In Dreams of Trees : A Scurry of Squirrels

Wordcount: 423
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: Blue vs. an AI flash mob.

NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!

There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.


A Scurry of Squirrels

“The city likes you,” said Dance, who hopped from ledge to ledge in an endless mobius loop of silver squirrel. He’d assigned them names, but it was hard to tell them apart save for their movements.

“That’s, um, nice?” said Blue, still trying to adjust to the sudden influx of squirrels.

“The city doesn’t like anyone.” said another squirrel, this one sounded less amused. “The city doesn’t ‘like’ at all.” Blue named him Grumpy, but he acted just like the others, so it was harder to tell that one apart. To save time he named them all Grumpy.

“Regards favorably then?” said Statue the squirrel who spent most of the time standing very very still. “He can hear us, which means he’s tapped into the sparkspace, even if it’s only a little.”

“He’s too human,” said another squirrel who was looking down from a window ledge but refused to come closer. Blue named him Shy instead of Scaredy Cat, but only just barely. “If he could hear sparkspace he’d explode.”

“Explode?” Squeaked Blue.

“Not literally,” said Dance, “You’d probably just have a seizure and end up brain dead.”

“That’s not really comforting.” objected Blue. “I’d rather not die at all.”

“But you shouldn’t be able to hear us at all,” continued Dance, “Even the lower edges of sparkspace should be too much for you to hear.”

“Well, I just heard noise.” Said Blue, rubbing the head of his head sheepishly. “I mean, it sounded like talking, but so does the wind or the river if you listen hard enough.”

“Either way, there’s definitely something odd about you.” Said Grumpy.

“Thanks, I think.” Said Blue. “So if the city likes me, why doesn’t she talk to me herself?”

Statue Squirrel laughed, “She doesn’t talk, at least not in a way you’d understand. She was never meant to talk to you, that’s what we’re for.”

“So who are you? What are you?” asked Blue.

“We were people once,” said Dance, “some of us long ago and some of us less so. She ate us up and spat us out again into synthetic copies of ourselves, only we’re missing the parts that make us like you.”

“Ah, right,” said Shy Squirrel, “what she meant was that we’re bad copies of the people we used to be, but we’re a thousand times more human than the city is on her best day. But she does like you, we just don’t know why.”

“And that’s sort of worrying.” said Statue squirrel, because as we’ve mentioned– she eats people.”

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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