September 1, 2010

Here is a free sample from my work-in-progress, Dodden in Jom, a story from the world of Bekka of Thorns. I posted my sketch of Dodden a few weeks back:

In my eighth bar year, I lost my eye. One afternoon the training class gathered by custom to sing the Cragger Anthem before being released to scatter individually for Evening Rumination. This was ever my favorite part of the day. We sang: “Our wrinkly heads are full of brains, Our slender bodies feel no pains, Our shiny hooves and spidery hands are famous throughout all the lands.” By the time the last fragment of harmony faded, I was beyond the Training School gate and sprinting at a formidable gallop toward my favorite rumination spot on the green sands rimming Winedarque Lake. I myself was to blame for the accident. Too eager to be on the sands, I fell and quickly arose, of a sudden blind in my right eye. Thick seepage ran down my cheek. A popped globe of liquid was my eye. I felt no pain and immediately thought, Of course. Our wrinkly heads are full of brains and our slender bodies feel no pains. I walked carefully back to school because I thought I should. I regretted missing rumination on the green sands.  Master Cheddor Bo trembled when he saw me. I suppose I was a dreadful sight.

“What happened?” he gasped.

“I think I fell on something jagged,” I told him.

Master Cheddor Bo nodded and rushed me to the infirmary. All Mistresses and Masters were bell summoned. One by one by two they arrived, and with my one good eye I watched them grow pale at the sight of me. They fell together into a whispering huddle. Not alarmed in the least, I sat on a plank bed and poked at the eye gunk on my cheek. Had my fall punched both eyes out, I surely would have been rightly alarmed. But so said, I still had one good eye, my left.

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