Over the weekend, I wrote a small passage to start my sci-fi book, called To Cross the Water, what I’m calling Project Tango on this site. It’s something I’m going to chip away at occasionally. I see it as being fairly short, around 50-70k words. Even though it has relatively no outline compared to FotS – I just know the general plot and the story it’s supposed to tell – it’s actually easier to write because there is limited world building by comparison. The premise of these books will be the events/experiences of people living on a dying world. It is supposed to be an analogy of what it might be like if we eventually had to leave Earth. The story follows a young boy, Tango, who lives in a harbour-side slum. It is told through his eyes by everything that is happening around him, and what other people say to him. In that sense, Tango is not the typical main character, he’s more of a narrator. To add to that idea, the names of chapters are some of Tango’s “memories”; things he has heard during his young life that talk about the place he lives in, the interesting people that live there, and his personal past. Together they tell a story of their own. In this excerpt, Tango is working in a factory under his boss, an older man (and absolute prick), Signor Waltz.
I know I’ve been jumping around with these posts lately. Truth is, I do have drafts for future posts (not yet written though), but I have chosen to tone down the actual blogging quite a bit. I decided it was getting in the way slightly, since I was prioritizing it over some other things (I can be a little obsessive at times), and now it’s back to where it should be, something fun to do when I’ve done everything else, and when I get bored. This is also a good idea to prepare for the near future, because I am expecting to find full-time work again, very soon.
“You were born here. You’ll die here.”
The boy named Tango waited for the owner to arrive to let him leave.
He had swept the floors and cleaned them, just as he did on every fifth evening. From corner to corner, the entire lobby floor was shining.
Tango had even taken the time to wash it again to lessen the scent of the strong cleaner fluid, just as the owner said to do. He hoped he would not have to wait much longer. Hunger protested in a low rumble under his shirt.
To kill time, Tango paced the lobby, looking around for any missed spots, anything out of place. He could find nothing, except for a couple of black hairs that had fallen from his head from peering down.
He heard Signor Waltz’s cranky footsteps coming from the doorways that led further into the plant. When he entered, the echoing sound of industry filled the room until he closed the door. He looked down at Tango with his usual disapproval, carrying packaged food on a rusty metal tray.
He peered around the lobby before squinting his eyes as if he saw through a lie. “No you’re not. You missed a spot you miserable ruffian! No, my mistake. You missed a dozen!”
“Yes, signor,” Tango answered with his head lowered.
“No more screw-ups, you hear me? It’s got to be like it always has. Any day one of their inspectors might come along for a visit for quotas and…whatever else they come for. This place needs to look legit! They find one reason to walk inside and we’re all dead. You, me, everyone in this damned place. They think we’re making ships in there. Well you know what? There’s not one damned thing in there that can float. Guns don’t float, boy.”
“Yeah, guns-… Now here I thought you knew two words and two words only,” he said.
Then he laughed for a moment, before quickly becoming stern again. “That’ll be the first and last time, you understand. I hate surprises, especially from dopes with mops in their hands.”
“Good. Now clean this floor again, then you can take this food home to your little hole in the ground or wherever you live. I’ll put it over here. And you leave without finishing and I’ll know it. That door will lock behind you, and guess who’s got the keys? Not you, that’s who. See what you do around here?” Signor Waltz said, including the entire lobby in his gesture, “do it better. Clean it good, and I better not find any of your filthy hairs on the floor again. Ever think of cutting it? Ah, then it would just come back again, like all you damn kids running around the docks. It never ends. Ever hear of parents? Ever hear of soap? Speaking of kids, you tell that one rat, Pogo, if I ever catch him he’ll be cleaning this entire building, top to bottom with nothing but a paintbrush. And there won’t be any tray of food for him when he’s done, either.”
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© 2013 FOTS Fantasy