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February 2014

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So I’ve been having quite some fun writing short stories to build up my character’s back stories before the events of what I hope to be the first novel in the series. This short story introduces a completley new character I’ve only recently thought up of. It is also the first story I found necesarry to write in first person. Please let me know what you think and tell me if you want to see this character at some point in my novel. At the moment I’m planning to keep him for a sequel rather than the first but I’m open to suggestions.

Without further a due, please Enjoy this short story…
By night I watched the flames rise high, tearing all that I knew and loved apart. Never before had I seen such desolation. No child should have had to go through such a thing, but as the night wore on and I saw life snuffed out all around me, I knew that I was a child no longer. My innocence was gone with all the innocent that suffered. And it was my fault. It was all my fault. But I knew that I could put things right. I had to.
            Later that night, when the enemy forces were gone, I went to my father’s chambers. The grand doors to his rooms were guarded by two sentries. The bearded men blocked my path as I approached.
            “Who goes there?” the one at the left demanded. I removed my hood and his hardened expression faltered. “Prince Kailì, what are you doing here alone?”
            “I’m here to see my father,” I said. They looked at each other wearily.
            “You father has asked not to be disturbed,” the other guard said.
            Whilst normally I would not disobey my father’s wishes, this would be an exception.
            “You will open this door at once,” I snapped.
            “We are under direct instruction to,”— the words died on his tongue as the door behind him began to open.
            “Your Highness, we were just telling the prince that you do not wish to be disturbed,” the first guard explained.
            “It’s quite alright. Come in, my son.”
            I walked in with my father and he went to sit on his bed. I kneeled before him in supplicance.
            “Father,” I began.
            “I know why you are here,” he said. I looked up to see his saddened, fatigued face. This was not my father. He was usually so upbeat and cheerful, and yet here he looked haggard. I suppose it made sense. We had lost so many good mean in the previous battle against Yolanda. If only he had listened to me. “You want me to surrender to that witch, Yolanda.” My eyes widened. Calling another person a witch was an insult not taken lightly. It was what the mortals had called our kind that once dwelt in their world, back in the times of the witch hunts when our lives ended at the stakes.
            “It is the wise thing to do,” I said.
            “Kratul is rich and plentiful, we may still gain allies from Kazarai,” he replied. “Our fate is not yet sealed.”
            “But at what cost? Kazarai has little love for our nation and Alasiya will not intervene. Please father, we cannot win this war.”
            “Enough!” he yelled. He rose from his bed and went to his mirror cabinet. “Do you know what surrendering would mean for this country? For this family?
            “I will be prince no more, and you will no longer be a king. I understand this, and I know that Yolanda may still slay us. But you swore as king that you would do all that you could to protect this country and right now what is best for it is surrendering before any more innocent lives perish. Please father.”
            “You will get out this instant! I need not the council of a useless Wúlì filled with nothing but cowardice.”
            Then he turned away from me and I knew that this discussion was over.
That night I could not sleep. In my dreams I was visited by the spirits of the dead. They screamed as they burned alive or choked in the gas that the enemies had dropped on them. I had been given a mask and was taken to a safe underground bunker but I had seen enough for the memory to be permanently ingrained into my mind.
            As I sat on my bed, I saw the shadows begin to swirl around me. Either the dead spirits were giving me a personal visit, or an enemy was about to attack.
            I grabbed the sword I kept by my bedside and stood to prepare for an attack. The shadows began to dissipate and I saw a face emerge from the shadows. The boy pulled back his hood and pale blue eyes stared back at me. But it was his stark white hair that caused me to scream out.
            Shadows extended from the boy and entwined their way around my mouth and I was silenced. The boy scowled at me and looked at the door, but no one came for me.
 Determined not to be the coward my father thought me to be, I swung my sword at the shadow tentacle. My sword went through the shadows as though they were made of mist. Unable to speak, I could only look on it terror as the white-haired boy used another tentacle weaved of shadows as a whip to grab my sword. He threw it to a distance and it clattered to the ground.
             “I understand that it is your desire to surrender to my mother, the queen,” he said.
            “You are Prince Stefan?” I asked. Yolanda had no other son, and the prince was infamous for the power he wielded over the darkness. In my land, the mortal slaves called him a demon in the guise of a boy.
            “My mother will be happy to call a cease fire should you convince your father to surrender. If not,”— he tilted his head and a glint of menace filled his eyes— “she will burn this city to the ground and have all the members of your nobility slain. What say you?”
He withdrew the shadows wrapped firmly over my mouth and I couldn’t help but glance at my sword for a moment. Too far away to grab. I locked eyes with the prince and he raised his brows at me as though to challenge me.
            “I know that,” I replied. “But I can’t convince him. He won’t abide by it. He thinks it’s cowardly.”
            “And you?”
            “I think it is the right thing to do for our people. But my father only seems to care about his image.”
            “I have an idea,” he stated. “Come with me as my prisoner and I will bring you forth to my queen. Once your father hears of you capture, I am sure he will cooperate.”
            “I can’t be certain that he will.”
            “Why is that?”
            “My father does not love me as a father should… not since my Interpretation Ceremony. I am what my people call a Wúlì— a Powerless. I am not gifted with magic.”
            “That is a pity,” he stated. Nothing about his tone implied a trace of sympathy and though I certainly did not need it from him, the way he pursed his lips made me uneasy.
I could almost feel the options he was calculating through in his mind. With his power, he could take me away or murder me here as a warning to my father.
“You are his only son, correct?” the Dark Prince asked of me.
“I am his only legitimate son,” I corrected. Perhaps the clarification was not necessary but it was difficult to forget the number of bastards he had sired, given their large count. I still could not forget that my father had stated that the only good that had come from this war was sending his bastards out to the Front Lines.
“You said that he does not love you as a father should. Is there one that he cherishes more than you?” Truth be told, it was more like a string of women.
“The only things my father loves are his crown, his cock, and his wealth,” I remarked. “In that order.”
I sealed my lips together. What was I saying? True, it was no secret that the king loved bountiful breasts and rouged lips, but it was not my place to speak out against it, yet alone to the Crown Prince of Terrahgonia. I was to be bargaining with him; finding some way of saving my country.
“And does that not simply rile you up?” the prince asked.
“Yes!” I cried out.
“Your king would see every last soldier dead before he gave up his crown willingly,” he stated. “Now what kind of a king is that?”
“A selfish one.”
“Indeed. And I would not see this great city burnt to the ground because of an arrogant pig playing at being a king. But there is little I can do here to circumvent the inevitable. Kratul is your hands, prince.”
I looked down at my hands as though they might provide the answers I sought. Kratul was in my plump, clammy hands.
The anger within me churned like a cauldron. I was immersed in it; a tidal wave of repressed loathing, laced with a bitter sadness and a spark of rage. And a hunger. A deep hunger for revenge on the one who had hurt me all these years.
“What must I do to save this kingdom?” I asked.
A small smile appeared on his thin lips. His hands reached to shift his cloak, revealing a sword, and daggers strapped to his belts. My father would have longed for a son who could truly wield a sword. It was a weapon designed for the valiant, he had always said. The fiercest and bravest. Though I owned a sword I was not gifted in this. Perhaps my father might have loved me if I were.
Prince Stefan removed a dagger— a simple thing with no embellishments or decorations of any kind.
“Before dawn,” he began, “you will enter your father’s chambers and you will slaughter him in his sleep. When they crown you, your first act as king will be to surrender to Terrahgonia.”
 He tried to pass me the dagger, but I only stared at it in wide-eyed mortification. The fire of hatred for my father died a little, its embers fading as dread coursed through my bones.
“I…”
“Think very carefully before you answer me, prince.” His tone was even. There was no anger in it, no hatred or inflection that could suggest arrogance. Even his facial expression appeared bored and blank. Perhaps what the slaves said was true; he might very well have been a demon in the guise of a boy.
“I can’t…” I began to say.
“Kratul will fall with or without you,” he snapped. A shadowy vine grabbed the dagger from his hand and launched it towards me. I stumbled back and collapsed to the ground. The cold digger kissed my neck and I felt a small but sharp prick as the weapon pointed at my throat.
The prince kneeled beside me and I saw a darkness swirl in his pale eyes. Other than that, it was not anger that greeted me, but a cold indifference. I think I would have preferred the anger.
“You have the chance to save countless others,” he told me. “All that is required is the spilt blood of a stubborn old man. You would be a hero.”
“I would be a traitor,” I snapped.
“They need never know. My word on that.” I ground my teeth together but gave no answer. “Since you seem to want to cling on to your honour, I could let you die with it. If you do not swear to kill the king, I will spill your blood right here, right now, and use it to paint the walls as a warning.”
My blood roared in my ears and my eyes stung with emotion I sought to keep in check. I was the prince of this realm and I was sworn to keep it safe no matter the consequences.
“I will give you but ten seconds to make your mind,” he warned.
To save the realm, a hard choice was to be made. A life was to be given. My father’s life. Or my own.

I am writing an urban fantasy novel which I started during the 2013 NaNo comp. It is currently being called PROJECT GALATEA. Here is an original poem of mine that I wrote in the perspective of one of my characters:


She loves the girl,
He does not care,
This is a tug of war at best.
Is her will mine?
Is my will his?
Are the three of us not one?
Can it be there is a fourth?
Blurring lines give way once more.
Lines I swore never to cross
Are smeared away in my mind, like chalk.
She is me and I am her
And he is me and I am him
But how can that be?
Intertwining threads—
One whole of a marred tapestry,
Grotesque in its beauty:
Half divine, halve mundane.
You ask me who I am.
I am that I am, that I am that I am.
Perhaps twice more—
Perhaps less.
Like a delicate delectable flower
You devour my willpower in earnest,
As a puppet-master you assert your power.
What will I do when my will wilts?
I sleep in a cocoon of tranquillity,
Helpless as can be.
I watch him raise the gun,
I watch her lower it.
Mind over matter or to follow the heart?
He clicks the trigger.
Or perhaps it is she.
Grimly I see that it was me.
I’m a starburst fully ignited.
What is it that you have incited?
Piece by piece I’m chipped away.
Open the door. What do you see?
Four doors and a fifth still forming.
Each door leads to its own labyrinth,
A Guardian Minotaur at every turn.
Who dares brave such a path
To find the true honest Me?
Who am I, you ask?
I might as well be a mirror.
I’ll reflect what you want to see.
Until one day you see no more.

Many people seem to picture writers as these desperately lonely creatures either high on opium or coffees, mostly likely tearing their hair out as they attempt to reach a deadline. They think us as hermits who only leave to acquire supplies for our art– be that more pen and paper, or more coffee, or a joint.

 This is all partly true.

During times like National Noveling Writing Month when we are writing against time to reach 50k in November we very may lock ourselves away and threaten to destroy anything or anyone that may distract us. Some of us are rather aloof or solitude on the whole, even we require others to commune with and discuss our art.

Don’t be a hermit unless it’s NaNo.

We crave to be with others to discuss the bitter pain of our manuscript revision, that character who takes over our plot, that love triangle we can’t dissolve, or that god forsaken writer’s block. And this my friends is why you need to join some sort of writing community.

But what about your fear of criticism you may ask? What about the image of the destitute, suffering artist? My advice: Don’t make the writing process harder than it needs to be. Interact with others of your own species! Join a writing website! Join a Google Circle, a Facebook Group. If you’re not too uncomfortable around people, join something like a university creative writing society! I have, and mine is awesome 🙂

The brilliance of something like a writing society, be that an official group where you meet face to face, or one where you only talk online, is that it brings people of different backgrounds with different writing styles together. And you get to talk hours on end about writing. Or avoid it if that’s what you prefer, haha!
At my Creative Writing Society, we have readings, and we give feedback to one another. Now this is just as daunting as it sounds. You sit there with these strangers and read you work. Out Loud. And they comment and critique it. To your face.

But I prefer anonymity

This is perfectly reasonable and for that you’ll be requiring a website to join. I recommend the likes of fictionpress, wattpad, movellas, and figment. There you can choose to give us much or as little information about yourself as you like, and you don’t have to go through the terrifying process of actually reading your writing out loud.

Out there be monsters…

The benefits of something like a society, or a group in general that you meet face to face is that over time you can really get to know some very interesting people, and you can grow to trust them. The dangers the web include the likelihood of someone stealing your work, unless it’s like movellas.com and people can’t just copy and past you work directly. The danger with anonymity is that people can abuse this and so horrible things about your work and because they think they can get away with it simply because they’re behind this mask.

And these are the tasteful shenanigans my Creative Writing Society were upto during Valentine’s Night…

Basically, we made cynical Valentine’s cards. Woo us! All alone the most “romantic” day of the year, but at least we were alone together!


I swear I didn’t write this one: 

Despite how wrong it is, it really reminds me of A Game of Thrones wih Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei!

And these are the totally normal things we occasionally do at my CWS and why you should have a bunch of friends to talk about writing with.

 

What’s Love Got to Do With it?

So today is Valentine’s Day. Spring is near– though with all these obscene rain, it’s practically impossible to believe, and until it snows, I can’t move on from winter. And love is in the air. And it sickens me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love love, but if you’re one of the many people feeling left out, you’re likely to give into cynicism. That’s why I’ll be at my Creative Writing Society meeting, where we can get all creative with our cynicism. And that’s what you should be doing too!

Beauty Is Pain

Now I’m not asking you to fill your writing with pissed off characters who try to wreck love for other couples, but I am talking about writing out your pain. Every character you write will have a trace of your own personality, or your repressed feelings and worries, or your beliefs. Each character is a part of you, and so one of the best ways to make them life-like is to draw out your own emotions into them.

We Feed on the Weak

Now the one fear with writing from your soul is criticism. You have to be aware that no matter how sincere you try to make your writing, there will always be critics and you have to be ready for that, whether it be to prepare to ignore them, or take the criticism like a champ and try harder next time. Writing from your pain can open up a doorway to a hurt you thought long ago closed. I know the feeling. I’ve tried writing what I hoped to be “deep” poems, originating from trials of my own. Though the heart wrenching ache was not quite as bad, it was still there– this ghostly numbness. It can be distressing and sometimes it can be too distressing for your readers too.

Conceal It. Don’t Feel It. Don’t Let Them Know. 

Yes, I did get the above line from Disney’s Frozen, and like Elsa, the princess and would-be-queen, as a writer, we all have to wear our own thin veneer to keep the readers just a little bit distanced from the true reality of our soul. That’s why we have our characters. There is a thin line between using your emotions to build a character to life-like proportions, and letting your emotions overpower the novel. Your characters shouldn’t be exactly like you, or else it wouldn’t be completley original. And come on, could you imagine writing a novel with a character who’s past boyfriends or girlfriends and conquests had the same details as those of your own? We don’t need to read your diary– we want to read your novel. Or poem, or script, whatever format it may be.

How to Write it Out

An English teacher of mine gave us this useful advice during the stressful times of A-levels, back at sixth form. She advised us to keep a diary, and of course to write regualarly. Obvious, right? But it was the method that intrigued me. She told us to write continuously for about 10-15 minutes, and interestingly enough, NOT to have prepared anything beforehand.
What came out was this rush of words, in a voice that sounded so naturaly becuase I was literally writing as I was thinking. And it was strange how my mind flitted across to so many subjects and people in a short space of time– much more than if I had prepared my topic in advance.
Another piece of advice she gave us was to write in the 3rd person, to distance yourself from, well, yourself! Other interesting ways would be to change tenses.
For me, personally, I had a very emotional first week at university, getting to grips with living on my own. So one strange night I woke up at maybe 2AM in the morning and wrote out this really long, really angry poem. And you know what? It was cathartic. And that’s the beauty of writing– it’s therapeutic. 

Heya! Remember those short stories I promised? Yeah, well, here is one I wrote quite some time ago. It is actally a sort of Origins Story for my one of the characters in my novel in progress, Weaving Moonlight. You won’t know which one right away though, becauase I’ve changed her name to avoid spoilers. Anyway, here we go:


She woke up at the crack of dawn—same as any other day. Sweep the floors, scrub the floors, and then help out in the kitchen. Avoid irritating the mistress. Take a few gropes and pinches from the master. This was her life.
                Celeste was becoming a woman and the master of the house was noticing. He’d had an eye on her for a while now but he’d yet to corner her in private. Thankfully the mistress was keeping an eye on her too, and she’d not allow him to dishonour her with a good-for-nothing mortal slave girl. There was little Celeste’s mother could do about it either. If the master wanted Celeste for himself, there was little anyone save the mistress could do. That’s just how it was when you weren’t a person. You were property.
                One of Celeste’s few moments of solace was playing her music. She had a natural affinity for playing the flute and this made her valuable indeed. Most slaves didn’t have such a specialty but the Lully’s had made an exception for Celeste in order to encourage their own daughter to take up the instrument. Celeste had been a playmate of sorts, and was now the girl’s handmaid.
                “Slave!” The short, sharp shriek came as a shock to Celeste. Daphne was not to be in the East wing. It was the slave’s quarters.
                “You’d better go and attend to the little mistress,” Nancy, the cook said. Celeste nodded and headed out the door to find Daphne. She bumped right into the young mistress, who gasped in surprise.
                “You are so clumsy!” she yelled.
                “My apologies, mistress,” Celeste said, lowering her gaze.
                “As you should be. Where were you? I awoke and had to run my own bath.”
                “I had to work in the kitchens this morning. It’s understaffed and I—”
                “I haven’t the time for your pathetic excuses. I’ll make sure you are flogged for this.” Celeste winced. She still hadn’t fully recovered from the last flogging. Protesting would only make it worse, of course. “I still need you to do my hair. I can’t clip it right and the cousins will be here in a few hours.”
                “Of course. After you, mistress.” Daphne turned away, flicking her bright coppery hair in Celeste’s face.
                When they arrived in Daphne’s extravagant room— with its polished floor, queen sized bed and balcony overlooking the back garden— the young mistress insisted on having each strand of her hair brushed three times. Today was a special day for her. Today she would find out her special power. Some Spellmans were able to find out at birth but this was rare and so most had to wait until their thirteenth birthday.
                “I hope it’s nothing stupid like being an Empath. My aunt Layla was an Empath and it drove her insane you know. Though of course father says it’s because she lost her baby and being an Empath she felt it more acutely— the disappointment from uncle Michel and grandmother. I want to be something special— maybe an Oracle or a Technopath. Some Technopaths end up rich creating state-of-the-art technology, you know.”
                “I’m sure you will be special no matter what your power ends up being,” Celeste said. Special needs, of course, you little brat! She thought. But Celeste’s mother insisted that everyone was special in their own way, and had encouraged her not to hate her young mistress. They were the same age, Daphne and Celeste. Unfortunately Daphne treated her younger, often being patronising and rude.
                “Well of course I’m special— father always says so— but I don’t just want to be any special person. I want to be the special person. I want to do something worthwhile, like marry the prince.”
                “Of course,” Celeste answered. After brushing the last strand, she looked at Daphne through the mirror, envying the way her hair curled so wonderfully. Her own blonde hair was thin and flat. With the exception of a few silvery strands, it was completely unremarkable.
                “If you were not mortal, what kind of power would you want?” Daphne asked. Celeste found the question disarming. The young mistress rarely asked for her opinion, and when she answered, she was often ignored anyway.
                “I’m not sure. I haven’t thought about it.”
                Liar.She had thought of it often. She had thought of being an illusionist once so that she could trick the Lully’s into freeing all the slaves and getting revenge on them for all the horrid deeds they had committed, like getting rid of her father.
                “Well of course you have!” Daphne insisted. “All of you mortals envy us because we are gifted and you are not. That’s why we own you.” Celeste gritted her teeth. “That’s what father says. Surely you must have some idea of what you would want to be able to do.”
                “No.”
                Daphne snorted. “Well, I knew you weren’t gifted, but I didn’t think you had no imagination.” Celeste ignored the comment and continued on to clip Daphne’s hair up the way she knew she would want. She wanted to look sophisticated today to show that she was growing up. “Maybe you’d like mind control so you could convince my mother not to sell your mother.”
                Celeste dug the clip into Daphne’s scalp by accident and the other girl screeched.
                “Oh my gods, I’m so sorry!” Celeste yelled.
                Daphne rose from her seat, clutching her head in one hand. “You did that on purpose! You attacked me.” She pointed at Celeste with her other hand, her pale grey eyes sparkling with hate. “I’ll have you flogged within an inch of your life!”
                “Please, I didn’t mean it. You surprised me. I didn’t know my mother was being sold, and I flinched accident.”
                Daphne refused to listen, already backing away to the door. “I’ll not believe another word you say.” She opened the door to leave, but Celeste ran towards her to shut the door before she could move another step. “If you touch me, I swear by the gods—”
                “Please,” Celeste insisted. “Don’t tell the master or the mistress. It was a mistake. Please.”
                Daphne looked at her— genuinely looked at her for once without distaste or loathing. She gave Celeste a small but uncertain smile and nodded. “Alright. I believe you.”
                Celeste sighed in relief and let out a tear. “Thank you.” She stepped aside from the door. “Would you like me to—” Daphne ran out the door before she finished her sentence.
                “Father! Mother!” she cried out. “The slave tried to kill me.”
                Celeste collapsed on her knees then, her body wracking out sobs of fear and despair.
                They’re selling my mother. I may never see her again, just like I’ll never see father. She wished that a black hole would suck her in right then. She wished she wasn’t such a helpless slave, her life at the mercy of a wicked master. Oh, to be free…
The flogging that was inflicted on her that night was much worse than the last. Celeste had tried so hard, wailing and cursing that the master had stuffed her mouth with something dirty in order to muffle out her cries. She lay there, topless, tied to a post in the dark. She was in the barn with the horses, waiting for the master to take pity on her and allow her inside. If she remained like this, her back could become infected. And then maybe I’ll fade into oblivion at last, and join father. She had witnessed the brutality of the flogging that had been the death of her father years ago. He had tried to way the master from hurting Mother. It had all been for nought. Celeste now knew what he had wanted with her mother, and knew that he had had his way with her.
                And one day he’ll have his way with me— if I don’t die here first.
Celeste awoke to feel a smooth hand caress her cheek.
                “Celeste, wake up.” The voice was low and sombre— gentle but authoritative.
When Celeste opened her eyes, she found herself face to face with a vision of ethereal beauty.  His dark eyes lit up a little when he realised she was awake. His close proximity startled Celeste, and she tried to back away, forgetting that she was still tied to the post.
“Oh, you poor thing,” the man said to her. “It is simply terrible that they have resorted to treating you like a beast. What crime have you been alleged to have committed?” The man tilted his head at a peculiar angle, stroking her face all the while.
“I… The master’s daughter thinks I tried to kill her.”
“Ouch. Now that is a serious accusation.” His tone was disapproving, but his lips gave way to a cold smile.
“I didn’t though. I didn’t try to kill her.”
The dark haired man narrowed his eyes, keeping his eyes fixed with hers. She felt exposed like this, reminded that she was still topless.
“I believe you,” he answered at last. “But I suppose it doesn’t matter what I believe. What will your master do with you, I wonder?”
Celeste was reminded of that monstrous glare, and that vicious smile as her master continued to whip her. She’d been whipped harder for cursing.
“I don’t know,” Celeste said. She looked at the floor, noticing the man’s nice leather shoes. He must be wealthy to have shoes like that.
The stranger lifted her chin so that Celeste’s eyes met his once more. “A torturer will be sent,” he answered. “They will do unspeakable things to you and I am here to make a deal with you— a faery bargain.”
He’s a faery! Celeste thought. That explains his otherworldly beauty— his sharp features and musical voice.
“I might be regarded a simpleton, but I know that faery deals are dangerous.”
“That they are, deary.” At least he was admitting it. Faeries couldn’t lie, after all. “You have a choice now. Die at the behest of the Lully’s, or come and live with me.”
“As what?” Celeste screamed. “Your pet? Your whore?”
The faery gave her an unamused glare. “Forgive me if I offend but you’re a little bit underdeveloped—” he pointed towards her chest “for my tastes.” Celeste blushed scarlet and looked away. “But I do mean for you to be mine. You have something very special in you that I need.”
“What might that be?” she asked.
“Your music, of course. I have heard you play and it calls out to me from my home and it is a lovely sound I will not have silenced by your death.”
“That’s it?” she asked.
“You obviously do not understand just how talented you are,” the faery said. Celeste only shrugged. “You haven’t much time to decide, young mortal.”
“If I agree, will you take my mum too?”
“I couldn’t…” he looked away from her as if to think about it. “No, I simply couldn’t.”
“Please! I can’t be separated from her. Not after my father—”
“Died?”
“Yes!”
“Celeste, you will know loss—it is the way of the world. Mortals are fragile and not all belong where I come from. You would do your mother a disservice by bringing her with you.”
“Why? What would happen?”
“Where I am taking you, you will live forever. In my experience, forever is too long a time for a mortal. Their minds cannot take the pressure of such a thing.”
“Then why me?” she asked.
“Because you are special. You are destined to do great things.”
Celeste snorted. “I’m a mortal. There’s nothing special about me.”
“A wise faery once told me “We don’t let prophecies align for us in the stars; stars wait for us to prophecy what will be.”
“Who told you that?”
“My father— a long time ago.”
Celeste stood then, looking at the faery full on, despite her state of undress. “Then I prophecy this: If you want me, you will have to take my mother too, because I am not leaving her.”
“You are testing my patience, deary.”
“And you are testing mine.” Celeste fully expected to be slapped for her insolence, and she saw the faery grit his teeth in anger, but he did not raise a hand against her.
“Fine. Have it your way, but you must swear to be faithful to me.”
“And you must swear to uphold you end of the bargain.” The faery smiled at her then— wicked and deadly. “You know my name, but I don’t know yours.” The faery came closer and ripped the ropes holding her prisoner.
“Yes,” he replied simply. Celeste waited a moment as the faery removed his top and gave it to her to wear. The scent of it was of nature— pine needles and grass.
“What is your name?” she finally asked.
“I am Quinlan, King of the Unseelie court.”
Celeste’s eyes opened wide in shock. A faery king was interested in her music. She knew then that it didn’t really matter what she said to him. If he wanted her to play for him, she would do so, faery bargain or not. The Unseelie king was infamous for his cruelty and his wit. He would have her.
“Ah, it appears my reputation precedes me.”
“Considering it’s about several centuries old, I reckon it does.”
“You think me so young? I’m not certain if I should be flattered or insulted.” Celeste had no answer for that. “Come on. Let us be off.”
“I… I’m not coming with you.” The words tumbled out before she could stop them. Quinlan snapped his head to face her again, his eyes steeled in anger.
“And why is that?”
“Because I don’t trust you.”
“My dear child, who said anything about trust? You will come with me of your own volition, or you will regret your mistake dearly.”
“No,” she said. “I’ve heard the stories about you. You take children every now and then and they are never seen again. Their bodies show up decades— sometimes centuries later.”
“Really, these rumours are quite distasteful. What need do I have for children?” He stepped dangerously close towards Celeste then. “They come to me. They dance with my court and then they never want to leave. When they die, I send them back to where they once belonged.”
Celeste heard a blood-curling scream, and smelt something foul burning. The scream went on and on.
“Terrific!” Quinlan exclaimed, obviously annoyed.
“What is that?”
“We were too late. That is your mother, burning outside for your crimes.”
“What? NO!” Celeste ran towards the exit, but she was intercepted by the faery king. “You lied to me! You said they would kill me!”
“No. I said they would make you pay. I said they would send for a torturer who would do unspeakable things to you. This is their form of torture, but mark my words, you will be next.”
“Let them then! Let them!”
“I can’t do that. One way or another, you will belong to me.” He stalked off, leaving her a quivering mess in the empty stables, wondering what fate awaited her.

To all those people who may still be lurking out there who I abandoned many months ago, I say sorry and I say, hello.
To all those new people who are only reading my first blog for the first time, I say, hello.
So what have I been up to since I discontinued this blog? I passed my A-level exams, started a Computer Science degree and joined the gym.
 Why is the gym part important? Because the last time I did any exercising I projectile vomited at the park with my sister. We actually had to get our parents to drive us home because I couldn’t walk. So I honestly think I deserve a medal just for WALKING inside a gym.

In regards to my writing, I did attempt the NaNoWriMo challenge in 2013. I got to 20,084 by the end of the month. Some will say that I “lost”, including myself by the end of the event, but I soon came to realise that at least I had tried. And most importantly, I had 20,084 words than I had before I started. I went on with that mentality and so far I have just over 40k. 10,000 more words and I will finally have reached my goal, albeit a few months late.
I have two main projects going at the same time right now.

The first is WEAVING MOONLIGHT, a sort of Narnia-ish novel about 3 teenagers with the power to save a magical kingdom from an evil queen. Naturally, there’s a twist to it all, and I’d like to think that the biggest twist is one of my main characters, Stefan, who is really more of an anti-hero than a hero. He seeks power and he makes that pretty known from the beginning. But how many is he willing to betray to gain this power?

My NaNo story, PROJECT GALATEA is my other project about teenagers that were weaponised by faeries in their bid to survive life in the mortal realm. Zib, the rogue, just wants to live in peace away from the courts; Terri, The Golden One, has a creepy fey admirer stalking her; and Ariel, the prince, struggles to choose between his loyalties to his court, and his loyalty to his traitor friend.

On top of this, I do expect to write a number of short stories and poems which I intend to post here first. So stay tuned!

I haven’t compiled fan art in a long time, so here we go!

I’m really missing Game of Thrones, so here are a few A Song of Ice and Fire artworks:

Danerys Targareyn by zimmay in the style of Mucha
Tyrion Lannister by SweetCandyRain
  Arya Stark by KaylaWoodside

 Robb Stark by SallyGipsyPunk

  Robb Stark by sketchditto

 Cersei by AniaMitura

 Melisandre by elia-illustration
Prince Joffrey by robotRainbows
Margaery Tyrell by CarrieBest