoke like a whisper.

The deck I stood on warped down at all the fringes. Rain water would drain well from that concave hump of boards. It had to have been vertical in its original orientation on whatever building or bridge or dam it had been salvaged from. The rails, which might have protected a quarter of the edges, were made of household plumbing. The J-bend mounted just outside a weathered green door proved it.

“This,” arms spread expansively, “this, is The Maker’s Marcail.”

361 words on day 552

Benhá’s Main

I should write something about Levi’s. Too indirect?

Let’s talk about our recent main character. I’m pointedly not calling this a maquette as I’m not ready to lock in too many of her characteristics at this point. Unlike most of the seemingly well conceived blurbs I’ve begun here on 1000 Days this one doesn’t originate from a character or from a situation. This idea originates from three commingled concepts: a word, a characteristic, and a setting. Resolving a physical person out of those sparks hasn’t been a necessity…yet.

The main character is a girl becoming a woman or somewhere south of twenty but north of puberty. Black hair she wears long at home but braided and wound up in the market where she works. Her skin is pale brown. Song is a place of variety, but MC is nested well inside the fringes with regards to late teen girls. Maybe she’s taller than most.

She’s not exactly orphaned, but her situation allows her–as it would her peers–plenty of freedom. Something about her citizenship in Song is questionable though. Maybe she’s adopted or a foundling or maybe her family just isn’t multi-generational in the village. Nothing Disney-cliche just thick enough the opposition could use the difference as leverage when the time comes. Maybe her father lived away from Song and married an Outy. Or maybe both her parents are of Song, but somehow estranged and that works against her. In any case, she feels fully invested in the community, as does everyone else, until she’s afflicted with dermatographia and victim turns up dead.

She works in the market. What she sells appeals to both locals, Outies, and tourists so she has a broad experience with people. She doesn’t know it, but she has better knowledge of Out than many aboard Song. Though having never been–or rarely been–off Song she thinks it smaller than it truly is.

Friends are hard to come by on Song because same aged kids are few. Space is a premium, so families tend to have no more than two children and usually far enough apart to have one old enough to watch the next. MC finds herself trailing a baby boomer pack or leading it. Which would normally cause her to be fast friends with the one other girl in the same situation but….she’s not for some reason. That could be story related or not. The boomer pack could be back story.

409 words on day 501

The Song on Benhá River

The Song on Benhá River began simply enough: a single dockhouse perched on four columns half it’s height. One man and his two sons carved the holes in limestone thigh-deep at lowtide—chest-deep otherwise—during a spring and part of a summer. The clear flowing water made it easy to see how slowly their efforts progressed as the white limestone billowed from the holes in a straight line to the sea. Later, posting the timber columns was an adventure that began with cursing and screaming amongst the three men, but turned jovial when the first column—nearly sunk—rocketed out of it’s mooring with the man atop like a cork from a bottle. He splashed to the surface several boat lengths away after his short flight. Before his sons could ask if he was unharmed he pointed at the oldest, smiled, and yelled across the water, “You’re next!”

Then as he saw the column flowing with the river out to sea. “Shit. Hook the tree!”

166 words on day 496