Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Carving, Part Four

While the majority of stuff I wrote during NaNo is, let's face it, pure crap, after I hit the 50K I switched tracks and started working on The Carving. Surprisingly, I came up with a lot of stuff that is clearly not the best but should at the very least be salvageable or re-workable. This scene takes placed just after the girl has been assigned a mission of sorts, has left the castle and has met the panther (I haven't written that part yet, but hopefully I will sometime this month [EDIT: Read that scene here]). Aside from having written 8 000 for The Carving, I came up with a lot of little ideas and a complete plot outline. I have a lot of renewed interest in this story now!  =)

I did write down a lot of notes about this scene. It's a little mixed up because I hadn't really decided, at the time of writing, what kind of form the girl has taken in this world, and exactly what 'this world' is, and what kind of character the girl is, and who's side the panther is on. Just go with it for now, keep in mind that this was written during NaNoWriMo and that it's a bit of a 'self-therapy' story (ie. I'm writing it for me, not for anyone else) and looked forward to the revised edition ;P

Winter came two days after their meeting. the winter was like hibernation for her, although she did everything but sleep it away. the leaves all dropped the first day and then on the second day the snow began to fall and it did not stop for three days. She spent those three days waiting patiently at the mouth of the panther's cave. He slept by her side during this time, but she remained awake for the entire length of the three days. She was captivated by the falling snow. The snow drifted down from the sky at a steady rate with a steady weight. She would follow a snowflake with her eyes as it twirled through the air and danced its way to the earth. The fractured sunlight that came through the pine trees and refracted through the snow was just enough to keep her warm where she sat at the mouth of the cave. On the morning of the fourth day, the snowfall ceased. There was no warning. One moment there was snow making its way down from the sky, the next there was none. She stood for the first time in three days and her panther woke immediately.

"The snow has stopped," she said, saying aloud the change in her environment so she would remember it had happened. The panther walked up to where the snow stopped and the cave floor began. He padded at the snow with a paw but then retreated back to his master.

"I detest snow, it is far too cold," he purred, pawing at her clothes to warm his paw.

"It is time for us to move. I need to eat." [I think this line is said by the girl, but that doesn't really go with the story. Oh well :P

She was not hungry, but she remembered it was necessary to eat to survive. The panther shook his head, but he would follow her. She stepped into the fresh snowfall and she sunk nearly up to her waist. She had forgotten the cave floor was at a higher elevation than the rest of the ground. The panther took a few steps past her, seemingly weightless. He sunk only an inch. He turned back and saw his master stuck in the snow. He laughed, a low purr.

"Snow is cold. I am too heavy to walk on the snow," she stated, not sounding at all surprised. The panther had never heard her speak with any emotion in her voice. She tried to push herself up out of the snow but her hands just sunk into the pile. The panther jumped back into the cave.

"Get back in here, we will not make any progress if you try to continue like that," he said, trying to sound weary instead of amused.

"I am stuck." She stopped trying to push her way out of the snow and stood in place, trapped by the snow.

"Just step back up into the cave. It is light snow, you can do it." The panther was not used to giving encouragement but he knew it was necessary if he was going to get anywhere with this girl. She stared at him for a moment and then did as she was told. She made it back into the cave, covered in snow, teeth chattering already. She seemed at a loss as to what to do next.

"Well, this is no good..." the panther murmured as he paced around his master, assessing the situation. "Have you never experienced snow before? He was half joking but he was surprised to find her shaking her head.

"Well. It is good that you have some first hand experience now, I suppose. But you will never survive like this. We need to get you some clothes and some way for you to travel without being surrounded by three feet of snow." He watched her closely as she stared at her legs, watching as the snow disappeared into wet patches on her clothes. "Yes, that is what snow does when it gets warm. It is frozen rain, you see, and it melts back into rain when it becomes warm. Brush it off your clothes if you do not want to get wet." She immediately began to do so and when she was done, she looked back to the panther.

"Well, what is that look for? Do not look at me so expectantly. Are not you the one who is supposed to be the leader in this pair?" He sat down and made himself comfortable, intrigued by what she might do now.

"I suppose...I am," she said wistfully, looking past the panther and the cave entrance, to the snow covered forest. then she turned back to the panther and there was a look on her face as though she had suddenly remembered something. "What is your name?"

The panther's whiskers twitched. He had not been anticipating that question, he had to admit. He was not sure how to respond, but could not judge any harm of giving her the correct harm answer.

"I have no name. You may address me as Panther, for my name is one of the more minor things that distinguishes me from other creatures, do not you think?" His tail flicked back and forth as he thought of his next move. Dialogue with the girl was something that had to be handled delicately. The next question he asked probably would would have been better left unasked, but he could not resist. "And what is your name?"

A look of distress immediately crossed the girl's face. It was the first look of emotion he had seen her express and it almost made him regret asking her. Almost. But his curiosity was greater than his regret and he did not retract his question.

"I...I do not know," she confessed after awhile.  She sat on the floor next to the panther and hugged her knees to her chest. He seemed to have unlocked some of the human aspect of her. "I think I have one, I mean, I suppose everyone must have a name but you do not and even though I do not know my name, I think I had one at one time. I just...cannot recall it any more."

He did not press her any further. He knew the answer to his question, of course, but what he really wanted to see was her reaction. See how far along she was. he was not going to tell her her name, that would undo everything they had worked for.

They sat in the cave for a longer time; neither could tell you for how long. eventually the panther knew they had to move on. But there was still the problem of clothes and transportation for his master. Perhaps now that would be taken care of...he stepped back out of the cave and walked some ways along the cliff wall until he found what he was looking for.

[Jumping tracks, meaning what I previously wrote was in the wrong direction and I'm moving to a different direction, a different 'track']

Eventually the panther knew they had to move on. He rose and gently nudged his master's arm with his head.

"Come now. We should move on. I do not want you to spend all your time in a cave when there is so much out there. I will get you some pine branches, we will secure them on your feet and what should help you keep from sinking so much."

And so they set off.

Part Five

No comments:

Post a Comment