Notte Snippet: Shared Life Experience

As also, this is a work in progress. 🙂 Typos, verb tense problems, and other issues abound.

You might be interested to know that this snippet leads directly into the short story A Hotel Room, a Knife, and a Bottle of Chardonnay.

My family had grown vast. We numbered in the thousands, possessing every nation, nearly every continent, nearly every corner of the world. My daughter’s family counted in this. They, like her, were linked to me, every single one tied to my soul.

The wind whispered laughter, carrying tales of woe and weariness, and of a world which groaned beneath the weight of much imbalance, much poison, and much death. She creaked and moaned beneath our feet like a house grown weak in timber and floor, but others did not hear. The Others come and go, the wind reminded me again and again, and carried further tales of what took place behind closed doors.

Oh, the Mythos had been busy! Seven worlds were not enough, not once they realized they could continue to build without apparent ill effect. It seemed everyone was busy carving out their own little kingdoms, their spiritual demesnes, and yet I had not. We remained in the human world. Very few of my children knew anything about the other realms, or what they did know was nonsense – thoughts about rituals and salt and various metals and herbs, when all that was needed was magic in their blood. Magic which I provided.

As I made children, and they made children – and halfway around the world, my daughter made her own – we all shared this frightening gift of magic with one and all, and now, we were too numerous to ignore. Yes, we could be killed by wood. Yes, my youngest children, far from me down the line, were susceptible to sunlight.

That did not make us prey.

My children were far more susceptible than I, and it was only until approximate three millennia past that those among the Mythos realized: to attack my family was to attack me. Never again would I suffer their loss en masse at any hand, least of all my own. Never again would I allow my beloved children to be hunted. And I was not so easily stopped.

In the years one would think of as key for the Indus valley, members of the Darkness who called themselves deva tried to wipe my children out. They came with power and wood, with fire claws and wrath – and when sixteen of my own had been destroyed, I came upon them in fury and wind such as they had never seen. I ripped through their elephants, and I absorbed their spells. I tore their army to pieces so small that they could not sew themselves properly together, and they have never forgiven me for it.

Their wood hurt me, ah, it hurt! But I would not cease. I would not surrender – until they, and all the world, understood the price of harming my own. My Beast went mad afterward, and I fear there was a price heaped on top of the one I had already taken. The civilization there was beautiful, and its people healthy; I ate too many of them, and in a moment of fear for survival, they left, abandoning their wells and buildings, their beds and cattle and homes. The city of Mohenjo-daro was no more, and that is my fault. I did not plan to help myself after taking such grievous harm.

But all that was a long time ago. My oldest children are so young to me, even now. Ravena alone has seen the world change as I have, witnessed its growth and destruction, seen the rise and fall of the Fey empires and watched the Aegis lose hope. There is no one who can commiserate and relate as she can to me; yet, she will not see me. She will not come near. When I approach her, she flees.

She does, however, leave me… presents.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.