Thursday, December 15, 2011


Warning: French translated in Babelfish, since I know as much about French as my character. No idea how accurate it is.

Lost. That’s where I was. Lost on the streets of Chantilly, a small French town near Paris. We had come for a vacation, a well-needed break from the large English cities, and I hardly knew a word of French. But my parents insisted.

It was well into the night now, and we had run out of milk. The shops were open now, but they wouldn’t be next morning, when we needed it. I decided to go out. How hard could buying a bottle of milk be, I thought?

I was wrong.

We were staying in a small hotel, barely recognisable by its flickering sign. I took two steps away from the nearest lamppost and was bathed in darkness. But from here, I could see the glowing light of the French convenience store. It was only a hundred meters or so away. An easy distance.

I started towards it, found my milk, and went to the counter. The shopkeeper was middle-aged, with a burly build, dark hair and a pleasant smile. He said something in French which I couldn’t understand, then tried again in English.

“Four dollars thirty. You a tourist?”

His accent made it hard to understand. “Yes,” I said, as I paid the money.

He gave me a toothy grin. “Are you enjoying Chantilly?”

“Oh yes, very much,” I said earnestly. I grabbed my milk and left the convenience store.

My eyes were peeled open for any sign of the hotel. I walked up the steep slope of the narrow, unfamiliar streets, past shops and houses with extinguished lights. It must be almost midnight. Through the gap of a curtain, I saw a large woman making some tea. She had a bedside lamp turned on. I quickly walked past, hoping she hadn’t seen me, before the realisation hit me.

I hadn’t seen her when I was going to the store. I was going the wrong way.

Panicked, I turned and started back down the street. The road sloped downwards at quite a sharp angle, and I had to force myself not to break into a run. The darkness pressed in around me, and the hairs at the back of my neck stood up. It was okay, I told myself. I had just walked past my small hotel.

I scanned both sides of the empty streets, but found nothing. Not a hotel, not a single soul. The only point to guide me was the convenience store, which was mercifully still open.

I had almost reached the convenience store once more when I met a boy, coming from the other direction. He was a teenager about my age, in torn jeans, a shirt and a black vest. His blond hair was messily cut, and he grinned at me as we passed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him lift a hand, and mimicked me carrying my bottle of milk in an exaggerated, snobbish fashion like the posh Englishmen.

I laughed, loudly, because he was kind of cute. I heard him join in.

Instinctively, I turned around. He was the only person I had met all night, and I didn’t want him to go.
“Où allez-vous?” he asked me, cocking an eyebrow.

I blinked at him, so he tried again. “Êtes vous perdu?”

I cleared my throat. “I, um, don’t speak French.”

“Oh.” He frowned, gathering his thoughts. Then he pointed at me, mimicked walking, and then gave me a questioning look and shrugged his shoulders. Apparently he didn’t know much English either.

“Um,” I said again. I had some idea of what he was talking about.

The boy sighed, obviously irritated at my apparent lack of understanding. He pointed at himself. “Émile
I definitely knew what he was talking about now. “Janette,” I said, indicating myself.

He grinned. “Nice to meet you.” He paused, frowning. “Where are ... you ... going?”

I shrugged. “I’ve no idea. I’m lost.”

I could tell by the look on his face that he was lost about my sentences as well. “I don’t know,” I said slowly.

“Perdu?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “Sure.”

Émile sauntered over to a street sign and pointed up at it.

I shook my head. “Hostellerie du Lys,” I said.

“Maintenant nous obtenons quelque part!” he exclaimed. Then he saw my frown, and grinned. Émile pointed down the road, held up two fingers, then pointed right. Then he gave me a thumbs up.

“Merci,” I breathed. I dug into my wallet for some money, but when I looked up again, he was gone.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Game of Lies

The Liar was getting bored. He didn't know who had come up with this brilliant idea of recruiting more Liars, but when he found out, he was going to strangle him. He had gone through fifteen people today, and it was five more minutes until the end of his shift. Those fifteen people had either been blatantly obnoxious, cracking very bad jokes or very, very bad liars.

But the Liar was very good at his job, and he made every one of them think they were going to be chosen.

Last one, the Liar sighed to himself, crossing another name off his clipboard. He read the last name there. "Come in, Visere," he called.

No one entered, and for a second the Liar thought 'Visere' had grown tired of waiting and gone home, which suited everyone perfectly well. But then, slowly, the door opened, and a boy peeked inside. He was barely into adolescence - probably ten years old or so - with a head of untidy brown hair. But the Liar was immediately drawn to his eyes, which were a steady, unwavering green.

"Come in," the Liar repeated, motioning to the chair facing him.

Visere darted in and sat himself down very gingerly on the chair, looking not at all comfortable. His gaze was locked firmly onto the Liar.

Confident, thought the Liar, scribbling the word down. Though the boy was giving some opposite signals... Either confident, or frightened out of his wits, he added. "Well, Visere," said the Liar with a smile, "so you want to join the Diplomats."

There was a brief silence. The boy was taking his time, and he knew it. The Liar crossed out the last phrase he had written on the sheet of paper. The kid wasn't frightened. He was supremely confident. He was just acting.

"I do want to join the Diplomats," Visere said, in a fairly neutral tone. His voice didn't waver. "But I don't just want to. I will join."

The Liar's eyes narrowed. "How old are you?"

"Ten. Which is why I'm suitable."

Yes. Start training from a young age. The Liar made a note on his clipboard, then looked back up. "What if I told you there was hard work involved? It's not all fun and games."

Visere shrugged. "I know that."

Actually, thought the Liar, you have no idea. He grinned to himself. "What if I told you we're not serving the King?"

Visere's eyes widened. He realized his mistake a second too late. "Who are you serving, then?"

"The Queen."

"She's dead."

The Liar raised a patronising eyebrow. "I know that." He waited for a response, but the boy didn't speak. "Well then, Visere, what if I told you that we're not actually serving the Queen?"

"Who are you serving, then?"

The Liar allowed a smirk to play on his face. "The King."

Visere's face coloured. He made a move to stand up, but thought better of it at the last moment. "Two can play at this game," he hissed. "What if I told you I was an orphan?"

Good, thought the Liar, but not good enough. "Truth."

"What if I said my parents were killed in the almost-rebellion?"

Too easy. "Truth."

Visere's eyes narrowed. "What if I told you that my dream is to assassinate the King?"

The Liar's smirk turned into a grin. "Well then, my protege, we'd better hope that's a lie."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Into Darkness [Silm|Feanor]

He knew he had died before he was dead, which was quite a strange notion. He had seen the horrified looks on his sons’ faces, had felt his strength leave him. He had known the exact moment when his heart stopped beating and when his body crumbled into ash, to be blown about by the wind.

And he had known the exact moment when he understood that Morgoth would never be defeated by the Noldor. The curse that had escaped from his lips was filled with all the hatred and anger from the depths of his heart.

And then he was gone.

Curufinwë Fëanáro stood on a raised platform, surveying the long line of dead Souls. The line was straight, leading directly into large chamber. That was, he knew, where Mandos resided. That was where they were all going.

And that was where he was not going to go.

He would not go there for the Vala to tell him of his mistakes. He will not go there to receive punishment for the deeds he had committed. He would not go there to be told that he was wrong, and his life had been wasted, and everything he had done was for nothing.

And he would not be treated like a child.

Looking around, Fëanáro saw red walls, red floors and red ceilings. He saw the lanterns that bathed everything in an eerie glow. He saw the red light encompass all that was not yet crimson and turn them into statues of blood. He knew Mandos was taunting him. He was not going to fall for it.

Ignoring the flight of stairs leading down to the dead, Fëanáro turned and exited through a corridor behind him. It was flanked by the same repulsive red lanterns and seemed to stretch on for eternity.

All he could see was blood. Blood of his father, blood of his kin, blood of the Elves who had followed him from Tírion that he had selfishly left to die.

Fëanáro gave a cry of fury and struck one of the lanterns on the wall, stifling the flames of the candle. It was satisfying to see that the redness of the corridor had dimmed, if only slightly. He kept walking, blowing out the fire as he went and leaving a trail of darkness.

One by one the lanterns went out, until Fëanáro suddenly stopped in his tracks. A dead end. One lantern yet remained undimmed, its light flickering like a desperate flame of life. He pushed on the wall that blocked his path, snarling with rage, and yet it remained there, resolute.

Cursing hopelessly, he turned around to go back the way he came.

Only to find a long passageway of darkness.

Friday, September 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo '11 - the Lying Division

So. NaNoWriMo is coming up. 50,000 words. 30 days. Consider yourself challenged.

I'll probably change this blog into one where I rant about the failures of my characters, why I can't write High Fantasy, and my plot holes big enough to drive a truck through them. So far I literally only have 3 named characters. Only 1 has a fully-formed personality. Altogether, including my named, unnamed and dead characters, I have 7. Small cast this year.

Let's give a small introduction.

King: Tyrant of the kingdom (of which I have no name). Sole ruler, his queen died of a reason I haven't thought of. Twelve years ago, there was a rebellion, which failed. Since then the king has made a Diplomatic Division, a group of people trained to negotiate and feed lies to the public.

Queen: Originally came up with the Diplomatic Division. As I said, she died.

Princess Aveline: Daughter of the king and queen...yeah okay, that was obvious. She's 17 now, very ditsy and spoilt, and totally in love with Visere.

Visere: The 'Diplomatic Leader'. The Diplomats call themselves the Lying Division as an inside joke. He's 20, handsome, a smooth Liar and an even better assassin. His parents were killed in the previous rebellion, so he will stop another rebellion by any means necessary. He's a mentor to Klyte.

Klyte: My main character. 16 and orphaned, he grew up on the streets. He was found by Visere (through a long-winded story you don't need to know) and brought into the castle to become a Liar.

Unnamed friend (possibly Nephele): Klyte's childhood friend, thrown out of her family for being a girl. Grew up on the streets with Klyte, but didn't go into the castle with him.

Unnamed vigilante (possibly Cyrin or Cyrene): One of the vigilantes of the kingdom who want a rebellion. They're sick and tired of the king's tyranny.

And that's all I've got xD Plus a long-winded, double-crossing, backstabbing plot involving lots of... plotting.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Lying Division [blurb]

In the style of a query, because I can no longer tell the difference.

Sixteen-year-old Klyte is the new recruit of the Diplomats. Their 'official' job is to negotiate peace with other kingdoms, but that hasn't happened for years.

Klyte's mentor, Visere, has a better idea. They call themselves professional Liars - an inside joke. Trained in negotiation also means they're trained in the art of lying. Their new job is to spread good rumours of the King, and silence political unrest by whatever means necessary.

Within days, Klyte sees just how good they are at lying. And killing.

There's one thing this Division isn't telling the King: they aren't serving him. Visere says they’re serving the Queen, but she’s been dead for almost a decade. Then who’s sending the orders?

Klyte doesn't care, until he is caught up in an assassination attempt. The King is angry. Visere is furious. He is convinced there are spies within their Division, working for outside sources.

Visere begins killing: left, right and centre, until his suspicions fall on Klyte.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nirnaeth Arnoediad [Silmarillion]

Depicting the scene of Fingon before the Nirnaeth Arnoediad  (Battle of Unnumbered Tears) when he marches to war. Seen in eyes of young Turin son of Hurin. I may have gone overboard with the description a little, but it doesn't matter.

He saw tall lords upon majestic horses, mail glittering like the sun on rippling water. Heads held high, spirits soaring, they march upon their steeds, towards battle. The points of their spears glistened and shone, their shields dazzled when the sun's rays hit. Tall and proud were the Elves under the High King, and strong and brave and hopeful.

Spears they held, and banners too. Bright blue banners under a blue sky, banners of the High King, of the renewed hope of the Noldor. And so they march, eyes ahead, dark hair flowing freely under their shining helms. Bright smiles on their flawless faces: smiles of hope, of the future, of an end to this war.

The vanguard passed, their banners fluttering in the breeze. Then came the main escort of the High King, taller and sterner than the others. They drew themselves up, proud and cold, but their faces reflected light and kindness. Leading them was the fairest and tallest of all: the King himself, sword buckled in at his waist, sharpened spear thrusted into the air triumphantly. Then in one flowing motion, he lifted a hand and tore his helm off, his long hair flowing freely in the breeze. His eyes shone with a fiery light as he looked towards the horizon.

A new day had come. And with it came a new hope.

So I wanted to depict a scene where Elves were... well, very obviously Elves. Not humans. I wanted to show them almost as angels, something higher than Men. Because in all honesty... that's what I see them as xD Comparing them to us is a bit degrading. For them.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I am not skilled in the art of poetry...but I tried :)

When I was young,
I thought magic was real.
I sat on my broomstick, and soared into the skies.
I stirred the cauldron, and watched the liquid bubble.
I threw a cloak over my head, and turned invisible.
I waved a stick around, and uttered words of power.

But I am older now.
I have seen brilliant shows of light shine brighter than stars in the night sky
I have breathed underwater and waved hello to the fish
I have felt the world at my fingertips at the touch of a button
I have been on top of the world, looking down at the distant houses.
And I know that magic is real.