From the Hearth

I get inspired at 4 am. I don’t know why, but it always seems to happen this way. I’m also feeling the “snippets” style of writing right now! Here is how my characters spent their night: from their hearth.

=====

The fire flickered as someone stoked it; its benefactor retreated with a sleepy grunt, no doubt to their bunk. Newly invigorated, the flames set shadows dancing across a face faintly contorted with pain. Fitful rest would follow that one this evening.

=====

Gold and red twined together, their light quavering as quickly as the quill that continued to write in this late hour. It took another quick dip into its ink well before gliding across the paper again. Late or not, the letter would be finished before sleep took him.

=====

The hearth held no fire; in fact, the window was open – cool air moved the curtains to its own silent symphony. That same gentle breeze wafted across the two who slept: one Lossoth, the other half-blooded. The older stirred with pleasure at the temperature while the younger was merely content.

=====

Coals smoldered, casting their warm glow throughout the room. The light highlighted two figures, both adrift in their own dreams, sprawled along their bed. Hours earlier, both the fire and couple were ablaze; now, all three had tapered into languorous slumber.

=====

The fire pit was empty. For the first time in months, it didn’t feel the searing bite of flame. Its usual companion sat in silence, watching the nonexistent fire scintillate and dance in her mind. Hope began to grow as dim as her clothing.

At Rest: A Spring Twilight

It seems like yesterday since my last “At Rest” meme went out, but damn…it was actually a while ago! Started by the talented Laenlis, here’s yet another installment of my favorite device. I’m actually really, really pleased with the way these came out. ^_^

=====

Every time she shifted, dulled pain shot through her body. This time, it was more than just a slight interrupt to her dream: it woke her up. Long blonde hair, shockingly free of its usual twig-and-leaf decorations, had managed to tangle itself in the makeshift crutch she still insisted on using. It was functional enough for her purposes, so the healers didn’t argue it with her. Damn it all. She reached to begin to free the wood from her tresses. It was going to be another long night.

=====

As always, the young woman was asleep on the ground. Her head was cushioned by a fragrant pillow, and despite the relative warmth of the evening a handsome brown cloak was her blanket. No fire was needed thanks to the recent thaw; the only light that danced upon her face was moonlight, occasionally streaming through the growing leaves above her. Beneath the cloak, unbeknownst to any but herself, she clutched a note.

=====

Green blankets shifted, black hair fell in a new pattern. Next to the bed, a candle gave its last flicker. Its owner was negligent, once again, in snuffing it out before he fell asleep. The sudden lack of light caused the bedroom’s sole occupant to stir and mumble something incoherent – possibly not even in Westron. His eyes were closed, but behind them, he dreamed of laughter and family and joy. The black dress stood out in stark contrast against the white stone, causing him to grin widely to his mother. Her bright smile mirrored his own and they shared a brief, private look. She approved.

=====

Blue-green eyes slowly slid open and looked around the room. A yawn escaped her and she decided to see just how late it was. She stood up, bright hair tumbling to her bare shoulders. Idle thoughts of trimming it skimmed over her mind while she padded over to the window. Her skin glowed silver as she stepped into the shaft of moonlight and squinted into the night. It was seemingly still the dead of night. A low, deep murmur of unconscious discontent floated to her ears as her husband realized she was no longer lying next to him. She smiled and headed back to crawl into his arms once more.

=====

For the first time in a year, both denizens of the well-appointed room slept soundly. A tiny hand, so strong for its size, grasped out in its sleep and sought the larger woman’s hand. This woke her with a pleasant startle, dark blue-brown eyes quickly focusing on the child lying next to her. When all was deemed well, the mother pulled two of her fingers together; these were offered to the small hand, who quickly clutched them. A true smile, the rarest of sights from this Lossoth, blossomed. The sleepy lilt that set the smile askew soon overtook her whole face – the two slept in contented silence once again.

Secrets & Candles: A Note

A note rustles in the early morning wind, held down only by a small rock and accompanied by an unlit candle. Both are short, fat, and appear to be heavy for their size. The note was abandoned to its post by the usual brown-garbed resident of the campsite with little more than a worried look around before scurrying away.

I can’t write, but my friend Ian is writing this note. He was at the circle meeting, in purple. He can be trusted. That’s why this is written well.

I don’t know how long your kind lives or whatnot, or if they don’t have a sense of time, but I need to see you more often. I can’t sleep outside for much longer. It isn’t safe.

I need to talk to you about it.

– Rabbit

Before Dreams Take Me

We all think before we drift off to sleep, and often we’ll tally lists or think about our day. Every thought here is unlabeled, and not prefaced. Enjoy this tiny snippet into everyone’s innermost consciousness.

——

Please let me sleep tonight…

——

What am I doing?

——

Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow, I promise.

——

I have never wanted to break a promise so badly in my life.

——

…They’re not bad people.

What Lurks Beneath the Unspoken

New prompt! Oddly enough, the name was inspired by a line in RP that I typed out tonight (okay, it is the line). I was struck by it, and I may elucidate further on that in another post. Anyway, the meme is called “What Lurks Beneath the Unspoken.” While we all have relatively verbose characters (most of them, anyway) they still have layers of depth to both their personalities and what they say – or in this case, what they don’t say. This is a short exercise in the second of those. I’m taking a line each of my characters have said recently, and then in italics below, pointing out the unspoken subtext.

«≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡»

“Be careful.”
You know I’m not going to sleep half the time until you’re back in my arms.

«============»

“I’m jus’ tired. I’m fine. How’s yer apple boy?”
You and I both know I’m wearing myself into the ground, but I have proof. You’ve seen it. I can’t give up now.

«============»

“Everything will be all right.”
It will, for you. I’m withering but I will linger for you. Please find happiness.

«============»

“Good night.”
A stolen kiss or two will sustain us both for now. For now.

«============»

“I hate that cheese.”
We both know Butterbur began replacing the cheddar with Bree-brie within the first week of his noting I was giving it away.

Questions

The servers are still down and I’m itching for some creative stuff. Another installment of “Questions” for you all! We all think before we drift off to sleep, and often we’ll tally lists or think about our day. Every question here is unlabeled, and not prefaced. Enjoy this tiny snippet into everyone’s innermost consciousness.

==========

I do love work. How can I ever give that up?

==========

It’s worth it. Right? What if I get hurt?

==========

Why did I come out here again? This is less and less something I want.

==========

Have I found my primrose?

==========

Will anyone ever be able to replace you? Do I really want to find someone who would?

Secrets & Candles: I Ain’t Crazy.

Skyrah sat in the shaft of light, tiny dust particles dancing in the afternoon sun’s glow. She squinted and focused on the lump of beeswax in front of her, taking the small pouch and carefully making a line of gold dust in the wax. Reverently re-tying it, she stashed it on her lap before molding the wax, painstakingly folding the dust into it without spilling any. Hands expertly twisted the length of the wax, creating glittering trails of gold throughout. They glinted, almost glowing in the already warm light she used to see her craft. Despite her concentration, only one phrase kept running through her head. Three little words. She repeated them to herself, like a mantra.

I ain’t crazy.

Last night, she woke up after letting the fire burn a little too low, and she was still warm. There was a fur there, covering her; a little pillow that smelled so good; a cloak so nice, she still hadn’t had the nerve to put it on yet. This little pouch of dust that sparkled like gold itself. She wasn’t crazy. No one else would’ve done this. The flower was just beautiful. Why a lily, though? She’d have to track someone smart down, like Ian or somewhat. He’d probably know a lot about flowers, he always smelled like ’em and he always was reading something smart-like. Hands twisted, almost entirely free of her thought process. They caressed the silky smooth surface, flattening the candle into a long block. Sky cut the wick to the right length, lovingly setting it in the proper place before beginning to roll the candle’s final shape.

I ain’t crazy.

Long and thin. That’s how this candle should look. Graceful. Sparkling mysteriously. Nothing but the vaguely translucent white wax and golden specks. Once she finally had the desired shape, she wrapped it in some scrap paper, to protect from dust, and let it set in the dark coolness under the dresser. The small pouch of dust, half-used, was stashed in her drawer. She didn’t have much in the way of clothes to fill it, the pouch looking tiny in the mostly unused space. That’s when Sky turned her attention to the cloak. It was soft and warm…it even had holes for her arms. It was by far the nicest piece of clothing she’d ever had. Luned’s dresses were nice, and she even let Sky touch them, but those weren’t hers. This was hers.

I ain’t crazy.

Taking a deep breath, she pulled it to her chest and hugged it for a while. She finally allowed herself to pry it from her grasp and hold it out before her. A ripple of fabric fell almost to the floor. It was long enough – even for the strikingly tall young woman. One large button held it together. It was warm enough to almost be a blanket…at least, it looked warmer than her blanket. If you could call what she’d been using a blanket. Slowly unbuttoning it, she dared a look around the empty room before slipping it over her bony shoulders. Soft warmth enveloped her almost immediately. Her hands slipped through the holes, and she re-buttoned it. Her hands ran along the brown cloth, fingers delighting in the sensation. She finally had proof. She was wearing it. Real proof. In the privacy of her currently empty room, Sky let a goofy, crooked smile crack.

I ain’t crazy.

Confessions

I have a meeting in three hours, but that derned amimain and her amazing prompts has awoken the muse. It must be fed, with words. There’s some slight language in the fourth one, so apologies and please avoid it if the f-bomb bothers you. Also any apologies if these surprise you in a negative way. I definitely got further into some of my character’s heads than ever before, and it’s a bit disconcerting: particularly Sky. These all are going to be fairly obvious, and I have nooooo apologies for that. This is not one I want to use to keep people guessing.

Another prompt! Confessions that your characters have. Something they’d maybe write down of a piece of paper, and then burn the paper. Maybe something they wouldn’t write down at all.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

I have a confession. I’m paralyzingly afraid. Normally I’m not afraid of too much, other than falling off a cliff or something like that that’ll kill me. Hah, you know what? It’s not even the fact that having a kid could kill me that bothers me. It really isn’t. Hazard that comes with the job, so to speak. I’m just terrified of having a child. Someone I’m responsible for. I can take care of myself alright, and my husband…well, he’s amazing. He helps me more than I could ever possibly help him. Argh, it breaks my heart. I can see it in his eyes; I don’t know if he thinks I notice, but I do. He loves me so much, even though I clam up a little whenever it’s mentioned. It hurts to hurt him like that, more than any cut or bruise I’ve ever gotten.

Even Helvia, sweet and smart a woman as she is, and I really mean that, even she managed to get some figurative balls and have a baby. Why does it scare me so much? It just does! I can’t explain it. I must be broken, maybe it’s a side effect of my brain being so off with my feet, who knows. It just scares me. I’m worried that the only way I’ll ever be ready is if I’m thrust into it. That’s why I jump headlong into so many things: I’m afraid. And if I just jump right in, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be too late to turn back, and I just have to deal with it. It’s why I talk before I think things through, it’s why I usually just start carving wood without a plan. If I have my knife to the wood, there’s no turning back. Every night, I go to sleep promising myself that I won’t drink that awful stuff, that I won’t warm it up. That I’ll be ready to carve that next step in my life. Then I chicken out every morning. I drag myself into the kitchen and I pour myself a cup. I put the timber away for another day of avoiding it.

Eru, I hope it just doesn’t work one day. I’ll never be able to give him what he truly wants if it doesn’t. I’m too much of a chicken to do it myself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have a confession. I need to go home. I can’t do this. I thought I could, I thought I could be strong, but I can’t. I’m a young thing desperately in love, and I just can’t stay away. We have our entire lifetime together, it’s true…but even an eternity, until the end of time itself, isn’t enough time together. I was such a fool to think we could be apart. We aren’t married yet, not really, but our souls are already intertwined. I can feel it, like a pulsing heart, beating from across the ocean. Faint. Calling me home. It isn’t like the slow, gradual draw I felt from the sea itself. No, this is you, my beloved. You’re beckoning me to your arms, and my heart itself is answering. I’ve already learned so much here, but you’re more important. You’re all that matters to me. I’m coming home as soon as I can.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have a confession. I want to go home. I want to beg, pride thrown to the side, and ask my father to take me back. I am Lossoth. That is who I am. My heart, my soul, my very blood cries out for a shockingly cold wind; for the sight of the sun, searing in its beauty as it reflects off a glacier. To skate upon thick and hearty ice with luistin. To have a warm meal huddled inside a snow-covered tent lined with furs. It is the very core of my being. Every night I dream of returning, and every day I long for it. Yet the bundle to my right holds me back every time. If I leave, if I return and beg, my daughter will learn nothing from a mother not worthy to have her. As I said, I am Lossoth. We are a proud people, hearty and strong. My little Lempi will not have a mother too weak to stand on her own two feet. She will not learn at the knee of someone who bent to an unfair requirement. She had a father from Bree-land strong enough to master the winters of Forochel and gain the trust of the tribes of snow; she has a mother who was strong enough to forsake her home for a deep and abiding love. She has a proud and fierce blood in her, and I will die before any tell her otherwise.

But I want to go home. It’s killing me. My spirit dies further each day I’m torn from the land that birthed me. I may even die young, leaving my poor daughter to her own fate. It’s just too much.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have a confession. I wish I would die. I truly, deeply, utterly hate myself. I’m broken in all the wrong ways, and I’m not right in any way at all. My nose is too big, my freckles are too many, my hair is too mousey, I’m still too skinny even though I’ve gained a lot of weight since leaving…oh, and I’m an aesthetic. Or whatever the hell they called it. Broken, busted, defective: that’s what they should’ve said, because that’s what it is. I am who I am, and I refuse to be anything else, but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it deep down. Hate me. All the other girls around me are happy, they’re receiving little gifts and they’re giggling about magic acorns and necklaces and kisses…me? I’m sitting in the corner. Making another candle. I do love candles, I love beeswax, but I need more than that. And I hate myself for it. Why can’t I just go through life not needing anyone, not needing to be loved, not needing to be needed in return? That would make things so simple. I could just shrug and go, “Oh, I just never found anyone!” and no one would look at me twice. Weird candle-lady, they’d call me. Crazy Sky and her apartment full’ve dogs. I’d be fine with that. But no. I need love.

From the wrong person. The wrong people. The wrong choice. For fuck’s sake, I’m sneaking out every night to spend the winter nights outside. At a camp site. Why? For what was most likely a figment of grief and imagination. She couldn’t have been real. She was mysterious and had grey eyes and bright hair and actually talked to me like I was a desirable object. A frightened rabbit she called me. Acted like I wasn’t broken for who I am. Of course it wasn’t real. No woman exists like that; I think she was a fairy. A fairy I made up, in order to make up for how pathetic I am. Maybe one night my fire will go out early and I’ll freeze to death. That’d make things nice and simple, now wouldn’t it? Go to sleep and never wake up. Bah, who am I kidding. I’d wake up and kindle the fire again. I’m too scared to die on purpose. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to anyway, sometimes.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have a confession. I am a selfish man. I left my home, my family, all who loved me, only to follow the whim of my heart. To travel and see exciting new places. No regard for anyone but myself and what I wanted. Things have not changed so much, not yet. I find myself in an area in which I do not belong. I stick out much like a sore thumb, one that has been smashed with a hammer or whatever would cause a thumb to be round and red, noticeable. My speech is formal in a land of little true education, and my clothing brightly colored yet surrounded by earth tones. But still I stay. I tell myself it is for her, but it is for me. I have never found anyone quite like her, one who stirs me so deeply yet inspires such restraint.

My true wish is that I could sweep her off her feet and walk until I could walk no more. If only that she were willing to travel. The places we could see! We could even travel as far as Ered Luin itself, see Duillond and its impressive library. Marvel at the Elven architecture and the clean, sweet air of fragrant blossoms in the spring. Perhaps there would even be a boat, docked and ready to carry Elven passengers home. Yet that is not something she wants. Not something she needs right now. I wish it were otherwise, and I am guilty for it; to wish she is something other than what she is is one of the greatest insults you could wish someone. She is who she is, and I-…I am fond of her. The frowns that are meant to be smiles, the soft, fluttery kisses akin to the touch of a butterfly’s wings, the steadfast pride that straightens her back and drives her to be as educated and independent as she is able. All of these things make up who she is. And yet I still find myself wanting more! I am a selfish fool of a poet, and a bad man.

She drives me to want to be a better man: a man who will do any and everything for the one for whom he cares, one who is not afraid to stand stationary. One who will think of others first and himself last. That is my confession: I am selfish. But I am trying.