The boy from the train.

This week I’m posting a part of a short story that is set in the same world as my book Imaginary friends.
It’s about a boy named Kai who does not play any role in the book itself but if I ever get to writing a sequel he will be one of the main characters. For now I just hope you like it. It starts out a little slow but then picks up at the second scene so just keep reading.

The boy with the train

Kai walked to the dining cart for breakfast, the hum of the train comfortable beneath his feet.
Hurried footsteps came up behind him and he turned to see his friend, Gale run up to him. Gale’s eyes where wide and he smiled as he came closer. He grabbed Kai by the elbow taking him aback by the intensity in the grip. “You have got to look out a window.”
Kai felt his breath catch and he grinned.
“No way, we’re there yet.”
Gale nodded.
The two of them launched themselves in the direction of the dining cart. They shoved open the door and stumbled into the well lit room. The servers and the cook were already crowding by the window. Kai and Gale moved past them until they pressed against the window.
This was it. This was the moment Kai had come on the journey for.
For a moment the rising sun blinded him, but he squinted until his eyes focused. His breath caught in his chest.
The moving city was a silver mirage in the morning light. The top of the towers had rainbows dancing around them. There was a slow shift and Kai let his eyes move from the city itself to the creature on which it was built. The large creature had fine silver scales covering its sides and arrow head. The light flickered over it as it got to its feet and raised its head to look over the surrounding valleys.
What must it be like to live on something like that?
He and Gale stood there for a moment, watching the creature come closer. After the a minute the rest of the staff member started wandering off to work, leaving them alone.
“Do you think we’ll get to go up there?” Gale asked.
Kai shrugged. “That sure would be something wouldn’t it?”
The morning bell rung and the Kai dragged his eyes away from the silver city. “We need to go relieve the night shift.”
Gale nodded absently without taking his eyes of the creature.
Kai looked to it again and felt his heart beat pick up. It was getting close now.
He took Gale by the elbow and pulled him away from the window. “Let’s go.”
The two of them wandered away from the window and out of the dining cart. Kai glanced over to Gale one more time only to see his friend stare into space. Well why not? Not even the train staff like themselves got to see the walking cities every day.

 

 

“Faster, faster,” Kai’s supervisor, Odalis called. Sweat dripped over Kai’s eyes and he had to shift the box on his shoulder to be more comfortable. They were in the shadow of the city now as it stood grazing the soft fluffy plants that grew around the area.
“We do not want to keep our buyers waiting. Hurry up Kai.”
Kai grinned at his supervisor, Odalis.  Today despite his instance that they were in a hurry, the man was grinning from ear to ear.
It must be the cities effects.
“How are we going to get this up there, Sir?” Kai asked looking up at the belly of the creature that provided a ceiling.
“Did you see the ropes and ladders?”
Kai glanced back to the nearest edge of the creature. The large rope ladders were probably not the safest way to get the rest of the train’s cargo up the creatures back.
“Sir, I don’t think that will work.”
Odalis laughed. “We won’t be hauling the cargo up those, we’ll climb up them ourselves. The cargo will be taken up with pulleys.”
Kai frowned. “Then why are we walking around beneath the creature?”
“Oh this is called the shadow market, for quite literal reasons. We’ll drop of these boxes and then we’ll be heading up the city.”
That explained why Gale wasn’t with them. Kai was long use to Odalis’s back street work but Gale would never have gone along with this.
Kai smiled at Odalis.
“You’re making me drag these boxes after your illegal work. I dare say, I might need a percentage of whatever you’re getting out of this deal.”
Odalis shook his head, a smile on his lips. From anyone else the teasing would have been a real threat. Kai raised his chin a little. It was kind of nice to be so trusted.
After a minute they spotted two people, a man and a woman who waved at them. Despite what they where there for neither of them dressed like criminals. There were no dark cloaks or knives hidden in secret folds of the clothing. The man had dark skin and was dressed in a simple green button up shirt, the sleeves of which he had rolled up to his elbows. He was half turned to them half to the woman. His eyes followed them as they came closer a hint of a smile hidden there somewhere.
The woman herself seemed to pull to one side. Her weight placed on only one leg, her head tilted slightly letting her silver hair create a curtain over half her face. Kai tried to keep himself from staring but couldn’t help but notice how pale she was as they neared. She had pale eyes and her cheeks held nearly no colour. Her bleak appearance was helped by the light purple dress she had on.
The man’s eyes moved from Odalis to Kai as they neared, a small frown formed on his brow. He exchanged a glance with the woman and nodded. Her expression didn’t change as she regarded Kai.
After a moment of standing in silence she looked away from Kai.
“I’m assuming you’re Odalis.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper but still clear.
Odalis nodded. “Let’s haggle.”
The man shook his head. “Let’s introduce ourselves first, you can call me Ido and this is Val. Before we start talking money we need to see the product first.”
Odalis nodded and moved to open the bow he carried in his own arms but Ido cut him off.
“No, we want to see what’s in the boy’s box. I wouldn’t put it past you to have only half of what we ordered.”
Odalis frowned but nodded.
Never argue with the customers was his policy. You never know who would rather shoot you then buy from you.
“Open the box kid,” Odalis said.
Kai nodded and pulled the bag from his shoulder. He knelt and put it on the ground.
Paranoid little buyers weren’t they?
Kai opened the box. Inside were six simple elbow long rods. Kai frowned at this. Was this really what they were selling this time?
The woman peered into the box and nodded.
“All looks good enough, let’s talk money.”
Kai listened for a moment as they started talking about the prices… high prices. He looked at the silver rods again.
No way are they worth all that.
Kai looked up from the box to see Val brush a streak of hair behind her ear. She seemed so… delicate, much too delicate for someone walking around on the shadow market. His eyes caught onto something on her wrist, a simple flower tattoo made of swirls set into a circle.
She looked at him and he realized he was caught. She smiled and for a moment he could do nothing more than blink. She gave a soft giggle and returned her attention to the discussion above his head. Kai let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.
“How about you help us get this to our carriage.” Her question was directed to Odalis who frowned.
“Not in our in agreement I’m afraid.”
Ido shrugged. “We’ll pay you an extra hundred, what difference does it make?”
Kai’s eyes grew. An extra hundred was an entire fortune all on its own.
Kai looked up to Odalis whose mouth formed a thin line. There was no way where they missing out on a bargain like this.
Odalis shook his head. “Sorry but no, I’m old my and joints are sore.”
Kai couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“The lad is young, he can help.” Val’s voice was cheerful.
Odalis started shaking his head but Kai jumped to his feet. “I’ll do it.” The extra hundred could pay for an apprenticeship.
Odalis opened his mouth to say something but Val was already there. “Thank you, well aren’t you sweet.”
She put her hand on Kai’s arm and pulled him a step closer to her and Ido. Val’s fingers where cold and for a strange moment a wave of dizziness hit him.
He shook his head to shake it off and bent to pick up the box with the silver rods, a moment later Val was leading him by the arm deeper beneath the city. Odalis stood frowning after them and Kai gave him an apologetic wave.
He was going to use the money he made from this to become an apprentice of someone on the train. Perhaps even become a railway engineer. They walked for what felt like an hour. After the initial excitement left him Kai simply stared around them. The deeper they went the less people they came across.
“How far will we be walking?” Kai asked finally. His shoulder was getting sore from carrying the box again.
“Oh I think we’ve gone just far enough.” Ido stopped right in front of Kai.
Kai frowned looking around. There was nothing there, not a single person or cart.
He looked back to find Val smiling at him, a single silver pole in her hand.
“Didn’t your mother tell you not to wander off with strangers?” She asked before swinging.

 

So that was it. If you stop by next week you’ll get the next couple of scenes along with another cool post that I’m currently planning. It’s about opening scenes and my personal struggles with them.

That’s it.
Do you like the character Kai so far? How about the city? Would you like me to describe it better? I’m interested what do you expect of the story from what I’ve given you here?

Catching your breath. (A magic battle)

Earlier today I shared a post on the sense of taste. In it I gave you a prompt to write a fight scene with the sense of taste playing a large role.

 

I wrote my own scene for this prompt and thought I should share.

 

Fila walked into the arena aware of all the eyes on her.
The stands were full of cheering people. The roar their applause gave was deafening.
Why did it have to be her out here? why couldn’t it be one of the other students? Someone else would have been a better choice for the battle.
A drop of cold sweat ran down her back as her opponent joined her in the arena.
He was tall with broad shoulders. She recognised him as Seth, the winner of last year’s contest.
His eyes were set into a death glare focused on Fila.
She pulled her shoulder up a little and hid her chin in her uniform’s high collar.
She stopped in front of him.
This was defiantly going to be the day she die.
“Face each other.” The disembodied voice of the referee boomed across the arena.
Fila lifted her head a little.
Seth flexed his hands at his sides. Those hands could strangle Fila with no problem.
“Keep your head up.” Seth mumbled in a hoarse voice.
“You too.” Fila squeaked.
She curled her hands into fists and glanced at her feet.
In the corner of her eye she saw him smirk.
He knew how much he intimidated her.
“Walk to your standing points.” The referee’s voice boomed again.
She raised her head and turned her back to him. The crowd fell silent and she could hear her hart thumping in her chest.
She was outmatched, anyone could see it.
She swallowed.
She would just have to fight small then. He must be used to strong aponenets so perhaps she could confuse him.
She reached the place that marked her spot and turned around.
She and Seth were now the complete distance of the arena apart.
The distance meant time to prepare herself.
“Let the match start.” The referee boomed and Seth started running toward her.
Fila jumped, her hart skipping a beat.
She reached to the pouch hanging by her side. Just as she reached in something struck her.
The sharp smell of lemons filled her nose as she was thrown to the floor, yellow fog swirling around her.
Seth was next to her as she sat up.
He blew down on her and a wave of orange fog spilling from his lips and forcing her down again.
This new fog burned her exposed skin. She threw up her arms letting the long sleeves f her white uniform protect her.
She was trapped in the mist with no way to reach for the pouch at her side without exposing her face to the burning fog.
That’s it she had lost.
A wave of pink mist hit her and sent her sprawling over the arena floor.
She gasped for breath and nearly gagged on the sweet strawberry mist.
She looked up to see Seth walking toward her.
He should have finished her off by now. She should already have lost.
His eyes where dark and Fila swallowed.
Seth had no intension of making this battle painless.
Fila grabbed her pouch and ripped out a hand full of the small pills inside.
She held her hand open as she backed away. The pills where made of a soft powder that stained her white gloves multiple colours.
She picked a green one out of her hand and stopped her retreat.
“Are you finally ready to battle?” Seth called coming closer. Pink mist curled around his lips as he grinned.
Fila plopped the green pill into her mouth and waited for him to come closer.
He started raising one of his own pills to his lips and Fila rushed forward.
She bit down on her pill with a satisfying crunch. Her tong tingled as the mint taste filled her lungs.
She took in a deep breath. She was right in front of Seth who had a yellow pill held in his hand.
She blew.
Green fog filled the area between Fila and Seth. His eyes widened as he was flung of his feet.
He hit the floor and slid.
Fila felt the mint drain from her lungs leaving her throat cold.
She raised a small dark green pill to her lips and held it there as she ran past Seth to the middle of the arena.
She stopped and turned back to him.
He was standing up. The green fog still bellowed behind him but he popped the yellow one between his lips and Fila watched as he breathed in.
She bit down on her dark green pill.
A bitter taste gathered in her throat and she fell into a crouch.
Seth came running toward her and with a start blew yellow fog straight at her.
Fila blew out her dark green fog to meet his. The two colour hit and filled the air of the arena.
The dark fog surrounded her. It was cold and wet against her skin. A shadow flickered from its depth.
“Come get me if you’re brave enough.” She called. Her voice sounded distant even to herself.
The shadow flickered and she set of at a run.
There would be no waiting for Seth. Who knew what long exposure to this fog could do to her.
She reached the edge of the cloud cover and burst into the fresh air with fog trailing her.
The fog had settled over half the arena leaving Seth hidden somewhere within.
Fila glanced at her last pill. It was a small red one she had never tried before.
She shrugged as she raised it to her mouth. There was always time for new experiences.
She bit down and her mouth was set ablaze.
Her ears grew hot and her eyes watered. She took a deep breath.
The shadow figure of Seth finally reached the edge of the fog just in time to see her.
His eyes grew and Fila blew out her breath of fire.
It hit his chest and he was thrown back into the dark green fog. Sure enough it caught flame.
Heat prickled Fila’s skin and she was forced to squint. Half the arena was inflames.
She relaxed a little as she waited for the fire to die down.
When it did smoke still hid Seth.
He would probably still be alive.
Perhaps she should have gone a little softer on him but then again he didn’t plan to simply let her lose gracefully.
She glanced up to where the referee was seated and he held up a blue flag.
She had won.
Fila grinned letting her red mist curl out of her mouth. It made her lips tingle.
A glass of milk would be a nice victory drink this time.

 

If any of you complete the challenge and would like to share it with me feel free to put it in a post and link it back to me so I can go check it out.

Fire!

Silva wasn’t a very big fan of her own ancestors seeing how they where the reason people distrusted her.
She sat on the rim of the dam overlooking the small village in the valley below. Today was not her day, with the full moon coming up she had nearly half a dozen people throw salt at her that caused her to itch like nuts.
She sighed staring at the far horizon. She had often wandered what her life would be like if her family just left the town and all the whispering behind their backs. Her gaze flickered back to the village. If she left she would never see Arty again. Annoyance flickered in her stomach. She had to stop swooning over the boy since Renee had gotten her slimy paws on him, apparently the two of them where head over heel in love and was the most favored thing for the village to talk about. Silvia wasn’t falling for it there was no way Arty actually liked that under fed fool.
Silvia saw something in the corner of her eye and turned to see her uncle approaching. She smiled, she always loved talking to her uncle, he was the exact opposite of her father who couldn’t tell a joke to save his life.
As her uncle neared she could see there was something wrong and she sensed more than saw the urgency in his walk.
As he neared Silvia got to her feet.
“What’s wrong?” She asked as he struggled to catch his breath.
“They’re burning down the house.” He heaved. “Your father sent me to make sure you are okay, he said we should meet them in the forest.”
Silvia felt her eyes widen and started hurrying back down the valley.
It was the longest jog of Silvia’s life and it felt like forever before they reached the green of the forests.
She imagined she could see smoke coming from the direction of the house and went from a jog to a run forcing her out of breath uncle to hurry.
They reached the spot where they were supposed to meet up with the rest of the family. There was no one there and she glanced over her shoulder at her uncle.
“We’ll wait.” He said.

The secret talent.

Tess felt her cheeks grow red as the professor pulled her by the arm through the academy’s halls past groups of curios students. Professor Nile didn’t seem to notice them and his pace neither slowed nor quickened. The pair rounded a corner and Tess found herself being shoved into the head masters office.
“Professor Nile,” The head master said looking up from his desk straight at Tess “is this, the girl you where telling me about?”
“It is,” the professor said shoving Tess into a chair, a look of glee spreading across his face.
“Then you may go” The head master said and professor Niles good mood vanished immediately.
“Sir if what we suspect is true you might need me here,” he started to protest but the head master cut him off with a simple stare, his blue eyes seemingly paralysing the man.
“I think I am capable of protecting myself against a fifteen year old girl.”
Tess watched as Professor Nile looked down, defeated. The man exited the room without so much another word and the room fell silent.
Tess glanced at the head master. He had greying black hair and a face that must have been handsome when he was younger.
Tess realized she was staring and quickly looked down at her hand in her lap. They were both silent for a moment more and Tess could almost feel the head master summing her up as she nervously smoothed out her uniforms black skirt.
“Do you know why you are here?” The head master asked.
Tess had to bite her tongue on a vile reply about professor Niles mental state and simply shook her head.
“You are here because your professors noticed something odd about you, nothing to extraordinary but small habits you seemed to have.”
Tess frowned. What was the man talking about?
“Tessara” The head master continued using her full name “you have been seen flicking bugs that wasn’t there, you once asked a classmate if they could hear where the music was coming from when there was no music, flames flicker in your presence and your roommate swears you have some sort of reading light beneath your sheets because sometimes a faint glow comes from beneath them. Do you know what I’m talking about?”
Tess felt her eyes grow. “You think I’m nuts.” Tess said in a hushed voice. “I swear to you I do not –“
The head master cut her off with a deep laugh like that of a loving grandfather. “No Tessara, I do not think you mad and you don’t need to worry because you are not in trouble.” Tess frowned.
“Then why am I here?”Tess asked once she found her voice.
“You are here because we believe that you are special. Tessara, how would you feel about joining our elite magic classes?”
Tess felt her eyes widen and she opened her mouth and her voice stuttered, “M-Magic?”

The royal guard.

Prince Weyden the heir to the Torian throne did not like the idea of fighting alongside pirates but Venda had brought them and at that moment He was a lot more scared of his friend then what the enemy thought of him.
He swung his blade at one of the bandits but was beaten to it when Venda’s blade went through the mans chest.
“I had that one.” He muttered turning to the next attacker.
“I do not care Weyden.” Venda said kicking the body into the way of the next attacker.
He was sure now, She was mad.
He watched as she swung her blade through two more bandits her bewitched blade slicing through them like butter.
The rest of the bandits stopped fighting then the firsts hesitantly threw down his blade and ran back to the tree lines.
She didn’t even wait for them all to reach it before turning to him and levelling her blade with his throat. The pirates around them looked very confused.
“I thought you came to keep him save.” One of them, the captain said.
Venda ignored the man and locked her grey eyed gaze with Weydens.
“If you ever do anything this stupid ever again I will kill you.” She said her blade dipping unnervingly close to his exposed throat. She took a step back and seethed her sword.
“Come now Venda, where did your sense of adventure go?” he asked now that he was more confident that she wasn’t going to kill him.
“It was replaced by my sense of duty, Your Highness.”
“We have known each other since we were ten and I still don’t understand you. Your job is to keep me alive and yet you have threatened my life more than anyone else.”
She grinned at him. “This way there is no question of who your strongest enemy is.” She put her hand on his shoulder and steered him toward one of the horses.
Weyden didn’t doubt that she was the strongest person he knew but she was no enemy. He smiled at his friend, she might constantly threaten him but he knew he was more save in her company then anywhere else on the earth.

siblings.

This is two short bits that I simply wrote to fish out a character. It is marked by whose point of view I wrote from.

 

Brother
She was warmth to him, her brown eyes bright and caring. Her curls fell in waves around her face which had just enough makeup on to make her natural beauty shine. With light steps she twirled in the moonlight and even though she was surrounded by dozens of others in ball gowns none seemed to compare.
Step. Step. Twirl.
Her dance was often interrupted by young bachelors who wished to flatter her and not once did she send them away. Her laugh rang out clear through the crowd as she finished her dance with one of the young lords. She curtsied to him then as he turned away she returned to her dance.
Step. Step. Twirl.
She wove in and out through the crowd greeting those who greeted her. Groups of ladies would stop her to share just a bit of gossip which he knew she would then pass on to others later.
Step. Step. Twirl.
So she would dance her head held high her feet occasionally stopping but he knew this was part of her dance. This was where she shined.

 

Sister.
Dona watched as he paged through the thick red book as he lay with his legs over the arm of the couch.
Although she had changed into a more comfortable dress after the ball he was still dressed in his red and black tunic the buttons now loose.
She sat on the floor in front of the fire going over their families books listening to him hum one of the songs that was played at the ball that night.
She studied him as his fine fingers flipped to the next page. Reading wasn’t considered a manly thing to do which was most likely the reason she has been unable to find a wife for him.
“I saw you chatting with Lidia tonight.” Dona said and he looked up from his reading. “Do you enjoy her company?”
He smiled at her. “I sometimes wonder why you are considered a great politician since you aren’t the mot subtle person in the world.”
“Yes well the family has tip toed around this long enough, you need a wife.”
“I don’t see you getting married any time soon, and you’re older than me.”
“I’m simply waiting.”
“For what? it’s pretty obvious Lord Santo likes you.”
Dona smiled. Her brother always claimed that he wasn’t interested in the court and yet he noticed much more than most of those frivolous lord and ladies.
“The family would get nothing out of an alliance with them.”
“Everything you do doesn’t have to be for the family. You could just marry for love.”
Donna didn’t reply and he simply went back to his reading.
His brown eyes flickered from page to page and she watched as they slowly closed. He held the book upright for a moment with his eyes closed then simply let it drop to his chest.
She smiled at her little brother.

He read fairy tales and believed in true love. One of them had to.

Midnight madness: #7 Trapped

“Couldn’t they have tied me to anybody else? A snake would be better company.” Argon said his voice nearly a growl.
“You would think so” Magi found herself saying “but take it from someone who is tied to a snake, you are better off.”
Her old friend simply pulled down on the chain that tied them together over a pipe along the ceiling. Magi was nearly lifted of her feet and the metal cuff cut deeply into her wrist causing blood to spill.
“Argon!” Magi called trying to kick him through the metal bars. He let her drop back to the floor.
They where silent for a moment .
“Do you have a plan yet?” Argon asked.
“Why should I come up with a plan? It is your fault we are here.”
“Exactly why you should make the plan.”
“We aren’t planning to steel bread from a bakery this time.” Magi said, “This time we are facing armed guards.”
“I know,”
She took a deep breath, “ok then, I have a plan.”
He was silent as she explained.
“You understand right?”
He nodded.
He braced his free arm and she stepped onto his open palm.
Slowly he raised her higher, toward the pipe to which the chain was tied.
His arm gave in and all her weight was focused on her already bleeding wrist the manacle cutting into her skin.
She quickly grabbed the pipe with her free hand and simply hung there.
Blood was trickling down her arm and she swung a kick towards Argons head.
He simply grabbed her foot and lifted her further.
She studied the thick chain which was rapped double around the pipe.
“I doubt I can break the chain but the pipe seems pretty rusty.
“Go for it” he replied.
Magi took out her hair pin, which the guards foolishly didn’t take away and immediately started working on the pipe.
Her metal hairpin broke through the rusted patch pretty fast.
“Let me down.” She ordered.
He let her drop then quickly rapped his arm around her waist catching her mid fall. She stared down into his deep brown eyes her body pressed tight to his. She could feel her cheeks warming and not trusting herself to speak simply nodded to him. He gently put her down and they both took hold of their points on the chain.
“On three.” She said and he agreed.
They counted to three and started pulling together.
Argon simply pulled her of her feet again. He sighed taking hold of her part of the chain,
“Let me do it.”
He pulled from both ends at the same time and the pipe simply broke spraying water over them.
The chain slid of the rest of the pipe easily. The first step of their escape plan was completed.
They walked over to the door and he kicked it down.
The guards turned in frenzy but Magi already knew the steps. Moving fast she wrapped the chain around the first one, pulling his feet from beneath him.
The man hit his head and she got the key from his belt even as Argon took down all three the other guards with his bare hands.
She unlocked the chains and he grabbed a sword from one of the fallen guards.
Magi took one for herself the minute the shackles clanked on the floor then. They started running again leaving the fallen guards behind them.
Halfway through the first corridor they bumped into five guards two of which Argon killed instantly. Magi simply ran on pulling Argon with her in an attempt to save the guards from the steel in his hands.
At the far end of the corridor was a window that led to the streets. Magi steered them toward it as the guards behind them multiplied as more poured out from side corridors.
Magi opened the latch. She turned to see that the guards had disarmed Argon and that they were going to capture him in any moment.
Magi cursed herself as she turned to them and threw herself between him and the guards fighting them off with her sword.
Argon disappeared behind her and it took only two blows for the guard to disarm her. They grabbed her wrist forcing her to the ground.
Magi glanced back to the open window. Argon was gone. He had abandoned her again.