Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mansion [Part 2]

To be honest the trip there was quite uneventful. Sure some of us slipped over due to the slimey clay and got their arses dirty. Others somehow managed to find the deepest part of the bog, sinking past their knees into the dirty filthy water. Squeamish Maria even managed to convince Randy to piggy back her across the bog, though me and Matt were really hoping that Randy would trip, sending them both face first into the bog. I would have loved to have seen that. Anyways, we all crossed the bog eventually, and after a decent amount of hiking up the steep inclined hill, we made it. We all stood under the cover of the manuka trees that bordered the edge of the bush, drinking in the sight that lay before us.

Perfectly mown grass lawns stretched before us, intercepted by what looked like to be vegetable and flower gardens, and behind that - the Mansion. To be honest, it truly was a mansion in every sense. There was a massive tiled courtyard that surrounded the main entrance, decorated with tables, chairs  and even barbecues in a perfectly symmetrical design. All the doors and the frames of the windows and sliding doors appeared to be made out of solid mahogany wood, which in turn colour complemented both the tiled courtyard and the rest of the house's exterior walls. There seemed to be so many windows, that I never even tried to guess how many rooms lay within. All in all, I'd say that the Mansion covered at least 600 meters squared, if not more.

I remember it was Kate who made the first move. She must have stepped forth, her feet scrunching the perfectly trimmed grass, but to me it had always seemed like that girl glided on the air. The way she moved and turned...a dancing angel in our midst. The way that she flicked her long black curls, causing the sunlight to frame those deep blue eyes. Eyes that seemed to dance and smile whenever I saw them. She was my dream girl.

Kate turned around, surprised that no one had followed suit. "Come on guys" she giggled "Last one there buys next week's beer!" And with that, she raced off in a sprint towards the Mansion. That definitely did the trick. Within a matter of seconds we were all sprinting over the grass lawns, none of us wanting our wallets to be lighter next week.

Out of the eleven of us that sprinted across the imaginary finish line and onto the tiled courtyard,  it was Hayato and Patricia who tied for last place. "I guess that means we're having the double the amount of free beer next week!" I shouted to both of them, giving Matt a sneaky wink at the same time. Hayato immediately started cursing in Japanese, very unhappy at such a thought - which only caused us to break into fits of giggles and laughter.    
"It's okay Hayato" I called back to him, struggling not to break in laughter again. "We don't drink that much...". That proved to be to be the last straw, as we all burst laughing again, the truth usually being far from that. Laughter is thankfully infectious and it was only a matter of seconds before Hayato was laughing alongside us, our lungs gasping for air.

"Well, I guess no one is home, or we would know by now I think" proclaimed Randy, pushing his ever slipping glasses back onto his nose. "He's got a point, guys" replied Tane " If there was, we would have been chased off by now by some guy with an air rifle, or some stupid freackin son of a-"

Tane was suddenly interrupted by a bloodcurdling scream that came from behind us. We all turned around, startled and freaked out by the terror that the scream had expressed.

 It was Maria.

She was standing rigidly still. Her body frozen in fear. Her mouth still open, as if her bloodcurdling scream had frozen in her throat. Her eyes leaking tears. Her right arm stretched out, pointing with a trembling hand. Pointing at one of the many sliding doors of the mansion.

Time slowed as my eyes followed her trembling pointing hand, hoping this was all some sick prank. But what I saw still haunts me to this very day. Leaking down the glass sliding door was two bloody handprints. Two long bloody handprints that seemed like they had been clawing at the glass.

"Girl...." Maria gasped "There was a little girl there."

Stephen King's 2 simple tips to becoming a writer

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Mansion [Part 1]

When I was a teenager (which was only a few years ago, if you know what I mean) I used to chill the bush that surrounded my house with a bunch of my mates. You have to understand, this was Kiwi (aka New Zealand) bush. It's not nice open space between trees, with grass and pine needles covering the ground. Instead the trees are dense and close together, vines growing over the wet slippery clay - as there is virtually no top soil.

Anyways me and my mates would usually kick back a couple beers, and occasionally goof around in someone else's property while the owners were away. More than once we got chased off by some freackin mongrel mutt that fancied taking a bite out of our arses. But that never discouraged us, as we'd just go another property the next time. We were the lords of the land. At least that's we thought, until everything changed.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and the end of our last year in high school was in sight. In celebration of this I bought a couple of extra packets of beer to our chillout that afternoon. Time started to pass quickly, as it  always does when you're having a good time, and before I knew it - it was almost time for everyone to go their seperate ways. Just as the first of us were getting ready to leave, someone yelled out "Hold up guys. Let's not leave yet. Let's go to someone's property."

The voice belonged to Maria, the hottest and at the time most intoxicated girl in our group. She was a straight up gorgeous platinum blonde that wore usually only tanks tops and short shorts, which fitted her curvaceous figure like a glove.
"We've done them all" replied my best friend and wingman, Matt Caerdon "It's just boring now."
Loud discussion broke out amongst the group, everyone wanting to voice their own opinion on the subject. But amongst all the noise and discussion, it was the quietest voice amongst the group that caused everyone to be silent. A quiet voice that uttered only five words.

"We haven't done the Mansion."

The silence hovered over us all for what seemed like an eternity as we all contemplated the idea. You see "the Mansion", as we called it, was a large mansion (who would have guessed) at the furtherest edge of the bush. Not only did it physically look daunting, but getting there was even more daunting as  you had to cross a small bog and then climb a very inclined slope that was crammed with trees reaching up to the sky above. Only a couple of us had ever bothered to do it before, but none of us had trespassed there before. Funnily enough, the Mansion had always seemed a too grand and proper of a place to goof around, or at least to me it did.

The silence was broken as Maria raised her beer bottle and let out a massive "Hellz yeah!". Not everyone was as keen on the idea though. Randy, the usually quiet nerd of the group, and the one who had originally suggested the idea too, was unusually vocal in his support for the idea. Maybe he's finally trying to get his chance with Maria, I thought. The Maori twins (as I called them), Aroha and Tane, were in favour of it  as well, along with Hayato (the foreign exchange student) and Matt Caerdon.
The rest of us, including me, were undecided on it - with a few completely against it. So in the end it was put to a vote, with the majority getting their way and the rest had to tag along. The votes were cast. Hands shot up and down in favour of the different options, but it soon became clear that only one option was ever going to win.

It was settled. We were going to the Mansion.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2. The Verdict (Part 1)

"Let me out. Now!"
The words rang out through the Conclave of the Sceptre. They echoed down dusty passageways and through dimly lit hallways. The words were coming from one of the rooms nearly at the top of the Forum. Those where the rooms where the noble and the famous were often accommodated in.
"Lady Abina. Please, stop yelling." begged the little ystin.
"Get away from me, you creep. Just you wait until my father hears about this. Then he'll have you diced up and fed to his pets. Now, let me out" she paused, waiting for the fury little ystin to give in to her demands "NOW!"
"Please milady, please stop screaming. You have nothing to fear. We are not here to hurt you, rather we are here to protect you"
"Protect me from what? I got here all by myself, without a single injury, bruise or fight. And as soon as I enter this wretched city, I got seized and locked away in some dungeon, stuck with some bug looking creature."
"Milady, this is no dungeon. This is one of the best rooms that the Forum of the Sceptre has to offer. You will want for nothing here. Your every need will be accommodated for."
"Every need? Every single one of them" Lady Abina looked closely at the ystin, trying to discern if she was being lied to.
"Yes milady" replied the ystin with a great smile. Happy that he was finally getting somewhere this rash Imperial lady "Your every single need."
"Good. Then let me out..... NOW!"
The ystin finally gave up. “ By the Watchers, I swear that you are a hopeless woman. Enjoy shouting at the top of your lungs with only you to hear.” And with that said, the ystin turned and walked to the locked door, it's body leaning down on its two front claws while its four remaining legs shuffled behind. The ystin raised its claw and tapped the door. Twice. The door jerked open and a large karuuni stepped into sight, armoured and holding large spear. The lady Abina, scared of its size and appearance,  took a step back out of fear.
“Yes sir?” spoke the gruff karuuni, towering far above the ystin.
“She is all yours. I'm off to tell the Sceptre that they have no hope of cooperation from this  lady...” the ystin paused “Pah. Has the manners of a gutter woman if you ask me.”
The feathery karuuni stood to attention as the ystin walked away and then proceeded to slam the great oak door closed. What sounded like a bolt, was placed across the door, causing a small screech to be emitted from the rubbing of the oak door. And then there was silence.
Lady Abina, no longer having anyone to scream at, walked over to the bed lying in the corner of the room. She sat down, and  let out a heavy sigh.
Now what, she thought to herself.
How do I get out of here?
A heavy silence overcame the room, one that would not be interrupted by anything trying to make noise. And as Lady Albina lay on her bed, desperately trying to form an escape plan, the silence lulled her into a deep sleep.

Many people would say that a problem shared is a problem halved. However today, Lord Elushsir, Head Chairman of the Sceptre, would disagree. Today was the tenth Forumday since the summer solstice and tradition dictated that on any Forumday, anyone could present a case to the Sceptre as long as the case involved the people of Rudain as a whole. So far, the spice merchants had put forth their case, asking for more protection to be granted by the Sceptre, as their caravans were often falling prey to bandits and Aluyca Imperials. The fisherman and farmers of the coast had  presented their case, reporting that their land was slowly being taken over the sea - which no one believed. And the head of the Sacellum of Ichohn was about to present his case, asking for military backing in his hunt to burn and kill Murkilid cultists.
Lord Elushir let out a sigh, rubbing his temple between his fingers. Murkilid cultists having nothing to do with the affairs of the Sceptre, he thought. Deal with th-.
"My Lords of the Sceptre" someone called out from the crowd surrounding the Forum podium, interrupting Lord Elushir's self musings."We have an important case for the Sceptre that needs to be addressed immediately".
The owner of the voice came into view as he finally reached the front of the crowd. He was an old karuuni dressed in the garb of the Seaside Watch, his once large and powerful body worn down through the countless solstices he had seen.
The representative of the Ichohnites, disgusted at the thought of his case being postponed, was quick to respond. "My Lords of the Sceptre" he rebutted "Surely the matters of the Sacellum of Ichohn are far more important than that of the less-than-honourable Seaside Watch."
The representative paused as if waiting for a rebuttal, but receiving none, he continued. "So, as I was say-"
"You would be wise to heed your words, Ichohnite." boomed Lord Elushir, his voice silencing all those whispering in the crowd. "The Seaside Watch carry out an honourable duty, one which the safety and security of Rudain relies on. If, you do not believe so, perhaps we could arrange for you to join their ranks. Maybe then you would be convinced of their importance and honour."
The Ichohnite representative stepped forth aggressively - his eyes flared in outrage. "Never has a humble servant of Ichohn been treated so....With such contempt" he yelled.
"And maybe it was about time that someone did then" replied Lord Elushir.
Upon hearing this, the crowd burst into fits of laughter and giggles. Even a smile leaked onto Lord Elushir's face as the Ichohnite representative stomped off the podium, his face bright red from embarrassment.
"Quiet!" roared Lord Gaelin of the Sceptre, smashing his wooden gavel down repeatedly on the desk in front of him. The crowd fell silent, none of them wanting to be singled out by Lord Gaelin, for he had a reputation for conscripting those that did not obey him. Lord Elushir, quite unimpressed by the Lord Gaelin's behaviour, looked back to the old karuuni who had silently remained standing there since he had first arrived.

"Present to us your case."

The Solution to Writer's Block

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tom Clancy's Writing Advice

Is reality stranger than fiction?

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Bagels and Indecisive Women

She sat on the chair, her eyes reflecting an internal struggle. Should she take 4 or 5 packets of bagels. She could not decide. She leaned down and turned to me and said "Is Scott coming tonight?" I was busy writing. I had to stop to think about her question.

"I think so" I replied "He usually comes to Friday night meetings. I think he quite enjoys the food to be honest. Not that I can point the finger, for I enjoy it as well."

She decided to take five lots of bagels in the end. She walked across the lounge and into the kitchen. Pausing at the  oven, she picked up the recently boiled kettle, and poured herself an invigorating cup of hot water. Having satisfied her thirst, she turned to the bench - her eyes devouring the moorish muffins she made yesterday. Before I knew it she was sitting down at the table next to me, fully enjoying the simple pleasures of life - a drink in one hand, a muffin in the other.

And she turned around and looked at the bagels again.

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