I asked on Twitter for a writing prompt the other day and my good friend and great writer @SarahJaneLehoux responded with a first line. This is the beginnings of a story that somehow my brain won’t continue – yet.
It was a dark and stormy night, except that it was daytime and sunny. Rolfe jumped from brightside to nightside and wondered at the strangeness of living on this new world where half the planet always faced the sun while the other half was in perpetual darkness apart from the starlight of the unending universe.
‘Come back here Rolfe,’ his mother’s strident call echoed around the clearing and he obeyed quickly. No point in getting told off just before her tasty cooking was brought to the table. He stumbled over tree roots as he moved away from the nightside, unaware of two sets of pale eyes watching him from the shadows. His parents were not happy about being this close to the nightside, folks were odd over there, but trade was trade and night folks were fair in their dealings. Plus they had certain items that fetched a good profit in brightside markets.
Rolfe wasn’t sure what woke him. He was tucked up with his parents in the night-room and it was too early for the artificial sunrise to kick in. As quietly as a gawky teenager can be he slipped out of the door. Shading his eyes from the sudden glare Rolfe gazed around the campsite, everything seemed normal but something was tapping his senses on the shoulder to get his attention. Rolfe decided to do a circuit, even as a young teenager he had family responsibilities and he was conscientious.
It wasn’t until he returned to the night-room that he found it.
Marked on the door was a weird sigil. Rolfe traced it with his finger, the lingering dampness made his finger tingle and he hastily wiped it on his night robe. Unsure what to do he returned to his bed to wait for the proper waking time. Snuggling under the blanket he slept.
“Come on lazy, time to get moving.” Rolfe yawned and opened one eye to see his mother laughing at him. “You been at the soporifics in my medicine chest young man?”
“No mam, just didn’t sleep well.”
“Well make a move, we have lots to do today. Market day tomorrow.”
Rolfe clambered out of bed and ran out of the room after his mam. “Hey, mam. I remembered.”
“Remembered what son?” Rolfe’s pa sat with a mug of java gazing over the morning news.
“Something woke me last night, when I went to look someone had drawn a sign on the door.”
“A sign? Let’s be having a look then.”
Rolfe and his parents opened the door of their caravan but there was nothing on the door. The sigil Rolfe swore was there last night had gone.