Down in the Fairy Glen – A Children’s Fairy Tale.

I wrote this story last year, but it fits today’s Word of the Day prompt so I thought I would share it again with you. 

person jumping photo
Photo by Fru00f6ken Fokus on Pexels.com

 

 

Down at the bottom of the garden, where the Ivy and brambles are all overgrown and the little patch of nettles is getting a bit out of hand, there lived a fairy called Aera. A pretty little thing she was, no bigger than a monarch butterfly, with tiny hands and delicate feet, encased in little boots made from bluebell flowers. Her dress is made from two daffodil flowers sewn together with thread. She has transparent wings that glimmer with a silvery blue gleam when the sun shines on them just so.

She was friends with most things in the garden. She would fly with the bees and have a little chat to them. They didn’t stop for long though. Bees are very hard-working and don’t stop work for idle chatter, at least not for long. They did stop to give Aera the time of day because she was so lovely and often told them where the best flowers were. They, in turn, would give her a cup of their honey to say thank you. Aera also flitted with the butterflies. She’d known them since they were little caterpillars and she loved to see them grow into beautiful butterflies.

Aera chatted to the small birds, the Robin and the Wren. Mrs Wren was a particularly close friend. Mrs Wren has so many little babies to feed that sometimes Aera would help her find little seeds and worms.

There was a Magpie that came into the garden and Aera was not so fond of him. He was noisy and mischievous and often played too rough.

“Come out to play Aera. Let’s play who can shout the loudest? I bet I Can? CAW CAW CAW.” The Magpie would say.

“No thank you, Mr Magpie, I would rather just listen to the wind in the trees rather than your noise. Please go away.” Aera was always as polite as she could be but Mr Magpie made her cross.

If he wouldn’t go away, Aera would use some of her Magic and then the Magpie would fly far away and leave her alone.

The people who owned the house didn’t go into their garden very much and so she knew she could fly around and not be seen.

One day the family moved out and sold the house to a young couple. Aera heard them talking.

“Oh Darling, look at that mess the garden is in, all the weeds and the overgrown Ivy and nettles. You must do something about it.”

“OK Love. I will chop down the shrubs, pull up the weeds and concrete over the lawn. We can have a barbecue and invite our friends around.”

Aera was very upset. If they chopped down the shrubs and pulled up the weeds it would destroy her house. She wouldn’t be able to fly around, they would see her.

“Aera, what are we going to do?” Said Mrs Wren. “I have my nest in the shrub they are going to chop down, and I am just about to raise another family too.”

“Aera, if they pull up all the flowers, we won’t be able to make our honey.” Said the bees.
“What are we going to do?”

Aera decided that she was going to see the great Owl who lived in the Oak tree in the park.

He was so wise, he will know what to do.

“Mr Owl, Mr Owl, can I speak with you?”

It was still daylight and Owls sleep during the day and catch their food at night.

“Yes, Yes, Who is it? I’m awake now. I hope it’s important, I need my beauty sleep don’t you know?” Said the Wise Owl, rather grumpily.

“Oh it’s you Aera; I haven’t seen you in the longest time. How are you, my dear?”

“Oh Mr Owl, I need your help. New owners have bought the house and are going to chop down the shrubs and pull up the weeds and concrete over the lawn. The bees will not have enough flowers to make their honey and Mrs Wren and I with both lose our homes. What can we do?”

“I hear this sort of thing is happening more and more. Don’t they know the damage they are doing to nature? Hmmm, let me think.”

After a short time, Mr Owl spoke again.

“I think you should find out more about the new people who have moved in. They might not know much about nature and how important a garden is for the wildlife. Find out if they are the type of people who recycle their rubbish. If they are then they might change their minds if you can convince them how important it is to have a garden, for the bees and birds and the environment.”

Aera flew back to her garden and decided to listen at the window of the house. Normally it wasn’t polite to listen at doors and windows, Aera’s Mother had taught her very good manners. This time though, there was too much at stake.
Aera heard the lady speaking to the man.

“Have you finished with the newspaper; I want to stick it in the recycling. We’ve got to do our bit for the environment”

“OK Dear. I was thinking, I read the other day that people use too much water, watering their gardens in the hot weather. Maybe we should get a water-butt. That way we can store the rainwater and that would be better for the environment too.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t bother with that dear. When you concrete it over, we won’t need to water it anymore.”

Aera had heard enough. They obviously cared a bit about the environment because they were recycling their newspaper but they still didn’t have a clue about how important gardens were for wildlife.

Then she had a good idea. She had a little magic she’d stored away for a rainy day. She decided she would use her magic to help everyone.

When she got back to her little home, hidden away amongst the Ivy and the brambles, behind the nettle patch, she took out her magic pouch.

It was full of magic fairy dust that she had been saving for something special.
That night, when most people were asleep in their warm beds, Aera flew out of her house and started sprinkling her magic dust over the garden. She sprinkled some over the house too. As it was a warm night, the bedroom window was open, so she flew in and sprinkled her sparkly dust all over the two people sleeping and snoring in their bed.
Aera said her magic words; they are in fairy language so you wouldn’t understand them. Then she went to her bed, knowing she had done all she could.

The next day the postman was delivering the letters on his round, just like he normally did. He was surprised to see a large golden envelope addressed to the house at the end of the street. The one with the overgrown garden. He posted it through the letterbox and continued on his way.

“Dear, look at this letter we have received. It’s from the Natural Garden Club; we’ve apparently won a garden makeover in their competition. Did you enter us for this competition?”

“No, I don’t remember. Maybe it was your Mother, you know she enters lots of competitions now she’s retired.”

“Well someone is going to come round next week and talk to us about it.”

“That’s nice dear.”

The following week, a garden designer in a purple suit came round to talk to them about their garden.

“Well we had plans to chop down the shrubs and pull up all the weeds and concrete over the lawn and turn it into an entertainment area,” Said the lady.

“Goodness Me!” Exclaimed the garden designer. “Don’t you realise how important these little gardens are to our wildlife?” He said.
“We need to do all we can for the environment. When people concrete over their gardens, it makes flooding much more likely. The bees need all the flowers they can get to make their honey. If the bees die then our crops will fail. The wildlife really needs a small patch of weeds at the bottom of the garden so it can thrive. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I will tidy up the garden and trim back the shrubs. I will reduce the weed patch, so it’s just a small bit at the very bottom and I’ll build a patio by the house so you can have your barbecue. How does that sound?”

“OK, we didn’t realise how important having a garden and a weed patch was for the environment we are happy to do our bit, aren’t we dear?” Said the owner to his wife.

Now the garden is neat and tidy but it still has the flowers, the lawn and the shrubs. At the very bottom of the garden is a very small patch of nettles and some Ivy and brambles, and just inside, just out of sight, you can still catch a glimmer of a very tiny house. A small fairy called Aera lives there and she’s very happy.

The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glimmer/

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/fairy/

 

Tell the Story – A Bedtime Fairy Tale.

extraterrestrial-1204971_960_720

“I’m telling you, he’s only got one!” Jack shouted at the crowd in the bar.

None of them believed he had climbed up that beanstalk. None of them believed that it lead to a world in the clouds.

“I tell you I’ve been to it’s very top, Its Zenith.” Jack protested.

“Yeah, Yeah, I supposed you sneaked up on this giant like a commando, all covered in camouflage. You’re just so full of it, Jack. It’s one tall tale after another with you.”

Just then there came an almighty roar. The ground shook. Glasses and bottles fell off the bar and smashed on the floor.

Outside the beanstalk swayed side to side and from above a sound emerged from the clouds.

“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum….” It boomed out.

Then through the clouds peered a giant head.

“Cor, He’s right an’all” shouted Tom, the Pipers son. “He’s only got one!”

They all stared up at the giant as he started climbing down the beanstalk.

Having only one eye, the giant’s depth perception wasn’t all that great and so he missed his footing and fell to the ground killing himself and several gawking onlookers into the bargain.

It’s not something you see every day, not unless you had too many drinks at the bar.

Which of course, they’d had. Which was why no one remembered a thing the next day.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 01/February/2019

 

This story was written in response to a picture challenge from Rory, A Guy Called bloke:

Tell The Story … Something, Somewhere!

The ‘Tell the Story’ Challenge was created by:

https://theeclecticcontrarian.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/tell-the-story-challenge/

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/rdp-thursday-camouflage/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/zenith/

 

I would like to thank Rory for tagging me in this challenge. I would like to tag the following people:

Cyranny of Cyranny’s Cove

Weak in the knees… – Song inspired haiku challenge

Laura Venturini of Lauravent69

A Completely Frozen Chicago Looks Like Something Straight Out Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Right Now

and

Becky

~*~ To Be A Kid ~*~ (Poetry)

Now, if you don’t want to take part, then that is absolutely fine, but if you do, here is the photo for you.

P1030348

Guidelines … Create your own Tell The Story around the image above, then select three bloggers of your own and add your own image to complete the tag. All you need do is create a tale, story or poem.

Have Fun.

 

An Old-Fashioned Tale – The Two Sisters

As you may know, I am currently taking a break, but wanted to share some of my earliest posts with you, that you may have missed. 

This story was a fairy tale that I wrote back in April. 

All the best 🙂 

 

Once upon a time.

I do love those old-fashioned starts to stories, don’t you? They remind me of the fairy tales of my youth. Nothing is more likely to make me want to read on than hearing that lovely phrase. It takes me back.

Once again, I am a young lad sitting at the feet of my Granddad looking up at his worn but kindly face.

The tales he told me were not original; they were from an old book that his Grandfather had read to him. Tales of dark forests and wolves, of princesses trapped in towers with long golden hair.

This story is a bit like that, only it is original. It is a story about two lives that ran in parallel and then a momentous event sent those two lives off in different directions.

So here we go.

Once upon a time, there lived two sisters.

Continue reading An Old-Fashioned Tale – The Two Sisters

A Twisted Fairy Tale – A Short Story based on a fairy tale (Can you guess which one?)

As you may know, I am currently on a break, but am taking this opportunity to repost some of my older posts that you may have missed. This story was written back in March for my creative writing course. We had to take a well-known fairy tale and twist the story. Can you guess which fairy tale this was based on? 

 

 

On the opposite side of the road, he saw her.

She didn’t see him at all but he called out to her. She didn’t hear him either.

He walked along the road to try to remain parallel to her but she was a very fast walker and the road between them was wide and full of traffic. He saw her jump onto a bus just as it pulled away. It was one of those red, double-decker London buses with the entrance at the back. He saw her sit down under the metal staircase and then the bus turned the corner and he lost her, for the second time.

There was so much he had wanted to say to her if only he’d been able to catch her eye. He sat down on a bench, above an arch, overlooking a park. His mind thought back to their last conversation and how she had been crying. Above everything, he had wanted to apologise to her and to explain. He was so socially clumsy, so ill at ease. He often said or did the wrong thing. Despite all he said and didn’t say, he truly loved her. Why couldn’t he say that to her then? When she had said she loved him; that would have been the perfect moment but instead he couldn’t say anything at all and when she started crying, he didn’t know what to do.

Looking back three things had become clear to him. Firstly, she had been “The One” he was positive of that now. It was clear too that he had lost the opportunity and probably lost her also. Finally, it was clear he needed help. Help to understand why he was so awkward socially, why he so often couldn’t think of the right things to say or read those important visual cues that others seemed to read easily. Perhaps, one day, he could make it up to her. He hoped that their relationship if it could still be called that, wasn’t a completely closed door.
As he sat there, the chill wind ruffled his sandy hair and the russet leaves on the trees in the park below. He thought further back, to their first meeting. It had been two years ago, in a glorious summer. He had been working at his family’s hotel giving tennis lessons to any of the guests willing to pay. Sport had seemed such a lifeline to him at school when no one had wanted to be his friend. He was always that strange silent kid with the temper. The ‘Little Beast’, some had called him. With sport, however, he was often the first picked for the team and that had made him feel popular. So he had played football and rugby but it was at tennis he had excelled. So during the holiday season, his parents had decided to put him to use teaching tennis to the people staying in their hotel. He also helped out waiting at tables in the restaurant and occasionally he helped in the kitchens.

One day he saw her, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, with auburn hair that shone like burnished copper in the sunshine. She was with a middle-aged man and two other young girls, who he found out, were her father and sisters. Neither of the sisters looked much like her. One was much taller with very dark, frizzy hair. The other was shorter and with curly blond hair. They both had a disdainful look on their faces as they gazed around the lobby of the hotel, whereas she was smiling. She looked up and their eyes met. She had the most beautiful deep blue eyes, and he found himself walking over to say hello. Then a miracle happened. For the first time ever, his usual awkwardness didn’t materialise. He introduced himself to them and welcomed them to the hotel. In her company he seemed to be able to speak normally and without his usual hesitant manner. They got on well and as she decided to take tennis lessons this meant they spent a lot of time together. Her name was Annabelle, she told him, and she lived in Manchester with her father, who was a merchant, and her sisters. They usually liked to spend their holidays on the South coast of England but this was their first time in Devon. After spending a good deal of time together during the two weeks of her holiday the day came for her to leave. He started to feel tongue-tied and he couldn’t think of anything to say but she asked if they could keep in touch, as pen pals and gave him her address to write to.

He had never been much of a writer but he began writing letters to her once or twice a week. He found that he was able to communicate much better in writing than he ever had verbally.

Last summer she came back to stay again, with her father. He was so pleased to see her but the emotions seemed to rise up inside him and choke him. He could barely utter two sentences together. At first, she was able to make up for his silence by telling him about her new Job in London and what other things had been happening to her but eventually she seemed to realise that he wasn’t adding much to the conversation and the awkward silences began. That night they went out for dinner and he remembered clearly the lights from the candelabra shining on the silver cutlery and bringing out the coppery highlights of her hair. He could smell her perfume, spicy and intoxicating, over the usual comforting aromas of the restaurant. He remembered again how after the meal she had confessed she loved him and he felt that rising suffocating emotion stifling all thought and murdering his ability to speak. He remembered seeing the tears gather in her perfect blue eyes but he sat paralysed and unable to comfort her. That had been the first time he’d lost her.

He had tried to write to her and explain. He never had a response.

His thoughts returned to the present. The sun was setting and he was aware the autumn air was getting too cold to be sitting around in it. Getting up from his park bench he began walking back to his dingy little apartment in Old street. He was now working in London as a data analyst. It seemed that, just like with sport, his strange manner didn’t make any difference to his ability to process and handle data. He was at ease with data, data couldn’t misinterpret his silences and he couldn’t misread its face. He had moved to the area because he knew she worked in this part of town, as a nurse in Moorfield’s hospital. He wanted to be near her in case, one day he would see her again. He supposed it was a strange obsession, but he clung to that one hope.

As he walked down the steps to his basement studio, one of many like it in London where old Victorian townhouses were divided up into small flats, he decided that once and for all, he was going to find out why he behaved the way he did. He was going to see his GP. He had hardly even seen his GP, only once a couple of months before when he’d had flu. The doctor was a brisk but pleasant chap who got down to business quickly without too much small talk. He liked that. After the doctor had asked him some questions about his problems he referred him to the behavioural therapy clinic for some analysis. “You should hear in the next couple of weeks,” the doctor said, by way of dismissal.

Exactly eleven days later his appointment letter arrived to see Doctor Hazel Mortimer at a clinic in Hackney. On his first visit, he was quite nervous and taciturn. The Doctor was a mature lady with dark hair and a rather unfortunate nose and chin that reminded him of a witch. Her manner, though, was friendly and easy-going. After a good long discussion, she gave her diagnosis, which sounded like a curse.
“I am pretty certain that you have Asperger’s syndrome. It is reasonably common, more so in men. I can recommend a support group to you and I have quite a lot of information that you may find useful and helpful.”

The more he read about it, the more things fell into place about his childhood and growing up. His temper, that had caused people to call him the little beast, was borne out of frustration. The inability to read people’s faces and pick up on visual cues was typical. It seemed to help to know that. It also helped that at last, he had a label that people could understand. The name somehow legitimised him as a person, he wasn’t just an oddball or a beast, he was a person with Asperger’s.

He attended the support group which met weekly in the community centre, not far from where he lived. It felt so good to hear how other people, perfectly normal looking people, had had experiences like his.

It was as he was leaving one of these support group meetings that he unexpectedly came face to face with her again in the community centre lobby.
They stood for several seconds looking into each others’ eyes. Both of them stunned to see each other.
“Annabelle, I’m so pleased to see you. I wanted to see you again. I have something to tell you, something important.”
Her blue eyes began to fill with tears. He couldn’t let this happen again, he had to speak.
“Look, Annabelle, I love you. I’ve always loved you and I’m sorry I couldn’t say so at the time. I know it’s been over a year since we last met, but please tell me, do you still feel the same way?”
She was looking at him like he had horns growing out of his head; like he was some kind of monster.
“Annabelle, I found out why I am so awkward and why I come across the way I do. I have Asperger’s syndrome. I come here to attend a support group and it has helped. I am not a beast, but neither is this a curse that is going to go away like in a fairy tale. I am always going to have Asperger’s but maybe if you still love me, we can make a go of it. What do you say?”
Annabelle smiled; it was a quirky slightly uneven smile. “Well I am here for my support group; I have Bi-polar disorder. I am not an easy person to live with and sometimes, I suppose, I must be a nightmare. If you are prepared to take me on, then if you’re game, so am I.”

There, in the community centre lobby, with a couple of support workers looking on, they kissed, like two starving people at a feast. They were impervious to the smell of cheap bleach and the onlookers gawping at them. The grey lino on the floor, the plastic chairs and bright fluorescent lighting were not at all romantic, but they were.

They did not live happily ever after, because real life isn’t really like that, but they were together and that was enough.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty – March 2018

A Fairy tale retold – The Forlorn Bride

Screenshot_20180805-192509_Google-01

Cyndi-Ella was feeling forlorn as she was being led down the aisle of the church to marry the Prince.

Her eyes were swollen from all the tears she had been crying since she realised she didn’t love him after all. She had just been caught up in it all. The ball, the chase and of course anything to escape that horrible old stepmother of hers. She felt somehow that she had been caught up in a story, a fairy tale and she also felt that she wasn’t in control of her own destiny. The feeling of being trapped and not being able to make your own decisions was the most stifling and suffocating thing she had ever experienced. Even more suffocating than having to sleep in a dusty old cellar in her father’s old house.

Wearing that gorgeous cream silk dress and those fantastic satin high-heeled shoes that her glamorous fairy godmother had conjured up for her, she took another look at her Prince Charming standing by the altar. Yes, he was handsome and he seemed terribly keen on her, but he’d been a bit too obsessed somehow. She wasn’t sure he was quite mentally balanced. He seemed too determined to have what he wanted, whenever he wanted it. Also, if she was entirely honest with herself, she wasn’t at all sure she liked men at all. They seemed far too controlling for her liking. She hadn’t managed to escape from that awful cellar in order to chain herself to a man who was going to rule her for the rest of her life.

Half way down the aisle, she made up her mind. She pulled her arm away from the awkward old Lord Chamberlain, who had been commanded to lead her down the aisle, and ran quickly out of the church calling out for her Fairy Godmother.

She realised it was her fairy godmother who had truly captured her heart. What girl wouldn’t fall for someone who was so stylish and who could give her all the exquisite clothes and shoes she could ever want?

The End

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-forlorn/comment-page-1/#comment-3187

Forlorn

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/awkward/

Awkward

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/06/fowc-with-fandango-swollen/

Swollen.

Sunday Evening reading – My Fantasy story part 21.

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons.
Here is the next instalment.
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Twenty-One

Bethra was bored with her book. She had borrowed it out of the reading room when they’d arrived two days ago; she was at least halfway through it. The story was about a girl called Alice who feel down a hole. Bethra thought that Alice was a perfectly silly name. The more she read the story, the more Alice reminded her of her cousin Lara ‘miss prim and proper, aren’t I all sweet and lovely’! It wasn’t so much that she hated Lara, she didn’t really, but she did hate the fact that Lara always appeared to have everything she wanted. In a fit of pique, Bethra threw the book across the room. It bounced off the wall with a thud and landed on Lara’s bed. ‘Let Lara read the stupid book’ thought Bethra ‘I’m sure that Alice and Lara will get on splendidly anyway’. Bethra got up, checked her reflection in the mirror. Her pale blonde hair gleamed, she had washed it three times that morning to ensure that it did. She was wearing a dress of finely woven pale blue wool with pink bows on it. She puffed up the bows, checked herself one last time then left the room to join the others in the common room. 

Continue reading Sunday Evening reading – My Fantasy story part 21.

Wednesday evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 20.

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons (give or take a few exceptions).

Here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

You might want to read part 19 or the start of this may not make much sense…

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/sunday-reading-my-fantasy-story-part-19/

Part Twenty

Mage Caraffi leaned towards Lara, his green eyes flashing in that peculiar way she found so unnerving.

“Well Lara, the gemstones sometimes tell us very little at all. A lot depends on the potential strength of the subject. Someone with very little magical ability will have virtually no response at all from the stones, they will just be pretty jewels. They do not really have any magic of their own, just reflect and focus the magic of the person who holds them. They reflect the natural power within the Mage. I am very impressed that you have had such a strong reaction, both physically and emotionally from these stones. You must have a great deal of latent power indeed. As I have explained before, Magic is energy, the energy that dwells all around us and also comes from within us. It can be tapped from a multitude of different sources. A Mage can tap that energy and use it to bring about changes that manifest in the real world, changes to the very pattern of life. This magical energy is not just a raw force, however, it is made up of four primary elements. Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Now each change to the pattern requires a different blend of these elements to form the right magical energy to bring about the desired change. If the balance is wrong, the result will be wrong as well. Do you understand what I am saying?”

Continue reading Wednesday evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 20.

Sunday reading – My Fantasy Story, part 19.

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. Except last Sundays was posted on Monday and Wednesday’s was posted on Friday morning… .

Now I am back to my usual Schedule.
Here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Nineteen

Lara hadn’t realised how, without thinking, she must have been making Bethra feel. She had taken so much of her life for granted. She had been pampered and spoilt. Loved by her Father and respected by people without having earned it, just because she was the Governor’s daughter. Only now she was beginning to realise how lucky she’d been. She thought of how much harder Bethra’s life had been and she felt guilt deep within her, possibly for the first time in her sheltered and self-contained little life. She was beginning to see the wider world and it was opening her mind and her emotions to new sensations. 

As Lara walked down those narrow wooden stairs she could hear the noises coming from the common room below. The laughter, singing and general sound of people trying to forget they had troubles drifted to her ears. When she entered, the smell of pipe-smoke assaulted her nostrils and made her eyes sting. She could see David sitting at a table in the corner talking to one of the Merchants. It was the grim one, who always wore grey. The man was smiling as he spoke to David, something she had never seen on his face before, but when he saw her standing in the doorway his smile disappeared to be replaced by his more usual scowl. Was it her imagination or was there a touch of fear in his face? Was she not have supposed to have seen them together? Lara decided she would pretend she didn’t see them and instead walked straight through the room and through the door to the reading room beyond. The reading room was used as the towns library and was filled from floor to ceiling with books on the shelves that lined the walls. The smell of old leather and paper combined to form a much more pleasant perfume than had been present in the common room. Although quite a nice room, it wasn’t as grand as the great library in Argor, which was now the greatest depositories of knowledge in the country. The Library in the Rosana Palace in the Capital used to be the biggest, but it was burned to the ground in the revolution. So many Libraries had been burned, almost as if it was the books who were the enemy. Luckily his father had restored order in Argor quickly and preserved the library there.

At first she thought she had the room to herself, but then she saw Mage Caraffi in the corner gazing at a chessboard. Lara sat down opposite him and they began a game. She loved playing chess. It was something that her Father had taught her and when he wasn’t too busy, they would enjoy a game. She was quite good at it. In just six moved each, she had managed to put Caraffi’s king in check. With his king threatened, Caraffi brought in his Queen to take one of her pieces but had left it vulnerable. With a whoop of triumph Lara took his queen with her Knight. Calmly, the mage moved in his bishop which had been at the back of the line, captured her Knight and left her King in Checkmate. The game was over. Lara was furious with herself. She had been winning but had neglected to pay attention to his bishop.

“Remember Lara, not all your enemies are obvious. Sometimes they can be hidden.”

Lara changed the subject quickly, the Mage made her nervous when he spoke in that mysterious way and his eyes glowed green from the light of a nearby lamp.

“Augustus? Tell me a little about yourself. I know you Mages are secretive and mysterious but surely you know me well enough by not to tell me something of your past?”

“I was born a long time ago and a long way from here. I am a lot older than I look. I know I look to you about thirty-five, but I am many years older than that.”

Actually Lara had thought he was over forty but decided to only think it and not say it and hope he couldn’t read her mind like old Angstrom. 

The Mage continued “This is something you should be aware of Lara. Mages do not age as normal human beings do. We age much slower and live a lot longer. Although it hasn’t been measured exactly, the life expectancy of a Mage can depend on how powerful they are, what type of Mage they, how often they use their magic and even on whereabouts they live. A rough average life expectancy is around One hundred and forty years old. Generally, High-Mages live longer than Mages because they are usually more powerful, which is why they achieved higher rank in the first place. Although rank is not just awarded for pure power but hopefully for intelligence and wisdom also. Mages, of course, are just as susceptible to diseases and plagues as anyone else. A sword or an arrow is just as dangerous to us too. Oh, and by the way, you remember those testing jewels I gave you? How have you been getting on with them?”

“I forgot all about them. I still have them but while we held in Savarias I hid them away in case they were recognised for being ‘Mage tools’. Then I packed them in my saddlebags and I haven’t used them since. I remember they made me feel very strange. Each one made me feel slightly differently, it’s hard to explain exactly how. When I closed my eyes and grabbed them at random I found that for some reason I had chosen some jewels more often than others. Some of them practically leapt into my hand. Eventually I could even tell which jewel I had grabbed before I looked at it, based on how easy it had come and how it made me feel. I picked up the Garnet most often, about twenty times out of forty. It always made me feel invigorated and full of energy, like liquid fire flowed in my veins. The smoky grey gem I picked up about ten times. It made me feel quite calm but also exhilarated at the same time, like I was soaring high above over mountains and forests. I could almost feel the wind rushing past me. The Amethyst made me feel quiet and calm like I was floating along a calm river with gentle currents caressing me softly. The Diamond had the strangest effect on me of all. It made me imagine that I had a third eye, in the middle of my forehead. The eye was like a telescope so that when I opened it I could see for miles off into the distance. How odd is that? I didn’t pick the emerald up at all. I felt a pull towards the garnet and to a lesser extent the smoky grey gem and the Amethyst, but I felt repelled by the emerald. When I made myself touch it, it felt uncomfortable, like it wanted to jump away. When I had it in my hand I had a dizzy feeling like I was falling from a great height into a pit with no bottom. The sensation always made me feel queasy, but that may have been the motion of the coach. Tell Me Augustus, what does it all mean? What are those gemstones supposed to teach me?”

End of Part Nineteen. 

To be continued……

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 22/July/2018

 

 

My Fantasy Story – Part 18, Sorry it’s Late

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. Except last Sundays was posted on Monday and this is now Wednesday’s instalment. I apologise for the delay.

Well better late than never, here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Eighteen

In the sheltered little Savarian town of Hardensford, Lara and her group were encamped. The weather had turned foul. Strong winds and torrential rain had made travelling impossible. The town was situated on the main highway from the City of Savarias, now a day’s ride to the South and the District of Albana still at least a day’s ride North. The highway had once been paved with slabs of stone but had been damaged in the Civil war as part of the Red Army’s strategy of preventing the Imperial troops from being able to move quickly. The fact that the road had not yet been rebuilt demonstrated how important the District of Savarias was to the new regime. The torrential rain had turned the road into a number of stone islands between patches of mud. For two days the wind had howled, the rain had fallen and the lightning had stuck. The towns weathermen predicted that it would last for another five days. The weathermen, with their collection of sayings and superstitions were about as reliable as a cockerel in the hen-coop, but it looked like this time they were right. The town of Hardensford had become their prison. It seemed like it would have been a pleasant town in kinder weather. It had developed as the meeting place of the farms in the area to gather and sell their wares and also it was a stopping point for merchants travelling between the City of Savarias and the more lucrative markets to the North. It was also one of the places you could usually cross the River Arden, when the ford wasn’t completely flooded as was currently the case. They were trapped in Hardensford until either the river levels fell enough to use the ford or the roads dried up enough to travel upriver to the village of Coltswood, about five miles away, which had a ferry. 

Continue reading My Fantasy Story – Part 18, Sorry it’s Late

My Fantasy Story – Part 17 – The Memory of a Mother.

Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I didn’t post my Sunday afternoon/evening’s scheduled instalment of my Fantasy story…..

Well better late than never, here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Seventeen – The Memory of a Mother

The council, or great assembly, turned to the more mundane matters of the day-to-day running of the Red Magehood’s enormous Empire and the people under their protection. Meanwhile, a speeded courier arrived at the southern gate. Night had fallen and so the great gates to the City of Solarys had been closed and locked. The courier handed a golden disc to the Gatekeeper who examined it closely. The keeper then commanded the gates be opened and the courier rode on through the deserted streets of Solarys, the Citadel of the Sun. The courier headed northwards towards the Fortress of the Red Magehood on the great fire mountain that overlooked the city. Most of the city was built on the flat plateau lavas that had once poured from the volcano long before the area became inhabited. The Fire Mountain itself had been dormant for over a thousand years, but it remained an important feature in the life of its citizens providing hot water springs and creating an inexhaustible energy supply for the city. The courier arrived at the gates of the fortress and flashed his gold disc once more. Within moments he was ushered into the great chamber. He had orders that this letter could only be surrendered into the hands of either Sorceress Magda Rubicunda or those of the High Sorcerer himself. It was a message of the greatest importance.

Continue reading My Fantasy Story – Part 17 – The Memory of a Mother.