Insights

I’m happy to be getting back to my Weather Riders serial, courtesy of Two Word Tuesday over at Our Write Side.  This week we had bicker and/or disagree.  Here’s the next installment.

                 The bickering seemed petty now.  I still didn’t like that Caiden lied, but now I understood why.  Silence stretched between us, Caiden not meeting my eye and me glaring at him.  Our disagreement hung on the emptiness.  Did this change anything?  Yes.  Did it change my commitment to this revolution they wanted?  I couldn’t let it.  For my safety.

Caiden whirled and stormed away, trees swaying in the wind surrounding him.

“You hit a nerve.”

I spun around at the unexpected words from Marcus.  “What?”

“I haven’t seen Caiden lose control like that since his family’s deaths.”

“So, you were aware he lied.”

Marcus gave me a steady look.  This time I looked away.

“You’re right.  He needed to tell me.  It seems like you both know so much more about me when I get nothing about you and only a little more about Caiden.”

“And yet you are here.  You understand what you need to, don’t you?”

I opened my mouth to answer Marcus and stopped.  Was Marcus right?

“Close your eyes.  Listen with your heart, my dear.  Don’t mind your head.  The head gets in the way for most of us.”

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I did as he asked.  At first, all I heard were birds and the occasional cicada.  Had Marcus not stood waiting, I would have given up.  But, he did, so I didn’t quit.  And then I sensed the wind.  Not the sound it made moving through the trees above us.  The wind itself.  A sibilant whisper in my soul.  As I listened to that seductive song I realized it sang to Marcus, too.  He was a Wind Rider.

I felt it whispering to Caiden as well.  With that, I learned Caiden’s secret.  He was Chimera.

My eyes flew open.  Marcus just smiled at me.  He understood what I had discovered.  Had known I would discover the secrets.  I looked around with a new perspective.  A newfound power.

Feeling Betrayed

Back at it with Studio 30 Plus’s prompt burble and/or babble.  For some reason, their website is not cooperating, so stop by their Facebook page to see what others have done with this prompt.  For me, it’s back to Caiden and Shayna where they are not exactly seeing eye to eye.

I could not help myself.  I slapped Caiden and stormed off.  The water murmured a soothing babble as I made my way along the shore.  The feeling of being manipulated still churning in my stomach.  I scooped up a couple rocks and threw them as hard as possible out into the water.  The resulting splashes rippled out until the miniature waves changed the rhythm of the water lapping along the beach.

“You done being mad at me yet?”

“No!  Go take a flying leap!”

He crunched his way out toward me, but I threw the rock I still had in my hand at him.  It bounced off his shoulder and fell into the water.

“I didn’t have a choice.”

“Bull.  I’m the one who didn’t have a choice.  You deliberately did this.”

“I had to!” his voice echoed back.

“Why?!”

The surrounding forest had long since gone quiet with our screaming.  The silence that hung between us seemed deafening.  Caiden turned his back on me and stared at the lake.  His shoulders slumped, and he dropped his head to stare at his feet.  He seemed to get smaller as I stood there.  Caiden scrubbed at his face and turned back.  I saw remnants of tears at the corners of his eyes.

“My sister and mother were Chimera.  The Council took them and killed.”

Something in his tone bothered me.  The story did not end there.

“And?”

Caiden sighed and looked straight at me, “I watched them die.  And did nothing.”

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Manipulated

Studio 30 Plus gave us copse and/or grove this week.  I’m cutting it down to the last second, but here is the next piece in my Weather Riders serial.  Enjoy and check out other ways this prompt was used over at Studio 30 Plus!

 

I went for a walk the next morning through the copse surrounding the cabin and wondered what the hell I agreed to last night.  Revolution?  Me leading?  Sheer craziness.  As I walked, I thought of all the reasons this whole notion reeked of insanity.

I stopped and stared at the clouds.  For the first time in too long, I reached out and played with them.  I made shapes.  Puffed them up.  Thinned them out into non-existence.  I felt clumsy, but did a passable job of making my playing appear to be the wind created havoc with the clouds.

“You’re good,” Caiden came up behind me.

I almost denied it out of sheer habit.  He already had my secret.

“Thank you.  It’s been a long time since I did that.”

“Imagine what you would do with practice.”

Smiling, I continued to watch the wind and the clouds.

“I want to show you something,” he continued, “It belongs to Marcus, but I want you to see it.”

I arched an eyebrow at him and he chuckled.

“That’s not what I meant!”

He protested some more as I laughed.  When I could breathe again without dissolving into hysterics at Caiden’s indignant expression, I wiped the tears from my face and gestured for him to lead on.

Caiden took me to a little pine grove nestled among the birch, oaks, and maples on a cliff overlooking the lake.

“There are twenty-seven evergreens here.  One for each of the Chimeras in this region who were killed for their powers.”

“Wow,” I wandered through pines of all sizes, “This is an amazing tribute.”

“Marcus and I, well most of it is Marcus, did not want their memory to be erased.  This is why we must fight.  And win.”

I knew in that moment with absolute certainty Caiden manipulated me into this point in time.  He understood I would not quit now.

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Studio 30 Plus: Reasons for Revolution

Sweet!  Post three of three done tonight!  This one is from the Studio 30 Plus prompt, dichotomy or contrast, this week.  Be sure to swing by and see what other ways the great authors at Studio 30 Plus used this prompt.

Caiden laughed as he jumped to his feet and pulled me up into a huge hug.  Marcus collapsed back into his chair as if every bone in his body disappeared all at once.

“Don’t get too excited.  I still suck as a leader, so you two and whoever else will have to do a lot of that work.”

“You’ll be fine.  You won’t regret this,” Caiden grinned as he all but danced from the room.

I drew my brows together, “Okay.  I’m lost once again.”

Marcus chuckled and gestured for me to sit again.

“Caiden has been looking for someone to lead his cause, our cause really, for a long time.  You must excuse his exuberance.”

“Exuberance?  That’s one way to put it.”

Marcus nodded, “I know you are nervous about your role.  As Caiden said, we will be here to support you.”

“I don’t even know much about who and what I am, much less the politics I’m diving into now, and I question my marginal understanding of things.  It sounds like my education as a Weather Rider has been a bit spotty.”

“Here’s the short version,” Marcus shifted in his chair, “The Council has ruled the Weather Riders for centuries now, and has maintained the same laws since its beginning.  The particular law threatening your wellbeing is that regarding Chimeras.  You can shift your powers from storms to wind to sun to clouds.  Even things like humidity and barometric pressure are under your control, should you so choose.  There were several Chimeras who wreaked havoc on our world.  Hence the law the Council passed that said Chimeras are leashed or killed.  No exceptions.”

“Leashed?  What does that mean?”

“There is a control device.  The Chimera wears a bracelet.  It is leashed, nowadays via Blue-tooth, to a control panel.  If the Chimera tries to use his or her power without someone at the control panel, it causes excruciating pain to the Chimera.  Enough so that no Chimera has ever influenced the weather for more than a few seconds.  Not long enough to escape.”

“How barbaric!”

“The other choice is to die.”

I snorted, “Not much of a choice,” I took a breath and gambled, “Why is there such a contrast in Caiden?”

Marcus cocked his head, “What do you mean?”

“When I first met him, he acted so hard.  Almost cruel.  Now he’s like a teenage boy who just found out he won a prize.  It’s a rather drastic dichotomy.”

“Caiden has learned to be cold.  He had little choice.”

“Why?”

“Because of the training they gave me to become a Monitor.  They stripped everything from me.  Everything,” Caiden’s somber voice came from behind me, making me jump.

“Yes,” Marcus sighed, “They do not want Monitors to have any ties to anyone or anything.  So, they beat it out of their trainees.  Sometimes quite literally.”

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An Agreement

Two in one day!  I guess writing in the car paid off today.  This time I used Studio 10 Plus’s prompt to get the next part of Shayna and Caiden’s story done using the prompt efficacious and/or effective.  Stop by and check out other responses as well.

“Destined?  No offense, but you two are nuts.  I am not a very effective leader.  Just ask my kitchen staff.  My sous chef does a much better job than I do.”

Caiden shifted to plant both feet on the floor and leaned toward me.  Marcus pursed his lips, but let Caiden lead the conversation.

“Look, Shayna.  You have two choices.  Lead the revolution and assure your secret will not be the death of you in the end,” he paused to stare at me, eyes filled with intensity, “Or gamble that no one else will figure it out.  If you lose that gamble, you will likely die.”

I did not know what to say.  Caiden was right about the end result if I gambled.  But a revolution?  Seriously?

“Let’s just say for the sake of discussion I agree to your crazy idea.  What happens?  I mean, I have no clue how to lead a revolution.”

Caiden grinned, “Then you talk to the Riders.  All of them we can contact.  Show them Chimeras need to be saved.  Are not a threat to anyone.  That the rule of the Council is outmoded and discriminatory, not just against Chimeras but all Riders not like them.”

“And how many is ‘all’?”

“Here in the U.S.?  One thousand four hundred and eighty-three.  In the world?  Eighteen thousand two hundred twenty-four.”

“Oh, lord.”

“What Caiden is failing to explain is that we do not need to incite worldwide revolution.  At least not at this point.  Just here in Minnesota.  Maybe Wisconsin and Iowa, too.  That’s only twenty-eight others,” Marcus broke in.

Caiden looked at me with a grin that made him look like a rogue or a pirate or something.  I had never seen this side of him before.

“We’ll have your back.  Are you in?”

I blinked several times and opened my mouth, but no words came out.  He was crazy.  Certifiable.  But a reckless part of me wanted to do it.  Wanted the insane adventure.

I grinned back, “The restaurant is in good hands for a while yet.  Why not?  What do we do next?”

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