Writing is never easy, and you end up feeling like you’ve put out a lot of nothing a lot of the time. But you showed up–and that’s the key to any good writing. No matter how bad a first draft is, it’s somewhere to start. So today’s scenes weren’t my favorite ever, but I enjoyed writing them nonetheless.
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“What happened?” she asked.
“The fighting hasn’t stopped—the Strellans are pressing their advantage to the sixth stage. Kiran went—come on.” He grabbed the candle from her, picked up the bucket of water with the other hand and motioned to the rags with his head.
“Take those too,” he said, “and follow me.”
Amara ran after him, following the black outline of his back against the glow of the flame. He led her to a room off of the entryway, setting his candle on a table inside the door and motioning for another one from Amara. She handed it to him and he lit it from the first, taking this one to a couch in the center of the room. A boy sat on it, picking at a bloody gash on his arm.
“What took you so long?” he asked, voice pained.
Amara bit back a gasp and started forward, stopping almost as soon. She looked from side to side, eyebrows drawn together.
“Here, give me the other candles,” Levi said. He set the water on the ground next to the couch and motioned for Amara to join them. She handed the remaining sticks of wax to him and dropped the rags on the floor, dousing one in water. This she could do, at least.
The boy hissed when she pressed the cloth to his arm, glaring at her for a moment before composing his face to study her.
“Who are you?” he said. “You sound like a Strell…an,” he amended.
“Amara,” Amara said. She dropped the rag on the wooden floor next to the bucket, red and grimy. A new one took its place, wetted as well.
“Amara… Kurt’s girl?”
Amara nodded. “Please,” she said, “do you know what happened to him?”
The boy shook his head. “I wasn’t near his house. The Black Ladder had already passed through there, they were headed towards the seventh swing stage when I last heard.”
Amara nodded, eyes welling up again. Drop the Black Ladder, she thought. They haven’t done anything good for this city. She finished wiping away the blood and stared at the angry ridges of the cut. She grabbed another rag and began wrapping it, pulling the linen tight against his skin.
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