New Muse

I’ve been struck!

Finally! It’s seems as it has been an eternity.

Surely, I’ve been missed. No, no need to tell me.

I’ve been away on may adventures.

I will tell you the stories, don’t you worry.

Until then, enjoy what is to come.

You won’t be disappointed.

Grievence

I will no longer be partaking in Camp NaNoWriMo.
My writing isn’t going anywhere and I don’t want to force it.

I got drastically behind and no ideas for the novel come to mind no mater how hard I try.
I won’t stop writing all together, so when I do have something I’ll post.

Don’t forget about me.

<3 SS

The Abandoned Hawk: Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

      It was exactly midday and the Keetons were assembled in the yard in front of Reden Hold. Shay’s items had been packed onto to the carriage and it was just waiting for her for their departure. As Shay stepped out of her home into the light she saw that almost all the residences of Reden were present for her going away. Lined up, making a path were all the people who wanted to say goodbye to her before he left. She made her way down the path with Tripp following closely behind her.

Nearest to the door were Hadeel, Rina and Brundyn. Shay smiled and nodded to them, having already exchanged goodbyes with Hadeel earlier. Second in line were the boys of the hunting party: Geoff, Samuel, and Johnathan, as well as the other children of their families. They all shook her hand, gave her a playful swat on the arm, or gave her a short, one-armed hug. Then she reached her family members.

Falk was the first to say goodbye to her. He embraced his sister and whispered to her, “Do you like it?” He is referring to her new dagger. “Yes,” she whispers back. “Thank you very much.” With one last squeeze from Falk she lets go.

Next was her brother Gavin, they hugged too, but the embrace was much shorter. “Be well, sister and stay out of trouble!” he told her.

“Of course,” she promises him.

After Gavin were the twins. Shay knelt down to their level and took each one in each of her arms. She hugged them tightly and kissed both of them on their cheeks. Astor giggles as Kele when he received his kiss, because he as such a look of disgust on his face. Just then Tripp decided he wanted to say goodbye too, he wedged his way between Shay and the twins and licked Astor all over her face. Kele then bursts out laughing and the disgusted sounds that Astor is making at Tripp. Shay grabbed Tripp by the scruff and gave him to Gavin to hold while she told the twins to be good, to stay out of trouble and not to pester their mother and father.

She let go of the children and stood. She straightened her sweater and coat before stepping to her mother. She looks into her eyes; they are not red from crying, instead they looked distant and almost cold. Shay hugged her mother, Lady Lorna did her the courtesy of hugging her back but the hug was weak and meaningless.

“I love you, mother. I will write as often as I can,” Shay promised her.

“I am sure you will, Shaylynn. I love you too, my daughter,” Lady Lorna replied. Her voice is quiet and her words sounded forced.

Shay let go of her mother while saying, “Goodbye.”

Lady Lorna nods her head and then goes to Kele and Astor to take their little hands into her own. With this gesture, Shay moves to the last member of her family, her father. She curtsies to her father out of respect. When she rises his arms are opened wide to her. With a smile she embraces him as hard as her arms could squeeze. He holds the back of her head with one hand and places the other completely around her. He kisses her forehead.

Their goodbye is an unspoken one, for neither of them could speak without losing control of their voice. Their hug was long and heartfelt. It was finally broken by Lady Lorna clearing her throat. Lord Gavin held his daughter out in front of him and looked her over as he smiled. He knew she would make him proud and have a happier life outside of these walls that he so desperately tried to escape himself. With a pat on the arm he let her go.

Shay then walked to the carriage and climbed in back. Gavin has since then let go of Tripp and he bounded into the carriage after her, almost not being able to jump the height. The door was shut behind him and Shay looked out the window as people were shouting and waving goodbye. With a flick of the reigns from the driver, the horses took of out of the Eastern gate of the hold. Shay kept her eyes on the hold until she could not see it any longer. She produced her dagger and clutched it in left hand as her right hand stroked Tripp behind the ear.

Shay always thought about traveling, but that idea had always included her family, never by herself. The unknown scared her, so she spent her last months at home learning as much as she could about Hulen Hold, the road to get there and the several small villages and few hold they will pass on the way there. Whenever thoughts of uncertainty filled her mind she recited what she came across in her studies.

From Reden Hold they would travel a day and a half east until they came across the Easter River. Once they arrived there it would take a half day to cross the river via a raft system using ropes to pull the carriage across. Then they would enter Joki and stay the night at the inn there. After the nights rest and the horses have been watered and fed they would travel another half day’s ride east to come across the Royal Road.

The Royal Road was a road that connected the northern kingdom to the southern kingdom. They would travel south for a fortnight. During their travel south they would only stay in inns two of the seven nights. They would make camp the first few nights and by the third or fourth night they should reach Rioga Hold and stay there, a letter was sent when they left to be expecting them. The next night and possibly the night after, depending on how fast they travel, they would camp. Gojee would be their final stay in an inn. After the last village then they would ride a full day passing the kingdom’s capitol, Brenin. They would not stay the night there; their inns in the capitol were most of the time overly packed with merchants and soldier’s families. If they want to camp they would, otherwise they would trek onto Hulen Hold.

Once they arrive at Hulen Hold, Lady Lorna said that Shay would be greeted by Lady Rini, Lord Rudolph Ullmarr’s wife and mother to Faelan. Lord Ullmarr will not be there, he is in the capitol on business. It is likely Shay would not meet him until the day of the wedding. The wedding is to be held three days after she arrives at Hulen Hold. She will be swept up by her new chamber maids to be bathed and sized for a ceremony dress. After the fitting she would then go and have tea with Lady Rini and Faelan to get to know them better, or at least as best as she could, before she takes this young man’s hand in marriage.

It has been said that the Ullmarr’s are known for their hunting and tracking abilities. Their sigil is a wolf’s head, jaws open wide, bearing its jagged teeth. The wolf is gray with red eyes and a blood red banner for its background. Faelan is the fifth heir to the Ullmarr name; it is his and Shay’s duty to keep their lineage going, for the Ullmarrs have large families, like Shay’s. The only reason why Faelan is an only child is because Lady Rini almost died giving birth to her second child over twenty years ago. An unfortunate experience, no doubt, and a wise choice because of the Child’s plague.

Shay’s mother said that the child’s death is an ill omen and fate should not be trifled with. She said that it was a sign from the Gods that Lord Ullmarr not need tempt his luck in pursuits of the flesh. Apparently Ullmarr doesn’t worship the same Gods that they do or he simply just didn’t care, because Shay heard a rumor that Lord Ullmarr is an unfaithful husband; spending most of his nights in the capitol’s brothel. Hopefully Faelan does not hold the same habits as his father.

What Shay does hope is that she can form some kind of bond with Faelan whether it be of a similar interest or subject matter they both enjoy to discuss, because she does not want a relationship like his parent’s or her parents for that matter. Shay remembers seldom times when her mother and father did anything together that they both enjoyed. The most they did was doing things that appeased either party; she would ride with him while he rode new horses that came into the stables and he would accompany her to her family’s social gatherings when her presence was requested. The only time that they both seemed to remotely enjoy each other’s company is when they are reading in her father’s study; he would read a book on war tactics and she would read a book that normally contained scripture, but they both seemed to be at ease and did not mind having the other’s company there.

Shay got so lost in her own thoughts she did not notice that night time was approaching. She looked out of the carriage window and tried to take in her surroundings. To the north she saw nothing but the Northern River and to the south she saw nothing but pastures and the occasional patch of trees.

She opened the door to the carriage and called up to the driver, “Sir! Were we planning on camping for the night? If not, may we find a place to stop? My hound needs to relieve himself.”

The driver did not respond he just pulled back on horses’ reigns until they stopped. He got down from his seat and opened the door for her. Tripp bounded out of the carriage, nose to the ground, sniffing for somewhere to relieve himself. Shay made sure to keep an eye on him while also keeping an eye on her driver. He was lighting lamps and hanging them on the sides of the carriage and then he reached in a pack on the floor near his seat and produced two carrots for the horses. Once he is finished he comes to stand next to Shay.

“Is he about ready to go yet? We should get back to riding, my Lady,” the driver asks.

‘My Lady.’ That is the first time that she has heard someone call her that. “There is no need to call me your Lady, sir. You may address me as-“

“Shaylynn, right?” he cuts her off.

She nods and opens her mouth to speak again, but he continues.

“Or is it Shay, now? When you were littler you went by Shaylynn.”

She looks at him and thinks to herself, “Do I know this man? He obviously lives or lived in Reden at some point to know who I am, but I don’t recall him at all…”

“Shay is fine, if it suits you. And what may I call you? I mean, if you do want to be called ‘sir’ I will oblige…“

“Cain. My name is Cain.” He holds out his hand to shake hers.

She accepts his hand as a lady, like her mother taught her at a very early age.

Cain smirks at this. “I see your mother got a lock down on your manners. The last time I saw you, you were just learning that it was not polite to stare with your mouth open!”

Shay takes her hand back and scowls at him, “I didn’t stare with my mouth open! And just exactly who are you? How come I don’t know who you are?”

“C’mon, you honestly can say you don’t know who I am?” He looks a little hurt at this.

She looks around for Tripp to avert his hurt-filled gaze, once she finds him and tries to recall on a memory of him she says, “No… I’m sorry, Cain. I don’t have a clue in the slightest who you are.”

The hurt disappears from his face and an indifferent look takes its place, “That’s alright then, it was a bit of a while ago since I’ve seen you last; that wasn’t fair of me to assume you’d remember. But let me know if you do, alright?”

She nods and he opens the door to the carriage for her, “Shall we be on our way?”

Shay calls Tripp and he comes running their way. She lets him get in first and follows directly after. Cain closes the door and returns to his seat. With a flick of the reigns they are off again. In the last bit of light she rummages through her pack that was on the floor next to her feet to pull out some dried meat and sweet bread. She gave a piece to Tripp to work on as he lay next to her. Once they were finished with their meal she took off her pelt coat and used it as a blanket. She lay down across the seat and used Tripp as a pillow. When she closed her eyes all she could think about was Cain, how does he know so much about her, and why she knows so little about him?

The Abandoned Hawk: Chapter 1 (Edited 7/7/14)

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Chapter One

Her hound pup stirs at the foot of the bed, waking her up. Reluctantly she removes her body from under her warm, pelt blanket. She swings her legs over the side of the bed and searches the floor with her toes for her shoes; it is still early in the spring and the floor is cold. Gods forbid her she fall sick on this day. She slips on her long stockings, then her shoes and goes to her wardrobe. She dresses in the darkness, for it is before sunrise, putting on a very simple dress made with cotton and a green velvet coat lined with fox fur. The green complimented her own green eyes and the red of the fox’s fur made her eyes stand out, like a single green plant in a red desert. She brushes her dark auburn hair and puts it in a single braid, which then brings the length of her hair to just below shoulder length.

Once she is finished getting ready, she and her pup quietly pad their way down the stairs to the main floor of her home. Their house only consists of three floors. The top floor holds the sleeping chambers. The main floor consists of the dining hall, kitchen, bathing room, sitting room and her father’s study. And the basement is where their wine, mead and food are stored, as well as father’s personal armory. They cross the foyer and go into the dining hall. Her second eldest brother and his hunting party had returned last night and celebrated their victorious hunt, leaving the dining hall in disarray. Soon the two servants would be awake and they would clear this mess before her father and mother would see it.

They left the dining hall and went into the kitchen. Walking past the cooking hearth and the pantry full of foods, herbs and spices, they exited their home through the servant’s door. Once outside, her pup takes off running, stretching his legs. She walks around the court yard, calling back the pup whenever she lost sight of him. Once the sky began to light up and the roosters had crowed, her and her pup returned home through the servant’s door. One of their servants was in the kitchen when they entered. The servant nodded her head and said, “G’mornin’, Shay.”

Shay replied, “Good morning, Hadeel.” Hadeel is an older woman who once had blonde hair that has turned gray in her later years. Her small frame was bent over in the cooking hearth, building a small tinder fire. Shay looked in the wood pale next to the hearth, it was empty. She took the pale and took it outside to the wood pile to fill it. Once she returned to the kitchen she, placed the pale next to the hearth and placed a few logs in the hearth to catch fire. Hadeel silently thanks Shay with a look as Shay exits the kitchen into the dining hall.

In the dining hall Shay sees Rina, Hadeel’s daughter and only child. Rina, only eleven years old herself, was trying to turning over a bench that her brother and his party had left turned over because of last night’s festivities. Rina stops what she is doing and greets Shay, “Good mornin’, Miss Shaylynn.”

“Good morning, Rina.” Shay grabs the opposite end of the bench and helps Rina turn it up right. “Please, I have told you before; there is no need to address me by my full name. You know I cannot stand it; especially when my mother calls me by it.”

“Sorry, Miss Shay,” Rina apologizes while giggling.

Shay looks around the dining hall, at the far wall, above the head of the table the Keeton house banner hangs proudly. It has a blue base color, as blue as the Eastern River. And expertly sewn on it is their family’s sigil, a copper hawk with its wings spread and its talons clenched. The colors are not as brilliant as normal, Shay notices. She looks at the candelabras around the room. Only the bottom row of candles on each is lit. Rina is not tall enough to reach the top row of candles, so Shay takes an already lit candle and goes around the room lighting the unlit ones.

After lighting candles, she began to help clear the table, while Rina picked up the dishes off the floor. The pup was taking care of cleaning the floor of any food scraps that had fallen during the feast, leaving little for Rina to sweep up with the broom after. Carrying what dishes she could, she followed Rina into the kitchen. Hadeel was cooking up a rather large breakfast for the family that morning. Shay’s nostrils were filled with smells of cooking meats and fresh bread being baked.

“Mmm, Hadeel! Are you making sweet bread?” Shay asks.

Hadeel turns her head, not taking her eyes from cutting up fruits for the breakfast spread, “Yes, dear. I made your favorite for your big day and I even have an extra loaf baking for your trip.”

Shay smiles and goes over to Hadeel and taps her on the shoulder. Hadeel puts her knife down and hugs Shay. Her little arms reaching around her torso and squeezing her lightly. Hadeel has been with their family since her father became Lord of Reden, as well as her husband Brundyn, the stable master. Brundyn taught Shay how to ride a horse, even when her mother said she was too young to do so, she is not as good of a rider as her eldest brother, but her and her second brother are very well matched.

Shay kisses Hadeel’s temple and let’s go of her. She smiles and says her silent goodbye. Today Shay would be leaving her home, the only place she has ever known in her short 19 years of life. She was leaving to go to Hulen Hold, where she is promised to Lord Randolph Ullmarr’s only son, Faelan. Their engagement has been pending for over five years now, he was a late bloomer of 14 and she was an early bloomer of only 12. Their engagement was arranged when her father was to become second in command to the king’s army, Lord Ullmarr being the first in command.

Since then a terrible plague spread like wildfire throughout the kingdom. It killed thousands of children, newborns to teenagers. With great fear each city and hold shut their gates to keep the illness from spreading further. Those families who had the coin would get their children cured by the healers at the worship temples and those who did not could only watch their precious children die. The illness plagued the kingdom for over 5 years and with the spring of the sixth year, after a very harsh winter, all cases of the illness ceased to exist. By this point, father’s position had been filled by a different man and he probably does his job well. For the past year her father has been writing Lord Ullmarr practically begging him to consider their engagement. After all, it is the least he can do for giving the honor of being second in command to the king’s army to someone less deserving than himself.

Shay had never been fond of the idea of marrying someone that she barely knew, especially in the more recent years of her life being able to pick up on her mother’s attitude towards her husband. Shay holds the same fate that her mother did and she sees how bitter her mother acts towards her father sometimes. She did not want this for herself or anyone else for that matter. She thinks that arranged marriages are unsavory and entirely political. Shay does not particularly want to get married at all, but if she did, she wants to because she is in love with the man that she chooses.

With a sigh she exits the kitchen into the dining hall; in the meantime Rina had set the table with in an array of foods. Bacon, sausage, ham and eggs are piled onto plates of the men. Fresh pears, figs, eggs and bread modestly decorate the plates of the ladies. Tea is served, as well as light mead and morning wine to quench the thirsts of the adults and fresh fruit juice and milk for the small children.

Not before long the rest of her family and the boys of the hunting party entered the dining hall. Her father, Lord Gavin Keeton the III, sat at the head of the table. To the Lord’s right sits his eldest son, Gavin the IV. To Gavin’s right sits the second eldest son, Falk. And to his right are the boys of the hunting party: Geoff, Samuel and Jonathan; the only other boys in the hold their age that survived the plague. To the Lord’s left sat Lady Lorna, the Lord’s wife and mother to his children. To the Lady’s left sits their identical twins Kele and Astor. And finally at the end of the table sits, the Lord’s eldest daughter, Shaylynn.

Lord Gavin sits quietly and listens intently to his sons and their friends talk about the victory of a hunt they went on last night. Lady Lorna urges Kele to eat more than sweet bread as she fills his plate with ham and fruit. Astor is sitting quietly and eating properly, just like her mother told her to; only to chime to her mother when she finished eating something, as if to mock her twin brother. Shay is half paying attention to her brothers and half lost in her own thoughts, while picking at her breakfast. Like her little brother Kele, she had only eaten the sweet bread from her plate and this made her mother take notice. Lady Lorna pats her husband’s arm and gestures to her eldest daughter with a tilt of her head. The Lord turns his attention from his sons and watches Shay before speaking.

“Shay,” hearing her father’s voice makes her sit up straight and divert her eyes to him. Her hands fall into her lap and she is pulled from her own thoughts.

“Yes, father?” Her voice is practiced and has a rhythm to it. The other children around the table fell silent, only the clanking of goblets on the table and metallic scraping of utensils on plates served as ambiance.

“You have barely touched your food, my daughter. You are already thin as it is and today is an important day. You need your strength, please eat something substantial.”

Her face flushes pink, not out of embarrassment for being lectured like a child in front of their guests, but out of anger. She had not forgotten about how important this day was to her father. She is to be bound in marriage Faelan; like Gavin is promised to a young lady whom is to come live here soon and how arrangements are being made for Falk to go off and become a squire to a knight in the kingdom’s capitol at any moment’s notice.

“I remember, father,” she accidentally let resentment slip into the tone of her voice.

Her father picked up on it, which made him rise from his seat. Throwing a fist down on the table he exclaims, “You should feel honored that Lord Randolph Ullmarr chose our house to wed his only son! Today will go without a hitch and I mean it. Not one. If I even catch a whiff of something off, I swear I will take that dammed dog of yours from you and send you off to live in the Abbey!”

She stares at him with piercing eyes, her jaw clenched and hands balled into fists in her lap. Then her eyes begin to well with tears, she has heard the same lecture before. But this time, it was a lot harsher and her mother just sat there, not looking at her. Not trying to save one of her babies from getting taken away and carted off to a faraway place.

“Do you understand, girl?” He shouts.

His voice is so loud it echoes in the hall and makes her jump. She stands, pushing her seat back hard, almost knocking it over. Her face softens, her hands unclench and fold in front of her and as she controls her voice she responds, “I understand. May I be excused, please?”

Her father shakes his head in frustration, falling back into his chair. Not even looking at her, he dismisses Shay with a wave of his hand. Swatting her away like an annoying fly. She turns and walks away hurriedly, but gracefully.

Shay and her pup cross the foyer and head up the stairs to her room. She silently closes the door and places her forehead against the cold wood. Behind the closed door she lets the tears flow freely, but she does not make a sound. Not one sob or sniffle. Ever since she was a little girl she learned that crying never did any good for her. It especially made her father more angry with her and made her mother ignore her and not sooth her.

Her parents had not always been this harsh towards her, it mostly began after father lost his position and mother lost her newborn daughter to the plague. During the plague the Lord’s children were not allowed to play with the other children in the hold. It was just Shay, Gavin and Falk. The boys never wanted to do what Shay wanted, so Shay to feel included, tagged along with everything they did. Horseback riding, archery and sword play were her favorite activities that she shared with her brothers. Her mother hated the idea and tried to steal her away and make her read history books and write poetry.

After taking a few deep breaths, Shay produces her handkerchief from her coat pocket to dry the tears from her cheeks and eyes. She crosses her room, pats her pup on the head, which is lying on the foot of the bed, and goes to the window to open the shutters. Light streams into the room and floods onto dusty, empty shelves and packed trunks full of her personal items.

“Hadeel must have had Rina pack up my things for me while we were down at breakfast,” Shay thought to herself. All there was left to do was pack her wardrobe, which was left open with an open, empty trunk next to it. “That is odd; Rina would not just leave her job unfinished…” She goes over to the wardrobe and starts to put clothes away. She does not have any silk dresses, so she did not have to worry them getting ruined in the trunk. She set aside her travel outfit: a fitted white, cotton shirt, a green, wool sweater, and soft, leather pants. She wants to be comfortable and warm during her trip.

In her wardrobe are drawers that hold her undergarments and stockings, when she went to open her stocking drawer, she noticed it was a little harder to open than normal. With a firm tug the drawer opened and at the top of her stockings was a sheathed dagger, with a bit of parchment wrapped around it and tied shut with a piece of red string. She picked up the dagger delicately, as if it was made of glass. The sheath was tanned leather, with beautiful etchings in it of a hawk’s head. The hilt was silver, with green stones embedded in it. And the blade was straight, about three and a half inches long, an inch in width and tapered at the end into a sharp point. She could only smile as she sheathed the dagger and took the note off to read it.

Put it to good use, but do not hurt yourself, sister. Much love, G & F

It was Gavin’s hand writing, but she knew it was Falk’s idea to get it for her. Falk and Shay were born less than a year apart and Gavin was almost two years older than them, so they got a long more than Gavin and Shay ever did. Shay was always borrowing Falk’s dagger when she watched Gavin and Falk spar, she would carve small designs into the bark that had fallen off of the wood from the wood pile near the servant’s door to the kitchen. One time she had accidentally cut herself pretty badly on the hand. While her father was furious that she was playing with the dagger without being watched, her mother was more upset with the fact that she got blood all over her dress that she was wearing.

Shay smiled at the memory and then got very seldom after the thought of her leaving these memories behind entered her mind. She let out a sigh and put the dagger and the note in between her laid out travel clothes. After she finished packing the rest of her wardrobe, she changed into her travel clothes and folded up her white, cotton dress and green, velvet coat and packed them away. She looped the sheath of her dagger onto her belt before putting her sweater on; it was the perfect size and hid nicely under her clothing.

There was only one article left in her wardrobe and that was her thick, fur-pelt overcoat; she grabbed it and draped it over her shoulders. She closed the drawers and doors to her wardrobe and then the lid of the trunk. She scanned the room one last time to make sure that nothing was a miss. She went over to her window for the last time and looked up at the sun. The morning was almost over and she was to leave by midday. With a pat on her leg, she calls to her pup, “Come, Tripp!” Tripp bounds off of the bed, but does not land very gracefully. When he recovers, he prances to her side and follows her out of the room and down the stairs.

Wait, can it be?

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I am back at it people!

I know I said I was gonna write back in May, but my life decided it was going to take a different turn. The months of May and June were better spent spending quality time with the SO and working. No exciting adventures, but it was nice to decompress after school and enjoy some of my summer “stay-cation.”

I am happy to announce that I will be participating in this year’s July session of Camp NaNoWriMo! I am going to continue the writing of Short Story 1 also known as The Abandoned Hawk (working title.) I will be posting my progress as I go here!

Announcement!

The hiatus is almost over! I will resume posting on Monday.

Finals are all finished and now I am just relaxing and trying to establish some sort of schedule for myself.

When I return I will be doing:

A sort of branching off of a story a friend of mine wrote a long time ago.

Continuing the short story 1 that I have already started.

As well as doing my new segment called Poetry Breakdown.

Can’t wait until Monday!

Writing 12

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Anonymity

People are comforted by the idea that others don’t know who they are talking to.

They can say snide remarks and hurt feelings without batting an eye.

Yet on the other hand they can completely genuine and for what?

Wasted words on both accounts if you ask me.

 

I find solace in the fact that I can speak freely,

I am not foolish to say without judgement,

Because that is entirely humanly impossible.

 

~Alliance Anonymous

(Just a little blurb, nothing exciting. Not feeling like writing much today. Sorry.)

Writing 11

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This rain is making me depressed.

The last few mornings I’ve woken to

Dreary, bleak, and miserable weather;

Making my motivation to pay attention at school go down the tube

And my motivation to do work go out the window.

 

Last night the dog kept waking up every hour or so,

Because it was thundering so bad.

I felt bad for my S.O.

Every time I got out of bed because the dog did he’d wake up.

So I just stayed on the couch.

Didn’t get barely any sleep,

My body aches, even after a shower.

 

At night when we are just hanging out,

I have no motivation to do anything;

Play video games, do Sudoku, read a book,

But I am bored to tears.

I want sunshine!

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