Posted by: rebeccajrobare | July 16, 2013

Too Tired!

I didn’t make it to the gym today, which means I’m short my goal by one workout. Lather, rinse, repeat; it just means I’m trying for week 2. This is after consultation last week with a dietitian, work-sponsored, because my job is useful like that.
Even though I’m coming up a little short on my health goals, I’m still making headway on my writing goals. At the moment, that’s mostly, “write more”; eventually I’ll need to operationalize it but for the moment I can let it be easy. I do have my update of “The Prince” to post, but to do that I have to go get it and turn on the light and so forth. So story time tonight is a piece of the story I mentioned last night. I don’t know if this will be the beginning, but nearish the beginning I think, or maybe it’ll just be background and world-building. We’ll see.

Temple River
One: The Library
The existence of Temple River was not a secret. Even as children we knew it was out there. In the puppet shows and street theatre there was a character type, the “mad healer,” who was always coughing and ill, or delusional and speaking in tongues, or covered in mud, or even (in a play I saw during University) spewing fake vomit over the front rows. That’s what Temple River was: a place for madmen and fanatics, no place that any sensible citizen of Greycliff would ever be persuaded to go.
This is the story of how I found myself sent “down the river,” as is the euphemism, the story of how I came to Temple River and what I did there.
I suppose that even as a child I was not quite normal by Greycliff standards. As all know, Greycliff values strength and unity, and its army is renowned throughout the world. Mercenary captains from Greycliff earn wealth and renown, while most royal houses field Greycliff-trained bodyguards. I, on the other hand, was a bookish youth. At fourteen, the age when most Greycliff youths become squires in the army, I could read Gallish, interpret Avalian poetry, and cypher complex algebra, but I couldn’t climb a rope, run a mile, or turn a cartwheel. I dreaded the day of Army indoctrination, and it came as a great relief to me that I was exempted military service and sent, instead, from the foothills above the cliffs into the cliff city itself, to fulfill my four-year period of service to the city-state as a squire in the Great Library.
I had been taken to the Library a handful of times as a child, but that was not enough to quell my wonder. I remember the hope and promise of that day as our barge came around a slow curve in the river and I saw it, full on in the sunlight. Carved from the grey stone of the canyon, it rose from the riverbed to the heights, not the largest facade in Greycliff, but more beautiful than any I had seen. The sunlight reflected off windows of stained glass set in the facade, and I thought how wonderful is must be to be inside and look at the glass pictures of the warriors who had fought to preserve our city, the artisans who had carved it from the stone, and the scholars who had built the Library and the University, the twin citadels of learning that brought students to Greycliff from all over the world.
I was not taken to the library that day. That first day was devoted to the tedious business of settling in: unpacking my trunk of books and possessions, being fitted for livery, meeting the fellow youths who would share my squiredom. I remember them still: the dark-haired girl who made a study of primitive cultures’ superstitions; the sandy-headed youth who played music; the husky boy who made me laugh with his clowning. We thought, in the manner of fourteen-year-olds, that we should be friends forever.
And the next day, there was the Library.


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