Careful What You Wish For

A reminder – this is a first draft. I’m only writing about three scenes ahead, just to be sure it’s down and I don’t come up empty-handed on Saturday. That means my character arcs are going to sag in spots, and my plot veers a bit while I try to drive the boat on unknown waters, and forget about sub-plots! That’s okay. That’s normal. I’m crappy at outlines, so while I mostly can see the landing from the keyboard, I’m not exactly sure the best way to get us all there. This reminder was more for me than you, by the way, because I get anxious about letting it all hang out in public…which is why I started this project in the beginning! To learn that it’s okay to fail up. To not just learn, but to embrace it.

Thanks for hanging around and reading to watch me try! If you need to catch up with the entire story, the Table of Contents is a great place to start.

Careful What You Wish For

Jay, Dell, and Marnie unwrapped the only clean linen Sharna had seen so far in their journey. Tucked in the wrinkled center were a sparse handful of assorted seeds.

Everyone took shallow breaths to keep from scattering them.

“Put a pinch in the pot,” said Sharna.

Jay wiped his hands on his dirty pants before pincering a few seeds and sprinkling them over the dirt they’d prepared. Dell had a cup of water, and Marnie was tamping down the dirt in a second and third pot they’d gathered.

Sharna smiled at them tightly. She couldn’t explain the whole Melody-Mage persona, but she needed to be annoyed for it to work. She thought of Jackie.

How dare she after everything she’d promised? They were a team! She wouldn’t be in this mess at all if Jackie hadn’t stolen from the Mansion, and then kidnapped her, and then been so pathetic with her broken arm, and then saved her life — which she wouldn’t have had to do if she hadn’t shattered her jewel to begin with! Sharna could spend a long time detailing all the ways Jackie was responsible, so for her to refuse to help Sharna when she finally wanted to do something was more than annoying. It was infuriating!

“Grow!” she commanded the little seeds in the pot. They burst with a green so bright all four of them gasped. A pale white shaft sprung from one end, and then divided into small hairs that sunk their fine questing fibers into the dirt. Dell dripped water on them carefully, and the green heads stretched toward the shaded window.

“Open the curtains.”

Marnie scrambled over to let in some light, and the seedlings continued to thicken and expand. Everyone stood quietly, hands clasped over their mouths in awe.

“How long, do you think?” asked Dell. “I want to eat the sprouts, but I know I shouldn’t. They’re beautiful.”

Sharna apologized, “I don’t know. Maybe by morning? Either way, we should do more. That way if —” she broke off with a shrug. They knew what she meant.

“Maybe we shouldn’t send you tomorrow. I mean,” Dell showed her missing teeth, “if you can grow food, isn’t that more important? We could sneak you around the city, and you could feed everyone.”

Jay shook his head. “Think, Dell. There’s hundreds of homes. How many people would starve before she got to all of them? It’s better this way. She can bring the Fathers under control and stop the Culling. No more missing daughters, sisters, and moms. After that, she can find where they hid all the good seeds and grow them.”

“What if the Fathers really don’t have any seeds? What if the Doe Mothers did take them all?” whispered Marnie.

“I can’t believe the Mothers would have left you all here to starve,” said Sharna.

The three Dawn members exchanged sorrowful glances. Jay shrugged, “Maybe, but if so, you can fix it. It’ll just take a little time. You can grow enough healthy crops so we can build back up the stores.”

Somewhere I’m needed, she thought. Where I can make a difference.

She put her hands on her hips. “I won’t abandon you like they did. I promise.”

The three smiled at her in relief, and then got back to the work of sprouting more seeds in the chipped pots.

(Thanks for reading!)


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