The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 146

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 146: She bent and retrieved the blanket more than eager to return to her quarters and the fire she would soon have kindled there.

She bent and retrieved the blanket more than eager to return to her quarters and the fire she would soon have kindled there.  Anya turned away from the orb and began her winding pathway back to her quarters.  The passage was far less dusty than when she started, even though the path was winding.  The rooms she passed through had been restored by the magic and now looked as though they were waiting for their occupants to return.  When Anya looked in on them, she half expected there to be someone waiting there to great her and welcome her into their space.

There was no one though.  It was just her.  For a moment Anya felt impossibly alone.  Despite her complicated feelings for her family, she missed them.  She missed sharing in the daily life and the comradery.  As she walked she tried to remind herself that the time of the comradery she felt passed well before she left.

When she was smaller she felt it with her sisters as they looked after her while they went foraging.  She felt it with her older brothers as they taught her to dive and to gather the sea creatures they could harvest and bring to the town market.  But her older brothers were now settled in apprenticeships, the oldest now reaching journeyman status.  Her older sisters were married with families of their own to care for.  With them gone, she was left in charge of the younger ones and while she was allowed to forage with the older ones it was decided that the younger ones need not do so.  When sent to forage for the table, Anya was sent on her own. The younger ones learned lessons n school and the girls practiced their embroidery, but none of them were sent foraging with Anya.  She went into the woods and walked along the shore line alone.

In a way, she had been lonely before she left.  Anya frowned, the thought somehow a new one.  She continued turning it over as she made her way back to her quarters.  She spent the bulk of her time with the family.  She saw the other girls her age in school, before her lessons were ended, but afterwards she saw them in passing,

‘Like at the well or when running errands,’ she thought. 

Anya entered her rooms and set the blanket to the side.  She bent to light the fire, her thoughts still circling.  After her school work she was with first her older siblings and then taking care of the younger ones.  She knew others in her age group were starting to court and she even knew of a few where marriages had been arranged.  No one had ever paid her court and she hadn’t expected them to.  Her sisters were vibrant and attracted attention like a flower attracts bees.  She never had that sort of attraction.  If anyone had asked her guardians to pay court to her no one ever mentioned it.  She somehow doubted they had. Without a large dowry she wasn’t likely to attract a suitor.  She was told she resembled their mother, a homely woman whereas the others resembled their father and uncle, both considered handsome men.

She was small and dark where they were tall and blonde. There were more similarities between her and her sisters, the tilt to a chin or the shape of the eyes, but the resemblance was only in passing with her sisters taking after their father and the rest of the family.   She was the small dark shadow of the family.

‘And now I live in a shadow world,’ Anya thought.

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