I did this!

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I did this! Empty I did this!

Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:58 am

This a response to Odo's comment (blatant self promoting) on the complaints thread. This is a place to put your own original work.
The rules.

1. No fan fiction- original work only, characters, settting etc.
2. If you don't like something say so, any half serious writer knows critiscm is useful, but try to do so in a manner which is constructive not hurtful (not really a problem for any of us I know-but I'm thinking ahead)
3. Regular members and posters only- this is not a dumping ground for passing folks looking to fill up the pages with their stuff- if you don't post in the rest of the threads don't bother posting here.
4. If your work contains content which might not be suitable for all ages flag that up at the start so people know beofre they are offended and not afterwards!
5. Be creative, have fun.
6. I've ran out of rules but I don't like ending on an odd number. Shocked


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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A Green And Pleasant Land

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Post by odo banks Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:46 am

JACK
a fairy story


Book 1
Jack and the Giants



Chapter One
Jack of Orphanage



After dinner one evening, Jack climbed the ivy covered south wall of the main dormitory building, before clambering over slippery shingles to hide behind a stone gargoyle on the roof edge. Overhead, the sky was a purple-black mass, rumbling within. Jack grinned. He loved storms.
Better still, Sister Michaela would be appearing around the corner of the building any second on her way to the convent. And how cross the old nun would be if she knew he was perched up here, three stories up, with a powerful storm brewing?
The boy grinned and grabbed a handful of stones from the pocket of his gabardine shorts and piled them on a flat spot on the gargoyle’s head ready to throw.
Who would Sister Michaela think it was throwing stones down at her from the heaven? Would she think it was the Dark God himself?
Jack’s grin got bigger.
But minutes passed and Sister Michaela failed to appear, and Jack began to wonder if she had been delayed up at the Manse, for she often went there after dinner to discuss orphanage affairs with Father Paolo. Oh well, she’d arrive soon enough. Jack was a patient boy, he could wait.
While he crouched there in the purple dark, the storm brewed. The sky murmured. A warm breeze gathered its strength. The air seemed to thicken by the minute. The very air prickled with electricity. The orphanage buildings were plunged deeper into shadow, weird purple shadow, until he could barely see them. The roof trembled. And everything seemed to happen at once….
Thunder crashed. Jagged spears of blue and white electricity zigzagged down from the heavens round the dark circumferences of the sky. Rain bucketed down. A fierce wind rose violently. Walls shuddered as if in an earthquake. Windows rattled like to shatter. The roof he was on groaned and lurched. Shingles clattered. Jack flung himself against the wind to cling desperately onto the gargoyle…
Then there was an awesome burst of light and power that sent the boy flying upward - or downward - or sideways… he did not know which way…



*




Stars flashed past his vision in such a dizzying fashion he had to shut his eyes to fend off accompanying nausea. Was it really stars flashing past? Was he really flying through space? His mind tried to grasp what was happening. What was there to be grasped anyhow?
Then - as quickly as it began - all movement ceased.
Maybe, he hadn’t really flown after all – maybe, he had just fallen…
That was it! He had been struck by lightning and fallen off the roof. That made sense. But with that thought came another thought, and a bad one.
“If I’ve fallen off the roof, then I bet I’m smashed up pretty bad!”
The funny thing was, Jack didn’t feel in pain at all. But he had fallen three stories! Strange that he felt no pain. In fact, he could not feel a thing. Then there came another bad thought.
“I’m paralyzed!”
Jack’s eyes shot open - only to have them be blinded by excruciatingly bright light. And now he knew pain!
He threw up his hands to block out the light; then scrunched his eyes closed again, rubbing them until the pain went away. Well, at least this must mean his hands were still working! And so were his arms!
Somewhat encouraged, he tried to wiggle his toes – and they wiggled! He wasn’t paralyzed after all! He blew out air in relief. Thank goodness for that.
Slowly, and cautiously this time, he opened his eyes again, blinking until the brightness became bearable.
To his surprise, the first thing he could make out was a high blue ceiling. Did that mean he was inside somewhere? Was he in the infirmary, perhaps? But this could not be the case, because the infirmary ceiling was much lower, and had peeling yellow paint. What he could see overhead was quite different. It wasn’t a blue ceiling at all – it was a patch of blue sky!
So he was outside!
But, hey, where had that blanket of purple-black cloud gone?
And where had all the thunder and lightning gone?
Indeed, where had the night itself gone?
The boy sat up, gingerly, and realized he was on a slab of grey stone atop a grassy mound surrounded by trees. He was in a forest!
This was crazy… He blinked, shook his head, rubbed his eye… but nothing changed, he was in a forest, now sitting on a grey slab of stone on the top of a green grassy mound.
“Where am I?” he asked aloud, but received no answer.
With nothing else to do just then, he took in his surroundings.
At the foot of the mound a stream gushed and gurgled over jagged grey rocks. Trees on the far bank cast ragged shadows on the gushing waters. All around the small clearing made by the mound stood trees, growing thickly.
Jack shook his head, dumbfounded. He was in a forest! Nothing made sense, but he tried to think it out.
Now, the nearest forest he knew of was miles away from the Birmingham Orphanage, over Brookham way in fact. Could he really have been born on the storm so far? And if he had been, why wasn’t he all broken and bruised?
Just to make sure he wasn’t injured, he now climbed to his feet and rotated his arms and kicked out with his feet. No, his limbs were working all right. He took a deep breath of forest scented air, but there was no pain in his chest, so his ribs were not broken or cracked. He bent over and touched his toes – and pain did not shoot up his spine. Only the vaguest tingling at the nape of his neck remained to suggest he had ever been struck by lightning.
Struck by lightning!
He had been struck by lightning!
And now he was here - wherever here was…
The boy frowned, re-examined his surroundings.
The place was lush with greenery, noisy with rushing water, birds chirruped. It was a world of total contrast to his orphanage with its dreary church buildings, cobble-stone quadrangles, an artificial lake and vast green lawns; and instead of a heavy black pall overhead, a bright blue sky with a big yellow sun peeping over the top of the trees.
“I’m in a different place altogether!” Jack exhaled. “I’m in a forest in a valley.” And then he grinned suddenly. “This is great!”
Straight away now, he slid down the grassy mound and crossed a stony path to stand on the leaf-strewn bank of the busy stream. He sucked in another deep and invigorating draught of forest scented air. He felt a rush of pure elation. He was free of the orphanage. He didn’t know how, but he was free. There had not been time yet to think about what this really meant, all he knew was he was free. And then he took a pee in the stream, enjoying one of life’s small pleasures. Life just then seemed nothing short of miraculous.
But this feeling was short lived just as such feelings always are. Even as he was standing there piddling happily, the first hint of disharmony entered his consciousness, for a funny sound, somehow discordant with the natural forest noises all round, reached his ears.
Jack turned his head just in time to see a huge golden bee buzzing toward him. The boy flinched away, managing to splash his shoes with pee, but fortunately the bee changed course a foot from his face, buzzed past him out over the stream. Jack watched it go in fascination, for it had been the queerest bee; huge, about two inches long, and made of pure gold - or at least it was painted gold. And its buzzing had been strange too. It sounded mechanical. And it had made clicking sounds as it buzzed past.
Jack didn’t know what to think, but he had little chance to get is mind around it anyway, because just then something else arrested his attention, something far more alarming, for strange high pitched laughter erupted from down the valley.
“What was that?” he asked the trees down there and got no reply.
Then the laughter stopped and it was as abruptly as it had begun.
Jack frowned. Maybe it had been birds? Though it had not sounded like any birds he knew. He immediately set off down the stony path, jumping from grey stone to grey stone along the rough path which wound through trees close to the stream. That laughter needed investigating.
The path wound through tall tree trunks close to the stream and before long passed under the trailing branches of a weeping willow tree. Jack pushed through leaves, presently came out on the other side of the willow. Here he found a clearing covered with knee-high yellowing grass. In the middle of the clearing, partly hidden in the grass, was the most interesting rock the boy had ever seen. The other rocks he had encountered so far were uniformly grey, but this one was a stunning blue-green color, contrasting boldly against the grass surrounding it. The rock was taller than it was wide, thigh-height to Jack, and it had unusual arm-like outcrops sticking out from its sides, with funny hand-like protrusions at their ends. On the top of it there were spiky bits, like short thin fingers. If Jack had caught sight of it in the corner of his eye, he might easily have mistaken it for a little person.
Fascinated, the boy walked over to examine it more closely - but just as he was doing that, the queer laughter started up again, only this time it was more excited, much louder, and much closer - and this time Jack was left in no doubt that it was laughter; a peculiar squealing kind of laughter. And it unnerved him.
Who could it be down there? Squealing voices! Was it witches, or something? Or, worse still, nuns? So, had the nuns from the orphanage come looking for him?
“Don’t be stupid,” he rebuked himself straight away, the mere thought of the nuns following him here making him angry.
Then another thought came to him, “I bet it’s a bunch of kids playing!” And the thought cheered him instantly. After all, children weren’t dangerous.
So, with recovered confidence, the boy walked down in the direction of the voices again.
But he had not forgotten the mysterious blue-green rock and as he passed by it he reached across to touch it with a speculative hand…
He was immediately sorry he had! For the weirdest sensation ran up his arm. Was it like an electric shock? No, it was not so much an electric shock as the feeling that a warm tingling fluid was running up through his nerves. Jack jumped away in confusion and alarm. All atremble, he stared dumbly at the rock, rubbing his arm meanwhile from wrist to bicep. Only slowly did the horrible feeling go away.
Was the rock alive? No, it was just a rock.
Jack calmed himself. He had just imagined it.
Yes, that was it. Of course he had imagined it!
Or had he?
While Jack was vainly trying to work it out, the laughter continued. Finally he took notice of it again. He took a deep breath. Nothing for it, he had to find out what was going on in the trees below him, but he was certainly more cautious now; for this forest was queer, what with giant bees, uncanny blue-green rocks and queer squealing voices.
He hardened himself to cross to the other side of the clearing – while keeping half an eye on the blue-green rock - and soon had plunged in through the leafy veils of yet another willow.
Presently he stopped again, careful to stay within the concealment of the willow trails while he peered out onto a most peculiar scene.
And: “Where on Earth am I?” he exclaimed.
And well he might!
For below him the first thing he noticed was seven gigantic rats. Yes, giant rats! They were almost as tall as Jack himself. And if this was not shocking enough, the rats were wearing clothes. Yes, clothes! Brown trousers, yellow button up shirts, leather skull caps. Rats were quite different where Jack came from.
The rats were out in a grey open area of grey shale, dancing about on their hind legs around a pile of grey rocks. On top of the pile lay a small creature trussed up tightly in a net. Even as the boy watched, one of the rats poked their captive with a stick and the poor thing let out a terrified squeak. The other rats poked it too as he watched. More squeaks. The louder the squeaks the louder the rats laughed. The rats clearly thought it a great joke and were laughing!
In spite of his amazement, Jack was overcome by anger at what he saw. With no thought for his own safety, he yelled, “Hey! Leave it alone!”
Even as spoke, he was stepping out from his concealment in the willow leaves. His arrival in the clearing drew a comical response from the rat folk. As one, they sprang high in fright. On dropping back to earth, some landed awkwardly on their feet, and some on their skinny backsides. They stared at Jack with looks of abject terror on their long ratty faces.
“Baby ogre!” squealed one, after a stunned moment.
“Baby ogre!” the rest joined in, as they scrambled together into a tight bunch, all clinging arms and legs. They looked like a weird bunch of brown grapes, so tightly did they cling and cluster.
Jack grabbed a handful of stones from his pocket and pressed his advantage. Being a good shot, several rats felt the nasty sting of stones hitting their scrawny bodies. It was too much for them. They fled into trees at the bottom of the slope, sticking so close together they tripped over one another.
Jack grinned at their uncomely retreat. The rats did look strangely funny. But then the absurdity of the situation set in and the boy sat down abruptly on a rock, to stare dumbly at the netted creature, perhaps twenty yards away, which had been left forgotten by the rats in their mad haste to escape.
“This can’t really be happening,” Jack muttered. “I was struck by lightning and now I’ve gone crazy.”
What other explanation was there?




Jack sat in a daze, too numb to think logically at first, his mind was a muddle, but then he heard a sad keening sound and it slowly drew him back to reality. The sound was coming from the trussed up creature. Funny, and Jack knew not why, but the keening sound reminded him of the blue-green rock for some reason. Nervously, Jack glanced back over his shoulder, just in case the rock was creeping down behind him – which he half expected it to be doing! When he saw this was not the case, Jack’s attention returned to the poor creature.
A little over two feet long, it appeared to be dressed solely in green. At one end of the bundle long strands of dark hair poked out; from the other end protruded a dainty pink toe. While he watched, the creature gave a violent wriggle and began to roll down the rocks toward the stream which lay at the bottom of the shaly slope ten feet from the rocks it was on.
Jack jumped up and ran swiftly down to it, slipping and sliding as he went. He reached it in time to allow the living bundle to come to rest against his shin, thus saving it from a plunge into the brisk waters.
The creature let out a terrified squeal.
“Don’t be frightened,” Jack said. “I won’t hurt you.”
“Yes you will,” a fraught female voice squeaked.
“No I won’t,” Jack said reassuringly.
“Yes you will.”
“No I won’t.”
“Yes you will.”
“I said, ‘No, I won’t’, and I won’t,” Jack retorted, getting a bit annoyed.
After a brief pause, the creature said: “Yes you will!”
Jack smiled. “How absurd is this?”
Then he detected a glint of blue-green through a hole in the net - an eye.
“I promise I won’t hurt you,” he told the eye.
“Yes you will,” the creature said again, but less certainly. Then it added, “You’re a baby ogre and you’re going to eat me.”
Jack frowned. Sister Michaela had often called him a monster, but no one had ever accused him of being an ogre before. He had to laugh. “I said I wouldn’t hurt you, and I won’t. Give us a second and I’ll get you out of this net.”
“And then you can eat me.”
“I wish you’d stop it.”
He started to fiddle with the thick strings of the net but could not find any loose ends to untie.
“Are you a baby giant then?” The creature asked, not sounding so fraught now. “Yes, that’s it! You’re going to rip off my arms and legs and skin me alive!”
“Skin you alive?” Jack wondered aloud. “Why would I do that? And, by the way, I’m not a baby giant either.”
“What are you then?”
“What am I?” Jack said as he grabbed his Swiss Army knife out of his back pocket (he had borrowed the knife from Father Paolo’s collection of confiscated items months ago) and began to cut away the net. “What are you, more’s the point?”
“I’m a gnome!” the creature told him indignantly, “You must know that!”
“Did you say a ‘gnome’?”
“Yes.”
“No you’re not.”
“Yes, I am!”
“Gnomes don’t exist!”
“Yes they do.”
“No they don’t.”
“Yes they do!”
“No they don’t!”
“Then what am I?”
“I don’t know what you are.”
“You don’t think I‘m an elf, do you?” the creature asked suddenly. “Some gnomes think I’m as pretty as an elf.” The creature’s tone of voice changed a bit now. “Do you think I’m as pretty as an elf?”
By now Jack had released enough of the creature from the net to reveal her pale teary face. The face had two startling blue-green eyes and a small slightly upturned nose. Silver streaked brown hair, disheveled and tangled up with twigs and leaves fell past petite shoulders.
“You look kind of alright,” Jack chose his words carefully, a little put out by what he thought her odd question. He was also immediately cautious, because some of the girls at his orphanage went on and on about how they looked, or how nice their hair was (as if they were the only things really worth thinking about) and he knew that having an opinion on the subject could be dangerous. For if ever a boy was so unwise as to tell one of these particular girls that she looked pretty, she was likely as not to punch him, and then run off accusing him of being a big fat tease. And if a boy said that he didn’t think she was that pretty - she would likely burst into tears and run away - usually after punching him even harder.
“I’m not as pretty as an elf, am I?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you know?”
“Because I don’t know what an elf looks like.”
“You’re not from around here are you?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
The creature now stood in the sunshine rubbing her arms and legs, clearly glad to be free of the cruel net. She wiped remnant tears from her face and made sad cooing sounds when she saw the red marks on her bare arms and legs caused by the rats’ pointy sticks. She was very small, not much more than two feet tall, and was a dainty thing. (Jack had to admit that she was quite pretty – like a perfectly proportioned doll, actually). She attempted to tidy her disheveled hair, brushing it back from her pale face with her tiny hands, a gesture that reminded Jack again of some of the vainer girls at the orphanage. She wore a pretty green dress that reached from her throat to just below her knees. Around her neck she wore a fine silver chain on which hung a splendid blue and yellow gem. For all her lack of height, she seemed quite grown up.
A thought then occurred to Jack. “Are you a dwarf?” He asked this because one of the girls at his orphanage had a condition that in those days was known as dwarfism.
The girl’s response was not long in coming.
“A dwarf!” she squealed in outrage, her pale face going bright red. “You think I’m a crag-faced, red-skinned, beer-breathing coal-digging dwarf, do you!”
Taken aback, Jack tried to make amends. “I’m very sorry; you’re obviously a… a… a gnome.”
“Right you are!” she exclaimed. “And don’t you forget it!”
An uncomfortable silence followed. The gnome stood up to her full two foot height and struck a stiff pose with her head set at an aloof angle, her nose pointed abruptly upward. Jack stared at her not knowing what to think.
After what seemed a long time, the girl commented in an offhand manner, “You must be a giant, for only a giant could be so uncouth.” Then, before Jack could reply, he saw a change come over her expression, a change from arrant scorn to scornful reflection. “You do seem small for a giant,” she offered. “Perhaps you’re one of those Purple Pygmy Giants from the jungles of Africa I’ve heard about.”
Jack could tell she was serious. “I’m not a Purple Pygmy Giant,” he blurted, not wanting to be thought of as a pygmy anything.
“Oh you’re not even purple! How silly of me – though you might have faded, I suppose! I’ve never seen one before… Do you have purple blood, is that it?”
“I’m a human!”
“You’re a what?”
“A human, I said.”
“I’ve never heard of a human before… But you do seem almost civilized,” (her voice sounded doubtful), “so I suppose humans might be alright.”Then she added dryly, “You seem very young and immature. How old are you?”
“Thirteen – but I’m almost fourteen!”
“You are very young,” she told him. “I’m sixteen, you know.” Her lips were pursed in an odd smug way when she added with dignity, “I’ll be old enough to wed soon.”
“Well not if the rats get you first,” Jack retorted somewhat sarcastically, annoyed at her remark that he was ‘very young and immature’.
“Rats?” the gnome said, suddenly frightened again. “I’d forgotten all about the rats! Come – we must get away. If the rats find out you’re not a baby ogre, they’ll beat you until you’re tenderized!”
“I’m not afraid of any rats,” Jack said boldly.
“You’ll soon change your tune, Purple Pygmy Giant!” she called over her shoulder as she ran off upslope, “when they come back and fill you with their poison darts!”
Poison darts? Jack glanced in the direction the rats had fled. He decided to take her advice and ran after her. By the time he caught up, she was already in the clearing with the strange blue-green rock, and as he slowed to jog after her through the leaves of the first willow he had passed through, he took the opportunity to ask her about it.
“Its Uncle Jugg,” she answered.
“Uncle Jugg?” He asked in bemusement as he pushed willow leaves aside.
“It’s a sad story,” the gnome told him. “You see, he got caught by the rats and they tortured him and left him out. They love to do that when they can.”
“What do you mean by ‘left him out’?” Jack wanted to know just as they made their way through the trees along the stony path by the stream. “Left him out” – there was something very odd and disturbing about that phrase.
The gnome appeared not to hear the question as she hopped from stone to stone just ahead of him. Jack tried to answer his own question as he followed her, but couldn’t. “Left him out” - what could that mean?
At last, just as they entered the clearing with the grassy mound, Jack came up beside her and reached down to clutch one of her tiny hands, jerked her rudely to a stop.
She tried to pull away, but he held tight.
“Let go Purple Pygmy Giant!” she exclaimed in annoyance, though clearly not at all afraid of him anymore.
“What do you mean by ‘left him out’?” he asked again.
Looking up at him reproachfully, as she recovered her hand and rubbed it, she said, “You needn’t be rough, you know!”
“Sorry, but I want to know…”
“Well, Uncle Jugg was left out in the moonlight, silly! Gnomes turn into stone if they get caught in the moonlight. Don’t you know anything?”
“How’s that then?” Jack said.
Ignoring his question, the gnome commented: “You seem a very ignorant child. It’s like you’re not even from this world at all.”
Her words prompted Jack to look up at the grey slab on the grassy mound. “Maybe I’m not from this world,” he said, as much to himself as to the gnome.
The gnome gave him an inquisitive look. “Not from here? Then how did you come to be here?”
“I landed on that stone,” he answered, pointing, “I was blown here in a storm.”
The gnome looked bemused. “When did this happen?”
“It was no more than half an hour ago, I guess.”
“There hasn’t been a storm in months,” she chastised him. “Don’t be a liar.”
Jack didn’t know what to say. He looked at the gnome girl, saw her confusion. He was confused too.
“I’m not lying,” he said at last, “I was blown here. You see, I was on the orphanage roof in the storm…”
“You were out in a storm?”
“Yes.”
“Why were you doing that?”
“It was fun.”
Nisse did not say anything straight away, just blinked, but then she gave a little fatalistic shrug and asked: “What happened then?”
“I don’t know really. All I know was that it got really stormy all of a sudden, and windy, so I grabbed onto the gargoyle to stop being blown off the….”
“Gargoyle!” the gnome exclaimed. “Well, that explains everything!”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s like in the old poem:


Touch a gargoyle in a storm,
Find yourself transported,
To a land beyond the void,
Remember! It’s important!”


“That’s rubbish,” Jack burst out. “How could that happen?”
The gnome gave him a disdainful look. “Well, you stay here and find an alternative explanation – I’m going!”
“I’m dreaming,” Jack thought as he watched her jog off again. He gave one last inquiring glance at the grassy mound with its grey slab and then hurried after the gnome. “Where are we going?” he yelled.
“To Cavern Hall,” she yelled back. “And before you ask, Cavern Hall is where the gnomes of Gushing Valley live.”
Jack only needed to glance a few feet to his left and see the stream rushing and bubbling and gurgling near at hand to know he was already in Gushing Valley.
“Hurry Purple Pygmy Giant!” the gnome called as she ran up the path and disappeared into the forest higher up. “We don’t know where the rats are… Are you listening?”
But Jack had not moved.
“This is all so dumb,” he rebuked himself. “Wake up you idiot! Go on, wake up!”
He slapped his thigh - hard. The stinging pain made him wince - but he didn’t wake up. He bit his lip in frustration, but with no better plan in mind, he soon jogged after the gnome again.
The path ran up through a tangle of low branches and tangled groundcovers. The gnome had disappeared from sight and Jack thought he had lost her. But then he heard her call from high above him. Shortly after, the path rose sharply through undergrowth and rocks, and he had to scramble up a moist slippery slope, and he eventually came out of the trees into a sunlit grassy area. Several cut stumps revealed the place had been cleared. A wall of rock blocked further passage straight ahead. The gnome awaited him down to his left. She stood by a rock ladder that had been cut into a sheer rock face. A waterfall cascaded onto rocks a few feet further down.
“We must climb,” the gnome told him the moment she saw him. “Purple Pygmy Giants can climb, can’t they?”
“I don’t know about Purple Pygmy Giants, but humans can.”
“Then follow me,” she cried and scuttled up the rock ladder like a spider up a wall.
Jack had to admire her. She was a fantastic climber. He followed her. The climb was not difficult, made easy by the perfectly cut holes in the rock. When he reached the top of the cliff he found the gnome waiting again. She sat on a stone in a patch of bright sunshine amid shadows cast by trees that grew close to the edge.
“Here we may rest,” she said. “The rats dare not climb up this far.”
Jack sat down on the cliff edge and took the opportunity to study the gnome more carefully. She was pretty, and she was petite, and she was alien - alien to him anyway. Gnomes didn’t really exist, he knew that. But here she was.
She in turn met his scrutiny without a blink, no doubt deep in her own speculations. This little person no doubt thought him the strange one. They were from different worlds, this at least was obvious. He was from a real place: the orphanage. And she was from a dream world. After all, gnomes only existed in stories or dreams, didn’t they?
Jack made a sudden decision to accept that he was having one of those realistic dreams he had read about in fairy stories and this gave him an idea.
“If I’m only dreaming, I’m stuck here anyway, so I might as well believe everything I see - no matter how weird - until I wake up.”
It seemed an appropriate way to deal with the situation.
“I don’t even know your name,” he thought to say at last.
She looked pleased he had the manners to ask, judging by the lovely smile she gave him. “I’m Nisse of Cavern Hall,” she told him brightly, and she jumped up from her rock and proffered him a most elegant curtsy.
Jack couldn’t help but return her smile. On an impulse, he climbed to his feet and gave her a deep bow. “And I,” he proclaimed grandly, “am Jack of Orphanage!”

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:45 pm

Splendid. Inventive. Humourous and odd- what a great mix Odo. Loved it (although you may have guessed that already).
I love it when theres loads on the forum- an evenings worth of entertainment in stories and debate. Fantastic.
Keep themcoming folks.

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A Green And Pleasant Land

Compiled and annotated by Eldy.

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Post by Tinuviel Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:22 pm

This is an excerpt from my work in progress, When the Day met the Night. All you really need to know is that Red and Turquoise are brothers who used to be extremely close, until the main character, Venus, falls in love with Turquoise. Red lusts for her so much, that he's delved into dark powers that he doesn't understand. Red has been banished after he threatens Venus and her family. Also, Red and Turquoise's father has been imprisoned because (under the same dark powers that are posessing Red) he stabbed Turquoise during a heated arguement.

But here it is!

He entered the garden and walked around in the cool summer air. The sun had just set, and the remnants of it's setting painted the rapidly darkening sky. He was confused, and walks always helped clear his head. He felt his conscience screaming that he had made a mistake. Usually, his conscience was right. But what mistake had he made? Was it being too happy? He smiled at the warm feeling inside that he kept trying to hide when he was around her. It was odd that this one person has made him feel so hopeful. He entered the Orchards, and walked down rows of peach and apple trees, all bearing full fruit. He let their sweet smell fill his mind and block out the bitterness of his conscience. It was a bit overwhelming how beautiful Balè was at times. Coming from a place where beauty was forced and false and every other emotion wrought with fear and mistrust, this all seemed to good to be true. His conscience came back, and this time he gave heed to it. It told him that the end was close, but how close was yet to be decided. His intuition was a curse when it spoiled any happiness he had. "So what of Venus than?" he asked it silently, "Is she too good to be true, too?" He kicked a fallen apple angrily when he heard something fly through the air behind him. He stopped to listen again. Another one landed with a thud a couple feet to his left. He turned around and heard angry pacing in the row next to him. He slipped under the row of trees between them and cautiously poked his head out. Shocked, he recognized his brother. He stepped out into the clearing. Red had turned to throw an apple in his direction until he saw his brother coming toward him. He dropped the apple and walked away down the row. Turquoise ran after him. “Red, stop.”
“Why? So you can tell me how great your life has become?”
“You're not supposed to be here.”
“And how you've never been happier and how lucky you are. YOU,YOU,YOU! I don't need to hear it!”
Turquoise tried to pull him backward, but Red shoved him in the chest, “Don't you touch me. I can't stand you!”
The feeling was mutual, but Turquoise kept trying, “Red, just talk to me-”
“Damn it I don't want to even look at you! You're such an annoying little bastard, you know that? I've been looking out for you for a decade, I sacrificed a lot just for you! And how do you repay me? By taking EVERYTHING!” He took an apple off a tree and threw it at him, hitting him in the stomach.
“Red, I,” He didn't finish. He knew this was coming, it was just a lot to handle. Red was his hero, his best friend, his older brother. He felt miserable because he had nothing to say back. The life he'd known was shattering before his eyes. “It didn't have to be like this”
He sneered at him. “Your right. It didn't. And it's your fault!”
“I'm sorry she picked me over you. But don't resent her for it.”
“I don't resent her you idiot! I love her. Love her more than you do.”
He went cold. “What?”
“You think you love her, but you can't even fathom what my love is like! It's torturous! All I want is her. I want her to be mine for eternity. I want everything from her, I must have her! And I will have her, and there's nothing you can do to stop me. Nothing anyone can do! Nothing she can do.”
“If you even touch her-”
“What will you do? Run off and tell on me? You have no right to take what should be mine! I'm better than you'll ever be! I'm older than you, you submit to me. But, 'Turquoise is so kind, so compassionate, has so much promise.' What about Red? What about the one who made him like that? What about his puppet master?”
“What's wrong with you?”
“You are. Don't act so stunned and pathetic! He was right, you deserve to die!”
His face turned white. “What did you just say?”
“You heard me”
Turquoise realized that whatever bonds his he and his brother had once shared were now utterly severed. But who was 'He'? What man had poisoned his brother's mind so darkly? It didn't matter now, the words were out, and couldn't be taken back. With a coldness that only strangers exude, he said the one thing that he knew the old Red would respond to. “What would Mother say?”
This caught Red off guard, and completely shifted his thoughts to his poor mother, who did everything she could to protect her sons from their jackass father. She took a beating from that despicable excuse of a man almost every night for sending them away, and she was forced to continue living with him because she was going to have another child. Thank Helios it was a girl, or else he was sure that he'd kill her if she sent this boy away, too. She's just been a shadow at his side ever since. His temper cooled, but didn't disappear, for the pouch in his pocket wouldn't allow it. “Fine. For her sake, I won't kill you. For my own dignity, I won't spill your blood. But I promise you, I will be the cause of your death.”
Turquoise noticed him fingering something in his pocket. “What's in your pocket? Did 'he' give you that to kill me? Why don't you just do whatever 'he' says. Because 'he' knows you so well. 'He' understands the love you feel toward your brother, right? So go on and do what he says. ”
“You know nothing about him!" he snapped, coiling up like a snake. "How dare you disrespect him!”
“Who is he Red? What did he promise you?”
“Everything I asked for. And he can give it to me, brother, and he will,” he whispered to himself. A chill went down Turquoise's spine, as a cold breeze circled him, and he stood there, frozen in fear. It seemed to embrace him, and suck the very warmth from his body. He began to feel faint. But a fire awoke within him, one that always appeared in him when most people would give in. He tugged backward, but didn't move an inch. He tried to spread his arms, but more pressure appeared. He looked at Red in distress, but his brother looked hollow, as if he wasn't even there. The fire within him grew. Despite everything that had just occurred, he still felt a need to protect his brother, even if it was from himself. Red always jumped into things without thinking. This darkness he had acquired was something powerful and wild and dangerous. He had to stop it. For Red. For Venus.
Like a crack of lightening, the cold air shattered around him, and he was freed. Red's eyes refocused, and showed confusion, and then malcontent, but not hatred, like before.
Something was altering his mind. And what ever it was, it was frightening. He lost all desire of trying to change his brother's mind, and wanted only to get him some help. “Red, what did you do?”
“The only thing I could do. You can't understand my pain, so it's only fair that I make you suffer as I have suffered. So you will. I swear on my love for her, you will.”
Turquoise wasn't sure, but he thought Red's eyes were turning dark like black coals, his skin becoming translucent and ashen in the moonlight. He began to stride toward him, shadows dancing underneath his feet. Turquoise felt a fear that only nightmares could replicate. He was so captivated by his brothers gruesome transformation, he didn't even realize when Red was about an inch from his face, until he smelled his foul breath in his face.
“Run.”
He sprinted. He didn't hear Red behind him, but he felt something chasing him, the same coldness from before. He kept tripping over roots and fallen fruit, but he kept running faster and faster. He didn't look back until reached the steps of the palace. Covered in it's warming light, he looked back at the orchards. The tree's of the row he had run down were barren, and at the edge of the light from the palace, where the darkness resumed, a shadow darker than the night itself stood, but quickly darted back into the orchards.
Turquoise collapsed on the steps panting, trying to calm his shaking hands. He knew he was safe here, but his mind was tormented with fear and worry. What was that thing? What could it do? What would it do?
“Turquoise? What's wrong?” He swung around and saw Venus standing there, holding Pluta in her arms. She put her little sister down and told her to go find their father, then ran over to Turquoise. “Are you alright? What happened?”
“Nothing. Nothing, I just...” Nothing came out. He couldn't tell her what just happened. He couldn't burden her with such depressing thoughts. But he also couldn't lie to her. So he just remained silent.
She sat down next to him. She put her hand on the back of his head and started playing with the hair at the base of his neck. Her touch was soothing, and the thoughts that were tormenting him began to loose there vividness and seem only like bad dreams.
She smiled, “You can tell me. I've felt it's presence here before.”She patted the back of his head, “Let's talk.”
He hesitated from shock. Had she seen it, too? He thought he should find his father first, but then forgot that his father was no longer part of his family. So he thought to tell the King, but the more he thought about it, the worse of an idea it became. What would someone think of his story? Probably that it was nothing more than a young heart being broken and a boy who was afraid of the dark. But Venus would understand. “I'll tell you everything in the morning, when the memory isn't as frightening to me. But let's go inside. It's too dark out here.”She looked frightened for him, so he added, “Don't worry about me. As long as you're at my side, nothing seems as bad as it is,”and he gently kissed her forehead. She nodded, and turned her focus back to the orchards for one last second, trying to pierce through the darkness with her eyes, but eventually gave up, and walked Turquoise inside.
They both silently resolved that they wouldn't sleep at all tonight.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 pm

Thanks for the comments Tin. In answer to your question, not yet!
Sadly I am on a break at work at the moment and not got the time to give your story its proper attention- but rest assured when I get back home I will give it my full attention- looking forward to it and any others that get posted. This is fast becoming my current fav thread! So many creative people about the place. Excellent. Very Happy

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Post by odo banks Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:45 pm

Really interesting, Tin, and fresh. However, I'm a linear kind of guy, and starting a story somewhere after the Beginning is awkward for me. Is there any chance you might post the Beginning of the story? Help an old fogey focus better, maybe? Nonetheless, I really think you write well, especially for someone a third my age (or was that a quarter? Shocked ) More, please!

And Mr Tyrant - I've mentioned this before (though not in Forumshire, of course!) that this is the best thing I've read of yours. Have no idea where you'll be taking it next, but as it stands I think it excellent Fiction - remembering, of course, that the best Fiction is often heavily weighted with fact!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:08 am

A hot sweet cup of tea, a smoke and the time to read your story at leisure Tin. And I enjoyed it a lot. It held my attention throughout and was engaging. I would agree with Odo that I would have liked to have read the start first- I had to read your 'story so far' paragraph several times to make sure I knew who was who and what their releationships were, and it would have been nice to have known who the 'he' of the opening paragraph was referring to. But those are niggles.
You write far, far better than I did at your age. And if I may indulge and offer some advice from my own writing, keep at it no matter what. Even if everything you ever write for years only gets read by a handful of people and ends up gathering dust on a shelf or in a box in a cupboard, keep at it. Because all this stuff you are writing now is not just honing your skills, its storing ideas. Stuff you will find years later you have a new use for, a new take on, but its still from the germ of an idea you had all those years ago. Thats the thing about writing, you never really throw anything you've written away, you just find new uses for it later elsewhere. Look at Tolkien, by the time he wrote LotR's all those ideas, themes and thoughts he had been building up since he was a child found their expression. So if your latest work never gets published its not a problem, don't lose heart because it will make your next one even better.
To some up my thoughts Tin, a very well written piece.

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Post by odo banks Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:54 am

Good points all, Mr Tyrant. Definitely about keeping stuff... for when one gets older he or she will get ... err .. um... what was it I was thiking of? -- oh yes --- forgetful... Sad

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Post by Tinuviel Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:05 am

Thank you Very Happy ! I apologize for the lack of a beginning, the reason I didn't post it was because I've yet to write it Shocked
It's called snowflaking, I believe. I've been reading a "Writing Fiction for Dummies" book, and it said the same thing you did Petty! So don't worry, I'll always keep at it!
so far, for the beginning, it's just a paragraph about history. I have no idea how to begin it! Embarassed

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:53 am

"I've been reading a "Writing Fiction for Dummies" book, and it said the same thing you did Petty!"-Tin

I feel a bit like Bilbo's guests when he says 'I don't know half of you as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as much as you deserve.'
I'm still trying to work out if I've been complimented or insulted! Shocked

As to beginnings, they are a bugger and no mistake. I tend to always start with the start as it were for that reason, if I can at least get a rough outline down then I can get a flow going with what comes next. It is tempting to jump ahead and write the bits youve got in your head though. I occasionally do so, but thats more if I have a good idea for something that comes later and fear I might forget it.
But personnaly the biggest reason for writing in order is what ends up on the page is often not entirely what was intended- things come to you as you write, and putting them in often alters things that come after. If you've already written things that come after you either cant make changes as you go to the start or you have to go back and alter the later bits to fit the change- a pain in the neck.

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Post by Tinuviel Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:06 pm

First off, it was a compliment! It means you're quite knowledgeable Idea
Secondly, you're right, it is a pain in the neck, but I feel like at the point I'm at, I can still get away with it. I feel like the beginning can be written once everything else is in order, so then that beginning has everything it needs to start the story's plot lines and twists ect.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:14 pm

"First off, it was a compliment! It means you're quite knowledgeable"- Tin

A one off I assure you!
As to writing, everyone finds their own ways of doing it (or finding ways to avoid doing it!- I'm really good at that) so always go with what seems to work for you I say. I've never read a 'how to write' book. I've always avoided them, not a big fan of rules they tend to get in the way. And these days everyone is so saturated with story, from film and tv to plays and books and everything inbetween (even the news!) that I think the instinctive blocks needed to tell one are already there.

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Post by Tinuviel Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:17 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: And these days everyone is so saturated with story, from film and tv to plays and books and everything inbetween (even the news!) that I think the instinctive blocks needed to tell one are already there.

Exactly! I've just been reading this fine little book to learn the craft a bit better, sharpen up the edges and what not. Otherwise, everything I've ever written has been based off of what I gathered from movies, TV, books, ect.
If you want to be the best, learn from the best (and know who's the worst!)

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Post by Ally Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:28 pm

Just read your story Tin, you are a great writer! I personally don't mind disjointed narrative and it all came together and made sense in the end! I've read a few of those "how to write" books, and I think they are great for suggestions or plot lines that you would otherwise not come up with.

I look forward to more of everyone's work, espiecally yours Tin- great stuff!! But I wonder, will Saradoc post his infamous hobbit parody??? Question Question Very Happy

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Post by Kafria Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:46 pm

Reading this section and becoming aware of how many in forumshire write (I don't, but may have a go at some point!) I was left wondering if this is one of the reasons that disscussion is forthright, yet respectful here. As a writer you are often trying to see things from a number of perspectives and understand/observe why things happen! maybe it gives folks more tolerance?

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Post by odo banks Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:45 am

I'm not quite sure if this is germane to your point or not, Kafria, but I come here just as often to express my creative urge as I do to dicuss Tolkien (as such) and refute all the ridiculous notions you guys have on all and sundry things (including Tolkien)... and, of course, I'm here to help, that goes without saying! Very Happy

As to forthright and respectful* conversation, I find it refreshing. Only Priests and Politicians have the ultimate answers after all, even when they change and the original answers they gave are forgotten. I prefer folk like us who can have quite open speculative discussions, where game points don't seem to be being counted --- though, of course, I don't condone the amount of unrespectability* that tends to eke out of people's mouths (especially Mr Tyrants).


* please note the difference!! Mad

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Post by Tinuviel Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:54 am

odo banks wrote:I'm not quite sure if this is germane to your point or not, Kafria, but I come here just as often to express my creative urge as I do to dicuss Tolkien

The same for me! It's good practice, writing here, especially when you have to write out the thought processes of a character!


And I'm glad you liked it Ally Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:33 am

I have to agree with you Odo. I too am partly drawn here by the freedom to be creative and have fun with it, and in turn to enjoy the creativity of others, yourself not least.

"I don't condone the amount of unrespectability* that tends to eke out of people's mouths (especially Mr Tyrants)"- Odo

Bloomin' cheek! Shocked
'What? No, its just that Odo Banks making accusations again, I think he must still be on that moral crusade of his, what?"- sorry my new PA, or at least thats what I'm calling her on the tax returns-"What? Well how should I know, I've never worn anything with tassles on it. Try swinging them..... Shocked yup that seems to work!
Now what was it you were you saying Odo? I seem to have lost my train of thought somehow!"

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Post by odo banks Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:42 am

You demonstrate exactly the point I'm making, Mr Tyrant --- alas, with the freedom to create comes the freedom to disrespectulate... every yin has it's yang, I guess... Neutral

And Tin, I'm pleased you come here to create, for "creating" is a thing I feel even your God approves of! Though I guess we Mortals can only ever truly be "sub-creators". Mind, that's well and good enough for me, me being such a humble hobbit and all..... Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:18 pm

disrespectulate- thats my new favourite made up word!!

I'm going to have a badge made up with 'I disrespectulate you PJ!' on it. Very Happy

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Post by Ringdrotten Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:46 pm

lol! lol!

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Post by odo banks Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:11 pm

No, no, Mr Tyrant, it's the "action of disrespecting by word or thought", so your badge should read, "I disrespect PJ." Or, "I hold PJ in utter unrespect." If one is to deliberately "disrespectulate", you must do so about someone. Your badge in that case might read something like, "I theorize that PJ is a latent-Commie." Of course, we actually know him to be a Nazi, but now are speculating he is a Commie as well, for he does seem to live in a world of shifting sands after all, where contary ideas and self seving conundrums are quite acceptable - the movie industry, indeed! So speculating that PJ may be a Commie (knowing he is actually a greedy tyranical Capitalist Nazi) is a definite act of disrespectulation. Mind, it's probably warranted on this occasion, though I usually frown on folk direspectulating, as you must know by now.

... and I really don't know what's so funny, Ringdrotten. Mad What are those Danes teaching you in school????

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:38 pm

I'll never fit that on the badge! Suppose I could make it my new banner, no one ever got the old one; "Tolkien shall sleep no more! PJ shall sleep no more! PJ hath murdered sleep!"

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I did this! Empty Re: I did this!

Post by Ringdrotten Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:45 pm

This, Odo, this is what they're trying to teach us Crying or Very sad
(No idea if you can understand the English these guys are speaking - some of it might be hard to understand if you're not used to Scandinavian/Danish accents)



Apologies to any future Dane(s) that may join our jolly forum, it's all jokes of course! Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:12 am

Very Happy
Amazing actually how similar it sounds to some Scottish accents, a bit of cultural drift one way or the other I suspect, made it perfectly easy to follow for me.
Makes me think something similar must have happened when English met Gaelic in Scotland- and the end result? Most Scots only speak English, I know one word of Gaellic and its a swear word my Granddad used to use. If you don't protect your language you lose it.

_________________
Pure Publications, The Tower of Lore and the Former Admin's Office are Reasonably Proud to Present-



A Green And Pleasant Land

Compiled and annotated by Eldy.

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yjYiz8nuL3LqJ-yP9crpDKu_BH-1LwJU/view



*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
Warning may contain Wholesome Tales
[/b]

the crabbit will suffer neither sleight of hand nor half-truths. - Forest
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