For the next four weeks, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The following is an excerpt from my project, The Thrilling Adventures of Clara Delaney; or, the Misfortunes of Isaac Rowe.
I’m about 15,000 words in as of writing this; by the time it’s published I should be over halfway done. So far it’s been an amazingly fun write. I’ve been learning exactly how hard it is to write funny stuff, and currently have a whole (completely useless) chapter where all the characters do is throw a kegger and get drunk.
Safe to say, I’m enjoying myself.
When Tomas’ boots touched ground, he relaxed visibly. The earth here may not have been Earth, but it was soil. Real, genuine soil. He reached down and scooped some up in his fingers. Something in the fresh smell was home to him.
The spaceport had been similar to Liggs, but the town they’d taken the elevator down to was completely unfamiliar. It was a metropolis, in one sense, one of the biggest cities on this world… but it was tiny. To a group of humans from Chicago, it was the boonies. The homes, for one thing, were grown: a person planted the seed of a tree as a child, and tended it their entire life. When it was grown into a small room, they were ready to move out; they were not a full adult until the tree was large enough to house a family. In old, right families, the saplings were planted in hollows of soil on the family tree. The roots wrapped into the trunk and they merged, creating great, towering plants that dwarfed even the Redwoods of Earth. And that, that was impressive.
But space travel had made the planet sparse. Abandoned, wild saplings were everywhere, usually near to sadly-empty family homes. The “downtown” was hardly a bustling center, either. Commercial buildings were far more familiar to the inhabitants of the Beagle, made from dead wood built into buildings. The shops and restaurants were every inch authentic, but they were… sparse.
Tomas loved it. Once they solidified where they were staying (in an old, old tree: the family made their money renting it out to travelers like a hotel, and traveled the galaxy), he vanished into the half-vacant city. It had fresh air, good food, and real people. Even if the people were sort of insectoid, they were people. He could breathe.
Plus, he was sick of everyone on the ship.
The hotel-for-lack-of-a-better-word was close to the downtown-for-lack-of-a-better-word, so that’s where he went. Tomas breathed in the green trees, the mostly-blue-sort-of-purple sky, the woodfire that seemed to burn in front of every house for some reason. He was out. Out.
Tomas got lunch. He went to the first place that smelled good and ordered “whatever you think I’d like.” The insect girl— they looked sort of like praying mantises, it was a little hard to tell, but he thought she was a girl— laughed at that. Ten minutes later he had some sort of gray meat in front of him, sitting on what looked like rice and covered in a red sauce. It was delicious.
The place wasn’t crowded, so the insect came over and joined him after a while. They chatted. It was shallow, and it was easy, until:
“Haven’t seen one of your kind in a while.”
And Tomas froze a little.