WARNING! Lengthy story!
This is 2766 words of rubbish that I made to express what grief feels like to my Dungeons & Dragons character, Trym... and to me as well. It's a long piece, and I just wanted to wanted to warn you of that so you are prepared to grab something to drink while you read!
Other stories to also read: Two Blades (another story about this same character!), Thank You For Loving Me, Annaka & Arden
Darkness enveloped the world like a dark blanket. Pale mists swirled from unseen places and wrapped themselves around a Halfling, whipping at her, making her blink her sharp green eyes as it tangled her long golden hair around her neck and face.
The mists whispered, their words jumbled and overlapping one another. Only a few words and names stood out to the Halfling. With each name she heard, she experienced pain, such pain that she could barely breathe or stand.
The mists hissed the name of her father, who she had lost so long ago, then the name of her first teacher, who had died only a few years ago.
Trym grabbed her head, her fingers groping at her scalp, pulling at her hair. She stumbled a few steps as her vision tilted one way, then the other, overcome by the throbbing pain.
The mists wiggled between her fingers, sinking into her ears. They whispered the name of her dearest cousin, a cleric who had suffered a fate worse than death before ultimately succumbing to death itself.
“Enough! Stop it!” Trym swiped at the mists as more pain pounded inside her skull.
The mists grew thicker around the Halfling, tugging, clawing, and biting at her before saying one final name.
Trym opened her eyes.
The mists repeated the name in a cruel, mocking tone. It was her mother’s name.
The dark world turned red in Trym’s eyes. Her hands clenched into fists. Her muscles grew taut and began to quake.
“I said…” She grit her teeth together and drew her arms in close to her chest, red light glowing in her fists, “ENOUGH!” She threw her arms open. An explosion of red light burst out from her entire body, burning the mists, making them shrivel and fall to the dark ground in liquid puddles. There, they twitched and writhed before standing up and taking on humanoid shapes.
One was a blue half-dragon. Trym barreled up to the beast and took a swing at him. Before her fists connected with him, he sneered and disappeared in a puff of smoke. She snarled like an animal and spun around, watching another mist rise up and take the shape of a cultist woman in purple robes. Trym charged the woman and jumped into the air, arms open, ready to grapple her and choke the life out of her. Just like the half-dragon, the woman smiled and disappeared, leaving Trym to fall to the ground, empty-handed.
“Awww… the little paladin can’t catch her quarry? Struggling to fit into your own armor, I see. What a pity.” A masculine voice sounded from the darkness. Trym vaguely remembered the voice, but could not place it. It stirred burning hatred inside her. “I know! The church has been too tough on you, expecting you to haul in fish that are too large, if you know what I mean. Let’s try something easier, shall we?”
One of the mists stood up and took on the form of a sour-faced old man Trym recognized as Nix Stonehill. How she disliked him! In fact, as she stared at him, she felt anger well up in her chest and turn to hatred. She opened her mouth, unleashing a bestial roar that turned into a burning wall of fire. The old man’s eyes went wide just before the wall slammed into him, punching him backward. He slammed into something, then crumbled into a smoldering heap on the floor where he did not move again.
Trym winced as more pain bit at her temples. Why had she done that? She didn’t really hate that crabby old man.
The voice laughed. “Well done! That was easy. Let’s try another one!”
Trym whirled around and watched as another mist took the form of a dwarf paladin she knew: Onthar Frume. Once again, anger welled up inside of Trym, this time turning into a burning rage. It boiled inside her, coursing through her veins, making the red world turn a shade darker. A dragon-like roar erupted from her mouth before she charged the paladin. With each step she took, she grew several feet taller until she was towering several feet over the dwarf.
Frume fell into a defensive crouch, raising a shield, but he could not stand against the monster Trym had become. She beat her giant fiery fists against him relentlessly, one right after the other, her knuckles ringing on his armor like a hammer on steel, the force of her blows crumbling his shield into scrap. Finally, he fell to the ground, arm broken. But Trym couldn’t stop herself. She beat him until he was little more than a bloodied pile of broken bones.
As he died, pain exploded in Trym’s chest, like a red hot sword piercing through her. She stumbled back and groped at her heart with a gasp. She stared at the broken paladin lying on the ground, terror rushing through her at the sight of what she’d done.
She didn’t hate Onthar! He was a decent dwarf that she respected. Why had she killed him?
The voice laughed. “Oh, that was fun! Feeling that energy rushing through you? The terror and excitement? Let’s try something a little more exciting!”
The darkness bent, then shifted, tendrils branching out from it. They pierced a twitching pool of mist and mixed together until they formed into an older man wearing the red robes of a wizard.
“Gaku…” Trym snarled, her hatred returning and coming to a full boil.
The wizard spread his hands with a smile. “Come and get me!” With that, he shifted into the form of the young boy, Connite, the smile remaining on his lips.
Trym stared at him, teeth grit, rage pulsing burning her insides. She clenched her fists, then unclenched them, her muscles quaking as she struggled with both the urge to kill and her sympathy for the boy. She knew it really wasn’t Connite, but it wasn’t right for her to murder him.
“Trym… don’t do it.” She turned her head and looked at Alvin, her monk friend. “Con is my friend.”
“Oh, come on! I’m right here! Poke me!” The wizard’s voice came from Connite’s mouth. “You know you want it.”
“Let’s think about this for a moment, Trym, before we do anything rash.” Aldrik, the dwarf cleric, appeared on her other side, raising his mace and shield defensively.
“Why does everything we do turn into such a mess? I don’t like this!” Robin walked up behind the cleric, folding her arms, staring disapprovingly at Trym.
“I mean, he’s a kid, Trym. We don’t actually kill kids, do we?” Kale hurried up to Alvin’s side, looking at the monk and shrugging, “I mean, do we?”
“How could you even begin to consider such a heinous thing? He’s just a boy!” Acodo appeared next to Robin, weaving his hands in preparation for a spell.
“This is low, even for you Shortstuff.” Trym’s good friend, Toralei, stepped up to Alvin’s side, folding her arms and narrowing a tiger-like glare at Trym.
“Your friends are noble, but so naïve,” the wizard crooned, “They mistook me in the caravan for a simple old wizard. Some actually thought me an ally when I spoke up in your defense once! You let me slip right through your fingers, because of your noble, lawful little friends. Now, I’m offering you a free shot.” Connite’s form smiled and spread his arms, “Come on! Give me your best! Anything has got to be better than what your mother or cousin gave me! They were a disappointment on so many levels.”
Something snapped inside Trym, unleashing an ocean of rage. She roared as the wizard laughed, then charged, not caring what innocent guise he took or who stood in her way.
“No Trym!” All of her friends converged on her at the same time, tangling themselves around her feet and slowing her down.
The wizard laughed as Trym grabbed her friends in her giant hands and hauled them into the air. She raised them above her head and aimed them at her enemy.
Suddenly, a bright flash of light pierced the darkness, blinding Trym. Searing pain bit at her muscles, making her drop to her knees and release the deadly hold she hand on her friends.
“That is enough, young lady!” A familiar feminine voice shouted.
A blast of harsh wind slammed into Trym, pelting her with rocks and sticks. She bowed low and covered her head, crying out.
As quickly as it came, the wind faded. The whispers of the mist were replaced by the songs of birds.
Trym opened her eyes and saw lush green grass under her. She sat up and blinked as the light of dawn burned her eyes. She sat in the middle of a small garden, under a beautiful mimosa tree. Surrounding the garden were rolling green hills filled with all manner of flowers and wildlife.
“Well I never! Did beating the pulp out of everyone make you feel any better?”
Trym stood and spun around, coming face-to-face with an older Halfling woman. Her curly honey hair glinted with traces of silver and her green eyes were narrowed at Trym accusingly.
“Well? What do you have to say for yourself?” She put her hands on her hips and tapped her bare foot on the ground.
A lump formed in Trym’s throat, her eyes stinging. “Momma?”
Her mother huffed and grabbed her apron, wiping her hands on it. “Trym, I taught you better manners than this. What did any of those people ever do to deserve such a temper tantrum?”
Trym glanced around herself, then back at her mother. “I… I...”
Her mother spiked an eyebrow, frown deepening. “The answer is nothing. You are just out of control.” She walked away to a bare patch in the garden, picking up a trowel and using it to dig a hole where she placed a petunia. “This isn’t the way I raised you!”
Trym clenched her fists, “If ya had yer way, I would be stuck in a cozy hole in the ground with a fat husband and a mess of wee ones runnin’ about while I tilled a garden and worked in the kitchen all tha live-long day!” She unclenched her hands and shuddered, realizing she had slipped into an old, pointless argument she used to have with her mother regularly.
Her mother sighed, “Stop using that ridicules Dwarfish accent! Just because you have dwarvin blood doesn’t mean you can talk like you crawled out of a dark hole in a mountainside! Speak properly.” She turned around to peer at Trym. “And the same goes for your manners lately. Whatever happened to good old fashion Halfling curtesy? The little folk don’t go around starting fights. They might finish them, but they never start them. You’ve been doing just the opposite. It’s downright improper and embarrassing.”
Trym felt her lip tremble. She glanced up and around, trying to bring herself under control, but all she could think about was how perfect the garden was and how much she missed her momma. Before she could stop it, cruel sobs tore past her throat and a torrent of tears flooded from her eyes.
Her mother’s eyes went wide with horror, “Trym! Trym darling, what is the matter?” She dropped her trowel and hurried up to her daughter, “Whatever could make my stoic paladin girl cry her eyes out?”
“I love you, momma. I never told you how much I loved you.” Trym covered her face with her hands as the sobs refused to show her mercy. “Only now do I realize how pointless my priorities were before. I wish I had spent more time with you in the garden. I wish I had listened to you talk during teatime, instead of arguing with you. I wish I had read more of the books you wanted me to read. I took you for granted!” Her mother wrapped her into a comforting embrace and guided her to a little bench where they both sat. She rubbed Trym's back and held her close until the sobbing had quieted some.
“There now, Dawnbringer. No sense in crying your heart out for spilled milk, eh?”
“You aren’t spilled milk! You’re my mother and I want you back!”
A sharp pinch in the elbow made Trym look at her mother, blinking the tears from her eyes just in time to see that warm, comforting smile she missed so much.
“Everyone passes on, Trym. You couldn’t keep me forever. Punishing those around you because you feel empty without your loved one is no way to live, and it’s downright selfish. You need to let me go.”
Trym wiped her sleeve across her dripping eyes. “I don’t want to. I never stopped to tell you how much I loved you. You were gone in the blink of an eye. I want to make it right.”
Her mother stroked a strand of Trym’s hair behind her ear. “You never made it wrong to have to make it right, sweet one. I never doubted that you loved me. Not once. I saw it in the quiet moments when you thought I wasn’t watching. Remember the time you secretly planted wild iris around my picket fence to make it pretty for my birthday? Or when you gave me your salary instead of using it to fix your armor? And that time you got me a new tea kettle when my old one was stolen? It was the little things that meant the most to me.”
“Oh. Well… I have to confess… the tea kettle wasn’t exactly new...” Trym sniffed and wiped her sleeve under her nose.
“For heaven’s sake, girl! Where is your handkerchief?” Her mother admonished as she pulled out her own lacy handkerchief and pressed it into Trym’s hand.
“What am I gonna do without you, momma?” Trym’s lip trembled as she spoke.
Her mother laughed softly, “Get your own handkerchief, I hope!”
Trym reached out and grabbed her mother’s warm hand, holding it tightly. “I feel lost without you.”
Her mother’s smile grew and she placed her hands on Trym’s cheeks. “All these years, as you’ve blazed your own trails, you’ve had your family right there with you. Now, you’ve finally set out on an adventure without your cousin tagging along or your mother coming to find you. You have to find support from others now, from friends, not family. Setting out on your own is a scary thing, and goodness knows that asking for help has never been your strength, but it’s about time you learned how to fly without me there to hold your kite strings.” She leaned forward and planted a lingering kiss on Trym’s forehead, “Now, close your eyes.”
Trym did as she was told, reaching out and resting her hands on her mother’s shoulders.
“I’m in a good place, Trym. I’m happy and safe. I love you and I am proud of you. Now, with this knowledge, I want you to go and show the world what I’ve always known: that you, my daughter, are amazing.”
Trym felt her mother slowly fade away from beneath her hands. “I love you, momma.”
She could feel the warm glow of her mother’s smile fill her heart, even as she woke to the dark ceiling of her room in the Yawning Portal Inn. She rolled over and saw her bard friend, Robin, sleeping peacefully on the other bed near the door.
Trym sat up, wiped the tears and sleep from her eyes, then wrapped her blanket around her shoulders and curled up at the head of her bed. She stared out the window beside her, watching as the pale light of dawn brightened outside world. Her mind wandered to those last precious moments she had with her mother. She wasn’t sure if it had been real, or only a dream, but it was exactly what she had needed. In her attempt to ignore the pain and deny her loss, she had taken her grief out on everyone around her and left her heart broken and empty. Now it was time to come to terms with the fact that she had lost someone dear and fill the empty space with the sweet memories. The process would hurt, but it would make her a better person.
Trym smiled as she thought about these things, peace filling her soul. As she crawled out of bed and dressed for the day, she remembered something her mother had once told her. It was something she had brushed aside, only now realizing the wisdom behind it: Death is not the end of life, but a part of it. It only becomes a tragedy if the living let it destroy what’s inside of them.
“FOR LATHANDER!” An old dwarf woman roared from the back of a wagon, her voice carrying over the din of battle. She swiped her gleaming greatsword through the air, taking off the head of a Cyric fanatic climbing onto the vehicle. She whirled around and took off another head before turning to her squire and glaring at her.
“Don’t just stand there like a barrel of elf wine, Oakstone! Use yer sword, or fall on it!”
Trym’s shaky hands groped for her shortsword. The only thought running through her mind was how unprepared she was for this. Why hadn’t she paid more attention in class? Why hadn’t she spent more time on the training grounds? Why couldn’t it have been goblins? She was fresh out of the school. She wasn’t ready to destroy a human life yet. She wasn’t ready for hers to be threatened.
“Ya move like molten rock, girl… MOVE!” The old dwarf grabbed Trym by her small, Halfling shoulders, and whirled her around.
The dwarf woman froze and grunted. Trym watched in horror as her teacher’s eyes became hazy, her mouth falling open, the air driven from her body.
The dwarf grunted again as a sword tip punched through her chest.
A man dressed in black, wearing a grinning mask, stood up behind the dwarf. “That’s right, Dawnlord. Die like the dog you are.” He twisted the sword sticking through her.
Rage coursed through Trym. She stood and slashed her blade across the mask, breaking through it and cutting into the man’s flesh.
He screamed and leaned back, losing his footing and tumbling from the wagon. As a last ditch effort to maintain his balance, he grabbed Trym’s sword, but she turned it lose and let him fall to the ground where he was trampled under the hooves of a warhorse.
“Trym…” the old dwarf woman grabbed Trym’s small hand and pushed the oversized hilt of her greatsword into it, “Take Cultbane, lass… show them… the light… where it don’t shine.” She smirked, then slumped to the bottom of the wagon, eyes staring blankly at the sky.
Trym paused running her whetstone down Cultbane’s edge. She focused on the dwarfish runes engraved on its blade, a nostalgic smile turning up the corner of her lips.
Today is a good day for someone else to die. Is what they said.
Her first paladin master, Dawnlord Sorsha Flaskgranite, told her that Cultbane had been passed down a long line of dwarf warriors with “great senses of humor”. That line sadly ended when she died protecting Trym. It was something that had haunted the Halfling for a long time. No matter how much that thought haunted her, though, Trym loved Cultbane. Not only was it a piece of master craftsmanship, and an heirloom to boot, but it was her first sword given to her by her first teacher. That would always be special to her.
“A kind teacher guides you by the hand. A good teacher opens your mind. A great teacher leaves an impression on your heart forever.”
Trym’s nostalgic mood melted away, a dark cloud crossing over her face. Her eyes swiveled down to the ground beside her where another greatsword rested. It probably was not as old as Cultbane, but it was far more powerful… and intelligent.
“I don’t need daily proverbs like doses of medicine, thank you.”
Trym looked away from the sword as unwelcome memories came to her mind.
“Whew! That’s the last of them!”
A young human cleric dropped her hands to her side with a sigh, watching as a zombie fell motionless on the floor.
“Well done Mellona and Tasker. You handled that very well.” Trym nodded at the young lady, then at a young man who was also wearing the robes of a cleric.
The lad beamed at her and rolled his shoulders, “Zom-body never saw us coming!” He blew across his hands and rubbed them together.
Trym groaned and rolled her eyes.
“Curious that the Dawnlord herself wasn’t disturbed.” Mellona pointed at a decayed body lying on a table in the center of the massive tomb.
Trym looked at it, running her eyes appraisingly over the still shining plate armor and gleaming sword lying on the paladin’s chest. “Aye. Have a point there, lassie. Maybe we should do something about that…”
Three young paladin pushed zombie bodies off their swords before good naturedly punching one another in the shoulders.
“You were so scared.”
“Look who’s talking! I couldn’t hear anything over the shaking of your boots!”
Trym rolled her eyes again, lowering Cultbane to the floor, “Okay, okay. Put the good zombies back in their resting places, if you please. Then let’s be sure the Dawnlord stays dead.”
The paladin set to work, hauling bodies and bones from the floor and nestling them back into their hovels carved into the walls of the giant tomb.
The two young clerics struggled to lift one body, Mellona gagging as she grabbed the legs.
“Curse Cyric, they stink!”
Tasker grinned, “I’m not saying your perfume is too strong, miss zombie. I’m just saying the canary was alive before you walked in.”
Mellona snorted, then dropped the body, throwing her head back and laughing.
Trym grinned, but quickly wiped it off, “Okay, very funny, but wholly inappro…”
Suddenly, with a flash of steel, Tasker’s head went tumbling to the floor.
Mellona stumbled backward, batting at Tasker’s spraying blood. She looked down at his body, her face going white with shock. Her mouth fell open in a scream.
Trym lifted her sword just as the girl’s scream came to an abrupt halt. She watched as Mellona fell to her knees, hands clamped around her throat, ichor spilling between her fingers. She looked at Trym, her eyes full of fear, helplessness, and pleading.
“Yer not getting off that easy, lass!” Trym rushed toward the girl, lowering Cultbane and reaching out a hand to heal her.
Suddenly, the world turned red. Excruciating pain bit into Trym’s face. She felt her body lift into the air and tumble backwards. She fell to the dusty floor of the tomb and gasped. Instead of air, she inhaled thick, sticky blood. She gagged and coughed, gasped for another breath, but only choked on more blood. She opened her eyes and blinked as a curtain of scarlet washed over her left lid, burning it and blinding her. She spit, clearing her throat and finally taking in a breath of air.
She angled her face toward Mallona, and her heart broke into a thousand pieces when she saw the young lady lying on the floor, eyes blank, face ghostly white, amber hair drenched in blood.
A shadow fell over her and she looked up to see the sleeping Dawnlord’s blade flying through the air on its own. Runes pulsed brightly with a white light down its blade and on its pommel. It expertly attacked the three paladin, sweeping wide, making the three back up to avoid its deadly edge. It swung around and sped toward Trym, the tip aiming for her heart.
Trym cut Cultbane through the air just in the nick of time, averting the other blade. She flinched as it struck the marble wall next to her, causing sparks.
“Trym!” One of the other paladin ran up and slapped his sword against the blade, knocking it aside. The blade righted itself and parried his next blow, then cut off his arm, followed by a leg, and then his head, all before his body had hit the floor.
“No!” Trym staggered to her feet and hammered Cultbane down on the blade. The two other paladin rushed up behind it, each taking a turn hitting it.
The blade swiped in a wide circle, but the three paladin avoided it, then rained a series of blows down on it. It stabbed at one, swiped at another, but they parried it and continued to hammer their swords down on it.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, one of the young paladin slammed the blade downward where Trym batted Cultbane against it, sending it flying straight into the side of the Dawnlord’s corpse, skewering it. The runes on the blade flickered, then faded, and everything grew silent.
Trym looked back down at the greatsword beside her. It was called TillDawn. No one had told her it was sentient. She supposed no one knew. It was clear that no one had expected it to fly and kill innocent clerics either.
All Trym knew about TillDawn was that it was unpredictable. She had hoped to lock it away in the tomb and never see it again. The fates, though, had sick senses of humor.
Months later, the sword somehow ended up in a grubby merchant’s wagon who just happened to be in the same caravan as Trym. It called out to Trym, baiting her by saying it had “tasted her blood”. She didn’t realize what was calling to her, until her dwarf friend, Aldrik, helped her to locate it.
Upon finding the sword, her first reaction was to break it and throw it away. She was terrified of it, angry at it, and hated it. However, she knew she couldn’t destroy it, and she could not risk it falling into the wrong hands. So she took it.
The sword expressed a desire to see action again, stating that Trym was acceptable as its next bearer, though she “still had much to learn”.
Trym was carrying the sword and had used it once already, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to wield it. It was a dark ghost from her very recent past that she wished to forget. It was a heavy burden she did not want to bear, but felt obligated to.
“Admit it: I was right about the boy. Your boring sword couldn’t have done what I did to help him.”
Trym glared at TillDawn, then turned her back to it, resting Cultbane across her lap. “Help is a loose term. We skewered him, and now his mind is mush.”
“He doesn’t have a lich inside him anymore. That’s all I care about.”
“Of course it is. Your owner would've been proud, I'm sure.” Trym peered down at Cultbane, running her fingers over the dwarf runes. Instinctively, she reached up and touched a golden brooch pinned to her tunic. “Why is it that everything in my life is linked to a sad memory?” She whispered to herself. It hadn’t always been this way. Her life had been nigh perfect until this stupid sword carved a scar into her face.
“One is made wise, yea wiser, through the experience of dusky sorrow more than from the experience of ethereal joy.”
Trym closed her eyes. “I’m not asking for ethereal joy. Just for the ghosts to stop haunting me.”
“The ghosts of the past speak to those who listen.”
“Remember the daily dose of proverbs I talked about? You’ve overdosed me now."
This random little bit of writing I'm posting branched from a random dream I had a long time ago.
Yep. I had a dream about Ramen Noodles. And when I woke up from that dream, this runt of a story came to my mind. It's coming from the perspective of a girl who would be me, if I lived in an apartment. It was cute, so I wrote it down, then forgot about it... until I found it the other day and decided to post it on here.
So, here is your little bit of odd randomness for the day. Enjoy!
Ramen Noodles. They are the cheapest and easiest meal a person can get. You can mix them into new and exciting recipies, and you can pack a lifetime supply of them into a tin can (figuratively speaking, of course). That’s why I like them.
In the eyes of other people, though, if you buy Ramen Noodles, you are living under a bridge, wearing rags, and begging for money.
At least, I’m pretty sure that when people see when they see me buying Ramen Noodles... even though I live in a tiny town and everyone knows I don't live that way.
I suspect they all think this way, because:
a) the ladies at church are constantly ordering me to come get goods from the food bank and
b) the elderly lady who lives in the apartment under me keeps buying extra groceries and sending them up to me.
Honestly, I don’t mind people thinking I’m poor, even though I’m not. When people think you’re poor, you get to see the real person under the mask, and they treat you realistically. They hate you and leave you alone, pity you and leave you alone, ignore you and leave you alone, or they give you free stuff all the time!
Now, just to be clear, I don’t like getting free stuff. I am a minimalist. I hate having stuff. Stuff clutters up your life, makes you stress about keeping it organized, and when you die, all your relatives fight over it.
Stuff is not worth it.
Food, on the other hand, is consumable and surviving relatives don’t care who gets the food.
Which brings us back to the Ramen Noodles...
As I said, they are cheap (money saver), take up very little space (space saver), cook fast (time saver), and make a fair impression on everyone who sees me buying them. So, I have a cupboard full of them. And I eat them regularly.
I know, I know! Ramen Noodles aren’t healthy for you. Everyone in my life has told me that. But there is a lot of other food in the world that is even more unhealthy… like Twinkies...
But, to make sure I stay in shape and keep those Ramen Noodles from sending me to the cemetery to live with all the other victims of Ramen Noodle overdose (scarsm alert), I drink a bunch of purified water every day, take my vitamins every day, make my own fruit juice every day, and take my dog on long walks every day. How those things extend my lifespan, I do not know (because 100% of healthy people die, last I checked), but if it makes my mother happy to know that I am "living a healthy lifestyle", then that cures half my problems right there. Because, as everyone knows: if momma ain't happy, then ain't NOBODY happy.
I've been doing some job hunting around town, and you know what I've found? A lot of people are eager to hire me, but they want me to fill out these stupid applications... and, as I look at my answers on some of these applications, I'm afraid I may be too sarcastic for anyone to consider hiring me....
Q: "Do you prefer part time or full time?"
A: Doesn't matter to me, because, for the wage you pay, both options are just slavery in a job's clothing.
Q: "Why are you applying for a job with us?"
A: Because authors aren't appreciated until they've died tragically, or of natural causes. With how poorly your employees follow health and safety protocols, I figure this is the best place to make a tragic death happen. That, and I've heard your business provides more than enough suspicious content for an author with writer's block to write an entire series of spicy crime novels.
Q: "Why did you quit your last job?"
A: Do you "quit" the mafia? No. You don't. But slavery is illegal, the mafia is sketchy, and I'd like to actually make some money for the work I do. Just don't tell my former boss that, or you and I both might end up swimming with the fishes. As far as he knows, I'm still working for him.
"To apply as a real estate content writer, please submit two short property descriptions."
Property 1 description: "This piece of land has real potential as a cactus farm, and, because of the abundance of naturally growing, gorgeous prickly pear, you'll never have to worry about kids walking through your yard."
Property 2 description: "One word, dude: Marijuana. I found a massive stash here, and the highest bidder will get the map with the hidden location."
Example newspaper report on the FFA livestock competition:
The pigs were cute. The cows were cute. The animals were all cute. The kids were not so cute. The levels of methane and armpit stink were undoubtedly at unsafe levels, and the building really needs more windows and an air conditioner. I'm pretty sure I have mold and fungus growing in my nostrils now. The city needs to cut the crap and upgrade their stupid outdated equipment in these public buildings before they get called out for endangering public health and safety.
Example news report on the recent football game:
I got food poisoning from the concession stand and gas from the cheerleaders who weren't cheering and weren't wearing bras. These are the scores that I saw flash across the board between dry heaves....xxxx..... and WHAT IS WITH THE CANNONS, PEOPLE?! Is it not obvious by all the screaming and cheering and Facebook posts and the car littered streets that you are all watching a football game? Must you have cannons as well? Must you announce to the world through endless cannon fire that you are in your place of worship and observing the sacred ritual of the pigskin?
You hopeless barbarians.
Example news report on recent oil activity:
XXX Inc. drilled a hopeful new oil well on the 20th of June. "This is very good for the business. It's been a long time since we've had a well that could pump 50,000 barrels a day." The head honcho dude with a full name told me the day after they struck oil. The company told me then that they hope to increase the output of oil by putting the well through a fracking process. The frack job was scheduled and done on August 2nd. Now, after those fracking frackers fracked a perfectly good oil well, it is now producing a massive, fracking 20 barrels a day.
"It's the most disappointing well we have EVER had." Said the fracking head honcho after the fracking job got fracked up. The business has informed me that they intend to keep the oil well alive merely for the fracking government subsidies to pay for the fracking job.
"Please write an example letter of reminder of payment due..."
Hey! Do you live under a rock? If you don't, you soon will be! If you don't pay your electric bill soon, your electric will be unplugged, your frozen TV dinners will thaw, your microwave won't work to cook them, and your TV will cease to function. Without your TV, you won't know when the aliens attack! And without your frozen TV dinners and microwave oven, you won't be able to outlast the alien invasion!
Don't give the aliens a chance. Pay your electric bill. Keep your freezer and TV on. Save the world. Thwart the alien invasion.
Payment is due by ...xxxx....
If you fail to comply, the alien invasion will begin and you will be Predator's first snack.
This is your final warning.
Have a nice day!
I was cleaning up my documents on my computer when I ran across this random story. I have no idea where I was going with it, I don't even remember how I came up with it, but it had a certain charm to it that prevented me from deleting it forever. So, I brushed it up and decided to post it on here.
“They’re going to lock me up. I’m going to be locked up. I’m a freak. I’m the stuff horror stories are made of. They’re going to lock me up.” She kept repeating the last part over and over again in whispers.
He thought a moment. He could feel her fear. She was overwhelmed with it. He knew how she felt: in her mind there was no end in sight.
“Yes, they will lock you up,” He said.
She went silent instantaneously.
“If you continue to submit to your fears, your nightmares, and your anger, then yes; they will have no choice but to lock you up. But,” he added “If you step out of your comfort zone, take control of your fears, learn how to be yourself again, and use your power for good, then no one will ever be able to lock you away. Not mentally. Not physically. Not ever.”
A blue dinner plate sized eye looked out at him, moist and glassy with tears, and the serpentine slit contracted, focusing on him.
“But… I’m so, so…” The curtain she hid behind shivered as she did. “I don’t want to be locked up again. I don’t want to be a monster. I’m so scared.” She whispered the last part.
He nodded. “That’s to be expected. I don’t believe anyone blames you for feeling that way.” He held his hand out toward her. “You don’t have to face this alone, Nova. You have friends, and they are ready to help you. I’m ready to help you.” He added the last part slowly.
She stared at him for a long moment, then she shifted and moved. Slowly, a giant, clawed, scaly paw moved out to meet his. As soon as the light hit her paw, she froze, staring at it in horror. He pushed his hand out farther, drawing her attention back to him. He gently wrapped his fingers around one of her massive digits, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
She swallowed hard, loud enough to plainly hear, then she took a deep breath. “Okay. I can do this. As long as someone is willing to give me a little help, I can help myself.”
He smiled, “That sounds like the Nova I know.”
A faint smile spread over her features, then she moved out from behind the curtain and into the open.
Her scales glittered as the light touched them and the wings on her back trembled lightly. The end of her long tail twitched back and forth anxiously. She crouched low on her four powerful legs, and her head hung close to the floor.
He reached down and put his hand under her jaw, gently pulling her head up. “A dragon does not bow her head so low to the ground.” He said as she slowly lifted her head to his eye level, “She carries it tall, with a grace and strength and confidence that will make her ancestors proud.”
“I don’t feel very confident.” She said in a soft, quivering voice.
He nodded. “You know that. I know that. But nobody else has to know that, right?”
She stared at him for a moment, her eyes twitching as she thought about his words, then she lifted her head and stood to her full height, pushing her chest out and folding her wings in tight.
He smiled at her. “That’s what a proud dragon looks like.”
Don't forget to check out the previous challenges: The Writing Challenge.
Today's Challenge: Does your current WIP have a happy ending or a sad ending?
Can I plead the fifth?
Well, considering my WIP is actually part of a series and I want people to stay hooked to it, and also keeping in mind that I am a sociopath with psychopath tendencies and no energy to go out and start a anti-batman gang.... My two current works in progress both have slightly sad endings.
What can I say? Happy endings are for fairy tales. But, don't worry! Everything does eventually work out. I am planning a happy ending in the very last book.
If you haven't been keeping up with this challenge so far, here are the previous days!: DAY ONE, DAY TWO, DAY THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, FOURTEEN, FIFTEEN, SIXTEEN, SEVENTEEN, EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN, TWENTY, TWENTY-ONE, TWENTY-TWO, TWENTY-THREE, TWENTY-FOUR, TWENTY-FIVE, TWENTY-SIX, and TWENTY-SEVEN.
Today's challenge: Your favorite fairy tale or fable
That's a hard one. The Bear and the Wren, or King Thrushbeard, or Rumpelstiltskin.... does Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream count?
I like the Bear and the Wren, because... well... I like bears. And I like how the Wren was so smart and crafty and insisted on general politeness, that he became king of the forest because of that. I think it would make for a fun movie!
I like the story of King Thrushbeard because of the hard lesson of humility that the princess had to learn. Not everything in life would go her way, there were consequences to her actions, and married life was NOT all romance and roses. It was hard work.
I also love the determination of King Thrushbeard himself. He loved the princess, and even though she was rude and clearly uninterested in him, he didn't give up on her and go home. He just found another way to win her heart, and he kept working at it until the princess really, truly loved him back.
That's true love.
Rumpelstiltskin has always been a favorite of mine... I don't know why. I've always felt a little sorry for the wee chap. It seems to me he was unfairly treated. The queen made a promise to him, and even though I wouldn't want to give up my firstborn child to a wee imp either, a promise is a promise! She shouldn't have made the promise so foolishly. But, she was just like so many girls are - worried about what's going on in the moment, and taking no thought for the future.
My mom raised me on Shakespeare and shunned Disney princess movies like the plague (homeschoolers... gotta love 'em.) Midsummer Night's Dream has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. The love triangles, the misunderstandings, the trickery, Puck.... Puck was my hero. He was so silly and naughty.
There are better Shakespeare plays than A Midsummer Night's Dream, but as a child, that was the easiest play to understand and so it became my favorite. And it stays a favorite because of that.
If you haven't been keeping up with the challenge so far, you can catch up here: The Writing Challenge Series.
Today's challenge: a future version of yourself travels back in time and tells you that no matter how hard you work to market your books, you never make a single penny off your writing. Do you still continue to write, knowing there's no hope of selling your books?
Well, first I would slap myself and tell myself I was lying, because I have made money off my book. Good money. Sporadic, it may be, and easily spent it also may be, but I have made lots of pennies off of it!
Next, the news would be a huge relief to me. I would stop trying to market my books! Marketing is the worst thing EVER, so I would be glad to give it up, especially if I knew it was a fruitless endeavor.
After that, I'd start looking for a real job... like... becoming a baby panda hugger or a professional mermaid.
But would I stop writing? No way! I write for the fun of it, to get the monsters and crazies out of my head. And just because my books don't get any attention while I'm alive doesn't mean that they wouldn't become popular after I was dead. They might even get made into a movie! Just do me a favor: if someone decides to make a movie of my books after I'm dead, charge onto set and make sure they don't mess the whole story up! Those Hollywood people have no idea what they are doing and need all the help they can get.
If you haven't been keeping up with the challenge, you can catch up by checking out this category right here: The Writing Challenge Series
Today's Challenge: the first sentence of the first chapter of your first published novel/story.
"This was not going over well at all." - Tales of the Wovlen: The Dragon's Son
Um. Well. That was underwhelming.
I really need to work on my first sentence hook. It would have sounded better if I had gone with "He expected his brother would disagree with him, fight with him even, but not threaten war and raise an army in one breath." or "He'd expected to challenge his brother, not a demon." or "His brother throwing a tantrum was expected, but threatening to unleash a crazed dragon and start a war was going too far."
Because, you know, dragons are instant attention grabbers and great hooks. So are demons. And wars too. ANYTHING is better than "Well. That didn't go so good. Derp, derp, derp."
Having trouble keeping up with the challenge? Don't worry about it! You can always go back and read what you've missed just by clicking this link right here --> The Writing Challenge Series.
Today's challenge: Your writing buddy
Wow. If I had taken this challenge only 8 months earlier, today's would have been a sad tale of a lone wolf author who was forced to survive the harsh world on her own, hunting down the review bunnies and surviving on the scraps of editing tips thrown to her by those passing by on the internet...
Okay, not totally.... But almost!.... But that's not the point! The point is that I do have a writing buddy!
F.P. Spirit, hands down... or up... that always confuses me... is it down or up? How about sideways?
Anyway, F.P. Spirit is my writing buddy. He has, in a way, become my dad and mentor in the author/writer dimension.
We met via a Facebook writing group in 2014 (HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?!?). He needed an editor and I pointed him toward the one I used at the time. When he published his first book, a fantasy, I scrambled to review it (I didn't have many fantasy authors in my circles at the time and I was *cough* desperate for some fantasy to break up the western monotony... sorry! I'm not a huge fan of western.).
I was instantly hooked to his book series! I loved the color and depth of his story and his characters. I was ashamed of my own book, honestly, because I thought it paled in comparison.
He ended up reading my book as well and was equally impressed with it. In fact, if I remember correctly, he told me he was absolutely blown away by it.... but that was a couple of years ago, so I could be getting that wrong... cough, cough....
ANYWAY. After that, we kept talking. We became friends and started learning things together. Then we started bouncing ideas off each other, and we started challenging each other in our writing, and then he talked me into using Skype for meetings (always had Skype... never used it), and now I think we've shared too many of our writing secrets with each other, so we're basically in this two person cult now and will have to shred the other person's drafts if they try to leave said cult so that our sacred writing secrets are kept safe.... okay, not really, but you get the point.
I think my writing has improved 50 times more since becoming friends with F.P. Spirit. It has been great to have someone that I can bounce ideas off of, talk about author troubles to, and ask weird author questions in front of (and sometimes even get an answer!).
I honestly didn't know what I was missing out on when I was a lone wolf author. Having a writing buddy is awesome.
I only hope that I have provided as much "miracle grow" to our friendship as he has!
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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