The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 22

The fifteen minute novel writing experiment is a attempt to write a complete (and very rough) draft of a novel by writing for fifteen minutes each day. I have taken a timed writing from one of the daily prompts done in 2021, cleaned it up a little and used it as my jumping off point into a story. Each day I will take the last line of the story written the day before and use it as my sentence starter and write for fifteen minutes, growing the story as the year progresses.

Day 22: The girl nodded.

The girl nodded. “I can always tell the new ones.  Have you never been before?”

“No, I haven’t,” Anya replied.  Again the girl nodded.

“Loads of people only come the one time.  Others come every year.  My mother used to come every year and she brought me with her from the time I was a baby.  She died last year and now I come on my own.”

“I see,” Anya said.  “I’m sorry she died. My parents died too,” Anya said impulsively.  She wasn’t sure why.  She didn’t remember her parents and called her uncle and aunt mother and father all her life.  Somehow it seemed right.

“And that’s why you came this time for the first time,” the girl said.  She nodded.  “its okay loads of girls do.”

“Oh,” Anya said. “So they?”

“Oh yes.  They find themselves on their own and come for guidance.  My mother first came for guidance and the Star led her to my father.  She brought me each year so that I’d know where to go if I ever needed to and so that she could put her skills to work in gratitude for the guidance.  Isn’t if fun to work with all of those materials?  I mean there are so many in every variety.”

“Oh, I don’t…” Anya began.

“I see you’ve found our little chatterbox,” a voice said.  Anya turned and found the woman from the night before approaching.  She sat down next to Anya. “You know some people actually like to be able to eat their breakfast.”

The girl made a face at the older woman good naturedly and then took a big bite of her bread.  Anya picked up her own slice of bread.  It was good quality bread.  It wasn’t cut from the white loaves the baker reserved for the wealthier patrons, but it wasn’t the hard brown bread that was doled out to the poor each winter either.  Like her clothing it was sturdy and serviceable.  There was a nutty taste to it that she found quite pleasant and complemented the rich butter and sweet honey quite well.  Given the rations she had been eating for the past week it seemed veritable ambrosia. 

“She only arrived late yesterday, the woman told the younger girl.  She wouldn’t have seen the store rooms.”

“Oh,” the girl said around her mouthful of bread.  “You’ll like them. They are amazing.  While some come back each year to use their skills to craft items for those who need them, others show their gratitude by sending gifts of cloth and silk thread for lacemaking and embroidery and pretty much any other thing you can think of.  While everyone waits for their moment with the Star, they keep themselves busy.  There is virtually any item you need to make virtually anything.”

“Really,” Anya asked.

“Within reason,” the woman said.


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