2012 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #3

by johannespunkt

Last one of these I’m posting before I get anywhere with editing this novella into shape. I haven’t even got to write the really cool scenes yet! (The really cool scenes are some NGE/Michael Bay stuff. Explaining it here would ruin the explositude.)

Previous excerpts can be found here: /2012/11/12/nanowrimo-excerpt-1/ and here: /2013/01/13/2012-nanowrimo-excerpt-2/

This snippet takes place between excerpt 2 and 1. As usual, comments appreciated.

[Content Warning: sex]

~

She closed the door and exhaled and lay down on the floor. Immediately, Ikkje appeared from the doorway from the kitchen and sat down next to her. He held her hand. He wore an apron and smelled like cinnamon.

“Do you love me?” Rovy asked.

Ikkje Pouncer appeared to think for a little while. The house was modest, she thought. Like most of Ikkje’s kind, the house was just at the edge of the city, but Rovy was okay with this. “I think I do. I don’t think anything has changed. What’s wrong?”

He spent most of his days out in the emptiness, unrecorded, hunting and gathering. Rovy shook her head. “Long day, is all. Have you heard of the falling elites?”

“Elites?”

“The bewinged men and women falling from the sky, love.”

“Is that where the elites are?”

“Well, a bunch of them fell and something happened to the Information Market. Hardly any Buskers there, but many buyers. Don’t know what to make of it. Is dinner done soon?”

“It is. I gathered a lot of mushrooms and potatoes, today.” He smiled.

She kissed him. “You know, most hunter-gatherers also do the hunting business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you bring home a phant of any kind.”

“These potatoes were totally a struggle, I swear.”

She stared at the little information ball that had rolled out of her pockets.

She kissed her husband again, “hey, do you really love me?”

“Yes, I just told you.”

She wrapped her arms around him and made him carry her. “Did you know that in the ancient civilisations of Earth Prime, marriage was a much bigger deal?”

Ikkje staggered back a little, holding her up. He did not know that.

“When people got married they invited friends and family and everyone they had ever met,” as she talked, Ikkje moved slowly backwards through their living room. “They held parties in giant temples and called upon elder gods to bless their marriage. And the elder gods would stretch out from underneath the earth and puppeteer a chosen cleric and the gods would speak through this sock puppet, and the married couple would exchange a lot of things with each other. Say we got married on Prime. My family becomes your family. We switch jewelry. And most importantly, we take one another’s endname.”

“Why would we do that?”

“There’s no why, it’s just tradition.” She kissed him again and jumped off; he’d backed into a wall.

Rovy fiddled with the controls on the wall and the entire flat went dark. She kicked the information ball and it lit up with all its information at once, in a mellow red, makeshift mood lighting.

“What are you doing? I mean, not that I mind, but – I am confused.”

“My sweet husband. Can I ask something of you?”

He nodded, head transfixed on the glowing ball Rovy had kicked into the corner, missing how his wife was undressing.

“It’s an act of love,” she said, “to exchange endnames and I think we should do it.”

He looked up; she was now stark naked save for the boots (one never depedimented in company). “I think I can do that,” Ikkje said. He fumbled with the buttons of his own tunic.

She took a step toward him again and put her hands on his hip and kissed him.

“Got to finish dinner,” he mumbled through the kisses.

“The ancients of Earth Prime had such advanced technology and feelings that they could survive on the love hormones produced by their brain and nothing else. We can miss a meal.”

“Why did you make it dark?”

She guided his hands and dragged the mostly naked man to the couch with her, where they fucked. She did not answer his question.

At the moment of climax, or just before, Rovy pushed her husband down and sat astride him and screamed. Wings sprouted from her back like greasy feathered balls; they unfurled with inertia. Some of the dull black feathers fell off immediately, dead leaves, and stuck to the naked legs of Ikkje.

He stared.

Rovy stopped moaning, stopped rocking. “What are you doing?”

“What happened to you? Did you turn the inhibitors off?” His erection was disappearing.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes, I did. And if you had not stopped just now you would’ve got them also. Come on–” She wiggled, but he pushed her off.

The information-ball flickered and its light died.

“I’ll go get the scissors,” he said with a sigh. He picked up his discarded clothing as he went, having some trouble stepping into the tunic.

“I thought we were married!” she screamed. Her wings didn’t obey her, or she didn’t know which muscles to flex yet. They were still extending their span, still shedding feathers and exposing black skin underneath.

Her husband re-entered the room. He flicked the lights on and it was like thunder and a flash of lightning when the machines of the household started awake again. Except, the ligthning didn’t end. In his left hand he held an instrument called the scissors or, by the Tyrants that brought them down to earth many years ago, Retro-Inhibitors. They were for wing-clipping.

“Turn around and I’ll get them off you, love,” he said, doleful look in his eyes.

Rovy shook her head. “I’m divorcing you, but I’m keeping your name as an act of love.”

He tilted his head.

“This,” she said, “this you and all this, is not enough.”

~

There was a lamppost outside their house, the last thing before the emptiness started. Out there were animals. Rather than let her damage herself by headbutting the lamppost, the city let the lamppost break off, and Rovy took it with her out into the emptiness.

“What are you doing?” the lamppost asked. Rovy continually bit off parts of it until there was only the ‘head’ part left.

“I need information from you.”

“Best bet is to go to the Information Market, my–”

“I’m using you as a proxy now. You’re still connected to Human City, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am. You can’t use me as a proxy though.”

“Excuse me?”

“Proxies have been forbidden. Word from on high.”

Rovy stared up at the everclouds. There were tiny holes in the sky where angels had fallen through, but they were mostly covered up now. Her wings ached and every so often they would spasm and she would fall to the ground. They were still black, a little drier now and less greasy, but they didn’t have any of the grace the dead bewinged man that had fallen in front of her had.

She found a pond of rainwater and stared at her mirror image through it. Just then her left wing jerked and threw her to the side, but she could balance herself. “This is where I die,” she told the lanternhead, and hurled the thing as far away as she could. By the time Human City had extended a modest bicylcle path that way, there were only a few feathers left to speak that Rovy had ever been there. The lanternhead positioned itself on the right side and sprouted one long leg until it was lamppost length again.

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