I am not really inspired to write by photos. I am inspired by strangers. If I go sit at the airport and people-watch, my brain almost explodes because I get so many ideas. I can look at a stranger and instantly develop a character and story. In the interest of doing what we are supposed to for the blog, I looked through my photos, chose three, and wrote the following.

Jarvan The Choosy

“Twould be a great thing to talk to thee, Yamen, but I know not what to choose. Well, I guess I do talk to thee. Twould be a great thing for thee to talk to me.” Jarvan laughed softly at himself for talking to his horse. It would be true that if he chose Ayauna he would be able to understand the speech of animals. But it seemed that those who had not the gift really couldn’t credit that animals could converse intelligently. Although Ayauna was fascinating with her spiky blonde hair and aloof manner, she was often distracted when he was with her, for it seemed that she was always listening to some animal that was nearby. He often felt that he would never be her priority. He had once told her that he would have more of her attention if he were a donkey. She had turned her sparkling green eyes toward him, focused, and said, "That's true." Then she had gone back to listening to the falcon on her arm.

Jarvan leaned back, hands behind his head, and contemplated the partially cloudy sky as Yamen plodded lazily along. “Perhaps I should choose Miriata. Twould be a wondrous thing to convert to a merman and swim the ocean.” Jarvan thought of Miriata…she was tall and muscular like all the mermaids, and, like all of them, could convert back and forth in and out of water. Jarvan was 5 foot and eleven inches tall. Miriata was probably 6 foot and 6 inches. He wondered if it would bother him to be shorter than his wife. None of the other mermen seemed to mind…and they did get more muscular after becoming a merman. The last time that he had seen Miriata, she'd been swimming in the Eastern lagoon. It had been early morning and the waterfalls seemed made of light. He had thoroughly enjoyed watching the scenery and her. But when she'd exited the water and he'd come eye to throat with her, he had felt awkward. It had been uncomfortable to let his eyes travel upward to find her ice blue ones looking down at him. She'd grinned a knowing grin and ran back to the water, converting in the air as she dove in.

Jarvan’s thoughts turned to Lelianita and felt the tempo of his heart increase. “Yamen, I would choose Lelianita but then would not be granted any gift, for she has none.” Yamen looked back over his shoulder and rolled his eyes, but of course Jarvan didn’t notice. Those without the speech gift couldn’t seem to fathom that “human” expressions often adorned the faces of animals. “But Lelianita is so sweet…I guess that’s why she be an ambassador…and so pretty.” Jarvan sighed as he thought of the dark haired beauty with the big eyes. He did enjoy being with her more than anyone. She made him feel good about himself…nay, about life. He felt slightly guilty that he was having a difficult time choosing between receiving a gift and being with the sweet Lelianita.

Lelianita smiled grimly to herself, and, like Yamen, rolled her eyes. Although Jarvan was two miles away, she had zoomed in on his thoughts. No gift. Hah, just like a man to not pick up on the subtle hints right under his nose. Sighing, she guessed that she couldn’t blame him. It was not allowed to reveal the gift of reading thoughts. And, it wasn’t as developed as some of the other gifts, making it hard to control and inconsistent. Although she was very young, Lelianita seemed to have the most advanced use of the gift, which was why she was an ambassador at such a young age. If their own people knew not of the gift, then of course other countries would not. It kept much peace to be able to have ambassadors that could read the thoughts of others.

She thought of Jarvan again and a warm blush stole over her face. He was a fine man, handsome, a hard worker and full of integrity. She had chosen him months ago. But, some tradition left over from old earth said that men chose their mate. The women often laughed together that it had probably been in old earth as it was now…they just thought that they chose. Lelianita was confident that she would have Jarvan. Oh, he would be furious, as all those chosen by thought readers were, to find that she had been reading his thoughts. But when they received the gift also, it calmed them. Besides, both Ayauna and Miriata had their eyes on other men.

No men were born with gifts, only women. A man was given the same gift as his wife when they married…well, actually on the wedding night. She blushed again. There were tales of men that used to cheat on their wives, but that was never a problem now. Since they could not contain more than one gift, it meant instant death. When a wife died, the man’s gift left. He had to marry again to get another gift.

Lelianita shook her head, ridding it of thoughts of history and tradition, and went inside to get her hat. Jarvan was about to ride by and she smiled a slow, confident smile as she decided that today she would help him choose...and help him forget all about Ayauna and Miriata.


Reese Mobley said...

Good job, Elaine. I envy anyone who can write fanatsy because I always draw a blank. Thanks for posting.

Becky A said...

Elaine, I loved your story but I want to read more! You did a great job of painting this "picture." If photos don't inspire you, how did you come up with such a great one?

Elaine Morrison said...

Thanks Reese and Becky. I am more inspired by people-watching and would love to write a story about every person that I see. I like stories with strong characterization and am curious if others feel the same way. I think that they are the stories that make you feel like crying at the end because they are over, and you wish that you had more time with the characters. What do you think?

Penny Rader said...

You have a great imagination, Elaine!

Starla Kaye said...

This was wonderful and thank you for sharing it with us. Like Becky said, we need to read more!