I’m too ill to write full short stories at the moment, but I have Kaitlyn Felis, protagonist of Hidden Alchemy on my mind at the moment. So I wrote out a moment that’s important to her. A single scene that may, or may not, stand alone.
The moment she collected her first artifact.
It felt as if the whole world fell silent. The entire jungle froze, all eyes on the man before me. His face split into a sharp-edged grin as he lifted the necklace over his head. A voice somewhere within me screamed at him to stop, but my curiosity got the better of me. The gaudy necklace, with its thick gold chain and bright orange jewel, held within it a form of fire magic that I’d never heard of before. Some said it was a weaver’s construct gone rogue, others said it was a fire elemental that lost themselves to the fire. All I knew was that it gave the wearer the ability to wield fire like a tier one elemental. Of course that came at a price.
It started in the man’s eyes. They shifted from a deep chocolate brown to a bright ember burning against his rich copper skin. His grin widened as fire sprang from the palms of his upturned hands and slowly spread up his bare arms. His foot paused mid-step when his grin faltered and his breathing hitched. It all happened so quickly. The elemental was supposed to slowly devour him, breath by breath, instead it tore him apart in a blazing inferno that burst from his chest. He didn’t even have time to scream.
The necklace sat in a neat pile of ash, an odd greyness against the vivid greens of the jungle around us. All eyes had turned to me, would I survive the test? I put my shoulders back and strode up to the ash, failure wasn’t in my behaviour set. The whispers began when I reached out to touch it, quiet murmurings that told me he was weak, that it loved me most of all. My hand had almost wrapped around the orange gem when I caught myself. I retrieved my long tweezers and dropped the necklace in a thick alchemically reinforced gryphon leather bag. It was a rather unceremonious gesture, and that somehow felt fitting.
I got my start in writing with descriptive paragraphs, and that’s what I return to when I want to relax. These are some such paragraphs from the Ink world (where Ink Born & Hidden Alchemy are set).
Barcelona is full of dance magicians.
The cream stone was gently weathered giving the corners a softness that called out to passersby to run their fingertips over and savor the moment. Above, the sky was blushing pink with pale blue kisses edging along the wisps of cloud. In the quiet moment, hidden at the junction between two narrow alleys, a dance magician closed her eyes. The wild magic had stretched languorously along the edge of the terracotta roof, it fluttered mellow greys and silvers, patiently awaiting the show. The dancer tilted her head back and smiled feeling the familiar warmth of her magic caress her fingers. Her moves were smooth and slow, elegant sweeping motions that wrapped the mood of the city around her and brought a smile to her full lips. As the sky slipped into its night attire she danced, telling the story of the stones and the city.
A phoenix rises.
Darkness had claimed the night, painting the landscape with broad strokes of pitch and coal. Even the stars, (usually bright pinpricks against the fabric of the sky), were hidden behind a heavy coat of storm clouds. The breeze whispered long-forgotten secrets between the old trees who were slumbering; awaiting the coming spring. She, however, had no intentions of waiting a second longer. The soft ash shifted and rippled as she stirred. Life began in her heart, a hot spark that burned with passion and desire. It spread through her body in smooth waves of colour, a steady inferno gathering beneath the sleeping world. She burst forth from the ground, a riot of emotion burning white hot. A creature of pure fire ready to strip the drab greys from their stolen throne and reignite the spark of life that claimed the heart of every living being.