[WP] A writer struggling with their novel has reverted back to the exercise “Write what happened today.” What they don’t realize is that what’s happening in their daily life is a better story than any they could write.
I’ve sat here staring at the little blinking black bar for over an hour. Words just cannot seem to come today. My super exciting novel about a fictional biography of a poor farmer and his extended family had been coming along fine up until yesterday when I’d seemed to hit some kind of mental block. An old trick that Óss Master Sigrunn had taught us at the beginning of the year came back to me in a flood of relief.
Typing at the top of the page: “Write what happened today:” I give pause while I organize my day.
Well, it had been a day just like any other and rather boring but writing it out would be easy and good exercise so why not I think to myself.
The morning had started with being woken before dawn by Master Óss Torunn for our daily 5 am run. We ósslings were used to this after having spent the last few months together here. But the pack of 99 of us shivered collectively as we each stepped out into the early morning chill from the relative warmth of the lockers where we had groggily changed. Frost crunched under our feet as we ran the familiar 7-mile path that looped around the school’s forested grounds to come back to the entrance to the lockers.
All of us awake and jovial, we change after the run and head to breakfast in the feasting hall. None of the buildings here were adjoined so we walked with brief periodic relief from the scorching morning sun in the form of trees planted tactically along the route.
The feasting hall is a building made of red marble inlaid with gold flecks so that it shines like a bloody gold monument to our kind. Here we gather to feast during meal times but students occupy the space doing their school work or socializing over mead at all hours. The hall is broken up into 8 wooden tables of ash with a single, different symbol carved in the middle of each. The chairs of the tables were decorated with figures and subjects related to what those of their rannestad practiced.
I experienced the usual staring of the other ósslings as I made my way to the front of the feasting hall to sit among the Óss Masters. I didn’t belong to one of the usual eight rannestad, at the choosing ceremony four months ago I had been chosen by the ancient supercomputer there to be the first Sóltýr in the school’s history.
Solitary protector of the realm, the Sóltýr was a being of immense strength and wisdom who solved problems in the city-states which couldn’t be solved by any others. Such a figure had been prophesied but never planned for. One hundred years had passed before the supercomputer which did the choosing had decided that I would be that legendary hero. Everyone flipped their shit.
I would eventually train under all eight of the different Óss Masters in the various disciplines of atomicæssembly. I didn’t feel ready to be the protector of the realm. I wasn’t ready for this burden. I’m just a fourteen-year-old kid who doesn’t even know how to create something simple like an apple or an aardvark.
So I tried to lose myself in my novel during my free time to get myself away from the enormous burden that lays on my shoulders. After breakfast, I had gone up to my room to work on my novel in this free period before my class on soil composition and subsequent creation with the Ȧr-rann began. So here I am, back in this room.
I stare now out of my window level with the ground at the forest that surrounds the school’s grounds. It is a young forest created and maintained by the Bjarkan-rann. Eventually, I will train with them too on creating wildlife but this year I will focus on simple agricultural practices. Whether this is because some of the Óss Masters think me weak or are trying to ease my passage in whatever way they can because Ȧr-rann classes so far have been laughingly easy.
The Ȧr-rann were good spirited people who were sparing with the spoken word but listened with the same intensity that they willed their crops to grow. These were the people who dealt with the creation of crops for humans to consume. The very lifeblood of Kronos, they sacrificed their own strength daily so that people they would never meet would have something to eat. Well, the ósslings here didn’t but they were training for a time when they would.
I might have to help them someday. I’d like that a lot, I’d always wanted nothing more than to be a farmer. There had always been some kind of advanced technological profession that had all sorts of attached responsibility I was to be steered into due to my superior test scores. But really all I wanted to do was relax and work the earth. This will not be possible for me for a long time. Possibly never. For the millionth time, I wonder how I am possibly going to protect all the people in the realm when I can’t even protect myself from the repetitive nightmares of the girl with long bloody fingernails in a windowless room. I shiver in spite of the warmth that the morning sun brings through the glinting window next to my desk.
All I can do is focus on what I need to do today, I reassure myself as I grab my bag and head out to join the Ȧr-rann in the shade of the forest.