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Sunday Scribble – “Optimism”

Optimism

She was cursing herself for not having the foresight of wearing a veil around the back of her neck. With her dark hair up in its ponytail, the tiny grits of sand were having a field day stinging her tanned skin, the wind whipping the pieces as if her neck was a target. Her eyes glanced at her partner’s back, promising herself not to utter a word of complaint, seeing as he did not mumble any curses against the sand flying by his narrowed, unprotected eyes as he gazed stubbornly at the sea of sand surrounding them.

“What are you thinking about?” she asked softly.

His response was her only indication that he had heard her words above the wind. “How Aknia will survive this threat…”

“We will survive it brilliantly, just as we do whenever unfortunate circumstances happen.”

His chuckles were bitter, humorless. “I am glad you still have some of your optimism,” he said, his light cape being tugged and pulled as the wind tried desperately to yank the material off of his shoulders in order to brand him with its hot sand. The cape, like its wearer, would not yield to the desert’s arrogant power, however. With a flourish, he turned back from the deep hills that he had been staring at and walked past her. She followed just a few steps behind him obediently.

“The Sword of Fire is not here,” he said, his shoulders slightly slumped as the pair trudged through the heavy sand.

“Perhaps another part of the desert?” she suggested, handing him a flask of water. Although warm, the liquid at least quenched the dryness of their throats. His head shook slowly, allowing drops of precious water to spill out of the flask, evaporating before they had even finished their run down the leather covering.

“Not that I can sense. It must already be gone.”

Her eyes stared at the sand that she passed by as the two walked back to the outpost. “How…?”

“The same way the Sword of Water has disappeared, I suppose,” he said with a grumble. “You are certain the Sword of Earth has been sealed?”

“The Earth Guardian had guaranteed it,” she said. His steps halted, causing her to almost knock into his back, and he turned to her in a fluid motion, his crimson eyes hard like the steel of his daggers.

“You did see the Sword sealed with your own eyes?”

She hesitated to respond and immediately cursed herself for her pause. “No,” she said. “I am afraid I did not. I took the Earth Guardian at her word, without demanding to see the Sword for myself–”

“By the Light…”

He seemed to have growled out the words, turning away from her. His walk began again, his steps longer, faster, and she struggled to keep up. Eager to redeem herself for her foolish mistake, she said, “I will return to the Forest of Illusions once we get back–”

“You will not,” he said. “I will go to the Earth Guardian myself while you remain with the queen.”

Her face burned hotter than the sand scorching her feet, but she nodded. “As you wish.”

“I need to see the Sword with my own eyes.” His voice drifted back to her on the wind, and she allowed herself to smile behind her protective veil at his reasoning. Silence brushed over the pair for a while, until she spoke again.

“What are we to do about the Swords that have disappeared?”

“Find them,” he answered without hesitation.

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Posted by on September 10, 2017 in Scribbles

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #112

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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Prompts

 

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Sunday Scribble – “Saucer”

Saucer
First Part | Previous Part

“Your dragon Toasted—”

“Toasty,” the tower man, who had introduced himself as Fraden, corrected Brom as he poured tea for the four of us.

“Whatever.” Brom waved his free hand dismissively. His other hand was holding the ice-encased rock that Luella had spelled up against a nasty bump that he had gotten while chasing down Toasty. The dragon itself was perched back up on the roof, but its snout was nearly poking through the window as it watched us lounge around the small dining table its master had set up in the tower.

Brom continued with, “Your dragon has been terrorizing the nearby village. We were commissioned to slay it and rescue any of its victims that happened to still be alive here in the tower.”

“You’re mistaken,” Fraden said, settling down next to Simon. Simon raised an eyebrow at me from across the table, either at the man’s blunt and confident statement or at me smuggling the tea saucer under my coat.

I figured the fancy plate could earn us a few gold coins since it didn’t seem like we were going to be rewarded for rescuing anyone.

Fraden didn’t notice, as he kept a steady gaze on Brom. “Toasty has never gone near the village, and he certainly hasn’t taken any so-called victims.”

“We smelled burned corpses,” Luella said.

“Toasty likes his food cooked,” Fraden said, “but he doesn’t eat humans. Too sinewy and stringy with muscles.” I clamped my mouth shut, not wanting to ask how Fraden would know that particular detail. He added, “Toasty mainly hunts deer and bear from the forests. Once in a while he’ll head toward the sea to snatch a shark if he feels like seafood.”

“Pretty sure we can tell the difference between cooked bear meat and humans,” Brom said. “That, and the village people have seen maidens getting kidnapped by a large, flying reptile. What’s your answer for that?”

“Have you tried the wyvern caves to the north?” Fraden sipped at his tea, his smallest finger sticky out as he held up his cup.

“Were we tracking down the wrong creature?” Simon deadpanned.

Luella groaned and stood up, her chair scrapping against the floor. “Well, let’s go, then! There’s no telling how many people may be in trouble with these wyverns!”

“Wait.” I stopped her from moving and looked at Fraden. “Why are you here alone in a tower with a dragon?”

“I enjoy Toasty’s company more so than people’s,” he said with a slight shrug. “Besides, there’s not many who wish to get too close to me once they find out how large my guard dog is, you know?”

“Huh. Fair enough.” I got up, my curiosity satisfied for the time being.

“If you four are not frightened off by Toasty,” Fraden said as we straightened out our belongings, “then you are welcome to visit anytime. As long as, of course, you don’t try to steal any more of my belongings. Please return the saucer to the table.”

Simon snorted as I sighed and took out the small dish from my pocket, returning it as requested.

“We apologize for that,” Luella said, and I ignored her narrowed gaze while heading to the door. “Perhaps we will take up on your offer to visit again, Fraden. Thank you for the information and take care.”

“Sorry about, uh, attacking, I guess,” Brom added as we finally left. When we were further down the road, Brom turned to me. “You must be losing your touch if he noticed a little tea cup plate missing.”

I smirked and merely opened my pack while we walked to wordlessly reveal the tea kettle nestled among my other treasures.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2017 in Scribbles

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #111

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Posted by on September 2, 2017 in Prompts

 

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Own It

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Home

 

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Snapshot

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in Home

 

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Sonder

Sonder. Noun. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as rich and complex — vivid with ambition, friends, worries, love, and craziness — as your own.

Sonder has quite a few meanings depending the language you look up. In French, it’s to probe. German, literally set apart. German also has the word sonderling, which means somebody set apart with a mind of their own. There seems to be tons of history in this one word that is evolving to mean that every single stranger you pass by has as complex as a life as you.

Of course, we all know every passerby is living their own life. It’s just one of those subconscious thoughts you always have. Sonder, though, is having that sharp realization that, hey, that person might also have a dog that she’s thinking about snuggling when she gets home. That man may be on his way to pick up his child from a friend’s house. That woman probably worries about her credit card bills like I do. Perhaps that man, instead of wondering about the lives of strangers, is inwardly freaking out about proposing to his boyfriend later tonight.

Rachel and I spent a couple of hours at the emergency vet for our cat yesterday. Chase the kitty is fine, thank goodness, but there were other families there for all sorts of reasons.

There was a young girl crying in her teary-eyed mother’s arms, and we know that she’ll be going back to school this year without having her furry friend greet her when she comes home at the end of the day. There was an older couple with a cat singing in his carrier while his leg was bound in a cast. A gentleman brought in his fluffy dog who wiggled her entire body in greeting to everyone else who passed by.

The vet tech who took our cat for his initial check-up got pee on her shoe — judging by how harried the staff seemed yesterday, I wonder if she remembered about it when she got off shift. There was another vet tech who had the displeasure of handing a couple a box and saying, “I’m sorry.” Her voice was monotone — she’s either said the same too often or her mind was on the possibility of preventing the need to say it to another family later.

Rachel and I were waiting for about an hour after we saw the actual vet, for Chase to be done with his tests and for his medications, and I just couldn’t help but wonder about the different people we saw. The word sonder popped up into my head again, a word that I’ve seen around on my Pinterest due to my interests in books and writing and words in general. Writing-wise, it’s something that I always tried to keep in mind for every character — no matter how minor — I add to my stories.

We writers take our inspiration from life, right?

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Home

 

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