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dribdrabble original - the art of drabbling, <500 words at a time
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RAT: Three For Three 
14th-Mar-2009 02:45 pm
[music] last significant
I recently joined the community runaway_tales  (it is full of extremely awesome prompts for original fic, and there, that's your veiled plug), and I mean recently: I've been around for this week, that's about it. At any rate, I recently discovered that most of my Tales are drabble-length, and so decided to crosspost. From now on, I'll note when I'm crossposting RATs. Here's three from this week -- there's another in progress, by the way, so I will be around once again, soon.

Title: And She Fell
Author: C
Wordcount: 406
Rating: G/PG
RATs prompts: Chocolate #30 (joy), Cinnamon Swirl #29 (long way down), Peanut Butter #3 (wind/air), topped with Whipped Cream and Rainbow Sprinkles.
Summary: A girl stands at the edge of a cliff and wishes she could fly.
Notes: It seems that almost everyone likes this. It makes me wonder. Also, I give you Elshara. She's from the second book in the trilogy I'm working on, but she looks about eight years younger here -- almost half her current canonical age.

She could feel the breeze whipping playfully at her, calling her to follow it. And she wanted to. Against her better judgment, she stood up and spread her arms out to catch the wind. It was wonderful. Her hair whipped at her face and eyes, her dress billowed around her legs, and she was painfully aware of exactly why she shouldn't lose her balance, why she should be careful. But she opened her eyes wide and she laughed happily, disregarding caution for the sheer fun of it, a girl standing on the edge of a cliff and wishing she could fly.
There's a way that anyone can fly. It's just difficult, impermanent, and sometimes fatal. A stronger gust caught her, and -- look. You might not think this very likely. But she always was lightly built, all skin and bones and ligaments; people did joke, sometimes, that a breeze could blow her away, which just added irony to injury when the wind swept her over the edge.
It wasn't a very high cliff, by very high cliff standards. But it was, still, compared to what she was used to, quite high indeed.
And she fell.
And she fell.
And she--
It was like she had caught herself. But she hadn't. Nothing had caught her -- and that was exactly how it felt. Like nothing. She paused like this for a moment, bobbing up and down, just for long enough to make her worry that it was her imagination and soon her mind would catch up to her body as she plummeted to her death -- and she shot upwards, not like a cork from a champagne bottle but like a cork fired from a gun, or like some other appropriate simile.
She was flying. More than that, she was soaring. Her breath caught in her throat, and, as disdainful as she had always been of the people in books who did this, she found herself blinking back tears.
It took her several tries to get back on the ground -- when she finally did it was a rather blunt and dusty affair -- long enough for her to compose herself, but she still felt like her heart was in her throat. When she walked back to the City she wondered at that no one could see her realization and her joy written clearly on her face.
Elshara had always wanted to be an Air mage.
As it turned out, she was.

*

Title: Consequences (1)
Author: C
Wordcount: 383
Rating: PG
RATs prompts: Mango #2 (look behind you)
Summary: Stuff is catching up to the Thief, Jonathan, and Libris comes out of nowhere.
Notes: Takes place say a day after this.

The wind today was cold and sharp. Jonathan shivered, pulled his coat tighter around his shoulders and sped up. "Mina!" he shouted. "Hey! Mina!" The girl half a crowd in front of him didn't turn around. "Damn," he swore softly and with feeling. "Mina!" he added for good measure, and started running.
She finally turned around just as he was reaching for her shoulder, with the result that the young man overbalanced and was sent flying by his momentum. "I'm sorry!" Mina cried immediately, raising her hand hesitantly as if unsure whether to try to catch him or let him catch himself.
He ended up half-falling onto a boy with a backpack, who snarled at him almost absentmindedly. "Sorry," Jonathan said automatically. "Hi, Mina. I see your ears are finally working."
Mina grinned a bit ruefully and took out a pair of earplugs. "Sorry. You know my hearing isn't good at the best of times, though."
"Yeah, I know."
"C'mon. This way." Mina half-dragged him to the edge of the already-thinning crowd until she reached a wall, which she leaned against. "So. What's happening? I know you barely ever go find me when it's just to talk. You've something to tell me. Shoot."
That was Mina: always rather blunt. "There was a very strange girl at the market yesterday," Jonathan said, trying to work out what he was thinking as he spoke. "She sold me these for a book and then slapped me. Look."
Obediently, Mina peered at the wind-chimes. "Huh. What did she slap you for?"
"Er..."
"Spit it out."
"I kind of told her that the book I was trading her was stolen from a library?" He managed to say all of this without inhaling once. "What?" he demanded of Mina's indignant expression. "She asked!"
"You," Mina told him, "are incorrigible. Also -- look out! Behind you!"
Jonathan turned sharply to one side, barely avoiding a hand twisted into a pincer grip that had been going for his neck. The hand was connected to the arm of a strange-looking girl in what appeared to be a school uniform -- the girl who had bartered him for the wind-chimes.
"Why--?" he managed.
"Come with me," she said matter-of-factly, grabbing his shoulder tightly and jerking him backwards.

*

Title: Meta-the-Difference
Author: C
Wordcount: 339
Rating: a squeaky-clean G
RATs prompts: Chocolate #25 (inspiration) with Sprinkles
Summary: Lord Neal writes about writing.
Notes: He's a bit of an elitist, but I like his style, and it's more the culture he's immersed in than anything. Also, fun character is fun, and appears to be five or six years older than I've ever seen him; I'm glad he apparently doesn't die.

With his eyes closed, Neal found a pen, dipped it in ink and held it above the piece of paper, waiting for the words to come. This was why he insisted that no one ever touch his desk: being able to find everything blindly meant that he could write with his eyes closed, which helped him concentrate.
He opened his eyes, and wrote.
How to describe the process of writing? How to explain the way one can lose oneself altogether in the words and the story they make, and that this is not a bad thing? How to express the way it feels when everything clicks, when it just works? There are people who have come close – but then, by the standards of others, they might have fallen farther off than we can imagine. It's different for everything.
You can't teach someone to write, not like that. You can teach them how to make the words neat, how to give the ideas clean edges, how to make it legible and enjoyable – maybe. But there will still be a spark missing, the one that makes the mere yarn a story, the one that makes the story real.
You either understand it, or you don't. If you have done it, you will know and you will remember forever. If you haven't, you will never understand.

Shortly afterwards, reading it for the fifth time, he remembered something and angrily snapped his pen in half. “That wasn't what I wanted to write!” he exclaimed. “I meant to... oh.”
Neal looked reproachfully at the pieces of the pen lying in his hand, as if it were its fault for breaking. Slightly more thoughtful, he found another pen and added:
True stories – not stories that are necessarily true in the world that the storyteller's locked in, not true in the way that facts are true, but stories that are Truth – are strange, wild things. One never knows exactly how they're going to turn out. They're unpredictable, frustrating, maddening, sometimes almost incomprehensible.
But that's what makes them wonderful.
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