I started working on this story around the time of the protests going on in Baltimore this past summer. I started writing in a hotel in Montreal. Alyssa was there for an event that lasted the weekend, and I had to drive her there and back. The decision was that I would treat myself to a weekend in a hotel and try to write a novel in 48 hours. I didn’t quite make it, but I got a head start on a story that I’ve been pretty excited about.
I’ve been sharing the rough first draft of the story as I write it with our patrons. If you are interested, consider joining the ranks.
After global warming and an endless series of pointless wars, earth experiences a population crises. Racial differences start to get erased as the survivors work to repopulate the earth. Soon there is no group of people that would be called white. Just because racial differences are muddled, however, doesn’t mean that racism has been eradicated.
The Prophet Adam borrows from Christian mythology, interspersed with influences from Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and others, to create a new mythology. One which puts the blame for all of humanities flaws on the diluting of pure human blood of the first man. When the soul enters an impure vessel, it becomes twisted resulting in the aberrations of disability, homosexuality, gender non-conformity, and criminality.
All people are divided into three separate classes: the Children of Adam, the Children of Eve, and the Children of Lilith. The Children of Adam are the most pure scions of the first man. Only they can handle the burden of a soul. The Children of Eve, called the tainted, are those who are too dilute to be fully human, but not as tainted as the Children of Lilith.
The soul enters the body at the time of naming. For this reason, only the Children of Adam could carry human names. The tainted children can only be referred to by object names, such as the names that Adam gave the animals.
In order to make it clear to the eye to which caste one belongs, the Children of Eve are marked with a stained lotus: a white lotus tattoo with a single drop of red, like the blood of non-man tainting the purity of humans. The Children of Lilith have to cover their bodies with tattoos, in imitation of the colourful animal kingdom to which they belong. For this reason one of the slurs against them is Squids.
Your class is determined by your birth, and your only chance to move up is the Naming Ceremony that happens in a child’s 16th year. At that time, outstanding members of the nameless castes can earn a name by demonstrating that they are purer of blood that initially expected or than their parents before them.
Thrush is a rare child of a Child of Adam and a Child of Lilith. On her birth she is deemed a Child of Eve and the mark of the Stained Lotus is tattooed on her forehead. When her father is killed when she is 6 years old, she and her mother move in with her mother’s parents in the Domes of Eden. There she enters the world of Adamite children and the occasional Eve born to the Adamites. There she meets Lynx, the granddaughter of President Ezekiel and the black sheep of the Adamson family, direct scions of the Prophet Adam and of the First Man.
Much to her family’s embarrassment Lynx is marked as a Child of Eve when it is discovered that she has crohn’s disease.
The two girls become best friends and nearly inseparable until one day Lynx is kidnapped. Thrush figures out that her friend is most likely being held on the Island that is home to the Blood Hunt, Eden’s most popular televised event. A vicious game where Children of Lilith and Eve can volunteer to try to stay alive in the wild surrounded by other players and criminals who are trying to kill them. For every day they survive they earn money that can be applied to a dream of their choice, and for every other player they kill they earn a bonus. If you are the last player standing you win the grand prize. The game never ends, as long as there are new volunteers to join.
Can she stay alive long enough to find her friend? And if she joins the hunt, will she lose her only chance at being named?