This is titled "Duende" on what would probably be a full sheet of regular, printed paper.
It's an excerpt from a novel that I've been working on for a few years. It was conceived because of NaNoWriMo and [with partial thanks to the motto of the program + its annual occurrence] this is one of my few Project-Forms without an end-date to ever feel like I have to rush for.
The original title of the novel-in-progress is "Unicorns Don't Stone Demons". I do think that's important, but as I continue to work on it, I call it "Centella". The first title I had definitely feels like something that would get attention and allure to some of the things I'd like to reference, but it also feels too catchy for what this book is to me at the present. I think it's very likely that I stick with "Centella" if this ever sees the light of day en totale.
I could easily copy and paste this from where I have it typed in Evernote, but I just rediscovered it and I'm going to old-fashioned copy it by typing it into this box and letting myself meditate on the scene for a bit. I think it's a good idea to separate myself from the things that I have to do in this way.
She wandered over to the side of the cliff. Reaching a hard hand out, she managed to run her fingers along the jagged pieces and the smooth parts. There was hardly a sound in the world except for the dirt falling on her nails and the air spiking between her layers of hair, hitting her ears in an awful way. It split her goosebumps and lifted her eyelashes so that her eyes watered and her nose began to run. It was so human, the process of it all. She parted her mouth quietly, and let her tongue taste the nothing, feeling frozen against the still, tough air that surrounded her and slid down the rock face until it sat on top of her. Dirt continued falling on her head and nothing brushed it away. She closed her mouth again. Her lips were dry and now so was every part of her insides. Her eyes were going towards dryness, even. She closed her eyes and tears did not come. Nothing to soothe her bare skin was anywhere. Nothing to soothe the dryness of her pupils or the shields over them. If she hadn't known better, she wouldn't have been able to tell where she was. She realized that despite the slow nothingness pushing down on her, her heart was beating quickly. Or it had been. She only realized it had been now that it wasn't.
She turned to look for water. Even though it was just a thought, she immediately shook her head at how stupid that sounded. You could find water just about anywhere. It was the safe water, the flowing water, that counted.
"I don't have a favorite," she scoffed quietly, thinking only of the grass between her toes and how strange it was that the ground would be so squishy beneath her feet right here.
It was simply an answer she had given Francis to a question he had asked back when he was just learning about her lives. She had scoffed at him then too, although more haughtily if not more forcefully. She moved to canvas the acreage she had chosen. On her way winding back through the trees towards where she and Francis were supposed to meet up (hopefully with productive news), she blinked. Well, of course she blinked, but here she allowed herself to blink in longer strokes than usual. It was an old habit from when she was a child. An actual child at some First point in her life. There was no telling when was her First life or if she was a child at all in anything, but she knew that at some point in her entire existence she had to have been an entirely innocent child in every way that every person might ever assume. She'd been a child every time, and thousands of moments must have held her as an innocent, but she was always the same soul, wasn't she? But... there had been a time when her soul did not hold the memory of scars and... when the spirits around her had not already heard her name from across the sea, or from the leaves decaying in the ground, or from the lips of the wind or faeries.
She let her eyes shut for seconds at a time in long blinks. Each eye closed, she avoided trees by noticing what was ahead of her with eyes intercepting light or shadow, and other parts of her body. She felt the ground beneath her feet change from soggy to mush to hard and back again as she walked in her designated circle. She was much better at not running into things after eons of walking with her eyes closed. The other children had thought it was so wonderfully strange. It was something she had done with ease, and never to show off. It just happened in a moment when it was better for them, such as when she had walked in on a boy named Rory kissing her sister or when she had to play hide and seek with the littles or when--she stopped and her eyes flashed open. Or--there was a bright light in front of her, or something? The words of simple observational thought and the names of children jumbled themselves in her face and in the back of whatever was between her eyes. She covered her eyes and didn't realize she was kneeling on the ground until a cloud moved over the sun, shielding its blinding reflection away to bother some other living creature at some other corner of the land.
"Water!" she cried and then realized tears were actually falling from her eyes. Her eyelashes stuck together and her gaze blurry with water, salt, and the hair of lashes, she must have been crying for some time. Her chin was covered in snot and the curve of her shirt was soaked.