A Hammer and a Spell

Published September 1, 2015 by darksilvertree

Zuri ambled into the tavern. She didn’t mind that she could just see over the tables. A hundred and sixteen years gave one a lot of time to get used to it. She was a dwarf after all, and one known for her temper. Not many wanted to suffer her company. The smell of baking pies and spiced ham drifted to her. Her mouth watered. The past two months had driven her close to renouncing jerky and all meat foods. Before she came to her sense, of course. The only thing worse was getting hired to guard a merchant caravan that was mostly destroyed, which meant no pay. Zuri sniffed. Was that turkey? Boar? Duck? More sweats? Fancy indeed! But she expected nothing less from “her human”. She never called Lasym that aloud but it was a pet name. Zuri asked him why he’d explained the term if he didn’t want her to call him that. Lasym had only glowered at her. A serving girl bumping into Zuri interrupted her thoughts. Linen skirts filled her vision. The sounds of breaking plates, heavy thuds as wooden flagons hit the floor made her cringe as she thought food and drink being wasted. Zuri tried pushing them away but only succeeded in getting her hands tangled. She let out a string of curses, mixing with those of the serving girl’s. A new voice joined in.

“Stop struggling! You’re making it worse,” Lasym growled. His baritone voice grew even deeper when he was upset.

Zuri stopped struggling but she continued to complain. Once she was free Zuri gave the girl, who she recognized as Nelladrie (but most people called her Nella), a dazzling smile. Lasym shook his head, his brown hair falling into his eyes. Nella was a good friend that Zuri had known since she first set out wandering. Sometimes they were romantic partners; a secret Zuri shared only with Lasym. As she followed him to a table in the corner she remembered the confused look he’d given her. A few days later he’d bought it out again, but only to ask incredulously if she felt the same about him. Zuri payed close attention to her crew members though. Having seen Lasym show no interest in romantic flings the others liked playing at, she’d guessed he was different and already accepted it. He seemed pleased with the answer and they never bought it up again. Lysem didn’t attempt to help Zuri into her chair. What did a dwarf have if not her pride? Once she was settled she grinned up at Lysem. His normally dour expression broke as a small smile peeked through. He relaxed slightly, studying her a long moment before reaching out to put a hand over hers. It spoke volumes more than if he’d attempted to lift her and swing her about. Dwarves weren’t immovable stones, not that they protested the myth, but Zuri had fists as large as Lasym’s head; it wouldn’t end well for him as she’d sternly warned him the one time he tried. So they agreed to a compromise. No pet names and no swinging. As these thoughts ran through her head, Zuri started at their hands. Hers made his look like a babe. But he was to her, even if he’d gotten a tan and thick calluses from his time on a merchant ship. Zuri wanted to ask how long it’d taken Lasym to get his sea legs but the moment seemed too heavy.

“I heard.”

“Yeah.” It was all she could manage to say. Zuri coughed to clear her throat. The garrison the caravan stopped at was attacked by bandits. Nothing out of the ordinary except they poured from the hills like ants. Rihyr and Bhyr, two humans who kept themselves completely covered and trained their voices to be neutral, had been missing when the attack ended. They were fresh from home, Lasym called them “barely weaned” and advised against bringing them, but their potential…. Zuri rolled her shoulders.

 

“I know, you didn’t come for this. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.” Lasym shifted and withdrew his hand but muttered, “Should’ve come with me.”

Zuri laughed, dark braids that draped over each shoulder bounced, gaining an embarrassed chuckle from Lasym. “Can’t have people thinking we’re lovers can we?”

“Never that.” The adoration in his eyes said otherwise.

Had anyone told her six years ago the solemn twenty-four year old was capable of such a look she would’ve sent him off for getting into the rum. But Zuri hadn’t hired a joker, she was enough for them all, she’d hired a spell-sword. And despite Lasym’s demeanor he was more than willing to bend rules where he felt necessary so they got along well, until he decided to bend her rules; never going too far, just enough to aggravate her. Zuri almost traded his contract for another witch’s at an outpost, although he wasn’t as strong.  Then the deal went bad. And Lasym helped save her life though he had no obligation to. He said she’d earned his respect, and he had no reason to wish her dead. Little did Zuri know, Lasym may as well have spouted the most sugary poetry for her. And that was only the first year they’d traveled together.

“A copper for your thoughts.” Lasym took a sip from his flagon.

“Just a copper!” Zuri glared at him.

He gave her an exasperated look. “It’s a saying.” He leaned forward, elbows resting on the tabletop. “Besides, why pay more for what I wouldn’t get anyway.”

Zuri pouted and gave him a distrustful look.

“Have I lied to you before?” he asked in a soft voice.

“No.” she sniffed. “And you’d be smart to continue that.”

Lasym raised his flagon. Which reminded her….

 

“Nella!” Her voice carried even over the racket. Zuri waved at Nella, who smiled despite the grimace she tried keeping on her face. As Nella walked over Zuri caught Lasym’s resigned expression. “I still have some money left.”

“Enough to last until the next job?”
“Yes.” In reality she could buy a meal tonight but she’d need a job by morning. Judging by Lasym’s expression he knew that, but she wouldn’t admit it. He worried enough as it was.

He wanted to protest but they’d already found out just how good the elf’s hearing was. Nella stopped close to Zuri but kept enough of distance she couldn’t reach. Zuri knew it was out of respect for Lasym but she screwed up her face in mock displeasure anyway.

“Can’t expect manners from a dwarf can I?”

“I exude manners!” She stuck out her tounge.

Nella smiled and shook her head. “What will it be?” she asked Lasym.

“Hey! I have money!”

“Like ya did last time?”

“I did.” Zuri gave Lasym a warning look. He put up his hands, keeping his expression carefully neutral.

Nella bit her lip to suppress a laugh. “I’ll just bring the biggest flagon we got. We’ll see just where ya purse is.” Zuri’s eyes lit up. Before leaving she wrapped Zuri in a tight hug. “I’m glad you’re safe, Zuri.” Nella smile was sad.

Zuri waited until she’d gone far enough away and back into her “happy bar maid” role. “You told her,” she hissed.

“It was only right. She worries.”

She sighed, waiting for her drink in silence. Nella returned and Zuri put on a big grin for her. She hadn’t been lying, the flagon was nearly as large as Zuri’s head. When she reached for it Nella squeezed her fingers. Nella placed it in front of Zuri and whispered, “Enjoy.” As if the air was suddenly too weak to hold her words. She slipped away quietly, leaving Zuri and Lasym alone. They toasted each other across the table and took a large gulp; getting lost in their own thoughts.

Beyond Death / Iron & Silk

Published August 26, 2015 by darksilvertree

A gentle voice

By your side.

Its song,

The waves

Beneath your boat.

As it carries

Beyond death

 

**

Royal chains

Made of

Iron

Silk

Carry between

Burdened souls

Pike driven into stone

Made of

Oaths

Of peace

To heal

 

________________________________________________________________________________

These are some poems about my lastest WIP Singers of Death.

witching-hour-1280

Image (clickable) text: Darkness didn’t scare a witch. Not one who guided others through death.

Monthly Vlogs

Published August 22, 2015 by darksilvertree

I plan on working on a few novels and since I liked doing vlogs for Camp NaNoWriMo I decided to keep doing them. But instead of every week I’ll only be doing update videos once a month, with a few updates in between on Twitter. I don’t mean to neglect this site and I’ll start posting again when I have shorter & more stand alone works to show. For instance, I have a sorta “filler” story where Katherine Hayden gets to take center stage that I’ve been working on. =)

Also, I posted the first two chapters of Among Ladies & Lords on Wattpad before I knew that an account was needed to read anything on that site. If anyone’s interested, leave a comment below and I’ll post them here too.

 

 

The Samiyah Hayden Series – Updates

Published July 11, 2015 by darksilvertree

I’ve started putting edited chapters of these stories on Wattpad, if anyone’s interested. I’m still taking suggestions on what (if anything) needs to be changed. Lately I’ve been having problems with updating posts since any changes I make don’t show up but I always keeps feedback in mind when I start a new WIP. For fun I also added songs to some of the chapters.

Seven Bays – Updated

Ever’s Gate – Updated

Hayden Spells Trouble – Updated

Chapter three of A Witch’s Fire is up but I’ll probably reupload it ,because of the problem with updating, before I link to it.

 

I found a picture randomly one night that looks similar to how I pictured Samiyah. The original can be found here.

tumblr_nqddfzjow71rt05vro1_540

 

I also did my own quick sketch (it’s my new Twitter icon) but there’s a reason I don’t draw. =p

CJQ8er9UcAAwCEY

Since I don’t plan on ending this series anytime soon I’d also like to know where readers would like to see this series go. Which character(s) would you like to see explored?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Married To The Stars

Published June 8, 2015 by darksilvertree

Ritha Alkez sat at her work desk, a tight grip on her halopad. Once again she was watching the recording of her husband, Captain Domenic Alkez of the Celestial Raven, being promoted. Ritha let out a dry laugh. She couldn’t even think of him without his title. It was all a part of his legend. While he flew into space and won heroic battle after heroic battle, she lay tossing and turning; night after night. Domenic helped defend their colonies from the Blades of Vendisia, a rogue group of Denassiri who didn’t approve of their government’s treaty with humans; and who were quickly gaining support among other aliens. Ritha, on the other hand, passed her days pretending to be happy while she filmed one wedding after another. Pretending the grooms’s cologne, their hands placed tenderly on a bride’s hip, weren’t slivers of ice striking her heart.

No. She helped the masses forget the escalating aggression while waiting in quiet desperation for any news. Her whole body would shake as she fought the urge to send a daily message for him to contact her. Ritha didn’t care that it would still be a month or more before he’d be able to respond; as long as he did. It was better than his last call being a year ago. It was better than his last shore leave being two years ago, when they’d barely sat down to lunch before he had to report back to his ship. Ritha stood on the walkway overlooking the docking bay. He gave her a quick wave and she returned it with a strained smile on her face. She’d bought a new dress and shoes with her recent paycheck to surprise him, fought her coarse hair into submission so it fell in thick waves to her shoulders. Domenic had even made an effort. He showed up in a plain grey shirt, wearing black dress pants and shoes. He’d ordered a pass for the theatre, something he only enjoyed in small doses but knew she loved, to make up for it.

Ritha still had that pass in her desk drawer, hidden under work papers. She kept it like that would be enough to bring Domenic back to her. Ritha’s mother, Saria Ramoor, came over often to talk about mindless things like what happened on the lasted tv show, the name of which Ritha would forget soon after she mentioned it. Or Saria would fill her in on the latest family news; Ritha’s sister, Brisa Ramoor, had a difficult birth but was now recovering with her son. She knew how much Ritha needed that even if her husband, former admiral Adan Ramoor, had been forced into retirement years before the first Denassiri skirmishes started. But today Ritha opted to stay indoors, glad now she’d chosen to become her own boss. She found any recordings she could to hear Domenic’s voice. Ritha listened to military recruitment ads that used his voice, his acceptance speeches, even the rare interview. She listened to the story of a war hero repeated a dozen times. Yet no one stopped to ask about the ones waiting at home with bated breath.

Didn’t they wonder how this felt? All those questions but what about us? What about me? Ritha watched Domenic’s hologram beam at her; she missed his warm brown eyes, instead of the blue pixelated ones that stared at her. Her sight grew blurry, lashes growing heavy with tears…yet the effort to shed another one felt like more effort than she could bear. And all the while wishing she’d hear him come through the door again.

Alone

Published April 16, 2015 by darksilvertree

He said

I’m here for you

Even when you aren’t here for yourself

She said

I just wanna be

alone

 

Take me back

to how it used to be

Safe in my cage

Before the world

All came down on me

 

He said

Just tell me what to do

 

Help me

Save me

Let me go

Catch me

Save me

Let me go

 

I’m here for you

 

I just wanna be

alone

 

Take me back

To how it used to be

Safe in my cage

Before the world

all came down on me

 

He said

Just tell me what to do

 

Help me

Save me

Let me go

Catch me

Save me

Let me go

 

____

 

Something quick I worked on yesterday because I felt like writing a amateurish song about two characters from The Samiyah Hayden Series. Anyone who follows me on Twitter probably has a good idea who it’s about, does anyone want to take a guess? lol

Hint Hint 2

I tried to upload the audio from my tablet….We see how that turned out. And since I’m in the mood I’ll probably write more of these.

A Witch’s Fire – Chapter Five

Published March 25, 2015 by darksilvertree

Ysabel levitated Samiyah and drew her across the room. She touched Samiyah’s cheek and laughed as ice began to cover her body, her skin draining of color. Samiyah heard a muffled voice say, “Stubborn. Why?”

She felt strength seeping in. Her head cleared and Oliver’s voice was louder as he said, “Why did you go without me?”

She tried to reject his strength but he wouldn’t allow it. The threads of their bond were healing but still too fragile to handle a battle of wills. Samiyah could feel it starting to fray and she gave in grudgingly. Her borrowed strength allowed her to break away from Ysabel, who eyed her with a curious expression.

“Interesting.” She reached towards Samiyah and beams of light prodded her.

Oliver’s energy became weaker with every touch. Samiyah ran. “Kat! Could use some help.”

Her sister groaned but managed to stand. She created a shield between Samiyah and Ysabel. Her breath came out in heaving gasps. Neither of them could fight much longer. Katherine was untrained and Samiyah was running out of borrowed time. Ysabel moved dashed forward. Her form was blurred. A second later Katherine’s shield cracked and splintered. She tried to run but Ysabel changed into her ghostly form. Katherine screamed as she was surrounded. Flailing wildly to defend herself, she accidentally sent out bursts of fire. They weren’t that strong and burned out quickly but Ysabel let out a pained noise. Samiyah felt a strange sense of elation as she realized her magic must be keeping Ysabel solid enough to feel physical pain.

Not caring how much it must’ve cost, Samiyah kicked out at the intricately carved coffee table until one of the legs snapped off. “Ysabel!”

 

Her named forced Ysabel back into her human form. She turned, a vicious snarl ripped from her throat. Her face was twisted by anger. Ysabel launched herself at Samiyah, who got in one solid blow before the table leg was yanked from her hand. She heard her wrist pop but she didn’t have time to concentrate on the pain. She grabbed the front of Ysabel’s dress and flung her towards the marble fireplace. Ysabel caught herself, her nails created deep gashes in the marble.

Ysabel wrinkled her nose as if she could smell Oliver in the room with them. “Wolf,” she growled.

Samiyah, knowing her surprise was gone, leaped over the ruined coffee table and couch. Her fingers were just closing around the table leg when Ysabel’s fingers closed around her neck. They stretched to completely encircle Samiyah’s neck, tightening.

“Kat.” Samiyah’s voice came out as a harsh croak.

“What do I do?” She sobbed.

Samiyah kicked back, connecting with Ysabel’s knee. They fell. Samiyah landed on top of Ysabel. She rolled off and raised the table leg; bringing it down where Ysabel’s head had been moments before. Taking a risk Samiyah held it out and shouted, “Kat, light it.”

“Are you crazy?” She balled her hands into fist.

“We don’t have time to argue.” Samiyah tried to dodge an attack. A spasm of pain shot through her left side and she stumbled, clutching at the couch for support. Samiyah gave Katherine a desperate look.

“I can’t believe this.” She concentrated on her hand until a weak flame appeared. Katherine tried throwing it but it fizzled out.

While she struggled Ysabel leaped towards her.

 

Samiyah forced herself to follow, and tackled Ysabel to the ground. She fell through to the floor when Ysabel suddenly changed again. Before Samiyah could defend herself Ysabel attacked her mind. She panicked as she lost feeling in her legs; the numbness creeping up until she wasn’t sure she hadn’t stopped breathing.

“I will have your power.”

Samiyah used everything in her to push back. She would not let Ysabel hurt people. She’d keep it, and herself, locked inside before she let that happen. Ysabel renewed her attack and Samiyah screamed until her throat hurt. Suddenly Ysabel drew away from her. She pressed against the wall, howling and spitting at Katherine; who finally had a sizable fireball floating above her hand. Her expression was just as angry, which made the tears streaming down her face more terrifying.

“Just go away.” She threw the fireball as if it were a softball.

It hit and Ysabel’s dress went up in flames. She tried to run but wherever she went Katherine met her with another one. Ysabel tried calling up another wind. Only to have it cut off when Katherine snapped her hand closed. The look of intense concentration told Samiyah this was all instincts. She forced herself to roll onto her side, gritting her teeth, forced her arms to push herself up. As she was standing up Ysabel rushed Katherine, who met her steadily. Her eyes fluttered and then closed. Katherine’s expression was peaceful. Samiyah felt as if ice was crawling over her again. Her stomach rebelled but there was nothing to throw up. A burst of energy knocked Samiyah to her knees. Ysabel lay on the floor before Katherine, dress mostly burned away and her skin was translucent.

Katherine’s face was devoid of emotion. When she spoke, the power in her voice made Samiyah shake. “Get out.” It was dark. Heavy.

Ysabel jumped at her. She exploded into light just as she hit. Katherine slowly sat down and drew her knees to her chest.

 

Samiyah crawled over to her sister, wrapping Katherine in a hug. “I’m sorry.”

Katherine didn’t respond and they sat like that for a long moment. Eventually Samiyah noticed the magic swirling around her. It crowded around her but didn’t try to force its way in. She could send it away. Samiyah looked at where Ysabel had just lain. She knew she wouldn’t. With a sigh, Samiyah called the magic back. She felt her body relax as it seeped in through her skin. Once Samiyah was sure her magic had completely returned she pushed it to her core, sealed it. Her head snapped up when she heard a groan and she remembered where she was. Samiyah started to stand but Katherine gripped her arm.

“I’ll handle him. Just go to the car, I’ll meet you there.”

“You sure?”

Katherine nodded. “Some pretty expensive things got broken. You’ll only put your foot in it.” She gave a weak laugh.

Samiyah tried to give a comforting smile though she was sure it looked as forced as it felt. Her legs were stiff as she walked towards the door. With each step she felt more disconnected. At first Samiyah wasn’t aware she’d even gotten to the car until she bumped into the hood. She stopped and just stood there until someone tapped her on the arm.

Samiyah expected Katherine so she didn’t turn around. “What?” she asked in a flat voice.

“I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”

 

Samiyah felt angry suddenly.

“I didn’t know. I swear! I just wanted to say I helped you. I didn’t know it was her.”

Samiyah spun, ready to yell at him because he was close. He looked as exhausted as she was. Who knows how long Ysabel had been using him. Her words died in her throat.

“I didn’t even know she existed. I wouldn’t have answered.”

“She would’ve made you.” She gave him a comforting pat on the arm. Taking a deep breath she said, “I’m going home. You can forget about this and never speak to me again.”

Trevor gave an incredulous laugh. “I can’t forget this.” He grabbed his hair. “What do I do now? Did everything I have come from her?”

Samiyah nodded.

He moaned. “I’ll lose what I worked for. This will ruin me.”

Samiyah turned away, walking around to the passenger seat and opening her door. “Would you rather she be here again? You’d rather be possessed?”

“That’s not what I-”

“What did you mean?”

Trevor started to walk towards her but Samiyah waved him away.

“Retire from doing exorcisms, become an author playing yourself up. I don’t care. I’m done with Ysabel. We’re done.”

“At least you told me in person this time.”

Samiyah snorted, sliding into the passenger seat and slamming the door.

 

**

 

Katherine stood in the doorway watching their exchange. She wanted to feel something about it but all she could concentrate on was the buzzing in her head. Her whole body tingled as competing magic coursed through her. Katherine looked down at her hand expecting it to look different. It didn’t. Nothing did. She ran her hands over the faded red tank top she was wore. It was significantly more wrinkled than it was before. Otherwise it was fine, she looked fine; not like someone was stretching inside and testing her out like a new car.

I’m strong enough to keep you in. I’m going to get rid you.

Katherine looked up in time to see Trevor walking towards her. He looked distraught and she wanted to laugh.

“What are you going to do?”

“What can I do?”

Katherine shrugged. “Honestly? I don’t care, Trevor.” She walked by him, chuckling. “I’ll send a check for anything ruined. But I suspect you’ll have bigger problems.”

Trevor grabbed her arm. “You two can’t leave me like this.”

Katherine jerked her arm away. “We did our charity service for the day. Goodbye.”

She turned and walked away, feeling momentarily light.

 

**

 

When they arrived back in Kissimmee Rhonda rushed out of Isi’s shop, deep shadows under her eyes like she didn’t sleep for days. She threw her arms around Katherine, pressing her daughter’s head to her chest. “I was so worried about you. Are you okay? Is it over?”

“Yes mom. It’s over.”

Rhonda pulled away and searched Katherine’s face. She tried to smile but Rhonda frowned.

“I’m fine. Let’s go home and we’ll have dinner.

Samiyah watched this silently, holding her injured wrists though it’d been wrapped. She didn’t expect to be invited but she did need a ride home. “It’s a bit early for that.”

Katherine stared at her as if she didn’t fully comprehend. Then sudden realization crossed her face. “Oh. I must be confused.” Her voice was still robotic with only the slightest inflection.

“It’s fine sweetheart.” Rhonda glared at Samiyah. “If you want dinner, we’ll have dinner.” She waved Samiyah away from the car and helped Katherine get in. “We won’t talk about any of this anymore.” Rhonda got in and drove off without saying goodbye.

Samiyah heard a bell ring as the door opened behind her.

“Welcome back.”

Samiyah knew he could sense her magic. “Lucky me.”

 

Oliver came to stand beside her. “I’m still your friend. We’re bound for a reason.”

She folded her arms, as if that could protect her from everything that happened. “How can any of this have a reason?”

Oliver shook his head. “I don’t know. But I understand, you still need space,” he said with a dry laugh.  “At least call this time.”

“I will.” Samiyah looked away, not sure that she would.

He made her look at him. “Sam, call me.” His voice was gentle though it held a pleading undertone.

That Oliver let her hear it let Samiyah know more than any words. If he hadn’t fully forgiven her, he didn’t hate her either. “I will. Promise.”

He gave her a small smile. “Uh…I’ll uh, get Delfina to drive you home.”

Samiyah nodded. They weren’t friends and that’s what she needed. Someone who would let her sit, and think, in silence. She surprised Oliver by giving him a tight hug.

“Why? He tentatively returned it.

“Just accept the hug,” she said laughing. “I’d be dead if you hadn’t helped.”

He muttered something, embarrassed, but hugged her tighter.

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