Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo'09, Words 1537-2304

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Roci was turning the ball over and over again in his hands. Occasionally, he would run an index finger over the red ridge on the surface of the ball; following it across the ball, looping back around with it, and following it to the other hemisphere then looping back again. This ball was white, with only a few grey smudges on it. In the grass to Roci's left was a small pyramid of balls, in differing shades of brown.

The brynzian kids yell happy when one of them hits the ball over the fence, said Roci.

The cat looked out towards the field beyond the fence. The Borrynzian children were spread out across the field. Most of them had their backs to the fence, and the nearest was still some distance away from it.

Roci and the cat watched their pageant of sound and dance. For some time most of the figures would be mostly still and mostly silent. Sometimes an individual figure would sway back and forth; sometimes a single shout would pierce the air. Then there would be a loud crack! and the figures would break into motion: one or some moving with the ball; others flowing towards set points on the field. Speech noise would accompany the action through its resolution, and then fade out slowly as the figures reset.

There was a crack! and the cat saw the ball shooting like a star right at them. Roci began to scoot frantically backwards, pushing with his heels against the ground. Roci pushed himself out from the grass, the grass sprang back in front of him; but it was too late. The Borrynzian boy who had been chasing the ball shot a suspicious glance at where Roci had been. As the boy was running back across his field, Roci and the cat heard the words in his shout:

"Creepy slave is watching us again."

The cat turned around and pushed his head through the grass. Roci was sitting still, in hesitation. But then a resolute look overtook his face, and he got on his hands and knees and crawled back into the grass. He seated himself in his original spot, hugging his knees tightly. Roci and the cat watched the play. Occasionally the Borrynzian boy would turn around and glare at Roci, and Roci would stare expressionlessly back.

Roci left the grass when the children's dinner horn blew, and ran across the compound's field to the barracks. The cat continued to gaze across the outside field, occasionally shifting his feet and his pose, which gradually compacted as the chill came down.

The cat's right ear twitched backward when the guard entered the compound. He turned around, and watched the guard stride with violent quickness across the field. The guard entered the barracks. The cat heard only his own heart for a few beats, and then suddenly shrieks and wails and angry shouts erupting from the building.

The guard left the building as violently as he had come. A few beats later Roci burst from the barracks, and began to run towards where the cat was in the grass. Roci found and kicked his little pyramid of balls, then began to pick up balls one by one or two by two and fling them angrily into the fence.

The cat backed up a little ways and stayed back until the throwing stopped; but then Roci sat heavily down and the cat rushed towards him and climbed with two paws onto Roci's leg. Roci wrapped his arms tightly around the cat and whispered his ordeal into its ear: being tied up, and the hard ball smacking into his arm and leg, and not being able to do anything about it. Roci kept repeating the part about not being able to do anything about it. The cat let Roci repeat himself, and hug him too tightly, and rock him back and forth and wet his fur with his tears.

I don't like that game anymore, said Roci. It's a really stupid game.

The cat was silent for a few moments before answering.

Don't let the ugly block out the beauty, he said.

He looked up at the overcast, darkened sky.

Do you think the stars are still there? he asked.

Yes, said Roci.

Do you think they're still beautiful?


When ugly tries to cover the beauty, you have to try to remember the beauty's still there. Then the ugly will never cover over your heart.

The cat said, I will tell you a story about the skypeople, the game and the stars.

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