Monday, February 24, 2014

Darn That Research

I began writing a short story for this anthology.  Not too far into the story, which tends to happen, I need to do some research.  Mind you, this is a Halloween themed anthology.  Naturally, I am penning a ghost story.  Before the plot gets too “technical,” I decided to research ghosts.

Now, when I research, I do research.  I take a subject and attack it from all angles.  This approach leads me to reading—a lot.  I even take notes.  Most of what I read does not make it into the finished product.  However, it helps my mind wrap around what I am creating.  I have also found that the tiny details make a subject interesting.  Sometimes, it takes many a long hour to reach those interesting tidbits.

For this story (still nameless), I dove into the subject of ghosts.  History of ghosts.  Ghost hunting.  Hauntings.  Sightings.  Et cetera.  After flicking through photo galleries of supposed ghosts, I had to stop.  I am sure most of them were faked in one way or another.  Some seemed to be wishful thinking.  I could not see what was claimed in the caption or in the red circle—even when enlarged (pixilation makes nothing better).

Unfortunately for me, I internalize my research.  Everything I read mentions how ghosts are prominent in old buildings, churches and the ever-popular graveyard.  Did I mention that my house is over 100 years old?  And that I live in a church rich area?  I won’t be taking pictures around my house or neighborhood anytime soon, just in case.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Unravelings -- Secrets of the Sages

Secrets of the Sages is coming!

Below is an excerpt from the 3rd book of the World In-between epic fantasy series.

     “Your Highness, wake up!” said a man’s voice. “Telor!”
     Opening his eyes, the Fairy Prince gazed at his intruder. The man wore the shimmering periwinkle armor of the Fairy Guards. “Colonel Gwron, what is it?” Telor asked.
     “Fairyland is being attacked,” said Gwron.
     Telor jumped out of bed. Rushing towards the window, he saw his colorful city aflame. “What are our options?” he asked.
     “I do not know, Your Highness,” replied Gwron. “They are using magic and beasts no one has ever seen.”
     “It’s like Delyth said.” Telor began getting dressed. “Colonel,” a glow outside his window caught his eye. He watched as a green dome crept across the sky. “They’re trapping us here. Evacuate as many as possible. Barricade the castle.”
     “What about you, Your Highness?”
     “My duties lie elsewhere. Anyone who cannot escape retreat to the Throne Room,” Telor instructed.
     Gwron ran out of the room as Telor laced up his boots. Grabbing his bow and quiver, he secured them to his back. Quickly, Telor removed velvet bags of Fairy Dust from their hiding places throughout his bedroom.  He picked up the carved wooden box that Delyth bought for him in Boudon, then stashed it in a black velvet bag. In one fluid motion, he secured his dark purple cloak around his shoulders.
     The sounds of Fairies scrambling in the castle reached his ears as he zipped down the hall. Arriving at a plain wooden door, he touched the handle, saying, “Bachtum.” The door swung open. He slipped inside.
     With one look at the stone steps of the Tower’s spiral staircase, Telor flew above them at blurring speed. At the top, he stopped at the periwinkle metal door. “Oganda,” he said. The door opened before him.
     He stepped inside the small, circular room. Reaching inside the dark bag, he extracted the box. He knelt beside the center octagonal stone on the floor. “Gune.” The stone rose above its resting place. Stretching his arm into the void, he removed a hand-filling, radiant stone. Carefully, he placed the stone inside the box. The floor lowered into place as he slid the box into the bag.
     Outside the metal door, he said, “Clonganda.” The door closed. He flew down the Tower steps with his great speed.
     A small group of citizens and Fairy Guards gathered in the Throne Room with supplies. “We are trapped inside the magical green dome,” said Gwron. “The castle walls will not hold them out for long.”
     Five glowing figures popped out of the Throne Room’s golden walls. “The Fairy Guardian Spirits,” Telor said. They spoke to Telor in the language of the ancient Fairies. All he could do was look at them blankly.
     “I don’t know this tongue beyond the few words Delyth taught me,” he pleaded.
     One of the Fairy Guardians stood in front of Telor. “Ere doe ein auk tun roe. Ere doe ein auk tun ín. On dry eck prone,” said the ghostly Fairy. His translucent hand went through Telor’s forehead.
     “Es newn rhyn tí,” Telor said in return.
     The spirit and Telor had a quick conversation in the ancient Fairy language. “Take what you can carry,” Telor told his people. “We can escape going under their magic.”
     Approaching a section of wall, Telor reached out his hand and said, “Tome dyme.” The wall faded to translucence. Turning to the other the Fairies, he said, “The Fairy Guards will guide you through the bowels of the castle. Go!”
     “We are abandoning Fairyland, Your Highness?” Gwron asked.
     “Look around you, Gwron. It is only stone,” said Telor. He pointed to the Fairies escaping into the wall. “They are Fairyland. We must protect Fairydom itself. Wherever Fairydom makes its home is Fairyland.”
     The enemy pounding on the doors of Fairyland Castle echoed off the walls of the Throne Room. Telor extended his hands towards the massive wooden double doors. “Lapsa,” he said. The doors shimmered with an opalescent glow. “That will not keep them out indefinitely, but it will buy us time.”
     Inside the wall, Telor solidified the doorway to the Throne Room. He ran through the black stone corridors of the ancient ruins upon which Fairyland Castle was built. Finally, he caught up to his people who waited near a weathered stone door. A Fairy Spirit spoke with him.
     He nodded. “This leads to the woods outside of Fairyland,” said Telor. “You are to run as far into the Dragonlands as you can. We will use only the light of the moon and stars to guide us out there. Are we ready?”
     “Yes,” the group murmured.
     “Extinguish all your torches,” he ordered. “When I open the door, you will leave in groups. A Fairy Guard will accompany each group.”
     The corridor slipped into black. The five Fairy Guardians became mere dim ghosts. “Ogan loo,” Telor said quietly.
     Stone moved aside, letting the night wind slap their faces. Telor and Gwron orchestrated the Fairies’ escape into the wilderness.
     When the last of the Fairies were set to go, Telor thanked the Fairy Guardians. In the faint moonlight, Telor whispered, “Clogandoo.” The stone sealed shut. They were exposed to the night.
     Telor could see the green glow that ensnared to the walled city of Fairyland. Branches above his head exploded.
     “Run!” he told the others.
     Weapon carrying men ran towards them. Gwron unsheathed a periwinkle metal sword. The Colonel stood his ground. A Fairy Guard readied his bow.
     “Go, Your Highness,” said Gwron.
     Telor froze. A dark shape slithered over his head. Looking up, he saw a light shape speeding through the trees.
     A glowing sphere hit Gwron’s armor, knocking him to the ground. Telor lobbed an arrow at the Warlock. The shapes in the trees opened their large, boxy mouths. Dragonfire rained upon their enemies. The Dragons barricaded the Fairies from their attackers.
     “Gwron!” shouted Telor.
     The Colonel groaned.
     “Let’s get him out of here,” said Telor. With the help of a Fairy Guard, they lifted Gwron away from the inferno.
     The yellow Dragon roared ferociously. “Fairy Prince, this way,” said Tong.
     The Fairies followed Tong into the depths of the Dragonlands while the yellow Long Dragon kept the invaders at bay.
     Berty sat up in the darkness. Sweat drenched his entire body. He felt as though he had just been running through the woods. A hand ran through his wet, dark hair. He was unsure of what had just played behind his eyelids. Was it real or a dream, a warning or a premonition?
     Cool breezes caressed his torso. His body shivered as goosebumps covered his skin in waves. Closing his eyes, his head fell back onto its pillow.

The World In-between series: Book 1 -- The World In-between; Book 2 -- Bow of the Moon; Book 3 -- Secrets of the Sages