Bodies bleed. Some moan, most breathe, all are dressed in finery.
Colgrevance crouches over Beorn. A matching pair of shortswords stick out of the warrior’s gut. Blood leaks out like the sap of a tapped maple tree.
Clapping his gauntlets together, Colgrevance says in Celestial, “Stable.” The silver metal encasing his hands flickers a light green, and he uses its minor enchantment to stall the bulky half-elf’s bleed and ease his gasps.
“Sorry, I froze,” says Colgrevance. “I’ve never been caught by a hypnotic rune before.”
The massive estate rises above the slums of Titantale city, a noble fortress guarding against the encroaching forest of leaning shacks and failing masonry. A light rain, steady throughout the night, has made knuckle-deep canals out of the alleyways leading to the mansion.
Moving too slow to splash, Colgrevance steps to where his alley meets street. He sniffles and settles a hood over his lantern before placing it in front of a crouching bald man wearing simple clothes.
“Jacob.” Colgrevance shifts his shield from back to forearm and broadsword from hip to hand. “Are you feeling heroic?”
For enjoyment: Only eat a Reaper Pepper mixed into a recipe. Tuna sandwiches and chili both work well.
For a challenge:Eat something first and have stomach medicine on hand. A whole pepper or that One Chip is good for laughs, but there is no good reason to feel heartburn afterwords.
Schadenfreude: My son’s shaky cam
Yuri treasures my tears. This doesn’t make him a monster, but he is a hunter. From nerf gun wars to jiu jitsu I’m setting up outlets for this aggression so he doesn’t skin me in my sleep, and gains self control for school.
My wife and I disagree about him taking joy in another’s agony. Whether a pepper, a choke, or a soft dart in the eye, I take the pain with a father’s pride.
He’s eight and half-way through third grade, and I see more of myself in him every day.
It’s mid-November, the middle of National Novel Writing Month. I am doing my part by putting the final touches on a 117K fantasy novel that I will self-publish no later than early next month.
Writing a fresh rough draft within a month sustained my writer’s mind for a half-dozen years, but I dropped NaNoWriMo when I became serious. The yearly challenge had reinforced a number of bad writing habits because there was no critique.
Yuri at seven is following my footsteps and frustrating everyone, including a much better version of the bullish vice principle that I faced at eight.
J- “It’s true; now go back to ignoring me.”
My son’s version is a pragmatic woman that is taking puzzling him out as a challenge with his success her goal.
As wonderful and patient as she and his school is, they need help.
When I was his age…
I doubted the authority of the adult world.
I’d recently moved from Hawaii to Pennsylvania and was facing down a huge vice principle with a stubbornness that he couldn’t process except as a power struggle.
As an only child, I’d developed a fundamental belief in equality and fairness that did not blur with age or system appointed power.
The big man didn’t try to reason with me. He started with a false accusation, because I had to be guilty of something. He was right, but he didn’t know details. So he guessed, but I wouldn’t budge. So he stated a punishment, but I wouldn’t accept it. So he upped the ante and doomed his approach by calling in my mother.
She possessed a bear of a personality he couldn’t match with size or wit, and she made him apologize to me.