A Huntress is Born, Lives, and Stalks Through My Fantasies…

Tag Archives: excerpts

It’s #WIPpet Wednesday –K.L. Schwengel’s brainchild which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

We’re getting close to the final snippets before March, when I will be revising CD for NaNoEdMo, and you get even better passages!

March will be an editing month, and then April and May will be creating months, with the 2014 A to Z April Challenge , CampNaNoWriMo, and Story-a-Day May.

Lots of busy happiness ahead, and I’ll be sharing more details on these in the coming weeks.

And now, on to the WIPpeting!

WIPpet Math:

Today is February 19, 2014.

  • Today’s math is – all about tomorrow. Tomorrow, you see, my husband turns 50. We also celebrate the 17th anniversary of the day we met.
  • So, you get 67 words from the beginning of the climactic scenes.

Henry, Nockatee, and Tisira have a bit of a fan club amongst the#WIPpeteers, so we’ll stay withTrueborn Weft series fantasy WIP, Chameleon’s Dish– at least until we get to a place where sharing might give too much away.

Chameleon’s Dish is the companion volume to Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series Star Trek fan fiction).

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk her lost identity.

This snippet occurs a bit after my last WIPpet. In actual timelines, this snippet is set on 29 June 1613 – the day of the Globe Theatre fire.

Tisira tugged and grunted; the trapdoor was meant to be lifted by a grown man, and not a girlchild. But Henry was on the other side, maybe still not knowing there was a fire, and his life in danger. She couldn’t feel him now; too many other minds clamored and twisted in the mass chaos of flight.

She had to reach him. She set herself, and heaved…

Will Tisira get the trapdoor open, and save Henry? Will they survive the fire? And what comes next, now that Tisira has remembered herself?

Well, now – for that, you might just need to read the entire book…! Of course, I’m going to need to revise it first…my business for next month.

Here’s a fitting song for the moment… and a hearkening back to my own childhood, with a father who has a passion for “The Man in Black.”

Want more WIPpets?

 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday –K.L. Schwengel’s brainchild which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

Before I get to the WIPpet, I want to announce that I’m getting close to the point where sharing would involve spoilers. I think I have enough snippets left to last until March, when I will be revising CD for NaNoEdMo.

I’m not quite sure what to offer in March. I will be writing many new scenes and tweaking and rewriting much of what’s here – there are serious issues to deal with, subplots and characters and conflict and disasters to add…it will still have the charm of Henry and Tisira, with a much more cohesive, rich storyline. I might.

  • Offer bits as I go – this could get confusing, as the new scenes will be woven in throughout the novel, and I will be going back to the beginning.
  • Offer revised versions of snippets already shared, for comparison and comment.
  • Offer something else…I’ve been making pre-editing notes aplenty for Bounded by a Nutshell, the companion fanfic for this WIP. I could share those, or something else.

I’m open to suggestions or preferences, and will decide for sure before the last post of the month.

And now, on to the WIPpeting!

WIPpet Math:

Today is February 5, 2014.

  • Today’s math: (14-5+2=11). I subtracted the date, the 5th, from the last two digits of the year, 14. Then I added 2 for the month.
  • Today’s WIPpet is 11 sentences.

Henry and Tisira have a bit of a fan club amongst the #WIPpeteers, so we’ll stay with my Trueborn Weft series fantasy WIP, Chameleon’s Dish at least until we get to a place where sharing might give too much away.

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk her lost identity.

We rejoin Tisira as she is, once again, up in the air…

This snippet occurs several hours after my last WIPpet, In the Heavens .Chameleon’s Dish is the companion volume to Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series Star Trek fan fiction).

Tisira slipped carefully, hairsbreadth by hairsbreadth, from beneath Henry’s outflung arm, loathe to wake him and feel the sharp bite of his fears – a bone he could not give up gnawing. Just as she could not give up the Hunt for the meaning of the words,or the wrongness of the stars.

He said nothing of it, ever; nor did she, anymore. And yet it was ever there between them, this gnawing, a live thing eating at their easiness in one another.

She stood watching him for a twentybreath – not her purposeful breaths, already wanting to be out and away, but his slow, sleeping comforting breath. She let it flow through her, binding them, setting a part of herself to his rhythm, to keep him with her as she Hunted, and mayhap to be a part of his dreaming.

But then the gnawing grew too much, and she Changed, slipping out the open window, and up to the thatched roof. It was a middling stifling night, with thick full air, but at least the scents she read from this far up were spiced with the river, and the temptation of the woodlands.

The stars are fire,” said Father’s voice, in her mind, as she looked to the stars, their wrongness still gnawing, gnawing. Was it imagining that she heard, too, not only the voice of the actor who had spoken the line in the courtyard below, but another, a singing voice like a man too far gone into his drinking bowl, as she sometimes saw at Osiraan?


Will Tisira unravel this riddle? Will Henry be the one wakening alone? Are there other dangers lurking, as yet undetected? And what or where is Osiraan?

Come back next week to find out…!

 And, one more thing before I go…

Here’s a song for the girl who Hunts answers and gnaws at bones, while the world sleeps and spins around her. It also happens to be one of my personal favorite bits of musical loveliness.

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It’s #WIPpet Wednesday –K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

 WIPpet Math:

Today is January 1, 2014.

  • Today’s math is simple. 1 for the month, and 1 for the date, added to 14 for the final two digits of a brand new year (1+1+14=16).
  • Today’s WIPpet is 16 sentences.

Henry and Tisira have a bit of a fan club amongst the #WIPpeteers, so this week we’ll stay with my Trueborn Weft series fantasy WIP, Chameleon’s Dish.

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk her lost identity.

We rejoin Nockatee and Henry at London’s White Hart Inn. Nockatee has found the words she was seeking, but now feels that she must look to the stars for her answers…answers that might not come in time to avert a disaster she can’t define.

This snippet occurs two weeks after my last WIPpet,Words – Eden’s Birthday Post.Chameleon’s Dish is the companion volume to Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series Star Trek fan fiction).

They’d been a fortnight at the White Hart, now, and had hired themselves out to do all the errands and tasks Goodman Thomas found too much for his aching back, in exchange for their meals. And they had their little room up under the eaves, where Nockatee could sit every clear night, and see the stars – the stars that still drove her, every morning, to try to force her remembering, the stars that still felt wrong, somehow.

She knew it was not in keeping with sima garo, this forcing; she could sense more of its shape, now,enough to know that she ought only to be open, and wait for it to provide answers.

But time was too short to wait. She knew it, Father knew it, and so did Mother. They were fixed on each other, but something was wrong, and they were not together. Could not be together…because of her?

It made little sense, but there it was, an idea that followed her everywhere, nipping at her heels, stalking her…

It haunted her, bringing unease when she was awake, and nightmares when she slept.

It was only one of the things that gnawed at her as though she was the last fresh bone of the kill.

She tried to keep the fears from Henry, lest he concern himself further over things she couldn’t even put words to, and could do nothing to change.

But he knew, and, in his own quiet way, tried to help. He arranged for them to run errands for the troupe from Shakespeare’s own theatre, the Globe, in barter for seats at the side of the stage when they were not working, because she loved the plays, and could forget, while the stories unfolded.

He took her to three dances – they could not partner, though, because she must pose as a boy to be accorded the right to work, – but she could not bear to see another girl touch him, and so they stopped.

“Henry,” she whispered, one morning, once the white searing pain of failing, yet, again, to remember her stars had faded to a place where she could think. “I must go Hunting.”

What is the mysterious trouble Nockatee senses? Why does she feel that the stars are wrong, and time is short? Will sima garo provide answers, or only more questions?

Come back next week for another installment – maybe there’ll be some answers then!

Here’s a tune that seems to capture a bit of Nockatee’s conflicts, and her mood:

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read and/or join in yourself!

It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet NaNo Math:

Today is November 13, 2013. It’s also the seventh birthday of one of the coolest guys I know – my nephew Nate!

  • For today’s offering, I began with Nate’s age (7).
  • Then I created an equation with digits of the year (2+1= 0+3= 3), and added these to Nate’s age (7+3=10).
  • That’s a lot of silliness to say that you get 10 shortish paragraphs today, because it seemed like a natural amount to give you! =)

During November, I offer my brand-spanking new for NaNo 2013 Trueborn Warp series Star Trek fan fiction WIP, King of Shreds and Patches.

Here’s the logline I’ve created for it:

Spock and an enigmatic woman from a troubled time in his past struggle to save two worlds from alien threats, neither knowing whether their renewed connection will bring salvation or devastation.

Since there are four point of view characters in this WIP, and four weeks, I will be sharing a snippet of each character’s opening scene – a bit I think speaks to where they are at the beginning of things.

This is the very beginning of Jim Kirk‘s story. We find him living a duller life than he used to, and ready for any opportunity to break loose…and suddenly realizing that he might have found one in an unexpected place – Out There, somewhere…

This WIP deals with the time frame and events covered in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. For those who want a context within the Trueborn double series, these events take place before Spock discovers whether his T’Lys is real, or a childhood dream he’s expanded on over the years.

It’s the companion volume to Sima Garo Provides (Trueborn Weft Series), original fantasy.

This rough-draft passage is lightly edited to remove obvious gaffes and for style.


James Tiberius Kirk, Admiral, Starfleet Special Operations, knew that he ought to be alarmed, or at least concerned, by the eerie images flashing across the eyes-only briefing room screen. A quick glance around the curving table revealed that the other five watchers were – well, except for Nogura. The Old Man was inscrutability personified – he never revealed his emotions. Jim had often wondered if he’d taken lessons from the Vulcans.

But the others were all staring intently at the screen with expressions that ranged from open-mouthed shock to a thoughtful type of concern. A little belatedly, Jim plastered something on his face that he hoped looked like deep worry – he didn’t think the Old Man was watching him, but it would hardly do to reveal what he was really feeling.

He wondered what it said about him that, when he watched the footage – this was the second runthrough, slowed down to avoid missing any detail – that he felt, more than anything, a sense of excitement and possibility.

There was a thing out there, and it was headed this way.

And the only ship in a position to intercept, if it came to that, was the Enterprise.

It was true that she wasn’t his ship, any longer – the promotion to the soul-numbing ranks of the Admiralty had taken him out of the center seat and parked him firmly, and, until now, apparently permanently, behind a desk. But Willard Decker was an untried young captain. So far, the biggest thing he had ever commanded was a starship in drydock, undergoing a refit.

He was not in the least prepared to take on a threat to Earth – the heart of the Federation.

And Nogura had to know that, had to know that, sitting right here in this room, was the man who had commanded that starship for five eventful years, years that had made him a beloved legend and a popular hero. The man who had personally seen to the administration of every aspect of that refit, including suggestions on senior staffing…Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Chapel – even Decker was captain, at least in part, because Jim had suggested his old friend Matt’s son for the position.

Jim stared at the screen as though still needing confirmation, and sent out a silent and grudging thanks to Spock, wherever in hell he’d disappeared to, for giving him so much first-hand experience with assumed calm. Otherwise, he was sure his racing heart and mind would be obvious to everyone in the room.

The replay wound down, and Nogura rose to stand beside the viewer as it displayed a new set of graphics – projected distance into the Klingon Empire, time projections for entry into Federation space, arrival at Epsilon Nine and, if it maintained its heading, Earth.

There we have it – a man trapped in a life he’s not at all sure he wants, who sees a chance to escape. Will he take it? Is he ready? Will his personal motives get in his way? What is that thing out there, anyway? (Okay, if you’ve seen the movie, you already know – but there is a lot more to the story than appears on the screen, I promise!)

No, I’m not telling you – not yet. I’m still writing it, and I want you all curious and eager when I come back! =D

And stay tuned for December, too, when I will be offering a bit of a holiday treat – each week, YOU will get to pick the WIP, and the POV character!

Let’s close out with the only song I could possibly put here….I’m not sure I can say, “Enjoy!” with a straight face, but may it provide a groan, a chuckle, or a “What the – ?!” With my kids, I got “What the heck am I watching?” and “How can I replace my blood with this?”

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself! We love new folks, around here!

 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

 The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is September 4, 2013.

  • For today’s offering, I’ve added the digits of the day, month, and year (9+4+2+0+1+3=20).
  • Then, I added one, because it fit, and in honor of my son’s birthday week. =)
  • You get 21 sentences today!

During August and September, I am focusing on editing the paired volumes,Chameleon’s Dish (Trueborn Weft series), and Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series).

Bounded by a Nutshell is my August WIP. It is a Star Trek fanfiction novel that tells the other side of Tisira’s story – her family’s search for her, after her sudden disappearance..

This week, we begin at the beginning, with the first scene, as written. In the midst of a conversation, Spock collapses, leaving Doctor McCoy to figure out why.

This rough-draft passage is lightly edited to remove obvious gaffes and for style. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I have written an alternate version of this scene, which can be found here. It’s a spicier scene, and I’m not decided on which to use…likely, there will be elements of both in the next draft. Feel free to read both, and comment as you wish.


Spock stopped speaking, mid-word, his eyes glazed, and nearly fell into his chair, slumped over and far too pale.

“Spock?” Len asked, alarmed, and, when the Vulcan didn’t respond, “Spock!

Spock’s breath was coming in pained and infrequent gasps. Len grabbed at his scanner, not even taking the time to mute it. The Vulcan looked far past the point of caring.

There was no physical trauma – but his brainwave patterns showed some areas of highly chaotic activity, almost as though he had suddenly retreated into himself, searching for something.

“Tisira!” Spock shouted, and jerked upright, his eyes wide, wild, and unseeing.

McCoy gripped his shoulders. “What is it, Spock?”

Spock’s stare darted, then fixed desperately on him. His eyes hadn’t focused, yet, though, and he didn’t seem aware of much beyond whatever was going on in his mind….

He lurched to his feet. He finally fixed on Len. “Tisira is gone. From my mind. I must – find her.”

“Not like this, Spock. Not logical or efficient.Give yourself a minute.”

“Tisira may not have one.”

There we have it – a father who has suddenly lost his child. What will happen next?

No, I’m not telling you – not yet. There’ll be more, next week, and every Wednesday in September.

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself! We love new folks, around here!

 It’s WIPpet Wednesday again!

 The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is August 21, 2013.

  • For today’s offering, I’ve subtracted the digits of the month from the date (21-8=13).
  • This worked out perfectly with the passage I wanted to share, so….
  • You get 13 liness today!

During August and September, I am focusing on editing the paired volumes,Chameleon’s Dish (Trueborn Weft series), and Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series).

Chameleon’s Dish is my August WIP. Here’s the logline I’ve created for it:

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk her lost identity.

This week, Tisira begins making excursions into the woodlands where she has inexplicably awakened from a nap in her father’s office.

She’s survived a week, more or less, and has seen no one – until now.

This passage is lightly edited to remove obvious gaffes and for style.


The dream had begun pleasantly, but now there was some element of danger in it.   It worried at her, would not leave her to enjoy her dreaming.   Danger!, it whispered and sang and shouted – 

Tisira awoke with her hackles up and her talons digging into the roughened bark.   Someone was coming through the forest with a staggering,crashing loudness, singing – or, more accurately, shouting, as he came….

“Doubt thou the stars are fire,ho!   Doubt that the earth doth move, hey!   Doubt truth to be a liar, oho!   But never doubt I love, ohayha!”

The words sizzled into Tisira’s soul. I know those words! – but, in this breath, she could not remember from where she had them.  

The man came on, about two twentypaces away, veering here and there, but generally moving deeper into the forest.   “I know th’road’s round here, s’mwhere,” he muttered, as he stumbled through the undergrowth, then he started singing again…

There we have it – the village drunk, maybe? The Bard himself? Friend, foe, or neither?

No, I’m not telling you any of that – partly because I want to keep you in suspense, until we come back to Tisira, and partly because, while taking editing notes for this scene, I realized that shortly after this bit, what I had written was contrived and flat. And, then, – whammo! – the scenes launched themselves into my mind, where they are now making a delicious lovely chaos with the plot.

Tisira will be back on hiatus, after this week, until October, when she will return, hopefully with some answers…at least, until she falls out of that tree and forgets everything!

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

In other news, I may have found not one, but two theme songs for Tisira and Henry – accidentally…here’s the one I imagine for Tisira, and I will reveal Henry’s next week.

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself! We love new folks, around here!


I took this picture of a runoff creek along the Hudson River in my hometown of Stillwater, New York. I imagine Henry and Tisira’s stream looking something like this….

Henry was heading to his lean-to from the cottage, traveling along the stream that ran like an echo of the road. He was laden with empty packs he must fill with his winter’s meat, when he first caught sight of the faerie-kin.

She wore nothing but her skin, her young body strong and darkened by the sun in a way he had seen sailors, or those who lived in places far closer to the center of the world.

Or else people from mythical places he had heard of, around the bawdy houses and theatres of Southbank, where people were said to be so dark they seemed made of earth, or even night.

He’d seen women and men of her shadings, but none were from here, where the sun shone as though through water, dimly…

She moved as one who was meant to be in wilder places than this little bit of common woods, scarcely two days’ walking in any direction, and set aside for freedmen to hunt within.

She seemed to have the born wariness of a wild beast, now, listening, scenting at the air, and blending into shadows so that, if Henry had not known these woodlands even better than he knew the walls of his own cottage, he would not have seen her at all.

He knew he should move along -he had need still of meat, groundnuts, and furs for the coming cold. And nymphs and their ilk were known not to suffer well the intrusions of mortals, no matter their reasons.

If that be what she was.

It was said, though, that such creatures were enchanted, that once looked upon, there was no looking away, no returning to the life that had been. Henry had never believed it, not truly.

Now, though, as the small creature stopped to sit quietly upon the bank, her gaze lighting everywhere, then fliting away again, he was not nearly so certain, for he could not leave off staring at her, even at the risk that she would see him.

She half-turned, and Henry forgot even to breathe, lest she see him – yet the fading sunlight danced with eyes that were as blue – nay, bluer! – than the sapphires he’d seem on the bedecked ladies the morts and their men favored for the purse -cutting, and her hair a shining flow dark as night. Of a sudden, he wanted to see those eyes smile and laugh, to touch that hair, which looked softer than even the finest of ladies could boast. He wanted to know all there was to know of this lovely, rare creature.

It seemed that she must have seen him, must know he watched, but she gave no sign of it. The wide bright eyes – eyes that seemed to belong to a child perhaps three years less aged than he – kept moving, in the way of wild animals who must look, and she was still scenting the air.

But Henry knew how to become part of the woodlands. He had used the musk of a rutting fallow deer to mask his own scent, and he knew how to be still and silent, so that even his breath could not be seen. Even though she was only off twenty paces or so, she did not show any knowing that he was there.

She stayed as she was a moment more, before fixing her gaze on the water in a way that bespoke a wildcat far more than a faerie. She leapt lightly from her place to crouch upon a sunwarmed rock, and went still – still in a way that Henry knew he could not, even with a lifetime to practice it, the way schoolboys studied sums and letters. His pride in his own stillness faded – she was as the trees, or the rock beneath her…

After the sinking sun had moved nearly to the edge of the bank, she brought her hands up to her head, where a long strand of ebon hair had fallen into her face. She pulled it back, and with a twisting motion, she secured it all in a knot at the nape of her neck.

And Henry bit his lip hard to keep from gasping at the sight of her delicately pointed ear…an ear that said, beyond all doubting, now, that she was not as he was, that she was not a girl as he was a boy…not human.

It terrified him, and excited him, to have this sudden proof that such things did exist, and he wondered what manner of fey creature this was. Or was she a witchling, else demon-spawned?

He could not think so, watching her watch the water, leaning carefully forward so that she could see, but not so far that she cast any shadow below. No, she did not have the feel of wrongness about her. Otherness, for certain, and he would not deny that. Yet, still- she belonged to wild places, was a part of them. Henry could feel that.

But would Satan announce the guise he used to steal souls?

He wanted to go now, to flee, to pretend that he had seen no such creature, that he was just as he had been when he set out this morning.

But he knew that he would not leave while he could see her. He could not; he was ensorceled by her…no, there was no leaving her. He knew he would follow her, if he could, and learn all he could of her.

Inspiration for Tisira in her elemental Huntress state….

The girlchild-creature began to – to become something else, something that came in bits and pieces, stuttering forward only to retreat again, and then the other way, until, at last –

An animal that looked very like a young lynx kit crouched, slowly sinking belly to rock, so slowly lifting a paw, holding, motionless, as the sun dropped lower, drawing shadows over the water…

The paw shot out, the body uncoiled, and, before Henry was fully aware of her motion, she had flipped a leaping fish up out of the water, bitten through its backbone, and tossed it behind her on the bank, settling at once back to wait, as though she had not moved…

But the fish was there behind her on the rock, twisting in its death dance.


Curious? Click here!

Jeniah could feel Shinjao and, more dimly, Rachyl. Kaivelt became less distinct; even though she had known that he would, that he must, to commune with the two healers, it left her feeling bereft, somewhat cast aside.

“You cast him away yourself, more than once, sister. There is no reason in now mourning such a small parting.”

“No, it doesn’t make sense.” She shrugged. “But then, neither does anything about what lies between he and I. Why should this be any different?”

~ Sima garo provides, my own. Even when you do not understand. So you have said to me, when I doubted.~

It was a distracted musing, but she took odd comfort in it, and in Vaara’s acceptance of their link.

She let his thought, his mind-voice, his presence, become as a glowing ember within her, to warm her as they Ran, and as he gave Rachyl what he could give her to help those who might be wounded by what his mind referred to as ‘energy weapons’.

To occupy herself, she allowed herself to sink into awareness of the Huntthread, and the deeper, richer, and far more elusive rhythm of Aletris herself. She needed to shift a great deal of her attention to perceive that low thrum – it was a deeper part of her, even older sound than bloodpulse or breath.

Generally, she lived her life, part of that deep rhythm without being truly present in it. Now, though, Kaivelt’s presence suffused her with his calm certainty, she began to feel Aletris, too, rising up through her; she began to vibrate to the pulse of her world.

This had happened before, but never so naturally, or so fully. She was herself,running along the ground, and she was also the earth, embracing the fleet feet of the Huntresses as they Ran, the tiny stumbles of the newly born, the cradle of Watersdeep and rivers and streams, and the sustenance of roots…

And there were the Wounds – the wounds her Trueborn children had inflicted- painful, but a part of the way of things – her children had need for these contests, sometimes, and there were ways of healing…

But the rending…the tearing…the raping! These things – unnatural, wrong! – these creatures from not-here, taking without offering, without balance, without leave. And the taking was infecting the world, and Aletris could not rid herself of them.

Her world needed her. Aletris needed help; Aletris was far from helpless. She would give her energy, her power, her wealth of resources, to aid in the ridding.

She ran, and leapt into trees where they still stood, here before they became barren skeletons that could no longer even harbor life, and flowed from branch to branch, knowing that, joined with her world, she could not fall…

And Kaivelt was a glowing warmth, within, blending with her, joining with Aletris, as he helped Rachyl learn what she would need to learn, becoming somehow a part of this world too, in his willing service to her and this planet she called home…


~Sima garo provides, my own. For you, and perhaps also for such as I – ~

She felt his fatigue. He was recovering himself, but it was arduous and slow -like a tenday hunt, thriceten over. And, beyond what they shared, he had had contact with no one. In truth, he had not yet left the Severed Ones. He knew he would go to his old friends as they ventured into Everdeep to search for the entity that still sought him, still sought its purpose.

But he had been so long away, so long from allowing and accepting emotions as part of him, inextricable. This renewed joining, begun involuntarily, almost reflexively, had shaken him, and left him raw.

Her needs, at the same time, strengthened him and made him vulnerable. He was coming to life – but with a woman he could not see, could not touch, could not claim in the way all he was yearned for.

It did not matter to her that she was the stronger in the arts of the mind. But, to him, there was an unspoken threat in it, and a fear, because she had Severed him so easily. So long as he had been unaware of her power, or thought that she was only fantasy it troubled him little, this contact between them.

But now –

~You could Sever me in a heartbeat – or kill me.~

His concern brought a wave of dark amusement. ~ As I have always been, fierce one. And as I will be able to, as easily, if we are truly together.~

He was fatigued from the sharing with Rachyl, which had required much of him. Soon, now, sleep would take him – but he resisted, needing to understand this new threat that she posed. ~It has always been so, my own?~

~Always. I cannot be other than what I am. ~

~No. As indeed I cannot…~ He probed her now, clumsily because he was so near sleep, searching for some comprehension. ~I have wounded thee, as badly, and still can and may?~

~You had no need to ask, Kaivelt. You know already the truth of it. We can and will hurt one another, as all who give of themselves, and open themselves, can and do. ~ She stopped herself so that she would not say the rest, but he stroked the place where she held the thought – a supplication, and an offer.

Jeniah returned his caress. ~ I give you my trust, Kaivelt, my fierce one – even in the face of what you have done, and what you may yet do. I trust that you do as you do with the best intent you are capable of, at all times, and that you will trust in me to the extent that you are willing and capable of trusting. I ask nothing of you that you will not freely offer – now and ever. You are your own, fierce one, and not mine to lead or command.~

~You offer so much…and I have nothing of value to offer you in return – not even myself. ~ After so much damage, so much change, so much exertion, he was feeling particularly bereft of self and anchor, in this moment. He wanted to hold to her, but could not as yet trust, and knew he might yet be swayed in another direction, and away from her.

Jeniah smiled. ~You are more asleep than awake, now, but hold these words in your dreaming, if you will. ~

~I will, my Huntress, my own.~ She knew well enough to smile at his flow of feeling – he held himself always wary of any such displays when well awake – but,as sleep neared, he softened as though he were a milk-drunk babe –

A half-dream, vivid, sensual – he lay with his skin bare against his mother, smelling her, gulping at her warm sweet milk. He watched the play of her face, the way her gaze made him feel as warm and safe as her milk, even though she was cooler than him.

And, somehow, he was also with her, holding her, surrounded by arytana and starlight, and all was feeling as he surrendered to the visions and sensations.

Jeniah could not join him, because Aletris was singing in her soul, too, and she was not now free to go where his dreaming led. Instead, she slipped her thought into his paired dreams and he sank deeply into them. ~You are enough, as you are. What you have to offer, freely, is enough. And those are all I have to offer you.~

He was the babe, his suckling slowing now, sleep coming for him, the milk escaping to drip into his ear, tickling, and he laughed a surprised infant laugh, still staring into the vivid blue of his mother’s eyes, as she laughed along with him…

Inspiration for Jeniah in Lynxform. Public domain image. Click for source.

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