Con Verse Lea; Chapter 44, Hastings 244

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 44:  Hastings 244
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 138

Lauren looked at the newly-painted emblems on the doors.  Those were Mars and Venus, right?

Well, she wasn’t entirely comfortable with the astrological significance, but then, she wasn’t well enough versed in astrology to know the significance.  They weren’t star signs, and it struck her that they were probably used in early astronomy also.  As she pondered it, she realized that she didn’t have any better idea, and she had delegated the decision to Tommy, so this would be fine.  She wondered, briefly, how those particular symbols had come to have those meanings, before continuing inside to use the facilities.

She stoked the fire when she got back to their campsite.  There were still a lot of things to teach people, but today it was going to be spear fishing.  She probably would have preferred to have breakfast first, but at present food was sparse.  She looked around to see if she could find any scraps she could use for chum.  Nothing caught her eye.  Of course, she’d had a lot of the waste--bones, skin, antlers--removed to the woods, but by now they would have been picked clean by scavengers.

Fires.  She would want her leaders to start building fires in the other campsites, and teaching their people how to do it.  Maybe they could do that today, too.  Also, she’d like to fire up the heater for showers.  She could use one herself, and she’d like to see how it worked.  It looked like a reasonably clear warm day for getting everyone washed early this afternoon.  But first, it was time to teach people to fish.

What was that expression about giving someone a fish?  Never mind.

“Ready for some spear fishing?” she said to Tommy.

“I guess.  I’d have liked breakfast.”

“Well, me, too, but in this world we have to work for our food.  I’ve stoked the fire; let’s get everyone together.  Shall I call them, or would you like to?”

Tommy giggled.  “I’ve never called them.”

“All the more reason why you should.  I don’t want them thinking I’m the boss; I’m only the teacher.”

Tommy nodded, and then in a surprisingly loud voice called, “Leaders!”  Over the next few minutes, the sextet converged.

Lauren had by this time pulled two arrows from her wagon.  “Gather ‘round,” she said.  “Most of you have arrows, and if you don’t, you can get them from your people.  But we have two kinds of arrows.  These,” she said, holding the one, “are target arrows.  They’re used to practice shooting into soft practice targets, so you can get better with the bow without using up the more valuable, and dangerous, hunting arrows.  This,” she said, showing them the heavier point of the other, “is a hunting arrow.  It is designed to penetrate into the body of an animal and kill it.  I want each of you to go get a hunting arrow and bring it back.  Oh, but if you haven’t used the bathroom, you should do that first.  I’ll wait.”

As they scattered, she replaced the target arrow, and grabbed her shorts.  “I think these will be best for wading in the lake,” she said.  “If you’ve got something comparable, you should probably wear that.  And you should have a hunting arrow, too.  Here, take mine.  I’ll get another.”

She decided to use the showers for a dressing room, as they were not in use, and the bathrooms were rather crowded.  There was also some early confusion, as people were uncertain which symbol indicated what, but that was expected and was being corrected quickly enough.

By the time she returned to the campfire four of her six leaders had gotten there.  She suspected the two women missing were trying to get through the crowds at the bathroom, but didn’t ask when they arrived a few minutes later.  Everyone appeared to be properly equipped, although only one of them asked her if his arrow was correct (it was).  They were ready.

“O.K., let’s go,” she said, and headed toward the lake.

Next chapter:  Chapter 45:  Beam 139
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #465:  Characters Wander.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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