Skeinsday, 4 Anthuary

Earned 32 / Spent 9

Savings 21,423

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The Disc created an eclipse last week, stranding Kernel in darkness. 

Sometimes the Disc appears to disappear behind the Sun, and other times it flits across its surface like a semitransparent lens, between it and Terrene.  How does it work?  Some people claim not to even see the Disc, but this we attribute to the madness that infects the worst of those locked up in The Den, or those we feel should be in there instead of out here in the muddy thoroughfares of Kernel proper.

As the shadows melted into one another, I leant out the window of my small place on Capital Hill, chin in palm.  The town is a strange place at night, a bowl of dirt surrounded by jungle.  The stillness of the empty streets is a stark contrast to the rustling, shifting wall of leaf and vine at the town’s edge.

You see in black and white at night.  It’s all black shadow and faint white reflections of the moon on the thin surfaces of every leaf and rooftop.  The jungle’s edge is like a massive scaled surface, and within are the flornae that thrive in this cool lowlight: the vegesaurs and cauliraptors, and the carnivorous pitchers and traps that wait for wandering mammals to pass into their toxic jaws.

I spent a few days watching the courtship of two xylem on the balcony outside my window.  The little things have wandered up from the houses on either side of mine, meeting in the middle to perform their leafy little dances around each other.

These were small for xylem – I could hold either of them in my hand – but what they lacked in stature they make up for in energy.  They tottered around on their two stems, smoothing back the branches atop their heads like little bouffants.  Some days they chased each other (the one with the darker bark was the male, I think) and they played games, teased one another.  They had very similar branching structure (I’m told that this is a good indicator of mating in the wild, a natural reinforcement of genetic material through breeding) and matched one another’s movements as though they were reflections.

I knew in my heart that nothing would come of it.  Both of these were domesticated xylem, probably since plantation, and they belong to other people.  Their owners soon put a stop to the playful courtship by bordering up their fences to stop them getting out.

It’s probably for the best.  These small things come and go, but for the xylem to inseminate and produce pods would not help anybody; wild xylem are a nuisance to the seed growers on which our economy relies.  Even domesticated ones are a reminder of the ancient pact they have with the maréchaussée.

Still, I feel for the two who are kept apart, knowing that they belong together.  Meanwhile the eclipse goes on.

— RSR

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