Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Dreaming Sea

Since I haven't posted anything writing-related in a while now, I thought I would put up a short scene I wrote during the 2011 Writing on the Waves conference. I haven't yet cobbled together the rest of the story, so this is likely to see some chopping and editing before it's all said and done, but let me know what you think of it. Happy reading!

My people have a saying that the sea is the oldest part of the world. Being an inlander, it's not something I've ever put much store into. I've seen rivers, and even lakes, but there's never been cause for me to go to the sea. But that was before I was called to speak for the Convocation, which is at once the greatest honour, and the least, anyone can receive.

The Convocation is our ruling council, you see, and whenever the Convocation is called, the choices made there define life for all of us. But anyone could be called for the Convocation, and since no one has ever been called for it more than once, and speakers are called many times a year, you can't throw a sack of wool without hitting someone who's spoken.

The meeting place is nearly never the same one, either. Sometimes it's at the home of one of the speakers, sometimes in a tavern, and once I heard it happened around back of a baker's shop. Strange way to set up a government, really, isn't it? Imagine, thirteen people plucked off the street, huddling in the snow out back and deciding the fate of your country while you're busy trying to get the baguettes ready for the next morning's rush.

Hmm? Oh, right, the sea. My Convocation was called to meet there. Not on the shoreline, but in the middle of the sea. Don’t look at me like that, I don’t make the rules. In any event, as we were floating out to the meeting place, I contemplated my people’s saying in between sessions of vomiting over the ship’s rail. There was no shoreline in sight, the sky was featureless and silver, and aside from my…offerings…the sea stretched out endlessly like a priestess’s black mirror.