Coming soon: a new web address for this blog!

[[[At the end of November I'll be migrating this blog to a new address, which will be:]]]

11 November 2013

NaNoWriMo, Day 11

Today I wrote 1163 words of When Stones Sing.
This brings my total to 16,473. It's pretty good, but not quite where I need to be. That's ok though, because I'm on a roll now. If I'd had more time to sit in front of my computer today, I'd have a lot more words. They're in there, in my head, just waiting to be written. The writing life is good.

Today, I had a deeply meaningful conversation with Archer, the real Archer, in which we figured out that we love each other. Again. He is, as always, a blessing in my life.

Today I spent time with friends, and that reminded me how wonderful my friends are. All of them, even the ones I didn't see today. I love you guys.

Today I won the battle against depression. The war is ongoing, but this was a victory.

And in two days, I'm driving to San Francisco.
More on that later - it's past my bedtime.


In the Sanctuary, was life. It could not properly be called a room; beyond the stairway, there was nothing manmade here. The roots of the great tree above marbled the ceiling and hung between dripping stalactites of azurite and malachite. The floor of the Sanctuary was speckled by stalagmites, but between them wove a Labyrinth marked by azurite stones placed end to end. At the center of the Labyrinth, The Well bubbled happily, looking more like a pond leaping along its stone shores than a well.
Splashing her hands joyfully in the dancing water, was a tiny little girl with ratty brown hair and the filthiest clothes Jacq had seen, maybe ever.
Jacq looked at Sasha and Frank. Sasha’s hand was over her mouth. Frank’s hands were in his pockets and there was a sour look on his face. Jacq sidled up to Sasha.
“So, I guess that’s the girl?” Jacq asked.
Frank grunted. “That’s her.” He took a long breath. “One of the acolytes tried bathing her, but she wasn’t having it. That little bag of bones has Loki’s fire in her blood. She took off while the acolyte was drawing the water for the bath. Found her down here, playing in the Well.”
“And she just – ” Jacq started.
“Middle of the Labyrinth,” Frank added, rather unnecessarily, Jacq thought. His voice had taken on an awed edge, though, that made Jacq recall her own trip to the center of the Labyrinth. It had not been easy or pleasant for Jacq, but there was that little girl who with her happiness brought Jacq’s difficulties into question.
Sasha’s hand finally released her lips, and she whispered, “how old is she?”
“Don’t know. Told ya that,” Frank said.
“She’s so tiny.” Jacq couldn’t make sense of the girl at all. “Are they all that little?”
Two sets of eyes turned to evaluate Jacq.
Sasha might have growled, Jacq wasn’t sure.
Really Jacq,” the other woman said, “why did I even bring you?”
“Cuz you didn’t wanna walk!” Jacq’s head felt like it might explode.
“By the Bones! You two are worse than children! Knock it off, for Hel’s sake!” Frank’s raised voice cut through Jacq’s sudden anger, deflating her wounded pride.
“Sorry Frank,” she mumbled.
Sasha sighed, and said, “I’m sorry too, Frank. And Jacq, please forgive me. I didn’t mean it.”
“S’okay. I’m sorry too.” Jacq couldn’t look at the two adults next to her, so she looked at the child instead. The tiny girl had stopped playing, and was standing at the edge of the water, looking right back at Jacq.
Jacq blinked.
Sasha gasped.
Frank raised his voice to carry across the distance: “Come along now sweetheart, I’d like you to meet these two. They’re Hands, like me.”
Jacq felt herself crouching down the way she would to meet a new dog. She hoped Sasha wouldn’t think that rude. It felt right. “Hi,” she said, softly. She wasn’t sure the girl heard her at first. The girl tilted her head down, as though she were looking at her feet, and began walking back through the Labyrinth. She heard me, Jacq realized, staying crouched. Jacq became completely engrossed with watching the child pick her way carefully back through the Labyrinth, step by tiny step. The sights and sounds of the bubbling water, the dripping stalactites, and the two other people next to Jacq faded away. All she could hear, all she could see, was the feathery touch of the girl’s slippers on the stone path. Jacq nearly stopped breathing when, an eternity later, the girl’s toes crossed over the end of the Labyrinth’s path. She let out a sigh then that relaxed her down to her bones.
“Hi,” Jacq whispered.
The girl’s ice blue eyes peered into Jacq’s face. Her tiny hand reached out slowly, almost touching Jacq’s face, but stopped just short and pulled back.
“Who are you?” the little girl’s raspy whisper squeezed Jacq’s heart.
“I’m just Jacq,” she said. “What’s your name?”
Unblinking, the girl’s eyes shuttered and looked away. “I’m just Dolly.”
Intuitively, Jacq reached out, grabbing the girl’s skinny arm, her fierce expression reflected by the girl’s sudden fear. “There’s nothing ‘just’ about you, child. You are not ordinary. You are not unwanted. You are necessary. You are real.”
“Jacq! You’re scaring her half to death!” Sasha’s cry broke through Jacq’s trance. Jacq’s fingers sprang open, releasing the girl’s arm, but the girl didn’t move. She stood shock-still, staring open-mouthed at Jacq.
Sasha swooped in to gather the child in her arms. “Come with me little one. My name is Sasha. Miss Jacq didn’t mean to scare you, honey.” Sasha pointed a quick glare at Jacq just before she sweep up the stairs with the girl. Her chatter quickly faded from hearing as she rose out of sight.

“Well,” Frank stuck his thumbs into his pockets and harrumphed. “That went... well.”

No comments:

Post a Comment