Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Planted Seedling
Time Setting: 2017
Genre: Life
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000
Timespan: July 1–December 26
Locations: Rosemary and Duchess, Alberta
Main Characters: Brandt Remington, Lark Szekely
Background Information:
Brandt is one of a total of twelve children, having two older full sisters, three younger half-sisters on his mother's side, a younger half-brother and five younger half-sisters on his father's side, and as the eldest son is heir to one of the biggest farms in the area.
His grandfather began the farm with a quarter section when his father was just born, and when it was handed over to his father it had expanded to one full section owned and two rented with a good $100,000 in annual revenue; his father subsequently expanded the farm to own six full sections and rent a further twelve, along with making no less than $1 million in annual revenue.
Something considered by many to be especially impressive about the expansion and his father's income is that none of the farm's assets were lost and there wasn't even that much fighting about the money when Brandt's parents' marriage fell to pieces when he was three.
People had been expecting — especially since his father's participation in an affair precipitated the collapse — that his mother would take his father to the cleaners, but nothing of the kind took place; in fact, his father managed to maintain majority custody of Brandt and his sisters throughout the whole affair, and to this day Brandt, for one, has little connection with his mother.
Since then his father had his only other son with a short-lived girlfriend, and then married a woman twenty one years his junior — scandalising many including his parents — and has had five daughters with her.
Brandt quite enjoys the agricultural life and has just recently graduated agricultural college, where he took courses to help him in farm management — not that his father hasn't been teaching him — when he takes over what is already a multi-million dollar farm, a takeover which will likely happen in the next nine to fourteen years.
Until then, Brandt continues to work on the farm and live a life that seems in a lot of ways almost exactly like the sort of life which is portrayed in many a country song.

Lark also happens to be the youngest of three children, but her two older sisters — and one brother in law — are all she has for siblings, mostly because her mother was killed in a car accident when she was little more than a year old.
As a result, Lark and her sisters were raised in a good part by her grandparents, who happen to be the pastor of the local Baptist church and his wife while her father worked to provide for them.
Thus it seems unsurprising to most of the intimate family that Lark and her sisters have rather old-fashioned values, although of all of them Lark seems the most set in her ways, intent upon getting married, staying at home to raise her children, and living on a farm.
Her oldest sister, who is married, lives in a bit bigger of a town than Rosemary where her husband has an agriculturally-related job, but is not actually a farmer; not to mention they don't even live on an acreage, and even that is not what Lark has in mind, although many are trying to convince her that will more likely be what she's going to get.
And it's especially more likely because of the fact that, although there is a good number of handsome young farm boys in attendance at the church, Lark has showed no romantic interest in any of them — nor they in her — and being as she doesn't really travel all that much, there's not much likelihood she's going to meet anyone else.
Her family is concerned that she's set some unrealistic expectations and are trying to convince her to face realities she's not really willing to, while her best friend is trying to convince her to go to a Bible School, being as lots of Bible School attendees end up meeting someone, falling in love, and getting married, but Lark has no real interest in going there — especially being as she's learned a lot of Biblical knowledge already from her grandfather.
Despite the fact that she's unwilling to travel to Bible School and harbours no romantic feelings for any of the local farm boys, Lark is not entirely panicked, as she's only been out of high school for a year and is certain that everything will fall together in time. Not that she isn't impatient, though, and hoping that it all falls together so that she's married within the next two years or so.

Szekely: zehklee

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Everliving: Day 20

Word Total: 120,022

Year to Date: 120,022

Summary of Events:
Quique got bored of watching everyone look for water in the Fountain, which was obviously dry, so he went snooping around elsewhere and found a box which contained a journal written by the explorer who'd found the Fountain, and began to read it to everyone. Bethania finished copying out the ultimatum for her father before Reynaldo prepared to leave again and Bethania despaired of having to leave Ñapesa if the ultimatum failed. After enjoying a supper break, Quique continued reading the journal and they discovered that the Fountain of Youth had been dry for nearly sixty three years . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"To say the mood over the group was sombre, Quique felt, as he surveyed the group before reading ahead to prepare himself, was an understatement of epic proportions.
"I feel now great regret and foolishness that I wasted the water, and did not realise that what I had discovered, as much as it was a treasure, was a finite treasure, which can no longer be replenished," Quique read on. "It is greatly unfortunate that I can no longer replenish the Fountain, nor be replenished by it, but I cannot undo what has been done, however, I have decided, being as the Fountain can no longer have the potential of being utilised for my benefit, much less the potential benefit of my king, that this book shall be put somewhere, near the Fountain, where it shall remain for all the length of days until it should be that someone shall come along and read these tales and learn of the greatness which once was here, and may possibly in time come to find water here, if such is possible, or, if not, then honour this as a monument to the greatness we could have achieved."
Quique looked up to see some of the men had removed their hats and helmets, and some even looked to be in tears.
"Signed, the Honourable Duke Alberto Carlos Ricardo Estefan Luis Marco Juan Montoya Reyes de Nelo y Torepu," Quique finished.
He looked up again and saw most of the men getting up, making ready to depart and go back to their kings with the news that the Fountain of Youth contained no water, and had not contained any for the better part of a century.
"There is nothing more?" the Ñapesan duke asked, looking pointedly at Fulgencio and not Quique.
Quique flipped the page.
"There is!" Fulgencio exclaimed.
Everyone froze and looked in Quique's direction intently.
Quique looked over the text. It was in a different hand, but he read it anyways.
"To whomever should find this book," he read. "Take heart, for there is hope. Yea, the Fountain of Youth, finite treasure though it was, is spent, and there is nothing more to be found in it, there is another Fountain, a greater Fountain."
Those who weren't standing quickly scrambled to their feet, ready to run to the fountain the writer was speaking of as soon as Quique gave its location.
"This fountain is the Fountain of Life, which shall give life everlasting to all who drink of it, as opposed to the waters of the Fountain of Youth, which only provided the opportunity to be everliving," Quique read. "To find this Fountain, it is that one shall need to undertake a journey to El Asir–"
Shouts and running feet cut Quique off and he watched in silence as everyone who was on foot ran for the ships at once, those who had been on horseback swinging into their saddles and spurring their horses on at top speed."

Alberto: ahlbehrtoe
Carlos: carlohs
Ricardo: reecardoh
Estefan: ehstehfahn
Luis: looee
Marco: mahrkoh
Juan: wahn
Montoya: mohntoyah
Reyes: reyez
Nelo: nehloh
Y: ee
Torepu: tohrehpu
Fulgencio: fullgehnseeoh
Yea: yay
El Asir: ehl ahseer

Next post will be on January 31.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Everliving: Day 19

Word Count: 114,024

Summary of Events:
Reynaldo was pressured by the parliament to stop stalling and go get Bethania already and he eventually conceded to do so. Quique and the pirates went back to the fountain they'd found the day before and started looking for water; everyone else who'd been following them joined them and it was nearly thought they'd found it, but they didn't, while Quique wondered if it really was the Fountain of Youth as they were hoping, or not. Bethania was startled by the appearance of her cat before Reynaldo came into the room and they got talking about the current situation before Reynaldo got the idea of issuing her father an ultimatum . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""What do you mean an ultimatum?" Bethania asked.
"Basically, we tell him that he must give you these answers before you will come back to him or in any way strive to behave in a much more respectable manner than you have previously," Reynaldo replied. "That would force his hand and get him to realise that he may not have lost all that he thinks he's lost but that he needs to do things so as to keep them from truly being lost."
"Do you think it will work?" Bethania asked.
"Being as he won't listen to me, it's about the only chance we have," Reynaldo replied.
"He won't even listen to you?" Bethania asked.
"No," Reynaldo replied. "I have never been so vexed by him as this, but he won't listen to me."
"But if he's never listened to me before, why should he listen to me now either?" Bethania asked.
"Because he loves you, and he realises that he could lose a lot more than his control of you," Reynaldo replied. "He could lose you entirely because you won't ever come back to him."
Bethania nodded. She didn't want to go back if she was just going to run headlong into the same obstinacy she'd previously encountered.
"And, even if he doesn't listen, is there really anything for you, or even I, to lose that we haven't somewhat lost already?" Reynaldo asked.
"I don't know," Bethania replied.
"You've lost your father, you've lost your independence, you've lost your respect," Reynaldo said. "You're seen as unpredictable, almost the sort of terror most people expect much younger children to be, which means that any respect of you which was out there is almost entirely eroded, at least privately, if not publicly. About the only thing you have left to lose is any stake you might have in the throne, not, really, that you would even have that much, though."
Bethania nodded.
"We might as well try and see if we can't force his hand and make things right, because that's the only way we're going to get anything out of him," Reynaldo said. "And this all rests on him. Aside from this ultimatum, there really is nothing else that can be done by you that is any less futile than what has already been done."
Bethania nodded again.
"The resolution of these problems lies completely in your father's hands," Reynaldo said. "He refuses to see it, however, and thus we must do this to waken him to the fact that he needs to take action, no one else can. No one else can make this right. It all rests on him, and until he does what he needs to do then nothing will be done, which will not only frustrate him, but it will frustrate parliament, it will frustrate you, me, Maristela, Rafael, and anyone else who knows anything else about the situation."
"Yes," Bethania said quietly."

Monday, January 23, 2017

Everliving: Day 18

Word Count: 108,014

Summary of Events:
Quique and the pirates, having all escaped from the sinkhole surprisingly unscathed, continued on their way through the jungle. Reynaldo found a cat hiding behind his bookcase before being called on by Lisandro's father Roberto and arguing with him about Lisandro's success and Bethania's affections. Quique was looking for firewood when he got tangled in vines, but freed himself and then found a bay full of ships, including that of Lisandro, which he snuck aboard so as to learn where about they were at along the coast, before being caught by Lisandro . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Who is that?" the man asked.
The Duke looked at Quique, and then back at the man. "Tell me."
"I don't know who he is," the man said. "And I know everyone on this ship."
"You're a conniving fraud then," the Duke said.
"No," Quique replied. "I'm merely spying."
"Gorpulatese rat," the Duke spat.
"No," Quique said. "I am not Gorpulatese."
"You're not one of us," the man said. "And you're not anyone else."
"I am Ñapesan," Quique replied.
"We're the only Ñapesans here," the Duke spat.
"I'm with them," Quique said, pointing at the Tempest.
The Duke shouted and threw Quique over the rail before he could react. Quique quickly recovered himself and managed to start swimming for shore while gunshots rang out behind him and water splashed around him.
Scrambling to his feet, Quique ran in to the trees as quickly as he could. He didn't stop running. He had a feeling he was considered a traitor for associating with pirates and hoped that the Duke wouldn't come after him.
Tripping over a root again, Quique sprawled out on the ground this time, his ribs aching almost immediately.
He got to his feet to keep running, but the sight before him stopped him. It looked like another natural spring, except that it was bone dry. He'd never seen anything like it, and he wasn't sure what to make of it.
Not to mention, it was slightly different from the other springs, as the water appeared to have come from a fairly high place, and flowed for so long as to wear a divot in the rock it'd flowed over, from where it would've filled a lower basin, which was now somewhat full of dirt, dead leaves, and other debris.
A rather fat tree arced slightly over the spring, it appeared to have grown through the stones which were neatly piled to form the lower basin's sides.
Quique went over to the tree and climbed up it to look at the upper basin-like place which was above his head, meaning it was fairly high up, as he was taller than most people he knew.
The upper basin was dry as well, and Quique noted that there was a hole in the large rock which was the upper basin, which made it look a lot like the other springs they'd found, except for the part where it was a dry basin.
Climbing down, Quique turned around to find Captain Sly and several other men gathered around, looking at him.
"Is this what you were shouting about?" Captain Sly asked.
"No," Quique replied. "I only just found it. I was shouting because I was caught in vines, but I got out, and I found this."
"What is it?" Captain Sly asked.
"A dry spring," Quique replied.
"I wouldn't call it a dry spring," Carran said. "I'd call it a dry fountain.""

Gorpulatese: gohrpewlahteeze

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Everliving: Day 17

Word Count: 102,014

Summary of Events:
Quique and the pirates came on another spring and all the others following them came to claim it; their rushing and the banners spooked Quique's horse, who ran off on him before being stopped by Duke Edvin of Gevires, whom he talked to a bit. Reynaldo tried vainly again to reason with King Leopold, who seemed to be all the more obstinate and Reynaldo found himself running quite low on patience. Quique and Ripley were assigned to guard the pirate camp overnight against the threat of an attack by Melville and got to talking about whether the Fountain of Youth even existed or not . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""Because based on what I read the only reason anyone think that there may have ever been a Fountain of Youth found by the explorer attributed to finding it is because he asked for a drink with his dying words," Quique replied.
"Obviously a specific drink if they came up with that whole thing," Ripley said.
"I didn't really find anything on that in what I read, but yeah, I guess," Quique said.
"So you think we might make it all the way back to San Iago without finding anything at all, though," Ripley said.
"More likely than actually finding something," Quique replied.
Ripley shifted his jaw. "Then what's the point?"
"I don't know," Quique replied. "Hope?"
"I guess," Ripley said.
"Or the princess," Quique said.
"Princess?" Ripley asked.
"Don't you remember the first time, when all those men rushed in to claim the swamp?" Quique asked. "You were there telling them off, and I was listening through the trees and heard. Not to mention I knew beforehand in San Iago."
"Remind me," Ripley said.
"Some of the men, such as the one from Ñapesa, want to find the Fountain of Youth so as to win the hand of the Princess of Ñapesa," Quique said. "Which is being offered to whomever brings the King of Ñapesa a drink from the Fountain."
"Hm," Ripley said. "Do you think Captain Sly might go hunt her down if he finds the Fountain?"
"Probably not," Quique said. "Although, even if he did, he'd probably be refused."
"Being as he's Dalgenn, and Dalgenn and Ñapesa don't get along well at all," Ripley agreed.
Quique nodded.
"Is there any particular reason why the King of Ñapesa's handing out his daughter for a drink from the Fountain?" Ripley asked.
"I don't know everything," Quique replied.
"True," Ripley said.
Quique startled at the sound of falling trees. "What was that?"
"What?" Ripley asked. "I didn't hear it."
More trees thudded.
"That," Quique said. "Trees are falling down."
"There aren't those elephant things in Falidor, are there?" Ripley asked. "I haven't heard of them in the Utter West. They're apparently in the Lower Colonies and the Utter East."
"No, I don't think they're around here," Quique said, glancing around uncertainly.
"Is it some kind of giant beast then?" Ripley asked, also looking around furtively.
"I don't know," Quique replied. "And I can't say that I want to find out either."
Quique rose to his feet as the collapsing noises got closer. He wanted to run, but he had no idea where would be best to run to.
"Help!" Ripley cried. "That tree just fell into a hole!"
"The ground's giving out!" Quique cried. "It's a sinkhole! We need to get everybody up!"
He started running toward the tents, a shout sounded behind him and he turned to see Ripley was gone, and so was the fire. Quique froze in place for a moment as more land collapsed, like a giant, invisible monster coming toward him."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Everliving: Day 16

Word Count: 96,020

Summary of Events: 
Reynaldo was summoned to visit King Leopoldo, who was despairing, and worked to convince him that he could make things right with Bethania, but King Leopoldo fell asleep partway through their argument. Quique and the pirates got ready for another day of travelling and picked up some men from the ship, who told that Wardell and Gifford were plotting to rebel. Bethania, alone at a different palace, was visited by Duke Ferdinand, the palace's guardian, who quickly learned of her malcontent . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""What then be your advice to me?" Bethania asked.
"This is a time for celebration, your majesty," Duke Ferdinand replied. "A time in which families gather together and not only celebrate the festivals of the season, but also celebrate their love for one another. And yet here you are, separated from your family, thus my advice to you is that you should return home, and not make this season one of despairing and sadness."
"There is no way we can have happiness," Bethania said. "Not with their obstinacy."
"Are you any less obstinate than they?" Duke Ferdinand challenged.
"No," Bethania replied. "We are all equally obstinate. However, I am willing to lower my walls of obstinacy if they are, and I have done all my best efforts to convince them to listen to me, but they will not hear me."
Duke Ferdinand sighed. "And are you certain that you've listened to them?"
"I can't help but listen to them!" Bethania exclaimed. "They shout at me, they label me with false accusations, they subject me to be treated like an animal at auction, they subject me to ridiculous and unnecessary pageantry for the pleasing of the shallow nobility."
Duke Ferdinand looked at her soberly.
Bethania felt a twinge at her jab about shallow nobility, but she had no idea what to do to take it back.
"I'm sorry," Bethania said quietly.
"No, I agree with you, there are some particularly shallow nobility," Duke Ferdinand said. "So long as you don't think I'm one of them I'm not affronted."
Bethania sighed and looked at him. "I've heard enough from them to last me a lifetime."
"And they know you've heard them?" he asked.
"How could they not?" Bethania asked. "I've railed and argued against them for months, even though they haven't had the ears to hear me. They know I'm unhappy, but they won't believe me, and they won't listen to me to make things right."
Duke Ferdinand gathered his mouth. "Is there any way that I can help?"
"Make things right with them?" Bethania asked.
"That or otherwise," Duke Ferdinand replied.
"I think I would appreciate it if you would come by regularly," Bethania replied. "I have a feeling that I will need the companionship of someone who will talk to me as a more relative equal than the staff."
Duke Ferdinand nodded.
"In regards to making things right," Bethania said. "I know not. If you should like, I will not be against your speaking to Reynaldo to learn. He, I believe, has a more keen insight as to what could and should be done."
Duke Ferdinand nodded again. "I shall see what I can do, your majesty."
Bethania nodded. "Many thanks.""

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Everliving: Day 15

Word Count: 90,016

Summary of Events:
Quique and the pirates were getting set to head out when Captain Sly ended up wrenching his knee due to his horse's saddle sliding out of place on him. Later on the pirates found a natural spring and the other men with flags came out to claim it; in jest, one of Captain Sly's men joined them with one of Captain Sly's flags. Bethania and her family attended Mass, after which Reynaldo gave her a present that sparked an argument over his feelings for her with Maristela before her father accused her of making trouble and she walked out on them. Quique had gotten up to relieve himself and saw one of his mates sitting awake; they talked for a few minutes before Melville and his crew attacked them and Quique got into a duel with one of Melville's best men, who ended up losing his sword's blade in an attempted stabbing of Quique, but didn't believe he had . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Seeing nothing for himself, Delbert furrowed his brow and looked down to see that Quique was right: he had no blade.
A savage roar of fury burst from his mouth and he threw his hilt to the side before seizing a sword from one of his own comrades who was mid-duel with one of Captain Sly's men and promptly killed as a result.
Quique didn't have time to watch the grisly demise — for which he was grateful — as Delbert quickly and viciously swung at him with the new blade.
Skillfully swinging his own blade, Quique defended against Delbert once again before surging forward quickly and viciously on a ruthless offensive that carried them into the jungle around the clearing they'd been doing battle in.
Delbert had his eyes wide as Quique pushed him further and further back into the jungle unrelentingly. Quique pressed on further and harder, hoping a sinkhole would open up and Delbert would fall in.
With a cry, his blade going flying, Delbert fell onto his back and looked up at Quique, his eyes wide with fright, his body shaking, absolutely petrified that he was going to be decapitated.
Sighing, Quique straightened, glancing up to see Delbert's stolen sword embedded in a tree beyond reach. He then looked down and started to turn away.
"You aren't going to kill me?" Delbert panted.
"No," Quique replied. "Unlike the men with whom I am associated, I do not believe in the shedding of blood unnecessarily, and most of the time is unnecessarily."
"You're a coward," Delbert said.
"I am not," Quique replied.
"Only cowards don't kill," Delbert said.
"Only dishonourable men do," Quique replied.
"If you don't kill me I'll find a blade and make you bleed until you're dead," Delbert said. "Dying like the stinking piece of horseflesh you are."
"You think you can?" Quique challenged.
"I do," Delbert replied, sitting up.
Quique looked down at Delbert. He spied a rock of good size close by. Bending down, he grabbed it and threw it at Delbert's foot, leading to a bellow of rage while he dashed back through the trees toward the clearing.
He saw a man standing in line with his trajectory ahead, aiming a musket. He kept running anyways. Suddenly there was a flash of powder and the man collapsed, his gun obviously having exploded in his face.
"Kill that piece of horseflesh!" he heard Delbert bellow from behind him.
Jumping over the man whose gun had just failed him, Quique intended to make for where one of his comrades was outnumbered, but a hand seized about his ankle and he hit the ground face-first, and very hard.
His ribs screamed in pain and protest at the landing while he struggled agains the frighteningly strong hold of the wounded man.
Refusing to look back he desperately struggled while a demented laugh reached his ears. "I'll finish you, stinking piece of horseflesh.""

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Everliving: Day 14

Word Count: 84,041

Summary of Events:
Quique and the pirates stopped to camp for the night and while they were fishing for their dinner their campsite was raided, which they noticed by one of the tents being set alight; Captain Sly suspected it was his rival Melville. Bethania was visited by Maristela and baffled as her sister tried to persuade her to admit that she was in love with Reynaldo as Maristela seemed convinced she was. Quique was woken in the night by and odd sound and crept out of his tent to watch two panthers fight over some leftover fish before one noticed him; he avoided too severe of injury, mainly thanks to a small sinkhole developing. Bethania wanted to be able to catch Reynaldo to talk to him after the day's parliamentary session ended, but a different duke incited her to enter the parliamentary chamber and she listened to the discussion as it quickly escalated to chants for answers from her father . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Firing his pen into his inkwell, he shot to his feet, taking up the paper he'd just been writing on.
"Gentlemen!" he called. "Cease your chanting and take your seats!"
They all quietened again and sat down. Reynaldo turned in his small booth to face most of them.
"I, as you, seek answers from our king, answers to the eccentric, idiosyncratic, and generally befuddling behaviours he has been exhibiting since the day he decided on his plan to force marriage upon our elder princess," Reynaldo said, nodding to Bethania when he mentioned her. "I also appreciate the support which you have given to me, desiring that I remain here, as opposed to being disgraced. I feel it is a testament that I show the character I should like to, despite the difficulties of doing so."
Bethania glanced toward the double doors at the slight movement she'd seen out the corner of her eye. Roberto had reentered.
"I cannot say that I have all of the answers, much less any of them, but I can say that I have some insights," Reynaldo continued. "Unfortunately I cannot entirely make sense of them, especially they which are in concern of our king. I know my own motivations, and those of our princess, and I hope that consideration and discussion of these can lead to better understanding amongst us all."
Bethania had been watching Roberto's progress as he'd moved across the room. His gaze had been on Reynaldo the entire time, but now he was gazing down at her savagely.
"Your majesty, if you would kindly vacate his seat," Reynaldo said.
Bethania rose sharply and stepped aside. Roberto sat down, his eyelids lowered in a glare toward her, his jaw set.
"Meddlesome wretch," he muttered.
Bethania opened her mouth and eyes wide, utterly scandalised. She heard a shout, but that was all as she reared back her hand and slapped Roberto across the face in her fury.
"And you think I'm going to mary that dramatic, narcissistic, fanciful, effeminate, possessive, selfish, immature brat that you call a son?!" she shrieked. "I hope he died in the Western Ocean!"
"Your majesty," Reynaldo said through his teeth, suddenly at her side, his hand firmly about her arm.
"He called me a meddlesome wretch," Bethania said. "I am not going to let myself be so insulted without doing something about it."
Reynaldo looked between the two of them.
"I said nothing of the kind," Roberto said. "The little . . . pet simply had an outburst."
"I am nobody's pet," Bethania spat through her teeth.
Reynaldo sighed. "I believe no word from your mouth," he said toward Roberto. "And I told you to be quiet. Go sit in my seat."
He released her arm and Bethania did as she was told. She noticed most of the men rose slightly and readjusted their seats when she sat down. Seated again, she turned her gaze toward Roberto, whom Reynaldo had left behind, and was glaring at her smugly."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Everliving: Day 13

Word Count: 78,015

Summary of Events:
Bethania was bored and wanted to leave her room when her handmaiden told her not to; she did anyways and discovered that her father was in the midst of disgracing Reynaldo, so she threatened to throw herself over the railing, and then accidentally fell, but was caught. Quique and the pirates woke up due to ants biting them and so decided to get an early start; the horses hampered the start, however, by reacting negatively when they, too, started to get bit by the ants which were still in the equipment that'd been packed up, which led to one man getting run over and having his leg broken when a horse got away. Awhile after her near-death Reynaldo came in to talk to Bethania and explained her father's motivations behind everything, as well as his own . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"" I knew I had done the wrong thing the moment I stepped into the dining room with you in my arms," Reynaldo said. "But there was no turning back. They wouldn't unsee what they'd seen. I didn't think of what scandal would be caused until that instant. I was thinking only of how my daughter had chafed, and how people were growing uncertain about your absence at the dining table."
Bethania opened her mouth to speak.
"No, your majesty, I take full blame for the beginning of this scandal," Reynaldo said, holding up a hand to silence her. "And I was willing to submit to the trial, only until I was told that you also were being tried. I tried to get them to stop because of the fact that you knew nothing, and I feared that you would react in upset to their probing, but it was to no avail."
"Why was I not told?" Bethania asked.
"Your father figured you would be less of a vexation if you knew less," Reynaldo replied. "Considering your mother could get whipped up into a passionate frenzy for any cause in extremely short order, and you are much akin to her."
"So instead he was going to subject me to a trial?" Bethania asked.
"For the sake of proving to the people that we both are innocent," Reynaldo replied.
"I am still nothing more than a pawn," Bethania said.
Reynaldo sighed and looked at her sympathetically. He looked like he wanted to say something, but yet he said nothing.
"But I must stay, for Maristela, and for Rafael," Bethania said.
"Your father knows that your mother was happiest as his wife," Reynaldo said. "And he feels you would be happy the same way, but I do not know why he must handle you with such roughshod manner. I feel very much that he is actually afraid of you."
"I am not surprised," Bethania said.
"His fear of you is making him into a fool, though," Reynaldo said.
"Indeed," Bethania agreed.
"Your majesty," Reynaldo said warningly. "You must not inflate yourself in self-justification. Your actions against him only confirm his fears of you, and add to them. They only reinforce his idea that you are as easy to control as a thunderstorm."
"If he wouldn't lie to me!" Bethania snapped.
"I know," Reynaldo said.
Bethania dropped her back against her chair again. "He is more a vexation to me than I am to he!"
Reynaldo sighed. "I am not at all surprised."
Bethania looked at him.
"I can see both of you, sides of each of you that you do not show each other," Reynaldo said. "And I cannot help but be vexed by both of you, but yet I cannot bring the two of you together to make things right either."
"Why not?" Bethania asked.
"You both harbour so much negativity toward each other," Reynaldo said. "You harbour resentment toward him, and he is afraid of you."
"So then what shall we do?" Bethania asked.
"I really haven't the faintest idea," Reynaldo replied. "I wish I did.""

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Everliving: Day 12

Word Count: 72,008

Summary of Events:
Captain Sly and a few men went to investigate what turned out to be a sinkhole and were captured by natives; Quique came to their defence and had his ribs broken before the remaining pirates drove off the natives and saved everyone. Bethania had a meltdown at the trial and ended up talking with a young nobleman who tried to settle her down, although she felt things were rather hopeless. Captain Sly took over leadership of the group due to Quique's injury and was leading another expedition to examine a clearing . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"There was a sudden cry and then a splash and some shouting. Suddenly there then came the sound of war-cries from all sides and Quique saw bright colours flying from several different sides, all heading toward the clearing.
Shouts in several different languages sounded and Quique saw there were other men with coloured banners standing in the trees.
"That was no healthful water!" came a sputtering shout.
"What are all these hooligans doing here?!" Captain Sly demanded.
"I claim this land for Gorpulat!" someone shouted.
"I claim it for Donpal'!" came another.
"I claim it for Usisar!" "I claim it for Gevires!" "I claim it for Randmak!" "I claim it for Ñapesa!" "I claim it for Dalgenn!" "I claim it for Cenfar!"
"What's going on?" Quique asked.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Carran replied.
"This is a swamp!" someone from the crew shouted, it sounded like Ripley. "Why would all your silly nations want a swamp?!"
"What are you all doing here?!" Captain Sly demanded.
A cacophony of explanations sounded.
"One at a time you bloody idiots!" Captain Sly shouted. "Starting with this squash!"
"My master seeks the Fountain of youth to win the hand of the princess," came a reply.
"As does mine!" two others cried.
"And you?" Captain Sly asked.
"My master seeks the Fountain of Youth to use its waters in aid of was against its enemies," came a reply.
"As does mine!" several others shouted.
"What about you?" Captain Sly asked.
"My master seeks the Fountain of Youth so as to benefit himself and make a handsome profit off of selling its beneficial waters to others," came a reply.
"Is there anyone who isn't looking for the Fountain of Youth?" Captain Sly asked.
No answers sounded.
"So why are you geese all following us then?" Captain Sly demanded.
"We aren't," came several answers.
"You sure seem like you are," Captain Sly said. "Get on with you all then if you're not following us!"
"Are you sure it's not healthful water?" someone asked.
"I would rather eat the refuse of a horse than drink this water!" one of the crewmen shouted. "I've never tasted vileness its equal!"
"Are your aches and pains healed?" another pressed.
"I told you!" Ripley shouted. "This is a swamp! Besides! Think of it! If the Fountain of Youth's waters have a special quality over and above all waters which we know of otherwise, would it be located in a mud-pit where all of its waters would seep into the ground around it and be lost to our benefit? No! It would be in some sort of a stone pool from which it cannot seep out! It would be more isolated than this! Go away!""

Gorpulat: gorepewlaht
Donpal': dawnpahl
Usisar: youseesahr
Gevires: gehveerez
Randmak: rahndmack
Dalgenn: dahlgehn
Cenfar: sehnfahr

Friday, January 13, 2017

Everliving: Day 11

Word Count: 66,026

Summary of Events:
Bethania was summoned to her father and told that people believed that she and Reynaldo were in love and he was going to make them stand trial to determine whether they were or not. Quique and the pirates were getting ready to set out for the day when men from San Iago started chasing them to get the horses back; they hid in the jungle and started looking around for the Fountain of Youth. Bethania went into the Royal Archives to look into information on Reynaldo and see if she couldn't confirm her belief that Reynaldo was not in love with her, as she wasn't in love with him . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"The paper on the top was a death certificate for Sofía Nadia Gabriela Elena Teresa Feliciana Alejandra Ramirez Barán, stating that she had died the same year as Bethania's own mother, but the cause of death was stated as being illness.
Bethania shifted her jaw. Reynaldo had been a widower for fifteen years, and yet he hadn't remarried.
She went through the papers behind, including a birth certificate, by whose year given Bethania was able to figure out Sofía would've been thirty seven, if she were still alive, but being as she'd died fifteen years previously, she'd only been twenty two.
There was also the marriage certificate for her and Reynaldo's wedding, which had taken place when she was eighteen. They'd thus been married for only four years. Bethania felt rather sad. Reynaldo had gotten married at the age of twenty four and been widowed by the time he was thirty.
Other than that, there wasn't really that much information as far as Bethania was concerned, so she moved onto the next bundle, which contained information on Reynaldo and Sofía's eldest child, a daughter they'd named Isabella. She'd been born hardly a year after they'd been married and lived for five years, outliving her mother by only two. The cause of death was listed as a fall.
Bethania felt a twist within herself. Reynaldo had saved her from a fall that would've assuredly killed her, and yet one of his children had died in a fall. No wonder he'd fussed over her so. She wondered how he had managed to disguise his panic from her, surely he had to have been panicked if he'd lost a child in a similar way.
She moved onto the next bundle. It was information regarding a son, who'd been named Emilio and had been born less than a year after Isabella. He'd died of an illness when he'd been a year old.
Closing that bundle, Bethania moved onto the next bundle, which had information regarding the youngest child Reynaldo and Sofía could've had. The child was a daughter, named Nadia, who had lived twelve years, having been born less than a year after her brother, and within a year of her mother's passing.
Nadia's cause of death was an illness pertaining to her disability. Bethania furrowed her brow and flipped through the remainder of the bundle. There was a paper dating from Nadia's seventh year which registered her as disabled, and said that the disability was an inability to walk caused by a horse-related accident.
So that was how and why Reynaldo was so comfortable with carrying her about. He'd carried his own daughter for about five years before she'd gotten sick and died. Bethania felt so terrible for him, and she felt that the facts surrounding his daughters and their demises solidified the fact that he'd helped her out of a much more paternal interest than a romantic interest."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Everliving: Day 10

Word Count: 60,077

Summary of Events:
Bethania was taken out to the stables to visit and ride her mare by Reynaldo. Quique and the pirates arrived at San Iago, the Ñapesan city on Falidor, and he was sent inside to spy out where they could find horses; he learned that there was a Ñapesan duke also out to find the Fountain of Youth. Bethania was taken to the dinner table by Reynaldo and felt embarrassed about it, so she asked him not to do it again. Under the cover of darkness Quique led the pirates into San Iago to steal some horses he'd found and escape out the city to the south . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"The horses were starting to get stirred up, Quique noticed, as he went to catch another one, which became a little bit more difficult of an exercise. Thankfully he was able to catch a good number of horses still and they soon had a dozen and a half tied to the fence rather restlessly.
Quique then went among the horses and got everyone back because they had enough horses. Captain Sly was quite frustrated that he'd been unable to catch a horse, but Quique soothed him and then got to work helping the men who'd been tasked with tacking up the horses — as they hadn't had the faintest idea how to make heads or tails out of a saddle.
Once all the horses were tacked according to their usage — which took awhile with some of them — Quique had them all tied together in a long chain and took the lead of it, instructing everyone to follow along somewhat close to the side and make sure no horses came untied or anything.
In a long procession that, unfortunately, wasn't quiet, because of the horses' hooves ringing off of the cobblestoned roads, they wound toward the southern exit Quique had found.
"Who goes there?!" came another shout.
"Travellers," Quique replied.
"What are travellers going to do out on a beach out at night?" the questioner demanded.
"Make camp," Quique replied.
"There are hotels in the city," the questioner replied. "And if not, anyone will be willing to take you in."
"Please, we are to meet our ship on the coast early in the morning, it would be much easier if we were to camp on the shore," Quique replied.
"Does your ship not lay in the harbour?" the questioner demanded.
"There is no space in the harbour," Quique replied.
There was a long silence. Quique's heart pounded in his ears.
"What's going on?" Captain Sly hissed.
"They're not letting us leave," Quique replied.
"Make them," Captain Sly hissed.
"I'm trying," Quique replied.
He heard sounds like the gate opening and excitement leapt within him.
"Be on your way then," the questioner called.
Quique sagged with relief and started the horses forward before the questioner could change his mind."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everliving: Day 9

Word Count: 54,015

Summary of Events:
Quique and the rest of Captain Sly's crew had dinner at a restaurant in the town they'd found on the Falidor coast before Quique got wiled away by an attractive woman. Bethania was sitting in the conservatory because it was raining and watching Rafael play with her cat and his, who weren't getting along due to their opposing genders, which frustrated Rafael, prompting him to throw Bethania's cat away and then run; Bethania chased after him and sprained her ankle. Quique and Captain Sly's crew were unpleasantly roused by Captain Sly's greatest rival, Captain Melville, who wanted to know what they were up to and sent two of his men chasing Quique to find out. Bethania finally got Rafael to come talk to her and they made up about the cat issue. Quique was back at the ship setting up camp on the shore for the ground crew . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"They'd decided it would be a good idea to have the ship follow along the coast as they went about their searching, that way they wouldn't lose the ship, and they could be defended by her cannons should they be attacked.
Quique, Lenox, Carran, and Ripley were among the crew who'd be going along the shore with Captain Sly while Wardell ran the ship with the remaining men.
Once the tent was set up, Quique turned his attention to the next one, but was stopped by the sound of incredibly loud swearing. He looked back at the ship, then hurried up as the swearing continued.
"You mean we don't have a piece?!" Captain Sly bellowed at a rather frightened-looking group of men.
"No sir," the one in front replied. "Not one, and most of what food remains is spoiled too."
"You've got to be bloody joking!" Captain Sly bellowed.
"I wish I was," the man replied quickly.
"What's going on?" Quique asked.
"We spent all the money last night," Captain Sly replied. "There's not a piece down in the hold."
Quique shifted his jaw as a distinctly sinking feeling settled over him. He recalled that incredibly heavy trunk he'd carried up to be tossed overboard. Had that been their money? He shuddered to think he could've done such a thing.
"And we've used up what little rations we had left other than one barrel of flour, and what remains other than that is ruined anyways," Captain Sly ranted. "What kind of expedition is this?! All we have is powder and shot!"
"But we're near land," Quique said.
"What good is that if we can't buy anything?!" Captain Sly demanded, wheeling around to face him.
"We can hunt for food," Quique replied. "Or go fishing."
Captain Sly looked at him with an unimpressed expression.
"All the meat we could want," Quique said.
"We're supposed to be hunting for a fountain," Captain Sly said flatly. "Not food."
"Maybe we'll find the fountain while we're hunting," Quique replied. "And then, if people ask us what we're doing, we can tell them we're hunting."
Captain Sly shook his head and muttered under his breath. "Go finish setting things up down there."
Quique let his shoulders sag slightly and headed back off of the ship.
"What's going on up there?" Ripley asked.
"Apparently we accidentally threw what money we had in the hold overboard, so we can't buy supplies," Quique replied.
"What?" Ripley asked, his entire face hanging in disbelief.
Quique nodded.
"You've got to be kidding," Ripley whispered.
Quique shook his head and continued past Ripley to keep working. Once they'd set everything up they were able to capture some crabs that'd wandered up on the beach and cooked them over the fire for dinner.
Captain Sly came down and joined them for the cooked crab, which Quique had a feeling he didn't actually think was that bad, but said nothing about."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Everliving: Day 8

Word Count: 48,005

Summary of Events:
Bethania was sitting on the gardens when she spotted Reynaldo wandering them; she invited him to sit with her and they had a lengthy discussion about her father's rationales before Reynaldo had to leave. Quique woke up to find that the storm had finally stopped and that the ship was in a thick fog which Captain Sly was woken to discuss what they ought to do about, which led them to questioning Wardell, the Quartermaster . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Yes sir!" Wardell called back.
"Get down here!" Captain Sly hollered.
Quique listened as Wardell made his way down the rigging and then finally over to them, looking slightly irritated.
"How many fathoms down is the anchor?" Captain Sly demanded.
"I didn't drop it," Wardell replied.
"Who dropped it then?" Captain Sly demanded.
"Lenox," Wardell replied.
Captain Sly sighed with a frustrated tone and started off. Quique followed him down into the galley where they located Lenox. Captain Sly shook him awake roughly.
"Did you drop anchor?" Captain Sly demanded.
"Yeah," Lenox replied groggily.
"How many fathoms down is the anchor?" Captain Sly asked.
"I didn't count," Lenox replied.
"All you lily-livered landlubbers get up!" Captain Sly hollered. "We're weighing anchor to find out how many bloody fathoms we are from the shore and if we can land safely are going to go ashore"
All of the men startled awake and blinked groggily.
"What about breakfast?" one asked sleepily.
"No one gets breakfast until we're safely anchored!" Captain Sly bellowed.
"But we're safely anchored now, aren't we?" Lenox asked, a twinkle in his eye.
"Don't make me feed you your own finger," Captain Sly growled.
Lenox paled and the glint went out of his eye.
Captain Sly released Lenox, who landed heavily on his seat. "Look lively you pack of corpses!"
The men all hurriedly got up from their places and Quique followed Captain Sly as he returned to the main deck and headed toward the prow, where the anchor was located.
Captain Sly turned, looking like he was going to holler over his shoulder, but he startled at the sight of Quique.
"Ian, weigh anchor," he ordered. "Being as you happen to be here."
Quique said nothing, merely putting his hands on the mechanism by which the anchor was lifted and turning it so as to raise the anchor.
Once he started winding wet rope onto the coil Captain Sly started counting fathoms. He only reached two before the anchor was fully weighed. Quique felt the ship move forward with the breeze.
"Be ready to drop anchor," Captain Sly said. "I'll tell you when."
Quique straightened, keeping his eye on the pin he needed to release to allow the anchor to freely lower until it hit bottom.
Suddenly, with a heavy groan, the ship struck something solid, which sent everyone tumbling — from what Quique could hear as he himself went tumbling into the back of Queen Gaynor.
"Is now a good time?" Quique asked.
"Don't you start," Captain Sly muttered.
Quique got up and released the pin so that the anchor slammed into the wet sand they'd run into. When tide came in they might be afloat, and they'd probably then weigh anchor and do some manoeuvring. For now, though, they'd landed."

Monday, January 09, 2017

Everliving: Day 7

Word Count: 42,022

Summary of Events:
Quique was working on the deck when he and Captain Sly were swept overboard; it took awhile before they were rescued and it was initially presumed that Captain Sly had died, but Quique managed to revive him. Bethania and her brother watched a concert before discussing music and he announced his desire to become a composer; she then went to tell their father but he refused to believe her. Quique was sitting below deck worrying about whether the ship would hold together through the storm when Captain Sly came down . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""Everybody up!" Captain Sly ordered.
Men groaned in protest of being deprived of what little rest they could muster with the raging storm, cold, wet, and turbulence all without relief.
"We're liable to lose this ship if we don't lighten the load!" Captain Sly hollered. "I hate to do this, but we need to throw all the cargo we can spare overboard and hopefully reduce any unnecessary strain on the Queen so she'll make it out of this storm, and so will we!"
Quique got up with the rest of the men and started toward the cargo hold.
"Come on you!" Captain Sly shouted as Quique followed the flow around the galley.
Quique wondered, as Captain Sly kept on shouting, if he was yelling at Gifford to get up from his place and get involved, despite being short a finger, but he didn't bother worrying about it.
All of the men grabbed a trunk or barrel from the stacks in the hold and started back, hardly without slowing their pace from what it'd been.
Quique noticed one of the men grabbing a dripping barrel that said Flour on it. Even though it was food, Quique was sure it wasn't fit to be used now that it was wet, just like most of the gunpowder was useless that had gotten wet.
Taking up a barrel for himself, Quique followed the line and headed up to the top, where he passed his barrel to one of the men on the deck to throw overboard before going back down to get another one.
Back down in the hold, Quique took up a rather hefty chest and wondered what could possibly be in it. He knew some waterlogged items could get quite heavy, but he wasn't sure that any of them would be able to get as heavy as this, not that it was like he'd tried to haul any waterlogged cargo before. This was the worst storm he'd ever been in, and the bleakest state he'd ever known where they were even tossing off cargo to lighten their load.
Quique made several trips and noticed it hadn't taken long for the hold to get emptied out. If they emptied much more they'd be completely deprived of food, gunpowder, and anything else that was in the hold.
"How's she looking?" Captain Sly asked Carran as he walked by.
"Pretty empty," Carran replied. "I wouldn't want to take out another load."
"We'll stop then and see if that's enough to hold her," Captain Sly said.
"We should transfer most of what's left, though, before it gets too ruined by wetness," Carran said.
"Alright," Captain Sly said.
"There may be some useless supplies underneath we could toss yet too, and that could bring the water levels down so we're not walking in water all the time," Carran said.
"Not with the way these hatches batten," Captain Sly muttered. "She's going to be costly to repair.""

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Everliving: Day 6

Word Count: 36,008

Summary of Events:
Quique found the cook trying to cook in the dark and, when he brought a light, discovered that the cook wasn't using flour; he was unsure of what the cook was using until when the cook tried to heat what he was making and it exploded, proving that it was gunpowder. Bethania and her family went for their weekly tour of the city, but all of them were down at the memory of their youngest sister, who'd passed in the spring and greatly enjoyed those trips, so they went home early and she and her father got into an argument again . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""When the brave and valiant men that I've sent off to the Utter West return with the water and it brings me healing, then you shall know," he said firmly.
A knock sounded and startled all of them. The manservant rose and hurried to the door. He returned with a roll of paper in his hand.
"You've received a message," the manservant said.
"Read it to me," he replied. "Relieve my mind of my troublesome daughter."
"Who still remains in this room," Bethania snapped bitterly.
She watched as the manservant broke the wax seal on the ribbon which fastened the roll and uncurled it.
"Your most esteemed highness, King of Ñapesa and the grand territories of the Utter West, it is with great regret that I write you," the manservant read. "For you called me a man of bravery and mettle, a man of valour and strength, and a man in whom you took great pride, but yet I have failed you."
"Failed me?" he asked.
"Having departed with the convoy of men on that grand and glorious day," the manservant continued. "I feel even more greatly to have failed you, but we met with weather of a like I've not seen before, and which I feared my vessels could not withstand, thus I made the choice I considered regrettable in part to return here, without the curative waters which would bring you great benefit and health, but should no man have returned in some time I shall endeavour to return in the same direction and make an effort again, but I desired to send you my regrets at my failure. With all sincerity, your humble servant, Duke Luis Rodriguez."
"He's given up," Bethania said.
"Not altogether," her father replied firmly.
"But he's turned back," Bethania replied. "And nothing says he's the first one. He's just the first one who's had the mettle to tell you that he's failed, and besides, it's a fruitless endeavour anyways."
"Enough!" her father shouted, before devolving into a coughing fit that sent Rafael from the room swiftly.
"And who says any of the men who are still out there haven't been sunk already by this ferocious weather?" Bethania challenged while her father still coughed. "After all, this man was afraid his ship would break up, nothing says others haven't."
She saw her father whisper to his manservant, who raised his head and looked at her.
"He wishes you to depart his chambers," the manservant said.
Bethania exhaled sharply. "If he won't listen to logic then there is no sense in me remaining."
Turning on her heel, she stalked out of the room determinedly, angry tears blurring her vision. No matter what she tried to tell him, nor how, he obstinately refused to listen to her, and she was weary already of trying."

Friday, January 06, 2017

Everliving: Day 5

Word Count: 30,018

Summary of Events:
Quique was working on stretching his foot when Lenox came to find his compass — which took awhile because they kept getting knocked off their feet. Bethania went out riding with a few friends when her horse took off on her and wouldn't stop until it got tired. Edvin, a duke out to find the Fountain for his nation's benefit in war, headed to speak to the captain of his ship and check that they were still on a relatively good course . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Another wave broke over the side of the ship in a great spray and Edvin bent himself against the water, hoping his hat would keep the worst of the water out from underneath his coat.
Finally he got to the upper deck and stood beside the captain at the tiller.
"Do we still make west?" he asked.
"Yes my lord," the captain replied. "I know not how good of a trajectory we make, but so long as we maintain a westerly direction I am more than confident we will make landfall somewhere, and hopefully there be able to be close enough to a community so as to get directions if the storm does not relent enough for us to chart our own course."
"Very good," Edvin said.
Another wave broke over the side of the ship. Edvin's eyes widened as he felt his feet washed out from underneath himself.
He couldn't feel anything solid, but he flailed out with both arms — despite only one being useful — and managed to catch something, which he grabbed fast to with his hand.
When the water cleared Edvin realised, to his horror, that he was hanging off the outside of the ship, off a figure that had been carved into the extensively decorative rail/wall that surrounded the upper deck like an elegant collar.
"The Duke is overboard!" he head the captain call.
He then heard the clamber of men's feet and voices. He couldn't see them, although he could see another piece of projecting wood that he felt was close enough he ought to be able to wrap his elbow around.
Hearing nothing but discordant voices and feet, although largely drowned out by the storm, Edvin reached his arm up and hooked his elbow around the wooden point.
He didn't really want to trust his hold, but being as he had no other option if he wanted to get back onto the ship he needed to trust his hold and try to get up in hopes that they'd notice him.
Slowly he released his hold on the wood he'd been gripping and carefully crawled his hand up toward the top edge of the wood.
He heard some sort of a shout, but his grip was slipping. He grabbed for the edge, but his fingers slipped off of it just as his elbow slipped off of the wooden piece.
Another, louder, shout reached his ears as he felt himself falling. A jerk on his arm and tightness around his forearm stopped him. He looked up to see a sailor hanging onto him.
Edvin wrapped his hand fast around the sailor's arm and worked to push himself up as he was pulled by the sailor.
Other sailors grabbed onto him as he got high enough and he was hauled onto the deck where he heartily embraced the sailor who'd caught him.
"Never have I seen a more welcome sight in my life," he whispered into the sailor's ear."

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Everliving: Day 4

Word Count: 24,023

Summary of Events:
Bethania sat alone watching her cat sleep and thought about a variety of things that related to her sister's upcoming birthday. Quique, laid up because he couldn't walk with his crutches or sore foot due to the storm and its effects on the ship, was carried to the dining room to have a discussion about the Fountain of Youth. Bethania was watching the dancing at her sister's party when her cat came and found her, so she talked to her cat a bit . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""The most important question, however," Bethania said. "Is how did you get out of my quarters?"
Esperanza yawned and Bethania couldn't help but smile. Esperanza was, as far as she was concerned, a dear friend and companion, even if she couldn't talk.
Sometimes it was just nice to talk, and not to have someone reply and carry on the conversation, or take it to someplace she didn't want it to go, or misinterpret what she was trying to say, much less be scandalised when she vented some of her true feelings about things that were better kept to herself anyways.
Bethania stroked the soft, silken, striped orange fur and watched the party, feeling a little bit better than she had before, even though she still had no desire to dance, in comparison to Maristela, who was getting set to start her third straight dance.
If Bethania recalled the program correctly their father would be making an appearance at the end of this dance go give birthday greetings to Maristela publicly, as he always did, as well as presenting her with her gift.
After that everyone would present their gifts and the dancing would resume until the latest of hours when finally the last of the guests were thoroughly exhausted by the effort of all of the dancing.
She watched Maristela, dancing, her face full of joy, and she felt a pang of sadness; she was just a year and three months older than Maristela, and yet she was so down and morose, while Maristela could hardly see a fault with the world.
Part of her wondered if it was because she was the elder child, and that, following Eugenio's death, for a time, despite the fact that she'd been two years old at the time, she had been official heiress until Salomón was born, and then, despite his, Ignacio, and Vincente's deaths, she hadn't been heiress since, and thankfully Rafael had been in good heath and brought no cause for worry.
On top of that, there was a year's worth of stress over suitors and pressure from her father to be married and a mother already — even though she was more than certain that her mother had been older when she was married, as had even her father, and all the rest of his wives.
Generally, though, she had been rather pragmatic, sometimes even annoyed at Maristela's carefree ways, but being the older child could cause that, as could the fact that they'd been motherless from a young age, and there was the possibility that she'd felt duty-bound to be the mother her sister had lost.
Bethania sighed as the dance finished and all of the dancers cleared the floor, with Maristela — flushed and smiling — coming up to the head table with select friends that had been permitted to sit at the table." 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Everliving: Day 3

Word Count: 18,006

Summary of Events:
After a longer wait than she'd expected Bethania finally got an audience with her father and argued with him until he had her hauled out of the room. Quique, trying not to think of his hunger, decided he'd go for a walk on the deck until he discovered that Captain Sly was reneging on his end of the bargain; Quique managed to talk his crewmates onto his side and they made Captain Sly suffer a three-week fast, and make a blood pledge that he wouldn't renege on his word again . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Taking up the lid, Gifford closed the vial and held it out to Quique.
Quique glanced down at the crutches supporting him, and then up at Gifford.
"Where shall I take it?" Gifford asked, looking irritable.
"To my hammock, I guess," Quique replied.
"It'll spill," Gifford said. "And that invalidates the pledge."
"Well, where would you suggest I put it then?" Quique asked.
"Some sort of secure compartment," Gifford replied.
"Where do you think I'd find one?" Quique asked.
"I don't know," Gifford replied.
"Here," Lenox said. "I'll take it, let's go find something."
Quique followed Lenox, who'd taken the vial from Gifford, and headed toward the sleeping quarters.
"Do you think it should be hidden somewhere secret?" Quique asked.
"Yes," Lenox replied. "If Captain Sly were to find it he'd probably spill the blood to invalidate the pledge so that he wouldn't have to be nice to you any more."
Quique nodded.
"Hold it for a moment," Lenox said.
Quique took the vial and waited as Lenox lit the lantern.
"Things sure seem to be moving now," Lenox said.
Quique nodded as Lenox took the vial back.
The two of them scanned the room. There wasn't much of anywhere that anything could be stored, where it wouldn't potentially fall over and break or spill — at least, in the case of the vial.
"This might be kind of hard," Lenox said.
"That's what I'm thinking," Quique replied. "Although part of me doesn't feel like it'd be safe here either."
"So what do you think?" Lenox asked.
Quique gathered his lips. "Where's somewhere that I don't usually go?"
Lenox shifted his jaw forward, his lips gathered, as he thought.
"If you think of it don't say it aloud," Quique whispered.
Lenox furrowed his brow." Why?"
"So that nobody finds it because it's a secret," Quique whispered.
Lenox nodded and beckoned to Quique, before reaching for the light.
Quique shook his head. "Otherwise they'll know where we are."
Lenox nodded again and Quique followed him as they moved through the darkness of the hold.
If it weren't for the heaving of the ship and the creaking that caused Quique would've wished that he didn't have crutches, but he hoped that the groaning of the ships timbers and the pitching and rolling of the vessel would keep people distracted from the thud of his crutches.
Eventually, though, the darkness forced him to abandon his crutches so that he could feel his way along the wall. He did hold onto them in one hand, while using the other one that rested on the wall to support his weight and keep it off of his foot.
He couldn't see Lenox in front of him and desperately hoped that he wouldn't run into him.
"Stop," he heard a hiss.
Quique obliged. He heard a clink of glass on wood, and then a wood on wood sound.
"Go back," Lenox hissed.
Carefully turning around — mainly so as to keep his crutches from striking the wall — Quique started back the way he'd come and returned to the galley area, where few men remained."

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Everliving: Day 2

Word Count: 12,012

Summary of Events:
Captain Sly learned of the quest to find the Fountain of Youth from a messenger and hurried back to his ship to get going. Quique listened to Captain Sly's announcement of their imminent departure and then, in the galley, learned from the inebriated cook that their food stores hadn't been restocked yet, but Captain Sly wouldn't listen when the cook tried to tell him, demanding the cook be sober. Once the cook was finally sober — a difficult task — and Captain Sly learned of the situation he tried to blame someone else, and chose Quique, who evaded him and then challenged him to a duel, which became a series of three after he first defeated Captain Sly . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Turning around, Captain Sly continued on the offensive, while Quique skillfully defended as he sought to turn the tide and get himself on the offensive.
He turned his blade forward in an offensive position and as he struck Captain Sly's blade he also hit Captain Sly's head, from which a flow of blood quickly erupted.
Captain Sly shouted and dropped his blade, which Quique quickly took up again as several sailors hurried to Captain Sly, whom they laid down on the deck.
Wardell came down from his place at the tiller and examined the small gash; he then ordered rum, thread, a needle, and rolled bandages.
Within minutes the supplies were fetched and Captain Sly was tended to. He then rose to his feet, his face in a savage expression.
"I will win this!" he bellowed.
Quique dropped his sword to the deck and waited patiently as another man gave it to Captain Sly, who drew it out of the man's hands like he was pulling it out of a sheath — cutting the man's hands and giving Wardell more work to do.
In one fluid motion Captain Sly — with two hands on the handle of his sword — whirled his blade around his head and swung downward in a chopping motion.
Quique met Captain Sly's strike with a block of his flat blade, braced against the palm of his free hand near the tip.
Captain Sly drew his blade down Quique's and pulled it back to stab Quique in the abdomen. Quique spun out of the way and slashed at Captain Sly's sword as he thrust it toward the wall.
Maintaining his hold, Captain Sly pushed against Quique's blade, which brought their arms up as Quique refused to let Captain Sly get his blade overtop, as was the Captain's intent.
After roaring at Quique as they held their hands up in the air, Captain Sly pulled his blade down and swung for Quique's arm. Quique pulled his hand down, but not before Captain Sly's sword had struck the back of his hand and caused the blood to flow.
Captain Sly laughed, but it turned into a roar when he saw that Quique refused to release his hold on his sword. Captain Sly reared up his sword over his head. Quique stood and waited.
The blade started downward and Quique dove out of the way, rolling across the deck toward one side of the crowd.
When he looked toward Captain Sly again he saw that the Captain was trying to loose his blade from where it'd embedded into the wall of his quarters. He fought and pulled viciously before finally releasing the handle.
Quique shot to his feet, his sword in the air. He'd won all three duels.
Captain Sly turned and glared at him. "Winner starves for a week."
"We agreed loser did," Quique replied.
"Winner starves for two weeks," Captain Sly growled. "Or winner dies."
Quique sheathed his sword in frustration. Even his best efforts had failed."

Monday, January 02, 2017

Everliving: Day 1

Word Count: 6,009

Summary of Events:
Bethania prepared for her attendance at a royal sendoff on her father's behalf, where she had to endure seeing the suitor who annoyed her the most, much less being addressed by him, as well as a speech penned by her father for his advisor, Reynaldo, to read, and was long-winded, as usual, along with taking a sudden and inflammatory turn, as far as she was concerned . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""What did you say?" she whispered.
Reynaldo quickly turned back to the page, looking almost as if he were relieved to not have to look her in the eye. "'May the honour of being my son, by the reward of the hand of my daughter–'"
"How dare he!" Bethania exploded.
She seized Reynaldo's lapel, bringing him around to be facing her.
"He offers me as a reward!" she snapped.
"Yes, your majesty," Reynaldo replied quietly.
"Of all the wretched things a man could do to his daughter!" she cried. "Offering her up as a prize! And for what!? A race to the Utter West and back?"
"No, your majesty," Reynaldo replied quietly. "They are out to seek the Fountain of Youth, that its waters may restore your father to good health."
Bethania let her mouth hang open as she stared at Reynaldo, despite the impropriety; she couldn't believe that her father seriously believed those tales he'd fed to her, Maristela, and Rafael, as well as her other siblings before death had taken them.
"He believes such a thing actually exists!?" she exclaimed. "And he's offered me as a prize for whomever should find the bloody thing!? I will not have any of this!"
She snatched the papers from Reynaldo's hand, tearing them in half and stacking the halved pieces together four times before discarding the paper into the water, where they floated as the water saturated them.
"My father has lost his mind!" she cried. "I am being offered up as a prize for the finding of a myth! What is to become of me if there is failure on all fronts!? Or if my father should perish before one of these incompetent fools should return with any sort of purported cure!? All I am to him is a pawn in a game! I mean nothing more to him than I mean to the rest of these idiots!"
Reynaldo startled violently and looked determined to silence her.
"Don't you touch me!" she snapped. "They are idiots! Anyone who would believe such fairytales as there being some sort of a fountain which restores health and youth to men are idiots! Especially if they're going to go halfway around the world and die trying to conjure up something that doesn't exist! My father is delusional enough without anyone's help! This assembly of buffoons does not need to feed his insanity!"
"Your majesty, please, control yourself, you do not speak tactfully," Reynaldo said quietly.
"To the Utter West with tact!" she snapped. "I will not speak tactfully and condone this ridiculousness! I will not stand idly by and watch myself be handed about with as much care as people hand about livestock! I am a human being, and I aim to be respected as one by my father, among others! I am not a game piece! I will not be quiet! And, above all, I will not let myself be handed out as a prize like livestock to the highest bidder!""

Maristela: mahreestehlah