The Friday Muse – Terutus Flashback

Last week, I shared a snippet from a short story I am working on for an upcoming anthology. It’s a superhero story, but set in a more medieval-type environment with castles and magic.

The main character of the story is Terutus, a middle-aged man (I think) who, in the beginning of the story, is watching a whole city burn to the ground. Is he a villain? Is he the hero? Only time will tell, but I did write a very short piece of a flashback that he has in the beginning of the story –

It was Seventh Harvest, when the city celebrated their freedom from man’s laws and embraced a loving God who had led them here into the middle of the Expanse, to a place where milk and honey flowed. Seventh Harvest brought about parties and dancing, all done to celebrate, to worship the Living God.

And it was at the very last Seventh Harvest that Terutus would ever attend that he saw her – Olivia. Beautiful violet-colored eyes, violet-colored hair, and tanned skin that indicated to him that she was a field-cropper, as they were called. He couldn’t remember ever seeing her in the fields, nor could he remember seeing her in the markets where most of the field-croppers sold their produce.

They fled the seventh harvest and went to the peer blossom agricenter. The peer plants were toxic if ingested or handled with bare flesh, but the chemical that caused their intense glow were used to light the city naturally and were also used as a natural cleaning agent. The fields brought intense light when the plants were in such a dense area together, so they were contained in an advanced greenhouse that shielded the plants’ light at night and allowed the sunlight in during the day…

I like this piece because it gives a little bit of world-building, a little bit of character-building, and it is short – as flashbacks probably should be. I’ve learned my lesson not to make flashbacks so flippin’ long as I used to do in some of my older writings. I’ve found that it’s easy to bring the point of the flashback across without having to pull the reader from the original story for too long.

I’m not sure who Olivia is exactly, or why she isn’t with Terutus in the beginning of the story, but I’m sure we’ll find out as the story unfolds over the course of the next few weeks.


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