Thursday, June 30, 2016

Character Description -Once to Love, Once to Hate

Hello! Courtesy of another Pinterest writing prompt (because really, where else am I going to see one), here's the gist for this one: Write a character's description twice, once to hate them, and once to love them.

Giovanna knelt beside the river and drew her sword, placing it upon a large slab of rock that jutted over the water. Her hair, dyed ink-black to disguise the natural red, tumbled over her shoulder. The image of her youngest sister Jubilee flashed in her mind. Standing side by side  now, they would for once look like real sisters. Giovanna shook her head to clear it. Cupping her hand, she poured water of the rock and then carefully, methodically, drew the length of the sword across the stone. The rough surface beneath the blade sent vibrations up the metal, making her fingers tingle in a familiar way. The Captain of the Guard had been the first to place a sword in her hands at the tender age of seven, when her other sisters were playing with dolls or learning embroidery. The Captain had shown her everything about using a sword, and keeping it war-ready, including how to sharpen it on a whetstone. Perhaps the Captain knew the princess would lead armies one day. But neither of them could have presumed she would be leading them against her own family.
Giovanna turned the blade over to tend to the other side. In mere moments her fate had been snatched away from her, ruined by a spoiled brat who never thought about anyone but herself, never considered the consequences of her own actions. Giovanna winced at the memory of the wave from Styx hitting her face, burning her flesh like acid. Her hand moved to her cheek, as if to make sure the repaired skin had not melted away. She would not let her inexperienced, ill-advised little sister be the downfall of the treaty with the god of the Underworld and of the uprising so carefully executed.
Jubilee would not ruin what Giovanna had slaved for. The seventh daughter, perfect little Jubilee, had to die.

The thunder in the sky could not equal the clash of swords in the castle walls. And no storm nor hurricane nor earthquake could match the brute force of brother fighting brother, mortal versus god, soldier versus citizen.
Surrounded on every side, Giovanna drew upon every ounce of strength she had left, knowing it was not enough and yet some force insider her driving her onward. Her gift, her power, the raw element of fire that bent to her will, was gone from her. Without it, even with sword in hand, her hands were cold and shaking. A man near her threw a spear at an opponent's back. Giovanna deflected it, unsure who was her foe or ally anymore. A man without armor crumbled under the shock of Marcus' whip laced around his neck. Without a thought, Giovanna crept up behind Marcus. His defeat was less than a breath. Rain continued to pour, swords continued to clash, and then above it all, the distinctive crack of a different whip severed the air. Giovanna spun around, looking for the familiar figure attached to that whip.
There. By the stables. Lucy stood over someone, her weapon of choice coiled like a snake at her side. Giovanna stumbled toward her and then froze when she saw who Lucy was towering over.
Her fist tightened around the hilt of the sword, her cold fingers finding strength in the familiar shape in her palm.
Lucy flicked her wrist and her whip curled to life. "You were never meant to live anyway." She raise her arm. The whip came like a lash through the air.
Giovanna threw her shoulder into Lucy's back and caught the whip's tail around her sword. Jubilee rolled to the side and grabbed a pitchfork that had fallen over. Brandishing the pitchfork, Jubilee turned first to Giovanna, then to Lucy, who had quickly found her footing again. Jubilee's soft blue eyes burned with indecision.
"Traitor!" Lucy seethed. She tried to yank her whip away, but Giovanna turned her shoulder into the movement and disarmed the woman.
"I know who I'm fighting for now," said Giovanna, with a quick glance toward Jubilee.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Imaginary Friend

I decided to take a hint from one of the many writing prompts I saw on Pinterest. Enjoy!

We met at the hospital, Davey and me. While waiting for the doctor to give him his shots, I stood holding his hand, feeling as if I'd known him forever. I remember the name he'd given me ringing clear as a bell in my head. Daisydee. That was the day we became best friends, because I promised him I'd never leave him with the scary doctor with the shots, and afterward he promised me that if ever I found myself stuck in a swamp, he would come and save me.
One of our favorite things to play was Famous Explorer, where we would venture out into the great unknown of our backyard, hunting leopards and narrowly avoiding barbed wire traps and pools of lava. Everyday was an adventure for us. And then came the year Davey went to middle school.
At first I would walk with him to the front doors, because Mom said friends like me weren't allowed inside. But I promised to play with him during recess if no one else wanted to. In the meantime I played on the monkey bars, wanting to get some practice so I could show Davey my cool moves. But when the bell rang, Davey clamored down the concrete steps, surrounded by a few boys and girls who immediately went for the monkey bars. None of them could see me, and even Davey didn't notice me standing there for a while.
The weekends turned into an extra special time for us, but as it got colder and school kept stealing him away most mornings, it got harder and harder to keep Davey's attention.
One afternoon when Davey was thirteen, he couldn't see me at all. No amount of jumping, shouting, or pulling did any good... and I realized then that he might be forgetting about me.
Davey turned fifteen. He entered high school. The teachers were brutal, especially the chemistry one, but Davey did remember me for an English essay. Even though we didn't speak anymore, I was thrilled to have been able to help even that much.
It's strange to be a part of someone's life even when they don't know it. I've become less of a figure in his sight and more of the little things in his day that seem to make him happy. Like when the window is open and the breeze wafts in. Or when the fan on his computer stays nice and quiet even though Kerbal Space Program usually pushes it to the limit.
A lot happens between when you first meet your imaginary friend... and when you know longer need them. Today is Davey's wedding day. In a few hours, there'll probably be too much in his mind to hold me too. But she's a nice girl and she makes him really happy. And you know what? Having watched over them for a while, I know he's marrying his best friend, his poker buddy, his encourager, the love of his life. And that's better than anything I could have given him.
So maybe I'll just fade away like a nice happy dream. Or maybe I get to keep watching over them, like a guardian angel.
Yeah, I like the sound of that.