Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yet another poll, because I'm bored (what's new)

Hey everyone!! Thanks for waiting patiently with me. I've been working on the next chapter, but I can't do anything else now until I can take more pictures, so that means waiting till I can get my computer fixed.

In the meantime, yet another poll!!

How many kids should Blue have?

Friday, December 10, 2010

More Polls, Please Vote!! :)

I'm getting antsy to write more, so I've decided to create more polls!

Do you want Blue to have a boy or a girl?

The next two will actually contribute to what I name Blue's children in this generation, though chances are most of these names will show up throughout the legacy anyway:

What should Blue name her daughter?

What should Blue name her son?

Can't wait to see what you guys think, and feel free to comment below!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Naming Poll- This One Should Work!!

Some of you may have heard, but my computer crashed (again! GRRRR!), which means it may be awhile till I can update. So to make the time go by a little faster, I'm putting a poll on here. I may add additional polls in the future if I'm feeling really bored.

My original plan was to name all of the future kids in the Bird family after different types of birds- Sparrow, Hawk, Oriole, etc. Do you like this idea? Do you think that bird names are just too out there?

Give your input and let me know what you think! Just vote in the poll below :)

EDIT: This poll has been closed!! No one has voted in a few days, so I'm guessing everyone who wanted to has!

The results:
Bird names- 8 votes
Regular names- 3 votes
Other- 2 votes

Therefore, bird names are the winner (plus that's kinda what I wanted to do anyway!).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chapter 1.5: Peace

Blue, Twinbrook

No one answered the door.

I stared blankly for what felt like an eternity, waiting for it to magically open, until the Guardian remarked gently that it appeared no one was home.

I was about to walk away and figure out my next move. It's not as if I had a viable plan, or any other friends. The bench I'd slept on my first night in town was looking like the best (and only) option for a place to hang out at till work started again.

I turned around, and suddenly Goodwin was standing in front of me. He looked surprised to see me, but all I could do was stare.

Say something! the Guardian hissed oh-so-helpfully. Yeah, like I wasn't trying to do exactly that.

"Hey," I said quietly.


Goodwin stared at me for a long minute, then a terrible expression appeared on his face: a combination of anger, annoyance, and mistrust. And I knew I deserved it for everything I'd put him through when he was only trying to help.

"What are you doing here?" he asked in a voice more hostile than I would have believed him capable of.


I was tired, sad, angry on so many levels that I couldn't take Goodwin hating me. It was the final straw. I fell into his arms, sobbing.

I was amazed when he didn't push me away. Goodwin held me in a tight embrace until I felt calm enough to stop crying.


After the moment had passed, I was incredibly disgusted with myself. I go to make amends with Goodwin, and instead I cry on his shoulder? How pathetic. Why would he want to be friends with me anyway, when I never considered his feelings but made him deal with mine? The thought made me want to cry again.


"I'm sorry," I said, still choked up and confused, exhausted from my attempt to draw on my power. I had too much to say and I didn't know how to express all of it, so the words flew out in a strange mash of emotion. "You were right about everything, and I didn't listen. I was so stupid, Goodwin, forgive me! And I don't have a house anymore, and Justin's gone, and I was wrong about everything. And I'm so, so sorry for coming here such a mess, but I don't know what to do anymore."

I could feel the tears welling up as I waited for him to tell me to go away and never come back again.


"Please," I kept saying. "Please let me make it up to you, please!"

"Stop," Goodwin said. "You don't have to apologize anymore, I understand. Everyone makes mistakes. You're obviously sorry! Come inside, please, and rest. You can take your time and tell me the whole story."

I gaped at him incredulously. Was he serious? I opened my mouth to say sorry again, but then closed it. He'd told me to stop. I walked in with Goodwin and had a strange certainty that everything would be okay.


Petunia, Brendale

When Mother sent a servant to inform me that my presence was required in the first floor sitting room, I knew that something was about to happen. I had been waiting anxiously all day to hear news of Blue: I hoped desperately that I wasn't about to learn about her death.

I walked in to find my Mother dressed in her most formal and intimidating gown and looking absolutely furious. She was yelling at the mysterious visitor that I had met recently. The one that was helping Mother kill Blue. I decided that if she was angry at him it might mean Blue was okay.

"You," Mother screamed, pointing at him as though his very presence offended her deeply. "You tried to run away! Did you think you'd get far? I knew the second Bluvia evaded the curse. I should never have trusted an idiot like you with such an important task! You know what has to happen now, don't you?"


"Please," the man begged. "Forgive me! I'll do anything for you, anything! You can have all of my powers, all of my money, anything you want! Please!"


Mother stared at him incredulously. "You think I'd pardon you that easily? I funded your move to Twinbrook. I expended my precious energy finding you a roommate and then causing him to fall ill. I entrusted you with an important task, and you failed miserably. I was perfectly clear when I hired you that the punishment for failure was death." She sighed as though he was utterly idiotic. "I thought it would inspire you to do your best, but I guess not."


Suddenly, Mother looked straight at me. "Sit down, Petunia."

She gestured at the nearest couch. I crept over and sat down cautiously, unsure why I was there at all. Usually Mother wasn't so public with her business. Mother continued to stare at the man with an increasingly dangerous look on her face.


Mother spoke to me, never taking her eyes off of the man.

"I brought you here to see what happens to those who disappoint me," she said. "I offered Mr. Kayes here eternal life if he could do one thing for me: trick your sister into killing herself. But he failed, and now he must suffer the penalty."


My mouth fell open in shock as I realized what I was about to witness.

"Why?" I asked. "Why show me? This isn't my business. I don't need to be here."

I saw a perceptive glint in Mother's eyes. "You would run away if you could," she said. "Do not think I have not seen it. You hate me, and I could care less. But you will stay here. Blue may be beyond my reach now, but you are not. You are entirely mine. There will come the day when I will need you to serve my purposes, and when that day comes you will remember what you see now and you will not let me down. Not unless you want to share in Mr. Kayes' fate, that is."


To my shock, the man that had been identified as Mr. Kayes spoke, his eyes wide with madness and fear.

"You lost," he said, almost gleeful. "Blue is pregnant with my child. Her line will continue. I tried to tell you last time we met, but you didn't care to hear. So I told your daughter instead."

He gazed straight at me. I sat uneasily under his stare, meeting his stare.

"Petunia cares about her sister," he continued. "She won't betray her, when the time comes. You put too much stake in using fear to control others. You don't understand that you can't purchase a soul through threat and intimidation."


Mother went even more ballistic.

"PREGNANT?" she shrieked. "With your child?"

I saw her take a few deep breaths, as though getting the anger under control. The maniacal expression never left her face. It was a humorous scene, but I certainly wasn't about to laugh.

"Then I guess you'll die knowing your child is under a curse. Perhaps he or she will be the one to die. I hope so. Any offspring of yours deserves nothing less."

The sudden slap shocked me. Mother's hand hit Mr. Kayes' cheek so hard that he fell over. Surely her strength had to be fueled by magic? She didn't exercise her arm muscles enough to be so powerful otherwise.


I wanted to turn away when the next slap came, and the next, and the next, but I couldn't. It was like a nightmare. I watched the stranger that must have meant something to my sister die in front of me and hoped that wherever Blue was she had no clue what was happening in Mother's sitting room.


Blue, Twinbrook

Goodwin's house was so comforting. I hadn't been inside in way too long, but everything was familiar, from the worn yet cushy furniture to the faint smell of laundry permeating the air.

"Thank you," I said softly. "You don't know what it means to me, that you would even listen to me after everything."


"Blue, you're practically falling over," Goodwin said. "Sit down and we can talk."

After we sat down he didn't say anything, but looked at me quizzically. I resolved to tell him the full story.


I began, and once I started talking I had to keep going. I didn't leave anything out. I told him about Mother and needing to leave the kingdom. I talked about the Guardian and learning about the curse placed on me and my descendants. I described my first time meeting Justin, going to his house and seeing Wei's condition, studying magic and crushing all doubts I might've had. I told him about the moment when I realized that I couldn't draw on that much of my power without losing sight of myself. I described the awfulness of Justin's abandonment, followed by the realization that I was homeless.

I even faithfully recounted just how close I had gotten to Justin, though it was awkward to say some of it out loud. I figured Goodwin deserved to know everything.


Once I finished, I stared ahead sadly. Telling the whole story had just made me seem even more stupid. How could I have fallen for Justin like that? Where did all of my common sense go?

It's not your fault, the Guardian whispered. You want to help others. It's valiant of you to care. Justin played to your personality.

It was nice of the Guardian to defend me, but I had to know what Goodwin was going to say. I looked up at him, scared that he would kick me out.


"Blue," he began, his blue eyes wide with grief. "I am so, so sorry all of this happened to you. I never could've guessed how hard you had it. But I want you to know, I'm here for you no matter what. You have a place to stay for as long as you need one, and that won't change."


"Wait," I said. "Really? You mean that? You don't hate me for being such an idiot?"

"Why would I hate you?" Goodwin said. "For being taken advantage of by a man you thought you could trust? Never!"

Goodwin's eyes grew dark with an emotion that I thought might be hatred.

"You're staying here until you want to leave, and that's the end of it. I won't let your mother or any other slimy jerks get at you, not in my house. Now get up!" he said suddenly. "You're exhausted, and you need to sleep. Here, I'll show you where to sleep."



I got in bed immediately, reveling in the warmth of the covers. I decided then that the hard part was over. Looking into Goodwin's compassionate face as I succumbed to sleep, I knew that I had at last found peace.


I'm sorry this took so long to get out, but I hope it's worth the wait! I cut this update a little short to get it out, but another one will be here soon, I promise :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chapter 1.4: The Test

Blue, Twinbrook

I went to sleep that night wishing that the night would go by quickly. It dragged on for as long as possible, of course. I shut my eyes and suddenly I saw myself passed out cold on the ground in what I knew to be the graveyard. Seeing myself looking so... well, dead, I felt tingly with fear.


Then I saw Petunia's face, desperate and pale. She looked older than last time I saw her.

"You have to choose right!" she cried, her voice full of fear. For me? "Don't trust him, don't trust the man with-"


Abruptly, I found myself in my bed. Thankful it had just been a dream, I got out of bed and tried to recover. My stomach felt awful and I wanted to go right back to bed, but I reminded myself that Justin was counting on me.

I'm sorry, began the Guardian, but I can't help you now. My vision is clouded. The time has come for you to decide.

I knew that I wouldn't hear from the Guardian for awhile, and I felt surprisingly alone.


I got dressed in the new outfit I had bought just for this day. Somehow, I wanted Justin to see me looking my best when I helped him.

But instead of calling him and telling him to bring Wei and meet me for the healing, I found myself walking to the graveyard. It wasn't far from my house, and before long I was there, staring at the strangely beautiful scenery.


Why was I even at the graveyard? I didn't know, but I was struck with the sudden realization that despite my dream, nothing about the actual place was scary. I stared at a small pond and felt as if the whole place was perfect: water, trees, flowers, stone... it was like a paradise for the dead.


I walked over to one especially ornate grave and wondered whose it was. Did the grave's owner die too young, like my father? Did he or she die at an old age, content with a well lived life? Could I have kept this person alive with my powers?


I pictured every grave as a person, healthy, alive. All because of me. Could I do that? Was that my true calling, to end death altogether? What if no one ever had to die?


But what would happen to the graveyard without death? Yes, the place was full of sadness, sadness so thick that I could practically feel it brushing against my skin like dust. But it was also a place of beauty and rest. And what would life be like without sadness anyway? It was only sadness that made happiness so amazing.


Happiness. Something I hadn't experienced in a while, I realized. Except when I was with Justin. Who I needed to help. The thought made me just a bit resentful, until I shoved away the ugly emotion; I could rest and have a good time after I'd healed Wei.


I walked out of the graveyard, promising to visit again. Maybe if I came back at night I could even talk to a ghost. My book had said that all witches and some open-minded people had the power to communicate with the dead.


I decided that the best place to perform the healing was by the water. My book had said that being near a water source could often amplify the healing and make it more effective. Twinbrook was already a good place to practice magic because of its coastal location.

I took in the fresh sea air and smiled. I was ready to try out my powers!


I called Justin, and he answered on the first ring.

"Meet me at the South side beach," I said, cheery. "I'm ready."


"Thank you so much, Blue!" Justin exclaimed. "You're a lifesaver!"

Justin sounded a little on edge, as if he had been up for hours waiting for me to call. I felt awful for waiting to call him.


I waited for Justin and Wei in front of the water. The water was lovely, very serene. I tried to match my own mindset to the water's gentle temper. But vague fears kept popping up. What if I wasn't ready? What if something went wrong? What if I was supposed to do something else?


I was still lost in thought when Justin arrived. I could barely hear him as he came up behind me.

"Blue," he said, his voice raw.


I ran forward to meet him and pulled him into a passionate kiss, needing to pretend for just a minute that the two of us were all that existed. I was so scared, and so confused. I needed reassurance that after today Justin and I could just be together- no more magic, no more complications- just us.


"Justin," I whispered, our faces still close. "I love you."

It was the first time I had ever said it to him. The first time I'd ever said it, truthfully. But I saw no point in denying how I felt, not when so much else was uncertain.

I saw a strange emotion flash across his face, but it was gone so fast that it could have been nothing more than my imagination.

"I love you too," he said. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."


That was all I needed to hear. I was ready. I looked over at Wei, standing farther away from the water. He had definitely degenerated since the first time I saw him.

"My crown!" he shouted, clearly panicked. "Where is my crown?!"

I smiled. Soon he would be blushing at how crazy he had been.


"Okay," I said to Justin. "Might as well do it now. Step away a little, please, I need some space to gather the power."

"Blue, you're amazing!" Justin cried. "You don't know how much this means to me!"


I concentrated hard on what I knew I could do. I imagined the healing wave sweeping over Wei's brain, fixing brain cells wherever it went. As I pictured the wave, I could feel my power growing and growing inside my mind, a beautiful, glowing wave of pure power.

I must have looked insane to Justin. I could feel my eyes rolling around my eye sockets as the power consumed more and more of me.


Suddenly, the power became unbearably addictive. I needed to pull more, needed to have more. It felt incredible, like I was finally whole. I reached out my arms to concentrate on obtaining more, and I grew angry when I realized that I would be more powerful yet if Mother hadn't stolen from me. I was filled with hatred for her, and I wondered if Wei could wait, it might be a better idea to use my power to destroy her...


My hands fell down as I triumphed at the idea of killing Mother. My power could seek her out and end her life in a second flat. Then I could steal my power back, and it would expand, and I would be unstoppable. No one would steal from me again. I would kill them if they tried. And if I needed more... well, I would find untrained witches to take from. Not like they needed it anyway.

I gathered the power for one last burst. If I took everything I had I would have enough to eliminate her forever. I pictured the wave of power growing bigger, bigger, bigger...


..And then I stopped. I let the power die down again, shaking. I was on the verge of overstretching myself, and for what? To kill my mother? Surely that was out of my ability range, and even if it wasn't, it was out of my moral range. I may have hated her, but I could not kill her purposefully. That would be sinking to her level.

I grew angry again, this time at myself. I use more power than I'm used to and suddenly I let it take me over? I'd thought I was stronger than that! If I couldn't be trusted to use my power selflessly, then I couldn't use it all. I panicked at the thought of what I could have done, what I might have become. For the first time, I was incredibly scared of myself.


I couldn't use it at all. Then all of this had been for nothing. All the training, the practice, the fights with Goodwin... it had all been a waste of my time. And I had to break the news to the man I loved.

"What's wrong?" yelled Justin, running and coming to a stop right in front of me. He must have noticed when I started gesturing at myself angrily.


"I can't do it," I said softly. "I'm too weak to heal Wei. I thought I could do it, but the power is just too much for me to control. I would have to train for years in order for this to be safe, and I don't know if I can commit to that. I'm not sure I want this power at all. It makes me feel... not like myself, like someone mean and cruel and power-hungry. You understand, right?"

I begged him with my eyes to forgive me. I just wanted him to say that he still loved me, that he loved me for more than just the magic. Our relationship had been so mixed with the magic and the expectations that I didn't know what we would be without it.


Justin didn't seem to understand what I said.

"But you'll still do it for me. Because you love me. You said you love me, Blue, and if you really do you'll heal Wei. I know you will!"


"I love you," I said again. "But I can't. I can't risk losing sight of who I am. I would do anything for you, anything else. I would heal Wei if he had a cold. But the power it takes to fix him now is too much."

I thought back to the graveyard. All the people I could have saved... at a price, and if in the process I didn't forget about anything but my own power.

"And you know what else? This isn't fair. Healing Wei when other people out there are dying, and no one's saving them. Maybe it's better to use a little of my healing powers on a lot of people, rather than spending all of it on one. I'm sorry, I should never have agreed."


"You promised!" he screamed. "You can't just back down from it like that! Do it right now, or you'll never see me again!"

It was like all of my worst nightmares, all the doubts that kept me up at night, piled into just a few sentences. All I could do was stare at Justin in horror as he confirmed my fears.


I looked down, unbearably sad.

"I can't do it. And I wish you found it in your heart to understand my position, but I see that you can't. I hope you find a way to make Wei better."


I looked up and saw Justin staring at nothing in particular with blatant fear on his face.

"I'm going to die," he said quietly. "That's why I won't see you again."


Shocked, I considered his words. He wasn't sick. Why would he die?

Justin leaned close to me, for the last time, and whispered, "You made the right choice. You're the one that deserves to live."


Then he walked away. I pretended that I didn't care, that I didn't want more than anything to beg for him to come back. Instead, I looked away until I knew he was gone.


I was too emotionally distraught to even think about his words much. All I wanted was to be home, in my bed, where I could cry in peace.

I'm proud of you, my Guardian said. I was surprisingly happy to hear the voice in my head again. It was comforting to know someone was on my side. You made the right decision. Even if you tried to heal Wei, it would have killed you. I can see that now. You're very lucky to be alive.


I called the taxi and got in mechanically. I wasn't sure what was keeping me alive for the moment, because nothing had meaning. All I could see was Justin shouting accusations at me.

I stepped outside in front of my house. Then I gasped, my eyes tearing up.


It couldn't be empty. It couldn't. This was where I lived, where my shack had always been. How could there be nothing? Where had it all gone? Had I given the driver the wrong directions?


This was your mother's doing, my Guardian said. This was her only chance. She was angry you bypassed her curse, that you didn't fall for her trick. She'll never be able to do this again, and she couldn't have if you were home. The curse does not allow her to directly harm you or your descendants. It's all about playing to your weaknesses- in your case your love of helping others. She knows she lost, so she lashed out like a child throwing a tantrum. I'm sorry.

I was devastated, furious, and emotionally exhausted. I was effectively homeless. I hated Mother more than ever, but I knew that I could never kill her. If I used my power to destroy her, I would eventually become her. No, I had to beat her by continuing to live, by teaching my kids and their kids and theirs how to be good. That was the only way I could finish her off: through the kindness that was so foreign to her.


This time, I walked. His house was a long walk, but it was close enough. His front door was still familiar from all the times I had visited. It was more comforting than I had expected.

I knocked and waited for him to answer the door. I hoped he was home. I hoped he would let me in. Because I finally understood how right he had been, and right now he was all I had left. Please, Goodwin, I begged silently. I need you badly.