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Under the Milky Way

Yes, The Church will likely get upset with me if they know I just ripped off the title of one of their songs, but I’m willing to take that chance.  Besides, it’s a great song with some fantastic ebow playing:  one should give it a listen, eh?

I didn’t write a lot last night:  close to seven hundred words.  But it was enough.  My word count for the story, as it sits right now, is 86,666.  Ooooooh, my story is going to burn in Hell, I suppose.  Ah, well:  it’ll be entertaining to some.  But this makes it the second longest thing I’ve ever written, and I’m still going.

In fact, here is all the wordy blather in it’s unedited, first draft glory, so if you find some errors, don’t be too shocked.

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

The red lights flashed twice as the platform locked into place. Harpreet stepped away from the students and walked towards the opening in the dome. “We have arrived.” She stepped onto the tower’s outer ledge. “Come, please—” She motioned for the children to join her. “Look upon the night sky with me.”

Several of the students mumbled amongst themselves as they stepped outside onto the broad, circular ledge. Some looked up into the sky; others took a moment to look around at the campus to the south and to the world beyond the school walls to the north and east. It was easy to see the few homes north of the wall, Rockport to the east and southeast, and the small state park situated in the northeast corner of Cape Ann. Since arriving the only parts of the Normal world—as they were coming to call it—were spied either from the clock tower—which few had climbed—or from the top of the outer wall, which many students—Annie and Kerry among them—had walked.

From a mile away The Pentagram and the Great Hall didn’t look as large, yet still looked impressive. Up here he saw, for the first time, just how large the core of the school was, and how far apart everything was. From the ground, next to everything, everything seemed enormous, but up here, one was able to get a true sense of scale.

“Kerry.” Annie tapped him on the arm. “Look how clear the sky is tonight.”

Kerry finally looked up and took in the sky. When living in California it was impossible to see the sky, even on a clear night, without some light pollution; it Cardiff one never saw the stars unless the entire city was blacked out.

Here the sky was a deep black, as if they were looking straight into outer space without any light spoiling the view, and the stars were blazing bright, as he’d imagined they would appear if you were standing in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the ocean. But it shouldn’t bee this way. Salem was twenty kilometers away, and Boston another ten kilometers beyond there. The sky should have been washed out to the south and east, and the sky to the north should have suffered from the lights of communities situated along the north coast to New Hampshire. It wasn’t: it was as black and clear as the sky to the east and south.

He turned to Annie. “There’s no light pollution.”

She didn’t need to ask what he meant, as living in Europe she was aware of how difficult it was to see the stars at night depending upon where you lived. Even at home in the Bulgarian mountains the lights of Pamporovo lent a slight, bright fog to the otherwise dark skies. “I see that. It’s so . . .”

“Dark.”

“And bright.”

The Japanese boy, Koyanagi Jiro, noticed the same thing. “How is the sky so dark? There isn’t any light from the cities.”

Harpreet nodded towards the sky, a playful smile growing upon her face. “We filter out the ambient light surrounding us using a combination of magic and technology. What that leaves is a view of the sky as it was when the school was built and our first astronomer taught her first classes.” She headed back toward the dome opening. “Come inside: there is something I want to show you.”

 

Astronomy class has begun.  I’ll get over eight-seven thousand words tonight, and maybe even eighty-eight if I’m not too distracted by the Breaking Bad marathon.  I’ll reach ninety thousand easy before the end of the year.

Things are actually pretty good.

 

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