Sunday, August 10, 2014

Roads of Bone, Chapter 10: Uncle

I am doing a little experiment.  I am going to write a series of chapters in a fantasy world of my creation and see if it goes anywhere.  Since I have not prewritten this story and have no outline, it will probably end up a convoluted mess.  I do not know how often I will be able to update this or if it will ever finish.  This is the link to CHAPTER 1.  (I have also found that I have to go back and clean up very broken sentences in previous chapters.  This is why I need an editor.  I understand what I am writing, but I need to make sure other people do too.)

Chapter 10: Uncle
            Apple took to her role like an arrow takes to a quiver.  Fit, ready, and when used by a master devastatingly effective.  She had two instructors, the flashy uncle and the somber dark skinned grandfather and they taught in entirely different directions.
            On the first day of the ship ride West she was shown how to clean and polish shoes, so she shined every shoe on the ship.  In return she was told stories the whole time by Malachite, and then by each member of the crew in turn while their boots were polished.
            Malachite always stood by, greeting each member of the crew, analyzing them, and addressing them by name two or three times each while they told their stories, asking for little bits of information or details.  Each time asking Apple if she had any questions for the story teller, and suggesting what question she might ask when she couldn't think of any.  "Apple, ask Sid here what he was smelling when he walked under the peer looking for the lost dog."  "Apple, ask Jonus what his favorite song he heard that night was."  "Apple you should ask Lance if he has ever eaten a finer meal while in a dress."
            By the end of the evening there was not one blemished boot on the whole boat.  And as Malachite said to the last sailor, "Have a goodnight Chester, that was a fine story, you tell that one at every little town?"
            "No sir," said Chester.  "You're the first to hear it in years."
            "That is a crime," said Malachite.  "You should be using that bit of heart wreck to win the sympathies of every lady on the Color Line."
            "I prefer men sir," said Chester.
            "There are many young men that would find you tasty as peach nectar after hearing that  little tale."
            "Thank you sir."
            "Call me, Mal" said Malachite, shutting the door.
            "Did I do good, Mal?" asked Apple.
            "You can call me sir," said Malachite to the girl.  "Uncle if you prefer."
            "Yes, Uncle," said Apple.  "Did I do good?"
            "Yes," said Malachite.  "Let me ask you, Apple.  How many of the men on this boat do you think you could name?"
            "I don't know," said Apple.
            "Well," said Malachite.  "Close your eyes and try to remember each story, who told it, what their boots looked like, anything you can remember and pretend you have to tell all the stories to someone one after another."
            "That would take all day."
            "Yes it would," said Malachite.  "But just try to remember each story, and the name of the person who told it, then say the names as titles for the stories."
            "When you are trying to remember someone, think of what you know about them, who they think they are and what they told you about themselves.  Make their story, your memory of them.  Then when you see them, you will be able to greet them by name and remember what they want you to know about them," said Malachite.  "They could have told you any story they wanted, but they chose the one they did because they thought you would like it, or maybe they wanted to impress me, or maybe it was the only story they knew that would last while you polished, but they chose it for a reason, it is the impression they chose to make."
            "Uncle," said Apple.  "You want me to remember everyone on the ship.  That is so many."
            "I can name every person who came thru here," said Malachite.  "I could tell you what their story was, or close to it.  And I am sure I could ask anyone of them for a favor and they would help me, and I would pay them back big later.  This is how you make friends, and friends are important.  People want you to hear their story, but they really want you to remember it, to feel for them.  Think about that okay."
            "Okay," said Apple.
            "Now you should go eat with Pasgard," said Malachite.  "I think he will want you to call him Master or Wizard, ask which he prefers when you see him.  This is important, you make sure his plate is never bear, and his glass is never empty... That would be a task difficult for any man, a legendary chore for a squire or apprentice, you might barely get any chance to eat at all, but he is your teacher, you serve him, and listen closely."
            "Yes, Uncle."

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