What’s On The Other Side?

Writing has always felt like this to me_ (1)

There’s a wall by your house. It’s old, decrepit. Sad thing, really. There’s bound to be little furry, slimy things living in its stones. Maybe some beautiful, rare flowers grow just on the other side. Or this is the refuge of the Fairy Queen & her Sparrow Prince.

Writing has always felt like this to me: a curiosity, something to step towards slowly so I don’t disturb the rest of the world. To stand before, nervous because I don’t know how to find my footing. To finally grip, slip, & fall. To grip again, & again, until I pull myself over the ledge.

I’ve come to find my footing in writing fantasy with characters who crack wise, screw up, and hurt. Hard. Come with me now, and find them in worlds of magic that sing with the elements and race beyond the stars.

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#NaNoWriMo2022: Day 14 With a Teen Awaiting Her Doom at Graduation. #Magic #ShortStories

Day 14 of National Novel Writing Month. Time to move on from reflection and back to writing! This one’s taking me some time to feel out, but I think–I think–I can see what (mis)adventures await teen Soffire. First, though, we’ve got to get through graduation, much to her shagrin.

Day 14, Story 4: Graduation Glums and Glamours

Calling Day. Her Calling Day.

Soffire stood at the end of the line of graduates waiting to cross the garland entry into Pips Row Town Square. Every year, the entire town shut down on the Winter Solstice to celebrate the graduates of Pips’ Pupilry, and once again, the town really put out. Every multi-colored banner from the lamp posts glittered with golden dust for the occasion. Enlarged holly berries and ivy wound around and between every post to celebrate both the Graduates and Winter Solstice celebration. Goodwill and Congratulation streamers hung over every shop window of the Square alongside wreaths of straw, fruit branches, silver, and gems to reflect the specialties of the town. If a town could be a birthday cake, this is what it would look.

Soffire preferred a good chocolate muffin. Alone. Away from human beings.

Not that such a thing was possible on this annoying clear, balmy December day. All cars and carts were pulled from the square to make room for rows upon rows of chairs. Everyone in Pips Row would be here. Everyone wanted to see where the thirteen-year-olds of the town would continue their studies. Farming? Tooling? Smithing? Everyone wanted to know who was Called where.

All those eyes…even the idea of those eyes on her weighed Soffire down as much as the heavy white cotton robe all graduates wore. Why couldn’t they wear the hoods? At least she could hide her face when they call her name and say:

Soffire of the Wool Makers, you are hereby Called to the Dung-Gathering Department of City Cleanliness.

Something like that. It was going to be something like that, she just knew it.

“Good good GOOD morning, Graduates! The Elementals worked especially hard to make this day a beautiful one for us. I really must send them a thank-you card.” Professor Hastlot bustled by Soffire, all bear and lists and spilling coffee. “Let’s see, let’s see. Thirteen robes, good, thirteen graduates, good.”

Maybe Soffire could alter the course of the graduates over a manhole cover so she could disappear.

“Thirteen chairs in the square by the podium, thirteen diplomas on the table by the chairs and the podium, good.”

Maybe Soffire could will the threads of their robes to come undone and leave them all in their PIP PUPIL, PROMOTED! shirts and shorts the school had gifted them on their last day of class. Her inner magic didn’t have terrific control over fabric, but that specialty was in her family line, so she could probably make something happen. Make all winter hats explode? Cause all pants to explode? Could be worth it.

“Wait, where is the Volumizer?! Ack!” Just like that, a little smoke erupted from his ears. “Not the Volumizer! Stay here, Graduates. Do NOT cross until I tell you.” The smoke from his ears swallowed him up in an instant.

Typical crisis for a Calling Day.

I can’t wait to see how Graduation will turn out! Hopefully Soffire won’t cause too many fabric explosions…

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

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