Once I would have said I wanted “freedom” — the freedom to range, to explore, to soar as high as I liked — but I wouldn’t have said that, because freedom was the atmosphere in which I swam. Once I would have said, “knowledge, to know everything” and I did say that once, as a child, and Yuki-Iskri smiled and said, “The universe is big.”
I was six or seven then, and I replied that I’d want to know everything anyway. I looked at the night sky and my mind was large enough to compass that sight, so I thought that knowing the details of it shouldn’t present an insuperable difficulty.
I hadn’t learned my limits. I would have told you at nineteen that I looked forward to finding them — except that it wasn’t in the sky that I found them but on the ground, and some of it was merely that I was free and others were not, which is to say that I was a different sort of cog in the machinery.
I think I had the sense that studying the past would free me. If it was far enough back, nobody cared. In present tense, people told all sorts of comforting lies.
Character interview with the archaeologist and Expedition Chief, Martisset yr Astok, from NaNo 2013, Inside the Jump. Weekend Writing Warriors offers eight-sentence excerpts from a variety of writers; see the other excerpts here.
A fantastic character voice, carefully crafted prose, another fantastic snippet!
Wow, I so love this. Beautifully written, many phrases to savor. Just an excellent excerpt!
Love that last line.
I love the introspection!
Thank you all for the comments! These excerpts come from the character interviews, which have a very different tone from the novel for which they were the preparation. As I read both the comments and the original interviews, I’m seeing a whole cycle of stories taking shape in this same universe.
Comforting lies, indeed. A little less comforting when you know they’re lies. I like the decision to study history because it’s truer–though I’m not sure history isn’t full of lies, too.