This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with about 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), has just signed a very important contract with Brenton.

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So now she was in contract to provide Brenton with a child–a child that would stay with his company for all of their childhood, and very likely their adulthood, too. People didn’t leave their companies often, not in any real sense, no matter the distance they might put between them and their family. Rekka hoped she’d made the right choice.

Brenton held out his hand to her, wrapped it around her fingers, warm and sure, when she took the offer, and smiled at her as his thumb traced a few lazy arcs across the back of her hand.

“I look forward to showing you my home,” he said, still holding her hand, “and I’ll be counting the days until I see you again.”

“Me, too,” Rekka said, though she wasn’t sure how much he meant the words he said. She sensed at times he was more charming than substantial, but she wasn’t certain how much there was to this man. He was far too good at small talk, and had never really let her in. Maybe that would change when they shared a home.

But that wouldn’t be today, because she still had a little less than four months remaining on her degree.

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

38 responses »

  1. Carrie-Anne says:

    This is a really interesting premise. There’s always so much potential when people are compelled into a coupling instead of organically starting a relationship.

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    The poor lass realizes she’s taken a false step but isn’t quite sure enough of herself to resist. Good luck to her!

  3. Uh-oh, I think she’s already realized this might be a mistake. Interesting to see where this will go.

  4. Joe Owens says:

    When love is conjured it is not strong enough to weather the storms od doubt. I like the sounds of this one Caitlin. Do you have an agent/publisher you are looking at?

  5. ‘lazy arcs’ oh my! he is a smooth talker and she’s in big trouble hanging with him.
    Well done. You’ve captured this reader.

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Even with the contract, she still seems very reluctant. At least they have a bit of time to get to know each other and grow closer.

  7. Diane Burton says:

    What a dilemma. A contract vs reality. I can see her having second thoughts.

  8. Fascinating as always. Great snippet!

  9. Alexis Duran says:

    I’m not having good feeling about what living with him will be like, but who knows? You’re very good at twists and turns and this story is full of potential twists.

  10. Botanist says:

    Oh, so it’s that kind of contract. Interesting!

  11. nancygideon says:

    Nice set up, planting doubts in her mind already Can’t wait to see what develops, Caitlin!

  12. kimmydonn says:

    Interesting. I’d not like the idea of leaving my child behind.

    • Well, she certainly could–but though I haven’t gone into all the details yet, the contract doesn’t give away her parental rights. If she left the company, she’d get visitation rights.

  13. He doesn’t sound like a great choice, but maybe there’s more than meets the eye.

    • Well, he’s not offering to marry her–he’s offering to co-parent a child with her. Most of the promises he’s made to her have to do with how children are valued in the company.

  14. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Hopefully, they’ll have a chance to know each other. Interesting about the arrangement and the child that she may not see if she is to leave him or her with the company. I’m intrigued to know where this story will go.

    • She would get visitation rights, but her child is basically an investment in the company’s future–they’re paying a fair degree of money for a strong chance to cement those loyalties while the child is young. 😉

  15. Kim Magennis says:

    Very intriguing, Caitlin. I love watching how other types of social orders play out. Looking forward to watching this one.

  16. I like how this is being set up and want to know more about him. Nice work!

  17. Gem says:

    I really like her tone; pragmatic and accepting but very aware of the man she’s bargained with.

  18. Fascinating world, Caitlin! I’m hooked already 🙂

  19. Good for her that smooth talking sets off alarm bells. Interesting Snippet!

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