Part 65

The Rift

A stunned silence fell over the arena, only the shrill cries of Alleia’s baby shattered the still. The General nodded a command, a prearranged deception, executed flawlessly. His troops rounded up the survivors, they were bound securely and then divided to individual holding cells. Novana and Indigo both numb with shock,  Kol was barely conscious.

Kane kicked off as soon as the guards tried to restrain Alleia, Fendor anticipated his desire to protect the family he had mere moments ago been reunited with and The General circled to slam the hilt of his sword into Kane’s temple as Kane has stood to square off against the soldiers. Kane dropped like a rock.

Alleia was hysterical,  her son dragged from her arms, he was wailing, Alleia screaming in panic. Though the whole episode was over shortly, with each hostage removed, restrained and contained in different parts of the vast palace.

***

Finally only Fendor stood alone, surrounded by three bodies and an unconscious Kane…

He spat in the dust and nudged Kane with his boot. “Are you awake?”

Kane stirred, scratching his head and coughing. “You didn’t have to fucking hit me so hard.”

“It needed to be convincing.” Fendor extended a hand to help his Captain to his feet. “You look dreadful.”

“I need a drink.”

“Ooh you’re funny.”

Kane just raised an eyebrow…

“Whisky Captain?” Fendor suggested

“Aye General.”

The two men turned and left the arena, discarding the carnage behind them.
There was still much to discuss …

Anne Harrison 06.04.17

Part 58

Midnight Conversations

Kane wrapped a sheet around his waist and perched upon the soft bed, there was only one chair by the table, so the woman took the chair and lit the lamp thereon, while her companion stood guard by the door which led into the complex, his sword now sheathed yet his hand rested easily on the pommel.

Kane blinked against the light, rubbing his eyes…

“What happened to you?” She asked, leaning forward in the chair, her eyes grazed over his scars, stitches, bandages, emaciated frame…

“Davenport happened to me.” As he replied, a petite grey cat slipped in gracefully from the courtyard, padding lightly over to Kane to plop down upon his lap, kneading with a low rumbling purr.

The arrival of the cat served to diffuse the uncomfortable atmosphere  causing a light hearted ripple of soft laughter.

“I don’t wish to sound arrogant, but I believe I know who you are.” Kane spoke, fussing the cat. “I believe you are Jago’s Twins, Indigo and Kol.”

The laughter died away to stunned silence as the twins glanced at each other bewildered.

“How did you come to that conclusion?” She narrowed her eyes as she spoke.

“You were correct in your observation of military, so, when you’re stood in the corner of a room for hours on end, your face half obscured by a helmet, stood to attention with a halberd that’s actually more for show than any practical use. You get used to being ignored, you become invisible. So you watch, listen, learn… You visited The King with your father last year for ‘The Worlds Range Games’ and I was on duty. Simple as that.”

The twins glanced at each other, then smiled.

“How did you end up ruling here?” Kol asked, stepping closer to engage in the conversation.

“I killed Davenport, there really is just so much you can take before you snap.” The cat arched its back and hopped to head-bump Kane on the chin.

“Then if you know who we are, you could hazard a guess as to why we are here?” Indigo’s unusual eyes still appeared to glow in the low lamp light.

“You want to know where the Northern Clan Territories stand if, or when, war breaks out. You want to know if we’re allies or an added threat.” He sighed, “Is Jago going to attempt to claim the throne from his Grandfather’s murderers?” Kane switched the direction of questioning.

“It would be his duty to do so.”

Somewhere out in the courtyard a clock struck the hour and the shrill call of crickets resonated during the lull in the conversation.

“I don’t want war, but I would say that is unavoidable.” Kane was starting to feel more fatigued and reached for a glass of water by the lamp. “Maybe this is not the hour for such deliberation.” He stifled a yawn. “I should like to consider both of you my guests and resume our discussion over breakfast.” Kane escorted the twins to a guest room personally, then returned to his too comfortable bed, discovering the grey cat curled up right in the centre.

So he returned to his slumber on the floor, listening to the crickets and savoring the feel of the breeze on his face…

 

Anne Harrison 31.03.17

Part 57

Back to Writing Folks… 

 

Kane honestly could never remember sleeping in a bed so ridiculously soft, in fact he couldn’t sleep, instead he dragged all the covers and blankets onto the floorboards and nestled down with a lovely fur skin under his chin. Then he slept, nightmares stirred at the edges of his mind, but being comfortable, warm and relaxed he ended up in a far deeper sleep.

At that level he shared his mind with Alleia, the connection was stronger the deeper the sleep to the point where he didn’t want to wake up. Finding preference in the dreams of his woman, his child. Though in reality he knew not where they were or even if they were still alive and not some fragment of an exhausted mind.

Slumber was disturbed by a boot nudging his shoulder, it was still dark and he was reluctant to stir. The steel point of a blade was cold against his neck – that got his attention and all remains of peaceful dreams were swiftly vanquished.

“I understand you are in charge here?” A woman said and knelt by his head, the sword was not held by the speaker.

“Apparently so.” He replied, carefully remaining still.

“You are not Lord Pepe Montoto, nor are you Master Davenport. You look military, not a ruler.” The woman had piercing blue/purple eyes which appeared to glow in the dark an illusion of the moonlight he suspected.

“I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to be in my quarters…” He wriggled a bit and got a jab in the throat to remind him to stay still.

The woman glanced around the room, so very basic, he had chosen to forego the lavish quarters that Pepe had favoured in preference to a simple room in the staff block, near the kitchens and with full glass doors that lead out into the courtyard (these were ajar). A bed he didn’t sleep in, a table he never sat at and a trunk of donated clothes, ill fitting and second hand.

With a slight nod she indicated her partner to lift the blade from his neck allowing Kane to sit up – He was sure those eyes glowed – She stood and offered a hand to help him to his feet.

“I think I like you…” She said with a smile. “…But we have a lot to talk about…”

 

Anne Harrison 30.03.17

Work in Progress

This is what the current working notes chaos mess is like, what I carry around in the black hole of my bag and add to bits when I’m waiting for a bus or otherwise randomly inspired.

Apologies – I write in pencil a lot – also there is a random spoiler somewhere in the scribbles, but you might not be able to decipher my dreadful handwriting and atrocious spelling… (Hopefully) …

… Sharing this and The Not-So Old Notes as a little oddity into my random writing process…

 

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Anne Harrison 29.03.17

The Not-So Old Notes

Finding scribbles of notes which never came to be…

… Discovered at the bottom of my bag while searching for a Theatre Tickets that I swore I printed off weeks ago, instead I discovered all these random musings…

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Anne Harrison 29.03.17

Part 51

A post in two parts…

 

Drunken Despair:

Grave was swift to gather Novana up into his arms as Kaxa fussed over her fallen sister. Fendor still hadn’t bothered to greet his guests, drinking himself into oblivion. Painfully aware that his short lived rebellion had succeed in nothing shorter than handing the city over to barbarians and Southlanders. He wasn’t fit to rule,  he wasn’t fit to be a Father, he could not recall striking Novana though he knew he was responsible for her bruises. The drunken holes in his memory were becoming worse and it was inexcusable to abuse a pregnant woman.  His despair lead him to consume an unreasonable amount of whisky and by the time Kaxa and Grave (carrying Novana) found him in the main hall, he was half conscious and had pissed himself…

***

Retribution:

Kane struggled free from Davenport as he nursed his broken nose, cursing and swearing, promising bitter retribution. Kane had no energy to fight,  barely the ability to move, but he was fueled by hatred and the lingering effects of the healing draft gave him some measure of strength… He grasped Davenport’s head while he was still disorientated and plunged his thumbs deep into his eyes… Pushing harder,  forcing his thumbs through the soft flesh. Davenport was screaming,  or he was… Fury kept a vice like grip on the vile mans skull,  something cracked, his thumbs slipped deeper into the sockets with a sickening crunch Davenport ceased screaming and hung limp…  Still Kane held the broken head until every ounce of strength had left his limbs and Davenport slumped at an awkward angle, Kane knelt back panting hard…

“My word?! Is he dead?” Kane couldn’t see the speaker,  but the voice was young, male.

“I bloody well hope so.” Kane managed to reply through ragged breaths.

“Thank the Gods!” The relief in the voice was unmistakable and Kane felt arms tugging him to his feet…

***
Anne Harrison 17.03.17

Part 49

A Welcome Reunion…
Kaxa and Grave together entered the city loyal lines of barbarian warriors lined the streets betwixt the gates and the palace, as their giant leader made his steady way Kaxa walking ahead of him. The men raised their fist to their heart, a salute which closely resembled a stabbing motion…  Unspoken loyalty, the action could be translated as: ‘I shall die to serve you’.

Curious city folk peered from doorways and windows or joined the gathering men, some imitating the salute with a little confusion. The few city guards who remained, those maintaining loyalty to Fendor watched the precision cautious and alarmed.

Kaxa walked barefoot, clad in a delicate thin shift crimson and gold, raven hair curled around naked caramel shoulders. Every eye was drawn to the exotic southern beauty and her giant companion,  she drew gazes of lust, envy. He… Brute fear…

Fendor was hung over and was in no mood for any of this drama.  He stank of last night’s whisky and cheap cigars. Looked unkempt and unwashed,  still in yesterday’s clothes that he had slept in. He had time to change,  to freshen up should he desire but the notion passed away as he reached instead for the remains of a stale ale.

Novana had been avoiding him for weeks now, finding peace within her work with the peasants. The swell of her tummy was more obvious as too were violent bruises which marred her skin. Twas only for the safety of her babe that she had not fought back, only a coward would take his stress out on a pregnant woman and Novana vowed Fendor would come to a painful end…

Kaxa embraced her sister tightly finally reunited with Novana, but her jubilation was short lived as she noticed the bump, the bruises, the tired smock and sad eyes.

“What happened?” Kaxa frowned.

“Just hold me.” Novana mumbled against her sisters shoulder then collapsed in an exhausted faint…
Anne Harrison 16.03.17

Of Heroes and Fools

Spoiler – I’m the Fool… 

 

Here I am, pondering over Story Structure, collecting sources of inspiration. Dreaming in character and re-reading through old University notes…

… Here’s something which has been brought to light, I don’t have a Hero!

I used to have a Hero… He had no name and is simply known ‘The Guardian’, but Kane killed him back in Part 14. How can I follow the well established structure of The Hero’s Journey, if I don’t have a Hero? Does the Hero need to be male? Yet none of my characters feel as though they are the main character… Is it possible to have a tale without a main character? Neither, do I have a main antagonist… I would be tempted to say this was The King, Yet my initial introduction gave him a Fatherly figure but he developed into a Tyrant… He’s dead too… Oops…

I don’t have any answers, just a collection of random tangled thoughts and self doubts that because I don’t follow a structure, because I don’t follow the rules of writing as gospel, I tell a story, I don’t show. I like to think of my ‘Notsoshortshortstory’ as a campfire tale. As I’m sat around with my friends, making up a shaggy dog story on the spot, telling what I see in my mind as if I was speaking to friends under a star lit sky.

I write without a plot, I scribble a few notes, but I’m still stuck regarding the next part currently. So while I’m bumbling along with writers block, you get my insane musings instead. But my little shadow of self doubt questions if I am a true writer?

I write, I love writing, I make things up on the spot and keep rolling with a tale because it doesn’t feel ended yet. But am I a writer?

Because I don’t have a hero…

 

Anne Harrison 14.03.17

Inspiration

A quick look at a collection of various media currently inspiring the ‘Notsoshortshortstory’ among other elements of my life, painting, scribblings and mood…

Lyrics:

The truth is subjective
And the court has lost perspective
And what is your objection here

Fear’s only fear if that’s what you call it
But what do you call it if you cannot speak?
Fear isn’t real unless you invoke it
So how can you blame it if you don’t believe

(Believe in me) Why won’t you believe

Liar, you thief, what you did to that priest
You’re wild and you’re reckless, you cursed the queen’s necklace
You connived and deceived and learned how to read
You’ve made the men wary and say you won’t marry

Speak your mind and deny
All the things that you have done
You are guilty
You are found guilty of every crime under the sun

Burn witch, burn
Burn witch, burn
Burn witch, burn

The truth is subjective
And the court has lost perspective
And what is your objection here

Pain isn’t pain unless that’s what you name it
But how do you name it if you cannot speak?
Pain isn’t real unless you invoke it
So how can you suffer if you don’t believe

Liar, you thief, what you did to that priest
You’re wild and you’re reckless, you cursed the queen’s necklace
You connived and deceived and learned how to read
You’ve made the men wary and say you won’t marry

Speak your mind and deny
All the things that you have done
You are guilty
You are found guilty of every crime under the sun

And the jury of my peers has yet to learn my name
And the congregation of your fear refuses me my name

Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
You better say my name

Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Say my…

Say my name
You better say my name
Say my name
You better say my name

Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
Say my name

Say my name
You better say my name
Say my name
You better say my name

Say my name
Say my name
Say my name
You better say my name

***

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Lyrics:

Take the children and yourself
And hide out in the cellar
By now the fighting will be close at hand
Don’t believe the church and state
And everything they tell you
Believe in me, I’m with the high command
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
There’s a gun and ammunition
Just inside the doorway
Use it only in emergency
Better you should pray to God
The Father and the Spirit
Will guide you and protect from up here
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Swear allegiance to the flag
Whatever flag they offer
Never hint at what you really feel
Teach the children quietly
For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stand still
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me, can you hear me running (can you hear me calling you?)
Can you hear me hear running, can you hear me calling you?
(Can you hear me running) Can hear me running (can you hear me calling you)?
Can you hear me
Hear me calling you
(Can you hear me running) hear me running, babe
Can you hear me running (hear me running)
Calling you
***
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Lyrics:
Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane
But the memory remainsHeavy rings on fingers wave
Another star denies the grave
See the nowhere crowd, cry the nowhere tears of honor

Like twisted vines that grow
That hide and swallow mansions whole
And dim the light of an already faded prima donna

Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
But the memory remains

Heavy rings hold cigarettes
Up to lips that time forgets
While the Hollywood sun sets behind your back

And can’t the band play on?
Just listen, they play my song
Ash to ash
Dust to dust
Fade to black

Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
Dance, little tin goddess

Na-na-na…

Drift away
Fade away
Little tin goddess

Ash to ash
Dust to dust
Fade to black

Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
Fortune, fame
Mirror vain
Gone insane…
But the memory remains

Ash to ash
Dust to dust
Fade to black…
But the memory remains, yeah

To this faded prima donna yeah, yeah, yeah, hey

[Solo]

Dance, little tin goddess, dance

Na-na-na…

[spoken:]
Say yes
At least say hello
Say yes
At least say hello

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Anne Harrison 14.03.17

Has My Writing Changed?

Mindless Ponderings…

By writing far more frequently, especially by following the lingering thread of an ongoing tale. I find that my writing has taken on a voice of it’s own, by casually disregarding possibly everything I ever learned at University about creative writing, by freely allowing influences I adore slipping into my words, the silken literature of Michael Moorcock, the flamboyant style of Lovecraft creep into my typing, because I let them, I don’t agonise over every single word I add to the screen, I am guilty of over using words, I actually deliberately include more than I should… Because I can, I am not policing my tale for any editor, I no longer hold any desire to be published, I write because I love writing, I adore the freedom of expression and the way my silly little tale is taking on a life of its own. It might never grace any printing press, but that’s not the issue, I write to give my characters breath.

Curiously I found an old tale I wrote at the beginning of my creative writing course. At a point in time where I wanted every word to be perfect, I wanted to prove myself as a potential author. I was a very different writer, for I felt restricted by the rules of writing and this need for perfection and it just doesn’t read right, I actually don’t like it, but I’m going to share it with you, because I might just be adding these characters to my story.

 

*Insert evil laughter*

 

Sibling Rivalry

1297 DR: Year of the Singing Skull

Pain registered quickly as he reeled backwards from the sudden swift attack, he put his left leg back a step to balance himself and acting purely on an internal instinct he spun around and kicked back with his leading leg. Striking his brother hard in his ribs with his boot, even before he had recoiled from the unexpected punch to the jaw, which had abruptly ended the argument with violence.

From somewhere behind the stars blurring his vision he heard his third brother chuckling at this discord, this only inflamed his rage even more and he turned to face his youngest sibling, hatred seething in his eyes as he wiped fresh blood from his chin, his lip split and stung. The fog lifted in his mind and he promptly glanced over his shoulder, to where his elder brother had recovered already from the blow to his ribs and regaining his breath.

So far none of them had reached for any of the weapons they carried upon their persons, but the frustration between the three siblings was ignited and after the first blows and it only took a split second to erupt into chaos. Aston tackled his middle brother, Bane, launching towards his mid-drift and tackling him to the floor, Cassius hesitated, but he knew he couldn’t avoid the conflict. He saw an advantage to side with Aston and as the two older men fell to the dust he kicked Bane in this side of his head, it was a cowardly attack, seeing as they wrestled and exchanged punches in the dirt. But Cassius’s action gave Aston the instant he needed to disable Bane with a violent chop with the edge of his hand right into his throat.

Bane gagged and coughed violently retching as Aston regained his footing and stood over him. “I suppose you believe I owe you for your help?” Aston spoke without turning to face Cassius; it wasn’t a question as much as a warning and Cassius felt a cold dread wave through him, aware that his skills could never outmatch Aston. Swallowing hard against the angry lump in his throat, he fought back his fear of his eldest brother. “I want the knife!” He demanded, finding courage in his own words, even though there was a slight tremor to his voice. “You have nothing I want!” Aston snapped back without hesitation, stealing some of the lads’ bravado, “Unlike this ‘Shebali’!” Aston spat to the ground near Bane’s head insulting him with a vile term in their language for ‘outcast’.

Bane fought to push down his rising fear as he struggled to regain his breath and hold onto the edge of consciousness, stunned by the betraying kick to his skull. He was in trouble and he knew it, Aston wanted ‘The Mirror’ and Bane felt as though the fight was fast slipping from him, yet he was unwilling to give up his prize so easily.

“I know where the ‘Sceptre’ is!” Bane tried to shout, but his voice was a broken croak. Though his words were enough to gain the attention of Cassius who raised an eyebrow and turned to regard his fallen sibling, Aston observed the simple change in facial expression and clenched his fists by his side. Cassius failed to notice this action else he would have expected the following attack.

However, Aston was unwilling to be embarrassed, by either his younger brothers and from the few words which had been expressed throughout this most recent violent encounter between the three brothers, he was starting to see a position where he could gain all three items of rare quality and possess them all to gain the strength and power it would take to over throw their father for the ownership of the guild. His mind swiftly followed this line of thought  and almost without thinking he reached around behind his back to where a knife was concealed in a sheath between his shoulder blades, in one fluid motion he launched the deadly blade through the air, aimed directly at the unsuspecting Cassius.

Cassius’s eyes went wide with shock as he noticed the sudden flash of razor sharp steel, he sidestepped issuing forth a sudden cry in his surprise, the wicked blade drew a deep line across his ribs, he felt the searing pain rip through his torso and reached instinctively to the long gash across his belly, as blood poured freely, wet and warm over his trembling hands.

“ENOUGH!” It was a single direct order, from a voice which demanded respect. Simultaneously all three brothers turned to regard the source of the commandment, all of them aware that their father stood witness to this conflict.

Storm stepped from the shadows, like an oppressive force to be reckoned with, the shadows appeared to cling to the folds of his dark black cloak, giving him the impression that he was half surreal ethereal presence.

The brothers swallowed hard, near in unison. By now, Bane had regained his feet and stood together with Aston and Cassius.

“From what I can gather…” Storm spoke in his native language “…Between you three ‘boys’…” He deliberately emphasised, the word ‘boys’ to knock his sons back into their place “… You have gained possession of ‘The Knife’, ‘The Mirror’ and ‘The Sceptre’.  He stepped closer, stroking his chin, amused.

Aston, Bane and Cassius watched their father cautious; Bane still comforted his bruised throat with one hand, his other curled around the hilt of his sword. Cassius blanched, both his hands were slick with blood, holding his streaming wound. Only Aston appeared strong enough to confront their father, should the cause arise.

Yet Storm silenced any conflict with words. He breathed in deeply savoring success, “At least you ‘used’ to own these items!” He smirked exaggerating the past tense. “They’re mine now.” Storm said simply, allowing his sons to finally see the error of their ways, that they had fought and lost not only their items, but also their trust in each other.

From: December 17th 2015

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Anne Harrison 03.03.17