It has been a long and hot week for those of us in Oklahoma. More often than not, I come home barely able to concentrate on cooling off let alone working on any of my writing projects. Thankfully, I won’t have to try to do any work on them on this laptop. As I write this post, I am reloading my desktop and shifting files over to their proper drives.
Today’s excerpt comes from a failed NaNo novel. This one failed only because I had two weeks to work on it due to moving across the country at the time.
The story is about RoseMary Hardy, an ancient woman who had lived for a long time thanks to her natural mutant power of healing. Sh had witnessed much in her long life and at its close, she tells her family and those she brought with her into a special sanctuary to escape the pollution and war that was happening at the time of their departure. This is her life she tells while she lies on her deathbed prepared to move on to the afterlife.
“It has been a long and difficult road. There have been wondrous highs and lows that could make even the most optimistic person consider suicide. But, it has been a good life over all. Little did I know that my life would be so long. That little fact has been the hardest to deal with all these years.
“My children, I leave you with a legacy that spans well over two hundred years, three world wars, floods, famine, holocaust, and the rise and fall of mutant kind. With me, many of the secrets I’ve learned will die. So, I give unto you, this tale to pass on to your children and their children’s’ children so the mistakes I have witness can not be repeated again by us. We are more than what we are, my children, but do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise.”
The old, fragile looking woman, laid in her bed, her long white hair flowing regally about her shoulders in loose waves. Around her neck, she wore a hand crafted choker of yellowed bone and faded red plastic beads. The leather strings are nearly worn through, fraying in places. The bright metal with a coyote depicted on it still remains bright though it bears many scratches from the years it has seen. Her thin body is covered in a pale blue night-gown, making her appear in better health than what she really was.
Lightly tanned skin stretched over long bony fingers and sagged on a face that is still beautiful beneath the wrinkles that age had given her. Bright hazel eyes no longer see, clouded by cataracts though sight no longer mattered to the elderly woman. She had no more need to see the world around her for it is another world that she peers into and awaits the moment when she can cross over to join her loved ones.
“Grandmother, why are you wanting to tell us this now? We’re about ready to head out into the world again and spread the news that our people aren’t dead.” The child like man sitting at the bed side looked the woman over, holding the fragile hand gently in his own. His long dark hair is straight and braided back with a single red feather tied into the end. His dark skin and deep brown eyes show him to be of similar decent of the woman beside him.
Others in the room, all of them young, and child like in stature, come close to the bed, some sitting on the edge and looking at their ancient matriarch and others standing or leaning on the foot board. All of them look very much like her except for a few, descendants of her friends she had taken in during the war that nearly wiped out all mutant kind.
Slowly, the woman rolled her head to face the young man holding her hand then a gentle smile spread across her thin pink lips. “Because, my time on this earth is coming to an end. The spirits are calling me home to join them and my beloved RavenKin. I have lived long enough, my child. Its time for you, your brothers and sisters, and the rest of the tribe to finish what I started. Our job will never be complete, but we can keep it going so long as there is one of you to pass it on to the next generation.”
All that are gathered in the room look at one another, careful to not speak a word aloud. their matriarch had been saying the same before, each time she fell ill, but she always bounced back with the same stubbornness that had kept her going for so long. Yet, there was something about how she said it this time that none of them could protest, or even assure her of being healthy enough to fight back. No, their grandmother wasn’t sick this time. Time had finally caught up with her and they had been watching her steady decline for more than a decade.
“Grandmother,” the young woman sitting her left said as she rested a delicate hand on the elderly woman’s shoulder, “You shouldn’t speak like this. You only need to rest a little bit then you can join us as we show the rest the world we aren’t gone or forgotten.”
“Oh, my dear, sweet, child,” the woman breathed out with a soft sigh, “My rest is coming. Now, go. Go find the rest of the family and bring them here. Find Autumn if you can and call for Ivan. I want them here while I tell this tale.”
he old woman began to sit up, but a fit of coughing over took her, forcing her lay back once again and rest. She never could get used to being sick once her powers began to fail her. Simple illnesses that kept others down for a few days put her under strict medical watch for weeks. Her own immune system could not make up for the centuries it had the power of healing attacking everything that invaded her body.
While she relaxed, breathing hard after the coughing ended, the gathered people filed out of the room slowly, each of them looking back at their grandmother with worry. None of them wanted to believe that she was right in that her time was coming to an end. She had kept them all going when all hope seemed lost. It was she that protected them from the outside dangers for half a century with the help of the few friends that were still alive.
Only one of her grandchildren stayed behind. He sat by her bed side, watching over the elder while she lay there so weak and frail in the bed. once she seemed to catch her breath, he helped her drink some water then used the power he inherited from her to give her the strength to keep going until she was ready to pass on.