The answer should be simple. Something in Jeret’s world. But a different work called to me, one I plotted before I got sick. It’s a story set in my reboot of New World. In fact, it’s a rebooted short story that never quite worked. Or rather, some of its ideas worked very well, but the rest of it never came together. Now it has . . . is.
Below is part of the opening. It’s rough. My version has some highlighted areas I need to change, like the overuse of “idiot/idiocy” and I’m not sure on the spelling of the name Carester yet–I’m leaning toward making it Carrester. But basic concepts are there and much of the style and detail.
Well, enough explaining. Here is a snippet from . . . .
Season of Death
(New World novella-in-progress)
by Jodi Ralston
The dead of the ton had their own Season, not every year, but every month. At night, under the cold light of the waning moon, high society dead came from all around by secret underground routes and held court in secret underground places. They plotted and bet on “marriages.” They bandied tongues. They gossiped. They chided. They enthused. And they did not take kindly to bastards, of any kind, listening at the earth’s upper door.
But twenty-two-year-old Jons Enfield, the illegitimate son of the late Sir Lin Carester, had no more choice in the company he kept than his half-brothers’ cousins had a choice concerning their entrance into the real Marriage Mart. Though the ladies would not see themselves as forced through a seasonal succession of balls and parties toward one inevitable end, neither would the dead see him as forced toward his.
So on the first night of the full moon’s decrease, he sought out a faded tonnish gravestone, impressive in its faded russet poise. There he laid out a blanket on the chilled ground that spring was still slighting, set down a picnic basket, and readied himself for an uncomfortable coze, the first for this Season of Death.
It would not take long for the sudden silence to lapse into more practical snubs of ignoring his presence. So while the respite from the dead’s idiocy lasted, he opened the basket, plucked out a sandwich, and picked up his monologue where he left off last time around.
“You know, at least, the prize at the end of a Living Season is matrimony.” He bit into his sandwich and continued with his mouth full. “What do all you idiots end up with, male or female? Reabsorption into the One God.” He wiped off his mouth on the sleeve of his overcoat. “Heh. Slim pickings, now that he’s dead. Makes you wonder what you’re haring off toward, doesn’t it? Eh?”
Apparently, no, it didn’t make the dead wonder. The returning mutters were still focused on this Season’s “debutants.” Debutants of death, as he called them.
None of whom were his brother.
Anyway, there it is. The original setup behind this opening stayed the same–my death-listening character camping out in the graveyard above death’s door. Some of the names stayed the same, too, in this quoted part and in the rest of the scene. But the characters changed. Wen was the original death-listener. Now it’s Jons, who is not part of the original story at all. With that change, so changed the main character’s behavior and attitude and purpose. The original character in the original story was a do-gooder who did his best to save the debs of death. Jons doesn’t really care about them. All he cares about at this point in time is his brother and his brother’s fate.
So that’s what I’m working on. A reboot set in a rebooted world 🙂 I’ll try to post more up-to-date snippets as they develop.
(Credits: picture by OpenClips. Snippet from Season of Death, (C) 2015 Jodi Ralston)