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Writing Excerpts // no.1

(Here are just some of my dabbles, mostly things I’ve written while bored in class. Maybe one day I’ll expand upon some of them, but who knows? I hope you enjoy!)

part i.

Forth comes the rain that cleaves the wind
with hedging shears and wilting petals,
of which were uprooted too soon,
bewitched by the rising sun,
and drenched in cold sea salt.
Soon will come the roses—
bloodless
ivory sheets twirled between toes—
for what else can new beginnings bring
but growth and thorns and wild abandon.

 

wood.

A tree is only a vessel

made of silt and soil
crafted by fingers dipped in dawn,
and you are but a tree
made from fallen oak
shattered pine
weeping willow
and forest
fire.

A moon of black fire hangs low tonight.

It says to the trees in tongues of foreign mothers hither and wither the crow calls to the unkind ravens, but the ravens are bare and boneless as you in winter webs. And onward goes the shadows who hunt in the path of the flickering fire— onward towards the featherless birds who still scream with mirth even though they’re naked against the cold.

A dusting of frost licks the sides of indescribably large pumpkins, coating the ghost white, grey, and orange of the fruits. Vines upon vines and thorns of thyme loop through the dirt whereupon the crows have burrowed the raven’s wares, creating a nest for the unseelie queen.

 

excerpt no. ii

When the storytellers recite their wares of folklore, the maidens, though they vary in voice and valiance, are often portrayed for being one thing above all else.

Fragile.

Delicate limbs and rosebud lips that which are wielded to disarm armies and infiltrate the most stalwart minds of kings and courtiers. Her velvet skin, her willow-the-wisp hair, her honeysuckle breath that offers solace to all that come close enough to taste it— taste her— will be the demise of a great many men. These characters of old are liars. They are the myths; not the dragons that their knights forged into serpentine tapestries and used the scales to create jewelry for a blossoming bride. No beast was nailed to a dinning hall for being slaughtered by another lesser creature.

What the storytellers neglect to whisper beside hearths and wintry bonfires is that these dragons are the true maidens, and the maidens in the tales are but a gust of wind ripping through a bed of glass meadowlarks. The real women of old were warrior queens. Blacksmith daughters and shieldmaidens with political minds and eyes not made of the sea, but bred from the thunder and the moon that lulled the tides. We were always the storms that caused shipwrecks, not the sirens crafted upon wooden vessels. Never a symbol to romanticize, but a tempest to heed caution.

And the feminine skin that grazed across my ribcage was anything but glasslike.

The woman above me was a basilisk with fangs and claws and thrumming blood. Yet, I wasn’t afraid. How could I be, when I too was a creature born from the fury of my predecessors? When her teeth claimed my throat, my hands rose to caress her sides and drag her down further so that our hearts pushed and pulled like waves crashing against a cliffside. The grass beneath me seemed to stretch taller as I sunk lower into the woodland cot. Above me were oak spires, burning leaves, a gloaming sky, and a pair of wild ochre eyes bearing down on me like the missing sun.

 

inhale.

breathing is easy
when you’ve swallowed the sun
and held the sea between your fingers.
sharing breath with the one
who did both with your world,
that is the challenge.

 

excerpt no. iii

      She was ignited in honey light, with a spine unfurled and elongated such as the serpent that sleeps coiled low within her. A crown of splintered teeth adorned the maiden’s forehead, biting into the heavy forest of hair that grew every which way, like the gnarled roots of an ancient tree. Thorns wove up her forearms as sleeves—as armor—and interlocked against her bodice wherein chainmail would cover a man’s chest during battle. But she was not waging war. It would be a difficult feat indeed to prelude something that had been the essence of her existence. Rather, Kadar was lapsing through another day as a misplaced queen amongst a world uprooted in fear and bloodlust. She wasn’t certain which trait fed the other. Only that her skin itched to bathe in dawn one final time before the sun fell and an eternal moon was born.

 

 

story concept no.i

The forest of Fornhaust thrives by virtue of spilled blood. No rainfall vicious enough or ray of sun emblazoned with the heat of a witches pyre could offer life to these woods. It’s roots are thick with the essence of warriors, it’s bark the clout of a weathered blade. Vagabond spirits know not to trespass, for the only creatures more primal than Fornhaust are the maidens who serve it. But when the forest begins to decay for the first time in a two thousand years, the blood of a lone wanderer won’t be enough to satiate it’s hunger. For without immediate care, the trees will seek other means of survival— whether it be by festering its rot towards other thickets…or hunting in familiar lands, to devour its own protectors.

After Queen Freydis of the Vaskr shieldmaidens slaughtered the clan of her betrothed and denounced her ancestral throne, she since opened her barren castle to the wilderness for all women in need of a place to hone their abilities. The forest kingdom hosts an academy of female warriors, high priestesses, and earth witches, all of whom have sworn an oath to Her Highest and offered their skills to protect and serve the Fornhaust. Theyda, the most feral and triumphant warrior birthed by the silt and soil of the woods, is a few months shy of ascending her final task as an apprentice to the great Wilder Witch. On the eve of her ceremonial, a rupture forges deep in the riverbed: ravens fall from the skies, wind shrieks like a mute giantess among the copse of blanched winter pines, and the trees weep black blood. The elders see this as a sign from the gods, and they strip Theyda of her titles— forsaking her to the madness of the dying woods.

To save the land that relinquished her, Theyda and her sister shieldmaidens must seduce two rival kingdoms to venture into the heart of the awakened forest where war must be fought and enough blood spilled to replenish the realm. But while drawing foreign kings within the cusps of battle, and venturing farther than she’s ever been granted passage, Theyda is faced with a morbid realization that could cause Fornhaust to writhe in pestilence forevermore if she doesn’t chose wisely. And wherein the forest is starving, it’s people are rising from the drecks of an ancient curse with a thirst for revolution.

(key story terms:)

  1. Forn— ancient (Old Norse)
  2.  Haust— autumn
  3. Vaskr— brave
  4. Flaugun— fly
  5. Sortna, Myrkva— grow dark
  6. ávotxr— growth
  7. howling— pytr
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