Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #3

ExploringI am pleased to share with you the delightful submission from fellow writer, redgypsophila for last week’s Writing Prompt entitled, Weapons of Math Instruction.  She took a fairly obvious image and wrote something completely unexpected.  Please give it a read and offer feedback.  I hope more of you will feel compelled to write and share as well, and I look forward to all the adventures we might take.

As for me, I’ve been working on a bit of fan fiction.  Yep, Dragon Age.  I started it as just part of the free writing exercise, as a way to get out of my head, but it has grown into something much more.  I wrote 900 words last night, and have spent some time today filling in the gaps and adding a little more detail.  It’s up to 2,800 words now, and I am loving every minute of it.  I have so got my geek on.

BrecilianForestCaveInspired by concept art…who would’ve thought.  I’ll probably put it into my Excerpts section when it’s completed, but for now here’s a little bit.

Excerpt

The cave was merely an entrance to a lost world.  Majestic trees with roots twice the size of Sten snaked their way upwards to the divide in the earth above.  My eyes followed their path to the Brecilian Forest overhead trying to invade this space as well.  The trees and the thick underbrush made the light that did find its way down work hard to do so.  As our eyes adjusted to our new surroundings, we were all surprised to find that this had once been a people’s home.  Perfect ruins remained intact throughout the space.  Leliana was the first to whisper how remarkable the people must have to create something so beautiful, and so remote.

The stone columns were each detailed with artwork or text.  There were clear indications that this had once been a center of activity; remnants that maybe they had left in haste.  We remained in a state of silence as we took in the scene before us, but also to listen for the rusting of its inhabitants, of which there must be some.  I grappled with the mage light* idea again, but this time thought better of it.  The space was large enough that if we did end up in a fight we could defend ourselves, spread out, and retreat if necessary.

I conjured the image of the light in my mind.  I felt the warmth of the idea spread through me towards my hands.  I clenched my left fist tight, allowing the magic and my will to bind my desire and then released the light into the air.  It hovered a few feet above me, like a halo, lighting the area around me as I moved.  Alistair’s voice cracked when he tried to break the silence.  We all shared a small laugh as he cleared his throat and tried again.  “Shall we continue?”  We all murmured our agreement.

It was Sten who took the lead then; making his way down the hazardous makeshift steps that would lead us all to the cavern floor.  He cleared the first step easily with his long stride, the same step that would require the rest of us to jump, so Alistair helped each of us proceed while Sten made sure we reached the bottom unharmed.  There it was, the simplest of gestures, the helping hand.  Alistair’s hand reached out to mine, and my eyes became fixated on the movement.  He had kind hands.  His Templar training and his short years with the Wardens had not yet embittered him.  The palms were lightly calloused from his weapon’s training, and the fingers were long and nimble.  How odd to find myself drawn to them.  I had never noticed anyone else’s hands before.  Even while in training at the Circle did I only watch the magic spread throughout a fellow mages limbs, not the physical details of them.  I felt that strange warmth again, felt it burning in my cheeks.  This would be the first contact; unlike the brushing against one another as we had in battle, my assisting him with his armor, or the binding of each other’s wounds, this would be, I don’t know, personal?

Anyone outside the Circle would never dare touch a mage.  We were something to be feared, or so the rumors and the Templars would have you believe.  And so most mages lived in isolation and fear, a fear of our own design at the ever-present threat we endured from those afraid of us.  A cycle of fear; we all feared the unknown.  In the Circle, we did not even greet one another with hugs or even handshakes, so we lived solitary existences with very little contact.  The thought that an ex-Templar would now take my hand willingly was not only laughable, but a strange and almost unheard of occurrence.  But when I looked into Alistair’s eyes, my trepidation fell away.  It was Alistair.

I looked directly into his eyes as I let my hand slide into his.  I felt each of us respond.  My blush consumed me, and I evidently passed it to him as well.  I saw the rosy glow touch his cheeks.  We shared an impish smile, while his grip tightened, and drew me closer.  I felt my feet move forward of their own volition.  I felt my body relax.  I had to wonder if it was his Templar training?  Templars had the ability to negate magic, so perhaps this is what it felt like to be neutralized.  But I didn’t truly believe that.  Could it just be…

I didn’t have a chance to finish that thought as I saw the glimmer of magic rush toward me.  Standing on the ledge, with my mage light* above me, I was a beacon, and I had been noticed.  With one hand on my staff that I was also using as a walking stick, so one end was stuck in the earth, and my other hand in Alistair’s, I could not defend myself.  I was struck, and struck hard.  Cold hard magic consumed me and I was flung backward.  I felt Alistair’s hand slip away as spasms racked my body.  The crushing prison.  I would have used that spell first myself, had I not been distracted.

Happy Writing Everyone!

*terminology from another game, need new word

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