Tag Archives: Mara

Because I’m so…um… Forgetful? Lost? Talented?

I prefer the last one.

Do you?

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…

Beware longjumpers and forgetful people...

Beware longjumpers and forgetful people… (Photo credit: Ben Cooper)

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.”

“A glass?”

“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?

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Update, Downdate, What-Have-You and Snippet

Swallowtail

Swallowtail
photo by Self

I missed my post again yesterday.  Actually, that’s not true.  I wrote it and wrote it and kept trashing what I wrote.  The snippet wasn’t the problem.  I was in an excellent fiction mood.  Escape from reality was easy to come by, and emotionally necessary.

I’m in a touch of a funk.  Not so much destructive as “odd”…  The mind wobbles, so to speak.

But it’s getting late today and I still haven’t done my update for the ROW80 or found a suitable opening topic for the Tuesday Snippet that I want to write and post about.  So today I’m combining the two “features” into one, the ROW80 check-in and the (normally Tuesday) Snippet of the Unnamed Story.

And as a little bit of shameless plugging, please check out the Garden of Delights on Monday May 21st for an incredible guest post by the very creative Barbara Chepaitis.

ROW80 Check-in

One might think that shortening goals would help a person find more time to get things done.  Or that significantly reducing time on social media would add back all sorts of extra free time to one’s schedule.

I thought so too.

Instead, the laundry has piled up; the dishes have overflowed the sink twice today…  and you do not want to see my livingroom rug at the moment.  NO one wants to see my livingroom rug.♦

On my writing goals things seem to be falling into something of a patter, barring my “forgetting” to work on my blogs.  The resistance in this area is monumental.  It’s taken me most of the day to write this.  However, I managed to almost finish the drafts for two short stories today, plus find a new plot point for CTSS.

In the worlds of fiction, it feels like the world is filling me up to overflowing.  Even on days I have not been as creative as I could be, I am feeling incredibly energized.  And though I have noticed that my output for “StoryADay” is not actually flowing as a single story every day of the month, I am finding myself ebbing and flowing from a day of dearth to abundance soon after when I am easily making up my slights.

I’m on track, and almost a story ahead….  I also am dreading the massive typing in that I will need to do.

As for the rest…  Check-in comments are mostly on track.  I have not done any yet today, but that will change tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow ROWers have done with themselves.  I’m almost always intrigued by posts I see.  Why don’t you try visiting a few yourself here.

(♦ the real state of our house has been due to celebration: the Boodle is not the neatest opener of presents, and many the presents are those that contain a multitude of pieces.  And the sink full of dishes in due to increased cooking sans microwave as the door handle broke on ours this weekend.  The hubby is fixing it.  All Hail, Gorilla Glue!)

Unnamed Story Snippet

When we last left the Unnamed Story, Valistii and ‘Mara were discussing politics over breakfast and Atyr had just told Val about their son that Val never knew about:

She heard the croaked “Atyr” even through the haze of her fury. That in itself was enough to make her pause, since even she would have admitted that she was too focused on her own misery to notice others when she got angry like this.

She whirled. He was sipping the water, one hand held up in a ‘wait’ gesture. She snarled to herself about his impertinence and turned back to the door.

“Atyr.” This time his voice was a touch stronger, although the word was spluttered in his water. “Please, Atyr. Stop. I’m sorry.”

That did make her stop.

He was sorry? He’d never been sorry for anything in his life. Certainly not that he’d ever admitted in her experience.

Sorry? Did he even know what the word meant?

*

It took her a few moments to turn this time. He decided that was a good thing. She did eventually face him.

Her expression bespoke shock and disbelief.

“Sorry.” Said that way she echoed disbelief with bland indifference discomfitingly. Again she said it. “Sorry. Do you even know what that means, Valichii Miniira?” She crossed her arms in front of her completing the image of disapproving lecturer.

He considered the question more for where it came from. Hell, yes, he thought. I’ve grown to know the meaning of that word better than I know my own flesh and blood. Better than you can ever imagine, woman.

He said nothing so inflammatory and just nodded. “Yes.”

She paused in her reply before lowering her arms slowly to her sides. “I doubt it.” She started turning to leave again.

Something in her tone inspired him to speak faster this time. A softer note… He grabbed at that, clutched at it, hoping he wasn’t reading her wrong this time like all the others. He hoped it really was her asking him to keep trying and not the cursory dismissal it appeared to be.

He quickly gulped down another swig of water. He barely swallowed it before he spoke again. “Maybe I’ve never been brave enough to admit it before?” Or smart enough, he mused. That seemed obvious enough to not need being stated aloud.

She didn’t keep walking away. She didn’t turn back to face him. He couldn’t be sure, but it looked like she started playing with her fingernails.

The moments passed in silence. He sipped some more water, wondering if he should go over to her but uncertain of whether it would hurt or help. Eventually he decided it didn’t matter. He wanted to go over, wanted to be next to her.

Getting out of bed proved easier than he’d expected as did walking along the edge of the bed. He tottered a bit as he left it. His cane was on the other side by his desk. He held himself upright though and slowly stepped toward his company.

“Atyr?” He tentatively reached out a hand to touch her hair when he was close enough to her.

*

“Atyr?”

She felt the uncertain touch of his hand as clearly as the hesitant overtone of his voice. She didn’t know what to think.

About this. About any of it.

She knew well enough to tell he wasn’t lying. Not because she’d checked his honesty. She’d stopped reading his thoughts and the meaning behind his words and actions long before they’d even become lovers.

Reading him had never helped anyway. She barely understood the reasons she did things. What had ever made her think she could understand someone else better?

She just wasn’t used to this, him being the strong one, ‘Listii being closed and insecure. She couldn’t help herself from smiling faintly. Maybe this situation, him finally having to face himself and his past actions was making him into the man she’d always hoped he would be instead of the man she loved but couldn’t live with.

She sighed and looked up at the ceiling. Why did the Havens always do these things to her? She’d always been faithful to the Bright Star, had always served Her to the best of her ability. Why did she deserve to have her faith tested so?

To finally see the changes she’d hoped for for so long was a trial greater than she’d imagined. Especially considering how close she was to losing him forever.

His tentative touch grew bolder at her change in posture. Bone-sharp fingertips brushed her cheek and jaw as they drew her hair back a touch. Then he touched her face with the back of his hand. She didn’t know if he really was quivering or if his weakness had taxed him to far.

It didn’t matter.

His murmur of “Little Mouse?”, so soft, so concerned, was beautiful. She wanted to hear it forever.

She couldn’t stop herself. She turned and buried her head into his shoulder. Then she couldn’t restrain herself at all.

*

Thank the Goddess that his reactions still were strong and that his instincts were good. He’d steeled his wavering legs only seconds before she collapsed against him. His arms went around her shoulders. His nose nuzzled into her hair only just before the tears started.

And he’d begun murmuring soft “don’t cry”s and “hush”es barely before she began sobbing in earnest.

“Oh, Val….” The rest was lost on a wail that he would have sworn was more joy than distress.

He hesitated only a moment then forced the natural barriers of his soul down as far as his strength allowed to be inundated with…

…inundated with joy, happy confusion, love.

He caught his breath, allowing the barriers to fall back in place, stunned for a moment. Then he understood the sad irony of the situation. So simple a statement…. He’d thought for so long it was too silly to speak aloud. They both knew the truth, or so he’d assumed. All she’d ever needed to do was look, and his soul was laid bare before her talents.

Lingering memories, whispers of caution…. His father’s gentle scold so long ago when Atyr and he’d had their first fight. “Don’t put faith in powers beyond your reach, Val. You love her, you tell her. You want her, you tell her that too. Don’t assume she’ll know.”

Likewise his brother’s caution about her fears came back, gentle urges from his mother, Vissellii’s lighthearted teases of how inept he was at dealing with women. Alanii’s urging to simply speak his heart before he lost it or broke it forever….

And for so simple a thing.

This time the tears of hurt, rage, betrayal even, were his. For so simple a thing he’d almost lost her forever, had nearly thrown her away.

No wonder the Goddess had refused him peace.

A twinge of gratitude broke through his self-recrimination and anguish. He’d learned that much finally, and it wasn’t too late. She was here, now, and there was time to start mending the past. Even if he died tomorrow, the biggest hurt was mended, the festering wound that it had hidden was being washed clean. Washed clean by tears he cried into her hair as her own soaked his shoulder.

That’s it.  I really have to wonder…  Does Atyr actually love Val?  Does he love her?  Or are they just going through the motions because the crisis?

Tuesday Snippet and Globolinks needed

Help,  Help,…

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I had a very strange book.  Or at least I thought it was very strange….in that cool “I don’t know what it’s about but it weirds out my parents, so I’m keeping it” way.  It is called Help, Help, the Globolinks!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to keep it back then.  My mother was very adept at making certain books disappear.  Of course, now that I’m older and know about the opera it was based on, I sort of understand why she did it.  Not that I agree with her reasons, but I understand them.  And fortunately I did just find it via Amazon and Google, and now it’s on my wishlist for anyone who might be interested!

But I’m still looking for a few other books from my childhood that I would love to have.  And unlike the Globolinks, I don’t have a cool name or title to search for.  But if anyone recognizes a story that sounds something like this summary, please let me know:

A family of four lovebirds. The birds, from le...

Image via Wikipedia

The main character is a lovebird, kept by an old man.  He’s sad, wishing he had a friend.  Then one day lovebirds from the moon come and he wants to go away with them, but the old man cages him out of fear of losing his friend.  Eventually the bird gets away.

I wish I could remember more of it.   I do know that it was because of this book that I fell deeply in love with the idea of someday having a pair of lovebirds.  Never a solitary bird…

So, if you have a clue as to what this book was called, please…  Please let me know. Continue reading