#freewritemadness, day eleven! 😀
I was doing some thinking this morning, trying to work out today’s chapter, when the sudden image of a possible ending flew into mind. And, as my eyes welled with tears… I realised that I now care for Kat and her feelings. Noooo! The unthinkable has happened! I’m not there yet though, so who knows how it will end. I don’t want to have to snuffle my way through snotty sniffly noses and sandpaper eyes on Day Thirty!!
I kept thinking of this possible, not-yet-set-in-stone ending, and every time, tears tried to flood me. So, it’s probably good for the story. Bad for me. Breaking my own heart. Haha.
Today’s prompt was – keep going – which I took more as encouragement than an actual prompt. I kept going!!!
Today’s wordcount is – 1907
The overall wordcount is – 21240
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DAY ELEVEN WRITINGS
The crystal clear waters of Nessie’s pond rippled and wavered as thousands of the tiny silver-coloured fish swarmed to the surface and joined together to create a flawless mirror. Katéa smiled at her reflection. She was herself once more! Well, not quite… but she looked far more acceptable than she had before. Her long black hair was silky and free from the knots and tangles that had tormented her for so long, her skin felt fresh and clean, and most importantly, her dress had been mended. It was no longer the white boho dress from a world long gone, but was also no longer decorated by ghastly rips and jagged tears, the green sludge had been removed, and though it was irreparably stained, the marks seemed to add their own character and charm to the dress. It was one of a kind. It was her boohoo dress. Her grin widened —if Sarah were here, she’d shit a brick; who was this impostor standing in a Katéa suit?
“Miss Katéa,” Nessie popped up beside her, her emerald eyes agleam with an eager curiosity, “Please, I mean no offence, elvenkind are naturally inquisitive… but, there are rumours.” She peered about the gardens, carefully inspecting each bush and fern, before she returned her gaze to Katéa and loudly whispered, “Is it true? Are you and young Draven… bonding?”
Her face warmed and her image responded in kind, showcasing her pink cheeks before the tiny fish detached from one another and rapidly swam back down to the crystal spires below, returning the pond to its previous clarity.
That was one word for it. They were becoming close, but nothing had really happened between them… yet —if her face burned much hotter, she would spontaneously combust— would such actions be looked down upon in this strange new realm? Marriage was a thing; even though T’rese seemed to be the resident slut-whore, she had once been married to Draven’s brother… no-one lifted an eyebrow at her and her actions. Then there was the pixie party where everyone had entangled themselves about each other with no care or qualm. Grissom was going to drag her somewhere and have his way with her. No. It seemed that sex was not sacred in this culture.
“Aye, miss Katéa, bonding —when two souls become one,” Nessie beamed. “I think it’s wonderful, and the Master will be pleased!”
“Oh, Draven’s father! Their family brings order to Glouweln. Without them there’d be no food in our stomachs, the protective barriers would not hold, and there would be no mediation between conflicts. It would be chaos.”
So, he had merely been doing his duty when he rescued her from Grissom; it wasn’t due to any sense of actual care… but, he cared now! It also explained his knowledge, and the small air of confident authority that he carried around with him.
“That makes everything so much clearer… this whole time, I assumed Grissom was in charge.”
“Oh, no! He’s just our tavernkeeper. Glouweln is so much more than just a tavern!”
“Indeed it is,” Draven appeared beside her and raised an eyebrow, his eyes widening as for the first time he observed her at her best. “You look lovely,” he smiled and her heart leapt as that little dimple greeted her. “But it won’t last long.”
Was that a euphemism? She inspected his eyes, marvelling at how much they still resembled tiger’s eye, even without the ingestion of pixie dust. There was no suggestion hiding within them though, and he was probably just referring to her tendency to fall down holes. It was almost disappointing… no, that was a lie. It was disappointing.
“You finished your hunt early.”
“Aye, got lucky,” he turned to Nessie and offered her a courteous bow. “’Scuse us, dear elf,” he said, taking Katéa’s arm.
Nessie smiled a wide grin, near splitting her face in half, and waved as she raced back to her colourful tree cluster, giggling as she departed.
“She seems happy,” Draven smirked.
“She thinks that we are… bonding.”
“And are we not?” He gently squeezed her arm, and then shrugged. “Word spreads quick in small villages. Came back from the hunt to T’rese wailing. Her voice could strip the wings from a faerie.”
“It seems so strange to me… she was married to your brother! How can she have feelings for a husband’s brother?”
Draven shrugged again. “You misread the situation —she feels an entitlement to every man and woman in the village. She’s merely disappointed that neither I nor you have graced her bed.”
Or the tavern counter. The image of the woman and Grissom burst into mind as clear as the cloudless skies and she shuddered. It was a sickening memory that she could do without. Then a wave of relief washed over her. Not so much because T’rese was merely disappointed and wouldn’t start a bitch fight, but more because the woman and Draven had never… her face reddened again.
“You do blush easy,” Draven teased. “However, such matters aside, I may have taken it upon myself to do some investigating while I was out there… and may have made an odd discovery about our pixie pilferer.” He peered up into the sky and then sent her an apologetic smile. “There’s still a few hours before nightfall, and I was hoping you would accompany me. I didn’t realise that… uh, I fear your skin won’t be fair for much longer.”
Nope. It definitely hadn’t been a euphemism. Damn it.
“An odd discovery?”
“Aye,” he furrowed his brow. “I am unfamiliar with the items I saw. One of them looked like that shiny black thing you were holding when you arrived.”
Of course Quint would have had a phone with him, that made sense, but what did that have to do with the missing pixie creatures? Shouldn’t they just stake out wherever the pixies lived and wait for the guy to make a wrong move?
“Come, we don’t want to be out there when Serenithyl flies.”
Katéa had been in Nessie’s gardens since the moment Draven had gone hunting earlier. Apart from the little talk with Nessie a few minutes ago, she hadn’t yet faced the gossip of the villagers and she winced as they exited the corri-door, half expecting T’rese to come screeching out of the tavern to accost her. That didn’t happen. She peered into the tavern as they passed the door, and there she was: leaning over a table, her breasts rebelling against her corseted top, as she held a mug in one hand and stroked Quint’s bright red face with the other. His face truly clashed with the colour of his hair; it was horrible. How could anyone look at it for such a long period of time, let alone gaze adoringly at it, without being blinded? She must be drinking a lot of mead. Or, not even! This was the same woman who enjoyed a good rogering from Gruesome Grissom. There were no standards here.
Draven leant down and murmured into her ear, “I convinced her to be our distraction. Come.”
Katéa nodded and followed close behind. It was as good a distraction as any. They left the little red cabin and skirted around the side. It was still so amazing that such a small building could hold an entire village inside. Technically, they would be standing right in the corridor at the moment, but it was just long grass as far as the eye could see, an ocean of green that washed up against the base of that nearby cliff-side. She swallowed. The same cliff-side that harboured the waterfall she had plummeted from… and they were heading towards it. This didn’t bode well, surely.
“Draven, where are we going?”
“There is another way into Glouweln that won’t draw as much attention.”
“But… we’re heading for the cliffs! That’s where Serenithyl drop-kicked me into the river.”
He turned around and gave her a reassuring smile. “Glouweln is well protected. It has many barriers, both magical and physical, and the only danger that awaits us is that of remaining outside the barriers when night falls.” He took her hands. “I would not willingly lead you into danger.”
“Barriers? That doesn’t explain how the damned bird was in Nessie’s gardens and pushed me into a hole!”
Draven paused, “Aye, that thought troubled me also. It was the day the dragons returned; maybe she slipped through alongside them.” He furrowed his brow. “Nay, that is just as troubling.” He quickened his pace, pulling her along with him. “Come, T’rese won’t be able to hold Quint for much longer; he’s another she has found too frustrating to conquer. This way.”
There was a thin crack in the cliff-side, barely visible above the long grass that brushed up beside it. Draven lightly ran his finger along it, transforming it into a crevice only barely large enough to squeeze in through, and drew her inside.
A tangible blanket of humidity fell over them, thicker than the humidity she had once suffered back home. She had once joked about how the air felt like soup, but this… this felt near solid. It weighed down upon her as a literal burden, near flattening her to the ground, and she struggled to remain upright. The crevice closed behind them —they were trapped! Draven squeezed her hand, reminding her that he was there and she was safe, before releasing her and placing both of his hands palm out onto the thick air.
He muttered incomprehensible words beneath his breath. They sounded of another language and were strained as they passed through the humidity and back. A small pocket of crisp, cool air opened before them, and he motioned for her to follow him into it.
This was entirely the opposite of what she had hoped he had meant when he said that she wouldn’t be clean for much longer. She shook her head to herself and followed Draven into the cool pocket. The air curved around her and seemed to shape itself about her body, before depositing her into a bare, wooden room. Ugh. That was an unpleasant feeling. Being sucked out of hot air, into cool air, and then being spat out like an accidental chicken bone.
The room was dark and there seemed to be nothing in it except for a bed and a table. Wait —there was something on the table. Several somethings.
A backpack spilled over the table and revealed the phone that Draven had mentioned, but there was also a handheld radio —who the fuck in this day and age still used radios when they had a smartphone— and there was also a laptop, power cords, battery chargers… all of it useless. What was that? She narrowed her eyes and her hand involuntarily flew to her mouth.
“Oh my God! Draven!”
She ran over to the table. The tiny body of a pixie, completely drained of its dust and no longer bearing its golden aura, lay dead and discarded beside the phone, a power cord jammed up its tiny butt cheeks.
Draven hurried to stand beside her, and a distinct horror washed over his face before being replaced with a steely glare.
“She wasn’t here before.”
A footstep landed behind them and an unfamiliar voice rose loud, a sneer evident behind its tone.
“No, she wasn’t was she?”