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 147: ‘And now I live in a shadow world,’ Anya thought.
‘And now I live in a shadow world,’ Anya thought. She shivered and for a moment let herself wallow in the unfairness of the hand she was dealt. Her appearance was like the mother who died when she was a babe and led her to be overlooked by those around her. She wondered if having her mother around to talk to about looking so different from the others would have changed things and then felt worse that she would never know as death stole her mother away. She felt the weight of being overlooked and felt tears prickle her eyes at the feeling of abandonment. She allowed herself to wallow wondering why, even when she found a place that was a haven she still had to hide. The unfairness of it swamped her and Anya felt anger growing in her. She sat by the small fire, staring at the slowly growing flames, a bundle of kindling in her hands. She slowly fed in the small twigs encouraging the fire to grow and warm her even as her own anger seemed to warm her.
From what she learned from spying on Lord Mathis he wasn’t going to give up searching for her. ‘And there are others,’ she thought. Out there in the wide world there were other people out there searching for her or someone like her, either to use their abilities for their own purposes or to use her against Lord Mathis.
“I don’t even know if I have any abilities,” she said. Her voice sounded loud in her own ears, harsh from disuse. She realized that it might never be safe to leave the hidden spaces of the House of the Star. She might be trapped her forever, stealing food from the larger, sneaking books from the library and learning about the world outside where she could never visit. Her only interaction might be using the orb to search out and watch as others lived their lives without fear of Lord Mathis or others tracking them down.
“It’s not fair,” she said. The heat from her hanger seemed to come out in her words and the fire in the grate flared. The flames grew impossibly large, larger than the fuel in the box would support. The twigs she added to the flames were consumed in an instant. The flames flared brightly then as the fuel turned to ash, the fire died suddenly.
Anya gasped and stared at the smoking ash that filled the firebox. The flames were gone, disappearing when there was no more fuel.
‘Did I do that?’ she thought. Her anger was gone s shock filled her. The heat that filled her seemed to evaporate with her anger as though it too had been consumed and was gone. Anya shivered and shook herself. She set the small twigs she still held into position on the hot ash and picked up a bit of fluff to serve as a fire start. The ashes were still hot enough that the fluff ignited and the twigs started to burn. The fire seemed content to grow in a normal fashion and Anya tried to keep from thinking about anything, while she slowly built the fire back up.
When the fire was strong enough to support not only larger sticks but an actual log, Anya placed the log on the fire. Sparks danced when she placed it, crushing smaller kindling . She watched them flitter up the chimney and waited for there to be some sort of reaction. There was none and when it appeared the log was catching rather than putting the fire out, Anya backed away slowly, settling herself in her reading chair.
The blanket she used under her feet was still in the chair and despite the fire she wrapped it around herself.