Archive for October, 2014

Part 7: Mirror, Mirror –

Ganglati provided me a room in the castle, tastefully decorated in dark burgundy and black – quite lavish actually. The canopy bed had all manner of beasts carved into its dark red wood, as did the dressers, chairs and such.

I spent quite a while flopped on that bed’s comforter, drawn into staring at the embroidered spiral of life tapestry that hung above me. I missed the one in Asgard with constellations. It always brought me comfort when I wasn’t on the road, sleeping under the stars. At least I’m still alive… sort of, I told myself, running a hand over my hair.

After the not-quite-nap, I wasted more time frowning in front of the standing mirror. I looked surprisingly good in Hela’s colors. Royal blue was best for blondes, but all-black made me look more dangerous. Better for intimidation than diplomacy, and since I was tired of being pushed around, I liked it. The job, I wasn’t so sure of.

My new linen coat – stitched in diamond patterns with silver thread – marked me as agent and messenger of Death. I glanced down at myself. Leather boots and riding breeches completed the outfit. A belt held the short knife Oathbreaker in its sheath. Syn would love my new uniform, I reflected with a faint smile; she flat out refused to wear our official white “shoot me now” tabard, as she called it. My chest tightened with the memory. I missed her.

Don’t trust them, she’d tell me if she stood by my side. Reveal nothing. Show no weakness. You’re too naïve Gna. I sighed, almost feeling her hand on my shoulder. Mordgud and Ganglati had been kind to me, welcoming in their own way, and I didn’t know when I’d be allowed to see Hoof-Tosser. Could I truly spend years in service here alone without trust or friends? Asgard had rejected me and I’d sworn myself to the tender care of other side. I’d made my own bed of thorns, and now I had to lie in it. (more…)

Goodwin-logo

In Alfheim, all is not as it seems.

 

Vivian took a bag out of the back of her silver SUV, printed with roses on a green background, and loosened its drawstrings. It was surprisingly colorful for someone who wore nothing but black, aside from red hair.

“What are you looking for?” I asked. We were parked at the entrance of a snow carpeted forest in the late afternoon.

“Ah, there it is.” She slipped an unusual silver ring on, it being made of three interlocking bands that could move freely. “And please Susan,” she turned to me, “don’t ask about every single thing I do. Five hundred dollars covers Melissa’s soul retrieval, not teaching you how it’s done. If you interrupt me at the wrong time things could go really badly for all of us. Okay?” Her smile seemed a bit strained, and there were dark circles under her eyes. I bit my tongue and resisted the urge to tell the young woman she needed more sleep. I’m a nurse, what can I say?

“Okay,” I answered, re-arranging my red scarf to better cover my neck and then pulled the purple beret lower onto my ears. They didn’t go together, or with my dirt stained white coat, but second-hand beggars can’t be choosers. It was also too tight, and I felt a bit like the Michelin Man.

I watched her continue to ruffle through the content of her bag, and really hoped she could do this job. Our coven had barely managed to scrape together enough to cover her fee. There would be no second try. (more…)

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‘Better not to over-pledge, as a gift demands a gift’

I was unusually clearheaded when I woke this morning. “My name is… Shining Song?” I whispered. My bed felt like a layer of moss. Where was I ? Alfheim… I’d been journeying to find the World Tree and ended up among the elves. After delicious feasting and delirious dancing, my host Ársalf asked how I was going to repay his hospitality. Having nothing of value, I’d been working off my debt for years.

Sitting up, I looked around. I was in a tiny dark room with smooth-rounded whitish walls and ceiling, light streaming in from under a roughly woven curtain. It had taken me weeks of work to pay for that curtain! Standing, I bumped my head. Right, I had to stoop. Pulling the curtain off its two wooden pegs, I looked out the small round window. The weather was perfect, as always, golden light streaming between the leaves of our tree home. I folded the small woolen cloth, then the larger blanket that had cost two months of work.

Sighing, I swept the pile of dead leaves into a corner with my hands. Why my floor was littered with them, I had no idea. Then I dressed, tying a strip of white cloth around my breasts, a larger square around my waist as a short skirt, and ran fingers through my tangled brown hair. These were all I had here, beside the clay chamber pot and wine-jug. (more…)

Vivian Goodwin, spiritual troubleshooter (phone number)

One does not simply walk out of Alfheim…

I knocked on the door and waited, snow crunching under my feet as I shifted, and stared at the little cardboard sign over the doorbell: “BUZER NOT WORKING, KNOCK.” Running steps were heard before a middle-aged woman with overly large glasses and short mousy hair opened the door.

“Hello!” she said, “I’m Susan, you must be Vivian Goodwin. Please come in.”

“Thank you”. As she took my coat and led me down the corridor to the small living room, I asked: “Is she here at least?”

“Oh yes, just in the bathroom, she’ll be joining us shortly. Won’t you have a seat?” she said as she gestured to the white futon. It was a poor choice of color, judging from the black cat hairs lining its edges, and from its lumpy worn-out appearance I guessed it was a hand-me-down. Fortunately, I was wearing black jeans and a black top so the fur wouldn’t show much. (more…)

I’ve treated this blog as a publishing platform, assuming people just wanted the stories, not the blathering of a writer’s process that goes behind them. However, since I missed this week’s deadline I thought some of you would like to know what’s going on. If you don’t care, that’s fine too. Stories will continue appearing either way. 🙂

Chapters That Sneak In

I was all set to post Gna’s next part, Heartcleft Road’s chapter 7 this past Thursday. I’ve been trying very hard to line up chapter writing and my friend Ethan’s editing of them so I could post regularly every week. This week was supposed to be Bridge of Blades, the big exciting fight scene, but as happened a few times while posting Gefjon’s story, a whole chapter decided to insert itself before it.

No problem, I was inspired and wrote two pages of it Thursday, and in total writing frenzy another two pages Friday all the way to the conclusion of the new chapter. Then I copy-pasted something from another version, closed the file without saving and… oh crap. I hadn’t saved the two pages of Friday, and that was the document I’d closed by mistake. It was good, gripping, and… gone. In a panic, I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to recreate it from memory. Then worked some more in the evening after my client (I’m a spiritual counselor / therapist / hypnotherapist who works over Skype). Still, couldn’t recreate it. I was bummed, to say the least.

Now I strongly suspect that losing the pages was a message from Gna. It had more crying and weeping, as in previous chapters, and that was enough of that as far as she was concerned. The new version, which I still haven’t managed to finish, has an entirely different and more active emotion. (more…)