Damn the Sidhe, and damn their blasted song that brought faces from her past swinging violently to front and center. Brother and sisters at arms, the ones lost to war, and the ones left behind to pick up the pieces after; enemies who shouldn’t have been enemies; enemies who should never have been allowed to stand as long as they did; wars fought for noble causes, and wars fought for no reason. The decades slid past her mind’s eye, slowing only as they reached the beginning of her second life.
I don’t remember much from my early life, and what memories I do have are made up of blurred images and vivid smells. I don’t recall how I came to live in the forest any more than you may remember being born. I was merely a cub; one shaped very differently from the rest of my litter, pale and bare of skin where they were heavily furred; but still one of them, one of the pack.
I’m am a wild thing. I can save myself.
That’s what I kept telling them, but if they heard what I was saying, no one ever listened. I was just a lost soul, a creature to be rescued, to be redeemed and brought back to the bosom of civilization. No one ever asked what I wanted.
Not until him, at least.
This was originally intended to be more focused on Yelejna and the actual getaway, but ended up being all about Hollis and her father, with glimpses of how they each feel about her. I’ve already got another short piece in mind that follows this one where we’ll get to see how Yelejna and Hollis interact. I’d like to do some exploring of the Dowager AI, and the planetside characters that will be playing major roles, and I still feel like I need to come up with maybe one or two more ship’s crew, but so far inspiration is less than sparky.
Doing work-ups for NaNoWriMo, which, in an ongoing lapse in sanity, I’ve decided to try again. At least it was enough in advance that I can get some thorough prep in; and I have a partner in crime this year! This is a character development exercise, a brief scene where we meet the ship’s engineer, and see a little of what he gets up to when at his leisure.
Inspired by Kelly’s prompt, “horses in a field.”
“Have you ever seen anything like it before?” Chardra swung the beam of light at the grass, and it fell away in a sheet that smoked momentarily. An old woman sat next to her atop the hill. Graying blonde eyebrows rose in surprise, but her features remained otherwise impassive as she stared across the strange landscape. Snow drifted across sandy desert plains, and a rainbow-hued herd of horses appeared on the horizon.
She shook her head. “You say you took this from a man made of moonsilver?”
“Yes, and after he was dead, his body melted away into a sort of…sludge. And then it disappeared altogether. It was the strangest thing I think I’ve ever seen, Tressa.”
Inspired by MCA Hogarth’s prompt, “fever-real.”
She had been ill, Tressa remembered, recalling in that distant, fuzzy sort of way you do halfway between dreaming and waking. The winds that blew in from the wylds had brought the Icewalker village ghostly voices and an ague that mysteriously affected only those with the Sight. She’d lain shaking from fever and chills for a week, but now found herself walking alone outside in the moonlight, expectation hanging in the air like the world holding its breath.
I’ve never been accused of being a great man, so I might as well recount the adventures of one who was. Good thing, I suppose; he’d never do it himself. He was never that kind of person. He called himself Bowman Vance, and he was probably the only real friend I’ve ever had. My name is Noah. I was just a boy when I knew him, barely fourteen, but the night he ran, I followed him.
By no means a stunning beauty, Callas was yet pretty in a that quaint way one might expect to find in the countryside. Her skin was smooth and tanned from a youth spent working and playing under the sun, and her hair, long and wavy, was sun-bleached to the color of harvest-ready wheat. Eyes that had been a muddy brown in her childhood had deepened with the years to a chocolate hue, and were rimmed by thick, dark lashes. Her father would have said she had inherited her mother’s soulful gaze. And if she had also got her father’s aquiline nose and strong square jaw, and his tendancy to purse her slighly-thin lips, who would notice? When she had occasion to smile, it lit up her battle-wearied face, and she glowed with it.
She surged forward from the mob of her fellow soldiers, their hands shrinking back at the cry of feral rage tearing from her throat. And she ran alone toward the moving wall of abysmal black.