The Room called OOG

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Hi there!  My name is Cece Sawyer.  I am Tom’s girlfriend and I have a very strange tale to tell.

It all started back when we moved into the little apartment in Victoria, British Columbia a couple years ago.  Tom was always working.  Every single day it was a kiss goodbye before heading out to his office to do writing, heading out to do shows with the band or heading out to clean the big building up in Saanich.  He’d send me little texts now and again to let me know how things were going, and after doing some housework I would keep myself occupied with coming up with ideas or meeting the neighbours.  This would usually happen when I went downstairs to get the mail or do the laundry.

There were two strange things about the building.  One was how the staircase on the front of the building lead to a big empty room with plants.  We live on the top floor so this room is just one floor above us.  I remember when I first went up there.  The room was dark so I actually wondered for a moment if I was intruding on someone else’s space.

“Hello?” I said as I neared the dark room.

It was a bit silly as I found out, turning on the light to reveal a single room on the top of the building, filled with old furniture.  It was like someone had gone to a second hand store and bought everything.  Big leafy green plants were in every corner.  There was an old record player with one of those metal horns that you only see pictures of.  There were old couches that looked like the one my Grandma had in our house on the Beecher Bay Reservation where I was born.

And there were books.  So many books and old copies of National Geographic that I also hadn’t seen since being at Grandma’s house.  She had them in the basement and didn’t want to throw them out because they were Grandpa’s.  I recognized one of the ones that were on the coffee table in the room.  I was from the 1960’s and had a big pull out map of the moon.  There were issues with that classic yellow border about Zimbabwe and Nepal and the first plays in Greece.  I liked reading when Tom was away so at first I would just pop upstairs and go through the books.  Some of them were kept in this one shelf with a glass case and they looked very old, like they had been rescued from a sunken sea chest.  I had to be very careful as I open these books as the binding was very frail and the first couple pages had disappeared.

I did this until months ago when I asked our neighbour about the other room.

Down by the laundry room, and around the corner from the mailboxes was this room or apartment, or at least a door that had no number.  Over the security viewing hole, like an apartment’s door, was the word “OOG.”

To this day I’m not entirely sure why it said that, even with what I know now.  Or I think I have an idea.

Anyways, I noticed after a while that I had never seen anyone ever coming in our out of that door.  I was sure I would bump into someone when I carried our big, round laundry basket downstairs but it never happened.  I feel a little bad about this, but one time I even dared myself to listen closely.  I never had the nerve to knock or go right up to it. 

So, I ended up talking to our neighbour Wayne who had lived next to us on the top floor the whole time.  He’s lived there for just years and he was always going upstairs to take care of the plants. 

“Oh, that’s just storage.  Yeah, no-one actually lives there,” he laughed as he went upstairs with his mail.

So that was that, but don’t worry because it gets way weirder.

It was when I was doing laundry downstairs, in the big white room next to the OOG door.  I had just done the dry cycle and was putting clothes on the long table under the bulletin board.  Everything was going normal as I was taking clothes from the white basket and organizing them when one of the socks fell off the table and went right behind the dryer.  I was annoyed of course, but more relieved it missed the garbage with all the lint in it so I moved that out of the way and went down to reach behind the dryer.  The sock had somehow gone into this little square opening on the back of a dryer which was sort of hard to get to.  After moving the whole dryer a little and squeezing behind there I finally got it and was about to leave when a flash of something got my attention.

It was a key.  Attached to the key was a little brown wooden tag that said, you guessed it, “OOG.”

Now I know what I really should have done.  I should have popped it in the mail slot in the office since it was clearly property of the building and maybe they needed it to get into the storage room.  But maybe they had another key.  Surely they would have noticed if a key went missing.  I sat there kneeling for a bit looking at the little copper colored key and its wooden tag for a moment.  I heard the click of the front door of the building close and some people talking and at that moment the key slipped into my pocket.

I gathered up the rest of my laundry and went upstairs.

With the laundry put away and everything else done, my mind was immediately drawn back to the key.  I seriously tried to not think about it.  That was impossible.  I mean, it couldn’t hurt to look inside the little room.  I mean it was just a storage room and the building manager was only here for an hour in the morning.  It was already the afternoon.  As long as I closed the door behind me, no one would be the wiser.

And that’s exactly what I did, my heart just pounding the whole time until I closed the OOG door from the other side and found the light switch.

It was a storage room, alright.  It wasn’t just boxes but tonnes of stuff that I couldn’t work out what they were for.  The room had been a large bachelor suite on the lower front of the building and light from outside crept through the white curtains into the low light from the overhead, illuminating the dust and the hodge-podge of everything from long water pipes, to sinks to very old appliances.  I walked along the wall just kind of having a look.  I couldn’t see anything that was really that interesting as everything looked a bit old and I didn’t want to actually take anything from the room because that would be stealing.

After all, my rule was I was going to just look.  So, I was just looking.

Then I got to the door.  Not the same door that I had come from but one at the corner by the front window.  It was interesting to me because there was a door in the laundry room, so I naturally supposed this was going to lead back into that.  It was kind of funny as the door wouldn’t really need to be there.  The laundry room was literally around the corner from the front door so why would this flat need a second door just for that?  I opened it and came into a hallway.

That’s right, a hallway.

It was very short and went to another door that was locked from this side.  I have no doubt in my mind now that the second door is the door to the laundry room.  I’ve never gone through that way because that isn’t the interesting bit.  Stepping into the hallway is when it got interesting.

This is when I discovered what I have just come to call The Grotto.

For you see, between the door back into OOG and the door into the white tiles of the laundry room was an intersection of a hallway that sloped sharply down towards a blue painted door that had been left slightly open.  I could not resist this.  I went down and, just like upstairs…

“Hello?”

Nothing.

Going inside was a like a trip back into the nineteen sixties, not that I had ever been there.  What I found below what I thought was the lowest floor of the building was a fully furnished and rather extravagantly laid out apartment.  There was an old fridge that was thankfully empty (in no-one had been down here since the sixties…UGH!), big raised couches that curved around like something out of a magazine, doors of beads, paintings, more books and in one room there was even blankets hanging from the roof.  There was a glass ball in water that when you turned it on would turn about and put out little clouds of white smoke.  There were little eves in the wall that had shot glasses from all over the world and two pistols over the couch with mother of pearl grips.  There was some very expensive looking wine and family photos in the kitchen.  There was this one room that was locked and so help me, I couldn’t open that one.

And the photos!  The place was obviously rented by a very handsome young man back in the day, because he seemed to be in every photo next to famous people from Freddy Mercury to the Dali Lama. 

It took me a moment to realize…someone was still paying for this place.  Someone was paying for it but no-one had been down here in decades.  I looked to see if the television still worked, like the electricity.

It did. 

And this is where things got really crazy.

(To be continued!)

Bard – Chapter One

958-mossy-tree-bark-1920x1080-nature-wallpaper“Well, this is certainly awkward.”

There wasn’t much else to say at that point.  I was lying face up in the Commons of the Bly Forest, as place that is as sacred as it pretty much gets with more and more Jeekan faces glaring down at me.  And it was not comfortable either.  When you finish coming down from a climb of the Tiki Tree you usually have people to help you up.  They pat you on the back and talk to you.  They’re excited for you.  Not me.  And fair enough really, considering that the tree that was behind me did not use to exist.  I made a tree.  Around here that was kind of a big deal.

We live in trees, us Jeekas.  Trees are our thing, pretty much.  I was born in one.  I learned to climb before I could walk.  Our red wand soldier Jeekas have a drawing of the mighty Tiki Tree on their shields.  They were not just a part of every moment of a furry little guy’s life.  They were downright mystical.  The Bly Forest has long been called the Po-Ha Spirit Shal-Than’s sacred garden.  Indeed, from where I was lying I could barley make out the afternoon sky, filtering its way through the dense foliage high above.  The Tiki Tree, or this side of it, took the most of my view.  That thing wasn’t a tree when you stood before it like I had done the day before.  It was a mountain. It was sheer wall of bark ascending into dense foliage with skybug lanterns swinging above the whole of the Commons. It took long to climb, which is saying something because climbing with our fore and hind claws was kind of something we are known in Tarsha to be good at.  All around the Commons, which is the sweet grass circle between the Tiki and the wand trees, we numbered in the hundreds.  The event was over but lots were sticking around to see what would happen with me.

Ok, they all were.

Because of that it took a while for Readspa Weet and his horrible little nephew Dinnlen Weet some time to push through the crowd to get to me.  Readspa was the Seat of the Tree, the head governor of all the Bly.  I was not looking forward to meeting him as I lay below the curved branch that had brought me to the forest floor.

“There he is Uncle!” Dinnlen said as he got close “There’s Jeebles!”

Oh, yeah…Dinnlen was enjoying himself thoroughly.  One more thing I had done wrong.  One more thing to go to a governor about, and he was related to the top.  The guy was in spoiled rich pup heaven.

“Don’t you have workers you would rather be lashing, Dinlenn?” I said.  We were never really super close.

I didn’t see him.  He was clearly standing back a ways from me, along with some of the others in the crowd, as though they didn’t know what I was going to do next.  Perhaps I was going to turn into a Turweef spider and begin lashing in every direction.  Truth is I had just had fallen hard from the rope branch that hung like a thick snake above my head.  So when it came to lashing out with anything, I could barely move.  Then two Jeekas did come close.  Dominion Red Guards.  Seeing those two standing above me with wands drawn to my face was enough to get my attention.  I shelved my snarkyness in an hurry.  The gemstones from both wands were close enough that I could almost grab them, which would be, of course, immensly stupid.

The gemstones swirled like eddies in a river, not pulsing but glowing steady with a heat that cannot be described in terms of temperature.  You just felt the fire within those pure shards of Si.  You knew about the power of rock-thrower, that could send stones beneath you into a hail of the fastest missles.  You knew that the guards simply had to touch your skin and let the power seep into your flesh.  The fire would reach your center like rot shredding its way into a trees very root.

“Get him up,” came a command from a gentle firm voice.

With wands still on my face, another set of strong arms hoisted me to my hindpaws.  Still feeling a bit shaky, I padded myself down for a moment and thanked them for helping me up, which did not receive much in the way of smiles.  In the crowd behind Readspa Weet and Dinnlen I could see some of the others moving their muzzles side to side slowly.  They weren’t eating.  That movement came from how we Jeekas chatter out teeth, which again has nothing to do with how cold it is.  It’s always the perfect climate in the Commons.  No, chattering our teeth is something we do when we are angry.  Well, that or afraid.  Or someone just sent a hundred foot tree rocketing from the soil beneath them into the sky like a ship crashing into a headland.  I was just that popular that day.

“You care to explain what happened Fleet Jeebles?”

I just looked at him.  I actually was trying organize my thoughts so I could work out where in the story should start.

Climbing the Tiki was a rite of passage for Jeekas my age.  You got to the top, took a rope branch down to one of the six trees, got the wand that decided how you would serve the Bly and then come down.  Dinnlen had just done it, as had Teekthie (from the Tikitaa district like Dinnlen.  Hated her.) Bithel (from the Heepata like me.  Nice guy, and I’m not just saying that because he was working class too.  Kind of dull though.  There, I said it.) and about forty other Jeeklings.  Jeeklings going up the tree.  Jeekas of the Bly coming down.

I was a Jeeka now.  And boy, was I in the deep fertilizer.

“I got in an arguement with Dinnlen, sir,” I managed “It was nothing.”

And that was a give my head a shake moment.  Why in blackness did I go there?  I could have just said that I didn’t know.  I could have said that it was the darndest thing.  But straight away with “Golden Trousers” himself leering, I knew that Dinnlen had told Readspa his version of our arguement on the top of the Tiki.  I was a bit of a fistfight in probably the most dangerous place in Tarsha to do that.  Not only is it high, high…I can’t even describe how high up it is…but the intense Si of that place doesn’t exactly approve of people fighting or indeed having a little sightseeing moment.  Everything started to sway and Dinnlen and I had to jump onto the first rope branch we could see.  Our harnesses clicked into place and down we went, flying and spiralling around through the clouds on our way back.  He vanished from my sight as I burst through one cloud and into another, the rope branch swinging and diving past others until it came to its end.  The end was still high off the ground and without a wand tree in sight.  I firmly believed I was fertilizer myself when…well…I made a tree.

I explained all this to Readspa.  At least I think I did.  No Jeeka, not even the red army could beat the Seat of the Tree for looking intimdating.  His purple stone wand could tell you if you told the littlest fib and he was a very tall elder with eyes that looked right into you.  He got to his position by his extraordinary insight and razor sharp wisdom.  I’m not being sarcastic there.  You would not want to play a game of stones with Readspa Weet.  He came from generations of great governors.  His great grandsire had been the one to settle the war between the Lotherans of Laboi Canyon and the Bly.  Their weapons still remained in the stone columns before the Clay City of Tercichio thousands of leagues away as a sign of peace.  I guess the idea behind that was that neither of us could get those great weapons back.  Only the immortal Vakkal could enter their home.  The Si energy in that place would drive any mortal Si mad if we tried to enter.

Anyways, back in the soft cool of the Commons, I couldn’t really look at Readspa as I explained what I think had just happened.  I told him about getting the wand in the empty round room.  I told him about the wierd inscriptions on the walls, running around the ridge between the round wall and the solid ceiling.  There was also the fact that the empty room was in a tree that came out of nowhere just moments before.  And there I was standing before him with a pure white wand in the wand-sheath behind me with no color at all, so it looked like someone had made some kind of mistake somewhere.  The wands were orange for a worker, green for a farmer (that was my father’s kind) red for a warrior, blue for a healer, purple for a governor, and yellow for a seer.  Mine was like some wierd kind of exclamation point.

Dinlenn said I threatened him which was kind of annoying.  We threatened each other.  Actually, we threatened lots of other Jeeklings because they had to get past us scraping to get to the rope branches.  That’s the kind of thing perfectly sane people do.

“Fleet, have you ever been outside of the Bly Forest?” he asked bringing his wand between us.  The light from its regal purple began to glow.

“Um…no…sir,” I stammered.  I hadn’t.  He knew that was true immediately.

“Have you ever been near the Southern gate?  Sands of Umahh?”

“No sir.”

He considered me for a moment and then, with his wands ability to amplify his voice he sent everyone on their way.  Dinlenn protested but he was met with the same authority from those sharp eyes.  Suddenly I had the very wierd experience of standing in the soft coolness of the Commons with Readspa Weet.  Well, and his gaurds.  He wasn’t that reckless.

“Follow me little one,” he said with a concerned face before leading me back to the Tiki Tree, to the other side where between giant natural curves in the grain we entered the Room of Roots.

I was made to wait in the that round lower room with its ceiling that was so high that you couldn’t actually see it, sunlight streaming in from where I had entered and through a similar entrance far to my right.   Guards stood by the door to the upper rooms across from me, the whole interior carved into the base of the Tiki Tree ages ago.

There were benchs all around the circular room with a darker wood star in the center.  The star had six points, one for each of the gemwands.  I sat with the quiver behind me holding the wand whose gemstone did not belong.  The thick cloth and metal hook still hung there on my back too from when it held me to the rope branches in the sky high above.  The guards did not look at me.  They stood like statues, hands behind there back, next to the skybug lite stairway that climbed out of sight.  I had never been in the room before.  I had spent most of my time in the working class district of the Heepata far to the southwest except for when I was born.  I was born in the Typlem Hollow on the north border where we had a grain farm.  That was before my father’s accident.  We had lots of food before entering the Bly-supported trees of Heepata.  I had been in that district for so long that I could barely remember those days of playing with my little sister in the tall grasses and the open sunlight that danced on the Dawzu River.  It flowed far from the Great Eastern Range and the eastern canyons before passing through the Bly and under it.  I had been in the submarine trails where some Jeekas lived below the surface.  Down there it was all giant roots and skybugs dancing above the white water and pathways.  On the wall above me was a giant drawing of the Bly Forest and it’s communities.  We rarely left the Forest other than in goodwill parties to the city of South Leah far away.  That didn’t happen that often.  We were still somewhat shy when it came to Lothrans.  I had seen one when I was a little Jeekling pup.  Or at least I think I had.  My father met someone on the northern road before the Bly Gate.  They talked and I watched from a distance with my mother keeping a firm grip on the fur behind my neck.  That was probably a very good idea at the time.  I’ve never been known for my self restraint.  That rumor wasn’t helping me much now.

“Meepsa!”

My sisters name.  My father’s voice!  I suddenly sat bold upright on the smooth ashwood bench.  Creet Jeeble’s voice came from the other door to my right, sunlight and tiny sparkles of air playing in its bright north western entrance.  That’s where suddenly I saw a very familiar sight.  The sight of soft white and hazel fur around black excited eyes.

“Big brother?” came her little voice, it’s little sound echoing into the vast chamber.

I looked at the guards, worried, and then back at her.  They hadn’t moved or anything.  I guess someone two and a half feet armed with a birchwood doll wasn’t a major threat.  Still, it was Meepsa, here, in the same room as Jeekas who could…I went over to her as quickly as I could within breaking into anything that looked like a run.

“Meepsa!” Father called again from somewhere close.

“In here!” I called out the window as the little Jeekling raced up to my legs and with her muzzle to one side which still pressed into my stomach, she hugged my legs with all of her might.

“Oh, there you are!” Creet Jeebles, that’s my Father, said “Are you ok?”

“I’m great, sir.  Um…” I said turning to the guards and motioning to the bench “Is it ok if my family sits on the…”

They didn’t move.  I guess it wasn’t not ok since they didn’t seem to be opposed to it.  I still felt nervous with those red wands near my family.  I felt nervous with them near me.  I mean I had been in trouble with the local governors for getting in fights with upper crush twits like Dinlenn, but I never had those guys around.

“Ok,” I said to the people I loved most in the world like someone at a district meeting “Try to keep it down a little bit.  I’m waiting for Readspa Weet to come back.  He told me to wait here.”

“Readspa Weet!” my Father said “And the Room of Roots.  You’ve had quite a day!”

“That’s right, sir,” I said “Let’s just sit over here.  Meepsa?  Can you let go of my legs now?”

“No.”

“Or we can stand here,” I agreed.

Oh yeah, I call my dad sir.  We all do.  It’s just a Jeekan show of respect to an elder.  Meepsa told me she was scared when I didn’t come down right away like everyone else.  That’s when they heard of a tree exploding from nowhere.  They had been on the other side of Tiki Tree so they got the information second hand.  That’s how big this tree is.  Even this room could fit a hundred of us in it easily.  And, fun fact, from what I’ve heard, you can actually see the Tiki from anywhere in the Tarshan Peninsula.

I heard that one from my Father.  He had been to the northern city of Moz once to sing with a choir for the Lothran’s midwinter festival.  He is where I got my musical traits.  My mother was always the pragmatic one.  I remember my father singing all the time when I was younger.  It was an unexpected treat to hear it these days.  It’s one of reasons I built my first clavacar.  The thing was terrible but when I strummed it I could make a sort of chord like sound.  Sometimes the thing even sounded tuned.

“What’s going to happen, son?” he asked as Meepsa looked up at me.

“Mr. Weet asked me some questions and…I don’t really know,” I replied, only to see Readspa Weet coming out of the stairway with two more guards and a Jeeka who dressed with a yellow sash around his frame.  A yellow wand.

“Fleet Jeebles,” the yellow wand said in greeting.  He did not hold his wand in his hand.  He didn’t need to be I knew it was on as he looked me up and down.  He walked around me before asking to show me the wand I had received.  I took it from it’s sheath behind my neck and held it up for him to look.  Everyone looked at it as though I was holding a rare bottle of Thorkberry.

“You can put it back in your sheath, Fleet,” the yellow wand said, apparently content.  He nodded to Readspa Weet before heading back to the stairwell with one of the two guards accompanying him.

“Creet Jeebles,” Readspa said to my father softly “How would you like if you and your family got to go to the Lothran city of North Leah?  And we will pay your way.  Handsomely.”

All three of the Jeebles family stared at him dumbfounded.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this.  It’s a new spin I’m trying out on an older project and would love to hear any constructive thoughts.

Cheers,

Tom

Mage Part One

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It has been quiet in Dameron since the last attack.  You don’t expect that the thing that would wake you from sleep would be a child’s song.

 

It was part of a dream at first.  I was there again, back on the hilltop surrounded by white flowers and the scent of the Southern Sea.  The Bay of Mount Laer stretched around me then like a warm embrace, keeping it’s kin close in the little seaside village.  I liked to spend most of my time as a child up on those bluffs overlooking the city and the sea.

 

That was one of the images that I always held during the campaign to the dark lands of the East.  Well, that and of course dear Lenette.  I was the shortest one of the six of us that would head off on our own little adventures when the grown ups were busy.  We did use to get into such trouble, primarily being lost or late for dinner.  It was never anything that involved actual danger like the sinewy fingers of the blackness.  Those curling tendrils had not yet reached our little fishing village, like many protected by the rocky shore or the northern plains of Umahh.  Dameron was closer to the plains but also closer to the bridges that would take me back to where we had travelled.  Dameron seemed treacherous at that time.  It was many winter’s snows in the city for me since Clantan the Grand Master lead us east.  We sung the song on the road, our hearts thumping with seemingly unbreakable joy.

My eyes opened to he pale light of the moons flooding the room in gentle blue against the Leyleaf-stained roof.  The song was still in the air, stealing in through the cracks in the cracks of the window.  I got out of bed in my baggy nightclothes and peered down into the street.  The song was fading and it seemed urgent that I find it’s source.

My gaze fell up and down the shadows and snow of the narrow streets.  The snow was still falling but only lightly so I could make out much of the world below from two floors up in my room.  There were tracks of people walking through the snow of course, the wind dusting the falling snow along like leaves catching the waterline in a river but I had no spell to tell me the identity of a singer.  Slowly the sound melted away.  A ghost of the home I could not return to, even as a wandering sight.

Then I heard it.  It was so incredibly soft that you would scarcely believe it happened but it had not been the first time.  Copper tumblers were being brushed aside with a thin needle.  The door creaked to life as though simply pushed by the wind.

A man in rags, his swirl of clothes hiding a flash of steel left the floorboards and swung to the wall, the back of his head hitting the solid boards with a dull thud.  He tried to reach his sword but I drew that away, the useless blade skittering across the floor and under the drawropes of my bed.

“First rule, friend,” I said coming closer “A mage rarely sleeps.”

He strained against my will.  He wasn’t a big fellow as the best thieves typically are not, but he was from the guild and carried with him a relentless wirey strength.  His eyes fell on the other side of the room where I kept my books, stacked neatly or somewhat neatly with bits of paper poking out, the soft chair and candles for reading late and of course, the chest beneath my desk.

“Really, you’d be better off with one of the books,” I continued as he glared at me.

His faced grew red as he breathed hard as though the man had just finished running clear across town.  He was one of the brave and stupid ones.  Perhaps he had just got the wrong room but not with the mark left on my door.  I knew what that was carved for.

“So how about this…we treat it as a learning experience and I don’t tell Namal about your little…shall we call it…lack of communication?” I said looking at the man who only started to resign his attempts to move from his comfy spot a foot and a half above the floorboards.  He took a deep breath.

“Sorry about all this Peter,” he said “Things haven’t been easy since I got back here.”

“Wait,” I said looking at the face now coupled with the man’s accent,”I know you…”

“And I know you are not a man to wake up.”

“Marc of second company,” I suddenly said, the sudden realization falling into place.  He was a thief but he was, well, one of ours.  I let him down.

Marc breathed, his back still on the wall, where he stretched it like his was in one of the city baths.  He leaned back still a little wary of me, standing before him in probably a less impressive sight with my oversized bedclothes.  He walked over to a chair and then turned to face half asleep scratching, me.  He sat down and rubbed his feet.

“Sorry, I couldn’t get my dagger back could I?” he asked “I know I don’t deserve it but…”

“Oh, no that’s fine.  I was awake anyways,” I replied, sitting on my bed and spirited his dagger across to him “Was that you whistling?  You shouldn’t do that…kind of counter-productive.”

“The Fisherman’s Song…I heard that too,” he said “No, not me.  I tried to go home and couldn’t find work and ended up with Namal’s gang.  I just wanted to borrow from you but…”

He looked at me.

“Nah, I didn’t think you’d buy that,” he said getting up to go “Sorry again Peter.  I won’t repeat this”

“Marcellian,” I said pointing to the barrel I kept next to my door “take the pouch, there.  And ask me next time.”

He took the pouch and smiled at me.  He gave a little hand gesture of thanks.

“Ask, got it.”

The door clicked closed.  I locked it with a wave of my hand.

 

 

 

 

The White Wand

The White Wand Blog site  This is the story that has never left me.  Whenever I do morning writing exercises the world of the people of Tarsha comes back.  Yeah, it’s big old silly nerdy world but it’s a great place to explore all the possibilities in writing.

Fantasy gives you the chance to leap out in the full horizon of concepts but also bring in things from this world and make them shine.  My favorite thing about this project is that I have tried to depart from the standard fantasy repertoire to bring characters like the Jeekas people with the towering Tiki Tree, Si wands and the dominion of the Bly Forest.

The new blog is at

The White Wand

Come by and have a look!  Lots more to come!

City of Clay

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No birds flew in this place.  With not even the smallest sign of life the deafening silence discouraged travellers.  Rumours told in Mountain town of Bothra also kept the wagon trails to a minimum.  Travellers were especially warned of the towering red clay walls.  From this place the quiet ones came.  The closer to the walls you came, the more the madness seeped into the skin.

The singular movement was a light wind brushing the clay hills, it’s cool sweet breath running down from the snow of the Great Easterns that divided the Tarshan Peninsula like a grey knife forty leagues down to the clanging harbours of Tell.

From this direction she came.  Like a single snowflake against the soft orange packed waves of clay her shape grew to the sight of those who waited.  They were two of the quiet ones, one a young Seeker Vakkal with only eighty summers to his credit and the other was Baki-ku.  He was far older, his eyes having seen the dawning of the Age of Light when the Tiki Tree of the By Forest first grew in Shal’than’s Northwest garden of the Bly Forest.  He held the Weapons of Truce between the Jeekas of the Bly and the Lothran people of the canyons.

She came closer.  Baki-ku and Natku-sa waited as she came into shouting distance, he blonde hair shaking in the sun, her white dress rippling satin around the black blade of Otheria.

“Baki-ku of Tercichio” she said “thank you for agreeing to this.”

She stopped just out of striking distance.  She had much acquaintance with the Vakkal.  She knew full well of the spinner weapon that rested at their sides.

“Tari-sa has left us, witch,” he said with no malice in his voice, a sound than vibrated beneath her shoes “he is among the lost ones.  I know not if the Fourthlings have claimed him.  He is not amongst our number and at his years I am sure the cracks in his Si are beginning.”

She stood motionless.  She waited for more.

“I suppose your Lord’s gifts don’t grant every wish,” he said finally.

She glared at him.  Natku-sa put his hand to the roof of his spinner.  Just then came a screeching piercing sound.  From the sound came three shadows through the clouds.  The first one had bright red markings on its beak and down its scorpion like tail.

From Natku-sa’s side the spinner whirred to life, it’s blades a rush of razors beneath the Vakkal’s palm.

“You need not trouble our people any longer Eleatha, traitor of the Otherian throne,” Baki-ku said with a hand outstretched to keep his young warrior-seeker in checked “I believe you’re taxi has arrived.”


This is a short teaser to The White Jeeka story.

Tom

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