I've been having a really good week. The anxiety monsters have been grumbling rather than roaring, my therapy appointment was really positive for the realizations I had in the weeks since my previous session, and writing has been going well for me. I actually had my most productive writing day in literal months earlier this week.
Today, however, today... <heavy sigh>
Anxiety: nothing unmanageable. And my mood is uncharacteristically bubbly, so not depression. I can't even call it brain fog because everything is pretty clear. And interesting. And cool to look at. And neat to think about. And what was I doing again? Oh, that's right, telling you there's an army of ADHD squirrels where my brain should be.
Have I had days like this before? Yes. Are they bad days usually? No. I just haven't had one in a long time and
W O W
there is no end to the distractions, or the distractions to the distractions for what I originally got distracted from. These days are usually good because I really have no choice but to be in the moment while my anxiety honestly is just running behind yelling incomprehensible things at every squirrel that darts past it about "danger" and "consequences" and "being careful", but the squirrels are too fast and none of them stop to listen.
But, friends? I dropped my kids off at school this morning and, after getting my oldest to her door, stopped to talk with one of her friends that I like and who wanted to tell me something and my oldest starting walking away and I was confused and then SLAM! Oh yeah! Gotta take the youngest to her door, too... <face palm> I mean, the kids got to school on time and to the right doors, but those moments are going to be my whole day. (Also, yes, this is probably a hormone thing - my ovaries are poly-cystic. This is one of the positive impacts of growing a new cyst... yay? Lol)
Think I'm just going to do some editing and let this random head space work itself through. And write. And clean the house while keeping the computer on. :D Have a great weekend!
3. A Smoldering Assembly
“Well, well, well… how inconspicuous,” the winged thing taunted the Elves. “A blazing fire in the dark.”
“It’s not our fire,” the mother snipped back.
“Of course not,” he replied, landing with a swish of wings that stirred up a spiral of hot embers and sparks tall enough for Draessellor to see above the hill cliff he was climbing around.
“Hey!” the daughter yelped. Draessellor tasted the next breeze and discovered traces of burned leaves, fabric, skin and hair. He crested the path to see the mother draw a blade against the aggressor who had just showered her offspring with hot ashes.
“Oh, please do!” the winged thing smiled, his pointed teeth reflecting the stirred up firelight as he drew his own sword and squared off to begin circling with the mother and daughter.
Draessellor hefted his knife from his belt and flicked it down, stabbing the ground nearby the fire, directly between the combatants. The heavy thud of it sinking deeply into the roots of the tree made the statement clearly of his approach. All three glanced at the blade and then stared out at the dark in the direction the knife had flown from. Draessellor knew it would be fun to simply pause so that they wouldn’t see his motion, but didn’t want his fire put out because of their squabble. The Elves sheathed their weapons first in spite of the winged thing seeing him walking down the hill before they did.
“Oh,” the winged thing stated, frowning as if he’d just smelled something awful. “You’re here,” he added as Draessellor got close enough to see. “That explains the stupidity of a fire.”
“Don’t you have a mountain to hang off of and screech at travelers from?” the mother asked the winged thing.
“How original. Did you manage to think that up yourself?”
Draessellor walked between the squabble, ignoring it because the winged thing and Elves all backed quickly out of what they thought was his striking distance. He retrieved his knife and checked it in case the careless handling had caused the blade to strike a stone. Luckily the only difference on the blade since he drew it was the addition of some sap and some dirt.
“Well then, ancient snake, how have you been keeping?” the winged thing smirked the question, straightening his light armor after stumbling during his recent retreat. Draessellor ignored him because that wasn’t a name he answered to. He crouched down, facing the fire, and took what he needed from his kit to clean the knife properly.
“I collected more firewood for you, old lizard.” The young Elf had obviously been prompted by her mother, but she was trying her best to sound polite. The winged thing was sneering out a laugh at the young Elf’s expense as Draessellor looked at both the Elf and the restocked wood pile.
“You selected good timbers. Thank you.”
Her mother relaxed visibly and nodded slightly when her daughter looked to her for guidance of how to accept the minuscule compliment.
“I got you firewood,” the winged thing mimicked in a squeaky voice before the Elf could say anything else.
“Respect is earned through deed,” the mother chastised.
“I’m a Celestial Being. Everyone respects me because –”
“Half,” Draessellor interrupted. “You’re half Celestial. You inherited the look of your father without any of his wisdom,” he added before the winged thing could continue bragging. The winged thing glared at him in surly silence.
The Elves sat together at the fire’s edge, the mother checking that the daughter’s new burns were slight. She loudly instructed her daughter for how to best maim or kill the flying thing either during or after killing the target Human. The winged thing hunched across the flames from them and interjected insults whenever he could, which was often because he believed being clever made up for being unwise. Draessellor cleaned his knife meticulously, sharpened it while he had it out, and tidied his things back into his kit so that he could begin working on the gift he was going to make for his friend. The winged thing sprang back from the fire and stumbled to his feet a short distance away.
“Five stars of… is that a Giant Poisonous Viper skull?” the winged thing demanded, staring out at the night fearfully.
“I don’t know. I didn’t ask,” Draessellor replied.
He scored the skull deeply with his claws in the general shape that he wanted the finished hilt to have, making certain that any splinters from breaking it wouldn’t make it too small, then gripped it in both hands and snapped off the pieces he was planning to discard. The part he was left with was larger than what he’d wanted, but that was better than too small to fit the fang properly into.
The winged thing fled to a stand of nearby trees for the night, keeping himself off the ground and well away from more vipers. The younger Elf swallowed hard as Draessellor used his thumb claws to begin whittling the hilt. She didn’t say anything to interrupt him though, which made for company that was more pleasant than expected. He picked up one of the larger, useless pieces and sucked at the marrow as he worked, the rough shape of the hilt smoothing into something that he would be able to easily work on beside the fire. The skull bone was thick enough to add an engraving detail, as well, if he could think up something that his friend might find attractive.
After a while the Elves set out bedrolls and tucked into them. They slept lightly so Draessellor didn’t move around much out of respect that they needed sleep more often than every few days. A crow popped in very early in the morning, circled the fire once before dropping a note into Draessellor’s hand, and then popped back out again. The scrap of paper was small and smelled of his friend. There were only two words on it, and that she thought to send them was a kindness he didn’t expect. Both Elves were staring at the note when he swiveled an eye to check their statuses so, because Ceil’s simple ‘Thank you’ didn’t concern them or require their knowledge, he burned it.
He was happy with his progress on the little hilt. It was small enough for a Human hand now, but the edges were likely too rough to feel comfortable against his friend’s soft skin. He wrapped it into the same cloth as the better of all the fangs and tucked the package into his kit.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!