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Writing Practice – Day 2: Losing to Learn

July 27, 2017

For these exercises, I am pulling a random image from the internet and giving myself up to 1 hour to write something. 

Writing Practice- Day 2 - fortress

The bells ring incessantly. For such a tranquil setting, the noise is a constant. When she first came to the fortress, Galina expected grand but empty halls, with officiants and clerks moving discretely about in the shadows, speaking in hushed tones. With the last chime ringing in her ears, she laughed out loud at just how far off her expectations were from reality. Assir, her constant companion, attendant, and occasional bodyguard, looked up from his mid-day meal with fear in his pale blue eyes.

“Mistress,” he said, quickly swallowing his last bite, “please remember yourself. You should know the penalty for laughter by now.”

“Oh Assir,” she said smiling. “Peace. I prefer the punishment over not being able to laugh at myself. If I give that up, I have truly lost it all, don’t you think?”

“I’m not here to think, Mistress,” Assir replied as he stood and gathered their now empty plates. He took a few steps towards the small kitchen area in the apartment that had been assigned to them before turning back to Galina. “I would only ask you to remember what I must endure when you are punished.”

With her eyes filled with regret and compassion, Galina nodded, and schooled her expression into one of tranquility and, most importantly, neutrality. She did her best to remember why she came to the fortress in the first place, and to remain in that memory as long as necessary to stabilize her thoughts. To say that she had everything to lose was not just a turn of phrase for Galina. Hers was to be a life of difficult decisions; ones that had grave consequences for others. To learn to be an Adjudicator required that she study, assiduously, on how to maintain her composure when faced with a myriad of situations. And in the Memory Courts, if there were to be any hint of personal bias or influence, she would not just face recusal from the case, but also memory disbarment, and, in the most serious offenses, execution.

45 min
341 words


From → Writing Practice

  1. I’m so glad you’re exploring this new avenue—it seems to expand and refine your creative energies! Will we continue with this story, or will they each be different?

    • Thank you! They will likely each be different as I pull a new random picture up with each exercise. But my hope is that some of them, if I feel like I can keep going on the storyline, will turn into a complete short story. Or who knows, maybe a novel. But baby steps first.

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