I have a cat who can teleport. Tabitha was indoors last night, curled up in my in-tray (or out-tray or unmoving stationary tray – hey, a pun!). She was asleep. I left the room to watch Downton Abbey. On my return, she was nowhere to be seen. I went to bed, expecting her to join me during the night.
This morning, she was outside, waiting on the doorstep.
This isn’t the first time she’s done this.
The upstairs windows are still open (in case Woody returns) and she steps outside to sit on the sill sometimes; it’s a bit of a worry. When I go to bed and can’t find her, I shine a torch outside and look for a splat on the concrete under the window. There’s never a splat. Therefore she must still be in. I have no catflap.
The next morning when I let her in, I inspect her for damage – has she glided from the upstairs window and landed unharmed? She’s fine. She smiles and raises her tail hopefully, rubbing her head on my leg. She’s hungry.
Perhaps there’s a secret hole in the house because she does this so often – she’s indoors, then she’s not, and I have no recollection of opening any doors. I hope I find the hole before the burglars.
She’s also able to hide in an empty room. I can stare and stare, knowing she’s in there, but invisible. Like the Cheshire Cat, she disappears. I call, and imagine her smiling at me, purring in full view, happy because I can’t see her.
Is this an example of strange feline powers? No wands, no Latin spells, just the seamless ability to disappear from one space and appear in another.
How does it work?
However she does it, it takes it out of her. After a morning supper, she ascends to the bedroom and passes out for hours, recharging those magical batteries for the next night’s disappearance.
“Hello, Elyse. Today we would like you to test out one item of
your choosing on the table not far from you. There are four
objects. A ring that makes the wearer invisible, a hearing aid
that enables the wearer to hear anything on earth no matter how
distant, a magical cookie, and a magical drink.” The speaker
announced, lay bolted in a corner of a room nearest to the
two-sided mirror. Elyse was a simple woman taken from her home
and drafted to this corporation to test mysterious items for the
rest of her days. She rises from the small bed to shuffle over to
the chair at the table as she drags along the monitors that test
her body movements. In a triumphant sigh, she wobbles to the
Slowly she takes her seat and almost jumps from how cold the metal is underneath the thin fabric she wears. Clearing her throat to shoo away the excess chill, she glances at the magical objects on the table and looks up at the wide mirror casting her reflection back at her. In those moments she remembers what they assigned her to before she traipsed down the long corridors and into a white medium sized room. She was to be observed as she tested out strange artifacts.
“What does the cookie do?” she asked her voice throwing out a boredom tone obviously gone through this procedure several times before. “Whoever eats it grows taller at the rate of a foot per minute.” A monotone female voice was heard from the speaker. “And the drink?” Elyse asked the scientist with an arched brow displaying a slight annoyance. “It is said whoever drinks it shrinks at the rate of three inches per minute.” The speaker answered.
The small youthful woman stared down at the four objects contemplating which she would be better off with determining the given choices. Who knows if the effects are correct or if it would enable her to return to her former self. However many times she tested there artifacts she could not help but think over which would have the greatest affect. Something was always bound to go wrong even if she hadn't known of it. This she had to see through or the promise that was given to her will be no more.
The air conditioner then clicked on sending a cool air her way. Goose bumps arise up top her pale skin and she shivers in her seat for a mere second before deciding on a magical object to collect an analysis. Firstly, she leans down and takes a whiff of the liquid. “I smell blueberry and marshmallows.” With that marked down Elyse takes in a deep sigh suddenly feeling uncomfortable in her chair and drinks the contents within the glass. “I taste…” her tongue moves about in her mouth collecting the taste to label. “Raspberry, coco beans, mushrooms, and hazelnut?” she questioned the last sample from her taste buds.
She then looks around at her surroundings checking if anything looks different in height. “So far I notice nothi…” her words slip away from her as she acknowledges the fact she shrunk four inches in under a minute. Her heart begins to race the heart monitor sounding off in a wild manner. “Uhmm at this rate I will become a tiny speck of dust if this continues.” leans forward as much as she can to the microphone on the table; pulling the thin fabric she wears back over her shoulders. “I need to…” her words become high pitched and unclear as she shrinks another four inches in her seat.
The cloth she wore now a dotted immense of fabric. “Help!” she tries to shout as loud as she could but nothing devoured except for a low squeal barely audible to the human ear. Elyse cries out and grips to the cloth she once wore before drinking the contents in the bottle. Frightened tears then swell up and stream down her cheeks. Her dark sheer strands of hair stinking to her face from droplets raining down her cheeks. All the while, the scientist behind the two-sided mirror only observed the tiny young woman before she vanishes from sight, emptying out into the air.
I have my reason however, you should be all very glad to know was because of my school work. Which has been thrust upon me in the form of an art exam, regretfully sentencing a halt in my progress of writing for a while.
Yet, here I am to offer an update since I have been in absense for some time.
I'm happy to say I got my result just the other day and recieved a delightful B in pyschology but a rather doubtful C in English Literature which has put me down somewhat.
Though i find it ironic as I needed a B in English and a C in Psychology which I nearly almost always fail at since I lack caring for it (so very delighted with that result)
Otherwise, my writing has moved forward plenty and I have offically decided to dedicate myself to one book which is still to be named. The lead character being called Kaci Cardin - A.k.a Kaci Darleen as her alias (no one suspects someone who keeps their first name as an alias ;D)
I have the first chapter already up on this site somewhere amongst the crowd but I have parts of chapter two ready and have cleaned through chapter one for the third time. Third time is the charm as they say.
If any of you are wondering, I haven't got a definite description as of yet, I'm waiting to finish the book first, but I shall give you quick brief of the story.
Kaci Cardin/Darleen is a part of the second world which is made up of everything non-human. She is a null, the enemy of all magic beings and hunted, along with hated, for simply being alive. Yet, she has found a stable life style which she is satisfied with. However, something comes crashing into her life of problems causing her to take up a task she severly does not want to do sending her into a wheel of new problems and bringing her face to face with her demons. Along the way she arises new feelings for the people she once brushed aside and discovers lies and deciet behind old kind actions along with new truths which could change her world.
I hope that kindles some interest, it does me! I'm excited writing it! XD
I look forward to any advice which can be offered from you lovely folk as I shall spurge what I can to your fasinating works as we band together to create our individual possibilities of writing and publishing a book!
For now, this shall be the finish of my update, I will repost my first chapter onto a group I shall make for this book just to make finding it easier. ^^
I wish you all the best in your writing,
The point of my blog is not to keep you up to date with my social calender, which would make you yawn but this - C.S. Lewis was an Oxford scholar and I was surprised to learn that his publisher and some friends tried to dissuade him from writing childrens books - telling him there were 'too many things that clashed - a Father Christmas and an evil witch, talking animals and children.' He obviously didn't listen to them! I will be re-visiting the works of C.S. Lewis, when I have time and my NY resolution will be to have the courage of my own convictions when it comes to writing - I may not be a C.S. Lewis or an Oxford scholar but I will never say never and will keep working at my writing and look for opportunities. After all, we should all believe in a little bit of magic!
Happy New Year to all on the The Cloud.
A black imigrant recently arrived in England straight from his native African village had just been to his first cricket match, so he was in an ideal position to answer his cousin's question on what it was all about.
'This is powerful whiteman's magic,' he explained. 'The temple is surrounded by seating for the worshipers, but it has no roof; it is open to the heavens. First two high priests, in long white robes, proceed to the centre of the hallowed turf carrying two carved wooden, sacred icons each. There are three short wooden spears piercing the ground at each end of a strip of carefully prepared turf and each high priest positions his two icons in the place of honour accross the top of each set of three spears. One high priest then walks reverentially some distance off to the side, but the other high priest remains standing guard just behind his three spears.
'Then eleven neophytes, also in white, process on to the hallowed turf and position themselves very carefully at various distances from the two sets of spears. The high priest standing guard by his three presents one of the neophytes with a global object that he begins to pollish reverentially, debasing himself by using his own clothing as a polishing cloth. Finally two more priests, all in white, march to the centre, each carrying a sacrificial club made of finely pollished wood. One stands by the three spears being guarded by the high priest, while the other marches to the other three spears and positions himself carefully in front of them, holding the club at just the right angle down by his legs, to effect the magic.
'The neophyte with the globe stands well behind the high priest guarding the three spears and the high priest raises one arm horizontally to his side. At just the right moment he lowers his arm and the neophyte with the globe runs at speed towards him. Just as he reaches the high priest, he throws the globe with considerable force in the direction of the priest with the sacrificial club in front of the other three spears. This priest swings the club in the air in a magical pattern, while the globe strikes the wooden spears and the sacred icons fall to the ground.
'The neophyte who threw the globe raises both hands high in the air and shouts out the powerful mantra, "Howzat!" And down comes the rain!'
I'm gonna try and post on here regularly and include new sketches now and again. There are already a few on the Comedy Sketch group if you'd like to see our style.
We've written enough sketches for a six half-hour series, however living in Sunderland we are stuck for an outlet and are short on contacts to forward our work on to.
We have a couple of irons in the fire but nothing solid as yet.
If nothing else, this blog will be a catalogue of our failure.......
Jamie (Magictorch), Andrew and David. (MKM).
“Before Tearn was a year old, to put it more accurately, there was a global crisis which I myself wasn’t particularly involved in. It was my father’s crisis – he was King at the time. A powerful sorcerer had emerged from the dark North, bent on the destruction of this and every kingdom. Many kingdoms fell before him – an Eastern kingdom was the first to go, to surrender themselves and do his will. Not many in the East opposed him. His magik was so stunningly powerful that legend has it a single angry look could knock you to the ground. It is said that Merino” – “Capital of Yzet” Dinar murmured, naming an Eastern country he’d visited – “was built upon a section of desert that he’d melted into stone, to defy him, to show that he could not easily force the people of that country down. His name scared the life out of every person alive. Terror reigned. His creatures, things of darkness called the Trackers, swarmed into every city. They were not human and at night were stronger than anything Gera had. Hundreds of them like thin corpses walking the streets. They sniffed out the sorcerer’s enemies and destroyed them, falling upon them like hounds. They killed many people from Hren, from all over Gera. The sorcerer swept throughout the world, fighting the Dwarves and the Elves, gathering followers for his swelling armies. But still people opposed him, as they would. He gathered strength and overcame some of the most powerful witches, warlocks, wizards, sorcerers, mages, anything we could throw at him. Even witches like Rona, the forest witch whom you will know from the long-ago terrorising of Herblock village, stood in his way, refusing to give up their land, refusing to join forces. Rona was said to have been drained of her powers but, being a forest witch, survived and grew strong again. She lives in more solitude now, barely terrorising anything. Eventually, though, we asked for help. We’d been too proud. My father refused to acknowledge that such creatures like hags, vampires, harpies, centaurs, creatures we’d been hounding for years, could be our best chance to defeating this mysterious and powerful tyrant. It took him a number of years, breaking all sorts of banishments and over-ruling so many laws, to gather what the people called the Army of Myth. He himself rode out at the head of this army, to confront the sorcerer.
“The sorcerer met him as agreed, in no man’s land between the armies. He was shrouded in darkness and my father said he’d never seen a face so cold and unfeeling. My father, the King, demanded that he retreat from his lands and leave the neighbouring kingdoms that he had invaded. The sorcerer laughed at him.
“‘You mortal fool,’ He said to my father, with a surprising Geran accent, ‘Do you think that by telling me to that I shall do it? Do you consider yourself, as the current ruler of this land, more powerful and adept than I? Thoughtless King, you have no chance against me. Step down now and we shall not ravage your kingdom, kill your men, enslave your wives, steal your children and raze your realm to the ground!’ My father was not swayed by this and repeated that the sorcerer should leave. Again the sorcerer laughed.
“‘So be it, little King,’ He turned and rode back to his army on his horse as black as night. A ferocious battle ensued, that raged on for many moons. The sorcerer sat upon a cloud of darkness, sending down his magik to tear in my father’s armies and leave them trembling. Many died but the combined magik of the Army of Myth were able to sway him when none else could and he was forced into retreat for the first time. He came back afterwards, stronger than ever, with a bigger army. My father’s troops fought bravely and exceptionally. But the Trackers never tired, needing neither sleep nor sustenance. They hounded the Army continuously. Eventually, my father realised that they could not win. During the third moon of the battle, he called a meeting with the leaders of each kind, to discuss their options. It was then that the Dwarves’ greatest warrior made an entrance.
“‘If I may be permitted to speak,’ The Dwarf said, standing. He was given permission and stood at his full height, which was only a metre or so.
“‘For generations, we Dwarves have been creating powerful weapons carrying enchantments that brook no defeat,’ He said to the assembled, ‘Our most magikally able think they can create a weapon so strong that any being alive could not overcome it, given it is held in the right hands.’ The Elves obviously opposed this, but due to the history between their races, it was to be expected. In the end, the Dwarves were told to do it, to create this superb weapon. And they did, a sword that was so immensely strong that it was decided only the best warrior in the entire army should wield it. To everyone’s surprise, the best warrior who fulfilled the requirements of selflessness, loyalty and morality was a human. He was granted the sword and so the final battle began.
“The sorcerer had managed to get all the way to the noble city of Laar, and this is where the Army of Myth met him. The battle that followed only lasted a few days but had more bloody carnage than any other war ever recorded. There seemed to be no end of the Trackers and the other Dark creatures that the sorcerer had coerced into joining him. The warrior with the unbeatable sword finally managed to break into the tower in the centre of Laar, where the sorcerer had settled. They fought tirelessly for hours. The warrior, however, got in the final blow. There was an almighty explosion that flattened Laar, leaving it a pile of rubble. The Trackers fled, howling like Banshees. The magikal explosion had brought every person with even a mild magikal talent for miles around to their knees. And though the warrior survived, practically intact, the sorcerer’s body was never found. It was suggested by many Royal Mages that his power simply engulfed him, having nowhere else to go. The reign of terror was over.
“I assume, Tearn, Miss Falls, that you have been made aware of the unexpected guests at last night’s celebrations. They were two of Errant’s most trusted spies, one being their most experienced warrior. They brought with them dreadful news. There have been reports of skeletal figures, chalk white with glowing red eyes, swathed in black cloaks, stalking streets at night in villages in the northwest of Errant. Grisly murders have been cropping up and disappearances are getting commonplace. Only last month, an entire village was found deserted, with indications of some almighty struggle. Yen the Great believes the Trackers have returned. And the implications of that would be disastrous.”
There was a moment of absolute silence. Melanie could almost feel the horror creeping up on them. She had always known there had been some big battle, something huge, but this was out of her wildest nightmares. Her mind skimmed over the details – how were they meant to deal with this a second time if they barely survived the first? This should have been a time of safety and yet King Rolan was suggesting that everyone’s lives might be in danger. Melanie liked her life at the moment. This, however, didn’t come into it at all.
“What do you want me to do, Father?” Prince Tearn said, cutting into Melanie’s thoughts. Melanie turned her head slightly to stare at him. Do? He was taking this well.
“I want you and your protectors,” The King nodded at them, “To travel north. There seems to have been some disturbances with a few villages and a band of nomads. I do not believe the commotion had anything to do with Trackers but if these rumours have but a seed of truth, the world could become a much more dangerous place. Yen the Great has sent an army to investigate the villages and track down any of these supposed Trackers. We must do the same.” They nodded.
“Where are we headed, your Majesty?” Dinar asked, getting straight down to business. This was his kind of task. Looking for an enemy, finding an enemy and potentially beating the living daylights out of an enemy in the wild savannah land of northern Gera. King Rolan reached for a rolled up scroll on the side of his desk and spread it out before him. It was an extremely old map of Gera. To the north was the deep brown and grey of the Bleak Mountains. To the east, Lornen and Scalo, two very different countries. She tried to remember what the smudged-out country to the west was but her memory failed her. She’d never really bothered with political geography. Her mental map was more of a ‘mountains, up; sea, down; avoid that way’ kind of affair. The King pointed at a small group of villages just above a wide area of forest.
“This is your destination. The first village is Salds, a usually thriving market town. There should be much activity there, what with the nomadic traders coming in and people from the neighbouring villages arriving to celebrate the harvest.” Melanie noticed Vanessa had produced a notebook from somewhere and was writing as fast as Melanie could think. Melanie couldn’t think of anything worse than throwing herself into trouble when her life was just beginning to look up. The King paused and looked up at them all. His face was once again pained and it struck Melanie that he wasn’t as young as he used to be.
“I do not wish to push you into danger. I can just as easily send a band of warriors but for the publicity. However, it is perfectly natural that a Prince should want to travel – it is not natural to send warriors off if nothing is wrong. It is your decision.” Melanie squirmed under his gaze. It was like he could read her mind and now she felt eternally guilty. Vanessa and Dinar looked at her. She took a deep breath.
“It’s not our decision,” She said and looked at Prince Tearn. For once, she didn’t know what he would say. His face was pale and drawn. He’d never faced anything like this. He was only sixteen, a few months older than her. He wasn’t used to fighting dirty if it came down to it – he’d only ever fought noble knights who respected each other and Melanie had a feeling these Tracker things would not fight fair. However, he was Prince Tearn. It was his duty. He had his honour and Melanie knew better than most his thirst for adventure. He longed to get out of the safe little cities like Hren and hit the wild country they were surrounded by. They all looked at him. Melanie crossed her fingers as he turned to his father and gave his answer.
Melanie went home in a whirl. The moon was sinking already, it was hours after midnight. She and Vanessa jumped from the cab, laughing uproariously, make enough noise to annoy the old biddy on the ground floor. She stuck her blue, curling head out of her doors and shrieked vile curses at the two girls. They fell about laughing even more, giddy on punch and high on delight. Melanie ran up the stairs. Vanessa, unfairly graceful even when she was drunk, leapt after her, missing her by an inch. The carriage driver appeared on the ground floor.
“Miss, is this yours?” His hesitant voice, faced by a vampire-hag and her dark-haired companion, took a while to reach them. They looked back, like guilty children. He was holding Vanessa’s bag. She shook her head, as if to clear it.
“Yes. Wait there.” She threw Melanie the keys and descended the stairs. Melanie, with a flash of a grin at the receding blue-haired woman below, took the next staircase three at a time. Someone shouted from inside another grotty flat but she ignored them. A child began to cry and its mother could be heard crooning softly. Melanie winced. She slowed down, reaching the third floor, and stepped out onto the dimly lit landing. There was a dull thudding from somewhere. The child below quieted as the mother’s lullaby came to an end. For a moment, approaching the door, Melanie fiddled with the keys, finding the one for the shared flat. But as she reached out for the handle, to slot the key into the lock, the door creaked and swung slightly open. Melanie froze. Heart in her mouth, she pushed open the door.
The window was wide open, banging softly against the wall. The black material they used instead of curtains flapped in the cold night wind, ripped and tattered. Moonlight drifted in to illuminate the room, which didn’t resemble the place they’d left at all. Vanessa’s bed was stripped, each sheet slashed within an inch of its life. The lamp which had been standing next to the bed was laying across the floor, smashed, the pieces of wax scattered. Someone had thrown Melanie’s trusty boots through Vanessa’s vanity mirror. Her lotions and potions were strewn across the floor, seeping into the floorboards. Schoolwork had been dragged out of various bags, and was thrown around the room. Melanie absently picked up a theorem on the magikal properties of darkness and light. Her daggers, Vanessa’s mage staff, a load of her tools, they were everywhere. Every piece of clothing Vanessa owned – and that was quite a lot – had been ripped out of the wardrobe and most had been ruined. Melanie’s door was open and she didn’t need to look through to know it was in exactly the same state. Every bag had been sliced open and the contents poured onto the floor. Every cupboard had been thrown wide and now looked despairingly empty, void of the usual clutter. Melanie stood in the middle of the room, wreckage all around her. The bubbly, happy feeling she’d been bursting with almost all night dissolved into anger, amazement and self disgust. She couldn’t believe she’d let this happen. Melanie couldn’t think – who? Why? And most importantly, how? She turned on one foot, taking in the carnage as Vanessa appeared in the doorway. Her elegant hands flew up to her mouth as she took in the scene before her.
“Mel, what...” The vampire didn’t finish. Melanie looked back at her whiter-than-usual face. She tried not to punch something as she waded through the rubbish. Vanessa picked her way delicately around the lamp, picking up her things as she went. Silently, Melanie stalked into her room. While Vanessa was quietly, almost meekly, tidying up the flat, Melanie wasn’t about to take it lying down. She scanned the room. Everything had been forced. It was so crude, so crass. Melanie ran a hand through her hair, thinking of places to look, messing up all of Vanessa’s hard work earlier. She peered into a few empty cupboards. The edges of the door were examined. She checked the lock on the window, finding it broken but the window closed. Thinking this odd, Melanie jammed it closed anyway. As Melanie dropped to the floor, peering under the wooden bed, Vanessa appeared in the doorway.
“Oh, Mel,” She sighed. Melanie peered over her shoulder at her. Vanessa held a huge pile of crumpled paper and was looking at her pityingly.
“What?” Melanie demanded, scrambling to her feet and looking around, “It was probably an amateur. Everything’s thrown about – if they wanted to steal something, the first rule is not to move anything. They’ll have made a mistake, mark it. They’ll... what’s with that look?” Melanie folded her arms and glared. Vanessa shook her head.
“You won’t find anything.” Melanie scowled.
“And why not?” The girl asked angrily, “I have to look. You can’t tell me not to. What else am I supposed to do?” Vanessa walked around the bed and thrust the papers into her hand. Melanie glanced down at them. It was some of Vanessa’s work on sensing presences. Melanie flicked through it blankly, reading things on ‘hiding opponents’, ‘recently departed’ and ‘former occupants’. She looked up at Vanessa with the idea of making a sarcastic comment before it clicked. She looked down at the paper again, rifled through it, looked up, down, until Vanessa carefully stopped her hands. Melanie raised her confused face.
“But I don’t understand!” She said, “Something was here! Someone was here!” Vanessa rolled her eyes.
“I know that, dung-brain,” The vampire said, deftly taking the papers from Melanie’s surprised hands, “But there are ways to hide your presence. I can’t sense it if it’s been hidden. I’m not that powerful. I know. Believe me, I tried. We did it at school two days ago.” Melanie frowned.
“But that would make them a mage. Why would a mage break in?” She began. Then stopped. Her mind was working furiously. There was no subtlety about this theft – it was practically an attack. She could think of a few thieves who used this approach but none had any problem with her, as far as she knew. As Vanessa watched her in alarm, Melanie’s mind rewound the last few days’ events. There was the break-in, her elbow connecting with her attacker’s face. Their out-raged glares had followed her the day after and she’d laughed at him, as she often did. Then there was the actual test itself, her professor yelling and his angry face peering around his mother’s ample behind. Melanie cursed inwardly. She’d shown her class this tactic herself, how could she have been so stupid? It was just asking for trouble, being disliked and showing them how to get back at her. Was she completely dumb? Was she going soft? She growled and Vanessa shook her.
“Mel!” She practically shouted. Melanie snapped back to the present.
“The pathetic little worm, I’m going to kill him!” Melanie vaulted the bed and made for the door. Vanessa caught her just in time.
“Melanie! What are you on about?”
“Tumbler, the slimy fool of a pig! I should have known he wouldn’t leave it! I showed him up, but it ain’t hard! The boy has rock instead of brains! I’m going to rip his moon face from his body and bounce his head around the university until his brains are splattered across every surface! I’m going to torture him in a way so painful that he’s going to wish I’d kill him! I’m going to stuff his embroidered waistcoat so far up his backside that he’ll be spitting silk for a year! He’s not going to get away with this, Vanessa!” Melanie ranted. Vanessa had stepped back, looking thoughtful.
“And the mage?” She asked quietly.
“Newman. I busted up his face during the break-in test we did,” Melanie admitted. Vanessa smirked.
“I wondered who’d done that. It was an excellent break – I probed it myself.” She had an amused look on her face but her eyes were serious. Melanie felt herself calm down. Vanessa searched her face carefully.
“Are you sure, Mel?” She asked. Melanie scowled.
“Who else could it be? I don’t generally make enemies out of proper thieves, Vanessa, and the ones I have done wouldn’t be so nice about it. Newman learnt how to hide presences, you know that. Tumbler knows about this!” Melanie gestured around the room angrily, “I’m telling you, it’s got to be them!” Vanessa shook her head slowly, sparking another outburst in Melanie.
“Oh, come on, Vanessa! How can you be so blind?! Who else can it be?” Vanessa waved an absent hand at the floor, muttering to herself. The papers, the bottles, all their strewn belongings picked themselves up and slotted themselves back into their places. The wardrobe looked forlorn with the tattered and ripped clothes hanging in it. The stack of papers was twice the size it had been, the creased papers taking up more room, and the empty bottles tidied themselves up into a jumbled line. The sheets lay across the bed. Even tidied, the room was a mess, with stains on the floor, the mirror broken and the open window lacking a latch. Melanie followed Vanessa to her bed, where they both sat down.
“Anybody,” Vanessa said finally. Melanie stared at her but the serious look of concentration prompted her silence. Vanessa was generally a laid-back type of person, rarely getting worked up. Melanie had annoyed her during one of her reveries once and the outcome hadn’t been to Melanie’s liking at all. Remembering this, Melanie slid off the bed and made for her room. Her dress scratched at her legs and she noticed a rip in the thin socks. She hoped Vanessa hadn’t noticed. Then again, surrounded by such carnage, who would?
Melanie got changed automatically, slipping between her thin sheets with the rips in them. She didn’t really mind. She’d been in worse positions. As she drifted off, she realised it was the same day as the party. That happy feeling was so far gone she could barely remember even a glimmer of it. The window banged, the wind froze her toes and, as Melanie fell asleep, she heard the front door close softly as Vanessa left.
The next day, Melanie awoke with a groan. Not only was her head pounding like mad, but the depressed feeling from the night before lingered. When the light first hit her eyelids, she couldn’t think of why she was unhappy. But as soon as her eyes opened, everything came back and Melanie’s head filled with unsavoury plans to kill Herman Tumbler. Vanessa wasn’t in the flat. A note, usually tacked to the mirror but instead was on the door, told her that Vanessa had gone to the palace and could Melanie bring her parents’ old books on magik? She was behind on her coursework. Plus she thought she thought she had a lead on the break-in from the tramp woman who lived across the street and it wasn’t pointing to Tumbler or Newman. Melanie stomped back into her room, thrusting her daggers into their sheaths. She didn’t care about leads. She knew it had to be Tumbler. But still, Melanie thought as a small smile crept across her face, if they got proof it was Tumbler, she could rip him to shreds however she liked with no opposition. A new spring in her step, Melanie dropped to her knees in front of her bedside cabinet. She opened the door with a flick and paused. It was empty.
After a minute of searching the cupboard with her hand, Melanie jumped to her feet. She frantically searched every cupboard in her room, and then in Vanessa’s. The books did not appear. Melanie had never lost those books. They were a record of everything magikal in Gera, written in her mother’s own handwriting. It explained so much and it was all Melanie had left of her parents. Slipped inside the front was a portrait done of them both, before they’d had Melanie. Her mum looked a lot like her but had golden-red hair, the colour of autumn leaves, and Melanie thought her face would be constantly smiling. Her father was slightly more serious, but had a twinkle in his eyes, his brown hair swept back. Melanie was darker than either of her parents. She could barely remember them, just a soft murmur or a flash of a smile. And now the books were gone.
Melanie punched the wall, cracking the bricks. How Tumbler had known about the books, she’d never know, but he’d hit her right where it hurt. She hadn’t thought he had the brains for it. Melanie slammed the front door behind her, hearing the lock catch, and stamped down the stairs, bringing out the blue-haired lady again.
“I’m going to file a complaint!” Her shrill voice bounced off the walls, “What with the banging and laughing and cavorting last night, and then the howling and scrabbling yesterday and now this! How am I meant to live peacefully?”
“Go iron your wrinkles, you old bat,” Melanie shot back at her as she headed out the door. Her outraged shrieking made Melanie feel slightly better, but only slightly. She headed down the empty streets, with the early morning sun just touching the tips of the houses. Melanie usually enjoyed her morning stroll, whether to the Academy or the palace. Today it was overshadowed by the whole stupid situation and more than one unlucky street vendor got himself a black eye and an empty purse by bothering the only potential customer around. Melanie dropped the collection of coins into the palace temple’s donation bowl on her way into the regal halls.
She found Vanessa and Dinar lounging against the wall outside the doors to the main hall. Vanessa looked up and smiled. The smile quickly faded as she caught Melanie’s bad mood. Dinar saw her face and turned. He raised his eyebrows.
“World coming to an end, Melanie?” He asked, the beginnings of a smirk on his face. Melanie shot him a glare and he stopped. She folded her arms, her face black, and leant heavily against the wall.
“The books are gone. The stupid, slimy, thieving piece of dirt’s nicked my mother’s books,” Melanie said, trying to bore a hole in the doors opposite with her narrowed eyes. Vanessa frowned, worried. Dinar looked at Vanessa, not understanding. He obviously hadn’t been told of the night’s events. As Vanessa caught him up, Melanie stared at the doors, wallowing in her misery. The guards on either side of the doors were watching her suspiciously. They didn’t trust her – none of the guards did. Melanie engaged them in a staring match for a while. She won, as per usual, and they closed in minutely around the door, to stop her from bursting in on the private meeting between King Rolan and son. Melanie rolled her eyes at them. She was going to find out eventually anyway.
Dinar uttered an expletive and Vanessa hushed him hurriedly as the guards shot him a look.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He hissed, his eyes flashing the silver of a wolf in anger. Vanessa hit him – she was the only one who did, because she was the only one who could measure up to him in strength.
“We didn’t because we knew you would overreact!” Vanessa answered in the same tone. Melanie didn’t know what ‘we’ Vanessa was talking about.
“Overreact? I’m not overreacting! This is serious!” Dinar’s voice rose and Vanessa rolled her eyes. Melanie shook her head.
“Serious? Not particularly. How many enemies do I make in a week?” She murmured. Dinar thought.
“A few,” He admitted.
“So leave it, okay?” Vanessa commanded. Dinar obeyed, but his face said this wasn’t the end. They stood in silence for a minute. Melanie flicked a piece of hair out of her eyes. Whatever the King was talking to Prince Tearn about, it had to be serious. It was taking forever. Hopefully, Prince Tearn was having a moan about the list of chores Barboron had given him the day before. But he’d probably get grounded – well, confined to his quarters, which consisted of five rooms filled with so many luxuries that Melanie couldn’t possibly name them all. That didn’t really seem like much of a punishment to Melanie but what did she know? Her parents had died when she was two years old. Melanie didn’t think about that much. It wasn’t a pleasant topic. She could sometimes vaguely remember the village she’d lived in. Most of it had been burnt up around the same time her parents had died. Melanie had left it when she was six, hoping that Hren would hold better pickings. And boy, had she been right about that.
The main doors opening shot her out of her reverie. The King’s personal guard, Jar, stuck his head out of the door and his eyes immediately fell on Melanie and the other two. Melanie instantly scanned her brain, to see what she’d done. Jar was about seven feet tall with muscles twice the size of Melanie’s head. He looked as if he could squash her flat.
“The King requests the presence of the Royal Protectors and associates of Prince Tearn to discuss an essential and confidential situation. So if you will, Miss Cliff, Miss Falls. Dinar.” Jar nodded at the Lupine, who did the same, having their masculine moment of respect. Dinar admired Jar – he was the best warrior in Gera. Jar, in his own way, admired Dinar, who had got his wild and immensely powerful side locked up and under control. Jar beckoned to the three of them and they walked towards him. One of the guards tilted his spear to stop Melanie from entering but Jar put out a hand to stop it and accidently snapped it in two. The guard backed off, eyes on Melanie. She stuck out her tongue and slipped through the doors after the others. Dinar started to ask Jar what was going on but Jar hushed him. Melanie and Vanessa exchanged a look. This could be important. As she walked after the others, passing under the softly burning lantern set into the dark walls of stone, Melanie shivered – she had a bad feeling about this. And her feelings weren’t generally wrong.
“Your Majesty,” Jar intoned. The King and his son looked up from the table. The serious looks on their faces chilled her. Her heart sank. She hadn’t seen Prince Tearn look this pale since his father left for the last war. King Rolan faced them as the three stood next to their charge, Melanie and Dinar on one side, Vanessa on the other. His face was grim.
“I loathe getting you involved with this, but it seems I have no other choice.” He sat back. The lights were dim, and only the candle around the throne and the table lit the place. Melanie slipped unconsciously into her thief’s head – this was a severe matter and she wanted to be alert for it. Whatever ‘it’ was. The King looked from one face to the other, obviously thinking. Melanie could tell it was going to be a long story, and so shifted her position, balancing her weight evenly for the least discomfort. Then she set her attention back on the King, who began. “Just after you were born – bar you, Miss Cliff,” He added, nodding to Vanessa. She gave a swift nod of acknowledgement. Then he carried on.
Melanie picked up the stone and threw it furiously. It bounced across the water three times then sank, a bit like the stone it was. She was so angry. Usually she could ignore Layla but today she’d just lost control. Today she’d been weak. Melanie was appalled at herself. She was never weak. It wasn’t in her nature. There must have been something wrong with her. Melanie picked up another stone and threw again. It bounced quite a few times before striking a lily pad and disappearing beneath the black water of the pond. Weeping willow surrounded it. It was more of a lake than a pond. The thick reeds on the opposite bank were taller than a man and she couldn’t see anything through them. Moonlight bounced of the water, throwing rippling white reflections onto her dress. Footsteps behind her announced someone’s presence. She tensed but didn’t look around. If it was a guard, she didn’t care. If it was an irate Noble, then she still didn’t care. If it was Layla, she could go drown in the pond.
“Mel? Are you okay?” Melanie relaxed and picked up another stone. She weighed it in her hand as the Prince stepped up behind her, watching.
“You trying to brain somebody?” He asked, half-smiling.
“I’m aiming for Layla’s imaginary head,” Melanie said, closing one eye as she tossed it as far as she could. A distant plop gave her no satisfaction. Prince Tearn didn’t say anything as she crouched down, looking for one more. Melanie looked up at him. He looked pretty serious and Melanie sighed.
“I caused a bit of trouble, didn’t I?” She asked. He pulled a face.
“Just a bit.” Melanie stood.
“Well, she asked for it,” She muttered.
“Mel, the Serenth’s aren’t the most forgiving family. I don’t know what they’re going to do,” The Prince sounded worried. Melanie laughed, unfazed. She turned to throw her stone but he took it from her hand and she threw nothing but air. Annoyed, she turned to face him.
“Mel, please listen to me,” His face was serious and her ‘who-cares?’ attitude dissolved instantly. Her silence was taken as an agreement. His blue eyes never left her face and, as she stared up at him, Melanie’s anger began to disappear.
“I know Layla’s a pain. I don’t know what she said to you but I’m guessing it wasn’t exactly pleasant. No,” He held up a hand as she tried to speak, “I don’t want to know. But, Mel, you’ve got to be careful. The Serenth’s could easily get rid of you and that’s not something I particularly want to happen. You’re my friend. Whatever your title is, protector or not, I don’t care. I don’t want you to get into more trouble. The Head Guard is already on your case and he’ll take up any opportunity to get you arrested. None of us want that. We need you, Mel, but you’re not going to be much help if you’re locked up.” Melanie’s breath steamed in the cold night air as every word sunk in. She took the stone from his hand.
“I get it, Tearn,” She said quietly, still not overly calm. He jolted at the sound of his name without his title. Melanie forged ahead, not registering she’d done it. “I don’t want to go back to jail either. But if some silly little rich girl starts mouthing off about my family then I’m not going to stop myself. These Nobles are all the same. They think they’re so much better than everybody else. You’re alright. You’re Prince Tearn – you don’t get this. But I do. I get insulted daily. I’ve had things thrown at me. I’ve been attacked by a group of boys after I beat Jacob Newman last month in a staged fight. And not just me either. Vanessa’s class ganged up on her in the mage arena last week. She beat them, but she almost collapsed on the way home. Dinar got chased out of an outlying village after he’d shifted fighting a group of bandits for them. We don’t belong here and the Nobles have no qualms about telling us that.” Melanie turned and threw the stone as hard as she possibly could. It disappeared through the reeds on the opposite bank and something shattered. Prince Tearn and Melanie looked at each other, wincing. The Prince frowned at the water.
“You never told me,” He said after a minute. Melanie shrugged.
“It’s not your problem,” She said, meaning to be assuring but, judging by his face, it didn’t work. “Look, you’ve got your own problems. Heck, one of these days you’re going to be running this country. And Layla’s after you. That’s a problem if I ever had one!” Prince Tearn laughed as Melanie knew he would “Prince Tearn, we’re your protectors. It’s our job to worry about you. Not the other way around.” The Prince grinned.
“Yeah, I suppose.” He picked up a stone, throwing and catching it deftly. Melanie’s eyes narrowed playfully.
“Are you showing off?” She said, folding her arms. Prince Tearn made an innocent face.
“I might be.” Melanie chose a stone and stood beside him.
“I bet you seven gold pieces that I’ll beat you like the pretty boy you are,” She said, getting ready to skim her stone. They did and both bounced three times. Then Prince Tearn frowned.
“But you don’t have seven gold pieces.” Melanie laughed, flipping her new stone high in the air.
“I will soon,” She said and caught it.
Away on the other side of the garden, as the skimming contest got underway, a more serious struggle was going on. The other two protectors, rounding a corner, had spotted the two figures making their way down the high palace walls. The figures dropped to the floor and looked up. Dinar’s twin curved blades were steady as they pointed at the two men. Vanessa’s eyes glowed silver as her shimmering magik gathered around her hands. The two men, wearing brightly coloured eastern style clothing and a surprised expression, whipped out their own swords as the pairs faced each other. The first was slightly taller, with his hair cut at the same length all the way, and thin eyes in a very bright green. The shorter one had his hair shaved close to the skull, with a long plait from the base of his skull. Both of them had coffee-coloured skin, the shorter one being slightly darker. Their blades were typically eastern. The shorter one had a small assassin’s dagger that he twirled expertly. The four faced each other, frozen for a moment.
“Who are you?” Dinar demanded suddenly. The men tried to circle around them in the usual fight style but Vanessa snarled, curling back her lip. One look at her fangs made them freeze. The taller one looked up at Dinar.
“We could ask you the same question,” He said, his accent thick but his Geran was perfect. The other one said something to him in another language. Before he could respond, Dinar answered him in the same one and they both looked at him in amazement. They spat out a few words and Dinar countered them, seemingly perfect. The conversation turned, completely said in the Eastern language, with threats going to and fro. Vanessa pretended she understood. The taller one looked suspicious.
“Well, how else would you suggest?” He said suddenly in Geran, “How do we know you’re working for the palace? You could have broken in like ourselves!” He spat. Vanessa’s eyes flared.
“Do you want us to ask the guards to confirm it?” She hissed, “I’m sure they’d be very happy to talk to you.” Both men exchanged a glance. Dinar raised his swords. Vanessa raised her gleaming palms. A fight seemed imminent. The men gave a shout, a battle cry, and threw themselves at the two protectors. But their blows never reached because a commanding voice cut across the scene and all four characters froze.
“Dinar! Miss Cliff! Desist from harming them, if you will.” Both turned their heads, one eye on their attackers, as the King strode towards them. He stopped, guards on either side of him. Both men began to bow. Dinar and Vanessa kept them covered, not trusting either of them. The King frowned.
“Where is the Prince?” He asked.
“Mel– Miss Falls is with him, Your Majesty,” Vanessa answered instantly. He nodded, placated. Then he turned to the other two with a fiery stare that Vanessa and Dinar had only ever seen directed at other people, usually when they did something wrong. Like murdered a Noble. Or committed treason. Or decided to be cheeky to the most powerful man in the world at their trial when they knew full well that they could easily be hung but ended up getting away with it anyway and was now hanging out with the Prince of Gera.
“State your business here and make it good, else there’s a cell in my dungeons with your names’ upon its door,” He commanded of them. The taller one gave a smile. Cocky even in his position, he found the courage to face the mighty King of Gera. He drew out a long piece of paper and read from it.
“Your Noble Majesty, King Rolan the Just of Gera and Son of the Saviour” He said loudly, “I send before your wise counsel two of my top spies to inform you on a matter that is of utmost importance to both your country and mine. While I could not attend the celebration of the signing of the ‘Harmony of the Allied Lands’ Treaty myself, I sent my general who, you will understand, is not one for subtlety and such delicate information must be only given to the correct people. I would trust these two with my life. The matter to which I wish them to speak of is one with potentially grave consequences for all. It concerns one thing which none will wish to speak of. I will say one thing – Trackers. Yours Eternally, Yen the Great of Errant, Son of A Thousand Gods, First Child of the Great Golden Eye” The man, the spy, rolled up the parchment and looked at King Rolan. Following his cue, everyone else looked in the same direction. The King looked terrifying – pale, drawn, angry and shocked. His guards began to raise their weapons. None of them knew what Yen the Great had wrote about but it upset their King and therefore wasn’t good. The Head Guard opened his mouth to say something but King Rolan cut him off.
“No,” He said, calmly and smoothly. The King said something quietly to a guard, who nodded and rushed off. Without a second thought, he beckoned to the men.
“We can talk more freely in my private study. Please, after you,” The men slunk before him, flanked by guards. The King made to go after them and stopped, looking around at Vanessa and Dinar.
“When you go and find my son,” King Rolan said, making them squirm, “Look out for others. I am inclined to trust them but there is always a chance of treachery.” Dinar saluted.
“Yes, sir,” He said sharply. The King nodded, amused, and stalked off after his uninvited guests. Vanessa made a sound halfway between a laugh and a growl.
“We didn’t lose him!” She protested half-heartedly to no one. A laugh behind them made the two turn. Melanie came out of the maze, looking very pleased with herself. Prince Tearn followed, with a rather glum expression on his face. Vanessa frowned, looking from one to the other.
“I thought you were meant to be the one upset,” She commented dryly. Melanie beamed, having perked up a lot.
“I was,” She agreed, “But then I won seven gold pieces off our Prince here and I feel loads better!” Melanie laughed at the look on the Prince’s face. Dinar grinned, Vanessa giggled and the Prince glared at them both, making them cut off their on-coming laughter. Looking around at the dispersing guards and severe faces, Prince Tearn forgot his woes and raised his eyebrows.
“What’s going on?” He asked. Vanessa and Dinar exchanged glances. Melanie was intrigued. It wasn’t often something interesting happened that involved every guard holding a weapon and Vanessa’s eyes still gleaming from remnants of magik. She put her hand into her pocket and felt the smooth gold pieces. A secret smile spread across Melanie’s face. She’d won seven gold pieces and she’d got to punch Layla. This was the best party ever.
“Two men tried to gatecrash the party, and turned out to be spies carrying vital information for King Rolan,” Dinar said. He nodded after them. Prince Tearn made a noise in his throat, annoyed that he’d missed all the action. Vanessa gave a small laugh.
“It wasn’t exactly exciting,” She assured him as they began to walk back towards the windows, back to the party, “Nothing really happened. Though their swordsmanship looked pretty impressive.” Dinar nodded absently in agreement. The band inside the main hall stuck up a song. Melanie scowled as the Nobles paired up to dance.
“I hate dancing,” She muttered. The other three exchanged glances. With a sigh, Prince Tearn began to walk.
“Only because you can’t,” He shot over his shoulder. Melanie, taken aback, scowled at him.
“Don’t be stupid. Any fool can dance. I just don’t like it,” She tried to say, but the Prince adopted a look of disbelief and superiority.
“Of course.” The patronising tone stung Melanie. Prince Tearn was smiling smugly and Melanie glared at him. The huge mass of twirling partners behind him kept distracting her. Bright green, vibrant purple, fluorescent pink, vivid orange, dancing smoothly in each other’s arms. Melanie was lying – she didn’t mind dancing. It was just that she had to concentrate – she’d let her guard down. People laughed at her. She wasn’t high society enough to dance. But Melanie could dance. So she protested greatly at the insult.
“Prove it!” Prince Tearn caught her hand and, with a practised air, swept her into the throng of dancers. Melanie thought about protesting but knew she wouldn’t. Surrounded by the brightly-coloured flying skirts and sparkling dresses as they waltzed and quick-stepped across the hall, Melanie laughed carelessly because of all the people who had come to the party, it was she, the thief-girl dressed in darkness, who danced with the Prince. Without her knowing it, she’d become the centre of attention and, now in high spirits, Melanie didn’t care. One song turned into two, two into five and the night flew by. She felt less like a dangerous street fighter and more like the carefree young girl she knew she could have been. Melanie never felt like that. Prince Tearn grinned as he span her around with ease.
“And you don’t like dancing!” He laughed and Melanie had to grin back.
This is a character in my new book. She is primerily a baddie
but has good intentions. I have posted this because-
1. Do you think she is a good character?
2.(More importantly) Do you think I have put enough detail into planning this character?
Name: Bella Woodrow
Face: The first thing you noticed about Bella Woodrow was her eye. They were the colour of blood and when she looked at you felt the desire to reveal all of your most inner secrets.
Hair: Her black hair hung over the left half of her face, causing an air of mystique but yet emphasising her beauty.
Clothing: She wore a long scarlet red dress which would shimmer in the moon light but not in sun light. Adorning this dress was a corset of the same colour and grandeur as the dress.
Build: She was quite thin and had very pale skin.
Personality: She loved everything dark and was obsesses with history. When she found out that her ancestors were a long line of mystics and sorcerers she was able to begin to tap into her own magical abilities and discovered that she was a gifted prophet.
Ambitions: She never really had any ambitions before her discovery but now she wants to find the life runes to go back in time and save her 14x great grandmother from being executed.
Relationships: She is in love with a man called Alexander Goss. He is also obsess with magic but has no magical ancestors like Bella and so is not as powerful as she is.