Oh man… I sighed, staring out the window of the house we were staying in for our vacation. We were going home tomorrow. Time had flown. Home, I thought, rolling the word around my mind. That word can mean so much to some, and so little to others. My face cracked a smile. There’s my profound thought for the week. Next I’ll start feeling poetical, and then begin having ideas for a new story. It’s how it always happens during vacations.
Thinking about stories reminded me of my books…and my characters.
“I sure miss those guys,” I whispered, my breath fogging the glass in front of me.
“Well, you could have taken us with you,” a voice pointed out grumpily.
“Alice?” I asked her reflection in astonishment. “Where’s Al-”
“Right here, as always.” Alyssa joined our reflections and gave me a grin, her eyes twinkling mischievously. “I’m never far from my Alice since she simply can’t survive without me.”
Alice rolled her eyes, giving her twin a playful shrug. “Excuse me, what about that time when I was captured by gliefs? I survived then, didn’t I?”
“You fainted when I showed up to rescue you because you were so happy to have me back,” Alyssa pressed.
“You shocked me,” Alice corrected. “That’s a little different. I was so surprised to see you that I didn’t know whether I was or wasn’t glad to see you.”
I knew my characters well enough to realize when it was time to change the subject. Quickly.
“Well, I’m glad to see you two!” I exclaimed hurriedly. “I’ve missed spending time on your story at home.”
Alyssa smiled. “We know. That’s why we decided to drop by and brighten your day.”
“Also we wanted to ask why you haven’t been spending as much time on us recently,” Alice added.
“Alice wanted to ask that,” Alyssa giggled.
I grinned. “I do have an explanation for that. I haven’t forgotten you. My sister is in the process of editing you one last time, and then you’ll get published. Hopefully by the end of the year.”
Alice folded her arms. “Would you mind telling her to hurry it up? I’m sick of waiting.”
Alyssa was shocked. “Alice! She’s our author! You watch your temper!”
“I want her to give us a reason why she’s not working on the second book if she’s waiting on her sister to finish editing the first one then.”
I sighed and rubbed my forehead. This was going to be tricky to explain.
Unfortunately, someone else decided to show up at that moment and explain it for me.
“You guys aren’t her only characters you know.” Destin and Fovil stood with arms folded, feet spread apart, and scowls across their faces. Destin continued, “she has other books to work on too…more important ones.”
Alice rolled her eyes. “I suppose you mean your book,” she said sarcastically.
I looked around at my characters. “Guys,” I began.
“She has to finish us too,” another voice chimed in. Malcolm and Megan appeared behind the twins. “She started our story way before any of yours, which automatically gives us first priority.”
“But we’re her first Sci-Fi book,” Fovil protested. “Surely that counts for something.”
Alice snorted contemptuously. “A very small something. At least she only has editing left to do on us, then we’ll be published which is more than any of you can say.”
With a groan I tried to stop the heated argument again. “Guys,” I began again. It didn’t work. The argument merely got louder, and angrier.
“We have more chapters than you!”
“I’m her in our book!”
“I bet she’ll have less writer’s block doing our book than with yours because we’re more interesting!”
“How dare you say our story is less interesting! I’ll have you know you-you-”
“STOP ALL THIS ARGUMENT RIGHT NOW!”
I opened my eyes to a crack and took my hands away from my ears.
Valkin Tredhale stood in all his kingly garb before my characters. A beautiful crown of obvious elfish fashion sat on his head. He was scowling fiercely around at the suddenly mute characters, the only time I ever felt slightly afraid of him.
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” he admonished as they all stared at him with their mouths still open. “Especially you Malcolm.” The elf king laid a hand on the young man’s shoulder. “We kings bare heavy responsibility which should not be taken lightly. You will undoubtedly reign after your marriage to Chrystal and the eventual death of her father the current king. Begin to prepare yourself for that serious task now.”
He turned to Destin and Fovil. “As for you two…” he trailed off and shook his head in disappointment. “I will have to tell Kyrin of your misdeeds. He’ll know best how to deal with both of you.”
Alice and Alyssa stood with bowed heads, waiting for their admonishment. Valkin walked over to them, lifting their chins so they could look him in the eye.
“I can see that you already realize what you did wrong. That’s a step towards improvement.” He gave Alice an especially serious look which made her burn with shame. “You know you were the start of this, right?”
She nodded dumbly.
“Don’t start or continue arguments. It takes two to make an argument, and it takes only one to stop it. Remember that next time.”
“Yes sir,” she said humbly.
“We’re sorry Valkin,” Alyssa added.
“Hmm…I’m glad to hear that.” Valkin caught my eye and came over to me with a smile. “I hope that helped.”
I gave a sigh of relief. “Thank you,” I answered from the bottom of my heart.
He winked. “Sometimes it helps to be a king. I get very good at telling people what to do or what not to do.”
“Well thank you again,” I said. “Someone needed to tell them to stop, and I guess you were it!”
“I do my best to help you whenever possible,” Valkin said, then his reflection disappeared from the window.
My other characters humbly apologized in turns, and I forgave them each willingly, giving them solemn promises to work on each of their stories when I got home. One by one, their reflections faded off the window.
Alice was the last to go. “You will work on our second book when you get home?” she asked hopefully.
I nodded. “I promise.”
She shook her head in disbelief. “How on earth are you going to find time to do all those stories?”
I grinned. “Oh, I’ll manage,” I answered mysteriously.
“See you then,” Alice said, smiling.
“Tell everyone thank you for giving me an adventure today,” I ordered as she began to fade.
“Some adventure!” she remarked dryly. “But yes, I will tell them.”
“Good bye,” I whispered when the only reflection left was mine.
I turned from the window with a start when I realized that my mom was talking to me. “Sorry,” I apologized. “What were you saying?”
My mom came over and looked out the window curiously. “I was asking what you were looking at out there that was so fascinating. You’ve been standing and staring out into nowhere for the last fifteen minutes.”
“I was just having a daydream,” I explained.
“Oh, I see,” my mom said, still unconvinced. “Well, I need your help with dinner now.”
“Ok, I’ll be right there,” I answered, leaving the window.
Once I looked back, and I thought I saw Alice waving at me. But I couldn’t be certain.
Maybe it had only been a daydream.