So fellow WIPpeteer over at the Ink and Papyrus Blog has started up a blog hop called Short Story Saturday, and from the name, it should be fairly self-explanatory what it’s all about. After a bit of fiddling, I managed to set up a linky for it, so feel free to join in, if not today, then next weekend! I know, I know, the time of posting says nearly 5pm Sunday, but it is still Saturday on the West Coast of America for another… 40 minutes, so I’m totally justified! Right? I will try to be a bit more on time next weekend, though, yeah. Had a busier weekend than I expected.
Anyway, I decided to use Short Story Saturday as a way of exploring the history between the two countries in Friend of the Enemy, the WIP I plan to start working on while I take a break from A More Complicated Fairytale (I know, some of you probably would like to see more of Operation: Sugarplum; I’ll try to get some more momentum going on that, too, if possible, but I’ll have to see). I’ve tried to make this excerpt sound like it comes from an older academic text book, hence masculine pronouns to indicate ” everyone”, and that sort of thing; while I haven’t entirely figured out the setting in terms of approximate time period, I’m thinking that Dodgis, the country the main protagonist is from, will be something like a slightly anachronistic, maybe even almost Steampunk(ish) Renaissance – think TV show Da Vinci’s Demons, if you’ve ever seen that. If not, looking up a trailer on YouTube should probably give you an idea. The Trilvainians are probably a little more behind, since they are religious and magical, rather than engineering and scientific.
Without further ado, here is is my contribution for Short Story Saturday:
Extract from A War Goes On by Professor Shyem Mosan, Modern History Faculty, Orhess University
The war between Dodgis and Trilvain may have officially ended nearly half a century ago, but the effects of it linger on. People of either nationality refuse to look each other in the eye, each blaming the other for the damage that was wrought on his country. Even before the war, a Dodgish child who exhibited any form of magic was told to hide his ability, lest he be ostracised by his peers. This treatment has only increased since the war. One can only imagine that the same is true of any Trilvainian child who expressed an interest in engineering or another of the careers valued so highly in Dodgis.
It must be said at the outset that Dodgis did not invade Trilvain expecting a war. The first Dodgish forces to set foot in that country honestly thought they would be going in to help. The Trilvainian people accepted their rulers’ words blindly, were taxed to their limits without objection, and the majority had very little while the few had far too much.
These Dodgish humanitarians made the mistake, however, of expecting to be welcomed with open arms as the saviours of the Trilvainian people. They didn’t realise how steadfastly even the poorest of Trilvainians would cling to their religion and their magic, how distrustful they would be of Dodgish technology and how vehemently they believed everything they were told by their rulers.
Soon a rescue mission turned into bloody violence, magic against firearms, religion against science. Enemy spies were captured on both sides and some remain in prison to this day. At the end of the war, Trilvain agreed to better conditions for its people, and during the biennial Peace Fair, Dodgish and Trilvainian officials meet to supposedly ensure these conditions are being met, but life for the average Trilvainian has not changed much.
Will Dodgis try again? Perhaps. But given the bad blood between the two countries, which only seems to be increasing, it is unlikely that the goodwill that those first soldiers entering Trilvain attempted to extend will be felt in any way by present-day Dodgish. We can only hope that somehow, prejudices will be challenged and that better relations can be established between our two systems of government.
There may or may not be some foreshadowing of what happens in the actual novel in that final line. ^_^ I shall leave this post here, since it’s now only 25 minutes until midnight in LA, and will see you again tomorrow for ROW80 check-in and MMM. I’ll try to get my blogging schedule a bit more like what I wanted it to over this week. Catch you later!