RP Prompts: Different Paths

The ever-amazing Pumyra has given us an RP prompt this week that really got my creative juices flowing. Thank you! I’ll be introducing some new faces, in addition to everyone’s favorite hypocrite (Lori). I took the slightly alternate route of “what if a key decision in their life ended up being the opposite choice?”

Imagine what your character might have been had they not ended up in their current occupation. Write a story about what they might be like.

———————–

Tegil laughed loudly, his light and musical laughter bouncing across the hall. His gaze swept across his betrothed, studying her beautiful face as she tried to balance the board on her head. Every time she shifted position, another perfect muscle moved and he felt the need to re-memorize it. A perpetually stupid grin graced his face, even as she finally gave up and ripped the blindfold off. Her grey eyes narrowed as she stuck her hands on her hips.

Tegil, what are you leering at?”

Needing no more a prompt than that, he quickly hopped up and floated over to her, gracefully dipping her without warning. He poked her nose with his own, grinning still. “Oh, just the most beautiful young woman in this whole city.”

Her face softened in just the way he loved, her lovely lips curving into a private smile. “Flatterer.”

I speak only the truth, my love.” He dipped his head to kiss her softly.

Their wedding couldn’t come fast enough.

(Tegil decided to not ask his childhood friend to marry him, instead following the beat of his own drum and heading into the world to write poems and stories. He doesn’t regret his decision in even the slightest, but it will always be a happy “what if?” in his mind.)

———————–

Duinelleth danced along the white shores of the Undying Lands, laughing happily. It was truly beautiful here – beautiful, and peaceful. Plopping gracefully into the sand, she ran her fingers through it and made an intricate pattern of leaves. A splash of water startled her and ruined the design. She gasped and looked up, only to immediately break into more laughter. Her husband waved with a mischievous glint in his eye, then comically made a big show of hiding the bucket he had in his hand.

Lamaenon, how dare you ruin my sand drawings!”

Ah, heart of my heart, it’s just sand. We can draw over here, instead.” He sat down, tossing the bucket to the side and beckoning to her.

Standing up and rushing over to sit on him instead of next to him, she grinned. “I suppose this is fine, too.”

Ah, how I agree. Isn’t it a lovely morning? This sunrise is particularly bright.” They both looked to the east with a soft sigh of appreciation. He rested his head on her shoulder, and she quickly rested her head upon his.

You know, I think I’ll always regret not staying – just a little.”

He tightened his grip on Duinelleth, not jealously, but protectively. “I understand…to not stay and help, it’s not in your nature. Although, I must confess…I am glad you came with us, melethril. To have you safe is my greatest wish.”

She smiled and relaxed as he pulled her closer. “I would have regretted leaving you all the more, love.”

(Duinelleth did decide to stay and help the younger races against the Shadow. Although young, she is convinced that her knowledge of mending a broken body will help turn the tide. Her betrothed sailed to Valinor, and they promised each other they would wed on the white shores once she felt at peace with departing.)

———————–

Loriwen smoothed down her thin dress, sighing as her hair pulled out of its bun again – it never stayed in place. Grabbing the large wooden spoon and stirring the pot, she ran her fingers along the handle of the spoon instead of paying attention to dinner. The wood was well-carved, smooth despite the grains shining through in the firelight. It was the kind of work she used to do in secret, before she became with child. Once that happened, Aric made sure someone was always around her, in case she needed something. Needed something? Pah. It was one of the easiest and simplest pregnancies she had ever seen. She wasn’t a porcelain doll that would crack under pressure. So she was a bit clumsy, she wasn’t going to fall off a roof – or even be on one in the first place! Her grip tightening on the wooden spoon reminded her of where she was, her eyes focusing once again upon it. She wiped it on her apron and sat down to work on her mending.

She hated menial chores so much. Sewing, cleaning, cooking; that’s all she ever did. The perfect farm wife if there ever was one. Aric wasn’t a bad man, just boring and stubborn. A farmer, just like her father and his father, and his father before him. It’s not proper for a wife to help make the living. She can work in the family’s garden and raise the children. The men work to support everyone else. Tears began to form in her eyes as she peered into her sewing box…she held it in her lap, caressing it. She could imagine carving this box, herself. A simple notch there, a long and bold stroke there. Simple nails into the hinge here, and –

The door slammed open and three children bounded inside, one after the other noisily. Loriwen stood up quickly and wiped her eyes before turning around with a bright smile. Even if she cried herself to sleep some nights while wishing she could just run away, even if she did feel more and more trapped in this farming village every single day, she did love her children. She would do anything for them, including stay in a dreadfully dull and unhappy marriage.

What’s for dinner, ma? Oh, is it stew? What kinda meat did’ya get?!”

Loriwen winced and rushed over to keep her youngest – only six – from falling into the fire as he peered into the stew pot. He was just like his mother, often unsteady on his feet. “Now now, Ryley, you stay away from the fire, you hear me? …And it’s your favorite, hare.” Her heart lightened a bit as she watched his dark brown eyes widen with joy. She mussed his hair and patted him off to wash with his older brother and sister. She sighed, alone again; if only for the few moments before Aric clomped inside to ask how her day went. Her answer would always be the same: “oh, the usual.”

Gods, she hated the usual.

(Aric proposed a courtship to her shortly after her father died, assuming she would want the companionship and need the support of a man. In reality, Loriwen ended up turning down his well-meant but boring offer, instead deciding to head off to the Shire for a year. She is independent, living on her own, and allowed to carve whenever she desires. She is – as of now – unwed, but is secretly harboring impatient hopes that her beloved will pop the proverbial question.)

Lost Family: Getting to Know Each Other

This submission is in PDF form for two reasons.

  1. It’s entirely too long to be posted on my.lotro, and it’s not the kind of piece I can break up.
  2. It’s far more comfortable to read it in black on white serif font instead of whatever my.lotro is conjuring up at the moment.

I hope you enjoy this latest piece. If it’s not working for some reason, I’ll throw it up on fanfiction.net or something.

Link to story here.

Letters to Grams: Danger Comes in Many Forms

June 12
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore Township, Bree-land

Grams! Can I say I’m glad he’s gone?

Oh, I hate writing it down, but it’s true. He.. well, he made good on his promise, alright. Well, maybe it wasn’t a promise, leastways. More of an intention. Either way, he made good on it, to be sure. I daresay it’s somewhat my fault, too.

Remind me to never drink anything strong alone, ever again. I wouldn’t have minded in the past, in fact it’s a good way to pass the night laughing at one’s self. But now I need to lock my office or something. I was foolish and wrote a letter after a lot of blackberry ale. To him. The worst part is.. I slept through the mail carrier coming – the ale again! I didn’t remember of it until a letter showed in response. I was a bit forward in it. What did I do? Ah! Never again, Grams. Never drinking alone again. Not unless all the parchment’s gone from my house.

Now that he’ll be out of town for a few days, off in Buckland for some merchant business or whatnot, I can think about doing some work again. Anything to keep my mind off the past week. I found the perfect maple to make that lute, I’m very excited to get to work on it. Still waiting for the turning keys, though. Won’t start until I have all the pieces together, I think. It’s a present for a wedding, a gift to the groom. He apparently plays lute, and a fancier one is in order for such an occasion! A wonderful gift, in my eyes. Practical, but beautiful and special at the same time.

The town is having a dance, some time from now. A sweethearts dance. I asked him. I figured that wouldn’t be too scandalous or anything, the young women usually ask men they like but aren’t seeing yet. That’s a proper thing to do, I think. Then again, things have changed around here. I have a friend of mine, a young girl from Gondor named Morvel…well, I can’t spell her name. But I call her Morv, she doesn’t seem to mind. It’s a cute name, makes me think of mauve. Quite a pretty color, I imagine it would look very nice against her blue eyes and darker hair. She’s a sweet girl, very clearly a young thing infatuated. She went off and shacked up with a guy her first or second night meeting him! Things have either changed, or those Gondorians are faster than even I thought. Both could be true, I suppose. Can’t claim to know much more about them than what I’ve heard in town and from Tarlanc and Morv themselves, really. It sounds like a very interesting place, full of wild things. Dangerous, too.

Speaking of danger, I really should be more careful out there. Creatures are really woken up now. Managed to escape, but I came a little too close for comfort when looking for that maple wood. I’m not particularly nimble, but I can run well enough…barely enough to escape that boar. They really need to take better care of the areas near those Lone Lands, they’re getting more and more dangerous. The marshes, too! Do you know I think I saw a goblin camp in there? At a distance! It was terrifying. That’s why I ran off and happened to run into the boar. Stupid thing chased me until I threw some of my jerky away from me. Didn’t work at first, but eventually he realized how much food he was giving up by chasing me down and gave up. That was horrible! I’m going to try to be a bit more careful, stick closer to the roads.

My goal is to finish carving all my current orders before he gets back. I’ll do them properly, of course, but it’ll be good to finish my list free of distractions. So, no time to waste! I’ll write again soon, I promise. Miss you both, so dearly.

Always love, your little pumpkin,
Lori


Letters to Gram: What am I doing?

June 7
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

I’m sorry, Grams!

I’ve not written you for a while, with reason. I have been so busy! Between staying in contact with all those friends I mentioned last time, trying to keep up with orders that were recently asked of me, and other personal matters, I have had little time to myself. Work has been the busiest of all lately.

I’m certainly not complaining about this, though! You know how I love my work. Not much in this world makes me happier than quietly sitting with a mug of ale and a piece of wood to carve. I recently finished a marvelous bookcase for a lovely young woman in town. She seemed most eager to have it done before the middle of this week. Apparently she had bought some books or some sort for her husband, and wanted to surprise him with a new shelf to put them on. Sweet, if you ask me.

I recently got a request for a rather beautiful instrument. A lute, made of maple wood.. darkened with color, and ivory turning keys. Absolutely lovely! I can’t start work on it until I get the keys, though. I’ll spend a lot of time looking for just the right wood. It’s hard to find maple wood willing to bend into a lute’s shape, but they are so sturdy and sound so sweet when you do find it.

I’ve continued to see Tarlanc, having a meal with him here and there.. last night, we met at the Broken Cask. A rather odd name for a tavern, but a lovely tavern it is! It’s run by one who is fast becoming a good friend, Rosemead. She was just married, and quite happy for it. Good on her, I say. She’s a kinder person than I think she realizes, and she deserves it. Particularly after she told me what happened to her last suitor: he apparently just ran off before they were married! How unfair! Who would leave Rosie, of all people in Bree, before marriage? She’s such a sweet person. Well, it worked out for the best in the end anyway, because now she has her Course. They’re quite happy together, I think. It’s nice to watch them interact.. he likes to sneak up on her.

I don’t in truth remember much of what happened at the Cask proper, because I’m a bit aflutter from what happened afterward. Tarlanc has been talking to me about the waterfall near his place for quite some time. We snuck out a bit early, and headed on over there after a little. He did something quite odd. Quite odd, indeed, I think. I wish so much you could give me your opinion on this, Grams. He told me he.. planned on kissing me in the future. Not.. he didn’t just do it, he told me he was planning on it! How strange is that? I wonder if it’s some kind of Gondor thing, announcing intentions beforehand. I’m unsure. It certainly gave me a bit of a scare. Not that I minded, mind you! It just took me by surprise.

I am uncertain where things will go from here, but I’m perishing curious. I take back what I wrote in my last letter: he is far from uninteresting, at any glance you can spare in his direction. Leastways, it seems that way to me. We usually talk of mundane things, work and the like, but I could think of no better way to spend time. Everything he says is different and curious…I think I’m rather fond of him. Oh, Grams! Is it too soon to think such things? It’s been not even two weeks since we met! I fear I said some rather foolish things last night, when he said he preferred plain speech. Ah, that is something you never say to me! I just blurt out what is on my mind. It never ends well. I spoke of my confusion at all this…I have no idea what is going on, that I’m unexplainably drawn to him. I’m a bit worried. He’s more…well, more experienced in this field. He says he’s never really courted a woman before, but I don’t believe it. He’s had to have had at least one woman, he is too interesting not to.

I really have no idea what I’m doing, or why. I just say things around him. Things in my mind.. it’s hard to think straight. I hope this, whatever it is, passes soon enough. I like having my wits about me. Ah.. what am I going to do with myself? I don’t know. I need to head off, to go find some of that maple. It’s going to take quite a time to find the right one. I promise I’ll try to write more often. I love you, Grams.

Your little pumpkin,
Lori


RP Prompt: Memory Lane

Loriwen Snowberry pulled the bucket of water from her well with great effort. Holding it to her side with both hands, she awkwardly made her way toward her house. Putting it down briefly to open the door, she took a long glance at the waterfall, smiling at the water’s comforting roar. She made her way inside and began clearing her sturdy office table. The table always reminded her of her father: strong, sturdy, and practically immovable. It also helped a little bit that he carved it. Lori ran her fingertips along the tabletop, feeling the smoothed grains carefully, lost in thought. A few moments later, she snapped out of it and finished clearing off the desk.

The last item she reached for was her father’s whittling knife; now hers, to be specific. She held it in her hand, as she had done thousands of times before. She looked at it, holding it up to the light. The cherry-wood handle glistened, freshly waxed; the steel blade still shiny despite the numerous chips on it. She smiled softly, being brought back to the first time she was allowed to use it.

Lori walked along the stone wall toward her father, extra slow. She was clumsy, and she knew it. Always was, always would be. Giving up and hopping down into a soft pile of dirt, she ran over to her father. She was a bit big for him to lift up, but Rojer did it anyway (with a bit of effort). Safe in her father’s arms, Lori felt closer to a little kid than the whole eight years old that she was! Her father poked her on the nose, causing a quick swat and shake of the head.

“Hey, pumpkin-face. You want to learn some carving today?”

Lori’s face lit up, her bright teal eyes glowing with excitement. “Oh, yes! Please, pop; I’m old enough to use the knife!” She tumbled down out of her father’s arms, falling on the ground with an “oof!” Not to be deterred by falling down, she grabbed his hand and attempted to drag him along toward their farmhouse. He followed, laughing the whole while.

Her father sat her down upon his knee and handed her a large wood chip. “Now, Lori, this is important. When you carve wood, it isn’t about making the wood look the way you want it to. It’s about feeling the wood and understanding what it wants to be. Do you understand?”

The young girl’s head bobbed, strawberry blonde hair flying everywhere. She refused to keep it up or back, just like her mother. “I understand, pop!” She did as he had taught her: she held the wood with her eyes closed, running her fingers over it slowly. Lori looked up at her father’s dark green eyes—so unlike her own—and smiled brightly. “I think it wants t’ be a necklace!”

“Oh, ho! A necklace, do you think? What makes you say that?”

Lori looked down at the wood chip; it was no more than three inches in diameter. “Because it’ll make a sure pretty rose if you put it on a string!” She looked up at Rojer, searching for approval of her decision.

Rojer paused for a few moments of thought, looking from his daughter’s anxious gaze to the wood chip and back again. He nodded. “A fine choice, indeed! Let’s get started.” He wrapped his arms around his daughter, his only true possession in the world, and began to guide her hands in the carving of a rose pendant.

“First, you’ll want to hold the knife just like this…”

Loriwen blinked out of her reverie, realizing she had some tears in her eyes despite the smile on her face. She shook her head, as if the memory could be as easily shaken away. “Ah, that was so many years ago…”

She put the carving knife into a special pouch on her belt, which was clearly made just for it. Patting it quietly, she looked to the table her father carved before she was even born. It was a wedding gift to her mother, an intricately carved table upon which her mother could sew. Running her fingers over the table once again, she closed her eyes. “I understand, Dad.”

((Originally posted here.))