2017 Advent Challenge

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Should I do this again next year?

Yes! I like reading these.
22
92%
No, you don't spend enough time on them
2
8%
 
Total votes : 24

2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:50 pm

Image
This is based on the challenge idea posted by Winged-backpack; write a prompt every day as a count down to Christmas!
I've decided to make up my own prompts cause I wanted to have a very Christmas/Winter theme
They'll probably be really, really short since I have a lot of other things going on, like 100-500 words.
Please feel free to post! I'd love to see what you think of my little one-shots! And you're totally welcome to use my prompt list!

1. Cold Seas.
2.Snowflake
3. Candles
4. Tea
5. Gift
6. Spice
7. Festive
8. Comfort
9. Stars
10. Bells
11. Frost
12. Fire
13. Coats
14. Kind words
15.Sugar
16. Ice
17. Family
18. Smiles
19.Snowed in
20. Mist
21. Mountain
22. Forest
23. Long walk
24. Winter
25. Snow
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:32 am

1
Cold seas
Image


There's a pathway from the land into the sea
It leads to nothing and it goes nowhere but the
Cold depths of the salty sea
Yet in the morning I follow this path
I strive against the storm that wills me back to the land, where I belong
For the waves call my name and my heart rises with the tide
So when I reach the end of the path, into the cold seas I slip
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:01 am

2
Snowflake

929


A brisk winter wind swept through the fresh snow on the ground, kicking up white puffs and sending little powdery drifts down from the rooftops, giving the day an overall misty white appearance.
Mei-li shivered as she stared out the window, then retreated to the small kitchen.
"I'm not going outside today."
"Alright," Lionel replied, tapping his spoon against the rim of his mixing bowl "Quite alright with me."
"Where's Jon-tai?"
"He's outside already."
"Oh, I see how it is," she laughed, snatching up a towel and wiping away the flour from the counter "I'm stuck here with you."
"Yes," he smiled and sprinkled a bit more flour over the area she had just cleaned "You're trapped."
"Hey! I just wiped that off!"
"Yes, I know."
She snatched a pinch of flour and dusted it across his face.
He sneezed and lost his grip on his stick.
A moment later when he wiped the flour away from his eyes, he was looking up at Mei-li surprised and slightly horrified face from his prone position on his back.
"A-are you okay?" she gasped, half laughing and half wheezing as she helped him back up to his feet.
"Yeah," he laughed shakily, gripping the counter to steady himself "I'm fine."
"I'm sorry, this is why I spend all day outside."
"What? To avoid knocking me over?"
"Mostly."
"Well then," he smiled and brushed away a smudge of flour from her cheek "I'm glad you're trapped in here with me. Because it gets exhausting trying to find you in the terraced gardens with all those stairs."
She shrugged "Well, it's not like you need to come looking for me, I come into your 'domain' three times a day."
He burst out with a short laugh "My domain!?"
"Yes, your domain, where you rule absolutely."
He was still snickering "It's the kitchen, love, the place that literally feeds the entire Daja, do you have any idea how many of us it takes to run that place?"
"Yes, but you are supreme."
He was hugging his stick and clutching the counter to keep himself steady as he tried to suppress his laughter "You...are...ridiculous, Mei..."
"I know, I'm just amazing like tha-"
She was cut off as the door slammed open and Jon-tai, coated in snow and nothing else, bounded in, followed by Lyra, who was so bundled up that she looked like a moth in a cocoon with just as many distinguishable features.
"Hey Mom! Look!"
"Ah!!" She stepped around the counter "You're not wearing any clothes!"
He looked down at his snow coated body "Yeah? So?
"It's snowing!"
"I'm not cold."
They both paused as Lyra stumbled blindly between them, whipping her head back and forth as she tried to dislodge the scarf that covered her eyes.
"Do you need help with that?" Lionel caught the little fox as she blundered into his knees and he pulled the fabric away from her face "There you go."
She stared up at him in blank amazement, then grinned, waggled the wrapped bundle of her tail and bounced away to the couch.
"Come on Mom, I want to show you before it melts!"
"What is it?"
He held out the small carved sun that he had on the same loop of string as his stick "Look."
Mei-li squinted, then smiled "Aw, it's a tiny snowflake."
"May I see?" Lionel knelt and cupped the carved sun in his own hand, the white fragment of snow almost centric in the dark wood "Oh, it's beautiful."
"What? What is it?" Lyra shoved her warm nose into Lionel's palm and blew out a hot excited breath. Instantly the tiny fractal of nature evaporated into a small smudge against the wood.
"Lyra!" Jon-tai yanked the sun away from her "It was the snowflake! You melted it!"
"Oh," she jumped back, her ears pinning backwards "Sorry. Sorry. So sorry."
"No, no," Jon-tai backpedaled as quickly as he could "It's just a snowflake, it was gonna melt anyway."
She retreated behind the couch "Sorry... sorry..."
Jon-tai took a step, then stopped and looked over at his mom and Lionel.
Lionel nodded.
"Lyra, it's a snowflake," Jon-tai followed her "There's literally a million more outside-where are you? Come out from under the couch I'm not mad at you."
Mei-li and Lionel watched as Jon-tai chased Lyra out from under the couch and around the living room, then as it changed from Jon-tai trying to apologize to a game of tag.
"Alright," Mei-li stopped them as Lyra started using the couch as a launch pad "Outside-wait come back here you still don't have coat on!! Jon-tai!"
Lionel laughed as Mei-li chased the children out the door, waving a coat as she shouted for Jon-tai to put it on.
He sat down on the couch and waited for her return, which could vary from five minutes to hours, depending on whether she was pulled into the snowball fight that Jon-tai and Lyra had started. He plucked up a small block of wood and from out of his pocket pulled out the blunt knife he used for carving. Carefully he began shaving away at the edges of the block.
A while later, when the wood had been whittled down to a small flake with intricate designs around the edges and spirals coming out from the center, Mei-li returned, powdered with snow and breathless.
"Whatcha got there?" She asked, curling her freezing hands against his arm.
He flinched as her cold fingers dug into his warm fur, but he held up his work.
"Snowflake."
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby Ranger of the North » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:30 am

Nawwww <33
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:55 am

^-^
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:03 am

3
Candles

1,583
The entire city of Littiaga wore a heavy coat of snow, but her streets were beaten bare by the many paws coming too and fro.
The Daja, up upon the hill was more alive than it had been all winter, for every traveler, everyone who lived outside of the city walls , were gathering inside it for the Festival of lights.
In one of the private chambers restricted from the public, Jade stood at the window, staring down at the busy courtyard.
"Are you going to make Vrell take care of everything?"
She didn't turn as her sister joined her at the window.
"No."
"So what are you doing right now?"
"Enjoying the view."
Jasmine laughed roughly "Better to enjoy it up here than actually be down there."
Jade turned "Didn't you just come from there?"
"Yes," Jasmine's smile faded into something much more tense as she set a small silk bag on the windowsill "Here they are."
Jade untied the string and gently plucked out the two small black candles.
"Do you think that the black is appropriate? I know it's for parents, but red didn't seem respectful."
"Black is good," Jade murmured absently, tracing over the names of their adopted parents carved into the wax stumps "It's right."
"Good... You think this is the right thing to do?"
Jade sighed "They haven't had candles burned for them in ten years. They are our parents just as much as Kif and Tigretta, we never thought otherwise, have we?"
"No," Jasmine conceded "I just... I don't know, it doesn't feel like burning a candle is enough."
"It isn't," Jade set the candles down "One candle, one night a year isn't enough for everything they did," tears glistened at the edges of her eyes "I know that."
Jasmine swallowed back the lump in her throat "But we do it anyway."
Jade didn't answer, she'd gone back to tracing the names on the candles.
The emotionally charged silence was broken by the whisper of faberic dragging along the floor. They turned as Vrell stumbled around the corner, the edges of his robes stained and soaked with the dirty slush of the courtyards.
His shoulders were slumped from the weary hours of organizing the many guests and his face was tight from keeping his temper in check, but he smiled when he saw Jade and she smiled back, but they were both wan and holding back a flood.
Jasmine could almost taste the tears.
The Festival of lights was supposed to be a time of honor and release from the painful emotions, a beautiful way to remember lost loved ones. Maybe Jasmine was doing it wrong or thinking about it too much, but she usually spent the hours after crying.

Freya had just finished convincing her overexcited daughter to take a nap- it had taken nearly half an hour and repeated promises that the little girl would not miss the lighting of the first candles- when the window shot open and a lump of blond fur and snow tumbled onto the floor.
Freya looked on with no surprise as her husband stood up and shook the snow from his fur, only tossed him a rag to mop up the puddle that was spreading around his feet.
"What?" He asked of her silence "Why are ye mad at me? Ah gotchya candles."
"I'm not mad," she clipped, turning away from him.
"Well then what's wrong?"
"Nothing."
He crossed his arms "Well there's something wrong. Look, Ah even mopped up my mess."
He flicked the wet rag up to demonstrate his effectiveness in cleaning and smacked himself full on in the face.
She snorted as he yanked the rag of his face and flung it on the table.
"Oh aye, ya laugh when Ah make a fool o' meself," He rolled his eyes and pulled a small pouch from his belt and set it on the table "Ye'd better check to make sure they got the names right."
She plucked out the two black candles and read the names carved into their sides.
"They're right," she murmured, clutching them "thank you."
"Just glad they're right."
She nodded as she realized that the bag wasn't empty and she pulled out another pair of black candles.
"Oh, those are mine."
She nodded slowly, reading the names "I thought you weren't going to light any."
"Ah,weel, Ah thought I could nae hurt anythin'," he shrugged lightly, as if he didn't actually feel anything significant "Honor their memory an all that."
She smiled thinly "Yes, all that."
He paused tilting his head "You're not alright are you?"
"No, I'm not alright. This is supposed to be a peaceful time of remembering and I feel anything but peaceful," she put the candles down to wipe at her eyes "I don't understand how everyone else is so...happy."
"That's cause the way you lost your parents was anythin' but peaceful," he slipped an arm around her shoulder "Most everyone out there lost a family member to old age or somethin' and it's sad, but they've got a lot of that long life to celebrate. So no one's gang to blame ya when you're sad cause you've got somethin' to be sad about."
She shook her head "You make no sense sometimes."
"Oi! Ah make plenty o' sense!"
"No, not really, but you think you do," she pecked his cheek "Thanks for trying."

Freeta pinned her ears back as she heard the familiar clattering along the path and hoped that he was simply on an errand to another part of the Daja.
The door to the infirmary opened with a creak, letting the biting teeth of winter come blasting into her sanctuary.
"Freeta, are you in here?"
She pinned her ears back "Well, I wouldn't be anywhere else, would I?"
"Well, clearly not," he came clattering into the second room, where Freeta was sitting slumped at a table surrounded by candles and wax shavings.
He paused and his throat tightened as he counted; two black for her parents, three green for her children, one white for her mate, and one red for Shift. Seven.
He swallowed.
"What do you need?" She asked sharply digging colored wax out from under her claws.
"I was wondering if you...if you needed help...getting your candles.."
"No," she said flatly.
"Did you carve out the names yourself?" He asked, picking up the red candle and tracing over the symbol of Shift's name.
"Yes... I felt bad about making them carve in all the names. It was so busy and... there was such a long line."
He nodded, pretending that he believed that she had done it for any other reason then that she couldn't have stood to let anyone do it but herself.
"Is Lyra going to light any?"
"No. She can help me."
"Have you seen her by the way? I've been looking for Jon-tai and I thought they might be together."
"No, I haven't. She's probably hiding. She hates the crowd."
"In all honesty, I'm not particularly fond of our quiet Daja being invaded. I understand that they don't really have anywhere else to go or stay, but I wish they'd at least packed a lunch."


The sun was almost gone and everyone was gathering, the residents of Littiaga on their roofs with their candles, and the guests along the walls of the Daja.
Lyra stared at the backs of the terrifying strangers, with their terrifying scents and their terrifying voices, she wanted to stand at the wall, watch the starting ceremony, but she was terrified.
"Hey!"
She jumped and whirled around as a voice rasped behind her.
"Hey, hey it's just me!" Jon-tai shuffled out of the dark corner "What are you doing?"
She sniffled and held up two black candles.
"Oh."
She tilted her ears.
"No, I don't have any to light. Do you have matches?"
She shook her head.
"Here," he pulled her further away from the crowd and set her two candles down on a small flat stone "I have some matches. I'll help you, okay?"
She nodded.
He smiled in the dim light and picked up one of her candles, feel the smooth unmarked sides "You didn't get their names carved into it?"
She shook her head.
He bit down on his lip and tugged his small knife free from his belt "Do you know their names?"
She shook her head.
"Oh... Here, I can mark out this one as mother and this one as father, is that okay?"
She bobbed her head happily and wagged her tail as he began to slit the symbols into the wax.
Vrell shivered as he stepped out onto the balcony, above all the rest of the city and the Daja.
The tall white candle, standing on a brass base, was waiting for him and one of the servants standing by with a brazier.
He nodded his thanks and stepped up to the candle with the flame in his hands.
He glanced to either side, Jade on his right, Jasmine on his left, Jade smiled faintly and Jasmine kept her eyes fixed in her candle.
He took in a deep breath and held up the tiny flame high, then slowly brought it down and lit the white candle.
Jade and Jasmine lit their candles simultaneously.
Then, those lower on the Daja lit their candles and like a glowing pool of light it spilled out over the walls and spread until the whole city was an ocean of candlelight.
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby Ranger of the North » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:33 pm

Oh... That was really bittersweet. Despite the pain and grief, it must be healing, if only for awhile.
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:35 am

4
Tea

390
"This is going to take hours," Martin flipped through the huge water damaged book while downing the last of his tea "Some of these symbols aren't even legible."
"So, most likely we're going to be here all night."
"If not longer," Martin tipped his cup up again, then looked down into the empty cup with disappointment "You don't have any previous engagements, do you?"
"None, sir," Coe replied, sipping at his own tea.
"Oh...Darnit, I left my journal in the library, I'll be right back," Martin stood up and rushed to the door, almost careening into Gallino.
"Hi Jepath," Martin greeted the surprised coyote "Oh great, my tea, and cookies! Thanks!"
Martin snatched the mug from Gallino's paw and three cookies from his plate, then dashed off, leaving the navigator staring dismally at his empty paw.
"I've asked the kitchen to make me three cups of tea today," he said, not moving "and he's taken all of them. And now my cookies."
"I suggest that you ask the kitchen help to bring up the entire pot," Coe replied "We are most likely going to be working for quite a while."
"Aw great, so no card game tonight?"
"No."
"Drat."

As Martin predicted, translating the book dragged far into the night and the later it became the less progress they made, until, finally, Coe and Gallino couldn't do anything but stare blankly at the paper beneath their pens and Martin was doing little more than scribble sketches across his page.
He reached for what had to be his eighth cup of tea and without hesitating thrust the end of his pen into the cold liquid and stirred it around, watching with a blank face. Then he left the pen in the cup and continued writing.
With his spoon.

"Should we tell him?" Gallino whispered, his tired eyes widening "Or should we wait until he finds ink in the bottom of his cup."
Coe gave the table a three-fingered tap "Captain?"
"Mmmff?"
"You left your pen in your tea."
Martin paused and slowly leaned closer to the empty page he'd been dragging the end of his spoon along.
"My tea?"
"Yes, Captain, your pen is in your tea."
Martin set his spoon down and picked his pen up, leaving black drops of ink raining into his tea.
"My tea."
"Don't drink that."
Last edited by TheSongOfTheStars on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby Ranger of the North » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:46 pm

😂 oh dear
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Re: 2017 Advent Challenge

Postby TheSongOfTheStars » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:32 am

5
Gift

875
"Good morning love."
Browntrout's voice tickled Darkmoon's ear, annoying her awake.
"And since it's your birthday and you hate mornings, I will let you sleep."
Darkmoon reached through the blankets and shoved in his general direction.
She smiled and settled back to sleep as she heard a grunt and muffled thump.

"Okay, I know I said I'd let you sleep in as long as you like but it's past noon and I made you breakfast and it's getting cold."
Darkmoon groaned and pulled the pillow over her head.
"Please Vale? You have presents!"
She growled and sat up. Browntrout was perched at the end of the bed, his hands folded and his blue eyes pleading.
"Fine."
He grinned and leapt to the floor, then swept Darkmoon out of the bed into his arms.
"Oh!"
She gripped his shoulder as he carried her like a sleeping child down the stairs.
"There," He set her down on the couch "Don't even have to walk."
She giggled, straightening her nightgown "Thank you. But where's my breakfast?"
"Ah!" He held up a finger "In the kitchen!"
"Then why am I in here?"
He flicked his other hand up and held up another finger "A present first!"
"Oh? Where is it?"
"Close your eyes," He commanded.
She stared at him.
"Close your eyes!"
"No! You're going to dump water on me or something!"
'I'd never do that."
"You've done it to me. Twice."
"Oh... that was for fun."
"It was yesterday, so I'm not over it yet."
"Oh, alright," he knelt down on the couch next to her "So, I know how you said birthdays never impressed you before and all the gifts you got bored you."
"Well, last year you impressed me."
"Yes," He laughed "but I don't think I can top last year's unfortunately."
"That's okay," She grinned "I think I can only take getting proposed to once."
"Good, cause I think I can only propose once," he reached for his pocket and pulled out a flat white box "But I thought of something that might be almost as special in its own way."
"Ooh? What is it?"
He slipped the top of the box off and set it down, revealing a bracelet made of gray stone beads. Every other bead had an strange blue-stained symbol engraved into it and in the dim light they seemed to glow.
"This," Browntrout said in a softer voice, lifting the bracelet up "Belonged to my grandmother. She gave it to my mother when she turned twenty and if I had a sister... well, you get the idea."
"Oh," Darkmoon breathed out the soft exclamation "You want me to have it?"
"I want nothing more," he smiled and slipped it over her wrist "it looks lovely."
She gave him a half smile and raised her hand, feeling the weight of it "I love it."
"And I love you," he leaned close and pecked her cheek "Now it's time for breakfast!"

"Oh, baby, baby, I know, your teeth hurt."
Haggard and weary, Darkmoon forced herself up from where she'd collapsed in the chair and across the room to her daughter's cradle.
"Shh, shhh," she murmured, reaching down and picking Shyshie up "Oh, shh..."
The kitten fussed as her mother gently rocked her back and forth, finally quieting as her tiny fingers found a place to wrap around the thick stone beads of the bracelet on Darkmoon's wrist.
"Oh, do you like those?" Darkmoon slipped it off and let Shyshie clutch it to her chest "That belonged to your great-grandma."
Shyshie stared up at her, the blue eyes that were so painfully similar to her father's fixed on Darkmoon.
Darkmoon swallowed and kept on talking "He gave it to me on my birthday, the first birthday we spent together after we got married. "
Shyshie waved one paw up, reaching for her mother's face.
Darkmoon forced a smile and draped her hand down, letting the little fingers curled around her thumb "He proposed to me on my birthday, actually. The best day of my life; aside from you."
She leaned down and pressed a kiss against Shyshie's tummy and was rewarded with a giggle.
But instead of straightening up, she stayed breathing in the sweet scent that clung to Shyshie's clothes and holding back the tears.

"Hey, Vale? Are you up here?"
Darkmoon straightened up as her sister entered the nursery "Yeah, I'm here Beth."
She stood and Shyshie began to splutter as Darkmoon took away the bracelet and put her back down in the cradle.
"Oh I know, I know sweetheart," Darkmoon soothed, letting Shyshie clutch at her hand "I don't want to leave either, but this is the last time. I promise. But I've got to finish this."
But Shyshie didn't understand about justice, she didn't care about closure, she just wanted her mother.
"Here," Darkmoon slipped the bracelet back down and let Shyshie hold it "Is that better? Yeah?"
Shyshie tried to gnaw on the beads and stared up, content.
"You alright?" Beth asked softly.
"Yeah," Darkmoon pulled her gloves on "I'll be fine. It's almost over, Beth, I've almost won."
"So you won't be gone long?"
"No," Darkmoon put her hat on and tipped the brim down "Not long at all."
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