Writing prompts: Regicide and a General

“We’re off to kill the king, want to join?”

“Kill the king!? What… Whatever for?”

“Fun, primarily.”

Jhavier’s mouth hung agape, his lunch along with words hanging in his throat. He felt his legs lose strength and desperately hoped they wouldn’t give out.
It was just his luck to get roped into a treasonous group on his very first day as a knight.

“No, Kayenne,” The guard at the table sighed, not even looking up from his newspaper, “you cannot just say that you want to kill the king. What if someone who may actually take you serious hears you?”

Kayenne pouted, “I am entirely serious, Gerald!”

Gerald simply reshuffled his feet upon the table and turned the next page of the newspaper.

“You told me to, anyway.” She continued, twirling the dagger in her hand absentmindedly.

“I did no such thing.”

She huffed, flicking the dagger towards Jhavier. The former squire’s heart stopped as it whizzed by his left ear and only resumed beating at the thud of the steel lodging into the wall behind him.

“You told me to take it up with the king when I complained of this gruesome boredom.”

Gerald shot her a tired look, “How, in all that is right in Lancia, does that translate to regicide in your head?”

“It just means that I shall have to challenge the king to a duel. Surely, no ruler should allow their subjects to go bored in their land.”

“And how does the king die in all this?”

She grinned, “Well, there’s no scenario in which I lose said duel.”

Gerald’s dreads flowed along with the shake of his head, “You cannot just go about saying such things. Simply discussing treason is a life sentence, and evidence of planning it will cost you your head. Not even the king’s favoured such as you can escape the punishment for that particular crime.”

Kayenne giggled, standing up and starting towards the wall, “Oh, come off it, Gerald. You’re such a stiff. I’m simply looking for some thing to do.”

“I guarantee that would no longer be an issue if you would only settle into domestic life like other women your age. You are a fine young lady and a noble in your own right. The court whispers, you know. Best to settle down before your suitors come to fear you too much.” Gerald quipped, straightening his paper.

Kayenne’s carefree grin turned sour, stiffening into something resembling a snarl. She yanked her dagger out of the stone with a harsh scraping sound.

Jhavier had simply been looking for a suitable spot to spend his break, when he had passed the leisure room was stopped by the regicide invitation. He did not wish to continue his awkward presence in their conversation.

Hurried footsteps raced towards them, and a panicked messenger burst into the space.

“General Guerrera! The Korinian army has breached the border again! Your leadership is greatly needed!”

Jhavier’s mouth dropped open. This was the General Guerrera? The most ruthless fighter to ever command the Lion division of the army?

Gerald shot to his feet, “Send for our pegasi at once!”

The messenger nodded, but Kayenne shook her head before he could move to leave.

“I will ride my phoenix, she is faster.” She instructed then turned to Gerald, smirking, “You shall remain here, it’s far too dangerous for you.”

He glowered at her, “Kayenne, this is an emergency, I-”

“That’s General Guerrera to you, guard. Stay here while I get the intruders out of our house. After all, a home must be safe.”

Teeth clenched, he saluted, “Yes, General.”

Jhavier’s jaw further unhinged. She was General Guerrera?!

Kayenne’s brown eyes danced with mischief to match her Cheshire grin. She waved a hand, and her gravity defying hair was subdued into a low ponytail, then whispered an incantation that had her scythe flying to her waiting hand.

Battle ready, she turned to Jhavier, “I’m off to kill some intruders, want to join, knight?”

Jhavier marvelled at his luck. He was getting a personal invitation to battle from the General Guerrera?

He saluted with all is might, suppressing a wince at the force of his fist on his chest, “Yes, sir! I-I mean ma’am… um…”

She laughed, “Just General is fine.”

As Jhavier ran after the General to her steed, his panting gave way to deep pride.

The intruders were in for a pretty chaotic surprise.

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Lonely

You know, there are almost 8 billion people in the world.
Crazy, right?
Almost 8 billion other people that share this globe.

So, with numbers like that, why is loneliness still so prevalent?

I can’t tell if we’ve become more lonely as a species, or if we were always this way to begin with, but social media and the technological connectivity of the world made it more obvious.

I can’t be the first person in a crowded room with a heart weighed down by loneliness.
I can’t be the first person with a loving, whole family, a sweet partner, and okay enough people in my life, to still sit in the corner of my bed with a lump in my throat.
I can’t be the first person to feel twangs of pain in my chest when people ignore me while I bounce around with presumed hyper-happiness.

And I’m not.

For whatever reason, we are social creatures. Whether it began as a way to survive, or was how we were made by God… whatever you believe, we are not islands.

To be lonely, to some degree, is to be human.

I’m learning that it’s not something to be ashamed of if, when the day is done and you’re on your own, you dislike it. Currently, there’s a lot of emphasis on being mandated to desire your own company above all else, and how people that don’t are weak-minded or attention seekers in some way.
That is not to say that we should marinate in our own loneliness and let it ravage our hearts. Enjoying some music or dance, reading or writing, or simply staying in with a good tv series, are all lovely ways to enjoy your own company.

But the world is made up of not only introverts, but extroverts. And even ambiverts.
And, while there are so many appreciation statements for introverts that prefer their own company, sometimes, the other two get overlooked.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling most yourself in the company of others, as long as you are authentic.
Just like there’s nothing wrong with gaining energy from doing things alone.
And, like most things in this intricate life, introverted and extroverted tendencies are only two ends of the spectrum.

For the longest time, due to my shyness, I labelled myself an introvert. And it wasn’t false, I preferred my own company to that of others.
But, the thing was, I was never really alone. As the oldest of four, there was always a younger brother or sister vying for my attention, or a parent with wisdom or instructions that they wanted to impart. So, I would do my own things, but with the subconscious knowledge that I would be sought out eventually.

For no one knows an hour of peace in a house of six.

Then, I moved. I flew to Russia for university.

And one left the house of six.

For about a year after my arrival, I still wasn’t really alone. I’d arrived at my university with four other students, three of which lived in the room right next to mine.

You see, Nigerians can be rather boisterous. So the five of us, all strangers dumped in one place in a foreign land, would spend almost every waking moment together, laughing and bantering with the occasional argument. Because we were new, and the only familiarities we could find were in each other.

Enter the end of preparatory year. We were done with the language course and had to move to another dorm where we would live for the rest of our stay here. This time, we weren’t in such close proximity. Two girls were sent to different sections on the sixth floor, one to the fifth, the boy to the second, and me, to the eighth.

Outside of our law classes, we weren’t forced to see each other, so the friendships that couldn’t withstand the new place broke. Six months later, I’d stopped regularly speaking to all but one of the girls, with occasional conversations with the boy, and had gotten a boyfriend.

Now, a year after our rifts, I can outwardly acknowledge that I am not an introvert.

I think I’d known it all along. It was there, in the deep pangs of loneliness while in my room, not alone, but not in company either, for my roommates will always be closer friends with each other than they ever will with me. In the nights, before I got into a relationship, that I would cry on a hidden windowsill, wishing with all my heart that I could see my family. In the melancholy of not really knowing what to do with myself when both my boyfriend and my one female friend are busy.

It’s not like I don’t have hobbies or things I can do by myself. If anything, I have too many of those. I write, I paint, I draw, watch anime, go ice skating, binge movies, blast music in my ears till I’m deaf to the world and, if I can find a secluded spot, dance like nobody’s watching. And there are many more things I can come up with to pass the time.
These are all activities that I’ve always greatly enjoyed. And they’re things to be done alone.

But I miss the subconscious knowledge that, no matter what I’m doing or when I finish, there’s always the company of a loved one I can return to.

Don’t get me wrong, my social skills still suck, and have even seemed to decline in the past year. I can barely manage to hold conversations with people I’m not close to, and the thought of speaking to more than four people at a time makes my lungs want to shrivel up and die.

But I am no introvert. I’d say that I fall in the ambivert area of the spetrum. I do enjoy my own company, but still love that of others just as much.

And that’s okay.

Express

Hey, people, Nocturnal here.

So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here. I kept glancing through this blog then not putting anything down. Not that nothing’s happened since that first post, (cause, I can assure you, a whole damn lot has) but, I guess I’ve simply been lazy.

Well, as you can see from the title, today’s post will be about expressing one’s self. More specifically, it’ll be about smiling.

Now… smiling.

I’m pretty sure the expression has a long history with the human race. It can mean a variety of things, depending on the specific movement of the facial muscles. Some smiles are bashful, confident, proud, mocking, and so on…

But the most common message a smile sends is one of happiness.

“You should smile more.” My aunt stated this late afternoon, not for the first time. And most likely not for the last.

She is neither the first or will she likely be the last person to mention such a thing to me.

Now, I have nothing against smiling. I find it to be a beautiful expression.

But only when its genuine.

I’ll admit, my neutral expression doesn’t send the most pleasant messages. More than a few times, I’ve been told that I look menacing, often when I don’t intend to be.

But, in that moment of neutrality, why does the world demand an expression that doesn’t fit?

When I mentioned to my aunt that time had flown by since I last saw her she replied, “Yes. I remember when you were a cheerful little girl that used to chew her nails and smile so much. Now, you never smile, saying ‘smiling takes too much energy!’” mimicking my earlier statement in a way that made me wish I was back in my dorm in Russia so I wouldn’t have to hear her voice.

When she left the kitchen, I looked out the window, wondering when I’d stopped being the ‘cheerful little girl’ every adult in my life seems to remember I was. Then I tried to smile.

And I almost cried.

It wasn’t huge. Just the smallest upturn of the lips. But my eyes watered and my heart clenched and I hated everyone. Everyone who’d ever told me to smile more. Who’d ever said that I should be more lively, show more appreciation. Who’d ever commented on how unfriendly I looked.

Then my smile fell and it vanished. The desire to weep and the hatred all evaporated. I was normal again.

Neutral.

I do smile. I laugh heartily when I find something funny. I grin with mischief when teasing my friends, often with the dirtiest jokes possible. I smile lovingly when playing with my younger siblings and beam in the company of my parents, or when I encounter a situation that I find adorable.

Even when I find myself burning with rage at someone, I will most likely smile tensely, eyes narrowed with all the possible ways to torture them.

Smiling is not impossible for me.

But it is not my default setting.

Using the energy to make myself look pleasant, without any reason, seems illogical. And it does take energy. Energy that I often find myself needing for other, more important things.

Perhaps that’s not all. Maybe, subconsciously, there are some people who don’t deserve to see that side of me. Maybe somewhere along the line of the ‘cheerful little girl’ I once was, I decided that, ‘cheerful’ was no longer the adjective I desired.

So, I ask, why does the world need me to look happy all the time?

Why can I not just be neutral in peace?

As long as I’m not hurting anyone, I don’t see the problem. I cannot be bothered to express what I do not feel. In fact, producing fake expressions stress me.

So, the next time you want to mention someone’s RBF or lack of emotion, how about trying to make them laugh instead? Or giving them an understanding smile? Or saying nothing?

Surely, it can’t hurt to keep your thoughts to yourself…

Just some advice from a girl that’s at her best when others are asleep.

Ambitions

And so… the journey begins.

I’ve wanted to do this for a while. I gained the conviction to start a blog at the beginning of the year so that it would become a… diary of sorts. But, alas, here we are, smack dab in the middle of March and I’m just starting. I don’t even have a single reader.

But better late than never.

I doubt I will be able to keep this up consistently. I may write now, then leave the blog to fester for a few days, perhaps weeks, before coming back to dust off the sad reality that is my lack of commitment. But I know I won’t drop this halfway. Because however my motivation fluctuates, a fact remains that I am a perfectionist at heart. I won’t abandon ship halfway.

I may just fall asleep below deck while my crew frantically searches for me for a while…

I’ve been told that my motivation is far too divided between several projects at once. I do not dispute that. I own it. I have too many different ideas at once and I have this compulsion to see them all to the end as much as possible. Once it clicks in my head to do something, I can’t let it go. It’s a habit of mine that I will not be ashamed of. I see what I want and go after it till I achieve it.

I come, I see, I conquer.

It just happens that I see several things at once and try to conquer them all.

As of now, I am a university student in Russia. No, I am not Russian. I just arrived in the country in November of 2018. I have to learn a rather complex language that doesn’t even use the Latin alphabet, but the Cryllic one. 

On top of that, I am trying to learn either Spanish or French before the end of my preparatory year. Plus I’ve been working on a novel since October 2016. I’m also learning to play the guitar and am trying to find a way to intern in a European country in the summer of my first year of studying International Law. I’m also looking for a job as a writer online so that my parents won’t have to worry about me.

There’s also the fact that I’m trying to find a few short business and psychology modules I can take online.

And I want to lose weight too.

I can’t help it. I just feel like too many people go through life missing out on all the opportunities that are presented to them. So, when I see an opportunity, I grab it by the by horns and never let go. But I’ve held onto too many horns and so much of them are taking the back burner for me to consider anything productive.

I’ve also been told that my aspirations are too high and all over the place. I cannot dispute that either.

I’ve wanted to be a singer, painter, writer, architect, psychologist, teacher, neurosurgeon, scientist, actress, astronomer, astronaut, trader, forensic, and far to much more for me to remember as I type this.

Currently, my ambition is split between lawyer, president and CEO. With writing on the side.

However, they change and morph with time and circumstance. I think the reason they are so fluid is because I hold a lot of interests.

“But you’re not the first person to enjoy multiple things”

I know.

But that flexibility of hobbies was combined with keen nudges to be the best in everything I put my hands in.

I was never simply allowed to enjoy architecture, I needed to master it. I could never just marvel at the molecular workings of the world, I needed to study it.

These pressures weren’t outright, but they were ever present. My parents outwardly demanded only academic excellence, but my hobbies and interests were always made to feel like potential success stories.

And that’s an issue we have. Every thing we love is monetised, milked not for enjoyment, but for sustenance.

That is not to say we should not be inventive in our financial pursuits.

But, sometimes, a hobby is not a potential side hustle, but simply a hobby.

So enjoy it.