Thinking Time #2 – Story and Mark

I spent another hour today in a coffee shop away from my computer and other worries just to think and read. The first 30 minutes or so was time to think about whatever crossed my mind. No real purpose or goal, just me, a pen, a piece of paper, and my brain.

My mind kept shifting to a fantasy world that I have always wanted to write about. I think I’ve mentioned it here before but the basic principle is simple. The world takes place on this planet but there are two major differences. First, there are multiple intelligent species that evolved along different paths. Humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. all live on what we call Earth and have shared it for a long time. Basically, we know that if there is a Great Filter then it isn’t the move from unintelligent to intelligent life (however that is defined) because intelligent life is common on the planet.

Second, there are subatomic particles called magtron that sometimes replace electrons in an element, giving it magical effects. Magtron particles are found in nature both attached to certain elements and independently. Additionally, intelligent life produces magtron particles to varying degrees in the pineal gland (or something similar in different races). So, maybe 7,000 years ago a tribe of dwarves settled near mountains that had iron ore that happened to have most of the electrons replaced with magtrons. Any weapons they create would be magical. Also, maybe elves produce more magtrons than other races and that is why they are more proficient magic users.

I still haven’t worked out all the ways this would work, but that is the basic premise. Basically, it is a world similar to “Bright” except that the politics, cities, references and such would reflect a world where the races evolved amongst each other and came into conflict throughout different ages. Unlike “Bright” where there is a city called Los Angeles, a gang called the Crips, etc… all things that would not exist if their history was even slightly different than ours.

With this basic concept, I’ve put together a basic history of the world from pre-history to sci-fi. This allows for stories to exist in any genre. Police mysteries, war novels, “non-fiction”, sci-fi, steampunk, high fantasy, romance, etc. can all exist in this alternate universe. I’ve been thinking so hard about how to explain it as a cohesive universe through books and I realized that isn’t necessary (though, I think a video game, RPG, or tv series with this premise would be awesome). I can just write short stories in that universe and don’t really explain anything.

To practice, I wrote a VERY short, VERY rough “story” while I was sitting in the coffee shop just to play around with the idea of writing in the universe, not about the universe. There are new words and such that I hope don’t need to be explained due to context, but I included a glossary at the bottom.

*The Child*

A man and elva walked towards the cayro shop swinging their child between them. The child’s eyes glittered in the bright sun, just like his mothers. The glimmering blue-green a sharp contrast to the dark hair that he inherited from his father.

As they entered the shop the child’s eyes adjusted quickly to the darker environment. Excitement filled his face as he scanned the room. A pair of figures in the corner was particularly interesting to him. He pulled on his father’s hand and pointed wide-eyed at the two.

Realizing that they were the source of a child’s excitement one of them smiled and waved to the young boy.

“Go say hello,” the child’s mother said, encouraging her son.

The boy took a few steps forward and said “Hi!” much more loudly than the necessary. He waved awkwardly and almost lost his balance in all the excitement.

“Hello,” said one of them said, his sharp teeth showing slightly as he smiled and waved his four-fingered hand. Despite being over a spur taller and much more muscular than the boys father the child was not nervous. He was fixated on the blue uniform and badge on the er-og’s chest.

“What can I get you?” the bored barista said to the parents as they approached the counter. She was still playing on her phone as they began to order.

“Just two cayros. One iced and one hot”

“Room for anything to add?”

“No, thank you”

“Alright, that’ll be four silver, two bronze”

The man slipped her a five-silver note and said, “keep it.”

“Thanks,” she said with a half smile, finally looking up at the customers revealing her vertically slit eyes.

The boy, tired of standing next to his parents, pulled a toy dragon out of his pocket and began turning every inch of the shop into his personal flyway. He flew the toy around the room roaring and pretending to blow fire, earning him smiles and waves from the handful of patrons in the shop.

A radio squawk in the corner caught his attention as the two officers conversed quietly. They responded to the radio and headed for the door.

“See ya, tomorrow Kah-lees,” one said while pushing open the door. They were halfway across the parking lot to their vehicle before the barista registered the farewell and half-heartedly waved towards the empty doorway. She finished swirling her lightly blue glowing hands above one of the cups and walked back to the counter.

“Here you go,” Kah-lees said, handing the cups of cayro to the couple.

“Thank you,” the elva said smiling. “Braylon, it is time to go.”

The boy pouted for a minute and then clumsily headed towards the door. As they exited the shop the patrons returned to their solitary tasks of finishing homework, writing, and reading, but happy for the small diversion.

elva = female elf (a male elf is ‘elvo’)
cayro = coffee
spur = about 16 inches
er-og = male ogre (a female is ta-og)

****

Alright, I also dove into the Gospel of Mark for a couple more chapters.

4 – The Parable of the Sowers has kind of stuck with me. From my experience, many Christians are in thorny soil because “the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word.” I wonder if one of those other things is political power.

Why all the parables though? Kind of leaves a lot open to (mis)interpretation

Gerasenes – currently the city of Jerash in Jordan
or in some versions
Gadarenes – currently the city of Umm Qais in Jordan

So, depending on which version of Mark you read Jesus was in a different city. It is this type of thing that makes it very, very difficult to take the Bible literally. I understand seeing it as a figurative document with moral lessons and such, but if there isn’t even a consistency of cities then why should I believe any other parts are literally true when there could be another version out there with different details.

Why did Jesus give the demons what they want and send them into pigs? They killed off the livestock of some poor guy or village. That seems really shitty, but if Christ is willing to give mercy to demons then shouldn’t we be willing to give mercy to other humans? Even immigrants?

Mark mentions that he wasn’t one of the people who witnessed Jairus’ daughter get healed. I wonder how much else was second-hand information.

6 – It seems Jesus’ ability to heal is based on the faith of others. It makes me wonder if he is literally limited in power or is it a conscious choice not to heal people with less faith. Neither seems like a good situation.

When Jesus made a bunch of fish and bread he instructed the disciples to take their own food (in very limited supply) and give it away to strangers. He may have been testing their faith a little bit. I wonder how many Christians today would give their last bite of food to the hungry, the alien, the poor, the orphan, the widow.

6:52 – What is the point of hardening their hearts?

Gennesaret – currently the archaeological site Kinneret

Well, that was fun. I am actually getting a lot out of setting aside an hour a day without distraction to read and think. I’m glad I started doing this. I probably won’t share the results every time but for now it works well for a blog post.

Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a Snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail?

Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!

Email address: pjneiger@gmail.com
Instagram: @peterneiger
Questions:  pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Snapchat: @pneiger
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”

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