My writing and art! Main @cjadewyton and polished work on @jade-wyton
Usually I wouldn't post something so old buuuuut I was REALLY proud of it when I first wrote it and my writing style has improved heaps, and I'm (surprisingly) not embarrassed by this old chunk of text. So, I figured this would be a good thing to post to show how far I've come! Improvement! :D
It's actually in the 2nd drafting stages, but it's so old it reads like how I now do first drafts, hah! It's from 2014. It's eventually going to be rewritten, and I'm excited to one day get to it 🥰
Originally book 1 of Don't Lose Hope was going to alternate between Stars and Ka'harja but after I drafted the book I found it didn't work and split it into two separate books, one for Ka'harja and one for Stars. This one is from Stars' pov!
Fabecutt sees Annanyn is holding Little Demon and goes to take a step forward, but Stars puts up two of her hands and blocks his way.
“I told you, no,” she uses a hand to point down the hall. “Can you look after Demon tonight?”
“Oh- of course,” Annanyn gets the hint and quickly leaves. “Sken says we’re leaving tomorrow. You might want to get some sleep.”
Fabecutt sighs sadly as Annanyn leaves and Stars leads him into her room.
Stars takes him to the bed, and gently moves Sunbeam and Raindrop.
Fabecutt sits on the bed. “Why can’t I see him? He’s my son.”
Stars sits beside him. “Because you don’t love him. And I don’t want you to start loving him.”
Fabecutt flinches, then looks at his feet. He twitches a wing. “I suppose you’re here for revenge, like that Ka’harja boy wants?”
Stars shakes her head. “Revenge only leads to more hurt,” she thinks about Dena and Distro’s suffering after they’d killed the Har’pies. “For everyone involved. I don’t want revenge— although Scara knows you deserve a good slap.”
“Since when do you use Scara’s name as a curse?” Fabecutt gives a weak laugh. “You’ve changed a lot since I last saw you… You seem stronger.”
“I am,” she tells him. She sighs and looks at the horns along his forehead. “You haven’t changed a bit.”
Fabecutt sighs. “Neg’an, listen-“
“I’m not Neg’an anymore,” Stars interrupts. “Neg’an was who I used to be… Now I’m Stars, and I’m more me than I’ve ever been before.”
“Stars?” Fabecutt smiles. “That’s a nice name.”
“I know, that’s why I chose it.”
Fabecutt continues. “Stars, I have to ask… Do you… Do you love me?”
Stars thinks for a long while before shaking her head. “No,” she admits. “I thought I did, but I think it was because you were kind to me, and nobody had ever been that kind before. I didn’t really know what love was, and when you came you were kind to me and took away the hurt and loneliness… I mistook that for love.”
“And you know what love is now?”
Stars thinks about Koko and Baku, and Coff and Ka’harja; Sken and Annanyn. “I think I do.”
“Huh… I’m not so sure I know what it is anymore,” Fabecutt puts his face in his hands. He sighs, “I don’t want to lose my family,” he admits. “I’m such an idiot…”
“Yes,” Stars agrees. “You really are.”
Fabecutt looks at her like he was shocked she’d agreed, then shakes his head and looks back at the ground.
“You wanted me to disagree with you?”
“It would have been nice…”
Stars straightens up and tries to be stern. “Koko says owning up to mistakes is more important then sparing feelings. You already had a family, and you let yourself be selfish and kept secrets from them. You’ve done stupid things.”
“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
“Sorry doesn’t make things better,” Stars tells him, echoing Koko. “You’ve done wrong, and now… You’re in trouble.”
Fabecutt puts his face in his hands. “How do I fix it?”
”Tell your family the truth, and tell them you’re sorry,” Stars tells him. “But remember that you’ve hurt them a lot and they don’t have to forgive you for what you’ve done.”
From Ka'harja's Journey, chapter 6
‘You gonna get dressed?’ Ka’harja scoffed. ‘Or at least dry off?’
‘Nah, I’m alright!’ Distro grinned, starting back towards the camp. ‘I’ll just drip-dry.’
Ka’harja watched the two mothers leave with Little Demon. They talked happily between themselves; like old friends who’d known each other for years. Ka’harja felt almost jealous that Dena and his mother had bonded so quickly in the past month. Especially when he considered the cold looks Dena gave him.
He shook his head. It wasn’t Dena’s fault; she’d lived with Kay’oten for … who knows how long? He could only imagine what she saw when she looked at him. He thought it must be for her like it was for him when he was young, and first saw himself in a mirror. … That horrible, familiar face that wasn’t quite his parents’ but close enough to make him sick.
He sighed. He just had to be patient with Dena until she saw him as himself, and not a reminder of the Heck’ne.
‘That’s not fair,’ Stars mumbled, swimming up next to Ka’harja. ‘Everyone gets to be naked except for me.’
‘You’re naked now,’ he pointed out.
Little Demon's biological father shows up in book 3. He told his wife about sleeping with Stars and leaving her in Heck'ne, and Timamisa wanted to meet her and Little Demon and try to set things right and offer Stars support.
Raidus, who loves Stars very dearly, is a touch protective.
Or maybe they just didn’t care. Raidus wasn’t exactly being subtle as he forced the dassen into a not-so-friendly embrace, and pressed his lips intimately close to his ear and whispered so quietly Ka’harja had to strain to hear.
‘If you even look at Stars again I’ll bite your throat out.’
There it was.
Fabecutt didn’t argue with Raidus as he was released. He didn’t even seem surprised by the threat. He just looked defeated as Stars and Timamisa watched on, seemingly oblivious to the menacing way Raidus was catching his tongue-ring on his fangs.
Surely Ka’harja wasn’t the only one who saw this happening?
‘I think you two are going to get alone well!’ Timamisa chirped.
‘Yes! Just like me and my brother!’ Stars agreed, matching Timamisa’s tone. Ka’harja could almost think it was genuine— But then, he’d met Lah’kort. And his suspicions were only confirmed as Timamisa headed for the door and Stars’ smile fell before she followed.
As soon as they were out the door, Fabecutt was against the wall.
‘Touch Stars again and it’ll be me fucking your wife!’ Raidus hissed. ‘You got that, undercut?’
First draft of Scaychie talks to the goddess who shows her visions of the future. This leads to Scaychie’s decision to stay in Heck’ne with Linzor, even after the kidnapped dassens are set free.
cw: implied kidnapping, abuse, & drugging // vomit
A sad look passed over the spirit’s face and she slowly blinked her third eye.
Another image sped through Scaychie’s head; bubbling water and a storm, screaming, and her own face as she desperately tried to reach her sinking son in the impossible to fight ocean.
‘You would survive,’ the spirit finally said. ‘He would sink to the bottom. You’d have more children with your husband— But you would miss this one forever.’
‘And if I stay?’ Scaychie sniffed. ‘What would happen if I stay?’
The spirit blinked her eye, and a white flash flared in Scaychie’s mind.
A wedding and a young wolven girl holding hands with her son as their own children crowded in the garden; and a high, happy voice as Keeyata read her vows, her tail flicking so excitedly she knocked over a pot of petals and sent a flurry of pink and blue into the wind.
But it hurt. Scaychie gripped her chest and gasped as it spread across her body and made her tremble in agony.
‘The ache will never truly leave you,’ the spirit told her. ‘It may lessen, in time, but if you sacrifice yourself you will never stop hurting.’
‘What do I do?’ Scaychie sniffed.
‘No choice you make is wrong,’ the spirit told her, crossing her legs and slowly lowering herself to the ground beside the dassen. ‘They all lead to hurt. It is not selfish to choose the path that will stop yourself from hurting; it’s not wrong to look after yourself.’
‘But the others—’
‘—They will suffer too. No matter what you do. … You can make it easier for them. Shield them with yourself. But it will hurt you so much you might lose yourself,’ the spirit blinked slowly.
Scaychie braced herself for another painful vision. But it didn’t come.
Instead she felt light. Her chest not so tight and her worried thoughts faded to a numb feeling in the back of her head.
A bitter, metallic taste washed over her tongue as she stared at her husband.
Out of place.
She couldn’t tell what it was.
What was happening?
She watched him as he stood beside her, trying to place the thought.
He was everything.
Everything was his?
She’d forgotten something.
She had to remember what it was. …
What was she meant to know?
Then Linzor faded from her vision and the weight of reality slammed into her like her memories of storms. Her stomach lurched and she felt so sick from the feelings that had overcome her that she threw up, barely missing the long hair of the old woman as her stomach emptied itself on the ground beside them.
‘I will not fall in love with him!’ bile dribbled down her chin as she stared at the dirt. She felt her chest heave as she held back her building cry. ‘I will fight him! I swear it! I won’t ever feel that way about him! I won’t let myself!’
‘Then leave,’ the spirit said simply. ‘Or he won’t give you a choice.’
‘I can’t!’ Scaychie exclaimed. ‘I can’t leave! Not without the others!’
‘It’s the only way to save yourself,’ said the spirit. ‘If you don’t leave he will change you and your thoughts until you lose who you are. You can fight him, but he will poison you until you love him— And I do not mean that as a metaphor.’
Scaychie hesitated for a long moment. Then she whispered, ‘Do I ever get away from him?’
‘And if I stay, it will save the others?’
‘Then I’ll bear it. As long as I have to.’
The Runaways - Prologue
cw: implied abuse
Neg’an felt a shiver run down her spine and she gripped her mother’s hands tightly as Kay’oten stalked away. She wondered if she should tell her mother that she had let Ka’harja go herself— But what good would that do? He was gone now. She’d only get in trouble.
‘Come on, little carrot,’ Dena’cosa sighed and gently led her daughter toward their sleeping hovel. ‘You heard Kay’oten. Stay close to me tonight.’
‘I’m not ababhi,’ Neg’an rasped. ‘Am I?’
‘No, carrot,’ Dena’cosa comforted, sitting her daughter down in their bed. ‘You’re not ababhi.’
‘Definitely not,’ a voice muttered from the corner of the small shelter. There was a sniff, and Neg’an’s older sister sat up from under her tattered fur blanket. ‘You’re hakalika at most.’
‘Ta’lak, don’t …’ Dena’cosa sighed. ‘Don’t say that.’
‘Why? We’re all hakalika,’ Ta’lak replied. ‘If we weren’t we wouldn’t be here. And if our yalfit wasn’t completely ababhi maybe I’d not have been born.’
‘—I know,’ Ta’lak sighed. ‘I’m sorry, kekik. Maybe I’m ababhi.’
‘She to be happy when know more nurlak-kin here! You visit us, Q? It make mumma happy! We have house Below! Pink door at centre town fountain! Seven floor down, blue feather room door, black handle! Knock for sure!’
‘I’ll try and visit before we leave,’ Stars replied. ‘I promise.’
Ka’harja wasn’t sure how she’d do that, considering the directions the child had given. ‘Uh, do you have a map or something? I don’t know if we’ll be able to find it.’
‘Really? But it’s so simple,’ Stars blinked. ‘Their house is in the caves, and the building with the pink door near the town’s fountain is the closest entrance. Go seven floors down, find the door decorated with blue feathers and a black handle. Knock before going in.’
‘Oh,’ Ka’harja sighed. ‘Are you sure you’re not part avio?’
Stars shakes her head. ‘I’m very happy being nurlak, thank you.’
‘You are very rude foxen,’ Cor’Bala said, jumping out of the caravan and giving a wave. ‘I do not mind that you rude. But I ask that please do not be rude if visit, or mumma get mad with you! Hit with a broom, like with last one to visit! Not a fun.’
Two figures sat alone under the light of the moons. Over a hundred years had passed since the day they had met. For one, nothing had changed. For the other, death was coming near; the misty clouds that spun out of her mouth were so small it seemed as though she was scarcely breathing.
Thin, ancient hands grasped weakly at woollen blankets, but couldn’t hold them still. The older of the two —the one who hadn’t aged— pushed the falling blankets back over her daughter’s shoulders and smiled as best she could. ‘How are you feeling?’
‘Tired,’ was the reply. ‘I think tonight’s my last night, kekik Distro.’
‘Don’t say such things,’ Distro told her.
The woman shook her head. ‘I’m alright with dying now. I’ve lived a long time. A hundred and twenty four years. … I’d not have lived that long back in Heck’ne. Most people die before they’re thirty. Did you know that, kekik Distro?’
Distro shivered. ‘Yes, I know.’
‘Where’s Ka’harja? Is he back yet? He’s been gone an awfully long time.’
Distro put her face in her hands and took a deep breath. She sat up straight beside her daughter and held back the tears that were trying to escape her eyes. ‘He’s not coming back, remember? He died.’
A confused look passed over the old woman, just for a second, before she looked up at the sky and sighed. ‘I remember.’
The opening of Stars' third eye (literally)
For context, Stars is a nurlak; a four-eyed race of humanoids. However, Stars was born with her second set of eyes imperforated, meaning her eyelids were fused together at birth. She was never treated for it and her second set of eyes were always just sort of under the closed lids.
There's an accident when she's training with Baku, and she's nicked by the tip of his sword... And it doesn't go well.
cw: blood / gore / facial injury / pus / general gross stuff
Stars made for the block. She stepped back and lifted her own sword in one motion, preparing to expertly block Baku’s swing. But at the last second Stars’ foot slid on a rock; her ankle twisted and she dropped her sword as she fell to her knee.
Baku stumbled back awkwardly, too far through his swing to halt. The tip of his sword barely tapped Stars’ face and Ka’harja sighed with relief. At worst she’d have a cut on her forehead, at best it would just be a light scratch…
But then Stars fell forward, gripping her forehead and screaming, and Ka’harja leapt to his feet.
‘It hurts!’ Stars exclaimed. ‘Baku! Help me! It hurts!’
‘It’s just a scratch,’ Baku tried to comfort Stars. He stepped to her side and put a hand to her shoulder. ‘It’ll hurt for a bit but it’s not—’
Baku’s pause made Ka’harja’s chest tighten. His heart felt like it was going to explode as he raced over to Stars.
She still clutched at her head and blood oozed between her fingers; lots of blood. Too much blood. And there was another, pus-like liquid. Yellow-brown and thick, Ka’harja could smell its rank oder as he reached out and grabbed Stars’ arm.
She squeaked and pulled away as Ka’harja tried to see what Baku’s sword had done.
‘It hurts!’ she repeated. ‘It hurts like fire and scratches and punches all at once!’
‘Get Coff,’ Ka’harja demanded to Baku.
Baku nodded and started back to the caravan.
Ka’harja tried to coax Stars off the ground, but she refused to move. Tears streamed down her face and she struggled as Ka’harja forced her to her feet and dragged her towards the caravan.
‘Stars, you’re hurt!’ said Ka’harja, his voice breaking. ‘You have to get to Coff!’
Stars shook her head and collapsed to her knees again. She trembled for a second before looking up to Ka’harja. ‘How bad is it?’ she asked nervously.
Ka’harja watched in horror as she slowly pulled her hand away from her forehead. Blood and pus trailed after it, sticky and stringy like too-thick gravy. It dripped down her arm and face and she had to wink her eye to stop the blood from getting in it. The small cut Baku had made had torn open wider and jagged-edged skin sliced across almost half of Stars’ forehead.
Ka’harja nearly threw up when he saw the wound. ‘Bad.’
This scene is old, but good, and I can’t wait to get to rewriting it ;u; Sadly it’s in book 2 though, so it’s gonna take forever to get to.
Stars and Raidus meet, and Raidus immediately starts flirting with her (and she loves it)
‘He’s actually my brother. But thank you,’ Stars mumbled, brushing her hair out of her eyes with a hand. ‘You look nice as well.’
‘Thanks, I’m Raidus Yuitami,’ he grinned and held out his hand.
‘Stars Beesa,’ Stars shook it gently, then glanced around. ‘My son is around somewhere. His name is Little Demon.’
‘Little Demon?’ Raidus chuckled. ‘That’s an unusual name.’
‘We’re an unusual family,’ Stars said, blushing.
‘I’ll keep that in mind,’ Raidus replied. ‘Where’s his father?’
‘I’reka,’ said Stars. ‘He’s got another family to live with. And I think even if he didn’t, Ka’harja wouldn’t let him live here.’
Raidus looked awkward for a second before his grin came back. ‘Sounds like my cousin.’
Stars laughed at that.
‘You know, I’ve got royal blood in me. Do you have any royal in you?’
‘No, I don’t.’
‘Would you like some?’ he asked.
Stars’ ears twitched curiously. ‘What do you mean?’
Raidus gave her a wink, and a cheeky grin, and Stars seemed to realise what he meant.
Her ears stuck upright and she bit her lip, blush creeping along her cheeks until her face was bright pink.
‘Is that a yes?’ Raidus chuckled, leaning closer.
Stars giggled and covered her face with her hands.
Raidus gently pulled her hands away and bent down enough that he could bump his nose into hers.
She let out another giggle, and looked away. ‘I— excuse me for a moment.’
Raidus let her slip away and she hurried over to Ka’harja.
‘Ka’harja!’ she exclaimed. ‘Have you met Raidus?’
‘Yes, I met him,’ Ka’harja had to grab Stars’ arms to stop her jumping up and down. ‘Stars, he’s basically a straight version of me. You don’t want to do this to yourself.’