A Lenria’s Tale – First Chapter

A/N:

This is the first chapter to the prequel story I started back in 2015. This is as far as I ended up writing for it, but I do intend on completing this story at some point in the future.

This ‘chapter’ is quite short because I never actually finished it, but it still ends somewhat decently. 

As I said in my previous post, I have been away for a while but I am coming back in full force. Keep an eye on my YouTube channel, that’s where I’ll be devoting a good amount of my energy, other than working on new stories that I intend to self-publish by the end of the year.

Things might get a bit crazy over the course of this year.

I’ll leave it at that.

Hope you enjoy reading this, and I’ll see you around sooner than the last time I posted about that.  


I

So, here I sit, shrouded in angst. Resentful. Hateful. Vengeful. I am them all and so much more. I am the dark that stalks the light, bound and imprisoned by an eternal fate no weeping could wither. I am many things, but never regretful.

No, because it is now I who shall determine my fate. It is my words that shall spin this story, my hands that paint the picture, my will that tells the tale. A tale of a young girl destined to destroy. A girl spawned to spawn calamity in turn.

And so we begin where the first signs of calamity did, and to do so we shall take a trip down memory lane to a distant place that’s flames have long since extinguished. To the place which I was born, to my home town of Forswin.

As you may have guessed, Forswin was not a particularly well-known or talked about town. The town just about struggled on, held barely stable by its farming industry–if the town was known for anything, it would be that. The population would always remain in the dozens, a small town of people who simply wanted to go about their day without any trouble.

Myths of magical creatures that hid amongst the human populace had spread like wildfire. There were talks of what to do with them, but the problem was no one knew what they looked like, all we knew was they looked like us.

In Forswin, a town where nobody dealt with the supernatural, where myths and legends remained just that, and we lived in peace as the world turned, and the mysteries turned with it. It was as though no world existed outside our own. But that’s what makes what happened perhaps truly humorous.

Several months after the initial rumors had begun spreading, a new claim emerged. People began saying that all the alleged creatures were women. Of course, you know what happened at that point. The men scoffed it off, their egos too fragile, too arrogant to accept such a thing. “It’s just old fisher wives tales,” they’d say.

The world laughed as stories of magical women became commonplace. But not in Forswin. You see, something the town was frequent in doing – though not as well-known for – was their pious witch hunts. The inhabitants to the small town had believed women possessed supernatural ability for decades, but they always believed that something made them immune to it. That being mostly cut off from the world – save for their farming –  also severed all ties to the hellish Void that corrupted it.

I don’t need to tell you how preposterous that is. Anyway, it was not too long after a fire erupted in one of the small homes in the town that minds began to change, reconsidering what may be. And any doubt that lingered in their minds dissipated when they saw the young, black-haired girl leaving the burning house, not a scar or wound to her. And when they saw those glistening devilish red eyes of hers, what were they to think?

“Witch!” they hissed. “Foul demon! Burn her!” They’d rush for their rusted swords, knees wobbling and arms obviously untrained. They’d not seen action for the past century. The townspeople were out of touch with reality. But on that day they came back to it.

Of course, the girl who limped out of the house was me. And of course, I was far too naïve to understand my power. I had indeed burned the house, but there had been no one in it. What exactly was the problem? Sure, they’d have to rebuild it, it’d be costly, but was that any reason to call me a witch? When Madeline Arell somehow burnt her stew every other day was that because she was a witch? When Aran Nock lusted over Sweet Susie, was that because she was using her witchery to seduce him?

Of course, it wasn’t. But I didn’t think about that. I just ran. I ran as far from the town as I could, straight into Forswin Forest.

And that was where they caught me. Where they shot me down, piercing my lower thigh with an arrow. Where I fell, and first learned what pain, bloody, violent pain truly felt like.

As I bled amongst the autumn leaves, screaming in agonizing pain. Oh, oh if only I knew just what would happen to them only moments after.

That is what makes the beginning all the more important. That is what led to this path to darkness.


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Lairé (Flash Fiction)

A/N:

This was my entry to a flash fiction competition. It was my first time submitting and even writing a story this short, and I managed to get first place!

This story honestly came from nowhere. I had a completely different idea to begin with, then this just popped into mind. Whatever the reasoning behind its origin, I’m very proud of it.

As it’s currently the freshest thing I’ve written (as in completely original and unrelated to my first novel), I’m excited to see what directions my increased ability might open for me.

Enjoy!  


Lairé

At the sandy shore of a coast, there was a boy who asked a simple question. “Are you a siren?”

And at the edge of a shallow sea, there was a girl who gave a simple answer. “No.”

“What are you then?”

The girl frowned before gesturing to her scaled tail. “A mermaid, of course.”

The boy mirrored her expression. “What’s the difference?”

With hands on hips, the girl eyed him wearily. “Sirens are not born.” And then suddenly, she tugged on his shirt and pulled him close for a kiss, before swimming off into the morning sun.

The boy spent the rest of that day thinking only about the gracious dips and dives of the majestic creature. So, of course, like any enamoured youth, he ran back to the same spot the following day. She was there again, still singing her sweet songs.

This time, he asked her name.

“Lairé,” she told him.

Thus, began the first of many shared mornings for the following decade.

They each told stories of their side of the world, his of land and hers of sea. They laughed at the foolish misconceptions that one thought of the other. They sung together… or at least, Lairé sung. And after Lairé taught the boy how to swim, they sometimes swam together.

And of course, they aged together.

It was only a matter of weeks after his eighteenth birthday when the letter came. As the boy turned man held the paper in his hand, he cursed his fate.

He went to the coast on that morning. He knew what he had to say, but lacked the strength to. Lairé swam over in that mesmerising way she always did, humming a smooth tune that gently swept across the sea.

At first, Lairé’s eyes were bright, but then they dimmed. “You’re going to war.”

“What gave it away?”

“I have felt the change in the currents for a long time. I’ve always known this day would come.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You could come with me,” she says, hopeful. “There is a small island not far from here. Nobody lives there, but you could. I could bring you food from the sea, and supplies from downed ships. We could be–”

“No.” He had spent many hours pondering the possibilities. He even knew of better, more sensible ones than she suggested. But the choice was made. “I have to go, Lairé. Not for king and country, but for my family. If I leave to be with you, I will forever hate myself.”

Lairé gave only a somber look as she said, “Come back to me.”

With all the honesty of his heart, the man said, “I will.”

From then on, Lairé waited for many moons.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

As the world slowly changed, so did she. Something within her grew cold and weary. There was a wave of something resentful, a steady increase of ire. Her once-sweet songs became bitter things soaked in spite and vile, and her soft hums became harsh whispers.

On one cold and quiet night, she came across a shipwreck. She dived beneath, scouring for whatever treasures she may find. Most of the crew had perished. Except one.

His face had changed just as hers had. It was clear he was now a man of many battles, not all fought with weapons of war. But beneath that, was that same boy.

Lairé brought him as close to their shore as she could. She held his limp body close to her chest, his gentle breaths a final blessing.

Her kind possessed only one power, one she had forever considered a curse. But tonight, on this first and final night they would share together, she was thankful for it.

Lairé closed her eyes and placed her hand on his forehead. She removed any trace of her existence from his memory. She took these memories not out of anger, but out of her last piece of love.

This was Lairé’s final gift. A chance for him to continue living without the pain of remembrance.

She whispered in his ear. “Sirens are not born.”  She then kissed him one last time. “Because they are made.” She pushed the man she once loved into the sea, letting the currents bring him ashore.

Lairé took one last look at him before swimming away across the moonlit ocean, leaving him to a life of lost memories, as she lived on with forlorn melodies.


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The Aspiring Goddess

A/N:

I cannot tell you anything about this short story, except this: it’s related to my flagship series. Perhaps one day you’ll appreciate it in a new way, perhaps not. Either way, you should be able to appreciate it on it’s own.


“If I were a Goddess,” Child One begins, “I would make everyone think like me.”

Child Two laughs at this. “Like you?” she teases. “That would be boring. Nobody would ever smile.” Her legs dangle off the edge of the cliff, she swings them back and forth and pays no mind to the waves that come crashing beneath them.

Child One never smiles because there is nothing to smile at. Smiling is illogical. “That is why I must become a Goddess,” she says. “Because people allow senseless things like boredom to get in the way of what you all claim to desire.”

“And what do we claim to desire then?” Child Two challenges.

Child One spares no second with her response. “World peace. You all say you want it, but you are not willing to give up the only thing that stops you from getting it. Illogical.”

Child Two stops swinging her legs, cocks her head, and frowns. “We should give up all our emotions if we want peace?” She shakes her head. “That does not make sense.”

“It makes perfect sense,” Child One says speedily. “You, like all others, are too emotional, too illogical, too human, to understand. You think loving someone to the point of wanting to sacrifice yourself is logical? You think hating someone based on ignorance, rather than personal experience, is logical?”

“Hold on,” Child Two makes a forestalling gesture. “Who said ignorance is logical?”

“You all live it,” Child One says unfeelingly. “Maybe you have not yet. But the moment your family is in danger, the moment you are in danger, you will cease to care for anything or anybody beyond your inner circle… if even them. Your emotions will take control, and even if others can help you, even if the situation is not as dire as you believe, you will not care. You will shut all others out, just because of your fear. Fear bred from ignorance.”

The children sit in silence as time turns for many moments. Child One inspects the sky. A veil of red-velvet was beginning to be laid overhead by the Goddess’ hands. Child One knew that would soon be her hands, and soon, she would determine the colour of the sky.

Finally, Child Two spoke again. “How will we ever appreciate a peaceful world without emotions like happiness and joy? And how do you even plan on becoming a Goddess anyway?”

Child One looked out over the sunset-struck sea. “You do not need to appreciate peace,” she began. “You need only live it. To your second question: I will kill Her. I will kill the Goddess, and take everything from her.”

Child Two laughs again.

“What?” Child One asks.

“Didn’t you notice?” Child Two’s smirk becomes a grin. “You’re smiling.”

Child One feels her face, feeling the curve of her lips, the curve that forms smiles. “Yes,” she says, feeling no cheer or surprise. “I am.”


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Listen To Me Pitching To Literary Agents!

After all those weeks of promising and delays, it’s finally done. I swear, writing captions for your video is a damn chore, especially when it’s difficult to sometimes hear what’s being said and there’s a lot of false starts and stuttering.

I realise that I kind of discussed different aspects of the story that I wanted feedback on, with each of the agents. So, it’s not a rehearsed pitch being said three times. I wouldn’t say this is the ideal way of pitching, but honestly, it wasn’t in the most ideal of conditions. My ideal condition would just be more time.

 

I’m sure this goes for most people. But, trying to explain a story that is as complex as mine is really difficult. One of the most rewarding aspects of this however, was that I can always listen back to it and hear where I was messing up. The parts that make me cringe, are the same parts that I need to pay the closest attention to, so that in the future, I can present them in a more polished manner (or not at all).

Were the agents people that I would give my book to? No, because they don’t handle my genre. I knew that. That’s also a reason why I was happy to go. Initially it annoyed me, but I realised the advantage in it. I could practise my pitching in an arena where there was no real losing.
I already knew no deal could arise from this, so I went in only expecting to learn how well my pitching skills were (by having this audio) and also learning how professionals within the industry would respond to it.
At the end of it all, I’m glad to have had the chance to do this and for FREE at that. It was a good experience.
I think my intro at the start says enough about the video, so I won’t say much else.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them!

 


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Setting Goals & Timeframes

The ninth episode of my podcast it out!

In it, I explain how understanding yourself, what goals you have
and the timeframes you have to reach them, can be the determining factor in whether or not you manage to finish your projects.

One thing I forgot to mention, is that if you don’t meet your timeframes, that’s okay. You don’t have to cry about it, you can just set a new one, and aspire to meet that one instead. Hopefully, the original timeframe allowed you to get a decent amount of work done though.

If this sounds interesting, then you should listen to the full episode!

Enjoy!


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Emotive Writing/The Rule of Cool

Emotion is important, perhaps even more important than logic. In this episode, I delve into how emotion in your writing is an understated aspect of what creates memorable stories.

What I realised by the end of this episode, is that this topic is larger for me than I initially realised. I never got to speak about how much connection factors into emotion, but I believe the ‘Rule of Cool’ was handled rather well. But I’d love to really talk about just exactly how significant I believe emotive writing to be.

Perhaps I’ll do another part to this episode, and revisit it at a later date. I just want you to be aware that this episode doesn’t contain everything I have to say about the topic.

Hopefully it is still helpful for you despite all that.

Enjoy!


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The Light Within Tears – Prologue

A/N: This is the prologue to the novel I’ve been working on. The revision for the full story will be done soon, and then it will be in BETA, meaning anyone that wants to read it, can. It’s a short thing, as I believe the best prologues often are. I will post again to remind everyone when the book is available for beta readers. Until then, enjoy this.

Please let me know what you think of it through whatever channels you wish.

And yes, I’m aware I’ve not been posting for two weeks. But don’t worry, there’s a lot of content on the way!

Enjoy! 


Prologue
The Start of The End

“We never foresaw this. We never meant for this to happen. Especially not her. Of all people… especially not her.”

~ Unknown

“This is not your story,” the talking book says to me.

I look at the golden face embossed into its leathery-black cover. Its mouth remains nothing more than a thin line as it speaks.

“I know that,” I say sharply. “But I want to know what happened.”

I’m sitting in a field of brown within a place ruled by darkness. Dark creatures roam the land, some are as small as me, others are much, much larger. Big or small, they don’t bother me. There are thousands of these creatures, but there are no people. All the towns and cities I’ve seen are empty, dirty, dark, broken.

I frown as I glare down at the book. It’s laying on the earthy ground, somehow watching me with its ever-closed eyes.

“You know everything,” I tell it. It likes being flattered, being told how smart it is. “You say you know everything about the past. So, tell me then. Tell me about the past.”

“Indeed, I do know of the past,” the book proudly affirms in its matronly voice. I stifle a smirk; I know the thing too well. “And it is your right to know, Mistress. But to know how the present came to be, I must tell you about the journey of the ones instrumental in its creation. The False Herald, The Misguided Prodigy, and The Aspiring Goddess. I shall tell you the story in three installments, each a year apart.”

“What?” I exclaim. “Why do I have to wait three years to know? I’ll be fifteen by the time I’ve heard the whole story! What’s the point in that?”

“There are some things, Mistress, some stories, that must be experienced in their entirety. Sometimes, that means more than simply knowing the story itself. Sometimes, we must take time out to consider, to understand, to wonder.”

“And…” I narrow my eyes at the damned tome. “Why would I want to do that?”

“Because whilst this is not your story, it is one you ought to know, one you deserve to know, and if you dare to venture into the world beyond the darkness, then it is one you must know.”

“Then tell me it all now!” I demand. “Tell me so I can get out of this cursed place!”

“No, Mistress.”

“No?”

“No. There are many things you may demand of me, but assisting in your death is not one of them. This world hates you. The force that governs it hates you. To face it appropriately you must first be prepared. I shall inform you of the power of your adversaries and teach you about your own. I shall instruct you on how to use me, and when to use me. I shall tell you the story of the past so you may understand the present, and know how to confront the future. And then, and only then, shall you be ready.”

I consider the book’s words. They sound clever and wise, but this blasted book always sounds clever and wise. “And it will take three years?”

“Yes.”

“Fine,” I sigh. “It’s not like I’ve got much better things to do.”

“I must forewarn you, Mistress,” the book says solemnly. “This is a story of tragedy. Indeed, there will be light and joy. Indeed, you may grow attached to these people and their stories. Indeed, you may yearn to return to such times when the sky was a calm blue. But remember, Mistress, this story’s end has been set, and you now live the aftermath of it.”

“I know,” I say, suddenly afraid. Why am I afraid? Like the book says, I know the ending. But then I realise that I don’t. I don’t know the ending, I just know what the world looks like after it. I don’t know why the sky is red, why it screams thunder and spits acid. Or why there are dark creatures everywhere and abandoned cities. But the book tells me I cannot leave here until I do know. I want to see the world outside of this darkness. If knowing this can grant me that, then I am willing to know it all, however long it must take.

So, to the book I say, “Tell me.”

And to me, the book says, “Very well, Mistress. I shall tell you the first story, the story of the light within tears. It begins as many stories do, with a chosen youth with a grand, undeniable Fate. And this youth is a girl of white hair and blue eyes.”


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Science-Fantasy

I have been waiting a while to talk about this! Finally, in episode 7 of the From Zero Podcast, I do. I suppose, in the context of my YouTube channel and content, it’s not been that long. But for me personally, I have wanted to talk about this for quite some time.

Science-fantasy is a genre I have a lot of passion and love for. It’s stupidly underappreciated, and I have abolsutely no idea why. People don’t make stories in science-fantasy settings very often, and I find it mind-boggling.

In this episode, I give my own definition of science-fantasy, as I understand it, and how I feel such a setting can be best created.

If you know of any science-fantasy stories, be sure to recommend them to me. BUT, listen to the whole podcast before you do. You may find my idea of science-fantasy is not exactly the same as yours.

Enjoy!


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Realism in Fantasy Stories

The podcast originally released as normal, but the accompanying blog post somehow… was not.

For whatever reason, this post was published with no text whatsoever. Even though I’m very sure I spent about 10 minutes typing the whole bloody thing out!

Whatever.

Basically, this is the sixth episode of my podcast. I wanted to discuss the matter of ‘realism’ in fantasy stories. I feel like sometimes we get ‘too caught up in the fantasy’ and essentially put some of the realistic elements on the back-burner.

I talk in the video about why this can sometimes happen, why it’s a bit of a problem, and how to resolve it.

Take a listen!


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Three Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

The most typical of all writing topics.

I have wanted to make some shorter videos on various typical topics that writer’s often talk about. Finally, after weeks of putting it off, I did.

In these videos, I will be give my views on these subjects, whilst providing some insight into what has helped me with them in the past.

This is the crucial part of these videos: they’re purely from my own experience. No videos on writing topics that I have never had to deal with. Those topics will be done in separate videos that I will title as ‘Musings’. But more on that when the time comes.

I usually have an odd way of thinking about things, but the first two bits of advice are rather standard. The third isn’t that weird, but it’s something you may have not heard as advice before, and it’s rather useful.

Hope you enjoy the video!


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