The Night Horses

I have already put a post on about the inspiration for this story and it comes from The Smuggler’s Song by Rudyard Kipling. 

I think that this is a great poem, full of vivid images for a child’s imagination!  In fact for anyone’s imagination!  My story will be about the little girl who hears the Gentlemen go riding by – here is a bit of the opening for you!  And of course the poem itself. 

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THE NIGHT HORSES

The thundering sound of horses careering through the dark night woke me up last night and I itched to open the curtains and peek out.  My father’s stern warning paused my hand from pulling them back.  “I’ll beat you black and blue if I hear of you telling about horses in the night.”  Not an idle threat with my father.  My mother just pleaded ignorance.  “What the eye don’t see…” was one of her favourite expressions.  My curiosity was going to get me into serious trouble one of these days, or so I kept being told.  How was I supposed to resist?  I tucked my hands under my body and lay  on them to prevent myself from reaching for the curtain. I made a funny fish shaped lump under my sheets with my hips sticking up in the air, as I stared at the dark ceiling. Continue reading

The Virgin and the Dragon

This is an idea I’ve been playing with. The dragon is a man who had been turned into a lizard, and is clever enough to make a living while he is a lizard. He uses smoke and shadows to appear bigger than he is and he successfully scares the villagers so they don’t bother him. The girl is not afraid of confrontation with a dragon and doesn’t fall for his tricks. The lizard needs someone’s help to exact revenge on the warlock who turned him into a lizard.

Life couldn’t get much worse.  She was staked out in front of the dragon’s lair waiting to be burned to a crisp.  She sighed and puffed her hair out of her eyes.  The sun was rising over the mouth of the cave.  If the blooming dragon didn’t turn up soon she’d be roasted alive by a different fire source.  Her hair was red and her skin was white, rapidly turning pink.  Getting a tan wasn’t part of her life.  She squinted up at the hessian rope tying her to the stake.  Maybe the sun would burn through the rope and she would be free?  She puffed again, this time in exasperation.   What had she done to get to this point in life?

Continue reading

A Faded Shadow

A faded, grey shadow of a girl stood in front of the desk.  He looked up from the racing pages with a start.  “Didn’t see you there.  Can I help?”  She didn’t speak, just continued staring through vacant eyes.  He couldn’t see any spark inside her.  The greyness was all consuming.  The fluorescent sign flickered bright pink and yellow across her face.  “Vacant”.  The sign was right about her.  Definitely nobody home.  He tried again.  “You want something?”  Her lips moved but no sound came out.  He didn’t know but it had been days since she had been allowed to use her voice.  Nobody had wanted to hear what she had to say.  Nobody had noticed her.  They had left her in the background.  The greyness had consumed her entire life.  She’d left and nobody had noticed. Nobody had asked her opinion about anything for years.  She didn’t know how to respond.  She mouthed the words.  Her throat constricted with the sudden movement.  She felt like she was going to be sick.  The words were stuck.  She needed to get them out.  This was the first step.  Wrong – she had left. That had been the first step.  She needed to find her voice now. 

“I need a room.”  It came out as a hoarse whisper.  It was barely audible across the desk. 

“What’s that?”

“A room.”  She swallowed.  Saliva was lubricating her throat.  She cleared it and swallowed.  “I need a room.  Please.”  She was determined that her new life would be full of pleasant manners and kindness now.  No more demands, name calling or swearing.  She was starting afresh.

A new character

I love creating characters and this one is one of my favourites – he’s for a fairy-tale style story, but he has to be the most vain, useless and inept knight going. There is also in the story a magician, a witch, a fortune teller and of course a hero/heroine.

He sat in a glamorous knightly pose.  He checked his reflection in his sparkling armour and brushed an imaginary fingerprint away.  His “How To…” book was open at his favourite chapter about rescuing princesses.  His white steed was grazing alongside the meandering stream.  Willows dangled prettily.  It was a perfect scene for rescuing a damsel in distress.  His silver armour shone to perfection.  He ran his finger under the collar.  Wearing armour was hot work.  He picked up his shield and checked his reflection.  He looked good, better than the others anyway.  Hair – blonde and recently trimmed by Manuel (his stylist).  Stubble – just showing.  It gave the girls a thrill and it looked like he’d been too busy slaying dragons to shave.  Physique – tough.  He worked on his thrust and parry daily.  Overall – brave because of the sword, gentle because of the poetry reciting and the rose he carried (silk because he’d taken so long to find a damsel in distress that any normal rose would have wilted with boredom).  He surveyed the competition around him – a field full of knights just like him.