Fall of Kings: The Timeskip

(I think that about a month is long enough putting off this update. I can’t put into words all the argh that I have over the first section, but I quite like the second, so I figured that putting them both together would ease the transition. Yes, I know that this is a pretty passive narrative chunk. I want to break it into portions to tell this time better, but I haven’t quite been struck by inspiration recently to fix it. So I’m just going to jump over it for now and come back to it later on. Thanks for bearing with me!)

Time passed. As the King’s closest adviser, the Grand Duke assumed the role of steward while Edmond was growing up. With the help of his oldest allies, they began to implement changes that they’d long desired to make during the reign of King Richard.

And all the while, Edmond grew.

Trying to save face for the kingdom, Tatsuo hid the boy prince away. His companions were children of other nobles who lived and worked in the nearby capitol of Castleguard. As soon as those children realized that their fathers treated Edmond different, a strange rift formed in their friendships. Overt maltreatment would have been unthinkable, yet gradually the children picked up on their parents’ critical attitudes and subtly began to ostracize him.

Edmond found solace with the children of the maids and servants. The older ones held him with some degree of awe and were not much fun to play with (it’s difficult to play a proper round of Dragon’s Hoard when none dare to challenge the dragon). The youngest ones had not yet learned that they were different from him and adored any sort of companionship.

His boyhood was a melding of bargaining for the respect of his peers, appeasing his those older than him, and basking in the attention of those younger. Thus Edmond grew, out of sight and mind of the nobility – that is, until he entered adolescence, ceased attempting to please his elders and began to forge his own path.

The Grand Duke had a minor heart attack when he realized that the time was soon approaching when his grip on the throne would be forcibly removed when the dreaded common heir came of age. At that point, he and his associates began to observe the young prince a bit more closely. Continue reading

Wanting; Needing; Learning

Not very well-organized thoughts today.

I think it’s interesting that in the three-odd weeks since I started attending a small group that my spiritual gifts are being revealed to me by profoundly unspiritual sources.

I’m learning that my heart motivations and giftings lie in a desire to help people, in empathy and mercy and teaching. I come alive when my ability meets the need of another.

I’m learning that I have been avoiding facebook because scrolling through my timeline makes me feel like I am making no difference or impact for God.

I’m learning how good it feels to be genuinely wanted, valued. To provide some physical and tangible service to another person or ministry.

I’m learning how painful it is to be forgotten.

Some days I feel like a wrung out sponge left to get all crusty on the counter behind the dish soap. Too much squeezed out and not enough flowing in.

a n d   y e t  .

{ i need you now, Lord. }

Fall of Kings: Arc 1: The Beginning

Okay. Confession time. I’ve been delaying posting the beginning because I’m a little embarrassed. This first Arc is really quite rough, as (obviously) it was the very first part I wrote for Fall of Kings. In the hundred and twenty pages or so since that time, the story has evolved and changed and I keep going back and editing and tweaking the first sections, but there is still so much to add in and I keep having random plot bunnies appear and lead me down winding trails… I know I want to add in scenes to replace some of the lengthy narrative progression. Arc 1 is complete and Arc 2 is mostly complete, with some patchwork holes and some overhauling. Arc 3 ventures into much murkier territory and Arc 4 does not exist at the moment. What you’ve seen thusfar is Arc 5 territory, venturing into the sixth and final Arc. And there you have it. I do want to update and get going on the beginning, though, because there are definitely some fun parts that I quite enjoyed, and posting parts motivates me to continue working on the rest of it. Comments appreciated but not necessito. My spam filter keeps me pretty busy anyways ;] Total Word Count (not affected by my revisions, sadly): 54,653. Cue the THX theame.

No one was quite certain what provoked it. Only that once the classist rage had been awoken, it was a sleeping dragon that would rampage throughout the Northern Kingdom with a vengeance, wreaking havoc and overturning whole villages, whole kingdoms.

His advisers told King Richard to remarry, to have another child – one that proved more fitting to rule. One that was more regal than the pale, sickly infant with a smattering of jet black hair and icy blue eyes. The babe had barely survived his journey into the world – which was more than any could say for his mother, the concubine.

Looking back, no one wanted to claim that they were the first to urge the King to divorce the Queen and take the concubine who would produce such a child. But the King was running out of time – he needed an heir, and he was quickly falling prey to a wasting disease acquired in the southern provinces.

Amongst the nobles, fear-mongering and rumors flitted about like butterflies in spring – stating that the child, born half-royal and half-commoner, would bring the downfall of the monarchy and civilization as they knew it.

They were right.

One of the few things that the king had done for his son was to name him. Edmond Amadeus Holloway. Born during a thunderstorm, fighting to survive the same complicated birth that took his mother’s life, his existence would be marked by similar storms.

Advisers and nobles of every rank encouraged King Richard to remarry. He might have honestly been considering taking their advice to heart. However, before he could take action he succumbed to his disease.

As the pallbearers carried the casket to the ship at the Royal Pier that would bear their departed leader into the Beyond, Tatsuo, the Grand Duke and the king’s chief adviser, sighed grimly. The realization settled in that however sickly and unwanted the common heir was, they were stuck with him.

From his vantage point at the end of the northernmost pier of Castle Fortinbras, Tatsuo had a perfect view of the ship as it was tugged eagerly along by the frigid winds and into the Frozen Sea. Flames from the ship’s forecastle steadily spread across the fuel-soaked deck and consumed the mast. Yet still the ship sailed on, observed by mourners gathered at windows and balconies across the castle. Flaming pieces of wood and sail fell in graceful arcs to the freezing waters below – a beacon in the early morning light.

And all who watched its solemn journey knew that everything was about to change. Continue reading

Snip.

It started with scissors.

I hate going to a hair salon because I feel like all the ladies there have all this secret knowledge acquired through dark rituals (probably). They even speak another language – with words like layering and ratting and texture. Unless I speak the secret code words, I’ll identify myself as a non-hair person and they’ll probably give me a purple mohawk.

You might scoff, but something similar happened at my brother’s wedding. My soon-to-be sister-in-law was getting her hair done gorgeously, and all the other bridesmaids (and me) made a pact that we would just have out hair done simply, ‘pinned out of the way,’ so as to keep all the attention on her.

So I sat down awkwardly in the hairdresser’s chair and declared that I wanted my hair simply ‘pinned back’.

She looked at me like I was a Martian, straightened my hair, stuck a couple of bobby pins in my hair and said, “Like that?”

Not knowing any better, I shrugged and said, “Sure.”

I hopped out of the chair and turned around to see ALL of the other ladies with their hair twisted and braided and curled in ways I didn’t know possible. And my sister-in-law had this magnificently complicated bun with stray curls framing her face and flowers interwoven between the strands and her veil magically attached to the back of her neck.

And me with my bobby pins.

See what I mean about code words? Continue reading

Repost: From The Journal

[[I don’t usually do this, but thus follows the most beautiful blog post I’ve read in a while. This comes directly from the wonderfully talented Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like.
Original post here
Jon’s site here. ]]

Below is what I wrote in my journal a few years ago after reading Matthew 11:
28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
 rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and 
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke 
is easy and my burden is light.”

I am not asking you to
 complete yourself and then come to me.

I am asking you to come to me.
 Broken and burdened, infested with the most hideous lies about me and 
my nature. Covered in perpetual sin that you just can’t seem to shake.
 Because I don’t see that.
I see Christ. I see the blood of my son all
 over you.

I know you think you need to work through your doubt
 before you come to me. But that’s not true. I can’t wait that long for 
you to come. And how ridiculous is that lie? That you have to figure me 
out, know me and trust in me without fail before you can come to me and
 get to know me. I do have gifts for you. Big crazy gifts, but the
 biggest of all is my presence.

That’s what I am inviting you 
in to. My presence. That’s a gift I am inviting you into. My presence.
 That’s a gift I am going to give you every second for every hour of
 every day for the rest of eternity. Come to me. Come be in my presence.

It’s so crazy to think you have to perfectly accept that gift before
 you can stand in that gift. I’m just saying, “Come stand in it. Bask in
 it.”

Come stand in it filthy and let me cleanse you.

Come stand in it broken and let me heal you.

Come stand in it drunk on doubt and fear and let me renew a spirit of confidence and trust in you.

Just come stand in it.

Come stand in it covered with lies and misconceptions about who I am and who you are and let me reveal the truth.

Come stand in it worried and stressed and trembling and let me cover you with a peace that transcends all understanding.

Come, just come.

Come 
stand in it with a past you can’t fix and a future you can’t look at 
without grimacing and I will comfort you in this very moment.