Aside: Scheduling Note II

We’re okay! (That is, me and mine.)

I hope you and yours are okay too.  There’s no telling what happens next, but for the moment, the emergency packs are going back in the closet.

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Aside: Scheduling Note

For all of you closer to the epicenter and the tsunamis, stay safe.

Next post is scheduled (yay, productivity), but since things are a bit scary here geologically, I wanted to leave a note that the next blog post might be a bit delayed if the earth doesn’t go back to sleep.  Hopes are, my neighbors and I will be well away from any severe danger, but we wait with baited breath and well-packed emergency packs just in case.

Take care, everyone!

Richie

Richie

Let’s not talk about that.

That was two thousand years ago

Let’s talk about something that happening now

Like the grass.

It’s everywhere.

Look at it.

Like hair, like the hair on my head.

 

The problems is people don’t talk about it.

They’ve got fear everywhere.

They run and they get themselves alone all the time.

Sorta like me.

I’d like to talk.

I’ve things to say,

But my family doesn’t talk, they don’t talk.

 

You know there’s times I wish I had a friend,

But nobody out there’s gonna be my friend.

All my girlfriends had boyfriends when I was with ‘em,

And they beat me up,

Then the girls leave me alone

Just like that,

That’s life and sometimes I get angry at it.

 

You know I don’t like to get angry.

My father was angry.  I want a daughter,

A little girl to look after, a kid, but no,

I’m forty-one.

I’ve still got hair.

My father was bald.

But who’s gonna look at a man who’s forty-one?

 

No job, no place to stay.  Over at the mission,

They teach me I gotta get a job.

I can’t get a job.  I got so mad, I tore all my papers up.

So there you go.

Here I am.

You can give me food,

But I’m concerned about what you’ll eat today.

 

If you hand me that juice or that sandwich, or lunch,

I’m gonna have to split it with you.

If you won’t take it back, I’ll split it.

Look at you,

You’re so thin,

Out here on the street,

Helping people.  Here’s a dollar.  Let me be able to help you back.

 

I never had a friend before.

No one ever listened to what I’d say.

And I wanna hear what other people say.

Go on, talk.

People don’t talk these days,

So talk, go on tell me.

I never had a friend before and you’re a nice person anyway.

 

                                    -4/14/07

8: Test of the Second-born

Another prince, another trial…

Start from Chapter One here.


EXT. THE UNDERWORLD – SAME TIME.

THE HOUSE

A clink.  Koschei chains his horse to an iron stall with a heavy chain.  It snuffs smoke from its nostrils, pulls at the chain.  The whole stall shakes.

THE KITCHEN

Koschei enters, humming.

Morya sits at the fire:  A pot of borscht hangs simmering.

Continue reading

7: Second Thoughts

Happy New Year!

I just realized last week it’s been over a year!  Thank you for all your likes and follows, and good luck in the year to come!

Looking for Chapter One?


EXT. / INT. TISHINA CASTLE – DAY

LIBRARY

A book is laid open, scrawled with Glagolitic text.  Loren shuts it, hefts it, and sticks it in a bag, one of two on the table.  The first is already full.  Continue reading

4: Home Again

Welcome back!

Chapter One

Index


INT. KHAZARIM – NIGHT

THE FOREST

The white stone is snoring.

 

INT. A RUN DOWN COTTAGE –  NIGHT [A DREAM]\

A LOFTED BEDROOM

A YOUNG WOMAN with dark hair wakes, fingering a quilt, to a rustling below.  There’s a familiar ring on her right finger.  She rises, climbs down to

A BAKER’S KITCHEN

and sees a YOUNG MAN who could be her twin.  He’s handsome, but has a few scars, and he’s packing a bag.

 

YOUNG WOMAN

Where are you going?

 

YOUNG MAN

(whispering) Nowhere if you don’t keep it down.

 

Note: They speak on in whispers.

 

YOUNG WOMAN

Father said not to go.

 

YOUNG MAN

Father says a lot of things.

 

YOUNG WOMAN

You weren’t going to tell me.

 

He picks up the bag.

 

YOUNG MAN

When were you going to tell me the prince asked for the hand of a baker’s daughter?

 

YOUNG WOMAN

That’s not fair.

 

He throws on a ragged cloak and picks up the bag.  He touches her face affectionately, then frowns.

 

YOUNG MAN

Remember who kept you pretty for him.

 

YOUNG WOMAN

(defensively) It’s not only that.

 

YOUNG MAN

Does it have to be?

 

She frowns worriedly.  He heads for the door.  She follows.

 

YOUNG WOMAN

Koschei, what could you possibly hope to find out there?

 

YOUNG MAN / KOSCHEI

When I find it, Morya, you’ll be the first to know.

 

He leaves and the door starts to fall closed… 

END OF DREAM

 

INT. THE UNDERWORLD – DAY

THE SAME BEDROOM

A door shuts.  Morya wakes, looks around, just as the young woman did.  

 

MORYA

(whispering) Koschei?

 

She sits up on worn, homespun quilts and blankets.  

Her hand falls on her gifts.  She looks perplexed, then tears up, quickly gathers them.  She sticks the loose flowers in the book and hugs it.  Breathes.  

She fingers a familiar quilt, then stands, tucks the book into her sash, slings on the quiver, hefts the bow, then climbs down a ladder into —

THE KITCHEN

Clean and homey now with a brick oven and breadboard, which Morya hurries past into

A PADDOCK

Walled in.  A cow grazes by a henhouse with black, brown, and red chickens.  Morya looks around, then up.  

The sun’s the wrong color.  

There’s a hole in the sky.

She’s left A COTTAGE by a garden.  Behind it lies a clear blue sea with scattered, wooded islands covered in blue spruce.

Morya turns back.  She lays a hand on the doorway.  Her finger traces notches on the frame, roughly spaced, labeled in several places, each with an “M,” or a “K” below it.

She looks at the sun again.

 

MORYA

Impossible.

 

KOSCHEI (O.S.)

Welcome home.

 

She turns, nocks an arrow.  Koschei smiles and spreads his arms.  She hesitates.

 

MORYA

You really did it?

 

KOSCHEI

I’ve no regrets.  You?

 

MORYA

None.

 

A beat.

 

KOSCHEI

Are you lying?

 

She fires.  Arrow to the heart.  

Koschei laughs.  He pulls the arrow free, twirls it in his fingers.  

 

KOSCHEI (CONT’D)

That never gets old.

 

Morya lowers her bow.  Her shock gets the better of her.

 

KOSCHEI (CONT’D)

The truth is, sister, I…  I need your help.

 

INSIDE – LATER

 

MORYA (O.S.)

Immortality.

 

She sits at the breadboard, unimpressed.  

 

MORYA (CONT’D)

Immortality, and the first thing you want to do is what you mocked me for.

 

KOSCHEI

You wouldn’t wish me the same happiness, sister?

 

MORYA

Happiness?  Like this?

 

KOSCHEI

In return, I’m offering you what I’ve gained.

 

MORYA

I know you, brother…

 

KOSCHEI

(scoff) Do you?

 

MORYA

What do you need her for?

 

KOSCHEI

I need nothing.

 

MORYA

What do you need a princess for?

 

KOSCHEI

(poker face) What did you want a prince for?

 

A beat.

 

MORYA

Koschei, give this up.  It’s not natural, not normal —

 

KOSCHEI

Normal?  Normal used to be cabbage and tears for supper, Morya.

 

She stands to walk away, but he grabs her hand.

 

KOSCHEI (CONT’D)

Have you forgotten?  How much of your “love” for your prince wasn’t desperation to escape?

 

MORYA

I could ask you the same thing about your sorcery.

 

KOSCHEI

I’ve succeeded.

 

MORYA

But your hand is shaking.

 

He breaks his grip instantly.

 

KOSCHEI

All mortals die, Morya.

 

MORYA

If you’re immortal, what are you afraid of?

 

At the windowsill, a raven’s fluttery landing interrupts.

 

RAVEN

Men above, milord.

 

KOSCHEI

(to Morya) A moment…

 

He pulls flour from a pantry.  Morya looks perplexed.  

 He digs out a handful, tosses it on the worktable, studies it.  

 It shifts, slides, spreads, takes shape: A landscape, the mountains, the lowlands, the plain, the forest — the ruins of Khazarim’s.

And a tiny army approaches the forest like a trail of ants.


 

Fun facts about Russian Houses

  1. To be honest, I have only the slightest idea of what a home would look like in Russian fairy tales, but my first hints where found here, in this book from the 19th Century.  This, added to what Russian versions of stories were available on YouTube here in Japan have aided in building some kind of picture I can work with.  Unlike writing novels, the trickier bit is to leave white space a production team could work their own creativity into rather than providing everything upfront.
  2. The general structure, so far as I understand it, is that a house of many rooms would be harder to heat, and so the poorer the house, the closer everything is to a single hearth, the beds usually being above the hearth in order to keep everyone warm.  As a baker, Morya’s father wouldn’t be too badly off, although much of his work would be made to be sold rather than eaten.  A single parent, he’d have to do all the work himself but for what his children could help with, and if Koschei’s own personality is any sign, he was not a patient man.

Since this is a Beta read, I’ve left in the oft-recommended-against dream sequence intact.  It’s best to show in the present rather than the past what has happened, to keep the viewer close to things, but since this story is an exploration of origins and childhood, it seemed alright to leave in for now.  As always, comments for feedback and constructive criticism are welcome.