neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (aughisky)
([personal profile] neotoma Nov. 18th, 2006 09:18 pm)
For [ profile] mini_nanowrimo. It's surprisingly hard to write someone whose worldview doesn't include the *concept* of prayer. Or familial ties. Or personal literacy.


Turnspit was quiet that night, even less active than usual, and fell asleep very quickly. He was worried all day, Iros admitted ruefully, that would make anyone exhausted.

Iros sighed and continued stroking Turnspit's growing hair. It was thick as thatch now, almost the same straw color, and was getting long enough Iros needed to figure out a way to tie it back. It was still too short to braid, or tie at the nape, and Turnspit was skittish about it anyway. Maybe twist him a headband from the shirt rags? There was certainly enough of the shirt left for that.

Smiling ruefully, Iros sat back against the wall, and continued composing the recitation he was working on. With Turnspit half in his lap, he didn't want to move, and yet was not tired enough to sleep. Also, he really should finish what he was going to tell Magpie and Stormbringer – they would each wish to have an account of tonight. Magpie because it was her business, now that Turnspit was going to follow the Slew, and the Stormbringer just because Iros was involved and he couldn't avoid her forever, or even for a single visit to Stormbringer's Holding.

I should make a version for Woodsmoke, too. She'd like to know about it, and she's going to ask questions anyway, Iros turned over the idea. He had sent his sibling a recitation, transcribed by a Brock and entrusted to another circuit rider, before he'd finished the long circuit and reunited with Turnspit for the winter. It should have reached her by now, and since she could read transcriptions just fine, she'd be curious about his Dog.

Softly, he tried out the passage he was working on. Doesn't sound quite right, he decided. It was surprisingly hard to get Turnspit into a recitation, as the merry motifs usual for a Dog just didn't fit. Nor do the motifs for a war-captive. Turnspit is sad, but he swallows the world anyway. So odd, my Dog, Iros thought. Maybe I'll have something in the morning.

Of course, Turnspit would wake him up with the primitive recitation he did every morning. Addressed to no one present, it was a thin sad thing, but Turnspit kept giving it. Maybe it was to a Slew – or whatever humans had instead of Slews -- in the sleeping world whom he could no longer remember. Of course, he also had short recitations that he repeated before eating (addressing the food as far as Iros could tell), or when they made a kill in the hunting.

Or maybe Whipcoil really did scramble his wits when giving him language… No matter if Turnspit was crazy; his talking to non-existent people was not as frustrating as his finickiness about food, since he was perfectly happy to talk quietly. His crazy ideas about food, on the other hand, were loudly shared with everyone.


From: [identity profile]

I just love this world you have created. It's very different from the usual fantasy. Checking for a new post is part of my daily procrastination ritual.

From: [identity profile]

Hi, I didn't realize you were reading this!

I'm glad you like it. My love of Childe ballads and folk tales means that my fantasy tends to be a bit more domestic than high Tolkienesque fantasy. And my 'elves' are quite a bit nastier. Also, I don't know swords at all, but I do guns, so I'm just making it easier on myself by giving the boys rifles...

From: [identity profile]

Will Turnspit do shellfish, at least?

So, no ballad-forms in Iros' culture? I bet there are? Teaching-ballads and stories, and so on.

From: [identity profile]

No, Turnspit won't do shellfish, though that hasn't come up yet. He's been living inland, and no one was giving delicacies like that to a kitchen drudge. When he was a miner, he was eating bland stuff that was basically kibble for humans.

Oh, recitations are much more complex than ballads -- think birdsong, except formalized and performed by people. It packs a lot of information into small space; most aughisky are not literate,so they developed a knowledge transfer system that is very weird.

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags