There’s nothing quite like loosing two weeks to Life™, but I’m not ready to give up on Camp NaNoWriMo quite yet! I’m still at the very beginning of the a daily outline, so there’s plenty of story to work with. *rolls up sleeves*
Read at your own risk/amusement: There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing.
Daily Wordcount: 1,278
Total Wordcount: 3,217 (includes Title, Chapter Headers, etc.)
Day 17 – Trust Me, I’m A Bunny
“We’ve had better NaNos,” said the Muse with a sigh as the Writer finally returned from the void to which she had vanished.
“We’ve had worse ones too,” the Writer countered as she sat down at the depressingly empty writing desk. “I’ve got two full weekends left to write this and I’ve pulled off miracles before.” She coaxed a plot bunny out from under the table with a handful of MacGuffins and a tasty word war sprint.
“Less talk, more typing!” objected the wolpertinger, who was reluctantly waking from his sprawling nap beside the sofa. The hare was taking up three times as much room as should have been possible, given his actual body mass. “We’re supposed to be up to step ’17. SO MUCH FAIL’ and we’re still on ‘1. Minding my own business’.”
When their second youngest daughter returned from her adventures with a broken leg, a wolpertinger, and an unfinished quest… her siblings were not amused.
“You really need to find a better introduction than that.”
“You want us to find the flowers for you?” Her eldest brother looked at Hexa with unconcealed frustration. “It’s bad enough that you went off to the city to start with, but now you want us to waste time on some fantasy that finding flowers will stop some giant monster?”
“Einar, that’s not fair.” The youngest sister chided. Siban was visiting from her home further up the mountains, having come down to see Hexa when she heard the news. “We’ve got no way of knowing if the river monster is real or not, but the wolpertingers seem convinced.” She eyed the giant hare that was lying beside the foot of the bed.
The hare had short deer antlers, neatly folded falcon wings, a dirty tan fox tail, the fluffy ruff of a lion, and an impressive set of canine fangs. It was about the size of a small pony, but most of that was ears, legs, and feathers.
“They aren’t going to help us,” the wolpertinger said to Hexa, his mental voice tired and defeated.
“They have to,” Hexa thought back, there was too much at stake and there had to be a way to convince her siblings to take up her quest.
“I have orchards to tend,” Einar snapped. “I have wood to haul and mouths to feed. She wants us to give up who knows how many days, or weeks, to go hiking around in search of flowers. Who is going to do my work while I’m gone? Who’s going to do your work?”
Siban frowned, with the loss of her husband the previous winter it had fallen on her to do the bulk of the teamster work for her in-law’s logging claim. She had a steady hand with the draft animals and while the family could compensate for her absence, it would be a serious hardship.
“Why can’t this wait until the rainy season?” Hexa’s mother was working on a quilt in the corner, listening but not interrupting Hexa’s attempts to find a replacement hero. “You’ve said that Jeden is working on finding a way to kill the monster when it arrives– finding the flowers is only for if that fails and will only work after the monster goes to sleep again.”
“And now begins the bit where we explain all the reasons she can’t do this the easy way…” The Writer frowned down at her notes. “This is sort of a info dump, but I can’t think of another way to do it.”
“Better they ask it now rather than later,” the wolpertinger pointed out. “Plus if they don’t ask then the readers are just going to get frustrated with them.” He got up with a stretch and a yawn that showed off way too many teeth. “Just make sure if you ask the easy questions that you hit the hard ones too– this family isn’t stupid.”
“The flowers only bloom while the monster is awake,” Hexa said. “We have to find them and harvest them during that window. The vines will grow and spread once planted, but without the flowers we have no seeds.”
“So why can’t you just send the wolpertinger?” Siban asked absently, still lost in thought, and Hexa could tell she’d lost her sister to Einar’s side. Hexa had four other siblings to ask, so all hope wasn’t lost, but it wasn’t looking good.
“Because he can only get so far away from me before he gets sick,” Hexa looked down at the hare who snorted and twitched an ear. “And yes, I get sick too. The magic that connects us also binds us, but he can use someone who shares my blood to increase the range.”
“Which is why you want one of us to go,” Einar gave the wolpertinger an annoyed look. “Why can’t you just tell someone where the flowers are, why does he have to lead them there?”
“Because magic,” Hexa’s mother snorted. “If they are relying on the Oracle to tell them things, she always comes back to ‘magic’ and ‘will of the gods.’ That woman never says anything straight if she can avoid it, she says it spoils the future if we know exactly what happens.” She finished adding the quilt square and moved onto the next piece.
“But the bunny can know and it doesn’t hurt things?” Siban frowned, finally coming out of her thoughts. “If knowing the future changes the future, then why would it be safe for anyone to know?”
“I’m not a bunny,” the wolpertinger grumbled, turning away to groom his wing in annoyance.
“He doesn’t know where it is or how we’ll find it,” Hexa said. “There’s just a pull in the right direction, like a lodestone, and he follows that feeling. But the pull changes,” she frowned. “We’re not sure why, but it may have something to do with how the monster’s magic is affecting the river.”
“Look, I hate to be the one to ask,” Einer said, “but the river monster is going to wake up, go on a rampage that will destroy the city, because it’s in his territory, and then go back to sleep– right? So why don’t they just move everyone to a different place and rebuild there instead of doing this every five hundred years? …Assuming there is a monster.”
“And doesn’t the prophecy say that Jeden is going to kill the monster?” Hexa’s mother asked before Einer could settle into his well worn rant about the city and its inhabitants’ decadent extravagance.
“Someone like Jeden will kill the monster,” Hexa said, “there’s no guarantee that he’s the one or that this is the right wake cycle.”
“Then why are you so sure you’re the one who will find the flowers?” her mother countered, deft stitches never faltering. “And if you can’t be sure about the ‘when’, then didn’t someone try this the last time the monster woke up? What happened to them? And why aren’t there any stories about it?” She looked over at the wolpertinger disapprovingly. “I don’t think they’re telling you everything.”
“I can read his mind,” Hexa snapped. “He can’t lie to me. I can’t lie to him. He’s got just as much riding on this as we do. The rock warrens are within the flood zone when the monster wakes up and per their history songs, magic goes haywire following the flood. That means sick and homeless wolpertingers, with no humans left in the area to help.”
“Aaaand we’re back on ‘why they hell do they live there then’,” pointed out the Muse. “We never really figured that out.”
“DJKFHGSDKFHGS” said the Writer.