31 Days of Writing – Day 1

For the July version of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m going to write 600 words a day of a story idea I had the other day. This work is based on the world of Final Fantasy XIV.

Menapa and the Magic

She held her daughter’s hand in the calm surf, toes in the chilled and water-logged sand. The girl’s hand felt tiny in her own. It was something that Mirta never got used to. The next wave swirled easily across their feet, and the little girl pulled her hand away, to twirl, laughing. She flung her arms out and spun a few feet away, splashing the seawater around her.

A small smile crept across Mirta’s mouth at her daughter’s jubilance. She called to her, “Don’t go too far into the water, okay?”

“I know, momma! I’ll be right here at the edge, where you can see me,” she stopped twirling to wave to her mother, swaying wildly, dizzied.

“Just like I said?” Mirta asked with her hands on her hips, eyebrows up.

The little girl, her blond hair sticking to her wet cheeks, gave a thumbs-up and a big nod. “Just like you said!” she affirmed.

“That’s my good little chocobo!” the mother said, “I’ll be right up there,” motioning at the stone wall, where a basket and a glass picture of lemon water sat in the sand.

Mirta leaned against the wall, feeling the heat of the sun through her thin tunic. After a moment, she turned to her basket and undid the clasp, opening it. She paused to look towards the beach, seeing Menapa sitting in the sandy edge of the sea, scooping piles that sat between her outstretched legs.

The basket contained an alembic wrapped in a ratty towel; she wanted to separate the salt from the ocean water. Her kitchen ran low, and the sea salt from this beach was especially flavorful. Mirta had a suspicion that it was because the sea was mixed more as it came around the La Noscean Cape.

She always handled the rounded glass carefully, and now was no exception; she let the sand cradle it while she walked her fingers over the other small jars, labeled neatly with a tag on a string around the neck, in her small looping letters. It was easier to boil the salt from the seawater in their little house, but she’d promised her daughter a beach visit. Besides, the practice with the older instruments wouldn’t go to waste. It would keep her sharp.

One more once-over of her daughter (starting a third pile of sand), and the woman lowered her eyes her work with the alembic, her lips pressed together tightly.

Menapa really liked the beach. She’d stick a toe in the sand, stir it around, and watch the wet, gray grains push up into tiny piles. She liked the way the water cooled the wet sand and the sun still somehow still warmed them, making a mix of pockets of warm and cool. She plopped down in the sand, like other days and wiggle her pointing finger (“Don’t you point at me!” her mother chirped with a laugh, tickling her) and made the crystals dance in a circle. Sometimes, if she concentrated, she could twirl the sand without touching it.

Motioning in a lazy circle, she would feel the nature of the sand. It felt almost like the ocean over her feet, but warmer and more like a hug from her father. It felt strong. It felt safe. She would pull the earth’s nature up towards her hand. She didn’t know what else to call the sensation across her skin.

Swirling her finger, nature made a tiny little tornado of grit. She would spin it faster and faster, and then let it go. The tiny little burst grew bigger than her hand, traveling, sweeping across the wet sand until the next wave broke through the bottom of it to retake the nature. The sand would drop harmlessly into the water.

As much as she liked her little wind tunnels, her shoulders slumped after the water reclaimed the sand, and she huffed, like she had just woken up. So she didn’t do it often. But she knew she was getting better at it. This one traveled farther; it resisted the force of the water longer before relenting.

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