Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Family Stone (Chapter 11)



Chapter 11

A different kind of darkness, more potent, swallowed the area behind Alex. Alex is running as fast as her legs can take her. She cannot feel anymore of the pain she was experiencing earlier. Perhaps the adrenaline that is surging through her body is helping her move. She cannot hear or feel anyone or anything following her but it doesn’t mean she can stop running. She sees a large gate ahead and she somehow manages to run even faster. She takes out her book to look up the word to open the gate. Just as she finds the word, she falls into a hole on the ground. It happened so quickly that if you blinked, you would have missed it and not see the hole she fell into.

She falls through a deep hole, screaming as she passes each level. She panics as she sees the ground. Suddenly, she starts to levitate. Alex felt relieved for a moment. She looks around her cautiously, darting looks at the dark corners around her.
‘Domina,’ Teg appears out of nowhere. ‘I apologize for the..er, unexpected guests.’
Alex didn’t realize that she was crying until she heard herself sobbing. ‘You have no idea how happy I am to see you Teg. I thought they were going to find us. I thought they were going to take Boon away. I thought I was going to die….my parents! My God, Teg, they told me about my parents and my friends. We have to go back for them.’ Alex is in hysterics. Teg keeps his flying distance so she will not accidently tear off his wings. He hates the fact that only she can see her wings. He knows this but she won’t say it. He saw her giggling about it one time. He got his mother’s wings. He can’t choose what he was born with. ‘Teg please….’
 ‘Domina, I have to do this…and I am sorry,’ Alex stops and she felt Teg’s shoeprint slap across her cheek.
‘Ow, what the flying eff???....’ Alex yelps as she holds her sore cheek. ‘Oh god, I’m sorry Teg. I was hysterical. I panicked.’ Alex is ashamed of her outburst but it did not stop her from worrying.
‘Domina, pardon me for doing that.’ Teg bows to her. ‘You hair was catching fire, and I don’t think I know how your magia works just yet.’
‘My hair???’ Alex smells something burning and she quickly grabbed a lump of her hair. It was burnt alright, but it was going back to its original state. There are too many things she did not know. No manual, just patience and baby steps. Remember baby steps, she assures herself as she watches her hair injected back with life.
‘Domina. I am feeling better now.’ Boon interrupts. ‘Please command me.’
 ‘Uhh. Teg, Boon says he’s okay now – how do I?’ Just as she thought of asking Boon to come out of the stone, he stood right next to her, which gave her a fright.’
‘Can you NOT do that?!’
‘Apologies Domina!’ Boon bows to her.
Teg flies in front of her face, distracting her. ‘Domina. Your parents are safe and so are your friends.’
‘How can you be sure of this??’
‘While you both were recovering, I went to investigate your parents’ flat. Your aunt Hera helped them choose that flat. That building is spell locked. What it basically means is that nothing magical will find them. Even your parents are spell locked.’
‘Who did that for them? Why wasn’t I included?’ Her voice traces a bit of hurt.
‘I cannot be certain but what I know is that only someone very powerful can cast a spell lock.’ Teg confesses.
‘What about my friends?’
‘They have a minor spell on them, making them seem like ordinary farm animals to magical things and creatures. I am quite surprised by all of this too.’
‘Well, I think knowing that is enough for me.’ Alex looks up at where they fell. She can hear the same thud she heard before.
‘We have to get out of here,’ Boon tells them. Alex sees Boon was looking up as well. She can feel that he’s feeling better and she feels relieved. Boon looks at her, surprised, which caught Alex off guard.
‘What?’ she asks him, defensive.
‘Nothing Domina,’ he says, looking down on the ground. ‘It’s best that we go, Teg.’
‘I have the safest place to go,’ he tells them as he pulls out the doorknob from his bag. He stabs the doorknob onto the wall and turns the knob twice to the left, once to the right and he pulls. A large gate forms onto the wall and the door opens before them. Just as they go through the door, he adds, ‘And also the most dangerous.’
The light of the end of the tunnel – Alex never really likes that phrase. She feels that it implies possible death. She’s surprised she’s even thinking about such things. She wonders if any of Boon’s attitude and outlook rubs off on her if they are bound together. She looks at Boon and he’s pretending not to notice her. Just as she is about to say something, Alex notice they are out of the passageway. Alex gasps.
She has never seen anything so magnificently beautiful.
They found themselves in between two hills and a lake runs through it. Alex felt so much peace. The ambience is completely different. She can hear music, soft and sweet which went together with the cool breeze. As they get closer to the lake, a head appears surfacing the lake.
Alex stared at the figure in silent. She’s never seen anything so beautiful.
‘Halt…it is not May- day…You have to understand that it is best not to walk our paths for it is dangerous for a mortal. What brings you to Tylwyth Teg?’ she sounds like she is singing, Alex thought. She can listen to her sing all day.
‘I am coming home, Haf. I am with Boon the Libra and his Domina, Alexandria – her ancestor is Stēlla.
‘Perhaps you should not have come home, Teg,’ she says sadly. Your head is up for bounty once again and you won’t be as fortunate.’
‘I will take my chances, Hef. You must not dare forget what Domina Stēlla did for our people.’
‘It never left my mind,’ Hef opens another door on a rocky wall to their left. ‘Domina Alexandria, your ancestor and you seem to have been made in the same mould by the Gods. No wonder your Libra is so devoted,’ she teases and sinks slowly back into the water.
Alex can’t believe a fairy just teased her and she has a blushing Boon on her side. Don’t think, don’t think, she tells herself.
‘Don’t think what, Domina?’ Boon says confused.
‘Nothing, nothing – let’s go,’ she points to the rocky door.
They had to pass another passage but a shorter one. As they came out of the passage, a group of warriors had them surrounded. They instinctively put up their hands.
‘We come in peace, my people. I bring you…’
‘Yes, I already know, Teg,’ a voice booms from behind the warriors.
A tall man with a blackened face and long luscious curly hair walks in between the warriors. Teg bows down and Boon respectfully bowed his head. Alex remained still, just watching what was happening. She thought even the warriors were so good-looking. Why is this not possible in her world, she thought.
‘Domina,’ the warrior takes her hand and brought it to his lips. ‘You are not Domina Stēlla but even you are able to tug on my heart strings, which is rare, especially with that beautiful hair of yours. You radiate beauty.’ Alex was at loss for words. No one talks like that anymore.
‘Allow me to introduce myself; Gwyn Ap Nudd, king of the Tylwyth Teg and ruler of the Otherworld, Annwn,’ he bows deeply. ‘Welcome to my Kingdom.’

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)  

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May Updates from the Ringmaster!


How in the world is it May already? How fast is time flying?
High fives and hugs over cyberspace to everyone! 

I know, it's not a good excuse to say this but I have been quite busy for the past two months. I have written two scripts for two upcoming anthologies and Shen, being the most awesome artist partner, is done with storyboarding them and we are already done going through them! I will let you guys know the names of the stories when all is said and done. :)

We are almost done with Chapter 1 of :EPOCH Files and since we are super packed with comic deadlines and RL responsibilities, I have volunteered to do the fillers while we are on a break! I can tell you all right now that I am the worst artist - I can ink/sketch if you ask me to but I can't draw like Shen for shit. But hey, you never know! Someone might like my art - if you guys are into children's drawings...but enough of my silliness! Do check out the comic when you guys have time and don't have anything to read. Links are on the top page. :)

I have updated the blog with two new chapters on 'The Family Stone'. I hope you are all enjoying it!

Til next time! *tips hat*

Liebe,
Grim

The Family Stone (Chapter 10)




Chapter 10

Alex still had her eyes closed. When she heard the wind and sea and felt the wind, she opens her eyes and she finds herself at the coast of somewhere. She is still on the ground and it was very dark. Her eyes adjust to the dark fairly quickly and she crawls to the nearest shade she could find to hide.
She is still holding the bracelet and tightens her grip on it.
‘Domina…I am sorry I am still weak,’ Boon is speaking in her mind, echoing. ‘I cannot protect you…just like I could not protect Domina Stēlla…’
Alex interrupts him, ‘Shut the hell up, Boon! Stop acting like an emo kid! You just saved me, what the hell are you on about?’
‘I…I cannot protect you more than I wanted to…please Domina…’
‘Will you stop it, Boon?! UUGHH! Tell me how to find Teg.’
‘Teg…I don’t know. I cannot teach you how to find him by magia.’
Alex is about to lash out on Boon again out of frustration, then she hears the loud THUD again.
‘Hand it over, child. You are not capable and unworthy of wielding the Balance’s power,a shadow hissed from not far from where Alex is hiding.
Alex, trying to stay very still, trying not to even breathe, is cursing in her head,
‘What do we do now, hot shot?’ she asks Boon in her head. She drops her gaze on her arm, the dangling bracelet with the large black stone, unreflecting but somehow moving.
‘We know you are here, child. Just hand the Libra and we will spare your life…including your parents and perhaps your friends…’
‘Don’t trust them, Domina,’ Boon says weakly.
This isn’t exactly the turn she expected her life would go.
‘Trust Boon.’
But she was determined to see this through.
‘Trust Boon.’
A flash of light surrounds her.
This time she will protect Boon, just as he protected her.
‘Trust Boon.’
She runs out of her hiding place, light surrounding the entire perimeter of the field. She has to focus on the words and she knows this is going to hurt right after.
‘TENEBRAE!!!’

* Tenebrae – darkness

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)  

The Family Stone (Chapter 9)



Chapter 9

Alex is back on the bed, wondering what the next step is. Teg doesn’t look too comfortable when he left. Maybe he doesn’t know about ‘periods’ or he does know and he’s just old fashioned. Six thousand years is a big age gap. She cannot stop about thinking about all this magia talk. Perhaps she can ask Teg to bring her a book or two. She’s not cut out for any of this sort of thing. Never ever, and she certainly has no idea how she actually bound themselves. Why is there no manual for these kind of things, she thought. It would have been easier for everybody and surely, no one will get hurt. Teg went somewhere again. He assures her that he will be back and she told him to be extra careful.
For now being in the room, with the cats is enough for her. This moment of peace is all she wants. But seeing Boon like that makes her feel like shit. She did not mean it but she cannot help being disappointed in herself.
‘Domina?’ Teg is cautiously waving at her, carrying what looks like a small box. ‘I got some of your things from your flat.’ Alex looks at the box and to him and she felt confused and wonders what he managed to squeeze in that small box.
‘Is my house alright, Teg? Or did they ransack it?’ She worries because it is her first flat and when she noticed the darkness pouring in from the windows, she wondered whether they blew up her place or made it into their hideout, assume human forms and wear her things? She’s decided that she is probably going insane.
‘No, your house is fine Domina, but I wouldn’t go back there until this is over, especially since you have the symbol on your back.’
Alex sighs and thinks. ‘Perhaps a change of clothes would do me good.’ She finally decides.
‘I took all your clothes so you won’t have to worry about choices.’ Teg says to her as if it was something out of the ordinary.
‘How can you…what do you mean you got all my clothes?’ She looks back at the box and rolls her eyes at it. ‘Please don’t tell me this is some magical box coz if it is, you’re going to give this to me and I will carry it around - especially just in case I see a hot non-human creature.’ Teg rolls her eyes at her this time and they both laugh. Alex hold her sides, wincing in pain, ‘I can’t even laugh, how cruel is this?’
The box grows in size and became as large as a normal clothes cabinet.
‘Will you teach me how to do that later?’ Alex stares at the box in amazement, looks at Teg and bats her eyelashes, trying to be cute – trying very hard.
Teg bows deeply. ‘No.’ There was a poof sound and he disappears.
Alex didn’t think that would work. She notices that the pain on her back is not as severe but it definitely still feels raw. There are many instances that she could have checked the mirror when she went into the bathroom but she couldn’t even lift her arms. Or maybe she was just scared to see what she would see.
She had hoped that she would dream about Stēlla again. Give her some insight.
It dawned on her that she sounds like those helpless girls on television or what she used to read in books. She remembered complaining about how much whining they used to do and now, she feels like she’s doing the same thing. She sighs.
There is nothing she can do right now except change her clothes.
‘I’m so screwed,’ she whispers to herself.
She moves to the side of the bed and slowly edges herself to the edge. When was the last time she was this helpless? She stands, leaning on the bed for support. Her knees still feels like jelly but she can stand. She went back through the years in her mind and she realizes that the last time was as helpless was when she was bedridden for a whole year.
She got sick. Very very sick.
She was taken to the best hospitals; the best private doctors. Alternative medicine and everything you can think of. She did it all.
She looks across the room, staring at the cabinet box’s door. Baby steps, she assures herself. 
She doesn’t remember much about that time in her life except it felt like she was in a dream, going in and out of consciousness. How she got so sick was the question that burns through her mind all the time. Her parents told her that kids gets sick all the time.
She walks towards the cabinet-box with a bit of a struggle. She stops walking when she realizes that she was walking like a zombie. She grins at the thought and continued.
She remembered the man, inside the church. Her mother and Aunt Hera were at confession after the mass. She sat on the benches of the confession booths when he appeared out of nowhere. She doesn’t remember his face much but she remembers him laughing, like she said a joke to him. He put his hand on her head. He told her they will see each other again. And then he vanished.
She looked around her. Perhaps he was hiding in one of the columns. All she could hear was silence. After that, she started screaming. She felt like she was burning.
The memory lapse suddenly made her right knee give way, but she manages to keep standing. She felt like a tightrope walker. Yes, that’s right, she thought. She tells herself she can do anything as her hand reaches for the cabinet box handle. She was sweating profusely, trying to catch her breath and feels a little burning on her back.
She remembers her mother, Aunt Hera and the priests inside the confession booths running out and found her on the floor. They took her to the hospital but they couldn’t find anything. She remembers she was in and out of consciousness.
Alex tut tut’s at herself as she shakes off the lingering memories. She manages to take off her top, feeling like her joints are cemented together. She takes a look at the back of her shirt. Her tattoo bled through her shirt. She regrets getting it done now but at the same time, she strangely doesn’t. She slowly pulls her pyjamas down. She had a bit of trouble pulling them off. She feels like she’s aged at least another hundred years. She hopes this is not permanent.
‘You both will need time to recover.’
Teg’s voice assures her. She looks back at where Boon is and he is still unconscious. She made a mental note that binding together is painful – but what about separation? She thought about what Stēlla must have gone through. It must have been excruciating pain and this thought made her a little sad. There were so many questions and no answers.
Alex suddenly remembers that there was this old lady with Aunt Hera.
Alex knows her but she can’t recall as much as she tried.

Suddenly, she felt something THUD. It was like a loud heartbeat. She looks around her, her senses high on alert and listening. She grabs whatever clothes she can in the closet box, not looking in and wears it as quickly as she can. She checks Boon but he’s unchanged.
Another loud THUD – she can hear it in her mind. She doesn’t feel good about this.
She half runs to the bed. She places her cats in a small blanket all together. She carries them across the room, still struggling and hides them inside the closet, closing it quickly but carefully. Her eyes rested on her mini Latin dictionary by the side table next to the closet. She grabs it and looks for anything she can use to put it in. She finds a brown coloured pouch hanging by the wall hook. She skims through the mini dictionary and looks for the word, ‘box’.
Another loud THUD, the sound is much closer this time. She doesn’t plan on being there when it does come. She looks at the closet box. She doesn’t know if this will work. She must not hesitate. She must not hesitate. She’s scared shitless.
‘I must not hesitate; I hope this work, fack! Shit! Don’t be friggin’ scared! Your back is all bloody and you have your period,’ she assures herself. ‘They should know better than to mess with women on these hell on earth days.’
She puts her right hand on the door of the closet box. ‘Don’t worry babies, Mommy got this.’ She takes a deep breath, and concentrated on the word.
‘Arca Archa*!’ She blinks and the closet box is gone in front of her. It baffles her for a moment. She looks down and the closet box is the size of her hand. She picks it up and holds it tenderly. ‘I hope you guys are okay there,’ she whispers to it. She places the box into her pouch. Just as she was about to get Boon, she trips and falls on the floor.
‘Ahhh facckkkiinnn shiitt,’ she manages to say as she grabs the bracelet that held the stone. ‘Reddo*,’ she commands and the projection of Boon disappears.
A louder thud – they’re here, there’s no time, she thought. Just as she rolls under the bed, black shadows seeps into the room. She watches the shadow form into – feet?
‘I can still feel her…’ one of them says, hissing. Alex is surprise that she can understand them. Some of them are just whispering and she can barely hear them.
‘The Libra is very….weak…,’ a second voice tells the group. It chuckles at this find and the rest expressed their interest and amusement.
‘Silence,’ it commands the group, ‘I can hear it, her beating heart and the pulsing of the Libra….Tso…’Alex can already tell she instructed one of them to look at where she’s hiding. Where the hell is she going now?
‘Asylum,’ a voice in her head commands but weakly. It’s Boon.

* Arca Archa – box
* Reddo – return
* Asylum – shelter

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)