FROM the Word Mines: Here's a snip from SALTARAE II for y'all...sort of a teaser. I put this up on Facebook a while back, so I really ought to put it here, too. 1,984 words, or so says Word. Mud, shit talk, and the edge of a tough life:
Ambros and Mark trudged across the boggier part of the swamp and approached Borderboro. Mark nodded at the drowsy sentry at the gate. The fellow perked up when he saw Ambros, but Andy O’Malley was already there to welcome them. Andy smacked the guard lightly on the back of his head: “Hey, you need relief? No sleeping at the gate, bro, we can get you relief.”
“Nah, I’m okay, Andy. Lemme be.”
O’Malley looked at the kid with some disdain, but let the situation be.
They strolled over to the main campfire, and Andy introduced Ambros around; Ambros made no attempt to keep the names straight, except for a couple of miserable looking teenage girls who sat across the fire from him. “Daisy and Donna,” said Andy: “They’re new here.”
“Those girls need some woolens,” said Ambros: “Cotton-poly shirts and jeans are gonna kill ’em, Andy.”
“I know. I’m workin’ on ’em. Hey Daisy, will you do me a favor? Take a cup of coffee out to Orel at the back gate?”
“Okay, Andy,” said the slightly older girl. She got up and began rinsing out a cup at the improvised sink.
As she passed by, a man in his late twenties stood up. Andy grabbed the guy by the back of his pants: “Siddown, KJ. She’s too young for you.”
“C’mon, Andy...” the guy began; one glance at Andy’s expression and he sat back down. After a moment, KJ got up, slowly, and went to get himself some coffee.
O’Malley watched him, sarcastic: “I ain’t kiddin’ KJ.”
Ambros spotted a couple over by one of the smaller fires: ‘This place is divided up by households and groups of households...and that guy looks familiar.’ He shook his head and turned his attention back to Andy.( Read MoreCollapse )