Recent Statuses

3 mos ago
Amazes me how often adults complain about kids/teenagers. In my experience, the adults have always proven themselves to be WAY more problematic.
7 mos ago
writing helps with my depression but when I'm depressed I don't have the motivation to write.
1 yr ago
Not sure if my eye is twitching because I'm deficient in every possible vitamin, or if I'm just irritated with life in general.
2 yrs ago
On the rare occasion that I socialize, it's never for fun. It's to save face.
2 yrs ago
Merry Christmas!
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ᵀʰᶦˢ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᶫʸ ᵍʳᵃᵖʰᶦᶜ ᵃᶰᵈ ᵐᵃᵗᶜʰᶦᶰᵍ ʰᵉᵃᵈᵉʳˢ ʷᵉʳᵉ ᵐᵃᵈᵉ ᵇʸ ᵐʸ ᶠʳᶦᵉᶰᵈ, ˢᶦᵃʸᵃ ᴰʳᵃᵍᵃᶫᵒʳᶰ⋅ ᵀʰᵃᶰᵏ ʸᵒᵘ ˢᵒ ᵐᵘᶜʰ﹗

- A Land of Wonder and Nightmare with Siaya Dragalorn

- The Shackles of Revenge with Siaya Dragalorn

10/29: Replies are a bit delayed lately.

Most Recent Posts

Ghent's face scrunched up. No matter how hard he tried, he was unable to imagine Elayra as his or anybody else's queen. He didn't doubt her capability, but he couldn't grow used to the idea. She would always be 'Blondie' to him.
Still, the job deserved consideration. Ghent didn't know if he had a choice in the matter, but he liked to think he did. He tapped a finger against his bottom lip, contemplating the pros and cons of his supposed lot in life.
"If her orders aren't carried out, do I get to throw people in the stocks?" Ghent failed to hide the hint of hopefulness in his voice. "Bet they'd listen if I was carrying this," he added, taking another moment to admire the sharp prongs of his staff.
Elayra's movement caught his eye, her irritation evident with each jab she made toward the fire. Ghent wasn't sure what she was mad about exactly, but he had a feeling it was something to do with the future rather than the present.
Ignoring the girl for his own safety, Ghent returned his attention to Drust. He was impressed, but hardly surprised to learn that the man was once a personal guard. Ghent couldn't think of anyone better qualified. Drust was practically built for the job.
Every answer lead to questions, creating a never ending cycle. Ghent wanted to ask more about Alyce and the king in particular, but he abandoned the idea when Elayra raised her voice at them.
Ghent shut his mouth, taken aback by the outburst. He looked to Drust for his reaction, readying his staff in case things turned ugly again.
After a few tense moments that felt like hours, the tension died down. Ghent breathed a heavy sigh of relief, shooting Elayra a wide eyed 'are you trying to get us killed?' look. Before he got the chance to say anything else, Drust limited Ghent's range of questions to the present only.
"What'd I do?" Ghent was against the injustice of it all, but one look at Drust's expression changed his tune. "Okayyy," he drug out the word, disappointed to have the conversation cut short.
Trudging back to his backpack and pile of discarded candy, Ghent retrieved the journal from the ground. When Drust wasn't looking, he snagged a Hershey's bar and slipped it into the front pocket of his hoodie. It was a risk, but one worth taking.
Gripping the weapon in one hand and book in the other, Ghent straightened. He looked between Drust and Elayra, the silence threatening to become awkward. A spark in the fire snapped louder than the previous ones, urging him to say something.
"Well, I'm going now." Ghent announced, as if he was going on a lifelong journey rather than a few feet away. He hesitated, using his sneaker to get at an itch above his ankle. "To practice. With my staff." After another pause, he finally turned to leave, taking his questions with him.
Ghent gripped the staff a little tighter when faced with Drust’s threatening form. He didn't go out of his way to annoy Drust as he did with Elayra, but he seemed to provoke the Knight by simply existing.
Head tilted back, Ghent studied the pale features unobstructed by shadow, curious after he saw the change in Drust's expression. It was Ghent's turn to raise his eyebrows when he learned of training beginning at the tender age of seven.
“Sixteen years?” Ghent was suddenly aware of his aches and pains again. He couldn’t imagine devoting himself to anything for sixteen days, let alone years. For him, sixteen years was an entire lifetime. He pitied the sap who wanted to reach knighthood with Drust on the judging panel.
“I could become a surgeon faster than that,” Ghent grumbled, mentally scratching 'cool armor' from his Wonderland wish list. He contemplated using the argument that he wasn't human, but Drust happened to address the fact before he could.
Palace vinifcium? Ghent had no idea what the job entailed, or what that meant for his future on Earth. He found himself looking to Elayra for her reaction, wondering if this was news to her as well.
"So, what? I'm supposed to be Blondie's adviser or something?" Ghent suspected she wouldn't like the idea, and he wasn't sure if he liked it either. Drust knew more about his past than he did, and apparently his future too.
"Are you on the council?" Ghent tacked another question onto the first, unsure of how many duties the Knight had. As little as he knew about himself, he knew even less about Drust.
“Sweet…did he kill any shadowmires with it?” Ghent liked the idea of his father testing the weapon beforehand, it made him feel important. He allowed one end the staff to rest against the ground, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He felt like a real wizard.
Ghent soon discovered he was alone in his excitement. His grip loosened on the staff, mildly surprised by the edge in Elayra's voice. Was she actually jealous? He'd been joking earlier, but now he wasn't so sure. She seemed more irritable than usual, if that was possible.
"What’s wrong, Blondie?" Ghent started to twirl the staff with one hand like a baton, an attempt to show off in front of her. "You're not jealous, are you?" He lost his hold within seconds, and the weapon fell to the ground with a noisy thud.
Mumbling an apology to the staff, Ghent bent to pick it up. He didn't have time to be embarrassed; he was too stoked at thought of the weapon – his weapon -- developing new abilities.
Get to it. Ghent's enthusiasm vanished. The staff was no longer something to be celebrated, it was something to fear. How was he supposed to earn the trust of an inanimate object? He never thought he would have to practice on his own so early.
“Oh. Well, okay.” Ghent tightened his grip on the staff. Outwardly, he was playing it cool. Inwardly, he was screaming. He stepped away from the fire, aiming to distance himself a few paces. He didn’t want to risk hurting them if the staff got temperamental.
As Ghent passed Drust, he stopped, an idea striking him.
“Hey, much training does it take to become a knight?” Ghent looked over his shoulder, completely serious. If becoming a knight was a title possible of being earned, he could think of no teacher better qualified than Drust. “Do I get cool armor if I graduate?”
Said it before in Hangouts, but I gotta say it again: I absolutely love the staff, and nothing at all has to be changed. Everything about it is perfect. I adore the picture edit as well! You described it beautifully, but it's always fun to have concept art. (Will be nice as a reference for art, too).

Drust giving him Hatter's book made me smile. Ghent definitely needed that! Super, about making the focus words up! When I think of some, I'll run them by you first. And thank you so much! I liked how Drust told Ghent to come for him with questions.

Speaking of questions -- I didn't get around to it yet, but Ghent has plenty more to ask. Still planning on him accidentally finding out about what Drust is, and maybe he'll even ask about what Elayra's mistake was later on. He's too busy admiring his gifts right now. For once, I can't blame him. ;P

I'm still so invested and curious about their travels with Ellheim, Alden, and the rest of the Omitten! Ahh! We need a spin-off series. I went back to make sure Ghent knew who the Omitten were -- he did, and they were mentioned on page 4. Found it thanks to your handy dandy list of Wonderland terms. Thank you for being so organized. XD
Ghent cringed, the harshness in the response reminding him of his near-death experience. If Drust didn't make the bargain for the Curative, who did? He rested his head against his backpack, unsatisfied with the answer. Something wasn't adding up.
Elayra's question was met with another one-shouldered shrug. Ghent wasn't sorry for his behavior. He picked at his canine tooth, feeling a piece of leftover toatunt jerky jammed somewhere between his teeth. He didn't know how Elayra kept her sanity without joking around.
Here we go. Ghent almost rolled his eyes as Elayra began to list his latest offenses. He propped himself up on his elbow, ready to speak up, but Drust interrupted the girl before he could.
Ghent simmered down, anxious to hear more of the story. Ellheim's name wasn't familiar, but he remembered the Omitten. He glanced to Elayra as Alden was mentioned, his attention snapping back to Drust as he spoke of Alden trying the very thing Ghent had suggested.
Mortally wounded. Ghent's heart sank. He noticed Elayra adverting her gaze, her reaction leading him to believe the memory was painful. Ghent remained quiet, new questions presenting themselves in his mind.
"Pet?" Ghent echoed, the use of the word ripping him from his thoughts. He wanted Drust to correct Elayra, to deny the worst, but he didn't. Ellheim sacrificed his freedom for his son. It was so bizarre and horrible, it was Ghent's turn to look away.
When Drust spoke of Elayra learning from her mistakes, Ghent eyed her with curiosity. Elayra didn't seem capable of making mistakes -- at least not the kind of mistakes he was always making. He couldn't imagine what Drust meant by the statement, unless Elayta played a part in Alden's decision to bargain with the creature.
Ghent didn't have time to play detective for long. He sat up straighter at the mention of Hatter, fumbling to catch the book before it could hit the ground. He turned the book over for a title or name, finding neither.
Still, it was Hatter's. Or it had been. Ghent felt weirdly sentimental. He heard stories, but the man almost felt fictional until that moment. Holding something that once belonged to his father verified his existence.
He took a breath before lifting the cover, but he dropped it shut when Drust stood, wielding a weapon unlike anything he had ever seen.
“That’s for me?” Ghent’s eyes grew wide at the sight of the blade, its deadliness evident to him even from afar. He set the book aside, his gaze never leaving the weapon. He couldn’t decide whether to be delighted or horrified.
“Uh, right! Of course. I’ll be careful.” Ghent stammered over the words, hoping not to sound as eager as he felt. The possibility of his own weapon turning on him was scary, but the thought of being unarmed in Wonderland was scarier.
Aches and pains forgotten, Ghent stood. He reached out to accept the staff, a surge of adrenaline rushing through his body once the weapon was entrusted to him.
"Oh man..." Ghent breathed, his arms dipping slightly due to the sudden weight. He held the weapon so it was level with his chest, hands spaced half a foot apart. He gave a gentle tug in opposite directions, but the halves remained whole, as he expected they would. The staff didn't know him yet, and vise versa.
“Does it have a name?” Ghent angled the staff to get a better look at the gemstone, appreciating the weapon even more from up close. He was so busy admiring his gift, he completely missed the fact that Elayra was envious. "How soon can you teach me to use it? Did my dad ever fight with this?"
"Are you serious?" A day ago, Ghent would have laughed and called Elayra a liar. He leaned forward to get a better look at the bottle, amazed something so small could contain so much power.
"Save it?" he scoffed, "I think we should sell it." He locked his hands behind his head, leaning against his backpack like a pillow. "Do you even realize how much that'd be worth on Earth?"
Before more could be said about the King's Curative, Drust spoke up, startling Ghent as he often did.
Stand? Ghent wasn't sure if he heard the man correctly. He looked in Elayra's direction, watching for her reaction to the sudden demand. What was Drust going to do, challenge her to a fight? Ghent wouldn't put it past him. Not after the day they had.
"It's only two drops, Blondie." Ghent spoke up from his spot on the ground, unmoving. From his position, Drust looked like a skyscraper. A really scary, Curse-ridden skyscraper. "Drust's right. You hit your head pretty hard back there, y'know."
Despite being rather comfortable, Ghent sat up as Elayra stood, seeing the unmistakable look in her eyes. "She's gonna--" he began, but Drust got to her before she could collapse.
Ghent breathed a secret sigh of relief once Elayra sat back down. He listened as Drust elaborated, his face scrunching up at mention of a daejinn being a cat. Hopefully they didn't shed as much as William.
"If they've got that much power, why don't we ask one of them to kill the Sorceress for us and call it a day?" Ghent said it as a joke, but was half serious. He shifted his backpack around, trying to get comfortable again as she mentioned a price.
"What do they usually want in return? A soul? Catnip? Seems like a fair trade for a miracle potion." Ghent shrugged with one shoulder, his eyes narrowing in a combination of suspicion and curiosity. "What kind of deal did you make with one, Drust?"
"Well that's just great." Despite the heat of the fire, Ghent shivered, his delusions of safety replaced by fears of the unknown. "Hanging out with you two, I always expect the worst," he grumbled, folding the cloth over the remainder of the jerky. He didn't want to see, let alone think about whatever it was he just ate.
After tying off the twine, he passed the bundle back to Drust, mumbling a sheepish 'thanks' before turning to his backpack. He started to put away most of the scattered food items, leaving out the hard candy and a couple of candy bars to appease Drust.
His attention was suddenly diverted to the exchange involving Elayra's waterskin.
What, is water not substantial enough? Ghent came close to rolling his eyes, his inner voice heavy with sarcasm. From what he could tell, Drust was even harder to please than Elayra. Why would he object to her drinking water?
Taking one last swig of soda, Ghent crushed the empty can in his fist, his eyes darting between the two as they seemed to argue over the curious looking bottle. He hadn't known Elayra for long, but he had a feeling it was rare for her to show that much emotion over something. She almost seemed...worried.
Brows furrowed, Ghent tossed the can aside with the abandoned snacks, completely lost. What was a daejinn, and why did the idea of one seem to bother her so much? He waited for someone to fill him in, but no one did.
“Um…what was that all about?” Ghent asked finally, perplexed by the entire situation. “Is that stuff medicine?” he nodded to the bottle, wondering of its significance. Whatever it was, Elayra seemed more concerned of where it came from, rather than what it was used for. “And what's a daejinn?”
The soda wasn't enough to mask the aftertaste. Ghent smacked his lips and grimaced, eyeing Elayra with the utmost suspicion. She was going to tell him something terrible, he just knew it. Why else would she look so happy?
Before the news was broken, Drust intervened. Ghent wasn't sure whether to be grateful he was spared the truth, or angry he was denied it. He sniffed at his dinner a second time, bringing the jerky closer to his face. There was no mammal on Earth he could compare it to. Perhaps some things were better left unsolved.
"You guys are cruel, you know that?" Ghent took a smaller bite, his hunger winning out. He made it a point to chew on one side of his mouth, an attempt to keep the jerky bumps away from his tongue. The method helped a little, but did nothing to prevent the flavor from resurfacing.
Ghent clutched the soda, cringing as he swallowed the rest of the mystery meat. He already hated the food of Wonderland.
At Drust’s mention of getting the most sleep, Ghent snorted a laugh mid-drink before turning it into a fake cough. The image of Margen knocking Drust out cold was still vivid in his mind, a sight that he didn't consider funny until he realized Drust was probably angry about it. The moment of amusement was short lived, replaced with concern at the mention of keeping watch.
Ghent set the drink aside, his heart giving a nervous flutter. They were in the Safe Zone, why would they have to keep watch if they were safe? Unless…they weren’t.
Elayra's suggestion of staying awake in pairs was certainly better than having to stay awake alone. Ghent began to agree with her, but he lost the nerve once Drust's katana made a reappearance.
"It's okay, Blondie." Ghent spoke up, hoping to keep the peace. If tending to the fire would keep Drust from stabbing them, he figured it was worth it. "I can do that, Drust. No problem." He shrugged with one shoulder, taking one last bite of his dinner.
Ghent answered before the instructions were finished. He stopped chewing, the jerky packed into his left cheek like a chipmunk. The Safe Zone suddenly felt a lot less safe.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa," Ghent held up a hand to stop the conversation. "What do you mean, ‘if anything living tries to get in?’” He cast a quick look behind his shoulder, the color draining from his face. There was nothing but darkness and trees, a perfect camouflage for predators. "How can anything come in!? I thought this was a Safe Zone, not a Semi-Safe Zone!"
"If you say so." Ghent was frustrated by Drust's refusal to his idea, but hardly surprised. White Knight or not, he didn't know how the guy could go an entire day without eating. "Feel free to change your mind, though." He leaned forward to grab the bundle by the fabric, pulling at the twine until it opened.
In the middle of the cloth, Ghent was met with the peculiar sight of strangely colored jerky, a closer view at what Elayra was eating.
"Oh. Cool," he answered her, as if he knew what a toatunt was. He sniffed at the jerky, unable to judge the flavor by smell alone. "So, what is that...Wonderland's version of a cow?" Before waiting for an answer, he tore off a big piece with his teeth.
Ghent's expression went from impassive, to confused, to grossed out. The more the flavor soaked into his taste buds, the less he liked it. It tasted like something his mom would pick up from the health food store. It tasted like the health food store.
He regretted taking such a big bite. He couldn't swallow the bizarre tasting jerky without choking. He wanted to spit it out, but he forced himself to chew the rest. The raised bumps on the jerky brushed against the inside of his mouth. This definitely wasn't cow.
Finally, it was over. Ghent swallowed down the rest of it and coughed, as if that would somehow rid the flavor from his mouth. He placed the half-eaten piece of meat back with the others and reached for one of the cans of Pepsi, amazed by Elayra's ability to eat the stuff without showing signs of disgust.
"Seriously, what the heck is a toatunt?" Ghent pulled back the soda tab with a crack, bringing the can to his lips. He couldn't decide what was worse about the jerky; the texture or the flavor. "A Wonderland boar or something?"
“Well, it used to be.” Ghent turned the sandwiched mess of cake and frosting over, inspecting it. Amazingly, the packaging remained perfectly sealed. “Want it?” He brought his hand back with the intention of tossing the cake to her, Drust’s comment stopping the action.
Ghent's hand fell to his side as he stared, blindsided by Drust’s sudden show of anger. Before he could figure out what he did wrong, the Knight was growling at him, going on about sustenance and basic needs. Two things that, unfortunately, Ghent never bothered to consider until that moment.
Ghent didn’t say anything. He gawked, chilled all over again by the intensity of the man’s stare. He couldn’t believe Elayra survived fourteen years with a guy who got angry over sour Skittles and chocolate.
Elayra was the first to speak up. Ghent heard her, but he didn’t dare let the man out of his vision. He wanted to say something, to defend his choice in edibles, but nothing came out. One wrong word and Drust might snap for good.
With Drust’s back to him, eye contact was broken and Ghent remembered to breathe. He caught Elayra’s glare, but failed to return it. He was too frightened by the sounds of Drust digging through the pack. Hopefully he wasn’t after something sharp.
Fearing for his safety, Ghent’s eyes darted to the piece of wood he’d set aside. The makeshift weapon was just out of reach. Thinking it best not to make any sudden moves, he remained seated, visibly flinching when something was thrown. The bundle of cloth and twine nestled among the sea of snacks, a sight far less threatening than what he expected.
More silence. Ghent looked from Drust, to the bundle, then back to Drust again. His hands were clammy; he felt like he had to deliver a public apology to an auditorium full of angry parents.
Who’s the mother hen now? Ghent muttered in his mind, annoyed that Drust cared so much about what he decided to consume. Who gave him the right to say what he could and couldn't eat? No one, that's who. Sighing through his nose, Ghent chewed the inside of his cheek, contemplating his options. The immature side of him wanted to mouth off or throw the bag of Cheetos at Drust's head, but common sense won out.
The boy took a breath, steeling his nerves. He felt like shouting into a pillow out of sheer frustration, only shouting wasn't going to get his stomach to quit reminding him that it had been neglected.
"If you want me to ditch twenty dollars worth of snacks, fine. But at least meet me half way." Ghent jostled the bag of trail mix, its contents shifting with the movement. “This is the healthiest thing here, so it'd be dumb to waste it. We can split this, and…uh, whatever that is,” he eyed the bundle, wondering what type of animal the jerky originated from. For all he knew, they were dining on shadowmire.
“That way, everybody eats, and my backpack gets lighter." Ghent swallowed uneasily, watching the Knight for further signs of aggression. He didn't know if the idea would resonate with Drust's Curse-driven mind, but he felt the need to try. "Sound good?"
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