Something to do

Okay, here’s a website that has writing prompts, or exercises. I’ll play and put the results here. Let’s see what happens…

The prompt/exercise reads, “A character in your fiction (or someone in real life including yourself ) is in a situation where they need to be forgiven– or are asked to forgive someone else. Does the foregiveness happen?  This could take the form of someone musing or remembering or a fully dramatized scene with dialogue.”

Very interesting concept. I’ll be back in a bit with something. Talk amongst yourselves.

Okay, here goes. This is from Rayne’s childhood/young adult story, Windhorses. Almost the end of the story; she’s back from her adventures in the mountains and feels the need to make amends with her brother. This is the beginning of that process.

Windhorses, copyright 2008, Debi Matlack. Posted for sharing and critique purposes only. Does not constitute publication.

Sunlight streamed through the windows and through Rayne’s closed eyelids, rousing her from an exhausted slumber. Her eyes opened and she blinked in confusion, wondering if she was dreaming of home again, as she had done so often over the past several weeks. A touch on the blanket convinced her she wasn’t dreaming this time. Her fingers found the cat, curled against her side, chest rising and falling with a tiny sigh each time. If Rayne was dreaming, it was a vivid vision. Sophie woke at her touch, uncoiling and stretching, her pink toes and claws spread wide, peering at Rayne from her upside-down position. Rayne smiled, then yawned, stretching in unconscious mimicry of the cat. She reached down and buried her fingers in the cloud-soft fur, Sophie’s purrs vibrating up her hands. As she curled her fingers, she drew in a hissed breath as one fingertip burned with soreness. Rayne raised her hand, seeing the finger with the nail peeled off and her heart lurched. A flash of her near-fall off the mountainside blotted her vision for a second. She was convinced she was home now, but also equally sure that what went on in the caverns high above the village had happened too.

Now that she was home, it seemed awkward for her to just get up, get dressed and go on about her business as if nothing had ever happened. But that’s exactly what she did.

By the angle of the sunlight, it was midafternoon, the long blue shadows starting to lengthen across the patched of snow. Rayne pulled on her breeches and boots, tucking her hair into the back of her tunic for warmth.

When she reached the kitchen at the foot of the stairs, she saw Fiona kneading bread dough. Her good-sister looked up as she descended and smiled brilliantly.

“I didn’t know you’d be up so soon, else I’d have something for you to eat already.”

Rayne shook her head with a small smile. “Please, don’t fuss. I can wait for supper with everyone else.” Her gaze strayed to the window that overlooked the stableyard. Angus was shoveling snow into a large cauldron with a low fire burning beneath it.

“The river is frozen,” Rayne said absently. She needed to talk to her brother, even if she didn’t say anything.

Fiona nodded, still bent over the dough. “Go to him, Raynie-May. He’s not angry.”

Rayne’s head swiveled toward Fiona, disbelief in her wide green eyes. “ Really.” It wasn’t exactly a question. Fiona stopped what she was doing and wiped her hands with a cloth, coming to Rayne and taking her hands.

“He’s just happy you’re home. I’m not saying he won’t ask what happened, but as long as you’re safe, he’ll be all right.” Fiona squeezed her hands and Rayne felt her throat closing, tears blurring her vision. She felt Fiona’s arms encircle her and squeeze long and hard, her sweet voice whispering, “We missed you so much.” Rayne returned the embrace with heartfelt love, then let go. Fiona wiped her tears away with a floury hand.

“Go on”

Snow squeaked under Rayne’s boots as she approached the cauldron and her brother. With the river frozen, they had to get water for the house and the horses from snowfall. Rayne went into the barn and found a clean shovel, walked to a mound of smooth white snow and scooped a load onto the blade of the shovel. She made the trip back to the cauldron and dumped it in. A few more trips and there would be enough. They worked in silence but Rayne knew Angus was aware of her presence. He wasn’t ignoring her, but it was enough to work side by side without the clutter of talk. When the cauldron was full, they paused, close enough to the fire to chase the chill away. Rayne heard Angus sigh, but it was sound of acceptance, not his usual exasperated gusts. She reached out her gloved hand and took his. He squeezed it, brought it to his lips for a moment, then let go.

“We should fill some buckets and hang them in the barn so the mares will have fresh water in the morning.”

Rayne smiled and nodded. “I’ll get extras from the shed.”

If anyone would like to play, feel free! I’d love to see someone else’s take on this.