Her brother had a thing about knives.

It wasn’t until she was fifteen that she realized there was anything weird about that. Not because of her brother. Her brother, who had display cases and the knowledge how to fix old broken switchblades, who taught her about sharpening and gave her the most important knowledge of all – it would hurt more to be cut by a dull blade.

It all appeared to be practical knowledge. Some of his collection was beautiful, while others were rare types. It was more interesting than a stamp collection. Of which she knew zero people actually did.

Then she mentioned it in class. Everyone had a reaction that told her something. Those who were uncomfortable, those who were a little too interested. She stood there in her new class and looked back at all these people and knew suddenly that her brother was weird to them. Whether they thought weird was good or bad.

And now she was weird too.


Associate. That sounded better.

She somehow managed to balance precariously between being a complete pain in the ass and their only friend. Friend was pushing it, so they would never say it out loud. Associate. That sounded better.

“What did we find today?” they asked, wishing she would stop bouncing about the room so they could concentrate.

“Oh, plenty!” She nearly spun in a circle before settling down. There were times they didn’t believe she was real. Placing the wraps of cloth on the table, she let them to open it themself. Thankfully. She’d probably drop them on the floor after opening from all of her nervous energy. “What are we doing with them?”

They didn’t respond. Until they appraised the bones, there was little point in replying to her needless questions. They unwrapped each bone, looking them over and looking for signs of anything that might give them the immediate clue they were important.

No, not today. “We’ll take the samples and ship the rest off to the agency.”

She sighed, sticking her lip out in a frown. As if she were eight. “Aw.”

Perhaps it said something about them that she was the only person who wanted to work with them.

Emine (pt 4)

“What is your name, small human?”

Sanni appeared as fazed as the horses were by a dragon. Emine tried to act the same. “Emine.”

Ramar stared at her. Emine had the idea she shouldn’t look into her eyes. At the same time, she didn’t want to look like she was cowering. What the middle ground was between those two positions, she had no idea. She looked back, deciding to fix her gaze on a particular point on the bridge of Ramar’s nose. From there, she could see the dragon’s eyes without looking at them.

It still made her feel a bit dizzy. She heard a sound that she had no idea how to interpret. Something distinctly draconian, not a hiss or a growl. Like a sigh with clicks.

“What’s so funny?” Sanni asked.

“Nothing.” Ramar’s head pulled back. “You’ve picked well, Sanni. Good for you.”

Emine didn’t know what that meant, but Sanni’s face flushed slightly despite saying nothing. Ramar didn’t await a response either. She took off into the sky, meeting another dragon somewhere halfway up the closest slope.

There really were dragons everywhere. Emine stared for a while before looking back at Sanni. “Am I okay?”

Sanni started out of her thoughts and looked down at her. “Yes. Yes you are. Ramar is a little pushy, but she already likes you. That’s good. Let’s go home, Emine.”

Home. The word meant nothing to Emine now. But it was time to redefine.

Levels of Worth

Appreciation for the thing you don’t care about
What is the feeling?
The feeling of anger for misunderstandings
The feeling of sadness for what is ignored
The feeling of loss for the missed opportunity
It is still there, somehow, for people to see
Why is that? The question still stands

Appreciation for the thing you must do
What is the feeling?
The feeling of pleasure for appreciation
The feeling of sadness for what is ignored
The feeling of loss for missed opportunity
It is still there, because you have no choice, for people to see
Why is that? The question is choice

Appreciation for the thing you enjoy but is important (to you)
What is the feeling?
The feeling of pleasure for appreciation
The feeling of contentedness for hard work done
The feeling of loss for missed opportunity
It is still there, because you enjoy it, for people to see
Why is that? The question is you

Appreciation for the thing you love
This feeling!
The appreciation of lard work, done for your purpose
It is there because you are, for people to see
There is no question, only more to do

Finding important

Donald was supposed to be asking Rachel questions though, not answering them. He took a sip of his water before putting the glass back down. “So she’s been living in the garage?”

Rachel nodded, a wry pull at her lips. “It’s not like we have a lot of space in the house, as you can see. Plus, I think Dad was nervous having a stranger around at first. She’s not a stranger anymore though. She’s been here long enough, she…”

The girl trailed off. Donald tried to think about where to start. “Then it’s just the three of you here? You, your dad, and Marie?”

Rachel clasped her hands in front of her, forearms resting on her knees. “Dad’s actually my godfather. My parents were his best friends, so when they died, he took me in. It’s always been the two of us, until Marie showed up.”

Donald did his best not to fidget. “I’m… I’m sorry to-”

In a split second, Rachel went from looking mellow to stabbing him with her gaze. “So neither of you are police, are you?” It caught him so off guard, he didn’t know what to say. Rachel continued. “Of course not. I went to them too and no one cared. Just you and me and her.”

Donald’s eyes flicked over to where Lori was seated. Only the three of them? It felt hard to believe.

When at fault, take responsibility

There are killers in the forest, they always said at the same time as I looked out the window, fingers itching and ready to go exploring. Never go into the forest alone.

Now that I’ve made that mistake, let me tell you… They were right. There are definitely killers in the woods. And I may have given them the key to get out.

No freaking out now though. And I’m not making it up. We have to do something to make sure they can’t cross the bridge. People say that there is something about bridges and doors that keep evil on the other side, but hoo boy. Let me tell you something. That only counts before someone does it first. If I’d never gone…

Am I too calm? Probably. I’ve had some time to think about my mistakes. That, and it’s in my head now. Don’t worry, it can’t do anything. Yet.

So yeah, I need your help.