Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNo Update 2 (day 5)

Hit 22k today. Not nearly up to where I wanted to be, but well above where I should be to hit 50k by the end of the month. If I can do another 3000 by the end of the day I'll be halfway there.


Plans told her that the building held 120 sufficiencies, tiny family apartments that held, at most, four people each. Common sanitary facilities, common kitchen to which a sufficient number of nutritionally balanced meals was delivered on a daily basis.

The meals were uniformly tasteless, their texture something like hardened jelly from the one Nix had tasted many years ago. With her ancestors being teachers, she'd never had to live like that. And yet these people had pride in their own way, even when they had next to nothing, determined that their children would be better off than they were. That determination held them on track to make sure that their children had education and a higher position in the nonexistent hierarchy of the Council.

Without connections and without any ability to influence the decision makers, that hope was a dead end road. But still they worked, hoarding their social credits to buy the special schooling, the tutors and good clothes so that their children didn't need to be ashamed.

She found the little boy in the common classroom with fifteen others. All of them worked on their own studies. They all knew they were being watched, so there was no overt bullying, but a note was passed from hand to hand until it reached the child next to the boy.

He looked down at it, looked over at the smirking originator, and opened it. After a moment he folded it carefully and dropped it on the floor.

The boy who had planted the garden outside the apartment house looked down at it and swept it toward himself, centering it carefully under his shoe. He went back to his work.

After a time he froze his Teaching program and ran upstairs, incidentally sweeping up the note as he left his seat. He closed the flimsy door carefully and filled a pitcher with water, carrying it down the narrow stairs and out the front door.

There he stopped, and stared. He knelt in the dirt and read the little note at the base of one of the plants, then looked around as if expecting to find someone hurrying away with a shovel.

Carefully then, he emptied his pitcher around the base of the two plants and piled dirt around them before he went back inside, the pitcher swinging from his fingers.

The grin on his face seemed bright enough to illuminate the hallway.

The door he had entered gave her the names of the occupants, and only one was in the right age range. Nix was unsurprised when she accessed the records to find that he spent much of his time in Axon planting and tending a garden.

A look at his records showed her about what she expected—although he and his parents hadn't been informed yet, this was his last year of primary school. His scores alone would have indicated he should continue on. He was listed as a "disruptive influence," often interfering between the other children when they were involved in tormenting each other.

Nix looked deeper, grimaced at the "educational path" outlined for him. Street maintenance. Another mind gone to waste.

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