Wavering (second draft)

For those who are interested in how the first draft became the final draft. This might be my least favourite of the three, but so it goes.

She felt a numb pain in her forearm. She looked to her right. A branch jut out from the space between the two bones in her arm. Janna looked around. She was in a pit, a lush bright brown hole of moss, grass, and dirt. Dirt from where the roots of a tree had torn out the earth. It was long covered over now. Long enough that there was this younger tree. This tree whose branch had intruded on her arm’s wellbeing.

She couldn’t take hold of her senses. She was in an uncanny world. In the distance, it seemed, a hazy figure moved with purpose. Then, it stopped.

“Ah, the King is awake.”

The voice touched her ears, but seemed to skip all the formalities that her nerves had put in place. It was a strange feeling. This person, who was notl her sister, was very easy to listen to.

The person looked away, a blue glowing blur, “twelve percent of your blood is here, shared with Mother Earth.”

It was definitely a man, but her voice was deep, deeper even than Natasha’s, who spoke low due to the immense height of her trachea. Janna blinked and tried to focus, but nothing worked.

“You have fluid in your eyes, focusing won’t help you.”

Janna was becoming irritated with this glowing man.

“You’ll be fine in this one,” he said. “In certain distant timelines you lose a lot more.”

He stood over her, outlined in blue. Through her wavering eyes, she could see wisps, lines of light coming from him.

“You can leave now,” she said.

“I came to ask for your help.”

“And you thought now would be the best time? Isn’t this some sort of deathbed-type manipulation?”

“Umm, no, I don’t think so. I mean, as far as I can tell, you aren’t going to die. Otherwise, actually, I wouldn’t have bothered showing up.”

Janna tried to focus on the figure, but her vision kept waving. She said, “I don’t know what you want. You’d better spit it out so I can disagree with it.”

“I’m the Servant of Tendrils, I can see future timelines. From what I can tell, we can benefit the next few centuries if we work together. You have influence, and an open mind.”

Janna sneered, “Not that open.”

She looked at her arm. It was mostly red.

“Why don’t you help me first, and then I’ll talk to your dumbass after, when I’m not attached to a plant.”

Tendrils frowned, “I thought that you would agree, but… maybe my reading was wrong.”

“And,” Janna continued a thread that had been dropped, “not that open, and I don’t have influence. I am only a prince.”

Tendrils saw his opening, his teeth glowed irritatingly, “Ah, you are young now, but you will yet have influence. I can see it.”

“As well as you can see how much I’m interested in helping you I suppose.”

“If you don’t want to help me, I’d rather die without your presence.”

The Servant of Tendrils shrugged, and ceased.

Janna closed her eyes. What a stupid death vision to have. You’d expect to at least see the Servant of Death.

 

“She’s gone catatonic. Oh good, the bleeding has slowed. Although, it’s probably from being catatonic.”

Janna opened her eyes. Her younger sister was kneeling over her. Behind, her older sister loomed. Janna saw that she was also bleeding in the forearm.

“Oh, look Natasha, she’s awake! Actually, ah, maybe that’s not so good. Hey, you can take a little pain, I guess?”

Janna felt a pinch as Chloe’s arms moved over her wound. She said nothing.

“Actually, it’s better to be awake when you’re hurt like this. I think. Hey Natasha, do you have a, ah, do you have a knife? Of course you do, we just used it, haha… Can you hold the top, I don’t want it to move until I’m done.”

Janna closed her eyes.

“Is she dead now?”

“Hey, wake up!”

Janna gave a shallow nod.

“I wish you would open your eyes. Ah, fine. Look Natasha, just hold that, and I’ll cut it, and then we can pull it out of her arm. Ah, I’ll tighten the tendon first though. Blood flow, right?”

Janna felt the pinch get a lot tighter. Then she felt the branch move as they hacked away at it. She almost vomited when they pulled it out. The sensation oppressed her head, and she again lost consciousness.

“Ah!”

 

It was dark for a long time, and then she saw blue.

“Oh no.”

 

“Do you think she will be all right?”

Janna recognised her brother’s voice.

“I think so. I’m not really, ah, I don’t actually… I’m not a doctor so…”

“And also, what did you do to Natasha?” He asked.

“The Condor have a vestigial tendon, I used it as a tourniquet… everything else kept snapping.”

“I guess hers would be strong,” He laughed, “ey captain?”

“I am not a captain, Kain.”

“You’re getting there. Hey look, I think she’s awake. Can we move her yet?”

“You know,” Janna grumbled, “for a Servant, Tendrils is a dumbass.”

Chloe gave her a perplexed look, “Not Death?”

Janna laughed weakly, “I almost would have preferred Death.”

Again, this is the second draft of “Wavering.” I don’t really like it, but luckily there’s a third draft that I do like.

Daniel Triumph.

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