March 11, 2014


 Each Tuesday, rather than  a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

Change of pace for a bit – I’m going to look at elements of EXTREMELY popular SF, F, and H; break them apart and use each element as a jumping off point for a story idea…

Popular Fantasy Story/Series: Harry Potter, et al

F Trope: A “magical” academy

Far below Andre Xavier Xavier, a Bryshwyn of Bryshwyns and Raven Zoe Jefferson, who called herself a Nobody of Nobodys, the evening meditation tone sounded. A cross between a buzzer and an ancient longhorn, the instrument was blown by a family with a tradition as deep as Andre’s. The young man said, pushing his turban back up on top of his head where it promptly released a curl of very pale, very curly hair, “There’s Fendwyri tooting his own horn again.”

Raven shook her head. He turban was always perfectly wound. It was the only thing that could control her wild kinks. She loved it for that. The turbans gave everyone a similar look – even though in the dorms, certain girls made sure to see how long, and straight, and silky black THEIR hair was. She said, “You have nothing to be jealous about.”

 “I’m not jealous!” he exclaimed.

Smirking, Raven headed for the stairwell that would lead them five stories down to the courtyard. “Come on, we need to hurry or we’ll be late.”

“We’ll be late if we take that way,” he said.

Raven spun around and said, “No!”

Ignoring her, Andre lifted both arms and said, “Jheregi SSothimazhu,” the stones around them began to glow red and tremble in their mortar cradles. Andre moved his hands slowly, seeming to grip the air. The temperature around them dropped precipitously until Raven could see her breath. Andre said, “Forginiway thoomITas herogiNOMUL!

The stones leaped into the air, drawing their ability to form steps from the energy in the once sun-warmed air. Andre grabbed Raven’s hand and leaped to the first step.

Four stories above a stone courtyard, Raven knew better than to fight. Instead, she followed Andre as the stones assembled themselves into a flight of stairs switch-backing at a comfortable angle and leading them downward as they hurried for meditations. “We’ll be on time…”

They were still two meters above ground when the bricks that had been hastily assembling themselves into stairs and glowing in the deepening shadows of the courtyard as they ran down…suddenly turned the color of bricks and fell into a pile directly below them. Andre shouted in surprise, then cried out, “FeshET siMAYlee!” Immediately the air below him gained the ability to roar up and buoyed him the last meter, setting him gently on the ground.

Raven tried the enabling, but couldn’t pronounce the words correctly, and instead fell on to the pile of very ancient – and very hard bricks at a rate determined not by ability  but mathematically by velocity and time, specifically where a= Δv/ Δt. Not that either of them knew that in this world. But not all students in all worlds were equally naïve.

Either way, the sound and the abrupt stop would been identical whether it had been caused solely by ability or solely by gravity…

Names: Popular African American name, Australian Capital Territory, Common African American last name; Popular American name, Brazil

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