Total Wordcount: 21,118
(includes the part written before SocNoc - 4143 words)
Story is coming along nicely and getting to the point where it is starting to haunt my waking moments and fill me with the constant and unresistable urge to write. I love that feeling. It is a compulsion and one I sometimes feel when I am particularly enthused with an art project as well. Today I have killed off a character, and set up the plot so that the main "adventuring" party has a place to go. They will consist of a vervet monkey, a ringtailed lemur and a young silky sifaka. I am considering that their route will take them first up the west coast of the island (by boat, so they might have a male ringtail along to sail it), and then up through a delta with the final destination being the Tsingy. Me thinks I shall soon have to do a stylised map of my island-that-is-not-quite-Madagascar but might as well be. I have yet to give the island a name, but for the most part I am using Malagasy place names for the parts of it, albeit bastardising them somewhat. I have named the capital city "Narivo". I do not want to call it "Antanarivo" because I do not want the actual city - in all its sprawling, messy, polluted glory tainting my alternative realisation. Basically, I have given the forest back to Madagascar. Since my people are all lemurs and more-or-less live in the landscape, not changing it to their views, there is no reason why so much of it would be a barren, desolate wasteland.
Also, I have introduced Mephistopheles and Queen Ranavalona into the plot - as you can see in this extract below.
Ranavalona looked up, her golden eyes blazing deep into Mephistopheles' soul. His heart skipped a beat.
“The kit lives,” she said. “You lied.”
Her advisor opened his mouth to deny the accusation. Thought better of it. Closed it. He hung his head and his huge ears dropped. “I am sorry,” he said. “It appears my interpretations were inaccurate.”
“Yes,” said the Queen. “It appears they were. Come here, Mephistopheles.” She returned the bird to its perch and motioned him over. He moved reluctantly and stood beside her. Shivered as she put her hand on his shoulder and guided him towards the edge of the pavillion. He gulped at the sheer cliff that fell away beneath them, the sharp rocks and jagged trees that waited at its foot.
“Do you remember Hunter Berangere?” She asked.
Mephistopheles gulped and nodded.
“Do you remember her final mission?”
He nodded again.
“What was it?”
“She was pursuing the wench, Solange.” He said. “But she was lazy. She sent out her hunting pack, but failed to follow them, preferring instead to engage in an afternoon siesta. They caught the quarry, but she was not there to nulify it and thus the wench escaped.”
“Exactly,” the Queen said. She ran her long fingers down her advisor's triangular face. “And do you remember her fate?”
Mephistopheles stared down the sheer cliff, at the exposed red rock, worn by wind and rain. It looked a little like blood.
“Yes,” he said. “I do.”
“Well then,” she flicked her finger hard against his pointed chin. “You would do well to remember it. Think on it next time, when you decide to omit the truth from your words. Now, begone. I need to speak to Hunter Noir. Will you summon him to my pavillion, please. And ask him to bring his special pet.”