BUT, I have been working on something new. I really like it. I have no idea where it’s going yet, but I bet it’s someplace fantastic.
Would you like to read it? It doesn’t have a title yet. Like I said, I haven’t figured anything out about it. It’s growing kind of organically. I’m going to post a draft of some of it on my website to see if I get any positive responses. Typically, I wouldn’t do this, because it hasn’t been edited and is in the early stages.
It’s important to remember that this is all happening as I’m writing it. I have no idea where it will end up, and I may change my mind, so the end product may look nothing like this draft.
But, there it is. Some of my latest work.
It began with a faraway adventure by a team of unlikely heroes as these stories often do.
“Is that really how you’re starting this?” Clarenda’s rolling eyes sang through the annoyance in her voice “It began with a faraway adventure…” she mocked, dropping the octave of her voice and snorting with a chuckle. “I was there, it wasn’t all that majestic, jackass.” Her punch hit me square on the left shoulder and the ink from my quill splattered across my parchment leaving a dark green scar.
“Why do you have to ruin everything, Clarenda?” Standing up my desk flew up and hovered at our eye level. “It’s like you were raised in a barn!” my angry shout echoed on the stone walls of my chamber.
“Oh, stop it Maurice, you’re being silly,” with a flick of her wrist Clarenda set the levitating desk on fire. “Oh, um, oh! Shaneetz.” Shaking, Clarenda raised her arms and closed her eyes. With a raspy focus she breathed, “Haseth makesh evon.” And the flames huffed out. Her arms still in the air above her head, she cracked one eye open, saw that the desk had returned to its pre-flame levitating state and grinned. She looked at me and with a satisfied sigh and dropped her arms. The desk flew through the air over our heads forcing us to fall to the ground so hard I bruised my knees. Colliding with the wall, the desk shattered to splinters which rained down on us both.
Rolling over I glared at her, “nope,” I said shaking the splinters from my ever shaggy blonde hair, “I doubt the barn could have survived if you’d been raised in it.”
Popping up off the ground to a seated position she stared at me, eyes wide with shock. Her mouth fell open and she moved it up and down like a gasping fish. With a shake of her head, she curled into a ball and put her hands over her eyes, “Why does stuff like that keep happening to me?” She wailed, throwing herself onto her back with a dramatic flourish.
“That’s a question I’d like answered too.” I said, standing up, “that’s the third desk I’ve had in 2 months.” She took my outstretched hand and with a heave I got her standing, her colorful skirts untangling and returning to their concealing position brushing the floor.
“I’m sorry, I bet Great Mother is not happy to get those requests over and over.” Her voice was pained and there was a twinge when she said, “Great Mother”. Her eyebrows perked up and she ran to the chair by the door and began rummaging through her leather satchel. The bag looked as though it were on its last leg. Patches of it were tainted a variety of colors, all different shades of the spectrum, some faded from time, some still glowing from spells and mystics gone wrong. It was stitched and restitched, repaired and patched over time and worn to the shape of Clarenda’s shoulder. Or maybe her shoulder had grown to the shape of the satchel. It was hard to say as the two were rarely seen apart. It had been given to her by her father before he journeyed on his last quest. Since that was over 10 years ago and he hadn’t come back, the satchel was Clarenda’s most precious possession.
Pulling a book from the bag she began murmuring and walking in circles while flipping through the grey text. Suddenly she stopped, tapped the book decisively and looked at me, “I think I can fix it.” There was a sparkle in her eye.
“Oh, I don’t know,” slowly I began creeping towards the open door way, “I never really liked that desk, Clarenda.” I held up my hands to her and shook my head, trying to remain casual, “Really. I mean, it was probably my least favorite of all the desks I’ve had.”
“Nonsense,” she said, “I’m sure I can fix this.” She handed me the book, Introductory Majiks, and raised her arms again. Keeping her wrists limp she began waving her arms up and down above her head. With a deep breath, she prepared to begin when all of the splinters on the floor burst in to bright blue and green flames. Clarenda jumped and nearly fell exclaiming, “There is no way that was me! I hadn’t even said anything yet!”
There was a sharp snap behind us and just as suddenly the flames vanished with just a hint of lingering smoke to even indicate they’d ever existed. The jingle of bracelets behind us left us both frozen with fear. “Mr. Hiamond, it seems you are in need of yet another desk for your personal space.” The sharp voice of Great Mother pierced the air and there was a silence that lingered in the room. “I’d take it from your pay, but that seems hardly fair as it was one of my students who has caused this recurring problem.” I looked over at Clarenda whose face was scrunched in a wince and her body perfectly still as though she thought Great Mother wouldn’t notice her if she just refused to move.
“Yes, ma’am,” my voice was shaky as I turned and saw the tiny frame of Great Mother somehow managing to fill my door way. Her dark purple skirts were flowing though she wasn’t even moving. Even hovering a few inches off the floor she was barely eye level with my chest and though her figure slight, skin pale, and hair silver, the power she emanated struck fear straight through me. I looked at her aged face and there was a twinge of a smile on the corner of her mouth. Her violet eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief, but her stance was proper and stern, hands folded in front of her, toes slightly pointed towards the floor. Slowly, Clarenda began to unfreeze and then all at once apologies poured out of her mouth as she rushed to my side, standing slightly behind me babbling about wood and fire.
“That is enough, child,” Great Mother said with a snap of her fingers. Before us stood two brooms, “Clean this up, both of you.” Immediately, we grabbed the brooms and began sweeping up the ashes, “Mr. Hiamond, I will send the carpenter up here with a new desk this afternoon. Until then, please keep all of your furniture intact.” Before we could stammer a response she turned on her heel with her hands folded in front of her and floated down the hallway.
Clarenda began sweeping and I sighed in frustration bending down to retrieve my parchment. “It was a rubbish beginning anyhow,” she said, her back turned to me as she moved the broom across the floor, “you can’t hardly start in the middle.”
“How is starting at the start of our journey starting in the middle?” I asked, resting on my broom handle while watching her work.
“Oh, please,” she said. I saw her blue-black hair quiver down her back from her shaking her head, “There was so much that happened in our lives here at the academy that lead up to the adventure. If you’re going to tell the story, you can’t leave anything out. It’s important. It’s exposition.” Her broom was moving emphatically.
“You’re right,” I said moving over to the bed and stretching out on it. There was a silence while I sat thinking, sucking on the end of my quill. “I certainly don’t want to leave out the part where you fell out of your own window or set your skirts on fire.” I said, filling the room with the scratch of my quill as I began again.
“Well, you don’t have to document everything.” She said, pausing from her work long enough to sit beside me and read what I was writing.
“Oh yes,” I said, mimicking her earlier earnestness, “If I am going to tell this story, I should tell it all.” And feverishly wrote the real start of our great adventure.