Tag Archives: marna

A Peaceable Person

DaggerMarna was a peaceable person; at least, she had always considered herself so. But at the moment, a bone-wracking anger possessed her entirely. She struggled to keep her voice mild.

“Put the knife down unless you intend to use it.”

Seonid’s hand shook on the haft of the knife. Her fierce glare withered. She dropped her eyes, suddenly bright with tears, then the knife. The color that flooded her cheeks only made her more lovely. Hers was a beauty that devastated men’s hearts, Marna was sure of it.

But Marna had been a mother once. She understood manipulation, and slyness.

This post was made in response to this week’s Write On Edge prompt:

Below are three fairly generic passive phrases. Your goal is to make them active in a short scene, either fiction or non-fiction. You can choose one, two, or all three to play with, but you only have 100 words.

[he/she/I] was devastated by […]
[feeling] was experienced by […]
[person/thing] was possessed by […]

Read more in the Sable Mark series


White Tea“You brought her here? Are you insane?” Marna glowered at the three of them.

This was not the reaction Callum had expected. “We thought you’d be pleased,” he said, allowing a hint of vexation to creep into his voice. Had they not just found a piece of the puzzle?

“Really.” It was not a question. “Pleased that I am expected to play host to a potion-addled sybarite. Who can barely keep upright, may I add.” Marna was clearly affronted, though Callum had to admit that she was correct on that last point. Seonid’s face was pale and damp with sweat, and her hands trembled. Her gaze drifted around the room, touching lightly on bottles and jars, but never lingering for long. Callum noted that Marna did not offer the girl a chair.

His sister was prepared for Marna’s outburst. “You should have seen the state she was in when we found her. Believe me, this is an improvement.” As if to belie Vernía’s words, Seonid swayed, and Callum steadied her. Bedraggled as she was, she still smelled of apples. He let her lean into his side, her expression vague and unfocused. She must be exhausted, he realized.

Vernía drew the magistra aside. “She needs someplace safe to stay for a few days,” she said in a low voice. “Until she’s through the worst of it. She’s a part of this, though I don’t yet know how.”

“White tea and iron,” Seonid said suddenly. “Oh, safe, safe… What is safe? Clementine and rue.” Callum almost dropped her, he was that startled. He looked to Marna, but it was his sister who spoke, cocking her head to one side.

“A draught of Sanctuary, if I’m not mistaken. She is quite the connoisseur.”

Marna crossed her arms and glared. “May as well hire a drunk for a barman.” After a long moment, she held out a hand and led Seonid to a low divan. “Sit child, and we’ll see what we can make of you.”

This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge  prompt.

You should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:

safe adj \ˈsāf\

1  free from harm or risk : unhurt

2 a: secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
b: successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out

3 affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty

4 obsolete of mental or moral faculties : healthy, sound

More in the Sable Mark series can be found in previous posts: Need, Salt, Beast, The Other Sort of Need, Damask, Deep Magic, The Scent of Apple.


Sea salt

The tinkle of a bell summoned Marna from the storeroom. She dusted off her hands and dabbed her face dry with a handkerchief. The tiny room was windowless and airless, and afforded little relief from the summer’s heat.

“My condolences,” the dark-haired woman said as Marna emerged.

She sounded sincere, but Marna knew better. Tears without salt, she thought bitterly, even as she feigned a gracious acknowledgement. “Mistress,” she greeted the woman. “How may I be of service?” The words tasted like stale water.

The other woman ran her gaze over the rows of bottles lining the walls. Though her expression was open, even kind, her eyes were covetous, and she absently tapped her fan against her palm.

The bottles were precisely arranged. Unlabeled as they were, it was the only way to be certain what was inside. It was also impossible for anyone outside the family to find any particular potion. There was only Marna herself now, of course.

“A tincture,” the woman said finally. “Peace, I think. These are anxious times.”

“Ah,” Marna said. “That one I don’t have on hand. If you can bide a moment, I will mix it for you now.” The dark-haired woman frowned, but shook open her fan and sat in the shop’s only chair.

She did, as a matter of fact, have Peace on hand, but it pleased her to make the Guildmistress wait. Petty, perhaps, but there it was. Her hands worked quickly, mixing the various extracts and distillations with practiced ease. At the last, she added three drops of sea-water, for her own grief; a breach of the Trust, that. She stoppered the bottle and sealed it, pressing her signet into the soft black wax.

Of course, she refused payment. “A gift,” she said. “In return for your sympathy.”

This post was made in response to this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt at Write On Edge:

“The cure for anything is salt water… sweat, tears or the sea.”
~ Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke

For your Creative Non-Fiction tell us about the last time that one of these three things “cured” you. If you are going with Fiction, have your character resolve a problem using one of the three (or all three!!!). Limit: 300 words.