Ah-ha, so I wrote a story during our romantic weekend in Champagne-Ardennes (yes, that was pretty much a fail in terms of actual romanticism, lol. But I did write most of it yesterday, after the weekend was over, so it’s OK 🙂 )
Set in the Xuya continuity, in my new sandbox of the Đại Việt Empire (aka the Vietnamese in space, lol). And has, er, ships. Lots of ships, a pregnant woman, and cultural conflicts around space travel. I actually started it out a couple of months ago based on three different kinds of tea (longjing, keemun/qimen and bai hao yinzhen): each scene was to be introduced by a short excerpt that would focus on the experience of drinking a tea, as well as introduce the central emotion of the scene. But when I wrote the story, the tea parts didn’t actually mesh very well with the rest of the (1st-person, addressing 2nd person) narration, so I just struck it out. It’s also 4000 words, which is starting to be a bit long for a first person addressing a second person, but what the heck. Narrative persons are made to be messed with 😀
You never liked your sister.
I know you tried your best; that you would stay awake at night thinking on filial piety and family duty; praying to your ancestors and the bodhisattva Quan Am to find strength; but that it would always come back to that core of dark thoughts within you, that fundamental fright you carried with you like a yin shadow in your heart.
I know, of course, where it started. I took you to the ship–because I had no choice, because Khi Phach was away on some merchant trip to the Twenty-Third Planet–because you were a quiet and well-behaved son, and the birth-master would have attendants to take care of you. You had just turned eight–had stayed up all night for Tet, and shaken your head at your uncles’ red envelopes, telling me you were no longer a child and didn’t need money for toys and sweets.
And, hum, now I’ve finished procrastinating, I’ll go back to my novel chapters…