Camelot, I Will Return – a short story

Hi there! I hope you have been having a good day. If you fancy a short little read, here is something for you!

As you’ve probably guessed from the title, it is a tale from the Arthurian Legends. Yet, you will find the characters not quite the same as before! Also, you might be wondering where my old short story series ‘The Eventful Life of Morgan Le Fay’ went. I’ve taken it down for editing.

But anyway, this short little piece centres around Morgan Le Fay, an enchantress from King Arthur’s court. I won’t go into further detail, so, toodle-pip!

One- Way Street

This post did not spring from uncertain origins: One-Way Street

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

I choose the past. Like, obviously.

The future (after watching too many science fiction movies) seems most perilous and bleak. And panic- inducing, I might add. Imagine racing through endless corridors with a beast closing in on you (The Maze Runner) or sprinting through dense vegetation, scratched, bloody and filthy, due to the fact that deranged people are after your life (The Hunger Games)!

Of course, that is only my opinion. The past, too, holds many dangers. For example, I stepped in and specified the time machine to take me to the medieval ages. What if I arrived right smack in the middle of an ancient skirmish? Most likely, now I come to think about it…

That would be risking my neck not even two seconds after entering the time frame! What a pity.

Calling forth the adventurous ole me, I would prefer the past, because maybe I could read up about that time era before stepping into it. Just to be safe, you know.

On the other hand, although the future is unpredictable (at least, in my opinion), it has its uses.

Say, for instance, I want to know if I would pass a major exam that will happen in the next couple of months. I could nip in and out of the time machine, and soothe my anxiousness. If I should foresee that I would fail, I would abolish the last minute study plan (who doesn’t have those?) and start as soon as possible. Because, the future is not set in stone, right?

But what would happen to the “life is full of surprises” thing if we just skipped ahead into the future?

Being a completely unadventurous person who loves to laze in bed all day, with the only thing to look forward to is the next meal or a thick novel, I would choose to remain in the present, for the present.

No need to look for trouble, yes?

The Old Man

My ramblings do not originate from thin air: Daily prompt: Sudden Downpour

It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!

‘Greetings, my young friend.’ The old man with wrinkled skin, akin to that of paper, says. A shabby coat is drabbed over frail and slightly hunched shoulders. ‘Fate has brought you here today, even if you do not believe it.’

I am already shaking my head, sprinkling rain water everywhere. This place seems so old, so strange. Even the dust swirling through the air takes on a weird pattern. Everything seems wrong here, although I can’t quite place my finger on it. Alarm bells are ringing in my head.

‘Come, you must be cold and weary. Sit by the fire for a while.’ The old man continues, hobbling to the rear of the shop, entering a secret door that is painted the same flaking brown as the rest of the wall.

I glance at the pouring rain outside, before sighing. Left with no choice, I tread lightly over, wood creaking beneath each step. To my astonishment, a pile of wood sits in the fireplace, just waiting to be lit.

The old man bends down to the fire, and with a snap of his fingers, a flame appears between his forefinger and thumb. He calmly sets the wooden logs aflame.

What?! Did he just do… magic? But that’s impossible! There must have been a match stick somewhere…

The fire casts warm shadows in the musty room. There is a bear skin rug placed in front of the fire, and over it stands a round and short oaken table. A saggy old couch sits at the side. Facing this couch, a rocking chair is positioned, slightly turned towards the fire.

It is there that he sits with a sigh, before I settle reluctantly onto the couch. Slightly unnerved, I gaze about the room, eyes wide as I take in the shelves of dust covered books. My leg muscles are tense, poised as if to run.

The old man examines me with bright eyes, flames dancing within each pupil. I drop my gaze hastily to the ground.

‘So what will it be?’ He muses. ‘Do you want your fortune read, or perhaps, a book? Or a crystal ball, eh?’

I start violently, before finding my voice. Despite the danger vibes this place is giving me, my curiousity is piqued. I say in a quiet voice, ‘I don’t mind hearing my fortune.’

‘Are you certain, child? It takes one courage to request that.’ The old man arches an eyebrow, a half- smile of amusement curving his lips.

I wrinkle my nose. It sounds as if he had lifted that line out of a book.

‘Yeah, go ahead.’ I say.

He heaves himself out of the chair, disappearing a moment as he enters a back room, and returning again, with a package the size of a book in his hands.

He places it on the table, before pulling on a string to unwrap the package.

‘These are old and ancient bones.’ The old man says. The yellowing paper falls back to reveal… three white pieces, cylindrical and about four inches long. I grimace at them.

‘Behold! These are the bones of—’ Here, the old man pronounces a word, but it sounds as if he is clearing his throat.

‘Uh, that sounds made up.’ I can’t help commenting.

The old man ignores me, concentrating hard on the bones. Then, with a swift and fluid movement, he gathers and scatters them onto the table.

There is a moment of silence as he contemplates the three pieces of bone.

Then suddenly, he gasps, edging away from the table.

I lean forward to study the three bones, frowning slightly at them.

‘What is it?’ I ask quickly.

‘Oh dear, I am too old for this… too old.’ The old man is muttering to himself.

‘Don’t say that. People are always saying that in story books.’ I snap, glaring at him.

He gives himself a little shake, as if surfacing from his fortune- telling.

‘You have quite an unfortunate fortune, for lack of a better word.’ The old man sighs tiredly. ‘The first bone says that you will face terrible peril in an unknown world.’ He points to the next one. ‘Whether you pass this peril will affect what happens next.’ The old man points at the third bone. ‘You will also meet someone who could harm, or help you.’

‘Wow. That’s great. That’s just being deliberately vague!’ I stand abruptly. ‘I think I should be heading back soon. Maybe the rain has stopped.’

I rise hastily from the couch, hurrying out of the room before the old man can say anything.

I stop short at the entrance of the shop.

Where are the sky scrapers that I have grown up around? Where are the paved streets that I walk down everyday?

A dirt track of gravel, lined with lush greenery, traces down the path. Across this road, stone cottages sit side by side, puffing out smoke from their chimneys. There is a sudden crunch of gravel, and a horse, pulling a carriage, lumbers languidly past the shop.

‘An unknown world, indeed.’ I murmur, too apalled at my predicament to say anything else.

‘Ah, the first part has been explained!’ The old man says cheerfully from behind, making me jump.

‘You, explain this! Why am I in the past?’ I growl, whipping around to skewer the old man with a death glare.

‘Now, what is the modern saying, eh?’ The old man pauses to think. ‘Ah, yes, I’ve got it! Shit happens.’ He says triumphantly.

At this point, I am so angry, and so afraid, that I am tongue- tied. I can only stare helplessly at him.

‘My young friend, do not fear. All you have to do, is to believe in yourself.’ The old man says kindly. ‘When all else fails, you must believe in this.’ He places a hand over his heart.

‘That’s so horribly cliché!’ I snap, before stomping out from the store. I’ve had enough of this old man.

My feet crunches on the gravel as I stalk down the path in high dudgeon, daring the world to throw me anything. Come what may, I am going to find my way back, and the old man had better hope that I don’t meet him again, if not…

***

That’s part one of the story! Did you enjoy that? Part two will be coming out… Nah, just kidding. 🙂 What do you think of this short little adventure? Would you have asked for your fortune to be told?

Freshly Nibbled Updates

Hello! 🙂

I know it has been a long time (about a week, exactly), but the final installation of my pirate’s tale is up! 🙂

So, now that the entire short story, Plunderella, A Pirate’s Tale is on Pencil Nibbler, you may enjoy it fully.

Do not despair, if you think this is the end of short stories. Because… yup, you guessed it, there is another one coming up! And another! And another! And – ! Ok, you get it.

The point is, there will be many more, even as I am preparing a novel for publication.

Now, to the part which you are waiting for: what’s coming up next? 🙂

I have a lengthy tale set in the Arthurian times, and I can’t wait to share it with you! (Real soon, I promise. We are talking about a few days time here) They are actually a series of short stories about the eventful happenings in King Arthur’s court, and adventures across Camelot, and even Avalon… So buckle up, and be prepared to be swept away into the time when King Arthur was, well, King.

Happy reading! 😀

Toodle pip! 🙂

 

Ideal Story Worlds

I do not engage in foolish babbling: Daily Post: Fiction Intruder

Go down the rabbit hole with Alice; play quidditch with Harry Potter; float down the river with Huck Finn… If you could choose three fictional events or adventures to experience yourself, what would they be?

How often have I imagined myself leaping straight into a storybook, to join the legendary heroes on their journey? There are so many story worlds I could leap into, but I think the following three are my favourite…

I don’t mind leaping into the Lord of the Rings, maybe at the time when Sauron has been destroyed, like at the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth. (Honestly, why should I torture myself by entering Middle Earth while the Land of Mordor still stands firm and tall?)

I would enjoy living a peaceful life as a hobbit, from The Shire. I suppose my days will be filled with singing tales of the heroic Frodo and Samwise the Brave, and watching the sun set from my hobbit hole, as I smoke a pipe of weed (one of the hobbit’s pastimes).

My second story world would be Harry Potter… And you can probably guess, at the time when Voldemort has been defeated. Heh. I think lessons in Hogwarts might be tough, because there are lots of memory work, like memorizing spells and learning to brew potions the correct way. But still, what an experience it will be!

Imagine flying on a broomstick, in the middle of a quidditch match! Imagine stepping into Hogsmeade, and buying stuff from Zonko’s, or even better, Weasley Wizard Wheezes! Imagine gulping down mugs of Butterbeer… I’m going cross- eyed with glee right now.

The third story world I would like to jump into is the Inheritance Cycle. (Have you read it?) It’s about a young farm boy, named Eragon, who found a dragon’s egg. It hatched, and together, he and his dragon, Saphira, embarked on an epic journey to defeat the evil empire. Yep. Anyway, I want to be an elf in Alagaesia (the story world), spending my immortal life treading lightly amidst the dusky glades of Ellesmera. (Elf capital in Alagaesia) I would sing my house from a large tree (read book to understand reference ;)) and practice archery everyday, and sword- fighting. I would attend every Blood- oath Celebration, which is held every century. (No kidding. We elves are immortal, remember?)

So, I’ve rambled enough for a time… Do our ideal story worlds collide? 🙂

Another Freshly Nibbled Update!

Greetings! This post heralds the arrival of another update on my pirate story, Plunderella, A Pirate’s Tale.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to leave your mark, in the form of comments on the pirate’s tale! 🙂

Sail on, my friends!

Freshly Nibbled Updates

Hello!

I’ve recently realised that my short story department has been starving. So… Here’s the pirate’s tale that I’ve promised! (If you recall)

This story has elements taken from the fairytale, Cinderella, in the aspect that the roles of certain key characters have been extracted from Cinderella and used in my story.

For example, we have the fairy god- mother, who is supposed to provide help to the main character at one point in the story. We have the wicked step- mother too, who is the main antagonist in the story… Let’s see if you can spot them! 🙂

Ok, so I should stop babbling, and cut to the chase:

Short stories > Plunderella, A Pirate’s Tale

Happy reading! 🙂

My Very Own Mansion

I do not engage in ceaseless burbling: Daily Prompt: Reviving Bricks

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

I would be extremely delighted. I think I would live in it.

If money were not an issue, I’d fix it up and make sure bits of ceiling wouldn’t fall onto me when I slept. Among other things, I would install plumbing; cause if I had inherited a really old mansion, there wouldn’t be any plumbing, huh? Imagine going to a well to draw water, carrying many buckets back to the mansion, and then heating it up over a fire, just to take a bath. Horrid, if you ask me.

I would go medieval as well. I would host random balls and invite lords and ladies over. I would organize jousting competitions in my courtyard. I would keep a barn with horses, and go horse- riding everyday. I would have an archery range built in the meadows just right behind the mansion…
I think it would be splendid if living in the mansion actually took me back in time to the medieval period. It would be sort of fun. But I doubt I would fit in there. (As I said, the plumbing)

Do you dream of being in the medieval times too? 🙂

The Writer’s Space

I do not indulge in pointless blathering: Daily Prompt: Writing Space

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

I produce my best writing when I am flopped on my bed and alone in my room. I think this is mainly because I do odd things when I write my stories, like looking up from my laptop to pronounce several words aloud, or frowning into the distance and pondering some seemingly distant topic, like, should Tom die now or later?

Of course, that makes me seem like a murderer, but really, I am only killing off my imaginary, storybook characters. Please, there is no cause for alarm.

Besides, I get rather annoyed when I am distracted from my train of thought, to do mundane things like eating. I mean, I usually love eating—that is one of my hobbies, besides being a necessity of life. But just not at the wrong time. Especially when I’m writing.

My creativity pours out of me when my muse arrives, so I really don’t mind where I am when I start to write, as long as I get to write down whatever new story idea I may get. It is really frustrating when new and good stuff goes into your head, but you don’t have the time to write it down, and only when you want to pen/ type it down later, it slips out of your mind.

Sometimes, my source of creativity comes from my dreams as well. Like you know, those nice, floaty fragments of stories that enter your head when you sleep. (Yikes, I just read that statement again and it sounded really creepy. I mean, just imagine a multi- coloured cloud hovering over you for a while, and then drifting silently into your head when you sleep. Like I said, creepy.) Some people might keep a dream diary, but I don’t, maybe because I am too sleepy in the middle of the night to pen down whatever that just went through my mind.

Ok, I think that’s enough rambling for one time. So tell me, where do you write best? 🙂

Voting results for The Timeless City’s sequel!

Hello! So, after voting for your preference on what goes into my novel’s sequel, the results are out! 🙂

Mind you, if you have not voted yet, you can still make your voice heard, right now. I promise, I will still take into consideration your views!

If you recall, quite succinctly, I gave you the options of:

  1. Continuation of Charles and Destiny
  2. Destiny’s past
  3. More about Palo the centaur
  4. Alysia and her family
  5. No more sequels please!

And, the majority voted for… (No prizes for guessing) Charles and Destiny! So, yes, that is the direction my sequel will take. Right now, I have a brief storyline sketched for it, and you’ll be seeing a couple of familiar side characters making a second appearance!

But you’ll have to wait, for I am preparing The Timeless City for publishing, and working on a couple more stories first!

If you want to catch a quick glimpse of my novel before I take it down (yep, sorry dude), you can check it out here:

Click the book to read The Timeless City!

Click the book to read The Timeless City!

Happy reading, and have a nice day! 🙂

What do you think of my book cover?

Hiya! I’ve been dreaming of a book cover for my novel, The Timeless City, ever since I started writing it (sheesh, that was so very forward- thinking) And this is the result! 🙂 The Timeless city book cover   What do you think of it? 🙂 I’ve spent a couple of days slogging away on Photoshop and frowning emptily at my window like a moon- addled fool. All the same, I won’t mind if you have any major suggestions, cause that would be brilliant! Comments are free for all!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, try diving into The Timeless City!

Emerging from a painting

I do not invest in unwanted drivel: Daily Prompt: Living Art

 One day, your favorite piece of art — a famous painting or sculpture, the graffiti next door — comes to life. What happens next?

The painting I have in mind would be The Reading, by Renoir:

If I find those two sisters wandering around, first of all, I don’t think I will recognize them… I mean, what are the chances that they will stand out from the crowd? Okay, maybe if they retain their dressing, and combined with their alabaster skin and blushing cheeks, I might recognize them, and do a double- take.

I’ll hide behind a pillar and observe them discreetly. They will be bumbling about in the 21st century, confused by the noise and weird ‘magic’ around them, which we call ‘technology’.

Gathering my courage, I would approach and talk to them, to find out more about their world, the time period in which they come from. Perhaps, I might make a shocking discovery that their painting is actually a portal from their world to ours! Now, that will be interesting, won’t it?

I will usher them back in, and if I’m feeling rather adventurous and reckless that day, I will crawl in after them, through the painting, and into their world. That would be real amazing.

Since I wouldn’t want to be stuck in their era for the rest of my life, I will wedge something into the portal, as one would wedge a piece of wood between the door and its frame to keep it from closing. When I’m pretty much done with exploring their world, I would just nip back quietly to my own world.

This daily prompt actually reminds me of the book I have read before in my childhood—The Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo.

The following may contain spoilers, if you have not read the first book in the series, Midnight for Charlie Bone.

This series is about a group of children who are the endowed (like, you know, gifted) and the main character, Charlie, finds out he is a picture traveller, which is something like travelling through pictures/ paintings and interacting with the occupants in the picture.

There was this once where he entered the painting of a sorcerer, called Skarpo (Ah, I remember the name!) and Skarpo escaped from his painting! The subsequent chapters elaborated on the disaster that ensued from that incident…

I’m not saying that occupants of a painting should stay where they are—that is, in their painting—because, where will the fun be, eh? 🙂 But I think the consequences, especially if the occupant has malevolent intent, will be quite nerve wrecking.

Can you think of someone evil whom you don’t wish would emerge from a painting?

Just So You Know…

Hello! Here are a couple of updates to keep you in the know! 🙂

I have just posted the last chapter of the novel I’m working on, The Timeless City. It’s a real happy ending, I promise you that.

Besides, there is a sequel for The Timeless City, and the best part is… You can decide what’s going into it! It’s really easy, just vote, and comment if you think something else should be addressed in the sequel! 🙂 Happy voting!

Also, I am now taking a break from posting novels… To post short stories! So watch the space under ‘Short Stories’, cause some nice stories are coming your way! 🙂 Hmm, let me be more specific.

For starters, there will be a short story about pirates (Yar har har an’ a bottle o’ rum!), where the main character gets to kick some butt! Next will be an Arthurian tale, with an interesting twist of events, and where, incidentally, the main character kicks some medieval butt too! 🙂

Just so you know, these are the heads- up for you! Good day, and go do some writing of your own too! 😀

This Legacy of Mine

What kind of imprint on the world will I leave behind, when I’m gone? I’ve never really taken much consideration for this question, because I always think that the end of the twisting, turning and convoluted road called Life is far, far away. Truth to be told, who knows, a road block might just pop up unexpectedly, and I could be wiped off the face of the earth, anywhere, anytime. Hah, only God knows.

So, let’s do this differently. Let’s approach with two ways. Short term and long term.

If I were to just up and go in, say, within the span of five years time, I want to leave behind something of value, something that people can remember me by. (Woah, big dreams, for one so young) First most would be my blog, Pencil Nibbler. Hey, I might be an unpublished writer, or maybe just an aspiring author, but my writing does reflect bits of me, as it should. When others read my stories on this blog when I’m gone, I can, in the least, leave bits of me on the earth. (Yucks, that’s gross) And that’s that. There is no ‘second most’, at the moment.

When I take leave of my corporeal form after many, many years, then I shall add another legacy atop the one of my blog. And that would be tome after tome of books. I sincerely hope that my writings will get published some day, and that would be real cool.

Imagine running a finger down the glossy spine of a book, feeling the embossed letters beneath your fingertips. Then, you’d pull it out of the shelf, flip it open, pages crisp and dry, papery under the pads of your thumbs. And on the first page, you see printed words— the title, something that is intriguing and exciting, and then your name.

Oh, that idea makes my heart leap in excitement!

Writing has always been a part of me. I spend my day- dreaming time thinking of how to further develop my stories, and lengthy phrases will just flit, unbidden, across my mind. Books written by me would be a nice way of leaving behind a legacy. I want people to see hints of me in my books, in my writing. Maybe, in my stories, if I were to flatter myself, there would be a light and humorous tone, a dash of sarcasm, and a splash of irony.

I want to write stories that make people laugh out loud (oh yes, I did manage this a couple of times), make them cry, and otherwise bring them to all extreme reactions, except rage, which makes some people kick and throw things. Maybe I’ll stop at ‘righteous anger’.

This, dear readers, is the legacy of mine. What would you want to leave behind?

This seemingly random post was inspired by: Daily Prompt: Don’t you forget about me