Friday, 28 August 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-three

I almost forgot it was Thursday this week...almost. But luckily I did remember, so that's all good. :D
At the beginning of writing this, I was just typing the completely random things that came into my head and hoping that they made some sense. But after a while I began to see snatches of clarity through the fog in my mind and it got slowly easier. By the end I was going on fine. Actually, I had trouble stopping! 

Option three won the vote by one, so it was a close thing. I'm hoping I didn't put too much of 'glowing blue stones' in it as that one wasn't voted in. I didn't even plan to put it just...happened...
I nearly deleted it but then I was just like, "Nah, I'll keep it. It doesn't really matter anyway. It's better than nothing." So I kept it.

And here is the result of my thinkings and writings/typings: Dusty Red Instalment Twenty-three. I hope you enjoy!

A pedestal about a meter in height stood in the middle of a circle of stones. Resting on top of this stand was a large crystal rock, glowing with an unearthly silver light.

Flicks’ heartbeat quickened. “Is it magic,” she breathed, her voice barely audible.

Skilf shook her head, enraptured by the sight of the stone. “I dunno,” she replied before falling silent once more.

Larzik was trembling all over and seemed to be trying to say something but he only managed a squeal and then dived to the ground, hiding his face in his hands.

Flicks blinked and pulled her eyes from the stone. “What’s wrong,” she asked, kneeling down beside the quivering Imp-Goblin.

“It mustn’t be, it can’t be, it shouldn’t be, it couldn’t be, IT CAN’T BE!” Larzik shouted at the ground.

“What can’t be?” Nainsi asked.

“The Stone,” he moaned softly. “I have looked upon The Stone and now I must die.”

“Why should you die?” Flicks urged him. “What do you know of this stone?”

“It is The Stone,” he groaned pitifully. “And I looked at it, therefore I will die.”

What stone?” Nainsi, Flicks, Fred and Skilf asked together.

“That stone,” Larzik raised a trembling finger and pointed at the glowing rock on the pedestal.

“But what is that stone?” Skilf asked, staring closer at it.

Larzik squealed again. “Don’t touch it Miss Skilf! Or surely you’ll die instantly!” After a pause in which Skilf took a hasty step backwards, he continued, “It is The Stone. The Touch Stone. The most powerful thing in the world.”

“That sounds dangerous,” Flicks murmured. She straightened and looked back at the Touch Stone.

“I think there’s at least some truth in what he’s saying,” Fred said slowly, flying up to her perch on Flicks’ shoulder.

Larzik lifted his head. “O’ course there’s truth in it!” he said shrilly. “It’s all truth.”

Nainsi endeavoured to frown and raise an eyebrow at the same time. This amounted in an expression of mystified confusion.

Flicks looked up from the stone and turned around. “Larzik,” she said. “You just replied to something Fred said.”

Larzik sat up. “I did?” he asked in wonderment.

“You did,” Fred said, yawning widely.

Now Larzik leapt to his feet. “I ‘eard her! I really did!”

“Would anyone care to explain?” Nainsi asked.

“I can ‘ear Fred talking!” Larzik exclaimed. “I couldn’t afore, but now I can!”

“I told you you’d be able to do it if you actually tried,” Fred pointed out almost smugly.

“What are the smaller rocks around the table thingy?” Flicks asked, leaning over to study them more closely.

Skilf joined her and her eyes widened. “They’re – no I don’t believe it! – they’re the Magic Rune Stones!”

“The ones you buried?” Flicks asked.

“Aye, just those ones,” she stopped and tilted her head to one side. “But I wonder why they aren’t glowing.”

Nainsi drew nearer. “These are the Rune Stones?” she asked.

“Yup,” Skilf agreed, picking up one of the smooth white rocks.

Larzik moaned and buried his face in the ground once more.

Flicks too, picked up a rock and turned it over in her hand. A strange rune had been carved on the surface of each rock, thus gaining them the name Magic Rune Stones. “Is one missing?” she asked Skilf. “Maybe that’s why they’re not glowing.”

Nainsi picked up a rock, tossing it in the air and catching it again.

Flicks glanced over to her then jumped backwards, almost falling over. Nainsi’s leather pack – which she’d somehow managed to retain – was glowing blue. Ever so slightly, but it was glowing.

So was the stone in Flicks’ hand.

Nainsi dropped her stone and stood abruptly. Skilf too had noticed the faint light. She stared at Nainsi. “Is there one in your pack?” she asked levelly.

Nainsi spread her hands. “I certainly didn’t put any in there,” she replied. 

“Then why was it glowing?” 

Nainsi shrugged. “I’ve no idea,” then, seeing that Skilf looked less than convinced she continued. “You can look through my pack if you like. I don’t care. I didn’t put any rocks in there.”

Nainsi placed the pack on the ground and opened it invitingly. Skilf still looked uncertain, after all, Nainsi had been her friend ever since she could remember and she didn’t want to change that now.

A cream-coloured bundle of fluff stirred sleepily and jumped from the backpack. Skilf jerked back in surprise and Nainsi grinned. “Don’t worry, that’s just Ciara, my Phenik fox.”

Skilf raised her eyebrows. “I didn’t know you had a fox,” she remarked.

Ciara tumbled around the ground, chasing her tail, completely oblivious to her audience. Then she stood up and trotted over to Nainsi.

In doing so she passed quite close to the Rune Stones and Flicks yelped in surprise. “It’s her!” she cried. 

Skilf stared blankly at the young fox, and then picked up a Stone. She picked it up then extricated Ciara from Nainsi’s arms and put the fox down right next to the stones.

Again, they began to glow with a brilliant blue light. Ciara, too, began to glow. Nainsi started to laugh. Flicks joined in.

“Oh,” Nainsi said between giggles. “That is the funniest thing I’ve seen for ages. I think—” she couldn’t go on again for some time because of laughter. “—I think she swallowed one!” At this Nainsi collapsed on the ground in howls of laughter.

Flicks pressed her hand to her mouth and mastered herself so she could speak. “Oh, Skilf, let Ciara move away from the rocks. Please,” she managed before her control broke and she returned to her laughter.

Ciara, on being released, bounced away from the rocks and both stopped glowing. Nainsi struggled to her feet, wiping tears from her eyes. Ciara wiggled her overlong ears and ran to her mistress, yipping with pleasure. 

“What do you think the Touch Stone’s doing here?” Flicks said, hiccupping from her mirth.

“I don’t know,” Larzik said. He seemed to have regained his spirit again and was now feeling brave enough to look at The Stone again. “It is said in EsueƱo that it is kept in a safe place, guarded by,” he hesitated then continued. “No one knows what.”

Flicks looked around, suddenly nervous. The trees on this side of the wall were just as thick as on the other, and a wind stirred the upmost branches. The shadows beneath the trees moved with the branches, as if they themselves were being blown by the wind.

Wait! Was that just her imagination or was that shadow darker than all the rest? Flicks blinked and narrowed her eyes, but the shadow was gone.

“How d’you know it’s even guarded at all?” Skilf asked after a surreptitious glance around.

Nainsi looked sidelong at her. “If you had possession of the most powerful and dangerous rock in the world would you leave it unguarded?”

Skilf opened her mouth to reply but then realised that there was nothing she could say back to that and decided it might be better if she kept it shut.

“I have a strange feeling,” Flicks said, interrupting the conversation uncertainly.

“What do you mean?” Skilf asked, glad of any distraction.

“I feel like...Like we’re being watched,” Flicks furrowed her brows.

They all glanced around but saw nothing. “I can’t see anyone,” Skilf replied.

“But that doesn’t mean there’s not someone there,” Nainsi added. 

“You’re probably just imagining it because of what Larzik said,” Skilf said, concealing her own nerves beneath confidence. 

Flicks wasn’t listening though. Her eyes were scanning the tree line. “There!” she cried. “Someone’s right there!” Or should that be something? she wondered.


1. “What are you doing here, of all places?” the dark shadow asked tiredly, his voice reaching them easily across the distance.

2. Sensing her Mistress’s fear, Ciara stiffened in her arms, the hair on her back rising. She growled, baring her teeth in the direction of the shadow. 

3. A throaty growl rumbled out from the forest and the blood drained from Flicks’ face. She realised that whoever had left the Touch Stone here certainly hadn’t left it without a guard.


Now, along with voting this week (This question is completely out of curiosity) it'd be really cool if you could tell me who you think Trancos is. (I've been meaning to ask this for a while.) Just any random ideas of who he might possibly be....I think I'll be quite interesting to find out what you think of him.
But for now...

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-two

Instalment Twenty-two had come around. When I started this I had no idea whatsoever how long this was going to be, but I actually do have an idea for an ending (A really cool idea what's more). So I'm afraid to say that this story will end, perhaps not for another few months - it depends how long it takes for certain things to happen- but don't be worried...when it ends I'll probably just take a few weeks off until I can think of another story to start. :D That's the crazy writer me for you.

It was my sister Alice's birthday a few days ago and she got her 'L' license whatsitcalled on Monday. I think she's got about an hour in her log book so far. There's one problem with her getting her L's: it means there's only two years...until...have to...terrifying thought ain't it?

Perhaps we should move to more cheerful subjects than me having to grow up and be responsible and all that balderdash. I think a story should do to lighten the mood. Option three was voted in, and, sad to say, I had some slight difficulties while writing it as that was the only option that I had absolutely no idea  what was going to happen next on. But it's interesting to see how the story creeps out from the dark recesses of my imagination. So it only took from about ten 'til twelve on Thursday morning.

Larzik stood in the middle of the clearing, furiously thumping a fallen log. “Hiiiiiyah!” he yelled again, hitting the log even harder.

“What, may I ask, are you doing?” Flicks asked, raising her voice to be heard above Larzik’s yells.

The Imp-goblin stopped abruptly and turned around. “Oh, you’re back,” he said in a flustered voice.

“Yeah, we’re back,” Flicks agreed, walking into the clearing. “But what were you doing?”

“I weren’t doing nothing,” Larzik proclaimed.

Nainsi and Skilf cleared their throats simultaneously. “That’s debatable,” Skilf put in.

Nainsi looked around the clearing. “Nice place, this,” she remarked, changing the subject.

Flicks too glanced around. It was a fairly ordinary clearing, as far as clearings go and she shrugged carelessly. “Yeah, I guess.” She leant against a tree, propping one foot up on the trunk behind her.

A stick dropped onto her hair and Flicks reached up to brush it off. A sharp pinch on her finger caused her to draw her hand back sharply. “Ow!” she exclaimed, staring at her hand.

The twig fell off her head and onto her hand. Flicks almost shook it off before she stopped herself and looked more closely at the stick. It stood as straight as any normal stick but, on close inspection, tiny limbs were visible, as well as a small face.

“Hey, Larzik,” Flicks said. “Is this a Twigin?”

Skilf and Nainsi walked over interestedly and Larzik peered at the stick. He nodded almost immediately. “Most certainly, miss Flicks, it is a Twigin.”

“But what would a Twigin want here?” Flicks asked pensively.

“You could ask it,” Nainsi suggested.

Flicks lifted her hand to eyelevel and looked at the Twigin. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

The Twigin suddenly knelt down on the palm of her hand and began to speak in shrill unintelligible squeaks.

“I can’t understand what you’re saying,” Flicks pointed out. “Can’t you write it or something?”

The Twigin shook its head solemnly, rising to a standing position. It squeaked again.

Flicks looked helplessly at her companions. “Can anyone else understand him?” she asked hopefully.

Nainsi and Skilf shook their heads. Larzik shrugged. “I never bothered to try and learn,” he remarked. “They don’t often say anything important.”

The Twigin leapt off Flicks hand in a fury. Landing on Larzik it began pounding him with its small arms. Flicks suppressed laughter. “Oy, you, Twigin,” she said. “Come back here, please.”

The Twigin halted obligingly and flew back onto Flicks’ hand.

“What if it tried to act out the message? Like a game of charades,” Skilf put forward.

The Twigin bowed once and began to caper about on Flicks hand. It’s tiny hands rose up to its head and it put on a regal air.

“Something about the queen,” Flicks guessed.

A wooden smile broke across the Twigin’s face and it nodded fiercely. Next it tapped the side of its head with one hand and rubbed its chin with the other.

“Wise?...thinking?....Remembering?” Nainsi questioned.

Again the Twigin nodded. And then put its hands out like it was reading something.

“A book?” Skilf asked.

The Twigin shook his head.

“Reading?” she suggested next.

Another head shake.

Flicks closed her eyes and thought a moment then said, “The Queen wants us to remember something we read?”

The Twigin jumped up and clapped his hands, nodding once more.

“But what did we read that she wants us to remember?” Skilf mused.

The Twigin bent over and began hobbling along Flicks’ hand.

“What’s happened to it?” Skilf asked, alarmed.

The Twigin jumped up and shook a fist at her, making a noise like the shrieking of branches rubbing together in the wind.

“Okay, okay,” Skilf said, taking a step backwards. “Sorry, I didn’t realise you were acting.”

The Twigin snorted. It was the most intelligible noise it had made so far and Flicks couldn’t help grinning. The Twigin went back to shuffling along her hand.

Flicks frowned. “Old?” she asked. “Something old?”

The Twigin nodded again.

Larzik jumped up. “The prophecy! Did you read the prophecy?”

Flicks nodded. “Yeah, we did.” Turning to the Twigin she continued, “So the queen wants us to remember the prophecy?”

The Twigin nodded so hard that Flicks was worried his head might fall of.

“Okay then,” Flicks said. “D’you remember how it went Skilf?”

“Erm, not completely. Something about ‘Aldutch’ or something, and he had magic. But we know who that is—”

“We do?” Nainsi interjected.

“Yeah, it’s Kendal,” Flicks explained.

“Then there was something about ‘The Willow Wall is the  hope – then something about us, Flicks – Then something about some guy called Sniperscope,” Skilf said.

“What do you mean, ‘about us’?” Nainsi queried. “You’re in a prophecy?”

“Aye,” Skilf agreed. “Apparently we’re ‘Dragontwins’ or something like that.”

“Right,” Nainsi said slowly.

“There was something about the Rune Stones,” Flicks recalled. “Said they’d show the way, I think.”

The Twigin tapped his foot, and waved a hand to attract their attention. When Flicks noticed he bowed and waved a hand.

“You’re going?” Flicks asked.

The Twigin nodded and then bowed again and shot off up into the trees.

“Well, that was an interesting interruption,” Nainsi commented. “What were we doing before?”

“I believe our Imp-goblin was going to answer a question. What were you doing Larzik?” Skilf asked.

Larzik’s copper skin turned a glowing red. “I was thumping the log ‘cause...’cause I fell off it when I tried to sit down.”

Nainsi nodded solemnly. “In that case, I quite agree that the log deserved thumping,” she said, without a hint of laughter.

Flicks felt a tug on her hair and realised the Twigin had returned.

“I think he’s got something else to say,” Fred remarked.

The Twigin pointed urgently in the direction of the castle and then in the opposite direction. Pointing back to the castle he straightened his limbs and saluted then mimed marching stiffly.

“Soldiers?” Flicks guessed, hoping she was wrong.

The Twigin nodded and pointed back away from the castle and mimed running.

“We should run?”

A nod confirmed Flicks’ guess and she bit her lip. “Thanks,” she said to the Twigin who bowed and flew away again.

“Skilf! Nainsi!” Flicks called to attract their attention.

They turned. “Something wrong?” Nainsi asked.

“Rather,” Flicks said emphatically. “There are soldiers coming our way.”

Just then an arrow thudded into the tree just beside Nainsi. The four companions dropped to the ground, diving into the bracken around the clearing.

Fred jumped off Flicks’ shoulder and scampered along the forest floor, leading the way.
A crashing of bodies through trees behind them warn of the pursuit. “We need to go that way,” Flicks hissed to the others, pointing in the direction that the Twigin had gestured to.

The others didn’t protest as another volley of arrows buried themselves into the trees around them.
Flicks decided to risk standing and ran through the undergrowth, hearing the others following her example.

Her breath was laboured and gasping when a tall wooden wall loomed up in front of her. Flicks nearly ran right into in and only just managed to stop herself in time.

A moment later Nainsi appeared closely followed by Skilf and Larzik. Fred flapped up to the top of the wall. “Quick,” Flicks said, kneeling. “Climb up over the wall.”

Skilf stepped forward. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure,” Flicks replied.

Skilf stood first on her knee then her shoulder and vaulted over the wall the rest of the way. “Hey!” she called from the other side. “The ground’s heaps higher over here.” Her head appeared over the top of the wood barrier.

Nainsi climbed over next and then Larzik. Flicks bit her lip and the Imp-goblin struggled to surmount the wall from her shoulders. “Here,” she offered. “I’ll stand up then it’ll be easier.”

The sounds of pursuit were getting closer rapidly and it took all Flicks nerve to stand still while Larzik scrambled over the wall.

“How are you planning on getting over?” Nainsi asked, her face just visible over the wall.

Flicks took a deep breath and walked backwards. “I suggest you step backwards,” she called. Then she ran at the wall.

Setting her feet against the vertical wooden logs she ran up the wall, grabbing the top and tumbling over it.

An arrow whizzed over her head and thudded into thin air, quivering as if it had just struck a physical barrier.

“Wha—” Flicks began, picking herself up from the ground where she’d landed.

Skilf tapped her arm, interrupting her incredulous question. “Flicks, what does this look like to you?” She lifted a finger and pointed forwards.

Flicks’ incredulity at the arrow faded and lay forgotten at the queer sight that now met her eyes.


1. A ghostly blue glow emanated from a pile of rocks just meters away from where they stood.

2. No trees had grown on this side of the wooden wall so Flicks had a clear view of the astonishing building in front of her.

3. A pedestal about a meter in height stood in the middle of a circle of stones. Resting on top of this stand was a large crystal rock, glowing with an unearthly silver light.


I hope you enjoyed reading! Don't forget to comment...You can be powerful beyond your imagining. (For example, Lydia Scott said she liked Twigins and Leafits and look what happened in this instalment! Suggestions and ideas are very welcome.)

Fare Thee Well!

P. S. Apologies for the mistakes. I really should reread these before I publish them... 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-one

I actually remembered to write this Thursday! We're on holidays again this week so I'm not sure if that helped or hindered, but either way I remembered. I don't think anyone would argue that option one has been voted in....

(I hope that's not too hard to read.)

So, yeah, option one it is! I liked that one, and I had a vague idea of what might happen after it so I'm all for it too. 
I just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this, and I'm glad I started doing it. It really encouraging to know that all you guys are liking it too. So thanks everyone, you're all really amazing.

With a quiet groan Flicks half fell into Lord Cameron’s private meeting room. She looked up.

Nainsi raised her eyebrows, “What a graceful entrance, Flicks, what a graceful entrance.”

Flicks scrambled up. “Not my fault,” she retorted in a whisper, then turning to the window she stuck her head out. “Like a hand?” she shot the question to Skilf.

Skilf shook her head. “I’m fine.”

Soon Skilf too was in the room and Nainsi greeted her with a smile. “Nice of you to drop in and visit,” she said.

“We’re going to rescue you,” Skilf replied, peering closely at the chains securing Nainsi to the chair.

“I’d kinda guessed that,” was Nainsi’s reply. She nodded her head towards the table, “Obviously you haven’t noticed the keys randomly lying around just over there?”

“Was that a question or a statement?” Fred asked, flying through the window. 

Nainsi, naturally, didn’t answer.

Flicks grabbed the keys off the table and began flicking through them, looking for the correct one. “Here,” Skilf offered. “You go watch at the door and I’ll find the right key.”

“Okay,” Flicks said, passing the keys. She tiptoed over to the ajar door and opened it enough to look out. Lord Cameron and Kendal’s backs were visible right at the very end of the hall. From where she stood Flicks could just see Trancos’ standing before the two men. Obviously he hadn't managed to get them any further away than that.

Flicks tilted her head to one side, who was this Trancos? And why did he want them to forget him? Flicks knotted her brows, but since no answer was forth coming she turned her attention back to making sure Kendal and his companion weren’t planning on returning to their prisoner any time soon.

The clink of chains came from behind her and Flicks winced, ready to see Kendal turning around to discover where the noise came from. But before he did a touch came on her shoulder and Flicks turned.

“Coming?” Nainsi asked.

“Rather. Where are we going?”

Nainsi turned to Skilf. “Where are we going?”

Skilf frowned. “Umm...I don’t know...I guess we could climb down the wall and—”

“Oh no,” Nainsi interrupted. “I don’t climb walls.”

Skilf fell silent. “Well, that makes for an interesting problem,” Flicks said. “What other way is there to get out apart from the front door?”

“There’s the servant’s doors,” Skilf suggested. “But to get to them we’d have to walk out of this room. And if Kendal or my Uncle happened to turn around...” she spread her hands in a, ‘you know what’ kind of gesture.

Flicks chewed her lip thoughtfully then she looked up. “I’m all for it,” she burst out.

“What?” Nainsi and Skilf asked together.

“I’m all for trying to get out by the servant’s doors,” Flicks explained.

Nainsi looked at Skilf. “Well, if we go quietly I guess they won’t have any reason to turn around,” she paused. “By the way, who are they talking to anyway?”

Flicks glanced at Skilf before replying. “Just someone who offered to help us.”

Nainsi narrowed her eyes but chose not to pursue the subject. “let’s do it then,” she said. “You can go first Skilf as you know the way.”

Skilf couldn’t think of any more excuses so she shrugged and opened the door.

Lord Cameron’s mouth dropped open in shock and he jerked back as though bitten. Skilf did rather the same.

“What are—” the burly lord began, stepping forward. He never got a chance to finish as Flicks kicked her foot into the door and it knocked him backwards.

The door closed with a slam.

“Hey, Skilf,” Nainsi said. “Is that a trapdoor?”

Skilf turned around. Nainsi was pointing at the ceiling. Skilf followed her gaze and raised her eyebrows. “Dunno,” her tone was surprised. “Could be.”

Flicks stepped up onto the table and tried to reach the roof, scowling at the offending ceiling when she found it too high.

“Would this help?” Nainsi asked, holding up a chair.

“Thanks,” Flicks muttered, setting the chair on the table and standing on top of that.
She nearly fell off when a furious banging erupted from the door. Skilf glanced up at her. “Can you go any faster, Flicks?” she queried. “I rather think it may be a good idea.”

“I’m trying,” Flicks grunted back. From on the chair she could reach the roof and was now pushing up on the square of roof that Nainsi had pointed to. With one last shove it burst open and Flicks really did fall. The chair did a neat flip and sent her flying.

Luckily for Flicks, she landed on a low reclining lounge, so her fall was somewhat softened. Nainsi leaned over her. “Still alive?” she asked.

Flicks groaned.

“Yep,” Nainsi confirmed. “Still alive.”

“So you can fly,” Fred said with a dragon’s equivalent of an amused grin. “I think you need practice in landing gracefully.”

She picked up the wayward chair and set it back on the table. She lifted the skirts of her grey-blue dress and ascended gracefully to the position recently vacated by Flicks. “Mind if I go first?” she questioned Skilf.

Skilf nodded. “Yeah,” she frowned. “I mean, no...I think...okay, I mean, no I don’t mind, and yes you can go first.”

“Thank you for clarifying,” Nainsi replied, then disappeared through the gap in the ceiling. 

“I’ll go next,” Fred snorted before zooming up behind Nainsi.

Flicks attempted to rise from the lounge but instead managed to roll off and fall on the floor.

“Good thing it’s a low chair,” Skilf commented. “I’ll go next, you can come last. If you don’t mind, that is.”

“Same as you said before,” Flicks grated, stumbling to a standing position. 

Skilf nodded and wrinkled her nose at an extra loud bash from the door. “I’d best be going so you’ve got some time to get up,” she remarked. Reaching up, she grabbed onto the sides of the cavity and half jumped, half pulled herself up. Her kicking feet looked somewhat amusing from below and Flicks smiled wryly.

“You coming up?” Skilf called from the darkness above.

“Yeah, sure,” Flicks replied, and, after a look of distrust directed at the chair, she climbed up onto it once more.

A shattering crash sounded from the door and it shuddered. There wasn’t much time left. Flicks reached up and grabbed hold of the rafters through the gap and pushed up off the chair. The door gave a last crash and promptly collapsed into smithereens. Kendal and Lord Cameron burst into the room just in time to see Flicks’ legs vanishing through the roof.

Flicks slammed the trapdoor back into position and stood on it. A shout from below and the ensuing thumping on the square of wood showed that she’d been just in time.

“What now?” Skilf asked no one in particular.

“I dunno,” Flicks replied. “But if I get off here we’re liable to be chased.”

“We already are,” Nainsi pointed out.

Flicks pursed her lips. “True,” she conceded.

“But you can’t stay standing there forever,” Skilf said.

“Also true,” Flicks agreed. She looked around, “What is this place anyway?” By the looks of it, they stood in a long corridor, it was entirely empty, but for the three girls. The strangest thing was that it was perfectly clean.

Nainsi scratched her head. “Somewhere quite interesting really. I wonder if it has any stairs going down,” she mused.

Flicks let out a yelp of terror as a gleaming blade sliced through the wood of the trapdoor directly beside her right foot, missing it by a hairsbreadth. “I agree,” Flicks said. “I’m not staying here forever. I’m going right now.” She leapt backwards off the square as a second blade nearly impaled her other foot.

“Shall we look for those stairs, Nainsi?” Flicks asked.

Nainsi tossed her blonde hair and set off at a run along the corridor, Flicks and Skilf just behind.

Nainsi skidded to a halt in front of a door. Jerking it open, she grinned. “Looks like we’re in luck,” she said, and began down the stairs, skipping three at a time.

They met no one on the way down the stairs and they burst through a door and out into the misty chill of the courtyard.

Fred settled herself on Flicks’ shoulder. “And now we walk straight out the gates.”

“Yeah, something like that,” Skilf agreed. “If I tell the guards to let me through they might actually let us.” She turned to Flicks and Nainsi, “You’d best not let your face be seen.”

“Could be a good idea,” Flicks grinned.

Skilf approached the guards by the gate with long and confident strides. Flicks approached slightly behind and kept her head lowered so no one would notice the similarities between her and Skilf.

“Open the gates!” Skilf called to the guards as she approached, she tone rung with command.
The guards saluted stiffly and unbarred the small door in the huge gates, standing by to allow the three to pass.

On the other side of the door, when it had been closed firmly behind them, Flicks raised her eyebrows at Skilf. “That went well,” she commented.

“You sound very surprised,” Skilf said, affecting hurt. “Did you doubt me?”

“Pray do remember, we aren’t safe yet,” Nainsi interjected.

“Oh, yes,” Flicks said, becoming serious again. “We’re we going?”

“Back to Larzik. I left him in the forest, you see,” Skilf explained.

With Skilf leading the way, they navigated the woods at a reasonable pace. It was not long before Skilf pointed ahead to a clearing just visible between the trees. “That’s where I left Larzik,” she said. “He was going to set up a camp.”

They hurried forward, the word ‘camp’ pulling them on. Flicks, who was now in the lead, was brought up short on the edge of the glade with a loud, hostile and unexpected sound:



1. The shrill shriek echoed around the clearing and jangled in the listener’s ears.

2. Flicks looked around for the source of the startling noise, but it seemed to come from everywhere at once.

3. Larzik stood in the middle of the clearing, furiously thumping a fallen log.


This instalment is quite a bit longer than usual. 1,707 words to be exact. Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read all the way to the bottom on this post. I'm very curious to see which option gets voted in this time, so comment away! But for now...

Fare Thee Well!

Monday, 10 August 2015

The 'Solve This Riddle' Tag

Here we are, another blog post about a tag/award thingy. Admittedly it has been a while since I did one so I don't mind so much. Also, this is a riddle tag so that makes it even better because I like riddles. ("Praps we sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my preciouss. It like riddles, praps it does, does it?")

1.Copy and paste the image onto your post (as I couldn't be bothered to attempt to change it at all I just have the picture from Clare's post.)

2. Copy and paste these rules onto your post

3. Thank the person who tagged you.

4. Answer the 5 riddles that are provided by the lovely person who tagged you.

5. Tag 5 or more bloggers (apparently tag backs are allowed).

6. Provide 5 different riddles in your post for the people you tagged.

7. Comment the link to your post on each blogger's blog or let them know in some way or another.

8. After a week from when posting this tag, comment the answers to your riddles on your own post. (That was only slightly confusing...)

So, here goes. Thank you Clare for tagging me, I hope I'll answer your riddles to your satisfaction. :D
Now for the Five Riddles that Clare gave me:

Riddle one: I am with you at the beginning of all weekends
But am always gone on Monday
In all words, I always am
But never in only one of them.
And definitely not found in our world

I'm fairly sure I know this one. It took a bit of thought (which is, I guess, the point).

Riddle two: Two spies want to get in an enemy's military base.In order to get in they have to give the correct countersign to the guard at the gate after he gives them the sign. So they wait hidden nearby the gate so that they will overhear the countersign from another soldier. 

One soldier comes and the guard gives the sign: "6".The soldier answers "3".The guard lets him pass. Another soldier comes.The guard says "12" and the soldier gives the answer "6".The guard lets him pass. So, the first spy goes at the gate and the guard asks says "10".The spy, sure that he knew the answer as he was, says "5". Immediately, the guard shoots him dead. 

Then the other spy, who saw that the other spy was killed when he gave the countersign, had now understood what the right answer would be, whatever the guard's sign was.So, he walks to the gate and the guard says "8".The spy gives the correct answer and the guard lets him in. What was the answer that the spy gave?

(This one is logic, not mathematical, so don't waste your time forming horrid math equations)

I must admit that I did waste time forming horrid mathematical theories and the like. It kind of worked but I think it was just a really confusing way of saying 'half of this is this' so yeah...But I did work out the answer almost as soon as I started thinking logically. 

Riddle three: From house to house it goes,
A messenger small and slight
And whether it rains or snows
He sleeps outside at night

I think I know the answer to this one. I'm not entirely sure though...

Riddle four: Never was it one, but always three
Never was it three, but always one
Claiming boldly it would always be
Yet crying out it had never begun

I answered this quite without trying. I was just looking at it then I was like. "Oh hey, that sounds like such and such!" And so That 'such and such is my answer. 

Riddle five: While exploring the wild highlands of Ireland, Robert was captured by goblins. Grumpy, the chief of the goblins told him he was allowed one final statement on which would hinge how he would die. If the statement he made was false, he would be boiled in water. If the statement were true, he would be fried in oil. Robert did not like either option, so he made a statement that forced the goblins to release him. What is the one statement he could make to save himself?

I admit. It took me ages to get this one, but I think I know the answer. But all in all I don't think I'd survive long if I was trapped underground with Gollum. I think I'd end up being eaten whole. 

Okay, I think that's all apart for rule 5, 6, 7 and 8. So rule 5:
I can only think of one person to tag so I'm going to ask Sarah to do this for me. (You haven't done a post yet this month, so this is a good idea.)

Now I've got to think of five riddles...I won't do too tricky ones as I'm sure Sarah wants to be able to answer them.

1: This old one runs forever, but never moves at all. He has not lungs nor throat, but still a mighty roaring call. What is it?

2: What meets you at the end of everything?

3: What do the letter 'T' and an island have in common? 

4: What has a head, a tail, is silver and has no legs? 

5: What do you throw out when you want to use it, but take in when you don't want to use it?

These riddles don't look quite as hard as the ones Clare gave me, but I enjoyed answering them. I hope Sarah has just as much fun as I did. So as always I didn't manage to actually do all the rules as I only tagged Sarah but who cares!

I also have to do rule number 8, but I have to wait until next week before I do that. So, unless I am wrong, I have finished this post! Thanks once again to Clare for tagging me, and I'll see you all on Friday.

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty

Hey there everyone! I really am sorry for the lateness this week. Yesterday I completely forgot that I needed to write Dusty Red and it was only last night that my sister reminded me... I'd just never thought of the significance of the fact it was Thursday I guess. I think one of the factors that made me forget was that I spent most of my free time on Tuesday and Wednesday editing/rewriting a completely different story, and I didn't read anything in those two days. Just sit back and marvel at that fact, it truly is astounding. So on Thursday all I wanted to do was read. So I did...mostly all day.
So, yes, anyway. Today is my mum's birthday (Happy Birthday to you!) so I spent the morning frantically writing. I got up to 876 words (I always aim for at least 1000 in each instalment) and then we had to leave to go out for morning tea. Now we're back again and I finished writing so I could do this blog post!

You may remember that Instalment 20 was heralding something slightly different. A new picture! I'd really love your input on how you like it or if you think I should go back to the old one or continue with this. I really hope you enjoy this hurriedly written instalment! (Oh, by the way, option three was voted in.)

Flicks barely suppressed a yell of surprise as the thing scrambled from underneath her, standing up and looming over her in the semidarkness.

“And who do you think you might be?” a dark voice whispered.

Flicks scrambled to her feet and backed away. “Wh-who are you?” she asked.

The shadow snorted and stepped forwards with a rustle of fabric. “I think I asked that question first,” he said, leaning towards her ominously.

“I-I’m Flicks,” Flicks stammered, her heart beating wildly. How long is Skilf going to take? she wondered.

“Flicks, hmm, interesting name really,” the stranger replied thoughtfully. “You come from somewhere foreign I assume?”

“Ye—I—how did you know?” Flicks took another step backwards then felt the solid stone wall at her back.

The cloaked man chuckled softly. “I have my ways,” he murmured.

A soft thud and a sliding noise came from the entrance and both Flicks and the stranger turned to see Skilf rising to her feet, brushing herself off. Fred’s silhouette dived in after her.

“This is indeed interesting,” the man said, a note of genuine interest in his voice. “You failed to mention, Flicks, that you had companions.”

“You never asked me,” Flicks replied, her confidence returning now that she was no longer alone with the stranger.

Skilf’s mouth dropped open. “Who do you think you are?” she blurted, glaring at the shrouded man.

The man gave his half amused chuckle again before replying, “I have already been asked that question, but first perhaps you will tell me who you are. After all it was you who dropped rather suddenly into my abode.”

Your abode?” Skilf spluttered. “It’s my secret room, not yours.”

“Obviously it isn’t as secret as you once thought,” the man replied coolly. “And now, tell me straight: Who are you?”

Skilf looked taken aback. “Well...” she hesitated. “Will you tell us who you are if I tell you who I am?”

The man was silent for a moment. “’Tis a hard deal you make but I agree. I will tell you my name, if nothing else besides.”

Skilf nodded slowly. Throwing Flicks a furtive glance, she cleared her throat. “I am Skilf.”

“Skilf? As in the Skilf that supposedly lives here?” the man’s face was too shadowed to discern any expression, but Flicks was sure she could sense a frown in his words.

“Aye,” Skilf said, uncertain whether or not it was a good thing to agree.

The man turned and walked to the back of the room. Some odd noises emerged from under the cloak and then a light blinked into life. The stranger turned, holding a lantern in his hand, he reached up and hooked it to some unseen hook on the roof, so the light spread through most of the room.

“So who are you and what are you doing here?” Flicks queried.

“My name is Trancos,” the man said, pulling his cloak about him. “As to your second question, I’ll leave that unanswered as it had no part in our deal.”

“Trancos?” Skilf muttered. “Where have I heard that before?”

Flicks studied the alleged Trancos. He was tall and lean from what she could see. The lower half of his face was now visible, his mouth set in a grim line and the dark beginnings of a beard grew along his jaw.

“And what are you doing here?” Trancos asked.

“Why should we tell you that if you won’t tell us what you’re doing here?” Flicks tossed her head. Fred had landed on her shoulder and she now leant forwards and hissed at Trancos.

“Because,” Trancos replied. “I could kill you right now if I felt like it.” A shring of metal on leather made Flicks jump back. The lantern light caught on the razor edged blade. Trancos held it out for a moment or two then shrugged, replacing the sword in its scabbard. “That’s why you should answer my question.”

Skilf took a deep breath. “Ok, we want to rescue a friend of ours. She’s a girl called Nainsi and she’s currently being held by my Uncle and a man called Kendal. I have no idea why. But we’re going to save her.” She lifted her chin defiantly, “Any problems with that?”

Trancos stared at her and then Flicks. “You’re here to rescue Nainsi?” he asked his voice a mere whisper.

“Yes,” Flicks said. “Do you know her?”

Trancos turned away and paced the room once before answering. “I might know of her,” he said, then turned his gaze on the Dragontwins. “My question is, can I trust you?”

Flicks paused, considering his question. “It depends who exactly you are and what you’re doing here. You could also ask yourself, ‘can we trust you?’”

Trancos sighed and began pacing again. “Okay, I know Nainsi,” he admitted. “And I’m here to help her.” He spun to face Skilf. “You know your way around here, and I have my skills, if we work together we might be able to rescue her and then I can leave and you can pretend you never met me.”

Flicks tilted her head to one side. “That sounds good to me, I can’t say anything for Skilf, but first I want to see your face,” she said firmly.

Trancos only hesitated for a moment then reached up, pushing the cowl of his cloak back to reveal his face. “There,” he said. “Happy? Now we can think up a plan. That is,” he said to Skilf. “If you’re willing.”

“Aye,” Skilf said slowly. She was staring at Trancos’s face.

“Have we met before, by any chance?” Flicks asked. “You look somehow familiar.”

“No,” Trancos said shortly. “We haven’t met, and I’d be grateful if you forgot about this meeting also.”

Still Flicks couldn’t banish the odd feeling of familiarity. She knotted her brows, but realising it would be pointless, she didn’t ask Trancos why he wished for them to forget him. “Okay then,” she said, shrugging and nearly knocking Fred off her shoulder.

“Careful,” Fred said.

“Oh, sorry,” Flicks whispered so that Trancos wouldn’t hear. “What do you think about this?”

Fred sniffed. “Personally I think this Trancos is a little odd, I mean, why would anyone want us to forget we met them for any good reasons?” she shrugged. “But I agree with you he looks familiar. Also, he might be a good help in rescuing Nainsi.”

“Right,” Flicks said, half to Fred and half to everyone else. “What’s the plan?”

“Wouldn’t it be simple if we could somehow lure Lord Cameron and this Kendal out of the room so we can go in and get Nainsi?” Trancos suggested.

Skilf narrowed her eyes. “Maybe,” she said noncommittally. “How’d we lure them out.”

Flicks tapped her chin. “What if we made a whole lot of noise and got them to open the door then go up to them and ask them something downstairs?” she finished hopefully.

Skilf shook her head. “That wouldn’t really work. They both have seen us before.”

Trancos sighed. “I guess that leaves me.”

Skilf and Flicks turned to him. “What do you mean?” they asked in unison.

“I’ll go up there, distract them, and draw them away and you can climb in the window and get Nainsi and run,” Trancos elaborated.

Fred flicked her tail sceptically. Flicks took a deep breath and decided to trust Trancos. “Sounds good to me,” she said.

Skilf shrugged. “Whatever. So long as the window’s open. If not, Flicks and I won’t be able to climb in,” she pointed out.

“No need to worry,” Trancos said. “That’s all fixed. The window will open quite easily if you use this.” He drew a short knife from under his cloak, “Just slip it between the window and the frame and you can open the latch pretty easy.”

Flicks took the blade and stuck it in her pocket, hoping wouldn’t stab her in the leg as she climbed. After a moment of hesitation she climbed to the entrance. “How will you get to the door?” she questioned Trancos.

“I’ll manage,” he said. “You’ll see.” He paused a moment then added, “Don’t mention me to Nainsi though will you?”

Flicks raised her eyebrows and shrugged at Skilf. “Whatever,” Skilf said again, following Flicks.

Flicks crouched on the ledge and slowly pushed herself into a standing position. She curled her fingers around the window sill and held on with one hand while reaching for the knife with the other.

A furious banging from inside made her start in surprise, but then voices reached her and she frowned. How had Trancos managed to get there so fast?

Trusting that Trancos had the complete attention of the two men inside, Flicks slid the blade of the knife between the window and frame. A short upward jerk opened the latch and Flicks levered the window open painstakingly.

Dropping the knife back in her pocket, she took the lack of alarm as a signal of safety and took a firm grip of the sill, walking her legs up the wall as she pulled with her arms.

With a quiet groan she half fell into Lord Cameron’s private meeting room. She looked up...


1. Nainsi raised her eyebrows, “What a graceful entrance, Flicks, what a graceful entrance.”

2. Kendal leered down at her across the room. “I rather thought you might be behind the sudden calling away of my host. I decided to stay just in case.”

3. An empty room greeted her. The chair not so long ago occupied by Nainsi had been vacated, and the portraits of Skilf’s ancestors laughed down at the aghast intruder.


Hope you all enjoyed it. I'll be awaiting your votes and comments/suggestions with the new picture. Have a great week!

Fare Thee Well!

Later Edit: Sorry to anyone who read this blog post too soon after it was published as I forgot to put the picture on it. As I mentioned, I'm rather in a hurry. :D

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis Review

I have been honoured to be chosen as one of the influence readers for Ashlee Willis's A Wish Made of Glass novella that is soon to be released. I was quite excited as this is the first yet-to-be-published book that I've ever read. My sister Clare is also doing this, but she was an influence reader for The Word Changers (also by Ashlee Willis) and she was a beta reader for A Wish Made of Glass so she's done it before. I don't know much about how to do this but I'm fairly sure it doesn't matter terribly much so I'll start with the synopsis and the cover and then go on with the review.

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

(And now, tally ho to the review!)

This novella is an amazing and beautiful story. The world and setting is real and the descriptions are just wonderful, Ashlee Willis has done a great job. It is definitely not the normal ‘fairy tale’ but it is so much more. It is a unique glimpse into a completely different life; a life of struggles, heartbreak and magical fey folk. The story really pulled me in and I could hardly put the book down. When I finished reading A Wish Made of Glass I felt that I could just sit there and start all over again and find a completely new story as I noticed things I didn’t the first time round. The plot is intricately weaved and I was completely caught up in this wonderful story.

Isidore is certainly a three-dimensional character. Her growth and development is well written and her feelings portrayed in a believable and relatable way. I loved traveling this journey with her as she made mistakes and struggled through hardships. She was very real and I could not help but feel for her and experience all her troubles and triumphs alongside her.

Blessing is an interesting character. As opposed to the usual ‘horrible step-sisters’ she is instead a kind and beautiful young girl, just as scared as Isidore is to find herself with a new sister. She certainly isn’t without her faults but it is always she who comes out and says sorry, she doesn’t wait for Isidore to apologise. She keeps trying to become a true sister to Isidore even after years of Isidore being distant.

The fey folk are mysterious and intriguing. I really enjoyed reading about them, meeting and seeing them through Isidore. The young fey man was probably one of my favourite characters, he was so well written and Ashlee kept dropping tantalising hints about who he was and showing quick glimpses of what he was like inside. I really liked the mysterious air about him and all the other fey.

I loved the ending of the book. The beauty of the very last scene remained with me for the rest of the day, and I continued to think about the book, wondering what happened next and romanticizing about Isidore’s future. It seemed the perfect ending for such a lovely book.

There. It is done. I can no longer say I haven't read a book before it was published. I'm glad I did it, it was very fun and I enjoyed it heaps. I hope my first long review was good (generally I do little, simple, short reviews not multiple paragraphs).

It only took me half a day to read this and I almost did it in one sitting, I would have but for an interruption in which I had to hang out the washing. But it was no less interesting for its shortness, after all it is a novella (which is, in case you didn't know, a short novel).

To give you some information about Ashlee Willis I will supply you with a picture which I assume describes her to some extent:

If you wish to find out more about her and her writings I suggest you take a look at her blog/website: Finding the True Fairy Tale

I've read Ashlee's other book, The Word Changers, and it's definitely just as good as A Wish Made of Glass. You should seriously try find it and read it. And you should also read A Wish Made of Glass when it gets published this month.They're both really cool.

I think that's everything I've got to say just now, so thanks for stopping by. You'll see another Dusty Red post come Friday, so see you then! But for now...

Fare Thee Well!