Looking up

Saoirse had a lot to prove.

She looked up at Toiréasa’s home at the top of the creag and knew how long it would take her to make it to that household. She could see the disapproval of Toiréasa’s father, even without seeing him. A hand clapped down on her shoulder. She didn’t jump, because she’d known her cousin was behind her.

“Ready?”

Saoirse turned away from the view. “Aye.”

Toiréasa was beautiful in a way no one else in the village could compare with. She was also heir to the strongest swordsman and learning his ways. Ways he would teach many, but not Saoirse. If she was going to get his permission, it would be on her own merits. She was already the best in her family. Her cousin didn’t want to go hunting without her. They would be the one sharing a meal, instead of those who were forced to ask for help as the weather changed drastically around them.

They left the village, out into the new snow. Saoirse brought her scarf over her mouth and nose.

Copycat

Winter reached for her glass the same time as Summer. She didn’t think much about it, except when she put her glass down and noticed it was at the same time as well. Summer usually didn’t sip, she gulped. Then she would pause and gulp more. While it was good she was learning…

Well, Winter wasn’t sure about that.

She turned her head to get a better look at her sister and Summer looked away. Then, trying to be sneaky, Summer glanced back, only to return to the same position. Winter contemplated, then lifted a hand. When Summer noticed, she did the same.

“Is this what we’re doing today?”

Thankfully, Summer wasn’t going to start parroting her words too. Winter got up and walked out of the room, her little sister following. Time to see all what Summer was willing to try like this.

Birthday letters

Apparently her sister had picked up a new habit from where she lived now.

You send a letter on someone’s birthday, even if you barely know them! People get mountains of cards on their birthday, it’s amazing!

Usually she called. There was the occasional gift that was sent. In fact, Leondra was used to cards being involved on birthdays as well. A few, from people she couldn’t see on the day, from those who weren’t sure if they could call, for those who wanted to make sure their packages had instructions.

Her sister had apparently asked everyone she knew to write someone they didn’t know a letter. Leondra rubbed her temple.

She had a lot of reading to do.

Obsessing

Nalia’s eyes narrowed on the green placard above the counter. Slowly, she rose her phone to her lips and dictated into it.

“The greenest thing about this hotel is the color of the advertisements that it is green.”

She checked out and moved on to her next destination. The convention center had similar boards next to their screens. She gave them credit that they weren’t the same intense amount of green as the hotels. That wasn’t going to deter her though. Nalia wasn’t here for appearances. She was here for the 100% bamboo fiber that may or may not have actually been bamboo.

Her note was short. “If it’s rayon again.”

Left open-ended, Nalia was distracted by her girlfriend’s text.

The Baker’s Dozen

Leilani watched the woman on the other side of the counter.

If it had been for any other event, Leilani would have bought her bread at a regular grocery store as opposed to going to a high end bakery. It would have saved money and she wouldn’t have to wait. However, she had been given very clear instructions by her brother-in-law.

Noga didn’t bother to look back at her. Leilani knew her from school. The antisocial one. Leilani had been labelled similarly. However, while Leilani was organized and not impulsive, which had gotten her a job despite her friendless manner, Noga was messy and spontaneous.

If Noga remembered her, she made no notice. Leilani might not have said anything as she received her order. However, she decided she was curious. “A baker?”

Noga finally looked at her. Yes, she remembered Leilani. Leilani didn’t mind attention. Noga, despite impulsiveness, hid away from it. “Baking is science.”

Yes, Noga had liked science. Leilani remembered. “Good day.”

The other woman didn’t reply. Leilani left with her bread.

Where the possibility leads

They were inside and the music already began to throb in their head.

“You okay?”

They could barely hear him, but they watched his mouth move. They nodded as they acclimatized to the noise. It wasn’t that bad. Not what they’d been expecting, but not bad.

At this point, they were glad that he still held their arm. And so the two joined the throng in dance, to not be jostled apart by the motion of a room in constant vibration.

A new one, a better one

For a moment, everything was quiet. Then a tooth dropped from the beast’s mouth. It landed for a moment on Toiréasa’s cheek, then slid off and into the icy ground. She saw where it came from and the larger tooth underneath that had pushed it out.

Just a pup? She considered, kneeing the bottom of it’s jaw. With another snarl, those teeth went to close down on Toiréasa. Perhaps it was by luck that she had thrust her sword forward, but the teeth bit down on the blade and not her arm. The beast retreated at that, though taking Toiréasa’s weapon with. Toiréasa struggled to her feet.

Slowly, she backed away until the beast was out of sight. As much as she wanted to fight, she would be defeated. As much as she wanted to run, the beast would be faster.

When Toiréasa got home, she had to get a new blade.

In his pocket

He waited for Fletcher as he always did, with rapt anticipation. There was something about the undead man which resonated with him. His mother often teased that he enjoyed Fletcher’s company more than hers. It always flustered him.

Fletcher entered the room with a question. “Left or right pocket?”

He hesitated, but tried to forge on ahead, as Fletcher obviously wanted him to do. “L-left?”

Fletcher smiled. “Good. I was hoping you’d say left, young master. Shall we work on your mother’s birthday present?”

A wide grin broke out across his face. If only his mother knew how much of his and Fletcher’s time was spent figuring out ways to give her something.