we’re rewriting everything we wrote last night to make it more satisfying. also finished f(r)iction #18: legacy and one of the authors featured notes the tempo of the chapters she writes and i thought that would be a neat thing to do. i pack so much into my chapters that their tempo can change moment to moment but her methods got me thinking about pacing in my stories, so let’s see if we can make some improvements.
oh! i also decided to combine the george glass and quarter characters. i wasn’t really feeling quarter as a name for this sensitive gentleman character i had in mind, and i want him to do things of his own volition rather than just following someone else around. i feel like he doesn’t have enough to do with that second character around. plus i’m sure the kids will be plenty of characters in their own right.
[fiddling with some background stuff]
alright i’m back
let’s fucking go
[apologies for any flashing i might need to go back and forth between drafts]
alright hold before we write the thing maybe we should try outlining the stuff we want to happen
(i don’t normally do outlines but i feel outliney tonight)
- Slow: George Glass in on the way to rescue the kids when his lungs act up. sits down to rest. Reflects on the townspeople’s apathy to the plight its children.
- Slow: Flashback to the night the children were taken. The children were playing in the flower fields to watch the moonblooms open up for the night. George Glass was sitting at his favorite tree, watching the moon dance on the waves of the sea, when he feels fire at his back. At least one of the children can use magic.
- Fast: Soldiers capture the children. Why were they even there? They claim they guard the forest road…
- Beat: George Glass is haunted by the children’s screams.
- Slow: George Glass unsuccessfully rallies the townspeople. He goes to save the children on his own.
George Glass had been trudging through the rain for two hours now. [It’d been that dreary chill before he’d left.] Each drop beat against his body. His clothes clung to him in a heavy heap of cloth, his hair smashed against his eyes in a web of grayish-brown spirals, and the ground was becoming muddy enough to swallow his cane. [He had to fight the road to release his cane with a pop.] [He fought the road for his cane. It finally released it with a pop.] He [braced one hand against a tree and] grumbled as he fought the road for his ability to walk [as pain-free as possible]. As the battle raged on, he freed one hand to brace against a nearby tree. When the road still refused to release his cane, he gathered another shard of strength to pull with both hands again.
[The road finally released his cane with a pop.]
His cane finally popped free.
[By then, his lungs were screaming at him to rest. At first, he told.]
With renewed earnest, his lungs screeched at him to rest. George Glass told himself at first that he’d rest when the children were safe. The mud and the rain and his usual Breathlessness devoured that idea. They hissed and snarled until he surrendered on a nearby stone.
He closed his eyes. Frustrated. Not only was his body fighting against him, but the townspeople too, albeit passively. His neighbors couldn’t be bothered to rescue their own children!
Controlling his breath did more harm than good these days, so instead, George Glass listened to the sonata of the storm. It played a steady, sparking patter of a million bullets.
[George Glass gasped.]
He shivered at both the cold and the realization.
[As soon as he felt his lungs were.]
The moment his lungs’ screeching died down to a simmer, George Glass moved on. The ground turned rockier, more solid yet slipperier. George Glass didn’t pretend he was moving quickly, but now, he deemed his pace ridiculous. For a fleeting wisp of a thought, he worried he wouldn’t be able to rescue the children…
But he moved onward. Because no one else was even going to try.
[alright, coming up on an hour. hopefully this’ll be a short stream like last night.]
A lot of it was fear. Terror, frankly. The soldiers had guns. The townspeople had hunting knives and bows.
Except George Glass and the children. Likely not all of them, but at least one.
[The children had been dancing in the night, awaiting the moonblooms’ first blossoming after winter.]
[The children had been dancing and giggling and laughing that night.]
George Glass had been sitting at his usual tree, watching the moon dance across the sea below.
The children had been chattering and giggling [that night], awaiting the moonblooms’ blossoming. It’d finally been warm enough that their parents had apparently relented. Ellana, the baker’s tiny daughter, had missed their light over the winter, but she’d liked making snow-friends in the yard during the day.
“Hazel them all balls, like in art and stuff!” she’d said, to the awe of the rest of the especially young ones, plus plenty of the older ones, George Glass had gathered.
“Aw, it was just a little scraping, that’s all,” Hazel had said. George Glass snorted at that. It was then that he decided to enter the conversation.
“I’ve seen your snow-friends,” he’d said, making sure to project as best he could. [He’d made sure to project.] He’d been far away and facing away from them. “It takes a lot of hard work to make them that smooth and round. [Your sister’s right to.] You could stand to boast about it.”
Hazel beamed. George Glass taught adults rather than children, but he knew a student who needed encouragement when he saw one. Their father was meticulous in his work. The wrong ratio would ruin his goods. That perfectionism had been handed down to Hazel.
But George Glass had seemed to have lifted the family curse, at least for the moment. For Hazel had begun describing his process and pieces in earnest. He was intent on carving a dragon next year. A serpent around their whole house!
Eventually, the moonblooms had opened up. Light had risen forth from their cores to return to the moon, or so they said. Many oohs and ahs had rung out. George Glass had smiled at the sea. Already, his mind had been at work to write the melody of their delight. [To communicate their awe of the beauty they were enjoying.]
[alright we’re about an hour and a half in, let’s see if we can find a shorter monster to fight…]
[alright, let’s fight a snake!]
Some of the faster-paced children had begun to grow bored, so Hazel, [as the oldest of the group and the de facto leader] with the authority likely given to him by their all parents, had said, “Wanna see something else I can do?”
George Glass had stayed deep in his compositional thoughts. He’d figured Hazel was simply going to show them a trick with their yo-yo, or perhaps even how one could dip their fingers in the moonblooms and come back silvery and sparkling.
It wasn’t until George Glass had felt heat at his back that he’d learned Hazel could use magic. George Glass had grabbed his cane and hoped that the bonfire had been made of fuel and flame rather than intent and magic. He’d tried to hurry. He’d had to convince Hazel to douse the flame―and the rest of the children to quiet down.
But he’d already been too late. Gunfire had exploded in the night. The children had screamed as they’d been snatched up one by one, smaller ones in pairs. The soldiers worked too quickly, so mechanically, for George Glass to move in range to fight them off with his own magic.
Later, George Glass had furiously wondered what the soldiers had even been doing there in the first place. Their only legal reason to be anywhere near the town was to defend the forest road. That was on the opposite side of town from the flower fields.
All of the town’s children had been there that night.
Nobody spoke a word, not even to cry.
The children’s screams had haunted George Glass in his sleep, what little he got of it. They’d haunted plenty of his waking moments as well.
Boiling with rage, George Glass had taken to the square.
“You think they’ll stop at taking our children?” he’d said. “You said they’d stop when they took our horses, our medicine, our food! They won’t stop taking until there’s nothing left to take! When we’re all dead and every last moonbloom is burned.” Lastly, he’d added with a sneer, “No more competition for their corn.”
“And what do you expect us to do about it?” the mayor had asked. “March over and demand our children back?”
“I was planning on taking them back, actually,” George Glass had said.
The townspeople had turned away from the square. And so had George Glass. But he was headed toward Fort Tyran.
[well damn now i have 130 more words to write. lmao. fuck.]
[alright well let’s maybe jot down a physical description even if we don’t end up using it in the actual story…]
George Glass tended to be half a head shorter than most grown men in town, although his favorite hat inflated his height. There was no hiding the slightness of his frame, however. His body rejected physical labor; most physical exertion, actually. His fingers were long and deft, dancing across the keys of his piano.