Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Paula's Prompt: Jingle Shark

And now for something completely silly. :)

On April 25, 2018, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com  a Wednesday Words prompt involving a shark, jingle bells, and rain.

This brought out the ridiculous, ahem, whimsical side of me. This poem was the result...

Rain doesn’t bother the shark
Shapeshifting into her aquatic form
Bringing terror to the fishes
Leaving bloody trails in her wake
If only humans would stop singing, “Jingle Bells”!
Bad enough that they squat on her ocean
In their ridiculous human constructs called ‘boats’
Pathetic attempts to float
Casting their nets into her ocean
Skimming off her supply of fish
Still they insist on singing, “Jingle Bells!”
In their flat, off key voices
There are no bells out here
They’re far away from their farting foghorns
What are they singing about?
No one horse open sleigh will save the humans
Not from her angry bite
It doesn’t stop them from bellowing, “Jingle Bells!”
Now the song is stuck in her head
Even if she’s a shark in the middle of the ocean

And it’s mid spring. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Paula's Prompt: The Vexations of Cinnamon

On April 18, 2018, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a prompt involving catnip, a pie, and a thorn.

The mention of catnip got Cinnamon, my four footed daughter interested. She tried her paw once at writing a short story (well, if Mom does it, it can't be too hard, can it?), but she had to rely on her human mom with her human hands to do the typing. She ended up losing interest. :)

The mention of catnip caught her attention. Cinnamon has decided to tell a story of her own using this prompt, using me to do the typing, creating, and generally thinking. :)

Yes, this story is fiction, but it involves real people, including myself. It's the sort of thing I could see happening in our house...:)


There was a tiny thorn hidden within the catnip. Not that it could hide from my fastidious paws. I batted it out of the gray, flaked leaves and swatted my stupid brother aside. Sage was about to stick his nose into it, possibly stabbing his muzzle. 

Not that he appreciated my rescue, the idiot. He leaned over and bit my neck. 

I growled in response. Sage needed to learn who’s queen in this townhouse. 

“What now?” Mom asked with her mouth full of pie. She put down her plate. 

I let out a vexed little mew. Such boring fare my two-legged mother eats. No dead bird, no dead fish, nothing remotely interesting. 

“Sage, are you picking on your sister again?” My mother eyed my stupid brother, who moved away from me. 

Sage may be an idiot, but he’s a natural at looking innocent when he’s up too no good. He turned his green eyes on our mother, the very picture of pitiful martyrdom. 

I mewed at Mom, doing my best to distract her from Brother by rubbing myself against her legs. It was, after all, her responsibility to handle things. 

“Why are you pushing your brother away from the catnip?” Mom turned away from her pie to examine the pile of dried herbs. “Don, there’s a thorn in here!”

She picked up the offending object, brushing the catnip off the carpet for good measure. Really, she needn’t have bothered. 

“How did this get here?” Mom demanded, making certain she cleaned every speak off the floor. 

“Maybe one of us tracked it in, after it got stuck to the soles of our shoes,” Dad suggested. He kept a firm grip on his plate of pie. “Hon, Sage is after your dinner.” 

Sure enough, my stupid brother was sniffing at Mom’s pie.

“Sage!” Mom rose to her feet, stratling Sage. 

He bounded away from the plate, up the stairs. 

Mom chased after him, still scolding him. 

Curious, I stuck my nose in the pie, wondering what about it got my brother so excited. 
“Don’t even think about it, Cinnamon.” Dad leaned forward from his chair to glare at me. “I’m watching you.”


I never get to have any fun. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest: Stupid Customs

On March 28, 2018, P.T. Wyant posted for her Wednesday Words prompt a brightly colored egg, a new hat, and a parade.

This Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest happened, or rather a Tale of Omphalos. It's another story that could easily have happened during my third novel (currently under revision) in the series, A Godling for Your Thoughts?


“Ooo, look at that feather!” Danyel stood on his tip toes, straining to see the cap with the feather, jauntily making its way through the crowds of villagers. 
Tayel blinked at the sight of its wearer. 

“Meggie,” he mumured, staring in shock at the familar, round flushed face, surrounded by russet curls. Nothing else was recognizable about her. 

Gone was her dumpy awkwardness, hidden behind skirts and heavy tunics. She’d traded them in for a brown trousers and a bright blue vest, a striking contrast to Maggie’s brown and green. 

 The sisters balled their hands on their lips, grinning with roguish confidence at everyone in sight. Arm and arm, they danced their way through the parade, sometimes stopping to circle each other in an impromptu dance. 

Everyone made way, whistling, clapping and cheering for Maggie and Meggie, who’d take off their cap and wave them, only to collect a coin or two from passers by. 

Ashleigh, the twins’s mother, followed them behind, whooping. Gone was her own cap sporting a feather. Instead, she wore a broad brimmed hat covered with feather and beads which appeared to be new. 

“Ridiculous.” The scornful word sliced through the cheerful, festive mood of the crowd, reducing everything to absurdity. 

Danyel flinched before he could stop himself. 

Tayel glowered out of the corner of his eye at Thomas, not bothering to waste a direct glance upon him. “No one asked you.”

Thomas fidged with a brightly painted egg he carried in his hand. “This whole festival is stupid. Why are we bothering carrying on the traditions of the outside world? We’re no longer part of it.”

“What’s that?” Danyel’s curiousity got the better of his desire to ignore Thomas. The egg had varying shades of pink ringed around it. Tiny silver and golden sequins were attached to its shell. 

“Another ridiculous custom associated with this ridiculous holiday.” Thomas scowled at the object he carried. “Decorating eggs, hiding them, and having other people try to find them.” 

Without warning, he hurled the egg at Danyel’s face. 

Danyel tried to catch it, but the speed and violence of Thomas’s throw did its damage. The egg hit Danyel’s hand, its shell cracking. It bounced off Danyel’s palm like a rubbery ball to fall to his feet. 

Thomas let out a snort of laughter. “I suppose that was a little bit fun.”

Danyel stared at the egg, which lay in yellow chunks amidst bits of silver and golden. He was grabbed by an unsuspecting merrymaker, whom whirled him around, crushing the egg under his booted feet. 

Danyel was dropped and abandoned in the middle of the crowd. He stared at his twin with wide, glistening eyes, glancing at the yellow mush left in the wake of the stomper. His lower lip trembled.

“How exactly was that fun?” He whirled to confront Thomas, hands balled into fists. “Don’t you enjoy anything other than hurting or destorying things?”

“Aww, are you feeling sorry for a hardboiled egg, Danyel?” Thomas sneered. “You’re such a girl!”

“And you’re a brute and a fool,” Tayel put as much measured venom as he could in his words, drawing Thomas’s attention away from his twin. “Throw as many rocks or eggs as you like. It won’t make you anything more than that.” 

Thomas’s lower lip trembled. He raised a meaty fist, pulled it back. 

Tayel willed the unearthy light, coursing within him, to stare through his eyes at this pitiful creature. Go ahead and hit me. Anything you hurl at me will strike you back, leaving me unharmed. 

“Come on, Tayel.” His twin took his arm, leading Tayel away into the crowd, leaving Thomas to his temper and smashed egg. 


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Whose Life Is It?: A Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest

On March 14, 2018, P.T. Wyant posted as her Wednesday Words prompt a knife, a marketplace, and a friend's betrayal.

This always makes me think of Julius Caesar. The denizens of Omphalos had other ideas of what to do with it. This story came into my imagination as a result.

Such an event might very well have happened in A Godling for Your Thoughts?, the third book of my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series.

Perhaps I'll rewrite this later and insert it in...you may recognize some of the characters in this, if you stopped by for my Blogging From AZ April Project: Character Goals. Yes, they're the same ones that appeared here and at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com...

“You betrayed me.” ‘Lyssa pressed her knife against Map’s throat. “Did you think I’d ever forget?”

Leiwell swallowed his fear, willing a blade manifest in the air. Not an easy task, ripping through the reality of this marketplace, but he’d give up a little more of his life energy to make the impossible possible. 

“Don’t, Leiwell.” His mother’s command stopped him in his tracks. “She doesn’t know what she’s doing, but Mel has cause.” She rolled a dark eye toward the blade at her neck. “Dyvian and I did kill a part of her, long ago.” She moved her gaze from the blade to the slender girl with pointed ears holding it. “Assuming there’s any of the Mel I knew left in you.”

The crowd parted around the two women, allowed them plenty of space. Everyone stared at them. 

Melyssa ignored the mutters, the transfixed gazes, and pointing. 

“Mel…Melyssa?” Leiwell stared in shock at the slender, almost serpentine maiden holding the knife. Gone were the full cheeks and rounded arms which Juno’s daughter possessed. 

Her angry, rose purple eyes were exactly the same, reddening as if blood itself was rising into her head and coloring her irises. The small, pouting mouth, trying to scrunch into something less sweet and more sinster was definitely Melyssa’s. 

Melyssa ignored Leiwell, although she trembled, making the knife in her hand shake, nicking at Map’s neck. A trickle of blood ran down her bare skin in her tunic. 

“Are you going to taunt me for discarding my former self?” Melyssa lowered the blade, moving her face closer to Map’s. Her cheek almost lay against the older woman’s wrinkled face. “You, a shapechanger, whose human form is a lie?”

“Am I lying?” Map kept her voice calm, reasonable. “Have you seen me change at all while in Omphalos?”

“No.” Melyssa raised the blade. “You’re much too clever for that. I know how good you at tricking people into thinking you’re human.”

“I’m not tricking people into thinking I’m human, Mel.” Map heaved a huge sigh. “I’m trying to be human.”

“Trying to be human, that’s a good one.” Melyssa tightened her other hand on Map’s neck. “I can see you’re still the same master I remember from the Temple of Seraphix. Always with a plausuble excuse ready for anything deceitful you were up to.”

“No, my dear.” Map shook her head slightly, brushing her own weathered cheek against Meyssa’s. “I’m no longer master of anything.” 

“You say that, but I don’t believe you.” Melyssa shuddered, but she didn’t move away. “You haven’t changed. Not your way of speaking, or your manner. You’re still the master who betrayed me.”

“Are you sure of that?” Leiwell released his question, not sure if Melyssa would pay any attention to him. He had to try to distract her from Map if he could. “Just how well did you know your former master? How much of what you believed in was real?”

The question came out with a vehemence that startled him. 

“What are you talking about?” For the first time, Melyssa glanced at Leiwell. 

“Only that I know what it’s like to have your master betray your expectations.” Leiwell locked his own gaze with her started ruddy eyes. So like and unlike Damian’s. “How much of what you saw in Map was only in your own mind, Melyssa?”

Melyssa bit her lower lip. She released Map. 

Leiwell had guessed rightly. She couldn’t have called Map master with a voice choked up with unshed tears that made her tremble, unless Map had dashed all of Melyssa’s expectations of her. 

Melyssa dropped the knife. It fell, blade pointed downward to stab the earth of their feet. 

“My name is ‘Lyssa.” ‘Lyssa’s gaze flickered back to Map. “I won’t let you hurt Melyssa or Mel any longer, shapechanger.”

“Dropping the knife means you’ve guessed you no longer need it to prove that.” Map glanced at the hit, jutting upward from the ground. “You never did.” 

“I suppose Mel betrayed you first.” Melyssa, no, ‘Lyssa took a step back. “She thought you were human. You were the first human we ever loved, a connection to the human world, or so we thought.”

“Instead, I turned out to be no more human than you.” Map squared her shoulders, a tremour running through them. “Did you despise your own kind that much?”

“I…yes.” ‘Lyssa dropped her head. “Not that I have a kind or anyone that’s on my side. I thought you were until you changed.” She lifted her chin to fix blood rose eyes upon the older woman. “I thought you were a spy for my mother.”

“I wasn’t.” Map reached out to take ‘Lyssa’s hand. “I was there to hide, to find companionship among the Sisters, same as you.”

“Only Map didn’t find with those weak-willed girls.” 

Map and ‘Lyssa froze where they stood, still holding hands. 

“Mother,” Leiwell stammered, turning to face Ashleigh, his other mother. 

Silver blazed in her eyes, filling her eyesockets with furious light. She stood, hands on her hips and bared her white teeth at ‘Lyssa.

The crowd moved back, intimidated by her shimmering rage. 

Leiwell didn’t blame them. Tayel sometimes got the same unearthly light in his eyes. It was frightening, even if a slight boy half your size. It was even more terrifying in a grown woman. 

“Mother, it’s not what it looks like.” Actually Leiwell had no idea what it was, but he had to calm her down. “This appears to be someone Map knew.”

“Oh, it definitely someone she knew. Someone who attacked her once.” Ashleigh pointed a finger at ‘Lyssa’s face. “Someone who was about to attack her again.”

“Ashleigh, it’s all right.” Map released ‘Lyssa’s hand and took a step in front of the younger woman. 

“It is not.” Ashleigh lowered her finger in the direction of the knife. “A Follower of Seraphix disturbed the peace of our very first Omphalos market, disturbing our fragile community.”

“Please let it go, Mother.” Leiwell wasn’t sure why he was defending ‘Lyssa. She was an outsider, not even a member of his family. “As you said, it’s our very first market. We’re still only learning how to behave.”

Murmurs ran through the crowd. People glanced at each other, at Leiwell, Map, and at ‘Lyssa. 

The mutters grew a little louder as more people stared at ‘Lyssa. 

‘Lyssa didn’t even bother to reassure anyone. She threw her shoulders back and looked down her nose with unconcealed disdain at the crowd. 
Making friends didn’t appear to be one of ‘Lyssa’s talents. 

Time to try and use his own magic. 

Leiwell lowered his eyelashes, while keeping his gaze fixed on the crowd. He lifted a hand to play with the coin hidden beneath his green scarf and smiled. 

More than one person blushed. A few people looked away, clapping their hands to their cheeks. 

“We apologize for disturbing the peace of the market, Mother.” Leiwell made his best courtly half bow. “None of us are used to having so many people around, including ‘Lyssa.” He lowered his head to study the grass at Ashleigh’s booted feet. “Please forgive her.”

“You’re not the one who should be apologizing, my son.” Ashleigh lowered her finger. “We’re only just starting to become a part of the world here in Omphalos. The last thing we want to do is convince that world we’re a threat to it.”

“Why not?” 

‘Lyssa’s challenge didn’t have a hint of remorse in it. 

Leiwell swallowed a groan. No, making friends was definitely not one of ‘Lyssa’s talents. 

“We are the Followers of Seraphix, protected by God of Balance Herself.” ‘Lyssa strode forward to confront Ashleigh. “This makes us powerful. Powerful people can be dangerous, yes, but why should we hide it?”

Leiwell stood up, lifting his head to see Ashleigh move closer to ‘Lyssa, too close. Their faces were inches apart. The two of them could have kissed. 

“There’s a time and a place to reveal your strength, little girl.” Ashleigh’s pupils returned, darkened with purple, although they still shimmered with silver. “You need to learn as a Follower and a woman to learn better timing.”

For a moment, Ashleigh and ‘Lyssa just stared at each other. 

“Stop this.”

Map’s rough voice cut through the tension like a knife. 

The two women started and backed away from each other a little. 

‘Lyssa turned her head to look back over her shoulder. 

Ashleigh gazed as Map, the silver in her eyes dying into something soft and muted. 

“This conflict concerned me. I am not a Follower of Seraphix, nor do I intend to become one again.” Map flickered her olive black gaze from Ashleigh to ‘Lyssa. “Don’t make a personal quarrel about the Followers.” 

“How can you say that?” ‘Lyssa opened her mouth and shut it again. “You were my master at the Temple of Seraphix!”

“That was a different life. I was a different person.” Map knotted her hairy eyebrows together. “Omphalos is supposed to be about second chances, isn’t it? Being able to live a new life without being haunted by the mistakes of the old.”

“Map, you and I cannot outrun our mistakes of old.” Ashleigh crossed her arms. “We’ve both learned this again and again.” She gave ‘Lyssa a meaningful look. 

‘Lyssa flushed in response. 

“All the more reason not to make any more.” Map folded her own arms over her ample chest. “No matter what creature born of my pain chooses to do, I plan to live my own life.”

“It’s not yours to live.”

The words escaped from Leiwell before he could recall them. 

Ashleigh and ‘Lyssa’s jaws both dropped. They stared at him as if he’d sprouted a second head. 

“Everyone who’s a part of your life shares in it.” Memories of Danyel and Tayel’s hurt expressions came back to haunt him. “You cannot cut them out or deny their share, even if you hope to spare them by doing so.” He lowered his voice, tried to soften the harshness of his words. “Haven’t we found this out the hard way?”

Map’s brow smoothed. She unknitted her eyebrows and allowed a tiny smile to play at the corner of her mouth. 

“It’s impossible to live like that.” ‘Lyssa closed her mouth and shut her eyes. “Everyone else will swallow you if you do.”

“Perhaps, but you become a part of them if they do.” Leiwell glanced over at Ashleigh. “They have to share their life with you as much as you do with them.” 

This made ‘Lyssa blink. 

“You’re quite the speaker, Leiwell.” Map didn’t even try to hide the pride in her voice. “You’re quite right.” She raised her chin. “This doesn’t mean you can share everything, nor should you.” 

Ashleigh flinched. Leiwell felt her shudder, almost as if it ran through his body as well.

“Is this why you won’t join the Followers of Seraphix?” The question came out hushed and low. “Unlike everyone else, you haven’t accepted a talisman.”

“No, and I don’t intend to.” Map planted her feet in the ground and gazed at Ashleigh.

It was the First Position of the Dance. Map half expected Ashleigh to attack her over this. 

Leiwell tensed, unsure what Ashleigh would do. 

His mother didn’t attack. 

“Why, Map?” She dropped her arms, allowing them to dangle at her sides. “This is our home, the home you and I always dreamed of returning to. Seraphix is the key to creating that home.”

“No, It’s not.” Map relaxed her stance slightly, yet remained poised, ready to move. “Don’t assume our ideals of home are the same, Ashleigh.” 

“Yet you’re the one who started this.” It was ‘Lyssa’s turn to raise her finger, only she didn’t point it at Ashleigh. She aimed it at Map. “I was there, remember? I died at the moment you found the Voice of Seraphix.”

A vision filled Leiwell’s mind, overlaying the market like a blood stained ghost. A vision of a dark sky with a full moon, the air filled with the savage screams of enraged women. 

“Halfling! Freak! Monster!” 

They hunted through the Shadow Forest, torches in hand, pursuing their prey. Until the moment that prey turned, releasing a red rage which melted and dissolved the pursuers. The rage laughed with a seductive male voice. 

Leiwell shuddered, recognizing the laugh. It was Dyvian’s, devoid of any mercy, mingling with Map’s, their two voices becoming one. 

Did anyone else hear it? 

“Only those who’ve accepted Seraphix’s token can hear his Voice.” The murmur caressed his ears, whispering only to him. “Not every Follower has an ear to listen.”

“The Followers wouldn’t exist if not for you.” ‘Lyssa pressed a hand to her breast, eyes swimming with unshed tears.

“Map, don’t you see?” Ashleigh took a step toward Map. “Things have changed because of you. Yes, I mistrusted the way the Voice established himself as a lord in this world, but by doing so, he created a haven for all of our kind.”

Dyvian. They were speaking of Dyvian. 

Map had created him? The way Dyvian had created Leiwell himself? From whatever remained of the Sisters of Seraphix?

Did that mean they were a part of him the way Damian was of him? 

Did that mean he was a part of Map?

The thought made his head hurt. The idea that his mother, the woman that raised him might have created his master, his lover. 

Human notions, these ideas of guilt attached to such things. Halflings and shadows were supposed to be better than that. 

Many things were supposed to be, but defied reality in being so. Leiwell would think he’d learn that by now. 

“Don’t judge us or yourself by some ridiculous human standard.” Ashleigh’s eyes flashed once more. “We are halfings. We are Followers of Seraphix.”

“We rise from the ashes of what we were and recreate ourselves.” ‘Lyssa’s voice had a fanatic’s zeal. 

“We create our own bonds, familal or otherwise.” Ashleigh waved a finger at Map. “Don’t judge us by the past or what we once were. Be part of the future.”

“That’s right.” Swift as an adder, ‘Lyssa stooped to claim to knife stabbing the ground. She pulled it out, dirty and dull. “Why should we cling to past roles, past notions?” She shot a scornful glance at Map before darting it toward Ashleigh. “Who put you in charge? Why is Map yours and yours alone?”

“Now see here!” Map bristled at the younger woman’s words. “What gives that idea? Haven’t you been listening?” 

“Yes, Map belongs to Ashleigh, but she also belongs to you and me.” Leiwell made his own voice as soothing as possible. “She belongs to every person she shares her life with.”

Map smiled a bit at this, but it was a sad smile. She fixed her gaze upon his chest, almost seeming to see the talisman beneath. 

“I suppose you’ll be a very devout Follower.” It was unclear whom she was speaking to. “I was never very good at following.”

“Is it so very hard?” A pleading note entered Ashleigh’s voice. “Must you always be the master?”

Map flinched at this. “You know that’s not true.”

Leiwell looked down, anywhere than at the women present. He could feel their anger, loyalty sizzling through the air, sending a charge through the coin around his neck. 

We’re connected; Ashleigh, ‘Lyssa, and I. Connected through our talismans in a way Map never will be. 

She won’t join us. She’ll close her mind and ears, pick up her knitting, stir her cauldron, or dig in the garden. Again. 

Sorrow made his throat and temples throb. Unlike Ashleigh and ‘Lyssa, he wasn’t sure if Map was wrong, to disassociate herself from the Followers.

It was too late to regret his choice, their choice. He was on the path to change. 

There was no turning back now. 




Monday, April 30, 2018

Z is for Zoe

It’s so easy to forget things, to just get lost in the stacks at the library. I don’t recall much of whom I was or where I came from. I’d much rather read other people’s stories, get absorbed in their tales. 

Perhaps I was living in limbo until I saw Rhane Soames. When she walked into the library, something tingled through my body, awakening me to myself and what was round me. I snuck peaks into her crystal blue eyes, distant and dreamy, only to feel a connection to the here and now. To her. 

It took me a long time to dare to speak to her. I followed her to a coffee house and overheard the conversation between her and another girl. What spirit flickered in Rhane’s eyes died around Beatrix, squashed by her girlfriend’s abrasive personality. 

Beatrix complained about a lack of players in their roleplaying game. I stepped up to their table with a boldness I hadn’t realized I possessed and introduced myself as a gamer. 

Beatrix let her dark eyes rove over every inch of me, giving the impression she liked little of what she saw. 

Rhane blinked those wonderful blue eyes at me, taking me in, truly seeing me for the first time. Another electric shock ran through me. 

Beatrix glanced from me to Rhane, frowning, no longer quite certain if the girl she’d taken for granted was truly hers. I sensed Beatrix’s dawning apprehension just as I’d awakened to Rhane’s presence when I first noticed her. 

I wanted a connection with Rhane, but I don’t understand this empathy for Beatrix. It’s not like I want it. She doesn’t either. Perhaps she felt it, too.

Maybe this is why she gave me Rhiannon, whom was formerly a non player character and a favorite of hers. 

Maybe this is why I accepted Rhiannon rather than creating a character of my own. 

Once Rhiannon became mine, everything changed. I found myself talking to Rhiannon in my head, dreaming about her. She told me Amberwyne and the other characters wanted to free Rhane and their players from the terrible Game Master. 

Only the Game Master wasn’t truly terrible. There was more to Beatrix than the bitter, angry woman she’d become. We had to help her appreciate life and those around her more. She’d be a better person if she did. 

Rhiannon and I have been adding twists to the game, under the guise of plot complications. Rhiannon understand what Beatrix enjoys, how to play to her tastes, sparking her weary interest  in Game she’s only going through the motions with. 

It’s true. Beatrix thinks the Game is all she cares about she, but she’s grown bored with it. She’s lost interest in it along with everything else. She’s taking her boredom out on Rhane. 

This I won’t tolerate. If she keeps it up, I’ll take Rhane from her. Perhaps Beatrix will only realize what an amazing girlfriend she has if I do. Only I may not give Rhane back if she turns to me. Why should I help Beatrix just because I understand her? Don’t Rhane and I enjoy a chance at happiness, too? 

Rhiannon wants me to get Beatrix to appeciate the good things in life, to save her if I can. This will only work if Beatrix wants to be saved. 

I’m not sure if I want to save her. Why should Beatrix get to keep Rhane, the life she has, if she’s stupid enough to grow bored of both?

Maybe she doesn’t deserve either. 

Rhiannon wants me to help Beatrix become a better person, but she’s had her chance at a life. She’s making Rhane miserable. Why should Rhane stay with her? Why should any of her players if Beatrix cares so little for either them or the Game?

I care about it. I’m listening to Beatrix’s former character. I’m getting more and more involved with the players and our characters. Neither Rhiannon nor myself care much for Isolde. Mona, Isolde’s player isn’t sure what to make of us. Mona seems to fancy Rhane herself, but she lacks the guts to stand up to Beatrix, to tell Beatrix off when she’s wrong. 

Beatrix holds an almost sinister emotional grip on both Rhane and Mona, draining them of their spirit, their nerve. 

I’m not sure if our Game Master isn’t a lost cause.