for [ profile] mini_nanowrimo. Turnspit and Iros encounter a bit of history as they travel to join the Slew.

"Turnspit, come up here!"

Turnspit finished laying out the bedroll and stood up. Iros had clambered up into the rocks and was waving excitedly. He was high up one of the larger mounds, and Turnspit had no idea how he'd gotten up there, considering the rocks were the general shape of bread loaves – steep on the sides, rounded on top.


He rubbed his face and resigned himself to falling over and off rock until true night. Even Iros didn't expect him to stumble about in the dark.

He hoped.

The rock wasn't quite as hard to climb as he had thought. There were weathered patches that were almost steps and handhold in the crusted surface. That was just as good, because otherwise the rock looked very hard and unforgiving, with little dirt and less vegetation to cushion him should he slip.

"What is…" Turnspit stopped talking bewildered by the strange shapes that Iros was crouched in front of, light lines on the dark stone.

"Memory stone!" Iros answered, no true explanation at all. "This must have been a Dog holding, back in the Before-time. Maybe a summer village. See," Iros pointed to a blocky shape cut into the stone. It might have been a person, if people had square heads and square bodies and antennae like ants. Turnspit stifled that line of thought, because he was afraid that if he asked, Iros would assure him that he'd met people just like that and would Turnspit like to go visit them.

"This is the Dog Lord, here. See how big she is. And these," Iros pointed to smaller figures, "are the Dogs in the fields. This must have been a wonderful place when it was alive. They're trading with the Selkies here," another cluster of figures, some different and surrounding outsized this that might be boats – or houses, Turnspit couldn't tell -- "and this is the Queen…"

Turnspit looked dubiously at the rock figures. They didn't look like much to him.

"Iros, how can you tell? I see figures, yes but they could be anything."

Iros frowned up at him. "You can't hear the recitation? It's faint, but I could hear it from the ground. This is strong memory, to be so loud after so long. Here, listen."

Turnspit waited a moment, listening intently, but there was nothing. "I can't hear anything. Anyway, you know I don't understand recitation, Iros."

"Yet. You don’t understand yet. You'll get better at it, Turnspit. You're my Dog, after all." Iros grasped Turnspit's hand, and tugged him down before the decorated rockface. The aughisky hummed once, and then trilled out bright liquid sound. "See, what was that?"

"I have no idea," Turnspit replied. "Happiness?"

Iros rolled his eyes. "No, 'interesting things found on the journey'." He trilled again, something so low and thunderous that it made Turnspit's jaw ache. That was bad enough, but what the rock did was terrifying.

It glowed, faint in the gathering dark, and made a reply. At least, Turnspit thought it was a reply; it was barely a sound, more a vibration that rose through the ground and into his feet until his whole body shook.


"That's interesting," Iros stared at the glowing carvings.

"Iros!" Turnspit yelled again, and then tried to yank his hand out of Iros' grasp. It didn't work. The aughisky didn't even notice Turnspit's struggles, and lifted his hands up to touch the rock in wonder.

Turnspit howled as his hand touched the rock, unthinkingly pressed to the glowing images. It was cold and burning, and he felt his clockwork spinning and clicking in futile effort, trying to stop him, trying to drop him limp and unresisting to the ground. But it was dead clockwork; the Brocks had made it dead and powerless, and all it did was click and click.


From: [identity profile]


I'd like to see the Dog people. :) Someday.

You've been productive! I'm finally caught up on nano for the moment. Oy vey, only another 9 days. 0_o

From: [identity profile]

The Dog People are coming up. Turnspit is going to learn what *they* perceive from memory stone.

Hopefully I'll get a few lines written tonight. It's not that easy, now that I'm visiting my family for the holiday.

I'm thinking I'll keep working on The Clockwork Dog after the end of the month -- maybe move it to a different lj.

From: [identity profile]

Turnspit stifled that line of thought, because he was afraid that if he asked, Iros would assure him that he'd met people just like that and would Turnspit like to go visit them.

*has totally cracked up at this point*

From: [identity profile]

It's the guileless enthusiasm that just bleeds off Iros, isn't it?

Glad to hear from you. I like making people laugh.

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