Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Inheritance, episode 2 June 30, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:30 pm
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Episode 2

Smoke. Heavy, acidic, dry smoke that smelled of sand and rocks and burnt animal skins. His lungs constricted. He knew this smell. Smoke billowed around his face, his arms, his torso. He tried to move. He had to get up. Only a Fang raid produced this smoke. The fire would come next. The fire, the screams, the cries of the children, and the strangled choking sounds that his flock made when frightened.
Get up! He yelled to himself. But he could not move. Something held him down, something heavy and hot pressing against his body, burning into his legs and abdomen. He choked and struggled. He gasped for breath. He began to scream.
“Aeland! Wake up! Wake up!” Someone was shaking his shoulders, startling him awake. “You were screaming again, Aeland.”
“What? The smoke! The smoke is here, the Fangs, they are raiding, the screams…” Aeland trailed off, confused. He looked around him. The tent walls around him were moving gently with the desert breeze. The air smelled of incense from the small shrine on the table and wax from the flickering candle his sister had lit. He was safe. “I’m sorry, sister. I woke you again.”
“It is alright Aeland. I was not sleeping.”
“You were. I am sorry. It was…it was the dream again. That night, I can’t get it to leave my mind,” he whispered.
“Nor I,” she replied. “Do not worry. We are safe here. This caravan is larger than the last one. We will be protected.”
Aeland nodded. He did not believe her words. The Fangs attacked ruthlessly and without warning, and in numbers that were impossible to count. He saw their faces when he closed his eyes—angry and scaled, their long, dirty hair hanging limply down to their waists, and their bright blue eyes that looked straight through you with such coldness. He could not sleep any longer.
He rose from his bed and picked up his staff from the floor. He used to value his staff as a most precious tool, one to guide his flock and defend them from danger. Now its primary use was to aid his walking. He winced at his stiff leg as he limped toward the door of the tent.
“Where are you going?” His sister asked.
“To check on the herd. I can sleep no more tonight. I’m sorry again for waking you.” He walked into the open air, onto the sand that still held some heat from the day’s sun. The breeze was cold, but it cleared the memory of smoke from his mind. He walked slowly towards the pen where the flock slept.
“Animals must not dream,” he muttered as he approached his small flock. Their scales glistened in the moonlight and their quiet snuffling breaths calmed his nerves. This flock was all he had left, just twenty, underfed and scrawny, but still precious. They had survived all the attacks. Some had been scarred beyond use, but he didn’t have the heart to leave them behind. So he continued to care for them all, even when the rest of the caravan mocked their appearance. Aeland knew that his patience and care would pay out eventually. And these twenty were all that was left of his home. He smiled and climbed over the rough fence to sit down amidst their legs and snouts and tails. He leaned his head against the smooth skin of the belly of the sleeping lizard closest to him and closed his eyes. No more smoke, no more fire, no more screams. Just the snorts of sleeping animals, the smell of their dry breath, and warmth of their bodies around him. He breathed deeply and fell asleep.


Serial Monday Episode 1 June 23, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Serials used to be a HUGE part of the fiction world. I guess in a way, they still are, but now they are manifested as television shows. However, I am of the opinion that serials should make a comeback because blogs are very popular, and people love reading short, fast-paced, interesting stories online. So I am going to write a serial here, every Monday. I have the story in mind, and I even have quite a few characters, so it might end up being very Dickensian in style. I do know that it will be fun, though, because it can go anywhere and turn into anything. Here goes!

Inheritance Episode 1

The marshes stretched all around them, flat, wet, and warm, for miles and miles. This was their second week slogging through the coastal marshland, looking for small settlements and asking for any news of the mystic who could help them. Fira was ready to give up, and the damp air was irritating her skin, making her scales glisten and rub against her clothing uncomfortably. She grew up near the desert, on the outskirts of of the Jumper territory with her mother, but she hadn’t been back there for five years. She couldn’t go back there anyway, but anywhere would be better than these smelly swamps. Marden had insisted on traveling through them on their way to the towns, but she was tired and sore, and so far no one had even heard of Kauanoe. Or if they had, they wouldn’t say so.

The Slicks were notorious for being private and taciturn. Their settlements only consisted of three or four people, and even then, their houses were spread out. The only way to tell that you were actually in a settlement was that a Slick would suddenly appear out of the fog, swathed in their typical greenish garb, looking at you with muddy brown suspicious eyes. They were hard to see even when you were meant to see them, and they were all but invisible when you weren’t meant to see them. But even Fira couldn’t deny that they were a kind people, even if they were very private. She had the features of one of the most hated and feared races in all the lands, yet the Slicks showed no prejudice in their treatment of her. It may have helped that Marden had their same smooth skin and muddy eyes, but the Slicks seemed to make no differentiation between races, even when they found out that Fira and Marden had no inheritance. They listened patiently to their inquiries, provided them with food and shelter for a night, and quietly disappeared the next morning, leaving some supplies for the two travelers as they journeyed to the next settlement.

Marden was resolutely sure that they would find Kauanoe soon. They had to. She had been expelled from her land as soon as she was born, unable to even see her mother except the few times a year that she came on land to visit the Halfer settlements. Marden lived with her father there, a social pariah, for her whole life. When she heard stories of the mystic Slick woman who had the ability to give Halfers an inheritance, her whole life became about finding that woman. She left her village, her father, her brothers and sisters, everything she knew and loved, in order to find Kauanoe. And now, after traveling for three years, she still knew nothing.

When she met Fira, her life got a little brighter, and she appreciated her friendship, but Fira did nothing but complain in the swamps. Marden almost felt at home there. She didn’t have the abilities of the Slicks, and her long, plaited, leafy hair was like her mother’s, but her father had been mostly Slick, so she understood a little bit of the culture. More than Fira at least. Fira never knew anyone but her mother, a Jumper who lived in a village on the outskirts of the territory, a woman with a sad but common story and a daughter that was a constant reminder of her shame. A daughter who looked like the Fangs who conquered and slaughtered hundreds of her people. Fira had a bitter temperament, but her heart was passionate and loyal to those she loved. Marden wished she could have that sense of loyalty, but she only felt longing. She wasn’t even sure if Fira wanted an inheritance, or just a place to hide, but at least she was willing to travel with Marden anywhere, and that made her a good companion. She knew they would come to the towns soon, and once there, it was unlikely they would find out anything other than rumors of Kauanoe. So she stalled as much as she could while they were in the swamps. The Slicks living there had to know something, and she would find out more, even if it took her three more years. She doubted Fira’s loyalty would last that long in these swamps though, so she grew more anxious each day. She knew that they had one more week, at best, before the towns came in sight, and she planned to use every minute to the fullest.