I am trying a genre I have not tried for a while. My usual style is Fantasy horror. This is going to be a series called “The Word.” A Sci-Fi set based in a distant land and time, when the Word is all but banned and the Game Lords hunt Word seekers.
This was going to be a one-off for the Abandoned Towers competition, run by the on line magazine of the same name, in Vancouver ( yes the same magazine), that is publishing Chronicles in the summer. As usual with my stories, I can forever see a good follow-up. I have not decided where to take this yet, I have a follow up planned, even though this book is far from completed yet.
This is the teaser for “The Word.”
There was a time within living memory of our elders, where people could go to libraries to get the Word. Whether for information or pleasure the Word was available.
Now, the once noble buildings stand desolate and unused. Their innards strewn to the far corners on the winds of our barren land.
Where there was once peace and quiet there is noise and flashing lights. Where there were books, papers and learning materials there is just a pile of ash. As the firemen bring out the books and burn them in the square of the Game Lord.
Any who seek the Word are hunted and publicly decried as heretics to the new masters of the touch screen games. Years have passed since the purges began, at first we thought it was not going to last but as the Word got less, the power of the game grew faster. People with inquisitive minds need to do things to be creative.
We at the Towers of Enlightenment remember how it all started. One person saw a Game and started to play, as others nearby saw the enjoyment and ease with which pleasure could achieved with little trouble the craze grew.
We thought at first “Just a craze it will pass,” sadly it did not.
As the new craze grabbed its addicts, it grew. As it grew so the Word shrank. Our need was lessened until now we are not allowed to be seen in public. We cower in the shadows for fear that those of us who wish the Word, maybe get turned in and our books burned in the square of the Game Lords. As further proof of their powers.
Even though the Game Lords try to crush us. Out here in the desolate and barren wastelands, where nobody dare travel without protection from ravaging hordes of gangs. The Word thrives as we send the Word across the airwaves and onto radio signals. In the hope more will receive the Word and turn from the Game.
Our hope that these few desperate words will reach the minds of the young, those who have not known the pleasure of the Word. To these young and very active minds our true aim is to destroy the grip of the Game.
The time of the return of the Word is our wish. We know there are many who wish to follow in our steps as they find our ways on the waves of the radio beacons, long since forgotten. There are still many who can use the old ways but they fear to be found so contact has to be brief.
Last night we picked up a brief and hardly audible signal sent from another city. All we heard was, “Word seekers amass, our time is approaching. Meet at your designated areas.”
This gave new hopes to our cause. They were talking as though groups were gathering. We know they could not be seen in public. We had to send coded messages within the games. A quick red flash for danger and the reading could flip into a game until all was clear again.
The Game Masters who controlled the airwaves tried to block the signals but we can switch channel before they can track us. Always a step ahead of the Game, it is the only way. Using old technology and long forgotten talents our message gets to the growing throng.
We know they dare not be seen, yet we know they grow.
“The only real meeting places, where they could listen in safely. Would be the radio buildings on the outskirts of town,” James our technician replied. “They are usually well hidden, from the days when the Game was young and violence was the creed. In those streets, the alleys gave us protection.”
After a total lack of response- there will be no follow up stories now