Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Thought I'd Healed (Suzerra)


            “You sure you don’t want to come with us?” Hereward asked as he threw on his cloak.                
            “We’re sure.” David laughed.
            “Oh, but I was looking forward to an evening of dancing, feasting, and fighting for our lives,” said Suzerra, looking up from the portraits on the mantelpiece.
            “That does sound like your kind of party,” said David.
            “I only wish we didn’t have to go,” said Jennifer, fondly adjusting her husband’s askew cloak. “But Donella always gets suspicious if we miss events.”
            “Go and have fun,” said David. “We’ll be alright here.”
            Hereward and Jennifer went off to their cotillion, leaving David and Suzerra alone. With Brian.
            “Do you think your parents left your brother here to chaperone us?” Suzerra wondered, moving to David’s side.
            David looked over at the sleeping form on the couch. “If so, he’s not doing a very good job.”
            They took good advantage of this realization. David’s parents had probably already reached the palace before David changed the subject.
            “I thought maybe we could fix something nice for my parents,” he said, heading into the kitchen and adjusting his shirt. “Would you help me with your baking expertise?”
            “Sure,” said Suzerra, leaning against the counter and smoothing down her hair. “An ‘I’m Sorry I Thought You Were Traitors and Cursed Your Names for the Past Three Years’ present?”
            “Something like that.”
            “I make a divine spiced almond cake.”
            “Sounds… different. Let’s do it.”
            Suzerra spiced the almonds while David started preparations on the cake. They fell into a steady rhythm, though got distracted when David dumped flour on Suzerra and she reciprocated by getting cumin in his hair. Eventually, the cake made it into the oven, and they sat and chatted while it baked.
            “The wizard had books and books of strange recipes,” Suzerra told David. “And I learned to make up my own.”
            “And everything’s always spicy?”
            “That’s how I like it.”
            When the cake was done, David got it out of the oven to cool. For the first time, Brian sat up.
            “Is that cake?” he asked, blinking over at them.
            “It’s for Mom and Dad. You can have some after they get home.” David drizzled an almond glaze over the top of the cake. “There’re some nice dishes in there,” he said, gesturing to a tall wooden cabinet. “Could you get one for the cake?”
            Wandering over, Suzerra opened the cabinet. There were many dishes, but the most prominent were a beautiful set of white porcelain china. Around the rim of each piece were painted delicate, dancing fairies. She stared at them.
            “What did I tell you about touching things?!”
            The long-forgotten voice echoed through her mind.
            “What are you screeching about now, woman?”
            “Suzerra? Are you alright?”
            She looked over to see David watching her in concern.
            “Yeah.” She took down a large serving platter. The fairies were painted so masterfully they seemed almost to move.
            “I just wanted to have a picnic.”
            She winced, almost dropping the plate. Her hand drifted up to her cheek. For a moment, it had seemed to smart again.
            “With whom, exactly? You haven’t any friends.”
            “With the fairies.”
            “The fairies? See? I told you there was something wrong with this child!”
            Placing his hand on Suzerra’s arm, David guided her gently into a chair. “You’re looking strange,” he said.
            “I ran,” Suzerra whispered.
            “I told you she was a mistake.”
            “You what?”
            “I ran away.”
            Her heart thudded in her ears. Drums were pounding in time. Where were the drums coming from?
            “What do you mean? What did you run away from?”
            She burst through the door and fell, face-down in the mud. The drumming was louder, and she was drowning.
            “Them.” She blinked and smiled at him. “I didn’t run away from home.”
            A hand found hers and pulled her out of the mud. The small, green woman helped her find a dry path. And there, at the end, was a little wooden house, empty, waiting for her.
            “I ran away to home.”
            “David, your girlfriend’s weirding me out.”
            Suzerra laughed. “Sorry,” she said. “It’s just… my mother had these same dishes.” She ran her finger around the rim, watching the fairies dance.  


I Thought I'd Healed (Maurelle)


            “I baked cookies,” said Suzerra, pulling a wrapped parcel out of her bag.
            “Um… when?” asked David.
            “While you guys were sleeping. I portaled home.”
            “Couldn’t you portal us back to base, then?”
            “It doesn’t work like that.”
            “How does it work?”
            “Never mind,” said Maurelle. “Bring out the cookies!”
            Suzerra unwrapped the parcel, letting loose the enticing nutty smell of peanut butter cookies. Everyone crowded around to grab one, except Maurelle.
            “Aren’t you going to get one?” Clara asked her.
            “No. I don’t care for peanut butter cookies.” Maurelle propped her head in her hands, frowning.
            “Is something wrong?”
            Maurelle shook her head. Then she looked over at her brother, who was eating placidly.
            “Do you remember when I baked peanut butter cookies?” she asked him.
            “I found the recipe in the library, and I was so excited to try them.” Maurelle looked into the fire, the memory still fresh. “It was just after we’d found our apartment, after you’d gotten your job for that awful Thomas Stretch.”
            Jak frowned.
            “I made the cookies, and they looked just perfect. And it was as I was pulling them out of the oven that you came in the door.” Maurelle shuddered. “Covered in blood.”
            “Oh,” said Jak, remembering.
            “What happened?” asked Clara.
            “He’d been jumped in the street by some of Stretch’s competitors.”
            “I beat most of them off,” said Jak.
            Maurelle rolled her eyes. “I know. You were outnumbered and you hadn’t gotten used to fighting without magic yet, but you still bashed in plenty of heads. But, the fact is, you came home with broken ribs, blood pouring down your face, and some other guys’ blood on your hands, and you wouldn’t let me take you to hospital. You had just enough time to tell me not to before you passed out. So I was left to clean you up as best I could, with a tiny amount of healing magic and a bit of veterinary knowledge.” Maurelle’s lips turned downward, her brow creased. “You could have died.”
            “But I didn’t,” said Jak gently. “You saved me. Again.”
            Maurelle pressed her face to her hands. Clara rubbed her back.
            “I still don’t see why you can’t eat peanut butter cookies,” said Suzerra.

I Thought I'd Healed (Jak)


         Finishing off the last of his dinner, Jak leaned forward, closer to the fire, the heat stinging his cold skin.
            “I’ve got just the stuff to warm us up,” said Borris, pulling something from his pack. “’Been saving it for a special occasion, but I guess this will do.”
            He held up a bottle. Its contents gleamed golden and red in the firelight.
            “Where the grauk did you get fairy nectar?” asked Suzerra, snatching the bottle. She opened it and took a deep whiff, licking her lips.
            The others continued to buzz with excitement, but Jak didn’t hear them. His eyes were fixed on the golden liquid. Memories fogged his thinking. But he forced himself to blink and look away. This was foolish.
            And then the bottle was passed to him. The rich, sweet scent wafted up to him. And he remembered.

            The golden liquid made music as it trickled from the bottle and filled the sparkling crystal glass. The scent was dizzying, sweet and intoxicating.
            “How much do you like?” asked Uncle Juniper.
            “I don’t know,” said Jak. “I’ve never had any.”
            “Never-! Izzy! You’ve been depriving him.”
            Princess Isadora sniffed, taking a sip of her pale, white wine. She did not deign to answer her brother.
            “Well, this is a special occasion, my boy! Go on, drink up!”
            “A special occasion indeed.”
            All heads turned to the doorway, where a stately fairy stood, shimmering in a scarlet gown. Her lips were curved in a smile, but her eyes were hard and cold. Behind her stood many of the palace guards, and other men bearing sharp weapons that glittered in the firelight.
            “Donella?” said the king, rising at the head of the table.
            “Goodbye, brother.”

            “Jak? Jak, are you in there?”
            Jak blinked and looked up to see his sister laughing.
            “You’re supposed to drink some and pass on the bottle,” she said.
            “I’ve never had any before,” Jak murmured, looking down at the bottle in his hand.
            “You’ve never had fairy nectar?” Suzerra’s eyes widened. “Seriously?”
            “Neither have I,” said Maurelle. “I was too young when we left. Come on, Jak, try some now. Then it’s my turn!”
            Jak took a swallow, hoping it would drown out the screams.

Read Maurelle's response to the prompt
Read Suzerra's response to the prompt


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Clean Teen Publishing Giveaway!

Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a giveaway! A chance to win $65 ... to spend on books!! (Ok, I don't think they specify what you should spend it on, but I would obviously spend it on books.) Enter and be awesome!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Character Interview: Verijak Auri

I haven't done much writing lately. I've just been really sick, and not up to much. But that doesn't mean my characters are leaving me alone. Yesterday, I decided I'd like to do some character interviews. Here's my first one, for my character Verijak Auri, better known as Jak Day, from my book Magicland.

Me: Hey, Jak, thanks for meeting with me today.

Jak: …

Me: So… do you mind if I just dive right in?

Jak: …

Me: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Jak: Keeping Maurelle alive.

Me: That’s been a challenge?

Jak: No, keeping a wanted fugitive hidden and alive in a strange city during a financial depression is a cakewalk.

Me: No need to be sarcastic.

Jak: *snorts*

Me: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Jak: Safety. And plenty to eat.

Me: Have those things been difficult to attain?

Jak: “Wanted fugitive,” “financial depression.”

Me: *reading from interview questions* “What is your current state of mind?” I can answer that one: Snarky.

Jak: *smirks*

Me: What is your current occupation?

Jak: Enforcer.

Me: Do you like the work?

Jak: No.

Me: What would you like to do instead?

Jak: *shrugs*

Me: If you could have any job you wanted.

Jak: Gee, I think I’d drive an ice cream truck.

Me: Are you going to be this sarcastic the whole time?

Jak: Yes.

Me: *purses lips* What are your hobbies?

Jak: Weaponry. Fighting.

Me: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Jak: My .45. *draws the gun and twirls it around his finger*

Me: What do you think is your most marked characteristic?

Jak: My sunny disposition.

Me: I’m going to smack you.

Jak: *smirks*

Me: When and where were you happiest?

Jak: When I was a child. Back in Fairyland.

Me: Are you happy in New York?

Jak: *shrugs*

Me: What is it that you most dislike?

Jak: The Council. Though ‘dislike’ is a mild term.

Me: What is your greatest fear?

Jak: Losing my sister.

Me: What is your greatest regret?

Jak: *hand tightens on his gun* Next question.

Me: You promised you would help with the interview.

Jak: I let my family die, ok? I failed to protect them. Is that an interesting enough regret for your interview?

Me: I’m sorry.

Jak: *settles back in his chair, frowning*

Me: Um… which talent would you most like to have?

Jak: I’d be able to drive.

Me: Have you ever tried to learn?

Jak: Never had the chance.

Me: If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

Jak: Cridomus, Fairyland.

Me: That’s your hometown, isn’t it?

Jak: *nods*

Me: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Jak: Failure.

Me: What quality do you admire most in a man?

Jak: Strength.

Me: How about in a woman?

Jak: Loyalty.

Me: Have you ever been in love?

Jak: No. Though I may have thought I was.

Me: You thought you were?

Jak: What seventeen year old doesn’t?

Me: Who was she?

Jak: *shrugs* There were a few.

Me: Anyone special?

Jak: No.

Me: Is there anyone special in your life now?

Jak: No.

Me: Would you like to get married?

Jak: Are you proposing?

Me: What? *laughs* Would you have me?

Jak: No.

Me: I’m so flattered. No, I meant, do you plan on ever getting married?

Jak: No.

Me: Why not?

Jak: I have other responsibilities.

Me: You mean, to Maurelle? But what about when she gets married?

Jak: I guess we’ll see.

Me: What trait do you most deplore in yourself?

Jak: You’re really not fussy about asking personal questions, are you?

Me: A good interview probes to the heart of things. So…?

Jak: Any form of incompetency.

Me: What do you most deplore in others?

Jak: The same. And an indisposition to correct it.

Me: What do you most value in your friends?

Jak: Don’t really have any.

Me: Um… who are your heroes?

Jak: *shrugs* They’re all dead, so what does it matter?

Me: Who were they?

Jak: Warriors. Men of courage.

Me: Which living person do you most admire?

Jak: Maurelle. She’s remained positive through all this.

Me: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Jak: Charity. In the end, sacrifice is vain.

Me: Do you really believe that?

Jak: I’ve seen it.

Me: On what occasions do you lie?

Jak: Any that call for it.

Me: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Jak: I would be broader, and maybe not so tall.

Me: If you could choose how you were to die, what would it be?

Jak: Quickly.

Me: What is your motto?

Jak: “Constant vigilance.”

Me: Perfect. Well, I’ll stop tormenting you now. Thanks for the interview.

Jak: *nods and leaves*

Questions were taken from this page. I'll be sure to post my other characters' interviews once I get them done.