I am plunging ahead with the notes for the Nanowrimo novel, which is looking like something that might not be completed in the timeframe – but I will be able to get at least halfway through it when November 30th rolls around. Anyhow, we’re in Act 3, where the stakes are raised a little bit.
When we left our pair, they were riding off in the direction of Danny’s body-hijacker. Ronda tells Danny that he’s going to have to start pulling a little more of his own weight other than killing horses. Danny asks what he can do if he can barely pick up objects. Ronda tells him that when he enters objects he can affect them – not to the great way that such legendary objects like Skein’s-Glow, Wandersfar and Everthirst, but he can do little things…like what he did with Black Bart’s guns. Danny said he did that out of desperation and doesn’t remember how he did that other than wanting Black Bart’s guns to break before he shot Ronda. Ronda tells him to keep that though in mind if he’s grabbing guns or anything else. She’s also slightly impressed that he could do that. Most people at this point would have just given up and resigned themselves to becoming a wraith. Danny says he has little choice on this matter – his body is roaming around doing Prophet’s-know-what. Ronda tells him not to worry – whoever took him isn’t whoring and drinking it up (also she says that doing that might be the first order of business for him when he’s back). If she knew who it was, she’d have a better idea as to what they were going for. Danny asks if she has friends in the Rahsaya. She says she has a few that do what she does and sometimes they’ll help each other out, but as one of the Touched, she runs into polite indifference among the full-on ones. Danny asks if they’re family and Ronda nods and gooses the horse into a canter. Danny comments that’s not how family should treat family. Ronda points out that life isn’t all sunshine and apple tarts outside his village. Danny mentions that he’s discovering that and suggests that he should slip into the horse to help make it travel faster. Ronda says no, the second he pops out of the horse it’ll die and they’re way to far between towns to get a new horse quickly. Ronda also suggests that when they bed down for the night to try to put himself into different things like rocks, the knife anything but the horse or her guns.
They ride through the night and find themselves at a waytown. Ronda gets a room for the evening and they go upstairs. She tells him that the best thing to do is to stay in the room – her natural ward will make it safe for him and there are enough objects around for him to try to practice stepping into them. Without so much of a warning, she starts stripping and pouring the rosewater for a quick bath. Danny blushes and looks away. Ronda catches him blushing and laughs – she’s not as hung up on nudity as most people are (another point of Rahsaya culture – there is no cultural concept of nudity). She tells him that it’s no problem that he looks at her. She’s had worse. Danny continues to blush and looks away, focusing on a chair. He tries to sit down in a chair and finds himself melding into it. He asks how he can prevent himself from melding into everything. Ronda – clad only in undergarments – walks over and pulls him out of the chair. Lesson one: how to keep from sinking into something. The best way to keep from sinking into something is to remind yourself that you and the object are separate. Don’t think of sitting in a chair, imagine that there is something between you and the chair – like a cushion or a blanket, something that you can see clearly in your head. He asks why he doesn’t sink into the horse when he rides it. She responds that you’re thinking that you’re sitting on a saddle when you’re sitting on the horse. If you rode bareback ost of your life, then you’d sink into the horse like the chair. His exercise for tonight is to practice going from sitting in a chair to sitting on the bed and back again until he can sit down without sinking into it, then to try to get up and meld with her knife, then get out and sit in the chair. He asks what she’s going to do in the meantime. She says sleep and pulls the covers up to her and blows out the lantern.
Act Three is going to be a bit long, so settle in. Thanks for reading.