SepSceneWriMo #11

Nascha Far-Seer knelt beneath a weathered lean-to, the only shade for miles, and plied the weft of hand-spun sheep’s wool across the tall lines of a rug she been working on for many days. Her grandson Atsidi, fidgeted with a play-version loom at her side.

On either end of the lean-to, painted in rust-red, the word RUGS incited few travelers to stop. This stretch of SR-14 had been Nascha’s domain ever since her own mother gifted it to her back before the oil companies had forced her to move her store thirty feet further from the road so that it would miss the blasts of wind thrown from the massive trucks.

The trucks had since vanished. The oil had been pumped from the land and the interstate now diverted travelers to the north. This had never deterred Nascha for she saw her trade as not one of economy but of spirit.

Atsidi, head-strong and impatient, threw down his toy-sized shuttle and pushed at the easel-like loom which toppled to the pale sand.

His grandmother pressed the pedal that toggled the the warp threads and set her own shuttle in the tent between the deep blue traces of yarn. She turned to the boy. He sat in a huff, his arms crossed, his head tilted as if waiting for her reaction.

“Is the earth round and smooth, my yazhi?”

Atsidi scrunched his round nose, his straight black hair cut like a dome to fall to his eyebrows. “The ground is full of rocks and cracks, and it’s all bumpy.”

“The river, does it flow like an arrow, straight to the sea?”

“Nilini goes this way and that way,” the boy pointed his finger around the compass, “mixed up like ol’ LocoDine’. He walks to the store with yellow lights and then goes down to the gully where all the rusty cars sit in a pile. He never…”

Nascha put her dark-brown finger to his lips. “Nothing is without bumps or turns in its path, or scratches or wrinkles.” She removed her precious glasses and gently cleaned the desert dust from their lenses. “But everything has a purpose, even if they themselves are not perfect.”

She motioned for the boy to stand the miniature loom. She spied the crossed-up threads. Within its failed pattern she detected what it might become if continued. With a groan she stood, moved behind and knelt around him. Her motion stirred a scorpion, a small white one, the nastiest type, to skitter up near the boy’s exposed calf.

Atsidi mewed at the sight. This kind could kill him.

Nascha reached, plucked her shuttle from her own loom and drove the point of the polished wooden tool down into the back of the vermin that threatened her grandson. The creature’s shell made a satisfying crunch.

With its eight legs squirming and its stinger—a bead of venom poised at the tip—seeking a victim, it tried in vain to penetrate the wood. Nascha flicked it behind them out into the broiling sun.

She wiped and returned her shuttle to the gap between warps on her rug.

The boy took a deep breath, pulled forth his own tiny shuttle and with his grandmother’s help, turned his mixed up threads into what looked like the eye of a lizard. An old lizard. One that liked the taste of scorpions.

10 thoughts on “SepSceneWriMo #11

  1. That’s fine if you finish it before someone shows up. But it’s not about the postcard, it’s about people. So start there and make it experiential rather than narrative. The word is patiently, BTW, which is the real background noise here. Patiently working on for… step out of the postcard and add some ancient cultural practice against the modern and gone stuff. Drop the club and turn it into the dust of time. Backstory is tough, make every word count and push. Your friend Hetty nailed that with grandma.


  2. Nascha Far-Seer knelt Beneath a weathered lean-to, the only shade for miles, and plied the weft of hand-spun sheep’s wool across the tall lines of a rug she been working on for many days.

    You’re welcome. Start where it starts, where you start seeing it. There is a perfect spot for on of your leading adverbs in there that would set the tone for the entire piece. What and where?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OK, so my way, I wanted to have the word weathered and the isolation of the shed open the scene so as to set the stage of age and loneliness.
      I’ve changed over to your way, but I wanted you to consider why I chose the style I did.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What I was trying to say is that like the rug, everything we write is integral. We weave. It’s not chunks of scene and setting and this descriptive and that backstory, not scene and dialogue and introductions. The more natural it is the better it reads. Think of the grandson. Why not have him, un-named, have his little fit and gramma names him for you without narrative? Or rather than set him off with a comma like a thing, make it flow. Her grandson Atsidi… Get rid of every speed bump, every ‘component’ and weave them together. The trick to cut and paste music is the same. Put a little Vaseline on the seams. Art happens when technique becomes invisible and that’s what we’re all after, rarely manage but that’s the quest.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The more I read about medium the more I think I want to try my luck there.
          One can cross-post without issues (here and there). An author retains copyright in perpetuity. A posting could make nothing for a year and then get discovered. It’s easy and they pay weekly (if you have earned anything).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sounds good. I’d need to abandon the training wheels I suppose. There’s no accounting for what may resonate. Right now I’m fixing the bank robbery that got off in the weeds and lost its sense of humor with covid.

            Liked by 2 people

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