Whoops! It's 12:13 am now, so technically Sunday and I'm late getting this done.
Let's see... updates... Not much. Hubby is working nights six days a week, so we communicate by grocery list. He's still our designated Leave The House Guy for groceries and supplies, which he does Sunday morning before going to bed for the day because it's easier for him to head out after having dinner than it is for me to load up the kids and attempt shopp- DON'T TOUCH THAT -ing.
My oldest is a night owl and had worked her sleep schedule around to line up with her dad's working sleep schedule. So, I guess she's a vampire now? But a fancy vampire, because fashion, so that would make her a vampyre.
I convinced her to start working back toward sleeping at night as there's only 4 weeks until school starts and our Provincial Premier made the call that schools will reopen as normal... I'm not looking forward to the enforced schedule of early mornings.
Oh, and there's that pandemic thing still happening. I'm pretty angry about forcing teachers and students into classrooms with zero support, after cuts to staffing and custodial services this summer, while a virus with known deadly consequences and unknown long-term effects and which aerosols in enclosed buildings remains prominent in our province, at a time when our "leadership" is fighting with doctors and attempting to force them out of the province.
The mandatory mask order is great, but I doubt my soon-to-be Grade 1 student will be in a class of high compliance 6-year-olds. I can get her to wear hers, I think (face it: kids at school are not the same personalities as kids at home), but I'm not in charge of other people's kids and our classrooms are overcrowded. It's a sad feeling to wonder if my child's teacher will die this year, or if my kids will have to live with life-long lung and/or brain damage. Or if my kids will have to live on without one or both parents. Especially, it's a sad feeling that all the talk and surveys around safe reopening which happened at the end of June resulted in the method "leadership" chose being None Of The Above.
Needless to say, my anxiety has been a larger-than-usual monster eating my brain. Couple that up with the ongoing ouch in my hands / wrists, and it was a surprise of dumbfounding proportions that I got some writing done on Friday. Small scenes, all in my big manuscript, but it was writing and it felt good. It still feels good! There's more that needs to get out of my head and into my computer, but the small step of getting some of the words out was awesome. Hope you're staying safe and healthy this weekend!
5. Moving Pieces
A chair she hadn’t noticed spun out from the wall in a puff of dust and slammed to a stop just behind Lydo, catching him perfectly as his legs faltered. He slumped into it as if furniture racing to assist people was entirely normal.
“Your father is still alive?” he asked, voice trembling and his face flushing as if he’d been taken with a sudden fever.
Gabby swallowed hard, suddenly remembering very well the stories of consequences doled out in retaliation for unsettling sorcerers, and nodded agreement. Lydo buried his face in his hands and rocked full body, the chair creaking under his shifting weight.
“This is bad. This is so bad,” he intoned as a mutter before slouching back dramatically. “My dad was imprisoned when they found out he hadn’t stayed to ensure you were dead. But your dad still being alive…? And they didn’t know? This is so much worse.” He stood from the chair and started pacing. “Wait,” he said, stopping and spinning to face Gabby. “And you have a younger half-brother?”
“Gabrick, yes,” she answered quietly.
He groaned loudly and the chair scooted half the distance toward him. It stopped when he resumed pacing. “What am I going to do? Wait, though, why didn’t they know?” He asked the second question toward Gabby, as if she would knew the answer. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Who are ‘they’?” Gabby asked carefully.
“The ones who write the Wrote. They’re the ones who know,” he said, as if that explained anything.
“Except you just said they didn’t know.”
“I know! It doesn’t make sense, does it. They should have known, but they didn’t. How could they not know, though?” He spun back into pacing. “Well, now I know, but that means there are actually three untied endings not just you.”
“I suppose, except…”
“Except?” he asked hopefully, half the library away and pausing to stare at her as if she might have an answer after all.
Gabby chose her words with utmost caution. “My father has taken ill in his old age, and is right now attempting to incite war between my brother and I.” She tapped a finger to the second line of the Wrote.
“But your family trait is porting. Why incite war when he could just port in, kill some key people, and start one?”
Her father’s earlier visit tonight raced through her mind. “He enjoys the power of creating the war rather than being the cause of it,” she replied.
“What’s the point of creating a war between his own children, though? Especially with his own lands and people positioned right in the middle of where the conflict would occur?”
“He’s dying, and wants proof through victory that is successor will be a strong Liege.”
“Oh. But by pitting his own children against each other and with so many lands and tribes in the middle of it? That’s… vile.” Lydo frowned at the internal dialogue running through his mind. “You’ve of course ported to your brother and discussed this war idea amicably to ensure it doesn’t happen though, right?”
“No,” she admitted. “We signed an agreement when he came to power over his mother’s people that we would never port to each other. Our father uses porting as a –” she paused, hesitating over how to continue.
“He abuses porting, and you two agreed not to do that to each other so you could build trust,” Lydo interrupted.
“Yes.” Gabby nodded, relieved she didn't have to explain after all.
“So, you’re the Liege of your mother’s people, and your brother is the Liege of his mother’s people, so aside from your father’s instigations what is there to even start a war for?”
“My father’s holdings.”
Lydo scoffed. “Those are barely worth a brawl,” he muttered.
“Yes,” she said. “Which is why I’m not engaging in the war,” she continued. Lydo’s eyes narrowed but he remained silent. Gabby lost the silent battle against telling him the plan she hadn’t even yet shared with her commanders. “My brother’s people have a negligible military. I’ve amassed an army for the purpose of occupying my father’s lands and lying siege on his capital until he dies. It will stop him from invading my lands under the guise of offering my brother support, and prevent him from invading my brother’s lands under the guise of supporting me.”
“What if he doesn’t die quickly? Or his own military slows or stops your advance? This plan of yours could create a lot of unnecessary bloodshed among your father’s people and your own, beyond just marching there and establishing a siege.”
Gabby shifted uneasily and stared at the parchment page she was fidgeting with.
“No way,” Lydo said, his tone slightly awed. “Do you have that much power?”
She shrugged one shoulder and then nodded to the positive. "I practiced with our fleet of fishing ships," she said, still not looking up.
“What about your brother? Can he… no, of course not. You having that kind of strength, it must have come from your mother’s side. From…”
Gabby lifted her eyes in silent question, watching him as he decided whether or not to continue.
“From our side,” he said. “Your mother was my father’s cousin. She must have had dormant power, or the marriage never would have been arranged. My dad must have suspected, or else he wouldn’t have tried to stop the wedding.”
A chair slammed to a stop behind her legs and Gabby dropped into it as if she’d just been punched. The memory of her mother’s family crest wavering between Lashiss and the elder Dorgand that night after her mother had vowed to leave and hide away with Gabby, she’d thought she’d imagined it. But, if her mother did have sorcerer magic, and really was one of the legendary Magiks…? Gabby’s thoughts dissolved into chaos.
Lydo regained her attention by clearing his throat politely. “Do you… do you really think your plan will work? Can you hold the siege against the capital for long enough?”
She tried to pull her exploded focus about her mother back into control and regain enough order in her mind to answer the questions he’d just asked. “Holding the capitol? Yes. As long as I can get trustworthy word to Rick, to my brother, so he knows what I’m doing and why before my father’s assassin gets to me. After my father is dead, Rick and I can decide how to deal with his holdings once we’ve spoken to all his tribal leaders, Generals and advisors. We can arrange peace negotiations between all three holdings after those lands have a Liege,” she answered woodenly.
“When were you going to make your move?”
“I expected to move in three weeks. I need to be certain of getting word to and from my brother.”
Lydo tapped his foot, lightning sparking around his toe, and then he began to pace again. “What if I deal with the assassin and then take word to your brother? It would only take me a few days at most, working around all those ‘Dorgand is walking’ tales and rumors,” he said, making his voice mockingly booming for the ‘Dorgand is walking’ part. “Nobody would argue with a sorcerer’s message delivery being trustworthy,” he added with a wry smile.
A weekly blog updating on Saturdays 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!