The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 81

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 81: “The Dovish are nothing if not sticklers for bodily cleanliness.”

“The Dovish are nothing if not sticklers for bodily cleanliness.”

Anya frowned at the Matron’s words.

“Well then it will be good she will be switched to the regular chambers soon.  We can make certain it has access to bathing chambers. There are plenty to go around.”

“You do not need to remind me that our numbers have dwindled, Marta.” The matron replied.

“I suppose not,” said the woman from the night before, Marta.

“She will be staying then?” The Matron asked.

“For a time at least,” Marta replied.  “She has committed to no more than that.”

“Is there any way to encourage her to join us?”

“She must be left to make her own decisions, you know that.  Attempting to influence her will only end poorly.  For all of us.”

There was a heavy sigh.  “I suppose you are right.  And for now it is enough that she has escaped from Mathis.  He still searches?”

“From what little I can glean,” Marta replied.  “My abilities are waning for the year so your spies would be of more use than my sight.”

“I appreciate your effort.”

“It was necessary,” Marta replied.  “The girl needed to see, to understand the truth of the world she left behind before she would let it go.”

“You told her…”

“She worries over her family and needed to see them safe.  I showed this to her.  I showed her uncle’s greed so she would feel less obligation, but refrained from mentioning that he caused the illness that took her parents so she would not feel vengeance.  I told her she was special to interest her, but did not tell her the magnitude lest it terrify her. Although,” Marta said.  She paused and silence stretched.

“Although,” the matron prompted. 

“I do not think she is one who terrifies easily.  And even that which she fears, she will face instead of flee from it if she decides the need is great.”

“Really,” the matron asked.  “That would be a useful trait.  You saw this in her?”

“I saw…something, when she fled the tower.  There was a fear of deep water, but she risked it to escape rather than let the fear keep her prisoner.”

“It was the only way out,” the matron pointed out.

“It was the only way out for all those Mathis imprisoned, yet she was the only one who risked it.”

“Has he found any more of the moon blessed?” the Matron asked. 

“No, he has had no luck.  His men searched the ruins and found no trace of her passing so they are making their way to Tyrin.”

“It might be best if they are delayed in their journey south,” the matron said.

“That is more your area,” Marta replied. 

In the small room, Anya heard footsteps but both they and the voices were growing fainter.  “I will alert the watch, the Matron said.  “We cannot afford to let Lord Mathis gain any ground.”

The woman Marta made some comment, but the voices were too far distant for Anya to make out the words, they were simply mummers of voice.


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