Friday, 27 November 2015

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Seven

Started writing: 8:30
Finished Fragment (including procrastination): 12:00
Inward Attitude Towards The Writing: Pretty Cool (as usual)
Outward Signs: Deathlike Groaning (also as usual)
Amount Of Words: 1,791
Amount of Characters (with spaces): 9,297
Number Of Times That One Song Was Repeated: Unknown

Okay...So there's this one song (I don't feel like revealing its name just yet)  that I think really goes with Maree. I've been wondering just how many times I've played this 'one certain song'. I listen to it over and over every time I'm writing these Fragments, so the number would be quite large (especially now that I've worked out how to put it on repeat so it literally plays constantly). It's a really cool song though, so I like it when it gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day. And it's been quite inspirational at times, and I'm still using snatches of words or lines from the song in the stories. Maybe one day I'll tell you what it is...probably once I've revealed more about Maree's past. (Dunno when that's gonna happen.)

Yeah, anyway, option two won (was that a surprise?). Sadly that option was the one that I had the least idea about. Option one and three I had 0 idea, but for option two I had -1. But once I actually began I discovered that, buried deep in the darkest depths of my mind I did have an idea. After a bit of head-to-desk contact I was convinced to come forward onto paper (or rather, a Word Document). So here you go, the completed and finished Fragment Seven.

Jack burst through the door and stumbled into the room. “Something wrong?” his father asked, grabbing the boy’s shoulders. 

Before he could say anything Maree jumped at him, clamping her hand over his mouth.

“Now, whateever ‘e seys, jest beleeve me. Eef them soldiers find oot as ye’ve hid us, they’ll noot spare you. Eef ye hand us oover to ‘em they’ll be back an’ they won’t be coomin’ ter thank ye,” she said quickly. Then, very slowly, she removed her hand from the boy’s mouth.

He heaved in a shuddering breath and looked at his father. “They saw me,” he said, his eyes wide. “An’ they asked me if I’d seen a pair of girls around. The Captain told me as if I did, they’d pay me in gold if I told ‘em.”

I glanced toward Maree, licking my suddenly dry lips. “What did you say?” I asked, nervously.

Jack looked at me. “I didn’t say anything,” he said stoutly. “I just shook my head and ran. Luckily they didn’t see your horses.”

“You’ll have to run,” Sir Creighton said, turning to us. “If they come in here, I’ll be enough to distract them for the time being.”

Judith sprang into action. “Into that room, and hurry,” she cried, pushing me into a small bedroom.

Jack ran in with us, slamming the door shut and running to a tiny window. He jerked the curtains open and glanced out of the glassless opening. “All safe,” he said. “Out you climb.”

I struggled out, thankful that I was no longer wearing a long dress. When my feet touched the ground I looked back through the window. The bedroom door opened and Sir Creighton strode to Maree, passing her a long parcel. “You may need these soon,” he explained. “I wish I had time to tell you how I escaped, but that is the one thing we do not have. Let it suffice for me to say that the stronghold of Hacaz is not so strong as once supposed. There is a weak point—” he broke off at the sound of hammering. “Fare well my friends, I do not think we shall meet again,” he said, and with that, he turned and left the room.

Come on,” I hissed at Maree as she frowned at the door.

She turned and was about to spring out of the window when she hesitated. “Get out,” Jack whispered urgently.

Maree raced to the small wooden chest along the wall, flinging it open. She grabbed something out of it, shut it and vaulted out the window.

“Hey! That’s my favourite...” Jack began but we were already racing for the trees.

I found running much easier without my skirts wrapping around my legs and trying to trip me over. Maree still outran me, but I was pleased with the progress.

We dived into the trees, twisting through them and dodging around the larger trunks. Had I been the leader, we would have doubtless ended up right where we began, but Maree seemed to have some kind of internal compass.

“Where’re we going?” I called to her.

She slowed to allow me to catch up and pointed ahead. “Thet way.”

“What’s ‘that way’?” I asked.

“The eedge o’ the forest an’ a vellage by the river. They ‘ave a treede set oop between ‘em and another toown on the eedge o’ the lake, so they’ll be havin’ a boat we coold borrow,” Maree said.

I looked curiously at the two bundles she held. One long and oddly shaped – from Sir Creighton – and the other which looked strangely like clothes. Maree stopped and passed me the second bundle. “Hold thet, will ye?” she asked, and turned her attention to the one from Sir Creighton.

She unwrapped it and revealed first a bow and then a quiver of arrows. I watched a grin pull the corners of her mouth. “Ah, he’s goot a sense o’ humour after all,” she murmured, tying the belt around her waist so the quiver hung at her right side.

“Huh?” I asked, puckering my brow.

Maree looked up as she strung the bow deftly. “We met, he an’ I, oover a bow. I were tryin’ ter borrow ‘is ye see. Weell, noot borrow, steal really, but I liked t’ call eet borrow ‘cause I deed always plan ter geeve eet back. And eet were only rare occasions as I forgot.”

I tried to imagine how such a meeting would have ended, but I couldn’t decide who would be more likely to win. “What happened?” I asked, when my own imagination failed.

“Sir Creighton gave me a loong steeck, some streeng and a half made arrow – eet deedn’t ‘ave the point yet – an’ he told me ter run oof like a good leetle girl,” Maree laughed aloud.

I considered the bundle of clothes in my hands. Maree took them from me, grinning widely. “D’you theenk they’ll fit?” she asked, shrugging off her own mud coated leather jacket and donning the thick felt coat.

“Well, it fits better than the last one,” I commented. 

Maree’s grin widened. “Hope Jack don’t mind too much. I theenk ‘e were sayin’ somthin’ aboot ‘is favourite somethin’...” she left the sentence hanging, her facing looking like it was about to split in two if she smiled any more. “I’ll be keepin’ the old one though, jest in case.” 

“Are we planning on getting to this village any time soon?” I reminded her.

“Oh, yeah,” Maree said, delving into the bundle again and slipping the leather shooting glove onto her right hand, and a long armguard for her left. “There,” she sighed in satisfaction. “Thet feels much better. And noow...Dúinn aller.”

“What does that mean anyway?” I asked, frowning as she set off at a brisk walk.

“Ye’ll work eet oot sometime,” Maree replied without hesitating in her stride.

I hurried to catch up, my feet crunching on the sticks and leaves on the damp ground. There was a strange feeling in the air, it was not terribly cold, but it certainly was colder than it should be. Maree kept glancing up at the clouds just visible through the leaves of the trees. She quickened her pace, and I noticed that her fingers were clenched tightly around the grip of her bow. Maree seemed to do that when she was worried, so I decided that something must be wrong.

Eventually Maree spoke. “I dinna be likin’ the look of them clouds,” she remarked, her dark eyebrows lowered.

I started fiddling with my unfastened hair – a habit I’d gained when I was unsure about something – and didn’t reply, waiting to see if she continued.

“Eet looks like—”

A slivery white dot landed on my hand. “Snow,” I finished. I released the small plait that I had unconsciously made and brushed the flake off my skin. “I guess that doesn’t make our chances of reaching safety very high?”

Maree shrugged, as another snowflake descended from the heavens. “Beest we can be doin’ es leg eet,” she said. Thus saying she spun around and started to run. 

I started after her, tripped over a rotten stump and only just caught myself on a nearby tree. I scrambled upright again and stumbled after Maree.

The snowflakes drifted down in greater numbers, glinting as they floated and settled on the leaves of trees and began to create a white blanket on the ground. 

Maree’s hair had a dusting of snow in its dark curls and I figured mine wasn’t much better. “How close to that village are we?” I called.

“Hard to sey,” Maree replied. “Thees snow es makin’ eet deeficult.”

“Approximately?” I asked hopefully.

“D’you be wantin’ me to make ye feel better or ter tell ye the true fact?” Maree returned.

I hesitated. “True fact,” I decided, better to know the worst scenario.

“Appox’mately two hours, theen,” Maree said over her shoulder.

I slumped inwardly, and couldn’t help but slow my pace a little. “Two hours? We’ll never make it.”

“Not neever,” Maree assured me. “Jest noot in the next two hours.” She paused for a moment and the only sound was our running footsteps on the snow specked ground. “Thet’s eef it weren’t snowin’,” Maree added.

I stopped, despair defeating me. Maree followed suit and turned to me. “Dinna be loosin’ heart though,” she said, gripping my shoulder, her earnest black eyes on mine. “Have courage. Ye’ve got eet en you, I know ye do.”

I realised that Maree was stronger than I knew, there was something about her past and all this business that I needed to find out about. One piece of a puzzle to make all the other pieces fit together.

Maree sighed. “I’ll expleen when we git ter the village,” she said, as if reading my thoughts. “I guess ye deserve to know.”

“Oh, don’t tell me if you don’t want to,” I answered, although I desperately wanted to find out.

“Nay,” Maree shook her head. “Eet’s time I told someone.” She turned back in the direction we’d been following for what seemed like hours now. This time she didn’t run, just walked, her eyes fixed on the ground. I was unsure whether she was looking for a path or just deep in thought, either way that was doubtless the reason she didn’t see the danger until it was too late.

A huge figure jumped out of the trees, an enormous club raised over his head. Maree barely had time to look up before the club began its journey downwards.

“Careful!” I shouted pointlessly.

The cudgel swept down and landed with a sickening thud on Maree’s head.

Maree’s legs crumpled beneath her from the massive force of the blow and she fell to the ground in a heap.

“No!” I yelled in horror, before I could stop myself.

The huge man turned to me with a guttural sound and, club upraised, he charged.


1. “Help!” I screamed to no one in particular, and ran.

2. “Oh no you don’t,” I said resolutely, grabbing a branch from the ground and holding it in readiness for his incoming blow.

3. The fact that I didn’t stop to think showed that, even then, I had already learnt something from my adventures. Sometimes there wasn’t time for thinking. I dived for Maree’s bow.


So...that last bit was a little unexpected even for me, when I found myself writing the words. Don't worry, she doesn't die but I have forseen some difficulties ahead...after all it is an Adventure. Looking forward to your comments, and thanks for reading. 

Dúinn aller!

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Bedtime Book Tag

I'd like to thank my dear sister Clare for tagging me for the 'Bedtime Book Tag'. I haven't done one of these tag things since September, so I guess it was time for another to come around again. At least this one's about books. So, as far as I know all I have to do is answer questions! Sounds easy, I'll give it my best shot.

Yup, thanks for the cool picture, Clare. :D

1. A book that kept you up all night.
I've never done all night. The latest I've got was 2 in the morning I think. That was when I was reading 'The Emperor of Nihon-Ja' (Book ten in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan). I believe I've stayed up fairly late for some other books...

2. A book that made you scared to sleep.
Umm, I really don't know that I've ever really been scared to sleep. Except maybe if it's ten pm and I don't want to go to bed because the world's about to explode...but then I just finish the book or something.

3. A book that made you go to sleep.
Once I listened to an audio book of 'Dragon Keeper' by Carole Wilkinson. It didn't literally make me go to sleep but it got rather annoying because the main character was sooooo, er, let's say...silly. It was a rather predictable story.

4. A book that left you tossing and turning all night in anticipation of its release.
Well, I was pretty excited about 'A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis being released. Same with The Ranger's Apprentice Prequel - The Tournament at Gorlan. Oh, let's not forget the Brotherband books...

5. A book that has your favourite boy/girl relationship.
The Billabong series is definitely high on that list. I really love Norah and Wally and how Wally never actually (well, he kinda forgot about it for a while) asked her to marry him, it just got supposed it was happening. :D Also, both 'Heartless' and 'Starflower' by Anne Elisabeth Stengl had that kind of thing in them, and they were pretty cool.

6. A book that would be your worst nightmare to live in.
A book where dreams come true. Okay, maybe that was too random an answer. I don't think I'd like to live in Divergent (I'd most likely die), or A Time To Die (I'd most likely die), or...I can't think of any others really...

7. A book that reminds you of night-time.
'Draven's Light' by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It's an amazing book. I cried at the end. But it really good. You should seriously read it.

8. A book that had a nightmareish cliffhanger.
Er...I don't know, I try not to read books that Clare has read and says have horrible cliffhanger endings. But, mostly all the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' and 'The Heroes of Olympus' have ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, and they're really annoying, because I've been borrowing the books from a friend I see every Monday night at band. So I have a whole week to wait after finishing the book on Tuesday or Wednesday. And she doesn't necessarily remember to bring the next one...horrible sometimes.

9. A book you actually dreamed about.
Actually, I dream about a lot of books. Strange, I know. If I fall asleep thinking about the book I generally have something in my dreams about it, and sometimes that can be pretty cool. I've had dreams about Lord Of The Rings/ The Hobbit, Ranger's Apprentice/Brotherband, and other thing like that. I also dream about movies...Once I was was a Time Lord. That was cool.

10. A book monster you wouldn't want to find under your bed. 
Right, can someone tell me someone who actually wants a monster under their bed? Well, I don't really know. Personally I'd rather not wake up and find Smaug hiding under my bed...or any monster actually. I don't know of any monster I would want to find under my bed. (I have a bunk-bed so I could fit some pretty scary things under there quite easily.)

So there we are. That wasn't really, really easy, but I survived! Now...who shall I tag? Aha! I can think of two people, and one of them quite possibly won't do anything about it but I'll tag Zach from Zach's Abode, and while I'm at it I'll tag my cousin Jessica from Inspiration too.
All you have to do is answer the above questions and post 'em on your blog. It ain't hard to do. And I'll be waiting... ;D

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 20 November 2015

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Six

Here we are, already up to Fragment six. I'm kind of wondering how long this story is going to go on for...and what it'll turn out like in the end. But with things like this, you never know until you get there, so I'll just have to wait and see.

I spent part yesterday morning doing Church Cleaning and when I got home I started on the writing. By the time I'd finally finished (and you see the pain in every letter of that 'finally'?) my school work still hadn't done itself! Can you believe it? That's just plain meannnnn
Today I finished my science for the year. Yay! I'm also quite close to finishing my history and literature/English as well, and technically my maths but I've still got about three weeks or so of that.

So...last week option two got the majority. I wasn't really expecting that, and I had no clue what was meant to come after that option. But I just made it up as I went along. I hope you like what I ended up with!

Sir Creighton was leaning casually on a tree, one foot propped up on the trunk behind him. Or, at least, I thought it was Sir Creighton. His build, hair and even posture was the same, but surely Sir Creighton, Hacaz or whatever, couldn’t have gotten here that fast.

Maree gaped at the man who looked strangely similar to our enemy. “What een all o’ Feâ Sirih be you doin’ here?”

The man straightened. “Come on,” he beckoned to us. “There’s a bridge, just up the river a little.”

I glanced at Maree. “Who’s he? And why does he look so much like Sir...umm Hacaz?”

 “Shh,” Maree hissed. “I’ll expleen later. But whatever ye do, dinna be mentionin’ thet name.” Maree grabbed her horse’s bridle and jogged up-stream in the direction the Sir Creighton guy had pointed.

“How do you know it isn’t a trap?” I asked, literally slipping off my horse and following. “I didn’t think it was a smart idea to do what your enemy asked you to.”

“Generally eet ain’t,” Maree called back. “But ‘e ain’t our enemy.”

I resisted the urge to ask, ‘Then what is he?’ and pushed through the undergrowth behind my companion.

Maree walked tentatively over the rough bridge, testing each step carefully before putting her weight on it. Her black horse followed her example and they both reached the other side safely.

I placed a foot on the uneven planks, following Maree’s muddy footprints. I breathed a sigh of relief as I stepped off the other end.

The strange man was waiting impatiently and beckoned again. “Don’t take so long,” he said. “We’ve got to get to where I’m staying before the soldiers reach the river.”

Maree nodded reassuringly. “I’ll expleen later,” she repeated, and set off after our guide.

The voluminous skirts of my dress were not enthused about a trek through the forest, and they voiced this as well as they could. I walked on, pretending not to notice when the expensive fabric caught on bushes and bracken, reluctant to release their hold. A loud ripping sound and a hard tug stopped me in my tracks. Maree too paused, looking back.

The hem of my dress was jammed between the ground and the hoof of my light brown horse. Sadly – for the dress – Ripper, as I started calling her, had taken a little longer than I had to come to a complete standstill. This explained the ripping sounds. Not to mention the huge tear that reached halfway up the skirt.

For once I was thankful for underskirts as I pushed Ripper back a little and rescued the muddy remains of my hem. I held the reins in one hand and lifted my dress clear of the ground with the other. When I looked up Maree’s expression told me that she’d been grinning widely just seconds before. I rolled my eyes.

“P’raps we shoold find new clothes sooneesh,” she said innocently.

I sniffed. I’d never done that before, but it sounded good when Governess Kathryn did it so I decided to give it a go.

Maree’s eyebrows shot up at the sound, and just for the reaction I sniffed again. “A feegure o’ ledylike deestain,” Maree said. “I’m almoost scared.”  That said she turned away, not waiting for my answer. Which was just as well, because, after all, what could one say back to a remark like that?

In another minute or so we emerged from the dense trees and out into a tiny clearing. A log cabin nestled between the trees, a faint curl of smoke floating from the chimney. “Ye leeve here?” Maree asked the man leading us.

“Not live,” he replied. “I’m just staying temporarily.”

I frowned at his back; I still couldn’t work out who he was. He was even wearing the exact clothes that Hacaz had been back in the manor but somehow he was a different person? Sorry, but I found that hard to understand.

The door opened and a lean man came out. Seeing us, he jerked his head toward the cabin. “Come on in,” he invited, he turned back to the interior of the building. “Jack! Come look after these horses.”

A tall, young boy of about twelve ran out the door and took the reins of our horses. “They aren’t ours,” I said. “We’ll need to return them to the farmer.”

“Jack’ll do that in a day or two, don’t you worry,” his father replied. “Please come in. I’m afraid we weren’t expecting guests, our other visitor did think he heard someone around, but he’s always hearing strange things.” This last was said with a friendly clap on the back for our escort.

I shook hands with our host and thanked him profusely. Maree went to do the same but realised her hand was covered in a thick layer of mud, she wiped it on her trousers but only succeeded in getting it even more filthy. “Sorry about her,” I said, laughing. “She fell in the river.”

“So I see,” the man said, looking over Maree with a half smile. “I’m sure we could find some cleaner clothes to fit you.”

Maree grinned cheerfully. “No need,” she said. “I be fine wi’ theese.”

“Actually, I think there’s a very great need,” a woman appeared in the doorway. “Come in, and we’ll look to getting some food and clothes. For both of you,” she added after a glance at the state of my dress.

The inside of the hut was open and friendly, sunlight trickling through the leaves of the trees eventually made its way through the wide windows, lighting up the room. “I’m Judith,” the smiling woman introduced herself. “And this is Dan, my husband, you’ve already met Jack. And there’s Jayne, Jenny, Jill and Juliana,” she continued, pointing in turn, to each of the four girls around the room.

They each curtseyed and I automatically did the same. Maree, standing beside me, looked awkwardly from them to me and back again, as if wondering if she was supposed to do the same.

“I’m Louise D—” I began, but Maree cut me off.

“She’s Looise Conweell, and I’m Maree Freespirit,” she said quickly, and I realised the wisdom of not revealing my full name.

“Pleasure to meet you,” the four girls replied in unison, dropping another curtsey.

I smiled at Maree’s bemused expression then touched her arm to attract her attention. “You were going to explain?” I prompted meaningfully.

“What? Oh, yees,” she said, frowning as she tried to think how to start.

“Why does he look like...Sir Creighton?” I asked in a low voice, remembering that she’d told me not to mention the name ‘Hacaz’.

“Thees ees Sir Creighton. He’s a reel man, Hacaz deedn’t make the name oop. He deescovered as Sir Creighton were almost identeecal to ‘im and so took over hees identity and...deesposed o’ the true man,” Maree explained quietly.

“What’s he doing here then?” I asked, glancing at the knight out of the corner of my eye.

“I’d like ter be knowin’ the answer to thet as much as ye,” she replied. “But ye canna find a more troost-worthy man. I met ‘im a coupla weeks back.”

‘Excuse me,” Judith approached. She had several items of clothing draped over her arm. She looked through the garments and then tugged out some and passed them to me. “They look like they’d fit you,” she said. “They’ll be better for travelling too.” She glanced at Maree, “I imagine you’ll be doing a bit of that?”

“Aye,” Maree agreed. “We’ve jest goot a whole unit o’ soldiers after us. No hay problema.”

“You can try them on in there,” Judith gestured to a door. “They should fit. They’re Jayne’s and you two look about the same size.”

I nodded, still thinking about this real Sir Creighton, and crossed the room to it, closing the door behind me. I changed quickly, glad to have clean clothes on again. The fabric was much more hardy than that of any of my clothes back where Governess Kathryn decided my wardrobe. And to add to that, it wasn’t exactly a dress, it reached down to my knees and under it I wore the tight leggings Judith had provided. They were made of a dark leaf-green colour which I liked; besides it would be easier for hiding in.

When I emerged our hostess was holding up odd garments to Maree, frowning severely and shaking her head. Maree scowled darkly at the pink shirt that Judith was holding. I grinned at both of their expressions, apparently Maree’s new-clothes-fitting wasn’t going too well.

“Agh,” the mistress of the house exclaimed. “None of these would do. They’re either too big or too small, and the ones that might fit she outright refuses to even hold!” She turned to me in exasperation.

Jack burst through the door and stumbled into the room. “Something wrong?” his father asked, grabbing the boy’s shoulders.


1. “They’re comin’!” Jack gasped, waving a hand toward the door. “Soldiers, heaps o’ them.”

2. Before he could say anything Maree jumped at him, clamping her hand over his mouth.

3. “Nope, everything’s fine,” he gasped. He was terrible liar.


To tell the truth, I have no idea whatsoever of what's going to happen after any of the options. Yeah, not cool. I'll probably forget about that until next Thursday though, and then I'll sit at the computer for a couple of hours, moaning and groaning (yup, I make strange noises when I'm writing this stuff) between moments of inspiration. Yesterday it was after 2 o'clock before I ate lunch...Also not cool. By that stage I was starting to hear the words 'food', 'eat' and other such things in everyone's conversation. I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed my lunch. ;)

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 13 November 2015

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Five

I've been getting on quite well with this 'If Adventure Comes Your Way' I must say, I haven't had much difficulty writing it....before this one...Ahem, it took me three hours yesterday, but that was with my mum reading aloud to the boys at one stage and also the general noise that comes with having five siblings. But I eventually got it all done and I did enjoy myself anyway.

Mostly everyone agreed that option one was the best this time. I think there's just something attractive about dumping characters in moats...So I'll not delay you from reading more about falling into moats.

We hit the moat with a fountaining splash.

One slight problem: I was wearing a long, heavy dress, and I couldn’t swim very well.

I came up gasping for air, kicking my legs in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. The weight of my dress dragged me under the cold water once more. My legs tangled in my skirts and my arms floundered uselessly. I need to breathe. I need to breathe. I need to breathe! My thoughts chanted over and over, but I couldn’t remember which way was up and the murky water swirled around me in a disorientating manner.

Just before I gave up a hand grabbed my shoulder and pulled me up out of the water. I gulped in the air, feeling grass under my hands.

“Well, up ye git, now,” Maree said, hauling me to my feet. “I’d sey eet’d be a good toime t’ leg eet.”

“Leg it?” I moaned. “What’s that meant to mean?” But Maree was already running, and I was forced to choose between running as well or being dragged along behind, as she still had a firm grip on my hand.

Maree couldn’t even seem to run straight, but instead kept turning suddenly and twisting around in the most unpredictable fashion. A wicked hiss that was all too familiar shot past us and an arrow skidded along the ground and buried its point amongst the wildflowers.

Now that I realised just how serious Sir Creighton and his men were I discovered reserves of speed which I never knew I had. I wonder what Governess Kathryn would say if she saw me now? I thought absentmindedly, before realising that what she would say matter least just at that moment. 

Maree pulled me into a large clump of trees, slowing slightly as she pushed through the branches. “Where...are...we going?” I panted, remembering why I hated running.

“I havena decided queet yit. Eway moostly,” Maree replied. “Horses coold o’ come een handy, but we dinna ‘ave the toime.”

“We could get some in the town,” I suggested.

“Ah, but we ‘ave to git there first,” Maree said. “And Hacaz and ‘is men have horses alreedy.”

I pressed my lips together and Maree redoubled her pace. Leaves slapped my face and I tripped on the hem of my dress more than once, and would have ended up face-first in the dirt if not for Maree.

“Weet there,” Maree released her hold of my hand and vaulted over a tall fence on our right, running like an athlete toward a small farmhouse.

She disappeared inside it and I looked around nervously. If any of the soldiers turned up I wanted Maree to be next to me, not away in some farmhouse.

I crouched under a bush, my eyes on the farm cottage, waiting for Maree to reappear. The sound of horses behind me and to my right made me freeze, my heartbeat quickening. I remained as still as a living being could as the sound came closer and closer.

“Come oon!” Maree’s voice hissed at me.

I almost jumped out of my skin, and I certainly jumped out of the bush. “How did you get here?” I asked. “And where did you get the horses?”

“The farmer were happy ter lend ‘em whin I toold ‘im what was happenin’,” Maree replied cheerfully. “I seid I’d geeve ‘em back.”

“By the look on her face, she might be enjoying this,” I muttered under my breath, but I swung up into the saddle anyway.

Maree cocked her head, as if listening to some distant sound. “Heer thet?” she asked.

I began to shake my head but then caught the sound of horses galloping. 

Maree looked at me and nodded once. “Run,” she said.

We ran.

Galloping bareback across fields and hills on a half trained horse was not my idea of an adventure. Maree had only bothered to throw a bridle on the two horses before we started and I can tell you that galloping bareback is difficult at the best of times. But wearing a long, soggy dress? On a barely trained horse? At that moment I actually missed my peaceful rides with Governess Kathryn.

Maree was obviously more experienced in the quarter of riding badly trained horses as well as secret passages. She stayed beside me, looking back every now and then. I dared not look for fear that I would fall off. “Are they following us?” I asked, raising my voice over the sound of our horses, the words coming out in jolts.

“Een a manner o’ speekin’,” Maree agreed, grinning lopsidedly at me. “They keep losin’ us oover the hills.”

“That’s comforting,” I murmured, not caring that Maree wouldn’t be able to hear past the wind and horses.

My clothes began to dry out from the wind and the speed at which we were travelling. As we topped the next rise I caught my breath; the view was magnificent. A huge forest spread across the land below, a river cutting a path through it and then flowing down to a distant lake, just visible on the horizon. 

We pulled up the horses in unison, both of us gazing at the picturesque scene. “Preetty, ain’t eet?” Maree remarked, tossing her wild hair out of her eyes.

“Amazing,” I agreed.

“P’raps we shoold git doown to thet rather large bunch o’ trees,” Maree suggested.

“Good plan,’ I concurred, remembering the soldiers behind us.

I urged the horse forward with a nudge with my shoe, and the horse, who seemed to be enjoying itself immensely, shot away down the steep incline, cantering for the forest, or rather, the ‘bunch of trees’ as Maree had christened it. 

Maree raced beside me and we plunged into the wood, the horses slowing to avoid collision with the trees. My hair caught on twigs and I had to duck several times or get knocked from my horse by a protruding branch.

The trees block our view of any pursuit and vice versa, or so I hoped. We cantered slowly deeper into the forest, listening for the tell-tale sounds of our hunters.

In front of me, Maree’s horse swerved and skidded to a stop. My horse too took great efforts to stop, and reared on its hind legs, dancing to the side so as not to crash into Maree and her mount.

I grabbed onto the light coloured mane, only just retaining my seat. “That was close,” I gasped when the horse settled down.

The river I’d noticed earlier lay just in front of us and it looked much less attractive to fall into than the manor moat did. The edge was slippery clay-like mud and the brown water was low. Not for long, I guessed, soon it’ll swell from the melting snow up on the mountains.

“We’re een luck, epparently,” Maree said. “A feew deys later ‘n we’d be stuck oon thees side.” Apparently she’d been thinking along the same lines as me.

“So do we look for a crossing? Or just cross here?” I asked, turning to Maree’s superior knowledge in matters such as these.

Maree ran her fingers through her thick hair. “I dinna ken,” she said. “Ah, sorry, I dinna know. There’s a possibility as thees es the best crossin’ for aeons awey and we’d de weestin’ our toime lookin’ for eet.”

I saw the indecision on her face as she chewed her lip thoughtfully, and I stared at the river. “What if we used a stick to test how deep it gets?”

“Hmm, thet coold be an ideea,” Maree nodded. She steered her horse up beside a tree and, reaching up, grabbed a small, dead branch and gave it a hard tug.

A crack shot through the forest, echoing off the trees as sound is wont to do in woodlands. My mount neighed shrilly and danced to the side but Maree’s was more energetic in its response. It reared violently and when its front hooves hit the ground it didn’t stop. Maree, holding a stick in one hand and the reins in the other, had barely a chance.

Somehow she managed to stay on for the first half a second but when her horse bucked she did the natural thing. She performed a neat flip over the horses head and landed – standing upright, to my astonishment – right at the very edge of the river.

Sadly for her the edge of the river was, as I mentioned before, very slippery mud. This meant that she immediately slid down into the brown water.

I stared, slowly comprehending exactly what had just happened; it seemed too funny to be true.

Maree surfaced, a slimy-looking piece of river weed in her hair. She swam to the edge and took hold of a clump of grass, pulling herself out of the water.

“And jest when me clothes were as getin’ dry agin,” she spluttered, before slipping in the mud on the bank and falling back into the water again.

I dismounted and offered a hand to Maree who continued to have struggles to surmount the riverbank. She looked at my hand and then at me. “You’re noot afreed as I’ll pull ye en?” she asked.

I raised an eyebrow. “No, you wouldn’t dare,” I returned, and took her hand and pulled.

It was a close call thing, I almost joined her, but eventually she was lying on the forest floor, grinning up at me. In the process of getting out of the water she had become even muddier than before. Her face was now a mud brown and her legs were barely visible.

“You look like you need to get back in again,” I told her as she stood.

“Wooldn’t dare,” she said definitely. She suddenly fell serious, “But what were the reeson as the horses did thet?” she mused.

I frowned. “What do you mean? It was the branch breaking, wasn’t it?”

“It coold a been ‘cept as they did eet jest after I broke eet,” Maree observed thoughtfully.

I opened my mouth to reply but then something, on the far side of the river, caught my eye and I turned. My eyes widened as I saw what it was...


1. A long legged, wolf-like animal was watching us carefully, its teeth bared in what looked nastily like a snarl.

2. Sir Creighton was leaning casually on a tree, one foot propped up on the trunk behind him.

3. I am no great expert at large birds, but the bird sitting by the far bank was the biggest I’ve ever seen.


I must say, I probably enjoyed myself too much when I wrote about Maree falling in the river...But it was very funny. It really sounds like something that would happen to me. :) I hope you enjoyed reading.

Fare Thee Well!

Monday, 9 November 2015

'Brace Yourself'

So...something happened that, a while ago, I wouldn't have ever expected. I've kept you all in suspense, although most of my followers already know, because they've seen me. I almost considered not doing a post just for a certain cousin of mine (yeah, Jessica, I'm talking about you...),  because I thought it would be funny to just turn up at Christmas time and freak her out. I did rather want to see her face when she saw me. But...just 'cause I'm nice, I didn't. 
Right, so to get right to the whole point of this post:

 I Have Glasses.

Okay, it all started with the projector at church. I'd been having trouble reading it and I eventually mentioned it to someone. This resulted in a frown and a few weeks later, an eye test. To use the exact words of the Eye-Doctor-person: "You are the best case for needing glasses that I've had today." (Sorry about that very generalised summary, I could go into more depth, but it's not much of an interesting tale.)

Yeah, so after that I had to choose frames for the glasses. Those who know me will also know that I really don't like making decisions. Really. And this wasn't just any decision, it was one that was going to stay around for quite a while. In the end I decided on a black frame, nice and simple, nothing fancy, just like me really (In case you didn't know, I have a strong distaste for most things fancy).

Last Tuesday they were ready so Daddy and I, along with my three littler siblings, went down to pick them up. When I put them on I just said, "Wow." I couldn't think of anything better to say. It truly is wow-ish. Driving back home I read out about every sign we passed just 'cause I could, and commenting on all the jacaranda trees, that are flowering now, had so many flowers! The trees have so many leaves, the grass is so...umm...grassy, my feet look really small, not to mention that I can't work out if the ground looks close or far away.

Sadly, Tuesday and Wednesday were all cloudy, but finally on Thursday the sky was clear. And at night I went outside to look at the stars. So cool. I thought I could see heaps of stars before. But now? Now I can see loads more. And they're not just random blobs of light, they're actually more like holes in the sky, opening up into some other realm full of adventures and fantasy.

Naturally my sister Clare, who is also a photographer, would not allow me to do a post without pictures. So we managed to find a sunny few minutes just before the sun set the other day and she took a few photos. 

Yep. Just a few (I know, it's amazing). As I said, it was only minutes until the sun set so I am still to be subjected to a more lengthy photo-shoot. But to look on the bright side: I don't even have to pay! Which is a good thing, because I've already spent all my money on Christmas presents. Two Christmas presents (Guess what! They were books!).
I didn't really have much money to start off with. Actually I still haven't earned the money to pay my Mum back. I'm doing that at the end of this month though, so it's all sorted. I still haven't had any inspiration as to what to give any of the rest of my family yet, but I'm working on it. 

Right, sorry, I'll get back to the point.

One sad thing is that I can't show other people how much difference the glasses make. Everything looks so amazing! But if I'd always been able to see this much I wouldn't think it was amazing, it'd just be normal. I think all my siblings have tried on my glasses, most thought things looked really over sharpened, but my almost-two-year-old little sister, Ann, didn't say. She just stared at me and then smeared her hands across the lenses so I had to clean them if I wanted to see anything other than smear. I wonder why she did that? (Sorry...sarcasm runs in the family.)

Basically I have to wear my glasses all the time unless I'm doing something that's close; like stuff on the computer, reading and school work. Apparently if I wear them while doing that kind of thing my eyes could get worse. And I'm already half-blind enough, so I'm fine with taking them off. :)

 So there we go. Now you know that I have glasses. To finish off this post I think a poem (written by Skilf, naturally) about my glasses would be fitting. She wrote this as if from my point of view, after I told her about my glasses. She seemed to find it rather amusing when I mentioned the church projector being the bane of my life, as you will notice...

The Bane of My Life

Oh the bane of my life, the projector.
To glasses and short-sightedness lie,
Forever to squint, or glasses to wear,
For I have the myopic eye.

Pray, come near me not, my dear friends,
For catching, my case may well be,
And you do not want to have glasses,
All the bother and annoyance, trust me.

All the smudges and all of the dust specks,
All the smears and the random chap’s stare,
I haven’t decided, but they might just be worth it,
For all that they rather impair.

For now I can see, what astonishment!
An amazing occurrence, I’m sure.
Oh the stars in the sky are quite brilliant,
Of the trees and the land I see more.

So maybe, just maybe, I don’t mind much,
Does the benefit outweigh all the blight?
I am yet unsure, but I’ll say one thing;
Glasses ain’t that bad...well, not quite.

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 6 November 2015

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Four

Howdy all!

I had a great time at the Homeschool Conference/The Master plan Conference. There was this cool jumping pillow thing, which is kind of a mixture between a trampoline and a jumping castle. we played tons of games of poison/dodge ball on it which was heaps of fun. We also played games of mafia. Lots of games of mafia. and anyone who knows me will know that I like mafia (particularly when I'm the mafia). It was a pretty great time and I met some cool people. Well, it was  a homeschool camp so that was expected, right? :D

I also have a little surprise stored up for a blog post soonish, I've just got to get some maybe Monday there'll be an interesting post, as I've had a rather interesting happening lately...

Option number three won this time, which surprised me, as I was more expecting that people would prefer option one, but there you go, I was wrong. Maybe this quote can apply to humans/mortals too...

"Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you." ~ Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien 

On that note, or rather, quote, I shall allow you to pass on to the story!

I didn’t reply, the reason being that a tapestry on the wall crumpled to the floor and a gaping hole was revealed behind it.

“Woah,” I stared at the large hole.

“Thet’s rather handy fer us,” Maree remarked, tiptoeing over to the hole and sticking her head through the gap. “Leeds to a tunnel by the look o’ it,” she glanced back at me. “Well? Ye comein’ or noot?”

“Wait...What?!” I exclaimed, shocked.

“Are ye comin’ weeth me?” Maree asked, her expression half encouraging and half daring me to say yes.

“’s kind of—”

“Oh, thet’s all good then,” Maree interrupted me. “Come aloong; dúinn aller and all thet.” With that she jumped into the darkness of the tunnel.

“Hold on a moment!” I began but then stopped. “I guess I’d better go after her,” I said to myself reluctantly.

“Thees tunnel ain’t gonna get no lighter,” Maree’s voice floated to me from deeper inside the manor wall.

“I’m coming,” I protested. “You could slow down for me.”

“Sure es life I weell,” she said, and I jerked back as her face materialised out of the darkness centimeters away from mine.

“Don’t do that please,” I begged, taking a few deep breaths.

“Eef ye don’t want me to,” Maree raised her shoulders slightly, breaking out in a wonky grin. “Leet’s see where these goes.”

I tripped on my second step as the ground disappeared beneath me. I had time for a squeal of terror before my foot hit the stair that I hadn’t seen in the dark. I grabbed Maree for support lest I fall again.

“Ouch,” she yelped and I let go immediately, realising I’d accidentally held onto a handful of her dark curls.

“Sorry,” I muttered, supporting myself by the wall. This was not difficult in any way, as the concealed stairway was barely wide enough to walk through without having one’s shoulders brush against each side.

Now that I knew the stairs were there I fared better, not even tripping over my lengthy dress. The passage twisted a few times and even widened out into small hallways at times. “I never knew how wide these walls were,” I murmured as we paused in one of these.

“Thet makes fer two of us,” Maree replied. “We seem to be gettin’ cloose ter the ground now; I’d sey as we’ll come to an exeet soon.”

Clearly Maree had more experience than I had in the matter of secret passages as we came to a narrow door ahead. I glanced around, other than that one door the passage came to a dead end so we didn’t really have much choice.

Maree glanced at me and shrugged. “Can’t hurt much can eet?” she asked, trying the handle. It stubbornly refused to budge until Maree – who was equally stubborn – shoved her shoulder into it, with the effect of bursting it open and measuring her length on the floor on the other side.

Sad to say, Maree’s former remark couldn’t have been more incorrect.

Two dozen soldiers sat scattered about the room, all staring at Maree as she picked herself up off the floor. My heart fell further when I saw that all wore the colours of Sir Creighton.

She raised her eyebrows. “Er...neece ter meet you, must-a got the wrong room,” she made as if to return to the passage but the soldiers reacted quickly, like only well-trained men can.

The men closest to her dived forward, and all swords were drawn simultaneously, steel rasping on leather. The soldiers kicked Maree’s legs and she returned to the floor with as much grace as she had the first time, emitting a startled yelp as she went down.

I stood, frozen in the shadows, wondering if I should try move back up the tunnel or if I should try to help Maree.

Maree blinked at the sword waving above her, wielded by a snarling soldier. “What are you doing here?” he asked, his narrow eyes fixed on her. 

The other soldiers crowded forward, all glaring down at Maree. “Hey, don’t I know you?” one asked, frowning thoughtfully.

Maree stuck out her bottom lip. “Neh, I’d sey noot,” she returned hurriedly.

Another soldier clicked his fingers. “That’s it, she’s the one Ha—sorry, Sir Creighton was talking about!”

All the other soldier chorused their agreement, and glared down at Maree with even more ferocity. “What exactly he wanted her for I’ve got no idea,” a soldier at the back remarked. “He’ll explain later I guess.”

“And he’ll be very pleased,” the soldier holding the sword at Maree said, grinning evilly at Maree.

“I’ve a no idea what yer talkin’ aboot,” she protested.

“Geddup prisoner,” the closest soldier growled at her, moving his sword slightly.

She struggled to her feet, but any hope I had of her escape vanished as every soldier’s sword pointed in her direction.

“Well, what a weelcomin’ committee,” she groaned as a soldier shoved her roughly towards a chair, to which he proceeded to tie her.

“Someone else is in there!”

I tried to jump backwards but the stairs and my long dress impeded my movements and a tall, lanky soldier hauled me into the room.

A soldier whistled as he surveyed me. “What have we here? A pretty little princess?”

I swallowed, Maree was pulling faces at me , trying to convey something important. “I...” Maree’s gestures and expressions got even more urgent, but I still couldn’t work out what she wanted of me. Well, Sir Creighton knows me so there’s not much point in me denying it. “I am Lady Louise De Corlette; my father is Lord De Corlette, in whose manor you are currently abiding,” I said, lifting my chin regally.

“Well, well, well,” the lanky soldier said. “What are you doing in here?”

“I was simply following my personal maid down the servant’s stairs, as she wished to show me something. We got lost though as my maid is quite new,” I spurted the most likely story I could think up on the spot, hoping it would satisfy the soldiers. “And I demand that you release my maid immediately,” I added, for good measure.

Maree slumped her shoulders and screwed up her eyes, shaking her head. Apparently I’d just done something wrong. But none the less, the soldiers seemed to buy my story, glancing at each other nervously. 

“Sorry, my lady,” the lanky man muttered, releasing me quickly. He turned to Maree, who quickly changed her expression to confused innocence. “Apologies to you also,” he added, a little more reluctantly.

The soldiers all looked around uncertainly as one of them quickly sliced through the ropes binding Maree. Maree rose and hurried to my side, like a maid ought to.

“We will now leave you, gentlemen,” I said. “Please accept my deepest regrets for dropping in so unexpectedly.”

“Don’t mention it,” the lanky soldier mumbled.

I moved toward the only door, deciding that to return through the secret passage would be too suspicious. Just then the door opened, and changed things quite suddenly.

Sir Creighton entered. He stopped short in the doorway, his dark eyes darting around the scene inside. A smiled quivered on the corner of his mouth as his gaze lingered on me and Maree. He pushed the door shut. “How pleasant, we have company,” he remarked, stepping forward and bowing deeply to me. “Lady Louise, I didn’t expect to see you again so soon, much less in these most humble quarters of mine.”

“Sir Creighton,” I gasped, trying to make my voice sound like it belonged to a human being. “It was quite an accident I assure you, my maid and I shall leave you now.”

My hopes rose as Sir Creighton made no move to stop us as we walked toward the door. But just as Maree passed him behind me he caught hold of her sleeve. “Strange clothing for a personal maid,” he said, fingering the rough fabric.

Maree jerked away, her hands clenched at her sides. “Doon’t you dere touch me, Yerra Hacaz,” she spat.

“I don’t believe we are quite on first name terms, Freespirit,” he replied tauntingly, pushing her backwards.

I stepped over to her, grabbing her arm before she fell again. “Sir Creighton, what conduct,” I chided.

The Knight paused, looking at me with curious eyes. “You don’t know who she is, do you?” he asked, gesturing at Maree. “I find that quite amusing really.”

“I’m glad I can provide you amusement, Sir, but now my maid and I will leave you,” I replied coldly.

“Really?” Sir Creighton asked, “That’s amusing too.”

I looked around, the soldiers had formed a ring around us, their hands resting casually on their sword hilts. I looked back a Sir Creighton, he smiled down at me. “Sorry my Lady, but you chose you associate yourself with the wrong kind of people.”

He drew his sword and levelled it at Maree. “I should have killed you long ago,” he snarled.

“Eet wasn’t a matter of ‘shoold’, Hacaz, your prombleem was more ‘could’,” Maree replied.

“But this time you can’t get away,” Sir Creighton sneered.

“So ye sey,” Maree returned in a carefree voice and lunged to the side, dragging me with her. She knocked one soldier aside and slipped through the gap before anyone – including me – had any idea what was happening. And then she dived out the window. Literally. Dragging me behind her.


1. We hit the moat with a fountaining splash.

2. Luckily the ground wasn’t too far away, and we only landed on a fairly soft hedge. Looking on the bright side, it could have been worse. We could have landed on a rose bush for instance.

3. “Ouch,” Maree groaned. “I theenk I got ah bruise. Here, here and...eeverywhere ectually.”


I genuinely considered making a fourth option just for the fun of it, but I decided to stick with the three. And I think I quite like this bunch of three, all of them are quite amusing. I'll be looking forward to hearing your  favourite.

Fare Thee Well!