Spotlights: excerpts, commentary, and random stuff about my current writing. Previous Spotlights can be found here.
If you remember the last Spotlight, I introduced to you a new story that I’ve been calling Iris but will probably be called something else (The Flower of Esclia?). Well, it was supposed to be a short story, but I have 17,000 words so far and it’s still not done.
So it’ll probably be more of a novelette/ novella.
Anyway, I told you about some characters last time, and today you get to meet a new one! His name is Samuel, and he’s quite fantastic. He’s the son of a travelling merchant and was Rosie’s and Iris’s childhood friend. He’s perceptive and…I don’t know how to describe him. You’ll have to read the excerpt.
Random updates on the current writing: The story keeps getting more complicated. Shippiness is at an all-time low between Garic and Iris, but don’t worry, it’ll get better. And I basically have no idea what I’m doing anymore, so I’m making it up as I go along.
All right, all right, I’ll give you the excerpt.
A few minutes later, Samuel sat down next to her and flicked the reins, starting the horses into an easy walk. “The prince is in the back…but he’s right, you know. It looks like it might snow.”
Iris tilted her head to the sky, blanketed with clouds so that neither stars nor moon could be seen. “Maybe.”
“So what’s this about Rosie?” asked Samuel.
This was not how she wanted him to find out. If anything, she didn’t want him to find out at all. Rosie would be better in his memories as free and unfettered, not crippled and locked away in her room. “Last time you and your father left…”
“About a month later, there was an…an accident.”
Samuel turned to her, dark eyes filled with pain. “What happened?”
Iris took a deep breath. Better to get it over with quickly. “A carriage driver lost control and one of his horses nearly killed Rosie. She survived but…but she has no movement below her neck.”
He was breathing heavily, and she thought she could see the memories running through his mind. Their times together had always been filled with physical activities, with running wild through the streets in a race, or playing tug-of-war, or dancing in the lantern glow of the autumn festival.
That had been the last time Samuel had been there, and Rosie had practically glowed all through those two weeks. And at the end was the festival, where the musicians played and the people of Eyspar danced, and Samuel and Rosie had spent half the night together, spinning around each other and whispering and laughing.
Looking at him, Iris knew that was exactly the memory in his eyes.
“She’s pulled through, though,” she whispered. “You know Rosie…she can find happiness in every situation. I don’t know how she does it, but she does.”
Samuel didn’t answer for a long time, the silence filled by the wind in the grass and the quiet clopping of the horses’ hooves on the dirt road. Finally he spoke. “It’ll be warmer in the wagon. You should go inside.”
It was easy to tell that he wanted to be left alone, so Iris nodded, and he stopped the horses so that she could climb inside.
The wagon was cluttered with wares and barrels and a dim lantern hung in the corner, swaying, illuminating Garic in the only clear spot, leaning against the wall.
She sat down as far away from him as she could, which was only a few feet, and looked down at the ground.
“You’ve been crying,” said Garic.
Of course he’d notice the one thing that she was trying to hide. But what did it matter? It didn’t change the fact that Rosie was never going to stand or walk again. That she could never be who she was once before.
“We haven’t seen Samuel for over a year,” she whispered. “He didn’t know about—” Her voice broke. “About Rosie.”
Iris glanced up at Garic, bathed in warm lantern light, extending his arms to her.
Tonight, when the wind whistled sorrowfully and Samuel’s heart was breaking, she let herself go to him. Tonight he held her, and his solidity dampened the pain, made it bearable.
Tomorrow she would push him away again, tomorrow, but tonight…tonight she let her silent tears fall on him until she fell asleep.
lettuce talk (hahaha I’m so clever)
What do you think of the Spotlight/excerpt/Samuel/everything? Does the block quote format make the text too big? (I’m kind of thinking so.) If you could put the characters into any situation & observe their reactions, what would it be? And randomly, how are you today? What’s been the best part of your day/week?