Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

So, whatcha writin’ in that NaNoWriMo thing, anyway? July 11, 2013

In November, when I was actually on track with my NaNo writing, I had a few gems that still make me happy. This book is now with the editor (who has gone to Europe for 2 weeks, and abandoned me!) Thought I’d share this with you, in the hopes that it will inspire today’s Camp NaNo efforts to get more than 500 words a day, which is all I’ve been managing so far! (Arg). Enjoy.

Shawn L. Bird

Thought you might like to see what’s coming along.  Ben is now at University of Calgary with his friends Paul and Ryan.  (Craigie Hall is the music building). Grace is living in the Shuswap with her Auntie Bright.  If you’re new to the story, you should know that Grace and Ben are connected telepathically.  Ben is the earthly realm form of the demi-god Orpheus.  He’s narrating.

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I was walking down a corridor in Craigie Hall when a stab of pain crashed into my head.  I staggered into the wall, and grabbed for support.

A girl rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”

I shook my head, gasping, and she guided me to a bench.  I dropped my head between my knees.  “I’ll be okay.  It’s fine.”  The pain wasn’t mine, it was reverberating from Grace.  She didn’t know yet how to completely control her side of our connection.  Her…

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living dangerously- the latest NaNo snippet November 28, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

Things are heating up!

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I don’t care how nice her shoes are, she’s stupid.” Tanis said, clenching her teeth as she set her cafeteria tray down on the table.

“I’m sure she doesn’t mean anything by it,” Georgia said, sliding in beside her.

Tanis’s eyes flashed.  “I think she definitely means something by it.”  She glared at Georgia, “You should be worried.  It is your boyfriend she was just making out with.”

Georgia shrugged.

“Ryan is no Ben, Georgia.  He was kissing her back.  You understand that, don’t you.”

Paul looked at me, but I just shrugged.  I wasn’t wading into the middle of this debate.

I looked around for Grace, but there was no sign of her.  I sat down beside Paul.

“I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation, Tanis.  Ryan isn’t stupid.”

Tanis snorted.

Georgia inhaled and looked over at me.  “Tell them, Ben.”

“Why do you think I know something?”

“You always seem to have an inside track.  People talk around you.  So?  What do you know?”

I shrugged.  “I have no idea what is going on with Misty.”

“It’s like she’s turned into someone else,” muttered Paul.  “Some crazy nymphomaniac or something.”

I lifted a brow at that.  There were certainly draughts and spells that could do that.  Who would be behind it, though?

“You’re thinking love potion, perhaps?” Tanis said, rolling her eyes.

Ryan slid onto the seat next to Paul and leaned across the table to Georgia, “Now before you condemn me, hear me out.”

Tanis gave him a ‘let me scrap you off the bottom of my shoe, first’ look.

He was focused on Georgia, as if the rest of us weren’t there.

“I don’t have a thing for Misty.”

“You’ll make out with anything with breasts, you pig,” said Tanis.

Georgia scowled at her.

“Maybe even without breasts,” Paul observed nonchalantly.

Ryan scowled at him, then turned back to Georgia.  “I don’t know what happened.  I was just minding my own business, and suddenly there was a tongue in my mouth!”

Tanis scoffed.  “Right.  Like that’s possible.”

I coughed, “Actually…”

Tanis shook her head.  “You saw him.  He was kissing her back.”

“I couldn’t help it!” Ryan exclaimed, wide-eyed.  “I did it automatically.  It’s not as if I like her or anything!”

“You are so dead,” muttered Paul with a whistle.

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NaNoWriMo day 28: 3006 words  (November total: 44,012)

NaNoWriMo day 29: 3002 words (November total: 47,014)

This is a ridiculous pace!  Working all day and writing for 4 or 5 hours off and on all evening is exhausting!  Only 2986 tomorrow to finish the challenge though!  Yay! 🙂

 

Another Orpheus visit to the Other Realm November 27, 2012

Here’s a chunk from today’s NaNoWriMo scribblings.  I confess that I have lost a bit of inspiration about what’s going on in Grace Awakening Destiny, (Book 4) I’ve decided that any novel writing counts, so long as it’s new writing.  I have some holes I want to patch in Grace Awakening Myth, (Book 3)  and here is a patch for your entertainment:

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“ARES! I shouted.  “Get out here, you coward!”  I stomped in a circle around a foggy clearing, trying to force it into something less ethereal.

“Shouting is so immature, Orpheus,” declared a bored feminine voice, manifesting a throne behind her..  “Aren’t you a little old for such theatrics?”  She looked down her elegant nose and then added, “But of course, you’re all about the theatre, aren’t you?”

“Hera.  Isn’t Ares a little old to be sending his mommy out to fight his battles?”

She smiled, but it was a dangerous thing, like the tantalizing blossom of a poisonous plant.  “My son is busy right now.  Unlike you, he has important things to do.”

“Your definition of important and mine are rather different.  What is he doing?  Is he fueling some holy war or training up Middle Eastern terrorists?  Doesn’t the Earthly Realm deserve a break from war?”

“The humans don’t want a break from war, silly boy.  Giving up war would mean giving up their quest for wealth and power.  Humans are all about power.  They all want to be in control.  They get it by buying favour.  They get it by killing little men, so they can crawl on their backs, to attain what the little men don’t even dare to dream about.  Their glory is being trodden upon by those climbing over their pathetic lives.  They’re just ants, Orpheus.  And if Ares wants to play with his magnifying glass, why should anyone stop him?  It’s all humans are good for, after all, entertaining us.”  She shrugged, dismissing the entire human race with the slightest of movements of her shoulder.

“My wife isn’t an ant.  My friends aren’t ants.”  I said.

“Wife?” she laughed.  “Now you imagine that she’s your wife?  I seem to recall that she is the prize of whoever wins this challenge, and victory is very unlikely to be yours.  She is not ever going to be your wife again.”  She stepped closer to me, and stared with eyes of ice.  “My son is a god of war, Orpheus,” she spat.  “He is not one of your pathetic little musician friends.  He is not a dancing girl like those Graces.”  She curled her lips and snarled.  “He is powerful, and you will not defeat him.  Now go!  Return to those pathetic creatures and their pathetic lives.  You are not worthy to be in this realm.”

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NaNoWriMo Day 27 total: 4118  (November total 41,006)

Writing furiously this evening, after a raff of medical appointments today.

 

inspirational kids October 10, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,Grace Awakening Myth — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:11 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve already told you that I occasionally use the names of my students (with their permission, of course) in my stories.   The characters are not representations of their namesakes; they have their own adventures, conflicts, and personalities which are completely distinct.  Still, sometimes the fictional and real have the odd thing in common.

For example, in Grace Awakening Myth there’s a character called J-Roy.   You learned the other day that J-Roy dances, is athletic, and looks great in a unitard.

The real J-Roy is also pretty tough.  Look who’s a head-liner in a local mixed martial arts fight? Uh huh.  Ben desperately needs all the help he can get.  I wonder if J. Roy will give him fighting lessons? 😉

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HELP! Which start is your favourite? October 7, 2012

I’m unhappy with the opening to Grace Awakening Myth.  I need something strong , intriguing and compelling.

I’m brainstorming, and would appreciate some feedback from you!  Here are six versions of the first 100 words or so.  Version one is the original.  Which do you think is the strongest option?  Can you identify why it appeals to you?  Would you mix components of a couple of the options?  Please leave your observations in the comment section below.   (Though I see many of you are using Facebook, and that’s all right as well).  Thanks for your help!

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Version 6:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like a missile shot from a catapult, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

I stared at her  as the words ricocheted through my head, smashing through my consciousness, crushing my hopes, and destroying my future.

Finally, I sputtered, “What did you say?”  It couldn’t be true.  She couldn’t have said what I heard.

Aphrodite stood, her back to the temple columns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 5:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like the sound of crashing swords, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

Finally, I gasped, “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 4:

Aphrodite was watching me with a solemnly pitying expression as I came over the hill.  She leaned languidly against a pillar, golden hair flowing around her in waves, waiting.

She made me nervous.  I bowed low.  “You wished to speak to me?”

She nodded, stepping forward and straightening into a formal posture. “I am to inform you, that this is the girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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Version 3.

Aphrodite leaned against the temple column and watched me warily.  “Did you hear what I said, Orpheus?”

I bowed respectfully, shaking my head.  I had heard, but I wished fervently that I hadn’t.

“I said, this is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

.

Version 2:

Aphrodite’s words sliced into me like a sword and I wheezed, feeling the blood rush from my face as the pain of them slashed through me.  “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

.

 Version 1:

“Orpheus!  Come here.  I need to talk to you.”  Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.

I didn’t like the expression on her face.  I bowed respectfully, “Yes?”

“This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

.

(FYI- this is what follows the above…)

That girl.  She tossed the words like Grace was of no consequence.  The girl I had followed through time, the girl who made my life complete, and gave me music.  The girl who could save all that was good in the world.  The girl I was waiting for.  My heart started to pound.  “Where is she?”

She shook her head.  “I’m not allowed to say; you know that.”

“I was told Canada.  In Calgary.”

Her eyes widened and she tilted her head, but she made no comment.

The eyes were enough confirmation.  At least I didn’t have to scan the entire population of the planet.  I only needed to find Grace among the million or so residents of Calgary.  I’d come to the city a couple of years before on a tip, and had settled myself into high school there.  My informant had assured me that Grace would show up there eventually, but I had reached my final year in high school without any sign of her.  I’d begun to doubt, but Aphrodite’s alarmed surprise was enough evidence that I was in the right place.  I would try to be patient.

 

heat in the band room June 14, 2012

The latest snippet from Grace Awakening Myth

Things are heating up in the band room!  (Ben is narrating).

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Ryan came in.  “Did you see Tanis?”   His eyes were wild.

“When?”

“Today.  She’s wearing something.”

“I should hope so.  Otherwise she’d be arrested.”

He shook his head, as if to shake out an image, “No, I mean, she’s wearing some…thing.  Ahhh.”  He shook harder, then hissed, “Look!”

Tanis sauntered in.  She was definitely wearing ‘something,’ all right.  Skin tight.  Mini-dress.  Black leather.

Ryan cast a frantic look over to Mr. J.  Mr. J glanced back and raised an eye brow.

Paul came in, grinning.

Tanis glanced over her shoulder and then bent over.

Paul sucked in his breath.

Ryan gulped.  Loudly.  Like he had swallowed his tongue.

“Tanis,” Mr. J called.  “I need to see you over here, please.”

She grinned at us, our jaws hovering somewhere around our navels, and gave a little shoulder wiggle as she passed us.

Mr. J spoke to her quietly.

She shrugged and left the room.

He came over to us.  “For whose benefit was that display, gentlemen?”

“I…uh…well…” Ryan stuttered.

Paul twitched, but didn’t seem to have the capacity of speech anymore.

I inhaled.  “It’s complicated, sir.”

 

sewing with words June 10, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening Myth,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:20 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

When I write, I craft individual scenes.  When I have enough of them, I sort them out and put them in order, then I write the ‘in betweens’ that fill out the plot and ensure comfortable transitions, proper development of tension, etc.  After than comes the editing and additional padding or trimming that make things tidy.

It’s a bit like making a quilt of words.   First are the blocks, individual chunks, that are arranged into an attractive pattern.  They don’t stay together, though until they’re backed, and stitched down.

So, I’m quilting the final stitches in the third book of the series, Grace Awakening Myth today.  I think I’ll be done by bedtime.   Then off it will go to the first round of beta readers who will see if they find any holes in the structure and composition.  I’ll darn up what I need to, and then it will head off to the editor, who will trace the pattern for the final quilting.  When it’s all done, the next adventure will begin!

Another couple thousand words to stitch, and this word quilt will be done.

 

Another snippet of book 3 February 16, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Grace Awakening Myth,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:08 pm
Tags: ,

I was wondering today just what choir class was like for Ben.  Strangely enough, a window promptly opened, and here’s what I know now.

Meg eyed us suspiciously as Paul, Ryan and I came into the band room for choir.
“What’s this? A trio of fools?”
Ryan grinned at her. “Fools for love! Valentine’s Day approaches. Will you be my Valentine, Meg?”
Her expression gentled into a soft amusement. “Oh? Are you serious?”
He shook his head adamantly, “Not even vaguely. Are you kidding? You’re a black widow spider. Do I look suicidal?”
Her eyes narrowed.
Paul punched Ryan in the arm. “Apparently you are! Why would you say something like that?” His voice was low and he watched Meg warily.
She spun on her heels and joined the other altos
Ryan shrugged and continued, “Maybe I feel like living dangerously.” He glanced over at Tanis.
Paul grabbed his arm, “Oh, man. Don’t do it. Tanis is deadly.”
Ryan smirked, “Dynamite is deadly and dangerous, too, but it can be a wonderful thing when handled properly.”
“You think you can handle Tanis properly?”
Ryan winked, “Watch and learn, Paul. Watch and learn.”
Mr. Johnson clapped his hands, “Come on people! Let’s get going. Do you have the ‘Titanic’ score, ready?”
There was a flurry of papers as everyone lined up in sections and readied themselves for warm-up.
Ryan smiled at Tanis.
She wrinkled her brows as she smiled back automatically.
“Ben, give me a C?” I stepped over to the piano and struck middle C, then the octave below, then both together before returning to my spot. The class found their notes and Mr. J. directed us up and down the scales.
I watched Ryan as we sang. He kept catching Tanis’ eye. The first time she met it blankly, without interest.
He winked.
She blinked, and hastily glanced back to Mr. J. A few bars later, she looked back.
Ryan stared at her as he sang, “love can touch us…”
She blushed, looking away again, but moments later her gaze had wandered back.
He smiled dreamily at her as he sang, “You’re here in my heart.”
She inhaled, losing her pitch momentarily before returning his gaze as she sang, “You’re safe in my heart.”
They stared at each other, oblivious to the rest of the class as the final chord reverberated around us. As the notes died out, Ryan nodded at her.
Tanis nodded back.
They broke their gazes, and Ryan nudged Paul, whispering, “See? Putty in my hands. It’s all about crafting the moment. We’ll be telling our grandchildren about this.”
Ryan grunted and looked over to me in disgust.
I grinned, “What can I say? It’s the music. It does it every time.”
“It does, does it?” Meg’s eyes were narrow as she sidled up to us. “You’re sure of that, are you?”
“What do you mean, Meg?” Paul asked. “It seems to be working for Ryan.”
She sneered, “It might work for him, but he’s not the only one relying on the technique.” She stared maliciously at me.
I swallowed, bile rising up my throat like fire.
Paul shook his head, “Meg, Meg, Meg. Don’t be a hater.”
“You’re one to talk.” She raised her eyebrows, glancing at Tanis.
“Well, one traumatic experience shouldn’t turn you off love forever.”
Nonetheless, I noticed he crossed his legs somewhat nervously as he looked over to Tanis.
Ryan had wandered over to Tanis and said something that made her giggle and flutter her eyelashes at him.
I shook my head and muttered, “We should be taking lessons from him.”
Paul nodded. “Things not going well with Grace these days?”
I sighed. “Not particularly well, No.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
I shrugged. “She’s stubborn.”
“Maybe you’re trying too hard?”
I watched Tanis and Ryan flirting at the door, she punched him playfully in the bicep. He made a melodramatic gesture of agony and then pointed at his arm insistently. She shook her head, blushing, but as the bell rang, she quickly stood on tip toe and kissed the bicep. Ryan swoon and grabbed his heart. She giggled and headed out the door, tossing a coquettish look over her shoulder.
Ryan swung around and returned to us, grinning broadly. “She adores me.”
Paul shook his head doubtfully. It always starts well.”
“Not always,” I grumbled.
Paul clamped an arm around my shoulders. “Cheer up, Ben. She’ll come around eventually.”
Meg caught my eye and shook her head, mouthing, “No. She won’t.”

 

another snippet February 12, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Grace Awakening Myth — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:41 pm
Tags:

from Grace Awakening Myth.  This is part of the J-Roy and Misty sub-plot.
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I have to do what?” Paul asked, mouth agape.
“Come on man. You know you’ve always wanted to.”
“I wanted to date Georgia. I have definitely not wanted to take dance.”
“You’ll have fun. You’ll see Georgia every day.”
He sighed and rolled his eyes. “I’ll think about it.”
“Think about Georgia, wrapped in your arms, swaying to a slow dance, smiling up at you.”
Paul’s eyes glazed over and a sappy grin oozed across his face.  He stood there frozen.
I waited for a minute or two before I called him back from the vision. “Paul? Yo! Paul!”
“Hmm? Oh. Right.”
“So you’ll do it?”
He sighed again. “I’ll make an appointment with a counsellor.”
“Great.”
“Wait, Ben. I just thought of something.”
“What?”
“Tanis isn’t in that class, is she?”
“Tanis?” I said innocently.
“You know. Tanis the Terrible. My ex-girlfriend? The one who promised to remove my testicles and serve them pickled as an hors d’oeuvre at the next Grad parent meeting?”
“Oh, right. That Tanis.”
“Make sure she’s not in the class.” He shifted a little, crossing his legs protectively. “She would not appreciate watching me practise my moves on Georgia.”
“Probably not,” I agreed. “If she is in the class, is there any other option?”
“Like what?”
“What if I can neutralize her?”
“Neutralize.” He smirked. “I like the sound of that. Sure. Neutralizing her will be fine as well.” He shut his locker and chuckled as he turned to go, muttering, “Neutralize her, Captain!”

 

Kharon drops in January 24, 2012

Further to my determination to squeeze out some writing or die trying, I thought I’d share the day’s efforts on Grace Awakening Myth (Book 3 of 4 in the Grace Awakening series).  It’s a first draft, remember.  To be honest, there are already some changes, but you’ll get the idea.  This is 1230 words.  My goal is about 1200 a day, (5 pages) or 6000 words (25 pages) a week.  That was the pace for the first 2 books in the series. 

As I sat down to write, the image in my head was of blackness.  I wrote about that while wondering exactly why it was so black, and then Kharon walked in… 

Truly, I just take dictation.  The story is just floating out there, waiting for me to listen to it.  Ben is narrating.

It’s a black night, Stygian black, as they say. That’s very black. The River Styx drifts, black as crude oil, roiling and burbling with the murmuring sibilance of thousands upon thousands of lost voices. Its thick waters seem to suck the light from the sky, and leave all around it in an inky grey wash. Kharon the boatman floats along on his ferry, pole in hand, pushing it away from the banks, gathering the departing souls and taking them safely to Hades, for the price of a coin, of course. He shows up at the stops to collect what Hermes has dropped off: the confused half-shadows, some still not quite aware that they are ghosts, reclaimed from new graves. The shades dazedly cough up their coin, and they load into the ferry as Hermes waves to them heartily and wishes them luck on the next part of their journey like some jolly tour guide. Hermes can be quite an ass. The vacuous faces hardly stir in response, though. Those without a coin are on their own to get across the Styx. If you’re on your own, you’re not going to make it across. Simple.

I shivered at the memory of that blackness and the descent into the sucking void of the underworld. This was earth though, and not the underworld. This was Grace, not Eurydice. It was a Stygian black night, though, and the oppressive gloom was creeping into my gut.

“Hey, there. Ben is it?” The low voice held a faint glimmer of amusement.

“Hello Kharon.” I nodded courteously, recognising him at once. Had my thoughts summoned him? Or was this dismal atmosphere a result of his presence? “What brings you here? You’re a little far from the river.”
“Not so far. A guy needs a bit of a break from water now and then, after all. The river flows where it needs to. It’s near enough that I can step ashore for a moment.” He looked around with interest. “I thought I’d come have a chat with you.”

“With me?” My heart stopped for a moment. “I’m honoured, of course,” I said with a polite incline of my head, “but…uh…why?”

He smiled. His long nose and slightly blue tinged skin made it a rather eerie expression. Though it was probably meant to be reassuring, it made him look a trifle morose. It didn’t lighten the mood, at any rate.

I waited while he stood ponderously thinking. His thoughts seemed to move like he was punting through them with the stick he used on the ferry. They moved slowly and methodically in one direction. Patiently was the only way to communicate with Kharon. He would not be rushed.

Finally he said, “It’s about the girl.”

I took a deep breath. “Which girl? Grace?”

He shook his head. “No. The other one.”

“Other one?”

“From before. You know. The snake bit her, and you went to Hades to try to get her out? You snuck by the dog with some singing and got everyone down there all in a mush of sentimentality with your music, and they let you take her. But something happened and she had to stay, after all.”

“I looked back.” I whispered, suddenly cold.

“Ah.” Kharon nodded sagely. “Oh right. Looking back can cause a lot of problems for a person, can’t it?”

“Apparently.” I tried to bite back the sarcastic tone in response to his unintentional understatement.

“Yeah. Well. She was at the river bank the other day when I went by, and she asked me to give you a message.”

I swallowed. Then swallowed again. My mouth was the Sahara all of a sudden. I croaked, “She asked you…to give me a message.” She had never tried to communicate with me before. Why did she need to send a message now? What did she know?

He nodded in confirmation at my dazed expression, then after making sure that I was paying attention he looked up, as if trying to recall her exact words. He cleared his throat and intoned, “She said, ‘If you have a chance to see my love, when you’re above. Tell him that the song has many verses, some rich with hate and curses, but that he deserves whatever joy, that girl can give a boy.’”

“She rhymed it?”

He shrugged. “I think she thought it’d help me remember.”

“Oh.”

“I think she misses you,” he added. “She looked sad.”

“She’s been in the underworld for a couple of thousand years. Of course she’s sad.”

Kharon shrugged again. “Not everyone is. They get used to it. Everyone has to be there eventually after all.”

“I suppose.” It hurt to think about Eurydice. It hurt to remember that my failure doomed her to that two thousand years in the underworld. She wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t been inept. My failure. Mine. It wasn’t Kharon’s fault. “Thanks for passing along the message.”

He nodded. “I think she was afraid Hermes wouldn’t deliver it and Iris doesn’t have reception there.”

“Oh yes. Of course not. I appreciate you taking the effort.”

He stood waiting for something, with a studied nonchalance.

“Oh, wait.” I rummaged in my pockets and studied the coins. “I don’t have anything ancient. Will a twonie do?”

He eyed the polar bear on the two dollar coin dubiously. “A little on the cheap side, but whatever. Next time we meet in the Other Realm, you can top it up.” His mouth twitched in something that might have been a good-humoured smirk, but might not.

I chose to interpret it positively. “Thank you, Kharon.”

He started to stroll off with that particular, unsteady gait of sailors walking on land, and then looked back over his shoulder, “You take good care of that new girl, you hear? Don’t let looking back blind you to the possibilities ahead of you. What you’ve done before doesn’t have to bind your future.”

His words hit me like an arrow and I reverberated for a moment from the impact. When I went to answer him, he’d disappeared. With him went to ominous atmosphere of blackness, and I was able to take a deep breath again. The fresh air oxygenated my lungs and cleared my head, but his message sat heavily on my heart.

I thought of Eurydice from time to time, of course. If I was being honest with myself, it was her that made me most anxious about Grace. Eurydice was my first and greatest failure. My first love, my first wife, symbolized such an essential lack in my character that any thought of her ensured my elemental humility, despite the loud accolades about my brilliant talent. Such bone deep awareness of inadequacy is not overcome. Ever.

It is also why I am afraid that I won’t be able to protect Grace this time.

I’ll tell you a secret. I’m pretty sure that it is also why they appointed me her guardian. They don’t expect me to succeed. They think that it will appear they’re giving her a guard, when I’m actually so useless that she is doomed.
I know it.

I know it, and despite being overwhelmed with the awareness of my own inadequacies I am so damned full of pride that I’ll risk it anyway, rather than let Mars or Alexandros have the job. What kind of fool’s paradox is that?

Mine.

 

 
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