Of Sea and Sky: Part 3

            Apparently, making wishes involved a lot of searching for things in the sand. Caspian followed Lani from one end of the island to another, dragging his feet in the sand. She’d explained patiently that what they searched for was something of sea and something of sky that, when mixed together, would yield a wish.
            “Why will this work again?” he asked on the second morning of hunting.
            “Because it is impossible. The universe in a tea cup.” That was all she would say on the subject.
            But as the days past, Caspian found he didn’t mind quite so much. If their task was futile, it was no more futile than any other means of being saved. Besides, Lani looked quite beautiful on the beach, toes in the water, sun on her skin. She looked even more beautiful when he tucked a flower behind her ear, one from the trees on the far side of the island, which she loved.

            “You are so quiet, Lani,” Caspian said one night. They sat on a rocky cliff, a fire behind them and the stars beyond. The ocean churned with a storm approaching. “So quiet all the time.”
            Saying nothing, Lani looked out at the sea. Brow furrowed, she might have been listening to a song there. Her shoulders were bare to the fire glow, her dress a flow of wispy fabric. Raising her hand, she flicked at her face, the tear removed catching fire as it fell to the sand.
The faint scent of jasmine reached Caspian’s nose, made bumps dance down his arms. Capian rose to his feet, grabbing that teary hand as he did. He drew the island queen to her feet.
“Show me,” he said, refusing to allow her hands free. With a sigh of defeat, Lani nodded. And Caspian had been right; she was a dancer.

There's still a few parts to go.

Of Sea and Sky: Part 2

            “So how do we make a wish?” Caspian asked again, almost failing to notice that they had come upon a little sea shack in his desperate single-mindedness. Lani turned at the entrance to the lopsided home, letting the armfuls of flowers she had collected on the way fall to her bare feet.
            “There is a special formula. I’ll teach you, if you like.” Her raised eyebrows were tentative, revealing something sharp and sad behind blue irises.
            “I’d appreciate it,” Caspian replied. Darting forward, he kneeled to collect the flowers she had dropped.
            “No,” she smiled down at him. The silk of her robe brushed against his face, making him light-headed. “Leave them.”
            “Are you sure—“ Lani abandoned him at the threshold, gliding into her dark, two-room house on legs that—revealed through a slit or fold in her many patterned fabrics—might have been a dancer's. Without further protest, Caspian followed, finding as he did that the entire floor of the sea-bent home was covered in similar blooms.

            Lani crossed to a teapot by the rough-cut window. It was a badly beaten thing, warmed by a tiny fire on a makeshift stove. Caspian eyed the strange space that contained a pile of chipped china, a trunk with travel stickers, two wooden chairs, a matching table, and a door that presumably led to a bedroom.
            “Was all this here when you got here?”
            “Most of it,” Lani’s voice had drawn thin.
            “How did you get here?” Curious, he’d moved nearer to her, near enough to see the tension enter her back.
            “How did you?”
            “I thought it would be obvious from the stench of seaweed,” he joked.
            “A shipwreck?”
            “Yeah.” Rubbing the back of his neck with one hand, Caspian accepted a cup of tea with the other. He hardly knew what to make of this strange, distant girl.
            “Are you all alone here?”
            “I am. Do you want to start on the wishes now or later?” Cocking her head to one side, the island girl watched him.
            “Now, I guess.” Together they sat down at the wooden table. Lani wrapped long-fingered hands around her mug, some of the tension leaving her body.
            “What will you use it for?” Caspian asked because he was fresh from society and couldn’t bear the quiet that had fallen between them.
            “The same as you, I suspect.”
            “You aren’t very talkative.”
            “You’re very talkative.”
            Caspian laughed, and because he had not expected to laugh on a lonely island after a shipwreck he laughed again. As the chortles shook his battered body, Lani watched him with the expression of one who is trying to remember a word in their native tongue after long speaking in a foreign one.

Of Sea and Sky: Part 1

She was a queen, a lonely island queen quite solitary on a rocky dune with summer sand grass itching her bare ankles. He was a shipwreck, made of sticks and cinder and seawater, wobbling down the beach with sand in his eyes.
“What are you doing?” he asked the island queen. Her dark hair danced on the wind against the pale blue sky. The queen did not reply.
            “Something of sea, something of sky…” she murmured, bending over to search in the long grasses. When she clutched at her long garments that flowed about her in the same way as her hair, it revealed that she was not a grown woman but a young one. She looked up from beneath that shaggy, dark canopy and caught sight of the young man whom the ocean had spit up.
            “I’m making a wish,” she answered. There was something of ash in her voice, like perhaps she too had been a shipwreck once.
            “And how does one make a wish?” the boy asked.
            The queen squinted at him with surprising dark blue eyes that did not belong with her tan skin and dark hair. Standing straight again, the top of her head only came to his chin, but she seemed far more imposing than her stature suggested.
            “You could use one too,” she decided. The girl brushed past him in a wind of jasmine and firewood.
            “I’m Caspian,” he called, stumbling in the sand to follow her.  Wind catching at her clothing, the girl, who was a stark whirl of colors against the pale landscape, turned.
            “I’m Lani,” she answered, and a smile began to curl the edges of her mouth. A shake of her head had her turning again and Caspian struggling to follow in the fine, shifting sand.

Working Title. Let me know what you think!


The Carnival of Fallen Stars


Which one's better?

Version 1
She bit a fox
Trees to the left
And under her nose
He darted
Down wind she drawls
Lipped in a whisper
By sweet saplings on the curve
She wrote a table from a trunk
A river near the elbow
Smudge prints along the doorframe
The animal escapes
East by the hilltop
She chased him by ear fur
Rusty on river stones
And in a hollow in a forest
Fair well the dancers
In the shade
On her braided hair
The same shade as the oak bows
She waded through the willows
Fox pranced a pace ahead
She bit him on the ear as she bothered

Version 2
 Stop: she trees, and he down lipped
By she, a smudge
She rusty and
Fair in the brown
She fox, she

Wind in sweet, pause,
Wrote river prints (Animal by Chased)
On her same brown
Waded, pranced, bit

Stop a fox, left her nose
She drawls a whisper
Escapes the hill
Wait, him the hollow, the shade
Braided shade
Brown through him

Stop on the curve
Pause the elbow, the doorframe
Top, wait, ear fur, river stones
In a forest, dancers
Hair as the oak bows, brown,
On the ear as she bothered

No one reads this, but if by some miracle someone does, let me know which version is better.