This has been long overdue. The last week and half I have been overwhelmed with real life concerns. In a perfect world, I would be able to write unhindered, without breaks. But occasionally, I have to shift my focus to the things in life that matter most. And when that happens, creative pursuits always take a seat in the back for a time. I have a high reaching goal to write thirty-thousand words this month. I’m not sure I can reach that goal but I will still aim to try. Remember that old school poster with the “shoot for the moon” quote? That’s about how I feel lately.
A small confession, I let the weight of everything almost pull me under. I can’t begin to express how sour and rotten that feeling is, when you can’t look past the mountain of responsiblities to enjoy your life. I didn’t know how to reach past it, but then, after some prayers, some spouse bonding and sweet sloppy kisses from my baby, it got better. And I’m not afraid anymore, but confident I can do all these things and still finish my novel like I planned.
To all of you out there who feel the weight of the world crushing down on your shoulders, a couple things. You aren’t Atlas, with the literal weight of the world on your shoulders for eternity, right? Could be worse, right? And the second is just that, it can always get worse. Be grateful for what you have, soak it all up, in fact. Every little good moment can outshine the bad moments if you let them.
But enough of all that. Not dwelling on your woes means moving on, and so we shall. After all, to quote Anne of Green Gables, “Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it…yet.” Go and decide how the rest of your “today” will be and make it happen.
Scarred Beauty Teaser
Candlelight burned behind her eyelids, the heat of its flame so near it made her jolt awake. Erythea’s bright blue eyes met her on the other side of the flame, the stench of melting wax filling her nose.
Erythea shifted the candle, pulling it back with a faint flinch and soft-spoken apology. She shifted a thick vellum book in her arms. “Sorry to wake you like this, but I couldn’t sleep. I was looking at the blood spells, like Grandmother told me, when I heard Father,” she whispered between short breaths.
Vynasha pushed up against the headboard, grunted against the rub of raw skin and leaned forward in spite of the bloody candle. “What happened?”
“Someone came to the door, they didn’t speak loud enough for me to hear. But Father cursed and left without waking us. Something terrible happened, I know it…I—I’m afraid for him, Vynasha. There are people who could hurt him.”
Vynasha nodded and dragged her legs over the side of the bed. “I’ll go look for him.”
“No!” Thea hissed, reaching out, but invariably pushing the candle forward.
Vynasha jerked beyond the flame’s reach with a low growl and again, Thea cowed.
“Sorry,” she mumbled. “But you can’t leave. You’re still healing and if Grandmother finds out…”
“Grandmother won’t find out,” Vynasha whispered in return, standing and lifted the trunk lid at the foot of the bed. “Help me, and put that candle down before you spill wax on your hand.”
Or me, she thought with a shudder.
Baalor’s sister’s clothes were a size too large, but Vynasha found boots, undergarments and a fresh woolen skirt and vest to slip over her bloody tunic and bandages. Her hands had been scrubbed clean of Baalor’s blood, she noticed and wondered how long he watched over her while she slept.
Thea paced with her mother’s book clutched to her chest. “I should go with you.”
“No,” Vynasha hissed as she closed the trunk lid, silently praying Grandmother wouldn’t skin her hide for taking her daughter’s things. “Leave the candle. We don’t need it,” she instructed Erythea. Together they crept downstairs and she tugged on the thickest pair of boots by the door she could find.
“Grandmother won’t like this,” Thea whispered while bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet.
“Stay here. I’ll come back.” Vynasha exchanged a last, firm look with the girl as she stepped over the threshold into the snow, her brother’s cloak over her shoulders once more. Icy wind shot through the warm clothes to her bones, but helped bring her senses to life after Grandmother’s numbing poultices.
A bare sliver of a moon hung in the clouded sky overhead, offering little light, but her cursed animal senses sharpened. She could discern the outlines of trees, hear the faintest crunch of pawed feet on snow and voices from the nearby village. She had not taken five steps beyond the Icevein’s home than a pair of small boots crunched after her. Vynasha reeled around and grabbed Erythea by her cloaked shoulders.
“What do you think you’re doing? Get back inside!”
“I’m coming with you.” She pulled the cowl of her cloak over her pale tresses.
“Are you mad? Your father would kill me if I let you come anywhere near harm’s way.”
Erythea lifted her chin and in the dim light her eyes gleamed slightly, faintly glowing blue with that something other. “You don’t know our ways yet. I may be a child, but I know how to take care of myself. And he’s my father. How do I know you’re going to look for him and not Wanderer?”
Vynasha sighed and grabbed the girl’s hand as she pulled her along the trail leading from their home. She followed the scent that was clearly Baalor’s, sharp as the evergreen around them, tangy with something she was learning to crave. “Stay close to me. We’ll follow your father’s trail. But I’m afraid Ced—Wanderer is the reason he left in the first place.”
Erythea was silent after that.
to be continued…