The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 152

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 152: “A memory?” Anya asked.

“A memory?” Anya asked. “How can I see a memory?”

Deran smiled.  “Because I am a magically created one.  I have all of the personality of my former self along with all of the thoughts and knowledge, but I am not really here.  When we knew the Empire would fall, we knew that by the time someone returned to study the magic a guide might be needed.”  He frowned.  “Admittedly we expected some sort of teachers with the initiated.  There should be someone guiding you.”

“Well that has been a bit problematic,” Anya said. 

“Oh,” Deran said.  “Perhaps you had best explain?”

Anya bit her lip as she thought about it.  She didn’t know Deran but he also didn’t seem to be fully real.  If she asked her self if she thought he would run off and tell Lord Mathis about her, the answer was no.  She also didn’t think he was in league with the matron.  She looked at him and didn’t know if she trusted him because he was just a memory or if she just wanted to trust someone and he was here. 

“It is a bit complicated,” she said deciding to trust him.

“Why don’t you start at the beginning,” he said.  “I know the House of the Star had a reputation for finding women positions at least it did in my day, perhaps you will tell me how you came to join them.”

“I didn’t intend to,” Anya said.  “I didn’t even know who they were. I was just trying to escape.  There was a man who saw my mark.” Anya paused.

The man nodded.  Deran rolled up his sleeve and displayed a crescent shaped birth mark on his arm.  It was in the exact same place as Anya’s own mark. “All born to the magic of the moon have it,” he told her.  “It is well known throughout the lands.”

“Well it wasn’t where I was from,” Anya said.  “No one knew what it was there.”

“Have we grown so few that none recognized it, or are you from such a plae where mages have never come?”

“Well Tyrin isn’t that large,” Anya said.

“Tyrin?” he said.  “I’ve never heard of it. Is it in the Empire?”

“On the map it looks as though it is in the area where the Festian Empire was and there are some ruins outside of town that I think might be from that time,” Anya said.

Deran stared at her.  “Ruins,” He blinked.  “Of course.  We can look at the map later.  For now, no one but this Lord Mathis knew what the mark meant?”

“Yes, he was in town looking for people to work on one of the grand estates and I was sent.  Except that I didn’t go with the rest of them.”  Anya told him the tale of being drugged and taken to the tower and locked inside, of being left with a small amount of food as Lord Mathis tried to see if the magic would flare and sustain her or if she would die like the others he imprisoned.

As she spoke, Anya saw Deran’s face grow hard, his lips thin with anger.  Her story faltered.

“That is unacceptable,” he declared.  Anya felt a release as she told him.  While Marta knew some of the story, they had not actually spoken about it.  She felt a tension inside ease as the story was told.  It was even a relief to see Deran’s anger.

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