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Welcome to my messy scrolls of randomness.  Parts of this journal are friends only or require special permissions to view.  Feel free to friend me, but if you want friended back drop me a line so that I know for sure who you are and where we've met before.  If I don't know you, I still might friend you if I decide you have interesting things to share.

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Comments from anonymous posts are screened due to the influx of perv-spam lately.

Current Active Serial Story: Selkies' Skins (read on LJ, read on DW, or read at site)
Selkies' Skins manuscript wordcount:
Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well (book one): 131,693 for chapters 1 through 39, front matter, the glossary, and author bio. It is followed by a second book covering the second half of Kirsty's testing, and likely a third book or fourth book to deal with other important bits of the selkies' (yes, more than one) stories that are not focused on in Kirsty's Skinquesting. There is also an audiobook version currently being recorded, narrated by Illya Leonov. He is also expected to narrate the books of the Dragon Shaman series.

Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skinquest (book two): 41,338 and growing in the manuscript as of April 20, 2016 and is in progress.

Keep readingCollapse )
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 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

I love you Dad. I miss you. (poem)

 I love you dad. I miss you.
I hear you in the wind
Flowing in the river
See you falling in the snow
You're with me wherever I go.
I see you in my brother
I see you with my mother
In the eyes of my children
And standing behind my nieces.
I know you hug my sister
In those nights when she cries
And put your hand on our shoulders
In the moment we feel we can't try.
I love you dad. I miss you.
But you're here now with me
Though your body is ash
And in the wind you sigh.
~Teresa Garcia, Dec 1, 2016
copyright Dec 1, 2016 Teresa Garcia
In Memory of Benjamin Gordan Garcia, father.

Permission is granted to circulate this poem as long as attribution remains intact.
Archived also at Patreon.

Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia
Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com
Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com
Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Selkies' Skins 2: Chapter 13 Skinned, pt 3


Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)

My apologies for the long delay. At least the move is done and I can get back to work and writing.

Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 33
Chapter 13 part 3
Skinned

 

The familiar trickle began again from Kirsty’s nose and the taste of salt slipped over her tongue. Tearing, that was the best way she could comprehend the feeling in her head. Another bit of herself tearing away, a thread being pulled stiffly and inexorably from her being, from her past. Unraveling. Skinning. Worse than having had to give up her human covering to be fit to be reborn.


“We can fix this, tell me, what do you see with your sight, Daughter?” The Weissefrau’s voice cut through the pain. She drew Kirsty into the water step by step. It rose higher as they went.


The lad with them reached for Kirsty, but was restrained by the old Lightkeeper.


Kirsty wiped at her nose with he sleeve as she gathered her focus to look. “There’s a red light all around the edges, pulsing like a heart. I feel… something. It’s not right.”


The Weissefrau had her to her shoulders now in the cold waters. “Like you’re being unmade, my dear?”


“Yes.”


“Then on you go. Follow the light like a good girl on out. Begin to be remade.” Before Kirsty’s eyes could clear and her lips form the question she shoved the maid down. Kirsty’s mouth was still open and the human sputtered as the last of what was holding her was pulled away by some celestial weaver beyond the span of space and time known to mortals. Bubbles of air rose to the surface as the blood flowed again and the water turned red.


The lad wrenched himself free of the Lightkeeper finally, heaving himself at the terrible goddess of water and bone left in the natural well. Before he collided a wall of water engulfed him and held him to face the Weissefrau. Her ice grey eyes bored into him as she watched the water win its way into him. “Noble intent, poor execution, mere human understanding after all you’ve seen. I am not the one that will harm her. You might have seen her success and your children might have mingled with her had you heeded my Lightkeeper and your vows to me.”


As Kirsty’s body was pulled through a passage below, the lad’s body floated to one side of the deity’s domain. The Weissefrau threw back her head and howled. In the distance a pack of wolves answered and began their way. The Lightkeeper looked away, and she smiled grimly. “Perhaps in a way, he still might get what he’d have liked just not as he’d hoped.”


“My Lady?” The Lightkeeper chanced a look at her. She still was too terrible to behold for long and he looked away well aware his sleep would be disturbed for some time by her visage.


She shook her head and adjusted a cloak around herself before sitting on a rock. “Stop blaming yourself, I know you are. He’d have stolen it if she does survive this turn. You can go back now. If they ask, I have claimed them.”


“As you say.” He kept his face and his feeling so long as he could control them neutral as possible until he was back off her path. The deity, for her part, dispersed back into her water, releasing herself to it and trying to be fluid enough to determine what was being changed.


~


Farther back in the tunnel Raechel found a thick oak door reinforced with spells and hammered iron. The tunnel continued further beyond the door, beckoning. Below her she could feel a passage of water leading back to the sea, presumably through the cave she had come through. The passage below would have of necessity worn through some weakness in the stone around her.


Behind the door is what interested her most. Something large was contained within the chamber. Though it seemed to sleep it pressed at the edges of the containment much the same as did the creatures that Mara kept contained in certain rooms of her central temple and the deepest depths. Its presence was palpable, causing her short-hairs to prickle and rise in warning and her longer hairs to lift a little as she tensed. Trying the door she could not unlock it, nor could she force or undo these spells, not without trying to blast it off the hinges with energy she preferred to keep for later. She did feel the thing behind the door move though. The shifting turned her stomach, made her quake, and yet thrilled her.


“I’ll be back for you later, perhaps.” She whispered through the door, pressing against it and grinning. “We’ll have some fun, yes? Whatever you are.”


There was a smack of something on rock behind, and a splash. Raechel giggled and squirmed, stroking the door as a shimmer of green continued fighting against the purifying spell the child had unleashed on her.


She blew a kiss to the thing behind the door and continued along the passage, following it upward.


Raechel’s exploration ended at a thick oak door at the top of a long, narrow, cramped set of steep stairs. The cliff stone complained darkly on her way up. Here things sat silent and brooding over untold secrets, lies, and a hint of blood. The door barring her way was not like the doors below the sea. No hinge revealed which way it swung. There was iron binding it, but instead was in bands reinforcing all the way across. Her hands explored and fingers prodded everything that looked as if it might be a trigger.


She winced when her fingers brushed the iron, placed the worst of them in her mouth and frowned. A sickly green pulsed briefly and red mist spread along the bar.


Behind the door a presence lingered, stirred, its attention gained by her searching.


She stilled, breath bated, listening, straining.


~


The table beside his chair held the dregs of cold tea, dark and muddy as the hearts of most of his family but at least slightly warmer. Belial leaned forward in his chair, slender hands covering his face and fingers trying to press away the aches within his skull. Tendrils of bleached sun had worked out of the ribbon he used to bind back his hair, sticking with sweat. Before him on the grate tinges of blue, green, and purple leached out of the fire and back into the wholesome reds and oranges that indicated no demon manifested within it to him today. On the walls around him lurked memorabilia of wrecks, or more accurately ‘harvests’ that those sharing his name had done before him. Among them hung several of their ancient rival’s inhuman pelts.


Glazed eyes gazed down upon him, thoughts guarded.


They did not speak to his siblings or the others, but sometimes they gave him wary advice, and even comfort.


The pelt he kept tucked and hidden safe inside his clothing continued murmuring to him, pleas and curses, promises and threats. Choking soul screamed questions dug deep into his ears and heart with poison tipped claws. Had his storm turned her course though? Had he managed to keep her from going there despite her headstrong and imperious burning of his warning letter?


He knew she burnt it. He’d seen it in his gazing ball. He’d heard the little harrumph of said pelt. How many times had she made that sound at him before when he asked her to be careful?


Perhaps this duplicitous treachery of his family name was finally driving him insane, but it was worth it. He rarely got to see her, and when in public when acknowledging each other they had to fight to keep suspicion at bay. Those nights when she came to dance with her brothers and sisters of the pelt below the moon were worth it, every fear-lanced moment that he watched and feared the others would also pick her out among them. So too were the brief times he got to be father to the little one.


He winced when the log in the fire popped and sang, doing what it could to drive out the chill that always fell whenever he gazed or rose the storms. His fingers dug harder. He tried to weave and coax the energies the way Salena had tried to teach him one horribly hungover morning in a port far away, but his clumsy fingers merely slipped, and the spell tangled and died. Healing never had been his gift.


The ball of quartz on the table beside his chair clouded again, this time with red mist. Pulsing, beating, it continued and waited for his eyes to fall on it. He, however, eventually stood and made his way out of the room. He needed something stronger than what he had recently taken in order to tame the still mounting headache. The mist grew insistently thicker within the orb, but the master paid no heed and the door shut behind him.


~


After a timeless stretch of suspended breath Raechel began moving again and broadening her search. She conjured another orb of light and suspended it to light her way, finally finding a snake shaped protuberance to her right side in the stone. Running her fingers over the smoothness she finally found the trigger and the door slid to the side revealing a room that looked in her eyes to be some sort of combination of library and soul prison.


She stepped inside and the door — it was truly a whole book case — slid back into position. Unless she could find the trigger later she was trapped. A gazing orb throbbed an angry, furious blood-red on the stand where it lurked. If her eye lingered she saw the equally furious spirit pounding the barrier of crystal as it screamed unheard alarms. The selkie skins mounted about the room refused eye contact and speech with her. She could see they still contained part of the soul and consciousness of their former owners, but each eye contained the unfocused and glassy look of rejection. Raechel knew this gaze well already. The Sleeping Souls put to rest in the Temple back home all rebuked her in the same way since she gained the Taint whenever she entered the Chambers of the Box to lay out another set aside skin for the day it would be needed again.


Raechel closed her eyes and forced back the tear that threatened before turning to inspect more of the room. These probably all belonged to surface dwellers. What did they know, traitors? Perhaps these skins were better out of circulation, like The Ronan’s.


The pull started again, leading her away from the lavish darknesses of the firelit room and its rich wooden cases to before the fireplace itself. Of their own will her hands rose to the mantle and she heard herself speaking strange words her throat should not have been capable of. They came from deep inside, curling and coiling out with languid stretches and tickling places that her former love had not been able to reach, nor had the courage to search for. A slow smile curled in response, thirsty for more.


The invocation ended and the fire turned a sickly green.


A form gathered in the flames, the face of a darkly handsome male. The eyes bored into her know, finally out of the dreams that dominated her nights. For now any memory of Bethrise, whether during their fight or their good times, faded. She barely felt the tingles from the frayed ends of the roughly severed thread as the other end attempted to reach her.


“You are Astereth.” Raechel was not fully sure where the knowledge came from.


“I am.”


This should have bothered her. She should reject him. Now.


“Yet you do not wish me removed from your blood.”


“No.”


“You feel empty. Rejected.”


“Yes.”


“You feel that Mara prefers the land dweller, and an interbred bloodline at that.”


Raechel nodded, bit her lip, curled it and snorted whilst displaying a fang.


“She does, you know.” The being continued. “I know their bloodline well. She always has preferred them over the ones that stay within her.” The voice curled and stroked her ears, caressed the sensitive place on the bridge of her nose that all selkies shared.


“Why am I not good enough? I’ve given her myself. I’ve lost my mate. I wield her spear even though she’s damn well capable of doing so herself were she bothered. Why am I not enough?” Raechel hissed, stepping closer to the fire and pressing into the caresses. Unnoticed flames licked her feet as her eyes stayed pinned by the apparition.


“Nothing is ever enough for her, nor her sister either truthfully. They press, they demand, they entice. Yet they leave their dedicants in the end. I know of the pain, too personally. I would not leave you for some child that isn’t even a whole being.”


Raechel shivered, arched into the promise and then as quickly pulled away.


“I know you’ve heard similar before. I can prove my troth though. Come through the fire. There is a talisman in the vaults hidden here that you can use against your burrowing insect. Make her hurt, make her bleed. Already there is one using it in another time to do the same, and you can make it worse for her. You can even use it to regain your mate, make him abandon those soft ones you envy so. Perhaps even bend the rejectors of the Cailleach to your will as well. Come.”


Raechel stepped through the flames, taken through the wards and into the vaults that once were innermost parts of the Sacred Cavern before the land had risen and the sea fallen in the area. Saltwater lay still in a pool in the center of the room. In the midst of this rose the stark remains of a dais where a sundered seat and broken box of stone from which trickled a steady stream of surprisingly fresh smelling water held court over an array of riches and dangers. A being of sickly flame stood at the edge of the pool.


“Right now it is down there due to a ill planned move.” The being spared a poisonous look back the way they had come. “I cannot go down to fish it out, nor would I be able to bring it up even if I could penetrate her waters. There are two bloods that can, and I bear none.” Astereth chuckled a bit, then scowled as his companion did not respond to his joke.


Raechel did not wince from him. “Is there anything I should know before I dive in?”


“I am not sure. It is being protected, but the fall obscured certain knowledge from me regarding the spell that went in with it.”


Raechel wrinkled her nose and knelt at the edge, adjusting her skin around herself as she gazed in. She brushed her senses over the water, closed the skin and shivered her whiskers. Gingerly she dipped a flipper in.


No pushback.


She slipped in. Astereth smiled. The water pulsed. Astereth scowled. On the table in the library above the gazing orb filled the room with a baleful light as it awaited its master.

 

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

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As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.



Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia
Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com
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Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
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 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Visiting Jack Frost (poem)

 Visiting Jack Frost
Teresa Garcia
November 26, 2016
 
Down the snow falls from the skies
Grey as this spirit’s twinkling eyes
Bright with the joy of gallant youth
Dancing and singing his own truth
 
Over the fence and about the eves
His paints his art as he pleases
Icy frost spreads at his brush
Some is sparse and others lush
 
Pave the river through the glen
Leave a path for the moon, then
Dash through the sleeping field
Beneath the snow snug and sealed
 
Over the river, through the wood
After the Keeper of the Blue Hood
Before his prints fade from view
Beneath the oak, beneath the yew
 
To the court of the Holly King
An offering of light bright to bring
And silver boughs laden with fruit
Plucked special for Sacred Moot
 
Eat it not lest here you wish to stay
Seven years, and a wholesome day
Doing the bidden of Winter’s King
As Oak and Holly dance the ring
 
And if young Jack asks to dance
Whirl with him and gaily prance
But be mindful of touch and eye
Lest from body soul should fly.

--
This is going to my deviantart , livejournal , and dreamwidth and patreon.

Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia
Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com
Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com
Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.

Tags:

THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Nov. 23rd, 2016

Cats found and killed a mouse today.  They left it under my desk. It was pretty fresh. Good mouser cats. I also learned that mice seem to get a thin transparent coat of fur over their tails in winter. I always wondered how they keep their tails warm when it's so cold.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Mother Yukionna (poem)

Finally I get to sit down for some mythical poetry. Tonight due to it being so cold Yukionna seems to be the proper one to write a tale of. The snow maiden comes from Japan, and there are several facets to her. In this poem however I will only deal with one. If you like my poetry or the Selkies' Skins webnovel then please consider visiting my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/Amehana

 Mother Yukionna
Teresa Garcia
November 20, 2016
 
Gently the snow falls down
Coating the land and the tree
Undercut by the river
Flowing resolutely to the sea.
 
Quietly a slim figure glides
Pale as the moon mirror now hidden
Behind the lowered underscales
Of the storm dragon hither bidden
 
Through the trees and the rocks
Silently she searches them out tonight
The unwanted, young or old
Cast out by poverty or spite
 
If you watch here with me
In this hasty shelter against the snow
Warmed only by body and hope
Her love as children we will know
 
Do you hear that doleful cry
Rending both mountain pass
And the spanning sky
As the first her search has compass'd?
 
Too late that one was found
Some small and frozen form
Leaving her yet again
Childless and forlorn
 
Oh tonight is so very cold
I hope she finds us soon
I want to sleep snug and warm
In Yukionna's arms coccoon'd.

Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia
Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com
Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com
Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.

Tags:

THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

still processing elections

 Remember kids, it's not ok to bully. One nation, united. Lady Liberty holds that torch for all of us. Hold the torch too and look to your fellows of all sorts. Hispanic-American, Irish-American, Asian-American, Native-American, German-American whichever or whatever your family traces back to we are all American. It does not matter if you are gay or straight, polyamorous or monogamous, disabled in any fashion, whole and able to work, employed or seeking employment, disabled and wishing you could work, young, old... ONE NATION.

Video

Hopefully tonight I'll get to write.

Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia
Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com
Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com
Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Welcome back to the story! If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)

My apologies for the long delay. At least the move is done and I can get back to work and writing.

Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 32
Chapter 13 part 2
Skinned

 

Kirsty took a little time to recover before sitting up. Quiet burbles and coos attracted everyone’s attention to a drawer beneath the bed and Selena disappeared for a moment to open it. She reappeared a moment later with a chubby child clutched to her bosom who seemed blissfully unaware that they had weathered a storm, or that there was anything that had been wrong at all. Kirsty looked where the baby had come from quizzically.

 

“What? Topside wouldn’t have been the place for her and she’ll not do well away from me for long yet. The sea’s her home too, like mine.” Selena grinned a bit. “Like yours, too.”

 

“What would have happened to her had we sunk?” Kirsty ventured, frowning.

 

“Same as the rest of us, but she’d have been... more comfortable.” Selena took to baby over to the chair at her desk.

 

Kirsty took advantage of the space to investigate the drawer a little more. Something half familiar prickled the back of her mind, then submerged again.

 

Salena fed her baby while the young man blushed and slid out after making excuses to seeing about the rest of the crew, and that he was glad the young lady was seemingly well again.

 

Kara shook her head. “That’s the lad I was talking about earlier. Seems to already have taken a shine to you.”

 

Kirsty blushed and made a worried sound. “Sweet of him, but I have a boy I’m interested in elsewhere already. He’ll be waiting.” She made her way to a window and looked out over the water, puzzling her next move and watching for the Lightkeeper.

 

“Too bad. He’s a good lad.” Selena commented, burping her child and putting it in a sling. The baby eagerly turned itself where it could watch the world and wiggled chubby lightly webbed fingers.

 

Kirsty glanced at her, then blinked, confused at the baby’s momentary resemblance to a young Morvan, but it was gone again. “He seems so.”

 

Things bumped along awkwardly until Kirsty was topside again and the Lightkeeper was pulling up in his boat bringing provisions. He and Selena eyed each other even more awkwardly while her baby burbled and drooled. Kirsty wanted to go ashore to explore the lighthouse facilities and surroundings, half expecting to be told no. After a bit of hemming and hawing she was given leave.

 

And so she went. Unexpected by herself but seemingly expected by the Lightkeeper the boy was sent with her to keep an eye on her and to give her aid until she was sent for again. Kirsty was not certain what to think of the news that later in the day one of the boats would be sent to retrieve her after she had had adequate time to speak with the Lightkeeper regarding her quest, and to give the Captain time to chart the next course while crew saw about restocking fish from the schools in the natural harbor.

 

Kirsty settled into a chair in what passed for the living room, the Lightkeeper offering tea made from the waters from the well of the Wisenfrau.

 

“So, you quest.” The Lightkeeper began, as if the conversation through the miles had not ended.

 

“Yes. I seek the Temple of Mara. What can you tell me?” Kirsty looked round, fascinated by the lighthouse, unsure how to react to the power focused in and by the building. Had the lighthouse at home felt this way to her ancestors before Mara’s rages?

 

“It’s nearer and farther than you think, going by what is handed down to us Keepers. We only have bits and pieces. The Abbey has others.”

 

Kirsty pondered his words as he brought a lantern very similar to Mrs. Kitsch’s over to the seating they gathered at, and a plate of fish and seaweed that wound up in front of her. She ate as she considered. “How do I know I’m even on the right path?” Kirsty finally asked as she looked up from the meal, having been much hungrier than she’d thought.

 

He fiddled with the lantern, polishing it. At least it seemed to Kirsty that’s what he was doing. “You don’t. None of us ever know if we’re following the path we are meant to take. Often we stray far from it.”

 

Kirsty sipped her tea now that it was cool enough, the well water spreading through her slowly and balancing the preponderance of Mara’s salt she’d picked up over her journey.

 

The lad listened quietly, leaning forward as if by simply doing so he felt that he could lend some sort of aid. The Lightkeeper smiled secretively at the motion that had gone completely unnoticed by the young maid.

 

“There’s a cave nearby that’s supposedly sacred to your folk.” He lit the lantern after he was satisfied. Pinpricks of light shone about the darkened room, an array of stars for a mariner. “We are here.” He pointed. “It is there.” He pointed at one nearby. “Here is where the Weissefrau’s well is.” His finger moved again, and then onward. “Here is where the Abbey currently is. That moves sometimes, when a raid is imminent.”

 

Kirsty studied the light-map and it gradually dawned on her that there were times when she was very little, and Grandma had visited with Mrs. Kitsch that many of these lights had been danced on their walls to entertain her. The star for the cave drew her strongest.

 

“If I were you, child, I’d return to your path as fast as is possible. My gut tells me that the cave is where you need to go.”

 

The lad cleared his throat. “Excuse me, but isn’t that the cave the selkies are fighting with the Lillitu’s over? I can’t help but notice how some of these points correlate with some of Captain’s maps, and that matches an area we are normally careful when sailing near.”

 

“It is. The seafolk are losing many such places now.”

 

“So how are we to get her there? I’m not sure our Captain would be very for taking her there, though right now she is not in the best state to guess.”

 

The Lightkeeper looked the boy over slowly. “They seem to always get younger,” he mused. “Leave or not, she has to go.”

 

Silence settled over the room, deep and uncomfortable as a shroud too small for the wearer and donned while still living. The threads of time and fate continued to be woven and to the three it seemed as if they could feel competing designs, needles and shuttles battling to have dominance. Kirsty gripped her head and groaned, leaning forward as blood began to drip from one nostril and her attention pulled to where she should have been.

 

As she sat and the boy pulled out a questionable kerchief that was attempted to be kept clean and functional she felt the bed on her back and saw the dim figure of David at her side. The pressure of his hand on hers was as real as the nose she now held pinched in her fingers.

 

Finally the wave passed. “Bring her to me, now.” An older woman’s voice slid through their minds. “Quickly.”

 

The Lightkeeper nodded and sighed, rising. “The Lady has spoken.”

 

Heading out the door he led the way along the promontory, which sloped downward to meet the mainland. How far the walk was away from the light was hard for Kirsty to guess. Just like home at Selkie Point time and space folded oddly here. It could have been any distance. The way Kirsty’s feet tingled she would have also been willing to bet a pint of mead that someone in the past had ensorcelled the path to further facilitate speed of travel for the correct people.

 

Or perhaps the Weissefrau simply was pulling on them in the same way that sometimes The Lady did when she was in a very demanding mood.

 

The terrain changed. Things seemed denser, greener. Mist rose from the forest they had ventured into. Darkness rolled back and swirled near again as they passed. Eyes watched their progress from trees. Chitterings spoke of squirrels, chipmunks, and other nameless things. Once or twice when turning her head towards a rustle Kirsty caught a flash of white or green, and a mossy limb being drawn back behind a tree.

 

The lad pressed closer to her, put an arm around her. She pressed her lips until the headache stabbed again. It was only then that she felt truly grateful for the arm around her, as she stumbled and would have fallen if not for the quick reply of the other arm.

 

The Lightkeeper looked back at them with hooded eyes.

 

Kirsty wished it had been David traveling with them. The eyes of the boy had something that was beginning to look possessive.

David might have actually punched him if there, or mauled him if in wolf form.

 

The forest drew in tighter again before spreading out into a meadow. A clear spring welled up among rocks, flowing sedately away toward some river via a creek it had carven over untold centuries. Moss hung heavy on the trees around the edge, draperies and hair.

 

Watching closely, she thought she could see the forest breathe.

 

The spring watched, kept company by the forest. Whether the forest was male or female she could not be entirely certain. The local forest spirit was grudgingly sharing the company of the water with them though.

 

“I have brought the child. She seeks to be a woman and whole.” The Lightkeeper barely raised his voice, the tone reverent. The forest caught and magnified the short speech.

 

“Come closer child, let me see you.” Beside the spring stood an old woman, her visage constantly shifting. One moment she was tall and strong, the next gnome-sized and twisted like pines on the coastline. Her hand took Kirsty’s once her feet had done the deity’s bidding; her touch was sandpaper. “Oh, you are worse than I had thought. Poor child. You are far off of your proper path.”

 

The familiar trickle began again from Kirsty’s nose and the taste of salt slipped over her tongue.

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
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As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.



Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.
Please also support me at:
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Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com
Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana
Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.
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 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 
I need to journal more, whether public, private, or selective audience.

On the way home from dropping off Athena and Vinny I chanced upon a red cow roaming the road, then a white cow. I stopped and took pictures. Then as I progress again up from the ditch emerges a black cow. Red, white, and black. Interesting, very interesting omen. I do wonder where they escaped from though.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

Oct. 23rd, 2016

 I'm still wrapping up the move so there will not be an installment today. I am almost done though. This should be the last day of moving boxes and furniture though. This next week I need to scrub up the apartment and get it ready as I can for the next family, so that I have less to pay on the cleaning part. The only things that should be left in the apartment after today are the cleaning supplies I will be using. I have gotten to write some in the manuscript this month, but not enough to release a full installment of Selkies' Skins.



Original posting is found at: rainstardragon.dreamwidth.org.

Please also support me at:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TeresaGarcia

Deviant Art: amehanarainstardrago.deviantart.com

Publishing: www.thgstardragon.com

Publishing Blog: thgstardragonpublishing.blogspot.com



Patreon: http://patreon.com/Amehana

Copy/paste please, due to LJ constantly breaking the links.
THG StarDragon Publishing MainsiteTHG StarDragon Publishing Blog
Direct From Printer Book Orders
THG StarDragon Cafe Press Image StoreAmehana's Gallery - Imagekind - Art Prints
 Deviant Art Gallery - Prints Available 
 Magic is that breath never quite caught,
Flowing always just behind the scenes,
And only glimpsed when sought.
 

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