Writing Prompt: 5/24/17

Writing Prompts1

I’m in a writing server, and the organizer created a writing prompt for the week that I found to be delightful. So… I wrote a thing. Woohoo!

The Prompt: The world didn’t end with a bang or a whimper–it ended one scream at a time.

The fic is below!


Hunting in the Dark

She breathed, moving through the woods light-footed and intent in the darkness. She could hear the quiet pitter-patter of footfalls to the left and right, where her brothers and sisters hunted with her; nightfall was precious and rare creatures emerged from dens and borrows during the hours the suns hid their face. He would only give them so long, after all.

Doir lunged over a dropped log (not so old, she thought, but dead long enough that the bark had gone, if not long enough that the luminescent fauna had arrived to cannibalize it) and nearly lost her footing over a clutch of slick stones. One of her brothers hissed a protest to be quiet, then caught his ankle in a rabbit-hold and went tumbling forward into the brush. She smothered a bark of laughter and settled for grinning, reaching up to caress a low oak branch as she ducked beneath it.

Leaves rustled, a spirit’s greeting, and she felt her heart lighten as she continued onward. In the distance the false-suns that the Kakori used to light their settlements glittered like not-so-distant stars. They feared the darkness, but Doir and her kin reveled in it, alive as if for the first times in their lives. These were their woods; they knew them, and the wind and trees whispered to them secrets of the future.

“There’s a herd of voli to the east,” Doir’s sister said, dropping down from one of Grandfather Oark’s wide branches next to her. The whisper wasn’t meant to carry far. Voli were dangerous to hunt, and it was Doir’s choice if she wanted to take the party there, for voli were her hunting spirit.

“Anything else?”

“The Kakori are doing something in the north, beyond their settlement,” her sister’s lips twitched into an annoyed frown. “I would like to check it out, but..”

But no one here was a hunter of Kakori. Let the Kakori do what they willed, as long as they left the deep woods to the Children of the Sky. She did not have any desire to traverse that far in search of something they could not eat, for a people who could no sooner see in the darkness than they could swim across the river.

“Keep watch on the voli,” Doir requested, pausing in her movement to cast about in the dark for the rest of her kin. “We might go back for them later.” They were blooded hunters, except one; Liar, who hoped to make his first blood of the towering king-of-beast, the morial. She had heard the Kakori call them other things, wrecks maybe, though the Kakori tongue was strange. Not that the Kakori had better chances at surviving the morial than they did. Though they were, supposedly, Liar’s hunting spirit. She would help him if she could, but first and last blood had to be his.

She wasn’t out here for morial, though. None of them were. But where one found morial, one found the alori, huge and silvery birds with beaks the size of young trees and wings that spread as large as Grandfather Oark’s branches. And at night, the alori slept.

She whistled, low and haunting. The call of a huntress leading a band.

She knew it haunted Kakori nightmares. Strange sounds from the rare nights that no one could place? What other things might cause them fear?

When she had the attention of her brothers and sisters, she raised her hand high and then motioned to the north-west, where she knew there was a morial hunting ground. Knew and sometimes wished she didn’t, for Liar wasn’t the first of the hunt to wish for a morial kill. But if they were lucky, the trees were tall enough they could scale for alori and ignore the morial altogether…

They were not lucky, and it had nothing to do with trees.

On the forest below, clad in their strange hunting gear of black and green, a hunting pack of Kakori moved in bewildering, unsettling precision. They moved quiet, but not quiet like Doir and her siblings. Quiet like this drove away the creatures of the night, which made them loud, while Doir and the others moved as part of the woods instead. The Kakori were not part of the woods; Grandfather Oark did not shelter them, nor did his many cousins.

They made their homes from the dead and the dying, they trapped the light of the Sky in shards– they were strange and foreign people, and they looked very little like Doir’s.

But even though they were foolish people, they were people, and the morial did not sleep when the suns were resting. The roar shook the air around them, leaves quivering, trees shaking. Beneath the Kakori, the ground rumbled, and then a morial– adolescent, not yet having acquired the reddish colors of adulthood, some scaled flesh still opalescent– charged into the pack of them.

Doir watched from the safety of the trees, staring down with gnawing horror taking root in her belly. Kakori screamed when they died; Doir could understand it, because the Kakori did not seem to understand that death simply was, and they feared it. But they screamed, not understanding of the danger they had walked into, and it sent chills up her spine.

“They’re dying,” her brother whispered, as confused and upset by the scene below as she felt, voice thick with it. She swallowed, nodded.

They were people, though, and Liar–

The alori could wait. Doir let go of her hold and moved forward, fling herself off it. As she fell, she loosed her dagger from the ties.

They usually left the Kakori to their own devices. They did not interfere. That was how the world worked.

But they were people, screaming– and that was how Doir decided the world must end.


Finito! Cross-posting it on Ao3.

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NaNoWriMo, Friday 11th (2016)

NaNoWriMo

Some people say kill your darlings, and some people say don’t. Now, I’m not going to say one way or the other about it. The reason for this is because, one way or the other, I’m going to be a hypocrite.

I kill a lot of my characters. I save a lot of others from the neck of death.

But one thing I’ve noticed is that, when I hit a road-block in my path, an excellent way to jar the story and myself is to kill someone. Or, at the very least, trip over a dead body. Corpses are excellent motivators for characters to find themselves. Even if you decide to rewrite the scene without a death– not erase! Remember, there’s no erasing during NaNoWriMo– it works wonders for getting you moving and ramping up your word count.

Now, you may be asking why. I think I’ve covered that, but if you need another reason, well, consider it a personal challenge inside NaNo.

How could you kill them? Well, I understand that the Traveling Shovel of Death (TM) is a staple of the NaNoWriMo faculty, and many writers I know. Barring that, a good ol’ fashioned murder is always on the card table– and bonus points if it’s on or over a card table. Lots of deaths occur in games of chance.

When? Why not right now? Go ahead, you can do it. If your character is outside, they trip over a body– or witness a murder. If your character is inside, hey, why not? If there’s on one around, maybe they hear about it on the radio, or read about it in the news. Maybe it’s a shock and maybe it’s not. Who knows? Who can say?

Where? Not in real life, please. Do not go out and kill people with a shovel.

*

But inside the covers of your book, on the pages you and only you know how to craft, by all means. Kill as many people with shovels as you’d like. Make a sentient murder-shovel, watering the ground of graveyards with the blood of its victims. Make a serial axe-murderer, but instead of an axe, give him a shovel. The possibilities are endless.

No shovels in your world? That’s okay. Everybody knows a pointy rock will do in a pinch; after all, we’ve been killing people that way since prehistory.

–Natasha

*Image sourced on Google.

NaNoGoals: 24,132/50,000

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NaNoWriMo, Friday 4th (2016)

NaNoWriMo

Sometimes NaNoWriMo starts on a Friday… and sometimes it doesn’t. And just like NaNo, some people have started already and some people haven’t. There is nothing wrong with that. Some of us will still be clawing and scraping for our 50k at the end of the month, and some lucky few will rattle it out in the first twenty four hours.

But however we start NaNo, whether we’re lagging behind at the starting line or we’re racing off to our goal and beyond, the most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. Never to late to get started, never too late to catch up, never too late to pass your goals.

Here’s the thing about NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure I’ve said it before: This is the month when writers around the world, millions of writers across the globe, are writing with you. They share your struggles, just as I do; they share your glories, the troubles on your page, every instance of writer’s block and every time you overcome it, climb over or break through it.

Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and we don’t live in a vacuum. NaNo is one of the wildest roller coasters of my life, and me and so many others are here to share it with you.

Don’t give up. I have faith in you.

–Natasha

NaNoGoal: 8,379/50,000

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Weekly Writing Prompt Response: 9/4-9/10 (2016)

Writing Prompts1

Amanda‘s prompt this week is a picture prompt! A lighthouse photograph by Garett Photography that gives me all sorts of delicious ideas, and I can’t help but stare at it in awe.

Some of those ideas it gives me I can’t post here, because I want to one day publish them officially. A bunch of the ideas I can are all fanfiction, some realms of which I’ve never delved in, but if last week’s prompt was anything to go by, I definitely need to start poking at my horizons and seeing what’s over that cliff.

However, I decided against doing fanfiction and thought I’d diddy out a little original thing, only a few hundred words. All my fanfiction ideas take more research than I think I can pull off this week, but I’m pretty proud of this little word ramble. Have at ye!


The Lighthouse

The lighthouse marks the end of the world. That’s what people always say. The old wives tale is that it stretches on and on and on, an endless ocean of nothing, save for rampant storms. There’s nothing out there, they say.

It’s not that I don’t believe them. When I was a small boy, my father got on a fishing ship and left. I remember watching him from the top of the lighthouse, growing smaller and smaller until the ship was nothing but a speck on the horizon, until it was nothing at all. I know it can take a month or more to find a good spot and get a good haul, but it’s been more than a decade. He’s not coming back. I know there’s nothing out there. Or, at least, if there is: nothing’s coming back.

It doesn’t change that I wish it weren’t true. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really weird to have a lighthouse at the edge of the world, if nothing ever comes back. It doesn’t do a lot of good that way.

That doesn’t stop me from lighting it during the night and in the fog. It helps the smaller craft come in for the evening, if the candles are burning. It doesn’t keep me from sitting on the walk with a spyglass, trying to see my father’s ship after ten years lost at sea. Knowing the cold hard facts doesn’t keep me from hoping despite everything that just one, just this one, will have a different end to the fable. I think it’d be nice if humanity, not fate and the ocean, won just one of the tales.

It’s a fruitless hope and I know it. But it’s also an endless hope, like the lighthouse.

It’s not much, but it doesn’t have to be. Beyond the horizon is the end of the world, for ships and people and the sea, but I refuse to let it be the end of the world for me.


And now that I’ve done that, let’s take a quick peek at everybody else’s responses. If you do the prompt this week, let me know so I can list you here!

Responses
Kayla’s | Steps Times Two’s | Amanda’s

And now, I think: away with my super sleepy self!

–Natasha

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Weekly Writing Prompt Response: 8/28-9/3 (2016)

Writing Prompts1

Oh hey, look, it’s not anywhere near midnight yet! How about that?

Amanda‘s tag this week was pretty impressive, smashing up your first fandom and your newest fandom in a tidy little crossover that I have gleefully double-posted over here.

Now, before I post the fic, a tiny bit of context.

My very first fandom was when I was a little bitty thing, and it was Escaflowne. We had this old antique television, one of those great big things that was basically an entertainment station all on it’s own, only without the fun bells and whistles of drawers and cabinets. This looks pretty close, but you know, it was a long time ago and eventually it died and my father took it out and burnt the wood and wiring off, then hauled the rest off for scrap weight.

My newest fandom is actually Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Yeah, the remake. I’ll watch the originals eventually but for now, this is shiny and perfect and I can’t stop touching it.

Fun fact: I haven’t written for either of these before. Meep.


Le Dragon

“Hard to believe no one ever knew this was here,” Shiro admitted, staring out at the green fields surrounding the Castle of Lions. It was early spring, he guessed, farmland as far as the eye could see around the horse-shoe crags that protected the ruins of a city. He couldn’t see much of the city, though he knew it to be there, beyond stone walls as tall as the grain grew, the new vantage hiding the black and violet scar that was a Galra ship in wreckage.

It had been an impressive display from the air. The crash zone stretched for miles, not just the main warship, but hundreds of fighters scattering like demented freckles, pocking craters in fields. It was old debris, at least a year, Shiro was guessing, but he actually didn’t know anything about the geological recovery rates from refined quintessence exposure on any world, never mind this one. Gaea, the princess said the locals called it. Though they hadn’t seen any of the locals yet, not working the fields– in their defense, he guessed, whatever they were growing was twelve feet tall– and not in the clearing before the city, on what looked like it had once been a thirty-foot road. The road itself wasn’t nearly large enough for the Castle, but the fields didn’t come right up to the road, expanding outward into a large clearing, more than enough to disembark.

More than enough room for a lot of things. They could land at least two of the lions here, easy.

Which didn’t mean they still didn’t technically park in the fields.

Allura led the way down the ramp, wrapped in a combat outfit with her hair pinned high, looking regal and yet still ready to kick ass. Shiro matched pace with her, which was his place as the Black Paladin, and the rest followed them. They were all tense about this, and that they could see the Earth and the moon hanging in the sky didn’t do a lot to reassure them.

The Galra ship had done a lot to reassure them they were dealing with potential allies. Or at least they were people who didn’t like the Galra. But with home so close they could reach out and touch it, he could feel the tension in his own veins. And if he was wired, with nothing back home to go back to, he could only imagine how Pidge and Hunk and Lance felt.

Tense soldiers meant tense first meetings. But it was too late to cast a glance back at them, see how they were holding up. They were already on the ground.

“That’s strange,” Allura murmured softly, considering the large and gaping void of people there to greet them. Shiro resisted the urge to check the sky for the Earth. “The message said someone would be here.”

“They could be waiting to see if we’re who we say we are,” he pointed out, in case Allura had somehow missed the pieces Galra strewn over the landscape on the way down. “Their last visitors probably weren’t very friendly.”

“They weren’t,” a woman’s voice put in. Feminine, young. About their age, more or less. She emerged from the crop, wearing a plain white tunic and a knee-length brown skirt. She was really just.. a normal looking girl, in Shiro’s opinion. She was tall and long-limbed, a runner’s build, and there was a small knife belted at her hip. Not much in the way of protection, but she didn’t look scared of them, only considering, green eyes taking in each of them at once. He saw her take in Allura, and then the rest of the Paladins one at a time, before her attention landed on him. Her eyes widened. “Takashi Shirogane?”

He startled, felt it ripple through him to the rest of the Paladins. “How do you know that name?” Keith demanded from behind him, taking a step forward, prepared to start a fight as easy as breathing. Shiro flattened his hand at his side, a subtle signal, wait.

The woman before him didn’t appear to know what to do. “I saw it, on television when I was back on the Mystic Moon– Earth. That’s where I’m from.” Her brows pulled, eyes narrowing. “That’s where you’re from too, aren’t you?”

“All except the Princess,” Shiro allowed, curiosity pricking at his mind. Someone from Earth, up here on a planet no one had ever seen or heard of? How?

Taking her cue, Princess Allura curtsied, despite wearing a bodysuit and not a dress. “I am Princess Allura of Planet Altea, and these are the Paladins of Voltron. You’re from Earth? What are you doing on Gaea?”

The strange woman did manage a small curtsy, although it looked nothing at all like any he’d ever seen on Earth, or the ones Allura did. Shiro was impressed even still. Curtsies were rare on Earth, and she didn’t look very comfortable doing it. “Hitomi Kanzaki of the Mystic Moon. You could say I’m on an exchange program.” She stepped further out from the grass, bringing two fingers up to her lips and letting out a sharp whistle that rolled through the air. “Van said he was going to ask someone about the people who survived the crash..?”

“There were survivors?” Allura asked her, immediately cluing in on who they were.

Hitomi nodded. “As many as we could pull from the wreckage. They’re beast-men like nothing anyone on Gaea’s ever seen before, and many of them are in critical condition. Fanelia doesn’t have enough supplies or healers to treat them all.”

“You’re treating Galra?” Pidge asked, dubious and doubtful, while all the red flags in Shiro’s brain started to wave around frantically.

“The evil alien bad guys?” Lance added, for effect, though that only resulted in Hitomi’s expression sharpening a bit. It wasn’t obvious; Shiro didn’t think the others even saw it. But he could see the way Hitomi’s countenance shifted at the words, at the disdain not well hidden in their tone.

“I’ve seen evil,” Hitomi disagreed, shaking her head. He wondered where she’d seen it. “These are just soldiers, and some of them are even younger than I am. You can’t tell me kids are evil and really believe it.”

“No. You can’t.” Whatever rebuttal Lance had been preparing to throw at her died with Shiro’s words, shutting down the argument before it began. Allura shot him a relieved smile, and the realization that he’d stopped a diplomatic incident joined it. She stepped forward, all liquid grace, and moved to speak with Hitomi.

“Is this Fanelia then? The planet?”

“The country,” Hitomi replied, allowing Allura to turn her attention away from the group.

Shiro turned to the team, dropping his voice so it was only directed at the group of them. “Look, we have to handle this very carefully. Princess Allura said we might find allies here to help us in the war against Zarkon, but we don’t know anything about them yet. Until we do, we have to play our cards close to our vest.”

“You can’t really believe they’re not evil,” Lance grumbled, more upset at having been called to heel than anything else. “Just look at what they’ve done already.”

It was true. The team had seen a lot of atrocities in the last year committed by the Galra, and they still hadn’t managed to find Pidge’s family yet, despite liberating dozens of mining worlds. Shiro had the added misfortune of having been their direct prisoner for a year before that, so he knew what sort of atrocities they could do to the people under their thumb first-hand.

But Takashi Shirogane was a soldier too. Kerberos was a mission he’d agreed with, and the first one that was really riding on him. But he’d studied a lot of world history at the Garrison, and he’d ended up with a lot of jobs on base that he hadn’t agreed with, and he’d said a lot of things that he didn’t mean, earning his place in the brass. Historical military structure was filled with people who believed, whole-hearted patriots, and people who were just there saying the same patriotic drivel because they had to.

…and it wasn’t like he hadn’t fought Galra in the arena, either, he remembered darkly. He wanted so hard to believe there were Galra out there that didn’t believe in what they were doing. It was hard though; Zarkon had been ruling for ten thousand years. That was a lot of time to drive propaganda and conditioning into people’s heads, building from parents to child to grand-child, making the foundation ever-larger until there wasn’t anything left for anything else.

“I’m just saying, she clearly doesn’t think so. We’re invited guests here, Lance, and we might get to use this as a pit-stop to go home. Let’s not screw it up, okay?”

Lance straightened at once, as if he hadn’t thought of that. Shiro saw blue eyes dart to the side and hunt out the blue orb hanging in the day-lit sky, bright and bold as anything.

Home. He turned, making his way over to Allura and Hitomi. He heard the others flanking him, lured out by the promise of getting to look at Earth. He wondered about Hitomi. Where was her home was, this human on Gaea?

“So where is the king of Fanelia?” Allura wondered.

Hitomi smiled, lifting her hand. A dragon’s roar echoed loud in the walls of the valley, and from beyond the ridge-line, a white dragon appeared in the sky.

Pidge saw it first, the Green Paladin’s HUD registering components faster than the rest, so while the others were still reeling from “It’s a dragon!” and Shiro’s brain was trying to process the incomprehensibility, he heard Katie’s words loud and clear:

“There’s a guy riding that thing!”


And a quick peek at anybody else who’ve done this prompt, yeah? Because it’s always good to take a moment and give a nod of acknowledgement to anybody who can pull off a crossover.

Other Responses:
Amanda’s with a Labyrinth/Fallout
Kayla’s with Barney/Fallout

Wow guys. All our first fandoms were a long, long time ago. Man, I feel old.

–Natasha

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Weekly Writing Prompt Response: 8/21-8-27 (2016)

Writing Prompts1

Things I will never manage to do: write this thing at a decent hour. Such is life.

Amanda posted this week’s prompt, which is properly amazing and struck me like a true brick this morning, when I was trying to figure out what to write about for it. And then of course I procrastinated and the day got away from me. Whoops. But here it is now! And it’s original work, too!

This is also cross-posted on my Ao3.


Mirror, Mirror

It took several long moments for Raven to inch back up to his locker, screwing up his courage to see what his brain thought he had, hoped he hadn’t.

But no. In the mirror hung on the back of the door, he found a woman’s face staring back at him instead of his own, vampire-red lips pulled into a smug self-satisfying smile. She looked happy– pleased as peaches to have startled him out of his own skin, he supposed. He hated her for it just a little. Maybe more than just a little– but that was ire, and it would pass. There were better things to focus on than his heart attack.

“Amanda–” Oh, wow, his voice was not supposed to be that strained. He cast a furtive glance around the locker room, despite knowing it was empty. It was nearly midnight– if not already midnight– and the gym may have been open twenty-four hours, but no one except he ever used it this late. Sometimes he had to get out of his own head as well as out of the apartment. “I didn’t expect to see you.”

That smile twisted, a little cruel. Enjoying his discomfort. But there was sort of a wry fondness to it too that bit the edge off somewhat. “Did I startle you?” He gave her a flat stare, unimpressed. “Oh, come now, you have to admit it was a little funny. Did you trip over the bench?”

Oh, good. She hadn’t seen all of it, then. “I did not.”

“I think you did.”

He shrugged, deliberately casual. “Doesn’t change the facts. What are you doing in my here?”

“Taking out the garbage.” Neat, casual, like just sipping on a glass of wine. It made all the hair on the back of his neck stand up, worry thrumming through him like a cord of music. Instinct told him he didn’t want to ask, he didn’t want to know. Amanda Pope may have been his roommate, but she was new, and the two of them were a long way off from friends.

He saw her reach her hand up to somewhere above the mirror– the top of the locker door, he realized– and then his view swung a bit to the side of her.

The walls of the locker room were blue, pale, almost sky-bright. Raven had been working here long enough to happily say he’d helped pick out the color years ago.

The wall behind Amanda was awash with red, spray and streaks and splatters. Disbelief settled cold in his gut.

“Did you kill someone in my gym?” he hissed, low, voice barely much more than a breath. The idea made him feel light-headed, but he knew it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility, or even probability. This was Amanda he was talking to.

“Nonsense.” Amanda laughed a little, brought the mirror back to face her properly. “I let Roberto do it.”

“Who the hell– no. You know what. I don’t even want to know.” He paused, considering his next words. Because he didn’t want to know. Plausible deniability was a thing that was important to him, and she probably wouldn’t tell him even if he asked her. It wasn’t like they went around and spoke of one another to their business associates. “Why my gym?”

“Would you believe me if I said I hadn’t known it was yours?” It sounded like a genuine question, and Raven felt his heart squeeze in his chest. There was a sort of implicit, unspoken promise between them all, not to go near the places of work that they each considered their own. This was the first time he could guess that it had shifted, maybe; certainly it was the first time he’d seen either of them outside the apartment.

He wasn’t sure what it meant about what was happening to them, whatever it was that was happening to them. He couldn’t put his fingers on it, and trying to puzzle it out was an exercise in frustration that never resulted in anything but a headache.

Either he was going crazy, or he was some fragmented memory, or they were fragmented things, or reality was crumbling or something. It was easier and he slept better at night just to pretend they were roommates he rarely saw, let his mind glance over the holes in the reality that tried to trip him up.

He didn’t know how either of them coped with it at all, though.

“..yeah, unfortunately.”

Amanda’s smile twisted downwards, an apologetic frown meant for his eyes only. “I really didn’t. I’ll ensure that it’s cleaned up properly. It shouldn’t trouble you, and no one will find anything. Even still, you should probably take a few days off work this week.”

“Because not going to the crime scene is a thing innocent people with no knowledge of it always do, right?” He wondered if he turned around right now and looked, what the color of the wall would be. He couldn’t force himself to glance over his shoulder.

“Hm? No, not for this. Did you know it’s Nastalia’s birthday this week?”

He hadn’t. He wondered, fleetingly, what day it fell on, how Amanda had known and he hadn’t. He’d been with Nastalia a lot longer than Amanda had been with them. It felt like years now. How had she never mentioned it?

What day was it, for that matter?

“What are we doing for it?”

“Pizza,” Amanda ventured. “Same as every week. But I thought we could spend a few days together anyway.”

“Sure. I’ll let Chastity know I wont be available.”

Amanda’s smile turned sly and knowing, teasing. “I’d like to meet her sometime.”

“Absolutely not.” The idea gave him chills. Let Amanda around Chastity? Amanda was growing on him, a little at a time. But he wasn’t prepared to let his girlfriend become aware of his… psychosis, or whatever the hell this was. He wasn’t prepared to let anybody know about it, outside of the apartment.

“You should probably go on home now,” Amanda added, almost as an afterthought. “I need to finish up, so I’ll be in later. Nastalia’s likely asleep already.”

Before he could figure out a response, Amanda closed the locker. For a brief flicker, he thought he saw himself looking into his locker, and then he made the mistake of blinking and found he was looking back at himself.

He managed to keep himself from looking at the wall while he finished up and fled the gym, heading for the apartment and a plush bed. It would be blue tomorrow, he assured his brain and it assured back, and that was all that mattered.


And before I make off will my  ill-gotten gains (and by this I mean sleep, unless you’d like to drop something in the tip jar) let’s take a look at who else did this prompt, yeah?

Other Responses

Amanda’s | Kayla’s

–Natasha

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Weekly Writing Prompt: 8/14-8/20 (2016)

Is it still the 20th? Yes? Great! I wrote a thing.

Amanda posted this week’s prompt on Sunday, and I had so many ideas, too many ideas. But you know, I’ve only missed one week since I started doing this, and I wasn’t going to let this one elude me. I wasn’t, I tell you!

So, in honor of my own tenacity, let’s have the answer to the prompt: I told you that I was no good for you.

It’s an Exalted prompt, for the tabletop game. You all get to meet my namesake, the first long-term character I made and never put down.


No Good Choice

He had told them. He had warned them. When Mars had crafted his Exaltation, she had taken from the world a great battle, one of the greatest, as she had done for each of those who bore her grace. Maybe it had happened, or was happening, or was yet to happen, but it was a great battle, and now it no longer existed in Creation.

It existed in him.

An Exaltation burned through blood and bone, erasing impurities. That was true for every Exaltation, even Sidereals. But Sidereals were born woven into Fate, and people looked for them intensely, so to not miss their birth. They were squirreled away, lost children of three-day mothers, and raised safe in Yu Shan. It was destiny.

He hadn’t had that.

Before the war with the Primordials, the Five Maidens had looked into the loom and saw the path of the world. As the Unconquered Sun and Luna, they had been given three hundred. And they had used for that terrible war only a third of their allotment.

Save a secret among themselves, for what were secrets among sisters?

They took five, and they sat them outside of Loom, beyond Fate, beyond Destiny. They were crafted but not put into the cycle, daggers in the dark and hidden paths, quiet pleasures and secrets upon secrets, endings to come in time. A complete Circle. A hidden circle.

That was him. The battle Mars had plucked from Creation without anyone else’s knowledge, without anyone else noticing but her and her sisters, the same way they shared secrets among themselves and told no others, even the rest of the Incarnae. He didn’t think they had known of the existence of them at all, until one of their own had stumbled upon him.

He’d been born in the final years of the First Age, before the Usurpation. His parents had been Lunars, two bright moons, the eyes of Luna. Both warriors in their own right, accomplished, dangerous. They had named him true, despite no knowledge of the future, or of dangers yet to come, and they had raised him, for his Exaltation was a secret not to be tracked, and so no one had come to spirit him away.

He Who Stalks Like Thunder and Strikes Like Lightning.

But now he was old, and accomplished, and the name was ever more true as the years of experience drug on. He was the Maiden’s blade in Creation, one of the most deployed. He was friend and companion to the Little Sister. He was lethal, dangerous, a wandering soldier, and he’d warned them to try to save their lives before they’d ever drawn their blades:

Turn away and forget you saw me. I am no good for you.


Whee! There it is. Very nice. Let’s take a quick look at who else did the prompt before I floof off to bed, yeah?

Other Responses
Kayla’s | Amanda’s | WriterNotWriter’s

There it is. That’s it for the week, methinks. And now, I’m off to saw logs.

–Natasha

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