ART

My writing and art! Main @cjadewyton and polished work on @jade-wyton

Posts tagged writing:

‘Well, here she is,’ Toro let out a breath and carefully held out the urn for Ell’ian to see. ‘Zezi Tasuma.’

Ell’ian frowned. ‘That’s a jar, Toro.’

‘She’s in the jar.’

Ell’ian took the lid off the urn and looked in, squinting. She stared into for a moment then looked back up to Toro. ‘Where? It’s just dust.’


👀

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!


“Stars! I was getting worried,” Annanyn exclaims. “You’ve been out all night! I thought something might have happened.”

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.”

Fabecutt nods.


I already posted a short bit from how you find out Krish is trans if you read my project in series order, but here's how you find out if you read it in chronological order! It's got a very different feel to it because Toro and Krish don't know each other very well, yet, and Toro's still very undereducated. His heart's in the right place here, he's just dumb as a brick.

600 words.

cw for accidental misgendering


‘Good lad. … Tasuma, stop staring and go outside!

Toro narrowly dodged the queen’s shoe and hurried out with the rest of the crowd.

He was met by a few older looking guards, who motioned to two tents.

‘Men on the left, women on the right.’

‘R-Right,’ Toro gave a nod and hurried to the left line. He got in place behind a human man, who looked back with a snort as Toro took a step too close.

There was a deep scar across his neck and shoulder, like he’d had boiling water thrown on him, and Toro tried not to stare.

‘What?’ the human grunted.

‘That scar’s, uh, pretty nasty,’ Toro managed.

‘That scar’s, uh, none of your business!’ the man snapped before turning his back to Toro.

‘Right, of course not,’ Toro nodded before glancing around and realising Krish had stepped up behind him. ‘Krish?’

‘Yes?’

‘I thought that the, uh— The women—’

Krish gave a heavy sigh, putting her face in her hands, and Toro stopped mid-sentence.

He felt the overwhelming urge to apologise. Had he said something wrong? He couldn’t think what he could have said wrong— But the look on Krish’s face told him he had, and he opened his mouth to ask what it was, but was cut short as Sands came out and motioned for everyone to be quiet.

He started walking up the line of men, marking each name off on a clipboard, until he came to Krish. He barely glanced up as he mumbled, ‘I think you’re in the wrong line.’

‘No, I-I’m not,’ Krish stammered. ‘I’m not a woman.’

Now, Sands looked up. Then quickly flicked through his paperwork. ‘What’s your name?’

‘Krish Galia,’ voice trembling, Krish stood up straighter. ‘I’m a transgender man.’

Toro only half understood that meant— He had no idea what a “transgender” was, but at least he knew now why Krish hadn’t been happy at being called a woman.

A transgender man?

‘A transgender man?’ Sands echoed Toro’s thoughts.

‘Y-Yes sir.’

‘Well, I’m sorry for the confusion, that was my mistake,’ Sands quickly made a note on his paperwork, then looked back up to Krish. ‘These lines are only for uniform measurement. Will you be comfortable being measured by another man?’

‘I’d rather not be measured at all,’ Krish replied, his voice cracking with anxiety. ‘I already know my measurements. I-If I could just write them down. …’

‘If that makes your more comfortable,’ Sands gave a nod and motioned to the tent ahead. ‘Go in now and tell Hajir. Just make sure they’re accurate or I’ll be the one he throws a fit at later.’

‘Th-Thank you,’ Krish nodded, and took a step out of line and made towards the tent as Sands continued down the line.

As Sands passed, the human man from before turned to Toro and whispered, ‘You got any idea what “transgender” is?

Toro shook his head.

I thought it was a seces thing,’ someone else whispered.

Y’all are fucking idiots!’ hissed a voice behind Toro, and he glanced to see a felinic rolling his eyes. ‘Read a fucking book or something! By the Goddess!

The rest of the men in front of Toro turned back around and grumbled, but Toro nudged the felinic man to get his attention.

What books?’ he asked.

The felinic shook his head and sighed, the annoyed look fading into fatigue. ‘Gods, you serious? You ain’t just a transphobe trying to fuck with me?

Yeah, I’m serious.

Kazani: a History and Biography,’ the felinic answered. ‘It’s in the royal library. Foxen culture section.


The start of Tru'man's death scene. Trying to get that balance between believable use of their native language, and it being actually understandable to the reader? Actually a lot of fun, tbh.

360 words

cw: death


Setani’Selina made to follow, but Geoff’s mournful cry pulled her attention and she turned to see her brother pressing his hand against their father’s wound.

‘You will be okay,’ Geoff whimpered. ‘I will— I will fix you. You will be okay.’

‘Geoff,’ Tru’man managed. ‘This is too deep. Even for you.’

‘No!’ Geoff’s wings stiffened, the feathers trembling as if they were trying to escape him as he lifted them up. ‘No! No! No no no!’

‘I’m sorry,’ Tru’man let out a deep, heavy breath. ‘I’m so sorry, Geoff’Selulu.’

‘No!’ Geoff repeated, pushing onto his father’s wound harder before letting out an anguished squeal— Setani’Selina recognised it as something seces, and though she wasn’t sure of the exact word, she understood the meaning.

‘Gorg,’ she said as she gently kneed by her brother. She ran a hand over his back and ran the other down his arm to meet his own at their father’s wound. ‘Kosson. Tasa less now. You’re hurting yalfit.’

‘No,’ Geoff whined, not moving. ‘I will fix him.’

‘Maka.’

‘I am not lying! I will fix him!’

‘Maka,’ Setani’Selina repeated. ‘You maka. Yalfit is in the mup bakti. You know.’

‘No! No!’ Geoff snapped, his worried face now half a scowl. ‘Do not say hakalika things to me! You are the maka! I will fix him!’

‘Geoff’Selulu,’ Tru’man’s hand found its way onto his childrens’ and he looked to them both weakly. ‘Setani’Selina kizza maka.’

The words were barely out of Tru’man’s mouth before Geoff let out another mournful cry and doubled over, pushing his face into his father’s. ‘No, yalfit! No! No! I will fix you!’

‘You can’t,’ Tru’man told him. He took a laboured breath … then smiled. ‘I’m proud of you. You and all your zelkins. You make my world less sharami.’

‘Basaka?’

‘Halki, katka,’ a tear rolled down Tru’man’s cheek. ‘Halki.’

Setani’Selina felt like her heart was being squeezed by a tight hand. ‘I’m sorry, yalfit.’

‘You have no reason to be sorry,’ Tru’man said. ‘Kosson, my rek. Kosson. … Where are your zelkins?’

‘We’re here, yalfit,’ a voice came from behind Setani’Selina, and she didn’t need to turn to know it was Ta’kora. ‘All of us.’


‘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.’

‘Its, Q?’

‘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.’


‘I’m going to ignore you, now,’ said Ka’harja as he turned away. ‘Nothing personal, I just don’t want to hear you speak ever again.’


‘What are you going to call him?’ Tru’man asked.

‘I haven’t thought about that. I thought Linzor would. …’

‘Har’py law says that if one of you is the leader of the troop, the other gets to pick the child’s first name,’ Tru’man reminded her. ‘If Linzor wants him to share his last name he’ll have to give you the right to an unquestioned first name.’

Scaychie snorted a laugh. ‘Is that how it works?’

‘It will be if I ask my kekik to tell him that,’ Tru’man grinned. ‘So think of a good name for him!’

‘Or her.’

‘Geoff’Selulu knows its a boy,’ Tru’man replied, his wings stiffening as he sat up straighter; a proud look on his face.

Scaychie laughed at that. ‘I really like the name Kikimarsu for a girl.’

‘Which he’s not, so you need a boy’s name.’

‘Okay. Okay. … Harnlix. After my father.’


"This eventually led to her stepping down willingly from the position as ruler, which changed the power dynamic of the Heck’ne greatly and was the first step to the Har’py tradition “kan mup mala’kala,” or “eat the bad Prophet,” which is rather self-explanatory."


Hayt! Paying the universe forward for something nice Toro did for her once (and unbeknownst to her, she's actually helping Toro's daughter!)

1st excerpt is 200 words, 2nd is 90 words!


‘What’s your name?’

She doesn’t respond.

‘I can wait all day.’

‘Hayt.’

‘Well, Hayt. I need that coin purse back.’

Hayt begrudgingly hands it over.

‘I shouldn’t, but I believe in second chances,’ he says as he takes back the coin purse. ‘So get going back to your parents.’

‘Don’t patronise me, fat-man,’ Hayt mumbles under her breath as she walks away.

Toro laughs, and the kid’s tail fluffs out when she realises he’d heard her.

‘Good mouth on you!’ he laughs. ‘Now get before I mistake you for one of my own kids and take you home with me!’

Hayt looks at him for a second, then a sly smirk appears on her face. ‘How did someone as ugly as you find a girl who’d let you have kids with her?’

Toro scoffs, then laughs.

Hayt gives him the finger, but he sees her grinning playfully and knows she’s just being a cheeky felinic kid.

‘Alright, move off before I change my mind.’

‘Hah, right,’ Hayt snorted. ‘So what? Do I owe you something now?’

‘Nah,’ Toro shook his head. ‘I’m just being a decent person. Just pay it forward when you can. … Pretend you owe the universe.’

~~~~

‘You’ve done a lot for me,’ she sighs. ‘Is there anything I can do to thank you?’

‘I’m just paying forward,’ Hayt responds. ‘It’s a bit of a thing I have going on. Do something nice for someone so maybe they’ll do something nice for someone else. You know.’

‘That’s a nice idea,’ Ka’tassah grins. ‘Doesn’t sound like it came from this area.’

‘Some old guy did it for me once. Felt good. Pretty sure it made me a better person. So I make sure I do the same.’


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.


‘Once I found an ocean catfish stuck in my cave as a kid,’ Keek explained. ‘I was cleaning and stuck my tail in a crevice to scoop out some shells and the next thing I know it had swallowed half of me! I remember struggling with it before my mum came to check on me and she just FREAKED out and started bashing it with the broom!’

‘You have brooms underwater?’ Warner asked. ‘What for?’

‘Sweeping,’ Keek answered simply. ‘Anyway— she was bashing it—’


Elli meets Scaychie for the first time

290 words

cw: manipulation


‘Where’s Keeyata?’ Elli asked, standing on her toes to try and see over Linzor’s wings. She could see someone behind him— Though it didn’t look like Keeyata. ‘I’ve been dying to see her! I have to show her the girls! And she’s had another baby, right? Where is she?’

‘She sends her love,’ Linzor said with a frown and a nod of the head. ‘Or her version of love, anyway.’

Elli sighed. ‘She’s not coming?’

‘Why would she?’

‘I thought she’d like to see me again,’ Elli said sheepishly. ‘I’ve missed her.’

Linzor laughed loudly. ‘Oh, dear Elli,’ he said, taking a deep breath and grabbing her by her cheeks. ‘Sweet, naive Elli.’

Elli pulled away from Linzor and frowned, rubbing her now-sore cheeks as he walked away. As he did, he was trailed by a tired-looking dassen woman and a young boy. For a second, Elli’s heart stuck in her throat. The dassen woman was young, and looked … like. …

Sensin stepped beside her and wrapped his arm around her waist. ‘That’s your friend?’

‘He was, yeah,’ Elli gave an anxious grin. ‘He hasn’t changed a bit.’

‘You alright?’

‘Yeah. Yeah. I was just hoping to see Keeyata as well.’

The dassen woman stopped and turned to stare at Elli.

Sensin’s grip on Elli’s hip tightened, and Elli knew he saw it too.

For a moment, the dassen woman stared. Then a wide grin spread over her face and she rushed over to Elli.

‘You must be Elli!’ she exclaimed, thrusting her forehead against Elli’s with a painful thunk. ‘My name’s Scaychie! Keeyata’s told me everything about you— Is it true that your son is going to be king of Sapious? And are you really a dream walker?’


Ka'harja's Journey, Chapter 7 excerpt:

‘Well, uh—’

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?’


‘Do you want me to do the frown?’

Distro snorted with surprise and turned back to the young felinic. She’d forgotten she was having her portrait painted. ‘If you like, Penel. As long as I look gay.’

‘You always look gay, your majesty,’ said Penel. ‘You exude it like an aura. I admit I’m jealous. How do you do it?’

‘Years of practice,’ Distro felt herself grinning. ‘But perhaps I can give you some pointers?’

‘Perhaps,’ Penel’s eyes flashed impishly as she washed the paint from her brush. ‘Anyway, seeing as you’ve moved around, now seems like a good time to take a break with this. I’ll go get some food and then we can continue?’

‘I think I’ve had enough for today,’ Distro replied. ‘I’ve got a few things I need to do.’

‘Serious things that make you frown?’ Penel asked, giving a playful shake of her head and clicking her tongue. ‘Tsk, tsk. That’s not very swag of you.’

‘Don’t tell me what’s swag!’ Distro retorted. ‘I’ve been swag for over two thousand years!’

‘You’ve been a lot of things for over two thousand years,’ the girl teased as she scooped her things into her bag. ‘But swag is not one of them. Should I come back tomorrow or. …’

The queen’s twitched an ear as Penel’s gaze shifted and she fell silent. There was a raspy whimper and Distro turned to see a wide-eyed seces shivering in the doorway.

‘Good evening, Jaisa,’ Distro greeted gently. ‘I’m glad you’re awake. Are you alright? Do you want to sit down?’


‘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.


Carol and Wyppet get into a fight because Wyppet says a slur.

720 words

cw: violence / r slur

‘What’s your problem, Wyppet?’ Carol asked with an angry snort.

‘You’re too good for him!’ Wyppet replied.

‘Excuse me?’ Carol gasped. ‘He is the funniest— the sweetest— The most kind-hearted person I have ever met!’

‘There’s something wrong with him, Carol!’ said Wyppet. ‘And you’re the smartest person I know! You speak five languages, for Scara’s sake! You can’t stay with him!’

‘Why not?’ Carol snapped.

‘Because he’s not on your level,’ Wyppet sighed loudly. ‘You’re never going to have an intellectual conversation with him! He’s an idiot, Carol!’

‘Shut up!’ Carol exclaimed.

‘It’s the truth, Carol!’

‘I said shut the fuck up!’ Carol hissed, jumping to her feet. ‘Don’t you dare talk about him like that!’

‘Why not?’ Wyppet growled back, standing and glaring at Carol. ‘It’s true! He’s the dumbest person I’ve ever met! You deserve better than a retard boyfriend!’

Geoff dropped the tray of drinks and the girls turned to the door, finally realising he’d returned.

Paling, Wyppet looked away and began to stammer an apology. ‘Geoff, I— I didn’t mean—‘

‘—I know I am not smart,’ he interrupted. ‘My head does not think properly, and I do not learn like normal. I know. I have known since my head hit rock and all my thoughts came loose. Everyone has known. You are not the first to use that word on me, but … you are the first to act as a friend and then call me ababhi when you think I cannot hear. Why? Why would you say this? Why have you lied to me? I do not understand why you would hate me for my head!’

‘That’s not what I meant,’ Wyppet stammered. ‘I just meant that—’

‘—But you said it,’ Geoff whispered, his voice breaking as his tears escaped his eyes and streamed down his cheeks. ‘You said it! Kaka mia mal sasao! Kaka mia— You said it!’

‘Geoff! Geoff, come back!’

Geoff barely heard Carol call after him as he rushed away. He leapt down the stairs, catching air with his wings to slow his fall— then collided with Warner.

Food spilled across the hallway floor as Warner dropped his plate and stumbled against the front door.

For a moment the two were stunned, then Geoff pushed off Warner and turned to the lounge. He was at the open window before Warner grabbed him from behind and wrestled him onto the couch.

‘Geoff! What happened?’ Warner exclaimed, pulling him onto the floor and holding him tightly. ‘What’s wrong?’

Carol’s heavy footsteps sounded down the stairs as she rushed after Geoff. She slipped on the last step and crashed into the door. Barely noticing that she’d shattered the decorative glass she turned and ran to Geoff, throwing her arms around him and burying her face in his hair.

‘Geoff! Geoff it’s okay!’ she gasped. ‘It’s okay! It’s okay!’

‘No! No it is not!’ Geoff shook his head and struggled in Warner’s grasp. ‘It is not okay! It is not okay!’

‘Geoff,’ Wyppet mumbled from the hall. ‘Geoff, I didn’t mean—’

‘—Get out!’ Carol interrupted.

‘But— Carol—’

‘—I SAID GET OUT!’ shrieking, Carol leapt to her feet and advanced on her friend. She grabbed the closest thing to her and threw it. ‘GET OUT! GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!’

Wyppet barely managed to avoid the wine bottle as it flew past her head; and the glass cup that followed hit her in the shoulder and shattered. With a cry of pain and another cup hitting its mark, she stumbled out the door and disappeared down the street.

‘I HATE YOU!’ Carol let out a shriek as she slammed the front door— And gave another as it bounced open. She slammed it again and again until the last panel shattered, then she kicked it and swore, and slammed it again. ‘I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!’

Then she went quiet, and slowly stumbled back to the boys.

Geoff sobbed as she pulled him into a hug. He tried to pull away when his makeup smeared into her shirt, but she pulled him back and kissed his cheek over and over.

‘I am— I— Not a— Am not—’ he choked on his words before finally managing to take a breath and crying loudly. ‘I am sorry I am ababhi! I am sorry! You deserve better than ababhi!’

‘No!’ Carol put her forehead against his and looked him in the eye. ‘You’re the most I could ever want. Ever. Nothing could ever, ever change that.’


‘Hey, no, Richard can be strict,’ Dale replied. ‘Example: I kept telling Gav not to put his stuff in the walkway. So many times! And still, there it was, in the middle of the hall. Then Dick comes over, and POOF! Gone as if by magic! I don’t know what he said to the kid, but it worked.’

‘Probably “please”,’ Anna piped up. ‘Always works for me.’

Talia shook her head as a loud slurp followed, and Dale peaked in the rear view mirror to catch a glimpse of Anna meeting his eye as she drank her frozen cola.

‘You’re special though,’ he retorted. ‘Gav knows you’ll tell on him if he misbehaves.’

‘What, and you wouldn’t tell me?’ Talia scoffed.

‘I mean, depends on what he did and if he blackmailed me into not telling!’ Dale joked. ‘That kid knows how to dig up dirt.’

‘Ooh, boy, does he ever!’ Trish responded. ‘Big feel though. I don’t report anything back unless I have to.’

‘I can’t believe I let you two watch him,’ Talia rolled her eyes. ‘Well, congratulations. I certainly feel better about him being with Richard now. Not so much about ever leaving him with either of you two again!’

Anna’s next slurp was comically loud, and her shit-eating grin told Dale it was deliberately so. Then her eyes widened. ‘Oh, wow. That’s your house, Dale?’


‘SLUT.’

Dale slammed the breaks on the car, stopping in the middle of the quiet road. ‘Where did you learn that!’

‘Trish said it while babysitting me,’ Gavin beamed. ‘She gave me five dollars not to tell mum.’


Mingan and Centela reunite, first draft

170 words

‘Centy...’ Mingan looked like she couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. ‘I didn’t believe a word Linzor said.’

‘N... No?’

‘He was clearly having a breakdown,’ she stated so matter-of-factly it made Centela blush.

‘And what I said... about...’

‘Do you love me, Centy?’

‘What?’

‘Do you love me?’

‘Yes. Yes of course I love you— How could I not?’

She put her hand on his, and smiled warmly. ‘Then it’s okay. You’ve never lied to me— Only kept secrets. And remember that I said it was okay? That you were allowed your secrets?’

‘I do,’ his shoulders dropped, and he seemed to relax. ‘But I still feel... I still feel guilty.’

‘I know,’ she said, gently. Then she took a deep breath, and sat up straight. ‘Centy... I think you should stop keeping secrets. At least from me. Is that okay? I know it’s hard, and scary, but no more secrets.’

Centela nodded. ‘No more fear. I like the sound of that.’


From Ka'harja's Journey, chapter 6

190 words

‘She’ll be fine,’ said Distro. She began to stretch as Dena dried and dressed herself.

‘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 first word.

cw: swearing

‘Maybe I should get Coff something nice,’ Ka’harja mused. He held Little Demon under the arms and lifted him up against the sky. ‘What do you think, you scabby little fucker? Should I get him chocolate or flowers?’

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.

Shit.

‘Fucker.’

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

It wasn’t long before the cult began to test their boundaries, and Adoration did the unforgivable. The old sun set in orange and pink, and in the dimming light of the night she stole a nurlak out a temple’s window. A child, no more than a decade old, who was stripped of their skin while still alive and torn apart by the ravenous dragons. The blood and flesh of the young one was used to create a serum of change. Magic imbued into them from the gory ritual, the zokex shared the foul drink and called to the nurlak gods for their rewards. The serpents were disgusted.


Elli, a Canis diplomat, married one of Konde's princes to help make a peace treaty. Then she goes and screws it up by having an affair with the prince of Canis. Needless to say, it's a drama that causes a very serious meeting between the two kingdoms.

Distro, though, knows how to diffuse a room.

200 words

‘If we are seeking forgiveness for our past mistakes from our allies, doesn’t it make sense to offer them the same curtesy?’

Nirine stared at her son in disbelief as her court muttered disapprovingly. Elli could feel their gazes boring into her. As well as the gazes of the Canis diplomats. The only eyes she could see that didn’t look like daggers were Ykelt’s— And Distro’s.

Distro was shaking her head, but her gaze was soft and forgiving. Then she took a deep breath and addressed the room. ‘He’s right, and I’m willing to forgive you, Nirine.’

‘You— Excuse me?’

The room began to mutter, and Elli was stunned. What?

‘I’m willing to forgive you, for the actions of your daughter-in-law,’ Distro clarified, grinning widely. ‘She seduced my grandson, you see. And now we’re caught in this slurry of political drama. And I just want you to know I forgive you. And I especially forgive your son for not keeping her satisfied— If you know what I mean!

The comical wink Distro gave made the room fall silent.

Then Sensin’s mother laughed, and shook her head. ‘You forgive him for. ... Oh, Distro! Oh, Goddess, Distro.’


‘Ah, yeah, I didn’t think those two got along much,’ Ka’harja replied. ‘Did something happen between them?’

Coff shook his head. ‘N-No. They just— They just— Just—‘

‘Just don’t get along?’ Ka’harja offered.

Coff bit his lip and nodded. ‘Y-Yea—’

‘—HAH!’ Distro’s laugh cut in from above, and the boys turned to see her, Denni, and Dena staring down at them from the top of the hill. ‘GAAAAY!’

‘THAT’S THE POINT!’ Ka’harja shouted back as his mother began her way down towards him. ‘Aw, no, what does she want— THIS IS A PRIVATE CONVERSATION! GO AWAY!’

‘YOU SKIPPED BREAKFAST!’ Distro pointed to Denni, who brandished a loaf of bread high above her head. ‘BUT IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE UNGRATEFUL, THEN FINE! DENNI?’

The loaf of bread sailed in a perfect arc through the air and Ka’harja didn’t have time to respond before it hit him full in the face.

‘Ow!’ Ka’harja exclaimed, dramatically motioning from his face to the bread. ‘Seriously? SERIOUSLY?’

‘LOVE YOU!’ his mother called back. Then she headed back up the hill and put an arm around each of her friends, leading them both back towards camp.

‘Gods! I swear! Sometimes she’s just— UGH!’ Ka’harja flopped onto his back and gave a groan. ‘Sorry about her.’


Next