Excerpt: Birth of a Storm

I’ve written here and there about Elias and Cira Dawn, and their time being the strangest pseudo-royal family that their temple has seen in many many years. The interesting thing to note is that Cira was deeply depressed after being declared the Oracle. It meant she could not wander as freely as she used to, and the friends she lost would stay lost out in the world. When she learned she was pregnant, some of her joy came back.


Twenty two hours of labor and the baby still hadn’t come. Cira let out another raspy cry as her body shuddered with pain. The nurses bustled around her like a kaleidoscope of moving figures. Someone held her hand, but between the intense false figures in the room and the storming outside, she couldn’t tell who. All that mattered was the baby that was so ready to come out, but couldn’t.

Something had to be wrong, but Cira lacked the words to ask. The speakers of the temple were standing by, but most of them had no idea what to make of her yet. She was a new Oracle and her prophecies were more obscured than most.

Words simply minced together in her head. After everything that she had seen and done, she was quite rightfully mad. She didn’t usually mind.

Thunder cracked and something in her shifted. Cira cried out a wordless plea, a prayer that she would at least get to meet her child. It was so lonely, being the way she was. The baby, she told herself, didn’t have to understand her. She would love it just the same.

Excerpt: Cira

Cira Dawn is one of my favorite characters, and definitely one of the most surprising as far as where her story went. Originally a D&D character, I have adapted her backstory somewhat to suit the Muunfel setting. Here’s a look at one of the misadventures of Cira well before she even considered having a child. This is shortly after she experienced a madness-inducing dimension hop.


Among the massive pile of treasures Cira and her companions claimed from the beast was a small cube. Cira picked it up and turned it over in her hands, and it buzzed with energy. When one side was pressed, Cira gasped as a sharp pull began right between her shoulder blades, like one of her many kaleidoscope friends was leading her off on a new adventure.

Phinn started to fade away, as did the others, one by one. Cira frowned as she realized they weren’t coming with her. Wait, she wanted to cry out, but her lips were sealed by whatever was yanking her out of the world. Phinn looked startled and leaped towards her, his hands outstretched. She slipped through them like water. The lights and shadows around her began to blur and spin in a sickening show of acrobatics. Cira, her senses overwhelmed by the pulling sensation and the sights and sounds of madness, lost consciousness.

Continue reading “Excerpt: Cira”

Excerpt: Whisper on the Run

I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything about this guy before. Introducing Gailen, another of my little characters and a troublemaker in his own way.


The night was seeping in, overtaking the glimpses of sky through the canopy above. Where before the leaves were vibrant green, now they were banners of black. They rustled in the night breeze and masked the bat wings in motion among them. The moon was like a grey-white eye trying to peer through the black branches to the underbrush far below. Nocturnal movements shied away from it, lest an owl spot them in the foliage. Their wings would be softer and quieter than the hanging moss and their talons sharper than a hawthorn.

One small pair of eyes watched from the curled roots of a tree, knowing the owls weren’t the worst creatures to be found out there.

Gailen moved the leaf he’d pulled aside to check his surroundings. It rasped against the others, all crisp and long dead and easy to stack in place. He had lined a crawl space under the roots with them. The cold ground couldn’t steal his warmth there, and the tree could shield him from almost all that would come for him.

Almost. He had to hope his insulation would keep him hidden from the tree. From the ones it would tell.

Excerpt: Bottled Rage

One story I like to work on from time to time is another short featuring Elias Dawn and Eral the Arbor Pixie, entitled Bottled Rage. It’s a fun little foray into the way Eral acts as tough as anybody when he’s drunk–a task that takes quite a few thimblesfull to achieve.

He still likes his demigod buddy well enough, but good luck getting him to admit it.


Bars were great. One of Eral’s favorite places to be after a successful quest. And before. And during, if there was time.

Elias was off chatting someone up. He had all the luck with the ladies (or guys) he happened to pick out. Eral just wound up being called cute most of the time. He didn’t try to be too friendly, unless he was angling for someone to let him borrow a thimbleful of their drink.

Drinking put a warm feeling in his gut and a lightness in his steps. For a pixie, the world could be heavy sometimes. Eral didn’t mind the help. The more he had, the easier it became to follow along with drinking games, anyway.

He had already had to regale whoever would listen of his adventures. Before Elias sauntered into his life, Eral had accomplished plenty on his own. Strangers didn’t chuckle at the notion as much as Elias did, but then the damn demigod never took anything seriously.

“Idiot thinks ‘cause he got um, them tattoos on’s arm that he’s the best at … at doing the thing and getting the reward shit,” Eral complained. He had a seat on an overturned shot glass, and a few of the bar patrons laughed along with his bluster.

“Whassis tattoos mean?” someone asked. Eral squinted to focus on who said it, and then glanced around the place. Elias had a corner booth with a couple of hangers-on around him. His sleeves were rolled up casually to reveal the curling runes in black ink on one arm. Still there.

“Fucked if I know,” Eral said, slopping some beer from his thimble when he used it to help his dismissive wave. “Buncha temple shit I think. Told me once an’ I damn forgot.”

A wavering hand descended slowly from above. Eral glanced up as its shadow flickered, and then he took a drink from his thimble. The hand came to rest next to his seat. “Shit,” the human slurred. The hand tilted and a finger tapped Eral’s back lightly. He almost spilled more beer.

“Atta … atta pixie,” the human said with a grin. “Who needsa bard anyway?”

NaNoWriMo Day 30

I made it!

It’s been such a fun project! Even though I did have a couple days where I just did NOT want to do ANYTHING, I made my word count and got the story very close to a really nice conclusion! I can’t wait to share more of it once I get it edited up.

Excerpt:

“Please help me again,” Seth spoke and signed at the same time. “Again” was new to them, but he doubted it mattered.

Click remained dim for several seconds, not a flicker of what they might be thinking on their skin. Then, finally, they lit up in a new pattern he hadn’t seen in some time. They most often used it in his first days when he was skittish. “It’s okay,” he guessed it meant. Then, they used sign to emphasize it. “I’ll help you.”

NaNoWriMo Day 29

Oh gosh I’m so close! And the ending of the story finally revealed itself to me as well. It’s been so much fun and the finish line is in sight! For now, here’s where I’m at.

Word Count: 49,342

Excerpt:

“I want,” he began, using sharp, clear motions as he curled his hands towards himself. It was one of the trickier signs to teach them, he’d discovered, without the benefit of any context or even an analogy to give them. He repeated it in case they needed to jog their memory on what the desperate motion meant.

“To go home,” came next. He’d never signed that to them before.

“I just want to go home,” he said it aloud along with the signs then, all at once and with even more yearning on his face. How much they could read from an expression was unclear; they’d never had to read body language like that before. But they’d learned sign.

NaNoWriMo Day 26

Back again. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling it for making a post. Today I feel pretty awesome about what I wrote. I’m on the home stretch, folks. 😀

Word Count: 45,207

Excerpt:

Seth held up a hand and, after a shaky, hesitant moment, pressed it against the barrier of his reverse fish tank. It didn’t feel like glass; it never had. It always reminded him of those fountains, the ones with a sheet of water raining down a clear surface, and instead of glass this time it was slightly pliant, like a cushion against the wild current.

Click stared at him in shock, the patterns flickering through their head tendrils and across their face.

Then, just as hesitant and just as gingerly from pain, they held up their own hand. It was much larger than Seth’s, but still they placed their palm against the barrier opposite his, meeting his gesture the best they could. They practically hid him from sight when they did it.

NaNoWriMo Day 24

I’m not leaping ahead like I assumed I would over the long weekend, but progress is being made! Seth has a dog now, which is cool. Now if only he could like … go home.

Word Count: 42,725

Excerpt:

Seth had his enclosure more organized. Some of it was by the sheer determination to finish projects, and some of it was by necessity. The dog, which he’d discovered was a girl and who he’d named Bubble, liked to chew on things if he left them lying around. Considering how enough of what Click brought him was some kind of plastic or twisted metal, he didn’t want to leave it around for her to choke on. He didn’t exactly have a vet around.

Bubble was smart. She learned a few tricks once she got more used to Seth and the sandy enclosure. Her favorite pastime, however, was to roll around on the sand, a goofy dog grin on her face whenever she glanced over to see if Seth noticed.

NaNoWriMo Day 23

I’m well out of the section of the story that I wanted to keep somewhat under wraps as a big plot-ish scene (does this story have plot? only kinda). And I’m back on track, sorta, to keep doing these posts again. Didja miss ‘em? If not, too bad, they’re back anyway.

Word Count: 41,622

Excerpt:

It had been so long since Seth saw a dog that he almost didn’t recognize it for what it was. It was a midsize animal, with somewhat shaggy fur clinging to it in clumps from the water. Its chest moved rapidly, so he knew it was alive as he inched towards it.

It rolled over with a sudden whine, and Seth noticed it favoring one paw as it tried to push itself upright. A short, jowly snout like a boxer angled at him, the nose twitching madly. One ear flopped over and the other stood up straight, and the dog’s tail was tucked close. It kept its head somewhat low and it shuddered visibly.

“Oh, you’re kidding me,” he muttered.

NaNoWriMo Day 18

Woooo I hit a pretty important plot landmark today! It was a lot of fun and it actually launched my word count back up from the last few days. The following scene was kinda scary to imagine but also I’m pretty sure I’ll need to revise it a bit to actually make it scary to read lol. That’s what first drafts are for, right?

Word Count: 35,635

Excerpt:

He pointed at the giant once more and enunciated the best he could despite his bubble muffling and echoing around him. “Click.”

To no surprise, Click emitted the chittering noises that had inspired Seth’s name for them. They were curious now; he recognized that pattern. He repeated the action once more, and suddenly felt silly for it. They had no need for spoken names; who knew what they would take away from this exercise.

The patterns suddenly brightened and flashed in excitement. He smiled, even though his cheeks were warm with some embarrassment. He couldn’t have expected that to work, but already they were glowing rapidly at Fireworks. The other giant was watching with more interest now. The spark patterns that inspired their own name lit up enough to reflect in their eyes, and they leaned closer to the bubble.

They held their chin in their hand in a thoughtful gesture that looked entirely human, considering they were a giant from the cold abyss under the ocean. Their own hooting chirps murmured out of them as they flickered new patterns over their face.

Seth had no idea what they might be saying now, but this all felt like a huge breakthrough. After days of living in a coral box with few ways to communicate, few ways to assure them he was an intelligent being, suddenly they were reacting to him as if he was.