Sunday, October 27, 2013

Prompt: Traveler of Dreams

Thanks to Anna Butler for permission to use her beautiful image, “Third Step: Traveler of Dreams”!

“You can’t take that in the boat.” The crow cocked its head and shifted its feet on the candlelit lantern, looking uneasily at Driana’s armload of fur.

Driana glanced down at the placid hrmfox, who gazed implacably at the crow. Full grown, he was mostly thick fur and weighed a mere twenty pounds, his body dangling as he rested draped over her crossed arms, his tail stretching almost to the hem of her warm cloak. A slight twitch of his large, thin, bat-like ears was the only sign he paid any heed to the crow.

“He must come with me,” she insisted calmly. After all she had been through tonight, no snippy crow was going to stand in her way. She leaned over the side of the rowboat and rested the hrmfox on the forward set.

The silver-glowing dragonflies fluttered around her, darting over the boat and toward the water, then back, as if encouraging her to follow. They would lead her to Ambion, she was sure of it. The first dragonfly had flown in through the library window when she was searching the maps for a sign of the sacred island. It had landed on a map and fluttered its wings until she unrolled the crumbling parchment, then it had dropped onto the unfurled map with a purpose that made her examine it more closely. Ambion! The island sanctuary of her dreams did exist!

As she stood, the crow eyed her balefully. “Then I want the shiny at your throat, as well as your ears,” he demanded with a sniff. “He’ll probably try to eat me for my troubles,” he grumbled.

Sweeping her long black hair away from her delicate face, Driana pulled the ruby earrings from her ears and tugged impatiently at the pendant around her throat. She felt a fierce satisfaction when the clasp broke. She had never wanted them, never wanted to be wed, and never to a fat, oily, nasty man like Rupon. 

The crow could have his wedding gift to her, and gladly. She held them in her palm, and the crow nodded to the floor in front of the hrmfox. “Let him guard them, then,” he cawed, hopping from the lantern to the stern of the boat. “Well, are you planning to stand there all night? This goes much better if you actually climb in and row, you know. If you can figure out how to do that.”

Driana suppressed a smile. No one spoke to her like that. Ever. She kind of liked it, although she wouldn’t let the crow know. She pulled up the horrid frilly hem of her wedding dress and climbed over the edge of the small boat. The oars were already resting in their rowlocks, and she picked them up with practiced ease. Pampered child princess, sold into marriage she may be, but she had grown up the baby sister to six older brothers. She was used to being underestimated.

She smiled more grimly. After tonight, she didn’t think people would be so quick to underestimate her. As she leaned down and wrapped her hands around the oars, her cloak pulled back to reveal the stain of Rupon’s blood on her white sleeves…

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:
~35 minutes, interrupted

October word count:


  1. Prompt: Traveler of Dreams

    In my dreams, Foxy is always there. His bright blue eyes shine in the eerie moonlight, reflecting the luminous dragonflies that loop circles above the lake. “Coming?” he says, speaking words as he never did in life.

    “Of course,” I say. I lift my skirts and step into the row boat. I stroke his soft russet fur. “Where to tonight?”

    He pads to the prow of the boat and stands like a figurehead. “You’ll see.”

    Sometimes he tells me, sometimes he doesn’t. He turns to look back as a raven lands on the lantern on the boat’s stern. He growls. The raven bends forward and raises his ruff. He clacks his beak. Foxy growls again, and snaps. Then he turns to look ahead once more, and the boat begins moving.

    I kick my skirts with my feet, settling them more comfortably. The hair on the back of my neck prickles. To whose dream are we bringing the raven? I consider asking Foxy again, but I know he won’t answer. Is the raven a harbinger of death or good luck? The bird clacks his bill again. I want to ask him, directly, but something stops me. I put out my hand, hoping, and a dragonfly lands. I cup him in my palms. Whatever happens, I will have this little light with me.

    Time writing: 20 minutes

    1. Oh, very nice! Good world building and you get into the action quickly. Lots of great detail, like kicking the skirts to settle them, the raven's ruff, and the dragonfly in the palm. And carrying into other's dreams - I love it!

  2. Oo! I like the end! Definitely makes me want to read more!