Meet Hadrian

Moving has eaten my life, but I’m still making time for writing, this time another avian/serpent fluff piece. Setting is concurrent with Kortan’s, so about… 1000 years before Asylum. Enter our main protagonist, an adorably dorky avian guard named Hadrian.

This was it. He was going to do it. Today. Right now. No turning back.

As soon as he could convince his feet to move.

He’d tried his speech out a hundred times, on unsuspecting rosebushes, apple and olive trees alike. He was ready. He could do this.

Just … feet.

He’d steeled himself so thoroughly against running away that he couldn’t seem to take the first step. Move, move damn you! He stared at his useless feet, but they wouldn’t budge.

“Alright then,” he said aloud, hoping the sound would spur him to something. “If we aren’t going downstairs, then we’d better go find some way to make ourselves useful, hadn’t we?”

His feet continued to do nothing.

Disgusted, Hadrian threw himself back onto his bunk with a sigh. He half expected his boots to remain planted. But no. Now that he’d given up, his body was all-too-willing to lie there, staring uselessly at the ceiling.

He was never going to work up the courage to ask Lyria to go walking.


Meet Ciamat

She never felt broken. Bathed in the light of her cousins’ joy, she never felt left out, wistful, longing. All she felt was the glory of the dance, swept up in rush of heat and movement and praise. Her aura joined theirs, sending her adoration to the shining goddess that had granted them this gift. She never cursed Li’Daea for the extra fire in her veins, igniting her joints with blazing pain when she stood too long. She simply danced with her cousins, spirit in ecstasy though her body did not move.

“Again,” she said, when the dance had spiraled down to its graceful conclusion. “It was almost perfect, but that second to last half turn was muddied, the aura rippled funny. Zi, Tan, Rak, slow it down. Viti, Nalia, bring the arc in a little faster. That should do it.”

She didn’t move, but she danced.

Playing around again in Kortan’s world, cause I just can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet avian/serpent romance. Ciamat is a dance instructor, sister to Lyria, the lovely serpent lady that has captured my avian boy Hadrian’s attentions. The writing of it is going well so far, in spite of the chaos of moving. Hopefully, I’ll have the piece finished soon and we’ll see where it goes from there. 🙂

Drabble: No Where

Moonlight. Why did it always come back to moonlight?

Seth leaned his head back against the enormous rock that stood as the only landmark in the otherwise unremarkable white land. This damned desert never saw any sun, any color. Just an endless stretch of white. He wanted to strike his hand against it, stain the land with one little bright spot of crimson.

Red scales on white. Red blood on sand. What was the point of any of it?

“What is the point of anything, dear brother?”

Naj was suddenly beside him. Seth’s scowl was suddenly deeper.

“I suppose telling you to go away would be pointless?”

“Especially as there’s never been anywhere else to ever go.”

He scoffed. “There’s always wherever you’ve just come from.”

Naj sighed, and stretched out in a long, indolent line. “No where to go, no where to come from. No where to be heading to. Why are we heading no where, dear brother?”

Naj has turned to look at him, but Seth kept his eyes resolutely ahead. “No where to go. Couldn’t have said it better myself.”

Naj didn’t strike him, but the flash of thought was fierce and intense enough that he might as well have. There was no hiding such thoughts here.

Seth didn’t react. Naj pushed to his feet with a sound of disgust.

“Always so maudlin, brother mine. You’re such delightful company.”

Seth framed a thought about leaving if he didn’t like it, which Naj immediately parried with the reminder that there was no where to go, and wasn’t that exactly what they were discussing, and who’s fault was it they were feeling so stagnant lately anyway?

“We aren’t discussing anything,” Seth said sullenly, tired of the mental assault. “We’re just standing around, airing out our petty grievances.

Naj glowered and mirrored back the exact impression Seth had started them off with: if he didn’t like it, why didn’t he just leave. Seth blew out a long breath and closed his eyes.

“Go away, brother mine. I’m tired, and not of a humor to deal with this.”

Naj exploded in a roar of fire, the proverbial phoenix finally at its end. There was no sign of him in the fire’s wake. Not even a scorch mark or foot print in the sand.

“Nothing ever changes here.”

Above, the moon continued to hang, and the stars stood their silent watch.

Prompts: Thunder and Hooves

Prompt: She dreamed of the sound of thunder and hooves.

There was no way to quiet the panic in her brain, even when she reminded it they were dreaming. Just a dream. They were not actually astride a giant eagle, racing alongside the wind walkers. It was just a dream–albeit a truly frightening one.

She gripped the eagle tighter with her legs, earning her a mental spike of protest. She tried to project back an apology, but her brain was still flooded full of fear.

There’s just no help for it, she thought. Some things you can’t unlearn.

Like treating her animal half as a separate self when she dreamed. Or lifelong fear of flying above the storms, where the wind walkers galloped across the tops of the black clouds.

They banked, her eagle self turning them away from the storm at the nightmares that raced atop it. Her animal knew better, knew the walkers would not devour them in their dreams. It urged her to relax, to embrace the flight, and chase the dream into the dawn.

But all the while, she heard the thunder of hoof beats behind her, felt the cold, damp wind on the back of her neck, and knew there was no outrunning the beasts that ran the sky.

First Person Naj

Getting some things together for an upcoming project. So excited! (Yes, this is one of the things I’m getting together. No, I can’t tell you yet. Yes, you will be the first to know.)

If I were to tell you the story of how I came to Asylum, I would start in its rafters. This is not the beginning of the story, as no story every truly has a beginning or an end, but it is the first memory I have of the place, so that is where I would start. It is the place I would have stayed, if my first memory had not also been an imperative: Midnight. First Floor. Don’t be late.

I didn’t remember who I was. I didn’t remember why I was here. As I slipped from the rafters, the best I could remember was human hands. It is always my hands that bring me back to myself. Every time I am lost, I come to my hands first, trailing them over every surface I can, experiencing the world through my skin when I cannot explore it through scales. Slick lacquer chairs, polished table tops, smooth, buttery leather of overstuffed couches. The cold bite of the metal railing, never warming under my hand because I never stop moving, down, down, down the stairs, out of the clouds, into the din.

Perhaps it was my hunger to return to my own scales, to run back to the rafters and hide again in the hot dark. Perhaps, I really was hungry for my own kind, though I had no memory of sensing kin. Perhaps, I was more hungry for life, and passion, heartbeats—Devin’s skin glowed with it. Pearly, translucent skin stained in the delicate blue reds of blood, hot with lust and anger and fear. All of the strongest emotions, all singing just below those shimmering scales.

I should have known no mortal scales would shine so clearly with life. But my own scales were an equal anomaly, where they not? I can just rationalize now all I like, but in the moment, I was as purely serpent as one can be—utterly in the moment. Scales called to scales, and I rejoiced in hers and my own, though I knew she was frightened. The bitter bite of it was so common to me, I doubt it would have swayed my choice, had I actually made one. But no. I had acted on instinct, and on ingrained habit when she ushered me away. She was in command here, and was to be followed.

Even then, I think I knew something was not quite right, but what did I have to compare to?

Editing updates: Another Nica teaser

Did I mention I love writing about Nica? Writing from her perspective is nerve wracking, but I never get tired of watching her through the eyes of someone who finds her fascinating.

Nica began to pace, stepping lightly from foot to foot, the motion almost to elegant to be called pacing. It wasn’t quite dancing, but there was music in it, something lyrical. Her motions embodied the serpent principal of ramn: motion, lyric, and beat. It was oversimplifying to call ramn mere “dancing”. Proper honoring of ramn permeated one’s life, one’s being—as it clearly did in this hawk that moved like a serpent.

This is leftover from the infamous “moved with lyrical purpose” line. Okay, so maybe it’s only infamous to me, but believe me, the struggle was real. I loved describing Nica’s movements as lyrical, but it just didn’t convey as much as this section does. But you’ll notice I was determined to keep the intent. Nica is nothing if not poetry in motion, music made flesh, song given life. I really love her. 😛

The edits have made it far enough along I’m opening it up to beta readers, so if you’re interested, drop me a comment. 😉

Teaser: What dreams may come

The work on Asylum is making slow but steady progress, albeit in a backwards sort of way. As previously mentioned, I’m looking for beta readers for a small back story piece, taking place a couple thousand years before the events of Asylum. (Random, I know, but some important things happened back then that I simply have to figure out before I can move forward. I’ve been faking it til now, but I can’t anymore. Can’t be helped.) So I thought I’d share the opening, tentatively called “What Dreams May Come”. Let me know what you guys think!

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