Clover and I sometimes share writing prompts. One such was “a cabin in the woods”. Clover had a story in mind, but I wanted to try to a bunch of methods I’ve been minding recently. Things like:
- write to write, editing is easier than writing
- my experiences are original to everyone else, draw on experiences to fill in details
- writing in someone else’s voice helps you find your own
- don’t explain the world, lead and let the imagination fill in the details
Also, if I want to write fiction I need to make it work with my other writing, and that means very public and online.
The party arrives none the worse for wear, despite that unfortunate event with the carriage and jostled “fire potions”. Technically they had some distance to go, but the way through the forest would be lighter. Literally, they’d be leaving most of their equipment behind, lest they succumb to the “curse of the forest”, the specifics of which were left somewhat vague, but involved the tragic loss of precious items unless the proper precautions were taken.
For example, each person entering the forest had to wear a piece of burlap upon their body at all times. When leaving their belongings behind they would need to put them in burlap bags with arcane glyphs sewn into them, and hung from a branch higher than a grown-one’s reach. When questions on the point the seer had claimed the glyphs repulse malign spirits and mischievous forest creatures, but had the unfortunate side affect of attracting bears. Finally, one would need bear repellent upon returning to their belongings.
The forest in question was not their destination, rather the spring deep within the forest is where they’d fill the phial with the water, said to imbue great health and soft skin to any who drink it.
They needed an enchanted phial to preserve the properties of the water during the trek back; normally would be imbibers would make the journey themselves, but occasionally that is not possible for any number of reasons: they are too ill, allergic to burlap, or just don’t like bears. Whatever the reason, there are adventuring parties and enchanted phials to “procure the cure”, so to speak.
Unfortunately the journey, without equipment or provisions, is somewhat arduous for even the most hearty of adventurers. Hence the need for the cabin.
“Cabin” is the closest thing anyone could agree to call it, for it has been constructed in such a haphazard way, by so many hands, it was quite unlike other buildings, what with their “planned layouts” and “structural soundness”.
No one is sure how it began, and everyone is sure it is not finished. Perhaps it is a quirk of the forest, or the nature of adventuring parties, but at times the Cabin seems to lost entire rooms.
As in, one evening someone will go into a room, seeking to retire for the evening, no doubt having spent the day wandering around the surrounding woods. They lay their weary head upon an odd assortment of multicolored pillows that seem to pervade the Cabin, laid atop a bed frame carved from a single huge tree stump, pulling a burlap shawl close around for comfort and easily slipping into a restful sleep (for the Cabin always provides an evenings rest), only to be woken by rain drops as one finds forest ground where a room had been, should be, and is fully expected to have remained. Upon entering the Cabin, perhaps from the very door of one’s former room, now one of many entrances, one would find all the other details of the Cabin the same. Just one less room.