The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 184

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 184: Still, Anya felt sleep pulling at her.

Still, Anya felt sleep pulling at her. Even though there was still daylight, Anya felt exhausted.  ‘Maybe it is because of moving the rings,’ she thought. She yawned large enough to feel her jaw crack.  Whatever it was, Anya knew she wasn’t going to get anything done.  Any attempt at reading would send her to sleep in her chair.

‘Plus I’ll have lessons with Deran in the morning so there will be plenty to read then,’ she thought.  With no access to herbs and other assorted ingredients she suspected that reading would take up many of Deran’s lessons.

Anya set the letter from Marta to the side and stood.  She gathered all of the spare clothing that was sent in the pack with the extra food and set it aside.  ‘After my lesson I’ll wash my clothes and let them dry while I am reading here.’ She decided. 

With the extras set aside, Anya readied the chamber and herself for bed.  By the time she pulled back the covers, her eyelids felt weighted and she was almost stumbling.  Anya slipped under the covers and closed her eyes, sliding into sleep almost instantly. 

To her surprise she found herself once again standing on the leveled stone in front of the carved door.  A field of thick white snow lay across the field below the mountain.  She looked out across the wide expanse.  On the other side of the snow field there was a forest.  There were shadows moving in the trees and Anya knew she didn’t want them to see her.  She backed up and pressed against the door, uncertain if she wanted to enter the temple again or not. 

She backed up until she felt the cool stone against her back.  One minute it was there, rough against her back.  The next, it was gone and Anya was stumbling back, falling into the temple.  She landed hard on her rear end letting out an oof sound as she sat down hard.  For a second the door was an open outline, the door gone and the opening framing a view of snow and sky.  Then the door appeared filling the entry.

An amused laugh sounded behind her.  Anya turned and once again saw only the statue sitting on her dark throne.

“Are you laughing at me?” she asked before she could stop herself.

“Yes,” came the answer.  “I have had many enter my temple before.  Some humbly begging my gifts and others haughtily demanding them.  Some bow while other’s refuse to do so.  I have never had someone enter backside first.”

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to enter at all,” Anya said.  She kept the words low, more a muttering under her breath than anything else. 

The statue laughed again.  “Not sure you wanted to come?”

Anya frowned as she slowly got to her feet and turned to face the statue.  Clearly the statue could hear her even when she talked low.  To the side were still the openings to darkened archways.  Anya looked into them as she moved towards the statue.

“I wouldn’t look too closely,” the statue told her. Anya turned to the statue.

“Why not?”

“You might not like what looks back.”

Anya felt a shiver run down her spine.  “Oh.”

The statue was the same as it was in her last dream.  Carved stone woman seated on a throne.  Anya found herself looking at the woman’s face to see if there was a resemblance to the statues she knew.

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