Time of Isolation, Chapter 8 Part 4

Again as the election draws near I’m adding a link to a cartoon created in 1948, and addresses issues that are as relevant today as when it was created and released. Please take the few minutes (around 9 minutes) it will take and watch, and take what it states seriously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El7qgQXd-xs

Last week members of the team head out and are introduced to the first manmade cave that once again was discovered by Shellian. Once they arrive, it becomes obvious that there are new mysteries that must be solved, and during a conversation between the members who are here, Saige kind of drifts away looking at what do about a possible relationship with Seirra, and has no ready answers to the situation. Eventually he hears his sister call his name bringing him out of his introspection. And then, as a team, they head back.

Once they return the team learns how close they are to being out of food. While the original goal had been to divide the food into caches, and place one of the caches in the newly discovered cave, it is now apparent there isn’t enough. In fact there’s a good chance there isn’t enough to last until the end of winter. This changes the focus and direction, and with the smell of cooking food it is announced the dinner is ready and all head to the communal fire to eat. (The Survival Trilogy, Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, are available from your favorite EBook retailer.) And now on to part 4:

While eating one of the men mentioned that as they had explored that they had heard a sound that kind of sounded like a whoosh, and had lasted for a little while before growing quiet again. But where the sound had been coming from appeared to be through a narrow deep ravine that dropped out of sight, allowing no view into the area where the sound had originated. He stated that they had stood there for a short while before continuing and had heard other sounds in that area there was similar, but seemed to be more distant. Stone then brought up that since this had been an active volcano sometime in the past that most likely what they were hearing were geysers, and there probably were a number of hot springs in the area also. According to the size of the canyon, it could have a number of protected meadows, which could be snow free due to the heat. Of course by not seeing what had been described he could not be really sure.

“So Staven, do you think you could find it again?” Stone asked.

Shaking his head Staven said, “I’m not really sure. You see that was back at the beginning of winter, one of the first ones I went out on.” Turning to Seve he asked. “I think you were with me that time; do you remember where it was, at all?”

Thinking before answering he knew that he had always been one that could easily get lost. Directions such as north, south, east, west, meant nothing and he could get turned around easily. He found that he normally had to depend on the other member of the team to locate a specific direction. “Come on Staven you know I could get lost just heading outside of this cave. There is no way I could take anybody to where that location is. I probably wouldn’t even recognize it if I was standing in the very spot where we first heard that sound.”

Sighing Staven said, “Okay, I’ll have to think about it. But it may take a little time for me to remember. We’ve been all over these mountains; well at least all over them close to camp. And I have been out a number of times since then and haven’t been back close to that area, so I will just have to work on recalling where we were. And before you say it’s important, believe me I know. But I didn’t consider it so at the time so I did not lock the location in my mind. So right now it could be any number of places. So let me think about it.”

Shellian looking over the group asked. “Have any of you heard or found a similar thing such as these possible hot springs while you were out exploring?” Again no one answered. Shaking her head she said, “I guess I can take that as a no then.”

Later that night before they retired to their separate sleeping areas, Shellian said, “Saige I really do hope that Staven remembers. You know what may be a good idea is to send Stone out with him. Geology is one of Stone’s specialties and maybe between the two of them they can find those, what did he call them, oh yes, geysers. I’ve never seen one – I bet they are spectacular.”

“What”, Saige asked, “a bunch of hot water shooting out of a hole in the ground? You think something like that would be spectacular?”

“Oh come on Saige. Can’t you see that something like that has to have beauty tied with it? I know that if one was to be foolish enough to be too close when it let loose that it could kill or at least severely injure you, but I really bet that they have their own beauty.”

“Could be, but right now that’s the last thing on my mind. I can only hope that Staven remembers and that it is as Stone hopes. But with no idea as to where, we’ll keep our rotation, and without a location we may, once again be in serious trouble.” Breathing out deeply he continued, “Anyway, I’m tired, and once again we have much too much going on even for winter time to find any real time to relax. See you in the morning Shell’.” He then turned and went into his area and prepared to sleep. She watched him go shrugged and then retired herself. She thought as he left that he really seemed a bit down. Not surprising really, since it wasn’t that long ago that indeed they were still just a brother and sister continuing their training just outside their city, with no thoughts beyond what the next day would bring. Now all of that appeared to be no more than a dream, and the reality they were stuck in now was, at times, crushing. It appeared that when one problem was solved, so many more appeared to take its place. “Oh well”, she said to no one in particular since she was alone. She then sighed and laid down to go to sleep. While she had been with them when they went back to newly discovered cave, there had been much going on here also, and the day just flew for everyone, and once again she found herself almost asleep instantly.

* * *

Another storm had struck in the night, but this one appeared to lack the strength of the others that they had faced so far. And by late afternoon was gone. They hoped that it was a sign saying that winter could be close to an end. But when they stepped out after the storm left it was bitterly cold. It had to be well below freezing, and the breeze that was with it just cut right through whatever they were wearing. Exposed skin felt like it was freezing almost immediately, so after an initial foray out of the cave everyone stayed inside. How was it that it looked so inviting and warm outside but was just the opposite? Standing at the entrance and looking out through a small opening Saige wondered if they were going to make it. There had been so many friends lost during their flight to here, and while presently they were okay. there was no proof that it would continue that way. He could feel the pressure building inside of him, as decisions that needed to be made were not coming to him. Shaking his head he thought, once again that he really had no desire to be put in charge of anybody, let alone this group, but he knew that he could not forsake the trust that Shayne had put in him and Shellian. Shaking his head once again, he thought, Four women pregnant and one at least halfway through her term. Don’t these people realize what a complication this adds? Or do they not care and are looking for whatever comfort they can find? Well he knew that it was cold here and it seemed that at night that the women were cold and to have a warm body next to them was a comfort. Unfortunately it never remained just a warm body next to them and now without the protection that was available in the cities they were paying the price for these indiscretions. Not that he could blame them. Even Shellian had mentioned that she was cold at night and the thought of having Saar next to her to help keep her warm was a temptation, which so far she had avoided . . . but for how long? He knew that both of them were right for each other, and again only because of the circumstances they remained separate.

That brought him full circle to his own situation and the fact that Seirra was still trying to get his attention. He really did not know what to do about it. So far he had kept his distance by using his position as leverage and what conversations they had were quite impersonal. But he knew that shortly he was going to have to make some kind of decision about her, and truth be told he really had no idea. Up until Shellian had pointed it out to him he had really never paid that close attention to Seirra. But since that time he had observed her, when he felt that he would not be intruding, or because he was one of the leaders that it would appear that he was marking out his territory, he could see her interest. So far he felt that he had been successful. Taking a deep breath he then thought about her. He had to admit that she definitely was attractive, and yet . . . and yet there was this subtle feeling that she did not see it herself – her natural beauty. Just a little shorter than Shellian, she had a lithe athletic build, and seemed to be able to move with a natural grace that most of the other women that had survived lacked. In fact the only other woman that moved that way was Shellian. It spoke of strength, intelligence, and an awareness of the physical world around them. When he thought about it, in many ways, the two of them were quite similar. He was surprised that he hadn’t noticed it before. Yet when she was around him she seemed shy, almost withdrawn. It was something he really did not understand.

He realized suddenly that someone was just behind him. Thinking it was his sister he said without turning around. “Shell’, what are we going to do?” Then realizing that it wasn’t Shellian he turned and saw that the person standing behind and close to him was Seirra. He smiled even though it was a sad smile and said. “Sorry Seirra, I thought you were Shellian.”

She was looking up into his eyes and he saw doubt and maybe a little lack of confidence there. “Saige, I saw you standing over here by the entrance and you just looked lonely and somewhat forlorn, and I thought I would come over and see if there was anything I could do to help.”

Again with a sad smile he said, “Seirra, are you trying to mother me? I know it’s a natural thing for women to want to do. But I do thank you for the offer.” Then before he realized he put his arms around her and hugged her. For some reason it just felt natural and right. She had put her head on his chest and sighed softly as she clung to him. He then realized that he was beginning to have another physical reaction that was completely unexpected. And he knew that she could feel it also and at that point she clung tighter to him. At this point he knew that she knew, but before anything could be said they heard a heated argument between two of the women, he released her and left to see what was going on and if he or Shellian would have to intervene. Having four pregnant women around was not the easiest of situations to deal with.

* * *

With the pressures of leadership pressing down upon him, Saige is standing by the entrance looking out on a frozen world that is bitterly cold even though with the sunshine it appears not to be. It is during this time, as his thoughts look back and then to the present, he hears someone approaching. Thinking it is his sister he begins to make a statement only to realize that the one who has approached is Seirra. It is during this moment that they hug and he finds he’s having an unexpected physical reaction to the contact and knows that she knows by her reaction. And while this is taking place we end with an argument between some of the other women that breaks up this brief encounter leaving us with his thoughts about the situation with these women. Have a great week, and God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)



Time of Isolation, Chapter 8 Part 3

With elections only weeks away I came across this, for which I happen to agree, and thought before getting into this week’s post I’d post a link:  http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/socialism.html

With the storm finally breaking Saige heads outside to view the conditions and realizes that there is no way any more explorations will be happening in the near future. During this time Shellian joins him,  and begins to discuss the situation, and the fact that their food supply is low. And with four of the females carrying their first child she fears that the nutritional needs for the unborn will be lacking, which could lead to complications further down the road.

Once she makes these points she moves on to Seirra who seems to have eyes only for Saige. He has to admit to his sister that he is quite unaware of this, and Shellian wonders how he can be so dense. During this conversation she brings up many of the differences and insecurities that women seem to have, and that he, by ignoring Seirra, might actually be undermining her personal confidence in herself. Saige protests, stating by being one of the leaders he cannot rightfully ask any of the females into his  life, for which Shellian puts him in his place. This week we pick up the story a short time later. (The Survival Trilogy: Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, are available from your favorite EBook retailers.) And with this we are ready to move into part 3:

The respite was short and another storm closed down on them and lasted another seven days burying everything deeper in a blanket of white. When any would venture out they would have to clear the entrance. But finally it did break and the suns shown brightly, almost blinding any who ventured from the gloom of the cave. During the time of the storm Saige finally put forth the effort to at least talk with Seirra, finding that she was somewhat shy and insecure around him. He found that at least for the moment these attributes were drawing him towards her. But at least for the time being he kept her at a distance. He really needed to think this through. He still worried about how beginning this relationship could be seen by the others in their group, but shrugged when he realized that his sister had been right. In truth it was none of their business. As long as he was not using his power as a leader to force someone into coupling with him there was nothing any could say. And he was trying very hard to make sure that he avoided doing that.

With the storm over he organized a team to go with him to the first cave that they had located. It was now the plan to move some of their supplies to this location so that if something disastrous was to fall on them here at their primary location that they would have at least something to fall back on. After discussing what they had discovered some speculation had gone on about the possibility that there could be more of these caves closer to their present location. But with all the searching and exploring that had previously been accomplished in the area, and with none found, there was no ready answer. Other questions had come naturally to mind, such as who had built them, why half to a full day apart and why did they seem to either begin or end where they did? Again with so little known there were no ready answers yet. Of course they could be close by, but were hidden well enough that they had yet to be discovered. This first trip would have the purpose of pinning the location for the ones who had not been there. Then when he and Shellian headed out to continue their search Stone and Saar would organize the shifting of some of their supplies.

Saar remained at the cave while Stone was one of the party members with Seve, and Staven to round the group out to five, leaving ten back at camp to assist in the division of supplies. Eventually the group reached the meadow area where Shellian and he had taken their mid-day meal. Like before it was windy and quite cold. So they pushed through and then around to the lee side and immediately felt warmer once out of the harsh wind. Here he let Shellian lead the group to the cave. Like the one they presently were living in, this cave was almost invisible to any who did not know where it was. Stone shaking his head asked, “Shellian, how do you do it? I mean both caves, this one, and the one we live in, is almost impossible to locate, and see, unless you happen to be in the right place, you can’t see it. And even when it is pointed out it takes one a little while to find it. Yet, you seem to just do it.”

Smiling and shaking her head she said. “Stone I don’t have an answer for you. All I know is that when I look at a hillside like this there is something about it that is wrong. I can’t even tell you what that wrong is, but once I sense its wrongness then I start searching for the why. And so far it has revealed these caves. So when I figure it out I will definitely pass it on, and that’s really the best I can do for now. But now you understand why I have to be on the team that is locating these things. I just seem to be able to find them while none of the rest of you can. And since my brother and I are a trained team, this is why we are the ones who will continue the exploration. We just work very well together. So while we are gone on this next leg of our search, both you and Saar will be in charge. Not that we haven’t already explained that, but now that you and the rest of this team has seen this cave I believe it now is clear as to why it is us that must continue on.”

Then Saige spoke. “I know that since Shayne made us the leaders that it may not seem smart for both of us to go out and do this and be away from the group for as long as this takes, but Shellian has stated it much better than I ever could. We, she and I, are a team, and as such know how each thinks and reacts which gives us an edge. But I do believe that you Stone, and Saar back at camp, are good seconds. So if the unthinkable did happen and we were lost then the two of you could carry on. I don’t know how else to say it.”

“Saige, I wasn’t complaining about what the two of you are about to do. I just wish one of the other of us were going also. But I understand why. Our group is so small that losing you two would be a burden on our survival, but three could be enough loss especially with as many of our women who are with child now, that we could perish. It’s a tough decision however one goes about it.”

“True, Stone. And I know that you weren’t complaining, it’s just by you being on site where the first of these were found, you can now understand why we decided as we did. Believe me we do not like the idea of both of us out for the time we figure to be gone and leave the rest of you alone like that, but as you have stated there really is little choice. Shall we go up to the cave?” Seeing no objections he signaled Shellian to lead on.

She led them up to the entrance and then inside with the rest discovering what they had when it was first located. Soft powdery dirt floor, a soft glow coming from the walls, and warmth that was not overpowering but comfortable. A perfect place for any of the small wild beasts in the area, and yet there was no sign that any had ever been inside. “It sure would be nice to know what the builders of this cave used to keep the animals out.” Seve said.

“Yeah, wouldn’t it.” Staven answered. “It sure would make it nice to have back in the cave where we are. We seem to be continually fighting those small creatures. Always into something and we can never find where they are coming from or where they go once we chase them away.”

“Well all of you, you now know where this thing is. Shall we eat before we head back?” Shellian asked. There were no arguments, so they sat in the cave and ate their travel rations before preparing for the return trip. “You know Shellian I surely would like to know how you do it. I know you’ve said that you don’t know yourself . . . but what a talent. If it hadn’t been for you and your talent how much longer would it have been before we would have found shelter, and then would we have had enough time to prepare for this winter? Although right now I am beginning to worry a little, since we have no idea how long it lasts up here in the mountains, are we going to have enough food to get us through the rest of the time?” Pausing a moment and organizing his thoughts, Seve continued, “If we were below where we came from I would say that winter was almost over, but up here I just don’t have a clue.” The rest had to agree. None of them had a clue. They had lived in the lower lands all their lives, and had never even ventured into these mountains. After all the cities were their sanctuaries and up until the primitives found a way into them, the same cities had been their protection.

Thinking back while the others discussed general issues, Saige let his mind drift to a future meeting with Seirra. He had to admit that he found her quite attractive. And again if he thought about it he probably would have been interested in her back when they still were in the city. But at that time their work and training had never brought them into contact with each other. So until this disaster struck the city she was an unknown. He realized that with so few women that it limited one’s choices. He laughed inwardly as this sounded to him like he was out choosing some beast of burden, or maybe some type of material or other item he had planned on making his own. Not a real live person, who had their own ideas, rights, feelings, and views on things. Shaking his head he came back to it and realized that in some ways when one of the opposite sex did join with another they both gave up some things, compromised on many, and yet remained who they were essentially. So while there had been very little really said at this point – he really felt that he was walking on sharp stones here – he could see that she was attracted to him. It was something that he had not noticed until Shellian very pointedly stated that he had been blind and that by completely ignoring the situation was really making things worse.

So he began to watch her now and then and found that indeed just as Shellian had stated, Seirra continued to be in places that would keep him in her sight and to be in places where they would “accidentally be in contact”. Yet as busy as he had been, and he had to admit to it, blind, he really never saw it. He guessed that part of the reason lay in the fact that they had more men than women and because of his position he considered himself outside of the right to couple with any of women. After all that would be an abuse of the power he had been entrusted. And presently while his contact with her had only been brief with conversations never getting past the polite stage such as “Have a nice day”, and such he found that his thoughts continued to return to her. Again shaking his head he did not understand it at all. There just had not been enough of anything between them for him to begin to think about her this often. Then he worried that if they started getting serious how would the rest treat her. Since he could not be there all the time to protect her if things became ugly, well it just added another burden and complication to the “what ifs”. Again going back to the conversation with Shellian, he knew that she was correct. But human nature being what it was, this would not change the possibility that she would become a target, and someone to use against him or as a tool to get he and Shellian to allow someone to get away with something. Shrugging inwardly, he found that he could come up with all sorts of problems that could happen because of this possible relationship with Seirra. He was then brought back to reality when Shellian asked. “So Saige are you ready to return with the rest of us to camp? Or are you just planning on staying here as a hermit?” That brought a laugh from the rest as he realized that everyone else was packed and ready to head back but he had done nothing.

Embarrassed a little he said, “Sorry. I was deep in thought there and hadn’t realized that you all were ready to head back . . . just a sec here and I’ll be ready.”

Then Shellian hit the mark with the comment. “I am sure we all know where your thoughts were Saige, and I don’t really think it was on what we were discussing here.”

He smiled and said nothing, not wanting to dig a hole any deeper than it obviously already was. He grabbed his pack and then joined the other four and they headed back to the main camp. Shellian then came up beside him and whispered. “I haven’t been your sister and partner all these years not to know how to read your sign.” She then continued on ahead like nothing was said. He looked down briefly and smiled. If ever there was a truer statement he hadn’t heard of it. He knew that he could do the same with her, so it was only right to know that she could do it also.

It was late in the day with the suns setting that the five made their way back into the camp. When they entered the cave Shellian and Saige found that the rest had been busy working on sorting, and separating their supplies. When the two of them looked at the supplies that were left it seemed like so little. Now alarmed Saige wondered, would there be enough to make this division, and worse, was there enough to get them through this winter. Fifteen people go through a lot of materials, and now with four carrying it increased the need. Looking over at Shellian he could see the concern in her eyes also. But what could they do? Was there someplace that they could find some of the grazers to increase their meat? Or because like them food was scarce during winter, would there even been enough meat on them to be able to provide meat for them? Great! He thought. Now we will have to wait to continue our exploration, and now go and see if we can find additional food. When will this winter end? He then said. “Saar I see you have been busy while we were gone. I guess the next question I have is, is this all that we have left?”

Shaking his head Saar said. “I’m afraid so. It’s a lot less than I thought we had. As one pile it doesn’t look too bad. But once you separate it down like this it becomes obvious how little we have left. It is a worrisome thing. I mean we have no idea how much longer until spring arrives. Looking at this I have calculated that if we kept everything here, and I suspect that is what we must do by the way, that we have about thirty to thirty five days worth of food. And if we ration it a little, maybe extend it by ten to fifteen days, but that’s all. And the women who are now with child we cannot reduce what they need or their unborn children and they themselves will suffer because of it – and that is the reality of it Saige. I’m sorry but there it is.”

“Okay then, there it is and none of us can change it. So any additional exploring or discovering will have to wait. Does anyone here have some suggestions as to where we could find foods to supplement our dwindling supplies?” Saige thought that since each member had been out and had searched and opened other areas that were unknown to them that there was a possibility they had either seen something or remembered something that could help. But at this moment all he was met with was silence. Looking at each member before continuing he then stated. “We have no choice left to us. If the weather holds, and I cannot guarantee that one, then we are going out as teams of three as hunting parties or teams of two for searching. So that if something is found such as a grazer, then two can dress it out while the other returns to get others so that we can then haul the meat back. I only want two teams out at a time that way if something is located then there will be enough bodies to get the carcass. Any team that goes out must, and I emphasize must, be back by dark whether successful or not. And on that happy note let’s just get to the evening. Tomorrow this all begins in earnest. Oh Saar, since you are our only medical help here you are stuck. So I guess I am going to keep you assigned to rationing the food. With the women who are pregnant we need you here just in case something happens with any one of them. Pick a second among our group to assist you. And if I smell things right it smells like food is ready to eat so shall we?”

* * *

Nothing appears to be easy, and part of the team make the trek to the first newly discovered manmade cave. With these five members it is thought that any can now make the trek here if need be. During this time at the cave Saige’s mind wonders as he looks at the possible relationship between him and Seirra or how it will be seen. He honestly doesn’t know what to do and how it will go, or what the consequences will be for her if something works out between them. They, the team members, then head back to their winter camp and learn, once arriving that their food supply is critically low. So with a shift of plans it is now critical they locate additional food supplies or suffer the consequences. And with this we close out part three. Have a great week, and God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 8 Part 2

Saar is worried, and for good reason. A storm has arrived dumping additional snow. And it is snowing presently, and with no sign of the two leaders, he’s at a loss as to what to do and in which direction to go. Still he knows that with the present conditions no one can leave to search for the two missing leaders – if he had any idea where they might be. It is during this time that Stone shows up and they begin to discuss the situation  since winter is still with them. Two-thirds of the females are now carrying, and the first, Sorrel appears to prefer multiple partners leaving it unknown as to who the father of the unborn child is. And with her personality it appears she might decide to drop hints to those unknown partners, leading to jealously, and creating a situation where it could bring the situation out into the open leading to conflict between them.

It is during this discussion that Saar asks if Stone is involved with Sorrel for which he denies any involvement. He also confirms that there is no way that Saige, with his responsibilities, is involved with any of the females. And as far as the females that only leaves Shellian who is becoming serious with Saar, but both are too responsible to actually become secretly or openly involved, and Seirra who seems to show no interest towards any of the males, as the only two who aren’t carrying. (The Survival Trilogy: Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, are available from your favorite EBook retailer.) Here is where we end part 1 and with this we now head into part two:

Both Saar and Stone jumped when another familiar voice answered. They thought they were alone and had been deep in their conversation. “Damn it Saige!” Saar exclaimed. “Where or maybe I should say when did you get here?”

Standing next to Saige was Shellian, and then smiling he said, “Oh long enough to get most of what this conversation was covering. Parts of it we were aware of but the two of you have confirmed some of what we were not sure of. Now before the two of you start asking questions of us we need to get a little food, and warm up a bit. This storm was a surprise, and while we had clothes enough, when that fog dropped on top of us it changed the look of everything. We had to be careful not to go in circles since all of our landmarks had been obscured. This slowed us down somewhat. Anyway we will call a general meeting once we have had a chance to eat something and relax a little. Until then we will allow you to remain in charge. You can pass it on that we want to talk with everyone. On this trip, well let’s say we found something interesting, kind of tantalizing, but for now that’s all I’ll say. See you shortly.” And with that both of the leaders headed deeper into the cave to grab something to eat and to relax for a short time.

Looking over at Stone Saar said. “I almost jumped out of my skin there. I mean I thought we were alone and then to have them both there without either you or I sensing they were here, well you know what I mean.”

“Yeah doc I do. But you got to remember that they were the best at stealth. So if any could sneak up on us and leave us unaware it would be them.”

“I agree, but we were discussing some very sensitive information here, and had others come close enough to hear us then something might have gotten out to the rest that could be misconstrued, or changed to be damaging. I guess we will just have to be more careful when we discuss this kind of thing in the future. But I am glad that they are back, safe, and I for one will be glad to give them back the reins to this small group. I never wanted it in the first place, but know that I or maybe you will have to do it again once they have to go out again as a team.”

“I know that both of us have their trust. And it is something that I don’t take lightly, and both of us know that they would never put Schylar in charge, but that doesn’t keep him from trying.” Pausing for a moment Stone continued, “Again I know that neither you nor I ever want to be the leader here, and I think that is why we end up being in charge when they are gone.”

* * *

“Okay all, since it is obvious that we were out a lot longer than the plan had called for there had to be a reason for us to extend out exploration.” Looking around to make sure he had the entire group’s attention Saige continued. “I think that I will allow Shellian to fill you in on the initial find since, as usual, she was the one who discovered it. I don’t know why or how but she has a talent for finding caves – Shellian . . .”

“Okay Saige, simply stated we were taking our mid-day meal break when I noticed something amiss, kind of like when I found this cave, and then went to explore to answer my curiosity. At the time Saige was out in another direction gathering wood for our fire. He came back to the spot where we had set up and of course I wasn’t there.” She then went on to explain what she had found, and at that point turned it back over to Saige.

“Needless to say we were excited to have found this cave. But as she has stated it was much too small to act as a second camp area. But it’s manmade, not natural. So that got us to wondering if maybe some other people had survived the great wars and had escaped to these very mountains. We then became worried that if that was fact they could still be here and we could be under observation. Yet, both the cave and the path showed no use in the recent past. In fact we felt that it hadn’t been used in a very long time. The path was almost nonexistent, and we sensed more than saw it.” He then went on to explain the finding of a second cave along the path. Here they had made the decision to continue up the path for another full day before returning, knowing that it would extend their time out to twice the planned time. But they had hoped to find an answer to this new riddle. “At least with the way they are protected, we can use them for caches of additional supplies and know that they will be safe. Unfortunately all we found on that additional day of travel were two more of the caves. Yet the pathway or trail continues deeper into the mountains. So as soon as this storm ends and we have some decent weather once again we will continue our search up that pathway. Plus while we are waiting, I want some of our supplies divided out so that we can begin using the closest as our first cache.” He then concluded by saying. “I don’t know who made those caves only that the technology is similar to ours, but with a couple of advancements I am unfamiliar with. So I am hopeful that at the end of this trail we will have our answer as to who is responsible for this cave system.”

* * *

It took another seven days before the quiet storm finally broke. Anytime someone went outside they found a world shrouded in a heavy freezing fog and mist, but with no winds at all. It was a silent white world that completely changed the area from what they were familiar with. Even with the snow that had fallen before this storm, the changes it brought were great. Landmarks now were under a meter of new snow, which was powdery. If one ventured out into it without the shoes for snow they would find themselves up to their waists in the white stuff. Surprising to any who did venture out was that it did not feel cold even though it had to be close or below freezing. Finally on the eighth day the fog finally dissipated and a bright sunny day dawned. But with the fog gone it now became bitterly cold and winds began to blow and the powder drift with those winds changing, once again, the landscape.

Saige, staring out at the scene before him, was eager to get back out and to find where that trail would lead them. But now with this new snow he also knew that it would be almost impossible. So with impatience building that he had to fight down, he had to wait, and probably now with this last storm it might not happen until spring – whenever that would be. He sighed turned and went back inside. As he did he found his sister standing next to him. “Okay sis how long have you been standing there?”

“Oh long enough to see the frustration on your face. I know that you want to get back out there. Well, so do I. But nature decided that we must wait. I know that you have been tempted to go ahead and just do it, but I can also see that you haven’t given in to those temptations. Anyway the reason I needed to talk to you wasn’t this. Our food supplies are beginning to get a little thin. I suspect that we will probably have enough, but being unsure how long we are going to be stuck in winter I don’t know. Stone also informed me that we should probably get a detail together and find some additional wood. Now I wish those caves that we found were larger since they self heat. We then would only need the wood for the cooking fires. Also with so many pregnant women around I worry about their nutritional needs. We don’t have everything we normally would. So I worry about the health of their unborn children. Plus if you haven’t noticed they are eating more, which is digging deeper into our limited supplies. So we really need to be prepared to send out parties soon even if there are signs that this winter isn’t over.

Oh by the way I’ve noticed how Seirra seems to only have eyes for you, and keeps being around you whenever it is possible. I think she really is trying to get your attention.”

Looking down with a slight frown on his face he said, “Really? I’ve been so busy with, oh just about everything like you that I haven’t even noticed.”

“Yeah I know, and I can see that it has somewhat frustrated her. I think she really wants to be with you.”

“Oh come on sis, she’d be better off with Stone instead of me. Even though you and I never thought we would be in charge of this group and Shayne would continue to lead, well here we are. And as such I barely have time to think let alone let another woman in my life.”

“Another woman? Who’s the first? You’re not telling me that you are involved with Sorrel are you?”

Laughing he said, “No sis, she has tried but I have no interest that way. If you think about it then the answer is obvious. The first woman is you, of course.”

“Oh. That’s right. I mean I am a woman, it’s just I wasn’t looking at it in that way. After all I am your sister. But I have to admit that does make me a female. Okay that’s a relief that it isn’t Sorrel, but you had me worried there for a moment. But I still find some time for Saar. So there is no reason that you couldn’t find time for Seirra.”

“Easy for you to say . . . by the way did she put you up to this?”

Shaking her head while she smiled she said. “No dear brother, just an observation from that first female in your life that’s all.”

Raising his hands in surrender he said, “Okay, okay I get your point. But come on I barely have time to keep this group together . . . hmmm so how do you find time for Saar? I know that when we go out that both he and Stone are in charge so that means a little more contact, but at times I find it difficult to breath with all of this stuff. I now often wonder how Shayne did it. And as far as I know he had no woman in his life other than his family. And of course that means his sister, since from what little I knew of him their mother had passed a number of years before.”

“So are you trying to emulate him Saige?”

Frowning he leaned forward and asked. “How so, Shell’?”

Exasperated she said. “Okay, now think about it. We both respected him. He did a great job of keeping our unit together, and of course our unit was much larger then. He seemed to be able to lead without effort, but I am sure that was just a front. Since we both now are in charge and I for one have found it much more difficult than I ever imagined. So now I have even more respect for what he accomplished. But if I am going to continue in this role I will not follow him down the path of being single. In fact right now it is probably more important than it was then. We cannot say what is happening with our people or the cities. We are completely isolated, without communication, and we have no way to make contact at all. For all we know we may be the last of our people. And that, dear brother, is a scary thought. So for you, even if it is an unconscious act, that you have decided to become even more like him and remain aloof from the rest and remain single, well I think you are wrong.” She stood then and put her hands on her hips before continuing. “And as far as finding the time oh dear brother, it’s all a matter of perspective.”

Interrupting her he asked, “Perspective? How so?”

Shaking her head she thought. Sometimes he can be so dense. “Okay it’s really simple and I know we all have our blind sides okay? If there is something that we really want to do or get involved with, then for some reason we find the time to do whatever it is. But if it is something that needs to be done and maybe, I don’t know, maybe it’s disagreeable, or not our favorite thing to do in the whole world, well then it just seems like the time is never available to get it accomplished.” Then she said sarcastically, “Funny thing.”

He was quiet for a moment. “Okay sis, point taken. But I worry about such a thing and it’s another reason I did not want to start a relationship with any of the women.”

“And what could that reason be, oh dear bro?”

Breathing out heavily he said. “Look neither you nor I wanted this job when it was given us. But we are stuck, and I know why it was both of us and not just either you or me, or someone else. By having two of us and of the opposite sexes he made sure that there would be a female leader to deal with the females, and a male leader to deal with the males. And that the two leaders would have to be close so that they could talk with each other and keep each other informed. So we were the logical choice. Not only because we are related but also because we have worked as a team for as long as we trained. So we know each other, and we have also garnered respect from the rest of the unit with our skills. And I am sure these were all factors in us getting us placed into this position of leadership.”

“Words are all this is. What is it, don’t you like her?”

Shaking his head as he tried to explain, and found himself doing it badly. “No, no that’s not it. Don’t you see that by becoming interested in one woman that I could alienate both other women who may have thought that it would be nice to be a mate of one of the leaders, and the men who cannot because of the number difference, have a mate. It would be like a power play, you know, using the power of the position to get what I want.”

“Well guess what. They will just have to deal with it. Besides are you going to allow someone else to control you from afar? And there isn’t even proof that any of what you stated is fact or would become fact. Yes I know that it’s one of the many possibilities, but only one. So for me, if for nothing else, would you at least talk to her? I can see that by your obvious actions of ignoring her, you are affecting her and I am beginning to see doubts from her, and her confidence in herself is beginning to fail. She doesn’t understand why.”

“Why? Why what?” He asked perplexed.

Shaking her head she said. “Oh you men. What is it with you? At times I think you are just plain dumb. Whether we like it or not, let’s be honest for a moment okay?” Not saying anything but shaking his head he signaled for her to continue. “In our society both sexes are treated as close to equal as they can be, but nature has made woman to be a little smaller than man. So she generally has to look up to her man. This immediately puts the man as the more important in the relationship, kind of the one in charge from her point of view. It kind of goes back to childhood when you always looked up to your parents, the ones with the authority. I’m sure it’s not meant to be that way, but it is what it is. And I am sure that in many of the relationships that everything is as equal as it can be and others where one partner dominates the other. But generally it is you guys who are the ones in charge. Not that as women we don’t run things. After all there must always be someone behind the scenes to keep everything working. And that’s not to put, we women, in a subservient role here. Look Seirra is not the type of woman who is going to try and bowl you over with her charms or let you know what her feelings are until she knows what yours will be. So she is being herself and trying to get your attention the only way she knows how. And how have you reacted? By completely ignoring her as if she did not exist. That can’t bode well for anyone be it man or woman. Since we all want to feel like we are needed. So when you completely ignore someone like her she begins to wonder if there is something wrong with her. And then that begins to cascade into the many insecurities we women seem to live with.”

“Insecurities? You? I haven’t seen any Shell’.”

“Oh they are there dear brother, they are there. I don’t understand why but can guess that it is probably tied to our hormones that seem to control our lives so much. But who knows the real reason, I don’t.”

“Okay sis, you’ve given much a lot to think about. And I promise to try and find time for Seirra. But I still worry about what the rest will think.”

Glaring at him she said. “Who cares what the rest thinks. Let it take its course. If you two grow to be a couple so be it. If not . . .” She shrugged saying, “Well, so be it also. But at least both of you will know.”

* * *

And as the storm clears it becomes obvious there would be no more exploring. And with the additional discoveries made they begin inventorying their dwindling supplies. This leads to the discovery and knowledge that once this is finished the true state of their supplies will be known. Leaving Shellian with the fact that the nutritional needs of the females carrying their first may be lacking, meaning the unborn may not be getting all they require. It is then that she broaches the subject about Seirra. With this discussion between brother and sister about Seirra, it is here where we close out part two. Have a great week! God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 8 Part 1

Two weeks ago we closed out chapter seven, and this week we begin a new chapter. Looking back and with the closing of chapter seven we find Saige and Shellian with plans to continue their exploration due to what they’ve discovered, and this includes the additional mysteries these discoveries have left them with. As they continue their exploration, deeper into the Sacred Mountains, these unexpected finds have left them wondering if there are others from the same people as their ancestors who could have been forced into these mountains, like they were, to avoid that great war deep in the past.

And with the discovery of that second mysterious cave they push on beyond the planned timeframe as it had originally been scheduled. Again without knowing what they would face or find they had no way to know if the time they originally had set up would be long enough to be successful. So with an executive decision they check their stores or supplies and continue. And so this week, as we open this new chapter, we shift perspectives and head back to the ones left in charge, who aren’t privy to the conversations or plans of the leaders, or what they’ve discovered. (The Survival Trilogy: Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, are available from your favorite EBook retailer.) And with this introduction we open chapter eight:

Saar was worried. Shellian and Saige should have been back two days ago and had yet to make an appearance. He had reluctantly taken over the leadership while they were absent and really did not want to have this position permanently. He had observed both Shellian and Saige while they solved the day-to-day problems and thought for a short time it should be easy. Yet observing verses doing was vastly different. And when he found how petty some of their group was and the small problems that continued and were never solvable he really, really wanted nothing to do with this position ever again. How do they do it? He thought. I just don’t understand. He was their doctor so he was very familiar with responsibility. But there, it was with each, as they had needed his services. So, while overall he was responsible for all of the members, it was only in the role of a doctor, not leader. He was finding that there was a vast difference between the two.

And now it was snowing again. It had started late on the third day and had yet to stop – the only advantage to this storm over others, there were no winds with it. It was dead calm. And when one walked outside in the snowfall it did not feel overly cold. But with the way snow fell and the patterns the mind formed with the falling snow it was easy to get disorientated. So again where were they? Did something happen that has either injured or killed them? Oh my how he hoped not. It was not only the fact that he and Shellian were becoming serious, but as small as their group was losing just one more was a bad thing. But two would be devastating. With confirmation now that four of the six women were pregnant, this factor alone would put a large burden on them, but to reduce their numbers by two could be fatal. He found that he continued to watch the opening to outside hoping that any moment they would come through and join them inside the cave.

Looking around to the rest he could sense that they were as uneasy about the situation as he. Again where were they? He saw Stone approaching took a deep breath and when he stood next to him asked. “What can I do for you Stone?”

“Not much doc. I can see that you are worried about our two leaders and I was going to ask yesterday to grab someone and go out and search for them. But first the clouds dropped down and formed a thick fog, and then when it lifted it began to snow. So I knew that you would say no. And while I might have disagreed with you I knew that you would be right. So what do you want to do?”

“To tell the truth I don’t know. I would love to be out there trying to locate them, but as you have so well stated, the weather is once again against us. So I guess we just have to wait. Yeah I know waiting is a very hard thing to do, but it would be foolish to go out in this stuff. If something has happened to them then there’s nothing we could do anyway. But as you and I know we are experts in living in the wilderness, and before you protest I know it was down where we came from. But much of what applied there applies here also. And because we know what to look for, anything that is different we learn quickly. Think about it Stone, just how much we’ve already learned up here? And we’ve been here such a short time overall. Again I know that at times when we are locked inside this cave that it seems to be an eternity. After all we are used to the open spaces and not spending all of our time inside a cave like this.”

Sitting down and thinking about what Saar said, he realized why Saige and Shellian had left him in charge when it was their turn to explore. Yet he could see that Saar was nervous about it and really did not like being the leader. Still because of those reservations he probably was a good choice. He knew that a couple here really wanted to be in charge, and he thanked whoever was in charge of watching them from above that when Saige and Shellian left that they did not put one of those in charge – especially Schylar. He could see him pestering both Shellian and Saige all the time to take over while they were gone. It was obvious that he was power hungry. But while he had these ambitions he did not have the skills – not that any could tell him. He had an overblown view of himself and his abilities. If one was around him long enough he would tell you what the two in charge were doing wrong and how he could do it so much better. He had convinced at least one of the women in the group and she was now sleeping with him. And Storme was now pregnant with his child. So it went deeper than just believing what he spouted around the camp. At least that relationship was obvious. Stone then came back around from his thoughts and looked back at Saar and said, “I know what you mean. It is so tough to have to just wait – when it is easier to just go do . . . whether doing is right or wrong. So I commend you on not giving in and allowing any of us to go looking. You did good.”

“Thank you for that Stone. Believe me it was one of the things I really wanted to do – you know go and find them. But I realized how stupid that was. Yes we know approximately where they were going. But again that’s only an approximate. According to what they’ve found would then determine if they stayed on the planned route or went a different direction. Heck I know that even extending their time out was included and I am hoping that is exactly what this is. Oh while you are here, sorry different subject here, I am worried with only two of our women not carrying what this will do for the rest of us. I know that you are not involved with any of them so I am not accusing you of anything here at all. It’s just as these women come to term it will be difficult for them as well as the rest of us. I think that we are pretty strained now. But when the babies arrive, and from what I can see other than Sorrel, the other three will be close together when their time comes, that these women will be incapacitated for a short time while they are healing and nursing their newborn. I am sure that the men that have fathered these children will be distracted also. It is only right that it should be this way. Of course with Sorrel no one knows who slept with her or who the father is. We may never know other than it has to be one of us. And I am not saying either you or I, since I am sure that neither of us joined her in her bed. But whoever it was, and again I am sure with her personality it was more than one of us she bedded, it will again be a distraction for those men. I know I’m a little long winded here but I see how you kind of observe what’s happening so I thought it would be a good idea to bring you up to speed with my concerns. Anyway it means with at least half of our group either out or distracted it could lead to problems, accidents and not enough of us left to be able to provide what we need. Plus I do not have any of the necessary pain drugs to ease these births. I regret it, but we barely have anything at all that I had at my disposal back in the city. Now don’t think that you are the only one I am telling this to. I’ve kept both of our leaders informed. Although I already know that Shellian is quite aware of all of this. I guess I could or maybe should say that it was she that brought it to my attention, even though I was kind of aware of it. Does this make sense to you?”

Sitting down next to Saar, Stone thought a moment before answering. “I know of only one other woman in our group that is pregnant, are you telling me that it’s more than that?”

“Yes actually four are, and no, Shellian is not one of them. The only other woman who is not at this time is Seirra. And in her case I don’t know if it is luck or if she has been avoiding becoming physical. But it would not surprise me if sometime in the near future that she joined the other four. As far as Shellian and me, we both know our feelings, but for now, we are not sleeping together, besides we are just too busy with what we have to do to find time for such a thing. And to be honest even with this long winter here in the mountains and being closed in like we are I am just too tired by the day’s end to do anything but fall asleep when I lay down.”

“I knew that doc. Hmmm, so Seirra is one of the only not carrying. In a way I am surprised. I mean she is a beautiful woman, and open, easy to talk to and friendly. With her natural beauty you would expect some of the other women to be jealous of her, but she has a natural way of deferring such things. And in truth I do not think she even sees herself that way. I am sure she has had many suitors here who would be more than happy to be chosen by her.”

“I can’t disagree with that assessment. I really think she has her eyes on just one male here, and he is completely unaware of it. After all he is so busy trying to keep everything from falling apart that he is blind that way for now.”

“Ah I see. You mean Saige don’t you. Well if you are right I am sure somewhere along the line she will make it clear to him that he is her choice. In a way I couldn’t blame her. After all, our leader, with his sister of course, is a deep thinker, he tries to anticipate, plan, and really cares about what happens to us – just the kind of thing that a woman would really want in a mate. So what are the chances that he will ever notice doc?”

“Not my place to say, but what worries me is that this leaves a number of men on the outside, and that could have dire consequences.” Then pausing for a moment, a smile came across his face he said somewhat softly. “Of course with the way Sorrel is offering her charms to any, maybe it won’t be an issue. Oh by the way Stone it appears that with the present arrangements that you are left out in the cold. You aren’t taking advantage of Sorrel’s offers are you?”

Laughing softly and shaking his head Stone replied. “No doc, she holds no interest to me. And yes I know the situation but I am not alone in that area. But you must remember doc that I am a loner anyway, and an observer. That’s why I know what I know. But who is actually taking Sorrel up on her favors I really don’t know. Although it would not be too hard to narrow it down especially if the other three who are now carrying are in solid relationships. We know that you and Shellian are getting serious even though the two of you try to avoid it openly. And that Saige is too busy and wouldn’t take Sorrel up on her offer if she did offer. And I just confirmed to you that I am not involved with her. So let’s see here whose left? There are only Sajan, Sojar, and Steen left. And from my observations she has approached all three of them at different times. Oh I know throughout a day she is around most of us, but she seems to linger around them more than the rest of us.”

“Something to keep in mind that’s for sure. Have you passed this knowledge on to our leaders yet? I’m worried that if she continues as she has, and truthfully I don’t see her changing her ways anytime soon – although her up and coming child birthing might give her second thoughts, but I doubt it – that this could lead to open, or maybe not so open conflict between her lovers as they vie for her favors. And from what I have seen she would love it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has already started to hint to any or all of them to manipulate them into doing something stupid.”

* * *

Another storm has arrived bringing additional snow to the mountains. Saar is worried, and with the arrival of Stone, they discuss what has been happening within their small team. This leads to a discussion dealing with the six women for which four are now pregnant, leaving Shellian and Seirra as the only ones who aren’t. During this conversation they begin to narrow down who may actually be the father of Sorrel’s child, and know in truth that Sorrel isn’t one who necessarily settles for only one man and the possible fallout from these multiple relationships of hers. And with this discussion we close out part one. Have a great week and God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)


Coming Down the Pipeline – Plus a Little History

Before I begin this week’s post I’d like to present this statement made a long time in the past. Since this is a year where we are facing major issues, and election campaigns are in full swing, maybe we should read and understand what is stated here. If we take what is stated to heart then maybe we will be much more careful as to whom we put into office:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

And now onto this week’s post:

You know it’s been said that anybody can write but only writers can edit and revise. Whether this is true or not I can say, from personal experience, that there is probably more time spent in this part of the process than there is in the writing of the story. In fact, by the time I’ve gone through each and every one of these things, a minimum of three times, and it has been as high as twelve or possibly more, (and this is cover to cover), I really am sick of the tale and probably have it mostly memorized. Of course, there is a problem with this; it means I’ve seen the manuscript too many times and this makes it easy to miss things that probably should be addressed.

I suspect this is why the importance of editors – ones who have never read your adventure, and can put fresh eyes on the subject and catch-all the strengths, weaknesses, errors, and such that lies within. We, as writers, being too close to the story, can see where it goes, but in truth, the written word sitting there before us may not reflect that very thing. Unfortunately with the price of editors I cannot afford them. So until one of my works sells well enough to bring in enough income to cover this cost I must do without. (No excuses, just fact.)

Writing is always something I wanted to try my hand at, but being a responsible individual, and during my working years, there was never the time, (or energy if I want to be honest). Add to this raising a family and the inherent costs meant I couldn’t take a chance, quit my job, and pursue a career in writing. So when I finally retired I set a goal of writing eight books. It had been years since I had even touched or dealt with the publishing industry and as a result it appeared that the whole thing had changed to the point where it was unrecognizable. So I had to relearn much, well, to be honest, it was like seeing the process for the first time. As far as that original goal I wondered, “Is it realistic?” After all, up to this time I had only tried writing articles or short stories for publication for which I was unsuccessful.

If any of you, who may be reading this, follow this blog you know the answer to that above stated question is yes. And because of my success in reaching that goal and actually surpassing it, I’ve reset the goal to ten, and maybe I’ll push it to twelve. The one thing I’ve learned in life is nothing, absolutely nothing is guaranteed, including reaching the next day. So far I’ve self-published four of my stories, and what this post is about is looking ahead to the other five coming out in the near future. (I also have to mention that these four published works have recently been edited and revised. I have plans on re-releasing all of them.) So for these posts “between chapters” I plan on looking at those five, with this week covering an unpublished trilogy titled Discovery.

One of my favorite authors from the past is Louis L’Amour who is no longer with us. One of the things that always impressed me about his writing lay in the fact that the lands he describes in his stories exist. So I thought that when I wrote my first book that I’d try to emulate this and that’s exactly what I did. The lands described in this trilogy are there and with care and the descriptions one could retrace the paths these fictional characters traveled. Of course, since the trilogy takes place a few thousand years after an apocalyptic event, what exists, as far as structures, and civilization has changed, as well as some of the lands, (Nothing remains the same.).

Also I consciously decided, since we face conflict on a daily basis, that this story would have as little as possible. In truth it was only later that I learned that it is conflict that drives any story, (and yes it is in this trilogy). Yet, what is this conflict I’m talking about here? This really is a great question to ask since we face it everyday of our lives. From a general perspective I would have thought, (back before I really understood) it applied to those situations that can make us nervous, scare us, or make us uncomfortable. It could be something major like wars, severe weather, or a TC (Traffic Collision). It can be those awful confrontations our bosses throw our way now and then when we’ve drawn their wrath. And any and all of these are the way, when I began writing this trilogy, of how I viewed conflict. Yet, as I learned, it is so much more subtle than that. It’s those mental arguments we have with ourselves, or those decisions that must be made, or a simple difference of opinion. In other words almost everything we do in life, from the simple to the complicated and unexpected, is full of conflict. And when you realize this you can see it everywhere, and in anything and everything we do.

When I began this first manuscript to say I was out of practice and quite rusty would be an understatement. In truth it took writing a number of novels to settle into a method or style that works for me, as far as chapter breaks, story  flow, and what appears to be a normal word count length, (which happens to be around 115,000 words). Again, at the beginning, I didn’t know what was considered a proper word count, (or why word count truthfully) for the genre I generally  write. So these first two in this trilogy run long – 140,000 and 165,000 words. Whereas the counts generally desired by publishers is somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 120,000 words, (And if this is your first or debut novel then the word count must be less, being no more than 100,000, and no less than 80,000 words for the genre I generally write.). Now for those who would like to know how this translates, it kind of goes this way: According to the book page the word count per page will run somewhere between 300 to 350 words. From here it is easy  to determine the number of pages a book or novel will run.

In fact when I began the first book, I decided to write it in first person. It didn’t work, and as a result I had to go back and rewrite it in third person, for which all my novels are written. (In the short stories I write, I find that most are first person, making them more intimate.) Still it wasn’t an easy thing to change from one POV (Point of View) to another. And that consumed a lot of time. Plus I just wrote, not placing chapters or breaks into the storyline, which again required going back and figuring out where they belonged. I also thought that once it was written nothing else had to be done – naïve, yes quite. In this first novel I figured that I’d be able to tell the whole story, but found that I still had a lot of story to tell when I reached the end, (at those 140,000 words). This led to book two, which caused its own problems for the first book. So after changing the POV, locating those natural breaks between chapters, followed by writing novel number two, it forced me to go back to the first novel, flip chapters one and two and then rewrite the timeline as the two clashed, and, “my, we couldn’t have that could we?”

The images in my mind that led to the story are eventually realized and finished in book two. And in this story I deal with six protagonists, each playing their part in tying together the overall story. (I consider my writing style to be, “Meanwhile back at the ranch”.) While the antagonists of the story are more the conditions, nature, and the distances covered. This is because the story is really more about discovery, (And thusly why this title for the trilogy.) of what their true past is. The books are titled: The Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. And while I’ve been discussing the first two and the obvious conclusion of the main storyline by the end of book two it leads to the natural question of what is book three about? To answer that one will have to continue reading, as I will now talk briefly about each book:

Book One, The Ones Before: A mystery that lays before the existing generation is a myth that has always existed, and refused to die. The story of an ancient people known as The Ones Before. Before what, you might ask. Before the known written history would be the answer. The frustrating thing for the Head Keeper of the Past is the fact that throughout written history, throughout the generations nothing has ever been found to show or prove that these ancient people exist or had existed. The lands where they live presently are sparsely populated and there is much that is unknown. Perhaps the answers lie in those unexplored lands. And with recent events maybe this present Head Keeper of the Past might have a chance to either prove, or disprove the existence of these ancient people and their culture once and for all.

Book Two, Discovery: Much has transpired, and with a dig in the desert on hold, the Head Keeper of the Past and his team plan to move towards the coast. It is here where rumors of artifacts that may have been discovered that might actually be from The Ones Before. Yet, before this can happen The Head Keeper of the Past must return to the township, and bring the council up to date. And while gone the nomads return, (You learn about the nomads in book one.) to their oasis, raising tensions between the team since they are working close to this protected site, (Some of that conflict I talked about.). With the return of the Head Keeper of the Past the team moves over the mountains and with the new knowledge provided by their scout have hopes for answers to questions long unanswered.

Book Three, An Ancient Fire: With the story told in the previous two books it is time to move deep into the past and follow a whole new group of people as they try to live and survive in a time of chaos where the world has come apart and a new day isn’t guaranteed to anyone. Much of what you learn of the society in the first two books get their beginnings or origins during this time period. And for me I realized before writing this third novel that there could be a whole number of novels written dealing with different time periods before returning to the “existing present”  that’s in the first two novels.

Now, I have to say, when I began this particular project, I thought I’d only end up with one book or novel instead of this trilogy. I can say the same for the novel I’m presenting presently. In this unpublished trilogy when certain characters were introduced they were originally there to move the plot along. Meaning I had no plans for them to become major players in the story. But they disagreed and demanded more time and a stronger role in the overall scheme of things. And they won in the end. I know what you’re thinking, “Wait a minute here. These characters are fictional they don’t exist. Never have, never will. So how can they have a say in what happens to them?” At a conference one writer, who was one of the speakers, stated it this way: “We are writers and as such we listen to those voices in our heads.” Another way to consider writers of fiction is the fact all of us are liars. What we write doesn’t exist and is all made up – no truth there at all. Still by bringing the four characters from a minor role to major players in the novel the overall story flows really well, and has more depth. And it gives you, the reader, different perspectives of this fictional world the charters live in, (Plus by seeing and experiencing the lives of these different individuals it allows you to see their world, their society, and where they are technology wise.). It feels more real, and more alive, and has a kind of depth that could have you looking for them, the characters in this story, in your own neighborhood, just so you can talk to them, and maybe ask them about their lives.

And presently I’m in the edit and revision stage once again for these three books. Last time through I thought I had it, but reread the beginning of book one and realized two of the characters were out of character. As I stated above I’ve worked the first two heavily a number of times but I’ve never been satisfied with the results. (And to be honest, these are the first I ever wrote and do require this level of dedication and work.) And again, as stated in an earlier blog, this is a year of editing and revision as I work all my novels including all that remain unpublished. In the next post, between the next chapters, I will cover the remaining two books which are stand alone. And maybe in a future post I will discuss the one I’m presently writing, and is on hold until this editing process is finished with the existing unpublished novels. God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)


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