Yup I’m . . . still doing this.
I sure am.
I’m not gonna bother much with an intro cos I’m currently running off of two and a half hours of sleep and you guys don’t care about intros anyway, you care about the stories.
Here are your stories, hope you like them!
Day 13: Basin
The sky rumbles threateningly. Or rather, the clouds do. Dark, sinister clouds, they are, looming over you like thick reaching hands. A flash darts between them, making the hair on your arms stand on end.
Your dragon nickers nervously, giving a little shiver that rattles the metal bits of your saddle. You whisper at it to soothe it, looking for a place to land and find some shelter. This storm is going to be intense, you can feel it.
It’s getting dark, harder to see. Tiny drops of rain make pinprick dark spots on your clothes. You squint, looking down at the ground far below you.
You see a valley. The last swathes of orangey sunlight just barely dip down into the circular dent in the ground. There’s a lake in the bottom, reflecting the angry storm encroaching upon the sky. Trees sway in the wind, their leaves showing silver undersides.
You shout a command to your dragon over the intensifying wind. It dives. The air rushing past your ears makes them numb with cold.
Just as you land in the trees, another flash of lightning and a thunderclap so loud and close you feel it shaking your ribcage. Rain pelts your back, feeling more like rocks than water. You take your dragon’s bridle and lead it to a somewhat sheltered spot beneath an overhanging bit of cliff. It keeps the rain off and blocks the wind, and that’s all you need to wait out the storm.
Day 14: Knot
Emma pushed loose strands of hair behind her ears, taking a little deep breath and beginning to knead the sticky lump of bread dough. It was firm under her palms.
She rolled it and folded it, punched it a little. She loved making bread. Especially this kind.
Emma had been making this bread with her grandmother since she was three years old. Special family recipe, a necessity at every single family gathering or party or holiday or whathaveyou. The dough grew smooth and thick as she worked it.
This wasn’t the first time she’d made it alone, but it was the first time her grandmother wouldn’t even be there to taste it. Nothing tragic had happened; she was in the hospital for a minor surgery. It wasn’t a big deal, Emma wasn’t really even worried. But it felt weird, to think of going to grandma’s house and everybody being there except her. Several family members that lived farther away had come to visit for the weekend, to ‘be there for Grandma’.
Emma ripped the dough apart, rolling it into strips, twisting and turning it until it was a round knot. The action was so familiar she could do it without thinking. Emma’s head nodded along to the chill techno music in her earbuds.
Once all the knots were on a pan, she slid them into the oven, wrinkling her nose at the wave of heat that smacked into her face. She bumped the oven door closed with her hip, dusting her floury hands on her apron. Soon the smell of fresh bread knots filled her kitchen, bringing a flood of memories with it.
Day 15: Rest
At first, Aislinn was only aware of pain. Lots of vague, throbbing pain that seemed to be everywhere. Gradually she woke up a little more and realized that the pain wasn’t actually everywhere. Just mostly everywhere.
For a moment, she didn’t try to move or open her eyes or anything. Existing hurt too much. Why did it hurt? She couldn’t remember.
Aislinn dragged her eyes open, already trying to sit up and get away from wherever she was. Someone — she couldn’t focus on them yet, her eyes were trying to stay closed — put their hands on her shoulders and pushed her back down.
“Hey, hey, hold on,” a soft voice said. The accent was comforting. “You’re alright, you’re okay, no one’s going to hurt you, you’re safe.”
She relaxed; she couldn’t help it. “Mick?” Her voice was thick, scraping. Ow. “Are you okay?”
Her eyes finally focused on Mick. He grinned, shaking his head so some curls fell over his forehead. “Am I okay? Gosh, Aislie, you’re the one who nearly got blown up.”
“I’m fine.” That was a lie. There were definitely a few broken ribs at least. Ow.
“You took a pretty hard hit.”
“I think I took a lot of hard hits.”
“That you did.” The grin faded. He was worried. Aislinn looked away.
She was in a dimly lit room with a single boarded-up window and a big heavy door, propped open by a cardboard box full of various old tools. The back room in Nikko’s workshop, then.
“Where is everybody else?”
“Still . . . out there.”
“What!?” She sat up again, a wave of pain and nausea nearly knocking her right back over. “Why am I here then!?”
“Aislie, you’re hurt bad, they’ll be fine without y–”
“No they won’t I’ve gotta protect them!” She scrambled to her feet, took three staggering steps before her legs gave out. Mick caught her and lowered her slowly back to the floor.
“You’re not the only one allowed to risk their life for the resistance, you know,” he said quietly.
“But Mick, I’m . . . . I have to . . .”
“You’re not going to do them much good half dead. Just . . . just let yourself heal a bit? Please?”
Aislinn said nothing for a moment. Then, slowly, she let her muscles un-tense, falling back against him. “Okay,” she said quietly. “Just for a bit.”
“Just until you’re okay,” he whispered.
Day 16: Voyage
A ship, tall, well-built, weathered but gleaming in the sunlight as if it were brand new. Sails whipping in the wind. Waves lapping against the hull, slapping and sloshing, playfully shoving the ship side to side.
Sailors scurry to and fro on the deck, below decks, carrying and stacking and tying and pulling and shouting and singing.
Wind pushing against sails, skirling through rigging, whistling through portholes.
As though excited herself, the ship pulls at her anchor, ready to be off, ready to ride the gleeful waves towards the sunset.
Ropes snapping. Men heaving at the anchor wheel. Jerking free, pushed by the wind, cutting through the water. Off on an adventure.
Day 17: Cherish
She was a well-loved toy, was Lambie. I couldn’t remember a time I didn’t have her. I think Mom said she was a present from some relative when I was born, or at my first birthday.
I took Lambie places often. To parks, to Cubbies and Sunday school, to the playplace at the mall. Never lost her, though I came close a couple times.
She was small, about the size of a plastic water bottle. Her round legs flopped limply, her tiny round ears were lined with pink velvet, a pink and red velvet heart was embroidered above her left hind leg. She wasn’t fluffy or particularly soft, but years of cuddles had worn her fur into comfortable smoothness. Many small, rather lumpy seams were lovingly stitched to mend tears and snags. She had a lovely round pink nose, which used to be velvet-covered plastic until I rubbed the velvet off.
It’s been almost ten years since I’ve really held her, now. Her little pink nose is gone, chewed off by a puppy long ago. Her round black eyes are dull. I avoid looking at her much, because she makes me want to cry, knowing how long ago it was that I loved her and carried her and was small enough to want her with me all the time.
But once in a while I’ll pick her up, hold her close, rub my thumb against her smooth little velvet heart, and pretend like it wasn’t quite so long ago.
Day 18: Transform
Ha, they’ll never find me. I’m perfectly hidden. HA and then I’ll win and they’ll have to admit I’m a good shifter and I’m talented and —
“Cameron you really are not very convincing as a pen.”
Day 19: Stretch
Have you ever read Pride and Prejudice? Like actually read it?
It’s hard, man.
Like, the story is fantastic, okay, and most of the dialogue is just so witty and hilarious.
But it is dense.
The movie’s fine. Y’know, the 2005 one with Keira Somethin and Matthew Whatsisbuckethead. Cinematography is top-notch, music fantastic, good actors.
The book’s fine too. But like. So many words that really do not need to be there.
The only reason I’m reading it is because my teacher’s gonna give me rubber bands.
Okay that sounds weird I should explain.
So basically in our Challenge class if we ‘stretch ourselves’ (aka do extra work or volunteer for presentations or like be exceptionally good) we get rubber bands in a jar. When the jar fills up we get treats.
And the teacher said if we read Pride and Prejudice by the next class we get thirty rubber bands. Per person who reads the book.
So of course I’m reading it.
If speedrunning this book in three days isn’t stretching myself I really don’t know what is.
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See you next Monday for some more!