First Paragraphs


Last night in Hasiwriters, we used a first paragraph from The Fécunda, which begins:

BACK IN THE PRE-TIME DAWN. Back when peoples were mixed and those that are many now were fewer. Much fewer. And they roamed lands that had no name. Lands not parcelled up into empires and dominions. In that time were the lands unsullied, the forests and jungles a tractless wild. Not tame. Not bludgeoned to submission, but fierce, feral and lush.

I wrote:

He listened to the singing of stars in his soul.
Names. What are names? Something to define you? Something to constrain? If he had one it would be Bard. But in that time there were no bards. Not as we know them. Yet he was the embodiment of the hopes and fears, the history all the way up to the here and now; and the presence of his people.
He decided on matters small and large – and where things were beyond his wisdom, he was the one to talk to the wise ones of other peoples.
Those things seemed high and mighty – but to him they were merely necessary. However on this day no important decisions were needed. All was well with his people. They laughed, they thrived and grew neither more nor less for dominion by numbers wasn’t their way.
Above, the noon day cast sharp shadows in the forest. Birds flew and creatures buried into the soil as was their wont. A child approached him ans said in that long ago tongue, “Strangers come.”
“Of what kind?”
“They are small but many. I ask on behalf of your people that you come.”
He knew the formula spoken by the child and he knew of the strangers. “Leave and say, ‘It is expected.’ I will come soon.”
The child ran back leaving little trace in the grass.
A silence settled on him. The the first of the small, sociable manlings had begun to seek his people out. The gathering would continue and like a pebble cast down from a mountain top, the avalanche of peoples would begin the long march to civilisation. His people would perish as is the way of the nursemaid but the plan was begun.

Hasiwriters is a writing group where local writers can meet, write and get feedback. It is based in Rossendale, UK and meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at Haslingden Library, 17:30 to 19:00.

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About Terence Park

Collections: vinyl records, comic books, paperbacks; I've plenty of them all. I also do spreadsheets.
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