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), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child, and traveled to be met with an empty apartment and a message saying he’s away on business–while in a common room on her floor of the apartment, a woman with blue skin from gene mods is rude to Rekka, and says she was in Rekka’s position 10 years ago. After some tense conversation, Rekka says goodnight.


“My name is Zhou Ai,” the woman said, before Rekka had gotten more than a few steps away.

“It was interesting to meet you, Zhou Ai,” Rekka said, and kept walking. Her bed was calling her, after this short but exhausting exchange. She’d hoped that she might find some help from other low-level marvels, but so far no one she’d spoken to had been like her—except for Zhou, who was clearly not the friendly sort.

“Maybe things will go better in the morning,” she said to herself, sorting out an outfit and making sure she had everything ready in her briefcase.


The next morning, Rekka paused in front of the screen, switched to a mirror setting, and studied her appearance critically. Her hair lay straight and smooth, and she’d redone the teal streaks that colored the bottom of it just last week, so the color was bright and true. The pale silvery blond she’d inherited from a gene mod was easy to color, but paired with her gray eyes it didn’t give her much visual interest. If she hadn’t inherited the reddish brown hues of her father’s skin, she’d have practically no color at all.

She’d found the bus station outside the compound that would take her to work, and saved the schedule to her phone, which beeped now to remind her that she needed to get going.

*    *    *

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.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. 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.


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.

28 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Clearly we haven’t seen the last of Zhou Ai. Will she help the heroine, or hinder her?

  2. I predict an unpleasant encounter with dire consequences. Fascinating description of what she sees in the mirror.

  3. daryldevore says:

    Great visual of her and great hint of major trouble ahead.

  4. nancygideon says:

    Nice scene, Caitlin. More insight into our heroine visually and introspectively.

  5. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Such marvelous world building! The intricacies of it boggle my mind. Great premise!

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Rekka is definitely self-sufficient. And maybe Zhou will end up helping her out. Very intriguing!

  7. Botanist says:

    I suspect this Zhou will be an important person to get to know, however hard that might be for Rekka.

  8. Interesting details about the hair color! I’m fascinated by this story.

  9. Siren X Star says:

    Very interesting snippet. Looking forward to reading more!

  10. Some interesting-looking people in this story. Hope Reka’s day goes better.

  11. Well, at least she’s polite! Great snippet. 🙂

  12. Diane Burton says:

    Very intriguing snippet. Makes me wonder what Zhou will do next.

  13. Great descriptions. Yikes, I guess this platinum blond better get out in the sun, pronto! LOL!

    • Hah! No need to burn yourself. 🙂 Rekka lives in a world where people can be born with orange eyes, or green hair, or blue skin–which makes the usual human palette a little less exciting.

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