Writing Revisited: 2 Days Until Halloween

When you gaze at the Amara Valda, the Amara Valda gazes also at you.

Now, in Amara’s defence, if I were somebody’s obsessive best friend, I’d probably go as them for Halloween, too…

Kat doesn’t think she’s enjoying the Heroes’ Eve party. She was at first, but has promptly found herself rather distracted by a sudden, unexpected — and unwelcome — development.

It’s like looking into a mirror. And Kat isn’t quite sure how to feel about it.

She stares. And finds herself staring right back.

Though the herself that stares back isn’t quite right. The face is paler, with green eyes, and smaller, better-tended eyebrows. The hair is longer. The framer thinner and daintier.

And, of course, the ears.

“So, hey, Amara,” she ventures. “Why are you me?”

“Why wouldn’t I be you, Katherine?” Amara asks, dressed in her Kat costume.

Kat stares sceptically at her doppelganger.

“‘Cause it’s weird?” she offers.

“What’s weird about it, Katherine?” Amara asks. “You’re my oldest and dearest friend. You’re a dauntless adventurer who works twice as hard as any male adventurer out there. You’re the bane of bandits, giant crustaceans, and pirate ghosts everywhere. You’re exactly the sort of person one should dress up as for Heroes’ Eve.”

“But it’s weird,” Kat protests. “You’re me. It’s creeping me out.”

“I do believe you’re overreacting, Katherine,” Amara insists.

Kat sighs. “How would you feel if I dressed up as you?” she asks.

“Why, I’d be flattered, Katherine,” Amara answers. “It would be quite the honour to be considered worthy of being adopted as a Heroes’ Eve costume.”

“Ginger’s a cupcake this year,” Kat notes. “Does that mean she’s honouring cupcakes?”

“She is a baker’s daughter. It seems rather fitting,” Amara counters.

Kat groans. “Okay, so what about this?” she asks.

She clears her throat, adjusts her stance, and affects a breathy, high-pitched voice:

“Why, hello there, darling,” she says, twirling her hair around her finger. “I’m Amara Valda. Of the Porthaven Valdi. Charmed, I’m sure. Oh no, I do believe I broke a nail.”

“Well, for one thing, I’m much better at my impression of you,” Amara notes.

She lowers her voice and tries to sound tough.

“I’m Katherine —” She catches herself as she remembers that Kat doesn’t call herself Katherine “— I’m Kat Darkstone. I’m forty-seven feet tall and I’ve never met a problem I couldn’t punch in the face. I’m so lucky I have a best friend like Amara to remind me how to use a napkin.”

“You’re a jerk,” Kat mutters.

“Well, Katherine, you did start it with that ridiculous impression,” Amara notes.

“You started it!” Kat insists. “You’re wearing a me costume!” She indignantly crosses her arms over her chest. “And I know how to use napkins, I just don’t like it!”

Amara sighs. “This is getting ridiculous, Katherine. We’re acting like children.” She glances up at her best friend — and costume inspiration. “Truce?” she offers.

“Yeah,” Kat says. “Sounds good.”

Amara points to the snack table. “I have it on good authority that the amuse-bouches are to die for.”

Kat stares blankly.

“The snacks, Katherine.”


“Hey, Kat,” Dunstana says as she passes by.

She glances up at Amara’s Kat costume.

“Hey, other Kat.”

I didn’t have the time to commit to drawing a Kat-Amara as today’s header image. As it happens, though, the stock photo I found is basically perfect, with the slight but unavoidable issue that the woman doesn’t really look like Kat.

Honestly, though, to represent the whole “Kat and Mirror-Kat” angle, it’s probably the absolute best I can do without committing to drawing actual Kat and Kat-Amara staring at each other.

Shot out to Viridiana O Rivera from Pexels for that picture.

And now, for some reminders:

The winner of the Percy Jackson giveaway has been announced (it’s tammy), and the YA Fantasy giveaway is running until November 6:

Also, Chapter 7 of Charge of the Lyte Brigade went live yesterday:

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