Today I sat down to write. But I wasn't sure what to write. So many ideas were running through my head, but none of them were ready to be worked on yet. So I tried something I hadn't done in a while--I wrote something completely random.
A website I like, Chaoticshiny.com, is filled with random generators for writing and role-playing games. One specific generator is a writing exercise generator. It gives you something random to write about, whether it be "Write for at least 250 words about a purchase, a rodent, and a payment." or "Write for at least two minutes about a heroic deed, a thug, and a businessman."
With no thought beforehand, I ran the generator, and came up with: "Write for at least five minutes about a prison and a bottle. Focus on creating one compelling character." And so I wrote a random scene, set in the world of my trilogy, the Proanadi. But in a completely distant section of the world that I hadn't worked on much before--an elven nation in the east with a pseudo-Asian culture, Peraian.
And that is where Alaeph and Hatrex were born. Here is the full scene, at least, as much as I've written so far.
Alaeph sat up in his cell, head thumping from a hangover. He pressed a hand to his temple and sighed, wondering how he had gotten here. The iron bars of the cell door were rusted, only barely hanging on their hinges, and the floor of the small, cramped chamber was incredibly dirty. Alaeph cringed, taking his hand away from the side of his head. As he feared, it was covered in a thick layer of grime.
Lovely, the Perenari thought, wiping the hand on his silk trousers. Another pair of pants soiled. At least this time it’s not directly my fault.
“You’ve made quite a mess of yourself,” a voice said from outside the cell. The owner was another elf wearing a cotton uniform, a gold badge pinned to the front. Some sort of prison guard? The clothing is a bit too nice, though…
Alaeph ignored him and shook out his fatigue, getting to his feet and looking around. Pale light filtered in from a small barred window at the corner of the room, and though it only slightly illuminated the tiny chamber, it was like fire to Alaeph’s sensitive eyes.
”You are a matter of public record, my friend,” the guard continued, taking a drink from a cup. Alaeph’s eyes adjusted to the light, and he saw clearly now that the man sat at a wood table a few feet away from the door of the cell, in the corner of the chamber beyond the iron bars. “You’ve been arrested seventeen times in the last six months. Three of those times for disturbing the peace, seven for thievery, three for resisting arrest, and the other four for public indecency.”
“I was under extraneous circumstances,” Alaeph said off-handedly, squinting at the guard as his eyes tried to fight through the stabbing pain that the light caused. “Who are you, again?”
“My name is Hatrex,” the guard said, taking another drink from his cup. “I'm the jamini of the city you just shocked so profoundly.”
Of course, Alaeph thought. That explains the badge.
“Why are you here, Hatrex?” Alaeph asked, his curiosity heightened suddenly. “Couldn’t a less important man be sent to coddle me while I rot in this cell?”
“You know why I’m here,” Hatrex said, smiling. “I really don’t think I have to mention the sixteen times you’ve broken out of prison under the noses of less important men.”
Alaeph didn’t return the jamini’s smile. “You won’t be able to stop me. No one else has, and I don’t plan on living out the rest of my life in a filthy hole in the ground.”
“We’ll see about that, my little magician,” Hatrex said. Alaeph gave him a look, and the jamini smiled again. “Yes, I know about your little secret.”
“You don’t know the half of it, lawman,” Alaeph retorted, turning away. The elf sat deliberately on the other side of the cell, facing away from the man. “We’ll see how important you really are in a few moments.”
Alaeph crossed his legs, concentrating. He cleared his mind and brought the force of his will to bear, channeling the energy around him, and causing it to flow into the Continuous Discipline.
And then, Alaeph stopped time.
Who is Alaeph, and how is he capable of stopping time itself? How did he commit the crimes he did, and for what reason? Who exactly is Hatrex?
I have no idea. But I'm hoping, as I write a little more of this, I will start to understand it myself. This is pretty short, and mostly improvised, just making it up as I went along, but I feel there is a story here--something bigger that I have yet to unravel.
We'll see where this goes, and if I go anywhere with it. But that's all for now--thanks for reading this!
Note: A jamini is just a word that sounded exotic that I used for a profession that is basically a sheriff. The role a jamini plays might change as I figure this budding story out, but that's the basis of it.