Mavra was five years old when her parents emigrated from the ship-colonies. She had witnessed one funeral under the open sky of the True Ocean, stars blazing overhead, voices raised from ship to ship, before her near kin boarded a relay shuttle to the spaceport Karisalay-Prime.
The first leg of the journey was by water, the second by air over the Great Desert of the Interior. They set down in South Continent briefly, because it was Midsummer and everything on the Continent shut down for the holidays at the turnings of the solar year.
Mavra, five years old, watched the Horse Festival for which South Continent was famed: watched the stampede in which brightly ornamented children of her own age were tied to their mounts and let loose in a barely restrained stampede. Thunder, dust, whinnying horses, squealing children — those were shrieks of delight, and she yearned to join them.
But anarchic as that looked, they’d trained.
Afterward, she exchanged treats with a little boy about her age, his face streaked with blood and dirt; his face grinned round and cheerful above his festival gear of padded satin surcoat and breeches.
Update: Shipwright, Captain, Figurehead is now a completed novella. This week’s excerpt is the opening lines of “In the Breath of the Groves and the Brightness of the Stars,” a short story set in the Ship’s Heart universe.
Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from many different writers. For the full selection, see here.