Yes to Both

I thought of a few sceneless conversations I’m going to just hang here—somewhat—disembodied for now.

This one stems from my speculation that my MC would be young enough to be associating the feeling she was having about her skin writing with having gotten her period only a few years prior. From that came some wondering if her condition might only manifest during menstruation or at least might peak then. In this I’m still thinking of the aged Brother Gaine playing the role of monk.

“Is it possible this particular incident is linked to menstruation?”

She sensed his hesitance to use the long word at the end of his question, but since she didn’t recognize it, she didn’t know why. “What?”

“I apologize. I don’t know the customs of Song as well as I’d thought. I don’t know if speaking of this is proper.” He raised his hands as loose fists near his face like he was trying to hide his face or maybe hit something. She could see he was uncomfortable about something, but it made no sense. So far Brother Gaine, an Outy, had been the only one to understand her skin writing.

“I don’t know what you’re asking. I don’t know what men’s ‘truation’ is.” Gaine tightened his lips into a light smile and shook his head.

“Uh, your monthly cycle,” he offered.

What was so hard about that? “I don’t think so. I think it was barely a quarter moon that day. Or the day before.”

Gaine pressed his open hands to his face and mushed on his eyes. The tight smile opened to a tight chuckle. He seemed like a hooked fish giving in.

“Not the lunar cycle,” he circled his palm in front of her mirroring the moon around the earth. Then pointed directly at her with his eyes closed, “Your womanly bleeding cycle.”

A laugh erupted from her. She caught up his hand like a butterfly at the end of her sputtering and hugged it to her chest. She dropped it gently at the fear she felt from the unexpected closeness.

“The Leaks? Is this what you’re talking about?”

“Leaks?” He looked incredulous.

“Yah. It’s not some fancy word like your, but it’s…descriptive.”

“I forget how practical the Song is. I’m sorry not to have gotten to the point more swiftly. Do you think that may have been a factor?” She ignored his return to the original question. She liked seeing him unsettled and needed to erase [feeling she had earlier witht he hand-hug thing].

“That’s what women here call it. The men say Gon’s Prow. The Gons used to paint the prow of their boats bright red. [One more sentence about that].” Brother Gaine looked like he could wait her out. So she swam deeper.

“At least that’s what they say to us. When their out on the water with just the rest of the boys fishing they use a different word: chum.”

Gaine groaned. “Yes. Well, it freaks some men out. Plus we’re all rather gross.”


“Yes, we’re gross or yes, the incident might be linked to that?”

“Yes to both.”

Ok, so that ate up all my time this morning. I can’t even recall what the second conversation was going to be. So you just get the one.

553 words on day 498

Brother Gane’s Maquette

Immediately you are struck by the misplacement of the man in the garb. Gane is like a rabbit wearing a hat or a puppy in a shirt. Doable; just not right. But you don’t know what you would change.

From top to bottom he’s Solex Guy. Gane’s dreads are rubbed evenly with alizarin crimson and pleat evenly left and right when he’s at Mass or ride high in a ponytail bound in a tight clasp near his scalp when he’s on the job. His split-sleeved cassock fits smartly. His blue and gold subdermals pulse professionally from the gaps. His cincture is tied expertly in the old style–thank-you brother Chabe. When he walks his boots clip precisely on the stoneways.

Gane’s hres are error free. No one unit tests their prayers as effectively as he. His knowledge of circuits, networking, hymns, and chants is unparalleled. If you had three sons and you wanted the third to be in the clergy you want him to be just like Gane. You just wouldn’t want him to be Gane.

He’s a faker, an impostor, or a liar. Or he’s deluded, confused, or biding his time. Clearly he’s unwilling to be bad at what he’s pretending but he’s not bothered to fully obscure what must be disdain.

Leaving it there. Everything else that I tried fell flat.

Word count: 219
Day 160

The Solex Guy: A Day Before

Gane struggled to prepare his equipment. Fasting made a long day of paperwork and prayer exhausting.

His appointments in the Shanty guided his inventory, but there were always unexpected needs. Some items, like traidl root powder, were easy to carry in sufficient quantities for any occasion. He arranged an extra roll of duct tape into the crate and coiled a dozen more leads into the center of that. The screen on his laptop indicated that the ghosting of the auxiliary laptop was complete. Instead of booting it up to see for himself, he inserted a static hres into the uniport and watched as the indicator LEDs flickered to a solid green.

He placed the aux into it’s cushion in the crate and sealed it up. His primary went into his satchel along with the expensive saffron petals. The tart aroma of the flower whetted his appetite. Lightheaded, he opens a a few cupboards before he realizes that he can’t eat. Closes them gently.

Word count: 161
Day 159