The Municipal Bell

Truly I had not expected my “Therefore…but…” exercise on Sunday to have produced so much writing fodder for the week. I’m a little amazed that I came up with six different (and fairly distinct) options. I love that this exercise pre-loaded my week with ready-made scenes with the same topic. The unexpected delight the exercise gave me is the synergistic nature of the options: I can mix and match them. Glomming A with B or C with D and E was such a compelling (and obvious) epiphany I had to tamp it down during the option making effort at about B and a half.

I’ve already subsummed the spirit of option three into yesterday’s writing, but I’ll set that content aside to treat number three fresh today.

3) Therefore she goes to the mayordomo’s home to ransom him, but she finds him dead upon her arrival.

Woo spilled down the steps leading out from the Pratacalla like water from a punctured skin. At the bottom, in the dusty sand, away from its halls and columns and sanctified fools she spat a glob so thick it roped back to her chin. She smeared it dry with the palm of her hand. On the ground, the bulk of her ire cohered into a wet-darkened ball.

“What do they think is going to happen?” Do they think the Bel Avi will just stop laundering clothes and planting crops? Stop bathing or drinking? Just stop?

Something had to be done she thought. Something had been done. She’d gathered her arguments and the will of her district and brought them to the Pratacalla where instead of anyone listening and understanding she’d been accosted by a guard and denied by the mayordomo. She had to do more. Woo couldn’t go back without more water for her people.

The mayordomo had reduced the Bel Avi’s water today when she’d pleaded. What might he do tonight when she threatened? Woo found a nearby brinna cafe and waited till the municipal bell toll.

334 words on day 951

A Sketchy Plan for Diversion

It only stands to reason that I should write up each of those six options I came up with yesterday. Surely that’s how the pros might do it? Right?

1) Therefore she determines to break into the pumping station to rig the timers, but she needs a magician who can hack the timers.

“I need a hack or a tweak or whatever you call them.”

“It won’t work, Woo.” Cursnahmola, the old spell-spinner, perched on a worn felt rail near his lamp. He’d folded his book closed but kept a long finger in the fold. He no longer shaved his head in the manner of a spinner, but he kept it close. The black had lost its youthful gleam and was well salted even into the brindle of stripes cascading down his thighs [into his stocking].

“I haven’t even told you what I want.”

“You want a chron. You want a chron so you can adjust the sluice timers at the pumping station. Woo, you’re not even the first person today asking for one.” He licked his top lip like he was about to return to his book and turn a page, but set it aside on the table instead.

Woo took his concession of reading as an invitation to outline her plan.

“That’s more subtle than what the others had in mind. Still won’t work.”

“What aren’t you telling me, Nahmi?”

“He can’t spin a chron without first reading the timer. Someone would have to go with you,” a voice from the kitchen interupted. Woo hadn’t seen Mohnil, Cursnahmola’s apprentice, when she entered the dimly lit suite. He’d sat quietly at the table as she outlined her criminal scheme.

Turning to Cursnahmola, Woo threw out her hands at the realization she’d not been speaking as privately as she’d thought.

“I’m too old to keep secrets from him,” Cursnahmola said, and then continued, “Not someone. Not you. Me.”

[initially I was thinking Mohnil would approach Woo after this meeting (and maybe he still can), but now I’m thinking that Nahmi will tell her no then do it himself alone.]

349 words on day 949



She comes in looking for more water but leaves having escaped a rape and getting her district’s water ration reduced.

Five options:
1) Therefore she determines to break into the pumping station to rig the timers, but she needs a magician who can hack the timers.

2) Therefore she determines to sell a family heirloom to bribe the mayordomo for more water, but he’s greedy and what she brings isn’t enough.

3) Therefore she goes to the mayordomo’s home to ransom him, but she finds him dead upon her arrival.

4) Therefore she must talk down an angry mob of her fellow Bel Avi upon returning home, but the city guard arrive to impose martial law before she can calm them down.

5) Therefore she determines to steal water from neighboring district, but discovers that district has been obliterated.

6) Therefore she shadows the mayordomo hoping to find blackmail material, but she’s caught and captured while snooping by the rapist guard.

162 words on day 947