I climbed out of bed and into my skin to face the day. It was going to storm. I didn’t know that yet.
On a corner in the streets of my mind, there stood a tavern. Usually abandoned, but today the visitors filled up over the morning. A hooded, gray-faced half-demon, a regular. A thief who traded happiness and doubt. A woodcutter out of work with idle hands who only said nothing. The town fool, barefoot with an empty scroll but a pen in hand.
They all ordered a drink.
The half-demon spoke first. “What are you trading today?” he said to the thief.
“I’m dealing out failure,” replied the thief. “The thoughts are abundant today and I’m leaving them all over town.”
The half-demon was impressed. “I saw the heart with a few whispers of hope today, but it escaped her before the sun hit high noon.”
The woodcutter said nothing, while the town fool blurted out gibberish of a new idea and began to scribble on his own arm.
“What’s she doing now?” the thief asked, of me.
The half-demon looked up and studied the overcast sky. “She’s calling for help.”
I was calling for help. Quietly. I cast a few orbs in my favor, took two potions throughout the morning. It helped somewhat, but nothing helped like designing a new skin to wear.
Her name was Denara. She was a hermit, an acolyte of Nature. She knew herbs and jewelry, and she had been away from society for two years. She pursued Enlightenment, which eluded her and drew her back into society, into adventure. What kept her afloat was Curiosity, but that too led her intro trouble.
What I loved about Denara was she never doubted, always forayed fearlessly onward.
I forayed fearfully onward, into the day. I spent a few minutes under my invisibility cloak, torn between leaking out the sobs and keeping control. I took another potion. I called for help. I was offered Embraces and Comfort, recharging me at the minimum and keeping me above the surface. Barely.
Photo: Luis Hernandez on Flickr, via Creative Commons