An Unfortunate Adventure! #freewritemadness: Day Twenty-Nine (COMPLETE!)

#freewritemadness, Day 29, COMPLETE.

Posting super earlier than normal because super excited.

I wrote about 2600 words for my ~very last chapter~ and then swept through the document and added little bits and pieces, including finishing off that erotic scene that I neglected to write at the end of Day 20. That was an extra 700ish words, and I think I did quite good considering my tendency to giggle like a maniac whilst writing such salacious things!

No, I’m not sharing that here. 😉 You’ll have to wait for revision and ebook-creation for such naughtiness. And oh boy, that’s going to be a LOT of revision to make this twisted story make sense. As I said before starting this Unfortunate Adventure, I had no issue with posting it here because I had every belief that after revision it would be as an entirely different story. That still stands.

Today’s wordcount was: 3779 words!!!!!!!!
Giving me a winning number of: 50347!!!!!!!!!

!!!!~EXCLAMATION MARKS~!!!!

 


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DAY TWENTY-NINE

Katéa stood upon the precipice and watched as tens of thousands tiny snowflakes fell in a glittering curtain, each delicate star-shaped icicle sparkling bright beneath the full moon. An ice wind blew, sweeping across her bared shoulders and through her long black hair, carrying memories ever lost yet forever cherished. Was it two years ago, or twenty? Did it even matter anymore? She gazed out over the horizon and imagined, for just a moment, that fields of long green grass rose up below, ready to embrace her if she dared fall, that if she were to meet their soft blades Draven would be down there awaiting her, ready to sweep her into his arms and hold her for all eternity.

Golden pixies, small curvaceous beings with hair as free-flowing as a swift waterfall illuminated the illusory grass with their soft glow, their bodies dancing with the breeze. There was nothing she wanted more than to join them, to delight in their presence, she didn’t even care if they pulled her hair and slapped her with their sharp little hands. They were a true delight.

Tears rolled down her cheeks and then floated from her flesh, spinning before her as shimmering diamonds before shattering into a thousand shards, shattering like every one of her hopes had, shattering as her heart had every day since her return.

This whole scenario felt so familiar; as though she had been here before, in this exact same position, staring over the edge into a life long lost and never reclaimed. The oblivion that lay beyond awaited her and she would take the plunge… she and her memories would become one once more.

Her breath escaped in a long tendril that frosted in the chill, transforming into a soft spiral that whorled and twirled before her eyes. It was as a small, breathy portal; an entrance into another realm. A small smile touched her lips —all would be as it should be. Leaping from the edge, she dared plummet into the other world.

“Mum.”

Fingers clicked in front of her face. She opened her eyes and smiled sleepily at Alexander: her and Draven’s son. The young man was the spitting image of his father with his square jaw, fiery umber eyes, and that goddamned dimple as he smiled that lopsided grin, teasing her for having fallen asleep so early in the evening. Her heart ached for just a moment before she shoved the pain down, as she had every day since she fell back into this cruel world.

It had been twenty years and yet it was still as clear as the cloudless sky. Her memories were as perfect as the stars shining bright, and each twinkle reignited yet another lost dream. They had all thought she was crazy. She had gone back to the city, feeling entirely lost and alone as she packed the few necessities needed to begin her new life, sold everything else, and then had spent every cent on this tiny ramshackle house on the edge of the scrubland a mere kilometre from that damned nature retreat. It had not been an easy feat, but nothing ever worth having was easy… or say they said.

So many hours, days, and nights had been spent in tears, sitting on this very verandah, hoping that one day the Lights would come back, dreaming that they would return and whisk her away back into the other world, but they had never appeared. The leather and lace bond circlet had never left her wrist, nor did the stone ever glow red again. Not a single day had gone by where she didn’t think of Draven and wonder how he was doing. He would be Master now, looking after Glouweln, with no heir to take his place… her heart wrenched. Unless he had met another. No, he had loved her. It didn’t matter. It was all over. She had waited and waited and they never came back. At least she had Alexander.

A tear fell from her eye and Alexander’s smile wavered.

“You’re crying again.”

She wiped it away, her heart heavier than the weight of the lost years, and sighed.

“There’ll be many more tears where those came from.”

“Thinking of dad again?”

“Always.”

Climbing up from the chair, she stretched her tired body and stared wistfully at the scrub-land. Of course she had told Alexander everything. At this age, he probably thought that she was as loony as everyone else believed, but as a child he had loved the stories of the golden pixie creatures, the curative dragons, and would roll his eyes as she spoke of his father, the confident and loving mage-blood who had taught her how to use a crossbow —arbalest— and whose eyes and smile he had inherited. They would dance around the boundaries of the property, darting in and out of the scrub-land, hoping that the Lights would sense them and try to lure them away, and then return inside as the moon rose high, bringing the end to yet another day.

She whipped away from the gnarled and twisted bushes that made up the scrub-land, the jagged limbs that had taunted and tormented her for years, and lightly touched the gem on her bond circlet, her heart’s ache intensifying as the cool stone met her fingertips.

“Better get dinner started. I’m sorry.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks and she hurried inside, wiping away her heartache before it could blind her and send her spiralling into the despair she had long held off. Alexander stayed outside, enjoying the fresh air… probably staring into the same scrub-land she had just turned her back on and wondering how his mother had become such a nutjob.

“Hey, mum!”

Her heart dropped into her stomach. His voice had never held such an excited, high-pitched tone to it before, even when he was a young boy. She turned back to the door.

“Mum! Come here!”

The urgency in his tone snapped her from the brink of her ever-looming melancholy and she raced outside, slamming the screen behind her. “What-” Her heart leapt from the pit of her stomach and into her throat. Three disc-shaped orbs danced about the edge of the scrub, flittering in and out of the scraggly trees, and cast long shadows over the parched red dirt… just as they had the first time she had seen them.

“They’re real,” Alexander whispered.

Time stopped and her slow pulse quickened. There they were —they were here! Why had the blasted things taken so long? She stood still, unable to move as the Min Min Lights weaved in and out of the scrub, beckoning for her to follow, as their humming bodies called for both her and her son to take the first step into the wild bush.

“Oh my God,” Katéa murmured reverently. “They’re back.” Draven’s anguished eyes flashed clear into mind. The lights headed further into the tangled growth —no, they would not be left behind! Without a second thought she grabbed Alexander’s hand and pulled him after them.

“Mum! What the hell are you doing?”

“What the fuck do you think? We’re going to see your father!” And leave this shitty world behind. Not that she would say that bit out loud, but he would soon see for himself.

He did not resist, though it wouldn’t have mattered if he had; she was a woman on a mission. If it came down to it, he would be dragged on the ground behind her as she took him into the wilds, much like how Draven had dragged that wild boar into Glouweln’s parlour. The Lights danced from one tree to the next, illuminating the tiny leaves and twisted branches as they flittered past, and a deep vibration thrummed from them as their already intense glow increased further, stirring her gut with memories of that black sphere in Serenithyl’s cavern. A spiderweb loomed ahead and she waved an arm through it without a care, sending the spider that lived within flying into the distance —she was no longer the useless city girl she had once been. After twenty years living out woop-woop, that would be laughable… maybe now she was actually as well-blooded as Draven had believed.

Fallen twigs and dried leaves cracked underfoot, resounding loud in the otherwise silent night. ‘Boots crunch leaves and twigs,’ Draven had said, leading her out into the world to hunt, the both of them barefoot and free. He wiped the pixie dust from her nose, his umber eyes gleaming bright, and her renewed tears flowed as her heart stirred. Would the Lights lead them to the same area she had first stumbled out from? Oh, please. They needed to be in Glouweln.

“You’re crazy, you know that right?” Alexander muttered, pushing aside thin branches and whipping them back behind him. “Why are we doing this?”

“You love it,” she replied, ignoring his question as she stumbled over an uplifted root and steadied herself against a rough trunk. “Keep moving. I will literally die if we lose sight of the Lights.”

A burst of wind rustled across the treetops and whistled through the tiny gaps in between branches, sweeping the orbs along its breeze and forcing them deeper into the scrub. The spindly twigs grasped for her and clung to her hair, but she did not care; she simply grabbed the long strands and shoved them down the back of her blouse. The bush grew thicker, denser, and the dancing lights pirouetted about the intertwined limbs as lithe and graceful as the beautiful pixies themselves. Oh, man. She could hardly wait to wrap her hands around a mug of mead once more… she had tried to make the elixir herself over the years, but it just never tasted as good as Grissom’s thick and syrupy shitquid. Maybe a pixie would even grace it with its delicate golden-arsed display. How would her son react to such a sight? She giggled and Alexander cautiously squeezed her hand.

“I’m not crazy, sweetie. You’ll see!”

It was happening again —it was just like last time. The cool breeze strengthened into a spiralling gust and entwined itself about her body. The twisted trees and their gnarled limbs grew taller, rising high above… this was the same area, she knew it deep down in the depths of her heart. Scattered moonlight shone from overhead and pierced through the thinning canopy. Oh, God. A wave of humidity swept through the growth, contrasting the chilled wind. It was the same humidity she had first forced herself through twenty years ago, the same humidity that lingered in that crevice in the cliff-side. It was as she had thought. This was as a portal to another reality. A thick, goopy portal.

“It’s so fucking soupy,” Alexander groaned.

Katéa giggled again and pulled him through the soupy air, ignoring the heaviness that weighed down her feet. It would soon pass and everything would be amazing. The two of them would be where they belonged, they would find Draven and they would be a family. As it should have always been. Another tear rolled down her cheek, slow and gradual as it forced its way through the sticky air, and then it dripped onto her chest as cold as ice. The heat and humidity had vanished as swift as it had fallen. The air was crisp and fresh, and they were free.

The soft hint of firewood wafted towards them and her pounding heart near leapt from her throat. Glouweln. Oh, if only it were daytime; the vibrant autumnal treetops would welcome them in all their beautiful, fiery glory —they were home! It wasn’t a dream, was it? If she woke up right now, she wouldn’t be able to cope. The heartache would be too much to bear. She bit at her trembling lip and rubbed at her tear-stained cheeks. Her face was all puffy and ugly. That was not how she wanted Draven to see her after so long.

They stepped out of the forest and into the field. Alexander’s wonder radiated from him in tangible waves. Would he feel at home here? He would have to —how could he not? A small smile touched her lips. Hopefully Tweety T’rese wouldn’t come onto him. The harlot would be reaching fifty by now, surely! Much too old, not that that would stop her.

“Mum, where are we?” Alexander asked, with a touch of breathlessness woven through his voice.

“Sweetie, how many times have I told you? This is the land of the Min Min Lights —of golden pixies, of dragons, of magic and wonder! Not that you’ve listened since you were ten or so.”

“It was a fairytale.”

“It was real… it is real,” she murmured, tears welling in her eyes once more. Would these tears never end? Was she really here again? She moistened her lips. “Wait ‘til you see it in the sunlight!”

The luscious grass was as liquid silk as they passed through the long blades. It had been so long since she had swept through these fields, but she remembered the direction as though she had only journeyed through here yesterday. To be fair, it was only just yesterday. This place lived on in her heart and dreams and she would never forget. Oh, please don’t be another dream. It couldn’t be. Dreams didn’t feel this real and this time Alexander was beside her.

“There’s a little house up ahead…”

Alexander was taller than her; of course he would see it first.

“That’s where we’re going.”

“You said there was a village.”

Katéa grinned. She had never forgotten Draven’s words. Had she forgotten anything at all? Of course not. All was ingrained into her as permanent as the freckles on her face. “Lex, not all is ever as it appears. You will see.” She hastened her steps, yanking her son along behind her.

Soft lights shone from the windows, the stairs creaked beneath each step they took, and though Alexander was clinging to the railing for dear life, petrified of falling through the decaying planks, she kept climbing until she reached the door. It was real —the wood was solid— there was no possible way that this was a dream.

The handle turned beneath her hand before she could twist it herself and the door opened, flooding the small alcove with bright candlelight and filling the air with raucous tavern cheer. There was a man in the doorway. Her breath caught in her throat and her voice shook as she whispered, “Draven.”

He stood before her, half-way through buckling the quiver about his waist. It dropped to the floor. Her jaw trembled as fresh tears threatened to overwhelm her. This would be the last time she would ever cry. Flecks of grey streaked through his hair, his eyes were tired and worn though widened in shock as they focused on her, flaring into the fiery life she remembered and loved.

“Katéa?”

Her tears flowed free as she peered up into his umber eyes, as polished and coloured as the tiger’s eye gemstone fixed to the bond circlet that encased her wrist. There was still love in those pain-filled eyes, a distinct adoration that she could stare into for an eternity… she couldn’t take it any longer. She raised her hand and lightly touched his face, her heart racing as she felt his skin beneath her fingertips. He was real. His arms swept around her and drew her into his warmth as she sobbed against his chest, indulging in the slow fall of his hand holding her head to his heart, its beat soothing away the years of pain she had suffered —that they had both been forced to endure.

“What took you so long?” he murmured.

“The Lights never came back,” she wept.

“Mum?”

Though she didn’t want to, she extricated herself from Draven’s embrace and stood back, smiling through her tears. Alexander was behind her, confusion wrought across his face as he peered into the inviting parlour and laid eyes upon the man who but for age could be his twin. Grabbing his wrist, she pulled him in through the doorway.

“Alexander,” she softly said, her gaze returning to Draven’s. “We are finally home.”

 



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(An Unfortunate Adventure header made by me! Courtesy of an image from Pixabay, and images from Vidar Nordli-Mathisen, Johny Goerend, Alan Labisch, Erol Ahmed on Unsplash!)