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Post by Kafria on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:23 pm

Currently going slow on my Wonderland stuff, would help if I wasn't plagued by a new idea that I am slowly developing - background only at the mo as to work properly I am going to have to pull some mythology together first and research a whole load of ghost/paranormal stuff first. Anyways, this image popped up in a daydream and wouldn't quit, so I had a go at writing it down. Doesn't go anywhere, doesn't fit with anything else, but the images in my mind are playing their own video short in my head. (I had thought this could be an apology for missing the picnic as we were away, but...life!)

The Block

She sighed, closing her eyes and revelling in her awareness as her shoulders rose, and the muscles tightened, embracing her neck. She felt the rising pressure as her ribs rose and like grasping fingers greedily devoured the air. When her lungs had gorged themselves, stuffed full, she held still. Immobile she lost herself in the taut anticipation, before releasing a long slow sigh, visualising streams of tension leaving her limbs in time with the air from her lungs. She slowly opened her lids and read the words again. Strain returned as the corner of her mouth crunched into a resigned grimace. She shook her head deliberately from side to side, still working to eradicate the perturbed stress. It was no good, it still made no sense.

She was sat cross-legged in the middle of her desk, four tables pushed together, like those she had sat at in school. The desks were centred in the kind of square meeting room found in many public offices, muted colours and hard wearing carpet kitted with functional fittings, neither attractive nor opulent. The utilitarian air re-enforced by the whiteboards fastened to two walls. It was one of these boards that remained under disgruntled scrutiny.

It was covered in endless short scrawls, each boxed and numbered, arrows streaking across the gaps to link patches together like a route map. If the interwoven web of lines were not disorientating enough here and there it was decorated with a rainbow of small square post-it notes each bursting with further information. To anyone else it was an explosion of confusion, for her it was a map for the journey through her imagination to fulfilment on the written page. Two weeks of painstaking work hung in the balance.

An initial glint had been teased out with careful strikes, scrapes and brushes. Disparate ideas soldered together into continuous interwoven threads, the weaving of the tapestry gradually revealing the shades and forms of those within the tale. Outlines, background characters and plot threads littered the board to her right. In front of her the key moments danced, some spot lit in the dark museum of her consciousness, others only revealed in the halting steps between those bright islands. She presently found herself adrift as she swam to her next destination, the swift current of her leads determination battling the strokes of her tired imagination to reach the next stop on her journey.

As it became clear that rescue remained elusive, the life raft drifting just out of reach, she closed her eyes once more. She ran through the deep breathing ritual to clear the clouds of negativity before permitting herself a break.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:47 pm

Kafria thats a description of the inside of my head when I am trying to write! Nice.
And don't mention the picnic!- its a very sore point at the mo-but it will be held...eventually.

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Post by odo banks on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:13 am

This is just the kind of esoterica that gives esoterica a bad name. Pure nonsense! And if it's a good description of what goes on in Mr Tyrant's head, is there any wonder? Rolling Eyes

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:44 am

Hey! The inside of my head is a sacred place- which is why I dont let anyone in, including me. Nod

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Post by Kafria on Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Having taken December off from my writing after the mad cap mayhem of November and nano I have spent the afternoon taking stock of where I am with what.

First job was to remove some scenes from the nano that were written to fill words. my initial ooutline had the space story interwoven with a Virtual reality (that had a big resemblence to a village we all love) as another thread. The space story held its own and with the exception for one or two short bits the second strand never happened.

As the space story is not a big focus I'm just going to tidy it up and leave it. That leaves a couple of small orphaned passages that i thought I'd share.

First up I found myself drawn to the ritual of fire in the autumn and like last year wrote a bonfire scene, although this is a little different.


The air was crisp and clear, cutting through scanty layers like a knife. High above wisps of cloud floated like currents in a rolling sea, tossing the moon about in its depths while blinking stars illuminated the myriad dangers hiding in the deep.

A palpable air of excitement hung over the muddy streets as huddles of small children fought with sheet and unwieldy masks, opening their bags to compare supplies and trying to top each others ambitions for the spoils to be won. Nearby, parents and siblings kept a watchful eye on the islands of happiness babbling ceaselessly. Some joined those huddled tightly in scarves and gloves, wrapped tight against the ghostly fingers of cold that endlessly sought purchase in any gap or crevice. Others, having delivered their charges, hurried off. Some went to prepare homes for the imminent visits of the small troops of supplicants, others to the heath behind the Manor house where treats needed warming and wood made ready fro the protecting flames of All Hallows Eve.

The bell in the chapel tower broke the silence as it tolled the hour, a nervous cheer flitting around the street as the adults broke ranks, each crossing to one of the huddled groups and collecting their charges.

Reaching their first destination one small group clustered together, shoving at each other as they tried to organise themselves. Finally, a short lad with ginger hair was pushed to the front as the group began to shuffle forward, through the gate and up to the front door, keeping their designated spokesperson to the front. As they reached the dark blue door his hand reached out, barely caressing the door.

“Louder,” came the hissed instruction from behind. Reaching forward once more he tapped more firmly on the door, jumping back and causing squeals behind him as it opened.

“Trick or Treat,” chorused the voices as a stooped old man with straggling grey hair came to lean in the brightly lit hallway, an indulgent smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Go on then…where’s your trick? You’ll get no treat till I’ve seen it,” he demanded, crossing his arms expectantly.

The young redhead stood to the side, looking to the undisputed leader of this little troop, the tall girl in the middle. She counted them down, indicating the start with an exaggerated nod of her head. The group turned to look at their audience, reciting the poem they had memorised, heads bobbing and hands waving to add action to words. The old man laughed happily, clapping his hands in delight as he reached an arm back into the hall and produced a basket of treats.

“Excellent. That definitely merits a treat. And you’re in luck, Betsy baked special for tonight,” he said.

Four small bodies shuffled forward, elbows shoving to find space and make the best selection from the sticky buns offered to them. Stowing their treasures ub bags and baskes he children headed back down the path offering their happy thanks as they went. The householder met their guardians eyes, sharing his congratulations.

“I’ll see you later, on the heath. Betsy made toffee too!” he added. He waved a hand in salutation, ducking back inside to shut th light away. The surviving glowing points were those provided by the lanterns the kids carried, weaving to and fro around the winding streets.

xXx

The Manor house stood at the end if the village, down a side path and separated from the homes around it by a chest high wall, only broken by impressive wrought iron gates. Access to the heath beyond was through a small stone stile, narrowed by two tall limestone slabs.Baskets of goodies were lifted high over the dry stone wall as matronly bulks twisted sideways to squeeze through the gap, before booted feet sort firm ground between the lumpy tussocks of grass.

They each made for the glow of half a dozen torches, showing where the gamekeeper and woodsmen were putting the finishing touches to the fires that would see the villagers safely through the night. It was tradition that at this time, when the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest that the villagers sort safety in company and the raw power of the heat and light of flame.

As the men pottered about, adding a branch here and removing a plank there, the ladies shared the fruits of their afternoons labors, of the treasures unearthed in rummages through the pantry. A large tree stump served as a table, bowls and parcels being unwrapped and placed upon it. A range of savories for heating in the fire were carried over to a log closer to the incipient blaze.

All around the piles of brushwood groups began to gather, family groups reforming as children returned from their expeditions. Friends were hailed by those on all sides as they hurried up after the last of the nights callers.

When all were gathered, the youngest child, led by the hand, accompanied the woodsmen to the back gate of the manor. The chief woodsman blew upon a horn trumpet, three shrill blasts. As the notes faded away a small voice was heard to demand,

“The people of the village demand the protection of their Lord on this peri…peri.”

“Perilous,” supplied the woodsman to shared smiles.

“Perilous night,” finished the child.

The gate swung open, hinges protesting loudly and causing one or two shrieks of alarm. Out stepped the Lord and his wife.

“I answer the call, bringing flame to light the way and hold back the hordes of the night,” he proclaimed.

The couple stood aside as their daughters led the way to the fire, sprinkling Rowan and Ash leaves they had collected and dried in the summer as a path for their eldest brother. Held high in front of him was the flame taken from the cauldron lit at summer solstice and kept burning throughout the year to light the festival fires. He carefully followed the path laid by his sisters, reaching the readied pyre. He held the flame aloft for a long moment before lowering it to the dry wood. The fire had been stacked well and the flames soon caught, the flickering grasping flames illuminating the faces of those who stood around.

A ragged cheer broke out and died into the happy chatter of friends as food began to be served and friends greeted. There was no hurry, the would all stay together till dawns light crept back into the world, the long hours filled with laughter. Later tales of long ago would be retold by the elders, the stories passed on to a new generation.



Secondly a snippet of needlehole day to day life...

Norc hurried across the village green, skirting around the pond edge, with it’s slimy mud banks, exposed by the unseasonably warm weather. She was late for Mrs Figgs, the woman who slipped her few coins in return for tidying the lounge and facilities of her gentleman's club and eel emporium.

It wasn’t much, but every little helped since the disappearance of her brother. Mother simply sat and stared at the walls unable to take in the washing and mending that she used to. Father was spending more time in the Muck and Duck than at the masons yard, so anything she could do to help was important.

The interview with Lord Eldo in the tower of law had proved too tempting however. That could be a much better money earner than the odd cleaning job, and wouldn’t make her hands crack as they dried from endless soakings in buckets of water.

The square past the green was crowed with the brightly striped stalls of the biweekly market. Children slid around stalls and ran underfoot as the ladies of the village bartered with the farmers wives for their wares, trading coins or luxuries and haggling over the relative worth of each. Burly butchers lads and shop boys hefted boxes of goods around from carts to stalls, or followed the ladies home, carting their purchases for them and clomping through the muck that the women daintily picked their way around.

She watched as one of the tyrant urchins snuck an apple off a stall, watched surreptitiously by the stall holder. When it became clear he was only taking the one the proprietor turned away and catching Norc watching shrugged. The tyrants had far too many mouths to feed and a father who rivaled her own for the time he spent on the buckie. Charity wouldn’t be accepted, but there were those who choose to turn a blind eye as the family cut the corners they needed to to get by.

As she turned to continue her hurried steps she bumped into another of the market goers.

“Watch out,” came a nasal reproof. “Oh dear, Mistress Norc, what are you doing?” he asked.

“Running errands, Master Banks,” she replied, dropping a small curtsy to the fussy man. Damn, she needed to get away. She rose and began to slide away before…

“Where is your escort?” he asked, head twisting around as if her aunt or cousin would appear out of the crowd. “You know better than to travel on your own,” he stated.

“Ringo is just at one of the stalls, I’ll find him,” she replied and tried once more to make her escape, but a gloved hand caught her wrist.

“I must take this chance to speak with you,” he whispered, glancing about so clearly that several of the market goers stopped to listen to what was sure to be a reprimand.

“A young lady can never be too careful, she must know her place. Study is not for your fragile minds,” he said, patting her hand as if she were three and overwrought.

“Sir?” she asked, confused. What was the stick in the mud on about?

“Law is such a complicated subject, wouldn’t want you to be out of your depth,” he added.

“Of course not,” Norc replied through gritted teeth, “thank you for your advice,” she added, curtsying again and pulling her hand out of his to step determinedly away.

The pompous interfering busy body couldn’t care less about her. His son had also been at the tower of law this morning and had obviously been to complain to his daddy already. Never mind, she would show him, but getting to Mrs Figg’s in time was too important to waste time setting that outdated fool straight. It was to be hoped she got the job, just so she could flaunt her new status in front of Odo, put his nose right out of joint.

She hurried up to the double story wooden building with the wrap around veranda, the shutters were all still closed. Mrs Figg and her girls kept late hours and so slept late too. She trotted up the steps and skirted around the right hand side of the terrace to the kitchen door. Hurrying inside she swapped her cape for the apron by the door, ducked into the pantry to grab her cleaning box and saying hi to the cook strode into the lounge.

Dropping her box on the counter she picked up a discarded tray and started collecting the glassware that needed retuning to the kitchen before she began setting the room to rights.


This was my intro to the needlehole world in my space story... but as I said this side of it never grew....still, its yet another take on our little village.

Hope you enjoy...

(Now I've sorted what to do with Tenebrae (the space thing) - nothing much - I can turn my attention back to developing other things...)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:35 am

I really enjoy your stuff Kafria- you do atmospheres and moods superbly well and hve a knack for capturing nuances and small details perfectly.
Mind you Im still waiting on the rest of your Dark Planet Day fanfic entry! Mad

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Post by Eldorion on Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:45 am

I love seeing everyone's varying interpretations on the world of Needlehole, and I especially love your writing, Kafria! I understand the draw of Nano but I have missed seeing your stuff on here, so thank you very much for posting these snippets! I'd love to read more of your stuff, whether it has to do with Forumshire, Tenebrae, or anything else. Very Happy

I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into a very real world with developed characters with your stories. Even the shortest scenes are tantalizing and leave me wanting to see more.
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Post by Norc on Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:39 pm

man, just realised i should read this :/ but it is so much I have to print it out in order to consentrate.. but we're out if inc *facepalm*
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Post by Orwell on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:44 pm

Can't see that Odo will be happy with his depiction in your fine tale, Kafria. Things like 'nasal reproof' may be accurate and applicable, but you must know he never sees himself that way. No

And he certainly wouldn't know what words like 'pompous' meant... Probably would think it some kind of intelligent aquatic creature - and he doesn't tend to like intelligent aquatic creatures - except mermaids for some reason, though he says things always end up disappointing, and I have no idea what he ever means by that... Anyway he prefers tuna and salmon if you must know... Very Happy

{{{I better warn you too, Ol' Anon has a tendancy to 'borrow' little phrases like 'nasal reproof'. Just saying.... Shrugging }}}

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