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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-five

The air in the town definitely smelled like coffee. Lots of it. And everyone—the old people on their porches, the farmers lounging by the fence, the beautifully ragged children playing—had some variation of it. There was tea, alcohol, honey…
Regis nudged me down a turn in the dirt street. More houses—all stained wood, glass, and metal window bindings—and their occupants watched us half-heartedly. There was a general feeling of ease everywhere. It all seemed to be emanating from a building with long windows and a gold-lettered sign. I stifled a laugh. “ ‘Monkey Place’? What do monkeys have to do with their slogan?”
“It’s memorable. Do elves drink milk?”
I shrugged. “We can, but we generally don’t like it. It gives us stomach aches.” I dashed ahead and pressed my face against a window. The occupants were mostly human, but there were also some goblins, a night elf, and a couple half-breeds. Lanky twins with pale hair, narrow noses, small eyes, and fuzzy arms manned the shining counter.
I followed Regis inside.

Regis inhaled deeply. It had been a few months since he’d been here last; nothing had changed. The lacquered redwood, shining steel equipment—a perfect blend of home and advancement.
The baristas waved.
Cloudwillow hopped up and down. “What are your names?”
They grinned. “Monkey,” they said together.
Cloudwillow looked to Regis. He nodded. “Monkey,” he said firmly.
One of the twins rubbed his hands together. “Good to see ya back. A regular?”
Regis nodded. “And a—”
“Ooh, ooh, can I order mine?”
Regis glanced down at the elf. She squinted up at the menu, mouthing flavors and sizes. He turned back to the counter. “And a small, single shot soy decaf hazelnut latte for here.”
Cloudwillow put her hands on her hips. “That’s not what I wanted.”
“I’m not ordering you a large, caffeinated anything.”
Cloudwillow pouted. “Please?”
“No.” Regis led her to a booth. Their drinks arrived within a few moments. Cloudwillow cooed over the swirling design in the foam and cradled the mug in both hands. Before Monkey returned to the counter, she nodded approvingly. "Nice time magic."
Monkey bowed. "It comes with practice."
Regis watched, amused as Cloudwillow noisily sipped. She put down her mug and giggled. A thick foam mustache curled around her mouth.
An impulse to mimic the elf gripped him. He brushed it aside and drank slowly. Savoring the rich caramel flavor, he closed his eyes.
“I was wondering when you’d be back.”
Regis knew what he would see if he opened his eyes. A small goblin, with rocky skin and a pack filled with wares. Without opening his eyes, he took another sip. “Hello again, Skong.”

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-four

After Fate’s magic wore off and I exhausted myself, I found a spot to rest and sat watching Regis for the longest time. The glow around him shook from time to time. I tried reading him, but found that I can’t really read people when they’re unconscious.
So I waited in the snow. And waited. And fidgeted. And finally couldn’t resist playing with his still, malleable looking face. I pinched his cheeks, stretched them out as far as they would go, nudged his nose every-which way, and decorated his eyes with some berry juice.
Satisfied, I licked the remains of berry off my fingers. “Take that.”
He still didn’t wake up. I threw my hands in the air. “Oh, come on, Fate. What’d you do? Put him in an eternal sleep? Or maybe he just sleeps that heavily. Whadd’ya say, Regis?”
I moved his lips with my fingers and mimicked his low voice. “ ‘You’re a pest.’ Aw, thanks! ‘Go away.’ Nope. You threatened my family, and I’m gonna make sure you do what you’re supposed to do. Because I’m mature.”
Regis’ lips moved on their own. “Why are you mocking yourself?”
I sat back primly, acting as if nothing had happened. “Because I was mocking you.”
Regis blinked and looked around. I grinned and crossed my arms. “Surprised I was able to carry you all that way?”
“What happened?”
He genuinely didn’t remember. It showed in his eyes. I wilted a bit. “I didn’t think I hit you that hard.”
“You hit me?” Regis frowned and leaned forward. To my surprise, he leaned forward and took both my hands. “What did you break?”
“I didn’t break…” I just stared at him. He was joking. A smile shone in his eyes, and he was joking. “Okay, I’m worried.”
Regis made an obvious effort to shove his mirth down and stood. He noticed the pack I’d brought and began rifling through it. “Where’s my amulet?”
“It’s been gone for a little while.”
“There’s a town about three miles out. I’ll get another one there.”
I stared at him. “How do you know where we are?”
Regis hefted the pack. “How do you know where you live?”
“Uh…”
“Finally.” His voice dropped back to something of its normal grumpiness. “Speechless. That’ll last an hour, maybe.” He walked off. Towards the wildlands and Fate’s castle.
“I think I need an explanation.” I scurried ahead of him, then turned and walked backwards. There was one word obvious in his eyes. I made a face. “ ‘Latte’?”
Regis nodded. “The town has a spectacular coffee house.” A shadow settled in his face. “About the only good thing that’s happened so far,” he muttered.
I clapped. “There’s the familiar Regis. What else has happened to you? Besides me, of course.”
“Fate. She sent Destiny after me. I’ve been avoiding her for some time.”
“Oh, and you thought you lost her? Heh, you can’t avoid Destiny any more than Fate.”
“I’m finding that out.”

And he was. His hand gone, his amulet lost, and Peter. How could he have missed that?
“What happened with you and Peter?”
Regis glanced at the little elf walking alongside him. Her head was tilted up, and her hands laced behind her back. She was reading him. He purposely let his thoughts drift so she couldn’t pick anything up. In answer to her question, he grunted.
“That’s not very helpful.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.” Regis flinched inwardly at the disappointment that flitted across her face. It was as bad as a begging puppy. He sighed. “We raised ourselves, traveled from town to town. Peter started stealing and almost got caught, so we ran.”
“He said something about leaving him,” Cloudwillow prompted.
“The enforcers of a fringe group caught us. They wanted what Peter had stolen. He didn’t want to let it go. Last I saw, he was stabbed, bruised, and thrown off a cliff.”
Cloudwillow nodded slowly. “I can see why you’d think he was dead. What about threatening my family?” She glared at him with sudden ferocity.
Regis shook his head. “That wasn’t me. That was Peter.” He held his hand up before Cloudwillow could say anything. “We’re both beacons. We can control each other. I believe in ghosts, and I was afraid that Peter’s would try to do something. My amulet kept him from doing anything.”
“Oooooooh.” Cloudwillow skipped over tangled roots. “Guess that makes sense.” After a moment, she added, “Sorry.”
Regis nodded in acceptance. There was a tension in the air that told him the elf thought he would keep talking. He didn’t.
Cloudwillow gave an exasperated sigh. “Soooo,” she said pointedly, “why are you willing to go to Fate now?”
“If I can’t run from her, I may as well fight her.” Regis picked up his pace and tried to keep his thoughts vague.
“And the lattes don’t hurt either, right?” Cloudwillow giggled. “I can’t believe you. Willing to face the ruling force of our world, and stop running, for a latte.”
Regis couldn’t keep his face from twitching. “Their motto is, ‘So strong it’ll turn you into a hero.’”
Cloudwillow snorted. “Seriously?”
Regis didn’t answer, just kept walking. He sped up his pace. The lattes were good enough to lay siege to Fate's castle.
Cloudwillow laughed. "If they're so good that you smile like that just thinking about them, I have to try them."
Regis hadn't meant for the thought to be that obvious. He grunted and covered it up with angst. He had plenty of that.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday (update)

Apologies for not having a serial story part today, but things have been a bit busy. The main item of time-consummation has been writing Trouble in Bookland, Part 2! :D
For an update about that, go ahead and head over to my new blog (the more official one I was talking about in the last update) here.
I'll be keeping this blog for serial stories, fangirling, fanfiction, and assorted fun things like that.

I will make the delay up to you by writing a longer part of Unexpected Adventure for next week. :) I would do it today, since I have more time than I originally thought I would, but my brain is somewhat blown out from writing around 3K words in one day. :P

For now, I'd like to ask you:
What do you think of Unexpected Adventure so far? Are you enjoying it? Or do you find it lacking in some areas? Which characters do you like? Dislike? 
Let me know in the comments! :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

#FantasyFunMonth

So, I came across this...


And this...


And needless to say, the bookworm in me started jumping up and down. :D This is a bit late, but I'll go ahead and answer up to today. So this may run a little long... X)

Fantasy currently reading:
I'm between fantasy books right now; I just finished reading Scorpion Mountain by John A. Flanagan.
I'm hoping to start a couple new books soon: People of the Longhouse by Michael W. Gear (though I may wait, because I've skimmed the reviews and there are a couple mentions of graphic scenes) and The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead (though that's more sci-fi).

Fave fantasy series:
Gaaaaaahhh, the killer question. That's like asking, "What do you like more, coffee or chocolate?" (I love both, in case you didn't know.)
If I'm going for classic, then I have to say Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia. If I'm going for more recent series, then Ilyon Chronicles would be my next pick. (I want so badly to continue this list with my favorites for different sub-genres, but that would take forever.)
And I have to say that I'm anticipating both The Staff and the Sword and Blood of Kings trilogies to be added to the favorites shelf soon. Just as soon as I manage to read the entire series. :)

Fave fantasy quote:
This is the first quote that came to mind. I love it. Loveitloveitloveit.

 :

Fave fantasy hero(ine):
Wait, no. This is the killer question. There are so, so many...but, on second thought, this one's not that hard. Janner Igiby. Especially after reading The Warden and the Wolf King. (Speaking of The Wingfeather Saga, check out this kickstarter campaign. What's it about? Animating the Saga.)

Janner - Wingfeather Saga, Andrew Peterson:

Fave fantasy book cover:
I have quite a few (duh), but as soon as I saw this one, I loved it. It's (okay, they're) different, attention-catching, and they show the prime moment in the book perfectly. The newer covers are cool too, but personally, I like these better.


Fave fantasy map:
Well, there's the Lord of the Rings map, there's the Wingfeather Saga map, the map of Amara, the map of...Okay, I'll stop cheating.
I'm going to pick this map as my current favorite. Why? Because it's amazing, stylish, and it technically counts because it's laid out like a fantasy map.

Fave fantasy sidekick:
Samwise Gamgee, hands down. He's steadfast, simple (but smart as a tack when it comes down to it), and just...have you read the book? Or seen the movie? He's awesome.

I'm coming with you!:


Movie better than book:
I can go on for quite a while about movies that are way worse than the books, but I can't think of any movies that are better than the book/s. The only movie (okay, movies really) that might qualify for this is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those movies differ a bit from the books, but they made it work. It was different in essence, but that essence was still there. It wasn't totally obliterated, and the main characters weren't metaphorically thrown out of their homes by their shirttails then dragged through the dust...
*cough* The Hobbit *cough*

Epic fantasy fave:
The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. They have the perfect old-style feel to them, the length is perfect (thick enough to feel the weight, but it's not Pride and Prejudice), and the characters...quite a few of them were very close to being my picks for favorite hero/ine.
All the characters are amazing and alive. Each time you open the books, there's something new to find!

Fave fantasy book title:
The title? Just the title? Erm...I'll go with Reapers. It's short, succinct, and it's the MC's job title. The cover's amazing, too. :D

Fave fantasy animal/beastie:
Dragons. Definitely dragons. They're amazing, scaly, fire-breathing mountains of destruction. Or amazing, shining, wonderful steeds/friends who are with you to the end. Depends on where you look. ;)
 :

How about you? Any questions on here you'd like to answer? Comment below, or write your own blog post! :D

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-three

Regis was a beacon. A signal of magic that could be tracked and, possibly, manipulated from a distance. Dread tightened my throat. “Who’s tracking you?”
Regis shrugged. “Probably my brother.”
My dread mixed with anger. Sure, the villain’s name was Peter, but he could do some scary stuff. I balled up the front of Regis’ shirt in my fists and shook. “When were you planning on saying something?!”
“Why should I? You elves have been nothing but trouble for me. This way, I get rest, and restitution.”
I sat back and examined Regis. He was serious. He was calm, collected, and serious. He slowly sat up, the white aura around him making me squint.
“Time for an interview,” I said. I crossed my legs and sat up straighter. “What are you trying to accomplish?”
“I don’t want anything to do with Fate.”
“Not even overthrow her?”
“No. Nothing. I just want to live my life without her fingers in anything.”
“That’s like trying to live without breathing.”
“Go back to bed, Cloudwillow. He won’t be here for—”
Suddenly—it was Fate, probably—I felt older and stronger. Shaking, I stood. “No one, no one, no one leads elemental villains to my family, friends, my life.” I slapped him. There was no need for any more force than that; I probably could’ve biffed him with a pillow and it would’ve had the same effect. He blinked, looked surprised, and slumped.
I thought a thanks to whatever magic things Fate had put in place to ensure the fulfilling of Prophecy and picked him up. Again, though I shouldn’t have been able to, I could. I would’ve used magic, but that would’ve woken daddy up.
Funny; I could jump, scream, cry, and bang pots, and he wouldn’t turn over, but if I so much as tried to grow a plant with magic, he would leap out of bed and be at my side. To help more often than not, but I didn’t want to drag him into it. Not when mommy was so close to having a baby.
Besides, the defeat of Fate was prophesied by her own pen, and nothing she prophesied could go wrong. What was the worst that could happen?
I froze. “I think I just jinxed myself,” I whispered. Thinking dark thoughts, I made sure to take the Book of Prophecy, some basic provisions, then carted Regis outside.
I made my way out of the forest. Very few people were up, and I managed to avoid those who were. I traveled so that when I got out of the forest—which wouldn’t be for a day at least—I would emerge in the wild-lands, where Fate’s castle was.
My dark mood lifted as I went. This was turning out to be a fun adventure, even if it wasn't with a dashing hero as I'd once hoped. I grinned to myself. "I might change that," I said to the unconscious behemoth on my back. "I just might change that."