Tag Archive | prompter: B

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 16 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.
Chapter 11 here.
Chapter 12 here.
Chapter 13 here.
Chapter 14 here.
Chapter 15 here.

I was supposed to see the oases?
Of course.  You saw them, didn’t you?

There was just a little too much to take in.  Malina put her head in her hands.  She wanted – 

She wanted her tutor, Yethen, who would help her through these things.  She wanted her class-mates, especially Jaian, who knew what to do in situations where nothing made sense.  She wanted – 

She chuckled ruefully.  She wanted people.  She had spent so much of her life looking for a quiet place away from people, a little moment to herself.  And here – 

well, here, she had this cat, didn’t she?  Even here, she wasn’t actually alone Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 15 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.
Chapter 11 here.
Chapter 12 here.
Chapter 13 here.
Chapter 14 here.

 

A sensation washed over her, a feeling like the whole land was laid out in front of her. 

She’d thought of it like a big line, not all that wide, maybe the distance one could walk in a few minutes.

In front of her, the land spread out for days in all directions. 

Malina gasped.  “It’s huge.”  No, it was more than huge.  “It’s  – it’s impossible.  There’s not that much land on the whole continent.  There’s not that much land in one place in the whole world.”

“There never was.”  The cat’s voice sounded as if it was coming from a very long way away.  “There never was, and yet there always has been.  Forever and ever, and never, that’s the way of this place.”   Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 14 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.
Chapter 11 here.
Chapter 12 here.
Chapter 13 here.

Malina paced.  “This is – this is strange,” she complained. 

The silks of her new clothing brushed across her legs with every step.  The sandals made shhussshing noises on the tile floor. 

That in itself was strange. Everything was different from her normal clothing, from her normal floors, from her normal shoes.  The carved stone screens were like nothing she had at home. The bed, even, was made differently from any bed she’d ever slept in before last night.  Everything was like living in a storybook, which – 

You were named to this position.  We have been waiting for you. Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 13 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.
Chapter 11 here.
Chapter 12 here.

The Princess Malina  – Malina Serafina Anastazja Dominika Naveed Jeleń nic Cecília O Alexandre, who had always considered her long name to be more of a formality of being born a princess, rather like a carpenter’s child would have some sort of wood in their naming and a weaver’s child would have some sort of fiber, but now was learning that her name was some sort of way of anchoring her to some ancient magic, along with everything else she was learning during this particularly weird time – finished her breakfast and dressed herself in the silks and sandals provided by fish-sprites. 

She smoothed the clothes down over her body and found that she looked very old-fashioned, but so old-fashioned it was like she had stepped out of a history book, rather than like she had borrowed her grandmother’s clothing.  Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 12 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.

 

The fish-sprites chose that moment to arrive, which at least changed the mood if not improved it. One was pushing a large tray of food in front of it, the whole thing floating in mid-air. Another had a tray with piles of clothing; a third and fourth were managing a writing desk that was thick with carvings.

“Oh, oh wow.  Thank you, all of you. Thank you.”  Malina patted the air near all of the sprites.  “Thank you,” she repeated.  “This is quite a bit.  Thank you.”  She stretched and made her way to the little table, where the sprites had set everything.  “You are very good – very good sprites?” she offered.  “Very good spirits,” she added.  “Very good at serving me,” she tried.

How did you even talk to sprites?

They chittered at her, a trilling sound that went up and down and up and down again like it was running up the stairs. 

“You did a good job,” she added one more time. Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 11 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.

 

 

The bed was soft and fluffy; it smelled of an herb Malina could almost remember and it felt like sleeping in a pile of silk and feathers, which she thought might be a bit more accurate than intended. 

The sand-cat slept on the pillow Malina wasn’t using, and thankfully, he did not snore. 

She had fallen asleep far more easily than she’d expected – a strange place with nothing but the reassurances of a cat that she was safe; a place far from home where magic seemed to do all the housekeeping, when she had considered magic something that was barely in one’s life, or at least barely in her life; a place where she was still, when she came down to it, quite lost.  She had slept solidly, but as the sun filtered in through screens of silk, paper, wood, and stone, all of her dreams were loud in her memory. 

She opened her eyes to the bedroom, the Queen’s sleeping-chamber, which was draped in silk so that the limestone walls seemed very far away, although it was not a huge room.  She closed her eyes to pull back to mind the banners flying in the air, crisp and perfect.  

“Three spears azure, upright, oh, bother.”  Malina furrowed her brow.  “I was never good at all that terminology.  Three spears azure, upright, per chevron, with tips bloody, on a field vert, the border or.”  She saw the banner fluttering, and it seemed to her like the blood on the spears, the spears themselves, were suddenly real.  

“The three chiefs of the place that became the Ever-Flowing Fountain, the Karanala.”  The cat had not yet opened his eyes.  It didn’t seem to matter.  “They lay their spears down on the green grass where it still remained green and not red with blood, and they swore an ever-lasting peace, so long as the fountain flowed.” Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 10 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.

 

There was a sand-cat in Malina’s lap, and he was purring. 

Weirder things had happened by far; if anything, the fact that there was a purring cat in her lap was made even stranger by how normal it was, compared to everything else that had happened to Malina in the last few hours. 

The fact that he was sitting there, purring, while she sat in the Queen’s chambers of an abandoned castle in the middle of the desert, just after telling her that she would learn to do magic, that made it even odder. Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 9 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.

The Princess of the very long name and her adviser, the sand cat who had offered no name, sat together, finishing a dinner of small fruits and cheeses for her and meats for him. 

Only as she had nibbled up the last fruit did Malina think to ask.  “This place is abandoned. The sand leaks in the gates, pours over the walls. It’s been empty a long time.  So where does the food come from?” She looked at her plate, wondering if it were some strange sort of oasis-illusion. 

“Where does the food come from?”:

Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 8 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.

It had been a long day for Malina Serafina Anastazja Dominika Naveed Jeleń nic Cecília O Alexandre, a long day now exacerbated by a very long hallway. The sand-cat walked at her side; a little fish sprite hopped in front of her in mid-air. 

She opened one more door to find one more, albeit short, hallway; Malina very nearly screamed.  Her feet WERE screaming.

“In the times when this was a fully-occupied castle,” the cat informed her, “These passages would have had guards at all times. The Queen needed her private time.”

“It must have taken her all day just to get there,” Malina muttered.  Continue reading

Malina and the Border Banners, Chapter 7 (A Story for B)

Began here.
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.

Malina’s feet were tired; her eyes were tired. Her head was tired. Yet she was exploring again.

The inner wall and the outer wall of the castle still appeared intact, at least in this corner. Sand drifted heavily enough in several places that Malina couldn’t see more than 1 or 2 dozen cubits in either direction from the L intersection where she stood, the corner of the castle from which the tower grew.

She was being led by a fishlike sprite that had appeared to her request – no, to her demand.

She had seen stranger things, but then again, she was being followed around an abandoned castle named for her ancestor by a talking cat.

The sprite was taking her away from the entrance she’d come in, down the branch of inner-outer wall space she hadn’t explored yet. This could be a very bad idea – but yet, the cat was following her. It seemed entirely unworried about any of this. Of course, being a cat (although she did not know the rules for sand-cats, she supposed), it would likely seem unworried by anything at all. Continue reading