Bargains and Debts

This is Part 10 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

Never strike a bargain with a monster. You will, most likely, get turned into one yourself, or get eaten by one. I didn’t like those options. But did I have a choice?

Before I had a chance to think, let alone answer, there was an ear-splitting crash in the twilight above. The monstrous sea-snake screamed before engaging in magical battle. I darted for cover to avoid getting caught in the spell-storm.

There was nowhere to hide, but for a slight depression in the cliff-face; it could hardly be called a cave. But there I sought refuge, and waited.

It was dawn when the storm ceased. I stumbled out of my shelter, surprised by the calm brightness all about me. Of the sea-snake there was no sign.

Arastia waited for me on the shore. ‘I have saved you, Lyr, from the scheming of sea-serpents.’ She smiled. ‘You owe me a debt.’

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #10 – And this week, I am exactly equal to the max word limit of 150!  Yay!


Silent Silhouette

I close my eyes, and I see you

In outline only

A shadow before the sun

A silent silhouette

I know you not

Un-named stranger

Why are you here?

Why are you here now?

You neither move nor speak

Can you hear me?

I’m not frightened

Should I be?

Not until I open my eyes

The same inky shape

Stands in the doorway

Watching, waiting…

Written for Weekend Writing Prompt #89 – Silhouette | Word count: 65

Unearthing Secrets

I had never built a brick wall before so was unsure how far down the foundations needed to go.  Was it as deep as the wall was to be tall?  Or was I confusing that with a tree and its roots?

I paused, momentarily muddled, before resuming digging.  Better to have more foundations than not enough.

When the trench was two foot deep, the spade struck something with a sickening sound.  White bone gleamed from out of the soil.  That’s when I realised I would have been happy with a fence.

Written for Weekend Writing Prompt # 88 – Foundations  |  Word count: 91

A Little Exciting News…

A random, sort of spooky photo…

A few months ago, I entered a Tudor Ghost Story Contest hosted by authors Natalie Grueninger, who runs the wonderful website, On The Tudor Trail, the Talking Tudors podcast and is the author of a number of Tudor history books, and Wendy J Dunn, author of a number of books of Tudor fiction.

Last week the results were announced, and I’m excited to share that I placed joint second!  On Christmas Eve, the winner and the second and third place getters’ stories were published on On The Tudor Trail.  You can read the post announcing the winners by the judge of the competition here, where you will also find links to the first, second and third place stories.  The direct link to my own story, The Thorns of A Tudor Rose, can be found here.

The Thorns of a Tudor Rose is a story of Anne Boleyn being visited by the ghost of Katherine of Aragon during the days leading up to her downfall…only she doesn’t yet know it.  If you do have a read of it, please let me know what you think!

UPDATE: The first, second and third placed stories have also been included in a sample copy of Tudor Life Magazine, the monthly magazine of The Tudor Society!

Excavating the Archives At Midwinter

I’ve been looking through the archives to find something wintry to repost to mark Midwinter, and I’ve noticed that I really love to write about this season, meaning there was a lot to choose from.  Here are some of my favourites…

Midwinter – A Poem

Today is the shortest day

Tonight the longest night

Tomorrow’s sunrise the turning point

That marks the returning light


In the very heart of winter

There’s a special vigil to keep

As we wait patiently in the dark

For the sun to wake from sleep


Soon the world will be brighter

It will be the darkness’ turn to wane

It won’t be long until spring is here

When The Wheel will turn again

(from 21 Decemeber 2017)


Winter Morning (a haiku)

A frosty breath mists

Words frozen, left unspoken

Cold winter morning

(from 28 November 2017)

Silver Frost

Breath mists in frigid air

Cold hands, warm heart

Wintry kisses melt icy lips

Beneath mistletoe boughs

In silver frost.

(from 13 December 2018)


If you’re looking for more winter-themed reading, why not check out:

  • Winter Magic / Winter Wishes – a couple of anthologies filled to the brim with all sorts of wintry goodness from writers around the world.  Both are free to read via Wattpad.
  • Jingle Spells – an anthology of winter, witches and the paranormal, from CyberWitch Press.  My short story, A Midwinter Manifestation, can be found in it.  Free to download a digital copy from most, if not all, online retailers.
  • O Horrid Night – another winter-themed anthology, this time from FunDead Publications.  This one is more gothic and ghostly in theme / style.  Not free to read, but a great addition to any bookshelf.  Can be found on Amazon.  My short story, A Midwinter Haunting was included in it.
  • I would add One Turn of The Wheel to this list of recommendations, as it has a chapter dedicated to Winter, but as it’s only available in print, it will probably be the new year before it arrives from Lulu.

Dead Things

This is Part 6 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”.  To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.

The mist before my eyes cleared and the dream vanished, leaving only a feeling of anger. However, I was forced to put it aside because there were bigger, more immediate problems on the horizon.

The boat pulled into the harbour of the Isle of In-Between. The Boatman stood to cast the spell that would see us safely to land. There was more to fear here than just the cloaked figure.

In the water were the remains of dead things, monsters from ages past. Bones, huge and black, projected from out of the depths, as if waiting to catch the curious and unsuspecting. Both in life and death, these nameless creatures guarded the waters that encircled the island. What could be seen was only a hint of what was to be found lurking below. It was what you couldn’t see that would hurt you.

I involuntarily shuddered. I hated this place.

‘After all this time, you’re still afraid,’ The Boatman whispered.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 6 – Ten words over the 150 word limit this week…must try harder…


This is Part 5 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”.  To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.  In this instalment we learn a little more about what it means to be an enchanter…

I was dreaming. Of a time before. Of a time of after. I couldn’t yet tell…

The world was shiny, like the metallic gloss of a bird’s feather. Shimmering. Glimmering. Glistening.

Dreams were magic. They held power. As an Enchanter, I knew that. Knew how to read them, manipulate them. Weave magic into and out of them, through them and around them. The dream held the spell, the spell held my will, and the world changed, transformed by my intention.

No wonder so many people feared Enchanters. The innate power they – we – possessed was terrifying.

But this didn’t feel like one of my dreams. Who did it belong to? It was the wrong question. “What” always came before “Who”.

Metal…lots of metal…a workshop, maybe? Magic was worked in the forge: iron was bent, remoulded, reshaped, to the metalsmith’s will.

Then I understood. I was the iron.  I was being used. Someone was trying to influence me; bend me to their will. But why? And for what purpose?

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #5 – I’ve gone a little over the 150 word limit this week.  Oops!