Orison – 3

Continued from


Orison – 1

Orison – 2


Before a year had passed I was restless. Balsa knew before I did; I saw her watching, and was at first puzzled by the new lines around her eyes.

We were in the kitchen, peeling roots. I thanked her again for all that she had done for me, and asked how I might repay that debt; she replied that it was only right to settle debts before leaving a place. And she set me to bringing in the washing, and taking inventory in the cellar, and cleaning the baths.

It went on for some time. Until Balsa struggled to find new tasks for me, and wore an expression that made me sad and guilty.

I avoided her eyes and their lines. I wondered if it was wrong to go – I hoped that I might stay. But men had made roads that went north, and even had there been no roads I would have been forced to go that way, lest I live without deserving each breath.

Spring turned to summer, and one morning Balsa gave me a bag.

“It is best to go when it is warm.” She kept her face blank and I was torn.

“Go on!” Balsa thrust the bag into my arms, responding gruffly to my weak thanks.

Not knowing what else to do, I walked to the door of the inn. Hesitating there I could not stop tears from gathering, and though I knew I should not, I turned back.

I shall never forget Balsa, leaning on her bar, gazing after me with such a sorrow that I ran.

For there was no other way to escape the love of that woman, who had taken me in. I clung to the cloak she gave me and went north, taking the roads by night so that no one would forestall me, and I walked until I came to the capital. In Makase I finally found the money in the bottom of the bag that Balsa had packed, an amount that made my heart ache.

I hid under the cloak and made use of the money, so that my first week in Makase was good. Although I learned much in that state of comfort, the fear of being on the streets was upon me, and the white paper room echoed so that I was compelled not to tarry.

On the night that I found the house I wept, giving up the precious cloak, and the bag. Then I drew my hands over my eyes, so that they would be dry forevermore.

I made myself filthy and wretched, and I did not sleep. The next night I deposited myself outside the gate of that great house and was as one given up for dead. Again I did not sleep, but was awake with eyes shut when the gate opened, and hit me, and somebody gave an exclamation. Then that person cursed, and the hands that touched me would have surely thrown me away, had not another voice called.

In this way I took the luck of the damned for my own, and entered the house of Sato Ashizai.


This is my 100th post. Thank you for reading!

30 thoughts on “Orison – 3

    1. Thanks, I hadn’t been keeping track and was surprised to see the number! That’s great to hear 🙂 Do you have any suggestions? These excerpts are just from the draft I am writing


      1. Suggestions? Well, seeing that it is a rough draft, it may be a little difficult, as I am sure that any suggestions you may have already planned be worked out in your re-writes and editing process. I would say expansion of some of the sections, perhaps, but that would be dependent on how long you want to make the story. The only part I was a little thrown off on was the white paper wall room. I thought that this was the same as the room he woke up in and found Balsa, but when reading further realized it was not. But I loved the mystery of the white paper wall room, and how the story is progressing.

        1. I sort of made up these sections randomly when I was posting excerpts, because I’m never sure how long a post can be without discouraging people from reading once they see the word count.

          I think in my draft the sections average around 1200 words each, whereas these posts are closer to 500. So perhaps I should make these posts longer! 🙂


          1. I am not really discouraged by longer posts, though it may take me longer to get to read. But I understand keeping the count down as I noticed the lower amount of traffic when I post sections of a story with long word counts. So you cut your section from 1200 to 500 words before you post it? If so, I would love to read the longer sections.

            1. Yep, I cut out bits that are about 500 words; sections range really widely, some as short as 750 to as long as 2500, and I’ll eventually make them into chapters 🙂

              At most I will post half of the novella; maybe when I finish a draft you’d be interested in beta reading? The draft would come in the proper long sections


    1. Haha thank you very much! There will be more, though I won’t post the entire novella (it might actually become Part 1 of a novel). Do you have any suggestions, by the way? What I’ve posted of Orison so far is from a first draft


          1. I am a poet, and so I like ambiguity, “leaps” if you will (to take a theme from Robert Bly). In a fictional narrative I think these can be potential problem spots where readers can get lost. I see spots you might want to revisit to make sure you’re giving the reader all the help you can: 1- the Father’s murder (that only becomes clear in retrospect), 2- the white paper room. (a dream? an out of body sequence?) 3- coming to (how did he get there?) in Balsa’s inn.

            I like the dream-like quality of these sequences – but they are a tad bit difficult to track with.

            1. Somebody told me that this read like prose poetry, and I was sort of going with that 🙂 But I may be tending toward ambiguity too much

              I can fix up the part about the father’s murder, that’s a good point. The white paper room will reoccur throughout the story and should become clear near the end – but I can say that the importance of one’s ancestors, and of the dead, is in play.

              Balsa’s inn is trickier, since the narrator is unconscious when found and carried there. I could add someone giving out the information later, so I’ll work on finding the right place for that.

              Thank you for the feedback, you gave me lots to think about!


    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I am really glad to hear this, and I promise I will post the next installment within the next two days 🙂


        1. Haha I’ll do so, then! I’m having lots more fun with this novel than with many before it, and am doing my best to preserve that. I can’t let it become a chore!


  1. Hi Lily,
    You write with a high degree of excellence and imagination. I re-read Orison, 1,2,3 and will again. All I could see from a proofreading perspective were some minor punctuation things that I wouldn’t consider errors, but they could be changed to make a smoother, more easy read.
    Ya done good, sweet pea !! Waiting for the next episode.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thank you, I’m trying to stretch my brain a little more on this one! When it comes to punctuation, let me know whatever you notice/would suggest, because all of this is from the first draft that I’m working on. I’ve got to polish it up 🙂

      The next episode will be tomorrow or the day after, that I can promise!


      1. Lily,
        Only if you want to do this…, please send me an email address. I will copy and make notations on the posts you’ve made and send them back to you. My email is pb1943@hotmail.com You said early on that this had no real plot, but I can see one developing, chronologically if nothing else, but there is more to it now than just time. A story is starting to unfold. Keep it going. You’re doing a great job.

        1. Sure, I’ll send you an email shortly! I would be very glad of the help. And I think that I’m getting a better idea of my own plot as I go 🙂 I have events sort of lined up to write next


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