Standoff (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

This week, even though it was a shorter one, was exhausting. I’m training a new person at work and still trying to get all of my regular responsibilities taken care of. Friday was Ender’s birthday. She turned 16 and it will be the last time I get to celebrate it with her. And next week is my brother’s wedding. I’m tired and stressed out. And to add to all of it, I had a less than stellar check-up at the doctor’s recently. I’m getting old and my body seems to be in revolt. So now I’m going to be on a few medications. Bummer. Maybe it’s why I feel so crappy lately.

BUT I’m making sure I try I stay creatively engaged. I’m currently working on some character profiles for my main characters and some of my major point of view characters. I’m writing their histories up to when their stories start and their flaws. Then I want to add some information about what they want and what’s preventing them.

I think this and some drabbles is the best I can do until after the wedding and getting our new person up to speed and taking care of Ender…

This week’s drabble is part of a larger piece and the first sentence is actually from a writing prompt shared on Facebook. Enjoy!

~ Effy

Standoff (Drabble)

Two thousand warriors drew their swords for a war they would not win. No one would win this war.

On one side stood the elves, keepers of the land, tenders of the ancient trees. On the other, the humans waited, strangers in a strange land and fighting for their independence.

Dark forces pulled the strings. A jealous god plotted as his puppets played out a bloody drama. Ancient monsters teemed below, awaiting their opportunity.

Warriors shifted on restless legs. Magi fingered magical components. Horses paced as griffons and pegasi stood stoic. The Sunstone warbled mournfully.

The world held its breath.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

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Happily Ever After (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

I haven’t been writing much. Instead, I have been transferring notes from old notebooks into digital files. Some of these notebooks are back from 2003. Heh. Luckily, it’s sparking some ideas. Unfortunately, I’m spread between five or more different ideas. But on the plus side, it’s also sparking more drabble ideas. But I’m without a solid writing project at the moment. Of course with how exhausted I am after work lately, it might be for the best until things settle down again.

Phew.

I thought about trying to get organized for Camp NaNoWriMo this month, but I imagine it will be another few weeks before I’m settled enough to be very productive. I’m determined to start writing regularly again, and I think I need a new first draft to do so.

Until then, I’ll attempt to keep publishing drabbles (or longer pieces) each week.

Enjoy.

~ Effy

Happily Ever After (Drabble)

Sir Dane galloped up to the dreaded dragon’s lair. He had conquered many heroic tasks atop his steed and bedecked in his finest armor.

A stale breeze wafted forth as if the mouth breathed the beast’s own rank breath. Sir Dansk drew his sword and screwed his courage. When his eyes adjusted to the dim interior, he saw not the dragon but the fair Princess Stephanie. Her look was not appreciative.

“Did you ever think perhaps I don’t want to be ‘saved’?”

He had not.

“Get along before Melusine cooks you in your armor.” Yellow eyes glared.

And he did.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Dreary (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

This was a rough week. I’ve been working some extra hours at work and I’ve been pretty wiped out by the time I get home. It’s short term, I know, but it’s making me wonder if I can keep up this 1000 Day MFA thing. I hate feeling like I’m always playing catch up. I’m still reading some and writing some, but I think it’s too much on top of a full-time job.

Somehow I still managed to get two drabbles together, though. Here’s the first one. I’ll post the next one next week and hope that I have myself enough back together to get another short story finished the following week.

~ Effy

Dreary (Drabble)

Ping sighed and brushed away a wayward tear as it trickled down his reddened cheek. He watched the rain drizzle down with its dreary melancholy, reflecting his mood. The village below was dark and silent. It had been quiet most of the day, since the rain had begun. Puddles gathered, growing bigger as the day progressed, fusing together into ever larger puddles.

A knock came to the door. Ping frowned. A streak of lightning flashed white, followed by a thunderous boom.

Miehiu peeked around the door. “Hi, Ping. I came to check on you before you flood the village again.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

A Case of the Mondays (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

I don’t by any means consider this one of my best pieces, but it made me giggle. Hopefully you catch the reference and giggle too.

~ Effy

A Case of the Mondays (Drabble)

Marty checked himself in the mirror, shouldering his bag. Another too short weekend. As the door closed behind him, the quiet lawn and street beyond lay distended before him.

Two blocks into his walk, he heard rummaging in an alleyway. A can clattered. Marty reached into the dark depths of his bag.

A groan proceeded the zombie’s appearance. It turned, shuffling forward.

Out came a machete. It sunk into the soft skull. A spray of gore fanned Marty’s face and front.

Three blocks later, Kate greeted him. “Looks like someone’s got…”

“Please don’t,” Marty groaned. He needed a new commute.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Wild, Wild West (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

Since finishing the first draft of First Knight, I’ve been kind of all over the place on my writing. I’ve been brainstorming, plotting, and I’ve started a handle of short stories. None of those are near completion. So I put one of my random ideas to paper and it turned into this.

This is a drabble that might be worthy of a longer piece. 🙂

~ Effy

Wild, Wild West (Drabble)

“Okay, pardners,” Sheriff Bingham drawled, “This here town ain’t big enough for all of us. So either you move along or we’ll have a problem.” The sheriff and his men stood in a line, guns drawn, serious and silent.

The sun baked the dusty road and a wayward wind kicked a tumbleweed across the space between.

Sheriff Bingham clicked the hammer back. “What’ll it be?”

A growl echoed off the splintered building faces. Wide-eyed faces peered from within.

“Keep your women and children close, sheriff,” the alpha werewolf said. Then the pack turned and disappeared into the swirling yellow dust.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

#WriterProblems (Drabble)

Image from Pixabay.

Yes, I know I already posted.

This is my second short story for this week, to try and make up for the week I missed. This piece has actually been sitting in my notebook for a few weeks. I didn’t like the original ending and I couldn’t make it work. This ending came to me in the car earlier this week and I feel it works much better.

~ Effy

#WriterProblems (Drabble)

The day Richard turned thirty, he decided to stop trying to meet the perfect woman. Instead, he wrote her into his story. No more blind dates. No more doubling with friends. No more third wheel. No more lonely nights of Netflix with his dog, Sam.

No more disappointment.

Richard sat down with his laptop, in Starbucks of all places. He typed a new scene, a fight scene, with a woman strong both physically and mentally. She destroyed her enemies and then went to the king’s ball.

As she stepped off the page, she whispered, “You’re not quite what I imagined.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Tiny Dreamer (Short Story)

Galaxy Blue by Glenn Farquhar

This is a piece I originally wrote as a fan fiction piece. It has been heavily edited from its original version (there’s was way too much passive voice originally) and adjusted to fit it into the world of Dadreon.

I’d like to eventually put all of my dragon pieces into a short story collection. I’m filling in some gaps for now and we’ll see where it goes.

Enjoy.

~ Effy

Tiny Dreamer

Awareness came in the dark.

Unchanging, it gave no measure of time between when she realized she existed and when she left the darkness. For now, all she knew was darkness. The darkness made her sleepy with its warmth. She slept a lot.

When she slept, she dreamt in colors.

Mostly, she dreamt in hues of blue, ranging from blue so light it was almost white to a deep blue that was close to black but not. The blue felt comforting, familiar. It felt almost like herself. She stayed near to the blue.

Some of the colors appeared in shades of red and green. Some were more white or more black. Some shimmered in shiny, reflective colors. They all felt similar to the blue, but not. She did not feel akin to the other colors like the blue.

The colors all hinted toward something greater, other sentient beings full of knowledge, but she could not figure out how to reach the colors to learn more.

Rather than fight or fuss, she instead let herself drift. Instinctively she knew when something important happened, she would know.

Occasionally muffled somethings would come to her, from elsewhere. With them they brought a sense of movement that was not her, nor her where. Since none of it affected her or changed the darkness that surrounded her, she forgot the distractions quickly. They hardly interrupted her sleep.

Then, all at once everything changed abruptly. Along with a subconscious feeling of change in her surroundings, it became warmer, too warm, stifling. The feeling woke her, and she became more aware of sounds and movement invading her surroundings.

Something was happening. She knew without knowing how.

It was time to leave.

A voice that spoke directly to her soul called to her.

For the first time since becoming aware, she felt anxious and hurried. She wanted to follow the voice, but she did not know where to find it or how to get there from here.

So she went in the first direction that seemed right.

Her path met resistance soon after. It extended in every direction–curving, smooth, unblemished. She panicked, her anxiety growing. How would she reach the voice? But the voice remained nearby and its presence calmed her. It continued to call to her.

She fought against the resistance.

With a sharp crack, the resistance gave away a little. The darkness that formed her surroundings tore open, and a small spot of light broke the darkness. It startled her sensitive eyes though they remained closed. The light was new and signified somewhere unknown, and that made it both fascinating and frightening.

The voice coaxing her onward in her mind mingled with a physical voice that uttered a surprised, happy noise. Somehow, she knew the voice within and the voice without to be the same. It did not really make sense to her, but only instincts guided her now.

Pushing the rest of the way through the tear proved harder than she expected and took what seemed a very long time even after all her timeless waiting. She eagerly sought the place of the voice calling to her. She longed to end her solitude.

She squawked a note of displeasure at the resisting edge of her somewhere.

The voice came again–a low, soothing purr. She paused her struggle and cocked her head curiously. She hoped the comforting voice would speak again, although she did not know the words. The noise pleased her ears after the silence of the darkness.

Something unknown, something that was not the edges of her dark somewhere, brushed against her. It seemed to be encouraging her. She squawked again, this time softer.

Her struggle renewed; her resistance diminished. Her head and front limbs broke free and this made her think to search out the voice.

She opened her eyes.

The brightness of the new place struck her eyes and offended all her senses after being so long in the darkness. After much blinking and more noises of annoyance she focused on the source of the voice.

The creature before her reminded her of her dreams–a being of blue like the dream-beings which had been like her. Unlike the dream-beings, this creature could be focused on. This creature loomed almost close enough to touch and she realized the blue being was huge, god-like.

It watched her.

She squawked again. This time the noise tried to form a word, a word she had found in her dreams, though it had held no meaning for her in that previous timeless where.

“Odassa!” she cried.

The smaller colors had purred the word to the larger ones. It meant someone who protected, someone bigger, someone “family.” Unsure what all these new words meant, though they came to her easily, the images they created in her mind made her feel safe.

Her memories, her dreams were indeed larger than herself.

The creature that was not a dream-being and not from the darkness smiled. The smile showed a mouthful of sharp teeth, but she did not feel threatened. She realized it had understood. For when she cried out, fully in her mind had been a picture taken from her dreams. The large blue creature thought back to her with a word of confirmation, “Mother.” Now she saw the responding thought in the other’s mind–her embraced by the creature.

Then, it did just that, it brought her closer to itself. The being was warm. The warmth and closeness made her sleepy again. She had expended much energy escaping the darkness of her sleepy dream place.

Awkwardly, on limbs that had never supported her before, she left the remnants of former where. Its darkness now lay split wide open and it already felt removed from her. She felt no more attachment to the darkness, it held no more importance.

This creature, this mother, had become her focus now.

She climbed her mother’s closest limb–“foreclaw” came into her mind from it. Her muscles became steadier with each step. Then, she stepped into a cave-like area beneath her mother’s neck–”nest” came to her this time.

She added these to her growing knowledge.

A great yawn escaped her. The sleepiness won out over learning more. There would be time later. For now, she knew she was safe, every thought from her mother’s mind reinforced it.

She curled herself beneath her mother, pressing as much of her body against the warmth there as she could.

Then, she slept. Only now, the passage of time had become important.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Necromancer (Short Story)

A Dungeons & Dragon black dragon.

Okay, first an apology. Last week my brain apparently needed a reboot. I’ve been progressively slowing down in my writing for several weeks. Work’s been busy and stressful at the height of our season. I’ve been coming home brain dead and going straight to bed. Last week, I wrote exactly zero words. No forward progress with my novel. No new short story. And that was after only the 100 words of my drabble I posted the week before.

I also suffer from anemia on top of my anxiety and depression. Silly me, I stopped taking my iron supplement, because I thought it wasn’t doing anything. Boy, did I prove myself wrong. Anemic, I’m tired and grumpy. So that’s back on track too. I won’t do that again.

This week, after my unintended vacation from writing, I’ve written almost 6000 words so far.

I’m to the climatic scene in my novel WIP and I’m working on replotting my novel from NaNo last year. It faltered about 2/3 through because the plot unraveled to the point where I was making more editing notes (which were more questions than notes) than actual writing. The story is solid and I love the premise and characters. So hopefully giving it the same plotting work-up I did for the one I’m working on currently will fix things.

Today’s short story has actually been in process for a few weeks. Yet somehow it only ended up at about 1300 words.

I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading. 🙂

~ Effy

Necromancer

In the darkest night in the darkest swamp paced the darkest dragon with the darkest heart. She wore a circular path through a swirling fog that reeked of old death and moist rot, mumbling to herself.

The hazy darkness absorbed the scant light of the twin moons, and Nehalennia’s black scales faded from view except when they caught the light of candles held by her deathless minions. Humanoids in various states of decay stood perfectly still until she came near, then lowered their head in deference. She hissed and bared her fangs at each of them, whispering words not meant for their decayed ears, and swept her head back and forth in a hypnotic display.

At the center of her scored and worn path lay a jumbled pile of bleached bones. Every dozen paces or so, Nehalennia would brush the bones with her talons in a touch that lingered.

“Now, what are the words?” the dragon hissed. She cocked her head as if listening, while tapping her chest plates with her talons. She let out a long hiss that was equal parts excitement and sigh. “Yes, now I can begin.”

Nehalennia continued in a circle and began to chant in a long forgotten language. Made up of hisses and long consonants, it seemed well fitted to a dragon’s tongue. The black dragon continued to pace as she chanted. The undead around her stood motionless.

The pile of bones quivered. They made a hollow clatter and reached upwards.

Nehalennia barked a noise of triumph. It interrupted her chanting, and the bones settled into silence once more.

Triumph turned to rage, and the black dragon stomped a foot, setting swamp animals, sleeping and nocturnal, on edge from the tremor. She roared. She flailed her talons and shredded the nearest undead. The creature fell in silent, bloodless gore.

The others stood stoic and unfazed. If their mistress chose to end their unlife, they had no opinion.

Nehalennia hissed and murmured to herself, chiding her impetuous display. Now there was a break in her circle, a candle with no bearer. Nehalennia cursed whatever gods were listening. She would need a new corpse to raise. The spell was abhorrently specific about the number, meant to be cast by one flanked with many followers.

Nehalennia had created her own followers, painstakingly, one at a time.

The first group had been easy, taken from a tiny village at the edge of the Dead Swamp, but humans had become more difficult to find after that. The last two had come to her completely by chance, a hapless merchant and his guard.

She sniffed the still air. Only wet and death and damp fur met her nostrils.

Nehalennia touched the bones with her talons, caressed them. “Soon,” she promised.

With an irritated hiss, Nehalennia settled on all four of her legs and lowered her body until it slithered along the ground as she walked. She hit the dark, stagnant water with barely a splash, only the faintest ripple, and swam out into the black of night.

She was not a patient dragon, but her determination outweighed her impatience. She waited near the single human road through the Dead Swamp with only her head and the ridge of her back visible in the water. Even as the sun rose and illuminated the greyish-green fog that always hung here, she would be hidden among the reeds and muck.

It could go weeks without a visitor to the swamp, but eventually the sound of horse hooves and wagon wheels over the pocked road brought Nehalennia out of a light doze, and she hissed in anticipation. Bubbles tickled her muzzle.

“That’s a big crocodile,” came the voice of a man.

She saw an arm stretch out, a finger pointing her way. Two faces peered over the side of the wagon. It brought with it the smell of sweaty horseflesh and unwashed human.

“That’s no crocodile…” the woman next to him began. She trailed off as she tried to get a better look. “I don’t know what…”

The black dragon held very still. She waited for the wagon’s front, where the two humans sat, to be nearly even with her waiting maw. Then she sprang forward with all the strength of all four of her legs, striking like a coiled snake, and catching both humans in her mouth.

They still wriggled briefly. By the time the wagon, led by the two panicked horses, was out of sight, they were still. Nehalennia was already back in the water, just two eyes scanning the stillness as a tail twitched behind and four legs pumped invisibly below.

She would have an extra, just in case.

Raising a human into undeath was easy, she’d had much practice now, but it was nothing compared to her ultimate goal. Nehalennia had spent years learning the art of necromancy. Her invisible companions had been invaluable. Before them, she’d seen failure over and over.

Now, their whispers instilled her with the knowledge she needed.

Her circle once more unbroken, a continuous wall of candles perfect in placement, the black dragon once more began to pace before the pile of bones gathered in the center.

“I have forgotten the words,” she hissed into the silent heavy fog. Her ever-present invisible mentors responded, whispering the old words to her silently. She tilted her head, listening, and her head began to nod in recognition. “Yes, yes.” A pleased smile tugged her lips back from her long, protruding teeth.

She began to pace and chant, swaying on her hind legs while making delicate gestures with her foreclaws.

The pile of bones wavered. The voices in her head cautioned focus. Nehalennia didn’t falter. Her voice grew stronger and more sure with each repeated line.

The shadows of the swamp been to coalesce like fog in the early morning. They swirled and danced and entered her circle of light. The undead never wavered. They did not feel the cold fingers of the dark magic Nehalennia summoned brush their skin, for they were beyond such senses.

Their stoicism strengthened her spell. She felt its power thrum around her.

The dark tendrils entwined the quivering bones, infused them.

Nehalennia’s eyes widened and she chanted louder. Her pacing quickened and it rumbled through the swamp like earth tremors.

The bones began to raise and dance with the summoned shadows.

The bones came together. They formed legs and feet and toes. Nehalennia continued reciting. They formed a tail from vertebrae, one at a time. Nehalennia continued chanting. A backbone grew from the tail, then a neck. Nehalennia continued, though her throat began to protest under the harsh rumble of the unfamiliar syllables. A skull, elongated, reptilian, and full of sharp teeth, attached to the neck.

The dark tendrils acted as tendons, pulling and holding the bones together as Nehalennia finished the final lines of the spell.

“Velenos!” she cried into the heavy night air, summoning his essence to the bone shell and giving him back his name.

The skull’s eyes began to glow with a green light. They raised on the long neck and came level with Nehalennia’s. The great dracolich rumbled and thrummed as it searched for its voice, flexing talons and neck and tail like a swamp lion waking from a nap.

“I am returned,” it said with a voice echoey as if it came from the bottom of a deep hole. The voice seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere.

“Yes, my love,” Nehalennia whispered, her voice hoarse, her energy drained. She panted and stumbled forward. She sighed and nuzzled against the neck and chest of the bone dragon. “We are together again.”

The dracolich thrummed.

Nehalennia could have faded into that moment for eternity, but the voices returned.

Now you will do something for us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

The Long Road Too Short (Drabble)

I’m late. I know. I almost completely missed this week, but this came to me in my melancholy yesterday. It’s just a short piece this week. I’m a little scattered and stressed and exhausted this week.

~ Effy

The Long Road Too Short (Drabble)

I know someday you’ll leave me, not by choice but by the ravages of time. Everyday I watch you get up a little bit slower, take a little longer to greet me. Slowly, though crystal clear to me after all these years, I see your vision cloud, your hearing fade. Sometimes I catch you in a stare and wonder what far off thought you’re having. I call to you and have to repeat myself several times before you return to me. I wonder how many times you’ll come back. For now, I’m content with stroking your fur as you sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

In Search of Sunrise (Drabble)

I’m still plugging away at a dragon piece I’ve been working on in between other things, but Friday night on my way home from work, this idea came to me. The title is actually a series of albums by Tiesto, and somehow Pandora played a string of them. It got me thinking of different things the title could mean.

By the time I got through traffic and home, I’d written about half of this in my head.

~ Effy

In Search of Sunrise (Drabble)

There is no sunrise in space. No atmosphere. No clouds catching fire in various shades of pink and orange and yellow as brilliance crowns the horizon.

That is how I remember the sunrises of my youth on Earth. Blazing fire.

Now there is only the cold black of space dotted with points of cold light. The hum of human machines and the flicker of man-made lights hold the cold at bay but it intrudes.

Now I drink the same recycled water. I eat the same climate-control grown food.

Space is dark and lonely as I continue in search of sunrise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.