Span chapter one was originally over 1000 words long. This version is only 316. The reason I made such a shortened version was so that I could fit more poetry into my portfolio. (Something I’m considering releasing here.)
In order to make this post worthwhile, I’ve also put some commentary on the tail end of it, about my plans for later chapters of this story.
He said, “Why, then, child, are you here?”
I told him that I had become very unhappy because my father was unhappy. I said that he was longing for a son, someone to teach and apprentice, and also that I very much enjoyed and missed listening to his knowledges. I said that we would not have another child, and that my mother told him to stop speaking about things that he could not change. He laughed at me!
“What, Talc, who cuts our meat, would like to kill it too? He considered me. …
So I asked my father about hunting again and he sighed, saying that Sandgrain (awful name, he added,) had a son who had just begun hunting, and that he might go mad with jealousy. Mother spat at the ground, and my father shrugged at her.
I ignored them both, and said, “You would like to teach someone to hunt then?”
He nodded slightly, and then glanced at my mother. She threw up a hand, resigning herself for the night. My father made an exaggerated frown and looked back to me.
“Maybe I will be happier once I am grey like Sunk. Then I can finally have a pupil!”
I swallowed my nerve and asked, “Why not teach me?”
There was a silence. My heart became the loudest thing at the circle, and I watched my father look around to my mother for an opinion. I was, after all, the child of both. My mother’s expression shifted a few times as she considered my words with severity.
“It does not matter to me! She is very slow at any task that is not cutting animals!” At the insult, I looked at her, and she added, “You are good with children as well.”
My father’s expression was one of deep thought.
He bared his teeth, “Tomorrow, you will have to wake up earlier than usual.”
Span is a story that sort of hit a dead end for me, and I don’t really know where it wants to go, even though I know exactly where I want to take it. Well, I didn’t know where until I started thinking about the location.
Who else lives in the N’Tariel lands? Who might Talc encounter? Then I remembered—there was someone who lived in the forest.
Jin was born in the northern woods, and began exploring the south as she began to reach adolescence. I always thought that the first person she met was her soulmate Salt*, but perhaps that was too romantic, too unrealistic.
Maybe the first person she met was Talc.
Anyway, we’ll see where this goes, if it goes anywhere at all. Span is a series I’ve been considering simply leaving hanging, but it’s modestly successful, and I think I can figure out how to propel the plot forward to the places I care about—that is, her adulthood, and more specifically motherhood. Oh, and she also becomes a seer, due to her interest in the dead; divination by entrails.
Perhaps more thought is required. We will see. I will state that Span is currently set up as the backburner story for The Solune Prince release (As Evidence was to Alice and Finch). Unless it gets replaced by something like Alexandre Jutt’s story, we should be seeing more of it in a semi-consistent manner.
*I feel it obligatory to mention that soulmates are fictional. So, while I don’t believe it to be a real phenomenon, so to speak, I do believe that fiction works in fiction—Jin Sing only marries one person, and that person is Salt Resz.