Metapost: An Explanation, An Excerpt

Greetings.

A few of you have inquired as to my whereabouts, and I apologize for the long silence, but I’ve been working on a pair of longer stories. One (tentatively titled… ‘One’) will be ready for you to see shortly, the other will be a long term investment. I hesitate to say ‘novel’ at this point, but it’s certainly stretching on that direction; the working title is Echoes, that’s a good enough moniker for the moment.

I’ve also spent some time editing and submitting several stories for publication in various markets, but my knowledge of the genre fiction markets is severely lacking. If any of you fine folk have any suggestions, I would be more than grateful.

Furthermore, in editing, I have found that the combined feedback from you all has been invaluable in the refining and polishing process, and for that, I am grateful beyond measure.

Thank you for reading, thank you for criticizing, and thank you for keeping me honest.

The first draft of One will be up within a few weeks, and I may share a chapter or two of Echoes as it progresses. My hope is to return to writing shorter pieces more often, but the next couple of months are proving to be complicated to say the least. But for the present, here’s a very brief segment of ‘One’, a little tinder to keep the fire burning.

(‘One’ is, at the moment, an informal bridge between ‘Zero’ and ‘Before’. I’ve tried not to call attention to it, but I’ve always believed that many of my stories have had tenuous links, or could be said to occur in the same world or worlds. There is a loose mythology to some of them, simple and nascent at the moment, but the connections have always existed in my head… I’m not sure if that brings something more to the table, or whether it’s simply a lazy writing trick, so I’ve been hesitant to make it any more of it than necessary, preferring to let ambiguity, and not affectation, be the connecting tissue.)

 

One (An Excerpt)

In the night, with only dim starlight holding back the true dark, I am alone. The day’s business is done, the traps checked and reset, water collected from the evaporation pits, the perimeter alarms set. My body uncoils, the thick ropes of aching muscles unspooling as I lay in the filthy sleeping bag. The once springy down filling is clotted with a foul smelling damp, bunching into greasy clumps and knots. By next winter I will need to strip the filling, and find something to replace it, but it will not pack down as light. By next winter, I might be able to venture back into a city, and find a sporting good store. By next winter, this might be all over, or I may be dead.

I drift away, the pinpricked night differing very little from the haze of sleep. When I awake and shake the gossamer film from my consciousness, I become aware of the passage of time. The spine of silken light behind the stars, the heart of the galaxy that I have become re-accustomed with in the past month, has twisted across a quarter the sky. Small coiling tendrils of fog are coursing up the sides of the mountain, like the rising of some vaporous ocean. And behind the wet and living thrum of the brush, behind the shudder and shiver of the breeze, I hear the clank of glass and tin cans.

The alarms.

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