Owl Shaped Option A: Climb the Tree

Owl

The vote was reallllly close on this one! You had me sweating that it was going to be a tie. Eventually, though, it settled on climbing the tree.

If you’re just checking in, here’s the quick run down. For your magicks class, you have to form an animated animal out of animas clay. You want to create an owl but since you haven’t seen one up close, you’re having a hard time keeping the creature’s shape in your mind for the clay. Your teacher has given you one night to figure it out and you’ve decided to climb a tree to see the owl’s nest on your farm.

Let’s see how this goes =)

Owl Shaped Option A: Climb the Tree

The afternoon was torturous. You headed home with the lump of animas clay folded into the bottom of a paper bag and then that bag was tucked carefully into an outside pocket of your backpack. You can see the bulge it makes in the canvas even now where it sits by the front door.

CowsMom hums in the kitchen as she cleans the dishes. Dad’s out, working with the cows. On the table in front of you is a spelling list from school. You’ve written it out several times but you know you’re not retaining the actual list.  The words are just letters floating through your subconscious while your active brain is focused on that lump of clay and the owl tree outside.

You finish writing out the list for the fifth time and set the pencil down. This was the last of your homework for the day.

“Can I go play?” you ask.

Mom glances at your list and then nods. “Put the list in your backpack.”

You race to the pack and trade the list for the paper sack with the clay. Tucking the clay into your pocket, you’re out the door and down the steps before you hear the screen door slam closed against the frame.

Mom’s exasperated sigh reaches you. Maybe it’s a mental thing, you know she’s going to sigh about the door, so you hear it no matter where you’re at.

The cottonwood tree isn’t far from the house. You skid to a stop at the base of it and locate the tangle of twigs above that make up the owl’s nest.

You’re just about to start climbing when you see large tail feathers sticking over the edge of the round mass.

The momma owl’s home. You slump to sit at the base of the giant tree.

She’ll attack you for sure if you start to climb up now.

The momma owl doesn’t seem inclined to leave anytime soon, so you pull the lump of clay from its paper sack and start trying to mold it again. Each time you get the rounded shape of the bird’s body formed, the clay sort of melts around your hands. The tail feathers hold their shape a bit longer though. With one good look at the owlets, you’re sure you’ll be able to hold the whole shape in your mind.

Dusk blurs the horizon by the time you hear a whoosh of wings overhead. You glance up just in time to see the momma owl skim away toward the nearby field. There are mice aplenty in the field, so you’re sure she won’t be long. On top of that, your own mom will be calling you to bed soon.

You pocket the animas clay again and scale the tree in the near dark. Long experience in this tree makes the climb easy.

The bark of the branch containing the nest bites into the palms of your hands as you pull yourself up to peek into the bird’s home.

Inside you find two fluffy bits of feathers. The owlets pivot their heads to look at you and one gives a soft, babyish ‘who’? Their Owletsadult feathers have not come in yet. Instead, they’re covered in a soft poof of down.

You stare at them, taking in their shape, the round features of their faces and eyes, and the wings they flutter in agitation the longer you stay near them. You try to imprint the way they look on your mind’s eye.

A whoosh is all the warning you have. The momma owl screeches as she sinks her claws into your hands where you grasp the tree.

Instinctually, you try to pull away. This off balances you at the exact moment you let go of your handhold on the branch. You swing wildly, attempting to regain a hold but the momma owl will have none of it.

She beats her massive wings in your face and you lose all sense of the world around you except for the gut twisting feel of falling and the wind and feathers buffeting your body.

A scream escapes just as you hit the ground. It’s cut short as the impact drives the breath from your chest and then your head cracks hard against the dirt. You get a sense of dizziness and then nothing.

***

The world still feels like it’s spinning. As you open your eyes, the faces of mom and dad slowly come into focus.

“There you are,” Dad says. He gives you a lopsided grin. “Think the tree got the better of you this time.”

Mom huffs. She’s about to launch into a tirade about climbing the owl tree in the first place but dad chuckles and helps you to your feet.

“Go wash up,” he says and gives you a push toward the house. He watches as you make your way inside, probably to make sure you can walk a straight line.

You clean up and make it into bed without any residual effects from your fall. Dad clears you for sleep and soon your sitting in bed in a dark, quiet house.

The animas clay is still in your pocket.

You close your eyes, trying to recall all the little details you gathered about the owlets. It’s easy to remember their large, curious eyes but the shape of their wings seems a little off in your mind.

It’s better than when you tried to animate the clay in class but it’s definitely not a full, clear image. Perhaps your fall muddled your brain a bit.

Do you…

Aa. Attempt to see them again?

or

Ab. Try from memory?

In the comments, vote for which option you’d like to explore. We’ll see how it goes Thursday.

Until then, blessings,

Jennifer

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Owl Shaped

Hourglass

Welcome to a new adventure! Let’s not waste any time. Let’s jump right in =)

Owl Shaped

DeskThe room’s temperature sits well above comfortable, like every student is sweating their anxiety into the air. The usual chatter is
nonexistent. Do this one task well and the rest of your magicks class will be a breeze because all the other tasks build off of this one.

Sand falls through the hourglass, its tiny grains counting away until your time’s up. Students lean over their individual tables around you working on their own projects but yours sits like a lonely lump of clay, unformed and far from finished.

The project is, in fact, gray and red clay, but as the instructor demonstrated, if you form it just right, you can animate it into a pet for a single day. It’s not supposed to be a difficult task. It is, after all, the first building block of the class. The clay doesn’t even have to be perfectly shaped to look exactly like the animal you want.

But you want something different, something unique, compared to everyone else’s. Around you, cats and dogs are starting to move, slowly taking on the fluidity of the actual animals they’re made to portray.

You want an owl. A beautiful horned owl like the one that sits outside in the big cottonwood at night ‘who-whoing’ to the world and scaring up mice to catch.

When you attempted the owl’s shape, though, it fell back into its lumpy form and refused to hold the body of the bird.

You try again and the clay melts around your hands like hot mud.

Animas clay can be stubborn, the instructor warned when he gave the assignment. You have to be very clear in your mind what shape it’s to hold if you want it to retain the animal’s form.

OwlYou’ve seen the horned owl, but only through the window at night. The shadows and tree limbs of the cottonwood it calls home obscured much of its actual shape.

The sand finishes falling into the bottom globe of the glass.

“Time’s up,” the instructor calls and you raise your hands into the air just like all the other students to show you’ve stopped working.

The instructor ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ over a small cat and praises a boy to your right for his mouse. Then he stops by your table and stares at the formless lump of clay on the surface. Without a word, he moves on but you know, you’ve just failed the assignment, and possibly the rest of the class if you can’t figure this out.

The class finishes and you move to shuffle out with the other students, all of which get to keep their Aminas pets for the day.

You hold your lump of clay in your hand, planning to take it with you.

“Stay a moment,” the instructor catches your eye.

You step out of the flow of students and wait. When the room’s empty, the instructor folds his large hands on his desk and stares at you with a long gaze. His blue eyes seem to be searching for something but he doesn’t apparently find it, because he shakes his head a moment later and sighs through his thick beard.

“What were you trying to make?” he asks.

“An owl,” you admit.

“Not a cow or a horse?”

You simply frown, why would you want such a large pet for a day?

“Just making sure,” he says after a moment of you frowning at him. “Since you live on that farm, I wanted to make sure you didn’t go for an animal that was too large for the clay.”

“I listened in class,” you protest. “I know that’s too much for the clay you gave me.” Plus, you’re surrounded by cows and horses. It’s not like you need another one.

“Bring me an owl tomorrow morning,” he says, nodding at the clay in your hand, “and you’ll get full credit.”

Excitement builds in your chest. “Thank you, sir,” you say and take off out of the classroom.

You doubt you can get a good look at the full-grown owl from the cottonwood but she has a nest in the tree with several babies inside. From your bedroom window, you can see their tiny heads bobbing around when the momma comes home.

Maybe you can climb the tree to get a good look. But if the momma catches you, she’s sure to attack and she’s a large bird.

Or maybe you can wait for bedtime and climb out onto the roof. With the binoculars, you might be able to see the babies from the top of the house.

Do you…

A. Climb the Tree?

or

B. Use the Binoculars?

Let me know in the comments which option you like to explore. Whichever option gets the most votes will be the one to post next Thursday.

Until then, blessings and have a wonderful week,

Jennifer

Discarded Option Aa2: Keep Fighting

Dragon

This was a really close vote! But in the end the choice to keep fighting won out.

(If you missed the previous weeks, just know you’re a metal dragon who has been discarded due to your weak wings. Now you’re trying to finish your body at night while the Maker’s away. You managed to get a new green gem for an eye but the current work-in-progress caught you in the act. When you offered her a gem, she snuffed your offer and woke up all the others. In your fight with the ‘perfect’ dragons, one of the other ‘discards’ came to your aid. He saved you from the others and wants to keep helping you so you offer to find him new claws. Once again, the ‘perfect’ dragons started a fight with you and now the Maker is arriving for work. The vote went the way of continuing the fight despite the fact that the Maker will see you. Let’s see how this adventure ends!)

Discarded Option Aa2: Keep Fighting

Door KnobThe brass handle on the shop’s door turns but the click you’d usually hear as it disengages from the doorframe is lost as the amber dragon launches himself at Blain’s left side. The move looks like he’s taking off for flight. He flares his wings and sinks his claws with a screech into the gray metal just above one of Blain’s massive wings.

Blain cries a brassy howl of pain.

Using his extended right wing as a ramp, you race up Blain’s right side and slam into the amber dragon’s chest just as the workshop door swings open.

Always before when the Maker arrives, everyone freezes. It’s a general rule despite the fact that he fully equips every dragon with working wings, voice boxes and, technically, brains.

There’s too much momentum between you and the amber dragon to stop moving as the Maker’s leather boots scuff against the rough floor.

The amber dragon’s claws tear free of Blain’s side, pulling another howl from Blain, and you tumble with the male across the workbench and off the side.

Within the amber dragon’s jasper eyes you see his indecision. The Maker’s watching. If he flares his wings to break the fall, the Maker will see, but if he doesn’t, he’ll take the full impact of the fall, including your small weight attached to his chest, on his back. Such an impact is sure to destroy his wings.

He flares at the last second and your head whips forward and back with the sudden change in speed. There’s a crunch as you land against the wooden floor.

Although it’s too late, you freeze in the position you fell. The amber male does the same but one of his eyes is still watching you and there’s such a fire of fury in that one jasper orb that you have to restrain a shudder.

Blain’s head peeks over the edge of the workbench above.

“What?!” The Maker’s deep voice echoes through the shop.

He lifts Blain from his spot on the bench, muttering to himself as he inspects the rents left in Blain’s back from the amber male’s claws.

“I should know better…” he proceeds to pick up the siren female. “Every time I use that voice box, there’s trouble.” He holds both Blain and the siren in one of his large, callused hands and bends to retrieve you and the amber male from the floor. Several of your claws are still firmly embedded in the male’s chest and so he lifts you both together.

“Such a terrible waste,” he grumbles as he disengages your claws. “What a mess.”

With all four of you in tow, he heads toward the back of the shop to a small window. The hinges for the window are on the top instead of the side. He shoves it open.

Trash“Can’t have such trouble makers in my shop,” he says and pitches you outside.

It’s then you see the trash bin situated directly below the window.

The siren female shrieks as she realizes she’s just been thrown away.

“Never going to use that voice box again,” the Maker grumbles and the window thuds closed on his words.

She shrieks again.

Blain and the amber male are unfortunate enough to be in front of her. They’re both flattened to the trash in the bottom of the bin. You, on the other hand, are beside her. You reach out a paw and clamp her jaws closed.

“Enough!” you say.

She whimpers and you let her go. Thankfully, she doesn’t shriek again.

Blain shakes himself, tests his wings, and then grins. “That was so much fun!”

The amber male scoffs. “Fun? That was your idea of fun!?” He attempts to spread his wings only to find that one of them will not support the weight. Almost directly against the base of the wing, the tendon is cracked from his fall.

He glares at you and takes a threatening step forward. Blain clamps a fully clawed paw down on his tail.

“It’s fixable,” you say before the two get into another fight. “If you’re willing to work together.”

“Fixable?” He asks, clearly skeptical.

You hold up a piece of wire from the trash. “We might not be the most pretty bunch in the world, but there’s plenty of bits and pieces we can find to make ourselves whole again. But,” you hold up a claw, “we have to work together. That’s the deal.”

Blain nods vigorously. You never doubted his willingness but you appreciate his enthusiasm.

“That’s how I got my claws!” he holds them up like none of you were around to see the event happen.

“Fine,” the amber male agrees.

“We might not be able to get your tiny wings to work,” the siren female says.

You shrug. “We’ve got a lot of time to try.”

She huffs. “Fine.”

***

Dragon WingMarcus and Vivian are never the most friendly of dragons but they do eventually learn to work with you and Blain. And eventually, you do figure out wings that allow you to fly. They’re not pretty, but they work.

The End

Thank you for joining in this adventure! I received a lot of good feedback from the comments but I welcome any other thoughts if you have them. Plus, if you’d like to explore more endings in this adventure, let me know and I’ll be sure to run it again in the future.

A new adventure will start next week. I hope to see you then.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Discarded Option Ab: New Claws for Blain

Dragon Claws

(Side Note: Kat at the Lily Cafe is hosting an interview of me today regarding The Adventure. Stop by and give her a hello =)

Now, welcome to the third week in the Discarded adventure!

If you missed the previous weeks, just know you’re a metal dragon who has been discarded due to your weak wings. Now you’re trying to finish your body at night while the Maker’s away. You managed to get to the gems for a new green eye but the current work-in-progress caught you in the act. When you offered her a gem, she snuffed your offer and woke up all the others. In your fight with the ‘perfect’ dragons, one of the other ‘discards’ came to your aid. Now you’re going to help your new friend, Blain, get new claws. Let’s see if you succeed.

Discarded Option Ab: New Claws for Blain

Blain fidgets. His large, gray tail shoves a piece of copper down the discard heap, where it thuds against the bent pieces of a folding wing.

He cringes and shoots you an apologetic glance.

You told him your next goal is to find him new claws and, since then, his ability to keep his excitement contained has been strained to the max. Like a child on his birthday, he’d be jumping up and down if such an action wouldn’t draw the attention of the Maker.

As it is, the old man pauses and glances at the pile with a frown. Finally, when nothing seems amiss, he returns his attention to the female’s tail.

Although the Maker didn’t realize Blain’s movement, the female did. Her ruby eyes glow, fixated on you and your new friend even as the Maker adds new pieces to her design.

Above her, the amber male who attacked you the night before also watches from his curled position on his shelf.

The Maker fits the last piece into the female’s tail and daubs in a little glue to help hold it in place. Lifting her into the air, he grunts with satisfaction. He lays her back onto the scarred workbench and clamps the appendage in place to dry for the night.

Extra bits of metal are tossed into the discard heap and tools are placed each in their specific homes at the back of the bench. KeyDrawers get pushed in, bits of gem are dusted into their box and leather scraps are neatly folded. All the while the Maker hums.

The sound of his voice echoes faintly in the room as he finishes his cleanup and locks the door behind him as he leaves.

Silence settles into the wooden walls but the clear glitter of dragon eyes does not fade along with the sound.

“Now?” Blain whispers directly against your ear.

“No,” you respond.

He almost whines with angst but then settles back against your side to wait for your timing.

The ruby eyes of the female wink and she huffs in exasperation. Then, slowly, those gems dim until you can hear the soft sigh of her breath in sleep.

The deep jasper eyes of the amber male, however, still glitter with light from the overhead window. He stretches in a feline fashion and yawns but still those glowing orbs remain fixed on your position.

Blain’s side trembles with his excitement but, thankfully, he continues to wait for your cue.

Usually just laying in the discard heap is easy business but your own muscles are strained with anxiety and anticipation. Your legs begin to ache as hours pass and those jasper eyes never waver.

The giant orb of the moon passes the window above and you’re just about to give up for the night when the amber male lets out another yawn. It’s an eye-watering sigh that would have rusted the male’s face if he had any tears to shed. He blinks several times and, while you watch intently, his lids droop until his eyes are closed completely.

You wait awhile longer but his sides rise and fall in steady rhythm the entire time.

“Now,” you whisper to Blain.

Oddly, his muscles relax as he moves to stand. Perhaps now that he has actual motion to occupy his anxiety, the torturous tension fades away.

drawerThe face of the workbench is littered with small drawers holding various hinges, nuts, bolts, molded metal and more. Thankfully for this night, you’re headed to a drawer holding premade claws. Within its divided interior are claws for every shape and size of dragon. Unfortunately, that drawer sits just below the top of the workbench.

You follow Blain to the base of the bench and look upward to your target. The discard pile is large enough that you’re still standing on the fringes of it as you start your climb.

Blain offered to carry you but you asked him to keep watch instead.

He flies up until he’s even with the drawer and waits, all the while watching the amber male and the half-finished female as they sleep.

Only when you’ve reached the drawer and have it open far enough for him to land in it does he join you at the bench.

He settles into the drawer and gives a soft crow of delight at the claws inside. His long gray tail hangs out over the face of the drawer as he starts to test each claw one by one.

You shake your head. “No, Blain,” you say, “You need bigger claws than those.” You push the drawer open farther and select a thicker piece. “Try this one.”

He presses it to the hole in his front left paw where his index claw should be. It gives a soft pop as it slides into the socket.

“Yay!” Blain holds it up in excitement.

“Shhh,” you caution.

He ducks his head and glances up but the amber dragon doesn’t stir.

You both hold your breath for a moment, just to be sure, but nothing happens.

ClawsYou select another claw for Blain to try. Again, this one pops into place, a perfect fit even if it is a deep red against his overall gray.

“One more,” you say and delve deeper into the drawer for a thicker claw yet.

You select one and hand it over.

Blain flops onto his haunches and tries to reach for his rear, left foot but whatever injury prevents him from turning to the left also makes him stiff to bending forward.

“Here,” you say.

He hands over the claw and you test it on his hind foot. You’ve an eye for this sort of thing apparently because it too pops into place. You grin at Blain and his yellow eyes return your excitement.

“GAH!” he exclaims as he tumbles backwards.

His body is hauled over the face of the drawer and it’s then that you see the amber dragon has him by the tail.

You jump, landing squarely on the male’s back. Between your weight and the powerful pull of Blain’s wings, the amber male can’t control his flight. He lets go of Blain’s tail and rises into the air.

Before he can get too high, you roll off his back and land on the scarred workbench. The female jerks awake at the thud of your landing.

At the same time, Blain lands beside you and so you’re both caught in the blast of the female’s siren cry. It flattens you to the surface of the bench.

All sound seems deadened as she runs out of breath.

The amber male lands just to Blain’s left and flares his wings in challenge.

Not many sounds would register on your deadened hearing at this point but one clear, single sound does. The click of the lock.

The Maker’s arriving for work.

If he catches you all just as you are, he’s likely to dismantle every single one of you. If you jump into the discard heap, you might survive but Blain cannot turn that fast. Either the amber male will catch him from his damaged left or the Maker will see him. You negate the idea of leaving him behind as not an option.

You could shove him into the discard heap but you’re likely to take the full brunt of the amber male’s attack if you do.

Or you could continue to fight beside him and hope for the best with the Maker.

Aa1. Push Blain into Discard Heap

or

Aa2. Keep Fighting

Cast your vote in the comments below. We’ll be back Thursday with whichever option gets the most votes and we’ll see how this adventure ends!

Blessings,

Jennifer

(P.S. Again, if you’re interested in seeing the interview at the Lily Cafe, hop on over here!)

Heads Up!

Let’s keep this short and sweet.

jenniferzeiger.com is now my author website. Yahooo!

Jennifer M Zeiger Website

For the last 6 years, it’s been this blog. This blog is now jennifermzeiger.wordpress.com.

Jennifer M Zeiger Blog

I believe everything should run smoothly. All the little goblins in the background, ya know those domain name-name server goblins with teeth, all those guys should be lined up. However, I’m no professional when it comes to such details, so please let me know if you run into any issues.

Thank you everyone! Thursday will be an exciting day here as we’ll have the next post in the Discarded Adventure and Kat at the Lily Cafe will be hosting an interview regarding The Adventure.

Blessings,

Jennifer

(P.S. Some people have gotten a security warning the first time they attempt the website. Please type it in a second time and see if it works.)

 

Discarded Option A: Offer A Gem

Dragon

Welcome back for the second post in the Discarded adventure! If you missed last week, just know you’re a metal dragon who has been discarded due to your weak wings. Now you’re trying to finish your body by taking from the other discard piles. You managed to get to the gems for a new green eye but the current work-in-progress from the Maker caught you in the act. You’re about to offer her a gem. Let’s see if she takes it.

Discarded Option A: Offer A Gem

GemsThe box of discarded gems glitters in the faint light from the overhead window, displaying blues and greens and reds of varying shades. You grasp the closest blue, a lovely oval the size of a grape, and hold it out to the small female.

Her nostrils flare with a huff. “Those are all flawed, just like you.” And she opens her mouth to reveal tiny points of teeth lining her jaw.

The cry that pierces the air from her throat flattens you to the scarred workbench. Your nerves shudder in protest. Not a dragon in the shop could have slept through that siren.

An amber dragon twice your size thuds to the bench behind you, cutting off your escape to the discard pile. With your green eye, he almost looks brown.

Another female with a rounded belly and massive, layered wings coasts down to stand protectively over the half-finished female.

“Thief,” she cries.

You spin on your tail and toss the blue gem at the amber, male dragon’s face. Although you’re small, your aim proves perfect. The gem smacks solidly against the dragon’s forehead just between his eyes.

He rears back with his multi-plated wings extended for balance, all the while blinking furiously to clear his sight. It’s the opportunity you were hoping for. While he’s still unfocused, you dart under his wing. You’re just about to lunge off the side of the workbench when his tail flashes out to curl around your left wing.

Your momentum is too great and the wing pulls free from your side with a screech of metal.

Dragon WingWith a disgusted ‘ugh’, he tosses the small appendage at you as you tumble over the side of the bench in an uncontrolled fall.

You curl into a ball, expecting to hit the discard heap with a painful thud. Instead, sharp claws bite into your tail and you’re hauled skyward by the amber dragon. His multi-plated wings beat powerful strokes to lift your combined weight.

You scream at him in anger. The thud into the discard pile would have been better than this. Curling up your tail, you sink your own claws into his legs.

He snaps his teeth but can’t quite get his head low enough to catch you without unbalancing his flight. Once he reaches the height of the overhead window, he drops you and your claws are too weak to hang on.

From this height, you’ll shatter when you hit the floor. You grab for a shelf as it spins past but the piece of wood isn’t actually attached to the wall. Instead, it’s simply set on a few braces. When you grab ahold, it flips into the air behind you.

A small bit of satisfaction hits you when you see the shelf glance off the amber dragon’s side. It dents his otherwise perfect frame.

There’s nothing else to stall your headlong fall.

A heavy whoosh of air hits you and your sight spins in erratic jerks before settling. You’re no longer falling uncontrollably.

You twist to look up and find a massive beast slowly lowering you to the discard heap. He cradles your small body in his thick claws.

Once he’s set you down, he backs up awkwardly and lands beside you with a crunch of metal. It’s then you see this gray beast is missing several claws, has a heavy dent in his forehead, and can’t turn to his left without turning his entire body.

You see this last bit as he turns to stand guard over you.

The amber dragon above halts his flight downward and hovers in place.

“Enough,” says the beast that saved you. His speech is slurred from the way the dent on his head curves part of his mouth inward. You’re surprised that whatever caused the damage didn’t finish the dragon completely.

The amber male huffs and tosses one of the discard gems at you before turning away.

He settles back onto his shelf and pointedly ignores the discard heap while he works to remove the dent the shelf left in his side.

Slowly, the other dragons settle back in and go to sleep. Even the red gleam of the half-finished female finally fades to sleep.

When all is quiet again, the beast guarding you picks up the remnants of your left wing and offers it to you. He smiles in a crooked, almost dopey way.

“Thank you,” you say as you let him snap the wing into place. It’s loose now but at least it’ll help your balance.

“That was awesome!” he exclaims.

“Shhhh,” you caution and you both look at the shelves full of dragons. The amber male opens one eye to make sure you’re not moving and then goes back to his rest.

“Sorry, Blain makes mistakes,” says the beast.

“Blain? That’s you?” you ask.

He nods vigorously and off balances himself enough that he has to step sideways. There’s a crunch of metal.

“What are you going to fix next?” he whispers.

“I’m waiting for tomorrow night to do anything else,” you tell him.

“Yeah, but what are you going to fix?”

You stare at him and the fire that brightens his yellow-gold eyes.

“Let’s rest for now,” you say, “while I consider that.”

He happily settles down into the discard heap and motions for you to settle beside him. You take the invitation and take comfort in the solid structure of his wing as it settles protectively over you. Unlike the amber male, Blain’s wing is a solid piece that doesn’t fold in against his side. However, what it lacks in mobility it makes up for in strength. He could have easily carried twice your weight without breaking a sweat.

You think on his question. New wings would be ideal. If you can fly, a world of other options opens up for you.

Blain starts to give a slight metallic snore as he falls to sleep. He twitches and his claws open and close in reaction to a dream. You stare at the holes where he’s missing claws. It doesn’t seem like much, but without those claws, his balance is even more precarious.

Aa. New Wings?

Or

Ab. New Claws for Blain?

Please cast your vote in the comment section below. Next Thursday we’ll explore whichever option gets the most vote.

Until then, blessings,

Jennifer

Discarded

Dragon

The Maker hums as he finishes his work for the day. Tools get laid out in a row at the back of his wooden bench, drawers are pushed in and scraps are tossed into their respective bins. Metal clinks in the copper bin, bits of jewel flash in the jewel bin, and fabric gets folded for cutting later. In the center of the bench lies a half finished dragon. She’s going to be slender and majestic.

Dragon WingThe shelves around her are filled with other perfectly crafted dragons but, even half finished, you know she’s going to be something special. Not all dragons are created equal, as you well know. Some have wings intricately designed so their metal plates fold smoothly against the dragon’s ribs. Others boast jeweled eyes that sparkle as they see in the night. And still others balance on edges with needle like claws. All these dragons are useful, beautiful and graceful.

You are not one of these, however. You hide amidst the pile of discarded metal parts and watch the others through a single murky glass eye. The Maker tossed you aside when he found your thin wings were too small to carry your weight. Months have passed since that day and other discarded bits weigh down upon your frame, sharing their rust with you right along with their weight.

Dragon ClawsThe Maker’s current project holds a lot of hope for you, though. She’s small, like you, and many of the parts not deemed worthy of her perfect shape might fit you. One in particular caught your eye while the Maker worked today.

You wait as the Maker finishes putting everything away. The half finished dragon’s new ruby eyes flash as he turns out the light. Although she’s not finished, she can now see the world.

The Maker closes the door and the lock clicks. You wait even longer, watching for those ruby eyes to darken into sleep. Finally, when they do, you work your way from beneath the discarded parts.

The shop’s wooden structure absorbs the grind of the metal pieces like a sponge but many of the sleeping dragons have excellent hearing.

You pause once free of the rubble to see if any of the graceful creature awaken at your noise. None do.

Early that morning you watched the Maker toss a green jewel because of a flaw, a small crack, deep within its depths. That jewel would work perfectly beside your murky glass eye. You might actually be able to see the whole room for once in a casual glance.

The tiny green piece lay atop the discard box of flawed jewels. He’ll return the lot of them later and receive more perfect pieces in return. That’s why you have to make your move tonight. The jewel seller will be by in the morning and then your chance at a second eye will be gone.

The other pieces in the box are of varying sizes. This is the first time you’ve seen one that might fit your small frame. The others are too large.

You tuck your thin, useless wings against your sides and step lightly to the workbench. The jewel box sits on a shelf just to the right of it. If you climb the drawers of the bench, you can reach the shelves from its top.

Your claws grasp the handles easily but you find the next drawer handle too far away.

Thankfully the Maker finished most of your tail before he gave up on your wings. You turn upside down and reach for the next handle with your tail. Its metal coils encircle the ring with a faint clicking and you haul yourself up.

You repeat the process until you gain the top of the workbench. It’s scarred from long, daily use.

EmeraldsThe green jewel glitters with light from the overhead window. You tiptoe past the half finished dragon and grasp that wonderful
piece in your claws. It’s perfectly sized. You snap it into place with an audible pop.

The world turns green to your gaze. Beautifully layered in shades of emerald, aqua, and jasper. There’s a gray quality to it from your glass eye as well, but this is familiar to you, comfortable even.

“What are you doing?”

In your moment of triumph, you did not see the half finished female open her eyes but now those ruby gems burn with life. She’s lacking wings and a tail yet, so movement is not easy for her, but she’s obviously aware and fully capable of waking the others.

“Cleaning up,” you say.

“Not likely,” she responds and opens her mouth to give one of those piercing calls only a small female can.

Thinking quickly, you can either offer her one of the other sparkling gems from the box beside you or roll off the table into the discard heap in order to hide.

Do you…

A. Offer a gem?

Or

B. Hide?

In the comment section, please cast your vote for which option you’d like to explore. Next Thursday, we’ll see how you handle this new turn of events.

Blessings,

Jennifer