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Stories from the Verse
Verse Three, Chapter One
Chapter 94: Hastings 33
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 93: Kondor 31
The wood continued for some time; it was past noon when Lauren took a break. She wasn't tired, and she wasn't yet hungry, but she wanted to sit for a moment and enjoy the world, and there was a large rock along the path which looked a suitable seat. She did have a sip of water, and almost opened a pack of crackers out of habit; but she thought better of it, that it was better to keep her food sealed until needed, at least until she knew a little more about what was available here.
But late in the afternoon the ground sloped down a bit; she would not have noticed but that the cart started pushing her forward slightly. The trees gave way to a meadow, and ahead still a few miles where a river flowed into a large lake was a small village. Lauren could see little brown huts, reminiscent of wigwams, gathered in no particular arrangement she could discern. And there were people in and around the village, dressed in brightly colored clothes. Looking down over the meadow she saw others, recognizable as larger patches of bright color against the grasses and flowers. She had found civilization.
And all this was as a painted foreground against the majestic background of mountains, rising steep and abrupt just beyond the water. It was a stunning scene; Lauren wished she could paint, or even that she had brought a camera (something, she realized, that she could have gotten back in Philadelphia, had she thought of it). She stood and marveled, trying to see it all at once; and standing alone before all this beauty, the words to a song came to her, and she began to sing.
She remembered lying back to better view the unfamiliar patterns in the sky. She did not remember falling asleep.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of the novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #57: Multiverse Variety. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.
As to the old stories that have long been here: