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Reflection: Short Story

There’s a lot of things that run through your head when you can hear your door being smashed at, you think every last hit will be the one to break it, and maybe you’ll be dead in the next few minutes.

She knew nothing more now than to wait somewhere she could lock another door: In the bathroom. She was so anxious, this petite woman paced around nervously in the small room, was anyone even going to come and help her?

But…

Something caught her eye.

Her blue eyes shot to the side, at the mirror on the wall, above the sink.

For just a moment…

She could swear she saw something off in her reflection.

She stared at it more intensely, then she felt her hairs practically jump off her skin with how horrified she became.

“I can deal with them.” her own reflection told her. Her own reflection that had adopted red eyes, and black sockets. Other than that, it was still just her reflection.

“Put your hand in the mirror, and we’ll swap places. I’ll deal with it, then we’ll swap back.”

“H-how am I supposed to trust you?” she muttered, barely able to get the words out of herself. She felt pretty close to just fainting at this point.

“I’m literally you.” the girl on the other side of the mirror tried to argue, not looking so impressed when she did. “Besides, your dog is still out there! If those guys hurt him, I’ll hurt you for not letting me save him.”

What a valid argument, the brunette thought to herself.

That dog was like her own child, she was that kind of pet owner.

“Alright, you got me.” she muttered. “Promise we’ll switch back when you’re done.”

“Promise.” the reflection agreed with a nod. “I have my own dog to take care of, anyway. As cute as yours probably is, I love mine more.” she seemed a little too calm as she reached out on her side of the glass and pressed her hand onto it.

The human girl breathed to herself…

This was it, time to get taken away to a mirror world for a little while.

She reached her own hand onto the glass, and after a quick and strange sensation… She stared around herself anxiously. Everything looked about the same, but there were just differences in the colours around her.

A lot of red, though.

Red walls, red and black tiled floors… It was like the dark, spooky version of her own home. She looked up, to see her reflection with red eyes wave to her keenly.

“Come back here when I’m done. You’ll know.”

With that, her spooky, but oddly friendly, reflection rushed off through the house.

She might be here in this very red world for a while, so she might as well make the most of it. Her counterpart said she also had a dog… So it was worth seeing what that was going to be like here.

It was no doubt they shared a name, so the dog probably still had his own name, too. A common name for a dog, Rex.

She walked herself through a quick walk from the bathroom to her own room, and peered into the doorway. It was open in this world, since of course, no one was trying to bash down the door and probably murder her.

Her room was just as it was in her own realm.

A little messy with some clothes on the floor, but a shelf with some stuffed toys on it, a big cupboard and her cosy bed. Though everything had to look a little bit off, of course.

That including the dog laying on the bed.

Still furry and about the right size, the pup seemed to have two heads sprouting from the neck, and his tail appeared to split into two as well. But he still had the same black fur with a bit of white mixed into it.

He looked a little confused, but the wag of his tail and those blinking for eyes were some sort of assuring, just like her own Rex.

“Hi, buddy.” she waved awkwardly. “We just needed to switch places for a little bit. She’ll be back soon, but I won’t leave you by yourself!”

He shuffled along the bed without really trying to get up, to be in a place where the mirror of his owner could pet at his head. Even encouraging her by nudging her hand onto either of his heads.

Even with two heads, he was still pretty cute.

 

The reflection decided to be rather direct about her approach to this situation, standing readily at the staircase.

She wasn’t afraid, these people couldn’t even touch her!

People from her realm had horrifying powers that these people couldn’t even imagine, so it was no doubt they’d be made short work of.

Just one last hit, the door swung into the house aggressively, and two men stomped in together. They stopped soon enough, to notice the girl standing on the stairs.

“You been standing there the whole time?” one of them asked mockingly.

“Couldn’t even open the door for us?!” the other chimed in.

“Well, it’s not very encouraging when you’re trying your hardest to break it. Doors are expensive!” the reflection complained. Even if it wasn’t her own home, it was reason enough to get riled up.

“But,” she shrugged. “That doesn’t matter so much. One of you will die now.”

Before one of them got a chance to mock her, she launched her hand forwards, her fingers curled aggressively.

The man she pointed her hand at suddenly struggled and became stiff, he could barely move. But he ached. It got worse each second, his grunts turned into squeals.

“The hell are you doing to him?!” his friend barked, dashing forwards with a knife tugged out of his hoodie.

She was too arrogant, for this man did manage to harm her. Her hand processing the powers was slashed, from the palm to the end of her thumb. She hissed as she fell up a step, the burning on her hand was a terrible pain she never felt before.

But they had only made this worse for themselves.

She launched out her hand again, this time what looked like energy created from her own blood had gripped both of the men from their feet, leaving them to helplessly struggle.

“Ah, that’s better!” the reflection chimed eagerly. “I’ll send you far from here. At least you might learn something… If not, something far worse will happen to you.”

And with a snap of her fingers, the men vanished from in front of her in a few strong bursts of red lights and energy. She looked ahead at the door, and put the time into fixing it.

It was hard for a small woman no matter what kind of mystical powers she had, they sure weren’t built for fixing doors. But she did also make sure to complain to the council, that they needed to come and fix it properly as soon as they could.

Just one more stop until she headed back to the bathroom, she opened her mirror’s room up to peer inside. To see all the clothes messily laid on the floor, but more importantly, the pup sitting on the bed.

He was delighted to see her, scrambling across the bed to reach her and rolling around in demands of some attention.

It was a normal little border collie, black and white fur with big, cute eyes. The reflection reached down and petted at the dog with her healthy hand. “You’re even cute with just one head, Rex.” she told him happily.

But then, as promised, it was time to go home.

She couldn’t be without her own Rex anyway.

The mirror images met at the bathroom mirror once more.

“What happened?” the woman asked with wide blue eyes.

“They’re gone. And I sure hope they’ve learned their lesson.” her reflection answered with a casual shrug. “I got my hand a little hurt, but I can deal with that when I get home.” she reached her hand out to touch the mirror again, already able to see her home waiting for her.

The young woman placed her own hand back on the mirror, and just like before, the two of them switched places again. Back to where they should be.

“If you ever need help…” her reflection smiled at her eagerly. “You know where to find me!”

“Thank you!” she cheered. “I guess sometimes, you really only do need yourself.”

As if it were meant to happen, both were met by their dogs, having the same reaction of looking down at the pup rushing around their legs and giggling softly to themselves. “We can’t play now, it’s time for bed!” they both told their pets at the same time.

“Come on,”

And with that, they left their mirrors to be back in their ordinary lives again.

For now.

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Getting Carried Away is a Good Thing

What on earth am I talking about?

Well, lately I have been on a bit of a mad rush of making new stories and characters. I still have a lot to finish, and now I have a lot to start as well. But I really don’t think it’s a bad thing at all!

Getting the creative juices flowing like they are can be pretty motivating. It’s honestly been a few years or something since I had so many new ideas, and I still feel that same wonder I would have all that time ago.

It’s a lot to keep up with, I doubt I’ll ever really keep up with all the ideas I have, but I don’t mind that. It just proves to me that I have a pretty active imagination, and that I’ll always have ideas! I want to write, so I could never really say it’s a bad thing.

I’ve just been able to get inspired by big or small things, just like I used to. I can’t describe it properly but it’s absolutely amazing to feel so inspired again!

Not that I’ve lost inspiration for my other work, but thinking of the new ones really does put a kick in my step.

It’s just a matter of writing them all, which might just take forever, but that’s fine! Maybe I should get my butt in gear and try keeping up with some writing prompts here again, too.

Either way, I’m pretty happy with where I am with all that.

Other than that, I guess it’s fun to mention that in just two days I’m going to Disneyland! It’s a 21st birthday present from my mum, so I’m really looking forward to that. I love Disney, Disney owns Star Wars and Marvel now which I also love, so I’ll basically be in paradise for a few days! Maybe coming home with a bit more than I can really carry.

Eh. Worth it.

Short update, but I really wanted to share how excited I am about so many new stories! I’ve been able to recycle old characters rather than get rid of them, so that’s always good.

Short Story: The Heir

My father wants me to take his place.

I say that because he lost his life earlier today…

In fact, we lost our entire village. I’ve been out searching for somewhere that me and the others could stay all day. It’s my job to do such a thing, as the new leader. It just feels so off…

I’m one of the youngest. Yet they’re all so keen to follow me.

All but my brother.

He seems very jealous that I took father’s place, when he’s the eldest. I don’t much understand his anger, we are twins, after all. Is it really that different? If he had taken father’s place, I would have accepted it peacefully.

That doesn’t matter so much now, though.

My name is Atichi, I am the Sunset Clan’s new Grand Master. I live in such a small group of the clan because they are my elites, they are bred and trained to be as skilled as I am, and we are to seclude ourselves in a small group.

That’s just how it works.

I’ve found myself in a town out of the woods, perhaps there is some sort of an inn we can use here. Or at least food to purchase, our survival matters even more than relocating, of course.

This town isn’t so big. Just a few streets of big houses, all very neatly boarded with wooden boards to create some neat patterns on them. The concrete that builds them up seems to be rather clean and solid.

I finally see someone that might be able to help me! I dash closer quickly, hoping that my attire won’t frighten her too much. Just a black suit covering my body, exposing my arms with three lines of paint on them.

The iconic orange scarf and mask on my face. But at least my red hair is exposed, as well as the orange feather stuck in it at the top.

“Excuse me!” I call out, raising a hand in a friendly gesture to try and get her attention. She was a young lady with a pair of buckets set on her shoulders, carried by a long stick.

While she at first looks a bit alarmed, her eyes shift to look kinder. She’s quite pretty, honestly. Lovely dark hair and despite the dress not showing her figure well, it has a certain innocence to it.

“Do you know where I would be able to purchase goods in this town?” I ask her carefully. “Food, more than anything.” I add carefully.

“Oh, yes.” she nods. “There’s a farm house just along this road,” she points out to the direction she’s talking about. Further down a street of houses I can start seeing a huge red structure, no doubt a barn house. “The farmers are always selling food.”

“I see. Thank you for your help.” I bow to the young woman respectfully as I wander off in that direction. The streets in this town are very bustling and busy, perhaps under the lovely blue skies of such a nice day?

It’s nice to encounter such a happy place, after having fled from my own home being destroyed.

I reach what is no doubt the grounds of the farm… The ground at my feet feels different. Less structured, more natural. I walk on real soil and grass here. It’s almost refreshing, in a strange way.

There’s no doubt that the house over there near the barn must be where I can find the farmers. It’s not very big, but it looks comfortable enough. There’s a big window at the side I can see, it’s open to take in all the fresh air of this fine day.

Just before I head that way, I notice some rustling in the bushes around me…

I sigh to myself. “Come on,” I instruct. “I know you’re all there.”

As I had expected, it was those of my clan. They all wore the same black suits and orange accessories as I did, some wearing masks, some not. It was all down to choice really, and I happen to prefer my mask being on.

“Sorry, Master.” the eldest ninja of the group, Renzar, says playfully. “I couldn’t help but follow, and so, the others did too.”

“No matter.” I shake my head. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing they followed me. What if something happened? They only had my safety in mind when doing such a thing. “This place, I should be able to purchase food for us.” I tell them calmly. “So wait here.”

As I had intended to, I make my way to that cosy little house just by the barn. It’s a bit unsure if anyone is really in there, so I knock my hand on the door gently.

In no time at all, the wooden door opens up before me. Not quite what I expected, a young woman wearing overalls is at the other side of the door. She has very lovely brown hair, very long. And under her overalls on her torso is a bit of a messy white shirt.

“Oh, hi!” she greets unsurely. “What can I do for you?”

“I have come seeking food for my people.” I explain to her briefly. “I have a good amount of gold to offer you for all the mouths I wish to feed.”

She nods her head, a little more confident than she was when she first opened up the door. “Do you just want… General food supplies, then?” she asks.

I nod right back. “That would do great, yes.”

“Then, wait right here.”

I wait patiently as instructed… This place is very nice, I catch myself thinking. There’s the forest over there, the lively town just over there… And on the other side, a huge plain of grass. There’s a hill with a tree growing on the top, so it seems. It looks pretty nice, too.

I find myself turning back as she returns, pushing in a wooden trolley with shelves of food stacked onto it. Raw meat that we can cook of a few varieties, some vegetables and fruits…

It was perfect.

“This is wonderful!” I can’t help but exclaim, even clapping my hands together eagerly. “This is exactly what I had been hoping for.”

“Oh, that’s great!” she chimes eagerly. “So this should come to about fifty gold…” she tells me as she points loosely to the supplies set ahead of me. “And well, if you need any help getting it around, let me know.”

“Perhaps I require some storage… Some bags?” I ask with a shrug of my shoulders.

“Yeah, sure. We can do that.” she nods.

It all seems agreed on, I reach into the sack attached to my belt and pass her the gold that she had requested. She counts it up ahead of me to be sure, and is thrilled to reveal that she counts the right amount.

It seemed right as she’d started packing it up into some sacks…

We both heard a loud noise. It could have been a clumsy thud, but no, I’m accustomed to sounds. That was an intentional noise. The noise of a sword slamming through wood!

“Oh, no…” she grumbles to herself.

I stop trying to figure out just where that noise came from, and look at the woman unsurely. “What was that?” I ask her.

“We’ve been dealing with these thugs. I think they’re back.” she tells me quickly. “They keep coming here, taking our money, taking our food… It’s terrible.”

I can’t just stand here while I know this! Me and my whole elite squadron are right here. It’s about time someone stood up for this farm, I tell myself firmly. My fist clenches tightly. “Wait here.” I instruct the young woman.

I dash out to reach the others, to instruct them of the plan quickly. “This farm sees an attack!” I tell them quickly. “Form up and surround the scoundrels. We shall scare them off together.”

“No killing them?” My brother Ardini asks impatiently.

“Not unless you have to.” I tell him sternly.

We rush in together, but in the blink of an eye we disband into different directions to surround the area as a unit. Renzar and I approach them by ourselves, a pair of men with simple swords currently vandalising, and stealing the crops.

“Excuse me, gentlemen!” Renzar calls out first. He’s a bit easier to hear, since he’s of the ninjas that doesn’t wear his mask so much. He has white hair, but tips of orange at the bottom of it. It’s a little long and tied on his head as mine is. “Those don’t belong to you. You’d best stop now.”

“Who are these jokers?!” one of the raiders barks irritably. “Nice outfits, you wannabes.” he brushes us off with a lazy gesture of his hand. “But unless you want to get yourselves killed, you’d better scram!”

They were those kinds of thugs. Thought they were stronger than anyone, apparently. We didn’t allow them more time to damage the farm.

I toss down a smoke bomb onto the ground at our feet, and in a single movement not only Renzar and I, but the whole group surround the thugs and have a bit of fun smacking them around.

Shoving them from one to the other, giving them a good punch, anything to show them how outmatched they truly were.

It never went on for too long, we stopped.

As soon as we did, they scurried off as we’d thought they would.

Moments later, that young woman in overalls crept closer to see those foul men rushing away and an entire group of ninjas standing where they were previously damaging her farm.

It’s easy to see in her face that she doesn’t really know what to make of this situation. She’s trying to speak, but the words aren’t coming out. What is she to say?

Eventually, she lightly hits her head to kick herself into gear. “You really chased them off!” she grins eagerly. “O-oh goodness…” she wanders closer, admiring all of us before locking her eyes back on me. “Hey, what’s a group like this doing out here? You seem a bit of a big group to be travelling…”

“We lost our home, just last night.” I tell her briefly. “We are searching for a new home… But I came to you to feed my people first. We can’t hope to find a home if we aren’t even alive.”

She takes in my words thoughtfully…

“I want you all to wait here until my father gets home.” she tells us, she seems rather excited now. Her hands don’t really know what to do with themselves, her fingers wriggling around so happily. “I’ll tell him what you did for us… Maybe we can at least give you somewhere to stay for a little bit!”

I never expected anything of the sort… My eyes have grown wide with surprise. But such surprise soon suppresses into a calm, thankful joy.

This was possibly the most fortunate time to have helped this young woman.

This is sort of a warm up for me, for a new story I’ve got in the works. I’m excited about it and just haven’t really started it yet, and this is almost how it will kick off.

Maybe a bit before, but…

This was just to further boost my hype! It worked, heh.

Short Story: A Second Chance

What a terrible place to be in.

What an awful place this was.

A dark and dirty dungeon, full of prisoners wallowing in their own pities of why they were here in the first place. Some had done worse than others, that was for sure.

But in one cell…

The man shackled to the wall was silent. It was almost pitch black where he was, the torches on the wall avoided his cell as best as they really could.

The dark haired man with a jaw covered in facial hair stared to the dirty stone ground as he had been for the last month, still in shock at what he did to bring him here in the first place. He was no angel to begin with… He stole a lot, because he never had enough money to get by.

But for him to have killed such a young guard in his panic of being caught? To have taken a young man that was had just achieved something so important away from his family?

Unforgivable…

It was just another dull day in the dungeons. Easy to hear the whimpers and the wallowing of the others in the surrounding cells. But as always, this scarred man stayed silent. Telling himself how much he deserved to be rotting away in here.

Well, it just seemed like another day.

Immediate, loud questions were thrown around when one of the cells was loudly opened up, and on top of that, the man being held in there ran off like he’d been given his ticket to freedom.

“I’m undercover,” the man in the armour of the knights revealed as he stepped by each cell, roughly pulling on the lever to open it up. “It took me ages to get all the armour I needed to pass as one of them.”

“It’s not fair that you’re all in here,” he went on. “Rotting away when the most some of you have ever done is steal. I know people way more deserving of sitting in this dirty old place all day!”

He watched pretty proudly as the prisoners all scampered off together, it was a wonder if any of them had really listened to him. He didn’t really mind, though. The next part of his scheme was to draw the kingdom’s attention to those he knew should have been in here.

But walking by one of the cells, even though it was open…

That dark haired man still sat there, arms now free, but miserably placed on his legs as he continued to stare down at the stone ground below him.

“I’m not leaving.” he muttered, knowing that the ‘knight’ ahead of his cell was staring his way unsurely. “No one could deserve to be here more than I do.”

“Wh-what’s that supposed to mean?” he snapped back, though still sounding unsure. “I am going to get murderers and terrible people locked up in this miserable place!”

“I am a murderer.”

The young man’s eyes widened, he never really knew what he could respond to that. If this man was such a terrible murderer, why was he upset about it?

“…If you were, then you wouldn’t regret it. It’s apparent you do.”

“I still killed him.” the dark haired prisoner growled lowly. “A young man in that very same armour. I shot him in the head with a crossbow. I killed a young guard out of my own foolish fears.”

It seemed impossible to get through to this guy. Surely there was another way he could repent for his crime… He wasn’t like the others, he clearly regretted it more than anything.

“…Wouldn’t you feel better getting out of here and letting the real criminals get locked away in here?”

“For the last time… I am one. Leave. Now.”

The young man sighed, seeing that this was getting him nowhere. He was a little sad honestly, all the others dashed off without a question. Perhaps they all deemed themselves undeserving, unlike this guy.

But it was clear any amount of convincing wasn’t going to get him to budge.

The young man dragged his feet off through the dungeon once more. He planned all this out, he knew that if the other guards heard the commotion he’d claim there was a malfunction and the prisoners overpowered him.

He made his way to the light room that had a staircase spiralling up above the dungeons. The next order of business was to expose the criminals he knew so well to his higher ups…

But the moment he stepped into the room, he was roughly dragged around the corner, his arm twisted uncomfortably behind his back.

“I don’t know what kinda joke you’re playin’, guard… But you’ll make great bait so the others don’t kill us just yet!”

“H-hey! I’m here to help you!” he insisted loudly. He tried as he could to worm his way free, but his arm was trapped in a rough hold and the other prisoners promptly surrounded him.

“Maybe we should kill him now!” one of them called out eagerly. “One of us can act like a guard that is just doing something with the lot of us…”

“I-I’d do that…!”

“Don’t lie to us!” the large man that grappled his arm growled lowly, even tugging it harshly and ignoring the yelp that followed.

But then…

Some of the prisoners started dropping to the ground quickly, it was hard to see what was happening in the big crowd. Before long, the large man with the dark hair and beard had smashed his way through each and every one of them, to finally reach the last and smack him in the face, knocking him down and freeing the knight from his grapple.

“…Thanks.” he thanked somewhat sheepishly, flicking his arm around to try and get some feeling back in it again.

“You didn’t really think all these people don’t deserve to be here… Did you?”

It was a little embarassing to admit after such a bad encounter, but the young man nodded his head. “I thought I knew all the criminals. They’re an underground syndicate I used to be with.” he explained promptly. “But… I sure did learn that I was right! You don’t deserve to be here at all!”

The man’s eyes got wide at the remark. He looked around at all the others laid out at his feet, wearing the same brown rags that he had…

Maybe he wasn’t so much like them after all.

“…I’ll tell you what.” he started. “I’ll come with you. We’ll expose that syndicate of yours… Then perhaps we can lead somewhat normal lives after all. But you know, you could get in big trouble for this.”

“When you’re with those guys, you’re used to trouble.” the knight grinned, something cheeky and sure about his tone. At least a bit of help was extremely welcome in all of this.

“Come on!” he insisted. “…B-but first, let’s put all these guys back.”

A little information on my book

So I’ve been neglecting really talking about it properly. I just depend on people to actually go and look at it rather than explain anything myself, so here goes:

So… What’s it about?

Two Sides is a fantasy story, that follows the events of a war between two kingdoms. Ilpha and Ophida were supposed to be intertwined with various business and partnership deals, but tensions rise when the king of Ophida, Neomas, seems displeased that a very young queen is put into power.

It’s made worse when the young queen Rosetta is convinced that her sister fallen into a coma, Phelia, has been desperately pleading for Ilpha to strive further and claim more land. Unsure what it really means, Rosetta acts hasty and delcares war on Neomas and his kingdom of Ophida.

The story is about the journeys that the characters go on, their own personal and moral struggles. It studies the minds of different personalities, and what makes them keep going even if they don’t entirely want to.

It’s a story about growth between a lot of the characters…

Of course the universe and world are very important too, but the most important thing is the struggles that the characters endure together, and where it takes them from the start to the finish.

It can be found on various sites now, as I’ll list here:

Amazon – www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Sides-Rhi…

Createspace – www.createspace.com/7276274

And Smashwords, where you can list the price yourself (ebook) – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737829

It would mean a lot to me if you even took the time to look. Thank you for your time and I have many more books on the way!

Smashwords: Probably the best ebook publisher?

So last night, I made another attempt to try and publish my book, Two sides. I’ve tried Createspace, nothing. That got it onto Amazon too but I just couldn’t seem to get anyone interested.

I tried Smashwords because it had been recommended to me before. And god I’m happy I did! It was worth spending a good day formatting the story into the publishing format of the site.

While it’s nothing crazy right now, a few people picked it up for free while I had it listed as such, and about 6 people (or, so the graph said) picked up the free sample of the first 20% of the book!

A few offers for features, too…

And a very lovely and positive review on the first night of release.

I was starting to lose hope in this dream, but I don’t think I should just yet. There’s a book series I have that I don’t want to release until I know people will actually support it. I guess it’s me being too precious about it, but it’s a story that got me through the hardest times of my life, the characters got me through those terrible times.

But now, there might be light at the end of this tunnel yet.

I really hope this is a sign of great things to come. I really hope I get to live my life doing what I love; Writing!

If you even want to look on Smashwords, which honestly means a lot to me, here’s a link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737829

Thoughts: Inspiration?

What’s your best source of inspiration?

What gets your creative juices flowing the most?

Personally, I feel like thinking of characters gets me going the most. I love generating different characters and situations in my head, and having the chance to develop them, a little or a lot.

It’s why I have a few too stories for my own good, and I sure wish I tried to understand my love for writing a bit earlier than I really did. Now I really know it’s what I’d love to do with my life.

I just love that you can make just about anyone you want.

The brave and fearless hero? Do it!

The kind and helpful helper? Go for it!

The vicious and heartless villain? No reason not to.

There are so many different personalities and kinds of people to play around with. So much to experiment with and so many different interactions to try out. You can create amazing and meaningful bonds and friendships, or bitter and memorable rivalries and enemies.

All of that, there’s just so much to experience.

A lot of friends to make through having your own stories and characters.

I met some of my best friends through my characters, and we’ve all grown with each other and our characters. It means so much to look to a great friend and see a character I’ve known for years still with them.

It’s even fun to mix such characters together! It can be fun to mash a pair that don’t really belong together in the same situation, sometimes they get on like a house on fire…

Other times it takes them a little time, which is always pretty fun.

Some might not even get along at all.

I’ve sort of gone around in a circle, but honestly characters and their relationships are what make writing so much fun for me. Development is another very important thing I enjoy, whether it be individual or a relationship on the whole.

Like, the ‘shy and quiet person that turns strong’ has been done a lot of times, hell I’ve done it myself, but to approach it differently is what makes it fresh and relatable. They can grow on their own or bounce of the faith of the others around them to toughen them up.

There can be a negative development, too… Someone goes from pretty confident to very nervous and closed in. It’s always fun to see just where a character can end up, depending on what they’ve been through.

Of course, everyone has probably made something they’re not so proud of… An overpowered character, a boring story (I am a victim of this one! A huge revamp saved my life!) …

But growing up and seeing the flaws just helps someone write better. This is a bit of a ramble, I don’t feel like doing a writing prompt tonight, but I really wanted to sort of have a babble about my thoughts on this.

On what makes me inspired in writing so much in the first place.

Writing Prompt 7

“We could get arrested for this…” the young man complained with a roll of his eyes. This was just crazy, he and his good friend were trying to sneak into the huge stone castle of their kingdom, to just try get a quick look at one little thing.

She swore that she saw their princess with a dragon.

This was huge! If it was true, who knows what it meant for the kingdom?

“Ah, you’re just sceptical like everyone else!” the young woman grinned eagerly. She was a pretty well known rogue, a bounty hunter of sorts. Her outfit was a dark tunic with a hood atop of it, hiding her dark hair under it. But her eyes were a very luminous green.

Her good friend simply wore his own tunic, it was brown in colour to match his boots. He groaned loudly as his friend climbed off his shoulders to crawl into a window just above her.

The night was dark, but there was a lovely guide of light cast from the moon in the starry skies above.

The young man stared up at the window his rogue had vanished into for a little while, until a rope dropped down for him to grab onto. He was reluctant as he had been for this whole trip, but took hold of the rope to climb himself up the wall and through the window she’d gone into.

He stumbled onto his feet, his hands at least getting a small touch of that lovely red rug on the wooden floor as he stood up.

This room was unoccupied, but just full of fancy wooden dressers and a big mirror for one’s whole body.

His friend stood ahead of him, her hands set on her hips as she looked ahead keenly at the wooden door ahead of herself.

“And just how are we going to get through the inside of the castle without getting spotted?” he asked impatiently. “This is all from something you only caught a glimpse of! If we get arrested here, it’s all on you!”

Despite the real weight of their situation, the light threat never seemed to bother her that much. She just laughed the words off, even waving a dismissive hand at her friend. “I know what I’m doing.” she remarked. “There aren’t patrols at this level at this time of night, because the royal family are all trying to sleep.”

It was concerning how she knew that so well…

But knowing her, she’d probably studied the patrol routes and curfews for weeks in advance from now. Who really knows how long she’d been plotting this? How long ago she supposedly spotted their princess with a dragon?

It was all ridiculous, but the young man was too deep into this to try and back out now. The two of them used the wooden door to enter deeper into the castle, their surroundings became very dark. The stone staircase was right on the wall and spiralled up onto higher floors of the castle.

The both crept up the steps, while being sure no guards were here it was always safe to stop and check.

They were so close, but stopped themselves to the sound of soft talking. Whispering, only to be heard by the door it was coming from being opened up. It just sounded like distant mumbles from here, but there was no doubt that was the princess’ room.

There was also a gentle light eminating from the room, there was certainly someone else in there with her.

But perhaps that was already obvious by the lower voice chattering back and forth.

The young rogue gestured her friend to follow after her, the two of them crept carefully and against the wall, remaining in the shadows of the dark castle as they approached this one, open door.

From here they could only really see one of the wonderful rugs in the princess’ room, not much else just yet.

“Is there any way we can help him?” a male voice asked unsurely. Not a very young voice, however. Not too old, but certainly not young.

“I’m not sure.” a more delicate, female voice answered with a sigh. “He’s injured and sick… And if we show him to the people, they’ll only kill him. This is terrible, this poor thing…”

The young man listening into their current conversation could barely believe it. From how secretive they were sounding, there was absolutely no doubt that they were talking about something… Strange.

They were hiding something injured and sick, that other people would want to kill…

Almost like…

A dragon.

He was so reluctant to look to his side, to see that huge grin on his friend’s face. She was buzzing, she was right! Not many people really tended to believe her far-fetched stories, but perhaps this was a sign that she wasn’t quite the liar everyone thought she was.

“Told you!” she chimed eagerly. She peered her head around the door very slightly, to try and get a look inside. They were both too distracted to notice her, but now she’d seen it again with her own two eyes, in a clearer sight than she had before.

Resting on the big skirt of the princess’ dress was a small green dragon, though its wing looked terribly torn and it weakly lay on her lap. Its eye was twitching a lot, maybe it was struggling to sleep, too.

Despite all the trouble to get here…

It was a little sad, really.

She frowned to herself, as she glanced to her friend at her side. “…You wouldn’t know how to help a sick dragon, would you?”

He shook his head, now growing very reluctant again. “Don’t even think about it!” he hissed. “We’re probably in enough trouble just being here! I don’t want to get tangled up with that bloody reptile!”

She pouted at his response, but at least expected that sort of reaction. She turned away as she stood, leaning her back on the wall. “Well, stuff you, then.” she muttered. “I wanted to tell everybody about this, but I see I was wrong. I want to help that poor thing to make up for being… Pretty selfish.”

He wanted to stop her, he reached out and was about to scold her name, but the young woman stepped into the soft light escaping the small room.

“Perhaps it would get healthier if it was returned to its home.” she suggested rather casually, also not phased by her friend rushing to her side and standing carefully behind her.

The room they looked into was pretty big, the bed tucked against the wall was huge and there was a big window that overlooked the whole kingdom. Next to that window was a big bookshelf, and next to that a big wooden dresser.

Despite her calm tone, the older man stood from his crouch ahead of the princess and even drew out a sword to stare at the two of them, with eyes of warning. His hair was pretty short and blonde, he wore the same heavy armour as a lot of the other guards did.

“Who are you?” he asked commandingly. “You don’t look like you belong in the castle…”

“This was her idea…” the young man complained.

The rogue wasn’t going to let this turn sour, though. “We shouldn’t be here, you’re right.” she answered bluntly. “I spotted that little fellow on the princess’ lap a few weeks ago… But now I see why she has it, I wish to help you. My friend might, I dragged him this far.”

The young princess and her knight were quiet…

They exchanged glances between one another for a moment.

The knight turned himself again. “If we give you the location of this creature’s home… Will you take it there?” he asked sternly. “In fact… The princess and I will come with you. Then I can be sure you won’t be taking it just to kill it… And travelling as a group will be safer.”

“Very well.” the rogue agreed with a nod. “But… Do we get anything for this?” she asked with a sleazy grin. She couldn’t get through a good deed without making a bargain out of it, so it seemed.

“Yes.” the princess was the one to answer her. Her hair was curled beautifully, a lovely brown colour to it. “I’ll reward you with a good amount of gold once we return to the castle.”

“Noted.” the rogue nodded, she spun to her friend eagerly with a toothy grin. “Are you in?”

He stared at her, very unamused… But really, he didn’t seem to have a choice. He grumbled to himself for a bit until nodding. “Fine. Fine. Let’s hurry.” he grumbled.

 

With a little more sneaking through the castle, the group of four crept out into the stables to swipe a few horses and rush out of the castle’s town and into the wilderness of the night.

They started on a pathway, but drifted off onto the grass, the moon hanging wonderfully above them. The big fields of grass glowing under the moonlight soon led into a maze of trees.

And here, they had to dismount their horses to head into the forest on foot. “It shouldn’t be far now…” the princess mumbled softly. “There should be a house in the middle of the forest.”

“A… House?” the young man in the brown tunic repeated unsurely. “Since when were dragons intelligent enough, and small enough, to live in houses?” he looked unsurely at the small dragon in her arms, and glared away. “…Older ones, I mean.”

“This dragon does not belong to the creatures it was born to…” the princess answered him carefully, sorting the little reptile carefully in her arms. “A young wizard that lives in this forest on his own takes care of it. They must have been separated during some sort of attack… I found the little one a few weeks ago and just had to try and help.”

He took in her information with a small nod.

Trust a wizard to take in a dragon and do weird things like that, he thought to himself.

But regardless, this young dragon didn’t deserve to suffer and surely this wizard was very worried about his little friend.

They all set off into the forest, carefully traversing their way around the thick trees and the darkness of the night.

Not too far into the walk, they could hear deep growling from the forest around them. Not too long after, one at a time, wolves and huge, terrible insect creatures would swipe out at them.

Not only did their knight companion draw out his sword to fend them off, but even the rogue got her short sword out of her hooded tunic to try and lend him some support, while the young man and the princess made protecting the dragon their priority.

The attacks from the wildlife of the forest ended up having the groups split off, when a wolf dived between them while the others were distracted fighting off the others around them.

The young man put himself ahead of the princess, stepping off carefully.

“Run!” he insisted.

They both set off into a sprint, using the trees as well as they could to try and dodge their chaser. It was working somewhat, but eventually the wolf caught them up and dived at them viciously.

The young man put himself in the way, the way he raised up his arm to defend himself had it clamped down on ferociously by the sharp teeth of their chaser.

He yelped out at the pain, and struggled to get the thing off his arm until slamming it into a tree, stepping off and holding his burning, bleeding arm. He could hear it, more were wandering their way here, too…

But in a sudden burst of light aura, the creatures were chased off.

They all rushed back off into the darkness, and from where they were running to, a young man in a soft purple poncho and robes, with a distinctive pointed hat on his head with blue hair poking out of it appeared.

“Spike!” he blurted out almost instantly. “O-oh my goodness, your highness… Wh-what is happening? Why do you have Spike?”

“I found him a few weeks ago…” the young princess answered the wizard quietly. “He was injured. I snuck him home to tend to him, but he’s gotten sick, too…”

The wizard looked concerned, stepping forwards for a better look at his little scaly friend. He reached a hand forwards to softly pat the little green head…

And that at least seemed to make the little guy happy.

He smiled to himself, but was alerted into reality again to hear the other two screaming and running their way. With a whole herd of the wildlife chasing right after them.

“Oh dear…” he muttered. He clenched his hand to summon his magic from the ground to scare all the wildlife off again. “Come on!” he urged them all quickly.

The group all rushed off after the wizard, to reach a little opening in the forest. A river ran over a bridge close to a big, rounded house sitting on its own little island in the middle of the opening.

The inside of his house was very welcoming. The wooden floor was very clean and the red rug in the middle of the floor really made it look very homely. A lot of light came from the fire at the wall of the room.

There was a big comfortable chair next to the fireplace, the young wizard sat down at it and the little dragon rested on his lap comfortably.

“I’ll be able to help him get better.” he confirmed, namely to the princess staring his way with worry. “I’ve been working on a few potions that should speed up his recovery.”

“That’s wonderful…”

The rogue and her good friend watched from the doorway, at least glad that all this went the right way. There was a number of things that could have gone horribly wrong. But at least the wizard helped wrap up the young man’s arm.

“Was it worth it?” he asked, complaining in his voice again.

“Yeah. A happy ending.” the rogue grinned. “And even happier when I get paid for it when we go home!”

Short Story: Baby Octopus

It was always a little suspicious when things were quiet in this house.

Franz was a man that lived with his niece, and what some would call his odd choice of a pet, his baby octopus, Berry.

While certainly the young creature had a good heart, it was also still just that, young. Mischievous, always craving attention in any way that it could get some.

On this night, Franz had just hung up his white coat on a rack close to the door, and fumbled his hand on the wall to flick on the light switch. This room was the biggeset in his house, one of the walls was entirely occupied by a huge tank of water, there was a very cute little set of steps that led into it on one side.

There wasn’t much else to this room. Clean solid tiles on the floor and a very cutesy wallpaper, themed around cute cartoon aquatic life.

The blonde man wandered in, now free of the flowing white coat just left with a blue shirt rolled up to his elbows and a pair of slick, blank pants. His hair was quite a mess and a pair of goggles sat in it, a pair of scars tore through his eye. His face was totally rounded off by a rather fluffy beard, too.

He brought his attention to the huge tank taking up half of the room, leaning closer to scan his eyes around it until he could find his little culprit.

Some of his research papers had ‘mysteriously’ vanished, but really, he knew what had happened. If Berry wasn’t satisfied with the amount of play time that he got that day, then the rest of the house was going to know about it.

“Berry,” Franz started. While his voice was lightly scolding, he never sounded particularly angry. Rather calm, honestly. “If you’re going to run off with my papers, could you not make it my research, please?”

Movement swished around in the water of the huge tank, a rubber toy got bumped out of the way a little before the tiny red creature popped onto the surface of the water to look up at his carer.

Berry always looked rather happy, just by the shape of his eyes. The slits that would be his pupils always seemed slanted, in a way that made him look happy. There wasn’t much to his rounded body and short tentacles, other than the fact that the one at the very front of him was metal. It matched the others in length, though.

He stayed there quietly.

Franz folded his arms and raised a brow. “You know what I’m talking about!” he added insistantly. “Well, this is better than you taking Krista’s homework. You know how hard it is to convince her teachers that a baby octopus stole her work and got it all ruined in the water?”

Right as he finished, one of the tentacles wiggled around to drop a very wet clump of papers on the ground.

It just took Franz one little glance to see that the ink was ruined, and if he even tried to touch them they were probably just going to shred up right in his hands. He rolled his eyes, at least it was all stuff he could reproduce rather easily.

He reached into the tank to take the small creature out of it, holding him carefully in his arms. “If I play with you before bed, you’ll be good until the morning, right?” he asked unsurely. The wriggling he could feel in his arms only told him ‘yes’, so it was motivation enough to keep the young one entertained for a little while.

Perhaps if he had time to stay on top tomorrow, all of his work could stay in tact for once!

At the corner of the room that wasn’t occupied by the tank was a plastic box, full of various toys. A lot of plastic toys, more than anything. Franz carried his little friend over there before gently placing Berry back on the ground.

The little red octopus waddled off, his metal leg clicking against the tiles of the ground quietly as he rushed over to the toy box. He seemed spoiled for choice, shuffling his tentacles around the box trying to find something to grab.

Franz crawled over to look into the box too, trying to remember just which toys kept the octopus the most occupied. He always seemed to enjoy the little cars for some reason, perhaps because they were such an alien concept to his species in the first place.

Seemingly right as he thought about it, a little bright red truck was dragged out of the box and placed on the ground. Berry pushed it back and forth a few times, before pushing it at Franz.

It bumped into his leg, he looked down at it with a little smile. “Hold on,” he started. He shuffled his own hand through the box and grabbed a little plastic toy of a man. It was very thick and blocky, but a lot of them were.

“The truck can’t drive if it doesn’t have a driver.” Franz grinned a little as he opened the tiny door to the toy and placed the man inside the truck, then pushing it back across the smooth ground for it to land back in Berry’s tentacle.

It seemed to thrill him, he was even happier to push the toy around now. Not even stationary anymore, using the rest of his legs to waddle around the big room as he guided the little truck under his ‘arm’.

Franz watched closely.

Of course it was some sort of precious watching the little guy enjoy pushing the thing around so happily, it was like watching a human child play with something in a way. Octopuses were very smart creatures, one thing that Franz aimed to prove to the world.

After all, why else would Berry steal his research and drag it into his tank if he wasn’t so smart? He knew exactly what he was doing.

It was just a little while of Berry playing around with the toys, and picking out a few more and pushing them at Franz to help him get started with them until enough time had rolled along.

It ended rather instantly honestly, Berry just stopped playing and sat on the ground instead.

Franz rolled his eyes a little before he came over and picked up the little octopus, holding him carefully as he wandered over to the opening in the tank again to carefully place his little pet back down into the water again.

He stood back to admire the little creature having peacefully started sleeping so quickly…

“Good night, little guy.” he mumbled softly. “Sleep well.”

Writing Prompt Exercise 6

Another day…

The young woman sighed to herself as she shoved her door open and stepped into her house. It was always nice to hear the pattering feet of her dogs rushing her way to welcome her home again.

She placed down her bags by the door as she accepted their greetings with a few giggles, and that high pitched voice that everyone uses when they’re talking to cute animals.

Judy was a carer of a popular racer on the kart racing scene, but he’d gone off on some crazy adventure, and just left her on break and with enough cash to get her by.

When she finally managed to shoo her dogs back into the house, she dragged her groceries through the hallway and into her large kitchen, then placing the milk in the fridge, the bread in the bread bin, whatever else she needed to do.

But when she finished, turning to face one of her lovely golden retriever… She noticed he had something in his mouth. An envelope, a letter of some sorts. She reached down and took it from her pup’s mouth, fiddling it open and staring at it unsurely.

“I have no idea who that is…” she grumbled to herself. She sorted herself into a lean on the counters of her kitchen, not too far away from her big grey fridge. When she flipped the letter open and her eyes scanned through it quickly, just picking up on the keywords.

Dealing with the racer she usually lived with, she’d gotten used to scanning through big documents that he was too tired to deal with at the time.

But…

That’s where it did get unusual.

“We’re offering a sponsorship to you, and even if you don’t wish to take it…” her eyes got wide as she read on to the last part of the letter. “In this letter we have enclosed a £2,000 cheque, as a gift to your constant charm and efforts out on the track…?”

She couldn’t really believe it.

Where on earth had this sudden windfall come from? Why the sudden reach out for a sponsorship, and even if they didn’t accept it, such a big gift? It was questionable of what to even do.

Judy was frozen at first. What should she do?

She snapped herself out of her daze to rush through her house and swiped her phone into her hands, texting her racer Marquis in desperate hopes that he could call her. If there was a need to drag him away from his crazy adventure, it was right now.

Much to her relief he responded quickly and insisted they call immediately.

Judy dragged her phone to her ear the very moment she pressed at the young man’s name to call him.

“Marquis!” she barked the second the phone stopped ringing in her ear. “Th-this is huge! You got offered a sponsorship, but on top of that… They left us a massive cheque! I’m talking £2,000!”

“What?!” he barked back pretty much instantly.

It was so much to take in within the very first sentence of the call. What the hell was he meant to say?

“…Wh-who are they?” he asked quietly, clearly in his voice just trying to get himself back together.

“I think they’re a big brand clothing company…” she explained bluntly, at least remembering their name. In fact, their brand seemed to litter the race course whenever they were there. “Very sporty.”

“Hmm…”

There was a thoughtful silence for a moment.

“Get in touch with them… Just ask them if they can wait a little and then we can talk to them a little more professionally.”

“Yeah, sounds good.” Judy agreed, nodding to herself perhaps out of habit.

“And the cheque…” Marquis went on. “…I want you to have all of it.”

“What?! Marquis-”

“Hey, hey, hear me out.” he insisted with a cool sort of mood. “You do so much for me… And heck, I’m stuck with a pair of rich people right now. I don’t think money is of my concerns.” he started explaining, it was a wonder how he sounded so calm about so much money.

Though, perhaps it wasn’t on his mind right now.

“The least I can do, after I left you for god knows how long, is to let you have this. So take it and treat yourself and the pooches. But especially yourself. Okay?”

She was speechless…

Marquis was never a bad person, but this was such a sweet gesture. It was so much money at once, it was a wonder what she could really use it for.

She even felt a tear escape her eye at this whole situation. “…Th-thank you, Marquis.” she sighed softly, a smile forced onto her face. “I’ll see what I can do with it, if you insist… You be careful out there.”

“You too, Judy.”

The call ended, and it was still so much to take in.

Judy sat in silence in her big, comfortable living room, facing the window on her big and very comfortable couch. A lot of light rushed into the room, it was a wonderful day out there.

That cheque needed to be exchanged for money sooner than later…

Judy smiled to herself keenly. “Buddy, Lucky!” she chimed, both of her dogs rushed right to her without hesitation. She petted at their heads even while they fidgeted around her to receive even more attention.

“We’re going to go for a nice, long walk.” she told them eagerly. “And I’m going to get you some really nice leads while I can! And maybe I’ll get myself that bag I was looking at a few days ago…”

They never really knew what on earth she was saying, but their tails both wagged around eagerly just at the thought of going out for a walk on such a nice day.

She’d only just gotten home really, but she was very ready to rush back out and have a great time.

All thanks to Marquis…

She was going to make sure she gave him something amazing for all this.