Scribblings

Just a collection of various stories I began with no intention to finish, or answers to writing prompts. Enjoy! Please visit my author page on FB! facebook.com/author.anrisaryn Also note, some of these may be removed later if I feel the urge to expand on them!

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30. Tradewinds

 

          The sail billowed in the wind, the canvas rippling like a sea made of canvas. Mel smiled, watching her father turn the rudder as the green shore approached. The trade winds were strong this year - a bit early, but strong. The small vessel carried the trinkets Melaci had made over the cold months and a select few sheep and a goat her husband had loaded on. Mel wondered how her mother put up with the small crafts, her hands callused from molding them from the rough reeds and clay. But, as long as Mel and her father got some money for the trade season, she didn't mind.
          Mel was excited. This year her father had allowed her to come along, much to the dismay of her mother. He insisted because "our only child should know the art of the Winds! How will she survive when she grows?" Melaci had argued saying the Trades were no place for a young girl like Mel, but Kenric had stood his ground, and eventually Melaci had given in. She was excited that the fishing bird team had come along, too. Mel was not partial to fish, but watching the cormorants dive and come back up with their meals was exciting. Whatever they didn't eat could be sold at the Trades, providing the Wind carried them there.
          The shore grew closer by the moment. Mel threw a silver coin over her shoulder, thanking the Waters for the safe journey. She whispered a soft prayer of thanks to it and the Wind as well. The last legs of the journey were always the hardest, even when the destination was in sight, so she didn't want to take any chances. Scattered stories of just offshore wrecks made her wary, even when she traversed the Waters close to home.
          Kenric smiled and nodded his thanks to her for the rituals. He sent a mental prayer to the Winds, asking for guidance to the shores of the Great Salted, and sent another to the Trades themselves, asking for prosperous sales and bartering.
          The prayers were well-heard.
          This year would be one to remember, and Mel would be sure to do just that.
          This year was it.

 

          Mel pushed through the throngs of people that bustled in the square, a few silvers in her purse. She smiled at the bake shops' owners her offered her tarts and cookies, but pushed past them as if on a mission.
          Her father had told her there was an old man that always had a small booth in the corner of the square. Kenric had always stopped by but never bought anything. Last year he spotted a very large and ornately decorated book he liked but he always passed it by, preferring the sausages from the meat grinder next door.
          This year, though, Mel would buy it. She would read it, whatever adventures it held.
          The old man was in the same spot her father had described: right next to the bridge under a shadowy awning made of animal skin. The old man looked a bit scraggly with a gray beard that touched his knees. Though old, he still had that spark in his eye that reminded people he was still young at heart.
          Mel spotted the book first. It was a little dusty, bound in tan leather with some grayed designs on the cover. The shape of a blazing sun, though covered in dust, was the center of it, and it sported a bind and lock. Approaching the table, the old man threw her a grin.
          "Ach, lassie, yeh cohm tae buy me wares?" he said in a thick accent she had never heard before. A little shy, Mel nodded. Her eyes traveled to the book once more.
          "Yae, lassie. Tha's me greatest treasure," he stated with a slight sight of false sentimentalism. "Won' be partin' with it easily...."
          "I'll give you two silver coins," she said quickly.
          "Dohn!" he chuckled, handing her the massive book. The two coins fell into his cupped hands and he cackled cheerfully. Mel grinned and dashed through the crowd.

          Normally, Mel would have returned to the stall with her father, but she wanted the quiet of the docks to accompany her. She settled down on one of the massive cushions next to the hammock in the hold of the skimmer. Small as it was, it was still comfortable enough to settle down to a good book in. 
          Dusting off the cover was much a change. The covered turned from sickly gray to a deep red. She gasped at the sun shape glowed golden in the dim light filtering in from the window. Interested further, she lit the lantern on the storage box, clicking out the lock with a hairpin.
          The first page was blank. She sort of expected that.
          The second held an ornate red design, much like the cover, except a small face of a child-like creature with a mischievous grin appeared next to it. Mel smiled, thinking it was cute and turned the page.
          "He who reads this is given a great task," she read on the next page, the text written in massive calligraphy. "The world thou knowest of now shall become the world of then and the world of tomorrow shall become the world thine creates." She blinked at the odd text. "What kind of story is this?"
          "It's your story!" a small voice replied. Mel nearly dropped the book in surprise.
          "Who said that?"
          The book rose into the air and opened the the page of the small boy's face, turning over in the air and seemed to dump out a small creature that looked like a boy with flame red hair, though only the size of a house cat. He had puffy red pants on, but no shirt, and his arms were bound. Two gray horns protruded from his skull and he grinned at Mel, who promptly slapped him with the book.
          "Hey! What was that for! You don't have to index me!" he protested. "I'm already in the book!"
          "Index...?" Mel asked.
          "Yeah, silly. You got the Book, so you can change reality!"
          Mel blinked at the creature.
          "Why would I want to do that?"
          "You didn't choose the book," he winked. "The book chose you."
          "What's that supposed to mean?"
          As if in answer the sky grew instantly dark. The light faded from the small window faster than a jackrabbit to its hole.
          "He knows...!" the small boy hissed, shooting behind Mel.
          "Who?"
          The reply came in the form of a loud roar and a thump on the bow that felt like an elephant on steroid. The boat rocked slightly, but she was glad it held.
          She peered out the door and gasped at the creature before her.
          Dark matted fur covered the entirety of its body, the color of night. Two bright yellow eyes glared at her below the clouds that covered the once sunny sky. A mouth full of shining white teeth dripped with what looked saliva, or something else, she wasn't sure.
          "What...is that?!" Mel hissed at the boy.
          "Kill it! Wack it with the book!"
          "Eh?"
          "Just do it!"
          Without thinking, she threw the book at the creature. A golden light exploded from sun on the cover and the beast roared in pain as if the light burned him. The book shot back to Mel's arms and she nearly fell back from the force.
          "His page!"
          Before Mel could answer, a spectral feather pen appeared in her hand. She looked at it, blinking. The book shook slightly and fell open to a page with a picture of the black creature on it. The right side page had a grid on it with some odd shapes that looked like cubes in a line. One of the shapes was gray with a skull on it. The other was purple with a black square in the middle, and the last was a single square with a dog's head shape on it.
          "What am I supposed to do...?" she asked.
          "Those symbols are the properties of this beast. If you remove the negative properties, it just becomes..." guiding Mel's hand across the page, he touched the pen to the skull shape and dragged it to a small box below the grid, where it stayed. Doing the same for the purple shape, all the was left was the dog face. The pair glanced at the beast, and with a small yelp the large beast shed its dark fur in a shower of black and became a small brown puppy right before them.
          "What the..."
          The sky cleared up almost instantly as if nothing had happened. Mel looked down at the page, it now showed a small dog with a very happy grin.
          "What happened?" she asked.
          "You changed its properties so the shadow and evil no longer was contained in it. Now if you ever need him again, you can just call him through the pages of the Book!" the boy asked. "By the way, I'm Izu," he added, extending his tiny hand to Mel. "It's good to see a new Bookholder! I haven't met one for nearly 300 years!"
          "This is powerful," Mel replied, closing the book and ignoring the small hand. Izu dropped it awkwardly, and the spectral pen shimmered away into the air. "I'm not sure if I can handle this. What if someone tries to steal it?"
          "No one can," Izu replied. "Only the Bookholder can see it once its been activated."
          "So no one can find it?"
          "Not even Him."
          "Him?"
          "The dark lord. He wants to remake the world how he wants. He's sealed away for now, but he's sensed the Book has been activated and wants to kill you now. With you in the way, he can't do as he wishes!"
          "What? Why me?"
          "Because you were chosen." He turned the Book over and on the back Mel's named had been scrawled in glowing gold letters.
          Mel Moravon
          "Nice name," Izu said with a grin, crossing his tiny arms, still hovering next to Mel.
          "Thanks," Mel said looking up at him. "I think."

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