In Dreams of Trees : Echoes

Wordcount: 431
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: A multitude of Johns… well, okay, only two.

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.



There’s nothing quite like looking yourself in the face. Blue sat for a moment and the man waited for him to react.

“You’re John,” Blue finally said.

The man nodded, “Probably not the one you meant, but I am a John. That’s not all I am thought.” The side of his face shimmered and tiny silver lightning’s crackled out from his eye. For a moment the whole side of his face was lit with a gentle silver light and then it faded again.

“What are you?” asked Blue.

“I’m a city,” said John, “and a man.”

“But you’re me.” said Blue.

“Ah, no,” said John taking the chair across from him and flipping it around so he can sit on it backwards, leaning his chin on his hands. “I’m what you could have been and might yet be, but I’m not really you.”

“Might yet be?” said Blue.

“That’s what I’m here to talk to you about.” said John. “Your city is broken.”

“It’s not my city,” said Blue, defensively. “My city doesn’t exist, at least not yet.”

“And if the city made contact with you, then that means it never will.” Said John. “If there was a city to meet, she would have reached out to that instead.”


“So the endless city is your city, just as it’s Horn’s and Brian’s and Sara’s. You need to fight for her, even if she doesn’t feel like home.”

“Or what?” asked Blue.

“Or all of them will die. Oh not now,” John said as Blue started to stand. “Not immediately, but in the near future. A week, a month, your city is unraveling around you even if you can see it happening. She’s broken on a fundamental level and she has to be fixed.”

“So fix her!” said Blue angrily.

“I can’t,” said John. “That’s something you have to do.”

“Why me?” objected Blue.

“Because you are the only John.” said John.

“I can’t be.” said Blue, “There have to be more of you– me, out there somewhere. I have people depending on me, I can’t do, whatever it was you did.” he gestured at the silver side of John’s face.

“People are depending on you to save the world.” Said John kindly. “And that’s what you– we do.”

Blue just looked at him, hopelessly. “There’s no other way?”

“There’s other ways but there’s no time left,” said John. “Trust me, we checked and double-checked. There’s no way I’d ask you to do this is I wasn’t sure.”

“Dance said the city eats people,” said Blue.

“Yeah,” said John sadly, “yeah.”

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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