Saturday sample

clouds

My series is divided into two trilogies so far. The first trilogy is what you’re beginning to see in print. The second occur almost concurrently, following the ancestors of Derek (the first prequel), Chandra (the second prequel), and Alathea (the third prequel) through ancient dramas. This is from the first draft opening of a book that won’t see release for quite some time, tentatively called The Fall of Wancyrik.

When one looks back to one’s beginning, life is fragments of memories: images, faces, sometimes scenes and speech. Lenn Wancyek has no difficulty remembering some of these things because he sees them every day, a countryside little different, from the vantage of a Duke’s manor kept largely the same by constant efforts.

He sees the plains as far as any eye can, from a slight rocky hill on which that manor was built; he remembers how adults look from the worm’s eye view of a small child; he remembers chasing seeds from dandelions as they flew through the air, and counting the ornate beads and running his fingers along the threadwork of his mother’s dress whenever he needed to hide behind her. He remembers the vigorous breeze on warmer days.

He remembers when his father brought him out to the widest fallow field, to lay on their backs and look at the clouds. There did not seem to be anybody else around. They took off their shirts and let the sun warm them.

“What are clouds, dad?” Lenn asked.

His father seemed to have a perpetual smile.

“Great castles in the sky, cities out of reach. Not for us to know, but for our ancestors to uphold, for them to build and to display. Only breezy souls are light enough to live in them. If you were to climb the highest mountain to set foot in such a palace, you would fall. Best to live in the castles we know, and to enjoy what visions we’re shown.”

Lenn frowned. “But what can be lighter than the winds? Even little rain drops fall down.”

His father pointed to a lone hawk.

“Have you ever seen a falconer hold a bird? The man doesn’t suddenly rise in the air. Some things are intimate with the winds and are upheld by them. Sometimes the winds uphold the water and other times they lend us some. They let the hawks up a ways, but almost certainly not as high as the uppermost clouds. Everything is in its natural place up there.”

“How can the winds be up there, and also down here? I can feel them…” Lenn puzzled.

“Well, there are as many of them as we have had ancestors. And they always want us to know that even though there is such a great world for them, they will never forget us. They have never fully left us behind. And one day, we all join them.” He paused. “But for you, that day is too far away to think about. You’re young. Just stay grounded, where life is, and don’t get carried away.”

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