Friday, December 30, 2011

To Look Forward for 2012

1. We can watch The Hunger Games come to life March 23rd!
2. Due to February 29, 2012 will have 366 days. Time to welcome in a leap year!
3. A new year means that there will be a opportunity to read new books.
4. There will be a chance to learn new skills, and expand the ones you already have.
5. A new year means new goals. How many can you keep?
6. You could make new friends or grow closer to those you love. A fresh start should not be wasted.
7. As the year begins, some things might be drawing to a close. Do you have projects that need finishing?
8. A new year gives you the chance to try new things.
9. The closing of one door and the opening of another is an excellent reason to party.
10. As you look forward and plan for 2012, remember all that you learned in 2011. Don't be afraid to look back.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nightingale High: Nigh, part II

Since you are the first student at Nightingale High, you will get to pick from any of the twelve rooms on the second floor, miss Valentine.” The young woman who led me up the stairs said with a smile.
She was tall, with a swimmer's body and long, jet black hair. She was dressed in a Norse style pearl white tunic and full length skirt, with a very light, pale blue corset embroidered with a cascading waterfall. She had introduced herself as Isabel Grace, the nurse of Nightingale High.
I found the fact that my father had them name the school after me unsettling, not to mention embarrassing.
We reached the second floor and stepped out of the spiral staircase, and I glanced up as it continued upwards. Isabel smiled when she caught my eye, and nodded to the staircase. “It continues up to the third floor, which is a labyrinth someone thought would make a good attic. I wouldn't suggest going up there unless you have a good sense of direction.” She turned away from the staircase and waved at the square area surrounding the staircase.
There was an opening at each corner of the square, which was tilted slightly sideways so that each hall aligned with a direction on the compass. Though you couldn't see very far down any of the hallways, as each twisted away in an odd pattern.
Each of these halls leads to the outer ring, and most of the rooms are along the outer wall. Though there are four center rooms that enclose the staircase, making the square we are in.” Isabel tapped one of the walls and winked at me. “The rooms are made in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from the balcony room at the southern edge to one of the northern rooms that is mostly a walk-in closet. There are twelve students on the roster, so each of you will get your own room.”
I nodded, shifting my suitcase from my right hand to my left. “Thank you for taking the time to show me around, miss Grace.” I attempted to smile as she laughed.
Oh, just Isabel will do, miss Valentine. I really am too young for a title, no matter what Marion insists.” Isabel sighed, tucking a stand of hair behind her ear. “Though sometimes titles are inescapable... But this is a vacation! I should be able to leave titles at home. So how about this; you can call me Isabel, and I'll call you whatever you'd like. Because seriously, miss Grace and miss Valentine makes both of us sound old. And neither of us are at all that old.” Her voice flowed like a river, ageless and soothing.
I had already pinned Isabel Grace as a water elemental from the texture of her voice, and had gleaned from the memories riding her words that she was a leader among her people, despite her youth.
But I would wait until she told me about her life, if she ever told me.
I couldn't stop myself from learning about people through their voice, but I could try to ignore what I learned. I couldn't stop the Siren within, but I could keep it caged.
I tried to smile again, nodding once. “Okay... Isabel. You can call me Gale.”
I had decided that I wouldn't introduce myself as Nightingale if I could help it. Why had they named the school Nightingale High? Why not Richard High, or Siren High? My mother had said that this was the Siren Estate.
Isabel smiled again as she returned to the stairs. “Gale it is. If you need someone to talk to, fill free to come visit the infirmary.” Her voice gave me a detailed image of the infirmary, and the small room connected to it where Isabel would call home.
I let my smile drop as soon as her black-haired head disappeared down the spiral staircase. Shifting my suitcase back to my right hand, I picked a direction and started walking.
The western hall leading away from the stairs had some interesting carvings on the wall. I followed the carving of a beautiful ship on its journey along the wall, then frowned when the hall opened out to melt into what had to be the outer ring. There weren't very many windows on the second floor, and apparently no one had hired an electrician to give this place artificial lighting. But I found the lamplight fitting, the flickering flames causing the carvings to take on their own life I hadn't noticed in the hall.
I looked for the carving of the ship, and found that it had been joined by some half-human, half-bird carvings. I watched as the Sirens circled the ship, and led it towards a group of jagged rocks.
The final carving of the ship was wrecked on the rocks, half-sunk, with the Sirens perched on the edge of the crows-nest.
I knew what the scene was, and how that could easily be me. Yes, the Sirens depicted in the carving had purposefully led the ship to the rocks, but they had sang.
They hadn't held themselves back, placed others over their need to sing. They hadn't broken their Song, and forced it to drown itself in agony, pleading to be released, to spread its wings and fly.
Even now as I thought of it, my Song bubbled to my throat, painfully fighting against me for release. I clenched my teeth, fighting the Song and my heart. I ran down the the outer ring back to way I had come, my eyes starting to tear as the Song fought its way to my tongue, its sweetness filling my mouth.
I couldn't swallow it down, not after having caged it for so long.
A large carving of a bird, wings only slightly opened and it's beak open in song.
Carved onto a door, which would be a barrier between the rest of the school and my Song.
I barely noticed the feather pattern on the doorknob before my hand closed around it and turned. The door opened easily, and I ran into the room. I slammed the door shut and took a few steps into the now completely dark room, before collapsing to the floor.
My back arched, my head lifted upwards as the Song burst free on my lips.
The Song was of the victory that was freedom, and of the sorrow of imprisonment. It sang of darkness, and the frozen silence of misery. The numbness that filled the mind, until anger burned away the nothingness. The Song burned on my lips, crying its defiance and promising an ecstasy that only it could bring. It whispered of secrets that I didn't want to know, that I normally wouldn't want to know. But at the moment, I longed for them.
The Song was like a drug. Like the finest wine, the most valued and delicious fruit ever tasted. Once offered as a taste, twice cultivated the desire, and at thrice it becomes the lifeblood. I needed the Song more then oxygen, more then food and drink. I had been starving myself, and now basked within a feast of wordless melody.
I couldn't close my mouth, and shut out the Song.
And I didn't even want to.
It was what sustained me.
Without the Song, everything was a frozen darkness, with nothing but a slow, crippling, killing Silence. My mother was able to fight the Silence, but I couldn't.
I was too weak.
The Silence was too much for me.
And the Song too tempting to resist.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Superpowers x2

To want superpowers
1. So you can be a hero and save the day!
2. Everyday tasks become easier. No more hard to open pickle jars!
3. Flight, super strength, invisibility, the possibilities are endless for amazing powers!
4. With high intelligence, invulnerability, or super speed, you could become the best in your field of work.
5. Telepaths need not worry about someone keeping secrets from them.
6. Your friends and family will be a great aid for those times you need to feel normal.
7. Training will help to hone your powers into a fine tool.
8. People will be grateful for the help you provide.
9. Your powers will bring people comfort.
10. Superpowers make you unique.

To avoid gaining superpowers
1. Suddenly the world has become your duty to clean, while others keep making it messier.
2. Due to not knowing your limits, everything is now more difficult. Glass covered pickles, anyone?
3. Radioactivity, internal combustion, immortality without youth, the possibilities for horrible powers is unending.
4. Because of your abilities, you can never rise to the top of your field without a guilty conscious.
5. Most telepaths will soon lose touch with reality if they don't have an off switch. With all those voices in their head, how could they stay sane?
6. Family and friends will not be able to fully understand the troubles you face with your powers, unless they have powers as well.
7. Without training, your powers could be devastation waiting to strike.
8. People will blame you when things go wrong.
9. Your powers will cause fear in many.
10. Superpowers make you alone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From the world of Terrarth

Heart pounding, I raced through a fog covered forest; the sound of twigs snapping alerting my pursuers of my every move. I glanced over my shoulder, but couldn't see anything through the fog. My bare feet hurt, but I couldn't stop running. I didn't know who my pursuers were, but I knew that I had to run.
Run until one of two things happened.
I escaped, or they caught me.
Suddenly a broken branch appeared out the fog in my path. But before I realized the problem, my foot caught underneath the branch and my momentum sent me tumbling to the ground. Hastily pushing myself up, I tried to stand and cried out as pain shot through my ankle. Biting my lip, I fell to my knees and crawled. Then I felt someone kick my side; knocking me into a tree. Gasping for breath, I stared in the direction the kick had come from; searching for any sign of my attacker. Through the fog, I found cold, golden eyes retuning my stare.
Not knowing what else to do, I screamed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Blues

I must apologize for not posting a Ten Reasons last Friday.
Due to a bout of illness, I was unable to make the post.
I will attempt to make up for the missing post in this Friday's Ten Reasons.
Once again, my apologies.

Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kiss Goodbye

He flinched at the pain in her eyes, and knew that she would never forgive him for this.
I’m sorry, Holly. I cannot defy the laws of my father’s people.” He heard the dull ring in his normally teasing and slightly sarcastic voice, and knew that she couldn’t hear his anguish.
You don’t have to go back. I know how you feel about your father.” He looked in her grass green eyes, full of tears she refused to shed and the tiredness of the day.
He shook his head. “How I feel about my father has nothing to do with this. I have to go back.”
She didn’t understand what the choice was.
Return to his father’s people for the allotted time, or death.
But not his death.
She shook her head, then pushed a lock of black hair behind her ear.
This can’t be the only option.”
It is the only one that doesn’t force me to fight my nature. If I don’t leave now, then it will overwhelm me.”
Her shoulders shook, but no tears fell.
From the first floor came an infant’s cry that tore his heart to pieces. And roused a primal instinct.
The woman looked over the railing and down the open space in the center of the atrium’s spiral staircase. Then she looked back into his eyes, a small spark going out in her own.
He closed his eyes, forcing the beast within down. It fought, but was finally repelled.
For a few moments, at least.
Opening his eyes, he took three steps and covered the distance between them. He wrapped his arms tenderly around the woman, who had been his wife for two and a half years, and leaned in to kiss her.
The spark seemed to rekindle in her eyes for a moment. Then their lips met, and her eyes closed.
He put all of his love for her into the kiss, and all of his anguish.
Then he forced his body to dissolve into the air, slowly at first.
She didn’t notice when all that was left were his arms and face.
She didn’t notice his arms disappear.
He broke the kiss as his head dissolved into the air, and allowed himself a whisper.
Goodbye, my love.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

To make someone a gift

1. It is a way to share your talents.
2. A homemade gift will mean more then something from a store.
3. Just think of everything you could make! Food, bookmarks, blankets, or even a walking stick; the possibilities are up to you.
4. If you aren't a crafty  person, then you could write a letter. A handwritten note could make someone's day.
5. Pets enjoy homemade gifts as well. Give your cat that piece of tatting you made a few mistakes on, he or she will have fun with it.
6. The gift could be something they will use often, like a case for their reading glasses or a keyring.
7. Make something personal. You could use their favorite color or add their first initial.
8. Maybe they are a crafty person. If that is the case, then you could make them something to keep their crafts in, like a journal.
9. You could write them a short story. You could use them as the base for the protagonist, or set it in their hometown.
10. Remember with whatever you do, to make it with love.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Terrarth critters: Centaurs and Were-folk

A centaur waited at the crossroad deep within the Darkling Wood. His lower extremities were that of a blood bay stallion with black lower legs, while his torso was muscular, the olive skin of his chest visible underneath the patches of coarse black hair. The hair on his head was black, and grew like a mane down his back. The centaur's long pointed ears suggested that he had elvish blood, though his black eyes suggested differently. The centaur waited, his patience diminishing with each passing second.
Finally he heard the nearly silent sound of feet coming towards him. A moment later, a pale man emerged from the woods. The man was tall with white hair that was cropped short. He was dressed simply, in a plain white shirt and dark pants.
“Your messenger said you had some information I would find intriguing.” The centaur said, his voice colored with a tone of boredom as he studied the king of the were-folk.
The centaur heard the sound of paws moving through the undergrowth of the forest, surrounding the area. The king's guard still didn't trust a lone centaur, even when taking into account that the were-king could easily win any fight once shifted to his more feral half.
The king's completely black eyes narrowed disapprovingly as he spoke. “Yes, but this particular bit of information comes at great cost.”
The centaur frowned, but reached for the leather purse hanging from his belt. “How much?”
The were-king smiled, touching his fingertips together. “Twenty-five thousand gold.”
The centaur glared at the were-king, but kept his voice calm.
“Now what kind of information could be worth twenty-five thousand? I'll give you fifteen thousand.”
The were-king smiled and shook his head. “You don't want it enough, Milcarek. Twenty thousand.” The centaur named Milcarek glared angrily at the were-king.
They may have been friends for some time, but there were still times when the were-king would slip into a more kingly attitude.
“Seventeen thousand. Take it or leave it, Ranulf.”
The were-king thought for a moment, then growled in agreement. “The money first, then you'll receive the information.”
Milcarek frowned, pawing the ground with one foreleg. “Now Ranulf, you know the deal. Information, and then the money.” Ranulf frowned slightly, a low rumble emerging from his throat as the were-king began to lose patience, and with it, control.
“A human girl appeared at the edge of our northern border. She's moving north, with only a dog and a knife as protection.”
Milcarek hummed thoughtfully at the information as he tossed the purse to Ranulf. The were-king caught it, and made a quick inspection of its contents. Satisfied, the were-king tucked the purse away. “As always, it's been a pleasure.” Without another word, Ranulf turned and walked into the woods, fading away without a trace.

The centaur listened to the faint footfalls change to something almost like a wolf paws, then disappear completely into the silence of Darkling Wood.
Turning towards the north-western fork of the crossroad, the centaur began down it at a smooth trot. His mind was accompanied by the thoughts of the human girl.
A human, in Terra!
It was an insane notion, one that both excited and terrified Milcarek. Humans in Terra were incredibly rare, and the psych leaders, the Council, normally captured any before they let it be known that a new human had appeared.
But now one had appeared within Darkling Wood, and he was certain that the Council hadn't gotten word about the girl yet.
But it was only a matter of time.
Ranulf may have come to him with the information first, but the were-king knew what kind of power knowledge of the human could bring, and the were-folk were a power-hungry species.
Their monarchy was a perfect example of their lust for power.
Like a pack of beasts, they would fight, often to the death, to settle disputes and kingship.
But Ranulf was wiser then his predecessors, and knew that the best way to keep allies was by dealing with them yourself.
And sharing important information was a good tactic for keeping those allies on your side.
The centaur stopped walking and turned south. Letting out an eerie whistle, he allowed a smile to form as a low, moaning howl sounded in the distance.
The call had been answered.

Friday, December 2, 2011

When feeling under the weather...

1. Grab a good book. It may help to comfort you between sneezes.
2. If you have one, cuddle with your cat. A pet can help you feel better.
3. Write how you are feeling. The notes could possibly be used later for a scene.
4. Eat some soup, for it is tasty and warms the belly.
5. Work on an unfinished project; you might be able to complete it.
6. Create a cocoon of blankets and re-watch a favorite movie or show.
7. If you can't keep your eyes open, then take a nap. It might be all the medicine you need.
8. Do some work. Exercise is good, so long as you don't over do it.
9. Check in on a family member or friend. They might also need a friendly conversation.
10. Smile. Being sad won't help you feel better, so turn that frown around!