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–a few days later she’s at her first day of work.



“How long have you been in the city, Lang?” Johansen asked.

“Counting today, three days,” Rekka said.

“You’re all shiny and new, aren’t you?”

“We all have to start somewhere, don’t we? Just a minute.” Rekka rescued a mug from the cabinet and poured herself some coffee before retaking her seat, glancing at the time on her phone as she sat.

“Yes…. somewhere,” Johansen said after Rekka had taken a sip of coffee, “Which side are you working on–text or speech?”


“Bleh,” the older woman pulled a face, faint crow’s feet crinkling at the corners of her eyes, “Dealing with people all day? I don’t know how you lot do it.”

*    *    *

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.

33 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    The older woman’s response goes a long way to characterize her.

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    “You’re all shiny and new, aren’t you?” Love that line.

    Interesting story concept — I’m looking forward to seeing how you develop it.

  3. Enjoyed the excerpt, wow have I met co-workers like that older lady! Well done…

  4. Daryl Devore says:

    Love the old woman’s response. I can just see her.

  5. And now we have an idea of where she fits in. Not pretty. Terrific snippet, Caitlin.

    • I had to trim for space, but Johansen deals with people over emails, phone calls, etc., and is happy not to have too much face-to-face contact with clients. Which, to be fair, is true of plenty of people. 🙂

  6. Haha, I don’t know how they do it either!

  7. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Great characterization! Sounds like she’s already fitting in there. 🙂

  8. Kim Magennis says:

    “You’re all shiny and new, aren’t you?”

    Just love how loaded that comment is. Excellent dialogue as always, Caitlin.

  9. Botanist says:

    Great dialogue here. Love the “All shiny and new” line, as Kim says, it’s a loaded comment.

  10. The other woman is rather cynical and hateful, isn’t she?

  11. Ashley York says:

    Shiny and new! Hah! Good snippet.

  12. Is it weird that I sympathize with Johansen some days? 😉

  13. Alexis Duran says:

    I’m interested to find out what it is they’re doing over “text or speech”. Sounds like office politics lives on no matter where one works.

  14. Thanks for sharing a little more of this story with us.

  15. Diane Burton says:

    Shiny and new. Great line. Interesting snippet, makes me curious.

  16. I’m totally with her. Dealing with people all day is definitely a pain.

  17. Misa says:

    Interesting snippet – looking forward to reading more.

  18. Jayne Fury says:

    i love “rescued a mug” – great turn of phrase

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