Winter Prayers – another old original story

Winter Prayers

By Ais

        When Jessica was seven, her father walked out of the house and never returned.

        She stood by the door, her hands pressed against the cold glass, her breath fogging her view of that large world beyond. She was certain that if she waited long enough, if she looked hard enough, if she was a good enough little girl… He would be there. She longed to see his tattered brown briefcase, his work-worn smile. She wanted to see him wave again, like he used to, with just the slightest of twitches in his upraised hand and a sparkle in his eyes she could see even across the lawn.

        She wanted to hear him laugh.

        She wanted to see him smile so kindly at her when she asked him why the world existed as it did. She wanted to see him again, hug him again, cry on his shoulder again…

        But no matter how long she waited, no matter how many years passed, her father never returned.

        She watched for him still, her faith as strong as a disbeliever turned religious. She knew that she just wasn’t looking hard enough. Her father was down that street, inside that café, across that stadium… Everywhere she was, her father was. He was waiting for her to find him.

        He was waiting, for her.

*        *        *        *

        “Jess…” his voice struggled to free itself from his throat but came out as a groan. “Jess…” The second time was barely better.

        She stood by the window, staring out at the postcard lawn with its twinkling snow and feathers of bunny prints. The wind was soft, but still it found the strength to howl quietly against their house. She could feel the impact of the air against the windowpane, struggling to claw its way inside and turn her body as cold as her heart felt right at that moment.

        No one.

        No one was down the street, and no one had been for three hours.

        No one.

        “Jess…”

        She needed him. Why wasn’t he there? She loved her father and he left. She wanted him back. It wasn’t fair… It wasn’t fair…

        “Jess, just… give it up…” Rowan groaned into his pillow.

        For six years he had been with Jessica. Every morning on the anniversary of her father’s disappearance, she waited five hours instead of the normal two, and she looked four times as hard when she went into the city.

        He had tried to tell her he wasn’t coming back.

        Everyone had.

        But Jessica refused to listen. She told them she was her daddy’s girl. She told them he loved her. She told them they could never understand what it was like every night…

        “He always rocked me to sleep and read me stories. He kissed me goodnight when I got afraid during the night…” Her broken whisper was barely louder than the muted wind from outside, but the way her voice cracked and trembled under the power of her words betrayed her intense need. The litany fell from her lips like it did every year, and like always she waited for her prayer to be answered.

        Every year she stood there.

        Every year…

        Religiously.

        Rowan shifted on the bed, his body so comfortingly encased in cozy blankets and fluffy pillows that he didn’t want to leave. Already he could feel the chill of the air against his bare arms, the way the cold from outside seeped through their shoddy window and pressed frost-laden kisses against his exposed skin. His face always felt the coldest in the morning, especially around his right eye.

        But that was the way it had been for years, ever since that accident…

*        *        *        *

        It was during the same year that Jessica’s father left her when nine-year-old Rowan was walking through city alone. No one remembered why no one was there with him, just that he was alone with nobody to hold his hand and lead him through the streets. The sky was dark, Rowan says, but many claim it was the middle of the day. Rowan says it was raining and he was cold, so cold, but others think it was so sunny that they recall being burned. Rowan says he was on 12th street but others protest it was 11th.

        The story changed each year, individual by individual, detail by detail, until the tale of Rowan’s accident became nothing more than a gossiped half-truth of a time long ago and a boy now long dead.

        Rowan refused to acknowledge the others with his story, for he was certain he was right. Much like how Jessica insisted her father would return seventeen years later, Rowan knew he was right and everyone else was mistaken.

        So it was on 12th Street at night in the cold, hard rain when nine-year-old Rowan was walking down the street alone. He was humming a tune he liked very much. He was forgetting the words and inserting his own. He was singing off-key and listening to his echoing footsteps and the voices reaching back to him from alleyways as he passed.

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She Flew – an old original story, from 2006

She Flew

Ais

Thursday 2/16/06

Sometimes she whispered her dreams. Words so quiet they barely surfaced into reality, breath a hush behind them all. She let her eyes drift closed, her mouth lie open and lax, and in the rustle of the sheets on her rising and falling chest, she let herself go.

Colors and moments, shifting around her like ballroom dancers while she stood still. She watched, but could not participate; admired, but did not create. Let the indigo of her sunrises and crimson of her seas blend together, and in the deep violet haze that resulted, she lifted brush to sky and painted. Clouds of hunter green and mountains shaded yellow; white-as-ghost nights and moon the exact hue of charcoal beneath the grill, just before the fire goes out and the red fades away.

Her unicorns rode the sky and dragons flew on land, and all the animals spoke perfectly but the humans were silent, curious; watchful and patient but never understanding. Silk fell from clear skies for rain, and thunder broke in the distance when the sun was at its zenith. On the darkest, cloudiest of days, the birds sang clearest, and in their melodies the ancient lore of mermaids could be heard, drifting along the sea breeze to settle in their throats.

She was the conductor in her orchestra of light, and the sound of the sights was enough to make almost anyone mute. She had turned her chair catatonic, and brought her grandmother to life. Dancing across the stage were fireflies, and in the sky crashed turbulent waves. She held her hand aloft and there was a chaos of motion, but when she moved it to the side there was silence.

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Dead Rain excerpts

Somehow, I had never done any Dead Rain excerpts here?? Is that right? I was looking for them just now and could only find them on my livejournal.

In case anything ever happens to lj, I’m adding the excerpts here as well. Sorry that this is four in one post but I thought it would be easier to have all in one place to catch up. If I did already have these here and didn’t tag them properly, I apologize for the repeat and scroll down to “EXCERPT FOUR” which is newly released today.

Since this book is still being written, nothing is edited properly.

This is the summary for Dead Rain, by the way, which is an LGBT fantasy book I started for NaNo in 2012/2013:

Magic can change a person, twisting them into something they weren’t before. Some kill for this, some try to slow it down, but there is no cure. Not one that’s known, anyway.

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Ais’ Terrible Art: Stonework

And now we’re up to date with the latest Ais’ Terrible Art, that I’m crossposting today to tumblr.

This is actually unrelated to ICoS. I bought a program and wanted to test it out by doing a shorter drawing. I decided to try doing an art piece inspired by something I wrote in writing group on April 2, 2012. We were given a randomly generated word and had to write something in 7 minutes based on it. I got the word ‘stonework.’

Here is the video of me drawing it:

This is what I wrote:

stoneworktext2

And here is the final product on its own:

stonework

Rereading Dead Rain/NaNo

I’ve been rereading parts of the book I started in NaNo. I hadn’t touched it in weeks so I’d forgotten about parts of it.

It makes me happy to discover that I actually really like it. I love the magic system in it, and I really like the characters. It’s still fun to me to read it even seeing how much editing it needs. And that makes me particularly happy because I almost never think anything I write is good, especially not if I’ve read it once before.

And I keep wanting to write more in it which is also good– this feeling of excitement for a story, when so many other stories I have to write sound boring to me in contrast. I think I was really missing fantasy.