SSDD

  • same time
  • same bus
  • same people
  • same journey
  • same bullshit newspaper spoonfeeding lies
  • same seat
  • same

 

sat at the back of the bus i can escape reality for ten minutes while those around me stare at their tiny screen ears plugged with music flicking through pages of daily crap i fly on dragonflies the size of horses over lilac seas melting into a glittery horizon of low hanging golden moons circling in a turquoise neon sky watching glibberly serks gallop through still waves in schools of elegant dance young dibberboks chase them as i reach down allowing my fingers to trace swirls through the honey sea weaving my steed through airships and balloons flown by cunning fox sky bandits from far off hills in shimmering shadows of kirktop heights laughing enjoying the freedom of my flight i notice a lone hibblelip moon bathing upon a smooth floating sox i wave in glee as she tips her top hat at me the driver slams on his breaks im jerked back to the muttering of grannies complaining wondering why people always need to state the obvious out my window i pass shops of brightly coloured sarees elegant and translucent smooth silks such as the king of undermountain would adorn his royal chamber his guards know me in their realm and im welcomed in my daydream land to a feast of foreign foods dainty desserts of fabulous colours my guardian lives here amongst the fandolots his armour rusty his smile warm i feed my steed slithering gibs to his delight and sloppy kisses we dance to alien music to no tune with freedom and joy the samsots the dames the lillypad slips the giants skip and jive to the dolly pipes in a circle dance that wraps between realms reminding few men they share these worlds  with the marvellous unknown limitation of the mind and forgotten realms inside…. 

 

  • last stop
  • that fight to get off
  • rushing crowds going their own way
  • ignorant in sleepy gloom
  • another day starts the
  • same

 

 

 

Anne Harrison 29.06.17

Re-Posted as the ‘Newspaper’ version looses its detail when converted into a JPEG

Of Death and Rebirth

Act 2 – part 10

 

Kane watched Vixen leave, until she was out of sight, then returned his attention to his son. He was stood with Hera in the clearing, Kane smiled with relief,  yet the expression of utter contempt Sha wore stopped him dead in his tracks.

The lad cleaned his face and stepped towards his father.

“You killed him, didn’t you? You killed the guardian.” His voice was full of grief,  his words cracked as tears sprung to his eyes. “I am The Guardian father, yet you, you killed him!”

Kane swallowed hard and nodded…  He had never lied to his son and he was not about to do so now…

“Yes, I killed him, without knowing his name or who he was…”

Hera, remembering the scene, closed her eyes. Her anger still raw. “He was my friend.”  She croaked.  Sha sensed an underlying conflict between the old friends,  this was something that Hera could never forgive…

“I wasn’t Captain at that time,  I was a foot soldier under the command of General Fendor.  Our patrol,  with the Prince leading the troops had finally captured The Child of Prophecy and her Guardian.” Kane recounted events truthfully.

… “There was an air of celebration among the troops,  wine flowed a little too freely and they turned violent…  Drunk, they set upon their captive, I watched the guards beat him, break his body, his bones. Stamped on his chest, hacked off his ears, his nose, crushed his hands… ” He ceased with the description, watching tears flood down Hera’s face…

… “I can not tell you what made approach him, I don’t know why the rest of the patrol didn’t stop me… But I remember his expression,  his grief,  the pain of his loss, too great to bare. An emotional pain far more intense than any injury inflicted upon his body.  He knew my intention,  somehow and simply nodded… I broke his neck…”

Kane sat down abruptly, the truth spilling free… “He gave up his life and within a year you were born, born to be his next vessel… I’ve always known this to be true,  Alleia knew this too…”

Sha sat next to his father… “It all feels too much,  I’m too young,  I just want to play with my pony Dad, I’m not ready for this!” His eyes pleaded…

Yet, somewhere deep in his soul he heard her voice,  The Child of Prophecy,  he had always heard her voice,  felt the invisible connection for they had never met.  He heard her crying at night and knew he could lead the way…

 

Anne Harrison 22.06.17

Midsummer Awakenings

 

night sky – barley lit by a thin crescent moon

ink black and alive with sound

a deep darkness hugged the ground under the thick canopy of full summer trees

mist lingered brushing the tips of tall rich grasses

 

grasses swayed – mist swirled

disturbed by the lone woman – clad in tattered layers

this was her time – night time – moon time – dark

the mist hung to her form as she appeared to float from the trees into the clearing

the boy laid near the centre – yet he was not there

 

his journey was in the inner realm

he would struggle

he would cry

he fought

she watched over his journey – a silent guardian

this was something he needed to face alone

 

a strangled sob escaped his form

sparks – dancing fae drew close

imps curious – drawn by the raw magic

they surrounded the boy – dancing on moon beams

the hag – noticing the father – ushered him away – sent him back to the shadows

 

somewhere a wolf howled – calling to his mate

as the thin moon circled low atop the tree line

night relinquished its hold upon the forest – a pink light grew in the sky

it was time for travellers to return from the inner realm

 

the boy stirred

the hag knelt by his side

offered him water – laced with herbs

he shook – he trembled – he cried

hung his head and wept – the painful truth laid naked

 

he killed the guardian did he not

my own father

the father of the guardian

as the sun rose early upon that midsummer morn

it lit the path before the boy

the guardian reborn

 

 

Anne Harrison 21.06.17

 

 

 

Taking Fate by the Horns

Act 2 – Part 6

 

A strong hand grabbed Sha tightly around his throat, hoisting the young lad off his feet and slamming him hard onto his back in the dust. Blasting air from his lungs, his head spun, dizzy and disorientated from the swift action. Blinking dust from his eyes just in time to see a fist aimed at his face, no time to react, unable to even turn his head for the vice like grip on his throat, stealing his breath. The fist slammed into his nose with a bright flash and  sickening crack. He tasted blood, pain shot through his head, he gasped for breath, struggling, panicking, anticipating a second blow. Sha turned his face aside shortly before a following punch landed heavily on his jaw. He bit his tongue, lip split.

He had to gather his senses, to swallow back his fear and the blinding pain. He knew he needed to remember his training, to recall the correct maneuver before he ran out of air in his lungs and got his head dashed in against the hard earth. The pace of the raining punches were slow, deliberate and forceful, Hi attacker really pulling his fist right back to put as much strength behind each blow that he could. This gave a short period between each punch, yet Sha was struggling now to remain conscious.

Blood filled his eyes, his mouth, his ears rang, muffling sound. His lungs burned… Yet somehow the boy raised his knees towards his chest and kicked upwards with the last fragment of his fading energy to force his attacker backwards kicking the bastard in his ribs, forcing him backwards… Stumbling… the grip on Sha’s neck was released and he gulped in air desperately and rolled out of the way, attempting to stand, fighting nausea, knowing that he had just mere moments before the vicious attack resumed.

His sight was blurred red and Sha saw the beast he opposed… A man… clad in Northern Clan garb, but his head, his head was that of a beast… The beast snorted, steam billowing from flattened wide nose. His boot dragged up the dirt, the beast lowered his head, a circle of vicious sharp horns crowned his forehead. Two longer, sharper, like curved scimitars aimed at Sha’s torso and it charged…

Sha fought the urge to flee, reached for his sword, the scabbard empty upon his hip, the beast narrowed the gap between them howling unnaturally. Sha freed the scabbard from his belt and swung the empty sheath at the creatures eyes by the narrow edge, putting as much strength as he could behind the blow, using the beasts own momentum to add power to the blow.

Cracking violently across the bridge of it’s nose, blinding the creature temporarily. It bellowed in rage, human hands reaching for it’s bull like head… Sha swung the scabbard again and again, aiming at the back of the knees, at its ribs. He wiped blood from his eyes, hammering blows to try and prevent the creature from rising again against him. His scabbard bent and broke apart… Yet the beast was on his knees!

Sha clambered clumsy onto the creatures shoulders, keeping his body behind the giant bull head, he reached round and took hold of the two largest horns to twist the head aside. Though he wasn’t sure of himself, his strength was fast fading and the Minotaur was regaining energy. He was huddled behind the giant head, gripping the horns, riding the thrashing wild monster with little thought of action. He wasn’t strong enough to twist the head, it took all his effort to cling on and he was starting to slip.

As he slipped Sha pulled the two horns apart and there was a slight give… The Minotaur howled… It hurt him… Sha wrenched harder, pulling the two main horns apart with all the strength he could muster. There was a splintering crack, but it wasn’t enough. The bull man bucked and struggled to reach the young lad tugging at its head, however it’s own actions aided Sha the horns gave a little more, as it shook it’s head the sharp bone cut into Sha’s hands, blood causing his grip to slick. He tumbled, fell backwards from the Minotaur’s shoulders.

Landing with a crumpled twist of limbs, his body afire with pain, energy fast leaving his body, darkness threatened to overwhelm his senses. Yet Sha had kept a firm grip on both horns and as he slipped and fell both horns were torn free from the bulls head.

The Minotaur crumpled to his knees gripping its head as blood gushed freely over its fur muzzle it gripped the bleeding stumps and tore its face in half with a fierce tearing of flesh and a desperate cry. Pulling the Bulls head free from his shoulders Kane gasped for breath, letting the torn flesh fall from his hands, running his hands over his face, through blood clotted hair. His human head free from the restraints of the bulls skull.

He turned to face his son, the lad trembled in fear and understanding.

“You killed him!” Sha uttered, spitting blood, backing away from his own Father… “You Killed him… You killed the Guardian!”

Kane lowered his head, ashamed … Yet Sha had already drifted into an exhausted unconsciousness…

 

Anne Harrison 13.06.17

 

Intermission #2

Out in the Wilds

 

“Something has been killing my sheep!” Brynn pursed her lips in a defiant pout as she expressed her concerns to Hera. They were reclined around the fire-pit in the clearing outside Hera’s den, secluded in the wilds of the Deep-Wood Forest. They shared a sweet mead as Brynn continued to recount her drama.

“So I decided to lay in wait, I’m not a bad shot with my cross bow and any beastie, I thought I could ward away. Now wolves I can deal with, naughty wild cats can sometimes take down a sheep, alas tis five of my flock I’ve lost… All slaughtered, all torn apart, viciously gutted. I was thinkin’ me foe to be a bear, but no grizzlies venture this far north. Perplexed I was, sat on guard, cold and sleepy. When I’s hear this frightful cry, like a shrill howl, but laced with more pain than ever a beast could hold in its soul. Even the wolves yelped and fled at the sound. Why, I could hardly hold by bow straight for trembling with utter fear!” Brynn paused to sip her mead.

“Well, Hera, well… when the creature came into sight I was stricken with dread… Twelve foot high I would say and near as wide, black as the depths of the well pit and covered in matted hair… I tried to get a shot off, I screamed, my flock scattered, the beast howled… What can I say Hera… I’ve never been so frightened, t’weren’t natural I’m telling ye!”

Hera refilled the shepherdess’s glass, half amused by Brynn’s dramatic rendition of events… Brynn sipped the mead grateful.

“An idea jumped to mind and I dashed towards the old well, screaming as I ran, the thing blundering after me, I swear I could feel it’s foul breath down me neck… At the last moment I sprang and cleared the mouth of the well in pure desperation… The thing at my heels, tripped, stumbling over the low crumbling bricks and fell with a mighty crash down the old pit, splashing into the stagnant water!” She drained her glass with triumph!

“Is this creature still down the well?” Hera asked bemused…

“Why yes, yes it is, it growled and howled and sobbed. Yet I threw over the old lid and weighted it down with bricks from the old wall. Then I came straight here, I needed to calm my nerves!”

“Shall we go and see what kind of beast you have caught?” The Witch took a burning fagot from the camp fire and, with a very nervous Brynn at her heels, lead the way through the forest to the deserted well, where soft mourning sounds echoed within.

The ladies carefully pulled back the weighted lid to peer within holding the brand aloft to shine into darkness.

Within a man glanced upwards towards the fire light, a large man granted, but no shaggy beast, naked and covered in slime and grime. He trembled, hugging himself…

“I know that face!” Hera gasped, He glanced towards the sound of her voice. A rough beard half obscured his features, but the Lord of the Barbarians was distinctively recognizable.

“Grave? You’re supposed to be dead?”

 

 

Anne Harrison 18.05.17

 

Intermission #1

*Even-longer-not-so-short-short-story*

There hereby follows a series of stand alone chapters, these mark significant events following the Coronation which occur throughout the years between Act 1 and Act 2 (which will be set 14 years hence) 

***

One Year Later…

 

Indigo pushed Kane onto his bed and took the quarter drained bottle of whisky from his blood slick fingers. Resting him backwards against the soft mattress, he shuffled reaching for the bottle, only to have his hand slapped away.

She pinned him down by his shoulders, even though her hands had been washed of all blood the cuffs of her tunic were still stained red. Kane murmured a half-hearted protest, yet Indigo simply pulled the warm furs up around his chin. He was exhausted, still clad in yesterdays clothes, the iron stench unavoidable.

Indigo shared his exhaustion, yet unlike Kane, she had not reached for the bottle so swiftly to cope with the sudden shock. In fact she poured the whisky away, ignoring his slurred insults. He had already drained several beers before turning to something stronger to drown his sorrows. Indigo forcefully ceased his drinking before it took hold and now sat on the edge of the bed.

She brushed his hair from his face, his skin clammy and hot, he simply starred at the empty bottle.

“I hate you.” He mumbled, but made no move against her tender touch.

“No you don’t Kane, you hate fate…” She signed softly.

“Fate didn’t pour away my drink!”

Indigo took his chin firmly in her grasp and tilted his head to face him… “Listen Kane, I shall grant you this moment and this moment only to drown yourself in pity, but in the morning, when you wake up, no matter how sore your head is. You will have to face the truth that you are now a single father, with two young babies to care for. You can not and you will not sink into the bottom of a bottle. For your life  belongs to your children now and your responsibility is to them.”

He blinked rapidly, her words cutting through the drink hazed fog in his mind. She released her grip. “I will help you Kane I am your friend, but I am not going to be a mother to your children and neither will I babysit your drunken ass!” She slapped his forehead.

Kane finally let tears flow.

“You actually loved her didn’t you?” There was honest surprise in her voice.

He simply nodded.

“Yet you never told her?”

Again he nodded.

“You’re an idiot Kane.” She sighed sadly and stood to draw the heavy curtains, shutting the night out and putting an end to a tragic day.

“Get some sleep Kane… But promise me this, do not let a day pass that you fail to express your love for your children. They are going to have to grow up without their Mother, do not deny them your love.”

She turned to leave then, taking the empty bottle with her…

 

 

Anne Harrison 16.05.17

 

Part 75 – The End of an Era

Three Weddings – Three Nations – Three Hostages – Three Rulers

 

The Kings rotten head still adorned the audience chamber, a morbid trophy that Fendor kept upon display despite the odour. It was just past dawn, a cool dull light flooded the chamber as those of notoriety poured into the room to take their appointed seats. There was an air of anticipation throughout the court, speculation and rumour entertained the guests as they awaited the arrival of Fendor, self proclaimed ruler, having dispatched with the fierce-some Grave…

Black robed priests lead the way for Fendor and his closest aides who seated themselves along a heavy oaken table placed upon the chambers dais.

A silence fell over the audience…

“My People!” Fendor stood, his smile was radiant.

“The times of troubles is at an end, I have sealed a truce which will unite our lands and bring peace to our great nation!”

A triumphant roar echoed through the hall as nobles stood to applaud…

Alleia, seated by Kane’s side, felt sick, yet she clapped with as much enthusiasm she could fake. Her nerves were on edge, for seated to the left of Fendor was Roux, her eldest sister, the former Kings eldest child, had she been male, Roux would already have been coronated. She already ruled the Six Empires owned by the six siblings from behind her husband Bayron – News of his recent death had not been a surprise.

Fendor waited for the crowd to fall silent before continuing.

“Our own lands will be reunited with the Six Empires to the west, the whole family are in support of this union. We will make our Nation Great Again!” His voice rose as his ultimate plot was slowly revealed. The collected elite were riveted, they drank in his words, like they were a fine elixir. “We will be a force to be reckoned with. Treaties have been signed that will ensure peace with the Barbarian tribes in the wastelands!” More cheers followed his proud proclamation.

Upon a cue guards by the main door pulled both doors open simultaneously to reveal a figure stood beyond. A giant of a man, whose frame nearly fitted the doorway, clad in the traditional garb of a Barbarian Lord he stepped forth and stood before those gathered, awaiting his introduction.

“My people… I present to you Lord Darkfire, Brother of the late Grave and the new Lord of the whole tribes. Our Peace has been secured through marriage, the beloved Novana has accepted his proposal.” Murmurs of approval rippled throughout the crowd, and when Novana stepped into the room, clad beautifully in an exotic wedding dress, face alight with adoration, a slight blush flushed her cheeks as she stood by her Husband to be and took his arm, the hall once again erupted into great applaud…

Fendor drank in the triumph like a wolf savouring his kill…

“Further more… Further more…” He needed to call above the roar, Lord Darkfire and Novana took seats assigned for them at the head table, as the nobles settled, awaiting the next proclamation. “I have a second wedding to announce, my trusted Captain, Kane Stone, has assumed command over the Northern Clan Territories, having defeated Lord Pepe Montoto in combat. His marriage to the Princess Alleia secures yet another firm treaty between our lands. We are united! We are Strong! We shall be a Great Nation once again. Our lands are tied in Peace and we shall henceforth  celebrate this day as our ‘Nation Day’!” Fendor had the crowd on their feet once more…

These were all Lords and Ladies, Earls and Dukes… All the rich, the powerful, the elite… All those who gained to prospect from this treaty, widening trade routes, merging empires… This was a treaty forged on greed, on power, on lies…

“Finally!” Fendor smiled widely, “But by no means least… I am proud to announce a third wedding for this day. The noble Princess Roux has agreed to be my bride… Today shall be a day to remember! Three treaties, three nations, three weddings and our coronation!”

There it was… Alleia felt her heart sink… There was Fendor’s ultimate goal… To wed into the Royal Family, to Marry the eldest child and proclaim himself King and Roux Queen by his side… But where was Jago? Where were his children?

The applaud was deafening…

 

***

 

Epilogue

It really was a day to remember, the whole realm was in celebration, the three weddings were publicly observed and there were vast street parties throughout the land…

Happily Ever After settled across the nation… Built on betrayal, murder, kidnapping, black magic and a web of intricate lies. By the end of the day Fendor was King, Roux his Queen… They made a perfect couple…

Yet his bride had one stipulation and that obligation the new King burdened upon Kane… “I don’t care what you do with them, just make sure they are out of public sight… They can not be seen to be alive…” The King barked gruffly, having caught Kane shortly before his departure back to the Clans.

“Why not just kill them as planned?” Kane shrugged.

“Roux wants them alive, yet banished, so I’m banishing them to the Clan Territories with you. Out of this country at least, you only need hold them until she becomes bored with the idea and orders their deaths.” Fendor returned the shrug, dismissive…

“So I am now a babysitter for Royal Hostages?”

“Basically, Yes.” King Fendor said and turned and left.

 

THE END

(of this act)

 

 

Anne Harrison 12.05.17