Finally, a little later than expected due to some unplanned yardwork, I spent some time doing some "real" writing. It's really rough, and I need to make time to do more tonight, but here is a bit of the 750 words I wrote on The Crystal Sword this afternoon.
With a start, Clara stood up, drawing the Crystal Sword from it’s sheath. “What is it?”
Salene stepped back and gazed at the sword and then at Clara, awe filling her face. She dropped to one knee and bowed her head.
Clara quickly re-sheathed the Crystal Sword and leaned over her friend. “Stand up, silly, it’s just me. Now tell me, what’s wrong?”
“It’s not just you,” Salene said, her voice trembling. “The Maker’s Light, all around you . . . it is brighter than the sun.”
“I put it away, seriously Salene, please tell me why you look so worried when you woke me?”
Salene laughed shakily and then glanced at her friend. “You’re still glowing, you know.” She stood slowly, hesitantly. “I was worried because you never sleep past sunrise and it is two hours past and we couldn’t wake you,” she explained.
“Oh,” Clara said, seeing how bright the sky outside her tent flap looked for the first time. “I am sorry. I had such bad dreams, and then after I prayed at dawn, I guess I started catching up on all the lost sleep. A gift from the Maker to me, but not to the group. I apologize, I can be ready quickly.”
“I’ll help,” Salene said. “My gear’s already packed, and you know Dantor has the Prince and the troop thinking you were giving the Prince more time to rest. In fact, why don’t you eat your breakfast and I’ll pack up for you.”
“Thanks,” Clara said, devouring the cold breakfast bread, cheese and cool tea as quickly as she could. When she finished that and a quick wash, she took down the tent and stowed it in her saddlebags.
“I’m glad you woke,” Dantor said, “but don’t be surprised if the Prince thinks you are coddling him.”
“Salene told me that you had them believing that I was slow on purpose. Thanks for that, Dantor. I didn’t expect you to be so . . . kind.”
“Tactful, you mean, giving the command of the party a good turn? I know how to obey orders, or even look like I am to make my commander look good. It’s a skill I learned as a private,” Dantor said softly.
“Thank you,” she said, feeling that it all went beyond that. Dantor had brow-beaten her for years over her behavior, her tactics, her swordsmanship. He had seemed to belittle her at every opportunity, and yet here he was showing her not only respect, but kindness.
“However,” he said, “don’t make this sort of thing a habit. It looks bad to your troop, and even our Prince.”
There was the Dantor she knew. “Of course not, Dantor,” she said, holding back the desire to excuse herself, or point out that she had never overslept before.