Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Monday, November 30, 2015
I am reminded of Damin as I climb, seeing the tower stairs in Normur under my feet. We tried to warn people about the mud and water rising from below … and I found out about Alyssa.
My thoughts shy away … to Horin.
Always so understanding, dear Horin. Ever in the background, and yet he was our mother’s reason for going on after our father died. He was my reason for leaving Grenmassin in search of Damin; I desired to gift my baby brother a full life.
I will see him soon.
Employing that meeting as my inspiration, I continue upward. The lantern alone now lights my way. There are no random sources of illumination upon these otherworldly stairs.
Shadowy doorways appear as I go on, but I ignore all. Now is not the time for sight-seeing; I wish to reach the top as soon as possible.
Time passes I am unaware of. All I know is the agony in my legs. I do not stop, though, for I doubt I will be capable of renewed movement if I do. As my legs take fire, my mind numbs.
Finally, finally, another set of doors is before me. I stand heaving on a landing, clutching the rail, afraid I will fall backwards. Never have I been this depleted of everything.
Here there is dust. On the ancient stone underfoot, on the door knobs, even in the grooves of the carved wood before me. Why? Is this the wrong destination?
Shaking my head to dislodge uncomfortable thoughts, I grip the knobs. At first I do so merely for support. Inhaling deeply to slow my pounding heart, I stand as if otherwise frozen.
Then I turn the mechanisms under my fingers and shove the doors inward.
By the stars!
We have our tales of fictional scientific marvels, and I now thank them for gifting me something to compare what I see arrayed before me to.
This is the command centre of a spaceship.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
As I head forward, the lantern serves to animate other light sources, from amazing chandeliers overhead to twirling orbs at floor level. Clearly the lantern is a device and, while I am uncomfortable carrying a magical object, I hold on. I prefer the light to darkness, here.
After a time I realise I am in a circular space. The base of the Spire? Other than the imposing doors I entered through, I see no other means of egress. If this is the beginning of a narrowing tower into the clouds of Arc, how then do I ascend? Where is the exit leading to stairs?
Wandering, I note various friezes along the perimeter. All are of hands. A fist, a finger, splayed, waving, pointing. At first the purpose escapes me and then I understand the hands are captured in sorcery’s poses. A sombre sensation overcomes me. If someone adds a rendition of one of my hand’s here, will it reveal how it glows?
Exhausted, I sit on the ebony floor. I am stymied. Here there are no guides and my human eyes do not see how to continue. Ah. Understanding blossoms. I must use the other kind of sight.
Withdrawing my water from my pack, I think about it. Nothing in this place follows the usual rules; therefore I need to act outside of what is considered normal. Sipping, I sit in silence, keeping my eyes open. This is respite. I need to gather my wits before I employ the other sight.
Eventually the inactivity frustrates me. I stand, shove my water into its recess … and close my eyes.
Instantly a spiral stairway appears in the centre of the space. It appears made of cobwebs and I shudder. It vanishes into darkness above.
I set foot to this spidery device, clutching the lantern, my eyes closed. Feeling solidity underfoot, my eyes snap open. The cobwebs seen behind eyelids transform into bannisters and steps of real white stone.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
The door leaf closes behind me without my aid, and it frightens me. Is someone with me? Unseen in this darkness?
I release my breath when it occurs to me it is simply the pivot mechanism. This is utterly fantastic, this place, this duty, the past and present; no wonder my mind plays with me.
Where, though, is the light that accompanied me on the journey through the tunnels? I am not afraid of the dark, but here I need to see to go forward. Here, I am afraid of the dark.
My one hand is still glowing. It throws a tiny circle of light upon my breast as I hold it raised in preparation. Preparation for what? Staring at my fingers, I concentrate. Gradually the glow spreads and I see beyond my feet. A shiny floor greets my first step away from the doors. There is no dust. I expect dust in a space as old as this.
A lantern squats on a square table directly before me, becoming visible as I take another step. As I close in, an arc of yellow sparks hurtles from my hand to the lantern … and it bursts into brilliance.
Heaving, I jerk my hand in, closing it into a fist. My fingers are cold, as if I have immersed my hand into ice water. After the heat, it is beyond agony. There is no glow either. I pray this does not signify that my talents are now in abeyance.
Gripping the lantern, I lift it high. More sparks fly. Arcs of light fizzle into the darkness beyond, of many colours, and every arc targets another source of brilliance. Wall sconces explode into fireless flame. Chandeliers overhead sparkle, throwing prism manipulation into a faraway ceiling. Everywhere light dances. Yellow, scarlet, sapphire, emerald and amber. Silver motes play together upon the polished floor.
What is this place?
A cathedral of light?
I am in awe.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Time has no meaning in an underground world. Without a sun as guide, there is no measurement.
How long I walk, I cannot say, but my aching feet tell the tale. As do the muscles in my thighs, for there are many stairs. Many. While tunnels branch off, I am led ever upward by the sighs on the edge of hearing. These infernal stairs seem eternal.
Eventually I am in what I can only describe as an antechamber. It is a large and level space I enter, with a flagged floor and decorated ceiling. The symbols carved into the rock above are all alien to me, however, if amazing in their intricacy. I study them for a time, hoping for insight, but there is nothing in the symbols even remotely familiar.
The bizarre rock glow is stronger here and it highlights the imposing set of double doors directly opposite the tunnel I entered from. It drew my attention immediately, of course, but I am wary of this entrance. This is akin to the crossroads; it is a matter of choice. I hoped for insight in the symbols …
Yes, my mind is a chaotic place right now.
These doors lead to another world, a place of the others, of times long passed. I no longer wish to enter, and yet I am also aware of my duty. Inhaling and holding the breath, I reach out.
My hands begin to glow and heat rushes through me. My talents are taking control. The feeling is more familiar now, and thus I do not panic. I place a glowing hand on the right leaf … and push.
We may not enter here. Watch yourself, my lady.
Glancing over my shoulder, I smile at the nothingness there, knowing how populated the antechamber in fact is. “Thank you. Keep the faith.”
We await your return.
I enter the darkness beyond.
Hello! I have started compiling the King’s Challenge into a document for editing, episode after episode, and already I discovered a few bloopers! For those of you who are new to the posting process, I write the episodes daily without forward planning, allowing the story to go where it takes us. I open Word, type the episode heading, and go. This means no editing, other than a quick once over for spelling and punctuation.
Having swiftly looked at what I’ve written to date as I inserted episodes … hmm. A plot hole or two. A spelling mistake overlooked. Point of view mess up in one of the episodes …
All will be fixed and tweaked before the final version is released! I suggest we go with the flow and allow the story to dictate direction, and at the end of it the rough edges will be smoothed away.
I am still having fun with this challenge! I hope you are enjoying the read! Forgive, therefore, inadvertent errors and simply come along with Lyra and Damin on this mission J
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Many of you followed Justine's weekly thoughts and know we intended to put it all into a book. Here it is! We are still working with a designer on the cover. Initially Justine and I thought to do everything ourselves, but cover design isn't exactly a skill either of us have. The one you see here is what we came up with, and both of us agree we need another! We particularly need help for the print wrap!!
If you haven't followed Justine's journey, all her posts are linked to in 'Justine's Journal' in the sidebar - feel free to browse :)
Justine writes 500 words (or as near as), per week for 52 weeks, submitting her thoughts for anonymous posting, via her friend’s blog. At the end of the year they decide to create a book, hoping Justine’s thoughts will serve as inspiration to others.
Justine is real, although her real name doesn’t appear in this book. She prefers the anonymity, for it is easier to share when no one knows who you are.
Although believing a pattern will emerge from her words, one of self-knowledge, possibly of inspiration, it starts as a shared experiment. Initial doubts lead to a sense of excitement, as both writer and blogger feel the message coming through.
This experiment and the results are shared here. Justine’s Journal isn’t meant to teach the rules of feelings or behaviour. There are no rules; everyone is different. This is simply one woman’s journey, a courageous one.
Author’s Note: Justine asked me, her friend, to remain as author of this book (although I only play the role of editor and reader), and we agreed any proceeds will go to a charity of her choice.
I expected darkness. The lower the metal ladder takes me, the lighter it becomes, however. There is no light source other than the dwindling grey circle overhead and yet I am able to see. Perhaps it is a property of the ancient stone I now descend into.
My feet touch ground. A paved tunnel, faintly glowing. Somehow I find this stranger than anything that has gone before, for this reveals a past, a people with the ability to delve and dress rock.
Light beings did not do this. Their slaves did. How long has it been since the first sanctuary seekers vanished into obscurity in this place? Abruptly I feel time itself pressing down.
Shouldering my pack, I walk determinedly forward. I now wish I had not sent Hanna away; a companion will do much to lessen this burden.
My footfalls echo. My heartbeat thunders. My breath leaves me in great gasps. I am afraid. I make so much noise, I think even the dead will wake.
Go back …
Flinching, I halt.
Swallowing, I understand the voices are all around me. The dead are not only awake, but speaking.
“I have to do this,” I say, and my words rebound akin to hollow bells. “I know why you seek to delay me, but too many will die if I stop now.”
Tricks and traps await you. Go back.
The other death is the easier death.
I close my eyes. A host swirls around me, all faceless. My eyes snap open. Thank the stars they have no faces. “My brother will release you from this prison of waiting, but he must survive in order to do so.”
Silence surrounds me. The host is listening.
“Horin is a warrior. He will stand between us and them, this I swear. Help me now, please. Show me what to do. Show me how to save my people and together we will save each other from the otherworld beings.”
I wait a long time, unmoving, and then, I hear these words. This way, my lady. Come this way.