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They were the first clue that he was not yet a man, and would not be one for many a year yet.  A white scar traveled along the back of his left hand nearly to his elbow, a thin scattered line never quite deciding to be a curve, almost lost in his complexion.  Calluses were many, but if one looked closely, they could be traced back to specific activities.  Forefingers and thumb made rough by archery practice, likewise the curve along thumb and index finger rubbed tough by the crossguard of a sword.  They were young hands, smaller than a man's but not quite shaped like a child's, freckled, as fair skin was wont to become after too many days under the harsh sun.  A boy's hands, trying desperately to belong to a man.

He gripped the quill in his right hand, suddenly made clumsy by the unfamiliar, unwelcome task.  Ink splotched over both hands and much of his forearm, smudging across the grainy paper as he struggled to write as he'd been instructed.  His name.  It was a simple thing.  Liam.  Short, dignified, regal.  He'd learned to write it in loose dirt with a stick before his little sister had even been born, and she was sitting a few feet away from him now, eight years old and studiously copying her own lessons.  If Edith could do it, then he could.

At the head of the draughty classroom, presiding over the mammoth oak desk, was Master Ffeldspar.  Unlike their last teacher, Master Ffeldspar was as imposing a figure as the desk that acted as barrier between him and his royal students.  He often paused to finger his full beard as he shuffled papers, muttering almost soundlessly.  The papers rubbed against one another like sand dunes shifting in size and location, pulling Liam's mind into an unpopulated desert where he would not have to write anyone's name.

"Your Highness?"

He snapped his head up to stare at the teacher with a woefully open mouth, then clapped it shut.  "Yes, Master Ffeldspar?"  A prince did not stutter.

"Would you mind very much explaining where you have gone?"

Liam blinked back confusion.  "I have not gone."

"You are not writing?"

"I am, teacher."

"If it is too difficult—"

"No."  A prince was not supposed to interrupt, but Liam felt more comfortable breaking that rule than he would have felt if he had ever allowed himself to falter or stutter.  "I can do it."

"Then kindly return to it, prince."  With a flick of his own quill that fluttered the stern grey feather like a breeze through short hair, Master Ffeldspar removed his stony attention from Liam and returned it to his sand-dune paper shuffling.

Liam reminded himself that princes did not stick their tongues out at teachers, even if they were overbearing mountain men with no manners and a funny accent.  He could hear Edith giggling behind her little hand, which bore no inkstains at all.

Princes did not stick their tongues out at teachers, but he knew for a fact that they were often called upon to point such an action at sisters.  He did so, and felt better for it.  Then he returned to commanding his name to appear on the paper via the quill in his resisting hand.
Writing exercise. Not a very good one, but worth the time I took, which wasn't a lot. Two of the characters from my dream.
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:iconpaladin343:
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
*grinning* Nice.
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
Thanks! I bet you even remember when I mentioned doing this...
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:iconpaladin343:
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
*nodnod* I believe you asked me about... names?
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
Yup, and I think age for the princess.
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:iconpaladin343:
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
*nod*
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
I need to do somefing with them.
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:iconpaladin343:
Paladin343 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:
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:iconmayaj:
Mayaj Featured By Owner May 23, 2009
Lovely. Seriously, I could see the three of them so clearly, and you could really feel a depth of character behind this short scene. Sorry it took me so long to get to it, I've had it open since you posted it, and only had time to read it tonight...
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner May 23, 2009
:blushes: Thanks. I've been worried about creating the same kinds of characters over and over, so I tried to forge at least a small difference here...

Ah, don't worry. :hug:
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:iconhagge:
Hagge Featured By Owner May 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
...brava...bravissima...brava...:clap:
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner May 23, 2009
Thank you. :bow: I'm so pent up lately, I get brief scenes like this just popping out my ears. If I do write something for these characters, they wouldn't even be this age. ^^
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:iconhagge:
Hagge Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional General Artist
Keep 'em coming, even if you don't post 'em. The thing is to keep the flow going, even if it's snail pace. What's good, is later, you can go back and rework something you really feel good about into your favourite character's story. :)
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009
Still not getting the stuff together to post things, but I am still writing, as you say. ^-^ Sometimes it's just fun to work on something that no one is demanding I do.
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:iconhagge:
Hagge Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
There you go...keep it moving...you should see the number of drawings I start, even finish, and don't post, because they're not what I want...but they're honing the 'club' into the rapier I want to wield...just like you. :)
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009
Eeexcellent. :D Do you ever find it's nice to write or draw something that you know is only going to be for yourself?
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:iconhagge:
Hagge Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Oh absolutely...Gytha's story is just exactly that. :) I've even re-written several chapters soley for my personal satisfaction, and noone will ever read it.
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2009
It's a wonderful sort of freedom, isn't it? I've got lots of starts that will never see the light of day...
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(1 Reply)
:iconwho-the-moon-is:
who-the-moon-is Featured By Owner May 22, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I like it. You have a nice writing style that's comfortable and describes things well. =) I particularly like the lines about the papers and how they pull Liam's mind into an unpopulated desert where he would not have to write anyone's name. It's just so appropriate for a wandering mind. :clap:
Thank you for sharing the exercise.
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:iconkid-apocalypse:
Kid-Apocalypse Featured By Owner May 22, 2009
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was something of an attempt to get myself out of a bit of a rut. A defensive manoeuvre against writer's block, if you will. :)
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