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Week 3 Sample - Names and Sin"So what are you calling yourself these days, Lu?" The question came from a tall gentleman dressed in a white business suit, standing in front of one of the bookshelves while he flipped through the pages of one of the books. He had coarse, ashen blond hair cut short and neat, and the serious scowl and posture of a warrior. He scoffed as he looked over at Alton with piercing, amber gold eyes. "Something clever, no doubt."
But the shopkeeper only smiled, shaking his head. "I don't think so. The name is Alton. Alton Sterling." He laughed, adjusting his glasses. "And you have my adoptive father to praise for that. I prefer not to choose my own name, unlike you." His smile faded, his voice becoming serious and dark. "They aren't as ignorant as you seem to think."
"Your words, not mine," the man corrected. "But you and I both know the importance of names."
"Human names hold a different weight than our real names. Different meanings. Which is why I let them choose mine."
"You let man define y
Week 1 Sample - GuiltGuilt
Tamarisk closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, holding his staff in front of him. He needed to calm himself. "It wasn't my fault," he muttered softly as he began the exercises. "He broke the oath on his own; I merely bound it. It wasn't my fault..."
With a sharp turn, the oathbinder shattered one of the clay targets, sending terracotta fragments across the floor. He drew another breath. "He knew there would be consequences for breaking the oath," Tamarisk continued as he destroyed another clay pot, then another, then another. Each move was calculated and precise, but swift and if he had been attacking a person and not clay pots deadly. "It wasn't my fault. He brought the curse on himself."
He breathed again, but abruptly.
"It wasn't my fault..."
Tamarisk's lips twitched downward, but he fought back the frown as he swung at another target.
"... the curse killed his son."
He had missed. For a moment, he only stared ahead at the target swinging slowly, just a
a dangerous hallucinationThe light coming through the window was bright,
much too bright.
Even though my eyes were closed
I could see it-
The skin of my arms prickled,
sweat dripped from my brow.
It was two in the afternoon but…
the sun was setting
through the window facing east.
I should have seen the hutch,
shelves lined with bone china
decorated with delicate leaves and vines.
I was so thirsty
and reaching for cups that should have been there.
Instead I found a billboard of butterflies,
the colors raging
more than any rainbow
I'd ever seen.
Their wings fluttered and flashed
yet somehow they moved in slow motion.
I wanted to stand,
wanted to reach out and touch them but…
I couldn't move,
and yet I laughed
ignoring my dry mouth
and the tingling in my feet.
There was a tempest
on the rise
and in my blood.
A sugar rush disguised
as a riot of butterflies
and they were swarming me.
There was a small vial
of insulin in my pocket
that I nev
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