Previous: Roadside Meeting

 

Holly and Hemlock rode atop one of the horses, while Hawthorn and the necromancer rode on the other. The necromancer had refused to give his name, so Holly had taken to calling him Norman. Norman had tried to run for it before they could lift him up onto a horse, and Hawthorn had re-summoned his goose to terrorize the man for a solid ten minutes. Holly knew it had been ten minutes from Hemlock’s watch that the fairy held as it fluttered about. The whole scene might have gone on longer if Hemlock hadn’t said that time was running out—a funny choice of words, really, considering his watch had just swung past his head. After that whole incident, though, Norman became wary around Hawthorn. So they shared a horse hoping it would keep necromancer quiet.


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Previous: Cold, Quintessential Comfort

 

Holly hopped off the back of the wagon and dusted off her hands. “Right, then.” She peered out into the nighttime gloom, looking for the runaway horses or Tum, but she didn’t see either.

“Could we hurry this up?” Hawthorn said as he pulled off his necromancer’s robe and dropped it on the ground. “There’s a chill out, and I’m not dressed for cold weather.”

Holly eyed him. “Well, you could start with keeping your robe on if you’re so cold.”


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Previous: Shadowed Dreams

 

Hazel awoke on the stone floor of the dark cavern near the bank of the pond. Her head ached, and she rubbed it as she sat up and looked around. Ash stood nearby, watching her.

“What happened?” she said. “How did I get here?”

“You went into the pool, remained there for some minutes, then left and lay down there. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“Where did I go? What was that place? How…” Her aching head increased to a steady pounding. She took a breath and tried to relax. “How did I get back?”

Ash considered her a moment. “You never left.”


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I keep saying how I don’t write to music. But I’m starting to realize that’s not entirely true. It’s true in the sense that I prefer quiet when I’ve got my hands on the keyboard… most of the time. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that music plays a big part in my creative world.

 

Music for Walking

I’ve mentioned before that I go out walking almost every day for about an hour. I do it in part for the exercise, and in part to process the story-happenings in my mind. It’ll sometimes help me untangle problems, come up with new ideas, and review the day’s work as a means of mentally winding down. And for most of these walks, I’ll be listening to music.


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Previous: Shadowed Depths, Part Two

 

Holly tried to keep her breathing even and calm as she lay in the enclosed box. She wouldn’t panic. If she panicked, she might suffocate, and Holly would rather that didn’t happen. She clenched her eyes shut, bracing herself against the jostling of the box to keep her head from getting any more lumps. Breathe in, breathe out. Nice and even; nice and slow.

Her thoughts turned to Hazel. Would she ever see her sister again? A lump formed in her throat that, in the close air, threatened to choke her, so Holly tried to put the thoughts out of her mind.


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