6

Six Sentence Sunday: Strictly speaking, she could no longer see.

I said I wanted to finish this whole clockpunk Pied Piper thing this month, and the story is certainly moving itself along!

Peregrine has woken up to find Anna gone — but where, exactly, is Anna going, and what was it made her leave?

(And perhaps most importantly, what will happen when and if she gets there?)
 
 

Strictly speaking, she could no longer see.

In the congealed patch of fog now serving as her brain, she wondered whether it was night or if the fever had struck her blind. She was not even sure which option she would prefer; blindness could easily be a death sentence out on the streets, but being a girl alone on them at night could be an even swifter one.

More importantly, she was fairly convinced that she was dying either way, and was determined to do so under the sun. She would find it, whether she had to walk until dawn or walk until she reached an open patch where she could feel it on her skin, and that would have to do.

Whatever came after would come, and she decided she would meet it head-on.

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0

An unofficial OctoWriMo? (Amazingly, this does not mean writing eight different projects at the same time!)

I may have lost my mind.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo next month, you see, and have wanted to spend October gearing up for it. Doing NaNo itself is far from the reason for my current insanity — it is certainly a reason for insanity, but one that I’ll concern myself with when November actually hits. (No need to borrow lunacy, and all that; I’m sure there’s plenty already to be had.)

No, the problem right now lies in my preparations for it.

For a while now, I’ve been working on that clockpunk Pied Piper…thing, the one that I’ve been posting snippets of for Six Sentence Sunday. I refer to it as just ‘that thing’, because in all honesty, I still have no idea what in the bleeding hell it actually is.

It started out as a single flash fiction snippet for a daily writing prompt. The snippet refused to die, and then became a series of interconnected flash fiction snippets. Then the snippets started becoming a proper chunk of story, one I still could not make heads or tails of, but that was chanelling itself quite happily through me all the same.

Then the story-chunk somehow became novella-length.

And now, like a bratty little word-vomitting Energizer Bunny, it’s still going…and going…and going.

Meanwhile, I have thrown up my hands and given up any and all semblance of control.

Do I know what the hell it wants to be? Nope. Not a clue. I don’t even care; the damn thing will stop itself when it’s done, anyway, and it isn’t as though I could stop it before then. Does it want to just be a longer novella? Does it want to be a proper novel? (Does it want to, secretly, be the start of a whole series?)

We’ll all find out at the same time, I suppose!

But what does this little beast have to do with NaNo, you ask?

I’m not going to do it for NaNo; not knowing what it is yet, I can’t rightly say that it has fifty thousand more words in it, and I’m not going to push it.

But what about an OctoWriMo?

No, the idea behind this OctoWriMo thing is not writing eight different projects, all at the same time, all within a one-month timeframe. (Although, knowing me and my Libran-author tendencies…ahem.)

Instead, this unofficial OctoWriMo would be a less-panicked NaNoWriMo prep — not to spew out another 50k words and break my brain before NaNo, but to fine-tune the flowing of the juices, to get myself properly into the routine of writing every day, to accomplish something before NaNo as a little confidence-booster of sorts.

So, instead of a strict wordcount goal…

I want to finish the clockpunk Pied Piper this month.

Wordcounts are for next month, and certainly not for this particular project, apparently. The Piper comes as he pleases, and I just put up with him.

But one way or another, I want to finish him this month — whatever ‘finish’ actually turns out to mean. No specifics beyond that, no worries about stringent goals and what’s going to happen with it afterwards.

I just want to tell this bloody story, and I want this story to tell itself through me.

By November, I hope that we’ve managed. ♥

(And is anyone else out there crazy enough to join me with an OctoWriMo of their own?)

5

Six Sentence Sunday: Everything else was as he remembered it, if only minus her.

Another week, and I’m actually still at this whole clockpunk Pied Piper thing! And not only have I not fluttered away from this project yet, I just want to keep working on it more.

Fancy that. :)

(Being an air sign is fantastically helpful for being a writer…until you inevitably hit that whole ‘I MUST WRITE ALL OF THE THINGS ALL AT THE SAME TIME’ stage. Which is generally the story of my life and more than a bit distracting, hah.)

That said, however! Last week, after having stayed up all night to transcribe the ravings of her fever-dreams, Peregrine finally woke to find Anna gone.

Now, he attempts to take stock of the surroundings he has left.
 
 

Everything else was as he remembered it, if only minus her, even if rememberance did not automatically equate to understanding. He could still feel the way his hand had strained to form these shapes across the wall, could still remember how he had traced them with his eyes as he himself was seeing them for the first time.

He had heard them from her mouth before, it was true, but that did not make them real.

And he had hoped that, finally, transcribed in this form and transferred from her lips to his hand to the steadiness of the wall, they might somehow have made more sense than when they merely floating free.

That is, until they had come to the corner, to the very last things he had scraped out until she had fallen silent and asleep and away. They had reached their most abstract here, lonely rhyming syllables and seemingly unconnected couplets of words, strings of followfollowfollow and help and please that he himself had punctuated with a single scrawled Yes.

5

Six Sentence Sunday: When he woke up, she was gone.

In last week’s Six Sunday portion of my clockpunk Pied Piper project, the night which he spent writing out the ravings of Anna’s fever-dreams came to a close, and Peregrine finally seemed to have a moment’s peace.

But in this world, nothing lasts.
 
 

When he woke up, she was gone.

He was aware, first, of the angle of his head. Before he even opened his eyes, Peregrine felt the indentation in the blankets, that hollowed-out space that she had once filled, and that his own head was now leaning inexoriably towards in her stead.

He heard nothing. No soft slow footsteps, no pained cries, not even the scurrying, scrambling noises he imagined she might make if she attempted to move in such a state.

There was nothing but the hollow place, and the bile rising hot in his own throat in answer.

5

Six Sentence Sunday: He wrote ’til his hand turned pink with dawn.

This week’s Six Sunday is a direct follow-up to last week’s portion of my little clockpunk Pied Piper project, with Peregrine watching Anna sleep and transcribing the ravings of her fever-dreams out on the walls.

Now dawn is breaking, and it isn’t the only thing.
 
 

He wrote ’til his hand turned pink with dawn.

And then, as the dawn began to paint her own lips and dispell some of their prior deathly pallor, she fell abruptly silent. There was no segue into it, no trailing off of syllables; it seemed she simply could not speak such things through a lighted, living mouth.

She slept, and was still.

Peregrine breathed.

The first breath was a painful stab, as if he himself had spent the night not daring to breathe at all, and now must reinflate his own lungs, must fire up again and refuel the synapses in his own brain.

4

Six Sentence Sunday: He wrote her words out on the walls.

Another Sunday, another Six Sentences of the clockpunk Pied Piper!

This week, we’re taking a step back from the Piper himself. Instead, we’ll focus on the boy (Peregrine), as he sits up with the girl (Anna), and waits out what he hopes are the worst of her fever-dreams.

He spends the night listening to her rave, and attempting to understand.
 
 

He wrote her words out on the walls.

Paper supplies had dwindled long ago, books burnts up largely for kindling and desperately-needed fuel; but ink, useless to those who could not write or read, and who had no time or inclination to draw, remained. And so he, perhaps alone, had hoarded it, allowing it to stain his clothes like blood as he hurriedly spirited it from the hollow recesses that once were shops.

It had comforted him, this implied knowledge that he could one day pass something on, if ever there was anything worth passing on at all, or anyone to pass it to.

But now that the opportunity had finally come, he found himself wishing that it was anything, anything, but this.

He was frightened — not of her, precisely, but of the vessel that she had seemingly become, of the fact that she become such a vessel at all.

9

Six Sentence Sunday: He was beautiful in the way of knives.

In this week’s Six Sunday, we get our second glimpse of the clockpunk Pied Piper himself!

(Because yes, miraculously, I am somehow still consistently working on the same project! Without flouncing away to do twenty-odd other projects like I always end up doing instead! What is this sorcery?)
 
 

He was beautiful in the way of knives.

Purposeful but cold, sharp-edged but smooth, haloed in a dangerous shine.

And something of the unnatural seemed to rumble inside his skin, like raw ores being heated and hammered far beyond what most others could stand.

But she found him beautiful all the same.

She wanted to watch, to follow him down; to see just how much of this pressure she too could stand. She wanted to see what new shape she would take when she herself rose, to see if she too would be as sharp as he, or even sharper still.