Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo'09, Words 1-470

Terrence Bentler: His novel has a cat?

The electric fence was banded thickly, on the inside, with a ring of tall grass. The cat sat motionless in the grass in a ring of his own making, one large paw crossed over the other, hind feet tucked under. Muscular shoulders and haunches framed a broad back; silky blue-grey hair seemed to mirror the clear, cool morning sky. Two eyes stared unblinkingly ahead from a broad impassive face.

The cat was gazing across a mown field. Human children were darting around about the field, shrieking and laughing. The larger humans were all out of sight.

Most cats were afraid of the compound's humans, and stayed on the other side of the electric fence. The guardian humans were protective of the compound's food, and would kick and chase any animals they saw around their buildings. The cat race had darker collective memories as well. Human children from the compound had been known to capture cats, and then submit them to tortures unthinkable. Sometimes the children were barely bigger than their victims; but they had hands, and fire, and always great anger. The cats learned to stay away.

Any unusually brave and curious cat still had a great physical barrier before it. The fence was painful to touch; no animal ever needed to learn this more than once. Only one branch of one tall tree overhung the fence, and the fall from it was so great one might as well be falling from the sky. And then how would one leave? Curiosity alone could not create such courage.

This cat was not curious. Neither was he brave; for that would suggest the overcoming of fear, and there had been no fear. There had been purpose, and the cat watched for its fulfillment, motionless and impassive.

There was a soft, slight rustling in the grass to the east of the cat. The sound drew closer for many slow heartbeats, and then stopped.

The cat rose to his feet, turned to his right and began to move through the grass. The grass rustled with his passing too, and the boy's eyes were searching in his direction when the cat saw the boy. Deep brown eyes looked into deep grey ones. The cat sat belly down upon the ground, and waited.

Slowly, the boy turned through the grass and dropped onto his own belly, one hand folded over the other on the ground. He maintained this pose and his gaze for seconds; the cat held his own. Then slowly, but without hesitation, the boy stretched one arm out towards the cat. The tip of the boy's finger met and began to stroke the second toe on the cat's right paw. The boy's hand was the same size as the paw. The cat did not move.

Hello, said the boy softly.

Hello, said the cat.

Author's Note: I've heard 2 main comments about For Cory's Sake (besides those saying it's unique, original and different). One is: "it has a lot of characters" and the other, "but not enough Roci." This month I am participating in NaNoWriMo, an effort to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. I have decided to write a novel with 2 characters, one of whom is Roci.

Roci and the skycat is about Roci ages 6-10; For Cory's Sake is about the people who are trying to save Roci. I am thinking about eventually offering Roci and the skycat as a free companion ebook to For Cory's Sake. These blog posts are a first draft preview.

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