Wednesday, June 15, 2005

fiction #1- "soucouyant" part 1

so, months after starting the blog, i'm finally using that damn copyright for something, and posting the first piece of my fiction.
just so my reader is aware, i'd originally asked here whether people'd read serialised fiction, so that i didn't have to have each piece be an excessively long post, and the response was 'yes'. however, i've remembered that many of the magazines i'd like to submit my work to only accept "previously unpublished fiction", including both print and online, and since a blog is "online self-publishing", i've decided that anything long enough will still be serialised into several posts, but no story will be posted in its entirety. sorry folks.
i will definitely post sections of each story sequentially, notify you when you've read as much of a story as i plan to post, and notify again of a new story beginning, since i'll keep up my regular blogging in between. for simplicity and easy, sequential searching+reading, they'll all be titled like this post, in order, as "fiction #?"
general note: each of my stories is completely different from the others in terms of style, voice and content (i'm actually having trouble naming them as a collection because they're so disparate). there are unconnected, except for a vague (sometimes not so vague) idea of displacement, so the first story is not necessarily indicative of any aspect of others yet to come. in other words, as long as you can stand it, keep reading, and wait for the next one if this one's not your taste.
and of course, constructive criticism/comments/questions are welcome. i'll respond and/or take notes.

so here's the first installment of my first selection. it's called soucouyant (if you don't know what the word means, it'll make more sense as you read the piece, and if by the end you're still confused, you can ask or try sidebar trini dictionaries- and as your narrator sets up the locale, try to hear the accent in the words. it might help...)

"How you mean you never hear about the researchers from foreign who come down here looking for frogs? It was the early 80’s I think, and all the talk was these tiny golden tree frogs…maybe it was red…nah, it was gold – up on El Tucuche – how Trinidad and Tobago could be famous with people coming from all over to study these frogs up mountain. It was a big thing for science because the frogs were a unique species and all that, but somebody had just discover they might have some kinda medicinal something in their glands, so you know the government was seeing dollar signs one time.
But they was almost smart for once. The government had some big environmental conference to tell the world that as a developing country we don’t really have the resources to study it the way they want, so they inviting a limited number of researchers to come and try to learn more. They wanted to keep it small because since the frogs technically endangered, they didn’t want people catching and killing them all how.
Well as soon as they announce that they allowing researchers into the natural environment, groups start looking to make arrangements to come down.
So the government stir up all this drama, then announce they having an auction to decide on the first two groups of two. The two highest bids get the first, maybe the only chance to stay with the frogs, because they not sure yet if they allowing any more after those first couples – they have to wait and make sure the whole thing have ‘no negative impact on the ecosystem’ before any more crews could go up. But everybody wanted to publish their research first, so now scientists and their grant writers on a crusade.
Once these scientists reach, the deal was they had to have local guides to take them up and stay in the specific place set up for studying the frogs, and of course, the guides on government pay. And with this place for them to stay, they had to pay the government rent. And absolutely only the chosen two groups of two allowed up there at the same time; no more than six total, including the two guides, so as not to upset the ecosystem and all. And you better make sure your permission slips in order, because if you get catch camping up there with no papers, you in trouble. The government even say they maintaining a watch on the area the whole time they have researchers, to make sure nobody doing anything damaging. So you know everybody else who didn’t have auction money get stick staying in whatever hotel they could afford and sneaking up El Tucuche on two-and-three-day trips to try and learn something, assuming they manage to ask the right person and quote the right price to get lucky, and avoid the watchman…"

more later. walk good.


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