7th Anniversary

7th Anniversary

Happy 7th Anniversary to my blog!

On this day 7 years ago I wrote my first blog post and got it up right before midnight. Apparently, I am following that tradition again this year. Still after the insanity of the last year for me, I am happy to have this post done. I hope you enjoy this yerar’s chapter of Erieri’s tale.

Here’s to another year of stories!

The argument chased Erieri through the grasses and onto the plane, diminishing in volume to a dull murmur then nothing. She leaned sideways smacking tall grasses, flush with the spring of somewhen. Straightening, she glowered over her shoulder toward the lanterns illuminating the camp’s position.

“You could’ve warned me being the lone Guardian of all Times wasn’t as alone as implied.” Swatting the grasses again, Erieri turned to escape further into the endless plane and faltered.

A gray wall stood before her blocking the planes. Rough stone marred the smooth surface showing that more than a mason’s hand had worked on the wall above which stars blazed. Grey light shone beyond the arch, bathing the stone within

When had that come from? She drifted slowly toward the entry pausing beside the massive pillar and peeked around to the space beyond. Five chairs were arranged in a ring in the center of the chamber, three of which were occupied. Not by the men she’d left bickering, nor the allurer. No, even beneath the cloak they were decidedly feminine.

Whoever they were, they didn’t belong in the plane. She’d have to send them back, or forward, to wherever they belonged. Erieri’s knees wobbled the last step as three identical and intimately familiar faces turned toward her.

Almost identical. Each varied in age, but she knew the face. She saw it when she looked in the mirror.

“Finally,” the woman to the right said. She ran her hand through familiar brown hair, streaked with gray. “That just leaves one more. Sit,” the elder Erieri said pointing at one of the remaining seats.

Erieri fidgeted, running the hem of her cloak through her fingers. The other three stared at the ground before them not speaking. The stars blazed in the sky and the horizon remained stubbornly dark. Either no time passed, and her impatience was showing, or time was sideways. Here either was possible.

Straightening Erieri sat back in her chair. “What are we waiting for?”

Shoulders shifted beneath red cloaks, but the elder was the only one to look up. “The last of ourselves of course.”

“Of course.” Erieri rolled her eyes. Why couldn’t Hendat or Cromac try insinuating themselves now? At least then she could ask them a question. Not that either were likely to answer in a fashion which made sense.

Footsteps echoed over the plane, turning toward the archway she saw another version of herself, this one younger, enter the circle. That Erieri paused at the entry, fisting her hand and placing it against her lips.

“How,” she said turning toward the eldest. “I don’t recall this happening before.”

The woman waved her hand dismissively. “You will.” Erieri sat back in her seat huffing at herself as the elder rose from her seat instructing the newest version of herself to take the final seat. With the four seated she looked them all over.

“Why are we here this time?” another asked as the young Erieri slipped into her seat. She swore her muttering about having lost her mind. How young she was.

Blinking she sat straighter. “This time?” she asked looking between the three. “You mean this has happened more than once.”

The final one shrugged. “You’ll get used to it. There’s times it is… useful for figuring issues out.”

“We’re here,” the eldest said with a glower silencing the other woman, “to determine if we’ve taken the wrong path.”

“The wrong path?” Erieri said, glancing at herself.

The eldest nodded. “The plane was meant for one guardian at a time. You’ve brought two more in.” She pointed a finger accusingly at Erieri.

“I did no such thing. I can’t get them to leave.”

“A lack of competence,” the one to her left muttered.

The other huffed, crossing her arms. “I certainly wouldn’t make that mistake.”

Her younger self remained mute, gripping the bottom of her chair. Erieri scowled. “Of course, you wouldn’t, as far as I can tell you’re all older than me. You’ve more experience.”

The eldest shrugged. “You’ve been trained.”

“You call that training? Do you even remember the half answers if Hendat said anything?” The one to her right, the next closest in age from what she could tell sat forward, snorting trying to restrain her laughter. “See, she does!”

“Simply not an acceptable excuse. Your job is to protect time from all threats, including ourselves.”

Erieri gapped at herself at pointed at the younger. “Then why is she’s here?”

An Erieri waved her hand dismissively. “Obvious. She’s from before our arrival, and we can prevent you from ever becoming a guardian.”

The second eldest nodded. “Simple enough to change her path so we can’t make the same mistake.”

Erieri and her younger self stared at the eldest. “But you’ve already been through this.”

“Yes. And?”

“You’ve been through this.” Erieri moved her arm in a circle before her indicating all the hers present.

“Yes, four times before. What is your point?”

“That you’ve been through this four times, and obviously I’ve turned out to be you, so this is the path.”

“Not necessarily,” the second eldest said shrugging. “My previous three times through all ended differently.”

Erieri opened her mouth to speak and stopped shaking her head. There was no point trying to argue. “Fine, then this is MY path, and I won’t abandon it.”

“The choice may not be yours,” the next older said. “There are three of us to your one.”

“Two,” a voice squeaked before Erieri could respond. Her younger self had released her death grip from the chair and was standing. “I’ve not a notion what’s happening, but I want the chance to find out.”

The eldest stopped, narrowing her eyes at the youngest. She moved a hand to rest on her waist. “You’re two. Do you truly think you can win?”

“Yes,” she said. “Because if here is away from there, I want to reach here. Or have you forgotten how driving that desire is?”

Erieri’s eyes widened as she’d listened to herself speak. They’d have forgotten. She had already forgotten. Rising from her chair she went to stand next to herself. “We won’t turn back.”

“And if forward leads to disaster?” The eldest asked.

Erieri grinned. “Then I’ll pick another direction. Because I can choose.” Raising her hand she halted time, before the other hers could finish standing. She turned her back on the circle and strode from the archway, only glancing back when she was yards removed.

The elder version of herself had vanished. The younger stood, her grin remaining strong even as she faded. Memories flooded into Erieri’s brain. “Oh,” she whispered eyes widening. That was how her dream began. She’d chosen herself.

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