Friday, January 29, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (Friday Fiction)[part 23]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Julie @ her blog. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: Well, I've written enough for this week and next week...way too much to fit into one post, so I'll cut it in half. The action is a bit delayed, because my brain is caught up between classes and a possible snowstorm. I'll let you know how that turns out. Anyway, Eira is recovering quite nicely, but is still a bit off-kilter from her healing and the DP is working through some issues of his own, while attempting to puzzle through some of Eira's. Enjoy! Happy reading and have a great weekend--thank you all very much for the encouragement and support as I continue to write this. In response to a reader question--yes, the end is in sight, but not quite yet. If you would like to see a break in between installments, please let me know! I'm open to suggestions. ^_^


RECAP: Eira is recovering after a fight with a Rock Titan that nearly killed her. The DP is slowly easing her back into everyday tasks with light therapy and roundabout conversation. The exchange is enlightening for both and Eira discovers a way to work past the incredible, lingering pain of a near-death experience.



“What else can I do?” Eira tried to lift her arm again, focusing all her energy on the little wooden ball in her folded fingers. It was smooth and unmarked, seeming as if it was simply scooped out of a perfectly swirled length of wood.

She tried again, when the first effort did not produce the result she’d been trying for. Her lips curled as the expressions slithering over her face betrayed the mental battle within. A moment passed and a few of the fingers curled tighter around the ball. A smile surfaced.

“Don’t do that.” The Dark Phoenix had turned his attention to the dying fire and now reappeared at her side to swipe the ball from her feeble clutches. “No. That is a no.” There was a touch of emphasis on the word as he plucked it from her grasping fingers. “Please do not push your healing any further than necessary. I know you are impatient to be up and moving about…so am I. I did not plan on staying in…hiding, in these circumstances. I will do what I can to see that you are up by tomorrow and we shall work with some difference exercises-”

“Therapy.” Eira rasped. Her eyes opened wide and shock decorated her expressive face.

“Yes, that is your voice. No, do not strain it by repeating anything. Yes, you can speak. No, it isn’t really therapy and-”

“Therapy.” She repeated, a pleased smirk registering. “Still therapy.”

“You do not listen very well, do you?” He settled on the other side of her, a seemingly routine habit to do so, playing with the wooden ball in his hands. “Speaking right now is taking energy from your body fueling an emotional desire instead of attempting heal the physical side of things.” He reached for her hand. “I’ll give you the same twenty-five ops on this side and then we’re done for today.”

“Only twenty-five?” Eira couldn’t help herself. The raspy tone was surprisingly charming and the thought of annoying him was amusement enough in her present state.

Amusement that quickly faded at the look intended for her alone. “Sorry.” She winced, even as the word edged out. It would have been better to shrug.

Except for her shoulders weren’t quite ready to be shrugging yet.

A loud sigh surfaced instead. She hoped that was allowed.

“I’ll work on a…tea.” He said, finally. “Tonight, if possible, it will help your voice, okay? Blink to answer, do not speak…please?”

Eira blinked once and innocent smile fixed on her lips.

He snorted. “Good. We’re starting.” He propped up her arm as he’d done before on the other side, curling the wooden ball around it.

This time around, there were more explanations, more adjustments and more information. Overall, more of everything. Eira did her best to listen and found when she had no other choice but to puzzle through what he was telling her, eventually she could make sense of some of it. And he really wasn’t speaking in a different language on purpose.

Her efforts were weaker on the left side, appearing as if the energy she’d used to speak had evaporated in terms of a usable support. He frowned, taking her hand again and working the points along her wrist and finger joints. “You have a very strange way of orienting your energy…” He murmured, at least, stretching the hand out beside her. “We’ve done enough of this for today. I want you up and walking by tomorrow.” He tapped her wrist, a spark of energy traveling upwards with a loud crackle.

Eira jerked—or rather—tried to, because her reaction only amounted to a mere twitch, a fraction of the shudder that normally would have come. She opened her mouth to ask what that had been for-but a finger rested on her lips.

“No talking.” He reminded her.

She looked at him, mustering up as much emotion as she could to show in her face. Her nose itched from the effort and her eyes burned.

Exasperation showed plainly in his own features when he noticed the change. “Eira!”

Her lower lip inched out just a tad further than the top.

“Absolutely not.” He rolled to his feet. “I am enjoying the peace and quiet and I intend to keep it that way.”

A sniffle was the reply.

“No.” He said, simply. “I’ll answer whatever questions you wish after you take a nap and I finish my meditations.”

The look that settled on her face must have meant something more to him than Eira intended for a strange shadow flickered across his face, the darkness remaining in his eyes as he turned away.
“Sleep, Eira. I will be right here and I shall wake you if necessary.”

It IS necessary! Eira wanted to say, but of course, did not. It would not do to irritate him when she was unable to defend herself with her own fiery retorts. Her arm tingled, seemingly a side effect from whatever had been in the energy spark he’d given her.

A yawn stalled in her throat as the first wave of sleep hit. Washing over her with gentle seriousness, when the blackness began to tease again, Eira gave in.

There was no need to do otherwise.

************************

How the time passed, Eira was again clueless, she was happy to be awakened from the shadowy images in her mind, to the cool morning breeze and sheltered sunlight. Her lips parted, a happy sigh the first sound to escape and a good-morning not far behind.

“Ah!” He warned. “No talking.”

A mumbled murmur came into existence and Eira quickly shut her eyes.

He cleared his throat when he was standing just above her and she opened one eye, attempting to judge the expression on his shadowy silhouette. “Cute.” He offered two hands. “I shall give your voice back once we’re through here…you should be able to stand and I need to check your timing and reflexes.” The fingers attached to the hands wiggled, temptingly. “Come on apprentice, up!”

Raising her hands took more effort than she’d been expecting, but somehow her body managed to cooperate with the request and she found herself standing, unsteadily, braced against his shoulder.

Two fingers snapped directly in front of her face, startling her backwards.

The yelp that escaped was more from walking into the tree behind, than the action that had caused it.

“You can talk now.” He announced, cheerful. “And I’m glad to see your reflexes are working just fine.”

“What?”

“And how did I know that would be your first word?” He shook his head. “The ends of the trance finished a few hours ago, I let you sleep on so your energy rhythms would reset themselves. It appears that they did.”

Eira stared at him for a moment longer, silently processing the information while her body began to reorient itself with standing straight up. “I’m standing.”

“Yes.” His voice was patient. “Try walking now.”

“A-are you sure?”

“Trust me.” He waved a hand at the bundle of blankets and dishes that had taken residence near the bedroll she’d occupied moments before. They miraculously packed and folded themselves, settling to a corner. A clear path was now visible from Eira and her tree-brace, to the other side of the clearing where the Dark Phoenix beckoned. “Slow steps, do not look at your feet.”

“My feet?” Eira’s head swiveled downward and the ground seemed to shift. She wobbled

“Eira!”

Her head jerked upwards, unsteady to see the clearing perfectly level. He was waiting, one hand outstretched. Shuffling forward, her feet worked perfectly until her hand was within his and he lead her to the tree beside him. “Brace…sit.”

Sitting on the solid ground helped a little, in terms of things staying straight. “What’s happening to me?”

“Lack of exercise. Reorientation. Tainted healing traces. You will be fine in a few hours.”

“I don’t wanna wait a few…hours.” Eira hiccupped. “Ow.”

“What hurts?”

“Everything?”

“Eira.” There was a slight touch of knowing in his voice.

“My head…a little. My feet.”

“All right, what else? How are you feeling? Vision…breathing?”

“I don’t know.”

“Eira.”

“Stop that.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Am I in trouble?”

“Possibly.”

“I just got up!”

“Eira…”

“Okay, okay…I can see…fine. I guess I’m breathing, because I’m talking and ow…my head hurts!”

The trademark cool fingers caught hold of her chin, tilting the head backwards. “Good. I think I can fix that now. Hold still.”

“As if I can do anything el-”

“Hush.”

She did.

The familiar coolness trickled into her head, starting at the base of her neck and rising upwards. The fiery pain immediately fizzled out as the cool wave spread throughout until Eira was nearly certain she was floating along an icy river, as the shivering began.

When the shaking started, one painfully freezing bar settled heavily on her shoulders. White, blue and black danced before her eyes in bright flashes of light, punctuated with pricks of pain.

And then it was over.

Breathing was harder and vision was blurry.

Her mouth refused to cooperate in communicating these changes, settling instead for a moan.

The cold bar that had settled around her shoulders now showed itself to be an arm, attached to the Dark Phoenix as his face now appeared in the corner of her gaze. “How is your head?”

She moaned, plaintively.

“That sounds…about right.” A blanket was found and spread over her, a moment later, he settled beside her, comfortably, with a pile of fruit pits and a knife.

“Wait…those are real?” The vision cleared, somewhat. Eira stared at them in confusion. “I thought those were in my…head.”

“If you do not want them-”

“I want ‘em!” Eira answered, quickly. “Them.” She corrected herself a moment later. Things were slowly returning to normal. “What time is it and those are mine?”

“Morning.” He began to whittle, slowly guiding the knife around the irregular shape. “Yes, they are yours.”

“Is that my knife?”

“Yes.”

“What kind of morning?”

“A few hours before noon.”

“What?”

His mouth twitched. “Breakfast will be after meditations.”

There was a moment of silence. “Am I in trouble?” She ventured.

“No.”

“Why?”

“Why you are not in trouble or why you should be? I do not know the answer to either of those, but perhaps I am simply becoming accustomed to your habits.” He squinted at something beside him and a moment later, speared a fruit and handed it over. “I shall assume you are hungry as an excuse for your lack of coherence. Snack on this.”

Eira obediently took the proffered fruit, amazed to find her motor functions in perfect condition as she held it up and proceeded to take a bite. Time passed and the light shifted in the clearing.

The Dark Phoenix continued with his task of carving and whittling, while a pleasant silence settled over the clearing. For awhile, it was good. Eira ate slowly, and sucked her fingers one after another when the fruit was finished.

Not a word was exchanged between Her curiosity argued with her sanity and a moment later, she asked the question he was waiting for.

“What’s happening to me?”

“At this particular moment, nothing.” He carved a swirl onto the surface of the now round fruit pit. “You should be fine now.”

“Are you sure?”

“No.”

“What?”

“No, I am not sure." The sarcasm was plain. "Eira, if I was not sure, would I have said so?"

"Um-"

"Exactly what do you want me to tell you?”

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be asking.”

“Good point.”

“Of course it’s a good point!”

He merely nodded, continuing with the carving.

“Are you done yet?”

“No.”

“How much longer?”

“A little longer.”

"How long is that?"

"Longer than just plain long." His mouth twitched.

Eira tried a different track, she'd attempted this sort of conversation once before. The last time had left her with a definite choice--apprentice or student. She was not about to repeat it to the point where another decision would have to be made. “What about lunch?”

“What about it?”

“When?”

“Ready for meditations?”

Eira shut her mouth.

© Sara Harricharan

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manic Monday 1.25.2010

And here we go! I have inet this week, yay!



If you could only have one section of the bookstore to visit, which section would it be?

The Christian Fiction section. As much as I love fantasy (both secular and Christian), and Teen Fic, I would be happiest in this section. Favorite and new authors, and always TOO many titles to read! I could be lost in this section forever, reading everything and never, ever be bored. I found the DragonSpell series by Donita K. Paul this way, when I popped in a bookstore, only to discover they were renovating the usual "Teen" fiction section. In the even that I couldn't have this section though, I would go for the clearance tables. ^_^ A good book at a great bargain makes such an enjoyable read!

If you could only subscribe to one publication for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would love to say something writerly, like writer's digest, or something more fashion-y...but...honestly? Reader's Digest. It has enough of everything...and less ads than Guideposts.

What activity always makes you lose track of time?

Ack. Must I really? Well...um...virtual farming. *blush* No, I'm not a farm addict...I just like randomly clicking and puttering about. I used to play simfarm and I like the idea of keeping a farm without having to actually go out and...farm. LOL. (and it gives me a chance to enjoy horses ^_^ Honestly, there are two main ones, first--reading. I can read and reread a book over and over, completely diving into the world, the characters and everything, I can do this virtually anywhere, even reliving a favorite scene in front of a mirror. Daydreaming. LOL. If you've met me in person, I'm pretty much almost always in movement, shifting, moving, twisting, something--and usually that means the gears in my head are whirling away, cranking out another wonderful episode of fantabulous brilliance in my head, to write out at some moment of spare time in the future. I can do this for hours on end. I need nothing to amuse me, but my head and then I won't even realize I've been staring or sitting somewhere for over an hour.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (part 22) [Friday Fiction]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the talented Lynn Squire over @ her blog, Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings(and recap): Well, as usual, I'm waiting until the last minute to get around to writing this installment. Sorry. School+Life equals...busy. I think. Anyway, there's quite a bit of dialogue in this piece, this time around, hoping to bring in some more action next week. We'll see. Thanks so much for the wonderful comments-I'm glad y'all are enjoying this as much as I am, writing it. Someone mentioned I ought to add a recap, especially on account of length, so...recap.
RECAP: Eira narrowly escapes death by a Rock Titan known to the Dark Phoenix. She has spent the last two weeks in one of his healing trances, drifting in and out of consciousness. Her memories resurface during this time and when the nightmares become too close for comfort, her new master offers a distraction by playing games inside her head--through a mindlink. This works for awhile, until now.


Eira soon lost track of how many games they played. At first, she won the early rounds and he lost nearly every other time. After that, it evened out, and then he was still winning.

And winning.

“There’s something wrong here.” She mumbled, after awhile, chancing to look up to see his face. His mouth twitched, ever so slightly at the left corner. “Why are you winning?” The expression of innocence was almost convincing. “You’re cheating!”

Eyebrows went up. “Cheating?” The word was pronounced with some distaste. “Really, I would hardly need to cheat to win this…” His forehead neatly creased into perfectly crooked lines. “And I don’t cheat!”

“Why are you winning!”

“Because you’re not paying attention?” He suggested, ever-so-helpfully and far too cheerfully.

“New game.” Eira said, flatly. “This one’s jinxed.”

“I don’t believe in jinxes.”

“I do. New game.” Eira wrinkled her nose, waiting for him to reset the game pieces. She’d yet to memorize the pattern for the pieces, but it was much more interesting to keep looking over her shoulder, rather than bothering to see how he reset the game.

He cleared his throat a moment later and she turned to see the pieces had been reset. She chewed her lip for a moment, puzzling over the first move and then followed through. A muffled expression of exasperation spewed through her lips a moment later.

The head shifted, his eyes laughing at her as he studied her reaction. “Not paying attention.” He murmured, scooping the pits into a pile. “Games are over. You’re in good enough humor, time for lessons.”

Her wail of protest was almost immediate. “Nooooo! I don’t wanna meditate!”

A curious sound strangled itself within his throat and he took a moment to compose himself before speaking, the eyes crinkling at the corners, betraying his silent amusement. “I said lessons, not meditations.”

The mental-Eira offered a pout, deigning to thump her feet on the ground from the position where she sat, sprawled out on the ground of her mindscape. “It’s the same thing!”

“It is?”

“Yeah-huh!”

“It is not.”

“Is too!”

“And you would know this, how?”

“It…it just is!”

“I refuse to acknowledge that with an ‘is too’.” He said, dryly, shifting to his feet.

“Ha! You already said it! Is too!”

“And up with you.” He stood over her, one hand outstretched. “Enough sitting around.”

“I like sitting around.”

“You won’t like it when I’m gone.”

“Where are you going?”

“Back to my own consciousness.”

“I thought you were gonna keep me company!”

“I was. I have been. I am…I just think that you could use something new to distract yourself besides a game.”

“I don’t wanna distraction.”

“Yes, you do.” He paused. “Note to self, you are grumpy and entirely out of sorts after you’ve had a healing. When you start whining, I know that you are doing perfectly fine, therefore whining means you are okay.” The corners of his mouth curved up. “Lessons, apprentice. You will need time to get used to your own feet again. Lessons are different from meditations.”

“What’s the difference?” Eira took the hand, adding a little hop. “My feet are fine in here.”

“Because in your head, you can do virtually anything.” His hand settled on her shoulder, steering her forward. “ In reality, you haven’t moved on your own for a prolonged amount of time, namely, no physical activity, with your vitals supported through an energy system.” A frown passed briefly over his face. “I will have to rework your healing system at another time, but for now, I need to see some progress besides your lack of…attention.”

“What?”

“Now I know you’re doing fine. I shall see you in a moment.”

“Wait! You’re just going? What about-”

“I am returning to my own consciousness and I will wake you once I am there.”

“Don’t just leave me here in-”

“It will only be for a minute.”

“I don’t care!”

“You’re working yourself up into a-” He broke off for a moment. “You’ve been fine the entire time I wasn’t here, were you not?”

“No.”

“No?”

“Yes.”

“Yes?”

“Maybe…?”

He looked away for a moment. “Yes, no or maybe?”

“I don’t know.”

“Eira.”

“Maybe?”

“Maybe is more no than yes. Are you going to tell me what this is about, or would you prefer that I guessed?”

“You can’t guess.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’ll never guess.” She amended.

“I’ll be right back.” His hand dropped and by the time she turned around, mental-Eira discovered that she was very much alone in the black void of her own mindscape.

The uncertainties didn’t take very long to return, but she turned slowly in a circle, repeating a childhood poem beneath her breath. Perhaps if she could distract herself long enough, the Dark Phoenix would wake her before the nightmare returned.

******

The shaking wouldn’t stop.

Eira finally managed to force her eyelids upwards in order to see the offender.

The Dark Phoenix stood over her, an expression of puzzlement on his face. “What took you so long? I told you I'd be-”

“What?”

“Never mind.” The face disappeared from view and something settled beside her. “How are you feeling?”

“Horrible.” Eira answered automatically. “Actually…still hurts. A lot.”

“How bad?”

“I don’t know. Bad. Really bad.”

“But not too bad, because you’re carrying a coherent conversation.”

“I’m coherent? Oh joys.”

“On a scale of one to-”

“A hundred? Ninety-nine and three-quarters.”

“Eira.”

“What?”

“You are grumpy.” There was a snort. “I will never understand this.”

“understand what?”

“Nothing.” His face appeared in the corner of her view. “Lessons. We’re going to begin lessons.”

“Do I hafta?”

“Yes.”

“Nooooo.”

“Yes.”

“Nuh-uh.”

“We’ll start with something easy.”

“Oh goody.”

“Eira.”

“What?”

“Focus?”

“On what!”

“You do not have to be difficult about this.”

“I’m not!”

“Should I bother to say, are too?”

“Am not!”

“Shh!”

“What?”

“I suppose I should start you off on something simple.”

“What?”

“Simple.”

“I heard the simple. A simple what?”

“We’ll do an Energy Relocation first. I know I said we’d start with the Privacy Orb, but I think the relocation will suit you better in this particular moment. If you pick it up quick, I’ll move along to the orb.”

“Huh?” Eira stared at him. Her mind was trying to make sense of what he’d said, but most of it hadn’t registered past the phrase of ‘Energy Relocation’. “You’re going to do what?”

“I’m not doing anything.” He settled comfortably beside her, a small brown ball in hand. “you’re going to do something.”

“I don’t wanna-”

He thwacked her forehead.

“Ow!”

“Let me guess.” There was a tinge of sarcasm. “Ninety-nine and three-quarters?”

Eira scowled, unable to much else to express her annoyance. “Very funny, I’m still laughing.” The pain had dulled considerably and it wasn't exactly demanding all of her attention, but the tap had reminded her that it did exist.

“Glad to amuse.” He took hold of one hand and curved it around the wooden ball. “Do not tell me that you cannot do something without trying it first. In this case, I know you haven’t tried this before, if you have, I wouldn’t be directing your attention to it, regardless of condition. Now, listen and try to at least put a little effort into it? See if you can hold this on your own.” Her hand limply fell back to the ground and he caught it before the ball tumbled out. “Focus. Try again.”
He closed the fingers around the ball and lifted it back until it was parallel with her shoulder blade. “Use your energy.”

The arm wavered for a second and then thumped back to the ground.

“Ow.” Eira griped.

“Ninety-nine and a half?” He suggested. There was a sigh followed by both of his hands clasping around her limp fingers and the wooden ball. “Try again.”

“I am trying!”

“Not yet.” His head shook, ever so slightly. “Focus on the ball in your hand, Eira. Look at it
through your hand, not with your eyes, not with your head…with your hand. See it. Feel it. Figure out how to move it, how to connect to it.”

“How can I connect with a stupid ball?”

“I had no idea the ball was stupid or else I would have picked a smarter specimen.” The hands tightened. “Try, Eira.” He released his hold.

The hand wavered, feebly, before falling limply to the ground. “It’s a stupid-”

“Inanimate objects can’t be stupid.” He propped up her hand again. “Try again.”

Eira did. There was little change. It went on until she became rather frustrated, both with him
and the ball and her arm which was sore on top of the pain she was already aware of. “I can’t do this-” The surge of anger added a few points to her confidence, as Eira directed her scowl in the direction of the Dark Phoenix, as best as her head would allow.

Instead he chuckled. “Good girl.”

“What?”

It registered, briefly, that she was holding up her arm on her own, before the arm flopped to the ground once more. An expression of complete surprise stole across her face, something akin to fascination and awe. “I…I did it?”

The smile he offered was reward enough. “Indeed you did.”

“How?”

“You were frustrated.”

“I need to be frustrated to keep my arm up?”

His mouth twitched. “No. But you did need to concentrate all of one singular emotion or thread of energy associated with the emotion on one thing. Your arm. You finally did.”

“Oh.”

“Oh?” He prompted.

“Why didn’t you-”

“Do you really want me to answer that?”

“…no.”

“Let’s try again.”

Eira rolled her eyes. “Oh joys.”

© Sara Harricharan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Non-Famous Favorite Author (BBT)



Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…


I'd have to list more than one here, there's several "new" authors in the sense and I love all their books, very rarely do I narrow it down to one/two unless something pretty much just blows me away so far that I completely forget about any others...but...


Frank Creed--"Flashpoint" Truly excellent stuff, introduced me to a genre I didn't know existed.

Sue Dent---(Never Ceese) It's the book you lend someone and never get back...because they're busy lending it to all their friends. :)

Rick Higginson---"Cardan's Pod" ahh, yes. I cannot wait to see what else comes out from this brilliant pen.

Michelle Gregory---"Eldala" The kind of book you reread the end over and over and over and over....



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Puttering About


Well, I missed Manic Monday on account of no internet, so I'm just kind of "puttering about" today, it's been the usual mix of everything. So I'll just ramble for a few minutes, so my head has a little more space inside for tomorrow.

The Nancy Drew Challenge is going great, I've already made it through book one and two, with book three about halfway until I reach the weekend rest period again. I love the first book(Secret In The Old Clock) the most, because it introduces Nancy in her first mystery and brings her character alive with the usual characteristics that endear the FMC's to their readers. She sticks up for the underdog, does not stop believing in a positive outcome and even manages to work things out right so when the villains are finally brought to justice, there is no wince from unnecessary revenge, violence or other negative elements. Nancy is poised, polite and charming even in the face of danger or staring down troublesome suspects. Book 2, (The Hidden Staircase) is even better, because it brings back the old-fashioned feel of mystery that I remember from the days when reading was something I did with every single spare moment I could see to read. It was fun. I read this one with a glass of chocolate milk and a sandwich...after reading of one of Hannah's good sandwiches for Nancy. It made the reading even more fun. ^_^

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

As for the Bible Challenge, that's coming along pretty well. It's been easy to keep up, because the sections are already marked and set up, so I just find the date, settle down and read. At the end of each passage is a little thought and prayer, a mini-devotion to end the reading section.

Going through Genesis and Matthew right now, with portions of Psalms and Proverbs. My favorite thing so far about this particular Bible, is the way the Psalms and Proverbs have been divided, so there is a little of each to be read every day. With this set up the way it is, I don't skip anything, I don't have a chance to "get bored" and I always find something I can relate to.

One particular devotion from last weekend, has registered in my mind of a new word, I'd like share. "Demandingness". It was the word used to describe what we as humans, sometimes do when it comes to rushing about our daily lives, trying to get a routine and working out the little details in hopes of a happily ever after, even if the happy isn't quite the bit of sunshine we were hoping for. As long as we don't have to deal with X, Y or Z, we're quite happy. We simply continue on, with our demands, "I don't want to do X" or "I don't like doing Y, someone else should do it" and then of course, I could make up another phrase for Z, but I'm sure you get the picture already, right? Well, in all of our demands, sometimes we're so busy asking AND demanding, that we forget to accept. We forget to receive the blessings and the answers we've been stressing over, tied up in the whole process of our own demands. Whether they are selfish, routine-such as merely out of habit, it still counts. It is still processed. It is a cycle. You are the only one who can break it, only after you acknowledge it and remember while you're doing so, that help isn't any further away than a prayer.

This definitely kept my head busy for awhile--how about you?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix [part 21] (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Sharlyn Guthrie @ her blog: Dancin' On Rainbows. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: This week's installment is a tad short as I've been trying to find a way to work Eira's healing out, without spending a lot of time leaving the DP twiddling his thumbs. As if he really could stand to do that. ^_^


Her fingers were moving.

The first shudder came.

And passed.

The Dark Phoenix sat beside her, leaning against the tree overshadowing them both at the edge of the clearing. It provided a decent backrest as he whittled curves and whirls into the pile of fruit pits at his feet. His hands were busy, in order to keep his mind settled, and his energies calm while he waited.

His hands paused for a moment, as he watched her, brow furrowed. The trance was deep, but it shouldn’t have carried any physical repercussions. He finished the last symbol on the brown seed and tossed it to the tidy little pile. He’d figure out what to make with them later, if his mind still demanded a distraction.

Shifting, slowly, he moved to sit cross-legged beside her, reaching for one hand. It had been over a week since he’d cut her feedings down to twice per day and thrown up a shield every night. Deene hadn’t dared to show his face yet and the Dark Phoenix appreciated that particular fact. He wasn’t ready to deal with the delinquent Titan, much less to be civil about it. For Eira’s sake, however, he did hope that Deene would take his time in trying to find their camp again, if he had finally put himself back together.

Clasping her cold hand between his own two, the Dark Phoenix counted her breaths and matched the timing with the occasional shudder. It didn’t appear that she was dreaming, but her face gave away nothing as to where her mind was.

Knowing all too well the torture his own healings could be to himself, he finally closed his eyes and let his energies connect, slipping slowly into the open stream in her mind, pushing gently to make contact.

He felt her surprise and then his mouth twitched as the flood of words came straight towards him.

It took a moment to digest.

And then he smiled.

*****************

The pain was the most obvious thing registering in the muddle of her mind. Eira twisted within the painful prison, feeling bothered by the presence of light, instead of the blissful darkness that had claimed her consciousness more than once.

It seemed to be a monster, preying on her in the worst ways possible, ripping her to shreds and feasting on the sanity that remained. That particular thought troubled her, though and Eira tried to make herself think again, to wonder, why and how, and whether thinking was actually a sign of healing, or rather a warning of something else to come.

“Eira?” His voice would cut through the fog and his hands would help her sit up just enough to make swallowing the food and easier task. “Time to eat.” Would be the usual phrase and she would know enough to keep her mouth open. It was the only control she could wrangle from her aching, burning body.

Not hungry. Eira wanted to tell him. No food. Sleep. Black. Dark. No pain.

But even as her mind put these needs together, her mouth was just as useless as her voice in offering her opinion. Instead, her lips parted and the usual fare trickled in, a flavorful broth she could never quite place. It did wonders for bringing a temporary blanket of warm fuzzies to the surface, but not much else.

Time passed by the sound of his voice. There was always a little speech to accompany each meal. He would explain how the healing was going, how much time had passed and whether there was any progress.

Eira wasn’t sure why he bothered.

Death seemed so much closer when her eyes were open, her mind awake. It was miles away when the blackness settled in around her. There was absolutely no sense of time or life as things moved in and out of whatever realms they seemed to be stuck within.

It was when the dreams started in, that Eira decided she had to find a way to talk to him. He wouldn’t let her stay awake any longer than it took to eat. The moment the last mouthful had been swallowed, he would wish her a pleasant sleep and then one hand would rest over her face, two fingers closing her eyelids and the other three pressing gently.

The triangle formed would be visible in her mind, a ribbon of golden-whiteness and then it would fade away and everything would simply disappear. In those moments, things would shift to a void, somewhere time had stopped and clarity was no longer a dream. In this strange place, her memories floated to the surface and played out as if they were part of a dream sequence. In this expanse of nothingness, things were returning to life and taking on forms Eira couldn’t place.

It was as if her mind was clearing faster than her body was healing and the dreams were taking every ounce of new energy and willpower she managed to pull from her battered body. The pain never ceased, even in the dreams, it merely dulled, a constant pull, bringing to mind two singular fears.

Dying…and leeches.

The nightmare was much too real this time around and Eira felt it move through her in waves of doubt, fear and complete helplessness. There was nowhere to run, no one to hear and her screams were locked within her throat.

It seemed as if the ground was shaking again, but she couldn’t be sure. She was only trying to run on sinking ground. The images hovered just behind her, looming larger in their approach as she sunk deeper into the black space swallowing her up again.

Her arms swung wildly trying to clutch at something and even as her fingers struggled to move, it was if they were freezing, as the blackness swallowed her all the way up to her neck.

And then something warm caught hold of one hand and she was being pulled up and out, away from the horrors within her mind. The thread of warmth was the semblance of sanity she needed, as it carried her through the fog and to a place where things were brighter.

Eira was floating, the pain fading marginally as the black shifted to a gray color.

“Eira?”

The voice was unexpected and somewhat distorted, before an image appeared, slowly and slightly taller than her own figure. She tried to make him out and then took a step backwards with a cry.

“Hello.” His head titled forward, the expression mildly amused. “Are you all right?”

“What?” The answer popped out, the standard reply for everything.

“It would appear that you are.”

“Master Phoenix?”

“Yes?”

“You’re…”

“In your head…on the outside.” He beckoned to her and began walking along the grayness.

“You’re in my head!”

“On the outside…I just wanted to be sure you were doing all right.”

“Why didn’t you wake me up, then?”

“Your body needs the rest.”

“What?”

“You seemed…disturbed, I just wanted to be sure-”

“How did you know? I mean, how could you tell?” The mental-Eira licked her lips, her pale face shifting to even paler shades. “Was I…doing something?”

“By something…what exactly are you referring to?”

“I don’t know…anything. What made you think-”

“You were shaking—then your hand twitched.”

“So…I must be missing something.”

“Mostly, yes. You haven’t moved in nearly two weeks, except when I feed you energy so you can stay awake long enough to eat. Your body isn’t even allowing the food to be processed, it just converts it to energy within minutes of consumption and continues the healing cycle.”

“What?”

“You really need to work on that.”

“I can’t work on that!”

“Calm down, please. I am not trying to upset you and in this state is extremely importance for your mind to stay as relaxed as possible! I’m not…I am not…Eira!”

“What?”

“You’re not all right…what’s going on?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing because you do not feel like discussing it, or there is something else occupying the immediate space in your mind?”

“Why do you have to make it sound so…so…” The mental-Eira did not bother to finish in the sentence, instead she looked over her shoulder, scanning the mindscape for any signs of the monsters from earlier.

“Who are you looking for?”

“No one.”

“No one or nothing?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“It’s bothering you.”

“So?”

“It may be hindering the healing process.”

“I don’t care about technicalities.”

“It isn’t a technicality…it is an interference.”

“I don’t wanna talk about it!”

“I am not saying you have to…but I am trying to understand this.”

“What is there to understand!”

“Your healing process is a…mystery. I’ve given you a unique healing orb that your entire body rejected. Your own self-healings make you violently ill, to the point where you are barely better off with them than without. I cannot pinpoint the exact origins of your energy and that creates a problem.”

“I know you’re saying something, but right now all I’m hearing is gibberish.”

“I know…so let’s change the topic, what’s that behind you?”

“Where?” The mental-Eira whirled around, already backing away from the invisible danger. “What is it? I don’t see it!”

“I don’t either.” His voice was calm, collected and clearer this time around.

“That was dirty trick!”

“Was it?” The gray began to shift, blurring back to the original black. “You should be safe here. In the gray area, things might filter through, but here...you will be fine.”

“What?”

“This…the black.” He tilted his head, extending a hand. “Come…let’s walk for a bit.”

“Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular, but the walking helps.”

“With the pain? Everything still…hurts.”

“I know…because your consciousness is still connected to your body—which is a good thing—but it doesn’t put any barriers between the pain and reality.”

“So I’m really in my own head?”

“Yes. But you’re in the outerspace, which is where your thoughts are generally polite and the things shared within, are usually the things you would share. I do not intend to venture any further.”

“Why’d you come?”

“I need a reason?”

“Yes. Duh. You're in my HEAD!”

“Very well then, the most obvious reason is that I merely wanted to be sure of your state of mind.”


“What’s the not so obvious one?”

“Distractions are good for the pain.”

“Pain’s not that bad.”

“For now or later?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you want to know?”

“No.”

“Then I will not tell you.”

“What’s the other reason?”

“To keep you company if you like.”

“I like.”

His mouth twitched. “Good. Because I was actually working on something.”

“What?”

“A game.” He put a hand in his pocket and drew out a handful of irregularly shaped brown ovals, moving to sit comfortably on the ground, spreading the handful out in front of him.

“A game?” Eira immediately sat down beside him as he began to lay the pieces out on the floor. “For points? How do you play?”

“It’s actually very simple…”

“What are they?” The fascinating object was held up for inspection. “It looks familiar.”

“It should…you ate the fruit it belonged to.”

“Ohhh!”

“Focus, Eira…game?”

“What?”

“Can I have it back?”

The single pit was reluctantly handed over. “I like it.”

“I’m glad you like it, but we can’t start the game without it.”

“Is it hard?”

“You would have to be the judge of it.”

“There’s a judge?”

“You really are not listening to me, are you?”

“I have to listen?”

“Focus, Eira…focus. I refuse to let you win without earning it.”

"But...I'm kinda not feeling well...you know, I'm like in this healing thing...don't I get a handicap?"

"You haven't even heard the rules yet."

"Is there?"

"Do you need one?"

"Against you? Yep."

"Really...I've almost been insulted."

"What?"

"I play fair."

A giggle escaped. "I don't doubt the fairness, but I wanna win!"

"Winning with a handicap-"

"I'm sick! C'mon! Please?"

He smiled and then reached over and handed the pit back. "Very well."

Suddenly, the black didn’t seem that bad after all.

© Sara Harricharan

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Flaps? (BBT)



Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?


Both. I usually read it a few times, once before and a few times while I'm reading the story, to sort of get a feel for how close the end is, or what kind of twist I think is coming next. I like to know what's going to happen and why, if I'm buying a book and can't get enough of a hook to make the book worth buying, I put it back, even if the cover looks interesting and it's on clearance. ^_^ I'd rather buy a book I want to read.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Randomized...and the Nancy Drew Challenge


And I've created my own monster. Well, not exactly, but my own version of it, since I'm almost certain that button up there makes absolutely no sense to you at the present moment. Especially since I was kinda trigger happy when I was pasting and polishing it up. Since consistency is something I'm working on, I'll use my Random Zone as the perfect warning to give y'all a head's up. You may even see it appear on my Fiction Fusion blog. Goodness! Should it appear, simply smile and nod, realizing that there is something entirely unrelated to follow all previous topics and posts. See, Random can be consistent! ^_^

Now, onto the real news. ^_^

It's not exactly randomized reading, but the idea is mostly there. ^_^ I recently stumbled across the link for the Nancy Drew challenge posted by Deborah @ Books, Movies, and Chinese Food. The idea was to read all the yellowbacks in the Nancy Drew series during 2010. Namely, the original 56 books, not including the recent addition of the 8, (hardback versions of books 57 through 64).

Honestly? The idea sounded like loads of fun to me, so I've decided to sign myself up and dive back into the books that first started me along my writing journey. I may actually read all 64 of the hardcovers in my possession. Nancy Drew has been a tremendous push into the world of fantasy, inspiration and a super-charged FMC(Female Main Character) with brains and beauty. I love how she always manages to outwit the villains-brute force is never as satisfying anymore-and still have plenty of energy and smiles, as she awaits the next terrific adventure to come her way.

Many afternoons in my pre-teen years were often spent squirreled away somewhere with a book in hand--namely, Nancy Drew. This love has shown up in my collection of every hardcover book, a handful of the paperbacks and a few of the PC games from Her Interactive. I'm excited to relive these books again. I cannot bear to make it through the year without reading as much as I write...probably even a little more.

Wanna join me? It will be fun! (and I promise, I'm a good reading buddy...)

If you'd like to join in the fun yourself(there are even some awesome prizes!) just click here and read all about it. You don't need a blog to join and if you've already read some of them, then you can skip to the one's you haven't read.

Cheers!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Manic Monday 1.11.10

Here's my first shot at MM, the three questions are below...



What is one thing you wish you could change about yourself?

The way I manage my time. I love to have everything working perfectly together, with no chance for error and no issues or other spaces for interruptions. Generally, I end up often distracted with a favorite part of my routine and forget there are other things that need to be done, or other matters that require my attention. I would love to manage my time and my SENSE of time, so it is more than just a word to me.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

Yes, oh yes! Most definitely! Would you like to hear-er-read, an example? Yes, no, maybe? Great. I'll tell you anyway. ^_^

A great example is the green earring I wore to the FW conf. last year, I wore it to a test last year, mid-semester when things generally get a little "krazy" and it fell out somewhere. Because of the sentimental value, I searched for this particular earring more than I usually would have, even enlisting the help of my fellow students and friends. Nothing happened. Nothing turned up. I prayed. I whined. I moped. Everyone told me to give it up for good, saying that someone else had probably found it and walked off with it. I don't know about you, but I don't see the point of just waltzing off with one earring...especially one that belongs or belonged to someone else. It's kinda like borrowing toothbrushes...at least as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, at the end of the semester, the last final I had in the building I thought I'd lost the earring in...on the corner near the wall on the edge of the markerboard, there was the earring. It was lying there as if it had been waiting for me all day. I passed that spot a dozen times, since I'd lost it and never seen it there. I notice the details like that. The earring turned up exactly when I needed a boost, exactly when I needed a spark of randomness. My day flew by in a sort of happy blur and things worked out great. Answered prayer. A tangible, hold-in-your-hand answer. And a smile I couldn't wipe off my face. There was a reason--I felt it. ^_^

What would be your dream job?

A traveling columnist! I would love to travel around the world, (or at least visit all 50 states) and write little stories, blurbs, articles...anything! LOL-within reason-of course, and have my traveling expenses paid and a famous reputation for my reviews. Definitely a dream job!


Consistency (An Introduction to 2010)



Consistency.

If I could hide from a word, I would probably be peeking over the very tip-top of my keyboard right now.

Why?

Well, um…you know. It’s kind of scary…the definition says something about routine and I tend to have a random streak which is very…inconsistent? I do not do it on purpose, it just sort of pops out and then I have to try and puzzle through what on earth just happened, or rather, why on earth did it just happen.

However, in spite of my fears, it appears that “Consistency” is intent on being my word for this year, the grand 2010. It certainly is a good word, for all my good intentions, without consistency, amount to zip, zilch, nada, naught, nine…I don’t know where the nine came from, but consistency. I’m working on it.

Last year, even though my posts were a tad inconsistent, they did help with reaching past my non-fiction block and working with last year’s word, “transparency”. Oooh. That one is scary too. Transparent means you can see through things…right through things.

Probably like this post.

Which has something to do with how brain-dead I could be at eleven something at night. But I’m getting a tad off subject here, my aim to be connecting the dots this year. I placed plenty of little transparency flags out last year and this year, I will be faithfully trotting out to visit each of them with my precious little spool of rainbow-colored twine. I will tie the cord to one end and loop it around each flag in my journeys, to connect the entire scatterplot together to form a working picture.

Part of my year-long goals include consistency in blogging, whether through yanking things straight out of my head, or participating in a few weekly memes(which I dearly love to do) to keep the flags and dots coming together. I aim to work through a few giant points, such as finishing my NaNo 2009 novel, “Faceless” and sending it out to my very wonderful Beta readers, while participating in whatever writing challenges I have the time for. This year, I may be taking a break from some of the excitement (FAWM, JulNo, etc—but we shall see), I do aim to tackle few others, such as EdMo and Screnzy. And lastly, to finish my mountain of creative projects.

I love making a ‘everything list’ at the beginning of each year, it’s especially fun to look back at it the next year and cross out things I’d forgotten about, but actually did, while moving some favorites to the current list to tackle again. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I had actually fulfilled some of my goals for transparency in 2009, which included a facebook fan page—a huge step for this writer who is still wincing at the “consistency” dictator at the top of the page, who is insisting little steps are the key to overcoming bigger obstacles. Second was producing fresh content for the Friday Fiction over at my sister blog, I have shorter pieces, other more ‘normal’ pieces, in a sense, but I accepted one of little challenges to write a few serial-type storylines, taking the characters, plot and fun just a little longer. Currently, I have my first super-powered Master-apprentice-duo within one of my ‘worlds’ with the Faith-filled twist I’ve been dying to tag to my writing. So far, it’s been wonderful!

I’ve also been procrastinating on writing the installments by tweaking my blogs. There are still glitches to be worked out and all feedback is appreciated. ^_^ You can see the obvious changes by the new backgrounds and widget thingies. I love widgets. What a fun word. W-i-d-g-e-t. It’s even fun to spell!

Consistency.

Right. Workin’ on that.

Anyway, the usual ramblings for the things this year I plan on pursuing:
1. Bloggy consistency
2. Article consistency
3. Bible in a year—using the Everyday with Jesus Bible by HCSB
4. WIP’s finished. (Tears of Muse and Faceless)
5. The Child Hunter—first edit, complete.

Dontcha just love the first two? LOL. I’ll let know what I think of them later, but it’s been on me for awhile to get my randomness screwed in where it belongs so I can tackle some of the reality-inspired sort of things. This is just a short basic list (accountability if nothing else, right?) and I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I’ll remember to share (probably right after I click the ‘post’ button) but fair warning for the posts to come with my thoughts and adventures in the year 2010.

Happy writing and best wishes to you all—I can’t wait to see where this year will go.



Friday, January 8, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix [part 20] (Friday Fiction)

It's Friday Fiction time! This week, I am hosting Friday Fiction, a meme where you can read and share amazing stories in all genres from talented writers. McLinky is at the bottom of this post. Feel free to add your own link, or browse those already there. Don't forget to leave a comment--we all love them!

Author's Ramblings: This week I've tried to switch the POV for a bit, so we get to see what's going on with the Dark Phoenix in the middle of this little crisis. I've already rambled enough for today, so enjoy-happy reading-have a great weekend!

The Dark Phoenix flew upwards into the air until the chill began to touch him. The fabric of his cloak flared in the energies belonging to him as he realized the peace-threads interwoven within were pleading with him to stop. Weary, his gaze searched the landscape below, his mind methodically sorting and sifting to find a suitable place to land. Anywhere that would offer shelter and protect them for just a moment. The first few places that beckoned to him, did not sit well inside his head for longer than a moment, so he dismissed them and continued his hovering.

When one dark, semi-circle was almost glossed over, the Dark Phoenix focused and transferred his energies there. It was a matter of seconds before he reappeared on the ground, the dark energies of his natural element spiraling over his form until it was entirely solidified, and the body cradled within his arms brought back as well. At his feet, a tiny wrapped package appeared last, and remained there as he moved forward, deliberately keeping away from it.

He suspended her in mid-air for a moment, rifling through his pack for the necessary items. A thick, warm blanket, the usual utensils required to prepare a meal, and a vial of twisted black glass, corked with a wooden stopper. These were quickly set out, the blanket spread upon the ground, the utensils put to the side and the vial uncorked for the contents to be used.

Lowering the body to the blanket, he tempered his energies with hers, working quickly as necessity demanded, but careful as his reputation allowed. She had attempted to heal herself once and for it, the healing energy he’d originally imparted to her, was now a torrid, tangled mess.

He physically recoiled from the backlash that threatened to sever the fragile life-force protected within the broken body. It took a moment of quiet mumblings to himself and then to reach for the vial. He poured the dark, sticky liquid into one hand and then rubbed both hands together.

One thumbprint was made on Eira’s forehead, the second on her chin. He continued down the rest of her body, placing points on the tattered overtunic, and ripped leggings. They would provide the points he needed for his healing to leave her untainted.

“For once, Lord,” He prayed aloud. “I would ask, why would you make me so dark that I cannot even heal without a precaution like this? How can I justify death when I have the means to prevent it within me?” One hand stuck to her boot and he grimaced, reaching for the vial again and pouring it liberally over the stuck fingers until they were again of his own movements.

Sitting back on his heels, he took a deep breath, focusing until it was even and matched with the faint touches of Eira’s own rhythms. “This will hurt, apprentice…” He told her, the sadness settling over him. “And I am sorry.”

There was absolutely nothing at all that happened for entirety of one minute, exactly.

And then the man sitting so straight, quiet and calm, dissolved into a swarming mass of pure, black energy.

Like a swarm of insects, the energy moved, swift and vicious, streaming immediately to the points originally placed around the body. The central focus was the thumbprint, another the heart, followed by the other vital organs, with secondary consideration given to the shattered bones.

Eira’s body was completely enveloped for scarcely a minute, before patches appeared, her face, first, partially covered, and then a hand, followed by her feet. It was another handful of excruciating minutes before the energy had done all it could in the search and repair mission set before it.

Slow as wax dribbling from a tall candle, the darkened energy crept away and back to the indentation on the ground where the man had sat before. As swiftly as he had dissolved, now the little black energy speckles surged upwards to rejoin.

When he could breathe again, naturally, the Dark Phoenix turned aside to cough, spitting out the darkened globs of the sticky brown liquid his body had used as reference points. One hand flickered with the usual bauble of energy as he burnt the mass, and then smoothed a hand over the blackened spot to revive the grass beneath it.

A shudder passed through him as he moved to retrieve another blanket, this time, carefully tucked around Eira, checking her pulse and temperature. Relief was visible in the faintest glimmer at the corner of his eye. “You will be fine.” He told her, tucking the blanket around her shoulders and smoothing the short, spiky hair away from her face. She hadn’t had the time to fix it into a style of any sort and now it was a strange sort of bush surrounding her head.

He almost smiled, but thought better of it. Her hair had meant a lot to her and he’d been blind about the connection between the emotional link to her powers and the physical link to her civilian life it had held. Something about it had reached deeper than he’d taken the time to puzzle through, it was more to her than just a vanity.

Another sigh found its way through his lips as he busied himself about the camp, setting up the fireplace and calling on his various mental points to retrieve the necessary items for a suitable dinner. He allowed himself to splurge on this, for Eira’s sake. She would have to eat something when he woke her and then he would have more than enough quiet time while the healing ran its course.

Tiny needles of guilt punctured the poorly crafted composure he’d called to his aid. He’d been careless and neglectful, deliberately wrapped up in his own habits and needs to recognize the pressure he’d set on an apprentice, far too early into her induction. Such a realization did little to improve his already darkened mood, as he tried to force his mind to shift gears and focus on the threat instead.

It reluctantly obeyed as his hands busied themselves with peeling vegetables and cutting green leaves into the little bubbling pot. The rock creature had known him and their animosity had spanned several years, such meetings were commonplace but never as it had been only moments ago. Deene had never attacked any apprentice or student under the Dark Phoenix’s protection, much less ever acknowledged them during one of their trademark meetings.

Questions and answers swirled through his head as the Dark Phoenix finally forced himself to stop thinking altogether and focus on the mind-numbing potential of peeling the vegetables with his knife. It was simple, methodical and useful.

It almost worked.

***********

Eira felt the fog shifting around her, pulsing and jabbing in places too tender to even think about. Pain seemed to be surrounding her like a loud roar of a waterfall, as there was nothing to make it stop, nothing to dull the senses and nowhere-or rather-no way to run away from it.

Her mouth seemed to be sealed shut, for absolutely no sound was heard from them that Eira could discern, though not for lack of trying. Her head hurt in the worst way possible, as if it had been diced in pieces with a strong blade and the pushed through a strainer of sorts, leaving her brain in a tangled mess elsewhere.

Such a mental picture did little in the way of optimism, so Eira tried again, doing her best to make her mind work past the pain and focus on the outside. She could hear faint mumblings after a great deal of concentration, and within several long, agonizing moments, could pick out words from the humming sounds.

“…I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have let my own needs come before your plans. My selfish ways are…”

“…please…heal her…it wasn’t right…Deene was wrong…”

“…the darkness is coming so quickly…I don’t…this time…too…late…”

The conversation made absolutely no sense at all, and the harder she tried to hear, the more confusing the words became. Because there was nothing else to do and no other way to distract the pain, Eira listened.

She heard quite an assortment of everything, it seemed, until one sentence caught her ear and registered, along with the scent of something deliciously edible, wafting through her consciousness.

“…and Father, please heal her. Please help her to cope with the pain…and side effects…everything…”

The voice faded away as the sound of scraping and banging replaced it. Eira lay, helpless, allowing her mind to connect more dots together. He was…praying for her? The thought didn’t seem to mesh right with everything else she had of him in her mind, so she tried to push it away, as the voice suddenly spoke from directly above her.

“Eira? You’re awake…much earlier than I thought…how are you feeling?” Hands were behind her head and shoulders, placing something soft and puffy behind them. A most agreeable headrest, as her eyelids refused to open, but her lips tried to move to say something in her own defense. “You don’t have to answer.” His voice was surprisingly gentle, more so than she had ever remembered it to be. “But you do have to eat something…I’ve put you through quite a healing trance…it’s going to last for a few days.”

Days? No! The thought registered, followed immediately by the realization that she was powerless to speak out about it. Pain…can’t take the pain…

“Hungry?”

The delicious scent wafted just below her nose, so close, she could have inhaled the sample right there. A touch of coolness passed through her, as if a bucket of water had been thrown across, and the splashes had graced her face. Her lips moved and her eyelids popped open, a breath caught between her throat.

“I thought so.” The Dark Phoenix smiled, holding a spoon out. “Open, chew…swallow.” He instructed.

Her mouth opened and the spoon went inside before she could formulate a proper sentence. The taste was even better than the tantalizing scent teasing her before, as the warm soup sloshed around her mouth and then slid down her throat. The moment her mouth opened again, the spoon was there, refilling it.

Eira didn’t know when she was full or when the spoons stopped coming, she was only aware of him turning away, the dirty dish in hand. He was probably going to go wash it. The fog was creeping back and she was finding she couldn’t fight it this time. The temporary mobility to her motor functions was fading away as she tried and succeeded in touching his arm with one finger.

His attention immediately shifted to her, the dish forgotten as he captured her hand in his. “Eira? Talk to me…”

The coolness traveled down her arm, through her shoulder, up her through and out of her mouth. “Hurts.” It wasn’t what she was planning to say, but the reality of it refused to be silenced.

An expression of sorrow etched itself across his tired face. “I know. I’m sorry. I can’t make the pain go away…but you won’t feel it when you’re sleeping again.”

“No…” She tried to protest, but couldn’t progress any further than the single negative.

“Yes.” He corrected. “You need to rest…”

She tried again, searching her mind for some way to make him understand that she didn’t want to go back to the fog, not back into the dark shadows that seemed to be hovering around her. “No.”

“It’s that bad?” He toyed with her thumb, tracing the outline of her fingernail. The steady stream of cool energy trickled from his touch into her body, allowing the speech to come more freely.

“Die.”

“Ah.” His mouth twitched. “The fear of dying, yes?” He smiled. “You’re not going to die…not this time, anyway. You're going to be just fine, in a few days this will be but a memory.”

“Sure?” The one word responses were forced to work, for the new energy wasn’t helping the sentences to make much sense in her head. Eira felt her eyelids drooping, threatening to close.

“I’m sure.”

A strong jolt of cool energy made her eyes open again as her hand went slack in his. “No?” She tried again.

He shifted, slowly, taking care not to jostle her with his own movement. Reaching behind him, he drew his pack and set it on her opposite side, tucking his cloak beside him when finished. “You’re between me and anything or anyone else out there…with one exception.” The smile was faint. “And that exception isn’t one that will hurt you. I promise, I will not let anything else happen to you, I will not let anyone touch you. You have my word for this, alright?”

Tears tried to come, but her body was too exhausted for a luxury such as that. Instead, her nose burned and her throat ached, the usual signs of waterworks to come as the fog reached in, teasing a little harder. “Okay.”

“Go to sleep, Eira.” The coolness began to fade. “I’ll be right here…”

© Sara Harricharan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New Posts (BBT)

Author’s Ramblings: Hi and welcome to the new year! If it hasn’t set in yet, then I feel a whole lot better knowing I have company and have not been the only one writing ’09 where it should be ’10. This year, I have decided with all the writing I manage to cram in through, around, on and in spite of my ridiculous schedule, that I can handle a few extra blog posts per week. While original thought is something I cherish and relish, I have decided to allow my brain specific times to think with some Memes, instead of constantly trying to wrestle a blog post out of it every other day. Currently, I’ve established Fridays are for Friday Fiction and Thursday will now be Booking Through Thursday, as I figure out what else goes where and for whatever reason, I’ll let you know. Thanks for supporting me in this past year and especially for your kind words of encouragement, which has so much to me. I will continue to do my best to produce and post interesting works of Christian fiction in additions to some new venues of Randomness. Anyway, my intent was to make this short enough so I could continue playing around with ideas for tomorrow’s Friday Fiction, so as books are like chocolate and I would like to share my first Booking Through Thursday with you. ^_^ Cheers!



What books did you get for Christmas (or whichever holiday you may have celebrated last month)?

Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake,
Received in the mail, won from a book giveaway by Shirley McClay. It was a really good book, as I had to read something in order to answer this Meme and sat down to start reading only to end up reading the entire thing. A hilarious read, featuring a classic southern belle style where the heroine’s outspoken nature is usually what keeps the entertainment coming and a strong hero, whose own weakness is something you can sympathize with.

Eight Cousins-Louisa May Alcott. I have read this several times and wanted my own copy. I now have it. Truly a classic from the excellent writer whose “Little Women” has inspired many readers in their childhood years and beyond. I was so thrilled to find this and to have my very own copy for reference.

Do you usually ask for books on gift-giving occasions or do you prefer to buy them yourself?

Sometimes, I will hunt through the bookstores, etc and the carry my shopping bounty to the person who owes me a present and ask if they would like to ‘help’. It usually works and both parties are satisfied all around, as they buy me something I really want and I have something I am actually going to read. Generally, I prefer to buy my own books or pick them out and have someone else buy them for me (after all, what is family for? ^_^).


Friday, January 1, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (part 19)


Author's Ramblings: Well, I promised I wouldn't hold onto to Eira's story for too long, so I won't bore you with thoughts for the New Year and other random musings. However, a quick thanks to all of my fans and readers for the encouragment this past year. I look forward to sharing my latest creations and characters with you in this upcoming year. May it be a wonderful, adventure-filled milstone in this lifejourney. I also had a few minutes to spare and worked out a general idea for Eira herself--seen at the left. Let me know what you think! Happy Reading! (and have a great weekend!) All comments and feedback appreciated. ^_^





In the time the terror took to patiently work its way into her mind, Eira found herself scrambling backwards on her hands and feet, until she touched something solid. A tree trunk. It was strong and steady enough to help aid her trembling limbs in raising her to a somewhat standing position.

The strange rock creature snarled in reply, visibly torn between the fallen body lying to the left and the trembling apprentice cornered at the right. The great, stone head creaked ominously, swinging from side to side before ending with a roar.

Eira felt the echo of it in the very back of her head. It released the headache that she thought had finally disappeared for good. It also freed the tender strings of her temper, rewarding her with a useful dose of adrenaline-summoned strength.

She tried again to use her gifts, struggling to push them past the thought of the fizzling, crackling sparks at her fingertips, which repeatedly amounted to absolutely nothing. Her efforts drew the attention of the creature as it lumbered towards the Dark Phoenix.

For a moment, their gazes fastened upon the other with a look akin to annoyance and a single attribute, accordingly. A tremor of fear was visible to the creature, and for Eira, she had the pleasure of viewing its annoyance. With another groaning to moaning sort of rumble, the creature halted in its path to roar again, deliberately in her direction.

It took that moment to set Eira’s head spinning further off than it had originally been. She watched, frozen, as the creature approached her master and knelt, crouching beside it. In the second one giant, stone arm raised upwards, Eira felt herself move.

“NO!” Her legs were moving, her hands were poised, Eira surged forward. She felt the energy within her—mere seconds before she collided with the creature, shoving with all her might. The fiery red sensation rippled upwards from the ground, racing until it traveled up her shoulders, and out through her palms. “Leave him ALONE!”

With a fury she hadn’t touched in years, Eira released every ounce of pent-up energy, fear and determination in the blast that left her hands, hurling the creature several feet to the side, slamming it into a nearby tree.

Her breath registered in short, excited gasps. Eira shook her head and then her hands. The tingling sensations dancing through them almost made her giddy. The moment passed and she rushed forward. “Master Phoenix?” She shook his shoulder, gently, hesitating. The blade stuck between his shoulders had been driven in to the hilt.

The wound wasn’t bleeding…and he wasn’t breathing.

Eira swallowed, forcing herself to keep calm as she reached for the blade, hearing the rumble behind her another moment too late. The fat, stone arm had somehow become slender and flexible. It wrapped around her shoulders, before curving upwards to her neck.

She scrabbled frantically for something to hold onto as the creature jerked her back. Her fingers found the blade and it came free as she was flung backwards into the air. The tree coming towards her was unforgiving.

Eira smashed into the trunk with a sickening crunch. She took a quick inventory of her body, logically writing off things like the inability to move her left arm and the pain twisting deeper within her neck and back.

Out of habit, her working, right hand, fisted and she drew on her strength and energy to bring the fist to the side of her neck and tap. The spiral of healing energy circled through, and feeling returned to her limbs, the pains fading as she drew herself up, leaning against the very tree that had nearly killed her.

Almost.

She was slipping away, back into the realms where things didn’t matter and her powers were free to do as they pleased. Eira didn’t try to fight them, because she couldn’t. It was too much to fight herself and the creature, that was once again charging towards her.

For the moment where she saw, clearly, the crazed black eye set in stone, Eira didn’t doubt that it would kill her, if given another chance. The red fire burned within and she braced herself, arms moving upwards.

She would not give it this chance.

The tree did little to cushion the impact.

Eira found herself sprawled out on the ground again, this time, awkwardly braced with wooden beneath her and the stone creature above. A cry of pain wrenched free as the creature stomped downwards on one bruised leg.

The words that left her mouth were blurred and unintelligible, as Eira drew harder on the red energy to create a barrier between her head and the stone hands hammering down on her. She heard her bones crunching as the creature settled over her. The pain was gone, for the energy always spared her that much.

Each blow rained upon the thin red energy disc, brought a ripple of energy and a tiny splinter at the edge of her shield. Eira licked her lips, feeling the fading, fuzzy feeling beginning.

Fresh panic raced through her mind and registered somewhere short of her logical reasoning. Another wave of blind fury hit and Eira rolled with it. She was jerked upwards, to a sitting position as her arms pushed forward, shoving with all her might.

The creature stumbled backwards, bracing against the energy onslaught, when Eira accepted the next wave and pushed it outward. It radiated from her in a constant barrage, unrelenting as it bombarded the creature, forcing it back.

Tremors in the ground shocked her enough to cause a hiccup in the steady waves, Eira felt herself falling backwards, the short distance to the ground. Attempts to move her lower extremities were rather useless, as the shaking ground, caused her headache to grow worse.

A roar sounded and Eira stared, helplessly, as the creature suddenly appeared, airborne—and directly over her body. There was no time to scream, no time to pray and absolutely no time at all for her life to review itself in seconds.

She flinched, shrinking back to the ground, drawing whatever reserves of the precious energy left, to attempt to shield her body from a final death blow. Her mind was cold, precise and logical.

She was going to die. A hiccup escaped.

And there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.

The shadow grew larger, the creature looming as it closed the distance between them.

In the moment where she would have closed her eyes, Eira heard a new sound and saw something she couldn’t place at all.

A terrible, anguished wailing sort of scream burst through the air as a giant shadow of black streaked across, through the air and slamming the creature easily to the side, in one swift movement.

Life was a gift too sweet to savor in that moment. Eira hiccupped again, feeling the energy still sparking over her body and knowing the shaking would begin within seconds. It had been too much in too short a time. Perhaps living still wasn’t an option for her.

“Ian?” Someone was speaking, to her left. “Can you hear me? Please…” The voice was burdened with guilt and tinged with fear. “I know you’re alive…this can’t be…I’m sorry I couldn’t…”

There was nothing more.

The rumbling roar sounded again.

Fear slithered through, gnawing within her, effectively distracting her from the pain now settling in. Eira tried to make her mouth work, tried to make her lips move to warn the person to look behind them.

Another tremor shook the ground, and her head limply fell to the left, giving an excellent view to the action taking place. The person speaking had been the Dark Phoenix himself. He was alive and breathing, now walking fearlessly forward to meet the charging rock beast.

His expression was darker than anything Eira had ever witnessed in him before. He moved with a cool calmness around him, igniting the power within, as causally as if it was merely an accessory than necessity. The black fire pooled at his fingertips and crackled throughout his entire body in powerful, rippling waves.

One hand moved upwards and the other backwards. The Dark Phoenix settled easily into a stance and held it. The creature was stopped by one finger and violently flung backwards with a tilt of the head.

Several gaping holes were cleared through the greenery, squawks from wildlife now voicing their unrest and protest to the sudden change in their homes. A pile of debris was formed behind the creature from the deep furrows in the ground, which had slowed the fall, now serving as a brace. The creature pushed off and rushed forward once more.

This time, the Dark Phoenix stepped aside and caught it about the head. With one arm secure around the neck, he slammed the creature down to the ground. The head was wrenched off with one hand and the rest of it was quick work. Within seconds, all that remained was a heap of stones in all shapes and sizes.

Dusting his hands, the Dark Phoenix circled the pile, drawing the toe of one boot through the ground, to create a visible circle. Then, he rooted through the pile, as if searching for the vital pieces and then threw those as far away as he could.

Once through, he soon returned, his boots stopping inches away from her face before he knelt beside her. His hands were cool and efficient, checking her pulse, unbuttoning her collar and clearing away the debris on her. “Ian?” He whispered. “I need you to retract your energy…I can’t help you with mine, until yours is gone.”

Eira couldn’t answer. The shaking was starting and the tears wouldn’t be far behind. She no longer had any kind of control over her powers, nor of her body, for that matter.

Something fizzled and crackled. The first splinters of pain shot through, registering in the places where it hurt the most. For a moment, the pain was too much to bear, the screams welled and died within her throat as Eira gasped to breathe and then to wish she was dead. A sudden, blissful coolness spread through her as quickly as the pain had come and then her limbs relaxed, now slack.

The ground was colder than the feeling that was steadily trickling through her, slowly, carefully repairing the damage done. Shivers now mixed with the shakes as Eira wished for everything her mind could fathom at that moment. Most of them centered around normality, reality and hearing her name aloud.

The tears fell, finally and freely, as the Dark Phoenix gathered her up in his arms, his energy wrapping protectively around her. He cradled her head close to his neck, his breathing an even, soothing sound. His voice was a murmur as he whispered and mumbled, words she couldn't hear, but a feeling that was familiar.

He was praying.

Another shudder passed through and she didn’t feel him move, didn’t feel him walk. Cold air rushed and snapped about the exposed side of her face, then tickled her neck and hands. The thought that they could have been flying registered for a moment and then the blackness beckoned to her and she faded away.

© Sara Harricharan