Thursday, March 17, 2016

WriteFest Exercise 3: Fan Fiction

For this exercise, Cassie asked us to pick a minor character or villain from a story we are familiar with, and write a scene from their point of view.

I chose Terry Pratchett's Death of Rats.


The Death of Rats picked his way through the spilled corn on the floor of the granary. In some shadowed, spiderwebbed corner of his mind, he remembered corn, remembered the feel of the kernels as he sheared through them with his teeth, the sweet dribble of juice that spilled down his throat as he chewed. But Death of Rats had not eaten corn in lo these many eons. He was here on other business.

Hanging from the rafters of the granary amid dusty beams of sunlight, a cage spun slowly. Three rats were inside, scurrying around. He heard their squeaks of fright, a scuffle of aggression. He examined the round structure, wondering how he’d get up there. The stuccoed walls were criss-crossed with wooden scaffolding. He slung his scythe over his shoulder, narrowed his eyes until only two slits of otherworldly blue showed beneath his hood, and began his climb. SQUEAK, he called up to the rats above, letting them know he was on his way. They lay silent and still on the floor of the cage.

At first, climbing the scaffolding was enjoyable. He was able to stretch his long legs and arms in ways that his job didn’t usually require of him. A lot of standing around, it was, interspersed with moments of riding his pale white rat-sized horse. It was rare that he got to be active. It was rare that he got to scurry.

He was scurrying now, though, leaping from beam to beam in an effort to make it to cage before the rats inside expired. Probably poison, he thought. It’s usually poison. He could hear their labored breathing slowing. If he didn’t make it there in time, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to guide them into the Rat Waiting room. Rats often had the mistaken impression that he was in charge of deciding whether they went into Rat Heaven, or Rat Hell. SQUEAK, he reassured them. Those decisions were made farther up the chain. He was only the guide.

This scurrying was taking too long, so he decided to make use of one of his privileges as the Death of Rats and leaped out into space. He did not fall, though, but instead ascended quickly in a column of blue light until he hung just outside the door to the cage. SQUEAK? he asked, knocking gently on the wire. He liked to be polite.


No comments: