[Story] Imralion’s Journal

It’s been a busy week. The first thing is that I’m an uncle now. The priestesses came to our house to tell me after the baby was born. I’m not mad about that, I don’t need to see that I’m sure Lin wouldn’t have appreciated me hanging around waiting the whole time either. I’m just glad I was home when they came, otherwise I would have had to wait and I would have been wondering the whole day what the baby looked like. It looks like Sunashe, by the way, at least its hair does. Although Lin said sometimes baby hair can change color when they get older or something, but I don’t know if that’s really true. It’s a boy and his name is Tialan. It’s a good name, except the first two letters are the same as “Tiny” and I am sure Sunashe is still going to call him that. If you ask me, Lin shouldn’t encourage him at all. I guess it could be worse, it’s not “Lizard”. He’s really cute, and really tiny. And he has both legs. Lin was really tired when I went to visit, obviously, but I think she liked the toy frog. She also asked if I’d brought any food. I didn’t know I was supposed to! She wasn’t really in any condition to talk. Our mother was there too, she’d been there the whole time and was helping the priestesses and fetching things for them. But I didn’t really want to talk to her, at least about that. It was okay talking about Tialan, though.

Aeramin wants to get married. At least, that’s what he says he wants, but I can’t help but think he’s saying it because he thinks it’s what I want to hear. Sure, I’d thought about it before. We’ve been together for a while and been through a lot, isn’t that what you are supposed to do? But if things are okay now, why change it? When I brought it up before, he looked like he’d seen a ghost and changed the subject right away. Now he wants to? I guess seeing the baby reminded me about how I might want my own family one day. It would be okay if it was an adopted one too, it doesn’t matter to me. My family name isn’t even mine, I’m not worried about passing it on or any of that nonsense. But if Aeramin’s still feeling guilty about Lyorri, I don’t think he’d be willing, at least not now. And who knows, it could be worse in the future if she does decide she hates him. Then again, I expected him to be upset about Tialan and he wasn’t, so maybe things are different now. Maybe I could see how he acts if I ever get a chance to watch him. It’s going to be tough because our mother wants to take care of him too. I hope Lin warned her about Sunashe wanting to let him ride on real lizards.

So I’m not sure what to tell him. If I agree to it, what if I regret it later? And who is supposed to ask anyway? If I say no, will he be hurt and resentful? He said it doesn’t matter either way but I think he’d feel rejected. I would too if I’d asked and been told no — though he didn’t really ask, either. I think things are pretty good right now, I want them to stay like that. But it could be good too, right? Aeramin said that Hethurin feels happier now. I wanted to ask Lin what she thought about it. I assume she’s happy as well. Maybe I should ask some more people, like Arancon, but I don’t know how helpful he’d be since his wife died. That probably influences your feelings about it.

[Story] Story a Week 4

[[ Prompt: The Afterlife ]]

Banjo awoke in a sunny field, the grass soft and warm beneath him. It was speckled with little flowers and he could smell their light, sweet aroma carried on the hint of breeze. Not far away, he could hear the gurgle of a stream over rocks, the promise of fresh water. But there was something odd about it. For one thing, he wasn’t wearing his collar. His collar was important, it had his name on it in case he should get lost. He’d never been without it, only when he was having a bath. Was he having one now? He didn’t think so. For the other, more distressing thing: his human was nowhere near. He couldn’t see her, or smell her. She would never leave him alone like this. It had to be some mistake. Even when she went away from the house, her smell was still there. Banjo tried to remember back to what had happened before. He remembered riding in the car with his human, wrapped in a soft towel. She had held him on her lap. It had hurt a lot then.

Looking down at his paws, Banjo realized that they no longer hurt. The ache that had crept into his joints over the years was gone. He hadn’t just forgotten it momentarily — it was gone. He gave a little jump to test it, then a larger leap, then he bounded over the grass, his tail aloft like a flag. He felt young and strong again, like he could run for a hundred years. His human would be so pleased! They could go for hikes in the forest again, sniff all the strange plants and animals. He especially liked it when she gave him water out of his own special bottle. It somehow tasted better than the bowl water. Imagine all the adventures they could have again! Lately he’d just been too tired, too sore, to walk for very long. Banjo had to find his human. She’d be so worried about him.

At the edge of the forest, Banjo paused. He recognized a familiar scent, though it seemed more faint than before. He raised his muzzle to sniff, searching for it. Sitting on the top of a fallen log was the cat, Sophie. His tail started to wag, but then he remembered and his expression grew suspicious.

Hello, said Sophie. I’m glad you’re here now. You’re going to love it here.

Banjo glanced around, warily. Where is here?

I don’t know what it’s called, the cat continued. But there are a lot of animals here. It’s always warm and no one is hungry, and no one hurts. Look! She swiped a paw over her head. Banjo remembered that she’d been missing an eye. It was there now.

But how— Banjo said. He remembered now. She had grown ill over the space of a few weeks. The human had been very upset. If that cat had been hiding here all this time, Banjo was going to let the human know about it!

Follow me, said Sophie, hopping off the log. Her tail curled up into a little question mark. They crossed the little stream, Banjo stopped to drink the water. It was fresh and cool and clear. The cat led them to a larger clearing, where animals of all sorts played and rested in the soft grass. Dogs and cats, horses and goats and birds. Some of the animals, Banjo didn’t even know the names for. No one growled or hissed, no one seemed scared or upset. Banjo had never seen such a thing.

It all seems very nice, Banjo said, looking around. But where is our human? I want to see her.

Sophie’s ears perked. Oh, this way! She said, and dashed away again. Banjo hurried to follow. The cat led them to a still pond, surrounded by lush grass and chirping frogs.

She’s in there? He asked.

On the surface, said Sophie. The reflection.

Banjo was doubtful, but he leaned in to look. He gave a little gasp as he saw a vision of his human, at home in her house. His expression fell. She looks sad, he said. I want to go to her. She needs me.

You can’t, Sophie said gently. But she won’t forget about you. I promise that. I know she still thinks of me. And you can see her here whenever you feel lonely.

That’s not the same, Banjo said. He touched his nose to the water, and the image shivered and faded away. I want to see her now!

We have to wait. All of us do. That’s why we are here. Over there — the cat nodded to the north — is a place where you will be together again. At least that’s what everyone says. I’ve never been myself. We have to wait for her.

Banjo looked to where Sophie had showed him. A rainbow illuminated the sky overhead. All right, he said. I will wait too. They returned to the clearing with the other animals.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Journal

Dear Diary,

Shattrath is such an interesting place! It’s definitely the most exotic place I have ever been. The Headmaster brought us all here, mostly to use the library but it’s sort of like a field trip too. I guess he and Terellion like coming here and it’s an excuse to bring us. I’m not complaining! I feel like there’s so much to see it’s going to take me a few trips to see everything. I don’t really know how to describe the buildings, they are stone – I think – but not like any other stone buildings I’ve seen before. They are curved and graceful and they look like they could have just grown up naturally out of the ground. They aren’t square and blocky like the buildings in most cities I’ve seen. Everything is glowy too, especially at night, and it’s really pretty. I think some of it is those night insects, but I think there’s a lot of magical light too. Apparently the draenei are very good at magic and they like to use it around their city. Draenei are the big blue people who live here. I saw a few of them in the center of the city but there aren’t too many on the Scryer’s Tier where we are staying. Xarola says it’s mostly blood elves here, though I have seen a few draenei. I don’t know how they feel about undead people so I haven’t tried talking to any. Xarola says they speak common though so I should be able to if I get the nerve. I’m not even sure what I’d say. I would definitely tell them that I like their city though. They have these enormous crystal beings made out of light that are called naaru. I read about them before in books, but it’s my first time seeing one in person. They are really beautiful and amazing. They make you feel calm just looking at them. I wonder if they sell miniature ones in the market, you know like a model to put in your room. It probably wouldn’t make you feel the same, but it would be pretty to look at and remind you of them. But then that might be disrespectful to them, I don’t know. I’d sure like to have a miniature one in my room though.

At the inn we all have our own rooms too. There’s a little desk for working, and a table to eat at. There’s a bowl of fruit and I would guess that they refill it every day. I don’t know though because I didn’t take any. I have a view out into the forest, at night I can see some really big moths flying out there. At first I didn’t know what they were and I thought maybe they were ghosts, but then I figured it out. I didn’t know moths could be that big! The library here is really nice, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a large one like that. Xarola says the one in Silvermoon is too, I’m sure it is but I’m not allowed there. In Dalaran they had a few libraries, the main one was very large and fancy and then there were some smaller specialized and privately-owned ones that they would sometimes open to the public. And the library at the school isn’t too bad, it’s small but all of the books are really good in it. We have some work to do while we’re here so it’s not all a vacation, but I always have a lot of extra time anyway because I don’t have to sleep. I might save my work for the late hours so I can do other things during the daytime.

Xarola went with me to the market. I’m glad she did, because we’re not allowed to go alone and I thought I might not be able to go. So that was nice of her. I bought some new journals, one of them had that elf ranger on the cover. He’s really handsome. I also bought some new pens. Xarola said I should buy the paper that was printed with hearts and flowers on it. I don’t know why she would think I need something like that. Who am I going to write to on heart paper? I just got plain paper. We also went to the book shop. Xarola wanted to get a book about a dragon that falls in love with a woman. I just think that’s a little bit weird. I think I’d rather read a book about a handsome elf or something. She said I could borrow it if I wanted, I guess I might. I told her about how I want to try to learn about gardening. Luckily they had some gardening books, so I got those too. At the fabric store I got a few things, since it’ll be spring soon I got some fabric in spring colors. I told Xarola about how I like to sew dresses. It seemed like she might be interested in that. I’d need her measurements if she wanted me to make her one though. She did have a good idea about making cloth flowers though, you can use them to decorate a robe or just to wear in your hair. They’re easy to make and very pretty. The store had a big bundle of small scraps for sale that would be perfect for making those. I can make them at night for everyone, even the girls. I bet they would love them. I’m excited to start making them. It gives me something to do, and it’s nice to do things for others. There’s enough cloth that I could

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Irael’s Journal

We’re on a Shattrath trip again. We don’t have quite as much work this time, which I like. It usually takes until the afternoon, then we’re free to do whatever until dinner time. Like there are worksheets and passages we’re supposed to read. We’re also allowed to take out any books there that we want, and the school has a lot but this library is really nice so there’s some things the headmaster doesn’t have too. Felarius was taking out a big stack, I’m not sure if he plans to read those while we’re here or take some back with him. I’m trying to work on arcane. I thought maybe if I read some books by different authors, one of them might stick. It’s so confusing! The things I most want to learn are how to conjure and how to make portals, because those are the most useful I think. Both are extremely complicated because of all of the factors involved and if you get just one of them just a little bit off, the whole spell falls apart. And if you mess up a portal, you could get stuck in a wall or in the middle of the ocean or something like that. For conjuring you have to get the appearance right, as well as the texture and temperature and smell and things like that, otherwise it won’t taste right. I think it would be so fun to be able to just make whatever food you wanted whenever you want. I know you can’t eat it all the time, but if someone was really hungry they’d at least have something. Or if I’m studying late and I want a snack, I could just make it without having to get up and go to the kitchen. I think that would be great. And it would be great to be able to make a portal to anywhere I want to go. I know the Headmaster makes them instead of taking the stairs, I can’t say I’d do different.

Professor Firewind gave us some money for the market. I like going to the market here because it’s not Silvermoon, which means there’s no chance of anyone recognizing Felarius and me. They also have neat and strange things that you can’t get in Silvermoon. I really don’t know what I wanted to buy for myself, besides regular supplies of course, but I don’t really count that as something for myself. We were talking about it, Felarius wanted to get jewelry for his sister. It’s a nice thought, but I worry that it would just get stolen. He didn’t think it would happen, so I don’t know, maybe she knows some way to keep her stuff safe that no one else knows about. I did suggest that he get something that’s not quite so obvious, like an ankle bracelet, so at least people wouldn’t see it right away. He also wanted a gift for his father but he said he didn’t like anything frivolous, so that rules out a lot. I said he should get a nice coat or maybe a scarf, though it’s so warm here they might not have anything like that. I mean it must get cold sometimes, but I don’t know. I think I might get some sweets for my mother or something like that, I can’t really think of anything she needs but she never has money for extras and I know she’d appreciate it. I thought about just maybe keeping the rest. Professor Firewind would never know, but I would still feel guilty about it. He might even accuse us of stealing it. But I ended up finding something I liked, it’s definitely not a necessity at all and it felt silly to spend money on it. But it’s not really my money anyway is it? It’s a little soft doll of one of the mushroom people that live in the swamp. I think it’s actually supposed to be for kids, but I like it. The cloth is blue and purple and it has little glass eyes. I think it’s cute.

Felarius wanted to do something stupid. He wanted to go look inside the tavern, the one Professor Firewind specifically said not to go to. Felarius argued that he said we couldn’t go inside, but he wanted to look in the windows or something. Is he crazy! I’m not going to take any chance of getting in trouble. I told him if he wanted to, he could do it on his own. I’m not stupid. There must be a good reason he doesn’t want us there, and I’m not going to go find out.

 

[Story] Story a Week 3

[[ Prompt: Unreliable Narrator

I chose a “naif” unreliable narrator, which is one without a full understanding of the situation. In this case, a pet cat. I guess this one could also be classed as a horror story! Warning for: Animal death ]]

Here is what happened. It’s possible you haven’t heard of me before — though unlikely. I am the most skilled hunter and most handsome in all the countryside. Until the thing happened, my considerable talents were squandered as an Inside Cat in the care of my two humans and their horrid offspring. That is what they would always say, “No no, you’re an Inside Cat.” Through persistence and cleverness, sometimes I would manage to find some time to hunt, or simply reflect in solitude, but it never lasted long. Most days I had to be content to observe through the large window at the front of the house, watching passers-by. I knew all of the regulars well; the female with her bright-colored legs and the wires on her ears — she always went by very early in the morning. A mother pushing her useless infant in a rolling chair — if you don’t know, human offspring are completely useless when they are born. It takes a very long time for them to master simple tasks like walking and communicating. Later in the morning I would see humans taking their dogs out on those humiliating leashes. I don’t know how they can abide it, but they are dogs after all, and servitude is in their blood. Did I ever feel a twinge of jealousy at their freedom? Freedom at the end of a rope doesn’t sound very appealing to me. Most of the dogs are harmless fools; the long-haired yellow one, the muscular brown one, and the spotted one. But there is one that has murder in his eyes. I know if he were able, he would relish tearing me apart. When he passes each day, he looks to the window and sees me there, his glaring eyes boring into me. That look has the promise of blood written on it. Sometimes he barks, and I can see his jagged, awful teeth. What an ignoble way to die! I ignore his taunts, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a response. In the evening, the cars start to return home, bearing their humans within. Sometimes there are unusual visitors. The large truck that brings packages, or the loud one that attracts children. But for the most part, it is quiet, ordinary, and predictable.

The day that it happened started normally. The humans woke up and prepared their food. I asked, politely of course, for my share. They ignored me. The offspring were roused and put on their clothes, as always they tried to grab and bother me. I retreated to my perch high in the kitchen, where I repeated my request for my breakfast. Perhaps they just didn’t hear me over all of the noise. Some mornings they forget entirely, and I’m forced to suffer until the evening when they return. I can only guess this is some punishment I am meant to endure, though for what crime I have yet to figure out. Humans can be so capricious. As it happened, that day they neglected to fill my bowl, so I was  in a sour mood to begin with. I sought out some prey within the house — some naive mouse or plump bird, perhaps, but there were none to be found. I went to my perch to contemplate my revenge upon the humans, or perhaps to have a nap first.

The usual visitors to the street didn’t come. I didn’t notice, at first, in part because I was asleep. But as the morning grew later I realized that none of them had come. What was happening? This was highly irregular. Even the murderous dog had not come, and I knew he would not pass up an opportunity to taunt me. Unsettled, I decided to sleep on the matter in hopes of reaching clarity. When I awoke, it was approaching dark and the cars had not returned to the street. Neither had my humans, not even the offspring who usually returned in the afternoon before the adults. Hunger howled within my belly, did they not realize that I was starving? But it seemed it wasn’t only my humans who had failed to return, no, all of them were away. Somewhere else, but where?

I slept fitfully, my hunger constantly making itself known. I had never gone so long without food, and I was uncertain how much longer I could hold out. Surely they would return again in the morning and fill my bowl. I recalled this had happened once before, they had gone for a drive and not returned until the following morning. I had survived that, I assured myself I could do it again — though it was not pleasant. It would take more than an empty belly to bring me down! I went to the front window to watch. I saw people this time, but not the ordinary ones that I was used to. I didn’t recognize any of these ones at all. And there was something fundamentally wrong about them, in the way they looked and moved and smelled. Many were smeared with blood, especially around their mouths, as if they had hunted and fed recently. There was a lingering odor of death about them, it was apparent even through the glass. There were several of them, I wasn’t sure how many, but much more than the usual morning visitors. They moved as a pack, with no apparent leader. One would see or smell something and begin moving toward it, and the others would gradually follow. One of the dogs, the long-haired yellow one, jogged down the road toward them, his tail wagging. Was one of them his human? I couldn’t tell.

In a moment, they were upon him. They clawed and grabbed with their hands at the dog, who rapidly disappeared beneath the clump of humans. I could not see what happened, but I think I am thankful for that. When they moved on, there was nothing but a red spot upon the road, some tufts of golden fur drifting away on the breeze. Had they eaten him? My mind could not fathom such a thing. Dogs were sacred to humans, they took them everywhere. What could have caused them to react in such a way toward one? And worse, how would they treat me? Fortunately the throng had not seemed to notice me. Perhaps it was the glass that kept me safe. I thought of the dog who hated me so, and wished that they might find him. Was that wrong of me? Maybe so.

In the still of the night, I heard the clattering of glass breaking. Alarmed, I raced down the stairs to see what it was. The strange humans were still there, and they had broken the window — my window! There were more of them now, milling aimlessly about in the darkness. I knew I had an advantage here; humans could not see well in the dark. I was much faster than they, as well, and knew many good hiding places. They would not do to me what they had done to that dog! I leapt through the open window and dashed away, hiding under the porch across the street. Curiosity got the better of me and I looked back to watch them. They clamored through the window into the house, I am not sure what they were seeking, but it would not be me they found.

I didn’t know where to go. I found food left out on porches and doorsteps, but that did not last long. I soon found others like myself, the ones wary enough to escape. As much as I disliked the idea, we were safer in a group. We could hunt larger prey and defend against dogs and wild things like coyotes and raccoons. While the adventure of it was fun for a time, I admit that I miss the simpler life sometimes. I miss waking to have my bowl full of food, a soft place to sleep, shelter from the rain and snow. I miss the reliability of it all. And I wonder, sometimes, what became of my humans. Are they part of the roaming pack? Or did they fight back? Did they think of me at all?

I do not know the answers, nor do I know what tomorrow will bring.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Orledin came to the school again, he baked some little cookies for the baby that looked like a baby head. That sounds weird, but they were cute. I wish I could have eaten one, I bet they were really good. As soon as he arrived, he went right into the kitchen again. I don’t really think he wants to talk. The other death knight came too though, he was out in the sitting room while I was studying. I’m trying to get better at arcane, especially portals, so I’ve been doing extra studying in my free time. I think it would be great to be able to just go anywhere I like. Well, anywhere I’ve seen before, but that’s still a lot of freedom. It’s not that I don’t like it here, just sometimes it would be nice to go somewhere on my own.

He asked what I was reading about and I explained, he also wanted to know what I do when I’m not studying. I said that I like sewing, it’s fun to be able to make something out of just some cloth and thread. I’m not an expert or anything, but I’m pretty good and I can make some nice things. It’s handy when I can’t get to any shops, which I can’t here. I could ask Tik or the headmaster to buy fabric for me I suppose, but they won’t know exactly what I want. I like to be able to see and touch it before choosing. When I lived in the tower I never got fabric so I just had to use whatever was there, those dresses weren’t very nice. Since they’re going to build a greenhouse, I thought I might try gardening as well. I don’t think it would be too difficult and I like the idea of being able to grow something, make something pretty where it wasn’t there before. Plants won’t care that I’m not alive.

From what he said, being a ranger is pretty good. He said he likes that Sunashe yells at him, which I thought was pretty weird, but then he explained that he meant because he’s treated like a regular elf, and not an undead one. That makes sense, though I still don’t think I’d like getting yelled at. There are three undead rangers, they’re all elves but one is a girl too. Plus the one outside. I don’t like that they call him the “lawn ornament”, even if he’s lost his memory it’s still not very nice. I think I’d be upset seeing him there every day and reminding me of what’s going to happen. I hope it doesn’t for a long time. There must be mages working on stopping it, right? If that’s even possible. I’m the first undead person allowed here, and that’s only because Magister Raleth vouched for me. Otherwise I’d still be banned, and so would the undead rangers. I told the death knight that it still feels weird sometimes, like they’re trying to be friendly but they don’t really know how. Which might be true.

I am looking forward to Shattrath though. Salenicus said there’s a market there, and undead aren’t banned, unlike Silvermoon, so I’ll be able to buy things. I have some money saved up so I hope they have some nice fabric. It’ll give me something to do at night that’s not loud. I don’t want to disturb anyone. I also want to get some more journals for writing in. I don’t know what else, maybe some garden tools, but I think Terellion might already have those. But it would be good to have my own.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

I got Hethurin the best present this year! Technically I didn’t get it for him, but he says I did because I agreed to it. I didn’t have anything to do with them having one available though. A couple of weeks ago he said he wanted to get another baby. Narise is still pretty small, so I thought it might be kind of soon, but my sisters are close together and they get along okay. Actually, he said he wanted to get like fifteen total. I think that might be too many. I don’t think I could even remember fifteen names, let alone give them all enough attention so they’d feel close to us. I don’t know anyone with fifteen kids! The closest I know would be his father, and even that’s less than half. How could anyone do that? But I did agree that one would be okay, or two if they had twins. I said I’d like a boy because we already have two girls, I think it would be good to have both.

Hethurin made portals to both the Silvermoon and Shattrath orphanages, but they didn’t have any really little ones, they had one who was a little over a year old but she was a girl. Hethurin wanted to take her right there! But he also wants to be able to carry the new baby while he teaches, and she would already be almost too big for that. I honestly think he would have taken every kid there, even the weird troll and orc ones. But since they already knew us there — we’d got both Malwen and Narise, and we bring toys and clothes by pretty often — the matron put our names down on a list if they got any more. And then yesterday we got a letter saying they had a new baby boy, and we could come and look at him!

I was really excited, but also worried because I realized that we didn’t have any things for a boy baby. I mean, we have a crib and blankets and diapers, but no boy clothes. Hethurin said we could go to the shops in the morning and get some for him. Or maybe his sister has some extra or something. I mean, I don’t want to force him to wear boy things if he doesn’t want to, but he’s just a baby and I don’t think he really cares too much either way as long as he’s warm. We also didn’t have any names ready. Hethurin suggested that we could name him for my father, which kind of surprised me. I like his name though, so I agreed, but I said we should see the baby first to see if it fits. It wouldn’t be good to have a baby with no name, even if it’s just a short time.

He’s so tiny!! I kind of forgot because Narise has got so much bigger, but she was the same size when we got her. The matron said that the mother had brought him in because she couldn’t keep him. The priest there has been trying to get women to bring their babies here instead of just leaving them outside. I think that’s a really good idea, and I’m really glad he didn’t have to be cold outside in a pile of garbage. I hope the matron can tell the mother that he got adopted and he’s going to have a good life now. I really hope the girls like him. I’m not too worried about Malwen, she was really excited when we talked to her about it. He’ll pretty much be like a real life doll to her and I bet she’ll enjoy taking care of him. Narise I’m not so sure, but they’ll be closer in age so hopefully they get along well. She poked at him a little but didn’t seem too interested other than that.

It’s a little weird adjusting to having a small baby again, getting up to make bottles and changes and things like that, but I don’t mind. I guess we’ll have to have the builders add on another room in the spring. I suggested putting it on the back of the house, but Hethurin didn’t like the idea of having to clear the trees down, so he wants to go up. That’s a lot of floors! I don’t know how we’d go up and down the stairs fast in the middle of the night. He suggested a portal, which might work, but maybe one of those pole things would be good. We’ll have to see what the builders say.

Hopefully Hethurin will let me hold him sometimes too!