Happy Nanowrimo, Everybody!
Got up an hour early, wrote about 800 words this morning, and plan to get some more done later tonight! Here’s a quick taste of my novel yet to be named:
“Give me the rock,” I command, my arm outstretched, palm to the bright orange sky.
The great metallic ape does not comply. Its eyes flick in its head, a subtle sign that it’s sifting through the information that I’m giving it, but somewhere along the line, the signal is lost, and the rock stays clenched in its massive white hand.
“Like this,” Mipau demonstrates, letting go of my back fur just long enough to drop a small rock into my hand. The sudden movement startles the metallic ape, and I deny my urge to step between it and my young son. If I cannot trust it, how can I expect my clan to?
“Thank you, Mipau,” I say, nudging him back behind me. His long black fingers re-entwine themselves into my fur. I’ve convinced myself that he is safer here, standing within striking distance of a surly, uncooperative machine, than he is hauling rocks in the quarry as the other kids in his cohort have started just today. There is a fault in my logic, but I let it be.
“Give me the rock.” I’ve lost track of exactly how many times I’ve given that command. They are simple words. The great metallic ape should be able to obey. It is what it was made to do. Maybe the years, decades of taking a beating from the sun has broken something inside it. Maybe the red dust has clogged its mind, and it does not remember what it is. I reach for the box dangling from a chain around my neck.
The great metallic apes shifts uncomfortably in its squatting stance and huffs at me.
The box is a cruel thing, I’ve decided. I slide my thumb across the slick black surface, and the metallic ape’s hand moves toward me. I click the left corner of the box, and the ape’s hand releases the rock into my hand. I can control its limbs, but I cannot control the hatred in its eyes.