30/30 – 30 | BOO!

My sons rolled their eyes at me as they always did when Halloween comes around.  Luckily, by their viewing at least, I do not go all out transforming the house into a holiday appropriate wonderland as I do for Christmas.  Still, every now and then I get into the I want to carve a pumpkin mood. This was one of those Halloweens were I was in a pumpkin carving, tons of chocolate and other goodies to give away, witches hat wearing mood. Now well into their teens, and knowing they are going to be dragged into it anyway shake their heads as they begrudgingly get into the spirit with me.

Thanks to such cinema sweethearts as Freddy Cruger (Nightmare on Elm Street) and Michael Myers (Halloween) faux bloody masks were de rigueur.  My youngest gets an idea and asks to borrow his father’s full length leather trench coat. Both of us being well aware of his imagination, my eldest and I look at each other part warily, partly with anticipation to see where this is going to go.

My youngest dons the coat and mask, pulls up the hood to the hoodie, grabs the big bowl of candy and when the coast is clear steps outside to stand perfectly still in a corner of the front porch closest to the front door.  He was already six feet tall by this point, thus he cut an imposing figure in the leather and bloody mask.  If any trick-or-treaters want candy, they are going to have to come to the statue to get it.

“Oh this is going to be good!” My eldest grins as we stand by the living room window to watch the scene unfold.  It takes a few minutes, but soon enough there are five or six children standing by the front gate trying to determine whether it is safe to come get the candy just sitting there in the bowl for the taking.  As always with such a group, some poor soul is goaded into being the brave one to investigate.

The little boy opens the gate takes a step in and stops. My youngest does not move a muscle. I cannot see him breathe; nor blink. He is a perfect Halloween statue. The little boy takes a few tentative steps more up the path, but still no movement from the statue. He looks back at his friends who goad him on. He makes his way up the short path to the first step and stops again, trying to gauge the situation. It is taking everything my eldest and I have not to laugh aloud as we watch this unfold.

“Hey, it’s just a statue holding a bowl of candy come up and get some!” The boy yells back to his friends bravely climbing the remaining steps as the friends come running up the pathway.  The boy raises his hand to get candy and the moment his fingers touch…


The “statue” comes roaring to life and scares the living heck out of the poor child and his friends.  They are screaming, running down the steps and halfway down the pathway, before the combined laughter of my sons and I make them realize they have just been had. My youngest stops laughing long enough to call the boy back and convince them all it is okay to have candy. He gives the other kids a few candies each, but lets the little boy take as much candy as he wants for being the brave one.


Slice of Life Story Challenge

Slice of Life Story Challenge

It seemed only fair since tomorrow is Halloween, that I have at least one such story for it.
And with this, the only non-fiction story of the set 30/30 set, I miraculously conclude the 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge on time.  It has been an interesting romp stretching my imaginative path, I hope you’ve enjoyed the stretch. I now return to my irregularly scheduled blogging.

30/30 – 29 | Ask

I was in Brussels when I received the news Nana Jean (my paternal grandmother) was gone.  My mother is very much alive and a part of my life, but if you ask anyone who raised me, including my own mother, everyone will say Nana Jean.  She was that kind of woman.  Her condemnations as wounding as her compliment as wonderful, she was a piece of work. Yes, I was the near spitting image of my maternal grandmother Nana Kayla, however my spirit was pure Nana Jean.  Though we had known for quite a while that the cancer was in its final stages and it was only a matter of time, the news of her passing still came as a shock.

I called my fiance, Justin, not even five seconds after I hung-up with Mama, but of course he already knew, by the time I reached him.  As always, he had all the right words to say to give me comfort. Still, there I was on the other side of the world negotiating a multimillion dollar deal for my company.  I was barely able to  concentrate on the deal, but I knew all eyes were on me and could not mess this up.  Luckily, I had a fantastic staff with me who immediately picked-up my slack and we got through the deal. I was on the first thing smoking back to the States before the ink was dry.

I had wanted nothing more than to get home as soon as possible, cry on Justin’s shoulders and then be the strong one for the rest of my family.  The only problem was, even once I made it back to the States, I needed to be with my family on the east coast and Justin was on the west coast where we lived. Yes, I have other family and friends who would be there for me, but they would not be Just and that was what I needed.

“How you holding up baby? Still have your curl?” Justin called around breakfast time, not even two hours after my arrival to my parents’ home.

I had spent the entire ride from the airport and the past couple of hours listening to my father and Aunt Tina argue over every little detail of Nan Jean’s arrangements.  I was not in my childhood home ten minutes and I already felt as though my head was going to explode.  Justin’s call was the perfect diversion and medicine for what ails.

“Yes, I still have it.” I couldn’t help but smile.  He knows me all too well, gently calling me out as the liar he knew I was, while I guiltily released the curl at my left temple that somehow always winds up twisted around my index finger whenever I was really upset or really bored. He jokes that if I kept doing so, I was going to twist it off one day. So every now and then he asks if it’s still there as way of teasing me and getting me to stop the bad habit.

“What was it about weddings and funerals that bring out the absolute worst in people anyway?” I finished my litany of family woes and whines. “You just don’t know, I feel like crap and a half right now.”

“Well, what would make you feel better right now, this instant?” He asks.

“You, just you.  You giving me a good hug and a kiss.” I said without hesitation, but with a little tinge of sadness knowing he’s on the opposite coast and that hug is not likely to happen for a few days.

“Ask and it shall be given,” He says ominously.  “All you have to do is open a door.”

Before I can say what the… the doorbell rings.

No…! I mentally gasp, running to the door, flinging it open.

Yes! Justin stands there smiling, arms wide open.

I flew into them basking in the strength of him pouring into me, and yes, I felt better.

30/30 – 28 | Beach

I am leaning against the balcony railing enjoying the warm sun, sipping mimosa.   I am on vacation with the family and there is absolutely no reason for me to be up so early.  Everyone else is sound asleep, but as I watch the rising sun slowly inch across sand and seas, I am so I had a chance to enjoy this.  Combined with the perfect cool breeze, it already tells me it is going to be a beautiful day.

In the distance, I spy two lovers walking along the shore heading in my direction.  As I am watching and smiling as they laugh, clearly enjoying each other’s company, stopping every now and then to embrace, lovers really is the only word to describe them. A part of me is just the tiniest bit envious as I see him take her in his arm and kiss her passionately.

They both feel this kiss deeply as hands travel bodies. They stop suddenly, remembering where they are and laugh.

After a moment, the woman suddenly takes off running.  As they get closer, I realize they remind me of a couple I know and I rack my brains trying to remember which of my peers behave like that lovingly toward each other.

The glass of mimosa nearly slips from my hand when the answer comes to me about five seconds before they see me on the balcony and wave.

My husband appears behind me, kissing me on my neck. I turn and give him a good, deep kiss in greeting.

“Well good morning to you!  Where’d that come from?” He grins, happily taking me in his arms to return the kiss.

I point to the couple on the beach, now within clear sight and wave back.

“My parents.”

30/30 – 26 | Argue

Darcy watches as Eric and Margo struggle to get their respective points across to the other.  His frustration is evident as Margo not so calmly takes each of his points and shoots them down as she  states her case again.  This goes on for another minute or so before Harry and Barbra struggle to add their two cents to the conversation.  It becomes more of a melee as Harry Jr., Denise and Sam jump into the fray. Darcy feels as though she is in a tennis match as her head swings to and fro between the speakers.  This is a first in her class and she is not quite sure yet how she wants to handle it.

She knows she should at minimum break up the debate as it disrupts the rest of her class who are also watching similar silent fascination.  Still, she cannot help but wonder how long can it go on before anyone in the discussion will realize exactly what is happening now.  One of the other student’s looks at Darcy trying hard to suppress a giggle as Sam, the comedian of the group, lets a good zinger loose among them.

Darcy looks at the clock and sees nearly fifteen minutes has passed.  Okay enough is enough now, she has to end it and does so the most effective way she knows.

“All of you just shut up!” She whispers just loud enough to make her point.

The entire room comes to a stand still in surprise.  Her voice is the first sound heard in the class in over an hour.

Eric, Margo and Sam immediately look contrite as they rub their respective fists in a clockwise circle in the center of their chests to Darcy. Eric adds using his thumb to tap the side of his chin while looking at his mother Margo.  Margo smiles and signs the letters O and K to Eric.  It takes another moment for them to realize what has happened and all burst into polite laughter. Just as with Darcy’s whisper, the sound is unusually loud in the room.

Margo and younger son Eric, Margo’s husband Harry, their oldest son Harry Jr., Harry Jr.’s wife Barbra and their son /Harry’s grandson, Sam have taken ASL  for almost a  year, along with a few other members of their family throughout the courses.  In today’s class no vocals were allowed.  So when Eric signed an off-the-cuff remake to Sam, Margo  saw it and chastised him in sign not wanting to embarrass him by speaking it aloud. The only problem was they were in a room full of people who can sign. Most had seen the exchange anyway and the silent argument between mother and son ensued.

“Have we argued all this time in ASL?” Eric signs.

Harry Jr. was the reason they were all there.  Diagnosed with throat cancer, this supportive family, as a unit, decided to learn ASL. This way they would all be able to communicate with him once he complexly lost his voice.

“Well so much for worrying about us not being able to communicate when the time comes.” Harry Jr. signs self deprecatingly. It was a valid worry in the rocky beginning of their taking classes,.

That was why she had let them argue. Now they know for sure that they can communicate.

“If we did not already know you were family. We do now” Is Darcy’s smiling response.

30/30 – 25 | Thursday


Gerri is unusually content for a Thursday. Normally Thursdays are her drudgery days. Her oh thank heaven tomorrow is Friday, I don’t think I can take it anymore day. She was about to stand in her usual spot  on the train, when she spots it; spots the anomaly.

The train is reasonably crowded, a couple standers, and ninety-five percent of the seats filled.

Ninety-five percent.

Yet , way off on the end she sees a whole row of three-seaters with only one person sitting in any of them.  He did not look homeless. There was no smell, no puddles. No, it can’t be, an empty seat?



A high-schooler takes one of the seats and she quickly takes the other. There is no jockeying for space. Everyone is comfortable, Wow! It even smells, well, clean.  It was not some chemical cleaner to the hilt, not someone drowning in a perfume, just a pleasant neutral clean scent.

The water sparkles beyond the trusses and lanes of the bridge.  The views of this side of downtown, as the train ascends from one tunnel, then the river and then the side of downtown before descending into the next tunnel are unusually breathtaking. The streets shine in the morning sun, drying from the recent rain. The river sparkles, sunlight dancing in myriad prisms on the waves.  She couldn’t remember the last time everything looked so lovely. Then again, Gerri couldn’t remember the last time she looked through the window to really notice.

The next station had a ton of people waiting on the platform for the train. Oddly enough, they were all waiting for the local train and she was on the express, where only a few people get on.

A young couple, disgustingly in love, sat across from her.  Were Gerri encased in flames while pirouetting, they would not have noticed.  All they had eyes for were each other and for once of their lip-locking did not want to make her roll her eyes. However, the old man standing by the door with his arm up to his elbow picking his nose did make her happy her station was next.

As she’s leaving Gerri notices a young cutie entering the train.  He’s so busy staring at her, his foot hit the small gap between the train and the platform causing him to stumble into the train. It takes everything she has not to look back as those on the train respond to him.

If you have to be temporarily encased in a steel coffin several days it’s nice to walk away smiling from it for once she thinks, grinning as she walks away.

30/30 – 24 | Shay

Shay slowly looked over to the empty side of the bed and arose softly. His spirit was still there, even if his body would no longer be. Very gingerly she pulled the pillow from his side of the bed towards her, as is trying not to disturb the person whose head still lay upon it.

She wrapped her arms around it tight, inhaled the lingering scent of his body still trapped in it and began to slowly rock. She still could not cry.

That worried her.

She knew it was coming. She felt it building up within her. It felt like being trapped on a shore watching the tsunami of all tsunamis come towards her. There was nothing to protect her from the oncoming devastation of it. Above all she knew when it hit, it would be ugly and there wasn’t a damn she could do about it even if she wanted to.

This was how Reese found her an hour later. Slowly rocking on the bed, holding on to the pillow with her husband’s scent for dear life. Reese closed the door gently behind her and watched her. What the hell is wrong with me!? She thought to herself, suddenly overcome with envy. My best friend is in PAIN, and I’m feeling envious? But she knew why.

Twenty-seven years.

Twenty-seven years Shay and Carl had been together. They had met in college. They were joined in spirit long before they were joined as a couple. Older, wiser people saw it, predicted it. Shay, Carl, Reese and all the rest of the younger generation who hadn’t lived long enough to know, were bemused by the elders prediction of longevity. Still, even their friends could see there was something in the way they related to each other that was special. Ten years into it, watching all their friends drop in and out of relationships, Shay and Carl started to believe. In their fifteenth year, they finally believed enough to get married themselves. Twenty-seven years, eight months and sixteen days, Shay told her yesterday.

Reese knew why she was envious. Deep down she wished that someone had loved her enough to be in the pain Shay is now. This level of sorrow could only have come from reciprocal level of love. Having been her best friend for the past thirty-three years, Reese was among very few people who knew just how deep the well of love between Shay and Carl. For Reese, losing Carl was only like losing your favorite brother. Shay lost so much more. Reese’s heart went out to her.

Shay held out her hand, but didn’t look at Reese or stop rocking. Reese sat beside her best friend, holding the offered hand. Reese knew Shay knew it was she. Very few people would dare just come into her bedroom. Turning to face her best friend, Shay couldn’t help but smile at the look of concern on Reese’s face.

Shay squeezed Reese’s hand, “It’s coming, but I’ll be all right.”

For a morning that started out dreary, the afternoon sun was more than apologizing for it. Ben watched her as she stood at the patio doors watching the autumn rays bounce off the water in the pool. Condolences are the last things she wanted right now, and she’s being gracious to everyone who comes to her, but she’s not there. The music from the party going on was physically only ten or so feet behind her.

Emotionally, it was worlds away from that room.

She honored Carl’s wishes with the party as she had with the service. It may not have been as short as he’d have preferred, but it was fun! Who else but Shay or Carl could turn a memorial into a roast!

Ben stood next to Shay at the patio doors and started humming the melody of the highly inappropriate song that was Carl and Shay’s wedding march . She nearly choked, as much from laughing at the sudden memory, as from Ben’s acute timing to her thoughts. The only thing funnier than the memorial had to be their wedding. That alone brought a faint, but fond smile to her face. It was nice to see an honest smile on her face again. It had been a while.

Shay half smiled, taking some comfort in his being near. They’ve been good friends for about twelve years now. Somehow, he made it to be one of the few people she called her “2am friends”. The type of friend you could call at 2am for anything without a second thought. At first Ben thought she was just being polite to him as Carl’s new friend. As time passed, it was Shay who received the first phone call in the middle of the night when his own mother passed three years ago and the true meaning of the phrase hit home. He hadn’t even called his girlfriend at the time until two days later. Not surprisingly she was soon his ex.

Ben lifted Shay’s chin up, the honest smile from a moment ago already fleeting into the plastic smile she had been using for the past few days. Damn, gone already! Shay shrugged, her heart gone from the room again. The only clue he had that she was still aware of his presence was her hand on his arm. They both stared out into the backyard, their separate thoughts anywhere but there.

A sharp pain in his arm brought him back to the moment. Shay was thanking a woman he didn’t know, but the pressure of her fingers in his arm increased. It dawned on him that the pressure had been increasing for the past few minutes. It was only now to the point of causing pain that he noticed it. He called her name gently as the woman walked away. The expression on her face as she turned to him that got his full attention. It was the complete lack of expression in her eyes to be exact as the pain in his arm increased more.

Someone else came up to her and she was responding. Shay was reacting completely by route. It was amazing to watch. Ben was probably the only person in the room that knew the extent of Shay’s emotional state at that moment and realized the only thing keeping her going was the death grip on his arm. He could feel his arm starting to go numb where she gripped. Shay was literally drawing strength from him and he knew the moment she stopped, he would lose her.

It was finally the stiffness in Shay’s own fingers that brought her attention to grip she had on Ben’s arm. She wasn’t even aware she had touched him, let alone held on long enough to cramp her own fingers. It had to be hurting him, but he wasn’t saying anything. Shay opened her mouth wanting to speak, to apologize, but nothing was coming from her. Ben, who had been speaking with someone on the other side of him, turned to her quickly when she released his arm.

Ben quickly grabbed her hand trying to get her to grip his arm again. It was too late.
Shay was suddenly aware of all the music, all the people, all the – everything, around her and the room spun. The last thing she heard was Ben calling her name, catching her before she could hit the floor.

30/30 – 23 | Flowers

Lisa looked around at the other children in her class.

Each hunched over a sheet of construction paper, little fingers tightly gripping crayons, their young brows furrowed in concentration as they drew. The others had proceeded to draw the moment their teacher handed them the materials and instructed them to draw flowers. From what she could see, the other children slowly drew yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

She had quickly drawn pretty flowers of orange colored petals, on purple stems. Flowers do not look like that, she was told. Her drawing was taken away and she was given a new sheet of paper. Lisa then drew a rainbow of multi-hued petals on swirls of green vines. Again, the drawing was taken away. She was told, to only yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

Lisa’s paper remained blank. She complained she did not want to draw yellow flowers on green stems, that there were other colors. It did not matter. They only wanted yellow petal flowers on straight green stems. She had to draw to yellow petal flowers on straight green stems. The other children started to tease; the teacher was clearly losing patience. When it finally became too much, Lisa drew yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

A few couple of years later, her family moved and Lisa was now in a new school. Her new teacher instructed the class to draw flowers. Lisa wanted to know what kind? Whatever kind Lisa wanted to draw was the response.

Any kind of flower?
Any color flower?

Any way she wanted it to look, the teacher smiled kindly.

Lisa her selected crayons and drew…

…yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

30/30 – 22 | Tea


Hyacinth steps off the elevator at the appropriate floor. The deep wood paneled, leather seated corporate headquarters looking every inch the ancient ivory tower of old school money she knew it would be. The receptionist was expecting her and escorted her to the boardroom where the meeting was well in progress.



Nearly twenty suited faces turn from the projection screen as she enters the room. No words exchange as Kendrick, the CEO and person who invited her to the meeting, simply nods toward the empty seat across from him at the front of the massive conference table. She nods in return, takes a seat and signals to the moderator to continue speaking. All heads turn to face the screen again, but she knows there are many surreptitious looks in her direction as well. No one knows who she is or why she is at this meeting.

That was the way she and Kendrick wanted it.


The meeting is still in progress when a serving cart arrives with a complete tea service. Again, no speaks other than the moderator still going through the facts, figures, and data necessary for the meeting. She calmly makes a cup of tea, her eyes only on the projection when not on the details of making the tea. As the Kendrick has not acknowledged her presence other than to indicate where to sit, no one else has said anything.

There is a tangible notice of tension rising as the meeting continues.


Greg, the company’s junior CIO finally stops the meeting demanding to know her identity and her purpose here. Hyacinth’s expression is the face of cool composure, while Kendrick’s face twists as he mentally curses at the loss $500. Kendrick just knew the senior CIO Frances would crack first. Hyacinth had bet that it would be Greg. Still, it had taken him almost an hour to do so and that was not good. Kendrick nods at her to begin. Hyacinth calmly sips the remainder of her tea and turns the empty cup over on its saucer.



She makes a small show of displaying the empty tea canister and empty teapot before she stands and faces the group.

“Ladies and gentlemen, your company is in trouble. I’m here to kick ass and drink tea. And I’m all out of tea.”

30/30 – 21 | Waidelm Part 2

For those new to the world of Ydarkra you can read the following entries, though not posted to the site in chronological order I’ve listed them as so here:

Watering Hole: Miranjii
Watering Hole: Mevralaud
Waidelm – Part 1
Waildem – Part 2 (This Story)
Untitled (excerpt – Assassin)


          Mevralaud knew calling after his brother would not be of use. Waidelm, ever the First Born, stayed his emotions very close, rarely allowing any to see in to him. Even in the private rooms among family, he was a hard read. The look that crossed Waidelm’s face was the closest Mevralaud had come to seeing his brother explode in a long while. When he was this furious, riding was the only thing that calmed him. He had to run this anger out. Still, Mevralaud would not let him run it alone in the forest, even if he himself is the cause of the anger.

          Realizing Mevralaud followed, Waidelm goaded Charekk faster. The mare was built for speed and easily complied. Luckily, so was Finiadd as Mevralaud pushed his own horse in pursuit. The others, on mounts not quite as swift, were left behind.

          Both horses and riders went at full tilt for a while before Mevralaud attempted to try to yell at Waidelm to slow down. The rains had made the terrain muddy and both horses had come near to loosing their footing. As they cleared the woods, Mevralaud realized they were near Etenbayl Ledge. The ledge named after an Ydarkran story when the brother godlings Giarad and Ydarkra challenged each other to an axe-tossing contest.

          Giarad’s battle-axe, named L’Drrek cleaved the cliffs, a two-day’s ride from where they were, that bares its name. Giarad’s throw was weak. The landing of L’Drrek caused a small (by deity standards), split in the land. One can carefully tread to its base, even during the rainy season.

          The brother’s rode where Ydarkra’s battle-axe, Etenbayl, landed. Unlike the mar left by L’Drrek, these cliffs were wide a jagged scar that split the woods. There was no easy way down except at the farthermost ends of the cliffs. Entenbayl Ledge was a treacherous overhang, where pieces of land were known to break and fall off and yet the overhang remained as massive as ever when looking up at it from the grounds below.

          They were close to the edge; Mevralaud could just make out the outer edges of the river below. He yelled for Waidelm to come inland where it was safer.

          “Ydarkra! Waidelm you must slow before you kill yourself!” Mevralaud yelled, “Brother please! STOP!”

          Waidelm, his face a rare mask of solid rage, yanked fiercely on the reins spinning Charekk around. There was a thunderous sound as both horses suddenly reared. Finniadd ran spooked. It took everything Mevralaud had to hold on until he could wretch control and spin him back around towards Waidelm.

          Waidelm was not so lucky.

          Waidelm dangled precariously off to the side of his spooked horse, his foot entangled in the saddle straps. That and his death grip on the reins were all that kept him on the horse. Before Mevralaud could get to them, the mare’s footing fully gave way, falling on her rider. Charekk whinnied loudly, trying to get up but could not seem to get her footing as all round them the odd cracking roared loudly. Finiadd reared again and Mevralaud hit the ground hard as the beast took off for the forest.

          Yelling voices were heard closing in; Mevralaud glanced over his shoulder. Amrieux, Seddiov VrasGengarri, Hentlan VrasKenura, T’Cerriag VrasKenura and Gebbriz VrasHongrin were in the distance just breaking the clearing of the woods. Gebbriz went after Finniadd.

          He could hear the others yelling, as they closed the distance between them, but could not yet understand what they were saying over the cacophony of birds that had suddenly taken flight. He had to get to his Waidelm who was desperately fighting to cut himself from the saddle reins. Mevralaud was feet from his brother when the cause of the roar became clear.

          There was a moment of the most eerie unnatural silence.

          Then the ground cracked under Charekk and Waidelm, starting to give away.

          Waidelm froze in terror before he began desperately clawing at his foot, as the horse, frantically kicking, started to fall.

          Dragging the still entwined Waidelm with her.
          Mevralaud leapt grabbing his brother’s mud-covered hands, desperately trying to pull back, while digging his heels in to find purchase in the muddy ground as they were both pulled by the horse’s weight.

          Waidelm screamed as weight of the horse turned the reins wrapped around his ankle into a type of garrote effectively breaking the bones that dangled over the newly creating precipice.

          Waidelm’s eyes went wide as his grip started to loosen.

          Mevralaud felt a sudden weight fall on him and then another and another as Amrieux, T’Cerriag and Hentlan grabbed him as desperately as he desperately hung on to his brother.

          The slide slowed.
          But it did not stop.

          “DarkraSeco, let him go!”
          “You are going to go over!”

          As the five men slid, Mevralaud only heard one voice.


          “Mevralaud, save yourself!”
          “No! Pull us back Hentlan! Pull us back!!”
          “Father cannot lose us both!”
          “He will not! Pull us!!”
          “You will be a fine Darkran, brother mine. Let me go.”

          Mevralaud felt himself yanked backwards as his Waidelm’s handslipped fully from his grasp. He scrambled for the edge desperately reaching out. Only Amrieux’ grabbing him by his collar and then flinging him to the ground, with Amrieux, Hentlan and T’Cerriag immediately falling on top of him – pinning him down, kept Mevralaud from going over the edge after his brother.


30/30 – 20 | Waidelm Part 1

I did say I’d return back to these characters eventually. Eventually is now.

For those new to the world of Ydarkra you can read the following entries, though not posted to the site in chronological order I’ve listed them as so here:

Watering Hole: Miranjii
Watering Hole: Mevralaud
Waidelm – Part 1 (This Story)
Waidelm – Part 2
Untitled (excerpt – Assassin)


          “Excellent, DarkraSeco! Excellent!”

          Seddiov applauded Mevralaud’s marksmanship as the stag dropped to the ground. Mevralaud nodded in acknowledgement of the compliment, but he was not completely happy.

          “It would have been a perfect shot had he not missed his objective which was the left eye, no?” Waidelm stood in his stirrups, to see the shot better.

          The outing to the Karmadris Range was pleasant enough. A visit that was normally par the course for being the sons of the Darkran, it was nearly an eight day ride to get there and they stayed in the Range for a fortnight, as was the norm. It was a pleasant surprise to both the denizens and the royal party as they had arrived during a celebration, unique for Karmadris.

          The return trek home turned sour as the rains came early this season.  Some of the storms were fierce, forcing the group to seek shelter in caves if one of the smaller towns or villages along the way were not reachable. It had truly galled them the previous morning to have taken refuge in a cave only to learn they were less than an hours’ ride away from a village. The lights of the small village simply were not seen through the dense sheets of rain pouring down on them. That they were now only two days away from home barely mattered.  The eight-day return ride home was now in its fifteenth day and all were in some form of surly.  Mevralaud had the idea to have a small hunt to provide meat for the night’s meal. Waidelm, grumpier than usual because of the delay, reluctantly agreed realizing their men needed to let off some tension.

          All was fine until it turned into a contest between the heirs apparent. Mevralaud knew he was the better marksman.  He really did know it, but Waidelm had a way of snatching defeat out of the jaws of Mevralaud’s victories that was grating the younger brother’s nerves.

          Mevralaud’s arrow had struck the soft area just under the jaw where it meets the neck, an excellent shot. Nonetheless, Waidelm was right.  Mevralaud was aiming for the stag’s left eye, when the beast suddenly raised its majestic head just as Mevralaud released the arrow. Mevralaud swore under his breath at Waidelm’s correct assessment. He could only be but so angry, for truth was truth. He merely wished his elder brother did not state so with such obvious glee.

          Mevralaud returned from inspecting his kill. Ombeyants were already descending upon the animal to prepare it. He would receive the tanned pelt as a souvenir once they were home.

          “It was a clean kill, the beast suffered little if at all and between us there is now more than enough meat to last until home. What is it that galls you so brother?”

          “You try so hard and yet fail the more.” Waidelm started, “You have such…

          “…potential.” Mevralaud finished the sentence, gritting his eyes. “Oh, praise for the ever glorious potential! You sound like Father…”
“Father is equally befuddled as to why you choose to play this injured role in which you seem to relish, boy.”  Waidelm shook his head at his younger sibling.

          “Boy? This injured role?” Mevralaud’s breath hissed between his teeth as he mentally bit down a pithy remark far too close to the edge of his tongue.

          “Now that is the most Darkran worthy thing I’ve seen you do in days.” Waidelm nodded at Mevralaud’s barely controlled restraint. “Of this I do approve.”

          “Your approval or approval’s lack, brother mine, is hardly that which keeps me awake at night.” Mevralaud responded carefully feeling a sliver more of his temper slipping.

          “No, brother mine that would be your many feminine indiscretions.” Waidelm snorted derisively.

          “Would that be envy I hear? Still have your ear to my door?” Mevralaud smirks, well aware of Waidelm’s choice to abide by the suggested tradition that a DarkraSeci wait until he was Darkran before bedding. As DarkraSeco, Mevralaud had no such edict, nor the compulsion to abide by it had such existed, for him.

          “No, it would be contempt you hear.” Waidelm shot back, “Who needs to listen through a door when the noise shakes the walls themselves.”
“Well yes, that last one in L’Carrettine was loud.” Mevralaud’s grin was unrepentant as he glared at Waidelm, “Louder than — what was her name? Ah, Kaileigh.”

Mevralaud winced as soon as the name left his mouth.

          K’Kaileigh VresJinuway.

          Kaileigh was one of the few who had said no to Mevralaud’s advances and meant it. That was challenge enough to the DarkraSeco who quickly learned the powers of charm. The Darkran’s insistence that he leave the female alone made her forbidden fruit all the more desirable. It was a moon’s long campaign to bed her even if the only people who would ever know would be the two of them.  To Mevralaud she was merely to be a hard-earned scratch on the bedpost. He did not know the ever-secretive Waidelm and their father were privately arranging an engagement with the young woman’s family that same week.

          Furthermore, neither was she aware of such.

          Not willing to tolerate the aural evidence of his younger brother’s activities one night, Waidelm stormed into Mevralaud’s chambers finding his now erstwhile intended’s body arched, her breast exposed, head thrown back in pleasure as Mevralaud’s head was as hidden in the raised layers of her skirts.   That her virginity was still intact mattered little then. Mevralaud had tasted of the fruit slotted for his brother.

          The withering look that crossed Waidelm’s face caused one of the few times Mevralaud ever backed-down to him.

          “Waidelm, I am sorry brother, there was no call for that.  It was wrong of me.”

Mevralaud did not need to see the looks of consternation from Amrieux and the others within earshot; he knew he had crossed the line as Waidelm simply turned and rode away from him without a word. Mevralaud cursed under his breath, running after his brother’s quickly receding back.
Waidelm suddenly took off at a gallop.


          Mevralaud, Amrieux, Hentlan, T’Cerriag and Seddiov ran to their respective mounts and pounded after him.

Waidelm – Part 2