Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Tuesday

It has been a fair bit of time since I last wrote a blog post for Book Tuesday. So, grab your cup of whatever, come sit by me and let’s discuss what we have been reading over the past weeks.

Since the end of the school term and my school year, I’ve taken advantage of my free time between the sprogs, pets and general housekeeping to catch up on my much anticipated collection of must-reads. So far, I’ve tried to reach many of my blogging friends’ books, but alas, have not conquered the pile which is starting to resemble Mt Everest.

Whilst delving into romance, kicking back with crime thrillers and adding to my general knowledge with well-known best sellers, some stories have floated back up to the surface of my writer’s mind, bobbing away until I rise to the bait and take a nibble. Such dark little demons giggle from the shadows, tempting me to write out my quirkier fantasies that usually remain locked away for ‘special’ horror writing days.

13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series)Saying that, a quote from Sacha Black’s 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain  resonates with that dark side. “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.” (Quoted from 13 Steps to Evil, discussing the insanity of the villain: the Joker) Needless to say, my villainous tendencies are usually packed in a box for those deliciously dark days when the writer takes over and throws caution to the wind, sending the superheroes aflutter with dastardly deeds delivered by my delectable diabolics. Of course, this doesn’t happen without the stimulation of a good book like Sacha’s. A catalyst needs to be created to form such stimulus and she has it in buckets!

Keepers (The Eden East Novels Book 1) by [Black, Sacha]I am currently enjoying a book from Sacha’s great collection The Eden East Novels –  Keepers.  Now generally, I’m not a great fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, preferring the creepier realms of horror or crime fiction, but her book surprised me. Similar to 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain, Sacha’s words resonate and make the story flow in a way that keeps me wanting to read more. I tend to read at least three different books at the same time when on a role (usually covering different genres for interest’s sake); her book is calling out to me to be read first every day and, to be honest, I can’t resist.

Sitting next to my phone with Sacha’s book safely stored inside is Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Robert Crais’ Indigo Slam (both paperbacks). They are in great company with Sacha’s collection and I look forward to diving into her next novel, Victor (the next book in The Eden East Novels collection once I’ve finished these three books. I’ve already finished the sloppy romance series I was reading and have now absorbed enough sweetness to last me a week, so this selection provides me with the perfect balance for nutritious reading. I do enjoy having a good collection of writers at hand to focus my own writing skills.

Now, this is not all about me. I  would love to know: what’s on your night stand waiting to rock your world?

Before I end this post, I must remind you that any book your read deserves a review. Authors need their readers to respond so that others can find their books. So please, be kind and leave reviews.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 21 — The Crochet Circle

Another exciting instalment to share with you from Teagansbooks, and my faery, Blossom Stargazer, is trying to help find the missing faeries. Click on the links if you’d like to catch the story from the beginning.

Teagan's Books

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It’s been such a cold winter so far for many of us, so I happily welcome you back to the faery land of Thistledown.  As stories sometimes do, the timeline backs up for this episode — happening concurrently with the previous chapter.  It’s the best way for me to show separate events that occurred at the same time. 

We are once again viewing events from the point of view of Bob the hummingbird.  The next two episodes take place during the same moment of time when Bedlam Thunder suddenly found herself alone in the dark, her two friends having been snatched away by some unknown force.

Glitter person blue h-heyerlein-199082Heyerlein, Unsplash

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

From Episode 15 (click here)

“I thought the girls would be in here, studying away,” Willow Rainbow murmured in a concerned tone.

 “Based on these half-eaten cookies, I think they must…

View original post 1,370 more words

Book Tuesday with Marje

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday.

curse of the timeToday, I would like to introduce you to a fellow author, Majorie Mallon, whom I was fortunate enough to meet at the Bloggers Bash in London this year. Marje has been very busy with her new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, and it is with great pleasure that I get to share her work with you.

Before we get to your book, please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.

 

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

marje mallonAs a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Now tell us about your new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone. What is it all about?

It is a YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

Here is the synopsis of the story.

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?
curse of the time

Marjorie has provided me with an exerpt from her new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, to tantalise your reading taste buds! Enjoy.

Puzzle Piece 1: The Invitation

 Opportunity,

An unexpected invite,

Such a mystery,

To explore and discover,

A hidden cottage of light.

 I found it to be a mystifying situation. An unnatural stillness seemed to linger after many days of storms. Today, the sky reminded me of a painting. It appeared too perfect, too bright, too still, a picture landscape with no beginning or end. Instead, the vault of heaven spread out toward an endless grey forever, as if seeping around the edges of an untamed watercolour bleeding into the rest of the day. Even so, the sight filled my heart with promise, a ray of hope in an otherwise dull morning.

The quietness of my contemplation came to an abrupt end. I heard the sound of an envelope crashing through the mail box. I jumped at the clatter. The letter landed on the floor as the sound of a thousand crystal chandeliers echoed throughout the house. I rushed to retrieve the envelope and turned it this way and that. I couldn’t find an address label and wondered if the note had been hand-delivered. Who could this message be for?

I stood puzzling over this peculiar circumstance when out of nowhere my name: Amelina Scott appeared in bold writing. I watched wide-eyed as the final character of my surname was spelled out in a delicate font. I tore the dispatch open and inside I discovered a card printed on the finest paper with gilt edges and embossed calligraphy. There were few details, just an instruction to visit:

Crystal Cottage, River Walk, Cambridge, and the following added at the bottom as an afterthought: R.S.V.P – Not required. We promise to be welcoming when you arrive. When you’re ready, you’ll discover us…..

I shook my head in disbelief.  Nothing good ever happens to the Scott’s so this invitation might look magical, but surely it must be nonsense. Weird messages from unknown sources count as dubious junk mail, the way I look at it.

I grabbed the envelope and attempted to rip it into pieces, but it wouldn’t tear. With a mind of its own the envelope curled its edges in protest. I searched in a drawer until I found scissors and tried to cut the invite. That didn’t work either. My hand ached, but the invitation endured intact as if mocking me.

Frustrated, I tried to cut the invitation again. A sputtered cursing sound filled the room even though I was alone. On my third attempt, I tore into the card with success. (I think it let me.) And once again, I perceived a noise, an angry murmur, and then nothing. Quiet descended in the room, so I threw the torn parts into the bin.

Finally satisfied that the annoying issue with the strange invite would no longer plague me, I brushed my hands together, and picked an apple out of the bowl on the kitchen counter, polished it on my jumper and then took a bite. In no time my hunger had abated, and as I chucked the core towards the bin, I registered a chuckle. I stopped, my feet rooted to the ground as a feeling of certainty filled my soul. I knew what to expect. I have no idea how I did, but I could see the image in my mind, the invitation had reformed. The invitation was playing games with me! I peered in the rubbish, and there I saw the envelope, connected in one perfect, unblemished piece. What the heck?

Marjorie Mallon’s book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, is available now from Amazon. Links are listed below.

My Amazon UK Author Page

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon Canada Author Page

marje mallonMy blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com

My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook:

Instagram: Instagram:

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author

Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor

I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.

Thank you for joining me today and finding out about Marjorie’s book, The Curse of Time. As always, please leave a review for the author as it helps us to find more readers who enjoy our work.

Have a great day!

curse of the time

 

Book Tuesday: Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Welcome to Book Tuesday.

Today, I have the honour of introducing a lady who has featured with her thrilling book, The Basement and is back to introduce her latest book, The Fall of Lilith. Her name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega.  I am excited to share Vashti’s new book with my readers and let you all get a chance to get to know her and her book.

vashtiHello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Thoughts by Mello-Elo. Thanks for inviting me, Eloise! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling early. In elementary school I drew pictures and wrote stories in comic book form and sold them for a quarter a piece. I grew up in a religious home, attended a religious private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also enjoyed fairy tales and mythology and devoured many of these types of books. I’ve always been curious about angels and other supernatural creatures. The combination of all of the above was the inspiration for The Fall of Lilith.

With this in mind, could you tell us a bit more about the book?

The Fall of Lilith - 3D

The Fall of Lilith is an adult (18+) epic fantasy with dark elements about angels. It is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. The characters in this story are angels depicted in a very unique way. It is a story of many twists, surprises and a bit of controversy. The Fall of Lilith is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.

 

 “The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive. 

A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”–– Kirkus reviews

If you are a reader of fantasy and adventure Vashti’s writing transcends the norm and transports you into a world that is both believable and enjoyable.  

“I merely assisted you in doing what you desired all along.”
So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.the fall of lilith book coverAt first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?
Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.
Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.
They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

Please find the links to purchase Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s The Fall of Lilith below. Authors survive on reviews, so please remember to leave your review for her so that other readers can benefit from your opinions. As always, thank you for support.

Click on the pic below to purchase your copy.

EU Customers

 

US Customers

Blog: http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

Twitter: http://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+VashtiQVega

Tumblr: http://vashtiq.tumblr.com

Monday Coffee

It’s been a while since I’ve written a coffee post. The holidays have been packed with fun and loads of binge eating, so I’ve been pretty occupied. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you all. You’ve been my constant source of entertainment and excellent reading material.

Recently Colleen offered to promote my site and work, asking only for a short story linked to fairies, mythical creatures or fantasy. Of course, I took up the challenge and started writing a story based on my sprogs’ adventures in the forest next to our house. It is filled with places where trolls have tramped, goblins have mixed potions and fairies have driven out the underworld threatening to encroach on the life and happiness. Yup, the writing hasn’t stopped.

So, grab your cup and I’m going to give you the first glimpse of the beginning of my story, The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff.

Rabattan glared into the smoky darkness. His green eyes gleamed with satisfaction. “I hope your stay with us will be…comfortable, my queen!” he sneered.

Hazel eyes peered back at him from beyond the icy bars. Queen Sarafina bit her tongue, refusing to rise to his insolent baiting. She had been captured by the trolls only that morning, succumbing to their bile as they led her back to their lair under the roots of the acorn tree in South Meadow. It was better this way. Her kingdom would remain safe for, as long as the trolls thought they were in power, and it would give her secret plan time to unfold.

She smiled, drawing closer to the frozen stalactites keeping her prisoner. Her fingers curled around their icy points as the prison guard’s greeny pupils expanded in fear. “Enjoy your moment, Rabattan, for I shall certainly revel in your hospitality.” A gentle growl emanated from the back of her throat. She smirked as he took another tentative step back. Her reputation for being a bit of a hot head had obviously reached far below the earth’s surface to the habitants of the underworld. Their audacity to try and capture her meant that all the tribes had agreed to take action against the sun dwellers of South Meadow. The fairies, gnomes and goblins who had co-existed in peace for centuries were now under threat.

Time was running out for their serene existence as the underworld dwellers grew tired of living on grubs and scrambling through the darkness, separating roots for their homes and digging endless tunnels that collapsed more regularly than the sugar fairies fell from honeysuckle flowers.

Desperate footsteps scrambling towards the prison broke her train of thought and the sight of one of the moles from the northern heath shocked her. Had they joined with the trolls too?

“Lord Rabattan, I have an urgent message for you from Prince Grotchen,” the little creature whispered, his eyes searching for the prisoner now hidden in the shadows.

“What is it?”

“Umm, he said to come to his aid right away, sir.”

Rabattan scowled. Prince Grotchen wasn’t capable of wiping his insectile rear end without asking for assistance. If it wasn’t for his princely status, Rabattan would have rid himself of the pesky prince a long time ago. But his presence was necessary to keep the factions together, for now. He ushered the little mole back up the earthen steps lit only by a sliver of light filtering past the roots of the old tree from above and followed him through the narrow passageways up to a wide hall surrounded by trellis shoots and packed earth.

Making an elaborate bow he extended his green, spotted arm to the king. He walked up to the throne and awaited further instruction from the snake-like figure sitting in the large, woven willow chair.

Prince Grotchen watched his strongest general approach and sighed. If only Rabattan held a little more respect for him, he could keep him on in his services. As it stood, his spies had informed him of his general’s plot to remove him from power and take the throne for himself. That would not do. Their alliance with the other underworld kingdoms was tentative at best, and he refused to allow anything to scupper their chances of winning the foretold war against the sun dwellers. His thin lips formed a semblance of a smile and he gazed at the general, keeping him waiting for longer than was necessary.

“Get rid of him,” he grimaced.

Surprised by the turn of events, Rabattan watched the approaching troll soldiers and panicked. Courtiers to the prince stood back, their bug eyes reflecting the shiny leaves and acorn caps used by the soldiers. A small door stood slightly ajar to the left of the throne. There was his escape. He leapt forward, taking the first two guards by surprise as his landed with a hard thud on their oversized heads. The crunch was unpleasant but there was no time to think. With a swoop, he swung his spear (a sharpened bamboo shoot with a granite stone tip) at the prince, who screamed and scrambled up the back of his throne. His praying mantis body twisted and the darkened green wings caught on the sharp sticks, holding him captive.

“Don’t just stand there, stop him!”

Too late. The guards gave chase as Rabattan disappeared behind the door, slamming it shut in their faces.

I hope you enjoyed the little snippet and the coffee. When you get a chance, visit Colleen’s page where you will meet her wonderful fairies and don’t forget to download her book, a perfect page turner for the whole family.

Have a great Monday!

Pixie Mischief

  Frolicking through the woodland

Tiny footsteps dance

Dewdrops flicking upwards

As each leaf bounces in a trance
Tinkling bells of laughter

Flittering fluttering free

As they wake the daisies

From their lazy sleep
Watch out for their mischief

Pixies love a trick

Walking through the woodland

One might trip over a stick!
Naughty little images

Faster than the speed of light

Tiny specs of energy

With not a care in sight.

Picture courtesy of The Pixie Pit.co.uk

Do Tooth Fairies Visit Dogs?

  Henry, our little Sprocker Spaniel, lost his first tooth last week.  It came shortly after my youngest sprog lost his little incisor.  Excitement over seeing the tiniest tooth ever, possibly the same size as a fairy’s tooth, kept the children up way past their bedtime.  The inevitable question was asked: “Will the Tooth Fairy visit Henry the same way they visited me?”

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but it stopped me in my tracks.  Do Tooth Fairies take care of the rest of the creatures populating this earth?  Are there stories of their adventures whilst snaring a tooth from a candid crocodile or wrestling a canine from a conniving carnivore?  I feel my alliterations running rampant over this post!  Okay I will stop.  Back to the serious matter of the extended hours of a Tooth Fairy’s day.

After the precious little tooth was carefully placed in a plastic bag for safekeeping, my youngest two begged for me to leave it out in case a little ethereal creature wanted to replace it with a gold coin.  I reminded the children that Henry would find no purpose in receiving a gold coin.  Of course it opened the can of wormy questions on what would be left for our canine companion. Again, I had to think fast and create a different scenario to the normal gold coin for a tooth scenario.  

My final answer as I tucked the little angels into bed was, “I honestly don’t know!  If a raccoon loses tooth, or a mouse drops one in his house, I don’t know what happens to them.” Sometimes honestly and logic override fantasy…but not too often!

  

Masquerade III

Alore drifted with elitist elegance, her long neck bowing in acknowledgment of the guests we passed at the Ball. Their gasps did not go unnoticed and she paused, waiting for me to draw closer before whispering, “Why are they staring so? Is it the amulet that draws their attention?”

I nodded, smiling at the awkward glances of the older guests who obviously knew my bloodline. Dre’gons descended from their fire breathing ancestors with a mixed history of bloodshed and hatred. My ancestors were known for their unflinching cruelty towards other realms and the amulet had been used to wipe out usurpers daring to contradict the Dre’gon rule. The less than amorous stares were from the families who had tasted our wrath and I watched their anger at my presence. Alore was too young to know the history and her devotion to me would be lost in an instance if she knew the power I held over the amulet. The sooner we returned it to the keeper of the realm, the better.

A curly haired man approached us and welcomed us to the ball. We followed him as he led us through various rooms, accessing worlds so wonderful and sometimes dangerous as we tried to find the hostess keeping all in order. He introduced himself as James, a close friend of the keeper’s, and since she was busy pulling threads of destiny and time together to contain the various visitors, she had asked him to play co-host. My attention was drawn to a stunning woman dressed in a devils’s outfit with fiery red hair. She ran past us dropping her red leather mask on the floor. A sturdy gentleman followed suit and picked the mask up, holding it with passion as he placed it over his own face.

Suddenly, a shadow in a green cloak flittered past, sending shivers down my spine. I recognised the spectre and knew trouble would be brewing soon. We had to find the keeper.

——————–

I watched as Dre’gon’s attention waned from the she-devil to the green spectre. The amulet felt hot against my skin and I clutched it tight, feeling the burning imprint of its scaly dragon shape into my palm. Not much time was left at the Ball and soon all the worlds would return to their orders, far away in different lands. I had to act now.

“James, does the keeper know that we have the amulet of destiny?” I asked. He nodded slightly, taken aback as I showed him what lay in my hand. The amulet glowed, heat emanating from its tiny gems scattered across its scaly surface. A pulse of energy scoured through my body, throwing me against Dre’gon’s solid chest. He caught me to him, steadying my thin frame as the amulet pulsed again.

“We must find the keeper of the realms now!” growled Dre’gon. His shocking blue eyes glittered and little green flecks filtered through, turning clear blue to an almost Aqua. The gems on the amulet lit up, matching his eyes and the dragon shaped bracelet lifted into the air, escaping my desperate clawing hands and cries. The creatures in masks around us stopped to watch as the threads above us suddenly became visible and the amulet drew them together. Guests screamed in alarm, fighting to escape the ornately decorated room. Flashes of reds, greens, blues burst and crackled above everyones’ heads and screams drowned out my voice.

Lifting my arms up slowly, I used the power of the souls I had harvested to tether the threads. Cracks appeared in the wooden carvings framing doorways and windows and the earth shook. Dre’gon seemed to grow as the amulet drew out more power from the threads, his red hair spiking up as his feet levitated. I screamed for him to help me but all was in vain. Somehow he was linked to this amulet. Of course! The dragon! Fire! Wrath! My mind cried out as the childhood stories of horror and desolation flashed through. Dre’gon belonged to the warlord family that had slayed millions in order to keep their rule. I choked down the tears as my powers stuttered. The flashes were spiralling above us and James had run away with the rest of the guests. Only Dre’gon and I remained in a once beautiful room as we fought for the powers of the amulet.

——————————–

My focus had to remain on destroying the amulet. If Alore succeeded in stopping me then all would continue on forever. But how to tell her to cease this battle? How to let her know that only I could bring this all to an end and if she continued her attack, deaths would continue?
I felt her powers against me, but my soul was not as others. My soul was something she did not want to taste. I had to destroy the amulet and fight against her attack, both in order to save her.

“Lady Alore,” I heard James call out.
Her focus wavered. I put all my efforts into destruction. The final layer of metal melted away and the blood of ancestors flowed onto my skin. The explosion of light and wind was all engulfing.

Screams met my ears as I opened my eyes. The world was a different place. I no longer saw things in the hues as they were in reality. I looked down at the fear on their faces, the horror on that of Alore. The betrayal in her eyes.

“You beast!” She yelled at me. Her powers could not even touch my thickened hide.

“Stop!”

All those that had returned with James turned at the sound of the woman’s voice.

“Keeper,” said James. “Lord Dre’gon has betrayed the Lady Alore and attacked us. And now he has turned into that!”

“No.” The keeper’s voice was calm and the room went quiet. She walked towards me. “I have waited a long time for one of you to come and take back what you left here. Take back the pains, the agonies, the tears.”

“What do you mean?” Alore asked.

The keeper looked from my now red scaly hide to the beautiful lady that had been my love. “Only one of the Dre’gons could bring peace to this place. No longer is there a need for protection. A Dre’gon of pure heart had to make the sacrifice and take back the blood left here by his ancestors when the deaths were caused, and with that sacrifice he also has taken on the suffering of those dying moments inside of him, and will holds these excruciating agonies until he dies.”

Alore looked at me and calmly walked up to my now enormous body. “You knew, when I asked you to come here, what you would do. You saw the amulet. You knew you would sacrifice, be this. And you still came.” I felt her loving touch more painfully than all her power combined.

I stepped back from her. No more of this. It was now time to leave. To go where my kind lived. The keeper knew. She nodded as a giant doorway opened before me and allowed me through.

With one last look back, I saw Alore being held by the keeper.

Not every story has a happy ending. She lives, that is enough for me.

The End.

A Halloween story by Ronovan and Eloise

In case you missed the first and second instalments, please click on the links below.

Masquerade
Masquerade II

Picture from coolchaser.com

Masquerade II

I hated the cold more than the witch we was chasing. Dark, nasty forest filled with ethereal beings were not my cuppa. Nor was Brogan, but he’d sooner slit me throat than let me go. Damn roots and cold moss, whisperin’ trees and the witch floating through ’em. The sooner we catch her and gut her, the sooner I get back t’ my hole in the wall in Pauper Street, of course after we raid tha’ Masquerade Ball.

‘er body jerked as Brogan grabbed it and threw ‘er across the forest. No sound she made. The crack from ‘er skull musta shut her up good. Eh! Brogan slapped me for gigglin’ and told me to shut my pie hole. It’s okay. I’ll have me fun with her later. He slowly removes the amulet from her neck, a wee thing it is. So fragile ‘n I could snap it in a second. He pushes me back as I try to reach for it. The darkness in me tries to reach for ‘er. The solid punch lands me in the dirt again. I hate Brogan and watch his thick neck click as he tries to reach for ‘er again. I trace the pulse throbbing in the sinew along the yellowing skin and watch the life blood flow through to his puny brain. So easy to kill him.

She sighs and her soft breath eases my mind. I watch her flimsy body float against the cold mossy ground and she looks fragile. We ‘ave the amulet and the power to destroy the keeper. Brogan promised I could play wit ‘er. My turn.

Suddenly a burnin’ light from the ugly ol’ tree she was climbing into flashes and somethin’ awful climbs out. He is big ‘n strong an’ I run for cover, hoping he doesn’t find me. He knows. He knows the darkness that lives in me.
***********

The creature, for I dare not bring myself to call it anything close to human, skitters away from me in a manner proving its inhumanness.

“No, it’s not me you be takin’ so easily,” it screeched in a high pitched voice. Before I knew it, the filth was upon the lady.

“Stand away from the Lady Alore and you will live long enough to die by beheading. Touch her and burn before Hades comes for you!” I said as I made my way forward towards the filth threatening the lady. My skin burnt as I strode further into this strange world and closer to the thing hovering near Lady Alore.

“One more step Lord Dre’gon and I do more than kill the girl.” The black teeth smiled as I paused. “Yes, it’s no secret in this realm about what it is you ‘ave for ‘er.” The foulness of its thoughts were a stench greater than the strong odour emitting from the form itself.

“You have a choice to make,” I said. “Touch her and I kill you. Run and I kill you. Or you can give up and die at a later time in a less painful manner.” My matter of fact smile brought a return of the fear he had shown moments before. I stepped closer.

“Eh! eh! eh!” it cried. Fingernails grew into claws before my eyes. “If I am to die, then I choose to die enjoying what I like most.” It slipped its claws down toward Lady Alore’s dress.

My movements were quicker than the vermin-like creature expected. The skin on his wrist burnt inches above the ball gown as my hand grabbed his in a vice like grip. His screams reached through the dark dense forest and winged creatures took flight bringing a commotion to the heavy silence.

“Timmins will not die like this,” it cried in defiance. “We will break through the realms!”

“So you’re Timmins,” I smirked. “For someone so well known for killing, you are certainly . . .” the pain hit me suddenly. A blinding pain so strong it blotted out everything else.

“Let go!” Timmins screamed. My grip tightened as the pain increased. “Nooooo!”

The scent of roasted flesh drifted through the silent air.

A hand touched my vested shoulder. My eyes opened to the vision of Lady Alore, her mahogany eyes filled with concern.

“He’s dead,” she declared as I turned to find the filthy creature I had held just a few seconds before.

I turn to the charred bones at my feet. He looked better dead than alive, the black teeth grinning out of the scorched skull.

“But I’m not,” huffed a deep threatening voice.

Large arms wrap around me clamping my arms to my body, restraint my burning touch from reaching his skin. A hissing sound pierced my ears, growing to a roar. I turned my head to see Lady Alore standing tall. Her eyes burned a fierce golden brown, the soft folds of her dress vibrating as the energy around her grew with every passing moment.

“I forgot about her,” said Brogan.

“Your mistake,” I said with a smile.

“What?”

His sack cloth shirt turned to drifting mist as Alore lifted her arms to the sky. His evil soul, unable to stand against her energy, slowly disintegrated into the darkness. He struggled and staggered backwards. I turned to stop his retreat. Brogan’s evil was stronger than the many souls Alore had fought in the past. She shivered as her strength waned. My hands found his throat as his found mine.

“You will die too,” he groaned as the pain of his burnt soul ravaged his body.

“No,” said the quiet voice of Lady Alore. “Filth will be defeated with filth.”

Dirt pelted the eyes of the big man. Brogan loosened his grip slightly and that is all I needed. The burning took longer than it did with Timmins. This evil was deeper, blacker in the heart. I watched as his insipid body disintegrated under my heated touch. It was over.

Alore ran to me, enfolding me in her warm embrace. We both knew this moment wouldn’t last and relished the sweet embrace. I would return to my world and she to hers, but for this one moment, we had each other.

A soft light glowed from the old tree whose trunk seemed covered with baby ferns. Alore turned towards the light and grasped my hands, my deadly hands without flinching.

“Come with me Dre’gon. Let us go to the keeper of the realms together.” She pulled my willing body towards the old gnarled tree, only stopping to pick up a strangely shaped amulet from the ground. I frowned, recognising the shape of a dragon bracelet, but said nothing. She didn’t need to know this amulet belonged to the Dre’gon family. She had no need to worry of its curse.

The light shone brighter as we approached the tree and with the flexibility of a garden imp, she bent forward and pushed through the small wooden door to another realm filled with music and laughter. I sighed, knowing the implications of showing my face at the Masquerade Ball. My family were not welcome at such events and a strange feeling of foreboding filled my chest. My bright blue eyes flashed green as I pushed through the portal, a shadow following as deftly as death itself.

**************

The final instalment of Masquerade will be tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to Ronovan, Lord Dre’gon, for this instalment of Masquerade II, as he shared his story of how he saved Lady Alore.

Masquerade

Fragrant scents of Jasmine overpowered the cool evening breeze, sending the heady perfume through the sinewed trunks of the ancient trees silently watching my fumbled footsteps in their forest home. My shoes were not made for the uneven ground and I stumbled yet again on an unseen root sticking out from the slick moss covered path.

At last, a glimmer of light twinkled in the distance. The forest held its breath as I weaved through to my final destination, Grandmother Tree. Her wide, gnarled trunk hid a secret passage to the other realms, an escape from the world I existed in everyday. The light grew brighter as I stumbled over yet another hidden root, nearly ripping the long cloak I wore to protect the soft silk gown draped over my cold skin in soft fluted layers, perfect for the Masquerade ball.

A twig snapped behind me and I stopped. Listen! Another crunch closer still, this time heavier steps accompanying the death of the twig. They were close. I drew the hood of my cloak over my head, covering my body with its blackness that matched the dark shadows of the forest. Muffled voices permeated the wall of trees as I pressed my body as close to Grandmother Tree’s large trunk as possible.

Maybe they were using the portal too. Maybe they just wanted to find their way out of this enchanted forest. Maybe they wanted to slice my throat and retrieve the amulet I wore on a long gold chain, nestled between the curve of my breasts, so that they could break through the realms.

Voices became more distinct; the deep resonance of an older man and the soft squeak of his young companion. A cold shiver slithered down my spine. It was Brogan and the vile Timmins – notorious thieves and murderers, willing to go to any lengths to break through the keeper of the realm’s woven tapestry of worlds. Destroyers of all things beautiful. My worst and most dangerous enemies!

“She must be here, somewhere,” growled Brogan. “I can hear her heart fluttering like a trapped butterfly.” He sniggered, breathing deep. “I can smell the fear like ripe fruit for the picking. Come on Timmins! She’s close.”

Timmins stumbled over an oak’s crafty root, swearing and kicking at the bark of the tree. He rubbed his thin bristly face with long crooked fingers. A tongue swept over blackened teeth as he grinned at his large burly partner.

“Can I play with her when we catch her? You promised Brogan. Let me have her once you get the amulet!”

The whiny voice set my teeth on edge and I hugged the shadows, daring not a breath to give away my hiding place. Thankfully the light had dimmed from the secret door, a slight glimmer as they approached Grandmother tree. The pleasant scent of the night flowers was replaced with a pungent odour of sweat, faeces and sulphur as they stomped past, barely notice the portal door. It hit me like a solid body of disgustingness and I could barely hold still without tearing up. Only the distant stars could escape the smell of these fiends. Their footsteps were swallowed into the night and the smell moved on, leaving the forest to release its breath and for me to collapse against my beloved tree. My chest heaved as I tried to catch my breath without retching.

Slowly, I crept towards the humble light of the portal door, gently moving the baby ferns growing out of the gnarled roots of the tree. The light grew stronger as I pushed the door open, squinting against the brightness. Warmth wrapped itself around my cold limbs and I carefully crept through the small door in the trunk. I had to deliver the amulet to the keeper of the realm before Brogan and his sadistic friend could catch me.

Suddenly a large hand grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back, ripping the cloak from my shoulders. Sharp pine cones and soft needles dug into my back as I landed with a hard thump against the cold earth. My last memory was of my head connecting with a tree trunk and a thin raspy voice cackling in delight…

Part II tomorrow