Haru-karu-kami-sami-san Himself

“Turn around. I’m dressed. Or at least close enough.” Jessica sat on the heated bench wrapped in a robe and covered with a blanket. Steam rose from her damp uncovered hair. “Can you make sure the soldier I took the sword from gets it back? I think her name is [something].”

Prince Carta turned. “Yes, [something]. She was a bit astonished when you took—”

“—pissed no doubt.” Carta grimaced. She knew he preferred to gloss her rougher edges, but she saw no point in misleading anyone with pretty words.

“Even so. She will not take it back now.”

“Shit! Have I ruined some other tradition here in fantasy land? Sullied her family blade made by Haru-karu-kami…sami…san himself and passed down through generations of [something]s after being touched by some crazy woman from Earth? Jesus, you people are twitchy.”

Carta sighed. One of the reasons Jessica enjoyed letting herself get angry around him was because she knew he could absorb it. His pretty words and polite demeanor could take whatever abuse she threw at him and diffuse it like [something poetic here]. Blah blah blah. Even when she baited him with phrases like ‘fantasy land’ and ‘Earth’ he could stay on focus. Though she suspected he was storing those bits away for another time and another conversation.

[snip: indirect dialogue about what a prince like him has time for]

“Now that the blade has slain a dragon, [something] will consider it a gift to you. She would not take such a gift back. In fact, should you see her again, she will most likely apologize for not giving it to you sooner.”

“So, I can’t give it back. ”


“And I can’t pay her for it?”


“Can I give her a gift in return?”

“You could have had you not slain a dragon with it first.”

“Can’t undo that.”


“Is she a good soldier? Good at killing and stuff?”

“There’s more to it than that.”

“Is she good at the ‘more to it than that’ stuff too?”

“She’s under [someone else]. His troops are well respected.”

“Promote her then.”

“I cannot.”

“Then let me talk to [someone else]. I’ll gt him to do it.”

“He’s well-respected for a reason.”

Jessica huffed. And raised her eyebrows abrupted and expectantly.

“He’s well-respected for a reason, and that reason is that he would refuse on her behalf because he would know you were only trying to pay her for the gift.”

“It’s not a goddamn gift when you snatch it out of someone’s hand!”

Carta shrugged.

“Even still?” she asked.

“Even still,” he agreed.

Jessica walked to the ledge where the bath water smoothed over the side of the stone wall. Her robe trailed a damp path behind her. It steamed into the cold mountain air. She had an idea early, but made Carta wait before telling him.

“Since stealing is such a gift then tell [someone else] that I’ll just take [something]. She can be my bodyguard and…fantasyland translator.”

“Very well. Tandi tells me the troops are quitting the field, and I’d like to contact [someone else] before he departs. Is there anything else, Dame Matthews?”

Jessica tried not to be surprised at his easy acceptance of her demand. “That will be all. You are dissmissed.”

546 words on day 715

Naked in Dreamland

“In this dream I kill a dragon or I just killed one. I don’t remember killing it. But I’m hanging on to a sword; stabbing it in the neck, so…” said Jessica then she shrugged. [a little setting or char description here]

“Weird. Were you happy about it?” asked Karen. [describe Karen a bit.]

“I was cold and very tired. Exhausted really. I was wearing that same outfit I wore at Halloween.”

“That Goth biker-chick with the red wig? You looked great in that.”

“Exactly. I mean yes, that one…and thanks. I had a tattoo on my neck, but the shirt was different; they matched.”

“The tattoo matched the shirt or was different?”

“Different shirt than at your party. But the design on the dream-shirt matched the dream-tattoo. Kind of. But I don’t think that mattered,” Jessica said.

“What it looked like?”

“I don’t even know how I know they matched. I don’t recall looking down at the shirt, but I know it was different than the one I wore. How I knew I had a tattoo on my neck makes no sense. Can you even look at your neck?” Jessica tucks her chin to her chest and swivels her head around trying to find out.

“True, but in dreams you just sort of know. You know?”

“I’m not even sure killing the dragon’s the weird part. Right after that I’m in some outdoor bath thing at a church talking to some guy who I think is a prince or a baron or something. Are barons the same thing as dukes?” Jessica reached for the oh-shit bar as they headed into the curvey part of 285.

“I don’t know what a duke or a baron is really. I think they’re like kings but have less land. Wait. Were you naked in this bath talking to this guy?”

“Yeah. And I was even trying to come on to him a little but he wouldn’t look. This bath was like a huge hot swimming pool. I was out floating in the middle and he was facing away watching it snow over the valley. He would not turn around at all, so I never even saw his face.”

“But he was hot I bet?” Karen tried to bring Jessica back to a lighter mood. [A mood I’ve done nothing to instill above.]

“Yeah. He was. Black hair too.”

“Well, I don’t know what that was about—especially the dragon—but even in dreamland being naked in front of a stranger is pretty daring for you.”

“I know. I know”

424 words on day 707

The Post Killing Bath

I thought I might clean up yesterday’s work but I’ve decided to move forward instead. Knowing my enthusiasm for writing about sublimating snow, I doubt I’ll forget to add that bit in when I finally do get back to that scene. I’m halfway afraid of locking in a sensibility to that scene that I wouldn’t return to later and would do well at the moment.

“I have a theory,” Jessica said.

“You have a theory? You have a theory? I have a th…” Jessica splashed water on Prince Carta.

“I’ve just slain a dragon and I’d like to be the only one talking. You can shit on me later.” Jessica Matthews pushed back from the edge of the bath because the stone wall cooled the water too well and she wanted to be surrounded by warmth. She suspected that even though Carta would continue staring out to the sparkling white mountains that hearing her swim to the center of the bath would put a woman’s body to mind—she wondered whose. “What was her name?”

“What? Whose name? What do you mean? Who?”

Jessica didn’t really want to tease Carta right now, but she also doubted she’d ever get the chance again. She sighed. “What was the dragon’s name? That wasn’t ulubenu’unedulu.” She watched his frame relax.

“No. No, that wasn’t Ulubenu’unedulu. It was probably Opuondo or Millowollim maybe. She was a cousin not a sister. I’ll ask Tandi for you; he should know.”

“That’s OK. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Aren’t you cold?”

Carta’s hands rose on both sides. His fingers splayed tensely then fisted then open wide again before they sagged back to his side. “I’m chilly. Dame Matthews, you said you had a theory.”

Jessica slowed her treading and let her head slip under the surface with the rest of her body. She thrust backward till her feet brushed the sandy slope of the shallows. When she came up she shook out her short red hair and cleared the water from her eyes.

“Come over here and sit on the bench by the fire. I don’t want to yell.”

Some of this is how I’d right it up, but some of it’s stalling because I’m not sure how to have the ‘theory’conversation yet.

378 words on day 693