Week Two, January 2015: Mermaids

So this week was rather successful, with roughly 4k words written in the last six days. I started the week working on a virtual reality novel set in a world where the internet is currently being converted to full virtual integration with the mind. In this world people are getting trapped in the internet. However I started by having the character getting stuck in DayZ which I realised later was not relevant to the rest of the story.

With that realisation I decided to start working on a mermaid tale. This was inspired by images of men carrying mermaids in a loving way, and by the fact that mermaids are not your typical fantasy fare any more. I wanted to explore how such a love might develop in a world where mermaids are monsters.

Before I share my mermaid story I would like to ask; What is your favourite fantasy creature that isn’t a dwarf or elf?

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Week One, January 2015: Kat Stinson

Hopefully this year I will be writing daily and posting weekly. Each week I will be sharing my favourite scene or short story from the week. This week went quite well, I wrote an average of 744 words per day, with my best day being 1315 words and my worst being today, with 36 before this post.

This weeks focus was on short, stand alone scenes and stories. The themes tended to be sci-fi and apocalyptic stories with a strong sense of survival. The scene I wish to share with you might not be the best of the week but it was one I found very fun. I’ve had some characters in mind for a post-apocalyptic setting for a while now, especially this girl, so I took a few days to write some scenes for this woman. Click through to read the scene.

 

 

 

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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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Lovebirds

I haven’t posted the information on the Lovebird Gryphs yet, I might post their information sheet sometime over the next couple of days as I continue this story.

 

The herd was moving away from the edge of their world, but two individuals lingered by the edge, looking out across the myriad of little island worlds nestled between cloud of all colours and shapes. They were creatures that were mostly green, perhaps the best colour to blend into the plains of these island worlds. Their forequarters were reminiscent of lovebirds, with small patches of orange around their eyes and beaks. Their hindquarters looked like those of a sheep, with thick green wool and red hooves to match their beaks. They were both carrying packs slung over their backs, which were presumably holding all they would need in the herd’s nomadic lifestyle. The herd was drawing further and further away, but they hardly seemed to notice. They continued to stand together, hips touching, one gently preening the other as they looked out across the horizon.

“Lilian,” said the one being preened, her song beautiful and soft, “Maybe out there we could find acceptance?”

Lilian stopped preening her and looked back out her eyes wistful but her song sad, “I’ve heard from others Nyasa, they’re no different, some are even worse.”

Nyasa sighed, it was a low whistling noise, “I don’t mean the other herds, I mean out there, beyond the clouds.”

“Surely you cannot be serious!” Lilian’s song was suddenly loud, then she dropped her voice, “Nyasa, no one has ever returned.”

Nyasa began to preen Lilian now, trying to calm her, “Few have ever gone, maybe they found something beautiful.”

“Or maybe they found only death, even travelling between the island worlds is dangerous.” Lilian said, but she was calming, “Out in Aetheria, in the raw aether, surely we’d have no chance.”

“Then maybe we should go talk to Fischer and Rosie again about…”

“I’m going nowhere near that close-minded goat.”

“That’s no way to talk about our herd leader.” Nyasa said, but there was an amused glint to her eyes, “Then maybe we should try another herd?”

Lilian shook her head, “No I’ve heard too much that sounds unpromising.”

“Then lets go, let’s take a chance.” Nyasa sung with great feeling, “A chance of something better is better then a lifetime where our own kind looks at us with disgust.”

“And what if only death awaits us out there?” Lilian asked.

“I’m willing to face that,” Nyasa said, “With you by my side.”

“Maybe I’m not.” Lilian said, “What if I said no?”

“Then I would stay, with you by my side I am sure we can overcome anything.” Nyasa said.

“But you believe we have a better chance of surviving the unknown then converting the herd.” Lilian said, “I’ll admit I probably agree.”

“Will we go?” Nyasa said, pausing her preening filled with anticipation.

Lilian stepped away from her and spread her wings. With a few flaps she took to the air and flew off the edge of the world. Nyasa had to scramble to follow, she should have expected this. Once Lilian made up her mind she would act on it straight away. They angled themselves towards a cloud that looked like a collection of bright green bubbles. Nyasa drew close to Lilian, her right wing settling over Lilian’s left as they settled into a glide. Her vision blurred and she realised she was crying.

“Thank you Lilian, you are so brave, I couldn’t have done this without you.” She said.

“You’re a romantic fool Nyasa, but maybe this is the only way we could have a hope.”

Last Song

This story was written just this afternoon and has had minimal editing. Its also a bit morbid.

 

Rain falls down in freezing sheets. Those not dead yet would be soon.

The one benefit of the rain was that it numbed the pain and washed away the blood that had pooled. The rain was hypnotic, lulling them gently into their eternal slumber. The dying seemed content in silently meeting their fate for the most part. All except one.

She had lost all feeling in her arms and legs, and was fading fast. As a last protest to her fate, or perhaps more to the fate of the others, she began to sing.

Her voice was soft and shaky to begin with, stuttering over words as she fought the chill winds. But her pure soprano voice became clearer and stronger as she wove a son that was both intensely sorrowful and eternally peaceful. For a moment it seemed the world held its breath, even the rain seemed quieter, as all listened to the song. One by one more voices joined hers as the dying took up the song.

A choir of hundreds sung with her, mourning the passing of hundreds more, and their own deaths. Like her they had started weakly, but the song strengthened their voices, though not their bodies. They kept singing as long as they could. Strong singers until their final breaths. Their voices flowed across the land, searching.

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The River of Memories

It flows like a river between us all, yet its potential is unknown by almost all. It is where we come from and where we shall go. And it is the source of our wildest fancies. It helps to visualise a river, or a lake, depending on what you want. When you go here it molds itself to your expectations, but one thing is always the same.

A figure stands on the shore, staring out over the wide, slow river. The figure seemed neither male nor female, instead merely a human shaped shadow of brilliant silver. It reached a hand out to the river and a small tendril of water threaded its way upward connecting to a star in the dark night sky.

“A dark animal dream should keep him on his toes.” The figure’s voice was feminine, and her form becoming slightly more distinct.

Another form had begun to coalesce beside her, it was barely human, but spoke with the voice of a young boy, “Miss are you beginning already.”

“Ah there you are.” She said to him sharply, “And yes the form is a convenience, it helps but is not necessary. Did you see what I did?”

“A thread, that means a dream right?”

“Yes, a dream, can you tell who I have given it to?”

“That’s…” The boy paused and as he thought his shape became slightly more distinct. “The cook.”

“Correct, and what is it about?”

The boy looked closely at the river, “The hunt… an eagle.”

“Very good, now I want you to throw a soul up.”

“Bring life?”

“How many times have I told you, the life has come already we are just giving it a soul slightly before the river does.”

“I guess.”

“Aim it between those two stars.”

The boy looked up at the stars she indicated, two stars which were so close they were almost touching. That was the sign that those two stars were creating life. He tried to determine what they were.

“They are just mice, go ahead, it doesn’t matter if you grab a few souls by accident.”

The boy thrust a hand out and motioned as if tossing a ball upwards. Three globules of river flew upwards to the two stars, and three smaller stars burst into being. The boy smiled, though it was hard to tell with his glowing body.

“Now the last test.”

The glow around the boy faded dramatically and his voice shook, “I can’t do it.”

The woman ignored him, “Find a weak star, the weakest you can find. That is a soul near death. Bring it back to the river.”

“But what if they could recover.”

“The river knows the difference, the stars fade when souls are about to be taken by the river. If a person is strong enough to fight the river they can fight you too.” The woman sighed, “You know all this.”

“If it struggles at all can let go.”

“Yes.”

The boy reached up with both hands and began tugging as if on an invisible rope. Suddenly his hands jerked downward as if the rope had come free. Down from the faintest of the stars fell a small globule of river water. It splash glittering memories of fruit and cats then disappeared. The boy was fading.

“You’ve lost your grip.” The woman said, “You are waking up.”

“Oh good,” The boy said, “I was worried for a moment.”

He had a right to be worried, the lady thought. Allowing the river to splash like that was dangerous the water was special. No matter what form the river took it was always a brilliant swirling of glowing colours, and get too much on you and it could drag you under, soul and all. She shivered and began to flow towards the heavens, filling an empty star with light once more.

Self Sacrifice

The castle rose ominously above the farms, it was squat and ugly and lit by the blood red light of sunset. Maritza pulled her blue shawl tighter around her shoulders as she climbed up the twisting path. No one watched her go, everyone had gone inside long ago. She clutched at the neck of the wine bottle she had been drinking from as if it were a talisman to ward off evil. At the gate she stopped, gulped down the rest of the bottle and threw it to the side. She then took out a rather large needle, she watched the last hints of the sunset disappear. She wanted someone to be there, to tell her not to do this. No one came, because no one knew. She had made sure of that. No one could know, because if she failed he would come down hard upon them. He could smell lies, better they be telling the truth when they tell him they didn’t know.

She bit her lip as she thrust the needle into her thigh. With a gasp she collapsed to the ground and clapped a hand over the bleeding opening. With her eyes closed she bandaged her leg and dropped her skirt back over her leg. She opened her eyes to see twilight already fleeing, it was time.

Her hand beat out a nervous rhythm on the great gate. She waited for some answer and once more her mind strayed back to the deed. She wished someone knew what she was doing, being completely selfless was hard. The door creaked open to reveal him.

“My dear, what on earth is wrong?” He asked, too kind. He was always too kind to women.

She let her leg buckle from under her and stumbled into his arms, “Baron, I have nothing more to live for in this dark world.”

She could feel his lips brush her neck as he held her upright, he moaned slightly, then seemed to collect himself. He supported her, almost carrying her to a lounge in his parlour. He poured her a glass of wine and she gulped it down with vigour.

“There are other ways to die.” He said simply, he was smart.

“I heard it was painless,” She said, but she knew this would not be enough, “And I wanted to ask you for something in return.”

“Ah, I have done deals like these before.” The baron said, she avoided looking at his smile, “What do you wish?”

“Leave,” Maritza gulped, “Please leave my sister alone, and let her leave the village if she wishes.”

“Your sister?”

“She’s 4 at the moment,” Maritza said, “Irma, the bakers youngest… only daughter.”

“Very well, I give you my word that I won’t harm a hair on her head.”

Maritza knew what that meant, but decided to act stupid. If this worked she would be safe. The word of the baron could be trusted, but she wondered which hair would be safe.”

“Thank you baron.” Maritza said, filling herself up with a third glass of wine.

“You are welcome dear.” The baron was watching her with noticeable hunger, “Tell me, how old are you?”

“16 baron.”

He almost drooled at that, and she felt relieved. Perhaps her delays out of fear had led to her being the right age. She sighed sighed, this was dragging on too long.

“When will you do it baron?”

“Soon dear, no need to rush, we have the entire night.”

“I don’t want to wait.” The alcohol began to slur her voice.

“Just have another glass of wine dear.”

Maritza obeyed, sort of glad she didn’t need to be sober to this. Maybe the strong wine would even disguise…

“Here let me take that.”

The baron was suddenly next to her, scooping up the glass which she had almost dropped. She was so drunk she began to notice things, the curls in his dark hair, the neatness of his suit, the sense of strength he exuded, the way his lips curved over prominent fangs. She didn’t even have time to think twice before his fangs plunged into her neck. There was a short stabbing of pain, followed by the feeling of floating. It was virtually painless, just like people had said. She drifted.

Her awareness snapped back as her neck began to hurt. He was still bent over her, lips pressed against her neck. Feeding. She could see her hand resting limply on his back, pale and bloodless. Surely she was almost gone. He pulled back suddenly from her, a terrifying grimace marring his almost handsome face.

“What have you done witch?”

She couldn’t answer, couldn’t even smile. She wondered how she could still see, she was empty, shouldn’t she be dead. He picked her up and threw her across the room. She didn’t feel the wall, but she heard the cracking of her ribcage. The baron strode over to her, but half way he collapsed, clutching at his heart. He struggled to return to his feet again, but after only one more step he burst into flame.

Maritza closed her eyes. No one would know, but it didn’t matter because now they were safe.