Well, given who I am and what I do for a hobby, it makes sense to post up something I’ve written. However, given that I’ve already done my 101 theme challenge, and I’m not far into the next one. So, I think the thing which I am going to show you is a scene/chapter from the novel I am currently writing. It’s the one I did for NaNo and I’m currently in the process of editing.

It’s scary, I’ve never edited anything before. Currently I am wokring on my third draft, and there will probably be four or five before I even think about giving out in it’s whole for my freidns to read and review. But I think I can give you a sneak peak.

Randomly chosen scene 27 from the work in progress Archmage:

Scene 27

Stretching her fingers out into the summer sun, Rana stretched out and clicked her bones into place. The ground was hard, but at least it was dry.

“Good morning lass.”

“Morning Martin. How close are we now?”

“About another hour and we should see your pretty little village.”

She smiled at him. When she had asked him to take her with him instead of a letter he had been more than willing. Almost as if he was expecting the request. Either way, they had been on the road for over a week now, and now they were nearly at her village. Nearly back home.

Home. It was weird, she expected to be more excited than she was, but the butterflies were barely fluttering. She was curious about how much had changed, she hadn’t seen the village in almost six years. And she wondered how her friends were doing. They had written in the letters originally, but she hadn’t heard from any of them in over a year now. She wondered how everything had gone in her absence.

Her hair had fallen over her shoulder again, and she swung it back round with a flick of her hand. It was getting rather long as of late, down to the small of her back. Plaiting it would help pass the time.

By the time she was done her arms ached, but her hair was out the way, and she had begun to recognise the landscape.

Here was the crossroads which had marked the boundary of her entire life until she was eight. The kids used to dare each other to step across the path, much to the annoyance of the parents, although with such little traffic down this road there never really was any harm in it.

And there, just visible, was the inn where she had spent a lot of her evenings. It didn’t get many visitors, but the lady who ran the inn was the closest thing to a teacher that most of the kids had ever known. And she was a good storyteller, apart from when Martin was around.

Rana was caught up in memories until Martin nudged her and pointed out that the inn was now right in front of them.

“Well I’m pulling up in there. I trust you can find your way back to your house from here.”

“Course I can. If I can find my way round the city I think I can find my way back home again.”

“This isn’t the city lass.”

“Duh.”

He gave her this look as she climbed down off the cart. She didn’t know what to make of it, but she turned her back and walked away from the inn as the Traveller started to move the cart into the stables and unhitch his horse.

The village was not the same as her memories. That much was evident as she slowly walked. Everything looked like she expected it to, the slanting construction and slate roofs, the varied coloured doors, but something wasn’t right. It looked, dusty. Ordinary. Somehow it wasn’t as happy and safe a place as she had remembered. It looked like a village. Nothing special. The jarring nature of her memories versus the reality caught at her.

There wasn’t really anyone about, but it was the middle of the day. They would all be working, out in the fields, or in the workshops by the fields. All the work building were slightly outside of the town since it made more sense to walk to where you worked and then back at the beginning and end of each day, then to make lots of trips during the middle of the day. You did have to get the skins of the cows to the leather, and the meat to the butchers. And meat was much heavier than the clothes on your back.

That was what her father had always said anyway. She drifted through the town, to where her house was. It was still standing, still with the tiny boxes of flowers on the doorstep.

She knocked on the door, then shifted on her feet as she waited.

There was no answer. It felt weird, not being able to go into her own home, but she didn’t want to go in when there was no one else home.

“Oh my, who’s that?” A quavering old voice called out.

Rana stepped out from the shadow of the doorway and looked over to where the voice had come from.

There was a tiny old lady, sitting on a rocking chair on a little sheltered porch a couple of houses over.

“Joy?” Rana asked, as she vaguely remembered the face.

“Why yes, that’s me. Come closer dear, let me see your face. These old eyes aren’t what they used to be.”

Rana walked over to the neighbouring house as the old lady squinted at her. “Hmm, your face looks familiar. Oh dear me, now don’t tell me, I want to see if I can remember. Whose door were your knocking on. Well, that was Marie’s door. Now why would you, oh! You’re not little Rana are you, I thought you went to the city?”

“I did. I came back for a visit. I thought I would come here for my birthday instead of them coming to the city.”

“Well look at you. You’ve grown a lot haven’t you? Are you causing trouble for them in the city now?”

“No, I’m not any trouble anymore.”

“I remember a certain tree that was never quite the same-”

“I haven’t exploded anything in years. Well, nothing that wasn’t on purpose anyway. Anyway, where are my parents? Are they out in fields?”

Joy gave her a squinty look. “Your father should be. I reckon your mother’s in the workhouse. We’ve just had the sheep’s wool cut, so there lots of that to get cleaned.”

“Thanks, um, Joy.” Rana half raised her hand as she stepped down from the porch. Joy was still giving her a squinty look as she walked away.

Well, at least she was remembered, it would have been very awkward if no one had remembered her. Of course she was being silly now. It had only been six years. No one gets forgotten in just six years. Especially not one that blew up a tree.

Thinking of which, she tramped up the well-worn path over to the fields that were being cultivated. At the top of a small hill, she shielded her eyes and looked over the fields. She could see lots of people working the farm, but they were very small and far away, well past yelling distance. Scanning over the other side, she could also see the pond, with some of the small children playing around it, and the stump that used to be a tree before that incident had occurred. Some of the children playing around it might even be young enough to not remember that day. Rana guessed that none of them were her old friends. They would all be old enough to be working in the fields or apprenticing by now.

Rana continued to follow the beaten path, which cut in a fairly straight line across the countryside to a series of buildings. These were more active, with lots of men and women bustling about them as they sorted the early harvest, the animals, cleared out pens. Lots of the daily tasks she remembered.

She ducked the fence as a lady called out for her to watch where the chickens were walking. Scooping a hand into a feed bin, she clucked her tongue and scattered the grain to draw their attention away from the gap she made to get into the compound.

Side stepping another man carrying a huge bale of wool, Rana smiled at the hustle and bustle and noise of the place. It was very familiar, both from her memories and experiences of the bazaar in the city. It was amazing how the two places were so different yet felt the same.

Falling into step behind the man with the wool, she nipped ahead and held the door for him, and he walked into one of the buildings. Thanking her with a grunt, he walked off to dump the wool in the impressive mountain that was piling up on one side of the workshop.

Rana stood to the side of the wall as she looked around. There were several women in here, with the washing buckets and spindles, cleaning, sorting and then stringing out the wool for use in making garments.

Then she spotted her mother, right in the centre of all the activity, making sure that everyone had a job to do and everyone was doing the job they were supposed to be doing and not another one. Organised chaos, her mother had called the sheering season. Now Rana could see what she meant.

She stood against the wall, wanting to go and say hello to her mother, but not wanting to interrupt the work. Which solved itself when another women spotted her and shouted “Marie! Another helper by the door!”

Her mother sighed and swept a stray lock of hair back and she turned to the door. Rana smiled and gave a tiny wave sheepishly as her mother gasped and her hands shot to her mouth.

There was an awkward pause as the worked closet to her stopped and looked between Marie and the apparent stranger who had cause the reaction.

“Rana, you never said you were coming home.” He mother said as she dropped her hands from her mouth.

“I wanted to surprise you.”

“Oh goodness, well you’ve succeeded.” Her mother made her way across the floor and swept her daughter up in a crushing hug.

Rana smiled until she had to tap her mother’s arm. “Uh, Mama? I can’t breathe too well.”

Marie let her daughter go instantly. “Oh, sorry honey. I’m just please to see you.”

Rana smiled sheepishly as she noticed all the eyes on her again. “I know. I’m glad to see you as well.” There was a couple of seconds of silence. “So, did you need any help?”

“Oh, I couldn’t ask you to help.”

Rana shrugged. “I’m offering mum. Come on, I won’t be able to spend time with you unless I help. I can’t promise I’ll be any good, but I can definitely try and help.”

The afternoon was a little awkward for her. People did remember her, and after a bit of prompting Rana usually remembered who they were as well. There were some new faces around and she did expect that given the long time period. It was just, whenever she had her back turned to anyone, she could feel them looking at her. And she could hear whispers form behind her back. Almost like they were gossiping about her. It was an uncomfortable feeling. It reminded Rana of when she had first gone to the Hall, of when she had been eight years old and the thing to talk about, an underage mage. A wild mage. It was the same feeling, as if she was an object of scrutiny, of something not right.

Her goal of spending time with her mother worked though, as she helped to wash the sheep’s wool, getting drenched up to her shoulders in the process. She walked back home, arms linked with her mother’s as they chatted.

Rana’s father was just as surprised to see her home, and almost choked on his pipe when he saw her.

The kitchen glowed with the evening light, as Rana helped her mother with the evening dish. It was the most familiar thing that Rana could remember about living back in the village, the evening meal with Mama and Papa.

Her father did have to go round to the inn and ask to borrow a plate though. The years had taken their toll and several of the former ones had broken. With only the two of them now living in the house, it hadn’t seemed occurred to them that they needed more than the two remaining plates.

Despite the mishap, Rana spent a happy evening with her parents, concentrating talk around what was going on at home, who were the new faces, where did they come from, all the little details that had been lacking from her parent’s letters.

That night she found it hard to sleep in the little bed. It seemed so strange to her now, over six years since she had last slept in it. The moonlight lit the room through the thin curtains and what she had always thought of as a homely room looked bare as she watched the shadow’s play across it. It just didn’t feel familiar to her anymore, not in the way that her room back at the Hall did. Unease clouded her brain as she tried to drift off to sleep.

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