A Story by Katie de Lavani

Written for a regional assignment, explore the world of the Glitch race with innovative ideas and forward technology.


I stood patiently on the neighborhood square, the post indicated by the cutting bright beam that shone out of a patch of grass, growing around the base of a proud fountain. Pressure would send signal of my arrival to Tile; it was programmed to identify my weight and foot placement. As I waited for him to come outside, I gazed about to admire the eight houses in my view. Each one, ranging from fifty to ninety chek, or 23 to 41 human feet, had carved onto the stone a communal theme. A variation of small and medium sized windows peppered the stone’s face and acted as additions to its engraved tattoo. The theme for this particular ring of houses was feathers. On one, down the walk, there was carved a pile of feathers from a baby bird; a single last one dropping from near the top of the egg shaped roof. Another had what looked like pame feathers, each one spread out like a woman’s fan. All of them moving gracefully in the wind’s current. Tile’s house held the most engrossing outline. It was of goldfleck feathers, and though there was no color, the shape was fully distinguishable from any others. Somehow, the carvers had etched the stray tufts of the delicate feather. Not only that but they were resting on the top of a puddle or lake, the sides of each prong beginning to clump together as they do in the water.

I was still peering at the intricacies of the image, head cocked sideways, when Tile’s upturned nose consumed my view. “Ah! How’s you?” he began in his broken Alram. He’d been practicing his third language with me the past few months and the simple phrases still eluded him. As I snapped to the image before me, I took in Tile’s usual appearance. Thick, padded leather vest over a dulled white shirt, cheap leather vambraces, sturdy boots and his signature blue bandana wrapped around naturally pointed hair. Aye, always geared up as if ready to fend off a horde of invaders armed with medieval swords.

I smiled, nodded in acknowledgement of his greeting. “I am doing griff." I knew it was custom here to entertain in long conversations of meaningless nonsense such as the newest synthetic material before coming to anything worth saying, but my impatience was becoming irritating. I quickly suggested a nearby food establishment to discuss our next assignment over lunch. The variation of substance there was adequate, but the reason it came to mind was that they were the only ones capable of following and order from an outsider such as myself.

I’d arrived from Lan 8 just a few months ago from a job transfer. Although the differences between Lan 8 and 21 were numerous, one of the most irksome among them was the lack of VTHs or Visitor Temporary Homes. Lan 8 was much larger in size than Lan 21, mainly because of the broadcast station. There, visitors were expected. Here, if you visited this particle of a town, you must be family, and if you were family, you could stay in a guest bedroom of their home. That’s why the houses were so large; family here usually stayed in Lan their whole lives. In the more central Lans, children would branch out, going into the high mountains or undersea, never considering a flat and tedious place such as Lan 21.

As Tile and I walked to the end of the ring, I checked the time. A digital clock had been implanted under the skin of my hand due to my obsession with knowing when it was and I’ve never regretted it. Blue 130:6, a little behind schedule. At the end of the walk was the Orange moving rush lane, practically embedded into the ground. One thing I truly admired about Lan 21 was how it promoted walking everywhere. There weren’t any catties, short for what we called the caterpillar-looking fixed-route cars in 8, here in this Lan. It was definitely too small to have such extensive public transportation. Rush lanes legged out through the city, allowing for a faster walk from one place to another and if it rained, bring an umbrella.

Stepping onto the rush lane, Tile peered at the black shoulder scarf I was wearing. “Is that the new riym texture?” he asked me, reverting back to 21’s dialect, similar to Adcant of Lan 19. The intonation and emphasis of this specific Adcant was particularly lopsided and I took a moment to compute.

“You know, Ti, it has always amazed me that you know every patch yet all you wear is that funny uniform. Even in the ancient times that was not in fashion. And yes, this is riym. You know I cannot stand wearing that cotton they have been coming out with.” Tile proceeded to question me, as he normally did, about every fabric in my outfit. I had grown used to the intrusiveness in this Lan and before I left my house every Pink 23:0, made sure that I checked the designer and material for everything I wore.

When we arrived at Hilds Switch I ordered an assortment of thirteen dishes while Tile ordered his one main. The concept of a single dish was one I still hadn’t become accustomed to for surely anyone who ate that would find it bland after the first three bites. Hilds Switch has been the only establishment I could find in 21 where I could order more than five dishes in coupled bite-sized portions. I guess it was higher Lan that didn’t have such a large selection of spices and meats that taught the children to order just a single. But who taught them how to eat, I didn’t want to know. Their mouth was always more open than it was closed; I began to wonder if they had full control of their lip muscles.

Foods here were reserved, focused mainly on bread and chicken. The number of different ways they prepared breads here probably amounted to the number of Lans in the above ground section. Cheese bread, garlic bread, and the famous olive and peanut bread lined the menus of 21.


© 2011 Katie de Lavani

Author's Note

Katie de Lavani
I'll be adding more soon!

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Wonderful! The story literally comes alive in front of my eyes while I read! I'd LOVE to read more, so please write some more, for your readers' sake:)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago

I loved this! Of course I want to know more!

I like how you don't waste time at the beginning of the story with loads of description. Sci-fi stories are better if the reader has to figure some of it out on one's own. But definitely keep writing it, because it made me all curious to know more.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on April 6, 2011
Last Updated on June 10, 2011
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Katie de Lavani
Katie de Lavani


Hi. Nothing much to say about me. I'm always looking for a good story in my life and sometimes base the stories I write on real life experiences. I love to read others writing to see just how horrible.. more..

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