As an exercise in worldbuilding, I’m going to make the jump from purely-educational blog content to adding bits and pieces of my own work, as written on-the-spot for the posts. Since I only have about 100 blog followers, I figure it can’t hurt to do one flash fiction post a month – pretty easy to ignore if you’re not interested. So here goes: my first attempt at “Fragments,” a series of scribbled scenes taking place in the universe of my Phoenix Cycle series. Enjoy!
A fragment from the world of THE SINGULARITY (running title), a novel currently in the conception stage.
Fier watched his father’s gold eyes dart between each of the slow-moving ohm. For as long as Fier could remember, he had envied his father’s gold eyes, the metal of them, the way they shot out sparks of light at the same rate the Singularity sucked them in. Fier himself was stuck with green, third-rate eyes. Only blue went any lower, and after that, you were human. He was too close to being human. Even at ten years old, this disgusted him.
“You’re sure it’ll be here?” said his elder sister, Mor, from the other side of their father. She was using her imperious voice, which, more and more, was the only one she ever used. “It’s hard to believe an ohm can eternally travel at the same exact rate. I never really believed the teachers–”
“It’ll be here,” their father interrupted. “Eight years and eight days and eight hours. You can always count on the ohm.”
Mor rolled her eyes, which were silver, proving that already she outshone her father’s power. Their mother had been the same. Destined for great things.
Until eight years, eight days, and eight hours ago, when the ohm had eaten her whole.
“There!” Fier’s father cried, and without raising a hand to point, he tugged on his children, wading into the herd of massive creatures. Fier wasn’t afraid of the ohm, because it was hard to fear something that moved so slowly and consistently. The great spiraling shells and the sluglike bodies beneath them were more like lazy rolling boulders than monsters.
But the ohm weren’t monsters. They were graves.
The ground squelched beneath them, thick with ohmslime that stank of pleasant things. Fier could barely stand the pleasantness here, the radiating sensation of Light. The only real perk of the ohmfields was the gravity. He could actually feel the ground beneath him, and despite having spent ten years of his life hovering faintly above the surfaces of the Ring, he found the gravity somehow more natural, more comforting, as if he’d lived his entire life away from home, and this weight was his natural state.
Finally his father rushed up to one of the ohm and slapped its shell. “This one!” he cried. “I remember the chamber configuration.” He pointed to one of the most recent segments of the ohm, a curved chamber second-to-last in its enormous spiral. This, like most ohm its size, was full, and each chamber hinted at different patterns and colors. Only one had a gold tint to it, meaning that Fier’s mother was interred there. As the ohm slowly chugged along, Fier’s father walked with it, resting his cheek against the shell.
“I’ve missed you, Isol,” he said wistfully, gold eyes closing. Fier looked to his sister, but Mor was lifting one leg up to look at her shoe, sneering at its coat of slime.
Fier turned away and put his hand to the shell. “Mother is inside here?” he said softly.
Without opening his eyes, his father said, “Yes.”
Fier rubbed the shell, trying to get a sense of the woman that had birthed him. He knew–thanks to Mor–that it was he, Fier, who had driven his mother to this place. His birth had been the result of her unintentional affair with a Merger, who had taken the form of Fier’s father to conceive him. For all the shame of the act, however, it was not uncommon, and the man who called himself Fier’s father today had never treated him as if it weren’t true. And so Isol and Penn had raised Fier for two years, loving him as any parents could.
Until the Fall.
He dropped his hand from the hard shell of the creature and stepped back so that his father could pass by, his long face sagging with the joy of his reunion. Joy… Singularity above, there was so much joy here. Fier could barely stand it.
“It’s not your fault, you know,” Mor said. Like everyone else, she couldn’t quite help saying nice things, even if it went against the tone of her voice. “That she’s gone. It was Azanis who brought shame to our family, not you.”
Together they watched their father drift away.
“I wonder when we’ll lose him too,” Fier said.
Mor looked at him sharply, but gave no response. Even with the power of her silver eyes, his sister had nothing to say.