Don't you give up or fade away.

The other day I dug up our old camcorder from a mountain of dust behind the television. I cleaned it off, including the lens, which no one had bothered to cover when they stored it for ten years, even though the lens cover is built into the camera; charged the batteries; dusted off the tapes. And guess what! The thing still works! I'm not sure yet what I want to do with it. It's a bit bulky to be carrying around everywhere, especially when I've got a digital camera that takes digital videos that'll transfer easily to my computer. This thing, which we bought in probably 1999, is analog and takes the biggest tapes I've ever seen short of actual videocassettes - so not exactly computer friendly. I'm hoping to find a converter at the B&H superstore when Boyfriend and I go to New York THIS WEEKEND.

Holy smokes, I can't believe this weekend is almost here! The awesomeness is almost too much to bear. Friday night: Mae concert. Saturday night: dinner with Boyfriend's godmother. In between... art museum... B&H... a lot of walking, to be sure, because we don't want to take cabs if we can avoid it.... It's no cross country road trip, but in the end it's probably better for both my schedule and my wallet, AND we get to go to Mae's trippiest show ever. What's not to love?

In other news, I've been writing a ton. I was pretty stuck at the one point in the story and couldn't figure out what should happen next. Then I realized the characters needed more direction and sent a monster to chase them. That takes care of that, eh? How about an excerpt, then?

- Sam and Jesse are staying with a couple, Bibo and Lillia, who live at the foothills of the Jakala mountains, where our heroes arrived in Myriad.
- Jesse just figured out that a century had passed in Myriad over the course of a single day at home, meaning Sam's dad couldn't possibly still be alive.
- Sam asks Bibo if Jamus would send grackals after them. Grackals are big, ugly black birds that have yellow eyes on all sides of their heads and one big, clawed foot, used for plucking out people's eyeballs and carrying them around so the grackals can see out of their feet. Jamus uses them as spies.

The house was chaotic with the clatter of dishes and scurrying feet. Even Jesse had gotten swept up in preparations for dinner. I felt badly that I had left all the work to the others and tried to help, but when Lillia caught me building up the fire for the pig Bibo was roasting, she scolded me and made me sit aside. This was worse because it left me with no distractions from my misery over Dad. And you could tell the others knew it, but didn’t know what to do about it; they were treating it like something the cat dragged in, which no one wanted to clean up, not even the cat, and which everyone hoped would take care of itself if left alone, but instead all it did was reek and rot. Their attitude was almost as unbearable as the actual fact that my father was….

“Sam, could you help me peel these potatoes?” Jesse asked – quietly, so Lillia wouldn’t hear. He didn’t have to ask twice.
“I’m sorry about your dad,” he said, still speaking softly, as our knives shicked across the potatoes.

“It's not your fault,” I muttered. “Please, don’t talk about it. Do you remember what Avelía said to do once we got to Myriad?”

Jesse’s peeling hand slowed down. “I don’t remember her saying anything besides how to get here. Though she didn’t really even say that.”

“Because she couldn’t, remember?” I prompted. “Remember she said Jamus made it so she couldn’t talk about certain things outside of Myriad? But that, when we got here, there would be Cadants who could guide us?”

Jesse’s face lit up. “That’s right!”

“So I was thinking Bibo and Lillia probably know where to find one. I mean, Cadants are like wizards, so they probably aren’t too hard to come by here. We can leave tomorrow before the grackals come, just like Bibo suggested.”


Dinner was soon ready and we all settled at the table. The sun was balanced on the flat western horizon and its red rays slanted through the windows to bathe us in weary light. I had very little appetite even in spite of the magic I’d done and was glad Jesse wasted no time cutting to the chase; maybe in the midst of conversation no one would notice how little I ate.

“Do either of you know where we can find a Cadant?” he asked.

Bibo and Lillia paused, Bibo with a loaded fork halfway to his mouth, Lillia with her hands twisted in the napkin on her lap. “Now what would you want a Cadant for?” Bibo asked suspiciously.

“The Irvish queen who sent us said a Cadant could tell us what to do next,” I explained.

Bibo’s eyes remained slitted. “We don’t associate with Cadants,” he said. “And if ye got half a mind you’ll do the same.”

“‘We?’” Jesse repeated.


“Why? What’s wrong with them?” I asked.

“They deal in wild magic. Stuff everyone else’s got enough sense to stay away from. Wild magic is powerful, but unpredictable and almost impossible to control. Mages, on th’other hand – there’s a groupa wizards who know what they’re doin’. There’s one protectin’ every town. There’re precious few Cadants left these days, and I say thank Faye for that.”

“Precious few – but they still exist?” Jesse persisted.

“Mmm.” Bibo nodded grimly.

“Then we’ve got to see one,” I said, and Jesse nodded firmly in agreement.

Bibo said “mmm” again and scratched his beard. “I’ll think about it after dinner,” he promised. “Don’ want none o’ those shenanigans spoilin’ our lovely suppah.”

An awkward silence settled over the table. I didn’t know whether to blame our demand to see the Cadant or the news about dad, still festering under the carpet where they’d swept it. Lillia, in her infinite hospitality, attempted to break the silence.

“Your sunburn seems to have healed up,” she commented. “The aloe must’ve been especially good this year.”

“Oh – well,” I said sheepishly, not wanting to offend her by saying the aloe hadn’t done much more than soothe me to sleep last night. “It did feel wonderful. But I actually sped up the process with a bit of magic this afternoon.”

She and Bibo froze again, their positions reversed this time. “Did you say magic?” Lillia whispered. A glob of potatoes and corn dropped from her fork to her plate.

Perhaps magic wasn’t as common in Myriad as we had presumed. At any rate it seemed to be a very touchy issue with a lot of tricky nuances. “Yes….”

“Oh, for the love of Faye!” Bibo burst out, standing violently. “Doncha know ye cain’t just use magic whenever the fancy strikes around here?”

I shrank in my seat, what little appetite I’d had now totally destroyed. “No, I’m afraid I don’t know,” I squeaked. “Sorry.”

Bibo sighed and glanced meaningfully at Lillia, who started bustling again, swiftly clearing away dishes whose contents we had yet to taste. “I’m sure it was differnt in the stories yer dad told ye,” Bibo said gently, “but these days the people of Nomaçao live like Versitani. Most of ‘em don’ even remember magic exists, let alone how to do it. The ones that do remember know better’n to draw attention to themselves by usin’ it except in the most dire circumstances. People go about their business in nonmagical ways. They leave it to the city Mage to handle those things.”

“I’m sorry,” I said again.

“Frankly, I’m surprised it worked,” Bibo admitted. “A lot of magic don’t innymore, least not in this kingdom. But the fact is, Jamus keeps tabs on all the magic used in Nomaçao. You can be sure he knows exactly where you are now, and I’ll bet he’s sent a little friend to greet you.”

“A grackal?” I asked timidly.

Bibo dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand. “Naw, grackals’re dirty spies. I expect he’s got something a little more grand in mind now he’s found ye. ’Fonly we had a way to figger out what.”

“Maybe this is a bad time to bring it up,” said Jesse, “but I’ll bet the Cadant could help us.”

Bibo made a low growling noise at the back of his throat. “Never trust a Cadant! We’ll go west-southwest to Siobhan. I’ve met the Mage there once. Good chap. He’ll defend us. But we got to leave right away, or we might find out what Jamus sent before we get to the city.”

“What, now?” I said, alarmed. The last remnants of sunlight were fading fast on the horizon. There was no way around it: we would have to travel by night, through a strange land full of strange creatures, some of whom may have been sent to eat us. I set my jaw. “Right. I can take some supplies in my backpack if it’ll help. I’ve got a few things in there already….”

Bibo, Jesse and I packed while Lillia hard boiled a dozen eggs and packed up the rest of our feast. No one in Versitas can truly appreciate the meaning of “take-out” unless they’ve had to take their five course meal, shove it in a rucksack, and take off across the dusky plains while their food stayed magically warm in its bag, courtesy of Bibo.

“What happened to no magic?” I asked.

“They already know yer here. It cain’t git much worse,” he pointed out. “But yer not to do inny more magic yourself. Jamus’ll taste that it’s you and track ye down wherever y'are.”

I promised I wouldn’t.

In addition to the food, Lillia overloaded us with about a million aloe leaves and warm blankets for nights, packed into potato sacks, the laundry bag, and a cloth sack that had once been home to her yarn. Jesse and I were almost too top-heavy to stand.

When Bibo saw us, he promptly started unpacking goods while Lillia objected that we couldn’t leave the quilts and pots; how would we sleep or eat without them?

“We won’t be doing much of either if that thing catches up to us,” Bibo said grimly. “Speed is the most important factor right now. Samantha, you got anything else to wear on yer feet besides those….” He gestured at my flip flops, and I shook my head.

Lillia fetched a pair of loafers that turned out to be just the right size for me, and she urged me to take them. I felt guilty accepting an aging countrywoman’s only pair of shoes, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’ll be my little contribution to saving the human race,” she told me, smiling and patting my arm. “Now go! May your feet be light as Acharia.”

“You’re not coming?” I asked.

“No, no. I’m in no condition to be running. I’d only slow you down.”

“Besides,” Bibo added. “Someone’s got to stay behind an’ keep up the illusion yer still around.” He pointed to the sofa with his thumb. I was shocked to see Jesse sleeping there. Snoozing in the blankets on the floor beside him was… me. I shuddered and looked away.

Lillia herded us out the door. “Thank you for everything, ma’am,” the real Jesse said, reaching to hug her goodbye.

She returned the embrace too quickly. “Yes, yes; go!”

“We’re sorry for all the trouble we’ve caused,” I tried to say.

“Don’t be! Just go!”

With one last look at the cheery little cottage and the cheery little woman waving in the warm glow of the doorway, Jesse, Bibo and I slipped away into the night.

As always, please comment! You know the drill:
1. Does it make sense? Do events follow logically? Are new concepts clearly explained?
2. Does it hold your interest? Where and why do you get bored?
3. Do you want to read more?
4. And, since no one answered #4 last time: How do you feel about the characters thus far? You can base your opinion off any and all of the excerpts I've posted, not just this one. I'm just curious how they come across to people who didn't create them.

Experimental rock: drummer makes beats using ketchup.

Apparently, as soon as I have no school work that I SHOULD be doing, I abstain from blogging altogether. Funny how that works. I realized I hadn't posted pictures in quite some time, so I'll be playing ketchup tonight. Ever played ketchup? It's like drumming on water. Some cool Asian guy is probably amazing at it... but in the end it's most likely a waste of my time.

Behold! My beloved new heart sunglasses.

Cam wearing my beloved new heart sunglasses during the making of "Trade Fair."

Ghostbait!! Today she told me to tell her brother not to dress like a stalker at her dance recital. Love that girl

What happens at A.C. Moore... should definitely stay there.

Discovered this with Ravin while perusing a stack of CDs I found in my room, none of which I'd ever listened to. Turns out I really like this band. They're a little wiggity wack, but in a good way, or at least in a way I like, although I can see how his voice could turn you off to the awesomeness. That's all right. I forgive you.

Well, happy summer, all - especially all my wonderful, just-graduated friends (and my wonderful just-graduated boyfriend) who are enjoying their first summer free of school! Go-Co's gonna be effing weird without you all. I think I personally knew at least 15-20% of the graduating class this year. SAD SAD SAD (for me... but YAY YAY YAY for them!)

Boyfriend, my other half, and his brother Dick at Boyfriend's graduation. D'awww. Life's waiting to begin, right? ^_^

Schneckleface, my other other half! Congratulations, biffle.

Summer's been fabulously relaxing thus far. I've been to the beach at least six times in the past not-even-a-week. Granted, the water is WAAAAY too cold to actually swim in, but. It's the beach. I've been sunning a few times and, yes, I actually have a little color, and no, it's not crimson!! Hah it was so windy one day that I basically got free spa-style exfoliation just from sitting on a towel reading. In fact I practically got buried. Then when I got in the shower I had sand in all the places you normally forget to wash, like behind your ears... and inside of them... and a pile of sand fell out of my hair when I took out the ponytail.

Yesterday, Schneckleface and I walked all the way from the strip to Boyfriend's cliff by the sea. By the time we'd passed the water tower we decided we might as well just go the whole way, just so we could say we'd done it. Then we got to the end, copped out and made Boyfriend drive us back to my car.

I found all of these walking on the beach with Boyfriend one night.

We had a movie night at my house on Friday. That was the best. Ravin, The Pantsless One, their high school friend LL and I went to the beach in the afternoon, then Boyfriend and the Cuddle Rapist joined us later and we forced them to watch The Lion King 1 1/2, or most of it, before we finally gave up on the DVD because it kept skipping.

Schneckleface arrived for her weekend stay, but then we had to bring LL to meet up with her mom because that's how she was getting home, and no one could follow my directions to Home Depot (because my house is just that out in the boonies), so we all piled into Boyfriend's car - that's right, seven of us, all out of high school and grown enough to know it was a dumb idea - and drove to the Home Depot to drop her off.

Back at my house, we made s'mores with Nutella while Cuddle Rapist raped our fire pit (but in his defense, he also rescued a flaming copy of the Tartan with my article on the front page) and then watched a movie Boyfriend brought, whose plot I had a hard time following since it seemed to me to be a sequence of random events showcasing Arnold Schwarzenegger's various degrees of awesome.


My kitty cat! He's uh... "helping" me unpack. Obviously.

That's all for now. A) because I'm BEAT, and B) because this post has already taken up more cyberspace than it deserves. Hopefully I'll have a new excerpt soon, but I make no promises. I'm at the really scary part of writing where I have no previous drafts to draw from, and so I must draw new material entirely from my imagination. But wait, you say; isn't that what you wanted to do? YES. IT IS. But it's heckalot scarier than I remembered.

Hello Operator, please connect me to the human race

Ugh. One of those days when I feel like I'm driving everyone else nuts, and consequently they start to drive me nuts, and then I start to drive myself nuts and when that happens I don't even want to be around myself anymore. The first two problems can be remedied pretty easily by a change of locale. The third one not so much. I'm brutally tired but I couldn't seem to fall asleep when I lay down for a nap. So now here I am killing time ranting about how much the world hates me and vice versa.

All right. Time for a change of locale/company again. Rawrrrrr

The dreamers are at full swing.

Three orders of business today. I shall list them in descending order of importance.

3. Muse - "Black Holes and Revelations."

Also, "Invincible" may have to be the first song I dance to at my wedding.

2. The housing lottery was tonight. Three friends and I were going for a suite in Chase, but the building was full before we even drew numbers (because we're only sophomores, so we don't get priority. In fact, I think even incoming freshmen get higher priority than us.) Instead we got the Fishbowl in Ferrin. Now, I didn't especially want to live in Ferrin again, BUT the Fishbowl is awesome because a) it's on the third floor and right in front, as if to say, "the girls who live here are the Queens of Ferrin, and you better treat 'em as such." b) it's huge - big enough for four people anyway - and will be even more spacious if we bunk the beds. c) it's got more windows than any room I've ever lived in; in fact, I think you could only beat it with a greenhouse. d) one of the walls is a chalkboard. e) it's off the lobby and on the top floor, so no one will be stampeding overhead, and we'll be separated from the noisiness of the hall while still being members of the hall community.


I promised myself I wasn't going to type any more of my story for a little bit because when I write it by hand, I treat the words differently and the final result is better. But I enjoyed writing this part so much, and I'm so happy with how it turned out, that I had to type it up and share it!

A lot has happened since the earlier excerpts. Sam and Jesse met a woman from Myriad who basically told them they had to save the world from Jamus, who's going to seal Myriad against the people of our world. She gave Jesse a sketchbook and told him to fill it with drawings of water, which he would later piece together into a mural. She told Sam to harness her magic, as thus far, everything she's tried has ended disastrously. She also asked them to bring Lila when they came to Myriad, which would only be possible after Jesse finished the mural. Long story short, Lila was finally re-convinced of Myriad's existence. Sam managed to do magic without explosive results. Her Dad took them all out to see a window between our world and Myriad and taught them that learning to look at things they way they looked at the window would make magic more accessible to them. Soon after showing them the window, Sam's Dad left for Myriad for reasons he wouldn't fully explain.

Also, I think the word "Lacuna" is in this excerpt. The Lacuna is the empty space around Myriad - you see, Myriad isn't a planet, like Earth, but rather a slice of space-time with distinct endpoints. In addition to being a physical space, the Lacuna is that void between consciousness and REM sleep, the place where your mind is free to wander but alights on nothing and remembers nothing, because ultimately there's nothing there. Usually you've got to pass through the Lacuna, physically and mentally, before you can enter Myriad, and you can only enter if an Andasun finds you in the Lacuna and leads you in.

Okay, here goes! Feedbacks, please =)

Most mornings, I went down to the kitchen expecting to find Dad making omelettes or to hear him singing old Beatles songs in the shower. It always came as a shock when I found only Pheebs and Rachel at the table, staring morosely into twin bowls of soggy Cheerios and looking anything but cheery themselves.

It was early Tuesday morning and the house was already in shambles on account of Rachel packing last minute essentials before she and Pheebs left for Duke. I had to goosestep into the kitchen to avoid crushing the little fragments of her life that were strewn across the foyer. I resolved to bolt for Lila’s, where I would be staying while Pheebs helped Rachel settle in at school, as soon as I’d had something to eat.

Eating, however, proved to be a greater obstacle than I’d imagined. I couldn’t make an omelette; they reminded me of Dad, and I might cry. I rummaged through the freezer in search of waffles or some equivalent Eggo product that could be thrown in the toaster and magically transformed into a healthy, complete breakfast. But most of the freezer foods had migrated to a plastic bin that would accompany Rachel to North Carolina so she wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping, so in the end I settled for a banana with peanut butter scraped off the walls of a nearly empty jar. I plunked myself down in the chair at the head of the table – Dad’s chair – and watched the chaos unfold around me.

It quickly became clear that the chaos was not purely Rachel’s fault. Pheebs had dragged a score of dusty boxes down from the attic and was going on about a yard sale we were evidently having that weekend. This was the first I’d heard of said yard sale, and it was hardly surprising they’d kept me out of the loop, packrat that I am. I moseyed over to the foyer to make sure they weren’t getting rid of anything too good; knowing Pheebs, she’d be trashing family heirlooms without a second thought.

It was a good thing I’d checked. “We can’t get rid of Dad’s Beatles records!” I cried. “They’re his favorites!”

Rachel put on her most grown-up tone. “Sam, be reasonable,” she said from the bathroom, where she was frantically gobbing mascara onto her lashes so she’d look sexy for all the college boys she was about to meet. “We don’t even have a record player.”

This was true, not to mention I couldn’t imagine Dad having much use for the vinyls in Myriad.

“Hey!” I shouted. “How come no one asked me about selling all these stuffed animals?” Franny the yellow elephant, Mr. Rags the well-loved tiger, and a silly brown puppet I had cleverly christened “Browny” were some of my best friends. I was as likely to sell them as I was to sell Jesse or Lila.

Pheebs emerged from the basement, sweating and wearing a kerchief around her head. “Sam, we’ve got to make up for Dad being away,” she said gently. The note he’d left for her and Rachel said he was searching for work at a different college because the university had let him go, but I think they’d been suspicious even then because his disappearance had been so sudden, and they were even more so now that weeks had passed without so much as a phone call.

“I know it’s hard,” said Pheebs, pulling me into a hug. “But we’ve got bills to pay. We’ve got to eat. Dad left us in a crummy position and now we have to make some sacrifices.”

I actually felt bad for her and hugged her back. “You still should’ve asked me,” I mumbled.

Pheebs let go. “Why don’t you head over to Lila’s early?” she suggested.

I knew she only wanted me out of the way, but I was happy to oblige. I threw the essentials into a backpack along with the book of Lore and my latest story, donned a pair of headphones to motivate me on the hot bike ride there, and fled via the front door – but not without snatching Franny, Mr. Rags, and Abbey Road from their respective bins on my way.


Jesse, Lila and I had made a habit of biking out to the boulder where Dad first showed us the window into Myriad, so as soon as I got to Lila’s, she and I packed supplies for lunch and hit the road again.

We found Jesse lying flat on his stomach by the river behind his house, illustrating the swirls and eddies of the lazy, brackish water with a set of chalk pastels. His marker, charcoal and ink drawings were enough to make me thirsty; the way he shaded the ripples and droplets suggested the picture might splash off the page at any moment. I was glad he’d been given this task. Most people, myself included, would have gotten bored drawing the same subject again and again, but Jesse couldn’t get enough of it. He said it made him feel centered, balanced.

He said he was not to be unbalanced today, so we left him alone with his art.

Sitting at the usual spot, Lila and I silently slipped into the now-familiar state of seeing. “It still looks the same,” she grumbled, and with that, she set about making sandwiches with angry, jerking motions. Knife: peanut butter. Slap to bread. Repeat for jelly. Though the scene had moved at normal speed the day Dad brought us, ever since, it had been like seeing one page of a flipbook each day.

Out of boredom we’d taken to inventing stories about the monsters we saw. “Those two are married, and that smirking little fuzzball with the gnarly fingers is their kid.” “That one’s about to eat the wingaling perching on the branch beside him.” I think part of the reason we laughed at the creatures was to stave off our fear of one day confronting them face to face.

For an instant, I thought I saw something bright and in motion. The smallest trick of light or hint of movement would have glared like a neon sign in a scene as still and dingy as the one before us, yet still I was unsure. “Did you see that?”

“See what? I stopped looking!” Lila said indignantly. “Are you telling me something finally happened and I missed it?”

I could’ve sworn my father was just in the midst of the macabre mob with the mysterious blond man I’d seen the first day we looked. But no; they were gone as quickly as they’d appeared. Everything else was still frozen. I must have imagined it.

“Just wishful thinking,” I sighed. “Can I get a PB and J?”

Lila slapped a slice of bread on top and passed me the sandwich, never lowering her skeptical gaze. I pretended not to notice her staring and took a big bite. “Fanks,” I said through the peanuty paste.


But after that, neither of us could tear our eyes from the window. We ate in silence, and when we’d had our fill we continued to stare at the motionless frame. “I’m bored,” Lila complained after what could have been minutes or hours.

“Try changing the color of that tree over our heads,” I told her. Although she had a better Eye than me or Jesse, neither of them had actually accomplished any magical feat. I worried we’d get eaten alive in Myriad if they didn’t figure it out soon.

“You’ve had way better luck with magic than I have,” she said. “Talk me through it, like your Dad did the first time we looked at the window.”

I lay back on the rock and Lila followed suit. “Look at the tree,” I instructed. “The same way you Look at the window. No, you know what, pick just one leaf to Look at.” Already I could see the heart of the tree, its inner workings, its sheer joy at the act of living. A hairline aura of glimmering gold outlined every detail with perfect clarity. Individual cells mirthfully went about the business of life. “Do you see it?”


“Okay. Now you need emotion to fuel your intent,” I said, referencing Dad’s old adage. “You need to shut out everything else in the world. Try to get to the Lacuna. Then commit to changing that leaf like your heart will break if it’s still green when you’re done with it.”

I sensed the tree looking at her, debating whether she was worth heeding. Then, with a rush of glittering gold, every leaf on the tree turned traffic cone orange.

“Oh,” said Lila, at once pleased and bewildered. “That was easy. I guess all I needed was a little guidance, huh?”

Too easy, I couldn’t help thinking. How could something that had taken me weeks to master come so quickly to her?

But what I said was, “I guess so! That was great, La.”

We reveled in the odd, fluorescent shade for a little bit, still checking the window periodically. “Well, I guess I’ll work on changing it back now,” Lila said at length. We both lay down again. “Let me try it myself this time.”

“Okay.” I opened my eyes to Look. It was immediately clear that something had changed, and it had nothing to do with the tree; the same thing was happening to all the trees, and to the water, and to the sunlight. It was happening to us. Something was pulling us like a magnet or a colossal drain. I felt it more than I saw it, though the shimmering auras around everything were wobbling infinitesimally, flickering as if fighting the tide, and bits of glitter were being sucked away to the far shore.

I sat up. “We have to go to Jesse’s,” I said firmly. I haphazardly repacked our luncheon materials and thrust the bag at Lila, who was still reclining on her elbows.

“What? Why?” she asked.

“You didn’t feel that?” I was already at the trail, impatiently waiting for her to get up and go.

“Feel what? I was focused on the tree. Which, by the way is still neon orange!” she called after me as I took off. It couldn’t be helped. The pull was more urgent than anything I’d felt in my life, and we couldn’t delay for a second.

“I’m out of breath!” Lila panted after half a mile or so.

“Can’t slow down,” I gasped back. There was only one thing for it. I Looked at the air and begged it to recognize our need for it to flow easily through our lungs and sustain our tired bodies.

It obeyed instantly. The burning in my chest subsided and the thick, humid air ran over my skin like cool satin. I ran harder.

Lila caught up to me. “Uhm… what just happened?” she asked. I noticed she was breathing normally, as I was.

“Magic!” I exclaimed.

We found Jesse in his studio, a.k.a. the pantry, which he had refurbished (or rather, unfurbished) to suit his artistic needs. He was tearing pages from his sketchbook and, hands trembling, sticky tacking them side by side on the wall. Then I understood.

The mural was finished.

It was time to go.

“When with a magic eye perceived, the water leads the way to dreams,” Jesse said. “I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. It doesn’t mean we have to walk across the reservoir or anything like that. It means we have to walk through this water.”

“Of course!” I said.

“So, Sam, this is your big moment,” he said. “Avelía said to ‘awaken the water with the words you find within.’ Give it a try.”

“No pressure or anything,” Lila added.

I stared at the mural. No words in particular came to mind. I softened my gaze and Looked more closely.

Of course: being merely a facsimile of water, its aura was merely a facsimile of an aura, more Jesse-colored than anything else. The mural had to become real water with a real aura before we could pass.

Eyes shut, I pressed my body against the wall, straining to feel its lines as fluid to my whole length. I listened for the rush of rivers. My throat recalled a quenching stream in the straits of thirst. My skin tingled with the sensation of tides. I felt the peculiar polarity of water dimpling around my prodding fingertips….

Lila and Jesse gasped behind me, and without opening my eyes, I knew I’d done it. The sensations of water were not just in my head. The wall was water; and I was the wall, and now my purpose was to become a door. And now the words that had evaded me tumbled from my lips. They were strangers to my ears but kin to my heart:

Tæna éna aru fie;
Lacudi æ’d’arum, aru kai.

I opened my eyes and stepped back. The pantry was still small and dark when I looked at it normally, but Jesse’s mural, magically welded together at the seams, rippled like an upright puddle even to the unmagical eye.

“Wow,” said Jesse.

“What did you say to it?” Lila wanted to know.

I couldn’t repeat the foreign words, but I knew what they meant. “‘From space to space we stride; void the separation, we beg.’”

“So now we can just walk through?” she asked, as if it had been altogether too simple.

“Look at it,” I told her.

We all went silent and shifted into the proper state of mind. The ripples swirled with a liquid gleam as filled with glittering life as the auras around the trees. Slowly an image imposed itself, exactly the way a magic eye picture would, only the longer we looked the more defined the details became. Woods became trees became trunks, branches and leaves. Clouds bubbled into existence in the deepening canvas of the sky. Mountains spiked up from the flat horizon and donned snowcaps. Green distinguished itself from brown distinguished itself from blue and purple and white. The scent of rain and pine wafted into the pantry.

I stepped eagerly forth into the landscape and it sprang to life. Birds twittered gleefully as they swooped from limb to limb. Squirrels bickered somewhere in the foliage. Raindrops clinging to blades of grass kissed my bare ankles and trickled down my skin to meet the earth. The breeze lifted a strand of hair from my face, and my lungs expanded with their first breath of the air of another world. It tasted like afternoons beneath the cherry tree outside of Jesse’s house when springtime swept New England off its feet and the warm, rosy petals unfolded overhead. The whole world seemed to be embracing me, and I embraced her back.

“I wonder where we are,” said Jesse. I looked back at the pantry. I felt that as long as it was in sight, I would know where I was. Home would be at hand. This would be the adventure to crown all past adventures, and when it was over, Pheebs would call us for dinner and we would eat and go to bed, sleepy, scratched and scraped, but safe.

But the scene around us had already knit itself together over the gap in the worlds, and there we stood, foreigners misplaced in a world beyond our wildest dreams.

New Hero Alert

I try not to re-blog everything William Beckett posts in spite of his exquisite SNMC selections and fine taste in YouTube phenomena, but this one had to be shared.

THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM - FULL Trailer 1 from Independent Online Cinema on Vimeo.

I guess some fans of LOTR decided to continue the story. The movie's completely nonprofit and not affiliated with Tolkien or the original movie trilogy in any way. It looks really fantastic. Now get this: it only cost $4500 to make!

In other news, Boyfriend and his half-sister Ghostbait were here today, and it was every bit as epic as I'd anticipated. No douche-dodging, much to Boyfriend's dismay (for him it would've been more along the lines of douche-decking, and I know he's been wanting to deck Angry Frodo for a while XD). Jenniferin and I only played two rounds of that earlier, and they weren't even very thrilling rounds. We DID play frisbee for a long time though! No ultimate, but it was still good times. I ALMOST killed Ghostbait with the frisbee - literally missed by a couple of inches - but thank goodness, no actual injuries were sustained.

Tomorrow is the walk for hunger. I'm $45 short of my fundraising goal, $150, so if you can find it in your heart and in your wallet, it's still not too late to donate! I will appreciate your prayers as much as your dollars; 20 miles is a freaking long way to walk! Schneckleface just reminded me that when I finished last year's walk, I swore I would never EVER do it again. Shooooooot.

Supermassive black hole

...inside my head. That's right: it's time for a weird dream report!!!

Last night, I had a dream that I was in either Russia or Spain. Or maybe a combination of both. I know Russia and Spain don't actually have anything in common... except that they're both east of here, which didn't factor into the dream since I'm positive I was in the vicinity of South America. Me and my class (I don't know what class, nor could I name anyone in said class) were visiting a wealthy lady's place, maybe even the queen's palace, and we had to look nice, so they took us to a room full of dresses and made us get all fancy.

The night before last, I dreamed I woke up on Friday (yesterday) and there was a wicked snow storm raging outside. Like THE biggest snow storm you've ever seen in your life. For some reason I was at home instead of at school, and my dad was transforming the basement into a storm shelter. We were stockpiling food and he was building beds (because apparently we couldn't just bring down the ones we had upstairs). I kept trying to call Boyfriend because I wanted him to come join us in the storm cellar before the storm got even worse, but I couldn't reach him. For some reason my friend Ash was there instead. Of course I was happy to share our safe house with him, too, but I was very upset that Boyfriend wasn't there.

Then the dream changed and I was in a refrigerator. I had just tumbled down a mountain in this refrigerator and now I was emerging, utterly unscathed, in the land of Oz. Glinda came in her bubble to greet me. That's all I got.

Today shall be interesting. Boyfriend and his sister, Ghostbait, who is the shiz, are coming to visit. Here's hoping the Bathrobe Guy will have a game of Ultimate going on the quad and/or Cam will have a round of PDQ/Polish foot stomping going in front of Lane. At any rate, there's the coffee house tonight, the woods to explore all afternoon, and a $25 gift card for cheesecake. There is only one thing that could put a damper on what promises to be an epically awesome day. I smell a douche/dirty, angry hobbit man. I hope Boyfriend isn't too hung over from last night to kick the ass of said douche if he so much as looks at us wrong.
Home | Gallery | Tutorials | Freebies | About Us | Contact Us

Copyright © 2009 A Silvertongued Serenade |Designed by Templatemo |Converted to blogger by BloggerThemes.Net

Usage Rights

DesignBlog BloggerTheme comes under a Creative Commons License.This template is free of charge to create a personal blog.You can make changes to the templates to suit your needs.But You must keep the footer links Intact.