The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 145

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 145: ‘I wonder if that isn’t part of the reason the House helps those women,’ Anya thought. 

‘I wonder if that isn’t part of the reason the House helps those women,’ Anya thought.  While she was certain there were many who provided assistance because they felt it was a worthy cause, Anya could also see how it would be beneficial to the whole. 

She left the thought behind as she followed Marta around.  There were many of the women in the House who Marta seemed to be mentoring  She met with them and advised them on their studies, suggesting books they may wish to consult or helping them work through tangled thoughts.  While most of the abilities any of them possessed faded when the season ended, they still worked to learn more about those abilities and how to effectively use them when they returned.  There were also those who took the information gleaned during the season and seemed to put it to use out of season.  Anya watched as one woman, who seemed to be able to track wild game, marked the herd positions on a map.  She made lists of the numbers and the age of the members of the herd.  From what Anya gathered the information would help inform the hunters before they set out in the spring. Others monitored wind patterns and extrapolating out to locate migratory flocks. 

Anya frowned.  The others seemed, where they were able, to be contributing to the House of the Star.  Their skills benefited the rest.  They helped fill the larder and keep all of them warm fed and safe.  Anya took from the larder but she didn’t replenish it.  She used the warmth but didn’t work towards gathering firewood.  She used the clothing and other items provided but didn’t create anything.

‘At least during the season I was making lace to add to the merchandise of the House,’ Anya thought.  The lace she made could be sold in other markets, the funds helping to purchase things that all of those in the House needed.

‘I could still make lace,’ Anya thought.  Her supplies were down so she had no materials, but she could ask if Marta could secure them for her so that she could contribute as well as take.  ‘I wonder where the supplies are stored anyway,’ Anya thought.

The orb picked up her thoughts and Anya found her consciousness skimming a pathway from her quarters to the room she thought of as the supply room during the season.  The room was the same supply room used during the season even if the main doors were closed.  It seemed as though the supplies weren’t moved.  What was left there at the end of the season remained and was left alone, restocked when the new season began.  Anya frowned.  She knew there were records of the stores in that space. 

‘But perhaps if I took the supplies and then left the finished lace they would know that the items were created from the stored silk thread.’  She thought it might help with the balance of things.

Despite the cushion Anya had beneath her feet, she felt as though the chill was starting to sink into her bones.  Anya pulled her thoughts back into herself and lifted her hands from the orb.  She opened her eyes, seeing only the room around her.  She shivered.  Even with the extra clothing and folded blanket beneath her, she was chilled.  She bent and retrieved the blanket more than eager to return to her quarters and the fire she would soon have kindled there. 

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