So here we are….the last four days of nanowrimo!
I am behind….way behind really. I have logged about 30,000 words, and the goal being 50,000….the likelihood of finishing by the 30th is not very good. But I press on….5,000 words a day for the next four will take me to my goal….God willing, I will stay committed and inspired…..sighs….
So here is a new excerpt from the chapter I wrote yesterday called The Green Mile (yes, like the book/movie by Stephen King) Simply a reference to its meaning tho. Enjoy!
leave a comment as to how you are liking it….again, this is spew on the page stuff….editing comes after the win:)
The Green Mile
They say that in the old world, the condemned walked a mile down a long, dark, green hallway toward their own execution; green for the color of the walls that lined their pathway. Each step taken was a step toward what they knew must come, their death, and a reminder of what had brought them there. As Akira walked now down the tree lined road that led to the council room of the elders, she felt each steps impact on the pavement. The vibrations of her steps reverberated through her body, and each wave felt like a jolt of electricity running through her. She had run through her story several more times in her mind, solidifying it so that it sounded natural, more natural than it had as she had told it to her father. She now wondered if it would be enough, if they would believe her, or if they would know that she was holding something back, like her father had known. There was no help for it now, she told herself. She was committed to this “truth”, and would deliver it with the most surety she could muster.
Approaching the door, her father took her hand in his, and squeezed. “I will be right next to you Akira. Just tell them the truth, everything will be okay.” He gave her a reassuring smile, tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and walked through the doorway into the council chambers.
The room was large and ornately carved arching wood graced the ceiling and doorways. She had been here once before when she was younger. Their guide had brought them all here one day to see where the governing body of our community sat to decide what laws the city would live by, and how its people would live according to their purposes. She thought how ironic it was that they would now decide her fate. Decide how she would be allowed to proceed in the future according to her, and ultimately their, purpose.
The chairs of the elders sat in a horseshoe around a circular table in the middle of the room. On one end sat three chairs, presumably for the condemned. That is what she felt like; a prisoner forced to do their will. But it was only she and her father. Mother did not come, she did not think that she could keep quite as they passed judgment on her daughter. She assumed the worst. And what was the worst? Certainly not death. She smiled to herself then. No it would not be that, but quite possibly it would feel like it. Her father said most likely they would forbid her ever leaving the city walls, possibly postponing or even forbidding her calling as a traveler. “Rules were needed for everyone.” They said. “Needed for the city to run smoothly, and ultimately for the safety of its people.” She could see that. Her little excursion down the mountain had almost cost her her life. If she had stayed inside the walls, she would not have had to be brought back. And if she had been left there by the boy, she didn’t know what would have happened. Often travelers came back barely alive, some even died before they could be healed. “The ultimate sacrifice” they called it. And her thoughts returned to her grandmother.
No, it would most assuredly be confinement, not much different than her life had been up till now, what life was for all of the youngers. She could deal with that – for now. But they would probably be watching her for awhile. It would be difficult to escape their notice. She would have to postpone her plans to return to the stairway until she was sure that they were satisfied that she would obey their orders. Father didn’t think they would take much action beyond that. No real harm was done, except that the boy emery now knew that we were here. But he was just a boy, and father said that the council did not feel that he was a threat.
Akira sat down in the middle chair, and her father took the one to her left. She knew this was difficult on him. She saw the one empty seat at the table head, that her father usually occupied. Her took pride in his position as one of the city’s leaders. He had great compassion for the people and loved our city. He believed in what the council did, believed in its dedication. Now as he sat in the seat next to me, as accompanying the accused, he was quite and humbled, but he did not avert his eyes as the chastised would. He sat and looked each one directly in the eyes. Was that a challenge? Akira was surprised at the tension that seemed to flow through the room. She wondered what had transpired earlier, while she had been unconscious.
Aberash, the head of the council, spoke first. “Welcome Akira. Akio.” He nodded toward my father, tentatively. Yes, something had happened between them.
He fathers words from earlier returned to her now. “You can tell me anything.” A pang of guilt came then, and she almost wished she had told him the truth. The complete truth.. She sighed. Well there was no helping it now. She would just have to tell her story, the one that she had given to her father, and bear the consequences.
“Akira,” he began. “We would like to give you an opportunity to tell us your story.” He looked warningly at her then and continued, “we have talked to the boy.” He stopped there, as though that statement in itself were enough. And it was. Emery had told them everything, She was sure of it. So they knew about the stairs, and probably the platform above. They knew that she had taken his pain from him, the overwhelming grief that hung thick within him. She felt the heaviness of it then, and closed her eyes, reliving the experience briefly.
So her father had known after all. The guilt she felt then was consuming, like Emery’s grief, and she promised herself then that she would never feel like that again. Come what may, she would be as honest as she could. Then she told her story. The real story. She told them about the stairway that led to the platform, and about the second stairway that descended from there. She left out the part about the secret room, and the fact that they had been going there everyday. In fact, she didn’t mention Mairwen at all. They didn’t know about those things, and they weren’t really part of todays story, the story that brought the boy to their city gates. That is what they were concerned about. The security of the city.
When she finished her tale, Aberash appeared to be satisfied with it. Satisfied that she had told them the whole of it, and he proceeded to speak to her about the rules of the city, why they were in place, and what must take place for someone who broke them. “Therefore,” he explained, “we must make an example of this in order to discourage it from happening again. You will take us to the stairway, and it will be destroyed.” He must have heard me suck in breath then, for he paused and explained, “We cannot have a bunch of youngers running around the side of the mountain. It would be unsafe for them as well as the whole community.” Mairwen was going to freak out.
He finished his sentencing with this warning. “Akira, this is more serious than you undoubtedly understand. We could forbid you to continue your training if we wanted to. But at this point I do not think that is necessary.” He seemed thoughtful then. They had all been there at her reawakening, and all had seen the emergence of the flower; her flower. What did it mean, that sudden appearance. She had meant to ask her father when they had talked earlier. As Aberash dismissed her and she and her father rose and turned toward the door, Akira stopped, turning back for a moment. “Yes Akira? Did you have a question?”
“Yes sir,” she began. “It’s just that, earlier when I woke up under the tree.”
“Yes.” He said cautiously.
“Well, I noticed that my flower had emerged, and…” she paused for a moment, thoughtful. “It’s just that I didn’t think that was possible until we had finished our training. I thought that it was a sign of readiness.” She looked eagerly at him. She truly wanted to know what it meant, why it happened so soon, when she had just recently begun her training.
He seemed to consider her question carefully, weighing his response with the edict just laid down. “When there is an emergence, it simply means that the gifts of the bearer have awakened. Usually that is when the training is complete and the budding gift has made itself known. Once in awhile, a gift is so acute within the bearer that it emerges earlier than the others, before it is really ready to be used,” he cautioned. “Like yours. Akira, what happened today on the side of the mountain, you must not do that again before you are ready. This is not for the safety of the community, but for you alone. A careless giving of a gift before the bearer is ready to bear the burden it will bring, could bring harm. Even death.” He finished. He seemed to consider carefully what he said next, then continued. “There has only been one other emergence of this kind in my lifetime.” He looked at her steely then and said the name, “Aki Himura.”