Ficlet: A Foolish Fantasy

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A ficlet taking place in the Sorceress Apprentice world. Pre-canon, a young Bryony watches Emeri at the annual Summer Dance and indulges in a foolish fantasy of being his dance partner.

The Summer Dance, held at the solstice, was one of the most important festivals for the village and the ritual fire dance was the highlight of the celebration.

Bryony watched as Emeri held out his hand to his sister, Sabrina, to join him for the dance. They were so elegant and refined. Emeri was rarely the tallest man in any gathering but he had an undeniable presence, and Sabrina, almost as tall as her brother, drew many an admiring glance.

Logically his dance partner had to be Sabrina, another clan member. Traditionally the dancers were of equal status, and intimates of some sort. Emeri had no wife to dance with and there was no-one else present who was even close to his social rank.

Despite this, Bryony chewed at her lower lip as the music began, longing to be the one to dance. To be partnered with the sorcerer himself. It was a foolish fantasy, childish when she was almost a woman now, but she couldn’t help herself from imagining being in Sabrina’s place.

Kerine clapped along with the music and Bryony joined in with her sister, their mother beaming and fanning herself against the heat of the flames. Bryony had once mentioned her attraction to Emeri and her mother had scoffed. Kerine had gently reminded her that whatever all those love stories Bryony read showed, it didn’t mean that life worked that way.

Of course Kerine was right. Besides her lowly status, Bryony was almost ten years younger than Emeri, and while her skill with a needle was something she could be proud of, her education was lacking. What could a non-magical girl offer such a man as the village sorcerer?

After the dance had finished to thunderous applause, Sabrina linked her arm with Emeri’s and they wandered around, talking to the villagers. Bryony curtsied, heart in her mouth, when Sabrina stopped in front of her.

“What a beautiful dress,” Sabrina said, running her gaze over the emerald green silk. Bryony had purchased it cheap because of some damage to the fabric, carefully cutting and stitching a dress from the best of the material and covering the rest of the marks with elegant embroidery, the highlight being details picked out in metallic threads that caught the firelight as she moved.

“Thank you, my lady,” Bryony said, adding, “I made it myself.”

“It is exquisite,” Sabrina said and Emeri gave a smile.

“The stitching is remarkable,” he agreed. “It is truly beautiful.”

They’d moved off then to talk with the blacksmith, little knowing the effect of their words. The warmth in a giddy Bryony’s cheeks was not merely due to her proximity to the fire.

Bryony went to bed that right reliving every moment of the dance, skirting the flames across from her partner, the music’s tempo increasing and her steps more frantic until at the climax of the dance she was in Emeri’s arms and the villagers cheered them on.

 

 

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Fic Snippet: Survival

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(From my WiP Sorceress Apprentice a fantasy romance. Bryony’s sister, Kerine, has gone to bring home the dying Emeri’s sister, Sabrina. Bryony agreed to stay and keep the sorcerer company and found herself studying magic as well as beginning to fall in love with Emeri, but she still misses her sister during the months apart.)


Bryony stared at the ceiling after a restless night. The sunlight had awoken her not long after she’d finally fallen asleep, and for a moment she’d thought about asking Kerine to go with her to the river before breakfast, a pleasant walk to start the day.

But Kerine was not here.

This was what Emeri had meant, when he said waking up could be the worst thing. The realisation of abandonment all over again, though he also had the spectre of death to contend with.

Bryony tried to comfort herself with the thought that Kerine would come back, had to come back. That didn’t mean she couldn’t be sad at the separation however. “Pain is not a competition,” Naomi sometimes said and it made more sense to Bryony now.

She could ask Emeri to walk with her; if he was awake, if he was up to it, for some days were better than others. That could be nice.

Yet it wasn’t the same, not when she wanted her sister. The bond they shared could not be replaced, no matter how much she’d come to care for Emeri and enjoy spending time with him.

Emeri was in his study, making notes, when Bryony finally dragged herself from bed and went looking for him.

He glanced at her dishevelled appearance. “You didn’t sleep well?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know how you’ve survived this long without Sabrina,” she said, hating the tremble in her voice.

He looked away, fingers still marking a passage in the book he was studying, pen poised over the page of his journal. “People can survive many things,” he said. “But surviving isn’t the same as living.”

Another time she might have rolled her eyes and accused him of wordplay. But today she nodded and moved to stand at his side, pressing herself against him. He slipped one arm around her waist and they stayed close and silent for a long moment.

Original Fic Fest

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I try to post fic here for the first 3 Wednesdays in each month and something different – writing prompts, photo prompts, etc for the fourth. The calendar being what it is, there’s a fifth Wednesday this month so I’m going to talk about Original Fic Fest.

The fest has been running this week at tumblr, OriginalFicFest, to encourage the creation of and sharing of original works and character ideas, and promote networking.

My posts for the fest so far have been focussed on my two major WiPs, Sorceress Apprentice, and WRE.

Character day: Day one
Introducing new readers to protagonists Bryony (Sorceress Apprentice) and Romaine (WRE)

Romantic relationship: Day two
Talking about the major romantic relationship in Sorceress Apprentice, between Bryony and Emeri.

Non-romantic relationship: Day three
A post on siblings bonds in Sorceress Apprentice, and the Romaine & El relationship in WRE.

Quote day: Day four
One quote per WiP, graphic edits.

Music day: Day five
Links to my Spotify playlists and some background on a few of the songs chosen.

Today is picture day and I’ll be rounding up links to my moodboards like this one for Bryony: Colour Palette
and this one for El and Romaine: Romaine (Wolf), El (Cat Sidhe)

Tomorrow is the final day of the fest is free day so I’m still thinking about what I’ll share!

All posts tagged WRE at WordPress / All posts tagged Sorceress Apprentice at WordPress

All posts tagged WRE at Tumblr / All posts tagged Sorceress Apprentice at Tumblr

I also maintain a Twitter account, and a fiction pieces only blog at Dreamwidth, as well as a Facebook page and a Pinterest account with boards for my boards, writing prompts, and more.

Sorceress Apprentice micro fic (2)

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The one_sentence_only community has a number of prompt tables with the challenge to fill all the prompts with a single sentence. Here are five more fills from the fluff/romance table, written for my WiP novel Sorceress Apprentice.

Secret
“There were few secrets between us,” Emeri said, and Bryony again thought of how his closeness to his sister mirrored her bond with Kerine, and the agony of the separation he’d endured for so long that far outweighed the few weeks she would be parted from her sister.

Music
Bryony loved to listen to Emeri play the lyre, and she appreciated how it could be a distraction for him from his melancholy, losing himself in the notes and only as the tune finished remembering where he was or even that she was here with him and he was no longer alone.

Gift
“I know you don’t like it when I give you expensive things,” Emeri said hesitantly, gesturing to the family heirloom he had loaned her and recalling how Bryony had once accused him of trying to pay her for her affection which was freely given, “but I would dearly love for you to keep this necklace for it suits you, and I can think of no-one I would rather give it to.”

Roses
Bryony knew roses were often given as love tokens, adored their sweet scent and varied colours, but now she learnt of their many uses in magical workings and practical applications, rose hips, rose buds, and petals all having numerous purposes.

Whirlpool
Bryony dreamt of water, a rushing river, a whirlpool, the sea; her element was air and yet it seemed Emeri was right that water too called to her and that she might be a weather witch, a storm sorceress.

 

Sorceress Apprentice micro fic

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The one_sentence_only community has a number of prompt tables with the challenge to fill all the prompts with a single sentence. Here are five fills from the fluff/romance table, written for my WiP novel Sorceress Apprentice.

Happiness
Bryony stared up at the cloudless sky; she was full of food and wine, the sun was warm and the breeze gentle, the blanket was soft beneath her and Emeri was asleep alongside her, and she was happy.

Dancing
It was her childhood dream, long put aside, but now she was to dance the ritual dance with the sorcerer himself in front of the whole village, and Bryony was overwhelmed at the chance, yet afraid she might embarrass herself or, worse, Emeri.

Hyper
She was too anxious, too excited, too overwrought to sleep, for the magic was still humming in her blood.

Candles
She used a match to light the candles on the dining table for fire magic was not her element, and with her inexperience she thought she could do something terrible like set the tablecloth ablaze if she attempted to light them with a spell.

First Kiss
He gave her a look of longing and impulsively Bryony leaned in before she could doubt herself and pressed her lips to his.

Sorceress Apprentice Excerpts

There are a lot of posts, articles, and prompts asking about themes and characters in you WiPs. For my WiP Sorceress Apprentice there are a number of themes and motifs. One of the important features of the novel is sibling bonds, both between protagonist Bryony and her sister, Kerine, and Emeri and his sister, Sabrina. While the romance between Bryony and Emeri is at the heart of the novel, the sibling bonds are a vital part of the book.
I find that in too many books and TV shows the sibling bonds are often tossed aside in favour of, or overshadowed by, the protagonist’s sexual partner. I didn’t want that to be the case here. Here are some excerpts illustrating the depth of the sibling bonds in SA – please remember that this a WiP so there’ll be further editing in the future.

Continue reading Sorceress Apprentice Excerpts

interlude: Stitches

Ficlet set pre WiP Sorceress Apprentice. 353 words. Bryony sews a dress for a customer. No warnings apply.

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Interlude: stitching

Bryony stitched the seam of the dress with quick, efficient motions, her needle like a tiny silver sword piercing the dark velvet fabric. It reminded her of a painting she’d once seen, a school of dolphins dipping up from beneath the water’s surface before their graceful curved bodies disappeared beneath the waves once more.

She’d never seen the sea in person, let alone a dolphin, but she longed to. Yet the ocean was so very far away and she was just a seamstress without the means to pay for such a journey, let alone anywhere to stay to enjoy the scenery for a time.

The woman who would wear this dress could afford the journey. She’d made the order at the market Bryony and her sister, Kerine, had visited, their stalls set up side by side, the seamstress and the woodworker. These commissions were vital, the markets essential parts of finding customers.

The woman who’d chosen the design, picking the example dress Bryony had hanging from a rack showing the current popular styles, was taller and thinner than Bryony, her face and hair pale unlike Bryony’s dark looks, a noble beauty wearing jewels that sparkled in the sun. She’d handled the material samples with fingers that had never stitched or chopped wood or peeled vegetables, her skin as soft as the velvet she chose.

“I will wear it when we visit Greyville,” the woman said, naming a coastal town. “Lord Anders is holding a ball to celebrate the equinox.”

Bryony had said the right things, named her price and had it accepted without any haggling, taken measurements, and received a small deposit. This dress would be striking, low-cut, high-waisted, and flowing to mid-calf. The gold embroidery and seed pearls would draw attention to the cleavage. It would suit her client and hopefully impress the other guests at the ball.

What Bryony wouldn’t give to see the sea just once! But it was a ridiculous dream and so she poured her longing into her work, the needle threading its way through the material with ease and skill, the dress taking shape with every stitch.