Here is Chapter 1 of The Element Stones:
Renas awoke early; the sun was just starting to throw its light across the still waters of the sea. Renas got up, dressed, and went outside his room onto his “deck”, the eight feet of wood surrounding his one-roomed raft. He saw another raft floating lazily on the water, slowly coming toward him. As he looked on it, an INEFFABLE joy came upon him. He soon remembered what caused it. His kanjar was today, a coming-of-age ceremony that the Ailura had. He saw someone come out of the house on the raft. It was Inran Vanil, the father in a family he was friends with.
“Ho! Inran! Have you cooked the bread for tonight yet?”
“Hmmm. Tonight? What do you ALLUDE to?” A smile broke out on his face as he held in a chuckle. “Yes, yes. I…tested some of it last night. Very good.”
Inran was famous for his breads. No one knew how he baked them, floating on his raft, but he did. Another raft floated by, a QUARANTINE raft. Both Renas and Inran made a sign to deflect evil.
Quarantine rafts were where the sick were. It was best to lock sickness away, on the sea. Otherwise it would spread around the entire community. It would be IMPROVIDENT not to, everyone thought. As soon as passed, the MIRTH between the two men resumed. They finished talking, said goodbye to each other, and went back in their houses. Renas had to get ready for tonight; he had to put on the traditional face paints, memorize his GENEALOGY, and prepare himself for the extreme LASSITUDE that he would have after the ceremony.
The ceremony. Renas had gone through the Seven Trials, the tests, and was completely tired. During the entire feast following the Ranjar, he was LISTLESS. Sure, he ate some food, but most of the time he just sat on the sidelines and watched everyone having a good time.
He left while the party was still roaring with life and went to his raft. The rafts had all been tied together with ropes. All except the rafts of a few INIMICAL people who didn’t approve of the parties. They would go to the ceremony – they had to, it was tradition – but directly afterwards would head back to their raft and float away. A few years ago the leaders of the community had confronted them about it; the people had been DISPUTATIOUS, and the leaders learned to leave them alone. One certain family, Lanksan, was the most CANTANKEROUS of them all. Only once had Renas seen their house clearly. Even from across the water, he could smell how PUTRID it was, and saw that the roof was partly DILAPIDATED. Renas shivered merely at the memory of it. He lay down on his cot and tried to sleep. But sleep came hard to him. At last, when the partying had died down and all that remained was a few old drunk men sitting around the fire, did he sleep.
Work To Do
Renas awoke the next day, ready for his first day as an adult. Thinking back on it, the party had been a good one, except for that CURMUDGEON that refused to come. He wished he could go again, to experience the party and undo his uncalled for (but needed) BREVITY there. He had just been so tired. But, oddly enough, he felt stronger than ever right now. He knew he had a lot to do in this day, though. If he didn’t get a job soon, he would be left DESTITUTE. And he would need to enlist for the military drafting. He needn’t worry about that, though. The Ailura barely ever fought in wars, however they needed to enlist to be counted as a “legal” race. The last time the Ailura fought in a war was during the ERADICATION of a war band that Ulmar had sent to burn and destroy whatever they could find.
But finding a job would be the most important thing. It shouldn’t be too hard, though. Most of the people in the community saw him as a very ENTERPRISING young man.
The man who worked as the “drafter” also worked at many other minor jobs in the community; jobs that the community as a law had to have, but no one really cared about. Renas went to the hut that served as a drafting station along with all the other things that he did. He also lived there, among all the books necessary, so he had a MASTERY of the government, or so he said. He came up to the front room, where most of the drafts took place. The man wasn’t there. Renas waited for a few minutes before realizing that there was a bell. He rung it, and a man walked out, wearing a black robe. When he saw Renas, he took it off and was wearing underneath very SIMPLISTIC clothes.
“Sorry, I was helping work out a VENDETTA in the Windswept region.”
That’s right, Renas remembered. He was a judge also.
The man continued, “So, what can I help you with? Oh, wait, you had your kanjar last night, right? You’re here for the draft, right? And you can call me Cheln.” He offered his hand. Renas shook it.
“Yes — that’s right.” Renas spoke HALTINGLY. Even though this man seemed friendly, he was still nervous about it all. He wasn’t sure how much he enjoyed being an adult.
“Well, it’s pretty simple. All you need to do is endorse here to SIGNIFY that you have done it.”
“That’s all. And don’t worry, whenever a man comes in here he is frightened.”
As he left that day, Renas realized that he really liked that man. While somewhat RESERVED, he was still warm. He was the kind of man that Renas wouldn’t mind spending a day with.