A Brave Step

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and now I’ve really gone and done it. Really, it’s all Geek and Sundry’s fault because without them I would never have even KNOWN about Inkshares. I would have continued on my blissfully ignorant way, happily writing and not  doing anything with it. Well, I’m no longer ignorant and I’ve really gone and done it now.

You see, Geek and Sundry is running a contest that can lead to a published novel. A published novel. So, I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve never won anything in my life, but this seems pretty awesome and I’d thought I’d give it the old one two and submitted A Thing.

So, for your consideration, please take a look. Maybe make a bid if you like it. Share it if you do, spread the word. It’d be pretty amazing to see my name on the cover of a novel and I would love any like, share, purchase, all of it because it means you’re reading it.

https://www.inkshares.com/books/the-uninvited

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A Respit

mistly creek
A Peaceful Inspiration

Water had always been soothing to him. The trickling of a stream, the gentle drip drop of a soft rain, the roar of a waterfall in full stream, or the thunder of waves upon the sand of a beach, all of it soothed his soul, no matter his inner turmoil. He sat and watched the water stream over the soft dark bed of the creek, roiling around rocks, rippling and swirling, trying to capture some remnant of peace within himself. It was hard to find this time, all the light in his soul buried under violence and blood and fear.

He dipped  a hand into the water, feeling the biting chill and watched it flow off his dark skin, drip, drip, drop. If only it were deeper and he could swim in it, cleanse himself of his sins. Heaving a deep sigh he stood, groaning and stretching. He should wish for a feather mattress instead of a cold pond. He really was getting too old to be sleeping on the ground. He sighed again thinking that he needed to get back, that there were undoubtedly people looking for him. There would be questions and queries and papers to sign or read. It was so much work being the general of an army. Sometimes he wanted to just walk away and let them do it themselves, but he had a greater sense of responsibility than that. So he stayed.

Still, he was loath to leave the creek. Here all was quiet except for the purling water. It was peaceful; perhaps it was the last place on this world to be so. He had found a place of solitude amidst the chaos of an army, a place unspoiled by foraging, practice, or latrines. It was somewhat of a miracle, now that he thought on it.

“Girding your loins?” said a voice behind him.

Recognizing the voice, he turned slowly, dropping the gaudy jacket he held, freeing up his hands. “Against what, exactly?” he replied, cautiously eyeing his visitor, while drawing his sword and kicking his coat away. It wouldn’t do to trip over that in the midst of a fight.

A chuckle rumbled up through the creature’s chest. “The fight you’re preparing for right now. Why draw your sword, General? I have made no threat.”

“Your existence is a threat.” It was, too. His kind had been created by accident when a overzealous wizard had taken it upon himself to open doors that should have remained closed, locked, and sealed. By mixing the essences of elves, humans, and demons, he had created an almost unstoppable being that preyed on misery and relished suffering. The first to die, he had never had the chance to help remedy his mistake. Now, here stood that very first successful cross, the beginning of the darkening of the world.

More chuckling. “My, my. That just hurts my feelings.”

The creature’s eyes glowed, giving off a sickly yellow light in the dimness of the forest, and he wasn’t positive, but it looked like the moss around its feet was smoking. He gripped his sword tighter. This was it, this was what all the fighting was leading toward, this is why the stream had brought him no peace today. If he could kill this thing, maybe it would weaken the rest enough, just enough, so that they could kill them all. Because, unlike humans and elves, demons are all connected, a hive mind, power sharers. The more there are of them, the harder they are to kill, and to kill the King is to weaken them most. And the King just decided to pay him a visit.

“Come for a drink?” He nodded at the stream, preparing for the fight he was determined to have.

“Hardly. I wanted to meet the great General everyone screams about when I torture them. You’re really not that impressive.” It pulled a black smoking sword out of …somewhere…and gestured at him. “Come, let’s try this. I could use some fun.”

It felt good to get here and he grinned at the creature, excited and confident. He didn’t speak back, words would solve nothing, but raised his sword and prepared to meet him

The fight wasn’t epic. It wasn’t the stuff of legends. There was no fancy footwork or impressive sword work. It was brutal and violent, full of determination on both sides, both parties focused and absolutely trying to kill each other.

“I’m not even trying, human. You are wasting my time! No man can kill me, especially not with a human-made blade.”It snarled at him as sparks flew from where their swords met; whatever his dark blade was made of shot off heat and magic alike.

He grinned at the creature, even as his sword grew hot, almost to the point of burning his skin. He began to sweat, and his eyebrows were singed off by the heat given off by the sword and creature. His clothing began to smoke. This is what he’s been waiting for, to be this close to this thing. He let go with his right hand, and ignored the blades coming closer to him as he reached for the sheath hidden in his pocket.

“You are hardly the adversary I was hoping for. I think I shall make you suffer before I kill you, for my disappointment.”

The creature lowered the swords even more, apparently exerting no effort. The skin on his face began to blacken and crackle and the smell of his own burning flesh filled his nostrils. He gritted his teeth and snarled as he brought the knife in his hand upward, jamming it in the center of the King’s chest.

The yowl of surprise filled the wood and was followed by a flash of darkness. It filled the wood and he blinked, trying to see, before it suddenly disappeared. The creature before him stood, dumbfounded, eyes no longer glowing, moss no longer smoking, powerless.

“A mage forged that for me with the Elf Queen herself wielding the blacksmith hammer.” He grinned at the thing, dropped his hand from the knife, and raised his sword.

He grunted as the dark sword entered his chest, piercing his heart. He felt a flash of fury at his stupidity. Of course the blade only killed the creature’s power, not his physical strength. He should have take care to defend himself. He could still win this, he just needed to finish his swing. And so with a demon sword in his chest, the General of the World’s Army struck off the head of the King of Demons.

He died to the soothing sound of water, a smile on his face, because water had always brought him peace.

The Heist of Song

Stealing a song is a complicated matter.  One doesn’t just stroll into the heart of a person, snatch up the song and run. It requires finesse, the softest of touches, and the ability to ooze between the cracks of a person before they realize you’re there. Do not trust street hawkers promising you songs of hope and riches for they are charlatans and will only take your money. Trust me. I am of the Unseelie and I know of what I speak.

Don’t be afraid. I offer you no ill will. The Unseelie enjoy mayhem, this is true, but I have had my fill for now. Do please stop glancing around furtively. My form is human, unless looked upon closely, and you did ask for a song, did you not? Wishes carry on the wind, friend, and whisper in ears. Is your song not to your liking? Yes, I can see that it isn’t. Grand songs are so rare and yours is so very simple.

Oh, please don’t go! I meant no offense. Songs must be different or lose their allure and their magic! But it is true, a King cannot have a simple childs’ rhyme of a song, any more than a peasant can have a grand opus. Your songs define you and your heart aches for a more complicated melody.  Your kind always enjoys loud horns and fanfares, is that what you desire? Sweeping notes, glissando, and crescendos? Or is it the drums you want, thundering and sexual, demonstrating your prowess?  I know where to find what you seek, friend, if you are willing to pay the price.

Of course you must pay! Nothing is free and I am Unseelie, payment is required. It is nothing so very large, I promise. I have no need of money or gold, so fear not. What! Ah ha! You humans are always so very afraid we will steal your children. What would I do with a human child? They are so easily crushed, their lives so brief. It’d be like you keeping a butterfly for a pet. No, I do not want your child, be at ease. Here, let me refill your cup, you look anxious.

What happens when I steal the song? Distraction will not work for long, friend, we will return to the topic of payment, but I’ll answer. A soul without a song is a desert. The soul longs to hear its’ song, it’s like a rain, a balm. It allows goodness to grow, hope, love. To steal it is to take away the rain. Those feeling will still exist, but it will be so much harder to grow them. The song is forgiveness and kindness and empathy. But you know this, you were raised properly, were you not? Yes, I can see that you were.

Stealing a song, if done well, shouldn’t be noticeable or painful. It’s like a slow leak in a bucket; it simply diminishes slowly, until you look and suddenly realize it’s gone.  You need patience to do it correctly, and patience I have. Tell me, can humans hear another’s song? No? How strange that something so important is so private a thing. Yet another reason you are lucky I heard your wish. Fairies are so much more perceptive. What? MY song? Of course you cannot hear my song, human. You would be enthralled immediately, your soul basking in my music. No, much better for you if you do not hear it.

Yes, my song would be helpful in stealing a song. How clever you are.  But I have yet another talent you humans lack. I can change my song. Why do you think fairies are so gifted? Our songs are our magic. I can make lesser creatures act as if it is their will when really I am controlling them like puppets. It doesn’t work on everyone, only the weak-willed, so fear not. You’re safe.

Now, payment. You will not escape that, friend. It is not an easy thing to steal a song. To commit such a heist requires time and commitment and my time is precious. You need not worry, I have already taken it, and you don’t miss it do you?  See all the things precious to you are still there. Yes, even your wedding ring. Your husband chose it well; I’ll let you keep it.

Yes, a song heist is not easy, but if done well, is almost un-noticable. Afterall, you didn’t feel anything as I syphoned yours away, did you? Ha ha! Yes, this was such fun for me. Honestly, why are you so surprised? How can you think you are worhty of a new song? You put your children on the table for payment! Oh, do stop making so much noise. People are starting to stare. You didn’t even like your song! You wanted a new one so badly you were  asking me to steal one for you! Well, now I’ve rid you of that tedious melody. You should be grateful, not whining at me. Imagine, a life without guilt or conscience. You can finally aspire to be the person you want to be!

This is getting tiresome and I’m rapidly losing my patience. I had to use up so much of it getting you to drop your defenses. Put it back? Why on Earth would I do that? It’s worth so much and someone somewhere will give me whatever I ask for it. Of course it’s simple, human, but think of those who are born without one! Even trolls long for music in their lives. Yes, it will do just fine. Good night, now. It’s almost morning and your husband probably misses you. Unseelie as I am, I prefer the shadows, so I will steal away now, to my own bower. Good night!

Putting a foot (or two) in your mouth

No big plot points revealed, but here is a sample of my current writing.  No, I won’t tell you what’s weird. The point of this is the meeting of two people and dialogue. Here’s hoping I did it right.

“Well, that IS weird,” commented Tonyn. “We need to worry about getting this horse shod and getting out of here though. The Duke will recognize Aella for sure, he and the Duchess used to be friends with the King and Queen.”

“Come on, the smithy is over here,” Ash said, leading them toward a side of the bailey. Sure enough, Aella heard the ringing of the hammer on the anvil and could see the furnace from here.

It was much larger than the one Ash had kept in Eban. Both her and her father looked around carefully, noting differences and similarities. Aella breathed in deep, enjoying the smells of hot metal and ash, feeling like she was coming home.  

There were at least three smiths working and several apprentices running errands or getting a lesson from a master. It was much busier than the quiet smith of her youth, but all the sights and smells were the same. She was first to arrive, mostly because she was short and wanted to get a look before the taller folk crowded in front of her. She waited for one of the workers to greet her. And waited. And waited. It was only as Ash and Tonyn walked up beside her that someone finally looked up.  

“I’ll be right with you,” he apologized to Ash, gesturing to the papers on his desk and the man in front of him. Aella took a deep breath, annoyed at being ignored, only to let it out in a gasp.

“STOP!” she cried and reached out to grab the customer’s hand just before it grasped a burning hot tong. “Goddamnit, you idiot!” she scolded. “Don’t EVER touch anything in a smithy unless you KNOW it’s cool.”

The man was staring at her in amazement. “It IS cool? It’s not red or smoking.”

Aella gave him a withering glance and picked up a piece of straw from the floor, carefully swept away from the forges. She dangled the straw over the tongs and to the man’s amazement, it began to smoke and then caught fire. She held it up and staring the man in the eyes, blew it out. “Oh, really?” she said dryly.

“Excuse me, sir,” Ash said behind her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “She didn’t realize who you are; she meant to disrespect.

Huh? Aella looked back at him, startled to see him keeping his eyes down. She’d never seen him be subservient before.

“Oh it’s alright,” came a hasty response. “No harm done.”

She shot the man another glance. No harm done?! She saved him from a serious injury. Harm PREVENTED. Ash squeezed her shoulder, feeling her muscles tense in anger, and whispered, “Look at his clothes. Use your eyes, Aella!”

She took a steadying breath and looked. He was young, but older than her by quite a few years. His clothes were brown but of high quality, very finely woven. There was a coat of arms emblazoned on one shoulder, and he wore leather vambraces, but no other armor, and there was a VERY fine sword hanging from his hip. He stood as if he knew how to use it. This was no man-at-arms as she had thought originally. This was someone with much more money, perhaps a son of the house. Shit.

He laughed and she realized she had said the last word out loud. “I have never heard a woman use language like that. I’m Riain of House Allea.” He extended his hand, which she stared at as if it were a snake.

“Shake the man’s damn hand,” Ash growled at her. She jumped and reached out. His hand was warm and his shake of greeting firm.

“Sir, my apologies,” she said, embarrassed. “I was raised by a blacksmith and not used to nobility.”

“So you use language like the with normal people, but not nobility?”

“Of course, I wouldn’t want to offend someone of delicate sensibilities.” The words popped out of her mouth before she could stop herself and she stared at him in chagrin.

He surprised her by laughing. “Damn, you’re the most honest person I’ve ever met. Do you always just say what you’re thinking?”

“No, sir, I don’t. I have no idea what’s wrong with me.”

“Yes, she does,” Ash corrected her. “She’s just more aware of it now. Aella, do shut up.”

She shot her father a grin and closed her mouth, standing with her hands clasped in front of her primly. Riain’s eyes danced with amusement. Very nice eyes, she noticed and then wondered where that thought came from.

“Sir? Here’s the girdle you wanted for your lady mother,” an apprentice interjected and handed Riain a belt made of gold and jewels that would have bought Ash’s smithy six times over. “My Master asks that you let him know if she likes it.”

“Of course, thank you. I’ll go have it wrapped. Will you be in the hall for the festivities?”

It took a minute for Aella to realize he was talking to her. “What? Festivities?”

“Goddess above, Aella,” muttered Ash behind her.

Riain repeated his question, clarifying, “It’s my mother’s birthday feast tonight. All are welcome to dine in the hall.”

“Oh, well, I don’t know. We plan to be on our way after my horse is re-shod.” Ash poked her back. “Oh! Um, thank you, sir.”

Riain smiled and nodded, then turned and left after paying the apprentice. For a space, no one said anything and an heavy silence hung over the group. It was broken by Tonyn swearing loudly.

“Aella, you pick NOW to practice flirting?!”

What?” Aella gasped. “I did no such thing!”

“Well, whatever you didn’t do, you grabbed that man’s attention right quick. The one person we didn’t want noticing us, too. And he invited you to his mother’s birthday feast. It was the best flirting I’ve ever seen someone not do.”

Character Exercise

Going to try character development NOT through exposition. I’m going to try and describe a character’s appearance and temperament through action and dialogue. Here we go.

 

WHACK! The sound her toe made as it hit the corner of the table sounded like a carrot snapping and the small cracking echoed through her toe and leg. Her whole body clenched, preparing for the pain even before she felt it.

“Goddess’s tits and arse!” she swore, hopping up and down clutching her foot, only to lose her balance and have to set down said foot, putting pressure on the offending appendage. “Fuck shit and damn!” she bellowed, tears popping into her eyes as she lifted her toes up and walked on her heel to the small settee, practically falling on it.

She lifted her foot, and glared at her toe.  “You are NOT broken!” she told it sternly, too angry to embarrassed about speaking out loud to an empty room or addressing a toe. She tentatively touched her pinky toe and moved it. Slightly. Her breath hissed in as pain lanced through her. Yep. It was definitely broken.

“Blast it all,” she muttered. It had to be the day her father had gone to the next town over for a delivery. Why they kept the bandages on the shelf in the entry closet was a mystery to her and a problem she was going to resolve as soon as she got the damn things down.  She hobbled over to the small closet and pushed aside the curtain covering it and then stood staring up at the shelf.  Uninjured, she could just reach the bandages if she stood on her tiptoes, but that was completely out of the question at the moment. So, she glanced around and limped over to the dining table, grabbed one of the straight-backed chairs, lifted, and began to walk back to the closet. It took two steps to convince her that it was going to be harder than she expected.

She was so short that the top rung of the chair back came to her neck when flat on the ground. Lifting the thing only gave the legs an inch or so clearance and she had to shuffle her feet to move forward. With a broken toe, that proved to be very painful. She stared at the chair, a frown on her face, eyed the distance to the closet, and swung her green eyes back to the chair. Suddenly, her face brightened.

“Got you now, you blasted chair!” she crowed. Grasping the chair, she lifted it up onto one leg and twirled it so that it landed back facing her side, seat the wall, and she put her arm over the top. Grasping the lower rung on the ladder back chair, she pulled the chair to her side and, using it as a crutch, lifted and walked, lifted and walked, back to the closet.

Getting up on the chair was easy, grabbing the bandages was easy, but climbing down from her perch took gritted teeth, balance, and determination. Still, she sat on the settee, bandages in hand, panting from pain, but victorious.  She lifted her injured foot onto the opposite knee and leaned forward to start wrapping the broken toe to the whole ones. Her black hair kept falling into her face and getting in the way of her hands, causing her to toss her head and puff air out of her mouth, but she was determined to wrap her blasted foot.

Finally, her foot was wrapped and she allowed herself a moment of sitting still before she rose and rummaged in the closet for her summer sandals. She strapped one on her injured foot and then put her boot on the other foot. She stared at her mix-matched feet and grinned. There. Now she can get some work done.

When her father returned home that afternoon, he found the garden weeded and hoed, ready for winter crops, the animals fed and watered, and the rugs strung on the line ready to be beaten free of dust. Inside, Aella was standing at the stove, stirring something, humming.

“How did it go today?”

“Father!” She turned and grinned at him, her green eyes brightening. “Welcome back.” She frowned slightly. “Take off those dusty boots and stamp off some of that road dust. I just dusted in here AND swept. And wash up! It’s only toasted sandwiches for dinner, but you don’t want grit on your bread.”

He laughed. “You’ve been busy!” he called back as he stepped outside to follow directions.

“Yes, well, I wanted to get as much done before it starts getting dark at four in the afternoon. Come on, you must be hungry.”

He smiled at her as he walked in his socks into the kitchen to grab a sandwich and a cup of water. It was his turn to frown as he saw her limp toward the dinning room table.

“What happened to your foot?”

“Hmm? Oh, yeah, I banged it on the table this morning. I’m pretty sure I broke my pinky toe.”

He stared at Aella, speechless for a moment, before taking a deep breath. He sometimes loved having such an independent daughter, but other times patience was a necessary commodity. “Aella..” he started, only to be interrupted.

“Don’t worry, Father, I’ll get the rugs done tomorrow!” Aella said brightly, biting into her sandwich.

He groaned and dropped his head into his hands.

Why my Toddler was in my bed last night.

It happens occasionally, very occasionally in my house, but it does happen. Sometimes there’s a kid in my bed at night. I’m pretty protective of my sleep and once the young’uns are old enough to sleep in a crib/bed at night, they do so. Every move, snort, slap in the face or kick in the stomach is very disruptive. BUT. They are still young and occasionally, they end up in my bed. Last night it was the first time the 2 year old successfully slept in it; she usually just pokes me in the face and giggles at me until I give it up and put her back in her crib where she cries until she falls asleep. Last night was different.

  1. She wasn’t crying. She was fake crying to get attention, but stuck in what I call the two year old loop. This is the loop of wanting and not wanting something at the same time. She was exhausted but wouldn’t lie down. If I lay her down, she screamed like a banshee. Once, I put a blanket on her and she sounded like I was trying to kill her. So, she sat there, fake crying but unable to fall asleep because she WOULD NOT LIE DOWN.
  2. The sound she was making weighed on my ears. It sounded like the most annoying sound in the world from ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ Ok, probably not, but that’s what it sounded like to my ears at 3 am. I would have done anything to make it stop.
  3. My four year old needed sleep. She was hanging in there like a trooper, but when your kids share a room, one or the other is awoken by the other when there’s a problem. Elizabeth needed sleep. So now, one kid or the other was going to be in my bed regardless.
  4. I was cold. It’s winter and it’s 3am. We have the heat on, but it’s chilly and my feet were slowly turning into ice cubes.
  5. I was tired. Did I mention it’s 3am? Actually, by now it’s probably almost 4. She’s been making that sound for almost an hour.
  6. I tried being in the room. I put a pillow on the floor next to her and lay there, patting her, shushing her, singing to her, trying EVERYTHING to make her lie the fuck down and go to sleep. Nothing doing.
  7. She’s sick. This is probably the biggest reason. If she wasn’t sick, I’d leave the room (my presence was obviously only encouraging The Sound), and make her go to sleep. There was nothing wrong with her other than she wanted my attention. If she had been well, 15 minutes of her crying with no attention would have seen her fall back asleep and all would be well. But I challenge even the most stoic mother among you to ignore a sick child who obviously wants you and is coughing intermittently and can’t self-sooth because her nose is full of snot.
  8. She’s sick. Yep, it gets listed twice. All sick children want their parents. Who am I to argue?
  9. When I picked her up, she melted into me with a contented little sigh that melted my heart into disgusting goo. I stepped in it and caved. I totally caved.
  10. Once placed in our bed, a little hand drifted up out of the darkness and patted my arm and my back, the same way I do to sooth her, and then she patted my cheek.  Jesus, she’s so sweet.

Yep, I caved because I love her so dang much and it was so worth it for the baby snuggles. She’s my last baby and the only one who really likes to cuddle. She fell asleep there with her tiny hand in mine and it was amazing.

Star Wars: The Characters Awaken

I’ve seen it twice now and I’ve loved it both times. It is one of the best films I’ve seen: entertaining, humorous, dramatic, and tense. The characters were all believable, no matter what some nay-sayers say. So, let’s talk about them, shall we? THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS SO YOU ARE WARNED IF YOU READ THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

(if you are outraged at spoilers you read after this point IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT YOU’VE BEEN WARNED)

daisy-ridley-as-rey-in-the-force-awakens

Rey

There are SO many pieces dedicated to Rey, so I’m just going to write what I think about her personally. I think she’s awesome. She’s resourceful and smart and strong and brave. She’s also got some emotional issues to over come, not the least of which are abandonment issues (well earned as they are). She and Jessica Jones need to get together for some coffee or maybe a nice strong drink. The second viewing of the movie led to an epiphany: the force awakens!!!! She is obviously strong in the force and she’s been using it unknowingly, much like Anakin did with his pod racing. The thing that really brought that home was when she was chasing after Finn while dodging tentacles as if she knew where they were going to be next. OH WAIT, SHE DID. I loved how she was learning from Kylo Ren, just watching and picking up his tricks, and then realizing at the end that HOLY SHIT THAT’S THE FORCE.  She faces her fear of missing her family’s return and decides that she wants Luke to train her. And it’s because of Finn and Han Solo and all of the trials and battles that she’s experienced since she met BB. She wasn’t untested in survival and conflict, but she was in regards to relationships and family.

john-boyega-as-finn-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens
I feel like he makes this face a lot. Hang in there Finn.

Finn

I love Finn, too. His character makes one of the biggest journeys in the movie. Unlike Rey, who’s been in a challenging environment since she was left on Jakku, Finn experiences his first battle, his first conflict, his first act of independence in the film. He goes from one of a mob, to a coward, to a friend, to a hero. He, like Rey, has no biological family, but his comrades were family of a sort, people he could bond with and hang. It was the loss of a friend that led to his defection. BUT he was trained from birth to disconnect, to follow orders and adjusting to a life where he can make his own choice and facing TOUGH choices like what he wants to do versus what he SHOULD do is challenging for him. The fact that a good person survived his conditioning and training as a stormtrooper is really rather remarkable, but it’s also an indication of holes that are still present in the First Order, not everything is a seamless operation the way the Empire was.

neeo5vthz3pyik_3_b
PLEASE LET ME BE GOOD ENOUGH.

Kylo Ren

Oh boy. First, his parents named him Ben. My poor heart! His mother stated it clearly for us: he has too much of Darth Vader in him. The fear that lives in Kylo is what drives him into the arms of the Dark Side. His fear that he’s not strong enough or good enough, that he’s not as strong as Darth Vader, it’s what powers his every decision. He thirsts to prove himself, not to himself, but to his parents and Luke and Snoke. He wants approval while desiring independence. He’s YOUNG. And holy shit is he strong in the force. He is way stronger than Darth, from what I can tell. He stops the blaster ray and holds it there without any seeming effort. He can pull information out of a persons head like nothing. He doesn’t just walk off a shot from Chewie’s crossbow HE GOES AND FIGHTS FINN AND REY. It takes him being wounded and against two people, one a trained Stormtrooper and one who uses the Force, to beat him. AND Snoke admits his training is incomplete. HOLY SHIT GUYS IT’S GOING TO GET REAL. Yes, he throws some tantrums. Yes, he’s emotional. That’s what makes him so damn terrifying. He wants, desperately, to train Rey, to become a leader and a mentor, TO MATTER.  The surprise on his face when his grandfather’s lightsaber flies past him to Rey is key. One, that she figured out how to do that and two: SHE’S STRONGER THAN HIM. He was weak, injured and tired, but she was strong enough, untrained and after a blow to the head, to move it past him and out of his grip of the force.  His tells her she’s using the force and she connects all the puzzle pieces to go on to win the game.  Rey is watching his every move, learning from him, even as he’s fighting her. It’s his fear of not being good enough and his arrogance that he’s better than her that is his downfall. I cannot WAIT for the second movie to see how these two develop and move against each other.

Character development is so awesome. I love character driven plots. LOVE THEM. I cannot imagine how strong Rey will be as a trained Jedi. How will Kylo deal with murdering his father? Will Finn and Poe be a team? How will THEY grow and change and how will that determine the path of the plot. When is the next movie coming out?!