Friday, 25 September 2015

Dusty Red - Skilf's Nonsensical Song

Okay. As I am still in the thinking stages of my next blog-story, I have decided to post a short(ish) piece of poetry (if you can call it that) composed by Skilf. She sent me a letter containing a while back and I think it may just amuse you.

Skilf’s Nonsensical Song
By Aforementioned Skilf

Your destiny must rest with me
I make a plea, well can’t you see
Your destiny is your density,
Be you up to my knee or one hundred and three!

A fly must fly, and a spider will spy her
A feather can’t sigh, and he cannot laugh either.
A flea’s too small, an ostrich too big,
Have you ever tried sailing a hermaphrodite brig? 

What about fighting with Apples? Limes? Chips?
I much prefer to do it with ships.
If you wish, you can float to the East China Sea
But I doubt that you’ll find your own destiny.

Because, your destiny, it rests with thee
It’s been said of me, I’m a difficulty.
But your destiny is your density,
No matter how spree or how ancient you be.

Thus ends the song of Skilf the Nonsensical.

Another thing that Skilf mentioned in her letter was that the words 'Part' and 'Aeronaut' are synonyms. Synonyms?! you ask. Aye, synonyms. She gave a whole list to prove her reasoning: 


So she figured that if all those words could come from a synonym of 'part' then they must all be synonyms of each other! She's quite an amusing person at times.

I hope this post dispelled some of the gloom from the ending of Dusty Red ~ The Story, because I don't want you to be gloomy.

 "I have found that being gloomy often results in a feeling of gloom." - Miss Freespirit.

Wait, what!? Who is this random Miss Freespirit? Ah! I have just given you the first glimpse of a new character.... Not the main character, but the second main character. I decided to call her 'Miss' for now so I can reveal her true name and identity a little later on.... For now, I leave you with a promise that I'm thinking hard as to how to begin the next story.

Fare Thee Well!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Ranger's Apprentice the Early Years: The Tournament at Gorlan ~ Review

Here it is! The first Ranger's Apprentice Prequel is published! Actually it was published on the 16th and I even got my copy that day too (Which was awesome) but I've only just got around to doing this post.

I had great fun reading this, Halt and Crowley are so funny. :D I was actually brave enough to attempt another multiple-paragraphed review, but first I thought I'd let you watch the book trailer thingy:

And here's the review:

I really, really liked this book. It was cool to find out about Halt and Crowley's history and everything that happened before The Ruins of Gorlan. I found it quite fun to hear about 'young baron Arald' and other 'young' people who are older in other books.

Halt's character is really well brought out and his humour is hilarious! I give him the Favourite Character award for this book. He and Crowley are so funny together. Halt is a very real person and his character is intriguing and mysterious. I loved finding out more about him. Plus, when Halt meets Mistress DuLacy for the first time it's so, so funny. And when he gets his horse...

The story line, although, since I've read the Ranger's Apprentice books, I knew some of it, was well planned out and page turning. The ending was a little sad but it just added to Halt's character, and I know there's more to come.

The Tournament at Gorlan really shows Morgarath's evil side in clearer light, and his villainousness is well done. He's a decidedly unlikeable person. His arrogance and just plain evilness adds to the tension in the story, showing that he wouldn't shy from killing to get his way.

I'd say this book is better to read after all the other Ranger's Apprentice series, but it would work either way. All in all this book is definitely as good as John Flanagan's other ones and I can hardly wait for book 2 of Ranger's Apprentice, The Early Years.

I can't get over how funny a gloomy Halt can be. Crowley's almost as funny but not quite. I now have a new supply of quotes to quote at random intervals in general conversation... For example:

"Are you always so insufferably cheerful?" Halt asked.

"I suppose I am," Crowley admitted. "Do you always travel around as if there's a big, black thundercloud over your head?"

When I finished reading the book, my sister Clare started it and then, when she finished, Alice started (but hasn't finished as of yet) to and then I have three other friends that I'm loaning it to afterwards. So my copy of The Tournament at Gorlan is going to be well read! Oh, that's not mentioning that I'll probably reread it after everyone else's finished... :)

Another cool thing is that I have a signed copy, and that just adds to the awesomeness (I bought it from Booktopia). I'm now going to have to keep waiting until I can discover when the next prequel is coming out...

Just after I got the book someone wise told me that I was acting like an idiot fangirl but I don't care! That's normal. You ask who the wise person was? My sister? No. I think it was me actually. I can be very wise at times. (That was a quote by the way...and also true.)

A few years ago I'd never heard of Ranger's Apprentice. Back then I was reasonably sensible. Now? No way! Ask anyone who knows me and they'll agree. I never used to be crazy about weapons and the such, but then I read Ranger's Apprentice...And now I am. And proud of it too.

If you haven't read any Ranger's Apprentice, Brotherband or Early Years books then you seriously need to go do it. Now. I mean it.

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Dusty Red - The Denouement

So. It is done. This instalment of Dusty Red is the final, last, completion, conclusion, denouement (Pronounced den-oo-mah. I believe it's French.) and just generally the end of the story...

Or is it?

Someone once said that all good things must come to an end...or must they?
As you read this last instalment you may finally realise that this is simply the beginning. The Introduction, so to speak, the Preface, Foreword.  

I can't say that the ending came easily, as my sisters will assure you. I spent all yesterday afternoon sitting on my bed with a laptop, making sounds like Chewbacca (the Wookiee) or something in mortal agony.
But I did eventually get there, I hope that you enjoy this last part of the written story of Dusty Red.

Trancos was holding Larzik at arm’s length, while the Imp-goblin beat at his long arms with his stick.

“Horrible, horrible human!” Larzik screeched. “How could you do that?”

“Larzik!” Skilf exclaimed. “What is wrong?”

Larzik hesitated and Trancos dropped him abruptly, retreating several paces.

“Horrible…cruel…double-crosser!” Larzik stuttered.

“Double-crosser?” Nainsi asked. “What do you mean?”

“He tried to step on a Twigin,” Larzik proclaimed solemnly.

Trancos held up his hands in a gesture of innocence when all eyes turned to him. “It was an accident, okay?” he said. “It happens to everyone.”

Skilf slapped her forehead and Flicks turned to her anxiously. “Something wrong?”

“Nainsi! That’s who you look like,” she looked at Trancos. “You’re related to Nainsi.”

Fred dropped onto Flicks’ shoulder. “I concur,” she said. “I’ve had a slight suspicion for a while now.”

“Oh really?” Flicks muttered sarcastically so only her Skilf and Fred could hear.

Nainsi stood stock still, her eyes fixed on Trancos. “You were dead,” she whispered eventually.

“Nainsi,” Trancos began. “I didn’t want it to be like this. But it had to be, I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't leave my post.”

Nainsi looked down at her shoes. “I see,” she said.

“But I never forgot my sister,” Trancos completed softly.

“Your si—” Flicks clapped her hand over Skilf’s mouth before she could interrupt the reunion.

Nainsi raised her eyes to her brother. “Trancos,” was all she said before running to him, throwing her arms around his neck.

“Brother and sister,” Skilf murmured quietly when Flicks removed her hand. “I never would have guessed.”

“Nor I,” piped Larzik. “If I’d known I’d never had hit him so hard.”

“But you still would have hit him?” Flicks asked, amused.

Larzik tilted his head to one side thoughtfully. “Probably,” he said, a grin splitting his bronze skin.

Fred flicked her tail and snaked her head out in front of Flicks’ face. “I believe our Tree friends have something interesting to tell us,” she said.

Flicks turned. A Twigin was jumping up and down excitedly, pointing at the forest. Flicks frowned and looked towards the woods. She was just in time to see a regal figure sweep from the shadows.

“Queen Alwyn’Miriella,” Larzik squeeked reverently, lowering himself onto one knee in a deep bow.

The tall Dragontíre queen smiled down at him. “You have done well Larzik,”she commended him. “I must say I hardly expected that you’d continue this quest with as much enthusiasm as you started with.”

Flicks blinked slowly and cleared her throat. What, exactly, was the queen doing here?

The graceful queen turned to the four young companions. “And you,” she said. “I congratulate you on your success.” 

“Our success?” Flicks questioned.

“Yes,” Queen Alwyn replied. “What else would you call this? The enemy is vanquished: banished forever to the world of villains. The family reunited. The goal completed.”

“Oh,” Flicks and Skilf said together, somewhat sadly.

“But now!” the queen said, clapping her hands sharply. “We must get back to the palace. There are things that need to be arranged.”

“Like what?” Nainsi asked.

“Like a celebration feast,” Queen Alwyn suggested.

“Let’s go!” Fred yelped excitedly, jumping into the air.

“Are you ready? I have a rather quicker way in mind than walking, so, if you don’t mind, it might be an idea to close your eyes for a moment,” the queen instructed.

Flicks glanced around at the others and shrugged before complying. A moment later the Dragontíre queen spoke again. “You can open them again.”

“Yikes!” Flicks jumped backwards upon doing so. “How did we get here?”

 “I told you I had a faster way of travel planned,” Queen Alwyn pointed out.

They stood in the middle of an empty room in Esueño castle. The white walls and blue patterned ceiling left them in no doubt. “Now for the feast I promised,” the queen said, rubbing her hands together. She disappeared through the far doorway.

Flicks looked around at her companions, all as bewildered as she. “Erm…what do we do now?” she asked.

“Maybe we should follo—” Skilf began but a gush of rust coloured smoke pouring from under a door interrupted her. “Why do I never get to finish my sentences?” she moaned to herself as she followed Flicks to investigate.

Flicks pulled open the door, stepping aside in time to let the flood of rusty smoke billow out past her. Skilf, unfortunately, got caught right in the middle on it and it took her quite some time to cease coughing.

Flicks advanced into the dimly light room, sniffing at the queer smell of rust, smoke and other unidentifiable scents. She found Old Ron sitting happily in the middle of a pile of rust, smiling broadly at a perfectly unrusty piece of metal.

He glanced up as Flicks drew closer. “Oh, ye be back!” he beamed. “Will ye jest look at this, Flicks. It’s an Unrust Illusion. Jest like ye said!”

Flicks stared at Old Ron and then a smile crept slowly across her lips. She shook her head, “You’ll never change, will you.”


“Now, as we near the end of this feast,” Alwyn’Mirriella, Queen of all Esueno said. “I’d like to draw several members of our company to your attention.”

She turned to the table at which sat the honoured guests of the feast: Flicks, Skilf, Nainsi, Trancos, Larzik and, of course, Fred (who was enjoying herself immensely). “Nainsi and Trancos have asked that I give them no reward and so I simply thank them wholeheartedly for their hand in saving or realm.”

The crowd of Dragontíre cheered and then waited for their queen to speak once more.

“The Imp-goblin, Larzik Veiltgrangil, has done deeds worthy of great ballads and lays. Therefore I have made it possible that he be knighted!”

The crowd roared enthusiastically. Larzik almost fell from his seat in shock.

The queen turned to him, passing him a short sword with a graceful curtsey.

Larzik took it and the Queen continued. “I hereby declare you Sir Larzik! If any Imp-goblin is deserving of this title, it is you.”

Larzik stumble back to his seat and collapsed into it. “I can’t believe it,” he muttered over and over again.

“And Flicks and Skilf, Dragontwins, were a pivotal part of the overthrowing of evil,” Queen Alwyn said. “I offer them the greatest reward of all. Whatever they ask of me, I shall grant them.”

Flicks looked uncertainly at Skilf as the queen looked questioningly at them. “I can’t think of anything,” she whispered. “I guess I could go back home.”

“To Asturialia or whatever you said it was?” Skilf asked.

“Yeah, Australia.”

“Well,” Skilf said. “If you’re going, I’m going too.” She looked up and raised an eyebrow at the queen. “We’d like to go to Australia,” she said decisively. “Maybe we’ll find something interesting to make into an adventure there,” she murmured in an aside to Flicks.

“Very well, since that is your wish,” the queen said, nodding as if she’d expected as much. “Whenever you want to leave, I will be happy to assist you.”

“How ‘bout later tonight?” Skilf asked cheerfully.


“Are you sure you don’t want to come, Old Ron?” Flicks asked.

“I be sure o’ it,” he nodded. “Look at all the rust I be havin’ ‘ere. Mebe ye’ll come an’ visit again,” the rust-worker suggested.

Nainsi hugged Skilf and Flicks quickly. “Thanks for everything,” she said, smiling. “And do come visit. Just every now and then, so we can keep in touch.”

“We’ll do our best,” Flicks assured her.

The newly knighted Larzik stepped forward. “It’s because of you that I can become a knight,” he said gratefully.

“Say nothing of it,” Flicks brushed his thanks aside.

“My descendants will be forever indebted—”

Skilf raised her eyebrows. “Literally, say nothing of it,” she added.

“Where’s Fred?” Flicks asked, glancing around for the little dragon. 

Everyone else shrugged, mimicking her action of looking around.

“Well, if you’re ready to leave,” the queen began.

Flicks and Skilf nodded.

The Dragontíre queen raised her hands but a green blur forestalled her.

“Wait for me,” Fred panted, collapsing on Flicks’ shoulder. “I’m coming too.”

“You are?” Flicks and Skilf asked in unison.

“Of course,” Fred looked hurt, as only a dragon can. “Did you think I’d want to stay here?”

“I never doubted you,” Skilf hastily reassured her.

Flicks snorted derisively. “So you say,” she looked back to the queen. “Now we’re ready your majesty.”

The queen raised her hands and a vivid golden light shot through the room.

Flicks blinked and glanced around. She stood in the remains of Ron’s Rust and co., the summer sun burning down on her head.

Skilf looked around her. “So this is Australia?” she stuck out her bottom lip. “Not bad really, not bad.”

Fred flapped her wings and jumped down onto the red dust. “Very hot,” she remarked, glaring up at the sun. 

“It normally is in a desert,” Flicks pointed out. She ran her fingers through her hair ruefully, “I’m going to need a new hat, I left mine in Rocos somewhere.”

“Well, I suppose that’s basically the end of the fantasy adventures,” Skilf commented somewhat sadly.

Just then a familiar sound caught their ears. A piercing screech erupted from behind them. Flicks and Skilf spun around as, from the ruins of Old Ron’s cottage, a cloud of Leafits and Twigins rose into the air, rushing towards them with a joyful shriek.

“Or not,” Flicks said.


Thus ends the telling of Dusty Red. As you can see the story has basically only just begun but I shall have to inform you that I haven't received any more updates from Skilf as to their current activities. Updates from Skilf? you ask.
Oh, did I forget to tell you? Well, I'll tell you now, Skilf occasionally sends me a few words of either prose or poetry (which she is none to good at I must admit) and it was she who told me of all these adventures of which you have been reading. I may show you a few snippets of her work every now and then when she sends in more... I have one particularly amusing poetry piece that I'm sure you'll enjoy, perhaps I'll post it next Friday...(Notice the perhaps.)

Since I have officially finished Dusty Red I would greatly welcome any comments bearing on the subject of another story. I know that not all of you are good at things like this (not saying that I'm terribly good either) but I'd be happy for any random ideas...story plot...characters (although I do have vague ideas for them)...or other random things that you'd like to see in a second Serial Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story.

Thanks everyone for sticking around for twenty-six weeks or so. I really appreciate it. :D I'm going to be busy for a while, thinking up more information on the next story, so...

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-five

The other week I mentioned the fact that we are nearing the end of Dusty Red. Today I am sorry to inform you that there is probably only going to be one or two more instalments before there is no more. 

Sorry. 'fraid that means there's no instalment 100...

All good things must come to an end and that is true of Dusty Red. But it will never really end so long as there is someone who remembers it. I'd be happy to continue, but if I did it would just be making things up. Once a story is ended, it is ended...

But as I also mentioned the other week, I will be starting a new story. I don't know what yet, but I'll work it out. If anyone has any cool ideas for story goals, characters, or anything like that I'd be happy for any ideas. (This is not saying that I don' have any story ideas at all, I've got plenty of them, but I just don't know of one to make as a 'serial choose your own adventure story'.)

Anyway it isn't finished yet. Option one got the votes this week, and I was quite interested to see how this part ended up. So here it is!

Trancos drew his sword in a fluid motion, twirling it in his fingers with practiced ease. “I’d be happy to oblige,” he said, pulling his cloak off and tossing it to the side.

Sniperscope sneered. “Your funeral,” he muttered.

Trancos raised an eyebrow. “So you say,” he replied coolly. 

Flick stood up and glanced over at Nainsi, who stood at the fringe of the trees. Flicks looked from Trancos to Sniperscope. The king was tall and broad shouldered, his arms looked very strong as he swung the huge sword in a glittering arch. Compared with him, Trancos looked much smaller.

Yet Trancos had the strength of youth on his side, Flicks considered, and there was something odd about him. Something that she couldn’t quite place.

Trancos dodged a slash from Sniperscope and lunged forward with his lighter and faster blade. The king only just managed to block it in time.

“What’s going on?” Skilf shouted, emerging from the forest at that moment.

Flicks turned around. “They’re fighting,” she said lamely. You should be doing something, she berated herself, don’t just stand there, think up something clever!

“Watch out!” Nainsi yelled, diving to the ground.

Three arrows whizzed through the air, passing close to the three girls.

A trio of soldiers burst from the woods, dropping their bows and drawing swords as they went. Larzik grabbed a stick off the ground and charged at the nearest soldier and started attacking him with a vigour quite unexpected for his size.

Chaos ensued.

Trancos and Sniperscope slashed at each other with a smooth skill the three soldiers seemed to lack. Nainsi and Skilf dived into the fray after Larzik.

Flicks crashed right into a fourth man emerging from the forest and retreated hastily from his rapid strokes. She ducked as a green blur swooped low over her head and the man fighting her looked up. Only to receive a large clod of dirt in his face as Fred soared, triumphant, back up into the sky.

“Good one Fred!” Flicks yelled.

Fred whistled cheerfully in response, before disappearing back into the forest.

Skilf was exchanging punches with one soldier that she’d managed to disarm and Flicks unthinkingly picked up the man’s sword.

Another soldier descended on her. “Let’s see how good you are with that thing,” he roared.

Flicks found herself in a frantic battle, trying – and, amazingly, succeeding – to defend herself.

“Yahooo!” Fred called, as she dropped a hard dirt clod on the head of the soldier fighting Flicks. “We should do this more often,” she called, retreating back into the sky.

Flicks, momentarily unoccupied, glanced around to see a smirking figure emerge from the trees. “Kendal!” she yelled.

His hand was thrust deep in his pocket and Flicks remembered that he probably still had his gun, and, like as not, he’d still have at least one bullet left. Flicks dived forwards, grabbing his arm and tackling him to the ground.

Skilf noticed them struggling and, dealing one last blow to her soldier, ran to help.

Larzik, thumping at a soldier who was desperately defending himself with a completely inadequate sword, blinked as a brilliant idea occurred to him. One of the best ideas he’d ever had before.

He paused in his battle and let out an ear-splitting shriek. Without waiting to see if his idea would actually work, he returned to the startled soldier.

Flicks heard his shriek even from underneath both Skilf and Kendal and her eyes widened. “Bless that Imp-Goblin,” she grunted. “I thought he said he couldn’t speak that language.”

“You have been training well,” King Sniperscope admitted, as he parried a sidestroke from Trancos.

“I haven’t been wandering aimlessly around all these years you mean,” he replied without hesitating in the slightest.

Just then, all in the clearing were distracted by a shrill shriek, not unlike that one Larzik had uttered half a minute before. Only this one was louder, as if spoken by more people. Or rather, more Twigins and Leafits.

A cloud of green and brown swirled through the air, descending like a whirlwind on the battle in the clearing. The tiny tree people screamed a battle call and attacked the four soldiers. But only the bravest dared approach Kendal and Sniperscope.

“Flicks!” Fred’s voice echoed in Flicks’ mind. “Flicks, I’ve got an idea!”

Flicks tumbled out of the fray, coughing as she nearly inhaled a passing Leafit. “Sorry,” she muttered.

The Leafit paused and bowed in midair, waving a hand cheerfully.

“Flicks,” Fred called, circling up above, “Follow me!” She zoomed off into the forest.

Flicks ran to keep up with the swift dragon. “Could you slow down at all?” she panted, crashing through the undergrowth.

Fred slowed for at least three seconds then resumed her breakneck pace.

Flicks burst out of the trees. The Touch Stone was up ahead, seeming to glow even brighter now. 

“The Magic Rune Stones,” Fred said, landing on the ground beside them. “Maybe we can do something with them.”

Flicks nodded and began piling them up. She noticed a leather pouch a few meters away and stuffed them inside that, pulling the drawstrings closed.

Fred grabbed the bag in her claws and rose into the air, flapping her wings steadily, struggling to lift the heavy load.

“You sure you’re alright carrying that?” Flicks asked. “You’re only small.”

Fred snorted, but didn’t seem to have the energy to reply further than that. She set of in the direction of the battle once more.

Flicks began to follow her but then stopped, looking back at the glowing Touch Stone. She hesitated a moment and then ran to it, picking it up.

A queer tingling sensation twined up her arms and she nearly dropped the precious stone.

“Coming?” Fred asked from the fringe or the trees.

“Yeah,” Flicks called back, starting to run after her, the silvery Stone clutched under her arm.

As Flicks neared the clearing she heard the shriek of the Twigins and Leafits redoubled. And then it fell silent.

Flicks raced forward, hoping that nothing terrible had happened.

“Ah, look at that! It’s the Tiller kid finally coming to join us,” Kendal sneered. Then his eyes narrowed. “And would you guess what she’s got under her arm. The very thing I needed.”

Flicks stared blankly at Kendal, her mind was refusing to comprehend what was happening. His gun was in his hand and the barrel was pressed against Skilf’s forehead.

Skilf was standing, frozen to the spot, as was everyone else in the clearing.

Flicks opened and closed her mouth silently for a few seconds but she could see no way out of this situation.

“So,” Kendal said. “All you have to do is hand that Stone over and I’ll let your friend go. If you refuse…” he left the sentence unfinished and smiled mirthlessly.

Flicks looked around the glade, The four soldiers were looking rather worse for wear but were all still standing. Nainsi and Larzik stood silently side by side, the Leafits and Twigins shifting uncertainly on the ground around them.

King Sniperscope was grinning evilly, leaning on his sword. Trancos stood in an agony of indeciscion a pace or two from the Manirusan. 

“You have no other choice,” Kendal said. “Pass me that stone or say bye-bye to your so called Dragontwin.”

Flicks swallowed but a half-hearted plan was beginning to form in the back of her mind. “Okay,” she replied. “I’ll give you the Stone and you’ll release Skilf. How do I know you’ll keep your promise?”

Kendal sneered. “You’ll just have to leave it up to chance I guess,” he returned scornfully.

Flicks took a deep breath. Her plan probably wouldn’t work, it was crazy anyway, but doing anything just now was just as crazy. May as well die heroically, she thought philosophically.

She glanced around at Nainsi. Nainsi nodded slowly, she too, it seemed, had a plan of some sort.
She bent down and whispered something to the tree people around her feet and they jumped into the air with a yell.

Kendal’s finger tightened on the trigger. “Tell them to get down!” he bellowed at Nainsi.

It’s now or never, Flicks thought and threw the Touch Stone.

At exactly the same moment, Fred swooped down and dropped the whole bag of Rune Stones on Sniperscope’s head and Ciara (who had been sitting in a tree watching the action) leapt down onto his shoulder.

The Touch Stone sailed across the gap and struck Kendal on the shoulder. 

White light exploded in the clearing and Flicks staggered backwards, shielding her eyes from the brightness. Blue light mingled with the white, causing the light to grow still stronger.

Then the light faded and disappeared, wafting away on the breeze.

Flicks blinked her watering eyes and looked around, stunned.

The four soldiers were lying face down on the ground, their hands clasped protectively over their heads. Nainsi and Trancos were just regaining their feet like Flicks.

Kendal and Sniperscope were nowhere to be seen.

“Skilf!” Flicks cried, running to the spot where Kendal had stood.

Skilf was lying on the grass, still and silent.

“No,” Flicks gasped. “No…Skilf.”

Flicks brushed the hair from Skilf’s face and placed her fingers to her neck, trying to find a pulse. She couldn’t.

Tears obscured her vision and Flicks blinked rapidly to clear them.

“You must be terrible at first aid,” a voice murmured.


Skilf rubbed her eyes and sat up. “Last I checked that was my name,” she groaned. “What was that light?”

“I think it had something to do with the Touch Stone,” Flicks replied.

She helped Skilf to stand and shook her head slowly. “Where did Kendal and Sniperscope go?” she asked.

“No idea,” Skilf said. “Hopefully he was banished to the world of villains from which there is no return.”

“Skilf! Are you alright?” it was Nainsi who spoke, hurrying across the clearing.

“Yeah, fairly okay—” she began but a squeaky screech interrupted her.


1. The Leafits and Twigins rose into the air and raced toward Flicks and Skilf. “They’re cheering,” Flicks realised, a grin sliding across her face.

2. Trancos was holding Larzik at arm’s length, while the Imp-goblin beat at his long arms with his stick.

3. A tall figure appeared just inside the shadow of the trees.


I really enjoyed writing this instalment for some reason, also it's slightly longer than normal. I hope you all liked it too, and don't forget to comment to vote for your favourite option.

Fare Thee Well!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Solve the Riddle Tag ----- Again

I begin this post with a hasty assurance. No, you are not going mad, and yes I am doing another Riddle tag thingy. And it is thanks to my cousin Jessica that you get to see my riddle answering skills (or lack of them, depending on the riddle).

Again I couldn't be bothered to make my own so I just used a handy picture. :D

Okay, here is the list of rule yet again (why do these things always have rules?) may notice that I tampered with a few (not to mention getting rid of the few that I have already completed):

Answer the 5 riddles that are provided by the lovely person who tagged you. (Hey, this rule doesn't say that you have to not-answer the questions! I'm sure it did last time!)

Tag 5 or more bloggers. (tagging yourself is not allowed. It would be considered cheating as you probably already knew the answers to the riddles you chose.) 

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

Comment the link to your post on each blogger's blog.

After a week from when posting this tag, comment the answers to your riddles on your own post.

I'm not entirely sure whether I'm allowed to answer these straight or not...there's no rules against it... so maybe....Maybe I'll just mostly answer them. After all there's a big difference between mostly answered and all answered.

So here are Jessica's riddles for me and the mostly-answers I have given them:

Riddle no. 5
What herb cures all ailments?

By the Black Raven's crime, and by this Rhyme,
The answer would be..... Yeah, I do know the answer to this one.

If the riddle didn't specify that it was a herb and was just 'what cures (almost) all ailments/poisons?' then I might have answered a bezoar... (For those that don't know, a bezoar - the kind I'm talking about - comes from Harry Potter and "Is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons"--Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.)

Riddle no. 4
Eskimos of the Artic are excellent hunters. They can catch almost anything, but they have never caught a penguin. Why?

Yup, got that one fairly easily. :D All of these ones are really simple compared to this one...(Most things are more simple than that.) I just read this and just when, "Ummm what? Oh, yeah, I know...Now I feel kinda silly because I had to think about it..."
Just sayin', did anyone else realise that Arctic is spelt wrong? Or was it just me? I glanced at it and just thought, "Ooo look, the Artic, I wonder if Art people like living in the Artic."

Riddle no.3
A man that is not a man,
Throws a stone that is not a stone,
At an owl that is not an owl.
What is the scenario? 

I also guessed this one reasonably easily because when I was looking up riddles for my other riddle-tag-post I came across one quite similar.

Riddle no. 2
What does man love more than life,
Fear more than death,
Or mortal strife?
What do the poor have the rich require,
And all contented men desire?
What do misers spend and spend thrifts save,
And all men take with them to the grave?

This one really annoyed me for ages but I finally got it. For ages I was just like, "I've heard this before...I know the answer...but what is it!?" Technically the answer doesn't work completely anyway.

Riddle no. 1
My eyes do not see,
While I dig deep.
And in the eve when I rise,
I've no heart to beat.

Now...there is a reason I did these riddles backwards. I saved the best one for last. I do not know what answer Jessica had in mind when she asked me to answer this but I'm fairly certain it wasn't the one I'm going to give her. Clare said 'the moon' as her answer to this and also suggested potatoes but I went even further....
I will tell you the True Answer  to this riddle. It is not a simple answer either, it's quite long. 864 words in fact.

 (I suppose I should say I'm about to spoil the end of the story, but it's better if I do.)Now, before you read the answer, I'd just like to say that it's much more depressing if you imagine Posy as Tauriel and Tayto as Kili at that certain part of The Battle of Five Armies... You know.... This part. If you do that, the ending is much more....sad....
Proceed now to the answer:

There once was a potato miner. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a person who mined potatoes, it was a potato that mined gold. This certain potato loved shiny things. He could be carrying on a conversation with another potato but he’d always get distracted. This, naturally, led to him being without friends, as all the other potatoes were tired of his replies being:  “Oh yes, I’m feeling fi—Ooooo look! Something shiny!” or something along those lines.

So the potato – from now on we shall call him Tayto – went about his mining alone. Now because of this, the other potatoes, particularly the younger ones, began to tease him and call him names and then run away when he came close. So Tayto began to work only during the day (which is the opposite of all other potatoes) and be back home by evening. This way he could avoid the cruel stares and jeers of the other potatoes. 

Tayto worked hard at his diggings, always searching for some glint of gold. It became very dusty down below and he had to cover his many eyes so they wouldn’t get dirt in them. He found gold by touch and smell alone.

Working alone can be nice and peaceful, but even Tayto started to feel a little lonely. Every evening he’d go home later and later just to get a glimpse of the beautiful potato-girl, Posy, who lived across the tunnel from him. He’d meander slowly up the tunnel, hoping that she’d emerge before he reached his house. Sometimes she did, but other times, no matter how long he waited and how slow he walked, she didn’t come out of her house. When this happened Tayto would slump into his hole dejectedly.

Then one morning, just as Tayto left his home for the diggings, tremors shook the city. Potatoes peered out their windows and into the tunnels, wondering what was going on. Then they remembered.

Harvest day.

Word spread like wildfire. The Shovels were coming! The Shovels were coming! Despair filled every heart; all knew that no one would be spared.

The Southern part of Tater city fell first. Citizens were fleeing in terror but they were all scooped up by the dreaded blade in the end. Tayto, who’s house was in the East Corner, worked in his mine, unaware of the trouble above. 

The tremors continued throughout the day, the Southern edge was irreparably destroyed and all the inhabitants abducted. In the late afternoon Tayto, heading back home, was shocked to see citizens fleeing the East Corner. “What happened?” he shouted over the din. “What’s going on?” (Naturally he shouted this in Potatou – the language of potatoes – but I have translated it for the English speaking readers.)

No one answered him directly but from the terror-stricken screams of “The Shovels!”, “Run for your life!” and “HELP!!!!!” he managed to gather what was going on.

“Posy!” he roared, shoving through the crowd. He reached her door and yanked it open, dashing inside.

Posy was kneeling by her father weeping in terror.

“You’ve got to get out of here!” Tayto yelled.

Posy looked up, surprised, then her face hardened. “What are you doing in my house?” she asked furiously.

“You need to run,” Tayto insisted. 

“My father refuses to go, he says that he will accept his fate. I’ll not leave him,” Posy replied haughtily. 

“But the Shovels!”

“It’s my business whether I go or stay, so get out,” Posy said, shoving Tayto towards the door.

“Watch out!” Tayto yelled at her. She glanced up, a shovel was descending from the ceiling, knocking down clods of earth as it came. It prodded around in the dirt and then rose up once more.

“See,” Posy stated. “We’ll be perfectly fine.”

“Please,” Tayto pleaded her. “Run down to my diggings and maybe you’ll be safe.”

Posy turned up her nose. Secretly she had long admired Tayto’s enthusiasm and vim for mining and often lingered around in the evening, waiting until he came home so she could pass him on her way to the markets. He was an intriguing young potato if there ever was one and she had sported ideas and wishings for the future. But now? When they were all about to die anyway? “I will stay with my father,” she decided. “You go on to your diggings and try your luck.”

She didn’t notice the quick movement above her but Tayto did. “No!” he shouted and threw himself at Posy, knocking her out of the way.

Posy fell in the dust but managed to jump agilely to her feet once more. She gasped in horror, “No...No, please, no.”

Tayto lay on his back, his eyes meeting hers. The Shovel was buried in his chest, slicing his heart in two. Tayto struggled to say something but gave up and just smiled weakly.

Posy fell to her knees and sobbed. “No...please... Why does it have to be like this?”

The Shovel rose up through the roof and out into the evening air Above. “Hey dad!” a young boy exclaimed. “Look at this 'tato! I skewered it!”

Below, in the crumbling tunnels of Tater city, a young potato-girl wept.

See what I mean? Depressing isn't it? That is the True Answer. I must say, the irreverence of that boy is horrifying! He just doesn't realise that he broke two hearts in one blow.... I hope I don't have to explain how the answer fits the riddle, because talking about it too long might just be too sad. *Sniff sniff* 

So apparently I have to tag five other bloggers and give them five riddles to answer but I can't think of anyone to tag. I'll settle with reminding Sarah that I nominated/tagged her last time so she'd better get around to doing the post.....

I hope I answered these to your satisfaction Jessica. Thanks for nominating me!

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-four

Howdy everyone! How was your week? We had another birthday this week. This time it was my oldest younger brother's (Hope that made some sense) seventh birthday. So, Happy Birthday Samuel! 

This instalment is 1,001 words long, just a random fact for you. Also option one was voted in by all my lovely voters. Oh, and I found the random 'Trancos Identity' guesses amusing. Some of you weren't far from the mark. :D In this part you'll get to find out even more, and perhaps you want to take a second guess...

Now to the story!

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

Flicks felt the blood drain from her face. How long had he been standing there for?

The shadow leant against a tree. “Well?” he asked. “What are you doing here?”

Nainsi and Skilf both looked to Flicks. “What?” she hissed. “Why should I answer?”

Skilf frowned. “I dunno, I just thought you might have a good idea.”

“I’m not planning on waiting forever you know,” the man continued. “I was entrusted with the guard of this clearing and I don’t plan on letting you four run away with The Stone.”

“It’s the guard,” Larzik whispered. “We are doomed! He’ll kill us all. Best to attack now before it is too late. Perhaps we will have some chance.”

Larzik turned around and picked up a stick. “I don’t think that’s a good—” Fred began but Larzik interrupted with a shriek, “ATTACK!!!!!!”

Ciara leapt from Nainsi’s hands and, with a ferocious yip, streaked across the gap between them and their watcher, launching herself at the shadow’s face.

“Aaahh!” he gave a strangled shout and fell back.

“Ciara!” Nainsi cried and ran towards the struggle. Flicks, Skilf and Larzik followed close behind.

Another yell erupted from the man and Nainsi paused in her run to grab up a stout stick, as thick as her forearm.

The shadowed man was struggling up ahead, Ciara attacking him with astonishing speed and skill.

Nainsi was the first to reach the pair. The man was, at that moment, shaking his hand desperately to rid himself of the ferocious fox.

Nainsi jumped forward and swung the stick at him. It cracked into the side of his head with all the force of Nainsi’s fury behind the blow. 

The figure crumpled to the forest floor.

Nainsi bent down and picked up Ciara, stroking her soft fur. The Phenik fox slowly began to calm, her growls changing to a purr. 

Flicks, after a moment’s hesitation, knelt down beside the unconscious man. Tugging his cloak out of the way, she rolled him over onto his back.

Her mouth dropped open and she sat back on her heels. The man moaned softly and Nainsi glanced at Flicks. “Has he got any—” she broke off, staring at the man’s face.

Skilf moved forward. “Who is it?”

“I...I think it’s Trancos,” Flicks replied in a dazed voice.

Skilf’s eyes opened wide and she looked down. “Yes, I’d say you’re right.”

Trancos groaned again and his eyes flickered open. It took him several moments to focus on his surroundings and when he did he scrambled to a sitting position in shock. “Wh – what happened?” he asked.

“Umm,” Flicks said, wondering what to say.

Trancos reached a hand to his head, pulling it back as he felt the sticky heat of blood. He looked back at the four people around him, then froze.

Nainsi, her expression fixed, stared back.

Flicks stood up, looking from Trancos to Nainsi and back again. Then she glanced at Skilf who shrugged uncertainly.

Trancos struggled to his feet, swaying uncertainly. “N-Nainsi,” he said.

Nainsi stepped backwards. “No...No...” she shook her head slowly, fear and shock on her face.

“Nainsi I can ex—”

“NO!” Nainsi shouted and spun around and ran.

“Hang on!” Flicks protested and set off through the trees after her.

“Do you know her?” Skilf asked Trancos.

Trancos paid her no heed, instead he stumbled forwards and crashed through the undergrowth in the direction Nainsi had taken.

Larzik and Skilf gave each other a sidelong glance and then ran after the others.

“Oi! Nainsi, wait up!” Flicks called. 

Nainsi was stumbling along ahead, pushing through the ferns and bracken that grew up under the trees.

Fred jumped off Flicks’ shoulder and rose into the air. “Something’s wrong,” she said. “Something’s really wrong.” She whizzed off through the trees, disappearing in a green blur.

The trees were thinning and Nainsi burst from them and into the sunlight, Flicks just meters behind. Flicks saw a movement out of the corner of her eye and yelled a warning, jerking Nainsi backwards.

A sword swished through the air previously occupied by Nainsi.

A tall, broad-shouldered man stood in front of them, holding a massive, two handed battle sword. “Delighted to meet your acquaintance,” he said, lunging forward with the point of the sword.

Flick jumped backwards. “I guess this might not be the best time but, who are you?” she asked.

The man paused. “I am,” he said haughtily. “Sniperscope Asesino. King of the country of Manirus and ruler to be of these very lands we are now standing on.”

Flicks remembered one line of the prophecy with sudden clarification: Though target they be for Sniperscope. Obviously this was the Sniperscope that was supposedly targeting her and Skilf. Not a nice situation.

“Oh,” she gasped. “I’m afraid I don’t feel so delighted to meet you.”

King Sniperscope swung the sword in a bewilderingly swift motion and Flicks dropped to the ground to avoid the razor blade.

Nainsi was backing slowly away, unnoticed by Sniperscope as of yet.

Flicks rolled to one side as the sword descended toward her. But the Manirus king was too fast and he predicted to movement and Flicks found herself lying on the ground with a sword at her throat.

“Choose your last words carefully,” the swordsman snarled.

Flicks took several deep breaths then whispered one word.


Trancos appeared behind Sniperscope.

He swayed for a second, blinking his eyes to clear the fog that was an after-effect of the transportation.

Some sound alerted the tall Manirisian and he spun around, forgetting Flicks in his surprise.

“Sir Trancos,” he growled softly. “So you have returned after all these years.”

Trancos narrowed his eyes. “On the contrary,” he replied. “It is just that you have finally found my abode.”

“We have unfinished business,” Sniperscope snarled. “It has come to a time when we must settle past troubles.”


1. Trancos drew his sword in a fluid motion, twirling it in his fingers with practiced ease. “I’d be happy to oblige,” he said, pulling his cloak off and tossing it to the side.

2. “Now, now, Sniperscope,” a voice came from the trees. “Don’t get distracted in revenge. Remember the deal?”

3. Flicks, who had scrambled to her feet, felt a light tap on her shoulder and she turned her head curiously... 


Okay, thanks for reading, everyone! You may have noticed that I'm trying to bring back the Prophecy. So if anyone needs reminding of what it was I'll put a link right here (The link goes to part 13 in which Flicks and Skilf read the prophecy).
Have fun choosing your favourite option!

Fare Thee Well!