25 March 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

It is my firm opinion that I didn’t deserve to be shunned by the rest of the group. I mean, how could I have known those berries were poisonous? They should be glad I ate them first. My stomach bubbled and I swallowed. The past twelve hours hadn’t been the most enjoyable.

Now I was walking at the back of the caravan, several paces behind Lam’s mule, grumbling to myself.

And, of course, Sal was in the lead, riding beside the Elder.

“Hey, Fletcher,” she called over her shoulder.

I didn’t respond.

“Come on, slowpoke. The Elder needs to talk to you.”

I could have sworn the trees trembled at the volume of her yelling. I heard the Elder mumble, “I could have done that.”

I quickened my pace until I stood next to the Elder and Sal. “Yes, sir?”

“Did you learn about navigation by the stars in your training?” he asked.

I nodded. “Sure did.”

Sal rolled her eyes behind the Elder’s back.

“Then tonight you must tell us which direction we have been heading. Rhynd lost his compass and I think we’ve been wandering off our course.”

“Certainly, sir,” I said.

“Certainly, sir,” Sal mimicked.

I would have smacked her or at least glared at her, but I felt another vomit coming on. I ran to the bushes off the trail. Darn those berries.

Lam handed me a handkerchief. “Sorry about your stomach, kid. It could happen to the best of us.”

I wiped my mouth. Maybe it could happen to the best of us, but it had happened to me. And my sister was never going to let me live it down.

As if she had known the berries were poisonous.

20 March 2017

Warm Sunday

Ah, the first day of spring. For once, the weather is wonderful on the very day. Yesterday it was in the 60s, and Tessie and I walked to campus to see a dance recital. Then we walked with Claudia downtown for a sisterly outing.

Warm days...keep 'em coming!

19 March 2017

Ukrainian Eggs!

We used to do Pysanky (Ukrainian eggs) a lot when I was younger, but a few years ago we got rid of the supplies and hadn't done them since. So Mom and I ordered a kit to do during this Lent! It's so fun and relaxing, and the smell is really nostalgic.
Susannah, Nicole, and Marie came over and we did our first batch of eggs. It took a little re-learning, and there were some cracking mishaps, but we had a lot of fun.

The first done ones! And some unfinished.

All our supplies: candles, dyes, kistkas, eggs, and wax. 
Day two:

18 March 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

Salome and Zorah scuttled down the street, past dozens of shouting market vendors. They giggled at the antics of a child and a stray dog, but dared not look up or speak until they had passed out of the main road and away from the noise of the market.

“That was fun,” Zorah said, unwinding her headscarf. “But I’m not sure it was worth the work.”

“Please,” Salome said. “You like drama even more than I do. One day we should protest our non-admittance instead of sneaking in. But really, it’s so easy to do in a dark theatre.”

Zorah shrugged. “Easy for you, anyway.”

They walked on down the deserted alley, looking up at the vandalized buildings. At the end of the alley was a perpendicular street which bustled with the decaying energy of the nearby market.

“Hey, look.” Salome pointed toward an outside staircase, above which was a red box containing a single rose. It bore words which read, “in case of love at first sight break glass”.

She scoffed. “Cute idea, I guess, but whoever stocks this thing must spend a lot of money on roses. How often would someone use it?”

Zorah gripped her arm. “I don’t know, but we might need it right now.” She gestured ahead of them, where a dashingly handsome foreigner was helping an old woman across the street. “He’s so…”

“Zorah, you’re ridiculous,” Salome said, and dragged her friend around the corner.

15 March 2017

Solo & Ensemble Contest

Yesterday we were at Augustana most of the day for vocal and strings solo and ensemble contest. I sang sang a solo in the morning, then after lunch sang in a small group and accompanied Tessie for her solo.
My solo was "Weep No More" by George Frederic Handel, and I scored 29 out of 30.
Our small group sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" by John Rutter, and we got a perfect 35/35.
Tessie sang "Sento Nel Core" by Alessandro Scarlatti and scored 28 out of 30.
My favorite part was probably accompanying...I enjoyed being a part of a performance and helping the singer do well, but not being the center of attention.
Overall it was a good but exhausting day!

All in black...musician life!

11 March 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

I had just finished washing my face when I heard a gasp in the next room. There was a door adjoining the two rooms, so I put my ear to the keyhole and listened.

There were footsteps, like someone pacing. “Who are you?” my sister’s voice said.

“That is irrelevant,” said a man’s voice.

“Why are you in my room?”

There was a pause. “Are you Katrina Greene?”

“That is irrelevant,” she said, mimicking her adversary’s tone.

“I come to kill you.”

“Really?” Katrina asked, not missing a beat. “Then we have a problem.”


“Because I don’t come to die.”

I heard something drop and wondered if she had thrown her knife. I told myself that I should’ve barged in to save her a while ago. But part of me recoiled.

So this was it. I really was a coward. Just like she always told me.

Just then I heard her scream. Without thinking, I rammed myself into the door and tumbled into her room. The stranger was holding her wrists, trying to wrench a dagger away from her hand. She was kicking him.

“Hey!” I said. “Don’t you touch my sister.”

It was then that I realized I didn’t have a weapon. The man changed paths and assailed me, and I curled up in self-defense, cursing my stupidity.

A blade appeared right under my nose. But before it could harm me, another blade sliced through the man’s arm and removed his hand. Blood spurted everywhere as the man screamed and tried to nurse his wound. Katrina jumped on him and pinned him down.

“You mess with one of us, you mess with both of us,” she said. “We’re twins. We come as a package.”

She lifted her head and yelled for Rhynd and Lam to come tie the man up.

“Thanks for your help,” she said to me. “Even if you are incredibly stupid.”
I rubbed my eyes. “Anytime. But I’ll leave the acts of bravery to you in the future.”

Piano Festival

Last Saturday was my last piano festival! It's always fun to play on the really nice piano in the recital hall, where I will be doing my senior recital in May! The judge was really nice, and his pencil barely stopped moving while I played, so I'm curious to see what his notes were at my next lesson.
This year I played "Shadow Dance" op. 39 no. 8 by Edward MacDowell, and Nocturne op. 32 no. 1 by Chopin.

04 March 2017

Weekly Prompt Writing

We came to a run-down tavern. “We’ll stop here for the night,” The Elder said.

I glanced at Katrina. “This doesn’t look like a suitable place for girls.”

Katrina rolled her eyes at me. “Don’t worry about me.” She tore Lam’s jacket from his hand and shrugged it on. She braided her hair and put on a pair of spectacles she had picked up from who knows where. “See?”

“Sorry to say, Miss Katrina,” Rhynd said, scratching his head, “but you still look definitely like a girl.”

She glanced down at herself. “You’re right. Lend me your trousers.”

“My what?”

“I noticed you had an extra pair. Give them to me.”

Instead of waiting for Rhynd to comply, she slipped the trousers from his bag and pulled them on over her dress. They were far too loose, which made them hide her skirt well. She tied a rope around her waist to make them stay up. She put up the hood of Lam’s jacket and paced. “How about now?” she asked in a deep voice.

The Elder shrugged. “Probably good enough. This early in the morning no one will notice much.”

Katrina smirked at me as we entered the tavern. “They should’ve recruited me for the quest instead of you.”

“What good fortune we just happened to find you in the catacombs after you'd been missing for two years, then,” I said through my teeth.

We arrived at the tavern and ordered three rooms: one for The Elder, one for Lam, Rhynd, and me, and one for Katrina.

“Nice being a girl sometimes,” she said when we received keys the tavern-keeper. “Have fun sharing a room, little brother.” She swept past me.

“We’re twins, you know,” I called after her. “That means we’re the same age.”


03 March 2017

Lent is upon us!

The season has begun! Three days into it and I'm already experiencing good results. Praise God! Let's hope the rest of it is so beneficial!