Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The letter

This week's prompt from the Red Dress Club was intriguing, so I tried my hand at it.

 "You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life--whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or your character?  What is done with it?

"Keep your posts to 600 words and come back and link up on Friday, July 1st!"

Here's the background on this. I took characters from my NaNoWriMo novel, which I am currently revising, and put together a scene. It turns out this scene fits really well into the story, so I am actually adding it.... to the final chapter. So, if you are in my writing group or otherwise don't want the story spoiled, you've been warned. This will spoil several surprises.

     The telling of the tale didn’t take very long. When all was done, the fact remained that Crofter’s Edge was just as bare as when Alyth left.

     “Did you know abut the dragons, Grandmother?” Alyth asked. Her grandmother hadn’t seemed surprised to meet Rillen and Dargon, unlike her grandfather, who was still speechless.

     “I did, but…. I didn’t really believe it. And it didn’t matter anyway. At least, I thought it didn’t,” Grandmother admitted, rising from her chair. She crossed the room, pausing in the doorway to her bedroom. Her gaze rested on Rillen a moment before flickering back to meet Alyth’s eyes. “I have something to show you.”

     Grandmother disappeared into her room. They all waited quietly, the sounds of shuffling and scraping in the next room breaking the silence. Just as Alyth’s curiosity became too much, Grandmother emerged, gingerly holding a folded piece of yellowed paper.

     “Is that…?” Rillen caught her breath, unable to finish her question.

     Grandmother met Rillen’s eyes and nodded as she handed the brittle sheet to Alyth. Alyth hesitated a moment, frowning as tears appeared in Rillen’s eyes. She looked down at the paper in her hands, carefully unfolding it.

     “Its a letter,” she told Dargon and her grandfather. “Written in a very elegant hand,” she added. She read it silently to herself, then cleared her throat to read it aloud.

                “My dearest, beloved Suva,

                “I want you to know first that you and your father are the best things that ever   
                happened to me. You may not believe me, but it is true. I don’t want to leave but I  
                must. There are so many things I need to tell you. I hope you will believe me.

               “I once was a dragon. The wheres and why-fors of how that all changed are too
               complicated to explain. But the fact remains, and so you, too, carry dragon blood in 
               your veins. 

               “The dragon blood is where your special gift comes from. It’s something to be proud 
               of but not everyone will understand. That’s also where you get your glorious red hair.  
               That’s important, because you can identify your dragon kin by their red or black hair.

               “But that’s not the most important thing. What you need to know is why I must 
               leave. You see, dragons live a very long time. You must have noticed that I look 
               much younger than your friends’ mothers.

               “I can’t answer their questions, thus I must leave. That’s what my life has become: 
               always moving on. Except here. I stayed here and fell in love and raised a wonderful 
               daughter. I forgot myself for a time.

               “You need to know and understand this because I don’t want you to hate me. But 
               more importantly you need to know this because I don’t know if you will one day 
               need to leave for the same reason.

               “I never meant for all this to happen, but I wouldn’t trade you for anything.

               “With all my love, your mother,


Alyth wiped her eyes as she finished. She looked up to see Rillen with tears streaming down her cheeks. 


  1. Oooo. I love fantasy. One cocrit: "tears streaming down her cheeks" it's a chiche. Over used word constructio at least. You can say that better. But I love the dialogue. What a fun story!

  2. Ooh- emotional drama? I'm so in!

    I loved words like gaze, flickering, brittle.

    Also? I adore that you used the prompt to push your WIP forward- genius!


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