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Author: rustydragonfly
Challenge: Vanilla Custard 1 (I wonder where I'll float next), Elderberry 25 (Mana Flare), Cream Puff 9 (in a nutshell)
Extras: malt (cream puff PFaH: Bala : as it's written, so it is), fresh blueberries (Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters. - Norman Maclean)
Wordcount: 237
Rating: all ages
Story: Manifestations
Summary: Bala's on her way.
Notes: Arc 12 isn't co-operating, so here's what Bala is getting up to in the meantime. There will be more of her to come, trust me.

The boat drifts along the lake, hugging the shore, never straying too far into the deeps. The far shore is distant and out of sight. If not for the lack of salt in the air, an observer might be tempted to say this was the sea itself. The sky darkens, fading from blue to violet to deep black. Bala is sitting on the desk, watching the waves below, listening to the crew talking. The city is ahead, and they're not sure yet if they'll make it before nightfall. Bala sits, and listens, and watches the lights.

She's retiring. She'll tell anyone if they ask what she's doing, even herself - and she asks herself an awful lot. The city is approaching, and if she watches it for long enough, she imagines herself doing something quiet, something better suited for someone of her six and a half decades of life. Sometimes a teashop sounds appealing.

It's nonsense, and nobody knows it more than she does. Beast hunters don't retire. They don't get a choice, and she knows, even if she did, the path would always be waiting.

Besides, it's impossible to retire in a place like this. Maybe that's why she's going.

Little waves lap at the boat's hull, their crests flashing for a moment in the lamps. The city draws closer. She sees spires, waterfalls, and cold, white lights, dancing above rooftops. Bala sits, and listens, and wonders.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Yay for Bala! Glad to see her again :D And perhaps that she is catching up to the boys??
Jan. 25th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps they are catching up to her? You will see, soon enough.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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