Monday, 28 March 2016

The Liebster Award

I haven't done an award thing for a while, and Clare was in need of a volunteer for doing a tag/award so here I am!

§The Rules§

Link back to the person who tagged you.

Answer 11 questions.

Try To Tag 11 bloggers.

Ask them 11 questions.

Let them know you've tagged them.

Have Fun.

§Clare's Questions§

1. What do you sort your books by? Would you sort them differently if you had enough room? Naturally I have all the books by the same author next to each other, and one of my shelves is solely for favourites. (It's got Ranger's Apprentice, Brotherband, Orphan's Song, Heartless and Draven's Light on it, in case you wondered.) And all of those ones (excluding maybe Orphan's Song) have the same style/looking cover, so they all match!
Since I recently got a new bookshelf I have actually got a reasonable amount of room. One of the shelves is only single layered! :P

2. How many centimeters long is your hair? Approximately 42. I must say, I don't think I've ever thought of measuring hair in centimeters...

3. If you had a flying island would you share it with anyone? Who? Yeah, I guess I'd probably share it. Who with? Hard question. My good friends. Sisters. I dunno, get me a flying island and I'll work it out then.

4. Have you ever dressed up medieval? Yes actually. There was a time many, many years ago on the date 27/03/2016 that I dressed up as a pirate for a friend's birthday. Oh wait, that was yesterday. :) Quite a lot of my clothes could be considered medieval style.

5. What was your favourite game to play when you were little? Hmm, I honestly can't think of anything. I generally jumped right in if either one of my big sisters suggested something. Even if it was immensely stupid. 

6. What is your favourite board game? Maybe Cluedo, but I'm hopeless at that. Or Forbidden Island, which isn't technically a board game, but it almost is. I really don't know.

7. How is your flying island normally attached/anchored to earth? By a massive slice of pizza. Which never gets eaten away, no matter how many bites you take. That said, I don't actually have a flying island so it's not really in need of an anchor.

8. What colour are your eyes? and what book character has eyes that colour? My eyes are blue, with some few people claiming that they are quite greenish for blue, and still others saying they're more grey. But generally speaking, they're blue.
There are quite a few book characters out there with blue eyes. Birdie, Jason Grace, Peeta Mellark, Four/Tobias Eaton, Captain Carswell Thorne, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, Ron Weasley, Professor Dumbledore, Artemis Fowl, Queenie/Verity. I'll stop there before my brain explodes from thinking of them all.

9.What does your family cook on the BBQ? (and if you are American, do you know what a BBQ is?) Well, I'm not an American, so I'll ignore the second half of the question. As to the first part; sausages, potato chips...that's it I think, other than the rare steak.

10. If you could bring back one item from a dream what would it be? Ooh, hardest question yet. I have such a massive range of things to choose from. Excluding the book/movie/my-own-imagined characters and to think of an actual thing...A ship? Or maybe Legolas's bow. Or one of the many swords. Or the cool clothes. Or...yup, I can't decide. Maybe I'll go for the techo-device thing that enables you to get characters out of books for a temporary visit. (Yes, I have dreamed about that.)

11. How do you tie your hair up? I brush it. I wrap a hairband around it. I walk away. Basically always a simple pony tail. I'm pretty boring when it comes to hairstyles. Except my fringe, it's hard for something that crazy to be boring.

Phew, at the end of all those questions at last. And that wasn't even the hardest bit. I've got to think up questions? (Yes Jane, you do, otherwise the rule keepers will chase you down and finally get their revenge) Okaay then. 
And I've also got to tag some people. I choose...

Sarah, 'cause you're one of the friends I'd invite onto my floating island.

Jessica, 'cause you're probably my coolest cousin, and I guess I'd let you on too. :)

And Lydia, 'cause I don't think I've tagged you before. Aaand I'd let you on my island as well.

If none of you want to do it, don't worry, I'm just waiting for your excuses really...
Now for your questions. Here they be:


1. What's the last song you listened to?

2. What are some of your favourite book covers?

3. What's the weirdest book you've ever read?

4. What's a job you dreamed of having as a kid?

5. Do you like pizza?

6. Are you any good in the kitchen?

7. In a group of people are you more likely to be silent, talking or cracking jokes?

8. If any fictional character could be your best friend, who would it be?

9. What's an interesting/random quirk you have?

10. Generally speaking do you use a bookmark or random piece of paper?

11. Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? Why?

Thanks for reading the post! I do hope my tagged people will do a post, but don't feel like you have to. I might even let you on to my theoretically existent floating island anyway. :)

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 25 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty-Three

Happy Good Friday everyone! Hope you have a great day, and remember to take the time to remember just how amazing our God is.

So, ready to read about slimy stuff? Yeah, option three was the favourite for most, and personally I didn't think it was too bad myself.

Things are getting darker nowadays. I was looking at my pintrest inspiration board earlier and I noticed how at the beginning it was all pictures of happy days and manors and characters, but it slowly changed to wolves, dark alleyways and gloomy fortresses. But not all is depressing! After all there are nice family reunions and the such. Although that all got left behind when half of you voted for option three...but no matter, it shall be cheerful again soon-ish. 
After all, we are nearing the happily ever after...

Something slimy grabbed my dangling legs, and before I could shout in terror, I was jerked down into the tunnel again.

I opened my mouth to scream but a wet something clamped over my mouth. Struggling to breathe, I jerked away but the thing began dragging me backwards along the tunnel. I kicked my feet, and writhed to escape but it was no use, nothing stopped the steady backward drag.

Finally it stopped and I lurched to the side, scrambling away from my kidnapper. In the darkness I only barely made out the figure of the man, and yet it barely looked humanlike. Long, thin fingers twitched as he squatted in the center of the tunnel, blocking the way back. Dark patches of oozing slime dripped from his shoulders and chest, and the faint light showed wild dark eyes set in a narrow, sunken face.

“W—who are you?” I managed, moving backwards further.

The creature coughed, shifting slightly. “Henry…” his head tipped to one side. ‘Henry was Henry’s name.”

I swallowed at the rough, creaky voice. It didn’t seem possible that it could come from a human.

“For years Henry has been here…no one knows, no one sees…Henry is alone,” he muttered, scratching his stub nose with a finger.

“But…but why are you here?” I asked.

“Henry escaped. Henry was cleverer than the guards, Henry didn’t eat until Henry fitted through the hole. Henry was so very hungry.” The last words were said in a pathetic whine.

I moved backwards again, but froze as a low growl came from my host. “Henry will kill them. Henry will never forgive what they did to Henry. Never!” he hissed loudly. “They wanted to kill Henry, so Henry will kill them before they get a chance.”

He turned his head, glaring around the darkness. “Where can Henry find a weapon? How will Henry hit them hard enough?” he moaned. “Henry mustn’t fail or they will lock Henry back up again. With chains and ropes, but Henry can’t let them.”

With a growl he began shuffling forward, eyes fixed on me. “But Henry must first ask who this is. What were they doing in Henry’s home?”

“I—I’m Louise,” I stammered, pushing myself away from the approaching creature.

“Louise,” he paused. “Henry doesn’t know that word. What does a Louise do?”

“It’s my name,” I replied hastily. Feeling the wall behind my back I risked a glance backwards. The tunnel ended abruptly, a solid rock wall right at my back.

Looking back at Henry I saw his eyes gleaming strangely. “What is Louise trying to do? Henry wants to talk to Louise.”

I frowned, somehow it was lighter than before. But where was the light coming from?

“Louise must sit down and talk to Henry. Tell Henry why Louise was in Henry’s house.” He moved closer still.

I glanced up. The roof ended a few meters ago, and directly upwards was a clear open space, entwined with horizontal beams and pipes. High above, a faint twinkle of light shone.

Standing, I stared back at Henry. “Louise is here with friends. They’re still down that way. Maybe Henry should go find them for Louise,” I tried to speak confidently, keeping the fear from my voice.

Henry cocked his head. “Friends?” He started to turn.

I jumped, grabbing hold of one of the lowest beams, it was slick with slime and my fingers started to slip. With a frantic lunge, I transferred my grip to another pipe just above it. I scrambled up onto the pipe, holding onto another just above it.

A howl echoed up from just below. “Nooo! The Louise tricked Henry!” Then the voice changed to a snarl, “Henry must kill her too.”

I struggled to get up onto the next pipe, my shoes slipping in the damp sludge coating my footing. A clang rang underneath me and I risked a downward glance. The maddened eyes of Henry glared hungrily up at me as his long fingers found another pipe to swing up onto.

Jumping desperately, I swung out of his reach, mounting higher up the metal beams. A half scream tore from my mouth as his grasping fingers brushed my leg.

He growled. “Henry mustn’t give up. Henry must kill the Louise, and then Henry will kill Hacaz,” he stopped. “Is it Hacaz, or Hazcaz? Henry doesn’t remember. Hazcaz sounds better.” Then he shook himself and jumped nimbly onto another pipe snarling menacingly again.

I clambered up the pipes, wildly groping for handholds on the smooth metal, blindly heading up toward the light. The glimmer gradually drew closer, but so did my pursuer, growling and swinging just below. Reaching out I grabbed hold of another bar, wrapping my arms around it, about to scramble up

The slime coated fingers wrapped around my ankle and Henry chuckled, the sound growing gradually louder as it echoed off the walls in reply. “Henry has caught it. Henry caught the Louise,” he grinned in an almost childlike way. “Now Henry can kill it.”

I screamed, kicking back at him in terror. My foot slammed into the center of his face and he blinked up at me in surprise, slowly toppling over backwards. My leg jerked and I scrabbled to stay up. The weight on my leg slipped off and I swung up, looking down.

Henry fell, dark, mad eyes never leaving mine, his hands still clutching my shoe. Then the darkness swallowed him.

I swallowed, my breath coming in short gasps. I was safe, no one wanted to kill me anymore. I closed my eyes, resting my head on a nearby pipe, taking long, smooth breaths to calm myself.

After a long while I stood, numb from the fear of moments before, barely noticing the deep slime under my one bare foot. The glimmer of light was now a clear square, only a little way above. I climbed up the ladder of pipes, reaching the light finally.

I squinted in the brightness after the gloom of the tunnel, frowning up through a large grid – not unlike the one in the dungeon – into a still room. At that moment a whistling figure strode into view, an apron splattered in blood covering his torso and his hands smeared red. I cringed backward, moving deeper into the darkness.

The man moved out of sight and returned a second later, carrying a massive leg of raw meat. With an audible sigh I realised he was only a butcher. As he disappeared again I grabbed the metal grating, searching for a latch of some kind with my fingers.

My search was met with four bolts, one for each corner. I started working on the first, my cold, wet fingers only a little less stiff than the bolts themselves. I pushed my fingers through the grid, holding one side of the bold, while I turned the other. Whenever the butcher returned I stopped, hunching over in the dark lest he see.

When the last bolt came loose at last, I pressed up on the grid carefully, wincing as it ground against the floor. Pushing it to the side I stood precariously on the pipe, squeezing my shoulders through the gap. It was larger than the ones in the dungeon but only barely. I wriggled out, breathing a sigh of relief to be in the open once more.

Sliding the grid back down over the hole, I stood. The cheerful whistling of the butcher came from behind a large rack of sliced meat, in the other direction lay two doors. I crept over to them, careful to keep the meat rack between me and the butcher.

One door was ajar and I peeked through, grimacing at the strong smell of blood. I pulled back from the sight of large hunks of dead cow and other creatures. Clearly that wasn’t the door I wanted.

I turned to the other door quickly, eager to get out. My movement was too rapid and my foot slipped on a stream of blood, sending me to the floor. The whistling stopped abruptly. I froze, knowing that the butcher would have heard the sound. Picking myself up, I grabbed the door handle, jerking it open and dashing out. I dived into the next door I saw, closing it as fast as I could.

Through the crack I saw the butcher half step out the door and look up and down the hall. He shrugged, turning back. I heard the sound of his whistle once more. I closed my eyes for a moment, tension draining from my body.

When I looked up again I saw a narrow stairway just ahead, twisting to the side within a few meters. I stepped off the landing onto the first step, something about the plain, nondescript appearance of the stairs told me that it was used only by servants.

Making my way down I met with only a few servants, and with these I managed to duck out of sight before they noticed the girl smeared with blood and slime. Eventually I emerged into a large room, empty but for a snoring squire, slumped in a chair.

I snuck past him, opening the door softly. Outside was the courtyard, a wide open space enclosed in the dark, looming walls. Stepping out, I clicked the door shut behind me. I slid along the wall toward the stream, keeping to the shadows. Where Maree and the others were I had no way of discovering, but Maree could plan an escape better than I could. I shrugged it off, they’d be fine.

I reached the stream and stopped, noticing a commotion on the walls. Soldiers were streaming down the stairs, rushing toward the main castle entrance, just twenty paces to my left. I ducked down, hiding in the shadows.

The men reached the gates with drawn swords and arrows on their bows. I frowned, trying to catch a glimpse through them to who they were after. The sinking feeling in my stomach persisted and I narrowed my eyes, urgently hoping to prove it wrong.

In a few moments the soldiers stopped, forming a large ring. As one man shifted his feet slightly I saw through the ranks to the center. Three figures stood there, Maree trying to shelter her brother and sister from every direction.

Elianna stepped away, facing the soldiers. “Ye go awey,” she shouted furiously. “I’m noot gonna let ye take her away agin.”

One of the men pointed his drawn bow at her. “You stay right where you are missy.”


1. I stepped forward from the shadows. “Get away from my friends,” I growled in a low but carrying voice.

2. The large doors of the castle swung open sluggishly, as if everything had been slowed down. A tall, broad figure stepped out, wearing full armour and an imperious smile.

3. Loud shouts started up on the walls again and I turned in spite of myself. My eyes widened at what I saw.


I do hope you enjoyed this fragment, have fun with voting! I'll be doing another post on Monday hopefully, so be sure to check back for that.

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 18 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty-Two

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday, I just couldn't think of anything very interesting to talk about and I'm not 'officially' doing a post every Monday. Just randomly. When I think of something.

Last week option three took out the most votes, not surprising really. I reckon it was coolest too! And for today's Fragment my sisters and I had a really funny idea...As you read, it may not seem too funny for you unless you've read 'Redwall' by Brian Jacques. But I think that as you read further you will see the funny side.
And if you don't, I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. Except I'm not.

Note: the 'a' word must be read in an evil, snake-ish voice.

A low voice came down the tunnel, echoing off the walls in a malevolent tone. 

“Asssmodeusss…” the sound was hissing and malicious, seeming to come from the very darkness around us.


I stumbled backwards, my head hitting the low roof.

“Wh—what is thet?” Elianna whispered, her voice wrung with fear.

“I don’t know,” I managed. “Maybe it’s—”


Elianna shrieked as the voice resounded down the tunnel, louder than before. “Can we go oot?” she gasped. “I’m scered.”

“There isss no essscape from the jawsss of Asssmodeusss…”

I bit my tongue to keep from crying out. The voice hissed around us, almost physical in the fear-thick air. “M—maybe we should find a different way in,” I said, backing slowly toward the opening.

“What tasssty morselsss…”

I looked up, searching the dark for the source of the voice. Water began creeping down into my shoes.

“Sssweet and juissssey…”

“Pleese can we go?” Elianna squeaked. Her whole body was shaking violently, but a thought occurred to me.

“Elianna, what if…what if that thing’s not actually in the tunnel? What if it’s in the dungeons? It might not be meaning us,” I swallowed nervously.

She didn’t reply and I spoke again. “What if it’s talking to—to my friend?”

A half strangled sound caught in her throat. “We’ll go een,” she whispered.

“You could stay outside,” I said quickly.

“Asmodeusss…” hissed the voice.

“N—no,” she said, her voice hiccupping with fear. “My brother m—might be there…too.”

I took a deep breath and stepped forwards, bending a little to keep from banging my head on the top of the tunnel.


Closing my eyes I tried to work out which way the sound was coming from.  When I opened my eyes again I squinted into the darkness, making out a passage joining the main one. I limped forward, favouring my bruised leg. The water around my knees kept me off balance, and I reached out to steady myself on the wall.

Deep slime met my fingers and I jerked my hand back in disgust, wiping it quickly on my leggings.


Elianna had her face buried in my hair, arm squeezing my neck so tightly it was beginning to be difficult to breathe, but I was glad of her presence. If I’d been alone, I’d have run from the tunnel at the very first hint of a whisper.

The darkness grew gradually deeper, until I could barely see my hand when it was directly in front of my face. The hissing voice continued steadily, barely pausing for more than a breath.

“Asmodeusss…The sssword isss mine…None daresss to fight Asmodeusss…”

I stumbled along the tunnel, nerves tense to breaking point, ready to run at the slightest warning. The voice was getting on my nerves, it grew gradually closer, and its words held nothing but terror.

Elianna was quivering on my back, jolting every time the ‘Asmodeus’ was switched for other hissed words, never any more pleasant than the malevolent name.

Water trickled along the channel, shallower than before, and always that voice continued. I could barely stand it for one second longer. I stopped, unsure whether to turn back or not.

Then the voice stopped, and a heavy sigh came down the tunnel. “Yees, I reeely deed like thet book. Asmodeus was the beest character, difinitely my fevourite. Pity ‘e died…” then the voice switched back to the low whisper, “Asmodeus….Asmodeusss!”

I stared blankly into the darkness. Maree? A laugh welled up in my throat, more from relief than of anything funny. I struggled to hold it in, stepping forwards again. The voice suddenly changed from a terrifying threatening to a welcome guide. I did wish that she’d switch to something else though.

“Elianna,” I whispered, “Don’t worry. It’s my friend.”

“W-why ees she saying thet?” she asked, her voice quavering.

“I honestly don’t know. She’s like that sometimes,” I returned, ducking under a low pipe.

The roof was a little higher and I groaned softly, finally able to stand up properly, also glad that the walls were no longer covered in slime. A spot of flickering light danced on the brown water, catching my eye, and I stepped forward, looking up. Just above my head was a small metal grid, about thirty centimeters square. I squinted in the light, trying to make out what was on the other side.

“Elianna, can you see what’s in there?” I asked in a whisper.

She craned her neck, and I took her hands, helping her climb up onto my shoulders. “There’s a man, I theenk,” she whispered back.

“Okay, we’ll move along, looking into all of them. Tell me when you see a girl with crazy brown hair.”


“Or just follow to noise,” I added, hurrying along the passage, my feet splashing quietly in the ankle-deep water.

I stopped under a grid that the voice came from.


For a moment I wondered if it really was Maree, but then shook myself. “Oy,” I hissed. “Maree?”

She broke off in the middle of an ‘Asmodeus,’ silence replacing the eerie whisper. I reached up and pushed on the grid, hoping to get it open.

Elianna pushed my hand away and grabbed a latch, tugging it hard. I slapped myself mentally and joined her. With a groan, it moved and the grid shuddered, swinging down on hinges at a last tug.

“Maree,” I whispered again.

With a rustle of fabric her face appeared in the gap. “Oh, eet reely ees you thees time,” she said, a smile breaking out across her shadowed features.

“Yes it is, who else was it going to be?” I asked, half angry.

The grin faded slightly. “Eet dinna matter,” she replied swiftly.

“We’ve got t’ get you out,” I said. “Have you got any ideas?”

“Do eet be soundin’ like eet?”

“Yeah, what was with all that evil whispering, you gave me the creeps,” I protested.

“Got bored,” Maree returned innocently. “I tried t’ git through the bars last toime, but eet didna work. So I knew noot t’ try today.”

Elianna tapped my head. “I coold try,” she said hesitantly.

“Can you fit up through that hole?” I asked.

“I theenk I coold.”

“I guess so,” I said slowly. “It’d be dangerous.”

She didn’t reply, but I knew what she was thinking.

“Alright then. Maree, Elianna’s going to try climb up.”

“Elianna?” Maree asked, a frown in her voice.

“Yeah, we met in the town,” I replied, not noticing the strange tone. “You’d better move out of the way a little bit.”

Elianna stood up on my shoulders slowly, holding onto the edges of the hole, her head sticking through it. In a few moments she scrambled up, disappearing through the gap.

“Can you fit through the bars?” I called up softly.

No reply.

With a tinge of uncertainty I grabbed onto the edges of the gap, scrambling my feet up the edge of the tunnel. I stuck my head through the hole, managing to brace myself with my arms on the prison cell floor.

Elianna was at the bars, squeezing through, Maree stood at the back of the cell, staring stupidly at her.

“Umm, Maree?” I asked. “Are you okay?”

Her eyes remained on Elianna, showing no sign of hearing me as the little girl wriggled through the bars, looking back at us.

“Where’d I find the keys?” she asked me.

I glanced at Maree before answering. “At the end of the corridor maybe?”

She disappeared, trotting out of my vision. I pushed my legs against the wall below me, taking the weight off my arms for a moment.

Elianna returned in a minute, carrying a large ring of three keys. “I found ‘em—” she stopped, then ran to the cell beside Maree’s. “Dael!” she cried, disappearing again.

“Elianna!” I called, annoyed at the low visibility from the hole.

“Louise, eet’s m’ brother!”

A wave of relief washed over me, and in another moment Elianna reappeared, now in the arms of the boy I’d crashed into in the alley just after leaving the old man’s house all that time ago.

The boy stopped in front of the cell, his eyes fixed on Maree. Elianna looked from him to Maree, eyes wide. He pulled the keys from her unresisting hands and fumbled to unlock the door. 

I frowned in confusion, I think I’m missing something.

The door swung open silently and the three stood staring at each other across a gap of a few meters. “M—Maree?” Elianna’s brother whispered.

There was a moment’s stillness and then Maree was across the cell and the two were wrapped in her arms. 

My frown deepened as my tired brain tried to piece it all together. The realisation hit me like a blow, and I literally fell down into the tunnel below. Dael. Of course, that was the name of one of Maree’s brothers. And Elianna? I slapped my forehead, I’d been travelling with her for two days but it had never occurred to me. Her accent was so similar to Maree’s, her eyes had the same look, and hadn’t she even told me about her older sister who used to give her piggyback rides?

I thumped my head softly on the wall, furious at my own idiocy. “Idiot, idiot, idiot,” I muttered. I pulled back, thinking hard. Now the responsibility lay even more heavily. I had to get Maree out safely, and Dael and Elianna, and preferably myself too.

I scrambled back up again, seeing Maree and her brother and sister still standing as I’d left them. There was no time to waste. Not even on family reunions.


1. “Maree,” I said. “Sorry, but we’ve got to get out now.”

2. Before I could speak, keys clanked from the far end of the passage, turning in a lock. The door opened.

3. Something slimy grabbed my dangling legs, and before I could shout in terror, I was jerked down into the tunnel again.


There we go. I hope you are all satisfied with that. :) I never actually planned on keeping any Freespirits alive, but after seeing the distraught face of one of my readers (who apparently is the leader of my fan club [which I was unaware existed] a.k.a. my dad) I resolved to do anything I could to make it so that they actually survived. I gave a few hints to anyone who felt like thinking about possibilities. Congratulations if you guessed! 

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 11 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty-One

Twenty-one Fragments. I really doesn't seem that long ago since I started, but it has been 148 days. Or four months and 24 days to put it more simply. Or 21 weeks. Or 3,528 hours. Or 211,680 minutes. Or 12,700,800 seconds...Yeah, maybe that wasn't simpler.
Speaking of numbers, this happens to be my 100th post. Kind of interesting considering my sister recently got 500 on her blog. She had a giveaway, but me? It'd have to be organised to do that.

I would like to commend all who commented last week. I had to choose out of six good options, and it was a close call between a few of them, but I settled on one of Alice's: The girl raised her head and spoke in a barely audible whisper, “I can’t find m’ brother.” (I did change it slightly so the phrasing didn't sound out of place.) Thank you all so very much. I hope you like the options I thought up this week. :)

The girl raised her head and spoke in a barely audible whisper, “I can’t find m’ brother.”

Whatever response I had expected, it certainly hadn’t been that. “O-oh,” I stammered, unsure of what to say. “I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault,” she sniffed, rubbing her nose with a sleeve. “I jest ‘ope ‘e’s noot…” she hunched over again, burying her face in her hands.

I wrapped my arm around her shoulders, pulling her close. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you find him.”

Her green-brown eyes raised to mine. “Really?” she asked, a tinge of hope in her voice.

“Promise,” I assured her.

She straightened. “He disappeared same time a-as Granda…” she trailed off biting her lip.

“I know,” I said softly. “I saw. I’m so sorry.” I felt the prickle of tears behind my eyes, and I tried to steady my voice. “Where did you last see your brother?”

“He were jest in the alley near t’ the main gate wi’ me,” the girl sniffed. “But he told me t’ hoide an’ I-I did, but he didna follow me…he sayed he’d come back, but what eef.” Her young voice choked, “What if he wants t’ git avenge? They’ll catch ‘im.”

“My friend got caught too,” I took a deep breath. “I’ll help you find your brother then I’ve gotta go help her.”

“I can ‘elp you, too,” a small smile crossed the girl’s face. “You heelp me, and I’ll ‘elp you.”

I looked down into her hopeful eyes and couldn't help but feel lightened myself. I couldn’t let this girl down now that I’d promised to help her. “I’m Louise, by the way,” I said, suddenly remembering introductions.

“M’ name’s Elianna,” she replied softly.

“Elianna,” I mused, “That’s a nice name.”

“So’s Louise,” she smiled back.

I stood, helping Elianna to her feet. “We’ll follow the soldiers,” I said. “If they’ve caught your brother, he’s probably being taken to the same place as my friend.”

Her small hand slipped into mine and I turned to go back the way I’d come, but she tugged my arm. “Don’t go thet way,” she said. “I’ll show ye.”

I submitted meekly, allowing her to lead through the narrow back streets, never losing her way once.

We slipped unnoticed from the town shortly afterwards, making our careful way up a small rise towards the dark forest. Elianna walked steadily, showing no sign of weariness until we reached the trees themselves. Her feet began dragging but she refused to ask to stop. Eventually I stopped, sitting down off the side of the track

“I need a rest,” I said, pretending to sigh in exhaustion. Elianna nodded, slumping down beside me. I smiled at the sight of her determined face.

After a few minutes I turned to her. “We’d better keep moving before it gets too dark. Why don’t you ride on my back? That way you can keep me from falling asleep while I walk.”

“Aw, but I’d slow ye down terrible,” she protested.

“Nah, you won’t do any such thing,” I remonstrated. With a reluctance that went no further than the surface, she clambered up onto my back.

I stood and set off again. She clung to my shoulders, ducking when I walked too close to low branches. At first she seemed to be cheerful, telling me a story her Granda always used to tell. But then she fell silent, and at first I thought she was just enjoying the silence, but then I felt a wet drop fall onto the back of my neck and she sniffed quietly.

“Don’t worry,” I whispered. “We’ll find your brother and bring him back safe and sound.”

Another tear fell. “No, it’s not that,” she mumbled. “I were jest remem’rin’ somethin’.” She snuffled again. “M’ older sister used t’ give me rides like thees.”


“She…she ain’t here anymore.” Elianna let go with one hand and rubbed the tears from her face.

I walked on in silence, but the sun had sunk below the horizon and the trees cast deep shadows all around. Finally I stumbled to a stop, lowering Elianna to the ground. She crawled to a tree and curled up in the roots, shivering in the cool of the night. I sat down beside her and she snuggled against my side. In moments she was asleep. 

That night was a waking nightmare.

I barely slept, every noise made me jump in fright. Elianna slept peacefully, but when I drifted I woke with a jolt from dreams of terror. Dreams which usually included the old man’s death replayed over and over in my mind. 

The next day we journeyed on through the forest, following the track worn between the trees. It was midday before we reached the looming fortress. 

After creeping through the gap in the rocks, we inched our way right up to the dark wall surrounding the castle. Elianna shivered when she caught sight of the gloomy building through the heavy iron portcullis. 

“Thet place looks horrid,” she whispered hoarsely.

“Which is why I brought you along, to think up an ingenious plan,” I said, trying to cheer her.

She looked at me with wide eyes. “We’ll ‘ave t’ git closer first. Try sneak in some’ow. The soldiers would a got ‘ere long time ago, so yer friend’ll be locked up somewhere by noow. An’ who knows what happened t’ m’ brother.”

“How will we do that without being seen?” I thought aloud. A vague memory came to the fore of my mind, something Sir Creighton had said. “The stronghold of Hacaz is not so strong as once supposed. There is a weak point.” The question was, what was the weak point?

“We’ll go onder the wall by the water gate,” Elianna said.

I looked at her in surprise, I hadn’t meant to ask her the question. “What water gate?”

“Jest over there,” she waved a hand to the left. “We went past a leettle while beck. It’s where the stream exits the castle grounds. Eef y’ look caref’ly you can see it at the edge o’ the courtyard. ‘t’s where they git their water froom.”

“I chose the right person for ingeniousness,” I said, raising my eyebrows.

I took Elianna’s hand again and headed left. In a few minutes I saw that she was right. A stream of water was flowing out from under the wall, exiting through a rusted metal grid. “So we can go in through there?” I asked hesitantly.

“The walls are quick thick so eet’ll be like a short tunnel,” Elianna explained.

I leant over the water carefully, peering into the dark of the low tunnel. “You’d better climb on my back again,” I said, wrinkling my nose. “No need for both of us to get wet.” The dirty water smelt none too pleasant.

Elianna mounted my back, wrapping her legs around my waist. I stepped forward into the water, swaying a little as the current caught on my legs. Grabbing onto the grating to keep my balance.

“How do I open it?” I asked, hoping there was some kind of latch.

Elianna was silent for a moment. “I’m noot sure,” she admitted.

I pressed my lips together and tugged hard on the rusted metal. It didn’t budge in the slightest. I tried kicking it. Still no movement. 

“Right theere!” Elianna exclaimed.

“Right where?”

“Eet’s covered in water agin, but I’m sure I saw a letch jest on the right side.”

I grimaced with distaste as I lowered my hand into the water, feeling for a latch. After a moment I felt something and yanked it hard.

It gave and I stumbled back as the gate swung open, smashing into my shin. I gritted my teeth and growled in pain, only just saving myself from falling.

Elianna’s grip was almost suffocating and she trembled slightly as I stepped closer to the black opening again. I bent down and frowned into the darkness. “I can see the light at the other side, I don’t think it’s too far.”

“How will we git oot the other side?” Elianna asked softly.

I shut my eyes tightly. “I dunno,” I groaned. An idea occurred to me, “Would the water run under the dungeons?”

Elianna didn’t reply by there was no need, my mind ran riot, imagining all the possibilities. If I could get under the dungeons by the waterway, then I could at least find out where Maree was.

“It might work,” Elianna said in a small voice. “Only…” she trailed off.

I realised something wasn’t quite right. “Only?” I turned my head in a useless attempt to see her.

“Only, I’m noot so sure I want t’ go een there,” she spoke a bare whisper.

“Don’t worry,” I assured her, squeezing her legs. “I’m going to be there too. It’ll be safer in there than it is out here.”

I felt her nod silently. “We’ll go in now, before anyone comes.” I ducked through the low opening.


1. Outside, a soldier strolled into view of the swinging water gate.

2. With a loud burst of squeaking, rats poured down from the roof. Jumping at us from every side.

3. A low voice came down the tunnel, echoing off the walls in a malevolent tone. 


Ah, that wasn't very hard, actually. I had lunch at an almost reasonable time. And Elianna was fun to write. I think we're getting close-ish to the climactic moment, but it's kind of hard to tell with this kind of thing. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to fix everything, but I am looking forward to the's gonna be funny. I've got some characters that are going to be hilarious to write. 
Have fun commenting, just like normal again!

Fare Thee Well!

Monday, 7 March 2016

A Beginner Violin-er

Okay everyone, be prepared to cover your ears...I feel a crazy poem (if it can be called that) coming on...

A Beginner Violin-er

An instrument ‘most all have seen
So very soft and nicely clean
Its sound has been
Heard, not by few.

Carrying strings and a bow
Full of tunes, high and low.
The melody seemed to flow
As the wind blew.

Songs that waft ‘round the room,
Not a band nor a boom,
A light in the gloom
To give a clue.

But it doesn’t stop at that,
You’ll take off your hat
And flee far away, at
The moment I tell you.

Not as sweet as you thought
It can be used for nought.
You must know, it ought
Be a weapon too.

With a screech of strings
A note that rings
You can’t guess the things
It might do to you.

The bow like a sword!
A weapon unflawed;
Much regret would be poured
At its slash ‘ere you knew.

Watch out for a scare,
Danger hangs on the air,
Take my warning, Beware!

I am a beginner violin-er

And I am! A few Wednesdays ago I became the owner of a violin, and the owner of a lot less money...heh, that's what happens when your parents say you have to buy it yourself. (Note: I am aware that the correct word is 'violinist' but 'violin-er' sounded cooler.)

We didn't end up getting the violin I mentioned in 'Of Two Sorts of Bows and Several Other Matters'  'cause it turned out to be way too expensive (as in, I don't even have that much money). So we went along to a violin shop and got a new one instead! But I consider that even better as I got to bring it home right away. :)

Last Sunday (as in the one a week before yesterday), there was a meeting after church and Sarah and I had both schemed to bring our violins. We figured that since we were both learning, and both agreed that we sounded bad, it'd be all good! So we had a great time playing around together, and some onlisteners (is that a word?) even claimed that we didn't sound awful!
My first lesson was Wednesday, and it was fun. I've got the same teacher as Sarah and she'd loned me her music, so I'd already played it. That gave me a little advantage and it was fairly easy.

Clare took a ton of photos of me on Tuesday, and has been playing with them for half the week. (She is doing so as I, write.) She took the photos in this post and I believe that she will be doing a post on her blog with more photos sometime. No idea when.

So...I am now learning violin, and having fun doing it too. Before you leave, check out the latest Fragment of If Adventure Comes Your Way. And you could even comment! Please?

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, 4 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty

I've worked out a theory of why I listen to 'Superheroes' when I'm writing! It's 'cause the words are: "Every day, every hour, turn their pain into power." And I can definitely relate to that just at the goes for writers too (either that or writers are just superheroes because they do a lot of world saving).

So, we're up to Fragment Twenty. It hadn't quite connected in my brain that we were so far through! I don't have a clear view but I'm thinking we might have another month's worth before the end...give or take a thousand years or so.

Here is the story of my mind yesterday:

8:30: Started, got it all fairly well planned, but for some reason I don't feel like it's gonna work...
9: Oh this is hopeless, I've only got 100 words.
10: I've still only got 125 wooooordddss. Why is this being so hard? *groans quietly*
11:Noooooooooooooooo, two hundred...
12: I'm hungryyy, but I've got 969 words still unwritten. *groans loudly*
1: Lunch sound pretty good now...I'm more than halfway through. Only got 700 words left...Yay?
1:45: *Groans* *stomach joins in* Lunch is closer now, I've got to 1,000 words! I CAN DO THIS.
2: 1,200
2:15: 1227. Maybe they'll have to deal with a shorter fragment this time...But then again there's only 283 until I get my goal...
2:30: Meh, they'll just have to live with 1,247 words. LUNCH!!!
(Insert groans throughout the whole thing and that's basically it!)

I'm pretty sure it's bad when I feel more inspired to scribble led pencil on the back of my hand than I do writing...And it's definitely bad when it takes two hours to write 125 words. But I survived (just) and hopefully the fragment isn't too terrible. :P

Option one got voted in and...that's all I  can think of saying...except that I hope you're all feeling inspired today (more so than I've been) because I have a surprise for you at the end of the Fragment!

Up ahead, Maree jerked the head of her horse around, her eyes alight with an inner flame. She dug her heels into the horse’s sides and it took off at a gallop. Back toward the soldiers.

My jaw dropped as she charged past. What was she thinking? She couldn’t fight the soldiers on her own. My hands acted before I’d realised what was happening. My mount spun around, rearing on its hind legs and I only just managed to stay on by gripping a handful of mane.

Jack wasn’t so lucky. He shouted as he slid off backwards, landing with a thump on the ground.

I slapped the reins against the horse’s neck, urging it ahead. “Go get the king!” I yelled over my shoulder.

When I was halfway down the hill Maree met the soldiers with a whirlwind of movement, immediately going at it tooth and claw with half a dozen men at the same time.

I realised with a jolt that I had absolutely nothing to fight with. Not even a knife. Too late to reconsider, I plunged into the fray. A longbow flashed in my peripheral vision and I grabbed at it, jerking it from the surprised soldier’s hands.

Whacking a sword aside with the bow, I swung it down at the men below. There were too many all bunched up in one place so none had the room to properly swing a sword. My horse kicked out at the soldiers who came too close. I knew that it couldn’t last for long, it was only the surprise of our attack that left the soldiers helpless.

I looked up and located Maree just in front of me. She’d somehow managed to disarm a soldier and was wielding a sword with a fair amount of skill.

A heavy pull on my foot startled me, I jabbed the bow at the soldier pulling me and he ducked away with one final jerk. I clutched the horse’s mane and struggled to regain my balance.

At that moment my mount kicked its hind legs back, knocking a soldier to the ground. It was the last straw and I completely lost my grip, slipping off the side of the saddle. I landed on my shoulder, my teeth jolting closed on the inside of my cheek.

I rolled over, scrambling across the ground away from the soldiers. The taste of blood filled my mouth and a sharp rock on the cobbles cut my finger. I stood up in the shadow of a group of villagers a little way from the soldiers.

Craning my neck I strained to see Maree. I saw her in furious battle with a tall soldier. Her horse was some way away neighing loudly and charging around without directions. No one, soldiers and villagers alike, seemed certain as to what was happening, who the enemy was, or where I’d disappeared to.

Suddenly soldiers swamped around Maree and I lost sight of her. “Maree!” I yelled, jumping forward.

A woman blocked my way. “Run girl, you ‘ave t’ git away. You canna help your friend.”

Before I could reply she put an arm around my shoulders and hustled me away down a side street. “Go on,” she urged, pointing to another alley. “Find somewhere safe t’ hide, they’ll be lookin’ fer ye afore the eve is up.”

I stumbled blindly down the dark road. What if they’d killed her? What if she had called out for me to help but I hadn’t been there? There were so many what ifs that I walked right into a wall before realising I was walking anywhere.

My feet led me along the alleys but I paid no attention as to where I was going, walking in a dream. The sound of horses made me stop. Immediately alert, I ducked behind a rack of barrels, realising I’d walked in a circle and had come back onto one of the main streets once more.

I crouched behind the barrels, barely breathing as the soldiers rode past. Draped over the saddle in front of the man in the center of the unit, I caught sight of Maree’s limp body. I felt a moment of relief, they wouldn’t take a dead body so at least she yet lived, so there was still some hope. But she would be locked in Hacaz’s dungeons until she was killed, or died from her injuries. I’d have no chance of rescuing her myself.

The others couldn’t help, and they were hopefully on their way to the king by now. That was were the only sliver of hope lay. If they came in time.

The last of the soldiers trotted out of sight and I covered my face in my hands. Refusing to think about any more possibilities, shutting out the world around me.

Consciousness resurfaced, bringing the sound of loud voices. I lifted my head to see villagers clustered around, all looking at me and arguing. Not all the faces were friendly.

I stood slowly, and they feel silent. “Um, is there something I can do for you?” I asked hesitantly.
The argument broke out in force once more. From what I could understand half of them wanted to hand me over to the soldiers and the other half wanted to hide me. Two men started brawling a few meters away and the women in the crowd were shaking their heads and yelling violently at each other.

I decided that now would be a good time to ‘make myself scarce’ as Jack would say.

I jumped over a barrel and ran down the street. Most of the villagers were too busy arguing to notice my departure, and those who did obviously didn’t feel inclined to come chasing after me.

Not bothering to try and keep track of where I was going, I jogged along the alleys and backstreets, looking for some abandoned house where I could rest in peace. Rest and think.

The high buildings kept the alleys in deep shadow now that the sun had begun its downward journey, and the hairs on the back of my neck prickled. I looked over my shoulder, certain someone was watching from a darkened window.

A dog scurried out of a door and a dirty boy ran out after it, laughing. He caught sight of me and stopped, staring curiously, his eyes wide. I hurried into the next alleyway.

I realised as soon as I entered it that it was the very same street on which the old man had lived with his grandchildren. Guilt filled me and I started to turn away, but a low whimper stopped me.

The girl was sitting on the filthy ground, head buried in her hands, sobbing quietly. Last time I’d seen her had been just after I’d hidden in her grandfather’s chimney. In the few hours that had passed she had changed dramatically, her clothes were grimy and leaves and dirt filled the hair that hung in strings down her back. Another heart wrenching sob burst from her and I could stand it no longer. Either I could leave and go mad with the guilt, or I had to make things right.

Stepping forwards, I chose to help.

A sob shook the girl’s body as I approached and dropped to my knees beside her. I touched her shoulder gently. Her sobs silenced to an occasional hiccupping noise.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, knowing just how inadequate it was.

The girl raised her head and…


"Wait what?!" you say, "There's no options?" He he he he...nope. This is your surprise, you get to brainstorm what the little girl might do, and I get to choose my favourite... Feeling up to it?

For those of you who haven't been with me for long, I did this once before in May last year with Dusty Red Part 7 and it didn't work out too bad. Nowadays I have a few more followers and commenters so I'm hoping for a few more ideas.

It can be very simple: a few words or a couple of sentences, or just a general idea. It shouldn't be too hard, after all, I think up three every week...but I felt like a holiday yesterday, so...yeah.
If you really can't think of anything, I will think up a couple myself and comment them for your inspection, but I might resort to killing someone if I'm not inspired. You have the deadline of next Wednesday (Tuesday for Americans, I guess)...All the best! :)

Don't let this scare you away, it'll be back to normal again next week. And if your option isn't the one I choose, it is very likely to make a small appearance later on - I love knowing what my readers enjoy. :)

Fare Thee Well!