Friday, 23 September 2016

Swords, Sails + Scoundrels: Queries and Questions

It's over. 

Any hope that I might ever get stop being called 'Jane the Cruel' is gone with the wind. This week was apparently my test week, but...I'm fairly sure I've failed the being-nice test so...sorry about that.

Disclaimer: I love my characters. But it has to happen.

But really, you brought it on yourself. I never expected that I would be writing option 2 but hey! Equal votes for 2 and 3 last week so I tried to include both. Except they're sort of completely different, so that was very easy, and option three-ish stuff only comes in way at the end.

But!!! I'm hoping that maybe it'll be satisfactory.

Unless you were hoping for a happy* story.

*if you were, I protest, I never said this story would be happy.

Also, sorry for the late-ish post. The internet was playing up for half the morning.

Marius. No. He couldn’t be here.

But the other half of me was crying. Sobbing with relief.


I’d found him, and I could talk sense into him, snap him out of this trance he was buried under.

Captain Zeeb stood, his eyes darting around the room helplessly. “But s—sir!” he tried to protest.

A swish of movement came and Marius appeared in the corner of my vision, his dark cloak swirling against the leg of a chair. “You will not resist, she is coming with me.”

The voice was so familiar, yet so foreign.

How could he have let himself become such a thing?

Zeeb looked like he was choking on something, being strangled by an invisible force. His eyes darted wildly, terror turning his skin ghostly pale. Then he collapsed down into his chair, tearing his gaze from Marius.

“Yes, lord.”

A gloved hand gripped my upper arm, pulling me away from the pirates, toward Marius.

I forced myself to step forward. He was my brother.

Down inside somewhere there had to be some of the man I knew remaining.

I just had to find it again.

“Marius,” I breathed the word lightly, tilting my head up to see beneath the hood of his cloak. “Marius. You came for me.”

“My Master’s orders must be followed.”

I recoiled at the flat monotone.

What if I was wrong?

Marius turned, his grip on my arm like ice. Every eye in the room was downcast, not daring to risk meeting the Dark filled eyes.

Then the door slipped shut behind us.

He didn’t stop, pulling me along after him as he walked down the shore. His cloak swirled around him in a Dark cloud, reaching out toward me.

Yet it never once touched my skin.

It was almost as if the Dark was afraid.

Not afraid of me, but of something else.

The glow of sunset lit up the west, reluctant to give ground to the night. To the far sides, the bright flame of the watchtowers blinked brighter by the moment, flooding golden across sand.

All of it was harsh contrast to the Dark-drenched figure leading me.

The silence itself almost radiated from him, clamping my jaw shut. I followed, my heart pounding against my ribcage.

This had to work.

He would listen to reason. It would snap him out of it.

I could save him.

Brains are better, after all.

I closed my eyes, wishing I could trust.

But who?

Dark I could only trust to be Dark.

Again, a tinge of something nudged in the back of my mind.

If there was a Dark, surely a Light had to be real as well.

How else could hope exist?

Finally Marius stopped walking, his fingers slipping from my arm.

The low hill of grass overlooked a long beach, the watchtower burners glowing light off the sand like powdered gold.

It would have been beautiful if only...

I turned toward Marius, his back toward me, cloak of Darkness wrapped tight around his shoulders.

I could run. He wouldn’t see until I was too far away.

Perhaps I didn’t have to talk to him after all.

The others were be better at that sort of thing anyway.

“Don’t try to run.” He didn’t even bother to turn.

As he spoke, I realised I couldn’t anyway.

I couldn’t waste this chance, it might be the only one.

“Why did you come for me?” I asked, reaching out toward him without thinking and then dropping my hand to my side again.

“I do what my Master orders.”

“Marius, don’t you remember me? Louise. Your sister. What if he ordered you to hurt me?”

“I do everything my Master orders. He is greater than you could ever realise.”

Pain throbbed in my forehead, this wasn’t working.

“It’s not too late.” I felt desperation seep into my voice. “There’s still hope. You can still be forgiven and make everything right.”

Even as I said the words I wondered.

How many people had he killed?

“There was never hope for me.” The words were harsh, but still he didn’t turn around.

I sank to my knees, feeling grass stalks between my fingers.

What had happened to the brother I thought I knew?

A light glinted on the water just off the shore. A ship.

Hope welled in my heart.

They were coming for me.

Rising to my feet again, I looked at Marius’s straight back, trying to form the words that would save him.

Save him from himself.

“There is always hope,” I began, feeling a strength seeping into my limbs as the words slipped through my lips.

“My Master gives you two choices. To join us. Or to die.” The Dark figure interrupted.

I stopped, the words hesitating on the end of my tongue. “I can’t.”

He didn’t move, his cloak fluttering in a light breeze.

“Marius, I—”

“Kill her...kill her...”

My gut clenched at the hissed words, echoing from all around.

Marius stood like a statue, head cocked, listening.

“You must...kill her...”

A choking sound came from Marius, and his shoulders shuddered violently.

I stepped forward, hand outstretched.

He could resist it.

He would.

There was Light in him still.

A long sword hissed from the scabbard at his side, blade as dark as the sky. Marius turned, throwing his cloak back from his shoulders, the hood slipping down his back.

I froze, looking into the wide eyes.

Wide and angry.

So much anger.

“Marius?” I whispered, taking a step backward.

For a moment he faltered, emotions battling across his features.

“Kill her!”

The Dark wrapped around him tighter, a cold layer of anger and fear closing the barriers of his mind.

I was too late.

“I do everything my Master commands.”

Scrambling backward, I slipped down the sand dune, sprawling on the beach for a moment before lurching to my feet. Marius jumped, the cloak of Darkness flying out behind him as he leapt toward me, landing in a crouch only paces away.

“Please Marius.” My voice was breaking, rasping in my dry throat.

He wouldn’t.

Marius stepped forward smoothly, the sword coming up.

“Marius, remember how in the summer when we would sneak away from the castle and have picnics in the forest? And how you told me the stories of the knights and heroes of old. And you promised to always be there for me, and—” I couldn’t get any more words out past the lump in my throat.

Tears blurred my vision and I took another step backward.

“What happened to you, Marius?”

We had been friends. He’d always tried to get adventure. I’d always tried to keep him out of trouble.

I’d told on him more than once anyway.

What had happened since those days?

I should hate him. For what he let himself become.

I should want him dead, like all those people he had killed.

But I couldn’t want it.

“Marius.” I stopped retreating, sand squeaking unevenly under my shoes. “Think about what you’re about to do Marius. Don’t you know me?”

The sword went back, the Dark blade radiating anger and hopelessness.

I couldn’t let him live knowing that he’d killed me.

At least he should know I understood.

My vision narrowed until all I could see where Marius’s eyes. Sounds faded into the background, pale against the war of torment in those eyes.

Marius, what have you become?

Cold anger clouded over the emotions, Darkening his pale eyes into deep blackness.

“Marius. I forgive you.” I whispered.

The sword plunged forward.

A shadowed figure dived in front of me, just before the sword found my heart.

Time stood still.

Marius jerked his sword back, red blood smeared across the end.

Gypsy Boy wavered for a moment, hands clenched to his stomach.

Then he fell, collapsing into the sand.

He’d saved my life.

He risked everything for me.

What had I ever done for him?

A sword flashed past me and Warin’s familiar figure leapt at Marius.

Marius swept up his sword, knocking Warin’s blow aside. A cloud of Darkness swirled around him, sending Warin stumbling backward.

“Marius!” I heard my own voice calling and I stumbled forward, pushing toward the Darkness.

It hissed a low laugh and pulled away, fading into nothing.

Marius was gone.

My knees collapsed under me and I was sobbing on the sand.

I couldn’t do this.

I had failed.

I had failed everyone.

Eumin, Leonora, Warin, Gypsy Boy, Gripper.

But most of all, I’d failed Marius.

Everything blurred into hopelessness.

Maybe Marius was right.

There was never any hope.

“Louise...Louise please. Listen to me...” Warin’s voice pulled me from the horror of my own thoughts. “Louise.”

I didn’t want to open my eyes.

All I wanted was to give up.

For this to all have been a dream.

A nightmare.


1. “It’s Altin. He wants you, Louise.”

2. I pushed the persistent voice aside, sinking lower into the nothingness of unconscious dreams. Maybe when I woke up this would all be gone.

3. “It’s not over yet. You need to get to the town.”


*hides from the murderous readers* I'M SORRY GUYS OKAY? IT WAS GONNA HAPPEN FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. *runs away in terror*

Fair Winds
(Unless you're sailing down here to make me suffer, in which case-- *starts putting up all the force fields*)

|| Jane Maree ||



    This chapter was so sad and evil- I love it.

    I vote for number one 'cos poor gypsy boy needs medical attention :(

    1. YES!!! See that's exactly it! I'm nasty because deep down everyone actually likes it, because a story where nothing happens doesn't engage your emotions and--Hmm...maybe I should do a blog post on 'why Suffering is necessary'... :)

      But thanks. I appreciate that you didn't kill (or even threaten) me. :D *hugs and pizza*

  2. Just so you know Jane (the Cruel) to me you are actually early in getting this posted. Here it is currently 9:30 PM on Thursday night the 22nd of September. If you are trying to post on Fridays then you will always be early for your US readers. :D
    This segment was too cruel to Louise for once. She came away with virtually no bodily harm and was even rescued. It wasn't very nice to Gypsy Boy though...why does he like her so much anyway??
    I think I'll choose option 1 this time. Enough action for a while. Time for some sober dying words.

    1. Oh phew, that's nice to know. :) Time zones always make my brain confused. :P

      Yay, I'm still alive. xD Gypsy Boy is...just a nice sort of person. *scratches head* He feels like maybe Louise actually understands him, as apposed to most people, and since he was going to be the Gypsy Leader, he was raised to protect people/his friends. Plus, Louise had saved his life too.

      Sure thing. *is relieved* :D

    2. Agh! Annoying typo--I meant this segment was NOT too cruel to Louise.

    3. Hehe, yeah, I figured. It's so annoying that you can't edit comments after they've been published.

  3. Three I think.... one is also okay, but please not two.... characters don't need to go unconscious more than necessary.

    1. Yeah I know. Unconsciousness really sucks when it happens too often. I just couldn't think of anything else. :)

  4. JANE MAREE YOU HORRIBLE PERSON WHAT DID GYPSY BOY EVER DO TO YOU? Pleasssseeee don't let him die, he's too much of a smol teddy bear for that. But either way, I vote for two. Maybe by then she'll wake up to find rainbows and unicorns surrounding her.

    1. *hides* SORRY! xD

      Hehe, rainbows and unicorns? You sound like AG now. :P

  5. JANE MAREE *throws pie at you*. HOW DARE YOU HURT GYPSY BOY! *throws more pie* I will be so MAD if you let him die!!! *throws EVEN MORE pie*

    *takes a deep breath* ALL THAT ASIDE ... I vote for option 1 :D.

    ~ Savannah

    1. *eats pie* Uh...sorry about that...It was kinda one of those scenes that I'd written while brainstorming for ideas. *feels guilty*

      *gives you pizza* Good-o. :D

  6. I finally got around to reading it... sorry it took so long.
    I vote for Option One.
    (Maybe you need to ask Christian Hawke if you can borrow some of his walls...)

    1. Ah don't worry. :) All is forgiven.

      (Hmm yes, maybe I should :P)

  7. It was a gripping story this week. Sad but not unbelievable.

    The boys say two votes for option 3. I think maybe 1 then 3 could happen.

    1. Ooh cool! *jumps up and down* So glad you liked it. :D


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