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Tiny Story

So Lee doodled some art for my NaNoWriMo. In return, I have scribbled out something I mentioned to her Saturday. Because, if you will note, Odette's dress is blue in her art. This is Lee being psychic and READING MY MIND, knowing that Odette's dress was not always gray.

The Gray Gown

“Could we have not found a boat to do this?” Odette asked as she finished wading out of the dirty river they had just finished crossing.

“‘Twas not that deep,” Carmen chided as she shook her legs drier. The muddy water had risen past her knees. She sat to pull on her boots. She was too fond of them to let them get into the state her trousers were now in. She was not worried about cleaning her legs off- the mud dried quickly and was easy to brush off that way.

“Speak for yourself,” Petra said darkly. The short elf had had to wade clinging on to Carmen to keep from being swept down the river in the strong currents. Her trousers were covered almost completely up to her waist with mud and water. She set down the kit belt she had slung across her shoulder to keep it from getting wet.

“I did offer to carry you,” the woodswoman said with a sunny smile.

The redhead shot her a dirty look. “I do have my dignity.”

“Your dignity is very wet.”

Petra shrugged. “Easily remedied.” She swept her hands down her front in a practiced motion. Water and dirt sluiced quickly down her, collecting in a messy puddle at her feet. She stepped out of it when it finished.

“Now that’s just inappropriate use of magic,” Carmen said, getting back up on her newly-shod feet.

“Does your dignity want to be dry too?” Petra asked cheekily.

“Where did you learn that spell?” Odette asked as Carmen pulled Petra into a headlock and buried her knuckles into the smaller woman’s head.

Wriggling out of Carmen’s hold, Petra replied, “Easier Living Through Magic; putting your cantrips to work for you. Someone collected a bunch of spells wizards used when they had no apprentices to do their manual labor for them. Some of them were useful, most of them had problems. Wizards tend not to write their complete spells down. The one about animating brooms had three mistakes in the equations. I pity whoever tried it without correcting them.”

“Is it something I could learn?” the sorceress asked, looking down at the mud-soaked blue skirt of her gown.

“Maybe,” Petra replied with a doubtful look on her face. “Here, I’ll do Carmen while you watch.”

Carmen crossed her arms over her chest as Petra traced a sigil in the air in front of the woman. “I’m marking Carmen as the target instead of myself,” she explained. “Bad things happen when you double cast.” She repeated the sweeping gesture from before, but slower for Odette’s benefit. Carmen noted the small woman’s fingers moving minutely.

Dirt and water sluiced down to the ground, leaving her clothes dry and clean. “Useful,” she said, touching a dry leg. The stains in the trousers were still there, it was only the muddy water from their trek through the river that was gone.

“Here’s the fun part.” Petra motioned towards the frowning sorceress.

“You did not use an even amount of energy.”

Petra eyed Carmen’s stained trousers. “I’m lazy,” she said with a shrug. “Stains from months ago are tricky to get out, even for magic. Think you can do it?”

“It looks simple enough.” Odette repeated the gesture, brow furrowed in concentration.

Water and dirt quickly bled groundwards, but Carmen was surprised to note the water was an actual blue color. And then she noticed that Odette’s once navy blue gown was graying, starting at the top and spreading downwards. She didn’t think it was supposed to do that. Petra’s hadn’t- though that might explain the long-sleeved gray shirt she wore under her tunic.

Peels of laughter distracted her from her thoughts. Petra was clutching at her side, pointing at the blue puddle at Odette’s feet. The sorceress looked down with a frown.

“What did I do wrong?” she asked with a chagrined look.

Carmen politely refrained from joining in with Petra’s laughter. Odette was very fond of her dress. Its subtle avian embroidery had pleased her more than the more formal lacy gowns the store had also offered. It was an amusing sight though.

Petra stopped laughing long enough to wheeze out “Chase the blues away!” before breaking out in more laughter. Carmen sighed in amused exasperation, not bothering to keep the smile off her face. She reached over and slapped the back of Petra’s head.

She subsided into giggles. “I told you I was lazy and didn’t want to spend extra energy on Carmen’s well-loved bloodstains,” she told the space above Odette’s head, grin widely set in place. “You put far too much energy into it. It’s just a cantrip.”

“‘Tis a good color for you,” Carmen said earnestly. Odette gave her a sour look and she did her best to look chastised.

“Look on the bright side,” Petra said. “At least you didn’t unravel the thread.”

At that, Carmen couldn’t help but laugh.

“I am never copying magic I see you perform ever again,” Odette told her, one hand resting on a gray sleeve.

“If you didn’t throw so much power into every spell you cast, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Petra said with a haughty sniff.

“Perhaps we should be moving on,” Carmen said.



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Jan. 8th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
I never did actually mention that I love the little nod to The Sorcerer's Apprentice in this one. I read it and gleed in my head, but forgot to glee here, too.

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