“How’s it going?” I asked as I sat at the computer and gazed at the long-forgotten manuscript.
“When you left us, we weren’t doing very well at all, if you remember!” the beautiful woman with the purple cloak replied. “I am stuck on my past, remembering something that happened… only you haven’t told me what yet!”
“Sorry, Saraca. Life got ‘busy’ for me. My life turned upside-down. I couldn’t write… Too busy, too stressful.”
“You’re not going to abandon me again? Write about something else?”
“Not right now. I’m going to finish your story if it kills me!”
“Don’t die, please! I want you to tell the rest of our stories. Why am I the way I am?”
“Because your sister died.”
“How? When? Why?”
“I will write that story next, I promise.”
“Is that why I’m afraid of relationships? Even though I’m married?”
“You’ve often blamed your relationship with Ja’tel for what happened to Denica.”
“I remember that now. It shapes every piece of advice I give the A’mara.”
“As these things usually do. You are very wise, Saraca.”
“Only because you designed me to be wise. I often feel very dumb, waiting for you to tell me all the things I know!”
I sighed. It was going to take a bit to catch up – especially to add in the bits I wrote when I wasn’t able to get to my computer. Some of the dates weren’t working, ages of the characters. It would have to be adjusted to meet up correctly. But it would be worth it.
“Hey,” Saraca called. “I’m not sure about that Zaynen guy you have working with us. He makes us sympathize with him because of his handicap, but he seems a bit shady.”
“You have no idea,” I replied. “I’ll tell you about him soon enough. Be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“If you cared that much, you wouldn’t have killed my sister!” she jabbed.
“Touché. Believe me, it hurts me to hurt you, but I have to!”
“You sound like an abuser!” she accused.
“Don’t I know it?!” I replied, remembering my own abuser, who did everything he had done ‘for my own good.’ And now, I had to torture my creations! “But, Saraca, if you don’t have challenges, you don’t have a story for me to tell. If you don’t have bad things happen to you, you can’t grow into a living, breathing character that I can share with others. Without bad things, you remain a figment of my imagination and not real at all!”
“Of course I’m real!” she retorted.
“Yes… you are very real – but you’re only in my mind at the moment. If I don’t finish your stories and share you with the world, you’ll always only be in my mind… and someday when I die...”
“Don’t talk like that! You can’t die!”
I nodded. “I wish that were true. But one day, I will die… and there will be no one to tell your story if I don’t get it done.”
“Then you’d better get back to work! I need to know why this Zaynen worries me so much! And Ek-ul! I told Ja’tel he wouldn’t be coming back! And now there’s a new outpost – we don’t have extra A’mara to send them everywhere right now – especially with the rumors coming out of Gaskarii. I’m afraid I will be losing yet another A’mara to that mess!”
“I think you’re right, Saraca. There will be darkness, but there will also be light. You will see.”
“You have plans?” she asked.
“I always have plans!” I replied.
“Did I hear my name?” a young man in a dark blue cloak called.
“Yes, Ek-ul. Your story is almost done.”
“I thought it was done!”
“But there’s so much more to tell! Such as your maqla’s children.”
“What?! He had children?!”
“Yes… their story will meet yours soon enough, Ek-ul. But I have to finish Saraca’s tragedy first.”
“You mean, I’ll finally know why she is the way she is?” Ek-ul asked, looking at Saraca keenly.
“And why she has no children of her own,” I replied.
“I have long wondered that. I would make a good mother, I think. Ja’tel would certainly make an excellent father!” Saraca said.
“Yes, he would. You two are the parents of all A’mara as long as you live… but you will see in time.”
She sighed. “I hate not knowing!”
“I don’t even know very much!” I insisted. “Sometimes, you guys have to tell me!”
“How can we tell you when you haven’t told us?!” Saraca demanded.
“I don’t know how it works! It just does!” I told her. “I need to get to work now.”
“Don’t leave us again, okay?”
“I won’t leave you until your story is finished, Saraca,” I promised.
“When does my story end?”
“That wouldn’t be good for you to know,” I reminded her. “You need to live each day like it’s your last.”
“Give me a clue.”
“You will have a long life,” I admitted. Then the inspiration hit. I felt my eyes widen in realization. “At least, until the Empress...”
“Let’s just say that when you get there, it won’t be a surprise. But I’m sorry, it’s going to be a painful ride.”
“Author!” Ek-ul called.
“My neighbor’s cousin… the one who works for me...”
“Torsten? What about him?”
“He’s done so much for Marc’la and me. He needs a woman in his life.”
“She’s already on her way, Ek-ul. You can trust me to pair up everyone I can.”
“You’re as bad as my mother-in-law!” he groaned.
“It’s the job of every mother to help match up her children – and the job of every author to play matchmaker as well.”
“Someone needs to match you up!” he cried.
“Yes… my author hasn’t shown me that one yet,” I replied. “Somehow, I know it will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. It doesn’t stop me making you guys happy though.”
“You mean, when you’re done torturing us!” Saraca complained.
“You can’t have one without the other, Saraca. I thought you knew that already,” I reminded her.
“Yes… I suppose I did. Am I supposed to just forgive you for killing my sister? Am I supposed to just forget that attachments can make severe distractions which can lead to tragic loss?”
“No. You will always remember that, but it won’t hamper your ability to make matches in the future. You have to remember that without partners for your people, the A’mara will cease to exist. And I would have no more stories to tell.”
She nodded. “I will try to be patient and help you match people up as long as I live. Ja’tel is going to tease me though!”
“That’s what partners are for,” I replied with a wink. Now, I really need to get on with telling the story about your sister...”
Taking another swig of tea, the visions faded and my mind cleared. My fingers began to fly across my keyboard in a frenzy to tell the story that was forming in my mind. Saraca would know about her sister if it killed me!
(Based on a true story... combined with some of the stories I have already written.)