Tag Archives: original fiction

Boggling

There can’t be a better name for this post right now.

I meant to post yesterday, regaling all of you with tales for my birthday weekend and a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. Or how I finished reading the Darkover novel after pushing myself to do so (it’s currently looking for a new home if anyone wants it?).

Or tell you about this new book that I finally got around to reading called One for the Money by Janet Evonovich.

But I was tired from my weekend, so I went to sleep instead.

I’m glad now I did, because I have SO much better news to share.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award put out the list of the Quarter-Finalists today. Both myself and my friend E.M. Verhalen made it through again. Neither she nor I are completely sure of how this happened, seeing as how both of us really threw stuff together at the last minute and decided to enter.   But made it we did.

This was judged on the excerpt of your novel that you provided at entry, the first 3,000 – 5,000 words. If there is any inclination, I’ll happily post that excerpt here for anyone who wants to read it.  I’ll also post the reviews I supposedly got during this section of the contest but have yet to see.

 

So…yeah.  Give me until tomorrow to get the brain back in order and I’ll do a proper review of One For the Money aside from “it’s good, go read it!”

Off to go be boggled now…

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Realm of the Gods Part One

In celebration of NaNoWriMo starting on Tuesday, the next Writing Serial for Fridays will be last year’s Winning NaNo.  It gives me an excuse to finally polish it up, and to read over it again before I start on the next book on November First.

So I give to you Realm of the Gods: Earth.

PROLOGUE

“Lord, Lady, I greet thee,” said the man.  Clothed in green, his shoulder length brown hair was tied up to be out of his face. It was the only thing that set him apart from the dark green of the Forest far below.

“And we greet you in return, lord Talesin,” They replied. They were in white, though Their black hair seemed to capture the starlight above and turn it into the radiance that surrounded them.  Though They had many names, they were best known as the
Lord and the Lady, or the God and Goddess.

“What willst thou have of me?” asked the lord of Music.

“You know of this world and of its people,” began the Lady. Talesin nodded.  “Then you know as well of those who would seek to destroy or enslave this place.”

“Of course.  Mages of times long past for one.”

“And those of today’s time as well,” added the Lord.

“I had heard of that, but was unaware that such rumors had a base to them.”

The two nodded in near unison.  “They are all too true.  Not long ago, one tried again.  He was struck down before he succeeded, however.”

“Blessed be the Lord and Lady,” he muttered, forgetting who he was standing before for a moment.

“Twas not our doing,” the Lady said with a smile and a shake of her head.  “Your thanks, lord of Music, go to a witch from Otherside.”

There was shock written on his face.  “From the mortal realm?”

“Yes.  But the mage she defeated was from Otherside as well.  And as much as We did not wish to do so, We have barred access to this world from Otherside.  Until those who seek to control us are gone or have forgotten our existence,” explained the Lord.

“But, that’s good,” Talesin protested.  “No more mages will attempt to control us and this world!”

“Perhaps.  But no access means those of power who would do good with it can also not reach us except for in deep meditation.  And even then, it would be but a bare shadow of this place.”

“How it must be, shall be.”

“Danger approaches, lord Talesin,” the Lady told him.  “Even now with access denied.  There is another who will attack.  The Fates have foreseen it.  And in their viewings, they have seen only one who might stop it.”

“Who, Lady?”

“One from Otherside.”

“But if the way is closed—“

“We know, Talesin,” the Lord stated sharply.

“She is already here,” She said softly, her voice in sharp contrast with that of Her consort.  “She is only a baby, but Inferno has agreed to raise her with the Fires.”

“The lord of the Fire Elementals? Begging pardon, but, Lord, Lady, I don’t really think that is the best of ideas.”

“He has promised to raise her as one of his own.  And We trust him”

Talesin looked doubtful, but allowed it to pass.   “Then we are back to the beginning.  I ask again, what willst thou have me do?” There was a large part of Talesin that rebelled against such formal speech, but he knew it was needed in situations such as these.

“When the time comes, We ask that you take the girl about the world. Take her to us here upon the Mountain so that we might meet with her.”

“How will I know, Lady, Lord?”

“You will know, Talesin.”

Talesin chewed on his lip for a moment, unsure that he would know as They said he would.  Still, if They said it, it would have to be true.  One way or another, it would happen, even if it came in the form of a letter from someone with the words “it is time” written in it.  He bowed to the God and Goddess.  “Very well.”

“Our Love go with thee, lord of Music.”

He smiled at them and bowed graciously once more before turning and exiting the room on the top of the Mountain that They called their home.  The journey down the Mountain, the highest in all of his world, was one of the easiest.  Especially when he had his Aspect of Spirit to aid him.  The Mountain was at the far end of the Fire Mountains, but the waterfall going down it belonged to Water, the clouds about its top were Air and the great oak trees at the base were maintained by Earth.  Every element owned a part of Spirit Mountain, just as everyone was a part of Spirit itself.

Talesin was one of the Gods who populated the world.  Unlike some of the others, he wandered about the world, giving help where needed and entertaining in other places.  He truly was the bard that his title, lord of Music, named him as.  Until the Lord and Lady had asked for his help, he had been quite happy spending his time in the Forest of Spirit in his small cottage by the river.  But now…Now he was going to need to move closer to Inferno’s territory: the Fire Mountains.  From there, he could keep an eye on the girl.

He didn’t trust Fire.  Their kind was so volatile, so quick to anger.  Water would have been a better choice for her.  But he knew why They hadn’t placed her there.  Water spent too much time in meditation and in dreams.  There was too great of a chance that she might go into a dream and be unable to find her way back here if she wandered into Otherside. And that wouldn’t do at all if she was supposed to be the one that was going to rescue them from Mage.

At the edge of the Forest, he found a tributary of the river that ran by his own home.  Talesin knelt down at the banks and scooped up a handful of the earth there.  Pebbles, water, sand and dirt ran through his fingers as he looked for a good place for his new home.  Finding one, he reached for his reed pipe on his side with his other hand, put it to his lips, and began playing.  He tossed the earth into the air and a lively jig echoed around him. The magic came easily and flowed in and around the stones.  Within moments, his home was before him once again.  A flourish at the end of his song anchored the cottage in place so that it would not move along with the tides of magic. There was a smile on his face as he ended the song, and he tucked the pipe back into his belt and walked inside.


Rhiannon of Air

One of my favorite topics to write about is mythology, and how it might affect us if the stories were true.  Especially in terms of Elves.  This is a short story I wrote two years ago on a plot idea from S, and it remains one of my favorites. I’m currently working on editing Lover’s Requiem, so it might be a while until a new serial shows up.

RHIANNON OF AIR

He heard the noise from the basement again.  Thinking that it was one of the cats that had gotten trapped down there again—that had been happening a lot lately—he rose from his bed and made his way to the stairs that lead down.  Others in his family were somewhat afraid of the basement.  It was made when the old farmhouse had been constructed, and was little more than a space under the house that was there to hold up said house with a few wood beams here and there and walls made out of field stone.  There was only one light down there, and it hung from its wire at the end of the wooden stairs that were crooked, deep, and threatening to fall apart every time someone went down them.

Grabbing a flashlight from the counter on his way past it, he carefully went down the stairs and into the basement.  He pulled the chain attached to the light bulb when he reached the dirt floor of the basement and waiting for it to flicker to life before venturing further.  It flickered once, twice, and then flared brightly before going completely dark.  With a sigh, he gripped the flashlight and flipped the switch to turn it on.  A yellowish light crept over the basement as he ventured forward, intent on finding the cat and shooing it back upstairs.

He rounded the stairs and immediately had to blink away the tears that had formed in his eyes away.  Something was causing an awful lot of light down here.  What he wasn’t sure of was the source of said light.  Was it a fire?  A light from outside that somehow managed to get past the dirty windows?  Or perhaps a burglar with a flashlight of his own?

His flashlight was heavy enough for a weapon if it was a burglar, he thought as he hefted it in his hands.  He grabbed hold of it with both hands and ran forward into the light, ready to hit anything that he found there.

And he ran straight into a meadow that he was quite sure hadn’t been there earlier in the day.

He wasn’t sure where he was.  On the bright side, he no longer needed his flashlight, as the sun was very nicely lighting up the meadow the sky and the line of trees he could see that were standing there at the horizon.  He flicked the switch with his thumb again and turned off the light that couldn’t be seen in day anyways.  Adjusting his glasses with his left hand, and then running that same hand through his hair, he set off towards the horizon and the trees.

“Who are you?” a voice called out to him as he was walking.  He stopped and turned around in a circle, trying to see where it was coming from.  It sounded female for sure, but there was nothing around him save air.  “Who are you?” he was asked again?  The voice sounded closer this time, though still soft and almost sparkling.  It reminded him of silver bells.

“Um…my family calls me Kev.”

“Kev,” the voice said softly, enunciating every part of it.  It was almost as if she was trying to learn how to say it.  “No,” she continued on.  “That is not who you are.” She sounded very thoughtful.

“Who are you?”  Kev paused.  “Where are you, I think is the better question.”

“I am all around you.  I am called Rhiannon of Air.”

Kev knew that name well from all of his readings.  Rhiannon was one of the Elven ladies of the Seelie, connected most with air, hence her name.  She might as well have been called one of the princesses.  “My lady Rhiannon,” he said, bowing low.”

There was a dainty laugh. “There is no reason to bow here, mortal.  Only those worthy of the Elven blood in their veins are able to even enter the realm of the Fey in this time of disbelief.  You were found worthy and have been welcomed back to the Seelie court, if you would have this position.”

His eyes grew wide. “My lady, I don’t quite know what to say to such a wonderful gift.”

The air around him swirled until it drew up dirt and began to take the form of a woman in a flowing gown.  Her hair was dark brown and her robes were of a light yellow color and moved around her as they would in wind, only there was no more wind once she appeared before him.  Her face was flawless, as all of the Seelie court were.  “Speak from your heart, young one.  What does it desire?”

“To stay here,” he responded immediately.

“Then drop your mortal items and join me in court.”

The flashlight dropped to the ground and he stepped forward with the lady Rhiannon of Air.

“You shall need a better name than Kev for me to introduce you to King Auberon and Queen Titania.”

“Do you have a suggestion, lady?”

“What about…Kell?”

The newest member of the Seelie court, Kell nodded.  “It suits.”

The rest of their conversation grew dim as they walked into the forest.

~~~

There was grief in the home of Kev the next morning.  It seemed he had gone downstairs during the night to do something.  The flashlight had been turned off somehow, the family decided, and he tripped over something on the ground—likely the cat he had been trying to find—and fell to hit his head on the field stone wall.

Only his younger sister was not completely struck with grief.  She had grabbed the leaf made out of gold and emerald that had lain next to his body before anyone else could see it.  She envied her brother, being taken in by the Seelie court.   Oh, how she hoped that Kev might come for her one day as well.


A Short Story

This was probably one of the first pieces of anything that took place in a pure Fantasy setting.  I wrote it for a creative writing class I was in, and no one really knew what to think of it, especially since the professor was a poet.  It’s not the best thing I have ever written, and it sounded a lot better in my head than it ended up turning out on paper.  If you have any questions or comments on it, please let me know!

 Being
There was a time when magic still roamed the land and was not yet confined by the now powerful Actung.  It was a time before the Black Machines came and Beings still walked among us.  The Tarot Riders were the strongest fighters the world had ever known and were hired only by the richest of the Lords of the Land or by those who had nothing left to lose.  The only two who didn’t work only for the Lords were the Empress and the Fool.  The best of the Riders, they took jobs for only those who had just causes and who could look past the heritage of the Empress.  They were also the only ones who could Return a Being with any success for more than a few hours.  When they Returned, the Being did not come back until it was released once again.
            When the two first met, the Empress was but twenty summers and the Fool has seen only one more than she.  And neither of the two had yet earned the Tarot.
~~~
            “Spot is taken,” grumbled the man.  His features were hidden in the shadows cast by both cloak and hearth fire.  His voice was deep, but not overly so.  Rae didn’t think that he could possibly be any older than her recently married brother.
            “Just for me, or for everyone?” she asked, sitting down across the table from him.  “Because I saw someone get up from here not a half bell ago and he hasn’t come back yet.”  She pulled off her traveling cape and placed it on the wood bench.  Her movement let the fire light in the tavern hit her hair and face, revealing tell-tale black hair and red eyes.
            “Especially you,” he growled out.  “Your kind isn’t welcomed here.”
            Rae raised a hand to the tavernkeep, ordering a drink.   “My kind?  Do you mean me being a woman?  Because I must say, I do see a dearth of those here as well.”
            He didn’t respond and they sat in silence in the corner.
            “Why are you still here?  I thought I made it clear that you weren’t welcome here.”
            Rae yawned.  “One, it’s cold out.  I highly doubt you want to be out in the snow either.  Two, I saw no signs that said that I wasn’t welcome.  And look!” she motioned to her drink.  “My money spends just as good as yours.”
            “You…you….” He sputtered.  “You insufferable….”
            She grinned.  “Thank you.  I try.”
            He reached beneath his cloak, going for the sword she was sure was beneath.  Her body stiffened, a dagger falling into her hand from a sheath on her wrist.  Why was it that every time she tried to get a drink, someone took offense to her being there?  Now she was going to have to fight for her food again, pay for damages, then go find somewhere else to spend the night and hope that the scene…
            “Being of Fire!  In sight of the town!”
            The yelled warning was enough to quiet the entire tavern.  The majority of the people sat in shock as the news sank in.  A Being of Fire could destroy the town in seconds if he made it this far.  Rae and her companion were the first to leap up out of their seats, followed by the off-duty members of the town Watch.  “Can you summon anything?” Rae asked him as they ran into the streets. 
            “Simple sprites.  Nothing that can take out that,” he said, nodding towards the hulking figure made of flames lumbering towards them.  “I’m a swordsman, not a spellslinger.”
            “Good thing I am then.” 
            Their animosity towards one another was forgotten in the heat of battle.  Like all good fighters, they were able to put aside arguments at a moment’s notice and resume them later on once the threat of death had been avoided. “I’m Caleb, by the way.”
            “Rae.”
“You’ve got a plan?”
“I do.  I need you to guard my back though.  Once I start slinging, I can’t protect myself.”
“What’s the plan?”
“I Return it.”
“Just yourself?”
“Unless there are other slingers in the Watch.”
Caleb nodded and drew his sword as they continued moving on towards the edge of Kingsguard Town.  While the rest stopped just past the gates, Rae ran further up along the dirt path.  The heat coming from the Being could be felt even from where she was standing, a good two hundred yards away from it.  The air shifted and bent around the massive Being’s heat, like the air bends around a hot fire’s coals.  She closed her eyes and reached for the Fire inside of herself.  Though it was no where near as strong as the Fire that was inside of the Being, there was still enough there.  :Why are you here: she asked it, using her Fire as a channel.
:PAIN! DESTROY! MASTER! FREEDOM! FIRE! DESTROY!:
It was impossible to get anything coherent out of the Being.  That was the way most Returnings happened though.  A Being was ripped from its home element and forced to manifest.  While some Beings, like those of Air and Water were easy to control or command, Fire was a Being of a different nature entirely.
“Any slingers in the Watch?” she heard Caleb yell behind her. 
“Me!” another one yelled out.
“To me!” Rae said.  “Link and we can Return it.”
The slinger in the Watch was next to her in a moment, extending power to her.  Rae grabbed at it, connecting the Fire of her own with the power of the other.  There was something familiar about it, but she was so deep in channeling now that she couldn’t spare a thought as to what it was. If she lost concentration now, the power she held would burn them both.
“Do you know how to Return?” she asked the Watchmember.
“Seen it done, but I haven’t done it meself.”
“Then just let me do the work and grab what you offer.”  Rae shut down the part of her that she had been using to speak and focused everything on the Return.  With her heritage, it was easy to reach into the elemental plane that was needed.
The world faded away around her and she was in a world of fire, lakes of lava and smoke covering the sky.  The heat was almost unbearable, but she endured.  Somewhere in this world, there was a hole that the Being had been called out of.  There would be a colder feeling around the area that the hole was, where the heat and fire could escape and the cooler air of her world would reach through.  Experience in Returning Beings before would help her to find the subtle place where the hole was.  She expected it to be hard.  But as soon as she focused on finding the hole, the cooler air of her plane blasted her.
Some idiot hadn’t pulled the Being though.  He had blasted through the wall into the elemental plane and dragged the poor thing out.  No wonder it was in pain.  She would be in pain too if she was pulled through a wall between worlds.  It would be like being thrown at the wall of the tavern she had been in, only passing through it while still keeping the pain.  There were some things that were not meant to happen.
But it was through that hole that Rae would have to convince the Being to Return.  And then seal it up before Rae could leave the plane. 
By the time she had gotten though to the Being, it was about to enter the town.  Instead of destroying it though, it turned and walked back the way it came, listening to the call that Rae was putting out to it.  There was another shimmer in the air around it that Caleb and the Watch saw before it disappeared. 
A moment later, Rae opened her eyes, released the link that the slinger had given her and fell to her knees.  Caleb was by her side along with half of the Watch in an instant.  “You okay?”
“I’ll be fine,” she said, waving them off.  “That was the hardest Return I’ve ever done though.  Someone had literally torn the poor thing out of his world and into ours.  The pain that he was feeling was immense and it was almost too late by the time I reached it.”
“But it wasn’t.”
She shook her head.  “No.  I just wish I knew who the idiot was that called a Bring here so close to town.”  Rae looked around.  “Is anyone hurt?”
“Nothing that the Waterwitch healers can’t take care of.”
“I can help a bit too.  I’m no where near as good as my mom was, but I’m alright in the field.”
“Your mom was a Waterwitch?” Caleb asked, surprised.
“Still is as far as I know.”
“A Waterwitch with a Fireling child,” he murmured as he helped her up.  “One who wants to help others rather than gain power to destroy.  Will wonders never cease…”
“I certainly hope not.  Besides, it’s our actions that make us evil, not who we are.”  She wrapped an arm around his shoulders in an attempt to stay upright longer before leaning towards the tavern.  “What say you to a drink?  I wouldn’t mind finishing my wine and you look like you need a good ale.”
Caleb laughed, blue eyes sparkling in the sun.  “I do, at that.”