#WritingWednesday: In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers
Happy Wednesday! I’m using Wednesdays to share some short bursts of the stories I’m working on… because that way, I figure, I’ll be motivated to keep working on them
Right now (besides the Smith and Skarry adventures, which get quite enough attention in my other posts) I’m working on an LGBTQIA+ Mythpunk standalone novel called In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers whose central themes are identity, voice and power.
It’s based in a world where Time grows like grass and is harvested, where people of the four cities – Gnarl, Ash, Slain and Caligari – wear their whole lives on their backs in the form of patchwork story Cloaks. Those who don’t have a Cloak, have no clue as to who they are. Those who have Cloaks guard them jealously for fear of the desperate Daggers who would steal them for themselves.
The novel is divided into four books – The Book Of Bujo (which btw is a complicated word whose closest meaning would be heist/ joke/ prank/ trick), The Book Of Scales, The Book of Feathers and The Book Of End – but in the opening the reader finds themselves in a burned down library where the pages of all these books have been scattered, charred and disarrayed across the floor so the narrative has to be pieced together in fragments and the time line dawns slowly rather than being obvious from the start.
It’s ambitious, I’m scared about failing at the vision I’m aiming for, but I love pushing the boundaries of what I can do and I’ve done similar things with short stories so I really hope I can make it work, let’s see… This is the next extract, you can find the previous part here:
And now we leave Trikashi again and head back to the caravan Mother and her digging offspring…
The Book Of End
Hebri, her brother Finis and the baby Marlin had been breaking sweat since the sun had risen, pink and pale, in the watery pool of sky above the shoulders of the land, which wriggled in the morning’s cooling breath and shrugged off their coverlet of mist to show themselves, green and living and sulking in the soggy dew.
The baby was not the baby anymore, of course, he was nearly five and would much rather have preferred it if they would call him Captain Mud, as he so often instructed them. But ‘The baby’ is a phrase full of glue, and it had stuck to Marlin as sticky things will, and he shouldered its grim burden like he shouldered his spade and all the other junk that life or his siblings handed him.
The autumn hills were gold around them with shaggy manes of forest, white with the stubble of strange ravaged crops and velvet with thick pelts of dark green stems which had yet to be harvested, and perhaps now never would be
Into the dew slick grass their shovels tore, down into the fragrant richness of the black topsoil that gave up its sweet perfume of decay, promising the luscious pleasures of mudpies and faerie feasts.
But the children were after bigger game today. Tempting though it was, they were putting the mudpies aside, with all their other childish occupations, because today they had a plan. To dig.
To dig and dig until they reached the sky on the other side of the world.
Hebri had written a poem about it:
We seek, we seek
where the stars lie deep
Down we dare to delve
Where no spade has been
Where no mortal has seen
Down we dare to delve
We seek the stars in their kingdom of night
We seek the wisdom of their light
With heart in hand and faith in might
Down we dare to delve
Finis had drawn a map, artistically decorated with obscure, but necessarily complicated, equational calculations, graphically depicting depths and substances and expenditure of energies and reclaims and fuel intakes and times and temperatures and tools, and his spidery writing danced over the back of the brown paper envelope on which he had drawn it, as dense and intricate as the veins on a dragonfly’s wing.
And Marlin had done as they told him and packed three apples, a block of cheese, a bottle of rootbeer and the last of the homemade thing their mother called bread into a large red pillowcase he called a bag.
There you go, I hope you enjoyed reading the next little extract and thankyou so so much for taking the time to read along and for all your kind ‘likes’ and words of support and encouragement- they keep me going! 🙂 What are you writing at the moment? Feel free to share links to your own works in progress or Writing Wednesday posts in the comments 🙂
Blessings on all your writing endeavours!