I found it! I fount part of Jericho’s story that I apparently wrote back in 2013. There are more bits to the story, but they’re much older and much less refined. I thought I actually had more to this version of the story, but it looks like the rest I was thinking of is just point form outlines and notes. At any rate, I think this is the story that I’ll work on for Outline October, at least. Alpha Base is so much more complete that it’s hardly a challenge, but I only barely understand how the world for this one works. There are lots of ideas world-building-wise, but the pictures in my head are so rough that I can’t even explain the basic concept to anyone yet. I’ve tried.
Here, give it a read over.
“The sky was new. He breathed deeply, and tasted the truth of that statement. The sky was all he could see, and it was a big sky, blankly blue and full of so much nothing, like a canvas waiting to be marred by someone’s careless hand. Yes. Absolutely. The sky was new.
Or maybe… No, he realized, it was his mind that was new. When he tried to think of anything except the sky, all he found was its reflection on the inside of his skull. It too was a big sort of blank, full of so much nothing, waiting for the same marks as the sky. Waiting for clouds of memory.
None were forthcoming. Not one.
A breeze picked up, rushing towards him from somewhere to his left and then up and over him with soft paws, and gone. It picked up his hair, long and blonde and dirty, and passed a thick twisted rope of it over his eyes and nose. He blinked, aware for the first time that he had eyes, and then he sneezed, aware for the first time that he had a nose and it was full of dust waiting to be blown out. He sat up as he whoofed and barked and, against all logic, began to laugh. Well, he thought, isn’t that interesting. I can’t be so new if I’ve been around long enough to collect so much dust.
He dragged a hand across his nose, unfamiliar even if it wasn’t new, and sure enough, it came away streaked with brown. He stared at it: first at the dirt and the snot and then at the hand that it covered. A note of perplexity, like the honk of an offended goose, burst out of his throat. He hadn’t expected to see so many cracks in the skin of that hand. He looked like he was made of desert dirt, split from lack of rain. Where the bright eye of the sun shone down on the scales, they gleamed back, especially on that curious flap of loose between his index finger and thumb. The back of his hand between the blue veins was bristled with hair like dead sticks stuck in the ground.
Nothing new about this boy that I am, he thought, not in the slightest.
Yet the mind behind his blinking eyes was still empty as if the sun had evaporated all his thoughts as he lay there for the World knows how long. Maybe it has evaporated them all. Wasn’t the World always learning new tricks to bring its Human Children back to the serenity of Not Knowing?
He pursed his lips, uncertain as to where that notion had come from.
Then he shrugged, thrust his hand into the earth beside him – for it was just earth; dry dirt and crackling grass, starved of water – and he shoved himself to his feet.
A loud, obnoxious tearing sound followed his ascent, and he danced a bit in surprise, too-tight boots kicking the dirt around him into clouds. His shirt, once red flannel and now a sort of pinky-gray rubbed thin, had rubbed too thin when he’d lifted his arm, and torn halfway from armpit to hip. “Son of a bitch,” he swore, and the voice came out gravelly and thin. “Where have you been, Me?”
He looked down at himself. “And how long?” The shirt wasn’t just thin, he realized. It was too small, as were his pants, his boots… everything. He shifted uncomfortably where he now stood. Everything kind of everything, including, damn, the undergarments he hoped no one could yet see. He sensed that there’d been more tears than just the one revealing his underarm forest to match the desert brush on his hands.
The wind swept up again, longer this time, and it forced more of his hair into his face. He swept at it, grabbed the lot of it, and tugged it back into a raggedy handheld ponytail so he could look around at where he’d started his new, old life. It was a place without spare clothes, unfortunately, and indeed, it was without much of anything besides sky and grass and dirt. Not far away was a thick trace of shadow running through the sea of dry grass. A creek bed? Long since dried up, it seemed. Beyond that was more of the same, grass and more grass, none of it lively-looking, until a flickering mirage set the land apart from the sky in a drunken horizon line.
The only deviation was to his back. A line of trees stood there, distant enough to be nothing but a marching line of jagged sticks. At their tops, flickering movement suggested that they’d managed to grow a few leaves for the wind to play with. Maybe there was water there. Ditches. A road?
Either way, it was the only choice he seemed to have. There was a whole lot of nothing, or there was the possibility of a road.
He tucked his long hair into the collar of his shirt, shoving it down as far as it would go in hopes that the wind wouldn’t drag it back out again, and then he shoved his hands hard into the tight confines of his pockets and began his trek back into the world.
Somewhere over there, he hoped his memories had rained down in a puddle that he could drink up. At the very least, he hoped to find his name. There’s nothing so troublesome as walking around without a name. Even ripped underwear’s not as bad.”
– Jericho’s Story (AKA The Weather Story) – Rough Draft – Chapter One –