His fingers stroked the scars on her belly and his eyes moved from those marks to her face. A question formed on his brow. “Does…”
She snatched his hand and held it up. “I recall only the memory of the pain, not the pain itself.” She strengthened her grip. “There was agony, tearing and pressure so great I feared it would explode my mind.” She felt his discomfort and released him. “But, most of all, I remember the terror thinking that the pain would never end.”
“And… And then it did?”
Her rictus, induced by the memory, eased and the tautness in her voice returned to the purr she typically used with him. “Indeed, it did.” She pulled the rough shirt back over her stretch marks.
“Was it worth it?”
“Time will tell.”
He gave a puff to blow the red dust from the surface of her jacket and nestled his head in the crook of her arm. “Will I ever feel such pain?”
With a chuckle she ruffled his curly brown hair. “You should be so lucky.”
And now the poll: In what state of mind did you read this bit?
♥ As a reader with an open mind as to what the text would offer?
♣ As an editor with a critical eye to the words, the sentences, the structure?
♠ As a skeptic, editor first and reader second?
How do you find your mind when you enter into reading works on the Web? Or works in general? Open to the author’s words or doubtful of the author’s abilities? Has this mental state been consistent over time? Or have you changed your perspective regarding the consumption of media? And over what time period or experiential events did you change?
Dropping out of the societal Tarantella is so much easier than I would have thought. All one has to do is spend a few months refraining from public expression and voila! Just like that, I have achieved the near-total obscurity so few seem to believe possible in this age of insecure high-tech self-promotion.
Sometimes– rarely, mind you — I miss hearing from some of those once-familiar voices, but then I remember that communication is a two-way street and that I have nothing to contribute to such exchanges.
Conversely, Jesse and I seem to understand each other better every day now that I’ve adapted so fully to speechless interactions. We communicate through grunts, wheezes and nuzzles, and that’s sufficient.
I contemplated making this post a series of grunts, wheezes and nuzzles to be more illustrative of my current lifestyle, but I don’t think that would have made for a very sensible transmission.
The last time we talked like this, Bob Saget was still alive, and nobody cared. Now he’s dead and everyone is singing his praises. The moral? There are some fates worse than death and being Bob Saget might just be one of ’em.
This 1500 word opening chapter is a rehash of something I started years ago.
The idea that a generational starship is the exact wrong way to send humanity (and its supporting environment of plants and animals and bacteria and fungus) out into the stars, is why I started this story. Generational ships are just plain stupid. Nobody wants to live and die traveling in a tin can. And cryogenic preservation of grown humans will probably never work.
So, how does humanity infect the galaxy with its ilk? With a starship designed to travel, arrive, and then grow humans, as well as all other fauna and flora, from zygotes and seeds; with android “Mother” and “Father” figures to raise children (Raised by Wolves’esque) once orbit around a distant candidate planet was attained.
The problem with such a system is that the ship itself must be the primary caretaker. But how can an intellect survive, sane, the hundreds of years necessary to travel to the target system? I propose the ship be equipped with a duality of intellects. Janus-like.
(I’ll get my editor to review and correct obvious mistakes. She, however, hesitates when tasked with serious wordgery. So, no doubt this piece will suffer from the lack of stronger skills than my own.)