February 17th- Writing Prompt

‘Design a scene where tranquillity is unnerving. What makes it eerie? Can you impart the feeling without using the words unnerving eerie or their synonyms?’

OK, gonna use GW2 RP character to try this. 

The silence was complete.

The forest was never quiet. There was always something making noise. Maguuma was alive in a very real sense. Even the chasms in the ground contained vines that were shifting and slithering.

Birds called out in the day, a myriad of rainbow colours. Wild boar and other rooting animals shuffled through the undergrowth. The peoples of the forest were a reflection of the environment. Despite the nightly assaults they found time to sing, dance, play.

The remaining Pact forces in the jungle worked tirelessly during lulls in the fighting to repair weapons and defences. Varicose swarms of pocket raptors brought down screaming prey. Tigers growled and roared to affirm territory and ward off any that might stray near them.

At night, the minions came. Gaining strength in the darkness. The jungle rang with battle cries and fleeing animals caught in the crossfire.

The dragon whispered…

It was all gone… silence, total and utter.

It was wrong.

The tall blue sylvari, hidden in the foliage, edged out of cover. It was night and she was swathed in black and green, hiding her glow from those that may target her. Her footfalls sounded over loud in the night. Her ears twitched and she froze, waiting for the inevitable attack that must come, yet it did not. Her eyes swept over the tree line then scanned the ground.

Nothing stirred, nothing moved. Senses strained. Nothing, oppressive and thick nothing. There should have been relief, but she felt only tension and stain. The jungle was holding it’s breath. Every creature waiting for a monumental- something to happen.

Her nerves began to fray. Pulled taut, they unravelled. The silence in her mind was the most disturbing. What was keeping the dragon so occupied?  The lack of sound pressed round her ears. She could hear her own sap pulsing through her body.

She bolted. Instinct born from hard lessons in Orr pushed her on. Her magic came in a rush, she jumped, blinked and even vanished utterly at times. Anything to get her back to camp as swiftly as possible.

Something was coming and she did not want to be in the open when it-

The roar that echoed through her mind made her fall to her knees. Momentum carried her on, skidding across moss and slamming into a tree.

She screamed, so did everything else around her. The noise thrummed through her, then it came. Wave after wave of wild, raw magic.

Barriers, so carefully constructed round the needy and gaping maw within her, shattered. She remained still, mouth open, now not even able to scream as the reservoir within her was filled and overflowed. She was found insensible and burbling nonsense just outside base camp.

It took a long time for her to come back to herself. Weeks. When she was told the dragon was dead she began to weep. The world was changed for her. The threat was gone but had been replaced by something far more personal, even vindictive. When would she stop having to pay for a mistake made four years past?

A gnarled hand, strong and twisted with age took hers and she looked up at the rugged bark of her dearheart. He had a patch over his eye. When had that happened? She would later learn that the patch was her fault also. More consequences from the death of the dragon.

“Do not cry,” he told her in his gruff tone. “While you live there is hope.” He sounded unsure, was he panicking at seeing her cry?  

Perhaps, but his words, as usual, held wisdom. She was too stubborn to give in. Though it was clear she could no longer serve the order as she once had. Was she useless now? What of her half remembered hunt? Her pride stung.

As if sensing her thoughts, she was abruptly pulled into a lingering hug.
He had never needed words to get his point across. She would endure, for his sake if for no other reason.    

Pain

((Wee warning, adult themes.))

The young woman spat at the feet of the man before her. Saliva, mixed with blood stained the reed covered floor. She grinned up at him, her split lip opening further. She could hardly see the man’s face, combination of dim lighting and one eye being swollen closed from the fist to the face the previous day.

“Aye, I deserved tha,” she admitted with a weak chuckle. “I sorry I called ye wife a fifty silva’ whore.”

The angry guard grunted and the clenched fist fell. Her grin widened, the pain- she was used to it. At least the workhouse had gifted her with a tolerance for it. This was nothing. Scrubbing floors with a broken knee, that hurt. Few punches to the face and guts, easy.

“Nah, she be a twenty silva’ whore, sorry. I was confused like and go the-“ the fist crashing into her sternum stopped the insult. Air rushed from her lungs and she sunk to the ground. She lay there, gasping like a landed fish. She curled round herself. Small as possible, protecting face and arms. The two kicks that followed landed on shins and shoulders.

Nothing to be concerned about. She judged that was enough. The guard was panting and his hand no doubt hurt.

She lay still.

A few inexpert curses were thrown her way and a leer that she would be ugly when her neck snapped in a few days. An ugly corpse among the others who had behaved. They would go to their deaths unmarked.

“Fucking lot of good being pretty is when ye be dead,” she thought. “Unless ye like ya lasses dead… which be fucked up.” She kept that thought to herself and the cell door slammed shut.

Min did not want to behave. She knew what happened to the ones who did. The docile ones who thought if they did as they were bid, and sucked whatever was shoved in their faces; then they would get out.

That rarely happened. Then there were those that were frightened and quiet. She heard their tears and what was done to them. It was not all the guards. Just the rotten few. She had identified them early and had gone out of her way to be obnoxious to them. She took the beatings. They were better than what they did to the other lasses.

Of course, she could not go too far, or might end up getting screwed as a punishment. No, she had to walk a fine line. Annoy them enough to be battered and not be prison candy. Though not so much that she got raped as a way to control her. She was not stupid. Most of knocking boots was about control, anyone that said different was deluded.

Love, tenderness- utter ogre shite. Someone wanted, someone gave and got stuff in return. Protection, respect, money. It was how things worked. Somewhere in the last few moons she had forgotten that. Let herself think she could be respected without having to offer anything. That people liked her, for just being her.

She should thank Garry if she ever saw him again. He’d been right. He was not her family; he was her employer. Things had blurred… food fights with captains and insulting customers… Bandit and the beach… Sylvia and dresses. She had taken it all to mean more than it had. Given her hope that she had finally found ‘her’ people.

Garry had shattered that to shit… and he had done her a favour in the end. She saw that now. A slum rat did not get to be respected or liked.

At the back of her mind she knew she was deliberately ignoring the weak link in her current thinking.

Bo.

He had followed her about like an adoring baby brother. She had wanted to take care of him. He was an idiot; he would not make it on his own. Turns out she was rusty. One failed pickpocket of a labourer and she was arrested. Bo fought to defend her and got a kicking for it. So did Bandit. She hoped they were okay. Her adoptive brother was stupid enough to shout her name multiple times during the arrest.

Records were checked. ‘Min’ was linked to ‘Minnie- Ann.’ Minnie- Ann was wanted for murder.

That had been a shock. Her eleven-year-old self, had acted in fear. Grabbed the first sharp object and- well. She knew she had cut him deep. She had not stuck around to see how deep. It was her chance. She had run.

Freedom was almost as bad as the workhouse, but at least she lived on her own terms. She had been passionately independent ever since. Until she was ‘employed’ in the Bones.

“I thought they liked me,” she muttered into her hands. “We got on well like-” She shook her head and her face throbbed in tandem with a different pain in her chest. A pain that was not caused by any physical blow.

She missed them.

Which was stupid.

A few tears forced their way down her face without her permission. Crying was pointless, but the tears still splattered onto the cold stone floor she was curled up upon.

She was not sure how long she lay there, feeling pathetic and yet still crying like a little girl. The rattle of carts on the street above and the chirp of birds, alerted her to the fact it was dawn.

 

“Happy Birthday Min,” she croaked to herself in the gloom. “T’will be tha last one ye see.”

The waiting game.

Ethan sat back, looking at the half elf upon the bed. His rickety chair was precariously balanced on two legs. His feet irreverently propped up on the bed beside Garrett’s hip.  The Captain was out, said she was going for food, but he was not sure if she had been telling the truth, or just needed a break from watching over her quartermaster.

The former mercenary ran a hand through his cropped hair. The memory of his sister cornering him in the tavern with a pair of shears in her hand and a determined gleam in her eye had him sighing loudly.

He had submitted to her whim, knowing she took comfort fussing over him. He remembered Sylvia’s sly comment about his hair colour and shook his head. Red had been raised in the same place as he, he had been certain before he saw her power. Living on a farm he had only gone to town on market days. He was better known in Altinova than Tarif. If they had met he did not remember.

He glanced back at Garrett. The Quartermaster’s chest was swelling and distorted, purple creeping over bronze skin as the bruising began to show.

The crew was in a sorry state if Ethan was the best healer on offer. He knew enough from watching the vigilantes in Olvia how to stop bleeding and prevent most wounds from becoming fatal.

Garrett’s injury was almost a mortal one. He had lost a lot of blood and if he moved too much broken bones risked shredding his wounded lungs further. At least he had not drowned in his own fluids. A swift knife to the chest cavity had stopped him dying. Ethan’s knife.

He listened as the man breathed. Still no rattle, that was good. No fever as yet and the last time he had checked his wounded sides the cuts had been clean and weeping clear fluid, another good sign. That however was the extent of his knowledge. He had some leaves the pirate could chew when he woke. They would ease the pain. Sylvia had been to the alchemist for potions too. Garrett had a good chance.

Ethan had been surprised when he had heard the half elf yell. It had not been an angry shout or battle cry. No this was the sound a wounded animal would make. It had shivered through him and before he knew it, he was turning to help the quartermaster. Not because he had to, or the Captain would wish him to, but because he felt compelled to do so.

He did not want to analyse why. It had happened; there was an end to it.

“You are one lucky bastard” he grumbled to the man on the bed. “After the shit you pulled in the brothel, I should have let you die”

Alright, he admitted he had found the brothel mildly amusing. It was not like he was inexperienced. It was just- any of those women could have been his sister. It was what she almost turned to. Crops failed, mother sick, him still a boy. The money she earnt at the tavern was not enough. He remembered watching her one night, head in her hands weeping- another bill delivered they could not pay. He remembered the quiet resolve that settled over her when the tears dried. He had not liked it. She was meant to smile, not have eyes hard as chips of jade.

In the end, she sold herself anyway. Not to a brothel, but to a man. She had deserved better. Leaving the place where she was understood must have been more than difficult. He turned his thoughts from her husband. That was over too, she was free.

He looked back down at the man on the bed. Sui liked this one and Garrett had vowed to look after Ethan because the sailor liked her in return; yet here Ethan was, saving his life. A’al had a sense of humour it seemed.

Yes, Garrett and his sister were friends. That he could cope with, but the half elf certainly did not deserve any more than that from her, though Ethan trusted Sui knew that. Still, he hesitated to contact her. They were in her largest trading hub. The Samara name was on the lips of trade princes. Use it and he could have a witch here or an alchemist. He could hire an entire brothel out to tend to Garrett’s every whim. Yet- that would connect his activities to Sui. They were supposed to hate each other. She the respectable one, he her wayward brother. It was a comfortable lie, gave him freedom and her protection.

The door rattled open and with a burst of sea air and sunlight the captain strolled in, loaf of bread under her arm. He grunted at her. He never knew what to say. It was not her rank or that he was intimidated, but she had a pair of very fine- legs. He could not help but admire. He was not stupid enough to make it obvious. He knew far too many men who thought with their libido first. He was pretty sure the Captain had killed enough of those and had no wish to add himself to the list. That other elf was fine too. All curves and cool professionalism. Made him want to tease and make her blush.  Did he have a thing for elves?

The Captain slumped down in the chair opposite and instead of scolding him for having his feet on the bed, copied his pose.

“No change?” she asked, looking at Garrett and not Ethan.

“No,” he responded, more sharply than he meant to. Silence settled on them. The creek of the Captain’s chair as she leant forward to place the bread on the table seemed over loud. Should he say something? His mind was unhelpfully blank.

“Ye saved his arse,” she whispered at last, sparing him his dilemma.

“Maybe,” he grunted hating the warm feeling that crept across his chest. “He still could die.”

The Captain pinned him with a fierce look, not at all diluted by the white strands of hair that had fallen from her bandanna and over her face.

“He won’t. Ye won’t let ‘im.”

It was an order if he ever heard one. She did not have to be specific. They both knew he could be doing more.

“Aye aye, Captain.” He breathed.

Moments later he was out in the sun, heading for a courier. It did not sit well with him, but he would have to involve her.  She would have to handle how to keep things quiet. Sui would manage, she always did. They were blood, after all. A little Mediahan bureaucracy stood no chance against that.

 

(With thanks to Rhea, for helping me make sure I had Yanna correct and to all who organised and who were at the event last night. Love and sloppy kisses to you all!)

The Olive Grove

((A little encounter for my characters in BDO which is where I’ve been RPing of late))

Ethan swatted away another questing mosquito, then with an annoyed grunt pulled at the wild herb beside him, inspecting it.

“Good enough,” he grumbled and smeared the mane grass over his exposed skin. If he did not smell like a person, then he was not worth eating.

He lent back against the gnarled trunk of the olive tree he sat under, glancing around the ancient grove that had somehow escaped the ruin of the city. The last time he had been under these trees he had been a boy. He sighed to himself, then looked up. The sky was deep black and studded with a myriad of stars. He had often slept outside growing up, just to get himself lost in the enormity of the Mediahn sky.

A rare smile tugged at his lips. He was used to his life taking odd turns, but the latest twist had his head spinning. He had not been anywhere near Altinova in some time. The feeling of nostalgia that struck him as he stepped off the boat had been a surprise. He had thought his memories of the city would be tainted.

No, he felt comfortable to be in Altinova. It had an openness that the cities of the west lacked. The likes of Calpheon made him feel trapped. All hard edges and grey stone.

What he had not felt comfortable on was that cursed ship. He frowned at the sky. How could they eat while the boat rolled and pitched so? He remembered seeing Garrett eating cheese and an echo of queasiness pulled at his innards. Bastard probably had done it on purpose.

Small wonder Boyd had hired him for a job and not come himself. The sea was vast and the boat was…not. Could giants sail? He was unsure. Would not a boat have to be customised?

He shook his head and ran a hand through his green hair. None of the crew even half trusted him. That was fine, he did not trust them either. If things got rough he knew he would be the one left for the guards to find. It would not be his first arrest, or the last. His Sister would see him right. She thought she owed him.

He would have to watch that Captain, she had given him a look that said if he breathed in a way she disliked then he would find himself filleted. The one in red was annoying, but he knew better than to judge her yet. Miss Hat was fun to tease, but having seen a vanishing staff when she was drunk he knew he had to step lightly there also. He was unsure what to make of Garrett, other than he had an eye for the lasses.

A snapping twig alerted him to the presence of another. The intruder was quickly identified without even needing to look away from the bejewelled sky. The scent of jasmine oil curled up his nostrils.

“Trading’s making you sloppy Sui,” he grunted. He should have known she would find him. In fact, he was surprised it had taken her so long. This was her market. She would be buying up stock to transport back to Heidel… Or that was what everyone thought. Unknown to most was what her main source of profit was, it certainly was not spices or furniture.

He worried about her sometimes, but she was smart; smarter than he was and she deserved her success. It was hard won.

She sat silently down beside him, looking up at the sky as he was. He could feel it in her, feel the background buzz in his ears. Familiar and alien all at the same time.

“When my contact at the docks said you had stepped off a boat I thought you had come for a visit,” she paused and her hand brushed against his briefly.

Guilt tore at his gut, though he did not move nor change expression. He grunted a reply and he felt her shrug in the darkness.

“Then, he described the others with you,” she paused again, choosing her words with care. “You will be careful?”

He nodded and that seemed to placate her. Her warm, lilting tones took him back to the stories she would read for him. Drowsiness rose up and he yawned.

“Are you… planning to spend the night out here?”

He nodded again. He did not want to look at her, he did not want to see her face. The sadness mixed with affection would be his undoing.

“I could… get you a room…” she spoke slowly, knowing she was stepping over the gap that must remain between them.

“No,” he cut her off sharply.

The silence stretched and his anger flared. He knew he was hurting her, but he was not a child anymore. She had to let him go. If anything, the debt between them should be driving her away. Yet, she remained. Their upbringing was still dictating how she acted, no matter how far she distanced herself from their childhood.

“Sorry,” she whispered into the darkness. The wind sighed through the leaves above them, making him feel like it was whistling through the gulf between them.

“They were talking about a trader and unregistered ships. This was your idea?” It was not really a question, more an accusation. He knew the answer, this had his sister’s fingerprints all over it.

She pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. The chill of the night was setting in and she shivered.

“I’m an investor,” she muttered. “It’s in my interests to see them do well. I will get a better…”

“Bollocks,” he grunted. Picking one of the cruder curses he had heard from a mercenary in Glish.

Again a long silence, he let it fester, knowing she would not be able to stay quiet. His patience was rewarded.

“I know what it is like to yearn for freedom,” she whispered at last. “To feel trapped by your choices, but know you could not have made better ones,” he could feel her eyes on him now. Deep green, like his own. “Existence is not the same as living. It’s for survival.”

He knew what she meant, how many years she had endured. In the end the solution had been simple. He shoved that particular memory back down where it belonged.

“So, you had to say something?” he grumbled. “Give them an idea?”

“Yes,” came the reply from the darkness.

“Might backfire.”

“I know.”

She stood, leathers creaking a little.

“These are not ‘good’ people Sui,” he pointed out.

“And we are?” she countered. Her tone was mild, but he felt as if she had punched him in the gut.

“People are people,” she continued. “We do the best we can with what we have. They are no different, we are no different. Half of Mediah is no different.” She took a step away. He had an urge to reach for her, to hold her close and tell her he would be fine. She could stop, she did not need to keep putting herself at risk. He forced himself to remain seated. He could not change her mind and did not deserve to offer her comfort.

“We do what we must for those we hold dear.”

He had no response for her.

She turned and was gone. Jasmine fading from the air gradually.

“Be safe, Sui,” the words left his mouth, but his voice failed him.

She would not have heard.

The young man found no rest that night under the boughs of the grove. Lost in memories of his older sister and how he now hardly recognised the woman she had become.

That, was his fault. He had made her what she was. His deeds had driven her to the path she now walked. Yet it was her stubbornness that had led to his need to act.

His sister was his mirror and yet his opposite. He was unsure they would ever be a true reflection of each other. Perhaps, in time, he would learn to accept her and not long for what they once were to each other.

Update- me

So…

Not posted up here in a while. Why? WORK ATE MY LIFE!

Not had much time to do anything but eat, sleep and work. Even my family have seen little of me. RP, writing and life in general have had to take a back seat.

However, I have lunch times, that golden 45 min of the day that I can close the door and do something not work related. I have even stopped eating lunch to squeeze out a few extra minutes so I can write.

Been picking at my novel for weeks, there is also another chapter of Indebted ready to go I just need to correct it.

I came to a decision on my novel. I am going to take the plunge and approach an agent… or twenty.

Am I scared? Bloody terrified. I write for fun not for the marketable value. To have a labour of love boiled down to cold hard economics… I can already visualise the multiple rejection letters. Still, something in me won’t drop the idea. Until I see ‘No, this is shit,’ in print then I guess it won’t go away.

I also took on another project for the experience. I am one of the writers on a Skyrim mod. Never written scripts before but I am getting used to the format. Recently had one of the quests I worked on voiced. I can’t quite describe it, hearing your words not only read but acted… I had to sit down for a moment, then get a strong cup of tea.

Four of the 11 main quests in so far and we are getting into the swing of things. I say “we” as there are three others like me and a lead writer who coordinates all our efforts and ensures we don’t screw up the lore or the characterisation.

Working with other writers is also very odd. I am so used to going my own way, getting directed and then have to edit and even delete something I have spent precious time putting together- GAH!

Keeps me humble however and it is very interesting getting almost instant feedback on an idea or proposed dialogue. It’s also very much a case of quality over quantity. Every sentence needs to advance the questline. Every word spoken has purpose.

So, that’s me for the time being. Busy busy.    

Eyes of the Reach

Being Dragonborn was not all the legends said. It really was not.

She wiped the rain from her face, no not just rain. The sting of ice was concealed within the cold droplets that hammered down from the sky.

Were the gods trying to kill her? There were more effective ways. Another assassin would do the trick. It was only due to Bishop that she had escaped the last one.

Bishop was astride the sturdy black stallion behind her. Matching her reliable bay mare’s sedate pace. The man had not slept in the two days since the attack. Eyes the colour of mead, flicked over the landscape. The permanent frown and the dark hair plastered to his face did not detract from the fact he was handsome.

“Too easy on the eye,” she thought to herself, wiping her own brown curls from her face. She had no idea why he still insisted on being her sarcastic and cynical companion. He kept telling her she could take care of herself… so why was he still with her?

It could be worse. The Ranger was well used to the elements. He did not complain. She however wanted to complain. She stank of leather and blood, she was cold and she hurt all over.

Before the winged menaces had come into her life she had been a farmgirl from Roricstead. The callouses on her hands were from a plough. The only blade skills she had when she was dragged into this life were for gutting and skinning game.

Blood was no stranger to her… but she had never killed anyone until the day she was captured. Wrong place, wrong time. Mistaken as a stormcloak, though any fool with half a mind could have seen that her rough homespun was not the attire of a soldier.

She shook her head, hair whipping her cheeks. She snarled at it and wiped a hand over her head, pulling the rain-slick strands from her freckled face.

She did not want to think of Helgen again. Helgen had her screaming at night. Helgen had been where she first lifted a blade and pierced the flesh of another person. Hot blood spurting over her hands. The tang of iron on her tongue, the scrape of bone against steel as she pulled the blade back from the body. She had told herself it was no different from killing a wolf or bear. She had been attacked, she defended herself.

It was not the same. She had seen the light dim in the frightened Imperial soldier’s eyes. A nord, no more than twenty she was sure. All muscle and square jaw. Her mother would have been proud to have such as son-in-law.

The Dragonborn growled to herself, angry. She needed to stop daydreaming. Her life had almost ended two nights before on an assassin’s dagger. She needed to be more aware. The world would not let her live in obscurity anymore. She could suck the soul out of dragons. With the winged beasts in the air once more and some old men on a mountain calling her Dovahkiin, she could not live in peace. Her life was no longer her own.

The sky was darkening and soon they would be out of daylight.

“Ladyship,” grumbled the drawling tones behind her. “As pleasant as the view of your rear on a horse is, I really think it’s time we got settled for the night.”

She ignored the barbed compliment. It was his way. She did not think for one moment he was at all interested in her. Bishop was older, wiser. The world had tried to crush him and he had refused to yield. He lived as he pleased. Part of her envied him. A growing whisper within her admired him. Or rather, she liked his company when he was not goading her. Which he often was.

Irritated she slithered from her mount. The mare shook her mane and flanks, showering the drenched Dragonborn with even more water.

They set camp, movements practised and automatic after two months on the road together. By the time the small tents were up she was shivering. There would be no fire tonight.

“If you are cold my Lady you could always snuggle next to me,” came an enticing purr from outside her tent. She bit back a retort. Bishop was taking first watch. He must be as tired as she and yet he stood in the rain, willing to watch over her as she rested.

Her eyes fluttered closed. The wound to her side throbbed. She ignored it as best she could; that and her aching muscles from riding all day. She deserved the pain. The blade, had it slipped between her ribs rather than across them she would not be alive to be in pain.

She was naive. A overturned carriage. A woman in trouble. How could she simply ride past such? Shame and guilt bubbled from her chest and tried to force its way up her throat. She bit her fist to stop herself sobbing. The Dragonborn should not cry and yet tears splattered and hissed from her eyes. She was grateful the rain on the canvas covered the sniffles. If Bishop heard her at least he had the grace not to say anything.

Sleep came swiftly once she ceased her tears. Curling into a ball of misery, knees under her chin beneath the furs.

Bishop did not wake her for the second watch. It was the first rays of dawn that alerted her to the fact she had slept all night.

She rolled from her furs. Her nose wrinkled. Wet leather, sweat, mud, blood. She was pungent to say the least. She was also stiff and uncomfortable. Cold from sleeping on the ground even with fur under her. She stumbled from her tent, prepared to give Bishop an ear-full for not waking her. One moment he was telling her she did not need protection, next he was treating her like a little child who needed their sleep.

The words were choked back on seeing him slumped by a small fire. He must have managed to light one once the rain stopped. He was seated, head dipped, eyes closed. He looked like he would wake any moment and yet he was deeply asleep. A small snore came from the hunched man. She covered her mouth and tried not to giggle.

He looked so much younger asleep. She realised she had no idea how old he was. She had taken him for mid thirties, but without the scowl and fierce eyes the years melted away. He may not even be thirty.

The sun was rising, but it was hard to tell. Mist had rolled in to cover the Reach. The dawn’s light was diffuse and scattered by the water in the air. The vapour swirled between them, the fire crackled and spat in the pit Bishop had probably dug with his fingers in the dark of the early morning.

She tip toed back to her tent and grabbed one of her furs. This at least she was good at. She was small, light of foot. Hunting for game since she was strong enough to pull a bow, she was not utterly useless.

All wire and sinew. ‘Muck and muscle,’ as her mother had put it. What man would want a woman like her? Yes she was an excellent farmer and could hunt, but men did not appreciate such she had often been told.

“Men fall in love with their eyes, women their ears,” her Grandmother was fond of saying. Men looked, women listened. She was the only daughter. She should wed well. A little softness and effort on her appearance would go a long way to get her settled with the right man…

She pulled a face, just as she had when she heard such from her family. It was unfair.

Now she would give back the house she had just bought in Whiterun to return to those days. All she needed to do was smarten up, drag a comb through her stubborn curls. What was that compared to the expectations upon her now?

She crept back, tongue clamped between her teeth in concentration. It was like stalking a deer. Every step placed with care, remain downwind. Bishop may smell as bad as she did but that did not mean her own stink would not wake him.

With infinite care, she draped the furs over his form. She snatched her hands back and waited for the sarcastic comment. Something to reprimand her for her kindness. There was silence. He remained asleep.

A bird chirruped in the reeds. She snapped her head to glare at the ball of thistledown fluff. Her brown eyes narrowed. The bird hopped away swiftly. As if sensing its joyful song was most unwelcome.

She did not have long. Bishop would wake soon and those golden eyes missed nothing. She bent to lift her pack, pausing for a moment as something clanked within. A glance at Bishop and she exhaled slowly. He slept on. She took quick steps into the mist, sighing as it closed round her.

At the small fire, yellow eyes snapped open and watched her walk away.

The Dragonborn located the stream by sound. It was a trickle of water really. Enough to get her feet in. It was all she needed. Nimble fingers unfastened buckles that had not been opened in days. Leather and iron clattered to the ground. The feeling of the fresh, moister-laden air on her skin was divine. Soon nothing remained but the linen between her legs. The water was close to freezing. As she splashed it over herself her flesh puckered up like a plucked chicken. She endured stoically.

Looking back, she never did know what alerted her. Perhaps a muffled noise in the mist. Perhaps instinct, feeling eyes on her. Whatever the reason she glanced up. There, in the mist across from her was a shadow. Her hand was on her knife in a moment. She inhaled to yell for Bishop, but paused. The shape was getting no closer. Nor was there any weapon she could see.

The shape was male, that was obvious by the size of the shoulders. Nord? She was not sure. He was slighter than Bishop. Her grip tightened on her dagger as the shape moved silently to the left, maintaining its distance.

Her heart hammered. She could feel herself being observed and was very aware she was almost naked. Her voice caught in her throat. Bishop was only a few strides from her and yet she remained silent. She did not even think to use her newly acquired shouts. The shape circled her, one step flowing into the next. There was no sound.

She was being stalked.

A hand fell on her shoulder making her squeak. Her dagger splashed into the water.

“We leave,” snarled the voice behind her. “Now.”

Bishop did not even give her naked form half a look. The shadow in the mist melted away as he spoke.

She was unceremoniously shoved back into her leathers and almost lifted onto her horse. The camp was abandoned. Expensive equipment left behind. She opened her mouth to protest as he mounted his own horse.

“We leave,” he repeated, cutting her off. Golden eyes glared into the mist. “The one you saw you were meant to see. There are most likely others out there we cannot.”

Wolves were known to use the same tactic. They hunted as a pack. One would distract while the others closed in. She shuddered. Had she really been that foolish? Had the noose been tightening around her and she had been too blind to see it?

The mounts were urged into a trot. She looked back over her shoulder, trying to discern anything through the mist. She could detect no sign of others or pursuit.

“We will get new gear in Markarth,” Bishop assured her.

The loss of the equipment was not what caused her to worry. There she had been, staring at an unknown man like a moons struck calf. She really was a naive farmgirl.

“Could be Forsworn,” Bishop muttered. “You don’t take chances with them. Killers and savages.”

Forsworn… something heard of, a tale told at the fire. The old ways, an ancient people. Murderers. That shape in the mist with its lupine grace. It was a logical assumption, they were travelling through the Reach. Yet, she had felt no threat. Perhaps that was the intention. Lure her to let her guard down.

Lesson learnt. She needed to be wiser.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly to the man on the other horse.

“Apologise later when I am sure we are not about to get shot,” he snarled.

“That will be never then,” she muttered. “I’m always hunted.” To her surprise a secretive smirk crossed his lips. She searched her words for a double meaning but could find none.

No arrows found them that day. She realised later she had left her dagger behind. The one her mother had given her when she came of age.

A painful loss. A reminder of her folly as much as the wound on her flank.

((A little fanfiction based around a small part of the wonderful Skyrim Romance Mod. Which has been fantastic fun to play of late. Had great fun writing this and massive fangirl hugs to the mod makers.))

Lodge and Lenewe

She sighed as she cleaned the bar, the sharp smell of beeswax thick in her nostrils

She had been so happy these last few weeks. So… content. She should have known it would not last.

He had been so angry. She did not understand why. All she had wanted to do was protect him. He was important to her. Would he do any less for her?

She was growing used to the chill in his aura, it was part of him. Nothing to fear. She had felt accepted… he was affectionate… wanted nothing from her. He was part guide, part friend. He also needed her, craved contact with her just as she had with him.

So unlike the other in her life. He was… afraid… did not understand, or perhaps want to understand.

She was being patient with him. Had been patient, her heart ripped to shreds over him and gathered back together by a sheer act of will. It was not his fault. She had never blamed him. Still, she craved closeness and Len had filled that gap nicely while she waited for her love to comprehend his own feelings.

Now Len was angry and had possibly compromised himself.

Omni had been in the bar. She remembered what she had felt from him in the Silverwastes. The same chill.

Then the other she met in the Flagon. They all spoke to her, seemed so reasonable. Wanted to befriend her. It was if the universe was laughing at her. She would have put a blade through them without a second thought a year ago.

Her dream, was it becoming a reality? Would she become what she feared without having any say in the matter?

Another thought haunted her. The ones she had killed in the mother’s name. What if they had not needed to die?

She finished polishing the bar and went down into the “Safe room” in the cellar. The real reason she worked in this bar. Her former wardens and associates had scoffed to find her working here. Oh how the Valiant had fallen. She cared little. She did what she had to. Those that criticised did not understand. Those she now worked for had resources. Resources she needed to access. She was still learning but she did have a natural feel for the work. Even enjoyed it.

She availed herself of pen and paper and wrote her request down. She needed help, help to see what should have been hers from the beginning. Her employers must know someone who could help. She sealed it in a steel tube and fixed it to the leg of dove from the cage in the corner. Cooing to the little bird and stroking it’s head she moved out of the cellar and back into the now very clean bar. She released the dove from behind the Lodge, watching it flap away.

So, her future in the hands of strangers. She hoped they valued her enough to help. She shook off her bleak mood and headed down the path after locking the door. She could wallow in self-pity or do something productive.

She did not go home that night, or the next. She had someone to find and the Reach was a big city.

Awakenings

Waking takes a long time. The menders are concerned. Physically the Sister found in the forest was mending well. Mentally they were not so sure.

Even asleep, the Sisters aura swings from dizzying highs to dismal lows. Whatever she is dreaming it is as if she lives it. The warden patrol that found her had no idea who she was. They did report seeing other footprints. There was some sort of altercation. The Scout noted that there were a large set of prints near to where she lay.

Attacker or defender? Either way the large footprints followed those of the others, lending weight to the theory that the Sister had been attacked by a group. There were shell-casings from bullets that had been fired. A little sap spilt on the ground, but not so much to be concerned.

The menders knew who she was. Anwesu, was well respected for periodically sharing her medical supplies. She did so for some debt the menders could not fathom. The time she had burnt her hands in an experiment as a sapling was long forgotten. Forgotten by all except Anwesu. The kindness shown to her that day remained with her and she saw fit to redress the balance now she was in a position to do so.

She had been placed in a small hut, on a hammock, clothing removed. She appeared so much smaller and fragile with the robes gone.

She whimpered and her chest heaved as she fought her way back to consciousness. Her left eye occasionally fluttering open, showing a much dulled orange orb underneath.

Her arm was bruised from shoulder to elbow. Result of the robes deflecting a bullet. Her bark had been saved from piercing, but the impact had injured her regardless. There was also a deep gash over her forehead and extensive swelling and bruising all round the left hand side of her face. Her left eye was swollen shut.

Blunt trauma to the face had knocked her out cold.

It was just as the sun was setting when her good eye finally opened and remained open.

‘Llafn,” the name eases out of her lips, her eye still dull, not really awake. “W…why?”

Suddenly she sits up, a snarl on her full lips. Her head swims and a wave of nausea turns her stomach. She ignores it, struggling to get out of the hammock. The mender on duty, a pretty little sister with dark eyes and light leaves fluttered over to her. Words, half understood are spoken in a high tone. She needs to rest, this is unwise she has not even recovered.

The growl that leaves Anwesu’s lips is feral, like a cornered animal

“Get… out… of my… way” she demands, her tone dripping with venom.

The little mender gives a whimper as the toxic aura, swirling with hate and rage threatens to swamp her own. She backs away immediately. Her fear only goes to feed Anwesu’s fury. She would not be like this if he had not hit her in the head.

The barriers were gone, she was open, raw, vulnerable and oh so very angry.

How dare he? This was her duty and he denied her the opportunity to do as she should. Do what she had promised. When she gave her word it was never empty.

Where was he? Her orange eye turned on the terrified mender. Possibly a trainee.

“Where was I found? Was I alone?” the words lash out, answers are expected and quickly. Anwesu finally manages to get to her feet, clinging to the hammock for support. Her head screams at her, if she pushes herself it’s not a case of if she blacks out but when.

It did not matter. She needed to do something. Anything. She could not lie in the Grove oblivious and safe without knowing the truth.

“Y… you were alone,” squeaks the mender. “There were other tracks moving away but… please, you must rest! You have been unconscious for half a day there is no telling what…”

The bitter laughter from the tiny sylvari fills the hut. It is not a pleasant sound.

“If he is not dead I am going to kill him,” she says coldly. “I will hunt his blue hide down, tear strips of bark from his corpse and wear it as a dress!”

“Please!” the mender begs. “You are not yourself Sister. A blow to the head can…”

“Change personality and even alter memory,” Anwesu snaps. “Do you take me for a fool? Now step back from me before your aura makes me hug you or some other such nonsense.” The words are spat but there is less emotion behind them.

“I need to speak to Cedach, now,” she orders. “I either go myself, or you go and get her.”

“But…” the mender protested, she was swiftly cut off.

“NOW!” Anwesu’s one eye blazed with annoyance and not a small about of panic. “I am on borrowed time, there is a Brother missing!”

The little mender flees the hut.

An slumps back against the hammock, glad for a moments respite. Even having one sibling so close when she was so open made her heightened senses feel overloaded. She did not have long. Everything would soon shut down to save her from going half insane. It was her last line of defence. It was why she was such a weak seeming example of her race. Every day was a fight to keep the mental barriers in place to shield her from the world. Here, in the Gove… it was at its worst. So many bright, intrusive emotions. She could sense them, even at a distance.

Arren had once asked her why she lived like this. Why she did not go soundless and gain her strength back. She had answered that it would be like ‘them’ wining. The ones who made her this way had taken so much from her. She refused to let them take this too. Her ability to feel, her ability to connect to another without words. So she directed almost all her skill with barriers into her own mind. Dampening down her own empathy and over-active senses. It was gradually getting better. She could touch others again without screaming… but now…

She was afraid.

Frightened what she was capable of with nothing between her and the world. To feel fully what had happened…It was overwhelming. The acrimonious pang of resentment for being denied her duty, the distress that she may have been deceived, as she had been before… the hurt she felt for failing and… concern. She was worried and not about herself.

She did not matter, she never had, or someone would have found her, someone would have questioned…

They had not, she was gone over a year and no one missed her enough to seek her out. She had always faded into the background. No one of consequence. She had accepted this.

“When you wake… you will be changed. I cannot wait to see how.”

She screwed her good eye shut and shuddered. She did not want to remember. Not when she was like this… not when she would feel it all.

“Please…” she begged no-one in particular, an echo of the sapling she once was threading through her voice. “Please, not now.” Her throbbing head would not cooperate, it was only by a sheer act of will that she did not collapse into a sobbing and screaming heap on the ground.

She was needed… at least for the next few moments.

Cedach came swiftly, she took one look at An and folded her arms. The tall, imposing warden was pretty in her own way, but the bulky leaf armour covered a powerful body that was more than adequate to the task of swinging the huge blade on her back.

“What do you think are you doing?” Cedach demanded. “You should not be up yet!”

An could feel what she did not say. The warden was worried and her normally harsh gaze was full of sympathy as she took in An’s injuries.

It was too much, An’s chin wobbled slightly and her good eye misted with tears.

“They shot him,” she says in a rush. “They shot me, the Knight of Song and the gutter rats that follow in her wake.” There is was, the darkness in the back of her mind. She kept her attention on the freckled face of the warden and forced out the next few words, though they were slow and slurred.

“He knocked me out… please… please tell me he did it to save me…” she wanted to believe that. Wanted it so badly it hurt. She was not sure what she would do if she was betrayed again. She gave a strangled sob and a tear spilled from her eye.

She was pathetic.

That was the last thought, the darkness rushed over her and she slipped to the floor.

Cedach caught her before her before her injured head struck the ground.

First Steps

45th Colossus 1327AE

So yes, ‘lost’ my other journal, so starting afresh. New journal for a new life. Nope I don’t believe that either.

Well… There I was, brooding away in my camp, (Yes it was brooding, I admit it. Monumentally unhelpful self-pity,) when who should happen by but Ellros.

He asked after me. Mother, I wanted to hug that little body, he looked like a strong breeze would blow him over.

In his own… rather colloquial way, he cut through the ‘crap’ as he put it and said he had a proposition for me. Really? To open negotiations so abruptly? Had I been still trading I would have been smelling a desperation. Ellros however has very tight control of his aura. Must be exhausting to repress that much without being soundless. I can never manage it for long myself. Or rather I have not needed to in Orr and I am out of practice.

The Risen do not mind if I am sad or angry. They just make me pay if I let the emotions overcome my judgment. Fighting them has done me more than good. I am now more skilled with weaponry than I have ever been. Physically I don’t think I have ever been in such peak condition.

All that time behind the desk as Prime. I got soft. Hunt changed that.

So, I was asked to join the order of Whispers. Better than the Priory at least.

I was not sure… part of me leapt at the chance. I would have something else to distract me, take me from the forest and all that I left behind. Ease my guilt as I was being of use again, not selfishly chasing after the urgings of the hunt.

Yes I know. Valliant and all that, it’s an honour… (Still can’t see it that way no matter how hard I try.)

Part of me backed away. Arren’s trial, I had been asked to be there. Sprout was getting herself into no end of trouble back in the forest. Rhass, Thekrin, Pepper, Clu, Dex, Aggy, Liu, Argyle, Ver… the list of names continued to reel on through my mind. I avoided thinking of the name that sprang first to mind. Thekrin has told me to let him go, to stop hurting myself.

Could I really commit to something that would cause me to let Arren down again by not being there for him? Could I say yes and not be available to any of my former people until I was on leave? My hunt however, the burden would be shared. I would not fight the risen alone when we returned from deployment.

I would have an excuse to stay away from the forest. He did not want me there.

He did not want me.

Ellros did.

That was it, before I knew it I was being told to get into Vigil gear and we would depart at first light.

I was puzzled as I was given the armour by the quartermaster… then I realised.

Ellros was trying to make me stand out less, blend into the crowd a little. My face is well known.

“Good luck with that,” I muttered as I put the armour on. “I’m a giant blue female sylvari with a white glow. Not many around like me.”

I shoved the helm on my head and grumbled. It crushed my bark. I pulled it back off, hoping I could get away without wearing it. Yes…part of me is still a little vain even now.

It was then when I was nearly hit by a dove flopping out the sky. The poor thing was exhausted and the little message canister it carried had been redirected several times. I’m not that hard to find, am I?

“I need to speak with you urgently. Can’t move much.”

It was from Sprout.

My sap stilled. I had only just filled out the paperwork. I was a member of the pact. I could not just dash off without permission. This was the choice I feared I may have to face and it had happened with the ink still wet on my documentation.

Karma is a bitch.

Still, I had made my decision and was willing to accept what that entailed. I went to Ellros who was talking to Explorer Larxas. (The two are on good terms it seems. Yes Lar is Priory but not a stuck up icicle like most of them.) I named no names but asked to go back to Caledon. Ellros was evidently not pleased, but I was granted permission.

Alright that rubbed a little. Granted permission… stupid ego. I am bottom of the ranks again. Suck it up!

I digress.

I rushed back to the forest, fearing the worst. Cathal was in chaos.

One warden in open revolt, another admitting nightmare connections. I almost wanted to start snapping out orders but I bit my tongue. It’s not my job anymore and to do so would be to disrespect and undermine Pepper. She has enough to deal with.

I found Sprout, she was injured but standing. I was not exactly in a good mood having run from the gate in the Grove. Not even Rhass’ aura brushing over mine lifted my glare. The sapling must have run off, I could not find him after.

It was not as I suspected. Sprout had information for me.

She had been attacked by a wolf and under Verruh’s order.

I thought I may fall apart right there. She continued that he was wearing a scrap of silk that came from my clothing… blue… the silk I had bought in DR with Sprout. I dug for details despite my legs having turned to mush. How was she still alive? She was no match for him.

He had spared her. Not followed through on the order.

Mother help me, I felt hope. Delicious and fragile hope. I had to leave, or risk weeping. I could not let them all know the extent of my involvement… how far I had let myself slip in his case.

I wrote many a letter that night, including one I left in the forest for him to find.

It’s not in me to give up… and that is more curse than blessing.

I have hope… where I did not before.

I returned to fort trinity tired. I will not be back in the forest again for quite some time. I thought that would be the end for a while.

Of course it was not. New day, new problems.

Ellros… It’s not his real name. So the boss is a liar. Good to know. I’ll keep an eye on him, see what else he gives away. I get the impression though that he is, struggling with something. Having talked to the others, they just recently lost their leader and she will be a tough act to follow.

That is so close to my own experience it is not even funny. When Niu died I battled both grief, the fact I was in charge and people were dependent on me.

It was frightening but I rose to the challenge, never thought I would, but I did.

Len looks like he is at that turning point. He needs support but I am not sure he is going to get it. His team is fragmented and some almost hostile to him. If they don’t have each other’s backs then internal conflict can bleed over into the field. I have seen it happen. Trust is key or how do you know the orders you follow will keep you alive?

I don’t want to overstep the mark, I am just starting out, but I tried to at least show Len that I did not hold a grudge for his little lie and I was willing to learn and be a dependable member of the team. I kept the conversation light, he does not need any more on his back right now.

Abigail is intriguing. A mage that uses her power to see the world around her. Blind since birth she feels the air. She seems one of the coldest to Len but seemed friendly enough speaking to me. We got onto the topic of betrayal. (I guess I joined the right order)… she asked me if I ever got used to it.

“No, it still stings and burns. That does not stop me trusting. I have seen those who close themselves off, even tried it myself. It does not work. You only end up hurting yourself and driving those who do care from you.”

That hurt me to say, but I’m not about to lie to those around me… not unless I am forced to. I slept poorly that night, had much to think of. Got up early to help out at the kitchens. That Charr is appreciative of the help, I can tell by the way he has not hit me with a meat cleaver.

Liu came to see me. I did not expect he would and it was nice to see him. As usual with a case such as his, he already knew what he needed to do, he just needed to see things from a distance to come to the decision himself. By the time we spoke alone he already had an answer, I simply made sure he had thought it through.

This is the third time I had aided him in a crisis. He was genuinely grateful, although I did nothing really. Still, he asked if he could ever repay me. The words were out my mouth before I could hold them back.

“There is a large wolf in the forest. Some call him Verruh’s wolf but that is not true. If you see him, treat him gently. He struggles as you do.”

Mother… I truly am a pathetic creature. When will this end? When will I stop thinking about him and worrying? I have no pride… Liu took my request back to the forest with him. There is nothing more I can do. The wolf has to decide. I can only hope he chooses wisely.

Mother, I never asked for anything before… but I ask this. Get him out of that forest and away from those who seek to corrupt and confuse him. If I had stayed then…

No I can’t think like that. Not anymore. What has happened has happened. I have a new path now. The old may cross it at times but my steps are my own.

If only freedom were not such a heavy burden to carry alone.

I have seen Thekrin and his group. Rhass is also with them. I may have let slip that I was in the wastes to Rhass. He would come out here anyway. Better he does so while I am here to keep an eye on him.

Thekrin was… odd.

Stuttering like a sapling, trying to hide his face. I did not know what was wrong at first. I’ve been away from the forest too long I guess. Time was that many a sapling looked at me that way. Later on he whispered in my ear…

“Sorry to be weird, but that armour… wow.”

I spoke with him and Tea, she is not sleeping well either… eventually it was just myself and the sap… Thekrin (really must stop calling him sapling.)

I put my arm round him as we spoke of our hunts. Again his words gave me pause.

“There might be those who make you question the choices you have made, make you feel ugly inside but not me, You’ll always be beautiful to me, Suiri”

Am I reading too much into this? I know he had a sapling crush on me before but that was months ago and he moved on.

Sooner I get out this armour the better.

Grown up?

Grown up stuff-

 

  • I turn 34 in November.
  • I have a mortgage
  • I know how to wallpaper
  • I have two children
  • I have a husband (11 years married in November.)
  • I know LED light bulbs have a 25 year lifespan and are even more efficient than so called energy saving light bulbs.
  • I have two cats both of which have health insurance.
  • I drive and own a sensible family car
  • I like cooking
  • I have a career, which I am apparently good at.

 

This all means I am a grown up, yes?

Funny thing is I don’t FEEL grown up. Body shape and face have changed, true and I am much more wise and cynical than I used to be. I keep waiting to wake up one day and feel like an adult or for someone to say I’m all grown up now, well done. Here is the official badge, this is the secret handshake and your branch of the club meets once a month at the pub down the road.

 

Point is, once you pass 21 there are no more real milestones till you hit 40, technically middle age. That’s two decades of just living with society not really recognising it. A lot happens in those two decades! A lot of people start a family if they don’t already have one, or buy a house or get a good job… soon they build a list like the one above.

 

I remember when I came home with son one. After a difficult pregnancy and a hellish 3 day labour culminating in an emergency caesarean I finally brought my beautiful baby home. Once the well-wishers had left and Hubbie had cleaned up the mess the cat had left on the sofa for us, the panic set in.

There was no immediate transition to motherhood for me. I looked at the baby and wondered when it’s parents were coming back to get it. It couldn’t be mine! I was not responsible enough to have a baby!

Bloody hell, I was the woman who drank herself sober at 19. At that party I ended up getting snogged by the barman and I kneed him in the groin for his trouble. At my 21st birthday pub crawl I drank every drink I was offered, discussed contraception with the taxi driver on the way home then puked all night. Had to go to the doctor in the morning because I had taken the lining off my stomach.

I’m the one who would rush outside when there was a storm and get soaking just to look at it.

I’m the one who did not sleep for three days just to win a bet.

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO BE A PARENT!

But there he was and we got to know each other. It helped that my Husband went through exactly the same identity crisis. We could panic together.

So, son 2 is currently rolling round the floor attempting to reach the cat so he can chew on it and son 1 is playing games on his Daddy’s tablet in the house I own.

I STILL DON’T FEEL GROWN UP!

 

 

Interested in this I’ve tried to analyse why I feel this way and came up with another list. A ‘reasons why I’m not grown up list.’

  • I sing and dance in the kitchen, cos I can.
  • I’m a geek; I’d rather have a nice piece of hardware than new clothes. In fact I got down to two bra’s last month before admitting I’d have to buy a new one rather than a new PC game.
  • I daydream, chronically.
  • I get scared of my nightmares and sometimes wake up crying.
  • My stuff is MY stuff. No one touches it, it’s MINE!
  • I watch anime
  • I write fanfiction
  • I laugh at pigeons
  • I forget to brush my teeth.
  • I don’t like adults, they scare me. I nod, smile and hope to have a normal conversation without suddenly blurting out something stupid such as knowing the difference between A wings and X wings.
  • When it’s dark and snowing and I’m driving the car I like to pretend I’m travelling at light speed.
  • I don’t care when son 1 gets wet/dirty/ loses clothes.

 

There is more but that is just a sample of my inadequacy for adulthood.

I recently realised my perception of what being grown up means is based on my parents, specifically my Mother.

Let’s take my last point about clothing and children. I had ‘play clothes’ and woe betide me if I played in anything else or got other clothes dirty. I would hide wet clothes rather than let my Mother find them. (Girls did not go swimming in the river at 12!) Of course she would find them months later, mouldy and ruined and I would be in worse trouble.

It was damn hard keeping clean on a sodding farm!

Don’t get me wrong, I get on well with my Mum but I am very much not her. Parenting has taught me this, though I knew it before.

I remember her dragging me by the hand into clothes shops in my early teens. I needed a short black dress, it was the fashion. I felt so bloody uncomfortable in that thing, like the whole town could see my nickers. I wanted my jeans back!

My Mother was very much working class but seemed to want me to be more. A natural reaction, what parent would not want better for their children? She had no qualifications and had ‘cleaned every bog in the town,’ as she put it. She encouraged me at school even though she knew I found it hard. She pushed for my Dyslexia diagnosis even though it was not a recognised condition at the time. She also tried to mould me into what she saw a young woman should be. It was everything I was not. I moaned about it at first but did not actually kick against her until I hit my late teens. After I left home for university I could fully embrace my geeky unfashionable me and forgot all about the ‘Lady’ my Mum wanted me to be, much to her despair. This pretty much led to all the nonsense I wrote about a few paragraphs ago. Thanks to a good dose of her common sense however I did not do anything too stupid…

I guess I have to find my own way of grown upness that suits me and not base my perception on my Mother.

That said; I still find myself using her turn of phrase with my children.

“You hit Mummy your hand will drop off!”

“Because I said so!”

“Get in the bathroom and brush your teeth you little tyke!”

“There is nothing wrong with you, stop crying and get on with it!”

“My kitchen my rules!”

“FAMILY HUG!!!!!”

“TICKLE TORTURE!”

 

Not so different then… They say all women eventually turn into their mothers. I say they got it wrong. I’d like to think I’m keeping some of the best bits and will enforce my own individual parental irritations on my children.

They will probably wind up being brand obsessed vegetarian conservatives. *shudder*

As Philip Larkin said-

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

  They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you

 

Nailed it Mr Larkin.