First. The Idea.
That colonialism exploits the weak. That acts that support colonialism work to subjugate the weak. They encourage weakness. Let’s not talk about what I believe. I just want the facts, ma’am.
Science fiction. For now.
The dining room in the estate house of a rich man.
At the conclusion of the dinner party, the rich man serves liqueurs and cigars and opens discussion on matters of business and politics. Someone at the party begins to feel ill in the middle of the discussion, to the point where they start to bleed from the eyes, then the ears. The host of the dinner parts executes the sick man on the spot and continues on with his conversation.
Haley, the serving robot and defacto major-domo of the rich man’s estate. He is a part of the furniture. But he is an expensive and rare piece of furniture. His owner reacts to observations about him like another person would react to a custom made, one of a kind couch. Haley is not conscious. He reacts to his environment. He does not act on it. In the absence of stimulation he remains dormant. I’m calling it ‘he’ for lack of a better term.
Winston Washington Boone has a tonsured haircut. I want to introduce him as
‘Bearded and tonsured Winston Washington Boone sat in his highbacked leather armchair and smiled down the length of his dining room table. The wall behind him was an enormous fishtank, nine metres across and nine metres high, that reached the ceiling. A pale green, winedarkeyed moray eel stared unblinking at Winston’s guests.’
The first three words have the word ton in them. Three times. He sits with his back to an enormous green sea monster. I tried to evoke the image of a kraken with little success, but I could only think of the moray eel at Big Al’s petstore in Newmarket. The three ton’s, the sea monster, the fishtank, are all supposed to conjure the image of Triton, one of the Roman god’s of the sea. The tonsure is also to try and create an image of knowledge and wisdom.
I want to create an image of greatness in him. A triton among minnows. But I want it to be ironic. That for all of his greatness, that he still has the wrong idea.
Triton seems to be a minor deity for a little reading I’ve done. The son of Poseidon and a Nereid, a sea nymph, the only note of him that has any relevance is his association with Jason and the Argonauts. They treated him well and he guided them out to sea.
He also visited one of Jason’s Argonauts in a dream, turning the clump of clay made as an offering into a virginal woman. When the Argonaut woke up, Jason said it was a good dream because the clump of clay would one day be an island.
My Winston will be a generous man. Offering his home and his hospitality. His dinner with the guests is his way of guiding them out to sea, to set them on the right path. His gift to them will be to take the raw clump of clay they’ve given him and turn it into something valuable and of worth. That clump of clay will be the robot. A whole new idea. Something unheard of. Maybe it doesn’t have to be too far in the future after all.
Jason can be the name of one. As Jason and the Argonauts. Perhaps I’m working too hard on the story. But I want to try this. I really, really do.
The one who challenges Winston can be a representative of Orpheus, who came to his end by being struck by a thunderbolt, hurled at him by the god because he revealed sayings in the mysteries to men who had not heard them before. This is the character that begins to bleed (fall to pieces, which is another way that Orpheus was said to die)
Does it have to be about slavery and does it have to end with someone dying? Can it be about the sale of a parcel of land? Maybe for a cottage or something? The offer was made to Triton, not to the Argonauts. How’s that supposed to work? Jason offers Triton the clump of clay as a good will offering and it turns out to be a token that a member of the Argonauts finds in a dream.
Can the assembled be members of the town and they offer Triton the chance to stay in town? Is the story working too hard just for me at this point?
Winston’s horn will be his cell phone. This is what he uses to calm the waters and enrage the giants. Wonder if he shouldn’t use it more often in the story?
Phineus is Orpheus and him being sick is symbolic of his falling apart. But why would he travel to Triton’s place if he was ill? What did he have that made him so important?
Can Winston represent all of the water gods? Would make him more interesting? Nereus was a shape shifter. I like Triton, though, and I wonder why I’m working so hard to make this work. I like the story of the clay. I wish I had of saved that page offline. Might have to break out my own Bulfinch. I know it’s in the basement somewhere. What about searching online for Graves?
I can explain the whole turn of character for Winston by him being a creature of the sea, and his moods are like the ocean, constantly changing. I like that.
No more scifi. Not sure if the colonialism is going to fit in either. I’ve got a good story, I think. I like the characters. I’ve got Winston, Jason & Finny. I need a cast of favourites to play with. Some more Argonauts to add to this boat.
Why are they visiting him? What are they trying to get Winston to do?