So I was totally geared up for NaNoWriMo prior to the month starting and now, here we are, three days in and I have yet to write a single word for the story I had originally been banking on. Not that I haven’t been writing, but it just hasn’t been for NaNo. lol The initial idea is there, but for whatever reason, I seem to have lost the drive to write the half-formed jumble of words and ideas in my head so I’m sort of vacillating on what arc I want to work on. I am still deciding, obviously, and fantasy is ever my genre for the most part, so the hard part now is settling on something. I’m toying with expanding one of my plot ideas that isn’t fantasy but could prove to be… one of those experiences that broadens my horizons again. Hmm… Maybe. If you’re interested, feel free to check out the kernel of thought that has yet to be fully formed below. haha 🙂
The familiar room appeared dark and forbidding as the young woman stood in the center, flanked by four men in plain, black business suits, though none had bothered to remove the Katana strapped to her back. She stared straight ahead with pale eyes, neither hazel nor brown but somewhere in between, expression stoic with high cheekbones, a sun deprived complexion and azure hair pulled back into a severe ponytail, black roots just starting to show through.
Her not diminutive posture spoke of confidence and poise, toned body easy to see through the protective covering of her black tank top and stretch pants, complemented by simple dark sneakers and a dainty silver necklace adorned with an upside flower; a thorned rose. Taking a shallow breath, she shifted in place marginally, feet slightly spread apart with her hands clasped loose behind her back as she regarded the aging, displeased male before her.
“Rose,” he murmured in a gravelly voice, ruined from years of smoking and too many fights to count. His steel colored eyes, the same shade as his shoulder length hair, stared at her, dry lips pursed in a sallow, wrinkled and scarred face that refused to reveal more than he was ready to.
“Sir,” she responded abruptly, her tone clipped and hurried, giving away none of the impatience and concern she felt beneath her calm exterior.
The older male exhaled slowly, breath hissing in the back of his throat as he stood up, revealing a garb similar to hers but of infinitely finer quality and more coverage. He lacked the weapon she bore but there was no mistaking he was dangerous enough without one, the remnants of scars lingering on his bare flesh promising many more beneath the obscuring folds of cloth. “It has come to my attention that your brother and his friends have allowed themselves to be captured in a foolish foray of their own creation.”
Rose’s eyes narrowed slightly at the statement but she did not deny it. “I am aware,” she nodded in quiet agreement, trying to slow the quickened beating of her heart.
“Then you are also aware of what will happen should I allow you to carry out your plan?” While the inquiry was delivered with perfect poise, there was no doubt he was agitated by the turn of events, evidenced in the way he paced on his dais, movements fluid but abbreviated.
“You are aware what will happen if I don’t, correct?” she challenged instead, meeting his gaze without flinching as she pulled her shoulders back and picked her chin up proudly. The immediate disapproval was impossible to miss but she held her ground all the same, despite his expression turning severe and predatory.
“Very well,” he conceded after a long, silent pause filled with growing tension and uncertainty as the men around her shifted uncomfortably. “You have the night.”
“More than I need,” Rose admitted with a slightly respectful nod of her head, keeping her eyes locked on his warily before she straightened up and turned around, making a point not to tense up further as she presented her back to him. She wasn’t the only one to relax when the older male snorted derisively with a wave of his hand and resumed his seat to watch her and her escort depart.
As she cleared the doors pushed open before her, she couldn’t help but quicken her pace to outdistance the men flanking her. They sped up accordingly but called no alarm; she wasn’t running away from them, after all. No. Rose simply had limited time and was well aware that her only brother and his closest friends were being held by their worst blood enemies, subject to their tender care.
Whether they had acted solely on their own or not, their actions had not been driven by a sanctioned mission so they were forsaken. No help would be sent to retrieve them and they would die.
Rose couldn’t allow that to happen, never mind that she herself would receive no aide in turn. This was her mission and hers alone; connected in no way, shape or form to their clan. Should she fail, she would die with the rest of them. Should she succeed… At least her brother would be safe and war between their clans would still be averted.
Taking a deep breath, she shoved the doors of their company open, odd colored eyes sliding to either side of her as she smirked at the quickly stifled, but still surprised expressions of the entrance guards as they regarded her in turn. The cool night air greeted her refreshingly beneath an inky sky, spattered with a smattering of stars winking dimly above her, the peaceful scenery contrasting starkly with the daunting challenge of her task.
“Let’s do this,” she murmured to herself, nodding her head once before she leaned forward and started sprinting on the balls of her feet, steps silent on the hard pavement.