show and tell

Since this is supposed to be a writing blog, I thought I might put up some actual writing! This is a very small part of the short story I’ve been revising. It was rejected a bunch, but I love the story and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Thoughts? Comments? Criticism? I can take it.

Even if Kaylee didn’t believe in them, the legends were their only hope now. She remembered the words her uncle recited after each bed time story, just before he kissed her forehead and pulled the sheet up to just under her chin. “In every legend there is truth.” She’d repeated the saying every time she told a story for the children.

Until the men left. Only the old and very young were left behind to look after the town. To watch it die, Kaylee thought bitterly. The able-bodied, including her uncle had gone on the same journey five years ago that she was just beginning now.

She opened her pack and placed the map into it. It was useless, but it couldn’t be left lying around. She felt to the very bottom of the bag where a cool, flat metal plate sat and pulled it out. Shaking it, she guessed that there were probably only a couple of ounces of water in the container. She pushed a tiny button that sat flush with the rest of the surface. This action caused a piece of the rim to pop up, revealing a small opening. Kaylee pressed the opening to her lips and drained the few drops into her mouth. With a small snap she closed the aperture. She pressed another invisible button. Her hand, holding the small plate peeked out from under the cloak she was using as shelter and camouflage. She placed the plate as flat as possible on the torn mound and pushed the button again. She withdrew her hand to the safety of the cloak and waited, counting slowly to one hundred. It was the only way to ensure she waited long enough.

She reached out to retrieve the disk, only it wasn’t a disk anymore. Her heart leapt and she peeked out of a small opening in the cloth. She knew it could expand as much as it was at this moment, but it was only in construction and testing that she’d seen it that way and never because it was filled with water.

She greedily grabbed the container which was expanded to its full capacity. Her fingers shook as she opened the drinking spout and poured the clean, clear water into her dry mouth. A drop fell onto her chapped lower lip and for once she let it happen without mourning its loss. She stopped drinking as soon as she was able. She had to be conservative. As she took a deep breath—even the air felt wetter—she placed the container back onto the mound and engaged the culling button once again.

***

In the beginning, man’s spirit was dropped from the clouds like rain. He swam through the rivers and lakes and oceans until he reached a welcoming shore. Our people sprang from the once mighty Colorado. Os-Makin was our great leader. He was the first to crawl onto our shore, his spirit dragging through the red earth and collecting it for skin as he moved.

Os-Ra emerged next, the mother of us all. It was she who foretold the dry days. And in that day, she cried, ‘our numbers will dwindle and our children will thirst. A great one will pass through to the west seeking aid. Through the thunder valley, between the white tops he will meet the earth people’…

If you want more, let me know and I will post the next part on Monday.

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