Friday, 26 June 2015

Dusty Red ~ Part 14

It comes again! The day that you will always remember as the day that you read Dusty Red! 

I find it quite interesting when I think back to how this thing started, in a Dusty Town in the middle of Australia. I have now got more instalments than Gillian -- the person I got the idea of this from -- but she doesn't actually post a part every week, so she's got a good reason. Her last post on the story was some time in April I think, but she's done plenty of other posts since then on other things. Sometimes the story seems kind of pointless, but that could just be because there is no story goal, and I can't really make one. When I started writing this I had no idea at all that we'd end up in a random underground realm full of fantasy creatures! If anyone had told me that on the 14th of March (when I did the first post) I probably would have laughed, but here we are! And here are the Leafits and Twigins and the whole realm of Esueño with its Dragontíre and  other random things! I must be crazy to write thing like this, but then that's no new discovery really.

Option number three was voted in by my lovely commenters, many thanks to all of you, and even to those who read and don't comment. I hope you enjoy Dusty Red instalment fourteen!

“It has hatched,” Larzik murmured in an awestruck voice. “The Fræd Dragon has hatched.” 

Flicks looked down at her hand, realising what she was holding for the first time. It was a small dragon, with thin cream coloured wings folded by its side of smooth, green scales, not unlike those of a Blue-tongued lizard. The Fræd dragon’s eyes blinked up at Flicks like glittering jewels.

The guards stared at Flicks, unsure what action to take; Flicks just stared at the dragon and the dragon just stared at Flicks. One of the Dragontíre cleared his throat nervously, “Umm…” He hesitated, “Where did you get that?”

Flicks looked up. “I didn’t exactly get it,” she replied. “It kinda got me.”

Larzik took a step forward and spoke in a trembling voice, “You…you are the Dragontwins?”

Skilf looked at Flicks then shrugged, “Well, that’s what your Queen was saying.” 

Flicks glanced towards Kendal, but suddenly frowned, he was no longer there. She turned around, her gaze sweeping the whole room. The only occupants were her, Skilf, the trembling Larzik, the three guards and, of course, the dragon resting on her hand. Flicks nudged Skilf, “Where’s Kendal?” she murmured, “Did you see him leave?”

Skilf started and looked around the room as Flicks had done, she turned to the guards, “Hey, you guys, did you see the other person who was in here with us leave?”

All three guards frowned. “Other person?” one said. “I didn’t see anyone except for you.”

Skilf walked over to a door on the other side of the room. She jerked it open and stuck her head out. She turned again a moment later. “No one out there,” she said, kicking the wall angrily. She spun on the guards, “He was the thief! The one who stole the Dragon egg! I’m sure of it.”

“We must inform the Queen at once,” Larzik’s high voice quavered slightly.

Flicks shot a sidelong glance at Skilf and tried to suppress a smile, “I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea.”

The guards looked around awkwardly. “Should we go look for the person you were talking about?” it was the one who had spoken before.

“Er...yea, I guess so,” Flicks answered.

“What’s he look like?”

“Ermm, well, his tall, and…well…er…didn’t you see him when we arrived?” Flicks asked, at a loss of a description.

“Ah, the tall fellow with the crooked nose and the brown hair?” the guard nodded, “I know the chap.” He turned to his companions, “Let’s go then.”

They tramped from the room, leaving Flicks and Skilf with Larzik who was standing nervously to the side, wringing his hands. “I can escort you to her majesty the queen,” he stammered. “She’ll not be cross with you a’cause ye slammed the door, ‘twas only me who got the guards.”

Skilf looked at him suspiciously, “But why should we go to the queen?”

Flicks shook her head. “I don’t see why we need to do anything. If this is the dragon,” she motioned to the creature sitting on her hand, “Then everything should be fine. So what if Kendal took it, he doesn’t have it anymore.”

Larzik wrung his hands even harder, “You don’t understand miss,” he explained timidly, “He is a powerful wielder of magic if he is the one who took the stone. If he joined our enemies he could destroy the whole world!” The Imp-Goblin’s voice became shrill at the end of the last sentence and he gave a great shiver of terror.

Flicks raised her eyebrows, “Ah…I see.” It occurred to her that she’d been saying that quite a lot lately.

“I still don’t see how it will help, but I guess we could go to the queen again if we must,” Skilf said. “So long as she doesn’t do anything crazy.”

“I wouldn’t be afraid of that. I’d be more afraid of her telling us to do something crazy,” Flicks replied with some heat.

Larzik nodded his head vigorously, “Yes, it is a good idea to see the queen she is wise, very wise.” He turned to the door, “I will take you to her, I will, she will be pleased to see you again.”

“That’s what you think,” Skilf muttered, unconvinced, but she followed Flicks and the Imp-Goblin out the door.

In the corridor Larzik seemed very eager to please the two girls and he chattered away about all the prophecies about Dragontwins and the Fræd Dragons. Flicks tried to ignore him but the constant high pitched voice was getting on her nerves.

“Would you mind being a little quieter?” she asked eventually as Larzik lead them through a door to the side of the hall they’d been walking along. But the Imp seemed not to hear and kept chattering about the time when a pair of humans had pretended to be Dragontwins and all the chaos that ensued from that event.

“Sometimes my grandfather would say to me, he did, ‘If you don’t hear these stories,’ he says, ‘I might just--’”

But Flicks cut him off. “If you don’t shut up I might just spifflicate you,” she said, now thoroughly annoyed.

“Oh yes, I will shut up. Anything you say, I will do whatever the Dragontwins command me, I will,” Larzik said, hearing her now. “I--”

“And if you only partially shut up bad things will happen,” Skilf interrupted darkly.

Larzik promptly fell silent and it was only a short time until he opened a door and pointed inside, mouthing the words, “She’s in there.”

Flicks smiled inwardly, Larzik seemed to be taking his silence very seriously. Inside the room Flicks found Queen Alwyn sitting at a table, looking at a large piece of parchment spread out over it. She looked up as Flicks and Skilf entered, Larzik closing the door soundlessly behind them.

“So you have decided to help after all?” Queen Alwyn asked, a faint smile playing across her lips.

“Well,” Skilf said slowly, “We wanted to know what it was you proposed us to do.”

The Dragontíre Queen motioned the two girls to sit down and they did so, albeit slightly apprehensively. “I rather thought you would have worked it out yourself after reading the prophecy,” Queen Alwyn said. “But if you have not, I shall have to tell you myself. You must go after the magic rune stones. They will show you what to do.”


I'm pleased to say that I actually thought up these options quite easily, except for the last one, but my baby sister, Ann, gave me inspiration. When I asked her what the third option should be she said, "Back." So I thought up an option where they went 'back' somewhere, even if I have no idea where that somewhere might be...

1. Larzik stepped forward and knelt in front on the queen, his head bowed slightly, “Permission to accompany the Dragontwins m’Lady?”

2. Flicks looked at the Queen long and hard. “I see,” she said again.

3. Before Flicks or Skilf could reply there was a sudden flash of blue light and Flicks felt herself being dragged backwards by some invisible hand. Oh no, she thought tiredly, not again.


Don't forget to comment and I hope you have a lovely weekend! Oh, I have one thing left to say...

"Friends! This is the day you will always remember as the day that--"........ *splash*

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Dusty Red ~ Part 13

So here we are again, back to Friday. I'm sure Fridays are more frequent than they used to be... Option 2 was voted in, great job to all those who commented! (Not so great job to those who didn't.)
I've been thinking lately that maybe I should change the Dusty Red picture...What do all of you think about it? Should I keep it as it is or make something different? I can't quite decide...

I would also like to mention that my cousin, Jessica (the one I write letters to), has started a blog -- it's amazing that she even knew how! Ok, maybe she's not that bad but to use her own words, "I yet remain ignorant in the ways of using modern day technology to its full potential." So you should check out her blog of 'Inspiration' and be inspired!

I shall now allow you to get on with the reading of Dusty Red part 13.

She threw her weight against the door, slamming it shut with a ‘bang’ right in Queen Alwyn’Miriella’s face. Skilf leant her back against the door, sighing in relief.

Flicks stared at her in horror. “Do you realise,” she said slowly. “That you just slammed that door in a Queen’s face?” 

Skilf nodded unashamedly, “Aye, that I do. Bit hard not to notice.”

“Do you have a death wish?” Flicks asked helplessly.

“No, but do you blame me for doing it?”

Flicks hesitated, “Well…no, things were getting a bit out of hand.” She glanced around the room. “Not that they’re much better now.”

“You can say that again,” Skilf muttered. “What should we do?”

A loud crash came from the throne room behind them and Flicks raised her eyebrows, “Run.”

Skilf pushed out her bottom lip, “Could be a good plan.”

“Well, it’s the only plan I have,” Flicks replied.

As the two girls ran along the tiled hallway, the door behind them burst open with a boom, showering the runners with dust. Flicks grabbed Skilf’s arm and dragged her through a side door.

The clatter of footsteps came along the corridor. Flicks had left the door slightly ajar and she peered through the crack now, trying to see who the footsteps belonged to. 

The figure that emerged through the dust looked somewhat familiar. Flicks frowned as she tried to place it. Skilf tapped her shoulder. “I found something interesting,” she said in Flicks’ ear.

Flicks turned and Skilf waved an arm at the wall on which hung a tapestry. Flicks took a step towards it. On the tapestry there was written some kind of verse or poem, Flicks read it aloud in a soft whisper:

“There will come a day when Dragontíre hall
Will be met with the greatest evil of all,
By name of Aldutch, a powerful Touch,
A wielder of magic with power at call.

The Willow Wall shall be our hope,
The Dragontwins shall hold the rope,
In a millionth of second, they were born to be destined,
Though target they be for Sniperscope.

The Fræd egg, the very last,
With the slam of a door and a sight of the past,
Is lost in the mist, no more to exist
But the Dragontwins are unsurpassed.

The stones in the ground shall tell the tale,
And show the way over hill or vale,
Blue they glow, and light will show
The deepest depth of hole or swale.

The Dragontwins are the only ones,
Who can save the Dragontíre when trouble comes.
Their destiny most certainly
Will save our daughters and our sons.”

Flicks furrowed her brow, “What’s it supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know, it could be some kinda prophecy maybe,” Skilf said tapping her chin thoughtfully, then she snorted in amusement.

“What’s so funny?” Flicks asked, she couldn’t see anything humorous about the situation.

“Oh, it’s just that the last stanza reminded me of a crazy poem I wrote a while back,” Skilf said, smothering another burst of laughter.

“Ah…” Flicks said, turning her eyes back to the tapestry. “I wonder who Aldutch is. Maybe he’s the guy that’s got everyone so worried.”

“You could be right,” Skilf said, becoming serious once more. “Aldutch…you’ve never heard the name before?”

“No,” Flicks said, “I can’t say I have.”

There was silence for a second then suddenly Skilf said, “What’s Kendal’s first name?”

“I don’t know,” Flicks said, “Why do you ask? I don’t see how it’s got anything to do with this Aldutch guy…” she trailed off, realising exactly what Skilf was meaning. “Oh.”

Oh indeed,” came a voice from behind her. Flicks whirled around and her heart sank to the soles of her feet as she saw Kendal standing there, a large smirk smeared across his face.

Kendal stepped forward, looking at the tapestry. “Very interesting really,” he said. “No doubt the stones in the ground are the very ones you buried, but what is this ‘Willow Wall’ and who are the Dragontwins, I’m not sure I like the sound of them.” He turned an evil smile on Flicks and Skilf, “Any possibility you could enlighten me?”

Skilf shrugged, affecting carelessness, “Not really.”

“So you say…” Kendal said, “I’m not sure if I should believe you. Besides, I have my own suspicions. When I think about it, what two people do I know that look like twins?” He left the question hanging in the thick, still air, looking at first Flicks then Skilf with a satisfied leer on his face.

Flicks chewed her lip thoughtfully, wondering vaguely what to do next. Inspiration failed to come, and the silence hung heavily in the room. Skilf opened her mouth to say something, but luckily she was forestalled from saying anything unwise by an ear-splitting crack and a yell from Kendal as something dropped out from under his jacket.

Kendal dived for the thing on the floor, missing it by inches as it flew up into the air with a green blur. Flicks stumbled backwards as the green blob flew at her, she ducked but the creature landed on her raised hand. Kendal lurched forward, grabbing at Flicks but she jumped backwards, evading his grasp.

Then the door was flung open and three guards entered, a short, bronze coloured Imp-Goblin at their heels. The three former occupants of the room froze, as did the new arrivals. Then the Imp-Goblin screeched and pointed a finger at Skilf, “That’s her! She’s the one who slammed the door in her majesty the Queen’s face! So impolite! Arrest her!”

The guards hesitated and looked at each other uncertainly. “Are you sure that’s what the Queen wants?” one said tentatively.

“Do you question the word of her loyal servant Larzik?” the Imp said furiously. “You cannot let such impoliteness pass!”

Flicks stood rooted to the spot, what in the world was going on? 

Larzik opened his mouth to say something again when his eye fell on the green creature on Flicks’ hand. His mouth moved soundlessly for several seconds and his eyes grew round. With rage or amazement Flicks couldn’t tell.


1. Then the Imp let out a deafening shriek, “It’s the thief! She’s got the dragon!”

2. Larzik stood thusly for a moment and then fainted, falling soundlessly to the white tiled floor.

3. “It has hatched,” Larzik murmured in an awestruck voice. “The Fræd Dragon has hatched.”


Thanks everyone for reading, and don't leave before you comment and vote for your favourite option!

Fare Thee Well!

~ Jane, Misty Maiden

Friday, 12 June 2015

Dusty Red ~ Part 12

And now, we come to part 12 in which...hang on, I've just got to check, which option was voted in?...Oh yes number 2, but back to the point. In which the hold is penetrated and both Flicks and Skilf are thoroughly shocked. I apologise for the extreme weirdness of this instalment. I was writing it and going, "This is so weird but I can't thing of anything else...." So..yea, sorry about the oddness. It probably didn't help that my brother kept interrupting me while I was trying to write, but I can't blame it all on him.

I suppose you are all eager to read this incredibly weird part 12 so go ahead, I won't delay you any longer. Oh, but before you start I'd better tall you that the Strida Dragontíre are the guards, and (kind of obviously) the Strida Dragons are also guards. But sorry, I'm delaying you...

Just then, there came a flurry of movement and a guard rushed in through a side door and ran to the queen’s side. His voice was urgent as he addressed the queen, “Apologies, my lady. But there is an enemy in the castle. ”

“An enemy?” Skilf burst out. “What kind of enemy?”

The guard ignored her question and continued. “Someone or something has used magic and has penetrated the hold. The Strida Dragontíre are doing their best but the magic wielder seems to be eluding them for the time being.”

“He broke into the hold you say?” the Queen said, her soft voice seemingly calm.

“Yes, my lady, the Strida have managed to get in also, but the magic wielder had already fled.”

“Is there anything missing?” 

The guard hesitated and the Queen shook her head, “I fear that your reluctance has betrayed you, it has been stolen.”

“Aye, my lady. It has.” The guard lowered his head, unable to meet the Queen’s gaze any longer.

“What’s been stolen?” Flicks asked.

The Dragontíre Queen turned to her, “I will not say it is of no consequence, for that would not be truth. I shall entrust you with this secret, for I fear that you will be our only hope of regaining what has this day been absconded.”

Flicks blinked in confusion but the Queen went on. “The last Fræd Dragon egg is lost.”

“I see,” Flicks replied slowly, for lack of anything else to say.

“What’s a Fred Dragon?” Skilf asked Flicks, but the Queen heard.

“Not Fred, Fræd. They are, or were, the peace dragons. But all were lost but one last egg ,which we have kept in our hold until it would be ready to hatch. Alas, long have I feared this day may come, but we have a hope!” the Queen smiled at Flicks and Skilf. “We have you.”

Flicks looked at Skilf. Skilf looked at Flicks. The silence seemed to resound around them, if silence can resound. But soon enough it was broken, as every silence is.

Lieutenant Hákon coughed. “My lady, what shall I do with the travellers?”

The Queen seemed to wake from a trance, “The others should be safe in their rooms, so long as they stay there. But I wish to speak to these two.” She gestured to the two redheads standing side by side.

“Very well, my lady. I shall accompany my fellows in the scouring of the castle.” the guard turned on his heel and exited the room.

The Queen rose from her throne, walking gracefully towards Flicks. Her hair flowing down over her shoulders was the colour of tree bark, and her blue eyes like the cloudless sky. A fitting description, Flicks thought, very poetic, about as poetic as I ever get.

“I’m afraid that you have not had the best welcome,” the Queen said, laughing softly. “I don’t even know your name.”

“Flicks,” the owner of that name replied, “Flicks Tiller. And this is Skilf.”

The Queen held out a hand, “And I am Alwyn’Miriella, Dragontíre and Ruling Queen of the realm of Esueño. I am pleased to meet you Flicks.”

Flicks took Queen Alwyn’s hand uncertainly, wondering if she had to kiss it or something but she decided not to, settling for a handshake instead. Queen Alwyn’s smile widened considerably at this and Flicks released her hand and looked at the floor, shuffling her feet nervously.

“But now, down to business. There is an enemy in that castle, and he has stolen the most precious possession of Esueño. I need you to help me find both,” the Queen said.

“Why do you think we can help? What do we even have to do with anything? And why did your dragon bring us here in the first place?” Flicks asked, glancing at the Seodín dragon. It had left her shoulder several minutes ago and was now hopping around on the floor. 

“Plenty of questions but not much time, I will answer them as well as I can,” Queen Alwyn replied. “You can help because you two are the Fræd Dragontwins.”

“The what?!” Flicks and Skilf shouted together, their voices rising in astonishment.

“The Fræd Dragontwins,” the Queen repeated. 

Flicks ran her fingers through her hair. “What is going on? I think I need to go to bed,” she muttered.

“I concur,” Skilf put in out of the corner of her mouth.

Flicks shook her head. “What in the world are Fræd Dragontwins? And how can Skilf and I be them anyway? We’re not actually related you know.”

“I do know,” Queen Alwyn replied. “But there is a certain time – every millennium I believe – when the worlds overlap and for one millionth of a second they are one world. And you two, had the luck of being born in that millionth of a second and precisely the same time. When that happens it is called Dragontwins.”

“Oh,” Flicks said. And there wasn’t really anything else she could say.

“Also, this specific day occurred on the anniversary of the forming of the Peace Treaty, and the appearance of the Fræd Dragons. Therefore you are Fræd Dragontwins.” Queen Alwyn concluded.

Silence. Complete and utter silence. There was no resoundingness to this silence, just an overwhelming sense of…silence.

But the silence was interrupted by a yell from close by and the thud of feet. Queen Alwyn looked anxiously at the main door. “We are wasting time, you must go.”

She hurried over to a side door, opening it and looking out. The room on the other side was empty of guards or otherwise, containing only a long bookshelf and one chair.

“You must follow that corridor to the end and then...well you know what to do as well as I do,” Queen Alwyn said, gesturing for Flicks and Skilf to enter.

“I’m afraid I actually have no idea whatsoever what you want us to do,” Flicks replied, passing through the small doorway. 

“You must go after the enemy and retrieve the Dragon egg from such evil hands. It is your destiny,” the Queen whispered.

“Our Destiny?” Skilf asked incredulously. “Are you serious?” And in the circumstances her next action was quite pardonable really. 


I have several amusing options this time (three in fact). Hope you don't have too much trouble choosing!

1. “Ok, who’s going mad?” she said. “Me, or you?”

2. She threw her weight against the door, slamming it shut with a ‘bang’ right in Queen Alwyn’Miriella’s face.

3. She burst out singing a completely nonsensical song.


I had fun writing this. And I didn't quite spend all Thursday doing it...Just most of it...
Thank you to everyone who commented last week, I hope I didn't make it too hard this time! 

And yes, I am completely aware that I never said who 'the enemy' is, you'll have to wait another whole week before I (hopefully) tell you.

Fare Thee Well!

~ Jane, Misty Maiden

Monday, 8 June 2015

Useless Inventions and Random Fangirling

“A monkey glances up and sees a banana, and that's as far as he looks. A visionary looks up and sees the moon.” Victor said.
Conor smirked, “Which resembles a giant banana” ~ Airman.

In my latest Dusty Red post (part 11), I mentioned that I'd recently finished reading Airman by Eoin Colfer. Here is the promised post, including one or two random bits and pieces. But first, the cover of the book and the synopsis...

"Conor Broekhart was born to fly. Or, more accurately, he was born flying. Little wonder he became what he became. In an age of discovery and invention, many dreamed of flying, but for Conor, flight was more than just a dream, it was his destiny. 

In one dark night on the island of Great Saltee, a cruel and cunning betrayal destroyed his life and stole his future. Now Conor must win the race for flight, to save his family and to right a terrible wrong..."

Doesn't it sound cool? And I reckon the cover's interesting too. You (yes that means you) should really read this book, it's great book. And now to tell you about the invention.

I decided that making a flying machine would be too difficult so I decided to try something else....a "Mysterious winged 'A'", as it is called in the book. See the big 'A' thingy in the picture? Not the one at the beginning of the word 'Airman' but the 'A' above the 'M'. That's what I made. Using tie wire, paper, scissors, glue, pliers and (of course) myself.

First I used the pliers and my fingers to bend the wire into an A shape (extremely difficult). I'd aimed to make the A slightly bigger than it is in real life on the cover of the book, but that kind of failed as I hadn't cut myself a big enough piece of wire so the 'wings' of the A were...not so good (or long) to put it lightly.

For my second attempt (I was very committed to this) I got a nice long bit of wire and also decided to make the A smaller. I'd made the top corner and one side, but when I went to do the other side I squeezed the wire a little too hard and it snapped. Typical.

Then I used what was previously going to be a 'wing' and tried again. Attempt number 3. This time I was very careful not to snap the wire. And after a lot of twisting, bending, muttering and hoping, I did it! And it actually didn't look too bad.

But that was only the first part.

I then printed out an A like in the picture above and used the scissors to cut it out. Then I used bucket loads of glue (perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, but I did use more than I needed too) and glued the paper to the wire. After that I accidentally shoved the 2nd attempt other bit of leftover wire up my thumbnail (not a smart move), and so I decided to go inside and wash all the blood off my finger.

So that's how I made the random-and-completely-useless-but-cool invention (sadly I have no photos, but you can trust me. It looks cool.). I'm not entirely sure what to do with it now...but it was fun making it. I think I'm currently getting just a little obsessed with Airman. Oh well, who cares?

I think I may have run out of things to say, but I'll conclude with several quotes and adding one last time, "You should seriously read this book!" And if you find the quotes slightly confusing go read the book and you will understand everything.

“Don’t feel bad; I regularly reduce people to unintelligible stammers.” ~ Victor Vingy

“Conor, I could search the world for another swashbuckling scientist, but I doubt if I would find one like you.” ~ Isabella

“Other men look up and down, left and right; but men like us are different. We are visionaries.” ~ Linus Wynter

~ Jane, Misty Maiden

Friday, 5 June 2015

Dusty Red ~ Part 11

Since I started doing this, I keep finding it amazing how short a time there is between Fridays. I'm sure some days are longer than others, especially if I'm waiting for something. Sometimes I'll think, "We met them three years ago?" and other times "I thought we'd known them forever!" It can be quite confusing to contemplate the passing of time so I think I'll leave it at that.

Now, a bit about my week. 
It was a nice week, doing schoolwork, reading books, writing stories, making random and completely useless usual week. But to go into more detail...On Monday I finally finished reading Airman by Eoin Colfer, I say finally because I was putting off reading the end because if I read would be finished...there'd be no more...and that'd be rather sad. As you may have guessed I really enjoyed can read my review on Goodreads. But you'll hear more about Airman and the inventing next Monday.

Just after I finished that wonderful book, Clare started reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I hadn't read that yet (although I really wanted to) because I am 'forbidden' to read them before Clare. So when she started reading that book I decided not to wait around for her to finish it and I started 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' because with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets she took ages to read it. And naturally when I start a nice long book, she goes and reads it in one day! (and half the night) Now I have to wait for Myself, how annoying. (Myself should just hurry up and finish Sherlock Holmes so I can read Harry Potter) If only I could read a different book than what Myself is reading...

And speaking of reading I must say I didn't do much of it yesterday (Thursday) as I spent mostly all day writing Dusty Red. I was having difficulty ending it and so this instalment is by far the longest yet. It's 1,908 words including the 3 options, quite a bit longer than my usual one thousand and maybe one hundred. I hope you enjoy it as I'm not planning on doing it again. I might do something nice and long for instalment 100...But that is only happening in 2017 (the fifth of May I think) so I don't think I have to worry about that yet.

And now, before you start reading I'll warn you. There is loads of random fantasy creatures in here. Heaps of them. No, they (Flicks and co.) didn't world travel, but through the passage is a world full of all the magic creatures that used to live in Rocos and the surrounding counties. Now the magic things only venture out occasionally and then generally only the dragons are brave enough to do so.

A tangle of huge tree roots filled the large cavern, forming an underground forest. Along the twisting wood, hundreds of candles flickered, lighting up the web of roots.

Flicks took a slow step inside, looking around the candlelit room, her companions following behind her. The green dragon twitched its tail and leapt off Flicks’ shoulder, flapping its bat like wings. It settled on a tree root several meters away, fixing its orange eyes on Flicks.

Skilf tilted her head to one side. “Do we follow it?” she asked no one in particular.

Flicks shrugged. “We can’t very well go back while the storm is…umm… storming. And we’ve come this far we may as well keep going.” She walked over to the dragon but it took off again, stopping beside a candle set in the twisted roots.


Flicks jumped in surprise and whirled around as the bang echoed through the cavern. The door was shut. Flicks tried to quiet her thumping heart, it was just the door, everything’s fine, just the door. Old Ron walked to the wood and iron door. “There don’t be no ‘andle as I can be seein’,” he said, turning back to the four watching him. “I guess we be goin’’ on.”

Kendal snorted softly, “There’s not much else we can do. I say we shouldn’t have followed the dragon in the first place, but it’s a bit late now.”

Flicks returned her gaze to the Seodín and moved towards it, stepping over a few entwining roots. Old Ron came after her, behind him, Nainsi and Kendal took their places silently. Skilf again took up the rear, only just managing not to measure her length on the ground as she tripped over a protruding root.

The Seodín led them through the tangle to a clear path which they were all thankful for, as face-planting on the rock and clay underfoot wasn’t the most pleasant prospect. On the track the going was much easier and the Seodín, satisfied they were heading in the right direction, settled itself on Flicks’ shoulder once more.

It was only a short time until Flicks emerged from the forest of tree roots and into what seemed like a completely different world.

There was light everywhere, not just from the candles, it appeared to come from no particular place, simply lighting up all around the five travellers. And now they stood among trees, tall trees with vines and creepers spiralling up the trunks. And from the trees came a constant whispering like that of leaves rustling together in a breeze, only the air was perfectly still. Flicks and her companions regarded the strange place they’d entered, wondering vaguely if they’d just world travelled again.

Skilf took a few steps forward, advancing along the trail, her eyes on the trees and plants around her. “This is an odd place,” she murmured, kicking idly at a twig lying on that path.

Instantly the twig leapt up and shrieked, jumping up and down in what looked like a furious anger. Skilf yelped in shock and jumped backwards, landing hard on Flicks’ foot.

“Ow!” Flicks grabbed her foot, hopping on the other, nearly knocking the Seodín from her shoulder. But she stopped quite suddenly when the whisper from the trees became a screech and the leaves and twigs detached themselves from the branches and came hurtling down towards the two foreigners in the center of the path.

Skilf and Flicks had no time to move before the strange creatures reached them. It was like being caught in a whirlwind in autumn, leaves and twigs flew everywhere. Flicks batted them away, but they just kept coming. The dragon on her shoulder wasn’t fairing much better, and it flapped its wings in an attempt to knock the attackers aside. It’s uncertain what would have become of them had it not been for the intervention of the Woodsman.

The first Flicks and Skilf knew of him was a loud voice calling through the clouds of leaves and sticks. “Leafits and Twigins! What do you think you’re doing?”

At that the whirlwind abruptly subsided and Flicks blinked in surprise to find a tall manlike creature standing nearby. He was just as strange a thing as the Leafits and Twigins now standing silently on the ground around Flicks’ feet. He didn’t look like a tree, but more as if he was made up from bunches of sticks and small branches all joined together somehow. His sky blue eyes rested on the crowd scattered around on the dirt path.

“You know you must never do that kind of thing. It is a disgrace to our realm to have visitors welcomed in such a manner. I am ashamed of you all.” the Woodsman admonished.
The small critters hung their leaf and twig like heads in shame, shuffling their tiny feet like disobedient children. One Twigin spoke up in a squeaky voice, “We are disgraced, Master Woodsman.” All the heads nodded in agreement.

Woodsman turned to the Leafits, “And you?”

“As are we, Master Woodsman,” one Leafit replied.

“Very well, return to your trees now,” Woodsman instructed.

The green Leafits and brown Twigins departed quickly and the Woodsman looked at Flicks and Skilf, who stood on the path not a little bemused by the goings on.

“Never mind them,” the Woodsman said. “They do that often.” He clapped his wooden hands together, “But you must be the visitors the Queen is expecting. I shall take you to her immediately.”

“The queen expects us?” Nainsi said. She, Kendal and Ron had been far enough back that they hadn’t been affected by the leaf and twig fight going on in front of them.

Flicks pulled one last stubborn Leafit from her red hair, it shook a tiny fist at her and struggled in her grasp. Flicks released it and the leaf like figure wiggled its pointy ears at her and shot up towards a tree, the Seodín looked as if he considered flying after it but must have decided against it, preferring to stay perched on Flicks’ shoulder.

“Where are we anyway?” Flicks asked the Woodsman curiously. “Are we still in Rocos or…somewhere completely different?”

The Woodsman tilted his head thoughtfully. “We are…under Rocos…we call this place Esueño. I think I shall let the queen explain further.” He turned and began tramping along the path, looking back once or twice to make certain they were following him.

“Does this kind of thing usually happen around here?” Flicks asked Skilf, who was busy avoiding all the fallen sticks and leaves that lay on the path.

“Not as far as I know,” she replied. “This is the weirdest day of my life. I think through the passage it’s, not a different world entirely, but more a different realm. A realm of magic perhaps. Maybe this is where all the magic things live, and they come out every now and then,” she paused. “Although I’ve never seen a Twigin or a Leafit before, just dragons really and the occasional Imp-goblin. Never seen a thing like Woodsman either.”

At this Woodsman turned again, as if hearing his name. He beckoned them to follow and continued on his way. Fairly soon the surrounding forest became more sophisticated looking, with tall lantern like flowers on either side of the widening road and more people hurrying along past.

Flicks noticed that not all of these people were strange creatures, in fact many of them looked like perfectly normal people but for the fact the every one of them had a dragon balanced on his or her shoulder. The other occupants of the road were stranger, Skilf pointed out several Imp-goblins -- short men with leathery skin, pointy ears and a mischievous grin -- and there were other things she couldn’t identify. Flicks almost laughed when she saw a rather funny looking mushroom man strolling along the street, but she sensed it would be a mistake and so smothered her mirth.

It seemed all too soon for Flicks that they were brought to a halt by two guards, both with a dragon companion, standing in front of two large doors of glittering white, with opal coloured swirling engravings around the edge.

“I have the visitors the Queen was expecting,” Woodsman said. He turned and spoke to Flicks, “You will be escorted to see the queen presently. As for me, I must leave you now and return to my duty.” With that he stomped off back the way they’d come.

One of the guards, a brown haired young man with an orange dragon, stepped forward and addressed Flicks, assuming that since Woodsman had spoken to her she must be the leader, “I am Lieutenant Hákon Dragontíre, guard of the Queen of Esueño. I shall escort you to a place where you may await the queen’s bidding.”

Flicks nodded a little uncertainly, “If you say so.”

He turned on his heel and pushed lightly on the doors which swung open silently. Flicks and the others entered the room, staring around them in wonder. The door swung shut silently behind them. The walls of the castle were as white as the main door, and the opal blue was also present in the beautiful swirling designs that wound along the walls, floor and ceiling.

The guard led them to a smaller antechamber. Motioning for them to be seated on the chairs, he walked through a door on the far side, leaving them in silence. Flicks looked at her hands, feeling uncomfortably dirty in such a clean and spotless palace. She began to have doubts, she’d never seen a castle before, let alone spoken to a queen. What if she said something wrong?

The young guard re-entered the room. “The queen is ready to see you. But only the two red-haired ones are permitted, I am to show the rest of you to rooms where you can repose, eat and wait.”
Nainsi, Ron and Kendal all protested at this but the guard was firm. “It is the queen’s order,” He replied to their complaints. Eventually they subsided and the guard led Flicks and Skilf through the door and into the great hall.

The room was styled the same as the entry hall, but for the blue design on the ceiling high above them. It wasn’t a random pattern of swirls but a picture. Flicks could make out a dragon and some kind of bird, perhaps a phoenix. But she brought her mind back to the situation at hand and turned her eyes toward the end of the room, to where the throne was situated. Then something rather strange happened...


Now, your options. And trust me, no matter what some have said, you do make the decision, not me. I simply write the story. (This I say with a look of utmost innocence on my face.)

1. Flicks noticed a small table by the throne, and her attention was caught by a glowing stone resting in a shallow woven basket.

2. Just then there came a flurry of movement and a guard rushed in through a side door and ran to the queen’s side. His voice was urgent as he addressed the queen, “Apologies, my lady. But there is an enemy in the castle. ”

3. Flicks looked at the throne. It was empty. She frowned, but then shrugged, the queen will walk in presently, she told herself. But then the guard stepped forward, staring around the empty room, he turned to Flicks and Skilf, “My apologies ladies. The queen was in here just seconds ago. I’m sure she will be back soon. If you will just excuse me I shall find out the reason for her sudden departure.”


I must say, I quite enjoyed creating thing like the Woodsman, Twigins, Leafits and all the other things. It was rather fun. I hope you had just as much fun reading about them. I await your comments eagerly.

Fare Thee Well.

~ Jane, Misty Maiden