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 he returns,makes breakfast, and promises to take her to testing after work–she’s on break when Johansen comes up to her.



Word had gotten around that she was a spark, she realized, when Johansen held up a cupcake, a small candle stuck in the frosting, “Light this for me, will you?”


“Hurry up,” Johansen hissed, staring past her down the hallway.

Bemused, Rekka created a flame, lit the blue candle, then let the fire go out.

“Thanks!” Johansen lowered the white plate the little dessert rested on to her waist, and shifted so Rekka hid it from view.

“Happy birthday!” A few of the people loitering around the break room suddenly shouted as a tall, dark skinned woman appeared.

Johansen turned and stepped around Rekka, holding out the cupcake, “Come on, Hatori, make a wish!”

The woman shook her head, violet eyes shimmering with tears, “You’re too much, Jo–I told you that you didn’t need to do anything!”

*    *    *

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.

20 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    What an innocent use for her first public flame — a birthday candle.

  2. A birthday party for a grump. And she had to use her flame for the cupcake! What a place to live. Interesting snippet today, Caitlin.

  3. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    An interesting way to meet another coworker. I hope that ability doesn’t get Rekka into trouble. Great snippet!

  4. So far this experience of hers is really like joining any new company on Earth (so very easy to relate to), but with a few fun differences like her being a “spark” – cool! Enjoyed the snippet 🙂

  5. I guess her coworkers aren’t shy about making use of her talent. Sounds like a friendly place to work.

  6. Kim Magennis says:

    Johansen sounds like fun – not! At least she said thanks, and it was for a good cause.

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    That’s a potentially risky gift to have, able to be used for both good and evil. I trust she’ll only use it for good in this book.

  8. I love it when powers are used for practical means. Adds a lot of nice realism. 😀

  9. Diane Burton says:

    At first, I thought Johansen had a different reason–like to make fun of Rekka or to get her into trouble. Nice switch that it was for something innocent. Nice snippet.

  10. I like that a present-day Earth ritual is in your story. It makes it familiar–in an unfamiliar time and setting. 🙂

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