She drifts into view, drawing forth vast emotions from the soul’s darkest abyss.
There is an air of mystery trailing behind her like some rare, exotic fragrance.
She exudes regality and sensuality in the same pulse.
Her presence is alarming yet alluring; calming yet unsettling.
Her name is Contradiction, and her signature shade is sapphire.
The Arrow of Ronan: Chapter Three
Caleb had barely lowered himself to the ground, when a stable
boy whisked his steed away. Looking around, he began to acquaint himself with what would serve as his home for the next several months. Chroi Village seemed to be a decent size, with everything that could make a man far from home quite comfortable.
“Watch your step!” The shrill voice of an old woman pierced his senses. He had unintentionally bumped into a beggar.
“Forgive me, madame. I do not seem to have my wits about me this morning.”
With a disgusted humph, she hobbled off, using a crooked stick, to aid her labored gait.
Feeling a hand clap his shoulder, Caleb knew turned to his comrade from the first day of training, Arden. Arden was also taking in the sights and smells of their surroundings.
“This shall do quite nicely.”
Just then, a gaggle of ladies of the evening wandered by.
“Yes, quite nicely indeed.”
Caleb's stomach churned in disgust. “Arden, we are here to train and fight for King Diermund, not to indulge our desires.”
Arden punched Caleb in the arm. “Preacher, it would do you some good to give into your desires. That is if you have any.”
Caleb had grown accustomed to such comments as he was not shy about his faith and the God in whom he believed.
Calmly countering his friend, “The only desire I wish to give into
at the moment is filling my belly; I am famished.”
Heavenly aromas of various foods wafted in the air from a
plethora of vendors.
Caleb approached a stand where turkey legs were sold. Before retrieving some currency from his leather pouch.
“How much, my good fellow?”
The man running the stand, rotund both in size and exuding surliness, turned at Caleb's greeting.
The vendor seemed to size him up before stating a price that Caleb thought was reasonable enough.
After divvying up the correct amount, he shoved the coins toward the man who reached for them greedily. Suddenly, the thump of wood on wood resounded, startling both men. Glancing down, he spotted a crooked old stick positioned between his payment and the hand of the vendor.
“You overcharged him.” It was the old beggar woman from earlier.
Caleb stood in stunned silence as he glanced at the man who shook his head in denial.
The man scoffed. “Why don't you do what's best for you and
hobble off and die, eh?"
Caleb could not believe that anyone would address this poor old soul in such an unkind manner.
Before he had a chance to come to her defense, the woman spoke once more. “Why don’t you do what is best for you and charge the newcomer the correct price?”
The man chuckled evilly; all denial erased from his tone. “Who
is going to make me?”
The old woman placed her hand onto the wooden platform before tapping her fingers on the wood. At the peculiar sound, all color drained from the man's plump face.
Caleb spied what had so obviously frightened the man. In truth, it surprised him as well. The hand he had believed to belong to an old woman was, in fact, the smooth, milky-white hand of a young woman. The source of the strange noise was the rather large emerald stone sitting upon her right ring finger.
The crooked old woman straightened, and the hood of the cloak fell, revealing the vision of a comely young woman, glorious waves of midnight hair cascaded about her ivory face. Her striking eyes were the exact color of the ring she wore.
“Y-your H-hi-highne-” the vendor stammered.
With more authority than most men, the beauty raised her hand to silence him.
“For the last time, sir, charge the newcomer the fair price or I shall personally see to it that all you have ever worked for will be for naught.”
Caleb was mesmerized. Was she an angel, sent to keep him safe from crooks like this man? Surely, she was not real. Mayhap this was all a vision brought on by little food and no sleep.
She did not look at Caleb; her intense gaze aimed daggers at the
When the crook stated the actual price, Caleb peeled his gaze from the woman, surprised. The cost indeed was significantly less.
After recounting his currency and exchanging it for the prized turkey leg, Caleb turned to thank the angel only to discover she had vanished. Spotting her walking stick still lying on the platform, he snatched it and the turkey leg, and raced after her.
Once back on the main thoroughfare, he jerked his head to the
left and to the right and back again until he saw her cloaked form receding in the distance. She was under the facade of the old woman, but Caleb knew it was her.
He desperately ran toward her. To his dismay, the other villagers
milling about and her surprisingly fast gait for such a small creature,
prevented him from reaching her. He made it to the edge of the village just in time to see her galloping off on a majestic white stallion.
Defeated, Caleb swung and caught the walking stick mid-air. He
supposed she would not need this any longer. Taking a bite of turkey
leg, he decided to head back.
Only then was he aware that Arden had missed it all. Where was the scoundrel? Not seeing him anywhere, he walked in the direction of their training camp.
“Caleb, where have you been?” Arden's voice sounded from behind him.
Holding up his meal, he said, “Satisfying my hunger. You?”
Caleb’s belly churned with repulsion as he saw Arden tuck in his
shirt before securing his trousers about his waist.
“You could say I've been doing the same,” Arden quipped, “What is with the walking stick? Are you much more advanced in years than I had originally thought?”
Caleb sent up a quick prayer for his wayward friend. “It's not mine.”
“Whose is it then?”
Glancing to where the raven-haired angel had disappeared, “I do not know.”
Something told him he would soon find out.
Iron Sharpens Iron
It’s the toughest job on the planet, or so I’ve been told. I’ve never actually held the position myself.
We are each assigned one at birth, and all I can say is mine had to be strong to raise me.
Not that I was a particularly bad kid per se, just a tad…unhinged.
I thought everyone was my friend, even the seedy stranger walking down the street (fresh from burying a body, no doubt).
Whatever was on my mind, the world was privy to regardless of the consequences. Too cunning to stay in trouble but not cunning enough to stay out of it.
Growing up, she was my best friend and my worst enemy. Iron sharpens iron and now our bond is unbreakable.
The amount of sacrifices she made is countless and my gratitude is boundless.
I am not sure what I did to deserve to be raised by this warrior queen, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
When the Character Mute Button is Pressed…
Have you ever had those moments of pure bookdrenaline? You know…the times where you aren‘t simply a “writer” but rather the literary vessel forged from the fire of creativity and as such a marvel. It is your soul purpose to deliver the stories swelling inside you to the world and there is nothing and no one who can stop you. Then…nothing….
Your cerebral planes have become a ghost town of thoughts. All the characters talking over each other, desperate to be heard hours before, have suddenly vanished.
Whenever this happens I acknowledge that I am simply not ready to hear and accept the next part of their story. I feel like I am, what author doesn’t? However, it is their story after-all.
Not every writer crafts like this, but I have always felt as though these stories are real and have been lost in the shuffle of the progression of the world. Only those with a heart and mind sensitive enough to listen can put them to paper.
I step away. I may even go through previous scenes in the story and find clues there. But more often than not, my characters will voice their story when I‘m in the snack aisle at the store, nowhere near my computer. *insert face palm emoji here.*
As they say, “inspiration can strike anywhere,” but what “they” didn’t say was the inconvenience that ”anywhere” may entail.
My process depends on the story I am working on, however one thing I recommend for all writers is don‘t let the outside noise filled with doubt and intimidation influence the voices of your story.
Never lose the awe and wonder this craft provides, not everyone can and not everyone wants to write. You got this!
Being your authentic self is a battle no one warned you about. Truly. The path we traverse is riddled with more than discovering your favorite color, music or food.
Unfortunately, the rainbow moments are often preceded by the tempest ones.
Hospital visits due to the allergic reaction you had to the beloved cat you always wanted, heartbreaks caused by crossed boundaries you didn’t know you had until the damage was done, the therapist appointments you arranged because, well…life can be a bitch….
Fast forward to today. Look at you! You are still standing, now armed with Benadryl, the necessary walls erected around your heart, and your therapist’s number and favorite Bible verse/boss-girl quote in your phone and meds on your RX refill list, all while wearing your favorite color shirt, blasting your fave song as you devour your ultimate comfort meal.
After all these victories, why would you be anyone but yourself. For better or worse, you earned it.
Purified (trigger warning, hints at abuse)
My thoughts run rampant like an overheated engine. The steady stream of water cleanses the dirt from my skin and my soul. I step out further, feeling anew, my troubles swirling down the sewage drain.
I've always thought a heavy downpour was Earth's attempt to rid itself of evil.
However, the rain could never manage to wash away the purple, there wasn't time. It would soon be replaced by a shade deeper than the first.
I've always despised purple, so today, I exchanged it for my favorite, red.
The crimson that stains my hands, is becoming, but its origin mars its beauty.
I stand in the delicious rain, drenching my body, purifying my spirit, my sin slowly dripping off my fingers.
I smile at the piercing sound of the wailing siren, a warning of my impending imprisonment.
I just bought myself my freedom. All else is a small price I'd pay again and again. Gladly.