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A Barbaric Summer of Shenanigans

Chapter 4

Something burned and bubbled in Filly’s heart. She knew this feeling, yet it always took her by surprise. Inspiration was a random and demanding master. She tried to ignore it at first. Despite her posting in Atlantis, she still felt odd when the muse descended. Few knew of the woman’s private insecurities.

“What if they think I’m weird?”

“I am weird.”

“What if they think I have a crush on one of them?”

“You DO have a crush on one of them.”

“Shut up.”

Filly giggled and blushed at the argument in her own heart and banged her head on the window frame with gentle frustration. Looking out to the garden below and beyond to the fabricated lake coast behind the walls of the Hotel Standard, the Oracle in hiding hoped she could get away with sharing what she must share, without losing her new friends.

Too often, when she shared her heart vision with others, did they look upon her as if she might need a cuddle jacket and pillowed room. Yet, share she must, lest the voices that sing silently to her, swell to volumes that send her to such a place.

Resigning with a sigh, Filly sat before her flowboard and began to write. The words flowed quickly and freely: a page each of communal paragraph then added a personal note of encouragement and insight. She formatted with simple design and printed each page to be joined in one scroll. Perhaps she could hand it off quickly and make her exit before they laughed at her weirdness.

Maybe they wouldn’t laugh? There was a genuine connection of companionship, sharing a common home. Perhaps her brand of crazy was one they could appreciate and understand?

Her embarrassed heart strained in the fight to be genuine in plutonic care, yet still she couldn’t cease the fluttering interest that the Chamberlin invoked.

“Fek it,” she threw caution to the wind. “It is what it is.”

Binding up the scroll she set it aside looking up their schedule to see when she might meet them next. And her mobell bracelet chimed upon her wrist.

“We’re out doing karaoke tonight. You should join us and bring your mates.” Kaid messaged her.

Kaid messaged her!

“Shyte and shut up, ya bloody twit” Filly scolded her heart.

She took a breath and calmly responded,

“I can join, but I have none others to join me.”

“That’s cool. See ya soon.” He sent her the name of the tavern they were at.

Filly stood before her mirror and fought that familiar argument: to go quickly as is, or spend longer moments making one’s reflection more appealing? Compromise met with eagerness and a quick change became a calm rehearsing of modesty, with something that made her own heart feel beautiful.

She smiled at herself, glad that she’d finally found love big enough to reach her own heart. A quick recollection of days gone by, when she hated all that she saw in herself, tickled her eyes with tears. She smiled and let the drip trickle. Then gently wiping the salty waters from her cheek, she kissed the distant memory with fondness and whispered,

“You’re fekkin sexy as shyte.” Then she winked and giggled at herself and dashed off to her rented hotel transport.

She needed a deep breath, sitting in the quiet car alone, outside the tavern. Glancing at the scroll, she wondered: take it in, or not? Her tummy squirmed and she ignored it. With a grin of excited adventure, she left her solitude and entered the party place. A call of greeting warmed her and she found a seat amidst the crew.

With all her heart, Filly wished she could conduct herself in casual grace, but the chemicals churning inside made such near impossible. Alcohol would only amplify that so Filly wisely chose to limit such to one drink.

Not everyone chose to sing the scripted music that night. The quieter members of the crew refused, but joined in the fun of watching others. Nichols of course stole the night. He reeked of showmanship; it was an incense that invoked highs of delight in all who breathed within his vapored spells.

Filly smiled shyly as her song was announced. She dearly wanted to knock all socks out of the building that night.

It came as a surprise to the seasoned musicians, to find another whose soul crashed in melody as theirs. They cheered and applauded her gusto, caught up in the fiery bellows of her lungs. Some socks were indeed blown off. Filly’s heart swelled with pride and delight as it wasn’t often she got to share her gifts with others who appreciated all the work that went into developing them.

Ionny’s asked,

“Are you classically trained?”

Filly nodded, still not quite able to speak calmly.

That kind of singing was like sex for the chaste woman. And the ecstasy still held her in a quivering grip. She sat slowly, breathing out the trembling which echoed through her whole being. A good drink helped sooth her and she returned to conversation without too many noticing her flushed reaction… she hoped.

Kaid was extra shy that night and barely spoke to her. Filly guessed it was the natural ebb and flow of encouraging fans, without encouraging too much familiarity. She swallowed the flutters and respected his quiet.

Her favorite part of the night, however, was when she sang a duet with Nichols. They belted out a song of home to which she glowed and he thundered. And all in all, the night’s revels were the best that any could hope for.

At the even’s end, hugs turned her happy heart awkward as time came to casually pass off the scroll. She looked to Nichols for they shared a camaraderie as Players of the stage. There was no nervousness between them and Filly treasured that.

“I have something for you all.” She whispered in his ear during their parting hug.

“Oh, yeah?” The Regent was happily interested.

Filly pulled the scroll from her cloak and handed it to him. He accepted it with delight.

“This looks awesome.” He admired the leaf seal.

“It’s words of encouragement. I’m a writer and when the muse strikes, I simply must share. I hope the words fill you with energy and power.”

“Thanks mayte!” He hugged her again.

“There’s one for each of you, even your shield bearer.”

“Awesome. I’ll give them out when we get home tonight.” He assured her.

“Thanks.” Filly smiled, with a tinge of blush.

Kaid lingered in the shadows, casually, so Filly crossed to hug him, again.

“Thanks for coming out tonight.” He squeezed her.

“Any time,” she held him a tish longer again.

“See ya at the next show?” he asked, directly to her eyes.

They were more alone now, as the others boarded their hover car.

“If I may, I will be there, as best I can.” Filly smiled and shivered.

She swallowed, hoping to hold back the energy that threatened to shake her in his presence. There was still an inexplicable level of joy and power that emanated from him, every time he came into his confidence.

“Goodnight.” Was all she said more.

They parted ways and Filly took refuge in her own car, letting the release of trembling overwhelm and rock through her body. She hated it when that happened, yet tried to accept it. That’s just how her body responded to empathic connections. Sometimes it was random, sometimes another energy empath triggered it, sometimes… she didn’t know. It just happened and there was nothing she could do to stop it. The ecstasy would have its way in her system.

Filly sighed and breathed a calming breath. She needed to learn to embrace the muscular spasms and not fight them. Fighting them only hurt and made the result agonizing. Maybe if she simply accepted them and let them happen, she could enjoy it, no matter how embarrassing it was?

She drove home trying not to crash, as a couple more involuntary spasms twitched through her. By the time she reached home, she knew there was no way she could sleep. Something more was burning within. So, she pulled out her art supplies and began to draw and color another image of what she saw in the Lords of Ragefall.

Why did the muse burn so powerfully from them? She had no idea. She just went with it.

Early morning dark finally saw the picture completed. A storming sky shot forth lightning flashes of Rage that fell upon a sword, stuck in the ground. Rocks held the sword fast and water washed around it.

Filly would have to seek further what more the words of the scroll and the image of this picture implied about these Regents of Under Olland. Yet, for now, sleep and dreams finally came to her.

Pre-exposition Letter by the Scribe

Chapter 5