My Creations

I’ve spent hours every single day, sitting at my desk, or on my floor, or anywhere really in the world. Writing, sketching, thinking and believing. To make all the hundreds of thousands of things I hold dear. My worlds, my characters, my made up places. My entity’s, my religions, my alphabets, my languages. My families, my cultures, my relationships. My powers, my cities, my journeys, my creations. fgr11

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In Society’s Eyes: Chapter 3, Existential Normality’s

I was in the shower. Just laying there. I woke up to the yelling of my mother for me to get out. I felt tired. Exhausted seems like a better word. I stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around myself and walked out of the bathroom. “First day of school today, don’t want to be late.” My mom said, closing the bathroom door as she entered. First day. First day? Okay…I went to my room to get some clothes. Ah. I know what’s going on. Whatever happened before I entered this alternate universe has sent me here on a mission to save the world. Okay. I get that. I’m a pretty special gal and all. After of course putting clothes on I grabbed my backpack and walked out to see the bus right outside of my house. Convenient. I like this new world so far. I stepped into the bus and tried to find somewhere to sit. Most of the seats near the front were full, so I went more and more to the back until I ended up entirely at the back, alone. Fun. It seemed to be forever before we arrived at the school. The bus would sometimes do these little quirks and odd moves every once and a while. It felt like it was going to flip upside down at any moment. The bus finally stopped to unload my dear new fellow school goers. A large brass colored sign of metal letters were embellished across the front of the entrance to the school. Tribuo Academy. Interesting name. I was looking around for something – or rather someone to help me. But no one seemed to be quite so welcoming. Actually nobody really looked at each other. You know how sometimes you’ll be sitting in the car at a stoplight or something and your eyes will just gaze over to the person in the car next to you? Yeah. I kept doing that to everyone I saw, and yet I didn’t have to worry at all about them giving me a sudden awkward bit of eye contact because absolutely no one was looking at one another. Except for this one girl. She looked like the exact representation of every scene kid ever. Black hair, a bunch of random colors of hair extensions, too much eyeliner, weird chunky jewelry and un-justifiably bright clothing mixed with black. She just kept looking at me, staring, non-stop. I did as well, but she started it, I swear. She then began to jog directly at me, which surprised me, as nobody seemed to be looking for human contact. She smiled and introduced herself. “My name is Laci Joy Peterson, are you a new student?” “Yes, I believe so…” I replied, staring at her multiple pieces of jewelry. “Oh. OH! I have to show you around and like – give you chat ups about all the different classes here!” She shouted, grabbing my hand and dragging me inside the school. I didn’t say anything. I just looked confused and mortified that someone here, where no one even looks at each other, would ever so simply grab my hand. She gave an up and down look at me then saying, “What are you wearing?” I looked down at my outfit. “Um jeans and a t-shirt…” I replied, with a bit of anxiousness in my voice. “Oh well those jeans are a bit too tight and make you look like a slut but this is your first day so, I won’t blame you.” She said, smiling. Huh. Now I want to smack her upside the head. “Just remember if you want to wear a skirt, don’t wear one above the knees cause’ that makes you a slut and don’t wear any below the knees because then you’re a prude.” “I’m just being honest.” She smiled again. I didn’t say anything because I knew anything I was going to say would probably make her extremely upset, and she seems to be the only person that was going to help me. So I’ll take no chances. Laci guided me through the school, walking through all of the halls, and assigning me a locker. Inside the locker were textbooks and all of the stuff you’d normally expect to find in a locker. I picked up a few of the books and was about to open one of them when Laci launched her hand at me and slammed it shut. “What the hell?” I blurted out. “Why bother trying to read them, you’re going to fail anyway.” Laci scoffed in reply. Okay now I officially don’t like this world. If the only person that’s going to talk to me is an overly sassy scene kid, I’d rather not live here. “So if I’m not supposed to learn how is this place called a school?” I asked as she rolled her eyes at me. “I said don’t read, you’re still learning.” “Well what am I learning about then?” I asked with an extra tone of sassiness in my voice. “You learn what you need to so you can succeed in life.” Laci replied. Barely after she finished her sentence, the bell rung and huge groups of teenagers ran out through the hallways, again, most of them not looking at each other, except some of them maybe slightly looking at some particular people dressed similarly to them, or looking like them. “You want to know the reason why no one is looking at you or me?” Laci asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest, waiting for a response. “Um because everyone here is pre-programmed to hate me except you?” I replied sarcastically. “Because you don’t belong anywhere.” “You’re strange, Anna.” Laci answered, turning around to look at the crowd of people heading to various classes. “You’re like me.” “You don’t actually belong anywhere in certain little divided groups of people for the well being of our society, you’re just a plain old boring human with no ambition and a drive for taking no BS.” I don’t know if I should be angry, or just accept the fact that it is completely true. I am extremely boring, and very average. It’s almost embarrassing. I don’t have any super amazing talents. I mean, I can get my tongue to touch my nose but I’m pretty sure that won’t get me to a super prestigious university. I am a blend of the crowd, the person that you don’t ever look at because there is nothing to be seen. “However boring you are though, you can fake not being completely and utterly normal.” Laci said as I still stayed in complete silence. “Humans love the feeling of belonging, there’s nothing you can do about that.” “We’re so afraid of being normal that we defy the odds to hear the word ‘special’ be directed at us.” “So we must in a situation of so many kids trying to find themselves in one single building, pretend we already have found ourselves so that everything seems just fine.” “No existential crises or uninteresting normality’s in my head.” As Laci finished her little philosophical rant, I realized that bell that rung must have indicated that class is supposed to start. I don’t want to be tardy on my first day of non-opening-book school. “Shouldn’t we be getting to some sort of weird thoughtful book free class now?” I asked as Laci looked behind herself and nodded back at me. I followed Laci down the halls into a classroom that apparently was called “Life prep.” Okay then…I sat down next to Laci, and on my other side was what looked like to be some type of stereotypical hipster. Glasses, scarf, checker shirt, ripped jeans and a beanie. I repeatedly stared at her and other people in the class due to my newfound comfort in endlessly staring at people. But around the third time I looked at the hipster girl, she looked back at me. My eyes widened in surprise and she dramatically turned her head back to herself and looked down at her desk, looking as if she’d just been spotted by the cops or something. If I hadn’t met Laci, I wouldn’t have really paid attention to it, but apparently there’s some sort of important thing if someone looks at me or her; so I poked Laci and nudged my head towards the hipster girl. She nodded and looked back at the teacher who’s name was apparently Ms. Steak. HAHAHA. So hilarious! Do you get it? Miss Steak? Like Mistake? HAHAHA! See that? That’s called a sense of humor, which Ms. Steak doesn’t have sadly. She liked to intensely look at the ruler she used to smack upon the whiteboard to point at her various weird diagrams of how we’ll all fail in life if we don’t do this or that. What a lovely school this is beginning to look like. Let me mention a few of her inspiring quotes she gave to us during class. “The aspect of a married life is ideal, find a mate, land them down and use their money to your advantage, ladies.” Oh it gets better. “In order to impress your future mates, boys should be slightly aggressive towards their ideal woman in order to insure the woman is impressed with the boy’s masculinity.” I can faithfully tell you that Ms. Steak is the most brilliant teacher I’ve ever had. Next class was Finance and Economics, sounds like a perfectly normal class, right? No. It wasn’t normal at all. “Just do whatever the bills tell you to do, get your parents to do your taxes and screw the big man, class dismissed.” That was literally all the ‘teacher’ said before grabbing his briefcase, and exiting the classroom. After he left, everyone in the classroom stood up from their desks and flooded into the hallways. Everything was so robot-like. Everyone seems so pre-programmed. Every time a class ended, everyone would shuffle into the halls, chat for a few minutes or be on their phones, then the bell rings again, and off they go. It’s kind of uncomfortable being the only one that has no idea how this whole routine thing works. In between one class, as Laci and I were walking through the halls, I spotted the hipster girl again, and we both looked at each other. I smiled at her and she smiled back. As soon as the edges of her lips rose up just the slightest bit, Her two hipster friends standing next to her looked at her, eyes extremely widened and creepy looking. I backed away a bit until Laci grabbed my wrist and stopped me from moving. The hipster girl slowly backed up away from the weirdos before she stopped completely and looked at me again. The both of us just stood there for a moment, time frozen behind us, looking at one another. The absolute genuine fear in her eyes from her fellow hipsters or whatever was very saddening. The girl looked back at the creepers. Slowly, she backed away some more. And more. A little more. She looked back at me one more time before pretty much somersaulting into my arms. I wasn’t going to deny her access to my soft spot of lovely hugs because the poor girl had been stared at by demented hipster folk for some time now and I wasn’t going to be rude and reject her hug. She held onto me as I shuffled away with Laci from the creepy hipsters and into the next hallway. “Thanks.” I heard her murmur. “I really didn’t do anything you know.” I replied subtlety trying to get her to detach her arms from me. She finally let go of me and actually introduced herself. “Amelia, my name is Amelia.” I just nodded and didn’t say anything before I realized that it must be my turn to say my name, not in fact Laci’s, as she was just standing there looking at me, as if she was giving me a signal. “Uh Anna, my name is Anna.” I said awkwardly and just waited for Laci to speak. “And I’m Laci.” “Amelia you’re alright now, you know you’re free to search now.” Amelia smiled, nodded, and then just walked away. What. On. Ear- well it might not be Earth, it’s an alternate universe so it must be called like Htrae or something. Yeah. What on Htrae is going on right now? So I just saved some random fake hipster girl from her demented hipster ‘friends’, she introduces herself, and then Laci just says, “Okay you can go do some soul searching now; be free little bird!” This universe is absurdly illogical. Laci and I eventually started to make our ways to the next class until I spotted Kristen. Yes. Kristen. Kristen René Wilson, my beautiful, constantly between the stages of depression and bubbly anger, best friend for life was right here. In my strange little world of Tribuo Academy. We didn’t look at one another though. She was just walking. Completely covered up in a grey hoodie and jeans. I should also mention she wasn’t wearing any make up. Very odd but so peaceful Kristen looked as she just walked right by me. I did a complete 180 degree turn around to stare at her as she walked past. Without even thinking about all of those weird social rules Laci told me about, I shouted  “KRISTEN!” Laci looked at me like I had just committed a felony and Kristen? She turned around. Not looking at me of course, she just said, “Who are you?” “Kristen, it’s Anna.” I tried to reach out to touch her shoulder and look at her, so maybe then she’d recognize me…I don’t know. Kristen didn’t say anything else other than “Sorry, please leave me alone.” Before she practically ran away from Laci and I.

Okay, screw all of these weird rules.

I need to talk to Kristen.

Even if it’s just alternate planet Htrae Kristen, I don’t care.

I need to talk to her.

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In Society’s Eyes: Chapter 2, Let Me See

Chapter Two: Let me see

I woke up to Kristen poking me on the shoulder muttering “Get up, get up!” It felt like it had been hours since I had fallen asleep on the bus heading home, but no, apparently it had only been around 13 minutes. I got up, saying bye to Kristen and heading off the bus. I walked into my house with my mom…cooking? What? My mom never cooks…she mostly enjoys feeding my sister and I Lunchables or having us make something on our own, which usually ended up being a sandwich or a pound of cheese crackers. “Oh hi honey, how was school?” She asked, wearing an apron while frying – well more like burning scrambled eggs. “Uh, it was alright…” I answered, looking extremely confused. “Now I know this looks a little odd, me cooking and all, but Kristen’s mother told me about this parenting book…” Oh great. Again? My mother liked to every once and a while, purchase a lame parenting book and change her attitude for 2 weeks before she went back to normal. I mean, at least I get some burnt scrambled eggs. But then I thought…why is my mom talking to Kristen’s mother? I’ve been to Kristen’s house countless times and I’ve never even met her mom, so why does my mother suddenly know her? “You met Kristen’s mom…?” My mom swiftly turned around looking at me like I had just asked something so strange. “Of course I’ve met her, you’re supposed to be friends with the parents of your children’s friends, right?” She asked like an innocent little child who just started finger painting the walls. “I don’t believe it’s really required…” I replied, walking to my room ever so slowly trying to escape the awkwardness of watching my mother attempting to cook and be a ‘normal’ parent. My sister’s door was open, and she was of course – doing her homework like a good little girl, while I was going to go pretend I was doing my homework, when really I’d be in my room on my phone checking my notifications for all of these stupid websites and then remembering my homework and googling all of the answers and end up getting them wrong anyway. Oh well. Tomorrow was a holiday anyway so I’d have a bit longer to complete the sacred geometry homework. Soon enough it came time for my mother to call us to not make our own dinner – but actually come to eat dinner, that she made all by her big girl self. As I walked through the hallway with my sister we both grinned at each other as we knew how pathetically awkward it was going to get in a few small moments. My mother was standing by the dining table with her hands behind her back smiling like a lovely little wife from the 40’s wanting to please her husband. Slightly burnt scrambled eggs, chicken nuggets, corn bread, and some orange juice laid on the table. Abbey tried to resist laughing at the odd layout of food, as did I. We both said thank you to our ever so try-hard mother and sat down for half an hour of discomfited consumption of over salted scrambled eggs and chicken nuggets that had probably before being cooked in the oven for 5 minutes, had been in the freezer for 4 months. At least the cornbread was okay. We both did the classic hiding food under our napkins and throwing it in the trash thing, and luckily as our mother was in the living room watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey we didn’t have to worry about her spotting us wasting her absolutely delicious food. Well, she tried. That’s the good thing I suppose. After the amazing meal, my sister and I retreated back to our bedrooms in silence and social networking until eventually it was time for sleeping. Tomorrow was Veterans Day, and we got the day off so I was able to go on Kristen’s mega shopping trip. Wonderful. Let the day end once more, so I could waste the night sleeping on my sleeping block and wearing my sleeping clothes. PPPPFFFTTTT. NAHHHH. So I stayed up until 2:00am and then fell asleep while watching cat videos. It’s a good life.

My alarm rang once more as it did yesterday, and many days before that. I shoved myself out of bed and again, had to walk all the way to my dresser to turn it off since my sister insisted that if it was on my nightstand, I would surely press snooze a million times before getting up. It was a holiday, and yet I had to get up at the same time as a school day because of Kristen’s mega shopping trip today. This better be worth it. Well it probably won’t since I won’t have any money to spend on stuff but Kristen has already elected me as secondary commander of the shopping trip which means that I have to get up early, go to her house, and make sure everyone is ready to go and ready to shop till they drop. Yippee. I again, as I always do when I wake up, grabbed a cup of yogurt for breakfast. Though I actually did look at the label this time, it was key lime pie. Now I’m not really sure how you make a yogurt taste like pie but is sure as hell tasted amazing. My mom had the day off of work so she was probably going to be asleep all day, which meant that I didn’t have to beg for the bathroom. After showering and doing my hair and all that, I now had to decide what outfit to wear. This was the complicated part. Kristen is very picky about not only her own appearance, but her friend’s appearances and how we are perceived. There’s no use in arguing with Kristen, so it’s best just to listen to her. I put on a half black, half white polo shirt and fashionably ripped jeans. Oh and a grey beanie. I looked like a racially ambiguous hipster. It’s alright though, it looks like something Kristen might like. But just in case the look wasn’t for her, I grabbed a few other outfits and stuffed them in my backpack. If none of these worked for her, she’d allow me to look in her own wardrobe and find something. After forcefully filling my backpack with clothes, I went over to my sister’s room to poke her awake. I could barely hear her murmur a “Thank you.” Before she landed her head back on her pillow. Yeah she is definitely the only person I know that enjoys being woken up early. Or really being woken up at all. I then received a text from Kristen.

Hey, I’m like 5 mins away from you. be prepared beesh. xx    

I didn’t believe that I needed to reply, not even just a simple “k.” So I just went outside on my porch and waited. As I am human and have no patience, I just went on random apps on my phone that I haven’t been on forever because I have a life. Not even three minutes later, a loud honk came from a silver 1998 Honda Civic. Kristen had arrived. She rolled down the window, and shouted, “Get in loser we’re going shopping!” She giggled at herself as she recited the memorized Mean Girls quote. Kristen’s humor wasn’t ever very original, and I actually haven’t ever watched Mean Girls, which I’ve resisted telling Kristen because she would probably chain me to a chair and force me to watch it. But thanks to her, I know most of all of the wonderful jokes and funny quotes that I would’ve had more fun hearing Regina George or whatever reciting. I forcefully smiled at her as I walked towards the car. “Zanya’s driving herself because her Aunty and Uncle believe she’s going to the library to study. Because if they see us picking her up, they’ll freak because we’re both apparently so terrible.” Kristen said rolling her eyes. I sat next to her in the front passenger seat and put my feet on the dashboard and pulled my phone out. I already knew what Kristen was going to ask, and I was prepared. “Let’s take a selfie together!” She shouted happily, almost too happily. So without any reluctance, because I learned early on that reluctance annoys Kristen, I went on Instagram and took a lovely ‘selfie’ with Kristen. “Cool. Alright there is no more time to spare, let’s get going.” Kristen said, pressing her foot down on the gas pedal. Kristen’s house was only about 10 minutes away from mine, but even just 10 short minutes seemed like forever to Kristen. She was driving just a wee bit over the speed limit because that’ll change things for sure. Finally we made it to Kristen’s house. Well it was more like a two story old shack looking building. No, it was more like the haunted house that the idiot characters from every horror movie ever goes into. The front of it looked like it was falling apart. Oh and the back deck? Dear lord that thing is horrific. Don’t even get me started on the basement. Oh right I’m not a home inspector, judging homes isn’t my job. Kristen and I hopped out of the car and headed for the slightly grey slightly green front door. It was never locked, and often was creaked slightly open too. Kristen’s mother’s boyfriend Kirk sat on the couch stuffing potato chips in his mouth watching Pawn Stars while of course Kristen’s mom was nowhere to be seen. I never really asked about Kristen’s parents much. I just know they had a really terrible divorce and Kristen’s mother used to beat the crap out of Kristen’s dad and that’s why he left. Because she was a “Crazy B*tch.” Kristen always wanted to live with her father because her mother never pays attention to her but her dad never wants to see her. Her family makes mine look like a dream. I followed Kristen upstairs to her bedroom. Her room was this sky blue color but with a bunch of patches everywhere from the room’s previous color of white. She painted the room herself, so it was a bit messy. Her room in general was messy. Books, jewelry and make up everywhere. Kristen luckily did approve of my outfit, and she proceeded to tell me the weather forecast for the day and told me not to worry about bringing a jacket. Despite the fact that she was wearing a denim jacket. Whatever. We soon enough, after of course reviewing the day’s plans, headed out the door and towards the mall. When we arrived, Zanya was waving at us, and high-fived Kristen and I then saying, “Are we ready for a day of me carrying bags because I can’t buy most of the stuff they sell in there?” “SO ready!” Kristen replied smiling. Behind Zanya was Noelle, Trinity, and Sasha. Oh and everyone else in the Q’s that didn’t want to suffer Kristen’s wrath. Which was everyone. As Kristen went down the name call, only one single person didn’t raise their hand and shout, “Here!” That person was a girl named Hailey Markus. Her best friend Nina said that Hailey had a cold and couldn’t come. Kristen doesn’t take excuses. She asked to see Nina’s phone so she could call Hailey. Kristen, as the cruel person she can be, put Hailey on speaker phone. Hailey didn’t sound very sick to Kristen. Which meant that she was lying, and that was something not acceptable at all in the Q’s. So what does Kristen do? She hangs up on Hailey, tosses the phone back to Nina, and asks, “Does anyone know what Hailey is afraid of or hates?” Everyone looked at Nina, including Kristen, who gave her the terrifying glare of death for five unbearable seconds before Nina said, “She really, really hates spiders…” Kristen smiled and thanked Nina who just uncomfortably smiled back. I had no idea what Kristen was planning, but it sounded devious. We then entered the mall, and as Zanya and I were the voluntary bellhops for the day, it wasn’t going to be too fun. There were about 30 girls going to toss their bags at us. Immediately as everyone entered the mall, the hoard fanned out. About half of them ran into Forever 21 and the other went to Sephora. Zanya and I just followed Kristen who went into H&M. Over the period of around 5 and a half hours, Zanya and I had collected over a dozen bags in our arms, each having to be labeled with the names of the girl’s too lazy to carry their own bags. Whilst everyone else was exiting the mall, thanking Kristen for a great time, Kristen kept Hailey’s best friend Nina and I with her, and said she had one more stop before we left. Pet Co. Oh dear. Sadly the store owner said that a tarantula was a ‘serious pet’ that needed good care and handling, and she refused to allow us to lay the spider in Hailey’s ‘sick bed.’ So Kristen couldn’t get the real thing, but she wouldn’t give up just yet. “You know where that Halloween store is right?” She asked me. “Yeah it’s closing in a few days like it does every year after Halloween.” I answered, knowing already what she was planning in her head. We headed to the Halloween city shop and Kristen bought around five packs of rubber spiders and three cans of orange silly string. We then headed to Target where we bought a large carton of vegetable oil, a jar of Nutella, and some milk. Now I really don’t know what she’s doing. After we went back into Kristen’s car, she asked Nina to give us directions to Hailey’s house. It took us about half an hour but to Kristen it must’ve been totally worth it because she had such a face of excitement for the whole drive. Kristen parked about three houses down from Hailey’s, and Nina told us where Hailey’s bedroom window was. The window was open, which made it much easier for us. Kristen hopped into the room, silly string in one hand and a pack of rubber spiders in the other, and began her revenge. She sprayed silly string on the ceiling, tossed rubber spiders all over her bed, and even put a spider over top of her door so that when she opened it, a spider would promptly fall on her head. Kristen asked me to spray a giant ‘K’ on the floor with another bottle of silly string. Since Hailey’s bedroom had wooden floors, we were able to make her floors extra slippery and messy with an entire carton of vegetable oil poured all over the floor and on her bed. We emptied all of her drawers full of clothing and filled them up with milk. After that we smeared Nutella all over the walls and floor. This all happened as Nina watched in complete horror. A part of me really enjoyed doing this, while another felt kind of bad for Hailey since she really didn’t do anything wrong than just not want to go to Kristen’s stupid shopping trip. But I will definitely keep that thought to myself. After the last pack of rubber spiders was emptied, and the last can of silly string was gone, Kristen and I leapt out of the window and ran back to her car. Nina sat silently in the back seat as Kristen turned around and asked where Nina’s house was. “Only about a block away from here.” “I’m on Bell Street.” Nina answered, still with a tremble in her voice. When we made it to Nina’s house, Nina practically launched out of the car and ran away. “Looks like she was crying.” I said. “Yeah maybe a bit.” Kristen replied biting her lip. “So your house, correct?” Kristen asked. “Uh-huh.” I mumbled back. “Good because I wasn’t going to drag you anywhere else anyway.” Kristen said, pressing down on the gas pedal. We both sat in complete silence for about ten minutes before I just couldn’t help but ask, “Do you really think that was necessary?” I had a close friendship status with Kristen. I think I should be able to question her. Kristen looked at me for a second and said, “No, it wasn’t.” Surprised, I let her continue. “But you see Anna, when it comes to people that do things that piss me off, I used to just deal with it.” “Until I figured out how much I really hated them and now my precedence is…” She paused for a moment. “I take no prisoners. I hold no grudges. So to get rid of those grudges, I use sweet vengeance.” “I already have so many people I can’t stand, might as well get rid of my hate through ruining their valuable little social lives.” I didn’t reply. I felt almost a bit like Zanya for a moment. Kristen never really expresses her feelings to anyone but Zanya so this was an odd moment. I looked down at Kristen’s hands which were slightly jittering around on the steering wheel. I could barely see from under one of the bracelets she was wearing, a little red mark. “Kristen what’s that?” I asked with a tainted nervousness in my voice. “What’s what?” She said looking down at where I was pointing, then pulling down her jacket sleeve. I focused a bit more on the red mark. Or should I say marks. There were two. No three. Four…five…crap. “Kristen let me see.” I said desperately. “Anna get off of me!” She shouted as I was grabbing her left wrist. “LET ME SEE.” I shouted again. She pulled back once more. “KRISTEN GOD DAMMNIT JUST LET ME SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE!”

Crash.

Screams.

Glass.

Darkness.

Breath.

(c)2014 Theworldofmywriting please under no circumstances copy this work or claim it as your own.

The fear of normal

Fear of being completely and utterly normal is extremely unhealthy. Why is it so frowned upon in our society? Accept yourself for the average person you are, and accept that it is not bad at all. To try so hard to be special just drives you so much further apart from experiencing the things you are really good at. So how about taking a break from being so unique, and just accepting yourself as the common human being.

Like a Flower

daisycloud:

Looooveely <3

Originally posted on A taste of my ink:

Friends are like diamonds
That taste better than almonds
A friend is like a flower
Which rises beautifully upon every hour.

A true friend is hard to find
Which takes time to find in line
But when the moment comes
The person you’ve been waiting for arrives.

Black black
Everything turns black
When the most person you love
Fades like a flower in the rough.

Like a flower you become lonely
Like the waves you start moaning
Knowing that there’s no one in this world
That makes you strong like a sword.

The past is gone
But the memories are not
They are trapped in your mind
Which can find no way out.

You start asking yourself
Why this life has to end like that
No life, no joy, no happiness anymore
Feeling lonely and feeling lost.

You also start realising
That like a flower we cost nothing
A flower’s…

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Azalea and the Chasing of Cloaks: Chapter 6, Guild

ஐ Chapter 6: Guild ஐ

Azalea had never seen Whitewood trees before. They looked similar to birch trees, but they were thicker, and had more of a silver coloring to them. Their braches were all very straight and almost leafless. Azalea could tell that the forest was not usually walked in, since the once neatly cut bushes that were on the side of the footpath were overgrown and messy. The dirt path was also very cluttered, covered in stray twigs and braches, but was also barely even there, as grass was growing over top of it. The forest was so serene and quiet compared to the rest of the loud, bustling city of Osthill that it almost seemed unrealistic that nobody else had heard of the forest and would come to find peace and tranquil. Both Azalea and Sabrlyn were being completely silent for the first few minutes after entering the forest. They both simply looked around and appreciated the beauty of the place. After a few more minutes of soundless walking, Azalea asked the question that had been running through her mind the moment Sabrlyn said, “There is somewhere I would like to take you.” Azalea began, “Sabrlyn?” “Yes?” She responded. “Why are you taking me here?” “I mean it’s absolutely gorgeous but what’s the reason you have brought me here for?” Azalea replied, trying her best to not sound like she didn’t have confidence in Sabrlyn. “We are nearly at the location I wanted to bring you, don’t worry.” Sabrlyn said plainly. That wasn’t really the answer Azalea had wanted. But she could deal with it. It was just the fact of not knowing where she was going, being in a seemingly empty forest with someone she barley knew, was making her nervous. Rightfully so, but there was this weird sense of trust she felt towards Sabrlyn, maybe the reason being because of how kind and encouraging she was to her during gun lessons, or her great – however many more greats, aunt was part of the guild of sorceresses, but either way she felt as if Sabrlyn was worth trusting. As they kept walking through the forest silently, they approached a clearing. Sabrlyn pushed ahead of Azalea and led her into the clearing. “Here we are.” Sabrlyn said, smiling as she looked around at the clearing. The clearing was almost completely plain grass, but there were multiple benches covered in vines and leaves, and a small shed-looking building near the end of the clearing. Azalea stood looking around at her surroundings not knowing what to say. Sabrlyn came towards her, placing her hand of Azalea’s shoulder. “Azalea, this is one of the five training grounds of the guild of sorceresses.” “Isn’t it beautiful?” She asked as Azalea continued to look around. “It is…training grounds you say?” Azalea said curiously. “Yes, training grounds.” “The guild would come here in this clearing to practice spells, and the captain and his or hers helpers would educate and teach the other sorcerers.” Sabrlyn replied happily. Sabrlyn seemed so at home in the forest, she was constantly smiling and looking around the area. “There were captains of the guild?” Azalea asked. She really didn’t know much about the guild of sorceresses, since she had never met anyone that had knowledge of it, but she was tremendously fascinated with it, and wanted to know more. “Yes, there was a captain of the guild, the captains were the utmost respected and professional sorcerers, they could perform the most complicated and amazing spells out there.” “The captain would have 6 helpers elected and then he or she would choose someone to take over once they died.” Azalea was about to ask another question, but Sabrlyn continued. “These training grounds, called the Whitewood grounds, were one of the most popular to come and train.” “Due to it’s privacy and space, it was perfect for the guild.” “When the government began to wipe out the sorceresses, this training ground was left unharmed.” Sabrlyn paused for a moment, looking around at the forest once again. “The reason for that is because the government’s most effective way of getting rid of the training grounds was to burn them.” “But obviously setting a fire in the middle of a large forest was a bad idea, so they left it alone, and instead just banned anyone from entering the forest.” Azalea looked back and forth for a moment worryingly. “Wait so we’re not supposed to be here?” “Oh no not at all.” Sabrlyn said chuckling. Azalea didn’t find it very amusing. “How come there are no guards – or even really any signs that would say that entering the forest was forbidden?” “Most people don’t even know about this forest, it’s blocked by all of the buildings.” “Oh and there used to be guards and warning signs here, but no one – except maybe a few unintelligent teenagers or lost tourists tried to come in.” “But nobody ever really attempted to enter the forest” “So after a while, the guards were taken from their posts, and any of the signs warning of the ban have probably been destroyed from the weather by now.” Sabrlyn replied as Azalea raised her eyebrow. “How do you know so much about the guild?” “The information was mostly passed down through my family.” But my family mostly keeps silent about it, the government most likely wouldn’t like it if they found out we were telling people about the guild.” Sabrlyn then turned around to face the small shed and pointed at it. “See that?” She asked. Azalea tuned around as well to face the shed, and nodded. “My family’s knowledge of the guild and sorcery is quite limited, but that little shed is where I get most of my facts from.” Azalea looked confused as Sabrlyn started walking towards the shed. Azalea followed, interested in what was inside the shed that gave Sabrlyn so much information. As they made it to the shed, Sabrlyn yanked and twisted the small rusty door handle a few times before the stiffness of the handle started to fade. Finally hearing the twist of the handle, making it possible to open the door, Sabrlyn started pulling the door and eventually, slowly but surely, opened the door. Sabrlyn entered first, grabbing a candle on a small side table and a box of matches. Using the matches, she lit the candle. The shed was murky, and dark. The two tiny windows on either side barely let any light in as they were completely covered in dirt, grime, and spider webs. Sabrlyn then moved herself to let Azalea through. She could only see wherever Sabrlyn would point the candle, but what she did see were a few tables, three or four at least, completely piled up with books. All kinds of books. Big and small, embellished and plain. “So this is where I suppose you get all of your facts from huh?” Azalea asked looking around at all of the books she was able to see in the light of the candle. “Your guess is correct.” Sabrlyn answered, picking up a large book covered in leather. It was engraved and painted with the words, ‘Libro Cantus.’ “What does that title say?” Azalea asked trying to get a closer look at the book. “It means spell book in…I believe the language of Merrili.” “Merrilian?” Azalea presumed. “Yes you are correct.” Sabrlyn replied. She leaned against the wall and opened the book, swiping through the pages. “Even though I’m not completely fluent in Merrilian…as in I know pretty much nothing, this book is still fascinating to look at.” “It’s completely handmade and beautifully written.” “Like a work of art.” Sabrlyn said smiling. Azalea approached Sabrlyn as she admired the book, and tried to get a nice look at it. It was a very gorgeously written book, Azalea wondered how long it must have taken to write each little letter so perfectly. Sabrlyn turned a few pages in the book then pointed at it for Azalea to see. “This is one of my favorite passages.” Sabrlyn said, then beginning to read it aloud. “wuek depeelueewu opef e drouurur uha ugnuy eneei wulne wuek doppon eed uopmepnieunuy wurolo efluopm leepome.” Sabrlyn paused, rereading the passage to herself. “Sorry, I wanted to make sure I pronounced all of the words right.” She laughed at herself. “Merrilian is not the easiest to speak.” “What does it mean?” Azalea asked, interested in what the Merrilian text meant. “I’m not completely sure…as I said I’m not very well spoken in Merrilian or anything.” “But I know wuek means the and leepome means hurt or pain, something along those lines.” “So entirely from your translation, it means the pain, fascinating.” Azalea said, smirking. “Yes well again, I’m not the best at Merrilian, but I love looking at this book.” Sabrlyn replied, laughing anxiously in response. Sabrlyn then swiftly shut the book, as it slammed closed, it made Azalea jump in surprise. Sabrlyn plopped the book back down and excitedly said, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe that I almost forgot about it!” “Um, what?” Azalea asked confused. Sabrlyn leaned over to the other side of the shed, grabbing a petite little book from under a few others. As Sabrlyn leant back towards Azalea, she spoke eagerly, “This book is like a little call list of all the guild of sorcerer’s members, it says all of their names and stuff.” She said happily, handing it to Azalea. Azalea opened the tiny book, most of the pages were blank, except for about the first five or six. The first two pages had a full list of all the names of the guild members, Amarna,

Fennella, Cyrah, Dorinda, Dashalyn, Hepzibah, Sabanna, Teagan, Brigitta, Pasqualina, Astera, Jacintha, Aviendha, Eudocia…and that was only half of the first page! Azalea continued to read the pages to herself quietly as Sabrlyn watched. Finally Azalea saw a familiar name. “Sakilyn!” Azalea shouted suddenly, scaring Sabrlyn. “I remember Sakilyn, Lindara…which I’m not too sure I told you about Lindara but whatever, she told me about her!” “She really liked spiders and was pretty insane.” Azalea said, still recalling the way Lindara spoke of Sakilyn shouting, “Lindara is a child! Lindara is a child!” “Well she was presumably barking mad.” Sabrlyn corrected Azalea. “But she was an absolutely amazing sorceress, she was particularly famous for discovering ways to control animals, she did most of her experimented spells on spiders, which had some kind of weird bond with her for some reason.” Sabrlyn added, smiling a bit. “I just love all of their stories, you know?” “It’s just so amazing…but tragic.” “Yeah I get it, I wish they were still around too.” Azalea responded. “I’m not sure if you know this too, but Sakilyn was definitely one of the three most powerful, most admired Sorcerers.” “Along with two others, Cyrah and Amarna.” Sabrlyn continued. “Amarna came up with so many of the spells that someday you’ll have to learn, and your sister too.” “Oh and Cyrah…uh she was pretty great too, but kind of…grumpy.” “Well there’s always got to be a moody one.” Azalea responded, giggling at herself a bit. “Come on, Azalea.” “Let’s get out of this interesting, though dusty and stuffy shed.” Sabrlyn said, and Azalea nodded back in agreement. As they headed out of the shed, Sabrlyn looked up at the sky. “You know, I think that this forest has a spell on it.” “Like a soundproofing spell or something.” “It’s always so quiet here, even though we’re so close to the city streets, here it’s so peaceful.” “I bet if you walked in here you wouldn’t even know you’re next to the city.” Azalea replied. Sabrlyn continued walking again, and so Azalea followed. They walked for what felt like ten minutes or so until Sabrlyn once again looked up at the sky. “Hey, do you see that?” Azalea turned around and looked up to see a grey clouded sky. “Looks like it’s about to rain.” Azalea sighed. “Not just rain, probably also hail, and whatever else the weather would like to bring us.” Sabrlyn grinned, rolling her eyes as well. “Should we go back?” Azalea asked, she’d rather not get wet. “Nah, look there’s a little cave over there, we can just go there until the weather is merciful to us.” Sabrlyn answered, again laughing at herself like she always seemed to. Azalea looked around for the cave that Sabrlyn had mentioned. “Where is this cave, exactly?” Azalea asked, as all she saw was thick green brush and more trees. “Oh right back here.” Sabrlyn replied, pointing over at a knocked down tree and a large area of green brush. Azalea then started to feel little drops of water on her head. Oh how wonderful, it’s already starting. Sabrlyn ran towards the tree on the ground and green brush, moving the brush to the sides to uncover a huge rock with an entrance carved into it. “Ah, so this is your secret lair?” Azalea joked. “If you’d like to call it that.” Sabrlyn responded. Sabrlyn entered the cave first, simply sitting down, resting her head against the wall. Azalea sat down on the other side, taking a long deep breath. Everything was so quiet, and eventually Azalea started to doze off, as did Sabrlyn. But there was a slight taint in the silence that awoke Azalea and eventually Sabrlyn as well. “What was that?” Azalea murmured, not really expecting a reply as she was more asking herself than anyone else. When Sabrlyn woke up as well, she just blinked softly a few times and almost began dozing off again. But before she could do that, Azalea poked her, waking her completely. “What is it?” Sabrlyn asked, still half asleep. “Did you hear that noise?” Azalea asked. “No, I was asleep, what noise?” Sabrlyn mumbled in reply. Then they both heard the sounds together. It was the faint noise of something being tapped, or being moved. Then there was a small portion of speech that could be heard as well. Azalea couldn’t understand the talking, but it was good enough for her to start freaking out. “Do you…what do you think it is?” Azalea said, with a small tremble in her voice. “Shush, okay?” “Everything is going to be alright, it’s probably just- Sabrlyn was cut off. The noises began to sound closer than before. Then closer, and closer again. Azalea started to inch away from the cave, Sabrlyn grabbed her shoulder, whispering to her to stay in place. Whatever was coming, they’d be prepared, right? I mean Azalea is a sorceress who knows how to use useless magical spells with a cool scarf…that she currently doesn’t have with her. Oh and Sabrlyn is a gunsmith trainee, who currently doesn’t hold any weapons with her. ‘This is the greatest thing ever.’ Azalea thought to herself. Her sister will permanently be with the Malum and she’ll die in a cave with some insecure however very intelligent gunsmith trainee. What a way to go, huh? Goodbye sorcery and magic, it was fun while it lasted.

(c)2014 The World of my Writing. Please under no circumstance copy this work or claim it as your own.

Azalea and the Chasing of Cloaks: Chapter 5, The Gunsmith

ஐ Chapter 5: The Gunsmith ஐ

Azalea stood near the entrance of the shop as she heard footsteps barreling down the stairs that sounded like they were in a back room of some sort. Azalea looked to the left, a woman, that she guessed must have been Sabrlyn, came through the door. “Hello there, welcome to the Osthill Gunsmith, how may I help you?” Sabrlyn asked. Azalea looked around her awkwardly as she tried to think of something to say. Sabrlyn continued to wait for her response. “I would like to have some basic gun training so I might be able to buy a weapon.” Azalea finally said. “No offence or anything but…how old are you?” Sabrlyn asked trying her best to be respectful. “Uh…I’m fourteen.” Azalea answered nervously. What if she was too young? “Oh…hm.” Sabrlyn muttered. She then told Azalea, “One second, I’ll be right back.” She ran into the back room and Azalea could hear her loud footsteps as she quickly ran up the stairs. Sabrlyn walked through the hallway and entered through the door to Nora’s office. “Nora?” Sabrlyn said breathing loudly as she had ran up the steps so fast, she needed to catch her breath. “What is it Sabrlyn?” Nora sat up in her chair. “How is the costumer?” “Uh…she’s fourteen and she wants gun lessons, and I’m not really too sure about- .”

Nora cut Sabrlyn off with a sigh. “Come on where do we live, Jedrijan? Give the girl some lessons, she’ll be fine.” “But…” Sabrlyn said as she was trying to think of a reply. “Well if you don’t want to train her, I will.” Nora said as she started to get out of her chair. “No, no! You don’t have to do that, I will train her…” Sabrlyn said anxiously. “Well then, go get her a musket, I’m trying to clean and reassemble this mess that some person calls a firearm.” Nora said as she turned back around to her desk, piled up with various bits and pieces. Nora grabbed a cleaning rod, a rod used to clean the bore of a gun, and started using it. Sabrlyn stood for a moment, not doing anything just standing, perhaps daydreaming. “Sabrlyn?” Nora said turning around. As soon as Nora started to turn around, Sabrlyn snapped back into reality and ran as fast as she could back down the steps as Azalea stood waiting patiently. Sabrlyn opened the door from the room leading to the stairway, then saying to Azalea, “How about learning how to use a Charleville musket?” Azalea smiled, “That sounds good.” “Do you see that door over there?” Sabrlyn asked pointing to the other side of the room. “That’s where our little shooting range is for lessons, you can just go out there and wait for me, okay?” “Sure.” Azalea replied as she started to walk towards the door. Sabrlyn responded, “Great, I’ll be right back.” She ran over to the area behind the main counter to grab Azalea a weapon. Picking up a musket, she walked to the door and exited, coming towards Azalea. The shooting range was fairly simple, there were three targets and a small painted white line to tell you where to stand when shooting. There were also a few chairs spread around and a small wooden table with a large number of other various guns, ammunition, and gun cleaning parts. Sabrlyn held up the musket and started explaining to Azalea how the musket worked. “Now Azalea, the Charleville has a 17.5mm caliber barrel, it’s smooth, sleek, and light to carry.” “I think it’s a good gun to start you off with, it’s not too expensive either, if you happen to become interested in purchasing it.” Sabrlyn said as Azalea took a good, long look at the musket. “This is also the newest model, we only recently got a stock of them to sell.” “I like the gun because it looks stylish and performs well.” Sabrlyn continued, “It fires two to three rounds per minute, which may not sound like much to you, but in the world of weapons it’s pretty great.” “It’s got an effective firing range of around one hundred to two hundred yards, but you’d only pretty much kill something if you’re around fifty to seventy five yards.” Sabrlyn walked over to the small wooden table that was piled up with bullets and cleaning tools. She picked up some lead musket balls, a cartridge of gunpowder, and a ramrod. “Alright Azalea, here comes the more tricky part, loading the gun.” Sabrlyn began, attempting to speak slowly so Azalea would learn more effectively. “First, you pour the powder out from this little cartridge.” “Make sure you don’t pour out too much…because you’ll probably die.” “Now pull the hammer part of the gun to half-cock before you pour the powder in, like this.” Sabrlyn said pulling the hammer as Azalea watched. “Now just pour the powder down the barrel of the gun.” Sabrlyn then ripped the cartridge open pouring the powder in. “Alright Azalea, now you just get this little musket ball here…” Sabrlyn said holding the musket ball in front of Azalea, twiddling it between her fingers. She then dropped it into the barrel of the gun, and grabbed the ramrod. “This step is simple, just grab your ramrod, and insert it into the barrel, so you compact everything in the barrel together.” After Sabrlyn stuffed the barrel, she continued to the last step. “The final thing to do is to just pull the hammer back, oh and make sure to close the frizzen.” Sabrlyn grasped the musket, aiming it at one of the targets. Azalea stepped back in caution. “Now you just aim and…Fire!” Sabrlyn shouted, hitting a few inches below the middle of the target. “Well, close enough I suppose.” She chuckled at herself. “Alright Azalea, do you want to give it a try?” “Um.” Azalea said quietly. Her face was plastered with a look of absolute confusion. “Come on, it’s not as difficult as it seems.” Sabrlyn said encouragingly. After a few more seconds with no answer, Sabrlyn put her hand on Azalea’s shoulder, “Do you want me to show you again?” “Oh no that’s fine…” Azalea said sighing. “I’ll try loading it.” “Fantastic!” Sabrlyn shouted. “Just walk over to the table and grab what you’ll need.” Azalea walked over to the table slowly as she tried to remember what she had to get. Looking down at the table, she moved her hand towards a musket ball and a packet of gunpowder, ever so carefully and delicately. “Don’t forget the ramrod.” Sabrlyn reminded her. Azalea quickly turned around to correct her mistake, grabbing a ramrod. She walked back to Sabrlyn, who was clapping for Azalea. “Spectacular!” She said as she finished clapping. “Okay, do you remember the first step?” She asked looking at Azalea. Azalea stood for a moment thinking. “Pouring out the gunpowder?” “Yes, that’s correct but what do you have to do before pouring it in?” Sabrlyn asked looking towards the hammer of the gun subtly trying to give Azalea a hint. Azalea stared at Sabrlyn blankly as she thought. “Do you pull that thingy that’s above the trigger?” Azalea asked nervously. “Yes you do, and that ‘thing’ is called the hammer, you just pull it back like this…” Sabrlyn said pulling the hammer to half-cock. “What’s next?” “Now I can pour the powder in.” Azalea answered grinning to herself as she realized that she now could remember some of the various steps to loading the musket. “That’s right, you pour the powder down the barrel.” Sabrlyn said pointing at it. Azalea poured a small amount of powder in the barrel, hoping that she didn’t pour too little or too much, she looked at Sabrlyn for approval. “That’s just about the right amount.” She said taking the packet back from Azalea, and stuffing it in one of her pockets. “Now I just have to put the musket ball in.” “You are indeed correct.” Sabrlyn said smiling as Azalea plopped the musket ball in the barrel. “Now I just grab the ramrod and stuff it all together.” Azalea said taking the ramrod and carefully wadding the powder and musket ball collectively. “Remember to pull the hammer back and close the frizzen!” Sabrlyn reminded her. Azalea finished, looking at Sabrlyn for the next step. “Well, now you just aim and fire.” Sabrlyn said, speedily teaching Azalea how to hold the gun, and aim it. Azalea held the musket up, very slowly aiming it, and fired. It didn’t even hit the target, but Sabrlyn was overjoyed. “stunning!” She shouted happily. Azalea rested the gun by her waist, “Really…I didn’t even hit the target thing.” “That doesn’t really matter, it’s your first shot of a gun…well to my knowledge at least.” “It was definitely spectacular!” Sabrlyn said smiling. “So Azalea, are you interested in purchasing this musket?” Sabrlyn asked. Azalea thought for a moment. Why did she even need a gun if she had such immense powers? Oh right. She didn’t know how to use them. But seriously, she could even at this very moment perform spells and more effectively protect herself than a measly weapon. Should she explain it to Sabrlyn? She didn’t even know the woman, though she seemed nice, it could just be a tactic for her to buy the gun. She didn’t want many people to know about her and her sister’s powers just yet. But surely the Malum were going to try and exploit Adrasteia’s powers somehow and then everyone would know. Also at some point people were going to find out, it was just a matter of time. Azalea looked at Sabrlyn for another moment, finally braving up, she started to explain. “Well, Sabrlyn, I’m not really sure I need a gun.” Sabrlyn looked disappointed, but she allowed Azalea to continue. “You see….I kind of already have my own powers.” Sabrlyn changed her facial expression from disappointed to bewildered. “Have you ever heard of ‘The tale of the two lost sorceresses’?” Sabrlyn slowly replied, “Yes…” “Well even though it’s kind of dumb to say, and hard to explain, my older sister and I are those two sorceresses.” Azalea said reluctantly. How else was she supposed to say it? She wasn’t in anyway clever at saying, Hey whats up thanks for gun lessons, Im a tremendously powerful magical being, bow down peasant. So what was she supposed to say? Dear mother of Dordale she was so cripplingly awkward. She just stood there, playing with her unloaded musket waiting for Sabrlyn to reply. Sabrlyn eventually after only a few seconds that felt like hours, changed her facial expression from bewildered to what seemed to be excited and extremely curious, but still reluctant and slightly confused. “I did have a weird feeling about you.” “Seriously, what in all of Aderarid was a fourteen year old girl from where-in-the-hell coming over for shooting lessons and to buy a weapon doing?” “But I need a bit more proof from you.” “My…well I’m not sure how many ‘greats’ it is but my great how ever many more greats aunt was part of the sorceresses guild.” “So…my question for you is this…” Azalea looked side to side worryingly. What was she going to ask? She was really a sorceress but she only knew as much information as Lindara had told her. “What is the Kerubung?” Sabrlyn asked looking at Azalea for an answer. Azalea’s eyes lit up. It was a question she actually knew the answer to. “Simple.” She began. “The Kerubung is a magical stone-of some sorts…” She paused for a moment. “It’s something that some people believe can give you magical powers, but most people believe that it only enhances magical powers that you already have.” “But the government of Keabeth believed that it gave you magical powers, and they wanted the Kerubung so that they could have that.” “They went after the guild of sorceresses to find it-but the sorceresses didn’t have it, at least that’s what they said.” “It’s rumored that the government killed most of the sorceresses off because they never got an answer for where the Kerubung was, the government then tried to make everyone forget about the Kerubung and wash out the guild of sorceresses as a whole.” Azalea inhaled after a long period of time without breathing. As she exhaled, she said confidently, “And that is what the Kerubung is.” Sabrlyn stood shell shocked at Azalea’s answer. “Well then…” She said blankly. “What about your magical capabilities?” “Show me a spell.” Sabrlyn said raising an eyebrow. “Well, great.” Azalea thought to herself. The only spell Azalea knew was that weird scarf spinning thing Lindara taught her as she was trying to prove that Azalea was a sorceress. “I need something first.” Azalea said putting down the musket and rushing quickly through the inside of the shop. She scanned the area for her bag that contained the little magic scarf Lindara had given her. She had left her bag on one of the chairs near the entrance of the shop. Azalea rolled her eyes at herself. “Not the best idea to leave your bag over there. Great job.” She muttered. She grabbed the bag off the chair and ran back outside to the shooting area. Swinging the bag onto her shoulder, she opened it as Sabrlyn looked at it intriguingly. Digging through the bag, Azalea eventually found the scarf that Lindara had given her. As she pulled it out of the bag, Sabrlyn raised her eyebrow again, “What is that, exactly?” “Uh….” Azalea paused. “What was this stupid magic scarf called?” Azalea thought. Why was she always so forgetful? Azalea stared at the scarf for a few more seconds, looking back up at Sabrlyn, she just decided to make a name up. But what if it was a trick question and Sabrlyn already knew what it was? Sabrlyn seemed to know a lot about sorcery. “It’s an…” “Uchawi.” Azalea was already regretting giving the scarf that name. What in all of Keabeth was an Uchawi? She didn’t know, but it seemed to be okay with Sabrlyn. “Alright then, so what do you do with it then?” “Right…” Azalea said. “It’s like a tool you use to perform rather simple spells…like something a beginner at magic would utilize.” “I see…” Sabrlyn replied taking a look at the Uchawi. Azalea then began spinning the Uchawi in a circular motion just like she did in front of Lindara. The air around them started to get windier, and some small pebbles and leaves started moving. Sabrlyn stared at Azalea with her arms crossed around her chest, watching carefully. As Azalea continued spinning the Uchawi, the wind became stronger. Eventually Sabrlyn shouted, “Alright that’s enough, you can stop now.” Azalea halted the spinning and put the Uchawi back in her bag. Sabrlyn looked at Azalea, faintly grinning at her. “Wonderful job.” “I suppose you don’t need a weapon after all.” Sabrlyn said picking up the Charleville musket and bringing it back inside the shop as Azalea followed her. Sabrlyn went around the desk and placed the musket back where she had it. “Where is your sister then?” Sabrlyn asked leaning her hands on the desk. “That’s the complicated part.” Azalea answered softly. “I understand.” Sabrlyn said nodding her head. “I can take complicated stories.” Azalea began to explain. As she clarified the kidnapping of her sister, and Lindara telling her about her powers, Sabrlyn changed her facial expression from curious to concerned. “But I have no clue really where she is and what the Malum plan to do with her.” “I’m just going where Lindara has told me.” Azalea said finishing her story. “Azalea…” “There is somewhere I would like to take you.” Sabrlyn said looking around her. “Where then?” “It’s hard to really put in plain words.” Sabrlyn answered simply. “But don’t worry, I’m not going to take you to a secret lair or something where you’ll have your organs discarded.” Sabrlyn said heading over to the back room. Azalea started to follow her, but Sabrlyn turned around to say, “No, you’re not going in Nora’s office, silly.” “Wait here.” “Who’s Nora?” Azalea asked. “She’s the Gunsmith of course.” Sabrlyn answered as she closed the door to the backroom and headed up the stairs. Sabrlyn walked down the hallway to Nora’s office knocking on the wall next to her door, which was never closed. Nora was still trying to clean and reassemble the gun that she was when Sabrlyn came in last time. “What is it Sabrlyn?” Nora said as she turned around in her chair. “Did the girl buy anything?” “No Nora, she didn’t.” “But I’d like to take her to the whitewood forest.” Sabrlyn said awaiting Nora’s response. “Ah, she’s that girl isn’t she?” “Yes, go ahead, tell her I’m a big fan of all that magic stuff and I don’t hate her so she doesn’t blow my head off.” Nora said turning back around to her desk, which was more like a workbench. Sabrlyn smirked at the ridiculously calm Nora. “Yes, I’ll tell her that you said that.” Sabrlyn said walking out of Nora’s office. Azalea was fidgeting with her bag’s shoulder strap as Sabrlyn opened and exited the back room door. “Alright then, off to the forest I suppose.” Sabrlyn said smiling. “What forest?” Azalea looked a tad bit uneasy. I mean what would you do if someone who you had only recently met wanted to take you to some mysterious forest? “It’s the Whitewood forest, it’s just a forest of, well Whitewoods.” Sabrlyn answered. “It’s only a few minutes away, we can just walk there.” Sabrlyn added. “Wait who’s going to take care of the shop while you’re gone?” Azalea asked. “Well honestly guns aren’t really the most popular thing here, so I doubt we’ll have many, if any costumers.” “But if we do, believe me, Nora will take care of them.” Sabrlyn said exiting the shop with Azalea. They didn’t go out of the front entrance though, they went towards the shooting area, where there was a small gate near the end of the vicinity. Sabrlyn pushed the gate open, which made an extremely loud, ear irritatingly terrible screeching noise as it opened. Azalea was tempted to cover her ears, but the noise didn’t last for very long. “Sorry about that.” “At some point we need to get that fixed.” Sabrlyn apologized. “No, that’s fine.” “The door at my house is just as annoying, just not as screechy.” Azalea replied. There was a long thin dirt path that oddly didn’t start from the gate, but instead after you passed an old weeping willow tree that was dipping down over top of Azalea and Sabrlyn’s heads. As they walked down the path, Sabrlyn kept looking all around her at the various plants and all of the squirrels running away from them. “I always love coming down here, it’s so quiet.” “Maybe the most quiet place in this whole city.” Azalea nodded. There wasn’t hardly any noise except for their own voices and the breeze. Oh and of course the sound of the squirrels dashing away from them. “I think there is a squirrel breeding facility here, because dear Aderarid there are so many of them here and in this forest.” Azalea laughed. There had probably been more than six squirrels that crossed their path in just the few minutes they were there. As they continued to walk, Azalea also started to appreciate the quietness of this area. It rung a bell in her head of the tiny wooded area in Dordale where her and Adrasteia would play and pretend to be animals, like rabbits or deer. Just like Sabrlyn had said, the forest was only a few minutes away. “Here we are.” She said pointing at the tiny rotting wooden sign that barely made out the words, “Whitewood Forest.” “Let’s go then.” Sabrlyn said beginning to walk as Azalea trailed behind her.

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