16 candles

100 word drabbles written for Malorie's Peak prompts.


(Addiction, #3) [Alone]

You are alone. It is dark and silent and the stars fill your vision as you lie still, so still, and you are alone.

There is a glass bottle in your hand. There is the scent of rain in the air and you abruptly think of your family, your family that can't even look at you.

You don't know where you are, but no one is looking for you anyway. If you want to be saved, you will have to save yourself, Elenna.

Standing shakily, you stare at the stars for a moment.

You drop the bottle and it shatters.


(Food, #4) [Swallow]

Put spoon to mouth. Swallow. Do not look at him. He'll be watching you with that look in his sapphire eyes.

Try to ignore him. He'll be staring at you again now. Find someone else to dance with- hurry, oh gods hurry up, Rose-

He'll ask you for a word. He's leaving, he'll tell you. This is his good-bye. Look sad-but-not-too-sad and nod. Go back inside.

Put fork to mouth. Chew. Swallow. Smile. Your food will taste like wood, but you won't care. You are a Trebond and you will not collapse just because Jasson is leaving you behind (again).


(Healing, #5) [Haunt]

Jessamine used to be so pleased with her Gift. Healing was her passion. She was ecstatic when her father finally let her go to the field to heal. But he sighed.

"Oh, Jessamine," he said, and his eyes were haunted.

Then there was nothing but blood and the moans of the dying around her, and her emerald Gift drained quickly, but there were many injured and they had families and friends and little sisters with big eyes and big hearts (was this what the healers were thinking when Graeme was dying?).

Her eyes were just as haunted when she returned.


(Once Upon a Time, #13) [Because]

Once upon a time, Kalasin was a princess (because she was born to the king and queen, because she wasn't a boy and she wasn't the prince everyone wished for).

Once upon a time, Kalasin was a dreamer (because she wanted to prove that she was worth more than just her crown, because she wanted to fight the world, because knighthood was the way outlined in red and gold).

Once upon a time, Kalasin was an empress (because dreams don't always come true, because princesses don't always get happy endings, because she was only a bargaining piece in the end).


(Faith, #20) [Dying]

Now, you hold onto your faith like you are dying, but you are not. It is folly not to believe in the Gods at all, but you take your newfound devotion further and pledge yourself to the Temple of the Goddess.

Your family is surprised (of course they are, Jaquetta, you are you- the wildfreeirreverent darling of the Court- but you are not you anymore) but they do not stop you (and they couldn't have if they tried, but you do not tell them that).

You hold onto your faith like you are dying, but you are not (are you?).


(Cage, #22) [Champagne]

The champagne spreads slowlysoslowly across the satin tablecloth. The liquid eagerly stretches out of the goblet that confines it.

It is a waste (but she is no stranger to waste).

She is strong and smart and admittedly beautiful and could be useful- she could be sososo useful.

But she is Vania and she is a princess, and all she can do is flirt and smile and eventually marry someone important and live far far away from her friends and family and everything she knows.

The champagne can escape its cage with the careless sweep of a hand (she envies it).


(Distraction, #25) [Willpower]

It was a shame, really. He was a nice young man (a noble, a knight at that, and so safe).

But she didn't love Seaver, in spite of (because of) his nobility. She had used him (ohsocruelly) as a distraction, hoping she could find someone else, someone who would be accepted by Tortall and her family- but she failed.

Marek didn't want something serious, she knew, but she would change his mind. Because Eiralys of Cavall did not settle for distractions- she got what she wanted. And if that happened to be the King of the Thieves, so be it.


(Mirror, #26) [Broken Window]

You are brushing your hair in front of your mirror. Your brown eyes linger on your image as you place the sheer veil over your chestnut curls.

You are marrying today. Beltair haMinch is a wealthy lord, and you are grateful (or you should be) for such an advantageous match.

You are turning to the window, dressed in sumptuous velvet drapes to offset the glaring crack through the middle.

It is not yet dawn, and you see not the darkness outside, but your own reflection in the glass.

The crack splits your likeness in half diagonally, right through your heart.


(Freedom, #28) [Run Away]

Run away, little girl, run as fast as you can. You have the taste of freedom on your tongue, and it doesn't matter that you have nothing and nobody with you, because freedom is all you need. You are flying.

You are going where nobody knows your name and your story. You plan to run until there is nothing but your heartbeat and your screaming lungs.

And Maude will find you and she will scold you ("We were worried sick, Alianne!") but it doesn't matter because you've tasted freedom and you will spend the rest of your life chasing it.


(Eyes, #30) [Candlestick]

Drip drip drip- this is her blood trickling away like wax. An arrow sticking out at an angle- this is her downfall, and she is powerless against it.

"Don't die don't die, don't you die Alinna!"- this is her sweetheart's voice as he kneels beside her. Worried blue eyes- these are the last things she sees before she slips into unconsciousness, her thoughts dripdripdripping away. Love- this is what keeps him at her bedside, deferring only to Coram and Rispah.

When she wakes two days later, Evin Larse shows her sleight-of-hand with an unlit candle, his eyes full of laughter.


(Rush, #36) [Intense]

There's only the wind in their ears, and the grass under their feet, and their arms around each other. The sun shines bright and they dance, alone, and his hair looks like an inferno even as his smile is blinding her, and Sunarine of Cavall cannot think, only feel.

He looks down at her and they stop, and he whispers something, and the wind doesn't carry it away.

"Let's set the world on fire, darling," Thom says with a loud laugh. He spins her quickly, and her skirts flare and he kisses her, and there's only the two of them.


(News, #38) [Scared]


"What is it, Margarry? I'm rather busy presently-" He glances up. His former squire is standing beside his daughter, looking petrified. Wyldon puts down the accounts. "Jesslaw?"

"Milord…" he manages.

Margarry interrupts him. "We're getting married!"

His mouth drops open. Jesslaw and… Margarry? His Margarry?

"It's customary to ask the father for the woman's hand," He's scrambling to retrieve his cool demeanor.

"Of course, milord, but-"

"He was scared of you!" Margarry puts in cheerfully. Jesslaw flinches as Wyldon snorts.

"Very well. You may marry my daughter." It'll save him the trouble of frightening a new son-in-law, at least.


(Frost, #39) [Pure]

Her finger traces patterns in the frost on the window.

The temple can afford to have stained glass windows – few would risk angering the gods for a bit of petty vandalism.

A circle, with a loop ending in a curve.

How lovely, she thinks, how beautiful, how pure.

A harsh line.

Even a priestess of the Goddess has her secrets. And Cathrea will keep hers, even if she will never be pure- nevernevernever, even after fasts and vigils and years serving the Goddess.

A rose, with ice petals.

A savage stroke of the palm and it is all erased.


(Letters, #49) [Highness]

Your Royal Highness,

We should not continue this.

I cannot bear to see you and not hold you, but I must. It would be better to stop this relationship before it becomes too much to bear. We are already in too deep. What if your father were to discover our relationship? I cannot help but fear, just as I cannot help but love you.


Dear Lerant,

I am not my father's puppet- neither are you. Deal with it. Are you a man or not?



P.S. Call me Your Royal Highness again and we really will be done.


(Remembrance, #55) [Recognize]

Sacherell rarely talks to his daughter about his page-hood.

Cora knows he was a year-mate of the Lioness and he trained with the King, the Giantkiller, and the Prime Minister (and Uncle Douglass and Uncle Geoffrey, obviously).

She asks him once if he knew Alexander of Tirragen.

"No," he says, "But I did know Alex, the page who made sly jokes and helped Alan and Francis with mathematics."

"But that's the same person."

"People change, Cora. They change so that you don't recognize who they are anymore. But do you want to know a secret? They don't recognize themselves, either."


(Odd One Out, #60) [Disappoint]

The daughter of former commoners- the girl named after the most beautiful woman in the world and the mother of a legend.

Not fit enough to be a Rider like Alinna- not Gifted enough to study healing like Elenna- not beautiful enough to be a court beauty like Rose- just not good enough to be anything at all.

She will never be a hero, she will never be notable, she will never be powerful.

Thayine knows all of this, but when she watches her parents laugh with Aunt Alanna, she cannot help but wish that she was not a disappointment.