I prefer the last one.
Even if it’s being applied in a mostly sarcastic sense, we’d rather believe compliments regarding ourselves and our actions. We’d rather not hear negatives such as Forgetful. And neutrals such as Lost come with a lot of potential risk…
Talented seems so much happier.
But really, I’m just forgetful. And a little lost.
And yes, I am talented, but that’s not the point of this post.
This is my ROW80 check-in where I say: “I’ve done diddly-squat!” It’s not completely true, of course. It’s also not completely false.
The best falsehoods do tend to hold a grain of truth after all.
As I posted in my “mini-update’ on the Facebook Row80 page, I dropped the ball completely on Story A Day. By Monday I’d managed to catch up with two more short… um… things. (It has occurred to me for a while since starting this challenge that I am not really writing “short stories” but more vignettes or scenes–pieces that are definitely a part of something larger.) I’ve also dropped the ball on 750words.com only logging in twice since last Wednesday’s check-in.
Losing that 230 day streak was both freeing and very devastating. I’ve not recovered my rhythm since.
And since this is the very end of the school year before we begin homeschooling the Boodle, I’m in a bit of a tizzy about “closing doors neatly” so to speak. I’ve been escaping into Torchwood novelizations when I get a moment to breathe. Probably not the most productive use of my free time, but it was a necessary catharsis. And since I just received four of the books I ordered… I may be cathartic for a while.
I’m supposed to be starting the JuNoWriMo (and by that token also June’s CampNaNoWriMo) on the first. My head should be clearer by the 7th… I may not set any speed records for the first week, but I will write. 50,000 words should be child’s play, given all the things I want to work on.
That’s what I’m intending.
A missing Tuesday Snippet
But, since I’m forgetful and I also missed my Tuesday post and snippet. Here is it is… a very short one today:
She found ‘Listii and ‘Mara in the dining room talking more than breaking their morning fast. ‘Mara looked at her in surprise. Of course she’d said she was going to break her fast with Val.
She shrugged and took the seat ‘Listii drew out for her. “I’d forgotten his final meditation starts today. I’ll talk with him later tonight at prefast.”
Her son nodded and passed her the tea. “Well, fair morn then, Mother.”
She smiled, trying to make her expression lighter than it likely was. She looked sideways at ‘Listii who’d begun playing games with his cherry stems. Noticing her gaze, he withdrew the one he’d been nibbling from his mouth and grinned mischievously. The stem, which had been filleted, now lay twisted in well tightened knots around the bare pit.
She blushed, then with an impish afterthought, sent past his shield a scold of ~Tease!~
He set the denuded seed on her plate and chuckled. “Who says?”
Despite the fact she was happy to find a break from her grim thoughts, she felt acutely on display here. She glanced at ‘Mara who was at the moment studying his portaviewer, seemingly oblivious to his uncle’s games. Before the younger man looked up, ‘Listii was once more studiously attending his meal.
As if nothing had happened.
She sighed and helped herself to some meal and fruit preserve. Then, as another afterthought, she took a handful of the cherries. Two could play that game.
“So we wait another day…”
She paused mid-nibble of the fruit in her mouth and blinked. She’d actually managed to put the thought of Val’s meditation out of her mind for a brief moment. She gave ‘Listii a brief smile of gratitude for his antics.
“Well, yes. As well as tomorrow and the day after that…” She sighed, looked at the cherry in her hand and noticed she’d begun picking apart its stem as ‘Listii must have for his gift to her. She placed it in her mouth for a few more select bites, then plopped it on ‘Listii’s plate, smiling face, frizzy stem and all before she finished answering her son.
“However, I’m going to get my business with Alanii done today rather than sit around. The sooner, the better.” She paused as ‘Listii cleared his throat lightly. “Hmm?”
Her lover shook his head. “Council today, Atyr, and Alanii’s overseeing it for a time.”
Her brow rose without her permission to do so. “Why isn’t Daryl overseeing things?”
“He’s on Alentrii with a woman he claims he wants to marry. He was due a vacation anyway.”
“A woman he claims he wants–”
‘Listii interrupted her before her disgust found free rein. “Alanii thinks he’s serious enough to have given him a nine month leave and have approached AJenna Amantii about the diplomatic considerations.” The man shrugged. “Having seen Daryl with her, I’d say he’s serious too.”
“Oh.” She let the matter drop. She wasn’t fond of Alanii’s law-born son, but the man was still a person like any other. Her likes or dislikes didn’t change the fact that he would live as any other man.
She shrugged. “All the better then. I know Alanii well enough that I’m sure he’ll grasp any chance to escape that, even if it just the anticipation of knowing he has to be there. And it means we can have dinner or something in Toriliis, in public.” She gave both men significant nods. “I’ve got to admit. I don’t feel that assured when Alanii asks me to visit with ‘no expectations, nassil.’ I’d feel better if there are others around.”
‘Listii frowned. She didn’t know if it was her denigrating words toward his sovereign or something else. ‘Mara nodded with a much relieved expression covering his face.
It was ‘Listii who replied. “If you insist. I’m leaving in a glass. You are welcome to come with me.”
“I’ll drop you off at Katsdaniis for the morning and bring you back after Council. It save ‘Mara ordering an extra car since his sister already took the House car for the weekly shopping run.”
So that was why Mirielle wasn’t at breakfast. And with Vantosa in Toril. Valary married… But still, a glass? “Are you going to Toril early? I would like to see Vant, if he’s not teaching.”
The younger twin of her beloved smiled with an expression of fond bemusement. “No. I’m going home for a few glass myself. I’ve got to gather paperwork from Valir and see my children too. I don’t get leave that often myself.”
‘Listii stayed at the table only a bit longer, pleading a need to ready some things before he left. As he pushed his chair in he looked at the cherry with its nibbled-in face and tousled stem hair, its suggestive wink. He frowned, picked it up and finished off the flesh before some busybody servant started talking about things that weren’t their business.
As he finished climbing the stairs, he paused to wonder why he was annoyed by the idea of bringing Atyr to see Alanii. Surely he wasn’t developing his brother’s bad habit of seeing danger in every encounter Atyr had with the man.
As he closed the door of his bedroom to the world outside, silence answered. No, it wasn’t fear of what would happen between Atyr and her ‘tianii. It wasn’t even Atyr’s accusations of his friend’s intentions.
It was silence. It was privacy. And it was his choice to say no to the woman when she had asked if she might come home with him to Yiira and say his to his family.
It was last night when she’d touched him, shared her thoughts with him, and he’d come so close to asking her to take his family as hers to escape the loneliness.
He fell back on the bed and stared at the ceiling, letting his thoughts touch that place where his wife’s spirit had once lived within him, worrying it like the a cavity that slowly devoured the tooth around it. It hadn’t been long enough to forget her. Likely, it never would be.
He should have listened to Val when it was happening. He should have listened to her. Now Riia wasn’t here to listen to anymore. In all likelihood Val wouldn’t be soon.
And it had been such a little thing. A promotion, a grading he didn’t even need. His tutoring position in the Guard paid enough to support the two of them. His governorship had provided a comfortable supplement and helped in their children’s and grandchildren’s support.
Maybe Riia’d been right when she’d said he’d only wanted more chances to see Atyr. The woman had known him better than he’d known himself most of the time. Too well he still heard the shrill, angry taunt…the last thing she’d ever said to him…the one thing he’d refused to hear in over twenty years. Back then he’d walked out the door to hide in his duty. Now his duty was all he had.
He could plug his ears. It didn’t stop the voice from speaking, from screaming, in his head until all other memories of her, the soft murmurs when they’d lay together, her bright-eyed smiles after playing with the children, her rich warm laughter….
All vanished to corners, hiding from the red-faced, raging, teary-eyed demoness he’d last seen. The woman who’d accused him of deserting her, of lying to her, of betrayal far beyond his crimes.
Even if she had been right and he had been lying to himself all those years…. He winced and rolled on his side, cradling his pillow against himself. In the end she had been right. He had deserted her, had lied and betrayed her.
No, not betrayed yet. Not that it mattered now. She wasn’t here to care.
Okay, that was a bit longer than planned. I think it added something by including the second piece. Don’t you?