Friday, July 24, 2009
New Beginning 666
Slubka’s throat hurt. Her lungs hurt. Her stomach heaved. That meant, she supposed, that she was alive. Her arm hurt, too, from being pinned under her against a cold concrete floor. She had made it into the Emergency Building, then. That meant she would live a little longer; which meant she still had work to do. She sat up.
She was in a long narrow room, its outer wall lined with windows that seemed to suck light away rather than admitting it. No telling how long she’d been unconscious; the Unwind’s darkness could blot out sunlight as readily as moon and stars. Pale light and a murmur of distant voices came through the half-open inner door. No one else was in the room. She must have gotten this far on her own; if anyone else had brought her in they’d have known her for a Dova, a windspeaker, and stayed to see what she could do for them. Precious little, she guessed; but it was time to find out.
She watched her breath steaming, let her mind spread with it through the stale air of the outer rooms where the Unwind rattled the windows, the worse air of the inner room where the miners huddled, fearing the Unwind, their neighbors and themselves.
“So, what do you think?” said the wife.
“I don’t know, honey.” said the husband. “Slubka just doesn’t sound like the kind of name I want to give to our baby girl. Okay, I’ve heard yours now you listen to mine...
Stephanie went to the grocery store to buy some milk. She discovered--”
“Wait a minute...Stephanie? You want our kid to grow up with a name like Stephanie? No one will take her seriously!”
“Hold on, you said I would get a chance to illustrate my choice with a story.”
“No one wants to hear a story about a girl named Stephanie. Do you think I’m about to give birth to a goblin? Okay, listen to my second choice...
“Analby was trapped in a deep, dark hole...”
Opening: Joanna.....Continuation: Matthew