The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 148

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 148: The blanket she used under her feet was still in the chair and despite the fire she wrapped it around herself.

The blanket she used under her feet was still in the chair and despite the fire she wrapped it around herself. Now Anya felt a chill in her bones that had nothing to do with the winter snows piled high outside.  Fire didn’t behave that way.  She knew how fire behaved.  She had fed and tended fires since she was small and first learning how to help cook for the family. 

This was something different.

‘Magic,’ she thought.  Anya looked at her hands as though her fingers would tell her something.  She saw the stone basin with visions of far off places held in the water.  She knew the matron knew all that was going on in her domain, and had even used the orb to replicate some searching of her own.  She knew the others spoke of skills they had in season and she knew she was able to access the hidden spaces but somehow this was different. 

She leaned back in her chair pulling the blanket tight around herself.  She watched the flames dance in the fireplace and tried to figure out why it was different. 

‘Seeing the hidden spaces is my seeing something that the others can’t,’ she thought.  ‘But it isn’t really much different =from spotting small fish in the reed banks of seeing when fruit is ripe ahead of the others.’

That was something she was able to do from the time she was small and one of the reasons why even though some of the foraging expeditions she went on with her siblings weren’t considered entirely proper for a young lady, she was taken.  She knew when the fruits of the fields were ripe before a tree was climbed just from seeing it while she stood on the ground looking up.  She knew which areas of the rivers, the lakes and the shore were more likely to yield the creatures or plants they sought.  Taking her saved time and always netted them a better return.  Her brothers called her a good luck charm and told her she had the eyes of an eagle. 

The seeing of the hidden spaces was something like that and as she thought about it she realized that was why it never bothered her.  ‘And using the orb is just me using a too someone else created,’ she thought.  It isn’t a special skill.’

And then there were the books.  There were lessons that talked of spells, potions incantations and other things used to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.  While she studied them, she hadn’t done more than read through the lessons.  ‘And most of the lessons are in identifying the terms they use and learning which words they use for things I already know.’

That just seemed like another sort of school lesson rather than anything she might term magical.

Anya let her eyes follow the flickering flames.  Fires didn’t flare like that without something extra being done.  She remembered when one of the boys tossed a pitch covered pine cone into the school’s fireplace.  The resulting whoosh and intense flames reminded her of what she just saw.

‘But I didn’t put a pitch covered pine cone in the blaze,’ Anya thought.  As far as she knew she didn’t put anything into the fire.

‘But my anger felt hot,’ Anya thought.  She frowned and shook her head.  Emotions didn’t fuel fires.  ‘I can’t get mad at a log and cause it to burst into flames.’  The idea was laughable.

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