Got 753 words on The Emerald Sun today. Not the thousand I was shooting for, but I’m having to step back into a world I haven’t lived in for over a decade, and finding my way is tough.
But, in FIRST DRAFT (which… DISCLAIMER: May contain bugs, which WILL change in revision, and for which I do not need any notice of typos or other errors, because first draft is not the place where you deal with those) this is how the story starts.
When you’re safe and comfortable, when you’re warm and dry and well-fed, time has a way of slipping away from you. Of drifting through a day, and then a season, and if you’re not careful, through a whole life.
In the Audiomaerist’s house, it was easy to feel safe. I got to eat delicious food, to listen to the dragon telling stories of the days when the skies were darkened by mighty flocks of creatures like him; to work in the garden planting and harvesting the Audiomaerist’s food; to know that the woman-shaped creature who gave shelter to Yarri the nightling, Doyati the mystery, my brother Danrith, the cat who is not a cat, and me — for the dragon needed no shelter — could keep us safe.
And through a span that wrapped a summer, an autumn, and a winter in it, we lived in her high house away from everyone, and earned our keep with chores and our skills — I spun yarn and knitted her a sweater as fine as any Mama could have made, Danrith tended her accounts, Yarri went out at night and brought back items she requested, and the cat killed her mice.
But… one spring morning I woke and smelled change.
The smell became a tiny dread that crawled up my spine and down into my belly, that woke me and sent me shivering out of my bed, rolled me to my bare feet on the cold floor and into my clothes, and then into silently waking the others.
It’s easy to fall into comfort, and hard to willingly fall out, but when Danrith started to protest that it was dark and he was sleepy, I shushed him and in his ear murmured, “Dress. Make no sound.”
When I shook Yarri awake, I said simply, “We have to go. Now.”
The Cat had been asleep on my head, so he did not need to be told. He simply waited by a wall, watching me, saying nothing.
My brother and Yarri dressed hurriedly, silently.