Day 9. Writing Every Day continues unabated(ish). Which is actually kinda surprising…
This one is loosely based on a scene from a Realmgard story I started ages ago but never got sorted out to a degree I was confident in continuing with.
Actually, Helgi [last name pending; he’s gone through about three of four that never stuck] is one of the earliest Realmgard characters I invented.
But, again, I could never get the details of his characters sufficiently sorted out to be satisfied with the prospects of getting a full story out of him.
I do want to revisit him for a full Realmgard story and I think that’s more likely now that both my writing skills and my sense for my characters and world have improved.
“Do you have a tail?” Helgi exclaims.
The older knights told him to expect the unexpected during this training exercise, but Helgi wasn’t expecting to run into — literally — a girl in the middle of the forest.
And he certainly wasn’t expecting that girl to have ears poking out through her ginger hair or a fluffy tail wagging behind her.
Oh, he realises, so that’s how it feels.
Every time he meets somebody new, they never say ‘Hi’, or ‘Nice shirt’, or ‘Lovely weather, isn’t it?” — it’s always, always ‘Do you have a tail?”.
Helgi does indeed have a tail. And horns. And he enjoys collecting things. And the best sleep he ever had was that night he got accidentally locked in the knights’ treasury.
Being part-dragon, it comes with the territory.
And being adopted and living most of his life around people who aren’t part-dragon, the constant ‘Do you have a tail?’-s are part of the territory. It’s weird to be on the other of the issue for once.
The girl looks thoroughly unimpressed. She crosses her arms over her chest.
“Of course I have a tail,” she answers indignantly. “I’m a Wilderling. And from the looks of things, so are you.”
“Sorry about the whole tail thing,” Helgi mutters. “We don’t have many Wilderlings back home.”
“Are you a dragon?” the girl asks. “I’ve never met a dragon Wilderling before.”
“That’s what they tell me,” Helgi answers, glancing over his shoulder to his own scaly blue tail.
The girl stares blankly at him. “You don’t know?”
“I’m adopted,” Helgi explains. “My mom found in an egg and took me back to the Wolf Knights’ fortress — I’ve lived there all my life. I’m training to join them.”
The girl frowns. “I don’t like wolves,” she mutters. “Wolves eat foxes.”
“Dragons don’t,” Helgi offers.
“No,” the fox-girl replies. “But they do eat people.”
“I’ve never eaten anybody,” Helgi notes. “I’m Helgi, by the way.”
“I’m Lisette,” the fox-girl answers. “And you look lost, Helgi.”
Helgi surveys his surroundings. He sees trees. Lots of trees. Trees that look just like all the other trees he’s seen so far.
“Yeah,” he says. “I guess I am. I went to look for firewood. And I must have gotten turned around. It all looks the same to me.”
He turns back to Lisette.
“You haven’t seen the other trainee knights around here, have you?” he asks hopefully.
“Of course I have,” she answers. “They’re impossible to miss, stomping all over the forest like they own the place.”
“Could you take me to them? Please?” Helgi asks.
“What’s in it for me?” Lisette asks.
“Well, we’re about to have supper. That’s why I needed to find the fire wood,” Helgi says. “You can eat with us, I guess.”
“Deal,” Lisette says instantaneously.
She turns away and is already almost out of sight before the words are even out of Helgi’s mouth.
“Hurry up!” she calls. “I’m hungry!”
“Hey! Wait for me!” Helgi cries as he stumbles over the roots and rocks on the forest floor after her.
“Oh,” Lisette continues, grinning at him over her shoulder. “And make sure you keep me safe. I’m the princess of the Fox Clan, and my dad’s not going to be happy if you let anything happen to me.”
“You’re the what?”
So, for those of you living outside Canada (or those of you in Canada like me for whom time has lost all meaning), this weekend is our Thanksgiving, so things might get a little crazy around here.
Tomorrow’s post might get delayed, since that’s my family’s actual Thanksgiving dinner, but I won’t skip it.
Worst case, I’ll post two in one day.