From Unexpected Places (Something Concerning Odd Motivations)

Inspiration and Themes

It’s another ‘You know how it goes’ . You’ve finished your latest work, truly finished. The end was reached the several re-writes, editings, and other associated efforts have been navigated. (Including the occasional episode when the book cover was being put in place, the artist adds a little something and you thought ‘Wow, I have to fit that into the narrative!! ‘ And under the spell of the image you unravel some little part……). All this attended to by one means or another your work is then made available to the public and belongs unto the Ages.

Thus, should follow an interlude of rest and repose. Working at a factory pace does not suit Creativity or Perspective. A writer should not find, one morning their writing has become a chore they feel they must do. Writing should either come from the joy or the restlessness to see ideas taking shape as words. A ‘Because’ not a ‘Have To’.

So time to look at a Fantasy idea. There might be promise there. I would attend. I started.

And stopped. Basically, although there were a couple of amusing bits, it was not working; the word ‘Re-hash’ kept cropping up whenever I read the day’s output. Ah well, something to be left for another day….

Time to revisit the Quantum Space Opera project. On to the opening chapter. There was that word ‘Re-hash’ again. Seems I had invested so much time and effort into my previous project my creativity was still running on the loop. BlogBattle challenges were welcome, making me move elsewhere, but left to my own devices I was running in that loop. The one hope I had was another word… ‘Screwball’ as in 1930s and 1940s Comedy Films, in short when stuck, look for something outside of Serious. There was inspiration here because when scrolling through the Audio Book selection of SF, and seeing the endless lists of Genocidal Aliens, Ancient Long Forgotten Evils, Another Colonial Marines / WH40K Space Marines series one phrase kept popping into my creative mind when relating to the evil protagonists…. ‘Their heads fell off’; it broke the monotony. Thinking there might be a start of a way out, I pondered on this phrase. Now obviously such a gem had to be used sparingly, or if the pace was very fast with mocking frequency. The plot still eluded me though. Even the great Robert Sheckley would not build an entire book around heads falling off, maybe a chapter or paragraph here or there but he was a master of his art / craft. No, the whole structure needed more thought. Still, it was a start.

Buoyed by this slender hope, the musing phase started, as to what would prompt such a statement and where would the exclamation or discovery fit it. Musing on such an aspect does not require a serious frame of mind; irreverently speculative would be a better turn of phrase. Such a state is of course very volatile and unpredictable. In consequence it was with some delight, although not surprise, that bursting into the musing came a small scenario drenched with very inappropriate and excessively farcical humour based on a misunderstanding in verbal translation. There were inane sniggers, for it is a fact of Male Human Nature that no matter their age, life experience, social standing or professional achievements no man ever rids himself of that adolescent streak. However, this ‘situation’ arose, the attendant, events leading up to, social interactions, ramifications, motivations etc were causing the dust of musing to coalesce. The original slender thread of the plot began to take on shape, birthed by an urge to place both comic ideas into some context. They would only be additions of course to a deeper and wider narrative, but in doing so gave some basis and inspiration for getting there. ‘The plot became the thing, wherein the comedy I could bring’ (sorry about that Mr. Shakespeare- no apologies to you Hamlet, to me you always were a royal pain)

Now the words and the possibilities are forming with some ease. Being of the ‘Pantser’ school I have not much of an idea where this particular project is going to go. But if I did, where would the fun in that be?? No, I’m just going enjoy the whole uncertainty happy in the security of the knowledge someone, somewhere, will be involved in a humorously unfortunate incident and some group with suffer from sudden detachment of heads.

Oh, in case anyone was wondering. The Quantum aspect? In comparison with starting a plot for a book, simply no trouble at all to fit in.

Here’s to Inspiration, no matter where or how the dear muse should turn up.

And I do believe I have inadvertently created a template for a book cover.

A Matter of Mixed Fortunes (May#BlogBattle-Pastoral)

Pastoral

Lord Preldehal scowled towards Lord Reivod’s construction.

The fellow wishing to break from widowhood and respectable poverty had entered in marriage negotiations with the wealthy mercantile family Beeinflusser, they seeking access into Gentry classes. They made things with sanctioned machines. Reivod had agreed to turn arable lands to something termed by his possible in-laws as Profitable Enterprise. Still in the early stage, all to show was a loss of woodlands, disgruntled farmers and smoke. Preldehal being competent in farm management did not see advantage to the region, only to the pockets of Reivod and his prospective in-laws.

Sanctioned machine? To his mind they skirted questionable areas which meant dabbling with Stommigheid otherwise named Ethereal. Dangerous stuff. Yet you raised such concerns at your own peril attracting the attention of The Custodians of The Lord God’s Word. Accuser and Accused both viewed with equal suspicion.  

But not satisfied to sit back Preldehal utilised his knowledge of the landscapes and his unfocused son. Weltfremd’s latest affectation to idyllic countrysides had been manoeuvred by his father by a gift of woodland, and its modest stream. Preldehal had suggested the stream could be utilised to make a pond. Weltfremd enthused on this venture.  His father was certain there would be minimal success but the resulting diversion of water would impact upon the flow and quality of the River Wichtig, itself vital to the running of Reivod’s machinery; hopefully ruining the profitability.

‘Good friends,’ Weltfremd announced loudly to friends, male to work, female to encourage. ‘To task,’ thus struck a shovel into the ground, while singing a work song. At once, more or less his group joined in. The initial fervour was worthy, however the organisation being based solely on digging a hole irrespective of other factors was not a sound one. The girls as the first careless showers of earth arrived retreated with servants but not so far as they could not observe the group of young males divest their upper clothing. There were giggles, not from the servants who would have to carry everything back again and found the singing irritating. A nearby unseen observer had their own concerns.    

Translator Pastoral ClnMyla was seated in his one comfy chair; one brief interlude of relaxation from supervising his three translators, ensuring the entire community of Lord Preldehal’s had at least nominal adherence to the Word of The Lord God thus avoiding the dyspeptically pedantic attentions of Custodians of the Word.  

‘Sorry to trouble your Interlude,’ the fellow said, back from observing ‘There’s something going on in Draybelle Woods. Not the usual ‘something’, even if it does involve young folk,’ the fellow pulled a face ‘Heir Lord Weltfremd is involved,’ this intelligence resulted in a long fatalistic sigh from the Translator Pastoral.

‘Since, those being one of his father’s own woods, that part would not be surprising. But judging by the troubled look upon your face Marthrik Healme there’d be woe you’re about to tell me. Sit yourself down and partake of the fresh coffee man. Unhappy tales are best told with refreshments,’ The invitation being gratefully received, the man began.

‘At your instructions I was patrolling the lords’ borderlands at the juncture of current potential disputes, when I espied numbers of privileged young with servants in tow by foot, horse or cart heading for Draybelle Woods. There to be greeted by Weltfremd and provisions. The purpose, to dig a pond, which the male part set about. Whether the result will be a pond, a mud hole or a swampy patch I couldn’t say. This was not my main concern,’

‘Enthusiastic young privileged folk with no idea what they are about is always cause for concern. Yours Marthik?’

‘It was the singing,’

‘The singing? I can anticipate the efforts might not be pleasing to the ear, but that would not be the problem now, would it?’

‘They were using tracts from the Second Holy Book, only they were wrongly sung,’       

‘Since we can dispense with the possible sin of being out of tune, there would be more to this yes?’

‘They were not using the officially sanctioned restrained celebrations of The Lord God’s Creation or the tastefully crafted appreciation of His Wonderous Works of Beauty. Not even one of the ten acceptable hymns of Natural Ways,’

ClnMyla often turned a literal deaf ear to the genuinely inadvertent transgressions which could arise when folk got caught up in the optimism and honesty of the one holy book which was about being Happy, within reason. Often a defence presented to his local Court of the Ecclesiastes began with ‘But in the Second Holy Book….’. He had been careful to school Marthrik in this difficult path which suggested the fellow had already sifted the evidence. The Translator Pastoral bade farewell to any chance of further relaxation.

‘And?’ he asked.

‘I reckon they’ve got hold of a proscribed version. However since none of them were dancing about undressed, waving branches or adorned with badly made animal masks it’s possibly accidental and not true heresy,’  

‘Accidental can be worse. Approach softly, we don’t want to alarm them and be setting off natural force,’

For the first time Marthrik looked startled.

‘Force?’ he echoed, twitching.

‘Call it Stommigheid, call it Ethereal. Our Higher Translators Extraordinaire and Council of The Custodian’s Conclave may deny, but there is everywhere a natural smidge of these most evasive of elementals. Even the dullest of us can set this off by a combination of circumstances. Without intentional summonings,’

‘Thank you for seeing me My Lord,’ ClnMyla said in his conversational tone, he had left Marthrik to continue observation ‘I was out on one of my rare constitutional rides, past those lovely Draybelle Woods. It was remarkable to hear your son and his friends singing as they went about some honest work,’

‘Singing?’  Preldehal asked, his concern stilled because of the word ‘remarkable’ was spoken generously.

‘That they were. And from the Second Holy book, itself ,’

He let the words hang, the absence of an immediate response suggested a lordly dither. His worries concerning the potentiality of unpleasantness between Lords Preldehal and Reivod began to solidify.  

‘My Lord. I wonder, do you think it might be of encouragement if I were to present myself there and give a formal blessing. They’re your woods and it would not be fitting to just go tramping in there,’

As ClnMyla anticipated the lord was only to happy to agree, relieved The Ecclesiastes was content with the effort, a defence against any outrage Reivod would raise.  

He reckoned arrival on the second day when enthusiasm would be waning and various aches, concerns about dresses and general discomfiture would be settling in would suit. 

Translator Pastoral ClnMyla was caught off guard at the sight of the lad standing on a rock addressing a captivated gathering of youthful folk and servants, all a lot more dirty than he had expected. Held aloft indeed was copy of The Second Holy Book green edging to the pages.

‘Your mentorship,’ enthused Weltfremd ‘You find us at break from our efforts,’ he gestured to the rather irregular, wide but shallow hole. ‘I have taken the liberty of addressing everyone to lift our spirits,’

‘We have made a little dam,’ a bright eyed muddy young woman joyfully announced ‘To hold and channel the waters,’

At this point as they all broke into a spontaneous song to do with rain, ClnMyla politely took the copy of The Second Holy Book, seemingly to allow Weltfremd to lead the singing. A brief thumbing through the said tome commenced. Deeply worried the Translator Pastoral was as the skies suddenly thickened with rain clouds; surprised he was not. There were Ethereal forces at work.

Breaking up a volatile crowd even a small one in this situation was not wise, lest unforeseen lightening bolts occur. Instead as the first thick rain drops fell ClnMyla tucked the book into the folds of his cloak. He managed to get his hood up before a herald of the deluge arrived. In his dignified but purposeful flight he met Marthrik.

‘Thank Lord God you have left Translator Pastoral,’ he said ‘They built a dam,’

‘I heard,’

‘In the shape of the discouraged symbol of the Generous Otter. It was not a structurally sound or artistically worthwhile representation,’

‘I would have thought the Graven River Badger would have suited better. Anyway let’s away,’ he produced the book ‘Things will calm down, eventually,’

With the torrential rain the intention to produce a steady, directed flow into the hole meant to be a pond of course failed, much water with one or two of the smaller stones burst upon the clearing, to reinforce the celestial inundation. Folk were transported in all directions. By good fortune the hole impeded some of the impetus pitching them only into muddy puddles, although some being cracked in the ankles or shins, hopped about a bit first to end seating in undignified postures. By then the singing had given way to wails, pleas for assistance and as is the mentality of mobs accusations upon Weltfremd, of which some were thrown back at the accusers in forms of handfuls of mud. It appeared the alleged spirit of the Generous Otter was not taken with the image of him as a dam.

Unto River Wichtig the resulting mix flowed  

The rain turned into a steady drizzle which followed the sorry party to the nearest village where irrespective of status they were shoved into a barn, until by various means everyone was transported to their homes, each with a tale to tell.

ClnMyla addressed a perplexed and guilty looking Lord Preldehal.

‘This My Lord, is not a version of The Second Holy Book you should be having about the place. This was crafted by folk who took the message of tending to Nature’s Bounty slightly too far. They meddled with forces not to be meddled with by the well-meaning innocents. Now you’ll not to worry about your son, he will return sadder, whether wiser I cannot say. In the meantime I will be examining your library and you should take arrangements with your sheriff’s office and captain of your retinue to prepare for some minor upsets and spats between families,’

The fuss lasted forty days with some pre-emptive weddings involved. Lord Reivod was amused, particularly as the extra water provided greater industry. His prospective in-laws would be pleased on their inspection.

They arrived with a guildsman of the Mechanicals, experts in machinery and its tenuous link with Ethereal influences. Reivod’s anticipation faded when the fellow returned from inspection shaking his head and sucking breath between his teeth.

‘Got trouble here squire,’ he said, Mechanicals used that term to everyone irrespective of rank ‘You got flowers growing in your pipes, nasty case of Yellow Flag. You been meddling with Ethereal?’

‘The very idea!’ the lord spluttered.

‘Anyways,’ the fellow addressed to the prospective-in-laws ‘I can’t sanction this. Oh dearie no. Not with such infestation,’

Reivod was left with a location filling with Yellow Flag and no prospect of marriage or wealth. Later, thanks to mediation by the genial Translator Pastoral across the border did find consolation in a young widow recently relieved of a choleric farmer.

The Yellow Flag proved to be a popular ornamental plant, while Maybelle Wood became a place of many sought after blooms, which spread. Both men settled their issues and entered into a most profitable floral supply. Weltfremd expunged from polite local society left to acquire status by his unexplainably found talent of dredging distant waterlogged locations. By good happenstance the expected pregnancy within the Reivod household and the surprise one in the established Preldehal marriage led to births of daughter and son, whose amiable relationship over the years resulted in the union of the households.

Custodian of the Word Marthrik Healme renowned for his more philosophical approach was fond of citing this one as an example of The Lord God’s Ways being mysterious and wonderous to behold. Usually said with a wry grin.      

Are Vast Distances Circular?

Interface

An interlude of achievement. Not just signals. Contact and Communication had been achieved.

There was a great deal of excitement. Much chatter between the explorers on the team, the programmers at base and the theoreticians, elsewhere. Below the mutual congratulations the subtle game as to who could claim the bulk of the credit for the first successful translation of signals into images.

Meanwhile Captain Mazehof seconded from Military Psychological Observation was left to stare at a face and read runes. All by himself. No one had thought to have a team. A mix of folk, various working knowledges of physical signals across Life’s myriad options. There were other officers; communications, logistics and of course security all dropped in with little advanced training on the project. They were military, they could adapt. Right?

Not any option. If someone wanted him to stare at a face, he would stare at a face. An interlude. A face in a picture. He was supposed to work out deep secrets from one snapshot, estimate an entire civilisation and race. He didn’t know if he was supposed to know, but truth be known amongst all the exultation, congratulations and edging for credit no one was exactly sure just where or when the signals which formed the image had originated.

Mazehof had been musing upon the face for three days, studying each feature in detail, returning to gain further insight. When the image had first appeared upon the scan the team had been surprised, some relieved to see similar to human features, although it had to be admitted in those high cheekbones, wide eyes, the slight protrusion of the nasal and jaw areas and ears with a peak there was  a distinct difference. Opinions on comparisons differed; feline, canine, or maybe the more delicate of the ruminants. His mind was open on the matter; his concern being, was this a message directed to Humanity or a chance image which the scan had captured?  No one was chasing him for results, which was a relief. Maybe they had forgotten him, as they pondered on the mathematics and the readings.

You had to think of this image as a person, and what was the mundane in their lives if you were going to get anywhere in this vague mission. The turn of the lips to the right. Was that friendly or a warning? Dogs had managed to work out a human smile was not the barring of teeth challenge, there again they had that incredible sense of smell to let them know humans simply had quirky muzzles. When he thought about it on that level he was at a distinct disadvantage, for staring at this enigma had been causing his mind to wander. Starting off, sure you could just stare intently. However because of the nascent size of the task, trying to encompass time and space within the context of another being? Or perhaps the answer was a distressing one, being beyond comprehension, so you just drifted off.

He sat back, startled. The face had moved, one blink of an eyelid; causing Mazehof to catch his breath. The head inclined to the left, giving him the impression he was being examined. He ordered himself to stare back, while options of physical reaction crowded through him. For who was to say what might be seen as hostile?

The concern was clouded by subsequent thoughts returning to the question of Time and Distance. All current knowledge indicated the events he was witnessing were not taking place; they were of the Past.

Nonetheless, when one arm moved slowly upwards, and the hand opened into a palm displayed, followed by the mouth arcing into a smile, he could not help to respond in like manner. Never mind the unavoidable and overwhelming possibility the being was now dust.

‘What a relief. I found you,’ the words were clear, the accent lyrical, heavy with an emphasis.

‘Me?’ Mazehof failed to contain the squeak as all musings of the variabilities on Time and Distance were distilled into the notion of being sought out. One grain of sand on a beach?

There was a distinct grin there, never mind what the twist of the mouth conveyed, the eyes sparkled in humour.

‘I should have focused my accuracy of explanation,’ there was a  strange sound Mazehof took to be a clearing of a throat ‘To be precise, I have enacted the correct location relevant to your society,’

Mazehof felt a quirk of disappointment at being downgraded but was equally swift to put such a vanity to one side and be sober.

‘For what purpose?’

‘To place you in perspective. Have you any direct experience of dealing with the dimensions encountered in Quantum Physics?’

‘No,’ Mazehof said but felt he needed to add something ‘I have a rudimentary knowledge of Space Time,’

‘This will be of assistance,’

‘Before we proceed. Might I ask you, your name and how you are reaching out across vast tracts of Space Time as if we were in the same room?’

‘Firstly. Know me as Vestnesis. For the other part, there are dimensions beyond the perceivable four,’

‘I have heard of theories. Are there facts now?’

‘Indeed. I am fortunate not to be involved in the mathematics or the mechanics, simply a herald,’

Not a time to interrupt Mazehof reckoned. And try not to think about the implications in the increase in the blinking of the eyes, concentrate on information.

‘Beyond Space Time, after much effort a way was found into the Fifth Dimension. This acted as a conduit into other dimensions, a gateway and viewing lens. Utilisations led to the Sixth Dimension, which afforded a mapping of the parts of Creation previously hidden. By adapting to these two advances, navigation of the vast distances between stars was made possible along with prompt communication. Matters were allowed to stay there while physical exploration and settlement of near solar systems was conducted. But progress ever seeks many ways. Thus once a full working knowledge of the Fifth and Sixth was achieved amidst myriads of possible worlds, the Seventh Dimension was uncovered, a location where a long suggested aspect of Time was found. The revelation being Time was indeed not flowing as a river, but was a sea with its own tides to be navigated and journeyed along,’ Mazehof witnessed a long exhalation as if this was all a great effort, then the intake for another ‘The Eighth  Dimension’s own nature could be used as the craft to travel,’ Vestnesis paused searching for Mazehof’s comprehension, which came quickly, the feeling he had been waiting for someone to tell him this. And where had that come from?

‘Therefore,’ he said slowly choosing his words ‘It does not matter where we both are, or when we are?’

The hand which Mazehof now noticed had longer fingers than normal, extended in a sign of acknowledgment. Briefly he wondered on the factors which had caused the physical diversions of Vestnesis’ people. He held back from asking though, not the right circumstances.

‘The task of explaining to you I am located in your future is easier. Yes?’

‘I suppose so,’ came the reply, his own suppositions made form were rushing into his head ‘You were grateful of locating me? Why was this necessary?’

‘You will appreciate a sea is not something easy to navigate without landmarks at some stage,’

‘I am one?’ that was overwhelming, a slight shake of the head eased his heartbeat.

‘No, only your location. Now we know exactly where to send the rations of information to enable the progress to ensure our societal status. Inject readings into devices, leave salient suggestions in academic environments,’

‘Wait please. This sounds circular. You are human from my future, engaging in your past to ensure your present?’

‘You are very swift on the uptake Mazehof,’

‘Thank you,’ what else do you say? ‘I have to ask. I have been staring at you for three days. Did you have the same experience?’

The pinched expression was universal in the human lexicon. Consideration of the answer.

‘I am not truly versed in the matters, but I think this is something to do with the interfacing of the varying temporal tides,’

Mazehof was finding the conversational exchanges growing easier, something of the circumstance settling within him.

‘I appreciate there is a factor of stealth involved here. Balancing Cause and Effect is always difficult. However I will have to report something to my superiors. You understand this?

In response there came a soft wheezing, which judging by the sparkle in the eyes had to be an empathetic laugh.

‘I too sit in a similar construct. My commanders will be anxious to have something positive to pass onto the Governance at this innovative time,’ definite irony slipped in ‘There could even be an advancement for this humble servant,’

‘Innovative time?’

‘Oh yes. For Ten Generations the Human Confederation has been satisfied with a centralised decision making process of a council. Once there was a certainty of no interlocking with alien civilisations and the extension into the Seventh and Eighth dimensions made it was felt there should be other progressions. Thus to ensure Humanity had room to flourish it was felt a certain allowance should be made to points of view from varying sectors of civilisation and if these were found acceptable to let them endeavour with government. Should these proponents be found wanting the populations could replace them. It is all very exciting,’  Vestnesis paused again ‘I witness doubt on your face Mazehof,’

‘Yes,’ he drawled ‘We have this system. I will give you a message from the past. There will be arguing. There will be disappointments with those you select because they cannot be all to everyone. Do not trust anyone who says they have simple solutions to problems. Avoid anyone who tries to blame one part of your societies for all the problems. Expect planets or collections of planets to want to go their own way. Above all seek out as much history as you can and learn from that. Nothing is straightforward,’

Vestnesis seemed to sit back, eyes wide.

‘You speak with some insight Mazehof. Have you taken part in governing?’

‘No, but I, as have many, have wished some of those who have governed had never been given the option,’ Mazehof felt a certain confidence and urgency to advise those descendants’ that naivety and excitement were not the right qualities to have at this juncture. ‘Be wary Vestnesis. A great responsibility will rest on all. I know you are only one in a vast population I cannot begin to imagine, however this must start somewhere. Spread this, Choose With Care,’

‘You speak cautiously Mazehof. Neither of us should spread information too quickly,’

‘We should probably not speak anymore Vestnesis, other folk less sanguine might overhear us,’

‘Wise words from the Past,’

The screen blurred and blanked.

Disappointment with resolve resulted.

Mazehof’s report was prompt and quite bland in comparison to the information given to him. He spoke vaguely of Human sort of beings. He suggested the images came from the distant past. He speculated there would be others out there and if Humanity managed to travel into the stellar depths there might be the remains of ancient civilisations to support this. He grew adept at giving vague answers which many thought was a sign of great insight gained in his short tenure. Thus he left the military and lectured in social sciences  at a small college. Some of his work on the Nature of Speculation  was considered influential in many fields.

Vestnesis was buoyant at his success in finding a location and in turn his superiors promoted him. From there he bided his time, musing on Mazehof’s words.

He took up a career in politics, when others asked him where  the inspiration for his successful creed had originated from, he said ‘The Collected Wisdom and Mistakes of Our Histories’. His insight became a byword.

******

This is an offering for the February  #BlogBattle, (Keyword :Interface) . Always a place for interesting short stories.

Places Which Whisper

Park

No one was wholly sure how long there had been The Park. When each earlier record was discovered, the account suggested four generations before held the true answer.

Stefan of Ingefahr took one last look at the thin curtains of early morning spring mists drifting over the water. A loud, wailing “kuk-kuk-kuk-kaow-kaow,” signalled a grebe had an opinion. He wanted to remain until the mid-morning sun had burnt off the light grey veil, affording him a better view; was the span of water was a very small lake or a distinctly large pond? In a park of many pleasant views this was his favoured of early morning; sunlight on water, dappling and dancing, temporary jewels on ripples. However duty called. Oh, to be like that lad in the distance, a simple garden worker.

Stefan  had accepted one day he would be prince, but not this early in his life. Still alive and generally healthy Stefan’s father Prince Heyrold had been elevated to the rank of Court Advisor to the Emperor. Even if was only to advise on porcelain art, the emperor’s latest interest, you did not refuse. You handed on your title and with your spouse set up residence in the vastness of the Imperial Estates. Leaving an young inexperienced lad as prince.

At least Stefan had his father’s Chancellor Scharfsinnig to advise and commiserate with him as he faced this crisis.

‘Well Chancellor. Do our Intelligence Services confirm, who plans advancement from this paternal elevation?’

Whereas the lands were dwarfed by the surrounding princedoms Ingefahr had by far the most astute, deft and loyal Intelligence Services.

‘Raffgierig of Drohend,’ inevitability in Scharfsinnig’s delivery. House Aufdringlich held its princely throne by dint of being a constructively obnoxious family in the unfortunate land. Drohend was a frequent cause of local ‘issues’.

‘Malignant, grasping fellow, but father ever placed faith in quiet diplomacy,’

‘Thus he was held in Fond Regard by most of our neighbours. He hosted some fine conferences to smooth out local issues and,’ there was a sad smile on the usually hard face ‘Always the visits to The Park. Everyone looked forward to those,’

‘Apart from Raffgierig who never got his way. Looking for even the score,’ Stefan scowled ‘Listig, his sly chancellor, is probably behind this. The  intelligent one. Arranging the singing of my father’s praises at the imperial court. Out-manoeuvred us this time. Leaving an unmarried son thus by imperial law in need of a wife. Raffgierig at the head of the line having a daughter of correct rank,

Aloisia, I saw her at a distance once, small passive thing in the wake of her father. She seemed to appreciate The Park. Raffgierig pays a dowry, which he can afford, while accordance with imperial protocol I must impart a nuptial gift,’ Stefan tapped an ominous rhythm on the arm of his chair ‘Thus we must wait for his princely suggestion, one detrimental,’

‘Likely he will request rite of passage through Ingefahr,’

‘As son-in-law I could hardly refuse. Even if it does remove our neutral status,’ Stefan looked pleadingly to his Chancellor ‘I don’t suppose Father’s new station will give us leeway of Imperial Benevolence,’

Scharfsinnig sighed.

‘There are bigger games being played at the Imperial Court than the well-being of Ingefahr. The regional stability crafted  by your father and grandfather is no longer the most important coin on the table,’

‘Thought so,’ Stefan sighed ‘Not much option only to wait and see,’

Scharfsinnig was sorry for Stefan. He had a good grasp of the situation, and was handling matters calmly. Intelligent, reflective and popular with the people. And he had The Park. Where he did the best of his thinking. The princes and wives had worked diligently to nurture the blend of wild and cultivated, while adding tasteful bridges over waters, attractive empathetic walk ways and small constructs from where to rest and ponder, or chat. A cause of national pride.

In a small princedom closeness to the population verged on personal, in consequence delegating was not an option. Therefore three days passed before Stefan could take a walk through one of The Park’s winding lanes into a glade at the western edge of the wood, affording him the gilded shades of late afternoon upon leaves and bark. He sat upon a simple rustic bench and to the background of birdsong pondered upon options political and even military.

He reasoned, if you started at the worst result you should be able to trace backwards and find out where to make the right turn. In theory.

‘You got the grumps too?’

To Stefan’s surprise a new arrival was leaning, then slowly slumping down a tree opposite him, the sizeable untidy woollen headgear was familiar, the gardening lad he had seen the other day.

‘Yes,’ Stefan admitted at ease with the casual attitude, presumably he was not recognisable in the shade, opportunity for a relaxing share of woes, guardingly ‘Your accent is not local. Missing home?’

The initial response was a common vulgar sound although the particular application of tongue to lips made it somewhat musical.

‘My uncaring parent farmed me out to be an apprentice. Horrible idea. I ran away,’

‘All the way from,’ he paused placing the accent ‘Drohend?’

‘I started not far from the border,’

‘You have hiding out in a royal park. It’s not a public place,’ he tried to sound friendly and helpful; the idea of a runaway seeking sanctuary in his Park was bemusing.

‘I know that,’ they retorted ‘It’s good place to hide. This wood particularly. You looked miserable enough to be hiding yourself,’

A perceptive runaway.

‘Close,’ he drawled ‘I work in the Castle, a type of clerke. A difficult busy time now. I come here for peace,’

Not actually a lie, simply short on details.

‘Is your prince horrible too?’ they asked.

‘No,’ this time his reply was defensive, only to be interrupted by an unmistakeable gurgling sound and the interloper squirmed. ‘Hungry then?’ Stefan asked, interest piqued by this arrival.

‘My supplies finally ran out,’ they complained, adding defiantly ‘I’ve not been stealing either,’

‘I didn’t say you had. You have an air of cynosure and probity about you,’

‘Thank you. I endeavoured to keep balanced. Not to cause problems,’

‘You chose well to stay here. The gardeners leave the wood to itself in summer. I will bring you sustenance at dusk. Here’

‘Again thank you. May I ask why this generosity?’

‘I would like to learn about your land. And your name?’

‘Call me Al,’

Stefan was doubly occupied. Musing on reasons for the absence of the expected approach by Raffgierig and nurturing this cautious refuge, whose appearance suggested regular washing in a stream. Conversation was stilted, you could give away facts about yourselves when asking questions of others. Thus each evening’s delivery of food involved a conversation about The Park, a shared enthusiasm it seemed. They talked of nothing but The Park. On a particularly warm breeze softened evening Stefan concluded they were sharing evasion.

‘At the risk of sounding a snob, a runaway apprentice when being told they have an air of cynosure and probity would normally say ‘Uh?. Not thank me. Nor sound eloquent,’

Their face crumpled into acceptance.

‘It took you long enough to admit to your suspicions and ploy,’ a smile quivered ‘Prince Stefan,’

A beam of late sunlight flickering through branches caused sparkles upon alert eyes, accompanied by a slow removal of the untidy head gear.

Recognition.

‘And you would be Princess Aloisia,’ his response was hardly a question, although the subsequent words were ‘Are you actually a runaway?’

‘Yes,’ she was quite frank ‘This would be the last place Prince Raffgierig would look,’

‘Quite so,’ Stefan struggled slightly as he attempted to thread the logic through a needle eye of circumstance ‘My information suggests he was intending to manufacture an unavoidable alliance through our marriage. However, you arrive of your own volition,’ pause to weave irony  ‘Al,’ which caused a giggle.

‘He can’t offer me, if he hasn’t got me,’ came a sing-song reply.

A cogent point. Emperors held strict laws over their princes, each prince aware fellow princes would take advantage of a transgression.

‘Al,’ the shortened name did suit this forward maid ‘Are you not afraid he will demand your return?’

‘It’s The Park, I do love it so,’ she hugged herself ‘Makes me feel safe,’

Although the reply should have been evasive, her words struck him as an affirmation of faith.

‘I saw you once in tow during a conference  The Park greatly impressed you at one brief visit?’

Aloisia blushed, simpered, this time the eyelashes lowered.

‘Two brief visits,’ she said, biting her top lip.

‘You’ve sneaked in before?’ fascinating girl.

‘In a way. My mother; entrapped in a cold marriage. And Chancellor Listig lonely in his demanding work. Attraction. My mother told me of an evening such as this, The Prince was out being boring, and you know the sweet little summer house at the river bend,’ a flicker of mischief ’There were other occasions, but my mother was quite sure,’ she spread out her arms ‘Raffgierig  not my father and this is my home,’

Stefan was sifting the politics and musing on what his chancellor would say, when Aloisia knelt forward batting her eyelashes brushing a kiss on his mouth, adding hopefully.

‘Will you marry me? Before Raffgierig finds me?’

With his emotional foot tripping over his political foot to regain a semblance of balance Stefan opted for the simple approach. He took her shoulders, kissed her back and said ‘Yes’. Naturally there was going to have to be some swift diplomatic dancing. Meanwhile against the background of a few nightingales, clarifications were needed.

‘You are remarkable Al,’ compliments were useful openers.

‘I have to admit my father, Chancellor Listig played a part. He sees Prince Raffgierig as an idiot who will bring down Drohend. My precipitate action will make public that trait. Listig has delicately tutored my nearer brother to replace him. My elder sibling is hopeless,’

‘This is all part of an overthrow strategy?’

She nodded cheerfully.

‘There are others facets. I only helped because there’s the benefit of nabbing,’ she emphasised the next words spicing them with allure ‘You as my husband,’ she tapped his  nose and in her sing-song style added ‘And having The Park,’

Answers bringing clutches of questions.

Uppermost at present. Why had not his Intelligence Services warned him? More to the point why would Listig take this audacious, paradoxical risk? A robin chirped up, Princess Aloisia pursued her lips. Matters became clearer for Prince Stefan.

Chancellor Scharfsinnig had finally reached bed, only to be summoned to Stefan’s council chamber, Stefan seated with Princess Aloisia at his side.

‘You do not look as surprised as you ought Chancellor,’ Stefan said ‘Please be seated, and meet my bride to be, who fled her,’ he coughed ‘Father’s domain. For two weeks she has resided in The Park. Did you know?’

‘I would have told you My Prince,’

In response Stefan addressed not him but Aloisia.

‘You will notice, dearest, no expression of frantic concern over Raffgierig’s possible responses,’

‘Yes my dearest. Chancellor Listig always spoke well of Chancellor Scharfsinnig,’

Holding the other’s hand, the couple rose.

‘My Chancellor, rest, busy times are ahead. Aside from the politics of weddings and neighbouring states, I would know whether my father was truly inveigled or simply positioned himself in a long game. I will arrange Princess Aloisia’s domestic comforts,’ he kissed her hand.

Scharfsinnig left, relieved. As Listig had suggested; here was a couple with potential.

Entwined they lay in the Summer House, respite from hectic days navigating the political storms. A respite with a impish edge.

‘Imperial Law insists we must marry now,’ she said moonlight playing on her eyes.

‘Anything you wish Al,’

They had been drawn in. Willingly, of course. Coercion never worked. They had embraced the ancient tides of placid continuity. The Park was content.

https://bbprompt.com/2022/01/07/january-blogbattle-park/

I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.  

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a pub and getting hammered, or embracing Libertarianism.

Simplifying a Tax System is process by which The Rich Keep it and the Poor pay for that.

The Market Economy is a great idea on paper. A Planned Centralised Economy is a great idea on paper. The trouble is The Paper doesn’t have a say in the running of either operation.

The Irregular Verb of Politics. I have firm, resolute beliefs. You have been misled. They have dangerous ideas.

Of course there will be a very special place in Hell for the very wicked. It’s next door to the larger room for the Apathetic.

Misogyny is the first resort of the male inadequate.

On encountering opinions described as ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ check which orifice they originated from.

The Enlightenment was fine but Intolerance, Greed and Cruelty are still around.

Who the heck would want to travel all that distance, using all those resources to reach this world? And why would they set up home in a chunk of American desert. OR if they are so clever in getting here how come they allowed themselves to be hijacked to a chunk of American Desert?

I might be impressed by Hunters if they went out barefooted, dressed in nothing but hide skins, armed only with pointed sticks or bows fashioned yesterday from branches and twine and were hungry. 

In this 14 (more of less) billion year old and maybe 60 billion light years in diameter Universe, can anyone take me to the vacant place and say ‘Look this is where Your God should be,’??…. Thought not.

Democracy is a process whereby you vote and hope you got it right. Then sometimes get to be disappointed. Then you vote again and hope a lot of people agree with you…

Elections are usually lost and the other folk benefit.

Not voting helps those you least want to be governing you.

There’s nothing wrong with being joyful and having a good time, just don’t try and shove it down my throat.

Denying Climate Change is assuming there are set of controls somewhere on the planet just like your central heating, air conditioning, lighting or plumbing.

Did Trump becoming a political item make you wonder if it was God’s way of saying ‘Yep. The Russian Orthodox Church were the ones who got the message right,’ ?

History is a wonderful teacher. It is also a remorseless shredder of romantically held views.

Intolerance, Bigotry and Ignorance are held in equal measure on The Right and The Left. The difference being, those on The Right tend to bawl out their views, whereas those on The Left tend to add a layer of self-righteousness.   

Whether Racism is a result of or will cause chronic inbreeding has yet to be clarified.

Claiming to know what your Rights are does not necessarily tie in with knowing what your Responsibilities are.

In the Western World one of the more unnecessary professions is that of the film critic whose affected opinions have done as much damage to the film industry as any censorship board.

A Mid-Winter’s Tale… Pt III

A Mid-Winter’s Tale

A Mid-Winter’s Tale…(Pt II)

Jagerin thought maybe she would not add any potato wine to her next ‘comfort’ mix, at least not to take on an empty stomach. Still, there had been fun in surprising the Mitch that slovosskians were not all dourly singing sad songs about never returning home and to be buried with the handful of earth from the Motherland. Something, apparently the Mitches believed every slovosskian soldier carried. Seriously, who would go through a war with a pocket full of earth? There was enough of the stuff on the outside. She drew in a long breath of the sharp night air to clear her senses.

 Faigai was for just passing over the instance and getting with the task to hand. They would precede in a standard pattern. One at the fore for 100 metres, with the other covering. Stop the one at the fore covering as the other moved up and passed them for another 100 metres and so on, using judgement if there was suitable cover before or after. The signal to dive down in an emergency would be, in this place a fox bark. She had a good fox bark. Handing out these orders had at least driven out the urge to be whispering the old ‘Goin’ Down The Road’ folk song. He would have to get the recipe for that drink of hers. This was a crazy night.

They’d covered a klick without any issue, half way along they’d started to move under the shadow of that looming hill. He never liked hills, locals always made them their own, every dip, hole, rock and gulley they could vanish into. And here was another peculiarity, by all what was sensible and battlefield-right he should be letting her be bait, not sharp for her safety and scouring those hills for the slightest move. She might move like as well as bark like a fox, but those were not her hills. 

He barked.

Jagerin swung to look to the grim hill. And there they were. Four, moving down in a line, showing they owned the place. Locals, carrying rifles. Of course she took cover into another patch of scrub, only to catch a glimpse of dogs. And dogs would not be fooled by any human pretending to be a fox; they probably had her scent already. If there were dogs the men, must either be shepherds or hunters. A brief snatch of moonlight caught the metal, guns, probably hunters then, never ones to pause when something unexpected appeared. She was planning to stay low, but one of the dogs did their own barking out an alarm, they’d caught her. She hoped that sergeant was staying true to their truce, this was likely to end in an exchange of fire. Before she resolved to take aim at the first man, in the distance came a bleating conversation, causing the men to stop.

Oh Shepherds. She eased her finger from the trigger, although hoping the bigger of the two dogs was not feeling too bold to clear the scrub, you could not hate a dog for being, a dog. 

Faigai tensed caught tight between the instinct to line up the targets and start taking them at the first instance, and the very strict orders not to be on the side which was the first to start killing locals. For the present politics was having The Say, and personally he didn’t mind, it beat being on the business end of an artillery strike. And there would have been the small problem of trying to explain why, he a noted veteran scout had broken a no-shoot order to save the life of a slovosskian. A fine time to be conflicted and stifled by a clutch of options flying through his mind. That damn star shell had spooked him; could happen to anyone going out night after night down unknown trails, one shove too many. He gave himself a stern order to hold still and see how she played it. The scene being viewed down the night sight of his rifle.

Seeing her casually standing up and seeming to be finishing the hitching up of her trousers, rifle slung was as much a surprise to him as it obviously was to the group suddenly halting, to be greeted by a nonchalant wave of one hand. He supposed slovosskians had to have clowns too. The dogs barked and growled around her which she ignored as she drew out a packet from another uniform pocket, from it took one of the long slender contents and with the flash of metal then flame lit it, drawing in smoke, having displayed apparent no more concern than bumping into other folk about their business she offered the packet to the men, who after the briefest of pauses accepted the gift, and the lighter. There followed some stifled coughing. She’d given out some of those foul ration cigarettes slovosskians delighted in. The theories amongst his own army as to what the contents were made from varied, none of the suggestions pleasant. Meanwhile without taking here eyes off of the men and letting the dogs caper about her sniffing and growling, from another of the proliferation of pockets she tossed the pair something out of her rations which they were swift to catch and chew on. Some sort of conversation was going on which the corporal peppered with vague hand gestures, shrugs and the general slouch of someone who really didn’t want to be out here, this included a lot of pointing back the way they had travelled and at one stage a general outbreak of laughter. At her mime of riders the party grew still, there was some gesturing towards the village and a shaking of heads and attendant waving of hands, to which she nodded, jerked a thumb back the way she had come and this time with rifle unslung began to walk down the road, turning around frequently to wave to the party, pointedly stopping until they were out of sight. At which point she sagged, this time in obvious relief.

‘Banner Sergeant,’ she said softly ‘I hope you were my guardian angle,’ 

‘You were dealing with the matter very capably corporal. What did you learn?’ now he was speaking to her as if she was one of his own teams, come to think of it, she was acting like she was.

‘They are definitely locals, those sounds,’ she nodded to to the bleating ‘Are their flocks, but for some reason those four were having to get back to the village. They wouldn’t say why. Nor would let me follow. Reminded me of my own home folk back in forest lands, Very careful with strangers,’

‘They didn’t notice you were a woman then?’

She tugged at her uniform.

‘Not with these dirty baggy rags. I lowered by voice and spoke gruffly, and its night. Just a short fellow. Ideal scout,’ she ended the explanation sounding somewhat proud.

‘You got a laugh out of them,’

‘Thistles,’ she replied dryly ‘Everyone laughs at someone complaining they had sat bare-backsided onto a thistle,’ she growled out the local word ‘One of the first ones you learn out here. Yes?’

‘Experience is always valuable corporal,’   

‘Says one who has only half as many risks,’ her attention was then to the direction the quartet of locals had walked ‘ We are continuing? Yes?’  

He was glad she couldn’t still her own interest in The Why of this night. Made him feel better about his own stirring enthusiasm. One sensation he had nearly forgotten about. Of course he would have to keep on telling himself this was all for military reconnaissance. It didn’t do to dwell on anything outside what you understood. This was simply part of the mission.

One brief nod in response to her question. 

Damn, she took off like a hound on the scent.

To be continued……. 

A Mid-Winter’s Tale…Pt II

A Mid-Winter’s Tale

Jagerin without thought of Faigai’s rank, never mind being enemy impatiently signalled for him to stay still and get low. It was quite obvious, someone of slight build would do better surveying the road. She crept to one of the bushes not sporting thorns and making the best of the sparse cover while risking a serve crick in the neck peered towards the oncoming group.

There they were, horses ridden at a slow steady pace, no furtive glancing or the instinctive hunch of the suspicious. Yet, the idea of three locals simply out and about at night time in a remote tense land between two armies struck her being just plain implausible. As the group drew nearer she sensed a steady confidence about them which made her shrink back, one hand behind signalling for the sergeant’s benefit, three extended fingers for the number, then a slow side to side waggling of splayed fingers the universal indication for ‘Uncertain,’

If there had been the correct accompanying sounds, judging by the ‘khmuree’ ‘s reactions and apparent misgivings  Faigai, would have thought she’d seen a small motorised column pop up. Three unknown riders she couldn’t figure out though?  He shuffled up to get his own view, only to be greeted by a pinched expression and one angry finger to her lips. Trying not to feel chastened by this he still proceeded until they were both unprofessionally crowded in the same cover, stilling their breathing. Faigai  trying to come to grip with the idea of two hardened veterans trying to hide from three…

Well dressed middle-aged to elderly riders? Out here, in sparse lands which could be fought over at any time?

‘That is disturbing,’ Jagerin said after the trio had passed by far enough for whispering to start ‘Folk of that age and some wealth have no business being out here that certain of themselves without a large escort. Who or what are they?’

‘Maybe they are,’ Faigai mulled for the right slovan word, not wanting to be the first to break their informal convention ‘Elders?’ her grimace of agreement encouraged him to continue ‘There’s that village, we  are still sanctioned from. There is maybe some council of the local elders,’ 

Jagerin peeked up over the cover in the wake of the riders and tapped her teeth with the rag covered barrel of her rifle.

‘Old guys,’ she began in a passable version of The Mitch’s own twang ‘Doing a stitch up?’ and seemed quite pleased with her grasp of his native slang. ‘Work out some ploy, to fool our commanders into thinking they are buddies with us both? Keep us off their turf? Playing down the middle?’

And there it was. Thinking like that showed she too had worked out in The Wilds. There were always The Wilds. The places where conventional battles were not fought, where you carried Shield for The Cloaks as they wove their webs with the militias, gangs masking as volunteer police, village patrols and criminal cartels; Deal Making, Promise Breaking. A month in that fog and when back at base camp some ordinary rifle carrier said ‘Hi’ you straighways wondered ‘What did they mean by that?’ You could never brush that dust off. Sometimes it paid not to. It seemed here was a time. 

‘I agree Corporal,’ he said realising she was actually looking to him for orders, there was some sort of universality going on here ‘ Whichever way they are choosing, it’ll benefit both our sides to know. After all locals will understandably work to their own advantage, and we are still uncertain about these lands. It would not be the first time fresh commanders have ended up doing fighting for locals,’

‘We’re going down there,’ she gestured in the direction of the village. ‘To listen in? You are used to the language yet?’    

‘No,’ he drawled back ‘But if we hear some brief grim laughter, then we can guess schemes being worked out. Yes?’

‘Yes,’

‘Let’s take a walk then,

As she rose she suddenly wiggled her hips, half-held her hands out fingers rubbing together and her feet shuffling a quick dance while she murmured in a breathy musical chant

‘And the pretty girls, sing

La-dee-dah. La-la-la-dee-dah,’ **

Well, he thought to himself, that was unexpected. Good stuff she had in her slim flask.

To be continued……..

** With respect and thanks to the Legendary Late Lou Reed     

And to Michael Herr of ‘Despatches’ fame, one of my valuable go-to-books

A Mid-Winter’s Tale

They shared the same first thought. If they survived they would seek out and cause severe harm to whosoever fired off that star-shell, even if the culprit was from their own respective side. It was probably only the shock of staring at the equally exposed and surprised enemy soldier which stilled they impulse to do anything more than breath out their own favoured swear word. Here they were experienced scouts and snipers surviving into the third year of the war, gawping and quivering like recruits. He wondered if this was it; he’d finally lost his edge, time to pay. She felt so damn tired she reckoned this was it. But the other one did not fire the shot. His shoulders slackened, his sniper rifle lowering; her knees eased as she crouched, placing her weapon on the frost hard snow. In response to her dulling eyes now shorn of the predatory gaze of their shared craft, he sighed in fatalistic relief and did likewise.

After nervous interlude of crouching, each at their own edge of the clearing in the scrub, She reached for the slim plastic flask strapped to her helmet and took a swift sip, she tossed it across to him.

‘Will keep you warm and awake,’ she said, although heavily accented he admitted she did speak his language well, reassured he took a swift mouthful, the liquid tasted of strong coffee but slipped down with the gathering warmth of a liqueur; feeling unsettled at the lack of an attack to respond to, for want of some response he was returning the social civility in her own lyrical tongue.

‘This is good. Were you issued or did you,’ the pause took the place of a smile ‘Appropriate?’

‘Nothing but the best for scouts,’ she replied the brief dullness in the eyes replaced with a flickering sardonic glint, he responded with a twitch of a smile and a brief snort.

The silence was growing awkward; comforting as it was, the stimulant could make you twitchy if you did not take some positive action in one way or another, and, anyway these days she was prone to twitches, having your cheek skimmed by a stray shot could have that effect.

He had to admit this situation was peculiar. There had been ceasefires. There had been truces to collect wounded. He’d never just sat down with a Khmuree before and he supposed judging by the shifts of puzzlement crossing her face she had not offered a Mitch a drink before as a matter of good manners. Mind you, this was still officially a neutral land and both armies were only here to protect the locals from the depredations of The Other, or so the story went. So with everyone under orders to be tip-toeing  oddness was bound to happen.   

‘Corporal Jagerin,’ her sudden introduction breaking the silence.

‘Banner Sergeant  Faigai,’ he replied, causing her to pull a face of mock respect and a quick universal salute of three fingers side on to her brow, making him realise they did have a sense of humour…not so ‘khmuree’ then.  In the lessening of tension he felt a general question was reasonable ‘Surveying the land and no more?’

‘Those are my orders. Your people are established but do not appear comfy, sentries keep pacing, officers are examining the land more times than they need to,’ she shrugged ‘I expect you found the same. You are returning yes?’

‘The most difficult part will be getting back to our own positions. Nervous soldiers are as dangerous as foes,’ 

‘I wish they would send veteran battalions to these places. People who can read a situation,’

They might well have simply ended the interlude with another exchange of acerbic comments on their own higher commanders and gone their separate ways, relieved at still being alive. Instead they both stiffened, dropped even lower, rifles to the fore.

‘Riders?’ they said to each other, in disbelief.

‘Not even trotting,’ Corporal Jagerin added.

To be continued…..

 

Just an Opinion, (of course)

Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking with Allen Carr

You will excuse me, but in relation to the title, it would seem, to me, that is, the solution is an obvious one.

A simple and polite refusal to join in this controversial although still social habit, irrespective of who is inviting you. Why you need instruction in the form of an entire CD escapes me.

In addition the title suggests a certain element of victimisation. Why should you refuse to share this social interaction with this one particular person? The idea of groups of folk stalwartly announcing this intention seems rather unsettling.

I can’t help but feel The Mass Media is at fault here.

Just for Marketing and Giggles II (The Plagiarism Approach)

Skirmishers

shy-man-partyI looked at the Kindle Report page……Sales…….umm less than the first primary number….

As did we……..Oh…….oh….That this too solid flesh…….wouldst ……..melt

Pondering oneNo….I don’t think the tragi-comic-self-referential ploy is going to work, we’ve done it once, and like I said at the time with Dostoyevsky references it might have worked better.

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The Comic Tragedy Approach 

Shakespeare 1 I wouldst suggest; the Bard. For have you not already allowed a quote in the opening sequence? Everyone is aware of some Shakespearean  hex-tracts. T’would resonate.  

Existential crisisAhhh, yessss. TOOOOOO, BEEEEEE or NOT tooo BEEEEE…… THAT is the…….question????

We’ll let you know

Writer 2Well, here’s one that occurred to me. 

Skirmishers

Romeo and Juliet Balcony (2)But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire is the sun

enthusiasticIt’s cookin’ I tell ya!!

Pondering twoI don’t suppose they’d go with adapting The Prince of Verona’s last tines…. “For never was a story of more woe than this thy hapless marketing show” 

Whimsey 6Hmmmmm…..Maybe another of THE BARD’S works might be more…..shall we say…amenable to the project.

enthusiastic 2

You got it chuckles!!

                                                                                              Chuckles!…I love it

Plot Image 1This is a winner!

richardiii-1A book! A BOOK!! My kingdom for A….. BBohook!!

Do not worry

Do not fret

Here’s a choice, you’ll not regret.

Available on Amazon Kindle at 0.99   

Pondering oneThey got the link OK. I’ll give them that. I’d still go with Dostoevsky though.

shy-man-partyAye, “To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”…..I think we could use that

Pondering oneSee what I mean. You got to go with Dignified Irony….Anyway let’s quit while we’re ahead for the day. Raya and the Last Dragon ok with you? 

shy-man-partyThere is a form of dignity there.

 

Arketre On The Prowl screenshot (2)Ya’ll have to admire the persistence though…. I mean, yeah Stupid… but still kinda admirable.

Karlyn on the road (2)That’s true Flaxi, I kinda see wot they was tryin’ and if you’re not tryin’ to seriously sell stuff it’s a bit of fun. And since they are books about us anyhow, we should have a say….. See, like this…..Ahem…

“Now can the grumbly winter of your discontent at ol’ books 
Made glorious summer by these exciting volumes

The Precipice Dominions 
An’ all the clouds that low’r’d upon your moods
In the deep bosom of the ocean Kindle be buried”.

Aww, was fun…! Go on Whychie (That’s ‘Trelli ‘to you readers!) you give it a try

Trelli At Ease screenshot (3)…. Alright then, otherwise I’ll never hear the end of it:…….(deep breath)…

“The quality of writing should not be force(d)
It should floweth as the small stream through the glade
Upon its happy way. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth them that writeth and those that do read
‘Tis fayre in its modesty. Yet becomes
The impressive volumes The Precipice Dominions when written for their own sake.”
 
Yes, ok…That was a bit of a giggle. You’re turn now Arketre. Otherwise it won’t balance properly… 
 
Arketre on Leave (2). Since you two are set on us being so singular; here’s mine then
 
“Writers, readers and easy-goers, gimme some time yeah?
I’ve come to tell you about these books, but not to sell them, right?
The intensity in some stories really holds many folk.
While the casual, feel good is also worth a read 
So let it be with the Precipice Dominions series.  

Right, we’re done………………..You take care, then…………..And we’ll be seeing you

(Chorus)……………BECAUSE THERE’S ONE MORE VOLUME TO COME !!! 

.Masterful Delivery, I tip my hat…………………Yes, they saved it. Could get sales.