So… Who do you like?


I just realized I have a lot of characters XP

I just realized I have a lot of characters XP

Alright, so I did one of these a long time ago, and I decided it’s time I did another one. This is a poll for who your favorite character(s) is/are from my current WIP novels. Note: I probably missed a bunch of characters from The Dark Menace because the cast in that story is huge. Also, you don’t need to have read all my stories, or even be up to date on any of them. Just, if you recognize a character that you liked, place a vote for him/her. I’m curious who you guys like.

Looking forward to the results! 🙂

Tours yruly

Advertisements

More Quotes! =D


Sooo, what in the world is all this about? You might ask. Well, remember how I did the first and last lines of the stories I’ve completed? Well, as a sort of advertising campaign, I’ve decided to do the “best” quotes from my current stories. There are quotes around best because one of the quotes isn’t actually the best, but I made it a point to have at least one quote from the main character per story. Enjoy, and hopefully these intrigue you enough to go and check my stories out. 🙂

I love space. :)

I love space. 🙂

1. Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace

The weak are conquered by the strong, and the crafty take advantage of the naive. Whilst one conquers by force, the other conquers by deception. Tell me, which is the foe greater to be feared?

– Richard Homling

So, yep, Richard is the main character for The Dark Menace, which is a science fiction novel staged in a galaxy of my own creation. It is going to be, by far, the longest story I have ever written, and is very much a work in progress, though there is substantial reading material currently available.

Ah, don't old books look cool?

Ah, don’t old books look cool?

2. The Storyteller

Time is a dangerous subject.

– Phillip

In everyone lies a story, some just never get told.

– Unknown

Our job as storytellers is not to force the story into our mould. We create the story to be sure, and we end it, but what happens between then is merely guided. On occasion, you will find that the story develops itself, and it can take paths you did not intend.

– The Storyteller

To me, The Storyteller has a special place in my heart because it is almost a parallel to what us actual writers/authors do, only with the spin that storytelling is now a super-power. Staged in a medieval world of fantasy, wrought with magic and the like, Philip, the protagonist (and the one with the lame quote), must travel on a journey to hunt down and defeat a mysterious being, the Executioner.

That looks cold....

That looks cold….

3. Heartless: Cold Hands

Lord– It is a troubled age that we live in. You know, God, that we are surrounded by trials and tribulations. Friends fall all around us, yet I know that with faith in You, we will stay strong.

– Anna Flyer

Okay, okay, I’m sorry I wasted a bullet.

– Morpheus

It’s a cold world. A world like this calls for cold action.

– Morpheus

Cold Hands is a lot more than an apocalyptic novel, as the most recent chapter of it just revealed. This is a novel looking at just how bad the world can get, and as you can see, especially from the last quote, the world has become very harsh. Anna is the protagonist, and her quote is actually taken from a prayer. The second quote might not seem like much out of context, but inside of the story it goes far to show the brutality of the new world. (Also, because Cold Hands is the featured novel on my blog, there is a lot of extra content for it. Check out the table of contents (ToC) to find it!)

My own picture! :)

My own picture! 🙂 (Actually my picture composited with another picture)

4. Unseen: Right Behind You

Hope is after all no more than wishes, and wishes, when unsupported by action, are nothing more than empty thoughts.

– Samuel Dalus

As I said when I first started writing it, Right Behind You is not a horror story. XP Not that I have anything against horror stories, it just isn’t one. There is not much in terms of chapters out for this story, though I believe I have written some seventeen thousand words for it. This is partially science fiction, though not too much, and follows the story of wheelchair-ridden genius and billionaire, Samuel Dalus as he discovers a new race, the Unseen.

Alright! That’s it. Hopefully one of these intrigues you. I look forward to seeing more of you guys on my blog. 🙂

Tours yruly

The Storyteller – Chapter 5 – Black Pumas


Green eyes. :)

Green eyes. 🙂

It’s back! The Storyteller is back! Hooray! I wasn’t actually going to write the next chapter for this story, but as you guys know, I didn’t post anything yesterday, and so I needed to get out a story post as soon as possible, and since I had already written half this chapter, I just had to write the other half to complete it. 

A quick summary of events of the previous chapter: Phillip’s three companions confront him about his powers. Then they take him on a little journey, he takes them on a little journey, they end up at a strange man’s house, and that’s it. Now we continue from there. Enjoy. 🙂

Chapters: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

I follow him into the house, my three companions accompanying me. The house is not very large, but it is comfortable. Light from a sun past its peak forces through a lone window, illuminating everything glaringly. Furniture is sparse, with a small table ensconced by four roughly-hewn stools, and on an even more sparsely filled shelf, three thick, leather-bound books with gold lettering catch my eye.

They are old volumes and have been perused much, but they are well maintained. What really interests me, however, is their titles: The Storyteller, Time Warping, and The Fourth Wall. Wordlessly I wander towards the shelf. Like everything else, the wood is coarse, but the build is durable and utilitarian. As if entranced, I reach towards The Storyteller, meaning to take it and read it, but something stops me.

“Certain things are not meant to be touched, Phillip,” our host says quietly from behind me.

I turn to face the shaggy man. He is watching me carefully from under heavy eyebrows, as are my three companions, who then look between us confusedly.

Nodding my head over my shoulder at the shelf behind me, I ask, “Who wrote those?”

“I did,” the storyteller says cursorily. “Or rather, I am. I’ve only finished two of them.

“Now, you wished to talk to me about time-warping,” he continues quickly, obviously no longer wishing to discuss the three volumes. “Go ahead, the four of you, have a seat. It is a complicated subject.”

Obediently, we each take a seat on a stool. My seat is hardly the epitome of luxury, being more of a Procrustean device. Memories of sitting on a similar chair while my mother taught me lessons assail me, and I miss the storyteller’s next few words. I snap to attention, however, when he mentions “time-warping.”

“I assume that is why you have come here. Phillip?” He looks at me.

I stare blankly back. “I’m sorry?”

The tall man snorts frustratedly. “Look at him! Come here for help, and then ignoring everything I say. I asked if you were coming here to sort out some details.”

“Well, really I just need to repair a bit of history,” I tell him frankly.

“The less in the past left untold, the better,” we say at the same time.

By now the three girls are thoroughly confused, and look at each other with bewildered facial expressions. I notice this and ignore it with the smug feeling of superior knowledge. There are some bonuses to being a storyteller with another storyteller. Our host seems to enjoy their puzzlement as well, but for some reason, his smugness even extends to me. I do my best to ignore this.

“Come,” he says, laying a map on the table. “You will travel along this route here.”

Serena looks up quickly. “We will? Haven’t we already?”

Her two friends frown at her in even more confusion. “Whatever are you talking about Serena?” they both ask.

“Don’t think about it Serena,” I tell her again. “Time is a dangerous subject.”

“A rememberer?” the aged man asks.

She nods mutely, brows knitted together in concentration.

“As I was saying,” our host continues. “You will travel along this route, parallel to this river. You will pass through this overgrown forest. Upon coming out, you will be low on water and have to reach this bend in the river up over here, where you can refill. The road is rough, so you will be exhausted and aching. From there you will move to the village through this field where you will have to watch out for pumas. Then you will be at the village.”

“Thank you,” I tell him. “Is there anything else? Are we attacked along the way, or is the journey uneventful?”

Our host eyes me from under his thick, bushy eyebrows. “That’s for you to determine, now isn’t it?”

I lean back and blink, but my blink is less a blink and more a closing of the eyes, because I don’t open my eyes again.

***

I crack open my eyes a slit, doing my best not to let the glaring sun blind me. Our supply of water has started to dwindle. We are trotting onwards through a field known to be home to many pumas. But fortune forsake the traveller who believes these pumas to be nothing more than big cats, for these aggressive felines are much more than that.

Legend tells of one of these pumas, a black one, which used to prowl the roads and would target very particular travelers: magical travelers. Why does everyone have to target magical beings? Then again, the puma was a magical puma itself, capable of teleporting, with superhuman speed and strength. Rumors say an ancient trapped the soul of a king inside the body of the beast.

Stepping on a sharp rock awakens me from my thoughts, and for the next few minutes I glare at the ground, watching out for anymore stones. Serena walks behind me, also obviously puzzling over things, while her two companions maintain the leading pace ahead of us. After a while I give up watching the ground and study Victoria instead.

She talks animatedly with June, the sunlight illuminating her auburn hair as it is tossed by her head and teased by the wind. Occasionally when she turns to face her compatriot, the sunlight glints off her brown eyes and long lashes. Her dress, cut short at the knee, serves to facilitate traveling, but I’ve no doubt the courtiers at the King’s Court would consider it highly scandalous. Mud has stained the hem, but apart from that the dress remains in good condition. Green is broken by flashing red sequins while brown traces daring designs up to the wide neckline. The sleeves stop short of the elbow and puff out slightly.

My scrutinizing of Victoria’s external appearance stops abruptly as I nearly run into her. Both she and June have stopped. I push between them and casually scan the road ahead to see what could have halted them. Later on reflecting back to this incident, I could swear there was a clanging sound as my heart dropped to my feet. Stalking from side to side, eyeing us, was a black puma.

Without hesitation I reach down to my hip and draw a sword I had brought with me. Serena looks confused.

“Stand back!” I warn the group, and flail the sword awkwardly. The puma seems to grin at this.

“Give me that.” Victoria snatches my weapon from my clumsy hands and charges at the large feline.

It vanishes and appears behind her, but without hesitation she whirls, slashing the blade a mere inch away from its nose. The puma snarls and lunges. She ducks, striking upwards and scratching it. For a few seconds the two circle each other, Victoria occasionally changing the hold on her sword.

“Wow, she’s good,” I remark.

June elbows me. “Shut up!” she mutters sharply.

For being half a head shorter than me, June has a sharp elbow, and I make a point to seal my lips.

The puma leaps at Victoria again, knocking her sword out of her hand. She backs away and trips over a knoll in the ground. Now scrabbling back from the puma, we can all see she is in trouble. Fortunately, though I did not realize it earlier, I had approached the two combatants, and was now able to pick up the sword.

“Here!” I shout, and toss Victoria the blade.

For a moment the puma looks at me, distracted, and that’s all Victoria needs to drive the point of the weapon through the cat’s neck. It disappears with a distressed howl, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. I close my eyes for an instant to let all the tension drain away.

***

I blink. Serena is staring at me openmouthed, while our host smiles knowingly. June and Victoria are unaffected. Slowly I rise from my seat, wincing at the stiffness in my muscles from sitting on such crude furniture for so long.

“I see you have everything worked out,” the storyteller says. I nod in reply.

“Wait, but–” Serena begins.

“And then they realized the sun had begun to set and they should leave,” the old man says firmly.

Unsurprisingly, the sun has sunk till it touches the treetops. I yawn and rub my hands over my eyes.

***

I jolt awake from my nap. June is shaking me.

“Really?” Victoria asks. “A nap? On the doorstep? While we roam the village looking for clues? Very manly.”

These words sting, and I hastily get to my feet.

Serena’s brow is furrowed in confusion, and she eyes the ground. Her blonde locks, done up fancily, wave gently in the wind. Suddenly she looks up and stares at me piercingly.

“What in the world just happened?”

Sometimes I lose track of how many layers in I am. XP

Tours yruly

The Storyteller – Chapter 4 – A Storyteller’s Powers


Neat picture huh? ;)

Neat picture huh? 😉

What, you guys thought I’d forgotten about this story? No way! I’ve just been busy is all… Really, you should know me better than that. 😦 lol.

Anyway, in the last chapter, we had Phillip meet his three companions for his journey. Here, we learn more about them, and actually start hunting the Executioner down. Also, we get some more weird storytelling stuff. This time we go three stories deep. Trust me, even though all this sounds random and weird, there is actually a system behind it all. Stick with me, I’ve got a great ending planned. ;D

Chapters: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Inside the house, June recovered rapidly. After a few sips of water, and a dabbing of her forehead with that same cool liquid, she felt well enough to sit up, and after a few more minutes, found herself strong enough to give a weak smile.

At this point Serena spoke up. “What were you thinking June? You knew that you were weak after our last encounter. How could you endanger yourself like that?”

June shifted uncomfortably under the stormy eyes of the leader in their group. “It happened accidentally,” she murmured. “What is of real importance are the thoughts I read.”

“And what might those be?” Serena asked antagonistically.

“He does not think normally. There is a certain way he analyzes the situation and acts that is different from an ordinary human. Almost as if he’s the director in a play.”

“Are you sure about this?” Serena asked.

June nodded.

“Here’s the thing,” the tall blonde said, pacing the room. “After we came in, I found that I had duplicate memories of the same event. When we were coming in, what do you two remember happening?”

“Well,” Victoria said. “We opened the door, Phillip stopped and stared at thin air for a moment, then when I spoke to him, he snapped out of it.”

“Exactly. This is what I’m talking about. I have that memory too, however, I also remember that at that same time, there was an old man sitting at the table, and upon our entrance, he stood up and said, ‘I had already left.’ Then he disappeared. It was him that Phillip was staring at.”

The three stood silently. They all knew what this meant.

“And you are absolutely certain of this?” June asked Serena.

The girl addressed nodded.

“Well,” Victoria said, looking at their captain. “There’s only one thing for us to do.”

***

Phillip looked up as Serena and Victoria exited the room. Quickly he got to his feet. Something had changed about the two girls, and worrying for their companion, he put forth a question as to her health. They shook their heads indicating the negative. His brow furrowed as he eyed them. They seemed– knowing. What had they found out? In a flurry of urgency he reviewed all his memories to see if there had been some flaw in his storytelling; there was nothing. Why, then, did he have the sinking sensation that they knew?

Victoria fidgeted while Serena stepped forward to face their host.

“What do you know of storytelling?”

To his credit, Phillip didn’t so much as twitch, but Victoria could sense his shocked emotions; her senses never lied. She pressed forward.

“You are a storyteller aren’t you?”

Something was very wrong here. Phillip felt panic building inside him. The power that these three now wielded over him because they knew he was a storyteller was too much for him to think about. He tried concentrating, grasping at the strands of thought that waved frustratingly out of his reach. The room began spinning around him in a blur of faces and furniture. He sank to his knees, still fighting the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that accompanied this revelation, then he passed out.

***

I open my eyes a slit, still pretending to have fainted. Hardly the manliest thing to do, I know, but given the circumstances, I don’t think I have any other option. It would seem that this group has some powers that I did not know of. Now that I am like this though, there is no way the two can exercise their abilities on me. I’m not really sure why, but they can’t, and I’m glad. It gives me some space to think.

I hear one of them walk by my head. Another crouches down beside me. Serena asks Victoria urgently if she knows anything. I only avoid smiling with great difficulty as the auburn-haired girl replies in the negative. My humor leaves quickly. What do I do now that they know? They obviously had some prior information as to the existence of my kind. What could the trio want with me? Were they going to try and blackmail me? Possible, though doubtful, I mean, they are all rich. Unless– unless they want to take advantage of my powers. Well, now I have the power.

Opening my eyes fully, I sit up.

“Oh, you’re awake,” Victoria says. I maintain a façade of weakness as the two help me into a seat. My plan will take wit and guile.

I put a hand to my forehead. “Wh– what happened?”

“We were talking, and then you fainted,” Serena informs me.

Speech halts as I process this information. In reality, I am observing the duo to see their reactions to my apparent loss of memory.

“What were we talking about?”

A voice comes from behind me. “He’s faking.”

I turn around in time to catch a pained expression on June’s face, then it disappears. “He’s faking,” she repeats, stepping forward, a mite unsteadily. This is bad. I had forgotten about her. What could her power be that she can tell I am lying?

“Right now he’s storytelling.”

No! That’s impossible! She just gave it all away. How could she know? It’s simply not viable. Serena eyes me for a moment.

“Phillip,” she begins. “We’re not here to harm you. We need your assistance.”

I breathe deeply to calm my racing heart. As I look at the expectant faces staring at me, I realize that they are not deceiving me. So the three aren’t here to take me to Rarrakogn. Then–

“What do you want?”

Serena smiles relievedly. “In the North, we are besieged by a creature known as the Executioner. It has been ravaging the land, ruining everything in its path. Even with our abilities, we cannot stop it, and we have been searching for months to find a storyteller.”

“I have heard of this executioner. He escaped from Rarrakogn years ago. I was actually prepared to go hunt him down. Do you know where he is right now?”

June lays a map on the table. I watch as Serena indicates a shire in the Northern part of the land.

“That is where we last heard of him. It will take us several days to get there, even by horseback, and you don’t have a horse.”

I lean back, smile, and close my eyes. As the threads of this story fade away, I speak, “Several days? Hardly.”

***

The four of us approach the smoking ruins of the village stealthily. We have been traveling for five days, but it was all done in an instant. Time-warping was a technique I had practiced with a few years back; very handy.

Serena turns to me in bewilderment. “How did we get here so quickly?”

“It took us five days Serena,” I answer, peering through the leafy screen before us.

“But I have duplicate memories again.”

“It’s a time-warp. Don’t think about it. Time is a dangerous topic.”

I can see that she is not satisfied, but that is the best explanation I can give her. On second thought, maybe not, I might be able to come up with something more plausible. Yet, before I do, something she said is nagging me.

“You have duplicate memories?” I ask.

“It’s nothing,” she says, standing up and leading our group into the middle of the charred village. A dry wind picks up, scattering ashes across the road. I feel a coldness overcome me, a darkness, an evil, grasping at my heart. It makes me shiver, and I look around uneasily. There is nothing.

“Nothing?”

Serena sighs. “I’m a rememberer. I remember everything that has happened. Not only that, I can touch an inanimate object and relive its memories.”

This is food for thought. I consider it as I duck under a collapsed doorway into a small hut.

“What about people?”

“Huh?”

“Can you remember a person’s memories?” I ask.

“No,” she says shortly.

I know that she’s lying, but decide not to push the matter. It’s already enough that she’s told me about the fact that she has abilities too, though that was obvious enough in the beginning. Now, for that explanation as to how exactly a time warp works… It will also help fix some history. As a storyteller, the less in the past left untold, the better. I take a seat on the doorstep, glance around at the ruins, then close my eyes.

***

We hurry along the dusty road to the small cottage that I know lies hidden in the copse of trees ahead. As we speed along, June comes up alongside me and asks about my plan.

“There is more than one way to travel,” I tell her breathlessly. “I know another storyteller who might help me perfect my time-warping skills.”

She raises an eyebrow. “Time-warping?”

“It’s complicated. I used it two years ago to escape from a pack of wolves. Basically, it involves compressing a certain amount of time into an instant. The problem with this is that a lot of things can go wrong. When I used it to escape from the wolves, I ended up with my shirt ripped to shreds and all my money gone. I need to figure out how to work out the details with his other storyteller, and, if I’m not mistaken, he now resides in the house we are heading towards.”

Conversation ceases as we round a corner and find the abode in question standing before us. The storyteller residing within steps out from the doorway.

“Phillip,” he says, then notices my companions. “I see you have brought guests.”

“Yes,” I tell him calmly. “We are going to hunt down the Executioner and stop him, but before we can do that, I need to inquire about a topic known as ‘time-warping’.”

“Time-warping eh? Come on in then Phillip, I believe I have the knowledge you’re looking for.”

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s confusing. I’m sorry.

Tours yruly

The Storyteller – Chapter 3 – New Characters


Told you guys I was working on a chapter for my novel. So, in this one, we finally get introduced to the three other characters who will play a major role in this story. As I mentioned in the last chapter, I wanted to get them in then, but the chapter was too long. So yeah, these three new people, well, they’re going to be something. Let’s just say. 😉

Chapters: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

I leave my house, making sure to close the door behind me. Though there aren’t many people who live in this area, on occasion we have had some “visitors”. Suffice to say, the more precautions I take, the less likely my meagre belongings will be stolen. Then of course, I think it is in my best interests to keep my unwanted guest separate from any other people who are likely to think him mad, and me worse for keeping someone like that in my house.

“We’re still related in this story you know,” his voice calls from inside my cottage. “I know exactly what you’re thinking, at least until I’m out of the rendering distance.”

“Get out of my head creep,” I call back, annoyed. Hoisting a bundle of kindling onto my back, I whistle for Griffin, and strap the wood to his harness. Then, glaring one more time at the door of my cottage, turn and begin my journey to the village.

I live on the outskirts of a small settlement known as Tharriadoc. It is a quaint village, old as the hill themselves it is said. Most everyone who lives in Tharriadoc is past their prime. The reason for this is that once all the children came of age, they all left, and that was a generation before me; apart from the scenery, Tharriadoc has no real attraction whatsoever. It suits me though. The inhabitants ask no questions, and are glad enough to buy the wood I cut.

“Too bad most of the wood is wet eh, Griffin?”

He snorts, and eyes me with one large eye as if saying, “Worse things have happened in the past.”

“You have no idea how true that is,” I say, replying to my imaginary question.

As we get closer to the village, I detect something different about the general mood there. It is a feeling of surprise and unpreparedness. The sort of feeling you get when a friendly neighbor comes over without forewarning. Even the animals seem to be in a state of restlessness. Griffin, who for the length of the journey has been quiet as– well, a donkey I guess, perks up as we approach, and I have to tug on his bridle a couple of times to stop him from trotting off without me.

“What in the world has gotten into you,” I say, taking my eyes of the road to glare at Griffin. He shrinks away apologetically. Then I hear it too; laughter. “But nobody laughs in Tharriadoc,” I mutter, turning back to face the road.

“And who is that?” a silvery voice in the distance asks. Looking up, I see Gerald Black sitting on his front porch with three young women around him.

They all wear a dress of the same cut, yet each girls is different. Light shimmers across the blonde head of one girl, while a gentle breeze toys with the black curls of another. Even now as I approach, they watch me interestedly.

“That there is Phillip, our woodcutter,” Gerald says, answering the question that had been asked of him.

“But how can he chop wood? His leg seems to be hurt,” another one of the trio asks.

“Oh,” Gerald replies, waving his hand vaguely in the air. “He manages. Keeps the whole village supplied too. Hey, Phillip! Come over here for a minute. I’d like to buy some of that kindling.”

“Sure thing, Gerald,” I say, and change my course. “How much do you want?” I ask, as Griffin and I approach.

“The usual,” he replies, and I start unloading Griffin. When I’ve finally piled all the wood by the front door to Gerald’s cottage, he invites me to have a seat and share a cup of coffee.

“I’ll take the seat, but I think I’ll pass on the coffee.”

“Really?” Gerald asks. “You don’t usually decline a cup of coffee.”

“I had breakfast today,” I say, as a matter of explanation.

“You did? Good on you lad, glad to hear it. You work so hard for us old folk, it’s a pity that you rarely get enough to eat.”

The three girls have been watching us attentively all this time, and I am about to ask them who they are, but as I sit down on a stump, something flies into my eye.

***

Phillip dashed a hand across his eyes one more time and then opened them.

“Sorry, something got in my eye,” he said, slightly embarrassed. “So, who are you three?”

“Well,” the tallest girl said, taking a seat on the pile of kindling Phillip had made. “I am Serena Walsh, the daughter of Duke Walsh from East Byrdshale. She,” Serena indicated her auburn-haired companion. “Is Victoria Devereux, daughter of the Baroness of Carlick Castle in the southern isles. And she,” Serena pointed to the final member of the three who was engaged in petting Griffin. “Is our animal lover, June Fitzroy, heir to Brider Manor and the lands surrounding. The three of us are traveling across the country for pleasure.”

“With such a high social status, I’m surprised that you three ladies are traveling alone,” Phillip said.

“We can more than take care of ourselves,” Victoria said, her brown eyes flashing fire. Looking at her, Phillip more than believed that.

“We heard you are a wood cutter,” Serena put in, trying to draw the conversation away from a potentially dangerous topic.

“I am indeed,” Phillip gestured to the pile of wood she was sitting on.

“But your–”

“My limp? Well, you don’t really need strong legs for chopping trees down do you? A good back, stout arms, and a will for hard work. That’s all I need.”

“Indeed,” Serena said, but she appeared unconvinced.

At this point, June came up to the porch to join the group there. As she walked up the stairs, she stared at the floor, but when she had reached the porch, she shot a glance at Phillip. In the split second that she looked at him, Phillip thought for an instant that her eyes were yellow, but then he blinked, and realized they were green. Then, she winced and brought her hand up to her black hair. Upon noticing this, her friends became worried immediately. They both stood up.

“June,” Serena said, bending up to look anxiously at the downcast face of her companion. “What happened, are you alright?”

The girl, who was now very pale, moved her lips, but no sound came forth. Serena brushed a lock of hair away from June’s forehead and placed the back of her hand in its place.

“She’s got a fever. Victoria, we’re going to need water, and a place for June to rest. Can she rest here?” This question was directed to Gerald. He seemed uncomfortable upon being faced with such a problem.

“Well– You see, it ain’t really that simple. I got a cousin comin’ over, and I promised him a bed at my cottage.”

“You could come to my house,” Phillip put in quickly. “It also happens to be by a brook. I’m sure you could get cool water there.”

Serena looked at Victoria for a moment. They said something through their eyes, then Victoria nodded silently. June, who was looking decidedly sicker by the moment, moved as if trying to say something, but the exertion was too great for her, and the slender girl fell into Victoria’s arms.

“Here,” Phillip said, whistling for Griffin. “Lady Fitzroy can ride back on Griffin. I’ll lead the way to my cottage. You two ladies can walk on either side of her to support her and make sure that she doesn’t fall. Gerald, you’ll hold onto my kindling for me until I can retrieve it?”

“Sure thing lad,” the burly man said, glad to be rid of the worry of having a sick girl in his house.

Phillip undid the bundle of kindling from Griffin’s harness, then nodded to Serena. The two friends helped June onto Griffin, then stood on either side of the patient donkey to hold the girl steady. Hobbling to the main road, Phillip whistled for Griffin to come, and began the long journey back. Half an hour later, they had arrived.

Phillip held Griffin still as Victoria and Serena gently eased June to the ground. Then he swung open the door and let the trio inside. Three things happened when they entered the cottage. Phillip looked up and felt his heart sink to his feet when his strange companion stood up from the table, completely startled; the three girls, or rather two, for June’s eyelids were drooping, and it was all she could do to keep her footing, wondered who the crazy man was in Phillip’s house; and the person who had caught their attention so successfully, boomed the four words:

“I had already left.”

The next thing Phillip knew, the old man was gone, and he was staring at thin air. In the meantime, the two girls, who were now struggling to hold up their friend, requested that Phillip stop staring stupidly at thin air and show them the bedroom. Jerked out of his trance, he turned and led them through the only internal doorway in the room. After the laid June gently down on the bed, Victoria turned and faced him.

“Come on, where’s that brook you were talking about? And stop acting so dumb. You never seen a sick girl before?”

Phillip knew all too well about a sick girl. He had known a very sick one in fact. It was all he could do at this point to keep his mind focused on the task at hand instead of traveling to that dark corner in his mind. Victoria, noticing Phillip’s expression, regretted her harsh words instantly. She bit her lip hard. Why did she always have to be so caustic?

“Sorry,” the repentant girl murmured. “Let’s just go get June some water alright?”

Phillip nodded mutely, and both of them grabbed a bucket. Phillip limped in front to lead, and taking a road that only he knew about, brought Victoria to the little brook that flowed behind his house. They both dipped their buckets in the water until the containers were full, then laboriously lugged the heavy pails back to the cottage, doing their best not to spill any of the precious fluid.

After placing the two buckets down by June’s bedside, Phillip stood around uncertain as to what he should do. Serena turned from her friend to look at Phillip.
“We’d really appreciate some privacy now, thank you,” she said, doing her best to smile, but nothing concealed the worry that was drawn across her face at June’s condition.

“Of course,” Phillip said, backing out of the room, then turning and leaving the cottage completely.

Outside he was met by a very angry looking old man.

“You could have given me some warning!”

Phillip, having just been reminded of his dark mental corner, was in no mood for complaints. “Just leave me alone okay? One of them is sick, and I completely forgot that you were in my house. I thought you’d have left by now.”

“Oh yeah, sure. You of all people should know Phillip, that it is not an easy task to tell stories! I barely managed to throw something together there. Do you have any idea where I ended up?”

Phillip sniffed the air.

“By the smell of it, Griffin’s stables, and not the freshest part of it either.”

“This is no time for any of your facetious remarks. And who are those three anyway?”

“Have you forgotten already?” Phillip asked. “You asked me to find some people who could help me defeat your Executioner. There they are.”

“I asked you to find three people to help you. Not find a whole harem of women.” At this, the grumpy man huffed and turned around. Phillip just glared at the back of the storyteller as he walked away.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the chapter title and how “un-fancy” it is, that is because this is in an abstract sense meant to be a parallel to actual story-writing if you get my drift. 😀

Tours yruly

The Storyteller – Chapter 2 – Fixing Things


Feather pen and book

More story less dialogue in this chapter, though the actual page count is slightly less, I get the feeling this is the longest chapter in this novel so far. Wait what? You thought I had forgotten about this story in the excitement of Heartless: Cold Hands? Of course not. This is a story I really want to write, and though it may not be the featured novel on my blog, I feel the abstract air in it really lends for an interesting plot.

Anyways, all that gibberish aside, in the last chapter, we had Phillip agree to help this strange person who has invaded his personal privacy defeat a dude known as the Executioner. Typical stuff huh? In this one however, we throw a bit of Inception stuff into the mix by having Phillip tell a story inside of a story. Yeah, I know, what in the world am I talking about? Just make sure you read all that came before this before actually attempting to read this chapter. Trust me it will help.

Chapters: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

“The first step, Phillip, to this journey, is to fix your back. You can’t exactly go on a long journey with a back hurt the way you’ve damaged it.”

“You want me to– alter the past?”

“You can do it Phillip. Go back to the woods, go to that glen where you were chopping trees, and fix what went wrong. Do it Phillip.”

Settling back into his bed, Phillip closed his eyes and began reshaping his past.

***

I ignore the sound I hear as I am creating the story in which I chop the wood necessary for my business. It sounds almost like– no, I cannot allow my thoughts to wander when I am in the middle of storytelling. Wait, I have to continue my story from where I left off. I shift slightly with my eyes closed, and enter into another state of storytelling.

***

For some reason, just at this moment, I forget what I intend to do. Griffin whinnies and kicks again, and instantly I am reminded of the kindling. Bending down, I hoist the bundle onto my back. My legs complain slightly at the weight, but though they force me to hobble along slowly, the muscles in them are still strong, and can support a good weight. Turning around, I begin the journey back to my house, whistling for Griffin to come along. He plods steadily along beside me as we travel the worn road to my cottage.

As we move along, my mind wanders, and it is all I can do to keep my feet on the road. Suddenly, a wind from the west kicks up. It is a foul wind, boding evil. I pause my footsteps and turn to face the horizon where the sun is setting. Black clouds loom darkly on the skyline, billowing angrily and approaching at a rapid pace.

“We’re going to have to hurry, Griffin,” I say, a warning edge in my tone. He himself, animal that he is, detected the change in atmosphere long before me, and as I turn from the horizon, he starts forward, and it is all I can do to keep up with his walking pace.

As we move along the road, the clouds seem to come closer and closer at a rate which is impossible. Lightning flashes madly across the heavens, and thunder cackles heavily. The sound of heavy rain drowns out any other ambient noise that existed before, and a cold wind stirs the air. I shift the kindling uncomfortably on my back and stumble slightly over a pothole in the road. Griffin pauses to let me regain my balance, then he continues onwards.

Before long, the rain has caught up with us, and we are in the middle of a swirling storm. The rain impedes my vision till I can barely see the bundle that Griffin is pulling, and the donkey himself is obscured. I take a moment to look around as the whipping rain lulls briefly. Shapes and figures lurk in the shadows, seemingly grinning and howling at our discomfort. I turn away resolutely, doing my best to ignore them.

It is at this point that another shadow, larger than the others before, looms up in front of me. It is not exactly in our way, but to the right of the road. I squint, trying to discern what it could possibly be, but it is only when Griffin turns to head directly towards it that I figure it out. It is my house.

I dump the kindling by the front door, and with numb hands, undo the straps of Griffin’s harness. When this operation is complete, he gladly trots off towards his stable. I enter my house and squeeze the water from my clothes. It creates a puddle in my front room but I don’t care. Tired to the bone, with all my morale sapped by the pouring rain, I head around to my bed room and sit on the bed. I sigh, then lean my head back on the headrest and close my eyes.

***

I open my eyes. I am in my bedroom, with a slowly abating storm outside my house. My clothes are damp, and getting up from the bed, I head to the front room and light a small fire. The warmth it gives is enough for me to dry my clothes, and I do so gladly. My stomach grumbles after a long day at work, and getting to my feet, I open the small food cupboard mounted on the wall, hoping that by some magical chance there will be something there. There isn’t.

Sighing, I put out the fire and return to my bed. Now that my clothes are dry, my bed feels like the perfect place to be. The howling wind outside seems less threatening, and makes my cottage seem all the more secure. Slipping under my thin covers, I roll over and quickly fall asleep.

Before I know it, morning has arrived, and upon getting up, I sit straight in bed for a few moments, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Yesterday’s story did not go so well. What with the storm, and the break. Ah well, there is nothing I can do about it. As I let the tension from correcting a break drain away, I close my eyes, just for a moment, for a few extra seconds of precious rest.

***

Phillip yawned and opened his eyes. The sun was shining brightly through one of his windows. Recalling previous incidents, he turned quickly to see if his unwanted guest had invaded his house again. The man was not there. With a sigh of contentment, Phillip swung his legs, stiff from the damp and exhausted from the exertion of the previous day, off his bed. Standing up, he wandered slowly around to the front room.

“Well Phillip,” a voice boomed. “I knew you could do it.”

Startled, Phillip stepped back a few paces, then blinked the haze around his vision away. He groaned internally. That man was there again.

“Can you just stop bothering me?” Phillip grumbled, walking pass the bearded stranger to open his food cupboard.

“An early customer had come and bought some of Phillip’s wood, leaving behind breakfast as recompense,” the man boomed.

Phillip turned around, and there on the table was a pair of apples along with a loaf of bread and cheese. A skin of cheap ale lay beside them. Sitting down in the chair which the stranger had vacated, Phillip began consuming the food like a starving man, which, in a sense, he was. When he had finally appeased his raving appetite, Phillip looked up.

“How do you do that?” he asked.

“Do what?” the man said, turning.

“Speak something and make it happen. You don’t worry about consequences, or cause and effect, you just add a fact and it happens. Also, how in the world do you remember our meeting from yesterday? We didn’t meet yesterday. Not after I changed the past that is. And why did I lose control partway through that story? I couldn’t stop the storm from coming.”

“One question at a time boy. We are both storytellers, but we each have our own different way of telling stories. As for how I remember our meeting that did not happen, I am a storyteller too. In stories that both you and I are involved in, I know just as much as you do. Now for the main question. Why did you lose control partway through your story. The reason is simple, but the implications are not as obvious. Our job as storytellers is not to force the story into our mould. We create the story to be sure, and we end it, but what happens between then is merely guided. On occasion, you will find that the story develops itself, and it can take paths you did not intend.

“This is one of the many dangers of storytelling. It is why there are so few of us around. Did you think it is because we are a rare type? No, there are thousands of us in this world, but some are so afraid of their ability that they never use it. Others do not know how to use it, and bring destruction upon themselves by doing so. You are in the middle Phillip, which is why you are key.

“Now that we have gotten over the fact that you did not actually hurt your back yesterday, we need to move on to the next step in this process. In order for you to defeat the Executioner, you are going to need help. Other people who can assist you in this task. I want you to create a story where you make friends. Preferably three others, around your age, and do try to make them a little more physically capable than yourself.”

Phillip stared daggers at his “mentor”, then, leaning back in his chair, closed his eyes, and began yet another story.

I’m sorry guys, I did want to get into the new characters in this chapter, but that chapter break was too good to throw away. Plus, I bet you guys are tired of seeing “***” all over the place.

Tours yruly