Oh my goodness, we get to see some returning characters. How exciting! I honestly love exploring this hidden world and certain character’s abilities that both they and I didn’t know they had, or haven’t been developed fully yet. It’s so much fun!
On a slightly more serious note: using prompts to world build is quite a useful exercise. You get to explore and experiment without throwing off your larger project. If you like what you discovered, wonderful. If you don’t, you can try again. Your characters can go on an adventure that doesn’t effect the overall story you want them to stay in. Using a prompt can also help you work out problems you’re having in a larger piece. Magic system isn’t working out the way you want it to? Try something different with a quick prompt. Characters aren’t playing well together? How would they act in a situation brought about by a prompt?
This piece is one where I wanted to explore a “what if” situation. Except the “what if” ended up taking a back seat to the exploration of a bit of magic system building. However, the entire endeavor helped me think through a scene in a larger project I’ve been thinking about revising. I’m not sure this short story piece actually goes anywhere, but I feel like progress was made, and that’s what’s important.
Prompt: It was and Accident (from the Tale Foundry writing group)
A Little Less Crazy
“Warren? What are you doing here?” I asked. I’d come back from a quick hunt to find my friend sitting on my back porch. He lifted his head from the newspaper he was reading and grimaced. I realized I still had blood on my muzzle. A tuft of rabbit fur fluttered on my nose.
Suddenly self-conscious, I changed back to my human form and wiped my face with my shirt hem. Warren’s expression told me it hadn’t helped much.
“Come on in, then. You can tell me why you’re here while I clean up and make some tea.” I held the door open.
“Stone asked me to drop by and check on you,” Warren said, kicking off his shoes.
I rolled my eyes. Of course my alpha had sent the human. I’d run all my pack-mates off and Stone knew better than to tangle with me when I was in a mood. And I was most certainly in a mood.
“Blaithe, I know you’re worried about Connor, but he’s got the best looking after him,” Warren said.
I didn’t see him raise his hand to pat my shoulder comfortingly. If I had, I would have moved. I didn’t want to be consoled. I wanted to run, to hunt, to chase. But the second he touched me, my inner wolf huffed with relief and rested.
“So that’s why Stone sent you,” I muttered.
“Do you know what you just did?”
“I patted your shoulder?” Warren shrugged.
“No.” I heaved a sigh and handed him a mug of tea. “We should have told you a while ago. Sit down. I’ll explain.”
“So, I’ve been using this ‘wild magic’ without knowing it,” Warren clarified when I was done. “And I used it on you earlier?”
“Does it hurt?”
I laughed a little. “No. Not how you’ve been using it. What you did was more like giving me a sedative.”
Warren rubbed his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” He paused, then gave me an apologetic smile. “You do seem a little less crazy now, though.”