This week’s writing challenge is on memories. This got me thinking on some of my characters’ first memories, and so far I’ve worked on two. Only 1 is done so far, however, so I’ll go ahead and post it here. There will be at least one more, and I’ll post them as I finish.
The first one was for Zaira, which went in a direction I didn’t expect.
Rays of light backed the farmhouse as I rubbed an eye, sleepy and somewhat impatient at the same time. The dew had woken me, dripping down on my face from the tall blades of grass, and soaking the pillow I had brought out with me in the night. It sometimes felt wrong, sleeping indoors, and so many nights I would end up out here in the field, on the porch, under my mother’s lilac bushes. Waking up outside was full of energy and living things.
The sun had only just peeked over the eastern horizon, and already I could feel the dew starting to evaporate as the night sounds began changing into day sounds. Gathering up my pillow and blanket, I could feel Alana’s mind reaching out, making sure of where I was. She wasn’t usually up so early—it must be Saturday, and we were going into town today. It meant we practiced early, with the sun. That was when I turned to see the barn door was open a few feet, the light inside becoming pale now as the sun rose. Had he started without me?
Leaving my bed things where they were, I jumped up and ran into the barn, grass sticking to my feet with the last of the dew. Dahan was, indeed, already stretching out for the session.
“Dia, you started without me!”
“Growing girls need their sleep, apa. Come give me a hug!”
He always smelled of Alana and tea at morning sessions, he’d drunk green tea this morning. “You have trouble getting out of bed today?”
“Only a little! Your mother’s hard to leave, some mornings.”
“Cause she’s special.”
“Mhm. Just like you. Now let’s get to it before we get cut short.”
He continued his stretching, until we folded up into pretzels, and then he opened the doors wide, so we could do patterns, and the dust of the barn would drift out into the field and away on the wind.
She’s probably about four here, and yes, Alana and Dahan are her parents. She still calls them by their names, because they call each other by their names, I think. Dia and apa are Lupa words for father/daddy and an affectionate term for a one’s daughter, similar to “baby” or “little girl”, respectively. The Lupa are a species I created in my stories, who come from a planet very different from our own, and whom most of my stories are about.
Originally, this piece was going to be more about the house and/or Alana, but the fact that it was Saturday changed everything. As I thought about it, I realized that while I have done things with Alana elsewhere, Dahan usually doesn’t appear much, and I don’t know as much about him. It’s surprising what you realize sometimes when you write, even with characters you’ve been working with for over a decade–Zaira in this case.
Altyira, my Dragonriders of Pern fanfic character is up next, which I’ll post when it’s finished.