I’ve really been enjoying writing Welcome to the Valleys in serial form as my Tuesday posts. I write the posts on Monday, my day off, and schedule them to go live on Tuesday mornings. People seem to like the story thus far, and I’ve wanted to explore the tale a bit more during the week. So this week I’m beginning something new by sharing some thoughts on Today’s post. If you haven’t read “Uncovered” yet this post will probably still make some sense, but I’d encourage you to go and read that post before continuing.
This was the most difficult part of the story which I have written up to this point. I couldn’t quite keep the council to stay on the course I wanted them to take. The reason for this is simple. Over the last several weeks I’ve been pondering how an encounter with the Senate might take place, and some of those thoughts just kept worming their way into this part of the narrative. I kept having to go back to expunge the council’s mis-behavior, though some of it survives in the posted form. Their intended roll was to bring up the notion of The Previous and hint that some people desire to gain news from it. Water Gap is not part of the Inner Valleys, though it is very close to them, and the divide just might be philosophical as much as it is geographic.
Among the Trio, Ama is the only one who does not display and deference for the Water Gap council. Healers are incredibly independent in The Valleys, and show no deference to political power as a symbol of their devotion to anyone who is in need of care. Still, Ama and the Council had worked together more closely than most healers ever worked with local government. The wounded words they expressed at her refusal to tell them the whole truth are genuine. Ama’s apprentice, Ami, will probably not work as closely with the council as her mentor – this could cause some tension later.
The idea that Walter had the nickname “Old Fox” came pretty early in the story. Now it just keeps popping out of people’s mouths at random. That Ama would refer to Walter by his nickname isn’t all the surprising, there is a closeness there which has been strongly hinted at, but it shocked me to find Minister Kalson refer to him that way in an official meeting. Clearly “Old Fox” is more than a nickname. In the previous week Kalson intimated that Walter’s compassion was “well known,” I’m still trying to figure out how these to tie together, but I’m sure they do. There’s some interesting things about Walter which I’ve been planning. We’ll see if he cooperates.
Jeremy has been a passive player for much of the Water Gap segments. As the story progresses he’ll have to become more of an active participant, probably as he begins to discover why his memory wiped. One reader left the comment on Uncovered which showed some remarkable insight, “Poor Jeremy he has forgotten all that he knew and knowledge is power.” As his memory returns we may begin to see some “power,” though what that entails remains to be seen.
I was quite surprised to see Walter’s comment about the meeting with the council going better than Ama planned. Ama is not above steering people in the directions she needs them to go, and that seems to be what’s happening here. She is’t malicious or diabolically devious, she sees her steering as part of her role as a healer. The question for me is, “ What was the plan?”
We’re almost out of Water Gap, by the way. Ama has some things to cover with Ami, and Raleigh needs to acquire the horses she hired, but soon they will be back on the road. The Ravine is in the future, but there are some things to do first before they get there.