Author’s note: In preparation for NaNoWriMo 2009, someone put up daily prompts on one of the forums. I did them in the spirit of warm-ups, but some of them turned into stories. Here is one such.
Prompt: A story in 200 words
Bronze Age burial. Female, mid-twenties, well-nourished for the era; the striations on the bone indicate no consistent overload on the muscles corresponding to heavy work. Skull fractured by ceremonial axe. Buried in common grave with others of the same age, presumably the court of the chieftain. Remains were accompanied by jewelry and other grave goods.
Well, clawed her way to the top of the ladder and for this—buried, at least not buried alive—rather prematurely when the boss kicked off. Remember those Chinese crockery soldiers were a substitute for the real thing. Much more economical to make ceramic simulacra of the emperor’s court than to bury the whole lot of them. Not so much humanitarianism, I suspect, as primitive labor economics.
They want to take it with them. I watch boss-man and I see the narrow childish greed in those eyes. Envy. What someone else has that he doesn’t. He flew to Paris and all he can talk about is the hundred-dollar-apiece meal he and his entourage ate there. The chamber of commerce or whatever they call it loves people like this who are not ordinary tourists. They spend five to ten times what the ordinary tourists do.
(Process information: 10/9/2009 5:17 pm to 5:23 pm; 6 minutes, 199 words)