My earliest memories were from the nursery. I might have been four or five years old at the time. Guards had come into the building. They were men, big tall men, I don’t remember ever seeing a man before in my life. They came for Mariam, one of the nursemaids. I remember them dragging her kicking and screaming out of the building. Then one of the guards punched her in the face. Her slender frame crumpled to the floor started jerking convulsively. She was silent from that point one. They just dragged her out. I wouldn’t see her again until my first thorning years later.
The other nursemaids gathered us together in the main play room. They gave us children a lecture about the dangers of favouritism. Mariam had been guilty of treating some children better than others. I don’t remember feeling any guilt at the time. Years later though I felt horribly guilty when I realised that I was definitely one of Mariam’s favourites. She used to sneak me in extra biscuits and cuddles at night through the bars of my crib. I would eventually conclude that I was the reason why the guard had punched her. That it was my fault she was gone. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 1”
I like hearing people’s dreams and looking at my own. This is an account of a dream I had a few days ago. What’s interesting to me about this dream is that it is an identical dream to one that I had many months ago. I seldom have repeating dreams so I am paying special attention to this one.
The dream is set in an abandoned school. The school is made of red bricks and the architecture is typical of 1960s Australian government schools. The weather is warm and sunny. There’s nothing wrong about the school or its grounds. The plants are all healthy and the garden well kept. The buildings are all open, and myself and my three companions are free to roam about the buildings and the grounds. The only clue that something sinister is going to happen is that there is no sign of any other people anywhere. I don’t recognise any of the three companions I have in the start of this dream, but they all feel familiar to me. I know two of them are female and the other male. We’re all around the same age: between 25 and 35. Continue reading “Dream Log: A Shadow Nightmare”
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When the calamity struck Proxima Minor the Ferren guild feared their livelihoods would be the most affected. The Ferren were the miners and refiners of gases, metals, and liquids extracted from the crust of the planet. Their guild motto was, “Everything we have either comes from a plant or a hole in the ground; and we know how to dig.” When the waters approached their mines they moved their homes, refineries, and machinery under ground. Then they sealed themselves in deep underneath the surface. The water from the new ocean above them seeped in, but they pumped that out and built oxygen factories to supply themselves with breatheable air. Safe underground they had access to all the metals, minerals, other chemicals the Comptoni needed to build their machines and with that trade they were able to buy food from the Vegani.
Despite all this, life for the Ferren was not easy. Before the calamity they could do aerial surveys for potential places to build their mines, but now they had no choice but to simply dig and keep digging until they found something worth selling as a refined ore. Places already rich in underground caverns and shafts were the most desirable as they made the process of looking for new ores to extract slightly easier. One such place was underneath the Oblique Plateau where the first waters from the spatial deluge first landed. Perhaps many centuries earlier the plateau had been an ocean, but like Mars the waters had been blown away off the planet into space and lost forever. Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Ten”
Space Fall is almost finished, I won’t get it done tonight alas, I’ve been recovering from the flu this week and while I’m almost better, I’m still feeling quite weak. I am working on part ten and it will be the final part – even if it is a really long part. I am determined to finish my first draft in the ten parts that I originally planned it to be in. I actually only started writing Space Fall on the day I published part one, and if I hadn’t gotten sick I think I would have finished it a few days ago. It’s been a very exciting experience writing my first fiction piece in the public domain. I’ve got at least four regular readers of my story so far according to my net stats. Since I’m not well enough to finish writing it, today I thought I would answer some questions instead. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Finishing Space Fall”
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Space was at a premium in the Comptoni underwater settlement of Deliverance. Whereas on Earth a submarine pen would be a large spacious structure for a submarine to emerge into, free of the risk of bumping into other vessels, in Deliverance submarines had a very different function. Underneath Comptoni settlements were a series of large one-way tunnels for submarines to travel through as though they were underground trains. They emerged in tiny rooms that looked remarkably like subway stations. Indeed, passenger submarines that ferried Comptonians from one settlement to another ran frequent routes. The submarine carrying our heroes emerged in one such station pen.
Relieved to get out of the cramped conditions of the submarine the group soon observed that Comptoni settlements were not much spacious. The under water city was full of people sitting and sleeping in the corridors. The overcrowding was deplorable and the faces of the people they passed were long pale and sullen.
“Why is this place so over crowded?” asked Kimberley, “the last time I was here it wasn’t like this.” Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Nine”
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Submarines on Earth are almost exclusively for research if they are small, while if they are large they are almost exclusively for warfare. On Proxima Minor the situation is quite different. When the Ferrens and the Comptoni decided they were not going to leave the surface of the planet, but rather dig in to resist the flooding coming their way, for the first time commercial sized freight submarines had a market. Thus the submarine our four adventurers are currently travelling on is not like any submarine found on Earth. It has a small crew quarters, a humble sized engine, and a massive cargo bay. Like all submarines though it is incredibly cramped for the crew. The room our four adventurers were staying in was tiny but incredibly had four bunk beds crammed into it. There was much curiosity about the latest person to join the adventure. Fiona was an Aeron who had heroically prevented an attempt on Kimberley’s life by one of her guildsmen. Continue reading “Space Fall – Part Eight”
Space fall is now most of the way towards completion, and I’ve been thinking about what my next writing project might be. I have a few contenders. Presently, I’m fascinated in Anglo-Saxon England and what life was like during this period, especially for the 90-95% outside the aristocracy and clergy. Life was very difficult back in this era and famines were a constant source of threat to people’s survival. There is a tendency to dismiss Europeans as being primitive farmers and barbarians before the renaissance, but I figure common sense discounts this idea. Europe as a continent, especially in the north, has this annual catastrophe called “winter” and in order to survive this the inhabitants of these lands had to adapt to winter conditions in ways people in other parts of the world didn’t need to. For example, in jungle regions there is fruit all year round, while in Europe fruit is only available in the warmer months. Europeans had to develop technologies and strategies for coping with winters that exist nowhere else in the world except perhaps Japan, Korea, and Manchuria.
Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Future Projects”