A White Rose (part 2)

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place.

You can read Part 1 here.


Rain gazed at the man who was readying the horse. She didn’t trust him. Not that she particularly trusted anyone, but this man made her nervous. His eyes were dark, almost black, and she hadn’t been able to see any feelings displayed in them. He was a handsome man, she couldn’t deny that, tall and slim, without being skinny. A day’s growth darkened his square jaw, and dark hair fell to his shoulders, curling slightly at the collar of his tunic.

Dressed all in black he didn’t look like someone you could trust. He was cleaner than most men she’d encountered in the city, but who ever said cleanliness meant you were a good man? Her father had been clean, and he’d been as mean as they come. She shuddered slightly at the memory of her father. It was a time of her life she’d just as soon forget.

Ereptus had finished with the horse and mounted, motioning for her to join him. She walked over to the horse, and Ereptus took her arm and pulled her up behind him, as if she weighed no more than a toddler. They soon took off, and Rain had to grab hold of Ereptus’ tunic as to not fall off the horse. Peeves were complaining a little bit inside her tunic until he settled himself in a spot where he wasn’t squeezed between her and Ereptus.

She’d told herself that she wasn’t going to speak, but she soon grew bored. The previous day she’d still been seething with anger about being forced out of the city where she thought she’d made an acceptable life for herself. Although she liked Gaylen, she was angry about the highhanded way he’d decided that she should be taken away without consulting her first.

“Ereptus?” she said, her voice hesitant.

“Yes?”

“What is this place like?”

“This place,” Ereptus said. “Is called Messina.”

“Fine,” Rain grumbled. “What is Messina like?”

“It’s the capital of Erya, and the seat of the Council and High King. Probably the most peaceful city in our lands because of the Kingsguard and Peacekeepers. You’ll be safe there, it’s not like the city you’re used to.”

“I was safe where I was,” Rain huffed. “Despite what you think, I am fully capable of taking care of myself. I have done for years!”

“You’re a child”, he replied dismissively, making her grind her teeth in anger.

“I’m not a child!” she snapped. “And even if I was, you were once a child living on the streets, and you’re still alive.”

She could feel that he was growing exasperated. “It’s not the same,” he muttered. “You can’t compare a grubby boy running around on the streets to a beautiful girl. It may not be fair, but that’s the way the world is.”

Rain wasn’t sure whether to feel offended by his belief that she couldn’t defend herself, or thank him for the unintended compliment. “I’ve managed fine,” she finally said. “I’m really quick on my feet.”

“Sooner or later you would meet someone quicker,” Ereptus said.

She sighed. There was no use arguing with him, he wouldn’t ever believe that she could take care of herself. Gaylen had been exactly the same, always worrying when she was out on the streets.

The horse slowed down, and Rain leaned over to look at the road ahead, but Ereptus’ back was too wide for her to be able to see anything.

“Why are you slowing down?” she asked.

“There’s a carriage standing on the road,” Ereptus told her. “I think one of the wheels has been damaged.”

They got closer to the carriage. A man, who was most likely the driver was trying to get the damaged wheel off, but it was a futile effort without assistance. A beautiful lady was standing next to the carriage. Ereptus quickly offered to help the man, who was quick to agree. With some help, it was a quick job to replace the broken wheel with a spare one.

“I must be allowed to thank you,” the lady gushed when they were done, her gaze raking over Ereptus in a way that made Rain feel sick to her stomach. “Please, ride with me in my carriage to the next town, and allow your horse some rest.”

“We would be most pleased to do so,” Ereptus said with a bow and a wink that made the lady giggle girlishly.

While he was tying their horse to the back of the carriage, the lady gave Rain a disdainful look and stepped in. Rain realised that she must look terrible to a fine lady, dressed in her patched hoses and dirty tunic as she was. She’d never cared about her appearance, but compared to the lady, she looked like something a cat had dragged in.

“Come on, kid,” Ereptus said, holding up the carriage door for her. “Let’s join the lady.” The grin Ereptus gave her when he said that made her uncomfortable.

Inside the carriage, Rain ended up spending most of the time in a corner petting Peeves inside her tunic, fascinated with the game Ereptus and the lady played. Both seemed to have forgotten that Rain was there at all. It was as if they were dancing, but with words instead of feet. Used as she was to see Ereptus mainly surly or with no expression at all, Rain found it unsettling to see him smile and be as charming as any gentleman, if not more.

He had the lady blushing repeatedly, her gaze never leaving him for a second. Sometimes the things he told the lady almost made Rain want to laugh, they were so ridiculous. He gave her compliments on her eyes, her skin, her hair, and any other thing he could possibly think of.

Towards the end of the day they finally reached a small town and it was time for them to part from the lady and her carriage. Ereptus took a long farewell of the lady, whispering something in her ear, then bowing low and slowly kissing her hand. Then he took their horse and went with Rain down the street.

Once they were out of sight from the carriage he spat something out in his hand and looked at it. Curious, Rain peeked. It was a golden ring filled with pale, blue gemstones.

“This should give us some food and a roof over our heads for a few nights,” he said, sounding quite pleased with himself.

Rain couldn’t help it but burst out laughing. It seemed to surprise Ereptus, who was staring at her.

“What is so funny?” he asked, almost seeming offended.

“All that gooey talk with the lady was just to get to her ring?” Rain grinned.

Ereptus shrugged, but couldn’t hide his grin from her. “It’s an easy way to keep a lady’s concentration elsewhere.”

“You have guts,” Rain admitted. “I’ve stolen a few things myself, but I would never dare to steal something right off their finger!”

“It’s not so hard,” Ereptus said. “Although I suppose it would be harder for you to get away with kissing a lady’s hand.”

Rain chuckled. Ereptus looked at her, but she couldn’t determine what he was thinking. It almost seemed as if he wasn’t sure how to handle her when she wasn’t grumpy and disliking him.

They quickly found a less than honest man in a shabby store where Ereptus quickly sold off the ring for a nice, round sum. After that they went to an inn and got a room for the night. As the stores were still open Ereptus took Rain with him to a clothing store.

“I think you should have some decent clothes before we reach Messina,” he told her with a pointed look towards her clothes. To his obvious surprise, she didn’t protest. She’d realised it herself. If she was going to start a new life, she couldn’t walk around looking the way she did.

They were lucky and found a store that had clothes that were already sown. Ereptus bought her a simple skirt, a pair of sandals and a tunic with a belt to tie it at the waist. Rain went back to the inn after this, while Ereptus stayed in town to look at a few more things.

After riding for two full days she felt dirtier than ever and asked the innkeeper for a bath. She was told there was a small bath house behind the inn, so she quickly made use of it. When Ereptus returned to their room she was sitting on her bed, dressed in her new clothes, brushing her long, wet hair. Ereptus closed the door without taking his eyes off her. He came and sat down on the bed opposite hers, almost sitting down on Peeves, who had been slumbering there in his absence.

Frowning, he picked up the little dragon and put him next to Rain on her bed, then sat down again on his own. “How old are you, kid?” he asked, looking at her.

Rain shrugged. “I’m not entirely certain. I think sixteen or seventeen.”

Ereptus gave her a quick nod, removed his tunic and boots and went to bed. Rain finished brushing her hair, blew out the light and went to bed as well.

Scheduling Time to Write/Revise

I’m learning from my mistakes, and realizing that my original idea to write in the evenings just isn’t going to happen. In the past I lived on my own and could write whenever, but since just over a year back I live with my partner, and have discovered that I can’t write with him around. We share a desk, so he’s right next to me – which is nothing short of distracting. Especially when he’s yelling at random strangers in a computer game.

The new plan is to write in the afternoon when I get home from work. I usually have a couple of hours before he arrives, so that will be my writing time. As long as I can stay awake, that is. Definitely my biggest issue at the moment.

Once my new job starts, I’ll have even more time every day before the partner comes home, since I’ll either have a day off – or I’ll be coming off the night shift and will have from whenever I wake up to when he comes home.

I definitely need to schedule my time though, because if I think “oh, I can write whenever” – it doesn’t happen. There are too many other things that I’m doing. (Most of all sleeping, or working. My life is filled with excitement, as you can see.)

My goal from now on will be to revise at least one chapter per day. I’d like to schedule some writing in there too, but I haven’t quite decided what I’ll work on first. To ease myself back into writing I might just finish off a couple of short stories (not for publication) that I have lying around. Get my fingers (and brain!) warmed up again with something that’s not as important as something I plan to publish.

What are your goals and how do you schedule your writing time?

Change is Coming

2017 is a year of change for me. It has to be, since I am determined to get back to writing and get my novel published. One of the reasons that I was unable to do pretty much anything last year was that my chronic fatigue coupled with my current job was sapping me of all my energy. Literally.

I would force myself out of bed in the mornings, already exhausted. I’d spend my day at work, keeping up a happy front, not letting people know how bone-tired I really was. Then as soon as I came home, I’d just deflate basically. Unable to keep my eyes open, I’d fall asleep and easily waste hours. Eventually I’d force myself up again, make some dinner. Maybe have an hour or two of trying to stay awake before going to bed for the night.

I’m writing it in past tense, but that is still the case today. It’s a struggle, and I can’t keep doing it. I get nothing done outside of working, since all I seem to do is sleep. Writing suffers. My chores around the home suffer. I suffer.

So, with that in mind – I’m making changes.

In an effort to get some energy back, I’ve quit my job and I’m instead going to a different job that is three nights a week rather than five days a week. It’s my hope that this will solve some of my lack of energy, since I won’t work as many days straight in a row – giving me more time to recuperate some energy. Which in turn should also give me more time to write (and do the other things that need doing).

It’s possible that it’s not going to make a difference, that I’m just too far gone into the rabbit hole of tiredness and exhaustion – but I have to try, because I can’t keep going like this.

Fingers crossed, that this will pay off – and I can get into a good routine of work, sleep, writing and having a bit of a life again.

2017 (!)

I can’t believe that it’s 2017 already. Where did the time go? This means that I am out of excuses, since I’ve been saying that this year is when I will get back to writing and get my stuff into gear.

So, I need to make a plan. A writing/editing plan. Keeping in mind of course the available time I have, and my limitations in regards to my chronic pain and fatigue. I don’t want to have another burn out, but I also don’t want another year of doing virtually no writing. This is it. I’m going to publish at least one of my books this year. It “only” needs some editing. (I say “only”, because it needs a lot of editing and editing is hard work.)

I don’t really want to do New Year’s Resolutions, as I don’t necessarily believe in the whole “new year, new me”-thing. But I would like to put some goals up for the year.

  • Create a writing/editing schedule and stick to it.
  • New blog theme, including a new header. I find it difficult to choose something I like. It needs to be easy to read while also easy on the eyes, and not too boring.
  • Get better at commenting on other blogs.
  • Read more books (maybe review them?).
  • Finish up my short stories.
  • Publish first book (self-publish as e-book) before the end of the year.

Non writing/blog related ones are:

  • Start getting rid of and sorting through all the boxes of stuff just “hanging around”.
  • Finally sort out the closet in the hallway. It’s a mess!
  • Figure out a better way to store things in the kitchen. It’s small and I desperately need to figure out better solutions to fit things!
  • Home improvements (lots of rooms need painting etc. and we’ve been here a year now, no more excuses!).

What are your goals/resolutions for 2017?

Gift Ideas for Writers and Readers

With the holidays coming up, I thought it might be nice to share some gift ideas for your friends or family members that are writers, readers – or both!

lunchbox

How about this Lunch Box Book from The Literary Gift Company? I wouldn’t mind bringing this beauty to work. You can find it in three different colours. If you don’t like that, The Literary Gift Company has a whole site filled with amazing gift ideas for the literary connoisseur.

 

 

mugA coffee mug for the coffee-drinking writer from Zazzle.

kindle-cover

Marston Bindery makes these amazing covers for Kindles and other e-readers that look like real books. This one is the original look of the first publication of Pride & Prejudice, but they have lots of other ones as well.

notebook

Or why not a beautiful notebook for jotting down all of those plot ideas that come to you at the oddest of times? This particular one is from Etsy.

hp-pillow

You can never have enough throw pillows, right? (Not right, according to my partner who has forbidden me from buying any more, but what does he know?) Here’s one in the shape of a Hogwarts letter, for all those of us who waited for ours in vain… And if you don’t want that, there are so many amazing things that you can find at Society6.

poe-mug

Another mug, because like throw pillows; you can never have enough! This one has Edgar Allan Poe quotes, but they have several other mugs and a lot of other fun bits and bobs as well over at the Writers Store.

socks

You could always wear a pair of socks that lets your surrounding know that you’re deep in a book and should not be disturbed, except of course to bring you your wine.

iphone6

An iPhone case that looks like the classic Moby Dick. I have one that looks like a generic book from BookBook, but this one is lovely as well.

There are many, many more gifts ideas out there for readers and writers, but I have to stop somewhere, and I think we’ve reached the end, at least for now. Does any one else have any good gift ideas for writers and/or readers?

A White Rose (part 1)

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place.


The sun’s last beams gave the old city a warm glow, but that didn’t make Ereptus feel any more comfortable. He’d left the city years ago, to never return, but now he’d felt obligated to come back. An old friend had asked him to, and since Ereptus owed him his life, he couldn’t ignore the summon when it had come.

Few people were still outside, so Ereptus could easily walk down the streets and alleys without being seen. He didn’t want to bump into any of the people he’d had time to upset while he lived there. Walking down a back alley he heard some muffled shouts and the sounds of a subdued fight. Against better judgment he turned towards the noise and saw two men who were attacking a young girl. The girl was skinny, but she fought well.

Normally Ereptus would just leave the scene. He’d made a habit of staying out of other people’s business, but something about the girl’s desperate, yet futile, resistance made him step closer. The girl caught sight of him then, in between kicking one of the men in the groin, and grabbing the other’s hair making him scream. Ereptus froze.

The girl must be young, not a day over fifteen, but probably younger still. What caught him most by surprise though were her eyes. They were a pale green, so pale that they seemed more yellow than green. He’d never seen such eyes before and they completely captivated him.

Then the moment of stillness was over; both men had recovered from their current states and were advancing on the girl again. Ereptus then did something he’d never done before. He stepped in to help the girl. With a few swift movements, he had the two men unconscious on the ground. One didn’t spend a whole life living on the streets without acquiring some useful tricks.

The girl was getting up, brushing some dust off her patched trousers. Ereptus gave her a quick look over. She seemed to be all right, so he’d stepped in before the men could do any real harm. She wasn’t as skinny as he’d first thought, even if she was very slender. Her clothes had certainly seen better days. She wore a pair of torn leather boots, a pair of patched trousers and a too large tunic that she’d tied closed at the waist with a dirty rope. Had it not been for her face and long hair, she’d have looked like a young boy. Her skin was fair without even a hint towards a tan, he could see the fairness of the skin even through the dirt that covered most of it.

Her hair was long and tangled in a dark walnut brown. Her face was still young, but already beautiful, too beautiful to be a regular street urchin. No girl of any age with those looks would have made it this long. She had arched eyebrows, a small, straight nose and soft lips. He could see her ears vaguely under her hair, their form telling him that she was an elf. Her eyes were still the most peculiar about her though, he’d never seen anyone with eyes that were almost yellow before.

The girl glared at him. Even though he was used to surveying people in a quick glance, she must have noticed that he was looking at her. Her peculiar eyes had made him look longer than usual.

“Who are you?” the girl finally asked.

“I’m Ereptus. I might ask you the same question.”

“It doesn’t matter who I am,” the girl said dismissively and started to turn away from him to leave. “Thank you for saving me, not that I couldn’t have handled it myself, but I must be on my way.”

She started walking down the alley, stepping over the bodies of the two men who were still lying unconscious on the ground, but Ereptus caught her by the arm and forced her to stop.

“Now, hold there, kid. You don’t just walk out on me.” He glared down at her. “I want a name first. I didn’t just go through the trouble of saving you just to get dismissed.”

The girl glared right back up at him. “I was doing fine!” she proclaimed. “I can very well take care of myself.”

Ereptus didn’t comment on that, but gave her a look that told her he didn’t agree. “Maybe I should just wake those two men up and let them try to rob you again?” he said.

The girl glanced down at the two men and shuddered slightly. “I’d prefer if you didn’t,” she admitted, and then looked back up at him. She seemed somewhat uncomfortable, and Ereptus realised that she was worried he’d want something for saving her. Which shouldn’t have surprised him. That had always been the way on the streets.

“Why did you save me?” then girl suddenly asked warily.

“Damned if I know,” Ereptus muttered to himself.

That moment he heard running steps in the alley behind him and he quickly pulled his dagger and turned around to face whoever was coming. But he didn’t let go of the girl’s arm.

“Rain? Are you all right?” a man was panting.

“I will be when this brute lets go of me,” the girl said with a glare at Ereptus, she seemed to have regained her courage. Ereptus let her go.

He looked at the man who’d just arrived. It was his old friend. A suspicion started to form in the back of Ereptus’ mind, but he sure hoped he was wrong.

“Gaylen?” Ereptus said and his friend started and looked at him, then he smiled when he recognised Ereptus.

“I’ll be damned! Ereptus, mate. I hardly recognised you! Last time I saw you, you were still a gangly brat.” Gaylen grinned as he said this, walked up to Ereptus and slapped him on the back. “It’s good to see you, old friend.”

Ereptus couldn’t say the same. He was still feeling uncomfortable being back in the city where he’d spent most of his life. It hadn’t been a very good life. Gaylen had grown a lot older during the last few years. He had a lot of grey in his dark hair, and his eyes looked tired.

“So… You’ve taken in a new brat?” Ereptus nodded towards the elf girl.

Gaylen looked somewhat uncomfortable. “Um… Yes. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” Ereptus sighed. “Let’s go to your house and talk there.”

The older man nodded, took the girl by her hand and started walking down the alley towards his home, which Ereptus knew to lie a block or two away. Ereptus fell in behind them, keeping a little distance. He could see that Gaylen was hissing at the girl, most likely scolding her for being out alone this close to nightfall. The city wasn’t safe for anyone after the dark settled. It was barely safe during the day.

Gaylen had once helped Ereptus. He’d taken him in when he’d been badly injured in a fight and nursed him back to health. Ereptus had stayed with him for a while, helping the old man by stealing him extra food and money. After a while Ereptus had left the city though, he’d gained too many enemies. It seemed that now Gaylen had a new charge in the dirty little girl that was walking next to him, flinching when he said something she didn’t like.

 

*****

 

Once they’d reached Gaylen’s house they gathered around a small wooden table. Gaylen put out some water and bread for them to eat.

Ereptus was still casting glances at the girl now and then. For some reason, he couldn’t stop. She had been told to clean up, which had been needed since her face had been all but covered in grime and dirt, and her face was now clean. She reminded him of a white rose standing alone in a withered garden. The city wasn’t for someone like her. She’d tied back her long hair and Ereptus finally saw her ears clearly, which confirmed his suspicion that she was an elf, or at least a half elf. Her eyes had the correct shape for it.

“I found her on the streets some years back,” Gaylen said when he noticed Ereptus’ interest in the girl. “She’d just been abandoned by her father. He’d traveled to our city with her, and then didn’t bother to take her back home.”

The girl seemed to find the subject uncomfortable. She grabbed a loaf of bread and a cup of water and disappeared.

“Why did you take her in?” Ereptus asked.

“Look at her,” the older man said. “She doesn’t belong on the streets. I don’t know where she’s from, but she’s not your regular street urchin.”

Ereptus nodded. He’d thought the same thing himself.

“She knows magic.” The last admission from Gaylen surprised him. Magic was a rare gift, or a curse, depending on who you asked.

“Mind you, she doesn’t know half as much as she once will,” Gaylen said. “She’s untrained, and we’re trying to keep it secret. To keep her safe.”

Ereptus looked at his old friend. “That favour you want from me,” he said slowly. “It’s regarding her, isn’t it?”

The older man nodded. “I want you to bring her to the city of Messina. There are Sorcerer’s there that can teach her to use her powers. Help her control them. It’s a peaceful city. She’d be safe there.”

“You want me to bring her with me?” Ereptus asked, his voice more incredulous than he’d have expected, since he’d suspected this was what Gaylen wanted.

“Yes. She can’t stay her.”

Ereptus started to protest, but Gaylen cut in before he got a word out. “Once you’re there you don’t need to ever see her again. Just make sure she’s taken to the city, let her know where to find the Sorcerers, then you can leave her. I ask you this favour, and then your debt to me is paid.”

With a sigh Ereptus nodded. He couldn’t refuse his friend’s request. He stood up.

“Have her pack and be ready in the morning. I want to leave at dawn.”

Gaylen nodded and Ereptus left the small house. He was going to stay at a nearby inn for the night.

 

*****

 

The next morning Ereptus met Gaylen and the girl outside the older man’s house. The girl was arguing, she didn’t want to be sent away. She was ranting and raving and all Ereptus could do was to stand by and watch. He was amazed that Gaylen could hold his temper with the girl. Ereptus would have put her over his knees and given her a good spanking a long time ago.

“Gaylen, I don’t want to go to this Messina place!” the girl whined. “I like it here. With you.”

“You’ll be better off in Messina,” Gaylen said. “This city is no good for a girl like you. You’ve already gotten into a lot of trouble. It’s a miracle you haven’t been killed or sold as a slave by now.”

“I can take care of myself!” the girl said confidently. “You know I can. How else would I have made it this long?”

“You’ve been lucky,” Gaylen said, and cut her off when she was about to say something else. “There is no discussion, Rain. You’re going to Messina, and you’re going to learn to control your magic.”

The girl glared at Ereptus, as if he was the reason she had to leave. She leaned closer to Gaylen to whisper something, but years of training had made Ereptus’ hearing pretty good, and he could still hear her. “I don’t trust him, Gaylen. He worries me.”

Gaylen chuckled and stroked the girl’s hair. “He’s all right. He’s no happier than you are about the arrangement.”

The girl snorted at that.

A short while later the girl took fare well of Gaylen, and Ereptus lifted her up on the horse he’d stolen at the inn that morning. He’d figured a horse would make the trip go faster, and the quicker he reached Messina, the sooner he could get rid of her.

Ereptus took a quick fare well of Gaylen, then sat up in front of the girl and set the horse in motion. They rode in silence for most of the day, Ereptus because he didn’t know what to talk about with a young girl, her because she was still fuming after having had to leave against her will. Also, which Ereptus noticed since she had barely touched him to hold on to the horse, she only held on to a piece of his tunic, she was still distrustful of him. She might trust Gaylen, but she wouldn’t trust Ereptus simply because Gaylen did. Clever girl.

Towards the end of the day she finally spoke. “How long will it take us to reach this place?”

“Maybe a week, maybe longer,” Ereptus said.

After that they were quiet again. When the sun started to set, they stopped right inside the edge of a small forest to set camp for the night.

“This should be one of the few nights we need to sleep outside,” Ereptus told her. “For the rest of the journey we should pass through enough towns and villages to find an inn to stay at.”

The girl nodded, but said nothing. They ate in silence, and Ereptus noticed that she kept putting small pieces of bread inside her tunic.

“What are you doing?” he finally asked her irritably.

The girl looked up at him. “I’m feeding Peeves.”

“Peeves?” Ereptus frowned.

The girl stuck her hand inside her tunic and pulled out a blue-grey little beast.

“A lizard?” Ereptus laughed silently. “You have a pet lizard?”

“It’s a dragon, thank you very much!” the girl snapped, her hand patting the little dragon softly. It was very small, only a little bigger than her hand, and it had wound its tail around one of her fingers.

Ereptus got closer to look at the little beast, and he could see that it was indeed a small dragon rather than a lizard. This trip was only getting more strange. Dragons were incredibly rare, generally considered to be extinct except for a few of the smaller breeds that rarely grew larger than cats in size.

“That’s a peculiar pet,” he said.

“I’m a peculiar girl,” Rain said and put the little dragon back inside her tunic. Then she turned her back at him, lay down and went to sleep.

Ereptus looked at her for a moment, then lay down to get some sleep himself. The more he found out about her, the stranger the situation seemed. Elves were rarely seen in the cities, yet her father had abandoned her in one. She had the gift of magic, which was nearly as rare as the pat dragon she kept in her clothes. Pondering what he’d gotten himself into, Ereptus finally fell asleep.


You can read Part 2 here.

Pinterest

A few years after everyone else, I finally discovered Pinterest. While it’s definitely something that makes you feel inadequate, it’s also great for inspiration and ideas. I’ve started boards for some of my writing, as well as for general use.

If you’d like to keep an eye on my Pinterest, you can find it here.

Amongst other things, I have boards for:

Writing Help

Writing Help

Inspiration for Home

Inspiration for Home

Writing Inspiration / Quotes

Writing Inspiration / Quotes

 

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Tonight I went to the cinema to see the new JK Rowling movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

It’s not really a Harry Potter prequel or sequel per se, but it does take place in the Harry Potter universe. To be exact, about 70 years before the first Harry Potter book. I’m a big HP fan, so I admittedly am somewhat biased when it comes to this movie. If you come into this movie with no knowledge of the HP universe, you can still enjoy it as a good movie – but I think that you definitely get a lot more out of the movie if you do know the universe that you’re stepping into a bit. There are some little nods to the original books, but the story can hold up quite well on its own.

fantasticbeastsposter

The story is about Newt Scamander, who you might remember from the original books as the author of the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“, that Harry and his class mates study in school. I find it quite amazing how JK Rowling has taken a tiny reference in the original books, and made a whole new series out of it.

Newt, a British wizard, is having a brief stop in New York with his case full of magical creatures. It would have been a brief and uneventful visit, had the case not gotten lost and some of the creatures escaped. We get to see Newt trying to get his beasts back, while trying to avoid getting into trouble with the Magical Congress (American version of Ministry of Magic), and things quite quickly get out of hand.

There’s a lot more to the story than I originally thought, and I really enjoyed delving deeper into the wizard world. It’s also interesting seeing the differences between the British/European wizard world and the American one. The cinematography is beautiful, and the beasts themselves a combination of adorable, imaginative and impressive.

Eddie Redmayne is a brilliant Newt Scamander, and I must say that I really enjoyed Colin Farrell as Graves. Dan Fogler deserves a mention as well, as the “no-maj” (American name for a “muggle”) that ends up entangled in Newt’s mess, and allows us to see things from his eyes in a world that he didn’t know existed.

I don’t want to say too much about the movie, because I don’t want to risk spoiling it. There are a few things about it that bothered me, but because they are mainly in regards to plot twists and things that happen later in the movie, I won’t get into them here.

All in all, I think it’s a film that’s definitely worth seeing, especially if you enjoy the world of Harry Potter.

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?

Day of Fare Well

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place.


It was a dull and grey day with rain pelting the large windows of the spacious country house. Apart from the smattering of the rain the villa seemed eerily quiet and subdued with not a single light lit. Sara felt cold and slightly uncomfortable where she was standing in the hall with her back towards the living room. Without having looked she knew that her parents would be on opposite sides of the house; they had been for several days now. Rather than seeking each other’s comfort they had secluded themselves in their own misery.

Looking to the tall, blond man at her side Sara made a nod towards one side of the house.

“My mother will be there,” she said quietly. It felt odd to speak when the house was so quiet, as if she was disturbing a sacred realm of silence.

The man who had not left her side the past few days nodded.

“You know what you must do,” he said. “I will leave you now.”

Overwhelmed by a sudden fear of being left alone Sara turned her head sharply and screamed. “No! Don’t leave me! Did you hear me? I said no!”

She tried to grab hold of him but he had already catapulted out of reality, leaving her alone in the chilly hall. For the past few days he had not left her side and it felt as if a part of her had disappeared with him. Rubbing the cold skin on her arm she hesitantly started to walk towards the bedroom where she knew that her mother would be.

In the bedroom her mother was sitting on the bed propped up against the headboard. Her face was devoid of make-up and her hair hadn’t been washed for several days. A half empty box of tissues was lying on the bed next to her, and a photo frame was lying on the floor with its face down, having been dropped as her mother nodded off. Even unwashed and with the obvious streaks from tears on her face one could see that the woman on the bed was attractive. She looked restful in her slumber, but there was no mistaking the sadness in her features.

Sara knelt to pick up the photo frame on the floor. Taking a look at it she found that it was a picture of the family taken last summer when they had visited the Grand Canyon. Her parents looked very happy and very much in love, both holding an arm around Sara who was standing in the middle. Placing the photo frame gently in her mother’s lap Sara leaned forward and kissed her softly on the cheek.

“Everything will be all right,” she promised in a whisper.

Her mother shifted restlessly in her sleep, but as her hand found the photo frame she settled down again. Sara quietly left the room.

Making her way across the house she avoided the living room and went to her father’s study. As she had expected her father was sitting behind his desk with his elbows propped on the surface and his face buried in his hands. A glass and an almost empty bottle of brandy were the only things on the desk, everything else had been shoved off in a fit of temper and was lying scattered on the floor.
Her father had always been a handsome man, but it almost seemed as if his salt and pepper hair had turned more salt than pepper in the past few days. Sara moved silently to her father’s side and touched his shoulder gently, but he didn’t react. Leaning closer Sara whispered in his ear.

“Don’t worry. Everything is fine,” she breathed softly. “Take care of mom, she needs you. And you need her. Don’t forget that.”

As her father stirred slightly Sara moved away, but he didn’t make any sign of having heard her. Then he stood up and ran a hand through his ruffled hair, looking sadly out the door towards the other side of the house. Sara took a few steps further away as he moved around the desk and started walking. Following him silently across the house Sara watched as he stopped for a second to glance into the living room before he continued to the bedroom at the end of the hall. Sara stood quietly by the entrance to the living room and watched as her father tenderly roused her mother from her sleep.
The two adults looked at each other for a moment in silence and then embraced, holding on as if they would never again let go. Sara felt a little warmer, the house was finally coming back to life. Turning to the living room she went inside and continued to the room’s current main feature.

The open mahogany casket was placed in the middle of the room and was flanked by two large flower wreaths. Sara looked at her own pale form lying inside the casket and felt a small stab of pain at having to leave this world. Yet she was grateful that her many months of pain were finally over, and her parents had finally found their way back to each other.

“Are you ready?” The tall man who had stood guard by her bed as her life slipped away had returned to stand by her side before the casket.

Sara nodded and took the man’s offered hand. As he closed his fingers around hers she felt an odd tingling in her body as the world around her began to dissolve for another kind of reality.

The Repository

Posts marked as Repository are old stories and poems that I’m putting on here for safekeeping. One of my hard drives blew up, and I lost most of my old stories. Fortunately a friend had copies of some, and I found another few on an old website. As I go through them and format them I will be dumping them on here.

They’re nearly all written when I was a teenager, so my writing isn’t the best (then again, it still isn’t, I’m always working on getting better), but you’re all welcome to read them.

I have made a page on the site, also called Repository, where I will link to each new post in the category so that they’ll be easy to find. There I will also put a tiny bit of information about the story.