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, having met Johansen and Reyes, and is now walking outside.


Outside, she passed a few smokers leaning against the side of a storage building, standing behind the markers which designated their smoking area. Even though the carcinogens had been removed, they still weren’t terribly good for your health, but their use persisted.

One of the smokers waved at her, and she changed direction. It was Reyes, the man with the tendency for repetitive nicknames, she realized, as she stopped in front of him.

He exhaled, turning his head to direct the smoke away from her, “Would you like a smoke?”

“No, thank you,” Rekka said, feeling she’d smelled the smoky waft of something burning plenty of times in her life.

“I won’t keep you, then. I just wanted to say hello again, without Jo-Jo glowering at me, since I figured that—”

“Hey, Reyes, you got a light?” A woman asked from behind Rekka.

*    *    *

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:

    What was it he figured? Something about starting a friendship or a relationship, perhaps?

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Interesting insight into this world! I wonder who the new woman is.

  3. I homed in on that little tidbit about smelling the smoky waft of something burning. I wonder what that is about. 🙂

  4. jakerose says:

    I’ve never been a fan of smoking either! I was curious to hear the rest of what he’d started to say before he was interrupted! Nice piece!

    • I’m not a fan, myself. But some people sure are! Can’t go an hour without one.
      He’ll get back to it, but I couldn’t squeeze it into the snippet. 🙂

      • jakerose says:

        I always kind myself wishing I had just one more sentence I could squeeze in there haha! Looking forward to reading more!

  5. Always interesting! I would have avoided this guy if possible (repetitive nicknames AND smoking? Not my type!) but I wonder what he was about to tell her. Great snippet!

  6. Another interesting snippet from your imagination. Well written. I don’t smoke.

  7. Kim Magennis says:

    Intriguing, Caitlin.
    So what did she grow up smelling as it burned?

  8. That bit about being accustomed to the smell of smoke was a real little backstory tease! Hope we find out what that’s about soon.

  9. Who has joined them? Interesting.

  10. Cara Bristol says:

    She could offer to light their cigarettes. Lol.

  11. Daryl Devore says:

    Asking the person next to a spark if they have a light – interesting.

  12. It made me think that she had smelled some kind of smoke other than cigarette smoke in her life.

  13. Frank Fisher says:

    A very “smoky” scene here, Caitlin. If I were I smoker, I might have reached for a cigarette, but alas I’m no smoker. Nice snippet!

  14. Great scene, even though being around smokers drives me crazy. 😉

  15. nancygideon says:

    Talk about timing that sucks! Nice scene, Caitlin!

  16. Alexis Duran says:

    Wonder what Reyes is up to? You hint at underlying office politics, which is a great way to create subtle tension.

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