Maison dans les Feuilles

Tritti had been watching the horizon since she and Johnka climbed down from his sledge and stepped onto the desert sand. The cheap blue sky slammed harshly into the undulating orange sand as distinctly as [black frame borders a white matte]—except where Johnka now led her. There, just beyond his shoulder, a smudge marred the crisp horizon. It got wider as they approached; it did not look natural.

Less than an hour ago he’d handed her a small water bottle, apologized for a bit of a walk, and said to follow him before hiking out into the near-noon sun. He’d not stopped, slowed, nor spoken since. Johnka’s abrupt reticence and quick pace kept her quiet too and many steps back from the man she’d started thinking of as an uncle until now.

137 words on day 790

Wait Here

I woke early, walked around the block, then celebrated the effort by getting breakfast from Braum’s. I probably have no excuse for not writing well too. Here goes…

I’ve never spent any time talking about Tritti; maybe I should. I’ve got a tendency to write innocents thinking they are powerful characters, but so far I’ve not completed writing anything with one nor have I accumulated any success-by-innocence scenes. What compels me here is the possibility that a character like Tritti could start innocent, learn more of the world of Shanty than she’d expected, grow because of it, and yet still retain the right sliver of that innocence to effect it as significantly as it effects her.

The character arc for Tritti then is one of maturation and annealing. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. This means that I have to heap shit on her. It means that once she’s overcome one heaping she needs to anticipate the next. There are plenty of easy ways to heap shit on the new girl in town, but that wasn’t my originally intended plan.

Tritti pushed back the veil shielding her face to see the spec on the horizon with clear eyes. She turned her head side to side, but the spec remained. It must be real. She took a single swig of water from the hose at her chest and rinsed her tongue and teeth with the too-warm water. After swallowing, she eased a tube of lipwax out of an interior pocket in her robe and squeezed a bit on her finger to smooth on her lips. A second and third drop went into her nostrils. She pinched her nose several times to spread the balm evenly then shrugged the veil back in place.

There was no where to go to escape the heat, but the cloth across her face could tame the bright sand and calm the heat riffles. Before starting out again, Tritti picked an intervening rise of sand between her and the spec where she would sip from the hose again. The water had to last.

That rise of sand stretched into an indecipherable plain as Tritti approached making it much harder to decide when she’d reached the top. Her thirst for the next sip felt like agreeing to hold your breath for a minute and then being required to count out the seconds yourself instead of using a watch. Eventually she decided on ten more steps—not strides—before quenching her thirst and counted them out. By number ten, the spec had become the unmistakable t-shape of a sign post.

[some more stuff I don’t currently have the time for]

Tritti chuckled when she was close enough to read the sand battered words carved into the board: wait here. Another piece of wood jutted out from the rock cairn helping keep the post upright. It looked like someone might have embellished the message after the original one had been posted. She wondered what other information it might provide and quickened her pace to find out.

Reaching the sign, Tritti touched it like greeting an old friend; she was finally here. She knelt to turn over the other half of the carved message: for death. Together the sign read, “Wait here for death.”

543 words on day 759

Ginna’s Eve

“Do you know which day it is, dear Tritti?”

Tritti thought back to when she’d left her village and how many days across the desert she’d journeyed before meeting with Johnka. Time on Johnka’s sledge progressed strangely, but she could count at least four awakening’s plus this one. She wasn’t sure what day of the week it was, but at this time of year the only day worth noting was

“Is it Ginna?”

Johnka smiled and corrrected her, “Djinna. We called it Djinna. No, it’s not Djinna. That’s tomorrow.”

“So, the morning of Ginna’s Eve then? Maybe even still the eve of that.” Tritti shivered.

Johnka smiled again. Tritti was finally reminded of her Uncle Sudge. Four or five days on this sledge and Johnka finally seemed avuncular.

130 words on day 737