This is the last official day of ROWnd 2 of the ROW80 challenge. Many people are already “done” and were so by Sunday. I’m still back in the first week it seems.
It doesn’t help that today my husband and I celebrate our 10 wedding anniversary. Events that mark life changing experiences, whether for good or ill, have a tendency to occupy the mind.
It also doesn’t help that I’ve allowed myself the emotional luxury of doing two Novel Writing challenges, thus almost forcing my mind into fictional worlds where blogging and check-ins and comments are alien concepts (at least in my story worlds they are).
And so here we are, and I ‘m not ready. I haven’t been ready for weeks.
And yet, the world, the ROWnd, kept moving…
…for a time.
And since I did not do the Tuesday Snippet (again…I am really sorry, the mind truly has been in strange places), here it is, for those interested:
Alanii was at the gate, watching as they landed. Quick as she could, she released herself from her harness and went to the door.
‘Listii rose behind her. “Let me help you with the–”
She glared at him and noted with some small satisfaction that he stepped back. “I think you’ve helped enough, Captain.”
He gave a hurt but accepting nod and, after opening the door, stepped away so she could pass by unhindered or touched.
Alanii came over, waving the dust cloud away from his face. “Nassil?” He coughed, then reached a hand over to help her down.
She hesitated a moment before grabbing it, remembering once again why she’d avoided Acaria for so long. Behind her she felt ‘Listii’s dark gaze drilling into the base of her skull.
It decided her.
Resolutely, she enhanced her shielding and reached down to take the Andar’s firm grip, steeling herself for the draw he held over her.
Instead, she met solid ground without the tingling fire, without the shadowy mind sense of him—it was as if he wasn’t there psychically at all. A quick scan, as she dared not lower her shields too far in case this was a fluke, revealed little more than the presence of an untalented person next to her.
But the man next to her who was saying brief greetings and farewells to his captain had never been untalented.
Stunned, she allowed herself to be drawn toward the gate without resistance. And only after the car had lifted off and both Alanii and she were coughing out lungs full of dust was she able to turn to him and demand to know what was going on.
No natural shielding could imitate that kind of effect. Even Val and ‘Listii with their intensely secret skill had always shown up as potential witches.
It was as if Alanii wasn’t there at all.
He smiled wanly, shaking his curls to get rid of the film of dust they’d gathered. “Simple, Atyriia.”
She backed up and, after watching him dust himself off, decided to follow suit. “Simple for you, perhaps, but let’s pretend for a moment that I’m a complete idiot. Why are you suddenly as invisible as a rock on the planes?”
Alanii’s brows rose. “Hopefully you see more of me than that, nassil. Come up to my study. We can share a drink, and I’ll explain it to you.”
She noticed he didn’t offer his hand to her again as he motioned for her to come with him.
A short snippet this time…
- All photos credit of Paulsen Photography