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 after work takes her to the testing center, where they flirt and kiss, then Rekka tests for quantity of ignition points, then accuracy of targeting, range, and gets her results.


“This is unusual,” Ruby said, “Rekka, we’d labeled you as a strong two, but it looks as if you’re actually a weak three.”

“She is?” Brenton asked.

“I am?” Rekka asked at the same time, her words tangling with his.

“Yes, the better testing just put you over, but it’s nothing to worry over. You haven’t really gone from a two to a three, but just increased a small amount, that happens to have changed your numbers.”

“Okay, then,” Rekka let her shoulders sag just a little, but her mind was racing behind her relieved, polite smile. She knew that the difference between a ‘strong two’ and a ‘weak three’ wasn’t a small amount as Ruby had just claimed.

The distance between each level widened as you went, so there was a small distance between a one and a two, a fair amount from a two to a three, and a vast gulf between a four and a five. She didn’t know if she’d faced very poor testing and been badly mislabeled, or her power had grown since her last testing. All she knew for certain was that Ruby had lied to her, Brenton wasn’t protesting that lie, even though he had to know better, and she couldn’t trust the Sofias as well as she’d hoped.

*    *    *

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.

30 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I like the direction this is taking, with hints of conflict and conspiracy. Good stuff!

  2. I sense some tension here. Intriguing look into their relationship.

  3. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Uh-oh! I’m curious to know what this means for Rekka. If she can’t trust Brenton, then who can she trust? Looking forward to more! 🙂

  4. Kim Magennis says:

    Excellent dynamic, Caitlin. So who gains by her being misclassed? Very intriguing.

    • It’s not so much that she was misclassed–it’s that they’re telling her she’s not really more powerful than she thought. So who gains by her thinking she’s weaker than she is? o.O

  5. Jenna Jaxon says:

    I’m not sure why stronger powers would be a bad thing. But her concerns about Brenton are probably warranted. Nice snippet.

    • They’re not a bad thing–she’s worried about them telling her he ranking change isn’t a big difference, when she knows it is. They’re telling her she’s not stronger than she thought.

  6. I’m guessing that increased powers come with complications. Nice twist!

    • It’s not a super big difference, but it is a noticeable one. The really special stuff doesn’t happen until level five–she just has a bigger range, better targeting, etc.

  7. You have us all stymied. I thought romance was on the way with babies in store but no!

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’m also curious about just what the difference will mean in regards to Rekka’s mission and duties.

  9. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    Is it beneficial to Ruby for Rekka to remain a 2? Is that why she’s downplaying the increase in her powers?

    • Ruby works for the company. I leave it for you to decide why someone might tell a “new hire” that their skills aren’t as in demand–or rare/valuable– as they are. 😉

  10. experience curves, those can be nasty.

  11. Hmm indeed, I somehow thought it was all going too smoothly so this is an intriguing development. Loving the story!

  12. Oooo interesting twist…

  13. Alexis Duran says:

    If they lied to her about her increased power maybe they’re lying about other things? Maybe she’s a strong three! Glad she was on to them right away.

  14. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Conflict ahead. Can’t wait to read more. Great snippet.

  15. And the plot thickens! It was all going so well…

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