This was a hard day, but a good sprint got me there in the end.
I did 1000 words (exactly) this morning, then planned to do another 1000 in the afternoon, and another at night. Well, events intervened, and it became 1000 in the morning, and a frantic 750 between 11:30 and midnight. On the upside, it turns out I can churn out 750 words in half an hour if push comes to shove.
Today’s draft is rougher than previous.
Tala noticed a small crowd around a stall set up in the open-air market area. It is the duty of an Arbiter to be aware of things that fascinate or offend the Citizenry, and to assess their implications to the Consensus, so she decided to investigate.
She rose, and walked slowly toward the crowd. She stood in the back, feigning casual interest in the presenter’s pitch.
“Discerning Citizens will recognize the quality and fidelity of the likeness,” said the presenter, holding up a ceramic jug. It was a House of Noma prog, if she wasn’t mistaken. Popular several years ago as a new release, but the loom-prog has since fallen into public release. Why would someone make an effort to sell public loom-progs?
“Observe,” he continued, “as Sequoia Workshops’ stereo-mimetic gel demonstrates its versatility.” he tapped a hand-held control surface, and the jug shifted shape, colour, and texture to form a large cushion — again, an older design, this one from the House of Kraal. The crowd gasped, and a few delighted Citizens applauded.
The cushion became a statuette, an apple, a leather handbag, a small tree, and an elaborate hat, which the presenter then put on with a showy flourish.
“Citizens, I now open the floor for questions!”
A young boy shouted, “if it’s an apple, can I eat it?” The crowd chuckled indulgently, and Tala was please that the boy showed no signs of embarrassment. She took note of the crowd, and found that quite a few citizens appeared to be curious about the same question.
“No, young man, I’m afraid not,” said the presenter. “If you were to bite into it, at first it would feel like a true apple. But the flesh would begin to resist, and it would be impossible to bite through entirely.” In a stroke of showmanship, the presenter changed the hat into an apple, removed it from his head and threw it to the boy. “Here, try!”
The boy eyed the apple suspiciously, then tentatively bit. It crunched audibly, and the boy looked surprised and impressed. As he continued to bite, his jaw strained, but to no effect. He shrugged and threw the apple back to the presenter, bite mark intact. “Didn’t taste like much, though.”