Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

Undestined is on Wattpad!

By the way, posts are shown starting with the most recent. If you want to start at the beginning, you need to use the archives and start with the oldest post. Savvy?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chapter 1, pt. 4

Silay sat and the Seer pulled a map from a niche in the wall and spread it out on the table. Next to it she placed a soft leather pouch from which she removed a tiny sphere. It looked like it was made of glass, but on closer inspection Silay saw that its surface was constantly shifting shades of blues and greens. Tentatively, she reached out and touched it. “A farstone?”
The Seer nodded. “I’m not the only one who has been watching for signs of the plague. I’ve been using the farstone to speak with other seers. And we all see the same thing. Do you know how to read a map?”
“Yes. We’re taught in school.”
“Good.” The Seer touched the small dot that represented Dagrosa. “This is where we are. And this—” she touched a point far to the northwest “is where, as far as we have been able to work out, the plague starts.”
“But if it starts so far away, how does it spread all the way to Dagrosa?”
“That is one of the things we can’t see. We see the disease, see it spreading, but we don’t know how. If the Healers knew about how it spreads, if they knew before the outbreaks begin, they may be able to stop it, or at least slow it down.” She looked up at Silay. “Do you understand?”
“I think so.” Silay was quiet for a moment, considering. “But how would you figure out how it’s spreading?”
“Someone would need to be there when it started, need to watch it spread, and get the information out.”
“But can’t you tell the Healers to do that?”
“We already have. And it didn’t change what we saw. The Healers all die before anyone can work it out.”
Silay furrowed her brows. “I don’t understand. I thought you said there was hope.”
“There is.” The Seer grasped Silay’s hand across the table. “We see all our plans, all our defenses fail. But you move unseen. Even you just being in the town where it starts could change things. There’s no way to know. But I think it’s worth trying.”
Silay shook her head. “If I went, wouldn’t I just get sick like the healers?”
“More than likely.”
“But then—”
“But why?” The Seer tightened her grasp. “Because there’s also a chance you might not. A chance you might undo all the events that lead to the plague spreading.”
Silay let her eyes drop to the table. “I’m not a hero. You said so. But you’re talking about sending me on a quest.”
“I am.”
“I could die.”
“You could.” The Seer paused. “But then, you could also stay here and die of the plague anyways.”
Silay thought for a moment. “When would I need to start?”
The Seer shook her head. “Ordinarily, I would I would spend a few days scrying, looking at different paths and futures, then advise you when and where to go. But that’s not an option with you.” The Seer stood. “One thing I know is this: the disease spreads fast. Time is of the essence. Go home, think about it. And if you are willing to make the attempt, I think you should leave tomorrow. Come to me in the morning and I’ll have everything you need packed.”
Silay stood too. “I’ll…I’ll think about it.”
The Seer nodded. “Good. Oh, and Silay?”
“I imagine you’ll wish to speak with your parents. That is fine, but it would be best not to mention that there is a plague coming. Can you do that?”
“I can.”
“Good. Very good.”
And for the second time that day, Silay made the journey from the Seer’s cabin to her home.
Farstone. Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a name for stone that wasn't already used by a card game, RPG, or another fantasy story? What is it with fantasies and magic stones? How unoriginal can you be? ...Oh. Right. I did say this story was going to have a lot of cliches, didn't I? 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chapter 1, pt. 3

Silay was outside of the Seer’s cabin, hand raised to knock, when a voice called out, “I don’t need to see the future to hear footsteps outside. Come in.”
Silay entered, and the old woman smiled. “I thought you might come back. Hoped so, in fact.”
“I thought—” Silay tried to gathered her thoughts, but what came out wasn’t what she had intended. “I thought you hated me.”
“Hate you, child? No. I don’t hate you.” The Seer stood up and pulled out a chair. Silay sat down. “Now, fear you, that’s another matter.” She sat down across from the girl and looked her in the eyes. “You absolutely terrify me. You shouldn’t be.”
“They why did you hope I’d come?”
The Seer raised her eyebrows. “Why did you come? Not to ask for another fortune telling, I think.”
“No. I…I thought—”
“You seem to do a lot of that.” 
Silay jerked her eyes up from the floor, ready to be offended, but the Seer just smiled. “What did you think, child?”
“That maybe I could help.” Suddenly all the thoughts that had been running through her mind since she had overheard the conversation came rushing out. “You said there was a plague coming. That you could see it everyone’s future. That you didn’t see any way for it to be stopped. But—”
The Seer leaned forward in her chair. “Yes? But?”
“But you can’t see me. You can’t see my future. Which means maybe there isn’t a plague in my future, or maybe I’m the one who stops the plague.”
“Hmmm.” The Seer leaned back again. “You know, fortune telling is not an exact art. But there are some events so big, so likely, that no alternatives to them are seen. And those of us who see the future call such events Unchangeables. Whatever else happens around them, whatever choices are made, they are not strong enough to overcome an Unchangeable. Not even a Hero can do that. And you are no Hero, child. I would have seen if you were.”
“What am I then?”
“There’s the question. All magic, even fortune telling, revolves around knowing what things are. But you are an anomaly. Magic doesn’t seem to be able to recognize you.”
Silay stood up and shoved her chair back in frustration. “Then why did you hope I would come? Why did you speak to me when I was outside? If no one can do anything, then what’s the point? What’s the point of you?”
“I ask myself that question nearly everyday. Why bother looking at the future if so little of it can be changed?” She looked up at Silay. “Sit, child. I didn’t say it was hopeless. I just wanted you to understand.”
Silay remained standing. “So you think something can be done.”
“I hope something can be done. Nothing quite so substantial as thinking. No Unchangeable has ever been stopped, it’s true. But then, no person has ever been without a destiny either. And so, I hope.”
“What then? What do you think I can do?”
“Sit down and I’ll explain.”
Note: I've always liked reading author's notes about their stories, so I'm going to go ahead and write notes on some of my posts. If they bother you, no worries. Just don't read them :).

Anyway, like I said last week, there's going to be another long section of dialogue next week. This is actually a little unusual for me when writing, and I think the difference is that I usually start stories in medias res and leave it to the reader to catch up. This story, however, began pretty much at the beginning, so I feel obligated to lay all my cards on the table before I start shuffling them around. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chapter 1, pt. 2

Silay lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Her mother was out in the garden and her father at his stall in the market, so neither had seen her return home. The past year had been hard for her parents as well as her. In public, they followed general consensus, and avoided speaking about her, but in private they would reassure her that they loved her and that the Seer must have made a mistake. And while Silay knew that they did love her, she hated that they had to act like she didn’t exist outside their house.
The Seer had known she was listening. Silay’s thoughts kept coming back to this fact. And more than that, the Seer had wanted her to know that she knew. Why? Only one person could answer that, and Silay had been spending the last half hour trying to build up the courage to return to the cabin. After all, the last time she had been there the Seer had thrown her out and left her an outcast. A ghost.
Silay sat up and swung her legs over the side of her bed. If she was a ghost, then perhaps it was time she did some haunting. 
Note: Short section today, but I promise the next couple of weeks will be longer. Be prepared for a lot of dialogue in the next two weeks; there's a lot of ground rules, if you will, that need to be established. Thanks for reading along :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chapter One, pt.1

Silay watched with interest as the town leaders approached the Seer’s cabin. It had been almost a year since the Seer had called her ghost and thrown her out, and rumor had it that she had notified the leaders that she would not tell fortunes this year.

Curious, Silay followed the leaders from a distance, then slid around to the side of the Seer’s cabin, where she would be able to overhear the conversation. The Seer may not have seen a future for her, but in some ways, she had still made a correct prediction. Silay had become a ghost. The people of Dagrosa didn’t know what to make of her, so tacitly, unanimously, they had decided to make nothing of her. People went out of their way to avoid having to acknowledge her, for to do so would mean acknowledging one of two facts. Either it was possible for a person’s future to be unknown, or their Seer had failed. Either truth could mean an end to fortune telling, and not just in Dagrosa. People everywhere relied on the guidance of seers. Yes, they only saw may-be’s, not must be’s, but it was something all the same. And no one wanted to think about what it meant that the Seer had seen nothing in Silay’s future.

“The girl was a fluke, everyone knows that. No one doubts you abilities, Seer”.

Silay pressed her ear against the side of the cabin, straining to hear the old woman’s reply. “You best hope she was not, sirs. Indeed, pray the girl was just the first of my failures and that my age has at last weakened my view of the future.”

“What do you mean?” A different man’s voice asked the question.

“Do you think I only look into the future on Fortune Day?” the Seer paused for a response. Receiving none, she continued. “I watch the future always, and what I have seen is ruin. So again, I tell you, hope the mistake was mine, and that I am mistaken even now.”

“Do you believe you are mistaken?” It was the first man again.


“Then it is your duty to say what you have seen.”

“Duty?” the old women paused again, as if thinking. “Yes, perhaps it is. But what of your duty? Will you share what I am about to tell you to the people?”

“We will do as we see best.”
“As you see best? Well, I suppose I can expect no more."

Silay heard movement within, and then a gentle thump. She must have set the Seeing Crystal on the table, she thought. There was a moment of silence, then a gasp from the men. Then more silence.
Finally, one of the men spoke. “Are you certain?”
“Certain?” the Seer’s voice held contempt. “Of course I’m not certain. Do you know nothing of fortune telling? Yet, I’m as certain as I’ve ever been. Everywhere I look, the paths all lead to the same thing. Death. Ruin. And not just in Dagrosa. I see it everywhere, I see all people’s future’s ending in the same place. Plague. Plague is coming.”
“And do you see anyone stopping it?”
“No. It cannot be stopped.”
There was a scraping of chairs. “Thank you, Seer. We must discuss what best to do.”
“Discuss all you like. You can protect this town from men, but you cannot protect it from disease.”
The leaders left the cabin, but Silay stayed kneeling by the  wall, waiting until they were out of view before she herself left. She was about to stand up when she heard the Seer sigh and speak aloud to herself.
“I see all futures pointing to the same place.” A thump on the wall she was kneeling against made Silay jump back, startled. She almost didn’t catch the Seer’s next sentence. “All but yours, Ghost. For of yours, I see nothing."
Silay fled, and ran back to her house.