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Writing Wednesday: Where Is Your Mind?

Riwenne finally managed to sleep and had a terrible dream. As she struggles to get through the next day of training, her mind wanders back to thinking about what her dream meant. But she’s about to get hurt if she doesn’t focus on the present.

On the Training Field

“Riwenne, look out!”

I yanked my head up and stepped back just in time to see the butt end of the spear swinging past where my face had been. The girl, Salki, who was holding the spear stumbled when she missed, and I kicked her legs out from under her.

Salki fell, but recovered quickly, rolling backward and popping back up to her feet in a fighting stance.

But she had to drop her spear to keep her legs from getting tangled in it. I leaned down to grab it.

Ytta kicked Salki’s spear out of my reach and struck the back of my hand with her own spear.

I yelped and yanked my hand back. Without thinking about it, I summoned my magic to heal the wound.

A sharp whistle broke my concentration. “Stop!” Tika called.

We lowered our weapons and turned to the front. The little sandpiper’s voice was shrill and carried across the training grounds, but everyone instantly stopped to listen closely.

Tika hopped off her perch and glided over to land on my shoulder. “You weren’t paying attention, Riwenne. The point of this exercise was not to use any magic.”

I ducked my head, feeling my face growing hot. It was bad enough to make a mistake without getting called out in front of everyone. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled. “It hurt.”

Tika peered closer at me. “This isn’t the first time you’ve had to fight through the pain. Where is your mind today?”

I chewed on my lower lip to keep from answering.

She waited a moment longer in silence. Then she bobbed her head at my attackers. “Good teamwork, girls,” she praised them. “Remember, you have the longer reach with those weapons, so you need to take advantage of it. Keep Riwenne on her toes.” She leaped back into the air. “Reset!”

I shook my head to clear it and raised my short sword, made of wood for practice. Salki and Ytta dropped back into fighting stances and raised their blunted spears, preparing to attack me again. Around us, other groups of fighters were doing the same thing.

Last night’s vision was distracting me. I had no idea what my dream meant. Was it even a message? The gods didn’t act like they normally did when they appeared to me in a vision. If it was a warning, it didn’t tell me anything new. Maybe it was just my fears getting all mixed up in my mind.

Since I didn’t know what to say about it—and it was more than a little embarrassing to talk about—I didn’t bring it up with my friends like a normal vision. I shrugged it off and focused on the new day, at least until now.


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