My writing and art! Main @cjadewyton and polished work on @jade-wyton
‘What was their name, Q?’ Coi’Lili lent heavier on the fence, leaning forward so he could look Jaisa in the eye. ‘You are smiling now.’
‘Its name is Batni.’
‘Yes, that’s its pronouns,’ Jaisa responded, a humoured snort escaping through xer gills. ‘We don’t all use xie and them, you know. The whole point is we’re not some sort of binary. He, she, fae, hir, sie, ve, its. … There’s hundreds of options. Xie and them are just common and easy to use in front of land-dwellers, that’s all.’
‘I see,’ Coi’Lili gave a nod and ruffled his feathers. ‘And xie is what you prefer, Q? There is nothing else, Q? Because if there is something else I am more than happy to use it for you.’
‘Yeah, nah,’ Jaisa shrugged. ‘Xie is fine. I don’t think you could pronounce my pronouns in Seces.’
‘I am part avio, my sweet lovely one,’ Coi’Lili responded. ‘And I have my speaker. I would be able to pronounce anything. Maybe even better than you.’
Jaisa let out another gill-snort before turning to Coi’Lili. ‘Alright,’ xie said. ‘Try this one, then.’
A short whistle came from xer gills, echoing like it was being whistled twice as xie opened and closed xer mouth. Then xie clamped xer gills gown down with a wet slapping noise and grinned.
‘That is your pronoun, Q?’ he opened his mouth and the noise echoed out of him, perfectly mimicked. ‘That is not to hard to say, my dear.’
‘Works as both personal and possessive,’ xie said. ‘But I doubt the wolvens around here could pronounce it without bordering on offencive, so I prefer to just use xie and xer on land.’
‘If that is your wish, I will respect it,’ Coi’Lili gave xer a gentle nod. ‘But if you change your mind do not hesitate to let me know. It is nothing hard for me and I am more than happy to do it.’
‘Thanks,’ Jaisa replied, resting xer chin on the fence and staring into the pond longingly. After a moment xie eyed Coi’Lili. ‘Do you think I would get in trouble?’
‘For your pronouns, Q?’ he gasped. ‘Oh, no no no! Queen Distro would never allow that!’
‘I meant if I jumped into the pond,’ Jaisa clarified. ‘Do you think I would get into trouble if I went for a swim?’
‘I think if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that Gavin likes food regardless of flavour,’ Dale joked. ‘I think he’d eat clay if you’d let him.’
‘He used to,’ Talia replied, the edge gone from her voice. ‘He didn’t grow out of it until he was eight. Eight years old and he was eating dirt.’
‘To be fair, I think I can recall you doing the same!’
‘Oh please; it was the worms I was interested in, not the dirt.’
Though sexual dimorphism in harpies is often used to quickly identify the biological sex of a harpy, it is common to be corrected on pronoun usage by niritaka (transgender) or haykafica (intersex) harpy. Haykafica harpy make up roughly 3% of the known Heck’ne population, and niritaka make up almost 10% of the population. Niritaka are most common in harpy families that socialise with the local seces people, though they are found across Heck’ne and their high population in areas with seces is simply put down to having a better education of gender identity.
Ka'harja's Journey, Chapter 7 excerpt:
Before he could get the words out of his mouth, Annanyn plopped herself between the pair and offered them both fish from her complicated-looking platter. As she turned to Ka’harja her face pulled in a grimace. ‘What’s that smell?’
‘What smell?’ Sken asked.
‘Smells like mouldy cloth,’ Annanyn muttered, sniffing at the air. ‘I think someone’s cast magic here recently.’
‘What?’ Ka’harja laughed. ‘What are you talking about?’
Annanyn was too busy sniffing to respond, so Sken answered for her. ‘She’s an aura sensor. She can smell magic.’
‘Smell magic?’ Ka’harja echoed. ‘I though aura sensors … sensed magic.’
‘Smell is a sense,’ Sken scoffed, rolling her eyes and grinning playfully. ‘Every aura sensor is different. Annanyn smells it. … What sort of magic is it, puddle-hopper?’
‘I DON’T WANT TO PUT ON PANTS!’ the screech from downstairs was followed by a loud crash and doors slamming.
He stood to respond, but before he could even open his mouth he heard Ell’ian yell a response.
‘YOU WILL PUT ON YOUR PANTS WHEN LILTH TELLS YOU TO OR I WILL PUT THEM ON FOR YOU! DON’T MAKE ME COME INSIDE!’
Screaming followed, and more doors were slammed, but after a few moments Toro heard his daughter yell about wanting “the blue ones” and let out a loud sigh.
Putting on his own pants, he stumbled to the door and shouted down the hall, ‘ELLOW’HEN! YOU TREAT AUNTY LILTH WITH RESPECT OR YOU’LL LOSE YOUR LIZARD PRIVILEGES!’
The shouting grew into a loud cry, which cut off when Toro yelled back that he meant it.
‘YOU WON’T BE ALLOWED TO EAT LIZARDS FOR A WHOLE WEEK IF YOU DON’T BEHAVE!’
There was no response; which Toro knew was a victory.
Little Demon's first word.
Little Demon gave a gurgle, and Ka’harja laughed and pulled him back against his chest.
‘Hah, idiot,’ Ka’harja teased. ‘That’s what you are, aren’t you? Stupid!’
‘F. ... Flu!
‘That’s a new noise,’ snickering, Ka’harja adjusted the wiggling infant until he was more comfortable. ‘You trying to say flowers? Flowers. Can you say that?’
‘F. ... Fuck.’
Ka’harja felt his blood ice over.
Oh Eighth Child of the Ninth.
‘Uh, right,’ Ka’harja smacked his lips together and stood straight. ‘Right. Right. Baku? Baku!’
Baku stuck his head out of the caravan he’d disappeared into. ‘Yeah?’
‘Hold this for me,’ he didn’t wait for a response before thrusting Little Demon info Baku’s arms. ‘I have to— I gotta go.’
‘Ka’harja!’ Baku called back loudly as Ka’harja disappeared around a corner. ‘Hey! No! Stars asked you to look after him! I’m busy! Sken said. ... BY THE GODDESS KA’HARJA WHAT DID TOU DO TO HIM?’
The Dassen Origin is a story known by both dassen and zokex races. It’s a tale that took place before the awakening of The Goddess Scara, back when Das was still whole and unshattered by the Island Mover. It’s the tale of a shape shifting zokex, named Adoration, who started a nurlak-worshipping cult. The cult did a lot of morally questionably actions during their formative years and, after being banished from zokex society, moved on to outright horrible acts. Their most famous crime was the mutilation and murder of a young nurlak child whose body they used to create a form-changing potion. This potion was supposed to turn the members of the cult into nurlaks, but due to the brutal nature of the murder, the ancient nurlak gods punished the zokex and their potion only half-worked, leaving them stuck halfway between nurlak and zokex; the first dassens.
[also my fave paragraph from the story's below the cut]
cw: gore / death
Little Centela is a good Har'py which means he is NOT a liar and will get VERY upset if it's implied he's not telling the truth.
Kaka mia mal sasao! Don't whisper what you won't scream!
cw: death mention
Sensin shrugged. ‘You’re going to have to have a bath when you’re done in the dirt. You won’t be allowed in the dining hall like that.’
‘I can get my own food,’ Centela declared, jumping at the base of the tree and digging. He scrabbled until he was able to pull out a small root, and began chewing. ‘Mmmfee?’
‘Spit that out!’ Sensin exclaimed.
‘Mno,’ Centy grumbled, clambering around the tree so Sensin couldn’t grab him. ‘Itf mimne!’
‘Papa, he’s so clever!’ Mingan exclaimed. ‘I wish I knew how to find food like that!’
Centela felt his scales warm with pride, and felt his chest tighten as he instinctively stood up straight. He pulled the root out of his mouth and quietly stepped out from behind the tree.
‘I can teach you,’ he told her. ‘It’s not so hard. You got to be careful not to eat poison stuff. That’s all! If you eat poison stuff you’ll die and be thrown into a ga’oa so goblins get to eat you!’
‘No you won’t—’ Sensin lunged for Centela, just barely managing to catch him. ‘You’ll go to the healers until you get better.’
‘If you get better!’ Centela exclaimed. ‘If you don’t throw up your whole stomach and have your lungs explode! I’ve seen it! It’s gross and you won’t even make it to the healers before you die!’
Mingan gasped, and hid behind her wings as her father hefted Centela off the ground.
‘Stop scaring her, Centela,’ he grunted.
‘Stop lying to her!’ Centela retorted. ‘If she thinks poison’ll not kill her then she’ll eat poison and die and you’ll have to live knowing you killed your zelkin! I’m helping you not be a murderer! You hakalika balak!’
Sensin hesitated, then let out a deep sigh and pulled Centela into his chest to keep him steady. ‘You don’t need to be so graphic about it.’
‘But it’s what happens!’ Centela defended. ‘It’s as bad as a spider sting!’
Sensin sighed. ‘Again with spiders. You really don’t like them, do you?’
‘Why would I?’ Centela exclaimed. ‘They’re big and mean and eat us whenever they can! With lots of stingers and legs and big big fangs!’
Mingan let out another gasp. ‘Like in your drawing!’
Centela nodded. ‘Uhuh! Only I’m not a good artist like you, so I can’t draw them right! They’re BIGGER than my drawing! So big they could swallow your stepapa Sensin whole!’
Mingan whimpered, and collapsed backwards into her chair. ‘Not stepapa!’
‘Nuh-uh,’ Sensin replied. ‘There are no spiders that eat people.’
‘YEAH THERE ARE!’ Centela shouted. ‘I’M NOT A LIAR! IF YOU THINK I’M A LIAR THEN YOU CAN GO TO HECK’NE WHEN MY YALFIT PICKS ME UP INSTEAD! THEN YOU CAN LIVE WITH THE SPIDERS INSTEAD!’
‘Stop that,’ Sensin sighed, dumping Centela into the wheelchair beside Mingan.
‘No!’ Centela pouted. ‘I’m not a liar! Apologise for saying I was a liar!’
‘I didn’t call you a liar—‘
‘—YES YOU DID AND YOU HAVE TO APOLOGISE OR I’LL HAVE TO FIGHT YOU IN GRA GA’HOO DA!’ Centela screamed. ‘AND I REALLY LIKE YOU SO DON’T MAKE ME HAVE TO KILL YOU BECAUSE I WILL WIN! AND THEN YOU’LL BE SORRY BUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE BECAUSE YOU’LL BE DEAD! I DON’T MAKE UP STORIES! KAKA MIA MAL SASAO! KAKA! MIA! MAL! SASAO!’
‘Alright,’ Sensin gave a heavy sigh, and pet Centela’s head until he quietened down. ‘I’m sorry for saying you were making things up.’
Centela crossed his arms and turned away. ‘Don’t call me a liar again.’
‘Hello! I am Keemi’Keemi! I am serving drinks today!’ the avio gave a happy flap of her wings.
‘I’m Stars!’ Stars’ face lit up. ‘And this is Koko, Baku, Lif, Trat, Sken, Annanyn, Coborn, and my best friend— Ka’harja!’
‘Oh best friend!’ Keemi’Keemi beamed. ‘I have seven those! They very fun have! Lots and lots of love!’
Stars nodded. ‘Is it okay if I ask what keemi means, Q?’
‘Oh, yes! Very okay!’ Keemi’Keemi nodded. ‘Keemi when you small, and parents give you three kisses on nose to make giggles!’
‘So your name is …’ Ka’harja hesitated.
‘Six giggle kisses!’ Keemi’Keemi beamed.
Ka'harja's Journey, Chapter 9 (WIP)
Ka'harja falls in a river and is pulled out by Sken. The following conversation is as awkward as those two always are when put together.
Sooo I'm writing up summaries for Don't Lose Hope, to show how all the books are supposed to flow together. I'm only about halfway done, but have been on it for about 2 hours, so I'm gonna stop it there for now. Will edit this post and reblog it again once I finish! I've added up to book 12.5, and only have 6 more summaries to go!
There's going to be 2 reading orders for the series; main series order, and chronological order. Main series order skips all the middle books (x.5) and focuses on major plot points, while chronological order includes a book between every other book that are not needed to understand what's going on, but will provide more content, character backstories, and less-plot related events.
2,400 words / cw for dark themes
Book 1.5 - The Runaways Sister book to the 1st book; from Stars’ perspective. Happens along the same time-line as book 1 but gives a different perspective to similar concepts.
Book 2 - The Self-Feeders Ka’harja, now living with his grandparents, finds out he is royalty. This book puts Distro in the position of heir to the throne, which leads onto future books. It also shows the difference between the “everyday” life of Sentients, and the life of royalty. Introduces a few more basic concepts that were missed in book 1, including old gods and illnesses. It also shows something is up with a newly-emerged cult group, and how severe their attacks on the world are becoming.
Book 2.5 - Untitled Focuses mainly on Ta’lak and Timamisa, and how they met and decided to find Stars. It shows as the nurlak are recovering from the effects of the self-feeding sickness. You also find out Cor’Bala almost died during the outbreak.
Book 3 - Prince Nigelle Ka’harja is now the heir of the Canis throne, after his heroics in book 2. Though it’s mainly character-based it introduces a few final base world concepts and starts the study of soulstone. Reveals Kay’oten as the leader of the terror cult as Lah’kort comes back from the dead and murders Ka’harja and his grandfather, starting a war between Canis and Sapious.
Book 3.5 - Untitled From the POV of a Sapious human who worked in the king’s palace when Lah’kort took over. Detailing the horrible things that happen at the castle that lead the king to abandoning it after Ka’harja’s murder.
Book 4 - Stars of Self-Discovery Distro learns about her father and son’s deaths, and is the heir by default after her mother’s suicide. In grief, Distro steals the old god’s fallen stars and flees into the Canis wilderness, intending to use the stars to contact Ka’harja. She’s followed by Stars, however, who keeps her from secluding herself completely and eventually convinces her to go to Lah’kort’s castle and defeat the spirit.
Book 4.5 - The Harpy Bride A prequel book to book 5 that shows how Toro met his wife and started his family. If read chronologically, it’s intention is to make us question our perceptions of the Har’py culture, and we learn alongside the characters about the past corruption that Heck’ne has been through. If read after reading book 5, it gives more information on the morals we’re made to question in that book.
Book 5 - The Canis Guard A few hundred years after Distro is crowned queen, book 5 follows the life of one of her personal guards, Toro. The main focus of this book is to show the changes to the world due to the constant state of war, and also throw away our previous understanding of the Heck’ne and Har’py culture and force us to reconsider our initial misconceptions of there being an inherently “evil” race by showing the issues presented in the previous books were not the norm of the culture but a few specific people leaning into the racist propaganda against the Heck’ne to get away with vile behaviour. Distro makes an alliance with Heck’ne’s Prophet. This book also shows Kay’oten is still recruiting people to try and fight Distro. Ends with Toro being captured as a prisoner of war.
Book 5.5 - Untitled This book is about Toro’s family as they get older and recover from the loss of their father/husband/friend. The main focus is Coski meeting Apple’Cloud and it is supposed to be a funner book, but it also covers some of the issues that come up with Krish and his grief.
Book 6 - A Necklace and a Lullaby This book follows Toro’s young daughter, Lua’ana, after Ell’ian is murdered by a group of Distro’s guards on her way home from work. Lua’ana is saved by a group of teenage thieves who are in the middle of a large score and take cover in an old house. Overnight, Lua’ana’s memories are stolen by Kay’oten, who starts to groom her into being one of her cult members and filling her head with hate for Distro. As this happens Lua’ana, now Luana, becomes a member of the group of thieves and makes a rivalry with the dassen girl Marias. Ell’ian is haunting her daughter the entire time and trying to guide her away from Kay’oten’s manipulation.
Book 6.5 - Untitled Luana growing up, bonding with Mairas, and constantly being on the cusp of finding her family but never quite getting there. Focuses on introducing a few of the Sentient races that haven’t been introduced yet, and showing pieces of their culture. Shows that she’s susceptible to Kay’oten’s manipulation and has started to commit crimes against Distro.
Book 7 - The Thief and the Witch Focuses on Luana as a young adult. Kay’oten’s manipulation is getting worse and has stuck with Luana, and there is a plan to murder Distro. This plan goes wrong when Ell’ian stops Luana. Kay’oten turns her anger on the thieves and attempts to kill Luana and all of her friends. Only a few of them survive, and flee to the streets. Eventually they are taken in by the Taruntan family, who are later revealed to be close with Queen Distro and accidentally reintroduce Luana and the queen. After some misunderstanding, Distro takes Luana on as a guard trainee and the two learn to trust each other.
Book 7.5 - Homeland, Not Home Ell’ian’s book, Homeland not Home. It carries on directly from the end of the previous book, when Luana and Brandon start to read the book. Includes her poetry, and is a rather unconventional book in the series.
Book 8 - Untitled Luana has risen through the ranks of Distro’s guard and become the highest ranking officer in Distro’s army. She takes on an old girlfriend as a trainee and, without realising it, is also given command over her nephew. This book focuses more on the war than previous books, and starts to lead onto the war’s resolution. However, Luana goes off on her own and is captured by the human king. As the book ends she’s set to be tortured for information. It’s also revealed what happened to Toro.
Book 8.5 - Untitled About one of the guards Luana met when captured. She told him to find Mairas and ask for shelter, and he takes his family and tries to find safety. He misses Mairas but finds a different general, who brings him to Canis and helps him and his children be safe.
Book 9 - Lost and Found This book focuses on Mairas, after Luana’s been lost in the war. The first part focuses on Mairas using her grief for Luana as her drive for continuing to fight, and once Luana is returned the book slows down in pace and the girls leave the army to aid Luana’s recovery. Many issues from previous books begin to resolve at this point, such as Luana being reunited with her family and finding out about her past. Both Luana and Mairas have children near the end of the book, both under less-than-ideal circumstances. After their birth Mairas rejoins the army and fights in the war again.
Book 9.5 - Untitled This book takes place during the time skip between book 9 and 10. It’s about Mairas’ children, Linzor and Keeyata, and their childhood. Mairas is pretty absent as she’s constantly going back and forth between her children and the war. It shows the abuse Keeyata goes through from her father and Linzor, and how much trouble her mother is having protecting her. It also introduces soulbinding and shows the relationships between Mairas and Luana’s children.
Book 10 - Untitled Mostly about Mairas’ return to the army to fight in the war. Showcases Mairas and Luana’s children as young adults, and starts the setup for the focus to shift onto them. The Canis is making progress on winning the war with Sapious. However, news comes that there are issues arising within the Heck’ne. The alliance that Distro and the old Prophet made is broken when it’s found Heck’ne has started kidnapping people. They don’t have too much time to address this though, as Mairas is given the opportunity to take down the Sapious royal family. She kills the king, but can’t bring herself to kill his (too-young) wife and infant son (Jared) and instead rescues them and brings them back to Canis. The king’s wife gives up Jared, who Elli adopts as her own, and returns to her family. A plan is made among Canis and the allied kingdoms to return Sapious’ land to Jared once he is of age, if he proves he can be a good and moral leader. There is a celebration of the end of the war, and Mairas is asked to be a speaker. During this celebration she feels ill, and Linzor takes her away from the crowds. She’s set on edge by Linzor’s behaviour in the last scene, but the reader is not shown the resolution.
Book 10.5 - A Dassen in the Heck’ne One of the darker-themed books in the series, this book focuses on a new character, Scaychie, and her strong determination to see the best in people. It opens in a dassen settlement with Scaychie and her husband Taldurl relaxing and excited about having their second child. There is mention of a storm being an omen, and a close friend of theirs passing away and leaving her daughter orphaned. As they talk their settlement is attacked by a group of harpies and Scaychie and her husband are separated as Taldurl takes their firstborn to safety and Scaychie fights off the attackers. She’s captured by the harpies and forced across the ocean to the Heck’ne where she meets the Prophet Ali’ka, who gives her to Linzor as a wife. It is now the full extent of Linzor’s actions comes to light. Throughout this book we learn that Keeyata, Ali’ka, Ali’ka’s son Tru’man, and several other characters are all being manipulated by Linzor on behalf of Kay’oten. Scaychie, though physically powerless against Linzor, is able to become respected among the Har’py people and struggles to protect herself, her friends, and the innocent Heck’nerians that are threatened by Linzor’s lust for power. She even seems to help guide the paranoid Ali’ka into being a better ruler, before the Prophet dies in an almost-accident that gives Linzor almost complete power of the Heck’ne through the kind-hearted but gullible Tru’man. We also learn that Linzor murdered his mother and has plans to murder Distro.
Book 11 - Political Engagement This book takes us to Luana’s daughter, Elli, during a messy breakup with her boyfriend (and heir to the Canis throne) Ykelt. We learn that Mairas has died, as she was poisoned at the dinner celebrating the end of the war, but nobody knows who did it. Then, Elli is in an near-fatal accident where she meets Ka’harja’s spirit. Ka’harja tries to tell her of Kay’oten’s plans but is cut off as Elli is revived. All Elli knows is that Kay’oten is planning on causing a war between the allied countries and the wolven kingdom Konde. Elli tells Distro of this plan, and Distro seeks to create alliance with Konde to prevent the war. Elli offers herself up as a bride to one of the Konde princes, to help make the alliance appear more credible to other kingdoms. There is a lot of personal drama in this book, such as Elli having an affair with her sister’s husband, but a lot less action than the previous books. This book will feel very different depending on if it is read in series order or chronological order. If read chronologically, Linzor’s actions and manipulations are more obvious. If read in series order, he comes off as an unpleasant creep whose wife hates him, but the full extend of his dangerous actions remains unknown.
Book 11.5 - Untitled A fun book of Jared’s travels throughout the world. Introduces species and cultures that haven’t been featured very heavily.
Book 12 - Two Years Focusing on Linzor’s young son, Centela, this book shows series-order readers just how terrible Linzor is, and cements Linzor’s actions for those reading chronologically. Centela and Elli’s daughter Mingan are being encouraged to becomes friends, with the plan of having them marry in the future. This is done under the guise of creating an alliance between Heck’ne and Konde, but a few select characters know that Linzor’s intentions are far more sinister. It goes back and forth between Heck’ne and Konde from the perspective of a child who thinks of Heck’ne as his home, and of Konde as a terrifying new and different land. Centela’s sibling-relationships with Prophet Tru’man’s children are shown, and we learn a lot more about Heck’ne culture and honour. In the end Centela and Mingan agree to marry, and Linzor leaves Centela to be raised in Konde under Elli’s care.
Book 12.5 - Glow-Glow This book follows the perspective of a character only mentioned in previous books, Linyata (nicknamed Glow-Glow). Linyata is a dassen/seces girl who grew up alongside Scaychie’s firstborn daughter, Jolanti, after Scaychie was taken to Heck’ne. Linyata’s horns have started to grow in, and so in dassen tradition she leaves her home settlement. She decides to look for her biological father, and after a series of events manages to find him. Her father introduces her to a valenor, who helps her contact her late mother’s spirit. Alongside her father and the valenor she meets a felinic man and his adopted son, Hiroson— Who she discovers was Scaychie’s second born, saved from Heck’ne by the felinic and raised on stories of his mother’s strength. Linyata takes Hiroson to meet his biological father. Upon returning to her home settlement, Linyata is greeted by a tearful Jolanti, who admits her romantic feelings for her friend and begs her not to leave again.
First draft of a scene that happens at Talia’s birthday party, feat. mention of a conflict that happens in a different book!
‘—You’ve already apologised,’ Meg interrupted.
‘Yeah but …’ Rose sighed. ‘I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like enough.’
‘Just do better next time,’ Meg meets eyes with Talia, an lets out a sigh and gives a tired smile. ‘You know, this is the Talia that Trish is always talking about.’
‘Oh?’ Rose turns and blushes. ‘I didn’t realise. I thought— Kladstone’s so big I didn’t think I’d just bump into you.’
Talia chuckles. ‘You know Trish?’
‘Yeah. Online,’ Rose replies. ‘She’s … helping me get through some stuff. I … feel really awkward. I’m gonna go. …’
The two girls nodded as Rose hurried away, to talk with William and Richard.
Talia glanced to Meg. ‘Sounds like you two had a conflict?’
‘It’s over,’ Meg shrugged. ‘Trish talked to her and she apologised. I’m not going to hold it against her.’
‘Ah,’ Talia nodded. ‘So she’s one of Trish’s new recruits?’
‘Yep, little baby lesbian,’ Meg let out a laugh. ‘From a suuuper Christian family. Trish is teaching her how to not be a fuck-wit. Wonder what she’s doing here.’
Talia couldn’t help laughing, herself. ‘She came with Richard. Well, she came with Richard’s ride home.’
‘Friend of a friend of a friend?’
‘Something like that,’ Talia rolled her eyes. ‘So Trish still talks about me?’
‘Of course she does, you’re like, her best friend,’ Meg shouldered Talia playfully. ‘She’s always going on about you and Gavin. She did stop trying to get you blind dates after she found out about Dale, though. And I mean like, before you were dating him sort of thing.’
‘Ah, yes,’ Talia nodded. ‘Her and her impeccable match-making skills.’
‘I mean, eight times out of ten,’ Meg shrugged. ‘And, being fair, you’re the outlier, Spiders Georg.’
‘Fucking spiders what?’
‘Internet meme,’ Meg replied, raising her brow and sipping her drink. ‘Sorry. Forgot you were ancient.’
‘Coff?’ Sken’s gills twitched curiously. ‘He’s alright. Koko reckons he works too hard. Which is saying something, considering she pushes people more than I do! But I think. …’
‘It’s to distract him from something,’ she finished. Then she cracked open another bottle of drink. She drank this one slowly. ‘He’s always looking for something to do; when he runs out of work he’ll tear down his shelves and rearrange them just to keep himself busy. … I keep telling him it’s fine. But he doesn’t know how to stop. Complete opposite of you. You don’t seem to start anything.’
Ka’harja’s Journey - Chapter 7
EXT. QUIET BEACH – EVENING
The sun is setting across the ocean as the distant sound of human children shrieking happily is drowned out by the waves and calls of overhead gulls. In the distance beach-goers are visible packing up for the day, though they are hard to make out and mostly silhouetted against the orange horizon.
Jazza is sitting on the beach watching dolphins dancing in the waves as Sunny explores a nearby rock pool. This part of the beach is quiet and he and Sunny are the only people around.
A few moments pass, focusing on Jazza as he stares out to see with a peaceful smile, before Sunny approaches.
She seems nervous, her face is pink with a deep blush as she edges closer to Jazza. When Jazza looks over to her she looks away, her blush darkening.
JAZZA: What’s up?
She hands him a live crab.
JAZZA: (stunned) Uh… Thanks.