Excerpt from Chapter 1
Reverside by Day
Marto-Boxster « son of Maria « daughter of Deni « daughter of Marta « daughter of Joya « etc set down his quill atop the mostly bare parchment. He lifted his head to gaze out over the Mediterranean sea near what looked like a northern spot along the Ligurian coast. A soft salty breeze drifted in with the sound of birds and lapping waves.
The arched window of the medieval tower framed a problem; the sun was setting in the east, not the west. The walls of the writing room were lit with the orange glow of a setting sun coming from the wrong direction. Out past the door of his room, down what could have been been a spiraling stone staircase, he heard the inexplicable echo of metal and the rattle of chains. The room was dim, and he could find no candles anywhere. He wondered if it ever going to be night, or only perpetual sunset. And why on earth was the sun coming down over France? He felt annoyed. [“Setting in the east?”] he thought aloud, [“who wrote this?”]
Of course he knew the answer to that. He gave ratings and feedback before thinking [“save, exit”], and returning to the waking world.
The tower faded, as its floor and the sea and earth itself gave way to stars moon and sun before finally going black. There was a moment of vertigo as the body left its engaged state in the construct and found its natural position in the waking world. Marto’s eyes opened to daylight filtered through tall white framed, rectangular window panes.
He sat on a sofa in the parlor of the Lester Sunshine Inn. It was a sturdy stone and beam home, built in the grand style of the late 19th century. It served as a secondary shelter against the coastal storms that battered the lower Hudson. Up the grand staircase there were rooms, sometimes occupied by members and travelers of notable Merit.
The Inn’s historic parlor was furnished with some of the best from the previous mid-century. Seated on the threadbare rectangular sofas and shabby geometric chairs were two dozen dreamers, super-mods and socials. The faded 200 year old Iranian rug was slowly turning to dust. A large industrial steel coffee table hunkered low and bare. The shabby interior was a feature of the Inn, considered charming by some. Marto was too accustomed to it to find it charming. He wanted a breakfast bulb.
His feedback on the medieval writing villa received a response by its creator. Delamine « Tourea « Yasmine « Delphinia « Rosemarie « etc took issue with him at once. [“The sun is not setting, it’s rising.”] she thexted him. [“Though I am honored by your review”] she added.
[“There is a distinct difference in the feel, both in temperature and quality of light, between sunset and sunrise.”] Marto countered, [“I recommend some revision there.”]
After a gap, Delamine expressed her appreciation of his valuable feedback. She requested that he try again after she had made some changes.
[“Also - what is with the clanking sound coming from downstairs? Is it a dungeon of some kind?”]
[“Some of my visitors find it romantic, and exciting.”] Delamine returned. [“It has seen some use, but I can remove it for you on your next visit.”]
[“Well, if you are after romance, I recommend that it indeed be set to the end of the day, with the sun setting in the west. Put the window on the other side towards the setting sun. To show the coast, maybe add another window to the east, or move the whole construct to the west coastline. The incongruity was too distracting for me. I thank you Del, while your new creation does not fit my current needs, I continue to be a fan. Until next time.”] Marto replied, signing off.
He appended his review with some pleasant thoughts about the eagerness and expertise of the villa’s author. He paused to accept a breakfast bulb from a member of his tribe.