Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 4)

“Where you any good at solving puzzle boxes?” Lord Jaias asked, moving the small cube from one hand to the other while he spoke.

“The pretty one I lost was simple.” Cixi replied with a smile, hands folded in her lap, “The newer puzzle boxes I got never came as easily to me as that one did. Especially as I got older. I always solved them eventually. It was probably the only thing I did better than my brothers.”

“This is going to sound like an odd request," Lord Jaias replied, "but I was wondering if you could do one thing for me.”

Lord Jaias stopped passing the puzzle box between his hands and held it out toward Cixi, the black cat facing her.

“Do you think that you could try solving this one?”

“Oh, Uncle,” Cixi said with a short giggle, “You want to see me sit here and struggle while you know how to solve it.”

“I have a feeling that you will probably have an easy time solving this one,” Lord Jaias replied, still keeping his hand outstretched, “Will you try it?”

Cixi reached her hand out and let Lord Jaias place the small cube in her hand, “Well, I suppose there is no harm in trying. But you are allowed to give me hints if it starts to take too long. Mother is expecting me out at the carriage pretty soon. She will lose her mind if find out I'm in here playing with puzzle boxes.”

"Of that I have no doubt."


Lady Alarra clutched her skirt in both hands, sprinting as quickly as her heeled shoes would allow. She ignored the sideways glances from those she pushed her way through the corridors. She had this panicked feeling in her chest. Why hadn’t see been told about the extension? Even the servants knew? He wouldn’t. He couldn’t.

Lady Alarra continued running, now catching the attention of the servants that lined the hallways. They tried reaching out and stopping her, asking what it was that she was in such a hurry to get. They would be more than happy to have her wait and they go off and get it for her. But she pushed them aside just as she did everyone else.


Cixi stared at the shiny moveable pieces, sliding one piece across and then sliding it back.

“You are concentrating too hard,” Lord Jaias said, seeing the furrowed lines of frustration starting to crease Cixi’s face, “Why don’t you try closing your eyes while you move the pieces?”

“You can’t solve a puzzle if you can’t see it,” Cixi said, still sliding the pieces around to no avail.

“Sometimes it’s our eyes that make the puzzle harder than what it is. Come on, Cixithara, close your eyes.”

Cixi twisted her mouth in disbelief but closed her eyes anyway. Lord Jaias looked down and watched as the outline of the black mountain cat emblem began to glow softly. This was quite the unexpected turn. She had done nothing more than close her eyes. The glow became brighter and Cixi slowly pulled her fingers away from the small toy. The sliding pieces started moving themselves as the puzzle box sat nested in Cixi’s hand. After a few moments, with her eyes still closed, Cixi pressed the emblem with her thumb and the box came open.

“You were right,” Cixi replied, opening her eyes again, “That was simple. You didn’t tell me that it was a magic puzzle box. Those are always easy to open. But if yours was anything like mine, it usually does something after you open it.”

“You are correct. This one plays a song. Do you think that you could get it to play?”

Lord Jaias leaned forward, a new intrigue sparking in his powder haired niece.

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 3)

Lady Alara made sure that all of her things were being sent to a carriage outside and then went to make sure that Cixi's things were taken care of as well. She had expected to see Cixi sitting in her room. However, when she opened the door, there were only hand maidens packing up the few things that Cixi had brought with her and cleaning the room up.

"Where is my daughter?" Lady Alara asked, scanning the room.

The young elven women averted their eyes, more to avoid answering the question rather than out of customary habit. There was silence as the servants exchanged glances between each other. Lady Alara noticed that Matthias also sitting quietly in the corner, not making any eye contact.

“I am going to ask one more time and only one more time,” Lady Alara said, in a sterner voice, “Where is my daughter?”

“The young ma’am wished to say goodbye to Lord Jaias before you left,” one of the handmaidens answered, “We warned her that it was against your explicit wish. However, she believed that saying you all were leaving would not be so terrible. We are really sorry, Lady Alara. There was nothing we could say that would stop her.”

“It is quite alright,” Alara replied, slightly upset but keeping her composure, “It is only polite, I suppose. And with the testing coming to a close, I am sure that my brother would notice our absence. I just wish I had been informed of my daughter’s actions before this.”

“Milady, were you not told?” the handmaiden asked,” Testing is going on for one more day. The Council extended it late last night.”

Lady Alara’s eyes widened, “Extended it? Why?”

Part 4

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 2)

Just like that, the Testing was over. There was no more calling of names, no more sitting in hallways, no more secret meetings behind closed doors. Everyone went back to socializing, eating, gossiping and whatever else they had occupied themselves with doing before. Lady Alara busied herself with packing. She was leaving as soon as possible and taking her daughter with her.

In the middle of the frenzied rush, Cixi snuck away. She was just as happy to leave as her mother was anxious to get her out. Nothing would make her happier than to be rid of these ridiculous clothes, ridiculous people and be back in her hammock at the clinic with Nic and Erad. But, there was one person she had to see before she left. After making her way quickly and quietly down the maze of corridors, Cixi lightly knocked on the familiar study door. She knew that she was supposed to have Matthias do all the knocking and introductions for, but that just seemed so silly. Besides, she was on her way home. What could possibly be done to her now for knocking on a door?

The door opened and Cixi met the rather stunned gaze of Tobias, wearing his long brown robes as always. He looked past Cixi, obviously searching for the servant who was supposed to be accompanying the young lady elf. Cixi spoke up, directing her question at Tobias

“Is Lord Jaias busy?” 
“You know that you never have to ask that.”

The answer came before Tobias could form one of his own. He quickly moved out of Cixi’s way, allowing her to come inside of the study. Lord Jaias was sitting behind his desk, as it seemed he always was whenever Cixi had come to see him. He rolled up whatever it was he was working on and placed it to the side. His eyes had dark circles beneath them and the lines in his faces seemed deeper than they had been before. A grin crossed his lips as Cixi came into the room.

“Has my sister allowed you to come and see me?” he asked, leaning back in his chair and placing his arms on the armrests.

Cixi shook her head, as she took a seat on the opposite side of the desk, “No, she doesn’t know that I have come here to see you. But I thought it was only polite for me to come and say goodbye. 

"Goodbye?" Lord Jaias asked, "Rushing off are we?"

Cixi shook her head again, "My mother and I are leaving today. In fact, we are leaving pretty soon. My things are probably being loaded on a carriage as we speak.” 

Lord Jaias took a deep breath,”I had hoped you would have stayed for a bit longer. But once my sister has made up her mind, there is no unmaking it," Lord Jaias paused for a moment.

"You have a position in House Silvacce, I heard. You should take a few of those outfits that you wore while you were here. I’m sure that you will have use for them again.”

“I really don’t think my mother would let me keep them,” Cixi replied, “It would probably be best if I just let them remain here.”

Lord Jaias nodded, pursing his lips slightly at the thought. There was silence for a few moments. Cixi started picking at the frills on her dress. What it was that had driven such a wedge between her mother and her uncle? He seemed genuinely nice and understanding. And her mother was usually sweet, despite her stern streak. Cixi could feel her curiosity churning away in her head. However, she wasn’t entirely sure if it was something that she wanted to ask. At least not right now. Looking to change the subject, Cixi eyed something in front of her.

"Oh!" Cixi exclaimed, seeing the small object on Lord Jaias desk, "I used to have a toy just like that one!"

Lord Jaias sat forward in his chair and moved some papers around to see what Cixi was talking about. Nestled next to some ink bottles was a cube. It was constructed out of polished wood and metal with shifting pieces on each side. With a grin on his face, Lord Jaias picked the cube up and slowly turned it around in his hand.

"Really?" Jaias replied, interest causing his ears to perk up, "I didn’t think that you would have any interest in puzzle boxes. Especially ones like these. Do you still have yours?"

Cixi shook her head, "No, I don't know what became of it. I used to play with it all the time and then I lost it somehow. My brothers were going to let me play with theirs, seeing how they didn't really care for it. But oddly, they lost theirs too. Just figured they were given away or something."

"Did your puzzle box have any special markings on it, like this one does?"

Lord Jaias turned the box over to reveal a black cat etched into one of the sides. Again Cixi nodded her head.

"Yes, it did. All of ours did, actually. They all had silver crowns etched into the side. We never knew what they meant. Just figured it was a toymaker mark. But I have never been able to find a puzzlebox like that since. It was so pretty, like yours."

Lord Jaias grinned, “Yes, this particular one is quite special. It was a gift. My father always kept it right here on his desk. I find myself doing the same thing.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Write - Belong to You

I want to pen this letter to you. Share my deepest feelings. But I don’t know how. How do I paint my heart in ink? And paint it in such a way that you can understand these thoughts and feelings that I barely understand myself. Even now, I wonder if I should burn this letter and give up on this endeavor. 
How is it that you can make everything so intoxicatingly confusing? How can you give my world such calm and clarity. And in the same moment, make everything so chaotic and uncertain? My head swims. My pulse quickens. I cannot rid myself of this ever present smile you put on my face. I am powerless to undo this unyielding and wondrous net I have found myself entangled in. I am captured, captivated and entranced, as if wandering in a dream that I never want to end.

My first waking thought is of you. And you are the last image in my head before drifting off to sleep. Your eyes, your smile, your laugh , my head is filled with thoughts of you. Like a lingering pleasant memory constantly revisited.

Perhaps I am nothing more than a fool. A fool with a pen, making a poor attempt to give voice to my heart and my soul. I hope I can convey at least a whisper of my heart. I want you to know this part of me. The part that springs to life when I am around you. This flickering light that glows for you. And every second it continues to swell in my chest.

This is my letter. This is my heart in ink, painted on paper for you to read, and hopefully for your heart to understand. I want for nothing more than to belong to you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 1)

The story beings with The Nightfall Saga: The House Gathers

And continues with The Nightfall Saga: Moving Pieces

The reason for the Gathering was now coming ever closer. The Testing was about to begin, made pretty evident by the ambient intensity increasing by the day. Cixi was not entirely sure testing meant, but the swell of  whispering clued her in to it's importance and shrouded secrecy. She asked once or twice before it began, but the only answer Cixi received was from her handmaidens. She was told not to worry about it. Lady Alara had made sure that Cixi would not be participating. Of course that didn't quell Cixi's curiosity in the least. If anything, her exclusion only added more fuel to her ever burning questions.

What Cixi could glean from the clandestine whispers, the five heads of House Ebonlynx gathered together in one of the many rooms in large estate and called for candidates to come and sit with them. Behind those closed doors, some sort of examination was administered. What it entailed, no one would say. How the test was passed, no one would say either. Not even so much as what the test was for. But, when the day came that the first name was called, everyone headed to those doors and made themselves comfortable outside of them.

Cixi watched the entire procession with everyone else. One person after another walked into that room and had the doors closed behind them. Time would pass, the doors would open again and they would walk out. A servant announce the results for everyone to hear, then he call the next name. Cixi was confused by the somber ceremony of it all, especially after all the lighthearted socializing that had gone on before. None of those who failed looked disappointed. Those who passed did not seem elated or joyous about their success. There was no discussion of it afterwards. Everyone talked about everything else except what was happening behind those doors. And no matter how many times Cixi inquired, even her own mother never expounded on what was going on.

Cixi had tried asking others, but her questions were met with less than warm answers. Her status among the House had changed slightly now that everyone had seen how protective Lord Jaias had been with this niece. The powder haired huntress was under the protection of one of the Heads of the Council. No one was to so much as look at her cross ways. And while this had saved her from the arrogant berating she had received when she first arrived, it could not save Cixi from this. Her inquiries about The Testing had been met smoldering stares and tight lips.    

Cixi was exempt from having the go through the Testing. That did not sit with anyone in House Ebonlynx. Especially since everyone knew it was because of her deserter mother, Lady Alara. If Cixi was to be accepted as an Ebonlynx, she should be at least be considered as a candidate as well. Cixi should get no favoritism, especially being the granddaughter of a former Head and the niece of the new one.  And while no one breathed a word of it, the air was thick with dislike for Cixi and her the outcast mother.And now, Cixi didn't even have Lord Jaias to talk to.

Times like these, Cixi wished that she was back at home, hunting, with her actual family. There was none of this smiling in your face and then ripping you to shreds the moment you were out of the room. Cixi wondered how much longer she was going to have to tolerate all of this. How much longer she would be able to tolerate this. Little did she know, it would not be long at all. Thanks to a relative whose name Cixi never knew, the days of her stay were to be abruptly truncated.

Story continues: Secrets Revealed (Part 2)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Birthday Beauty Box

My sister spoils me :D

I had my birthday a while back and I got a really awesome gift from my sister. I will call it my beauty box. I haven't used everything just yet, but I have fallen in love with everything that I have used so far.

Face and hair products

My sister is letting her hair go natural just like I am. She sent me a shampoo and conditioner combination that she liked by Aunt Jackie's. It smelled really nice, so I decided why not. I absolutely adore this stuff now. It makes my hair feel really soft and smooth. I didn't think anything would make me walk away from Organix, but this stuff is a keeper.

Next is a green tea facial cleanser, moisturizer, and toner that I believe comes from The Face Shop. I have only been using the toner right now, because I had just opened my Olay products. However, I had no toner to speak of, so this came right on time. Very simple add in to the daily facial cleaning regime.

The volcanic clay...I like it because it has a nifty name. It is solely for cleaning the pores on your nose, like a Biore strip. It is pretty quick and simple. Put it on your nose, let it dry and then peel it off.

Face masks!!
The shampoo and conditioner were my favorite products so far, but these are a close second. I love face masks, especially these. The serum from these things makes my skin feel so much more hydrated and refreshed. Plus there is usually enough left over in the packet to rub on my neck and shoulders.I was never much for face products before, but these have me hooked.

This last one was a gag gift that made it's way into my box. (Thanks, Frankie) I swore that I would never use used something that had the word 'placenta' in it. The name of it simply grosses me out. I mean, come on, have you guys ever seen an actual placenta? Not something want to be massaging into my hair follicles. Frankie knew this and when she saw this protein pack, she couldn't help herself.

So that was my beauty box. Not sure how I'm supposed to match this for Frankie's birthday. Maybe I will get her a bunch of video game related stuff.Maybe make her a personalized Lootcrate or something along those lines.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Daily Write - Equals

You were everything I had ever wanted to become. There was nothing else I wanted more than to stand on your pedestal. To stand on that same height our peers had placed you on and look into your eyes.

 I find it ironic now. The thing that drove my want to emulate you, become you, what sat you in spotlight and heraldry, was the one thing you despised. Despised so much you tore it out, ripped it up, and destroyed every part of it. 

 Now that you have turned your back on what made you great, are we finally equals?