Day two of the Writing Challenge to draft, edit and submit a short story in fourteen days. Below is the rough, stream-of-consciousness from my second session writing Siobhan and Dhoul’s origin story. I’m sharing this draft in its raw form so I may compare it to final draft. As the saying goes, stories aren’t written they’re re-written. Sometimes the final product is nigh unrecognizable to the first draft. With practice the drafts get cleaner.
Siobhan left the Archdruid’s hut in a huff. [EXPAND SETTING] [SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS]
“Nilfailte! Favoritism!” She stormed down the trail toward Rodagh Farm. Her staff pierced deep holes in the soil as she trudged on. “Blind old fool!” She waved her arms and muttered to herself. “The right thing is seldom the easy thing. I will make them see.” At the fork in the trail waited a giant tortoise. It bobbed its head as she approached. Her fury ebbed away, and she smiled back.
“Hello, Alice.” Siobhan stooped to meet her. She reached into her sleeve and produced a prickly pear. Alice snapped her jaws around it, pink juice and pulp squished out, and ran down her hand and arm.
“Ick!” she said and rubbed her hand on her moss green robe. Alice bobbed her head and chewed. Sudden darkness swept over them.
Dhoul landed beside her [DRAGON DESCRIPTION]. He snapped up the tortoise into his claw.
“Dhoul?” Siobhan said in a low tone and inclined her head. The dragon looked down at her and placed the tip of one talon under Alice’s shell, and began to pry.
“Stad!” she raised her voice a register and rapped Dhoul on his foot with her staff. He cocked his head and looked at her, then to Alice and back again.
“No?” said Dhoul, his golden eyes narrowed.
“Please.” She said.
Dhoul discarded Alice over his wing and sat down on all fours in front of Siobhan. Alice bounced hard off a stone. Siobhan winced when she heard the crack. Then Alice laid still on her back. Siobhan groaned and buried her face in her hands.
“No!” she shouted. “Not everything is yours!”
Dhoul clamped his eyes shut and shook his head.
“It was until you said it wasn’t.” Dhoul flattened himself onto the ground and nudged the tip of his nose into her hip. Siobhan pushed past him and rushed to kneel beside Alice. With her shoulder under the rim of her shell, she leveraged Alice right-side-up again. Alice rolled onto her feet and wobbled. Siobhan bit her lip and stared at the crack in the shell as blood oozed from a seam between two plates.
“Do you see what you’ve done?” Siobhan scolded Dhoul without looking up at him. She pulled a curved blade from her belt.
“The shells have to come off, or they get stuck in my teeth.”
“Not everything is food.”
“Even if I can eat it?” Dhoul scampered around the other side of Alice and leaned in close. He flicked his tongue. Siobhan rolled her right sleeve and examined her arm, searching for a bit of unscarred skin. Between the ridges of scars, she dragged the knife along a valley of tender flesh. Dhoul peeled back his scaly lips in a grimace, exposing tight rows of meshed teeth. Siobhan pressed her palm against the crack in Alice’s shell and let her blood flow down her arm into Alice’s wound. She grunted and chanted through clenched teeth. Their blood mingled, and Siobhan’s arm quaked with the effort. Her scars flared red then faded to a glowing orange. Then Alice opened her eyes. Siobhan jerked her hand free and shook out the pain.
“Even if you can eat it, doesn’t make it your food.”
“Why?” asked Dhoul.
Siobhan sighed and tapped Alice on the back. The tortoise moved away in a manner almost resembling haste. Siobhan walked away from Alice toward the lake. Dhoul loped along beside her; his heavy footfalls gouged furrows into the soil.
“Do you remember what I taught you about sharing?”