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Focus Group for The Chronicles of Windy


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[size=5]Hello my darlings![/size] [size=5]I wanted to start a fresh page on this subject to keep it clean. I am asking for volunteers[/size] [size=5]to help me with ideas for The Chronicles of Windy. I revamped the first chapter and it is longer than it was. I hope you get some laughs out of it and will be able to give me input. This was double spaced but something happened when I pasted. Different format?[/size]

[center][b]CHAPTER 1[/b][/center]

It was a warm spring day in the month of May, just like any other ordinary day, if one could call the realm of Magicduel normal. It depends on whom you ask what that definition means to them. For some people in this realm, it would do you well not to ask.
My pub, The Wind & Rain, was empty of customers except for five women dressed in green hooded cloaks. They are all members of The Sisterhood, a silly women’s group I created on a whim. When things are slow in the pub and you are bored out of your skull, what else is there to do when the mind wanders? My best ideas come about during these times.
Sisters’ Lintara, a lovely red fox being with a huge fluffy tail, which always posed a problem when she sat down and Sagewoman, an Amazon like protector of Loreroot and animals of the forest therein, with legs up to her neck, carefully placed five ivory handled swords on one of my handmade tables. The sharp tips pointed inward on a round table. There was an empty space for a new sword. In the circle of the swords, a large red candle burned, slowly dripping on its way like blood onto its stand. There, next to the candle, glinted the new sword.
The two women walked nearby to stand in a line with the other Sisters. They raised their hoods, obscuring their faces. Okay, it was a bit over the top, but that is what we like to do. Our other ceremonies, which I have yet to make up, would be equally over the top.
I crowded several ornate goblets onto a tray and carried them over to the table. I reverently set a goblet between each sword. After putting the empty tray on the bar, I double checked to make sure everything was ready. It wouldn’t do to forget something and have to run around like a chicken with its head chopped off to fetch it.
I raised a hand to command everyone’s attention. "[i]Hear ye, Hear ye! Sisters harken unto me! The Sisterhood now commences! Tis the sacrament of birth! A new Sister will rise from the ashes from the mediocrity of womanhood! Sister's come raise your swords[/i]!" The women gathered around the table and dramatically raised their swords in the air and then down until the hilts were next to their noses. Knights of old would have been beaming with pride to see such ceremony.
I turned to face the green cloaked woman seated anxiously to the bar. I dramatically raised my hand to point at her with a well manicure finger. I would rather eat my weight in brussel sprouts before my nails looked like crap. "[i]Sisters! Cast your eyes upon our newest inductee! What say ye unto her[/i]?"
The women turned as one like a squad of Knights to face the visibly shaking newcomer. I made a mental note to tone down the ceremony a bit. It would be disastrous to have an inductee screaming into the night. "[i]Welcome young woman! Tell us your name and state your purpose[/i]."
The woman held her chin up and stiffened her spine. She slid off her stool and stood, pinching her skirts between her fingers. "I am called Handy Pockets and my purpose is to join The Sisterhood!" She took a deep shaky breath.
I beckoned to her with my hand. "[i]Come forth, young woman and swear an oath to us![/i]" Handy Pockets let go of her skirts and walked toward us. I picked up the lone sword by the candle, which fluttered ominously. I handed her the sword making sure she had a good grip of the handle. Mur forbid if she dropped it and sliced of a toe, either hers or mine.
"Take this sword which is a sign of your fidelity, a sign that we are much more than our good looks suggest! A sign that we as women can kick butt as well as any man and better than some men think they can!"
Handy Pockets looked at the sword in bewilderment and then raised it to mimic the others and whispered, "Are you serious, Windy?" I bent toward her slightly and whispered out of the corner of my mouth. "Just go with it!" Handy Pockets whispered back, "Okay, if you say so!" I winked. "Trust me." I cleared my throat to get back to the drama of the ceremony.
"Now repeat after me, Handy."
"I, state your name."
"I, state your name." She repeated.
"No, your name!" I hissed. The sword-wielding Sisters giggled and snickered.
"Oh! Um...I, Handy Pockets.”
"Do solemnly swear to do my Sisterly duty."
"I have duties? Um...I mean, do solemnly swear to do my Sisterly duty."
"Which is to help my Mistress when needed."
"What Mistress?" I raised one well arched eyebrow. “Like hello? Who else?”
"Oh! Um...which is to help my Mistress when needed."
I gave her one of my charming smiles and continued.
"And to smooch all men who are unfortunate to cross my path."
"Really?" She said incredulously.
"Really!" I said with a smug smile.
"Cool beans! And to smooch all men who are unfortunate to cross my path!"
"So help me, Mur!" I ended.
"What's a Mur?" Handy Pockets asked and grinned at my raised eyebrow. She sighed dramatically and finished repeating her oath. " So help me, Mur!"
We placed our swords down with a loud clack on the table and faced the ecstatic Handy, whom I am sure was glad that the whole thing was over. I took her sword from her and placed it in the empty spot with the other swords on the table and picked up the goblet sitting next to the candle. I handed it to her and then picked up my own goblet as the Sisters picked up theirs.
"My Sisters! May I introduce our sixth Sister? Sister Handy!" The Sisters chanted in tandem. "[i]Hail, Sister Handy[/i]!" We drained our wine in one gulp and then tossed our goblets over our shoulders, which landed on the floor with a cacophony of clangs and clatters.
Handy stared at us as if we all had lost our minds. I grinned and motioned for her to do the same. Shrugging, she gulped her wine, looked at her goblet admiringly before tossing it over her shoulder, which also landed on the floor with a healthy sounding clang.
"Congratulations! You are now part of The Sisterhood family!" I pounded Sister Handy on the back, knocking her off balance before the other Sisters surrounded us both in a group hug, shrieking and jumping up and down like girls in a slumber party.
Sister Sagewoman pushed back the hood of her ceremonial cloak and eyed the bar top laden with scrumptious cakes, cookies, hugely stacked sandwiches, fruit, and other yummy items. “Can we eat now? I’m hungry! I gave up breakfast for this ceremony!”
“Me too!” piped up Sister Lintara.
“I could eat a Grasan!” hollered Sister Keida.
“Oh yea? Well I could eat an entire herd of Knator’s!” Sister Raine boasted.
“Ewww! That’s so wrong!” Sister Handy said, sticking out her tongue mock gagging.
“Let’s eat, get pleasantly drunk , and be merry!” I said, as I opened the pub door for my impatient customers to enter.
The pub soon began to fill up as my regulars piled in. Tired, training beaten, thirsty men lost their scowls upon seeing The Sisterhood in attendance. I started pouring beer, mead, and ale, and everything else that burned on the way down. We partied into the night until the cock crowed, which is saying much as the sun never, ever goes down.

The very next day, I was busy sweeping the floor of the pub and wiping off tables from the previous night’s debauchery to get things ready for The Sisterhood brunch. How we had heads to eat anything after getting seriously and pleasantly drunk, one never knows. We just do.
Raine burst through my doors in a huff. “Mistress Windy! You will never guess what just happened to me!” This sounded important as she had just addressed me as Mistress. I am never addressed as such except during one of our over the top ceremonies.
“Sit down Raine, before you fall down.” I ordered, leaning my broom against a table. “Now take a deep cleansing breathe and tell me what happened.” Raine sat down on a chair with a plop, gulping in air and wringing her hands together over and over.
“I was walking through Sanctuary’s View when this man jumped out from that tree, grabbed me! And then…and then he planted a huge kiss on me!” She ran out of air like a deflated balloon.
I gasped, smacking a hand to my chest. “The Cad! The Scoundrel! The bloody nerve!I can’t believe the audacity! How dare a man kiss you?” I laughed thinking she’d laugh too.
“Windy! This is no joke! The man kissed me and then ran off laughing real evil like…but ends up coughing up a lung. It was very strange.”
“I don’t see what’s so strange, this is Magicduel after all.” I replied. .” I’ve been here a while so nothing ever surprised me, much. I should have known the inevitable would happen.
“It seems like I saw the man’s face, but now I can’t recall who it was!” She continued. “He even gave me a gift though before he run off.” Raine pulled out a single white rose. I was taken aback. The rose looked suspiciously like one of mine in the garden out back.
I grabbed it and shrieked. Knators in the nearby woods howled in pain. “Oh, My Dear Mur! It can’t be! It had better not be!” Raine followed me as I charged like a crazed bull through the kitchen to the back yard. Sure enough, several buds were clipped from one of my prized bushes.
“I’ll kill him! No! I’ll claw his eyes out and then kill him! No! I’ll claw out his eyes, cut off his hands, and then kill him! Curse this evil doer!” I shook my fist into the air and thunder rolled through the heavens, which happens when I lose my temper. Raine grabbed my arm and dragged me back inside before I could do any damage. She knew that as an Elemental, I could whip up a storm like no other when pissed.
We got back into the pub area to find the rest of the Sisters had arrived early. They took one look at my face and knew I was going to explode. Compared to my red furious face, Raine’s face was white as a sheet.
“Sisters! Someone is going to die an agonizing and disfiguring death!” I exclaimed, pointing a finger in the air menacingly. I pulled my arm from Raine’s tight grip.
The Sister’s collectively gasped and started asking questions all at once, sounding like a chicken coop in an uproar. Raine quieted them all down and bid them to find a seat. Lintara asked what was on everyone’s mind. “Okay, Windy. Who’s got your knickers in a bunch, this time?”
Sister Raine crossed her arms over her chest and paced the floor as I explained. “Our dear Raine has been attacked on the way to the brunch this afternoon.” The women murmured amongst themselves. No one was that stupid to attack any of the Sisters.
“It’s true!” Raine exclaimed. “This man jumped out from behind a tree at Sanctuary’s View! He grabbed me and kissed me like there’s no tomorrow!”
The Sisters exploded into laughter, snorts and guffaws. Pandemonium took over. Sister Keida managed to pipe up. “Oh you poor girl! You say a man kissed you and you survived?” More laughter filled the room.
Sister Sagewoman laughed the loudest out of the bunch. “Great Mur! We can’t have men jumping out at us, willy-nilly! It’s just not done!” She said shaking a fist. “We’ll find the bastard!” The room full of laughing women got worse as tears streamed down their faces.
Sister Lintara quit laughing suddenly and got a serious look on her face. “Excuse me? But isn’t the smooching OUR job?” The room got quiet as the implications sunk in. “Do you think this is an isolated incident?” another asked anxiously.
It was then that Innocence, an intangible(ish) being and Magicduel’s roving and sneaky reporter slunk into the pub. There is just no other way to describe how she just appears out of nowhere. “Hello everyone! I smelled a story all the way from Willow’s Walk! The air just reeks of it! What’s the scoop?”
“Just what we need”, I thought. “A small incident for her to blow out of proportion as the media is want to do.”
Innocence leaned onto a wood pillar, pulled out a notepad, and yanked a perpetual inked quill from her hair, poised it above a page, and licked her lips eagerly. “Okay! Who, What, Where, When, and better yet, Why?”
“Nothing!” I said, waving my hands in the air to get rid of her. “I am sure this was just an isolated incident by one of our many admirers and recipients!” I bit my lip, but it was too late. I really need to learn to keep my big mouth shut.
“Ooh!” Innocence cooed. “That tidbit sounds really juicy! Do tell!” The entire Sisterhood stared talking at once. Innocence put two fingers into her mouth and blew out a shrill whistle, silencing everyone, and making all of us jump.
Sister Raine stood up, all eyes following her. “Well, I was walking through Sanctuary’s View when a man jumped out from behind that tree! He grabbed me, and kissed me soundly! “
To give her credit, Innocence didn’t laugh no did she lose her reporter demeanor, although one eyelid twitched. “Get out! You say a strange man jumped out and kissed you? What did he look like?”
“That’s the odd part!” Raine exclaimed. “I don’t remember! It’s like my memory is blocked or something!” Innocence scribbled into the notepad furiously, her tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth.
“And then what happened?” Innocence continued to enquire. “Well, it’s the darndest thing.” Raine said. “I came back to myself to find that the bandit had given me a white rose, and I heard this evil choking laugh. I swear I knew his voice! But I can’t remember that either!”
Innocence scribbled some more, muttering. “Hmm! The perpetrator choked on an evil laugh and had disappeared.” Innocence looked up from her notes with a satisfied smirk. “This is some really good stuff! It’s practically the best news story of the century!”
I got uncomfortable then. I knew how her mind worked. “Now Inno, this isn’t a big news story. Its only one incident!”
“Ha! I can feel it in my gut!” Innocence exclaimed, putting the quill back in her hair. I wondered then how she avoided getting ink in it. “This Front page news!”, she crowed, and was out the door as sneakily as she had come, before I could protest further.

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