Abianarin hears Cang’s scrabbling, protects her dark eyes against the dust and stones he disturbs. Soon enough, another rope is thrown down. As Shyan and Fassn labour to climb it — Shyan bearing not only the weight of her own gear, but Cang’s warhammer as well — Abianarin wills the shifting of her genetic material. The flesh of her forearms shudders and ripples. She cracks the bones in her neck. From each forearms grows two rudimentary, segmented forelimbs. With the aid of these grasping things, she scales the cliff to meet the others at its lip.
Few trees intercept them before Cang spots the dry, ivory cliffs, sprouting with stunted, amber plantlife. He unbuckles his heavy warhammer from his back and peers up the nearly-sheer face. “Provide me your hook and perhaps I might scale this,” he says, studying the angle of ascent, potential footholds, dangerous spots. With great force, Shyan throws her grappling hook high up the cliff. Cang gives it a tug.
“Careful, Cang,” says Abia as he hoists himself aloft.
“We’ve gotta go right away, Shyan?” Fassn calls out to her retreating form. “C’mon, I’m hungry here. So is Cang.”
Cang gives Fassn the stinkeye and covers the rations secreted in his ruck. “Certain to be many edible things in the grand expanse, my friend,” he says. His gaze follows the endless line where sea meets sky.
“Yeah, Cang’s right,” Fassn says. “Fish for us, Abia!”
But Abianarin follows Shyan into the goldengreen of the trees.
Shyan steps onto the beach, hauling the boat safely ashore. Fassn rummages his ruck to produce a hammer, while Cang loops some rope to the boat, attaching it to an iron spike. Together, they secure the boat to the beach. Shyan scans the tree line, thick with green. Spotting a subtle change in the foliage, she points it out to Abianarin, who gives a nod in response. Shyan hefts her shield and starts towards it.
Chalky cliffs gleam against a cerulean sky. The creaking cries of gulletbirds cut the hypnotic crash of the waves. Shyan, Fassn, Cang, and Abianarin row a boat of buoyant tin through the frothy surf to reach the sparkling beach. On the cliffs above, a great, round structure, shrouded in a shimmering miasma. They crane their necks to see it as they bob to shore.
next week is something different, the first hint of a story, told in parts
basically trying to ape the five act structure across five days’ worth of posts
but the five days isn’t nearly enough either, of course, so it’s just the first tiny piece of what I imagine could develop into an ongoing narrative
this will have semi-gonzo rpg-esque elements I hope. I should add some description to the characters, but in theory I’d like these to be able to go out as tweets. Definitely can’t do that, though, as the first and shortest part is at present 363 characters. So make of that what you will — it’ll be a short entry each day, contributing to a larger, ongoing goal.
stick with me, folks. I hope you like it.
Thanks for reading.
PS I’ve decided to call this series A Sprawling Place (for purposes of tagging, organization, etc) which is nice and vague, while at the same time still conjuring something of the effect I hope to impart. forgive my free-wheeling ramblings; it’s Sunday. tune in tomorrow for the first entry in A Sprawling Place.