Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo'09, Words 4123-4601

That's a family, Roci told the cat.

Roci and the cat sat in the grass near the tall tree. Their necks were tilted back back back and their faces were tilted upwards as they watched the family in the tree. A mother bird was feeding her gaping babies in a nest at the base of a branch.

The Mama bird and Papa bird built the house out of little pieces, Roci told the cat. It took them forever! Then they sat on their babies so they wouldn't get cold. Grown birds are warm like you—they have much hair. But baby birds are naked like people with no clothes. Now the Mama and Papa bird feed them every day. Soon they will be fluffy; then they will be half-grown, and will fly away. I've seen them grow before.

The cat had also seen birds nest before. He had been watching this particular one from the beginning. But he had known Roci was watching it too, for a different reason than the cat, and had left it alone. There were many other birds out in the world; he did not need the caged boy's.

You don't have a family, stated Roci. No, confirmed the cat.

I don't, said Roci. I have guardians. Niti's a guardian, and she said don't get used to it. She could disappear any day now because only old people get to be guardians, and old people die. And anyway I will definitely be taken away when I am ten. I don't know how old I am and Niti doesn't know either, but she says I still have more years.

She says her only jobs is to feed me, clean me and get me ready for the harsh, harsh world. She says that's why she beats me, and the guards surely beat people much worse. I know—I hear them from the factory. Even grown people scream when the guards beat them.

Niti used to have a family, when she was a little girl before the Bomb. But she said there's no point wanting for what you just can't have. She said look at Bradley, the owner's son. The owner hits Bradley and makes him cry—and is that what I want? I don't know. The owner takes Bradley places too, and they come back happy and laughing. I don't know.

I have a family—they are in my head. I have older brothers who help me against the big boys. I have a Mama and a Papa. I don't know if they beat me. I don't want them to, but should they?

The cat opined that since Roci's Mama and Papa were in his head, if he didn't want them to beat him they shouldn't have to. Roci thought that made good sense.

Coryans used to have families, said Roci. Niti had one.

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