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!


  1. Aww... Finished? I suppose you get bonus points since it had a very nice happy ending :D

    As to a suggestion..? I dunno... You could always write a science-y fiction story of sorts!

    1. Yeah, I've got two ideaish things, one's in medieval times, and the other is sci fi. I'm still working on both. Right now it's looking like the medieval one is going to work best. :D

  2. Okay, here I am finally over a week late.
    You included Leafits and Twigins up to the very end! :D My favorite characters! I really enjoyed this story Jane and am sad to see it go...but I look forward to reading your future writings! I can't believe you have been writing this one for 26 weeks! That's half a year.

    1. I know! I never expected that I'd keep going for so long!


I love getting comments so don't hesitate to tap one out! (doesn't even have to be in Morse Code)

And I always reply to them, so don't forget to check back!