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Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Submission Thread Here's my attempt - Loose fingers and looser morals (1273 words) :)

Spoiler for Hiden:
He knew he had to stop. He was good at what he did, damn it, he was the best. But that was precisely why it was going to get him killed. Ross walked alone despite the festivities. It was past midnight, the debauchery around him told him so. The dirty cobbled streets were a mess of celebrations, empty bottles and fallen drunks. He smiled with satisfaction as he walked. It had been a bumper harvest for Torr. They had gone all out.

For a charming gentlemanly pickpocket such as himself, tonight had been a very busy and fruitful evening. He had robbed until all his pockets, even the hidden ones in his long coat, had been filled. Ross had robbed until he could squander no more. Even his hat was stuffed with jewels. He should have stopped hours ago but there was need within. If he was caught now he’d hang before sunrise.

He calculated what he had pilfered that night. Was it 20 or 23 gold rings that jangled on his person? Not to mention the various gold and silver pocket watches that gleamed even in the dark. He grinned upon remembering just how many wallets he had snuck away. And of course the precious gemstones and the jewellery he’d slipped from ladies necks.

Ross lit a cigarette already missing Torr’s generous taverns he’d spent his evening in. He would not need to work for many years if he chose, he knew too well it wasn’t financial gain that bound him to trickery and theft. He knew he would come back for Yule. He was careful, he never went on these rampages in his home town where his lucky lady dwelled, a day’s ride away.

He sighed, the night was done. He was all alone in Torr. At least his children, all sired with different women would be ecstatic with what his hoard would bring. It was not easy being an honest womaniser for after the deed came babes, and they could be expensive. Still he loved them, a few even showed promise in their father’s line of work. He would train them when he found himself less busy.

“Clear off!” Growled an inebriated angry landlord.

A buxom young woman was thrown roughly from the packed out tavern and fell heavily on Ross almost knocking him over. She was blind drunk. Ross smiled.

“Oh excuse me Sir,” She slurred, her face was pretty but that was not where he looked. As I said, he did already have a woman. She, unfortunately was far away and even if she were near she would no doubt be fast asleep and Ross was not ready to sleep away this pleasant night.

“It’s no trouble at all being bothered by such a beautiful maiden as you,” he grinned as he slowly raised his hat to her careful not to let out his newly acquired jewels. She took his arm and smiled before stumbling to the floor unapologetically. Her curls fell around her face and she looked up helpless with big green eyes.

Perfect, he thought.

“I insist on making sure you get home safely and without trouble to yourself.”  This would be too easy he thought, she would be an easy mark to charm, already filled to the brim with rum and laughter.

“Why thank you kind sir. You’re a true gent, and there’s not many of you around. I think I may have drunk too much tonight.” She rubbed her head and allowed him to pull her up.

“Haven’t we all?” He grinned placing his arm tightly around her shoulders and guiding her not to where she lived but to an out of the way backstreet inn he knew where no questions would be asked.

“It’s a very special night tonight.” She purred and to his great relief did not seem to notice that the inn was not her home. Fortunately it was not until the door to his room was locked and she was sprawled upon his bed that she realised she was in his room and not hers.

“Oh I see,” She murmured quietly as she stroked the sheets, “Order some blackberry wine won’t you, it’s my favourite.”

Ross did as he was asked and poured her a generous amount, “You must have some too, I insist upon it,” she said.

“It’s not to my taste, but if you do insist…” He raised his eyebrow as he poured for himself. She beckoned him to lie beside her. How could he resist?

“You must always drink blackberry wine at Lammas,” She explained, he noted she smelt of delicate sandalwood and flowers.

“Lammas?” He couldn’t believe his luck, the wine was expensive but strong, and he wanted her as drunk as possible.

“Lammas is the old name for the harvest festival,” She took out a corn dolly from her ample cleavage and handed it to him. “Now it is the Goddess who presides, the Great Lord has been cut down with the corn where he withers and dies.” By now Ross was only half listening, it turned out she was a lunatic, but what a chest she owned.

“Oh dear,” He uttered as he topped up her glass.

“But don’t worry,” She exclaimed, “He will be reborn from the reap of the harvest.” She kissed his cheek, “You can keep that dolly until spring.”

Ross concluded that this woman was quite mad and only vaguely listened when she began to tell him about a magical picnic she had attended earlier in the day. She was very beautiful but soon he grew bored with talking and began to yawn. He was more tired than he realised…

Scarlett saw him fall asleep but carried on with her rambling until she was sure the powder she’d slipped in his drink had taken its full effect. She sat up and jumped off the bed, sobriety and sanity suddenly restored. Quietly she cleared her throat and finished the last of her drink. She looked for the cork and resealed the half full bottle for later.

Looking back at her new friend she saw with pleasure the bulge in his trousers and with a small dagger concealed upon her she slit his pockets and marvelled at what came tumbling out. She held out her bag and filled it with gold, rubies, watches and chains that were hidden upon him. She even took back her beloved corn dolly.

Under the soft lamp light he slept peacefully with even breath she was glad to note. Scarlett stroked his soft face and kissed him upon his cheek, she was truly sorry to go for he was a marvel to look upon.

“You’ve been had Sweetheart.”

The innkeeper asked no questions as she made her way downstairs to the bar, he did not comment on her sudden restoration to a sober switched on woman fully in command.

She took out a few penny coins from her bag and slid them across the bar towards the inn keeper.

“These coins are to pay for that poor man’s room for the night,” She turned to leave but sighed wistfully and dug once again and took out a few more, “And this is for a hearty breakfast for him tomorrow.”

The innkeeper raised his eyebrows glad that she had not killed her mark, “That’s very generous of you Scarlett.”

“Well I do believe when he wakes up tomorrow he’ll be feeling very sorry for himself,” From her bodice she pulled out a magnificent gentleman’s gold ring and placed in the inn keeper’s hand.

“You’ve done me proud, sweet daughter of mine” He grinned.

 

 


March 05, 2015, 07:17:28 PM
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Re: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett - Who's reading with us? Sounds intriguing, have never read anything by Terry Pratchet  but probably should!
March 25, 2015, 10:35:15 PM
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Re: [Apr 2015] - Werewolf, Vampire, Girl - Discussion Thread Cool story Xiagan  :)
April 01, 2015, 10:40:21 PM
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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread My entry is about Pirates in honour of my homeland - Cornwall!

It's called - The Hunt for Silver-Tongue and is a short and sweet 901 word tale

Spoiler for Hiden:
“Is this what you’re looking for, Sir?” She bared her ample chest to him. James looked at her, and then at the couple fornicating beside her.

He spat at her feet. She hissed at him, baring sharp canines before retreating back into the darkness of the

narrow stinking alley way. James smiled grimly with distaste at finding himself in Silver-Tongue’s home city.

“Tis truly the place of pirates.”

The harbour was filled with an array of ships, all of ill repute, their captains all wanted dead or alive . Could one

of them belong to Silver-tongue himself? And where would be the best place to find him? James had spent a

long time hunting down the infamous rogue, but this time he knew he was getting close. He had almost done it.

His intuition had kept him alive on the seas, granting him safe passage through countless storms and krakens.

And now it told him that Silver-Tongue was here.

But where was best to start looking? James looked up from the harbour to the many ramshackle and dilapidated

inns along the quay. Silver-Tongue had a penchant for rum. He jangled his purse, there was just enough coin

for a few drinks and information to find Silver-Tongue.

His leather boots clapped down as he made his way through the curling sea mist. The first inn he came to was

too busy. It was a place to drink and fight. He needed somewhere where people came to sit and think.

The third inn he found was more sombre and dark inside. Perfect for his mission.

“Oo-ar me hearties!” Came a little voice accompanied by the rattling of a near empty begging bowl. James

looked down, his brow furrowed then softened slightly. He took out a big coin and dropped it in.

“Are you a pirate?” The little girl asked hopefully.

James spat again, “No little Lady, I’m looking for one.” James glanced around him. This was clearly no place for

 a child. Who would be careless enough to leave their daughter amongst pirates, thieves and lowlifes? He looked

down at her tattered dress, it was warm now but soon winter’s harsh grip would be coming and so he dropped

her another coin.

“Oh, I was hoping to meet one here.”

“You wouldn’t be wanting to meet one, they’re a dangerous folk. Why are you out here all alone? And why do

you have a goat with you?”

“Papa says I’m too young to go inside. The goat is keeping me company.” The girl with red hair and freckles

looked up and flicked him a cheeky grin, “One day I want to be a pirate.”

James chuckled, “Is that so?”

“Of course, just like old Silver-Tongue.” She slapped her thigh hard. “I hear that he is totally immune to a

Siren’s call.”

“Well I know he robbed me blind and stole my fortune. I used up my last coins getting passage to here to come

and find him.”

“Why?” She asked as she cuddled up to the goat stroking its head softly.

“Because there’s a large reward on his capture, dead or alive. It’s not nearly as much as what he stole from me.

 But it’s a start, something to leave my grandkids.”

“Imagine being the one who caught him,” She whispered dreamily, “You’d have a magnificent reputation to rival

 his.”
“It’s not about reputation little girl, it’s personal. He’s taken everything that I worked for.”

“I heard that Silver-Tongue is the smartest pirate alive and learned to circumnavigate the seas before he had

learnt to talk. That his mother was a mermaid queen. Once he had plundered so much gold that his ship could

not carry so he…”

“Aye, that was my gold.” James muttered bitterly.

“Oh,” She looked down, “Did you hear about the tale of him living on a remote island that is neither East, West,

 North nor South? It can only be found by him.”

“Tis rubbish!”

“What about that he drinks only rum and mermaid tears? That he can control sea storms by simply raising an

eyebrow.”

James laughed, “Where do you get your information from girl? You’re filling your head with nonsense. Silver-

Tongue is just a normal man with a lot of luck.”

“They say he has the sharpest tongue and can outwit anyone, that’s why I want to be just like him. Because if

you’re clever you won’t need to be strong and tough like a man.”

The door of the inn opened and out fell a drunk burping man, he took one look at James and lunged forward.

“Ere what are ye doing talking to my bairn? Clear off with you, find someone your own age.”

James lifted his hat and bowed slightly, “Good evening to you little lady,” and quickly went inside where it was

warm and cosy. Now he only had enough money left for a few drinks, most of what he had he’d given to the

little girl. If he wanted to find out where Silver-Tongue was hiding he was going to have to use his wits and

wisdom.

“You wouldn’t be saying that if Silver-Tongue was ere,” the landlord said in warning to one of his customers.

“Silver-Tongue?” James spoke pushing forward one of his last coins.

“Aye, but you’ve just missed her,”

“Her?”

“That’s right,” With his hands he gesticulated, “She’s this tall, this wide and has a strange fondness for goats.”


April 06, 2015, 02:23:14 PM
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Re: Game Of Thrones (TV Show) Season 5 - WITH BOOK SPOILERS Can't believe how different the show is to the books  :( I'm gutted than Sansa married Bolton and then THAT happened to her. She's ended up with an even worse Joffrey. Hope he meets an equally dismal end.

Long live the Starks!  ;D

May 21, 2015, 09:35:53 AM
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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Submission Thread Okay here's mine. Still not entirely sure of this concept and if it qualifies but enjoy it anyway  :)

It's called Elle and is 991 words  :)

Spoiler for Hiden:

I didn’t realise I had depression until I killed myself, didn’t see it coming which is stupid really as I died by my own hands.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as I got to be a ghost. Which is pretty epic, I don’t have to worry about how much I weigh, how big my spots are. I can’t remember what I looked like which is amazing. I can remember that I had long black hair which was not greasy or frizzy.

Being a ghost has made me famous. People come from all over to pay their respects to me, some pin handwritten poems on my tree. The little area of woodland tucked inside the suburbs of Greenham where I died is now named after me; Elle’s Wood. You won’t find it on any map, it’s not official but everyone who lives here calls it that.

I suppose you’re just dying to know what it’s like to live like a ghost. It’s not as glamourous as it sounds and does take a bit of getting used to. You’re suddenly freed from having to eat, staying warm and the weirdest of them all; not needing to sleep. What doesn’t change is wondering what will happen to me when I die? At most I’m only half dead and I want to know where everyone else goes. I want to find them wherever there are but I can’t do that until the wrongs have been righted.

A lot of people, particularly the Celts, call it the otherworld and I would say that’s fairly accurate. It’s like living in another world adjacent to yours. Except this world is nothing like yours. All the colours have seeped out and are indistinguishable other than being light, dark and something in between.

 I can’t always see directly into your world, I can’t see things other than rough shapes. It feels like being in a different room. I can hear muffled voices and am often aware of a presence but unless it’s Halloween or the anniversary of my death I can’t lift the veil so to speak and step in.

That’s why Halloween is my favourite time of the year when I can briefly return. Halloween used to be called Samhain, it’s a festival where the ancients honoured the thinning of the veil between the worlds and dead ancestors were worshipped and honoured. Although people just think of Halloween as being spooky and going around knocking on doors for sweets, we all still honour the dead we just don’t realise we’re doing it.

Sometimes I like to sit amongst the various groups of kids who come to my woods to light candles and listen to music. I’ve been dead for quite some time now, long enough to not recognise anything they play. They dress strange too not like how it was in my day.

But mostly when I return it is to visit the four girls who bullied me for kicks. Only one, Laura, has stayed in Greenham and it irks me as I didn’t know what happened to them. I think that’s one of the reasons why I can’t move on. I still know their names, when you die your memories are among the first things to go but I can still remember mine.

Being a ghost is great; it’s like being a celebrity. There have been TV crews out here trying to catch a glimpse of the famous ghost of Elle Swift.

Obviously you must have heard how I died that I hung myself during History at school but you’re still asking why. That’s not an easy question to answer because after all these years I’m still asking myself the same question. Why?

I always knew I was different to everyone and until I got to secondary school I was fine with that and so was everyone else. But suddenly there was this idea of being cool; fitting in the worst thing in the world was to be a billy no mates. That soon became me suddenly my eccentricities were viewed with the same suspicions as a deadly contagious virus people avoided me at all costs in case I befriended them. Fear turned to hatred turned to bullying. I only had three months left at school at the time it seemed like such a long time. Well it would be when you’re only 15 years old.

In the end it got too much I was just so tired. I wouldn’t call it being physically tired but a slow deterioration where even just being alive was too hard. I didn’t want to die I just wanted to stop feeling and have a really really long break.

Is that a good enough answer for you? Is that why you came? Does it make you happy that I’m in a better place now? I love my new world I’ve built it just for myself. Except there’s one slight niggling problem; every hero needs their arch enemy, an antagonist for the protagonist.

Have you guessed what it is I’m planning? Look there she comes. Curiosity made her come here tonight. I haven’t seen her in years but underneath all the lines on your face I still know it’s her; Laura Blackmore. It’s the first time she’s come to say sorry, it will be her last.

I’ve never had a friend but I’ve wanted one. She’s standing there so scared that I just had to come out and say hello. I don’t think she was truly expecting it and turned to run except she tripped and cracked her head against a very conveniently sharp rock. I clapped my hands to see her bleed out it was the first colour I’d seen since I died. Before she has a chance to escape I pull her close. Now we can be friends forever.

I can still see you watching Hayley; you always were one step behind Laura at school. Joining in with making me feel worthless. I guess I’ll see you next Halloween.


January 07, 2016, 11:33:56 PM
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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread Yeah Grayson! Haven't heard from him in months  :) :)
January 10, 2016, 11:53:07 AM
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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Voting Thread Thanks m3mnoch feel like a proper author seeing my name in print  8)
February 02, 2016, 06:55:18 PM
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Re: [May 2016] - Well known fairy tales from a different POV - Discussion Thread Woohoo I'm actually writing again! Feels so good, haven't written anything for months god damn you writers block!
May 03, 2016, 12:40:36 AM
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Re: [May 2016] - Well known fairy tales from a different POV - Submission Thread Here's my take on a well known fairy tale it's called The Prince's Promise and is 1326 words.
Enjoy  :)

Spoiler for Hiden:

The Prince's Promise


Once upon a time there was a lonely and beautiful maiden who lived in a tucked away place in a magical wood that

had never been named.  Inside its boundaries many people feared to tread lest they offended an archaic beast or

force of nature. Ellie had never known fear but she was well acquainted with loneliness. Her heart was a hungry

hunter and each night she went to bed alone and hungry.

But on one morning where the dappled sunlight lit up the copper forest floor, a tall dark handsome stranger came

riding in. Catching a warming scent of ginger and cinnamon his twitched his nose and completely forgot about

hunting purple speckled dragons that day.

In a small clearing he caught sight of a small squat cottage that hugged the earth and standing on the door step was

where he first saw her…

   Ellie sighed as she swept the dirt and dust from her cottage outside, wiping her hands on her pristine apron.

“What’s the point of having a clean home where no visitors ever call?” Defeated she slumped on her doorstep

wishing for better, for a tomorrow.

“Excuse fair maiden, I couldn’t help but notice your house is made entirely of gingerbread.” 

Ellie gasped and looked up and saw before her a tall man who had the most beautiful smile she had ever seen, he

had the kind of eyes you only find on a deer.

“Yes, yes it is. I don’t know much about D.I.Y so when my house started to fall into disrepair I would fill in the

holes with gingerbread. I don't a have a husband you see, and am very single.”

“That’s genius,” he exclaimed, “I just love gingerbread, can I try a piece?”

“Um, I’d rather you didn’t just in case the house falls down.”

“Oh of course, sorry I wasn’t thinking.”

“But if you drop by later I could bake you some fresh gingerbread.”

The young man’s eyes lit up, “That would be lovely, thanks…”

“Ellie,” she offered with her hand and was most taken back when he bent down to kiss it, “What’s yours.”

“Prince Charming,” he grinned.

“Oh.”

“And if your gingerbread tastes as wonderful as it smells I’ll ask for your hand in marriage.”
   

As soon as Prince Charming left to go hunting Ellie rushed around in preparation. She was not entirely convinced

that he was a Prince but he had an easy way with himself and looked like a lot of fun. Only a full blown meal would

be fit for a man of his charms and she spent the whole day in furtive preparation of the best meal a man could ever

taste. Never before had her home been such a hive of activity and it soon attracted the attentions of two young

scrawny children who came knocking at Ellie’s door.

“Oh please let us in, we’re ever so hungry as our stepmother has banished us,” wailed a small boy with hair so

bright and blonde.

“Of course you may come in,” Ellie replied as she opened her door wide to let them in, “I’m sure she didn’t mean it

you were probably just  getting under her feet.”

“Thank-you,” curtly said the young girl, “I’m Gretel and this is my brother Hansel.”

“I’m Ellie I’ve just baked some fresh bread and there’s butter on the table do help yourselves.”
   
The children ate in silence as Ellie continued to clean and make her home ready for Prince Charming, but there was

so much to do she hadn’t even thought about her appearance. “I’m just going to wash my hair call me if you need

anything.”
   
However when she returned the kitchen was a terrible state there were broken plates and crockery upturned chairs

that would now need mending.

Ellie threw her hands up in despair, “Now I can see why your stepmother kicked you out.”

“The cat did it,” they replied in perfect unison. Ellie looked over to Marmaduke her beloved pet and saw him sulking

on the window sill, his black coat thoroughly drenched in flour.

“Oh Marmaduke what have they done to you?”

Gretel ran up to Ellie and pulled on her skirts, “Papa says that all black cats are evil and they serve witches. Does

that make you a witch?”

Ellie suddenly had an idea, she stood up straight with her hands on her hips, “Yes that’s right I am a very powerful

witch that likes to eat children particularly naughty ones.”

“We’re not naughty, we’re good,” trembled Hansel from behind a chair. The mention of witches made him very

afraid and he eyed his sister with great caution. Quickly he scrambled to find the broom and began in earnest to

sweep. Ellie noted that Gretel did not seem fazed and took a chair and sat by the table carefully studying Ellie.

“Can you do this?” Gretel enquired as she pointed her finger to an overturned chair and made it upright again. Ellie

gasped and took a step back towards the door that was still thankfully open. Gretel smiled and carried on, “Or

what about this?” Behind Ellie the door slammed shut and bolted itself. She turned back to Gretel who looked on

with pride and malice.

Gretel pushed her untouched plate of bread away from her, “I’m sick of bread I want to eat the cake you’ve got

cooking in the oven.”

Ellie giggled nervously, “But it’s for Prince Charming,” slowly she felt herself being pushed towards the oven by an

unseen presence, “please Gretel.”

“Gretel stop,” urged her younger brother.
   

Ellie felt the harsh heat on her face as the oven door slowly opened, she inched further and further until the heat

became blisteringly unbearable. She tried to scream but no words came, she tried to move her hands to stop

herself from falling in but they would not move...


   There were no purple speckled dragons to be found in the magical wood that had never been named but

Prince Charming didn’t care; he was going to get laid that night. He grinned as he caught sight of the gingerbread

house.

“How quaint,” he said to his white horse who nodded in approval. He sniffed the air expecting the fine scent of

cinnamon and ginger but caught something else that intrigued him.

“My god what is that smell? It’s scrumptious,” he made his way inside the little home, “Ellie?” He called out but

there was no answer. Set on the table were two plates and in the middle was a huge slab of gingerbread which he

greedily tucked into.

“Why Ellie, you shall be my wife,” he grinned. It was so great being a prince all he had to do to sleep with a pretty

maiden was suggest that if she pleased him in some way he might marry her. Of course he would always be gone

before sunrise.

“Like a bat out of hell…” he sang wistfully to himself.

It was the smell of slow cooking meat from the oven that enticed him, grabbing a pair of kitchen gloves he opened

the door and pulled out a huge tray of meat. For a few moments he smiled after realising all the effort this young

girl had gone to for his benefit.

“May-be I will marry this one.”

Hansel and Gretel’s father took a big gulp of whiskey as he watched his two children approaching his tiny cottage.

They were both sat astride a fine white stallion and even from this distance he saw Gretel’s eyes narrow in

suspicion.

“Hansel! Gretel,” I’ve been so worried about you again,” he cried out.  Hansel had a strange suspicion there were

tears of fear rather than jubilation. People didn’t seem to like his older sister, not even their dad and definitely not

their step-mother.

“Where’s our step-mother?” Called out Gretel as she tethered her new horse to a tree.

“I’m afraid she’s dead my dear,” Her father said looking down, “She died quite unexpectedly.”

“Good,” replied Gretel.





May 06, 2016, 02:09:52 PM
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