Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Endings often change

This was the first draft of an epilogue for a story that has now changed endings.

The sun had set, and the temperature was dropping dangerously fast.
A man shifted further into his coat; the phoenix down it was lined with emitting the warmth of warm coals from a fresh fire.
The man carefully checked the pouch hanging around his neck once more, a satisfied smile appearing on his lips, though the smile did nothing to soften the iciness of his blue eyes, one of which was forever narrowed in a glare because of two painful scars that ran vertically across it.
The man whistled, and a buckskin stallion trotted over from where it had been grazing. Mounting, the man kicked his horse to a gallop, leaving the rich green hills behind. Blackened terrain engulfed them, the smell of death, ashes, and smoke still overwhelming though centuries had passed since the plains had first caught aflame.
This was the sight of the Unquenched Burning, where the home of the elves, the plains formerly called Evermore, had been utterly decimated by the wrath of a single dragon.
The man smiled cruelly, the memories of that dragon fresh in his mind.
Of course, they weren't originally his memories, but those of a dragon elder by the name of Lor'Tae Jaggedpath. The milky-white dragon had been a chore to find, but the information he had provided before death claimed him was well worth the sacrifice.

It took almost three hours to reach the man's destination, a group of crumbling ruins; the entrance sealed shut by a stone door created by magic eons ago.
Pulling his horse to a stop a few feet before the door, the man dismounted. He undid a saddlebag with hands scarred by battle, to retrieve a small silver harp; though most of the silver was hidden by strips of white cloth. It was a simple harp that could easily be held with one arm while leaving the other free to play, and it looked like it had seen better days.
It was the kind of instrument he expected a harper or bard to carry around, not something created by the elves when they were at the height of their power.
The man shook his head to dispel his misgivings about the harp. If it was the one, then it didn't matter what it looked like as long as it worked. Just as it didn't matter that a runaway servant had been the keeper of the harp.
He left his horse saddled and loose, knowing that the stallion would come if called, and walked to the door. The man slowly lifted the harp and began to play a slow, somber piece the elves wrote called the Elegy of Remembrance.
As he played, the man suppressed a shiver and kept playing as the song's mournful notes covered everything nearby with an essence of pure sorrow. Dark clouds seemed to cover the full moon as note after note the harp sang, memories that couldn't possibly be his flooding the man's vision. But still he played, the scenes of endless agony crying out for him to stop playing, to turn around and leave, never to return. But the man ignored the cries, and finished the elegy.
After the last notes left the harp, the man lifted his head, his eyes cold, calculating. He waited, watching the stone door as the faded runes that covered its surface began to glow, soon becoming so bright that the man had to squint his eyes against the harsh light. Then there was a groan of shifting stone, followed by an implosion. Then there was nothing but the night and dust. Placing the harp in a case, he strapped the case to his back and tied a cloth around his mouth and nose. Then man stepped into the cloud of dust; carefully moving forward over the rubble that was all that remained of the door.
The man slowed as the dust settled, allowing him to see his surrounding. He was in a long corridor that sloped downward, into thick darkness. Using his left hand, the man untied a pouch from his belt, and let it fall open to the ground; releasing a small creature called a Seirios. This seirios looked like a small silver bat with glowing wings. The seirios flew up until it was in front of the man, awaiting his command.
Vaati, you are to lead me to Cor'zuh by the most direct route, while avoiding any traps the elves set before abandoning this place.” The man ordered. The seirios named Vaati flew in a quick, tight circle before taking off down the corridor with the man following. The man ignored the lingering beauty of the ruins as they went down the corridor, but took note of the various rooms they passed that led to unimaginable secrets left by the elves. After a while, the corridor opened to a large chamber completely covered with mirrors. Vaati paused just inside the chamber, flying in a circle counterclockwise. The man snapped his fingers, and the bat-like seirios grew to the size of a horse. Vaati stopped flying and landed, allowing the man to climb onto it's back. Then it leaped in the air and flew, the reflections of itself proving to be irrelevant in stopping the seirios from finding its way through the chamber. The man closed his eyes as they made their was through the chamber, the mirrors utterly disorienting him. With his eyes closed, the man was able to chart their course after a moment. They were flew in a series of twists and turns, then downwards. Further and further down. Opening his eyes, the man saw that they were no longer in the mirrored chamber. Instead, they were in what he could only guess was a narrow abyss, for both above and below were hidden by darkness, and the walls were just barely two feet away from the seirios wingtips.
Down they flew, for what felt like hours, until finally, the seirios reached a cliff in the abyss. The left the seemingly unending abyss and flew into another corridor that began on the cliff, this one sloping upward.
Then the man had nothing to do but wait as the seirios steadily flew upward, seeming to follow a map with its mind. Then after a while it turned right and flew straight. Another hour passed, and the man could sense that midnight was almost upon them. A left turn, and they were in a cavern.
The seirios flew down and landed on a wide ledge. The man climbed off the seirios and looked around, taking note of the opening in the wall that must be the cave called Cor'zuh. Looking up at the roof of the cavern, the man noticed a small opening that let a faint light in. Satisfied that this was his destination, the man removed the case from his back and and opened it.
Then he settled in to wait.
Time passed by, the light from the opening in the roof slowly growing stronger and stronger. Until finally, it was midnight.
No longer needing the light from the seirios Vaati to see the cave opening, the man gave two short whistles. The seirios shrunk to its original size and flew over to the man and back into the pouch it had emerged from.
The man walked over to the mouth of the cave named Cor'zuh, removing the pouch hanging from his neck. Opening it, he placed the object it held on a flat rock at the mouth of the cave that had strange symbols on it.
Taking a step back into the moonlight, the man lifted the harp out of its case and began to play a song called the Nocturne of Awakening. It began tranquilly, the notes echoing back and forth off the walls of the cavern. Then the music shifted, taking on a more gloomier form. The man continued playing even as the moonbeams began to weave together in the form of a dragon at the mouth of the cave. He played, letting the notes dance together as they echoed back and forth throughout the cave; growing entangled with the moonbeams. On he played, as visions from the past flooded his mind; telling the story of the Chaotic War, of the dragon that brought two races, two enemies, together under the mutual need to survive. The dull black scale he had place at the mouth of the cave began to shine as it joined with the moonbeams and music, bringing back the dragon it had once been a part of. The man finished the song, watching as the Bringer of Chaos, the Dragon of Destruction, awakened.
The metallic black dragon lifted its head, yellow eyes scanning the cavern. Catching sight of the man, the dragon smiled; an action that revealed thin, most likely razor sharp, fangs.
A psych frees me, using the elves Harp of Harmony.” The dragon spoke, his voice pleased. His thick, whip-like tail wrapped around the man and lifted him up to the dragon's head. From that close, the man could make out four thin scars on the left side of the dragon's snout, and could see just how sharp the horns on his head were, whether it were the two large ones above his eyes, the five fin-like ones on either side of his head, or the small one on his chin.
So tell me, to whom do I owe thanks for releasing me?” The dragon asked, his breath hot and smelling of decay. The man kept his eyes locked on the dragon's as he answered proudly.
I am Sir Magnus of Drake, commander of the North and member of the council of Alistair.” The dragon laughed when Magnus finished speaking, lowering him to the ground but keeping his tail wrapped tightly around the psych.
“The council still rules, eh? Well, I think we should fix that...” With a cold glint in his eyes, the black dragon leaped into the air, unfurling his wings and flying up to the opening in the ceiling. With a roar, he breathed white-hot flames at the opening, widening it until it was large enough for him to fly through. Once outside, the dragon flew north, over the ruins he had been imprisoned within.
The final words of the dragon Lor'Tae echoed in Magnus' mind as he stared at the Plains of Despair from above.
I warn you now, Sir Magnus, that if you do not turn away from this course now, it will be too late. For you are attempting to release an uncontrollable evil, under the gross assumption that you will be able to control it. Remember my words,Magnus of Drake. If you release the dragon known as Plague from his prison, then you are sentencing all of Terra to the same fate the elves barely escaped.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Special Thanksgiving Edition— What I am thankful for

1. My family, who are a constant source of love and support.
2. My friends, with whom I share countless laughs.
3. My lovable, fuzzy cat. Thanks for learning to perch on  my shoulder.
4. That I have been able to learn tatting from one of my wonderful leaders. You know who you are.
5. For the blessing of having the gospel in my life, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
6. For good books, and the people who write them. You are amazing.
7. Hot chocolate.
8. That keyboards are lefty friendly.
9. To trampolines, for the stories first imagined upon one.
10. For this blog that I have the opportunity to share my thoughts with.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nightingale High: Nigh, part I

I walked down the stairs carefully, avoiding the areas that I knew would creek under my weight.
I could hear voices from the parlor; my father's low rumble among them. It was difficult to understand the soft conversation from the stairs. But as I got closer to the partially cracked door to the parlor, I caught their conversation.
...request sounds fairly reasonable, mister Valentine. But if I may, why set such an unusual term to our agreement?”
I could tell that owner of this voice was elderly by the wobble. And I knew the owner was female by the gentle tones. I would pin her voice as a contralto if she was singing, although there was possibility that she would be a mezzo-soprano.
I pulled myself out of my thoughts and concentrated on my father's reply. a must. She has been expelled from the last two schools we've tried, and no tutor will teach her for more then a few days. My daughter needs discipline, and your project would be the perfect solution. If I am to fund your project and provide a place for it, then she must be a student.”
I held my breath for a moment, then cautiously exhaled softly.
I had known that my father had been upset with my latest track record of three and a half schools and five tutors, but it wasn't my fault that I'd been expelled and that the tutors all ran away after three or four days. I'd been able to keep the last one for an entire week before she had me sing, and the one before that for four days, three hours, and twenty-seven minutes!
But it didn't matter.
It never mattered to Richard Valentine.
Because after a while, all of the tutors had me sing. They just weren't accustom to a teenager not being plugged into music, a teenager who never even hummed. So they'd try to encourage me, under some misguided assumption that I was just self-conscious, or had some kind of inferiority complex. They couldn't understand that I could never sing for them.
Yet I slipped sometimes. It was perfectly understandable that I would slip, because I loved to sing.
It was a natural part of who I was. Singing came easier then breathing. It was in my heart, my mind, even my blood.
...understand the situation. We have other possible students lined up with similarly dangerous gifts. She will be welcomed and accepted at our school.”
The elderly woman's voice broke my train of thought, and I realized that I had missed a portion of the conversation.
Eavesdropping was not one of my talents.
The next person to speak surprised me, since I hadn't known she was back in town.
The Siren Estate will be perfect for your school. My great grandfather would be pleased to know that his land was once again the home of a Nihtingale.” My mother's voice rang with an allurement that could be felt even though she hadn't sang in years. Eileen Valentine had only sang once that I could remember in all of my sixteen years.
I had been four, and had sang a child's song to my father. It had been the very first time I had ever sang to anyone, and had almost been the last. My father had fallen under the spell of my voice, and had been driven insane when I stopped singing. My mother had come in and stopped my father from forcing me to sing by catching him in the net of her own voice. My mother's voice was the most beautiful and heartbreaking thing I had ever heard, then and now. She had explained to my young self the dangers of our voices, and how I should never, ever, sing when there was anyone within hearing distance. She had explained that our voices could cause people to live their most desired dreams, or their most feared nightmares and horrifying memories. She had told me of her family, how many had used their gift for ill, and how others had tried to bring happiness through their songs, only to fail every time.
I had made a promise that day, while my mother's song still echoed in my ears, that I would try to never sing for anyone, ever.
I have broken that promise time and time again, and each break tore at my heart, bringing back the echo of her song.
The silence that had followed my mother's comment was finally broken by a new voice, a man's voice. “Does your daughter have your power?” The man asked slowly, though I could hear his normal warmth beneath the coolness that his voice held now.
That was a gift of the Siren; the ability to know a person by simply hearing them speak.
“No. The Song matures with age, becoming one with every Voice.” I could feel the sorrow within my mother, her voice causing the polished wood floor and the darkly stained oak walls to lose some of their color. I knew that the strangers felt even more of the Song then I did, with the wall and half closed door muffling my mother's voice.
“And you have no objections with your daughter coming to Terra, Richard Valentine?” The man asked, his curiosity neatly hidden from his voice. At least to my human father.
“None.” My father's answer came easily, without even a moment's thought. He loved me, but the rebellious attitude he thought I had developed had caused him to lose a little of that love. Now he wanted me out of the house, somewhere far away.
So he would never again hear my Song.
A single tear rolled down my cheek as I turned and silently fled up the stairs to the room I would soon leave forever.
For my father was sending me on a one-way trip.

Friday, November 18, 2011

To See A Midnight Showing

1. Before the film,  you may find an opportunity to help friends with Spanish homework.
2. The time you would have spent sleeping can now be used to work on tatting.
3. Due to the late hour, it is quite possible that there will be no crazy kids to throw popcorn in your hair.
4. Sleep deprivation makes after-movie breakfast much more amusing.
5. Depending on the movie, there may be some cute guys to stare at off-screen.
6. The end credits of a film is a wonderful place to find names for future characters.
7. The day after a midnight showing can be used sleeping, if you are lucky.
8. Only obsessed fans go to a midnight showing, thus creating a perfect atmosphere  for research.
9. If something amazing happens, you can alter it for a future scene.
10. Movies are much more fun when you are half-asleep, with good, goofy friends.

P.S. Saw part one of Breaking Dawn!! 12:01 showing, movie was decent. Disliked some scenes, but overall an exciting night out with friends.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


  Here is the beginning of a vampire story I called Toxin. It never got very far, but I can tell you that there was no romance between human and vampire.
Just a snack break.

A strange tingling sensation worked it's way up my arm, until it had engulfed my entire being.
The consciousness that kept me immobilized held my arm in it's now burning grasp.
“Only a bit longer, my sweet.”
It's voiced tore through my mind; both causing my blood to stir and my heart to freeze.
I couldn't speak, yet my mind screamed against the voice of my captor.
The voice chuckled, becoming more masculine as the strange tingling sensation began to fade; yet remain in my veins.
“There, my hunger has been sated.”
My eyes, which had been closed for a long time now, finally opened.
I found dark gray eyes watching me with a coveted expression.
I shivered under his gaze, words silently falling from my tongue.
He smiled, revealing a single, bright white fang.
“You should have listened to your instincts, Shania Kemsley.”
I couldn't blink, but only stare in horror as he took out a blindfold and covered my eyes.
“Say goodbye to the life you knew, a prepare to enter into a realm of nightmares.”

Friday, November 11, 2011

For Research

1. Research expands your knowledge, even on things you current know a bit about.
2. Have a test in school? Studying for math can help break writer's block.
3. An idea can form at any moment, but it must have something to originate from.
4. Research doesn't have to be boring. Go to the movies, the park, or just stare out your window. Any moment can be studied for stories.
5. The subject of your research could become a new obsession. Tatting, welding or lemons, there's an obsession waiting for you.
6. Have a pet who ignores you all day? Learning about the construction of bottle caps will bring that jealous kitty right to you.
7. Daily research means you'll always have a conversation starter.
8. If you understand the proper use of a dirk, then your story will thank you.
9. Choose a subject, like corn. Then let your research lead you on a wild chase. You will learn something amazing if you just give it a try.
10. Research is fun.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love begins with sweets

Are you going to eat all of those?”
The boy looked up, tilting the brim of his hat back as he looked at the person interrupting his rest. The little girl smiled, revealing a gap from a missing tooth. The boy blinked, then tossed her the small sack of honey bits.
Don't eat them all at once.” He advised, tilting his hat back over his eyes.
The girl's smile widened in delight as at the older boy's words. She looked down at the fine lavender dress her aunt had given her, then back at the boy laying on the ground.
The boy tried to ignore the girl as she sat on the grass beside him.
The girl looked at the boy as she pulled one of the honey candies out of the bag. She put the candy in her mouth, savoring the sweetness as she looked up at the sky.
As she watched the clouds, the girl tried to contain her excitement.
Aunt Adrianna isn't going to be happy when she finds out I didn't stay with Brita.
The girl shook her head, looking back at the boy.
The wide-brimmed hat hid his sun-streaked chestnut hair. It also hid his soft brown eyes; the color of which always reminded the girl of toffee candies.
What are you doing?” She asked, hoping to have the boy smile. For the girl liked making people smile.
Sleeping.” The boy answered without moving , his voice slightly muffled. The girl tilted her head, confusion touching her green eyes.
How can you answer if you are sleeping?” She asked, lifting his hat.
The boy blinked, then sat up.
I hadn't fallen asleep yet. I was just trying to.” He took his hat back from the girl and put it beside him on the grass. The boy ran a hand through his rumpled hair, trying to tidy it. The girl looked at the boy, then started to giggle.
What are you giggling about?” The boy asked, frowning.
The girl shook head, still giggling. The boy's frown deepened as he crossed his arms.
What's so funny?”
A caterpillar!” The girl answered, pointing at the boy's head. The boy lifted a hand back to his hair, then felt something crawl over his finger. Carefully closing his hand over the bug, the boy lifted it from his head.
Opening his hand, both the boy and girl watched as the caterpillar crawled across his palm. The boy looked at the bug, then stood. Leaving his hat behind, the boy began walking. Following behind him, the girl spoke.
Where are we going?”
You'll see.” The boy answered, making sure to keep the caterpillar in his hand.
Finally, the boy stopped beside a bush. Kneeling down, he pulled aside a branch to reveal inside the bush. Gently, the boy put the caterpillar inside the bush, then stood and brushed off his hand.
The little girl clapped her hands, a big smile on her face.
Now the caterpillar won't be stepped on!” She exclaimed, looking up at the boy. He looked down at the girl, then offered a small smile.
That's right.”
The two children began walking back to where they had begun. After they got there however, a voice reached them.
Lady Sybil, there you are!” The little girl turned toward the voice, a slight frown appearing on her small face. She looked at the boy, who offered her the bag of sweets. Picking up his hat, the boy nodded to the girl.
Remember not to eat them all at once, Caterpillar.”
Then he walked away.
The little girl named Sybil watched as her new friend walked away, disappearing into the palace gardens. Even as Brita fussed over the grass stains on the little girl's dress, all the girl could think about was the boy as she clutched the bag of sweets in her hands.

Friday, November 4, 2011

To party

1. In celebration. Whether it be a birth, academic success, or the rise of a inter-galactic empire.
2. A party can be used as an excuse not to get actual work done.
3. Parties are ripe with research opportunities, which can then be used to get work done.
4. The social aspect of parties can lead to new friendships and rivalries.
5. The party is a perfect time to try that new recipe from your second cousin.
6. Parties are good for lifting that frown into a smile. Remember to laugh!
7. You can learn many new things from a party. How to make balloon animals, pass an orange from one person to another, and much more!
8. You can find new hobbies at a party! From tatting to building birdhouses, parties can be a exciting place to learn.
9. Have a toothache? You could invites friends to come share their horror stories about seeing the dentist.
10. The real question is how long your party will last.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nothing Left

I sat there, watching, waiting.
Waiting for the moment when I would finally know that we were safe.
"What are your orders, Emma? A familiar voice asked from my left. Turning my head, I looked into the shocking copper eyes of my most trusted friend. Jasper returned my gaze, his eyes reflecting the icy blue of mine as the light of a torch briefly lit our hiding place.
"You keep the twins here, while I attempt to lead the Trick away." I answered. I studied his snow white hair for a moment, noticing the hesitation in my second-in-command. I touched his cheek, "Please, do this for me. The twins don't have anyone else." He put his hand over mine, anguish in his voice.
"But Emma, we can't lose you. I can't."
I shook my head, memories of the others we had lost filling my thoughts.
Sally. David. Wallace. Lace.
Each had sacrificed themselves, as I now would.
The sounds outside our hiding place grew louder. Time was running out.
"Jasper, I'm not asking anymore. As soon as I lead them away, take the twins down to the docks. Look for a ship called the Salt Catcher. Old Jack should be expecting you." I carefully removed an old bronze locket from my neck and handed it to him. "This will buy you passage. Jack knows where to take you." I spoke rapidly, pulling my long black hair off my shoulder.
Jasper nodded once, resigned to the fact that he was now the leader.
For we both knew what tonight would bring.
My Luck be with you." He spoke softly. I smiled sadly as I turned away.
"May she watch over you as well." I whispered as I crawled to the crack in the wall that led outside. I scanned the dark ruins outside, searching for any sign of the Trick.
It wouldn't do to lead the Trick right to where the others were hiding before I had the chance to leave.
Satisfied with the seemingly empty ruins, I crawled outside and stood in a position that would allow me to make a run for it as soon as was necessary. I chose to walk south, towards the torchlight. I kept my movements as quiet as was possible, aware of the noise that the shackle and broken chain around my right ankle made.
But there was nothing I could do about it.
I slowed as I neared the creatures holding the torches. They walked on two legs, like a human, but were completely covered with reflective scales, like some kind of lizard. Their eyes burned a rusty red, and row after row of yellow fangs were visible in their half-opened mouths. About seven feet tall on average, these beasts were called the Trick by my group of escapees because of the unique ability that their mirror-like scales gave them. By catching and reflecting light, the Trick could veil themselves in an illusion.
I hated them, had hated them since the day I was born.
For seventeen long years, I had been nothing more then an experiment living in one of the many prison camps that covered the land of Zal'var. I was experiment 00935 E.M.D. more commonly known as “E.M.M.A.”. I had learned from childhood what my name and classification stood for. E.M.D. stood for Extreme Magical Development, while E.M.M.A. stood for Electrode Magnifier of Maximum Advantage. I wasn't sure what electrode magnifier meant, but I could only assume that it was referring to my ability to absorb electricity from the machines the Trick used. Of course, I had to release all the energy eventually, or else I got sick.
Not the my strange ability would help at the moment, since the Trick were using more traditional torches in their search for me and my companions.
Sneaking as close as I dared, I counted the Trick in this camp. Sixteen, a full pack. There could be a second pack out in the ruins somewhere, but I had to hope that there weren't. Hoping that Luck was with me, I ran right into the camp and out the other side, hearing the angry hiss of the Trick as they attempted to get up and give chase. The Trick were slower at night because of their cold-blood, but once they began a chase, they could continue the hunt for days.
We'd been lucky not to have had the pack catch our scent earlier.
I ran blindly through the ruins, not caring where I led them as long as it was away from Jasper, the twins, and the docks. The Trick were gaining on me, I could hear their taloned feet pounding the ground as the ran.
But I couldn't give up yet.
They depended on me not to give in.
I quickly turned the corner, and jolted to a halt before the wall that blocked my escape. The triumphant screeches from the Trick sounded dully in my ears as I turned to face my death.
Because there was nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.
Nothing left to do but go down fighting.
I shifted my feet as rain began to fall, soaking my hair as the Trick advanced. Thrusting my left hand out in front of me and my right hand towards the sky, I used my ability to scream for lightning; something I had never tried before.
A bolt shot out of the sky and hit my upraised hand, the untamed chaos burning its way through my veins and out my left hand, taking everything I had with it.
The screeches of triumph changed to shrieks of pain as I fell to the ground, my vision darkening.
Before fading to oblivion, a single thought ran through my mind.
Good bye, Jasper... May Luck lead you always...