Day 64


“So, there’s hallways on the inside?” Gabbie asked. These hallways were different from the one Sannier took the party through.

“Yeah. Everything is way up here. There’s only two ways in and out of Rockestel. The outcropping where you guys met me, and then the one in the back.”

“Why’s that?”

“Rockestel was built a long, long, looong time ago. There were a lot of wars and stuff, and so my people built Rockestel to keep intruders out. If intruders did somehow get into the moutain, they still wouldn’t be able to get up to our houses. Only rock elves have the power to move the rocks.”

“Woah, woah, woah. First, there are more than one type of elf?”

“Huh? You didn’t know? There a whole bunch of elves. Water, fire, air, electric, yadda, yadda. There’s not many, but there’s enough.”

“Oh, right.” Gabbie laughed, trying to cover up her ignorance. “And, are you going to take us down with that huge rock like your mom?”

“Err,” Silverskin flinched. “I kind of can’t do that.”

“Why?”

“I’m…I’m half rock elf. Rock and air.” Silverskin shrugged. “That’s why I look different from my mom. The people here like to remind me of that all the time.” There was something akin to pain stitched into the elf’s admission. He wouldn’t meet Gabbie’s eyes.

“What do they say to you?” Gabbie asked. There was a sudden flare of protectiveness that sparked from within her chest. Sure, Silverskin was a little bothersome, but she could see now that he only was protecting himself.

“They say that I’m ugly. That I deserve to fall off the mountain.”

“Have you told your mom?”

“No.I don’t want to trouble her. She’s the pinky finger to the sub-queen.” He lifted his own pinky finger and wiggled it. “And I’m the pinky toe of the mountain.”

“I say you’re more of the heart of the mountain.”

“Why’d you say that?”

“You’re still here. You’re strong enough not to let those terrible people bully you out of existence. I think you’re going to become someone powerful Silverskin. I really do!”

Silverskin scratched the back of his head, suddenly shy.

“T-Thanks. If you…really think so.”

“Plus, if you’re half air elf, can you do some tricks with the air?”

“Yeah!” Silverskin brightened. “Let me show you!” He coordinated his hands in a series of movements Gabbie couldn’t quite catch. Soon, both children were lifted into the air. Gabbie felt as though two strong arms constructed from solid flesh had picked her up, but she couldn’t see anyone behind her. Silverskin smirked when he saw Gabbie’s excitement. “Let me take us to the deerne pens!” He pointed down the hallway and in a deep squeak called out, “Charge!”

The two flew down the hallways. They passed a few elves on the way. They either shook their heads in disappointment and laughed. Gabbie didn’t care. She was practically flying! They rocketed down three flights of stairs until Silverskin’s magic blinked out. Gabbie settled back onto her feet. She felt a little woozy from the sudden reunion with the mountain floor, but she didn’t let that show. Silverskin unlocked a door set with wooden bars.

“Here’s the our way down.” Silverskin opened the doors wide. Gabbie saw not a room, but a stage. There were squares of yellow-red grass waving from a breeze. The ceiling resembled the sky outside-dark and balmy. Huddled together in pairs were animals nipping at the grass in chunks. They didn’t look like they knew they were being held inside of a mountain. Gabbie would have been fairly fooled herself she didn’t already know where she was.

“These guys are deerne?”

Days 61, 62, and 63


Hi! I didn’t have my computer with me this weekend, but I still wrote down my 500 words. So, here’s a special three in one update. I hope you enjoy reading!

“Don’t upset our guests, boy,” Sannier warned her son.

“I think a gaggle of batals are way more scary than you!” Gabbie uncharacteristically stuck out her tongue.

“How about we not aggravate the people who can levitate giant rocks?” Ginger told her sister. She calmly followed Silverskin, her head held up high.

“I’m not,” Gabbie stuttered. She rubbed her face furiously and shook her head. Alastair patted her on the back and smiled.

“You’re fine, Gabbie. Come on. We don’t want to hold up Sannier. I don’t know how rock lifting goes, but I think it might be pretty difficult to keep up.”

“Oh! I didn’t think about that.” Gabbie turned to the matronly elf. “I’m sorry!” She scuttled off and was directly followed by the rest of the party. Glue Pot and Adriei were the last to take a deep, calming breath and cross over the the sturdy household ledge.

Sannier gracefully jumped onto the edge, landing on her toes, and gently dropped her hands. The rock elevator descended with ease to the very bottom of the mountain floor back to its original leveled setting. She brushed her hands together with a satisfied smirk.

“Pop right in. I’ll make a batch of stew and fetch something cold to drink. I’ll have you all rest before you meet with sub-queen Faeley. You’ll need your wits about you for that encounter.”

True to her word, Sannier went about her elaborate kitchen like a clumsy puppy attempting to make a stew. After Silverskin watched with a pinch of pent up amusement, he joined his mother in their endeavor to whip up an edible meal. Alastair and Lila decided to combine their knowledge of food, all thanks to their father’s weekly lessons, and together, a delicious meal bloomed.

“Whew, thank you all. I’m not usually the one to make our meals,” Sannier admitted.

“I make the food here,” SIlverskin said. He puffed out his chest with pride.

“Good for you,” Gabbie said under her breath.

“What?” Silverskin deflated.

“It’s nothing, right dear sister?” Ginger eyed her twin.

“Yeah. Nothing.”

The twins helped dole out the stew and drinks. Digitalis grabbed utensils. The rest of the group sat around a low standing table. Silverskin set out gray, soft pillows for his guests to kneel on. He eyed Glue Pot, disappeared from the rather comfortable living room, and came back with a fluffy yellow blanket.

“Oh, thank you, young man.” Glue Pot adjusted the blanket and then kneeled on his stalky legs.

Alastair looked around the table. There were so many different faces he wouldn’t have imagined he could have dreamt of. A man with fox ears, a pretty girl with pointed ears, a fox with four eyes, two guards with bright white hair, to elves, and a centaur. Despite this, Alastair, his sister, and his friends were the ones who stuck out the most. He lifted a spoonful of stew to his lips and let the food nourish him. He closed his eyes, content for just this moment.

The room was larger than he thought it would be from within a mountain’s insides. The rock had been polished and cleaned where everything was reflected with perfect clarity. There were floating specks of rocks at the ceiling, swirling around in an image resembling a map. Alastair smiled and looked at the floor. There were pieces of rocks there, too. They swirled around the table and the guests like energetic pets. Sannier explained to her guests that the rocks were bespelled by sub-queen Faeley to aid with each family living in Rockestel. Alastair smiled. Those rocks would have been helpful if they could have done his homework for him.

“Thank you so much for your hospitality,” Tipper said once he finished his meal.

“Oh, no need. Soielle has become a dangerous place. We have to look out for one another.” Sannier clapped her hands. The rocks shuddered as if they had been struck with a bolt of electricity. Then they trundled over to the dinning taxable to clear the plates and cups. “Now, I don’t have enough room for all of you. You’ll have to do with sleeping on the floor. Rockitts, please get more blankets for our guests.” She waved her hand at a cluster of rocks that had yet to move. They shuddered again like they were nodding, and flitted around the corner of the living room.

“This is where we’ll take our leave,” Agile said. They stood up and brushed off their pants. “We need to report to sub-queen Faeley.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Sannier.” Adriei waved to the remaining group. “Pleasure meeting all of you. Will see you later.”

The Rockitts returned with comfy blankets by the time the two Royal Guards left through the back door. Alastair caught a glimpse of the hallways that ran deep within the mountain’s heart. The hall looked like the beginning of an ant maze. The image of an ant maze flashed behind the boy’s mind when he eventually fell asleep from beneath a comfy yellow blanket.

Gabbie stared from behind her blanket cocoon. She watched as her friends fell into a deep, exhausted slumber. Coming to Soielle had been an amazing dream come true, and so sleeping in this brand new world was becoming more and more difficult. There was an imitation sun in a mountain with scattering rock maids dancing on the ceiling. There was a race of elves living in rocky caves high above sea level, as if they were floating. There were crazy, lethal bat camels, a wacky forest covered with blue fog, and humongous trees with palaces built right into them. Why would she sleep?

Gabbie smelled the coppery scent of the rocks encircled around them, and she sighed in content. Truth be told, Gabbie did not see why the others wanted to go back to Earth, palace where magic was cast through electricity and apps. So mundane, and so monochrome.

“Hey. You still awake?” Came a familiar and annoying voice.

“Yes,” Gabbie admitted. She turned to face Silverskin. “What do you want?” Despite her aggravation towards the elf, she still couldn’t help but think ‘Wow, I’m actually talking to an elf!’

“Do you want to see the lake with me?”

“What? I thought the lake had a god or something in there. A not so nice god, that is.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that, too. I never saw it, though. I was hoping you’d like to go with me and find out.”

“You don’t seem to like me very much. I’m not if if I should go with you.”

“Yeah, you’re not my favorite person,” Silverskin admitted. “You seem to think that you know everything about elves when you just don’t.”

“But—“ Gabbie wanted to tell him them she never met a real life elf before. She wouldn’t have known otherwise. But if she said that out loud, her only cover of being a half-human would be blown. Not even Digitalis or Glue Pot knew about who the kids really were. So Gabbie bit her lip and let Silverskin continue.

“Still, I can see that you like it here and are curious, Just like me!”

“So what you’re saying is,” Gabbie grinned as she connected the dots, “that you never went to the lake alone and want to take someone with you.”

“Sharp as a knife, I’ll give you that.” Silverskin crossed his arms and stroked his chin as if he had a beard. “Yeah. My mother never lets me out of Rockestel or the Heights unless its with a patrol group. We don’t get near enough to the lake for me to properly see for myself.”

“What’s this god suppose to look like?” Gabbie couldn’t hide her interest. Who could say that they’ve seen a god?

“He used to be the god of marshes and lakes. He’d create marshes to make peat for his subjects ad lakes to provide bounties of fish. The god is suppose to have purple scales and huge, hypnotizing green eyes.”

“Wow,” Gabbie chirped. She blinked. “Wait, you’re not persuading me, are you?”

“Ah.” Silverskin kicked at the group. “About that. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been quick to judge you. I ended up being like the others.”

“The others?”

“It’s nothing.” Silverskin clapped his hands lightly. He didn’t want to wake up the others. “Anyway, are you in?”

“My sister wouldn’t want me to go,” Gabbie relented. “But since when have I ever listened to her.” The children smiled at each other in shared glee. “Let’s go find that lake god!”

‘And maybe,’ thought Gabbie, ‘I can see a merman.’ Because the description of the god sounded an awe full like one. And there was something else she couldn’t shake. Purple scales. We’re those the same as the scale they saw at the Mermaid Waterfall so long ago?

Silverskin helped his new friend up to her feet. Gabbie let the elf boy take her by the hand and lead her to the back of Sannier’s house. He gingerly opened the sliding door and hastily brought her through the opening out to the mountain’s hallways.

Day 60

Sannier held up her rough hands when the group settled onto a cracked patch of earth. She waved her right hand in a diagonal motion, up, down, and then up again. Her left hand scooped the air while her fingers arched towards the orb hovering above them. The land at their feet rumbled like a tiger growling before it pounced onto its kill. Alastair instinctively took Lila by the hand. Perceval lent her his back in case she tumbled over. Lila felt like she was being mollycoddled by her parents. She wriggled free of Alastair and only let Perceval’s tawny fur barely touch her leg. She was nine and almost as tall as Zane. Lila did not need to be babied.

Zane shared different thoughts. The rocks underneath their feet shuddered until a piece of the earth uprooted itself from the mountain due to Sannier’s magical administrations. Zane was too far to huddle with Ginger and Gabbie, and so he dove for Glue Pot’s front left leg. The centaur patted the boy’s head as he huddled close. Zane wanted to thank his friend, but remained silent when he saw that Glue Pot was as green as broccoli. He supposed that it would make sense that centaurs would be afraid of heights. He peered over his shoulder at Adriei. The guard was trying to avoid looking down by speaking with Agile. Zane mulled over that thought. Tried not to look down. The boy knew that they were moving, just not where. He gingerly looked over the lip of the piece of rock the company stood on.

Thanks to Zane’s extremely religious and diligent calculations, he could safely assume that they were really, really, really high up. He felt his stomach churn around with jerky and water. Zane clutched at Glue Pot’s leg even tighter. Glue Pot in turn patted Zane’s head with more vigor as they shared in their fear of heights together.

“Wow!” Gabbie cheered. “This is fantastic! Hi everyone!” She ran around on the chunk of rock, waving at the bewildered elves going about their daily business. “Hi! Nice to meet you! How’s your day going?”

“I don’t know her,” Ginger sighed when the elves stared at her for some sort of explanation.

“Mother, we took in lunatics,” Silverskin said. He tugged at his mother’s tunic. She ignored the elf boy, too focused on her task of taking the company up to her dwelling.

“Looks like we’ll be right next to sub-queen Faeley,” Digitalis mused.

“I think our host is a minor royal guard herself,” Tipper wheezed. He leaned his shoulder on Digitalis. She absently supported his weight.

“We’re meeting all of the top notch people now, aren’t we?”

“That’s what happens on prophecies.”

“You mean on Crisis Points.”

“Prophecies.”

“Crisis. Points.”

The two glared with humor at one another and broke into a small fit of laughter.

“Ah, there we go! Come now, lovelies. This is our stop,” Sannier called out. The rock platform was level with a residence’s ledge. Sannier’s hand were held out straight in front of her chest. “The door should be open. My husband’s out on patrol right now, so there’s no worrying about frightening someone.”

“They frighten me,” Silverskin said. He trotted with ease onto the landing of his house. “Come on, come on. Just don’t fall. We can’t catch you if you do.”

Show and Tell

I thought that I should share a little bit of myself with you all since I think I’ll be on here for a while yet. (Almost two months in and my characters aren’t even where I want them to be in the story yet, ha!) In any case, this is me.

I am a 29-year-old who looks like I should be 14. You may think that this is beneficial. Indeed, it will be when I’m older and wiser. As of now, my physical appearance is a curse more of than a gift. It’s difficult trying to be taken seriously, especially when my voice and gestures sound and look like a teenager’s. This alone has made me realize how much teenagers (the real ones) aren’t really treated with respect when respect is due.

I’ve always thought that Young Adult literature and by proxy, Children’s literature, is a great way in treating your audience with the intelligence they deserve. I’ve idolized those with the idea that when writing YA and Children’s literature, there’s no need to dumb anything down. C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, and J.K. Rowling treat their audience with the utmost respect. They don’t downplay the harsh worlds they’ve created. They expect the readers to learn and grow from the words they provide. Isn’t that why their novels are so beloved? Because in the end, the children become adults who reread their childhood favorites and still find that spark of entertainment they once held so long ago.

Oh my, here I said I would talk about myself and I off and go on a tangent. I guess this would be a great opportunity to segway into a few of my goals. You all already know that I am going to finish this still nameless book. That’s for certain. I am also taking online classes to become a librarian. I already have a Master’s degree in English. Unfortunately, that hasn’t taken me to where I really wanted to be. I know becoming a Youth librarian is more up my alley. One of my favorite authors, Clare B. Dunkle, used to be a librarian before she wrote her best selling novel, The Hollow Kingdom. 

By the way, are there any fans of Clive Barker’s Abaratseries? I am in love with those books, and the fan base is so little that I feel a bit alone in rooting for the protagonist, Candy.

Well, that’s it for now. I may do more of these ramblings later. I found that just writing something for myself is very exhilerating. Thanks to everyone who has liked and followed my progress. Your support means a lot to me. See you tomorrow for day 55!