Back in Time for NaNoWriMo

So I’m back, trying to get into my writing again. What better way than NaNoWriMo? And this year is going to be even more fun than ever! This year I am taking a whole new generation of novelists with me on the adventure known as NaNoWriMo. I am a after school care worker and when asking to put up a poster about the YWP my boss responded with “You could do that with the students!” I am really looking forward to this, one of the boys is writing a story called Llamas Vs. Zombies.

But before that I have to finish my assignments without getting too distracted by my story ideas. How is your NaNoPrep going?

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Naccara – The First Druid.

The title of first druid is an odd one, common folklore gives her this title, but few can agree whether this is a statement of time or power. The story has her as being old when other Aetherian druids were young, but some argue that there will always be older. The story also proclaims her great strength, her power beyond measure, but others make this claim too and who can know who is the most powerful. This is a story of her greatest project, one for which few give her credit. Her earlier works are well known, but it is safer if few know her role in this one.

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A Room Full of Cranes

Thousands of paper cranes filled the room. The hung from the ceiling and rose in piles from the floor. Each crane was made from a unique piece of paper. People didn’t come into this room often any more. It was too full of spirits. Not that anyone in the asylum said that, staff weren’t supposed to believe in those kind of things in an insane asylum. It was well known though. This room was said to have had an inmate years ago. She had been there for 50 years, and every day she was sent paper. Paper from old friends, from staff members, from families of other inmates. Whenever she got a repeated pattern she would give a crane to the first person who walked past her cell. She won friends easily, she was quietly kind.

Now the room was empty of life, yet the cranes shifted and some would swear that new cranes would be added to the strings above. Inmate’s didn’t like spending time in there. They didn’t feel unwelcome, they said, instead they felt like they were intruding. It was a private place, a calm place. A kind place. Whenever a staff member was feeling especially worn out by the trials of the day they would step into that cell. Some told the cell their problems, some just cried, but all came out feeling a little better.

In that room even the most violent of patients became careful, the most distressed became calm. The cranes were special. No one ever said anything officially, but everyone knew. On the door was a plaque, it read.

“1000 cranes represent a wish for 1000 years of health and happiness. 100,000 cranes were folded here.”

 

I fold many cranes in my spare time, this was a rare time when my two hobbies met.

Lost and Found

She ran into the door at full speed, bouncing off it painfully as her hands fumbled for a handle that wasn’t there. The door was in fact boarded over, with some meaningless words stamped on the wood. She turned and her hand found the tree, she took a hold of it to steady herself and rested her other hand on her knee looking back the way she came. She was out of breath and lost, but it did seem her pursuers were some distance behind.

“What the fuck do they want?” She whispered.

She heard the heavy boots pounding on the pavement. Ignoring the stabbing pains in her side she straightened. After only a moments hesitation she turned and ran on. She dodged through the back streets of the old town, not knowing where she was going. Always the sound of boots followed her. She paused under an awning. Her hands rested heavily on a door handle which wouldn’t turn as her breaths cam in gasps. She closed her eyes, she had never run this far before and now she just wanted to collapse. The footsteps returned.

“Fuck.”

Streets blurred, some looked familiar but most didn’t. She ran through crowds and darted around the corners of the back streets. She stopped whenever the tramping of heavy boots were no longer audible. She often had only a moment’s rest. She stopped behind a garbage hopper. The boots rounded the corner. She didn’t even have the breath to swear. She stumbled to her feet when she caught sight of her pursuers, heavily armoured men. They looked like police but didn’t have it written on them anywhere. She staggered around the corner.

“There she is.” One called.

“Shoot her.” Came the order.

A bullet ricocheted off of the bricks just as she turned the corner. Lucky again, but how long could that luck last. A hand wrapped around her arm and she was yanked sideways. Her shoulder screamed with pain. Her head hit something hard. The world went dark.

“Are you alright?” A voice said somewhere in the shaking world.

The shaking stopped and a boy took his hand away from her shoulder. He looked her over quickly before glancing back towards the window.

She couldn’t contain herself, but she knew better than to yell, “Where the fuck are those fucking men? Where the fuck am I? And what the fuck were they doing?”

The boy helped her sit up, “They just went past, I pulled you into my house as you passed.”

“Why the fuck would you do that?”

“Because they were shooting you!” The boy said, “Why were they shooting you?”

“I don’t fucking know.” She needed to get a hold of herself, she didn’t usually swear this much, but she felt she needed it.

“Well, I can get you some dinner then we can get out of here.”

“I don’t know how to be a fugitive.”

“I’ll help.”

“Why?”

“Because you aren’t the only one.”

 

I should play with this world again, if others are interested?

A Harsh Land, A beautiful Land

A land of droughts and flooding rains,
Of raging fires and flowing rivers.
A land of extremes,
A harsh land,
An old land,
But it is my land,
A land of beauty.

A harsh land,
A land of droughts,
Which bleaches the green from the landscape.
The grass is rarely green,
Only various shades of brown.
The trees are never green,
But shades of olive-brown.
Yet this drought ridden land
Holds a certain beauty,
That is never far from my mind.

A harsh land,
A land of flooding rains.
Rains and winds,
Which strip the hills of earth.
The bones, the stones,
Piercing the earth,
There is not enough soil to hide them.
The stones,
Worn by winds,
Shaped by winds,
Boulders capping the hills,
Sheer faces of rocks
Some held up only by the tree roots,
Set to topple, yet never doing so.
But even this has its beauty,
That is never far from my mind.

A harsh land,
A land of raging fires,
Burning bright and hot.
Raging through the Landscape,
Burning acres upon acres at a time.
Whole forests left in cinders,
Only skeletons left of trees.
But from this death comes life,
And beauty better than before.
And that is never far from my mind.

A harsh land,
A land of flowing rivers.
Some narrow and fast,
Some wide and slow,
Some no longer flowing at all,
Dried up and waiting for rain.
My land has raging rivers,
trickling brooks and gurgling creeks.
Some cut into the ground
Creating gorges,
Some deep, some shallow
Some wide, some narrow.
All these rivers, all these creeks,
Hold beauty in their waters though,
And that is never far from my mind.

A harsh land,
But a beautiful land.
Give me some time
To show you its wonders,
To show you its beauty.
And when I am done,
You will then find,
That the beauty is never far from your mind.

 

I made this up while riding through the countryside around my home. I’ve always loved it.

Drown

This is written at roughly the same time as Blood, and I think you can see what sort of vibe I had at the point. Both were quite good for he time they were written and still my favourites.

The water closes over my head and I wonder whether I should be thankful or not. I wonder which will kill me first the lake, or the arrow that pushed me into it. Why should I live anyway? A warrior for money, nothing else matters to me, everything else is gone. I fight because its all I know, it’s right that I should die fighting.

I can’t see the light above me any more. My chain-mail drags me down. Maybe that signifies something. Fighting led me to this death, the armour always dragged down on my soul, it forced me to give up all I had.

Why is it taking so long?!

I just wish I could die. I have had enough of this life and its pain. This armour chokes me drags on me, has always done more harm than good. I struggle to pull it off, and as I do so the arrow rips itself free taking half of my flesh with it. The water darkens and the taste of metal and blood infuses it.

Why do continue to hold my breath?!

I wish to die, but yet I only make it harder for myself. I wish to give in, to breath in my last breath, a breath that will mix water with blood. One breath to end my life, but yet instead I force myself to suffer this agonising suffocation.

I break the surface and by reflex I draw a horrible life-giving breath of air. It sting in my lungs, causing horrible pain. The pain of life, am I never free of it. I hear voices above me, muffled.

“Was … him!” “Get…” “Shraga!”

A force hit me in the side and strong arms grabbed me by the shoulders. I fought and finally took the breath I wished to take. Water swamped my lungs, but it was to late. Roughly I was dragged ashore, the wound on my back from the arrow grating mercilessly on the ground. Someone jumped on top of me forcing my wound to grate even more on the rocks of the lake shore. But worse, it forced that death-giving water from my lungs.

I rise to my feet, knocking the one on my chest over. My only thought is to rip out the throats of those who deny me death. My final wish, my only wish, I wish for death.

They grab me hold me still but still I have one by the throat. My vision clears slightly, I see my victim. He’s another warrior, one I have fought beside. I snarl at him and he draws back. They fear me.

“You took away my last wish.” I told him.

He looks at me with sadness and pity in his eyes. Emotions I do not need or want. I need and I want only death. He motioned the others to let go, but they did so reluctantly.

“What did he mean?” He murmurs behind my back.

The others ignore him.

I let loose my choke-hold and the one in front of me speaks, “If death had been meant for you today, Kinthan would have taken you.”

I shrug off the last of their hands and walk away. Over my shoulder I hear that ignorant young one again.

“Will he not take his own life if his wish is to die?”

“No he is a berserker, he will die fighting.”

I am a berserker, I live to fight, I fight to die. How many times have I come to my senses surrounded by corpses of ally and enemy. How many times have I woken in the healers tent. How many times has Kinthan forsaken me, living me to live when all I crave is death.

I am drowning forever in a pool of death which refuses to take me.

Blood

This is an old story, maybe about five years old, but I’ve always loved this one.

It flowed, flowed out over the ground, soaking into the dirt. It spread into a pool around his stricken body, glinting red in the pale moonlight. His rugged chainmail gleaming again, red from his own blood and that of his enemies.

He lay on the battlefield, countless bodies strewed around him; some dead, some, like him wishing they were dead. The silence of the night was rent by the moans of the fallen.

Slowly, one by one, the moaners fell silent, finally achieving that last goal they had sought; death.

Alone the one soldier struggled on, silently, his life flowing out of him, one drop at a time. The blood flowed ever slower and slower, how he wished it would reach its end when no blood would ever flow again. But still a part of him clung to the life that would so soon be taken from him, it fought to prolong its time in the land of the living. That part of him clung to a tenuous consciousness, refusing him the black bliss of the unconscious.

There he lay, no longer really alive, yet not quite dead, merely waiting in some place in between; a place of blood.