The Hag’s Message – The Dream continued (Lyr #42)

This is Part 42 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.


I stepped inside. Twilight was falling outside and the cottage offered warmth, light and cosiness. However, I was still uneasy. The reason? The Hag. She also went by the names of Crone and Wise Woman. She was the divine lady who watched over Enchanters, who guided their magic and the dreams they wove.

I’d never thought to be in her presence. I’d never thought her to be more than a figment of the imagination of the more gullible who practised the craft of enchanting. But here she was, and here I was, in her home, her cottage.

‘We haven’t much time,’ she said without preamble. ‘There is a path laid out before you, one you haven’t chosen. It will be difficult, but you must see it through to the end. I will help where I can, though most of this you will do alone. For that I’m sorry.’

Then she started to explain…


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #42 | Word count: 153 – I’m a little over the word count this time around.  Having trimmed back as much as I could – originally this part was much, much longer! – I decided three words wasn’t really that bad… 🙂

The Hag – The Dream continued (Lyr #41)

This is Part 41 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.


I climbed the steps and felt my spirits lighten. I was content to be here in the forest.

At the top of the hill was a path. I followed that too. It didn’t seem to matter that I knew not where it led.

The trees crept closer. Sunlight filtered through the canopy above to speckle the floor in soft gold.

Time moved on. The day was slowly slipping away…

Suddenly the forest fell behind me and there ahead was a charming forester’s cottage. Around it grew a well-tended kitchen garden. A gaggle of geese, sensing my approach, cackled in warning, which brought an old woman with bent back to the door.

She smiled a toothless grin at me as she beckoned me in. I went cold, realising instantly who she was.

‘Welcome, Lyr. I’ve been expecting you.’

How could I refuse The Hag’s invitation?


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #41 | Word count: 144

From Here to There – The Dream continued (Lyr #40)

This is Part 40 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.


Chains. There must have been hundreds of them on the ground. Some were coiled like snakes. Some stretched out so that you could see each and every link in them clearly.

A vague idea popped into my head, but it vanished before I could grab hold of it. However, before my anger at letting it slip through my fingers could manifest, the world about me altered…

I was no longer with the brightly bursting clouds and metal serpents. I was in a glade in a forest. Trees arched above, while a verdant carpet of grass stretched beneath me, all the way to the glade’s opposite boundary.

It was lovely here. Peaceful. All I could hear was the gentle rustling of the leaves.

Then I spotted a set of steps, cut into the side of hill. I had no idea where they led, but I felt compelled to find out…


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #40 | Word count: 149

The Dream of a Dream-Weaver (Lyr #39)

This is Part 39 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.


Magic. It was everywhere. Only it wasn’t. It was nowhere. One minute it was here, the next…poof! Gone!

The air about me was filled with brightly coloured clouds bursting before they disappeared. Pinks, purples, blues, greens, yellows…so many colours…so many pretty colours.

I walked up to one of the bubbles, fascinated by the way it sparkled, by the way it moved. It was the magic inside, dancing, swaying under the influence of its own energy. Then, as if by magic, for I saw no hand, no-one responsible, the bubble ruptured, dispersing the vibrant residue as the magic vanished. I went over to the next one, and the process started again.

The more I saw, the more upset I became, though I couldn’t work out why. Something was eluding me.

‘Where are you going?’ I called out to the magic but received no answer. ‘Stay! I command you!’

Only then did I see the chains…


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #39 | Word count: 154 – a few words over…I think I’m a little rusty, after all it’s been over a month since I updated this story…I must try harder next time.

Larulia (Lyr #38)

This is Part 38 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.


I walked and walked, my head empty when I should have been thinking, processing all I had learnt. My mind, however, wouldn’t cooperate. It was overwhelmed.

I paid no attention to where I was or where I was going. I didn’t care. I simply went wherever the breeze decided to take me.

The next thing I knew, I was here. And then I was laughing. I was standing in the middle of a field of larulia, the dream-weaver’s flower. I should have been worried. Larulia was potent in tiny doses and here I was standing in an acre of it. As I inhaled its heady scent, I could feel the magic taking effect.

And so I decided to lie down and rest amongst the pretty flowers. My eyes were quick to close; I felt a smile spread across my face and then I began to drift away, to dream and dream some more…


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #38 | Word count: 153 –  a few words over this time round, must try harder…

A-sighing and A-snapping (Lyr #37)

This is Part 37 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.


Where he’d got them from, I don’t know, but as I rounded the carriage, my head all a-muddle, I stopped dead. A picnic blanket, a sunshade and a windbreak had been erected there in the field. Flandario must have convinced himself we were about to picnic on the beach.

It was in that moment I decided I’d had enough. Of everything. Something in me had snapped, and I started to walk away.

‘Where are you going?’ the magician called after me, but I ignored him.

‘Lyr? Lyr?’ Adrastia shouted, but I wasn’t interested in speaking with her either.

The only response I offered them was a heavy sigh.

Truths were slowly coming to light, only to reveal that my estranged wife seemed to be involved in all the upheaval I had suffered these last ten years.

And now I needed to think. On my own. Without anyone else.


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #37 | Word count: 148

Captain’s Orders (Lyr #36)

This is Part 36 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.


 

There was a loud bang on the side of the floating carriage. Adrastia and I both jumped, though it was barely enough to break through the fog of shock.

‘Lyr? Say something?’ Adrastia prompted.

‘Out! Out! I’m the captain of this carriage-ship and I order you both to disembark!’ Flandario opened the doors and manhandled each of us from out of the carriage.

‘We’ll talk later,’ I hissed at my wife, though what she expected me to say, I don’t know.

‘Stop, stop!’ the mad magician shouted. ‘You both are being too serious. You’re going to ruin a perfectly wonderful time. And I won’t stand for it.’

I turned my attention to the magician. ‘What are you bumbling about, you fool? A picnic? A picnic? You said we had somewhere important to go!’

‘And who knew enchanters were such spoil sports! No cake for those who won’t smile. Captain’s orders.’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #36 | Word count: 150

The Madness of Magicians and an Unexpected Confession (Lyr #35)

This is Part 35 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.


Flandario was eager to get moving. He summoned the floating carriage and we were once more carried off in the contraption. Surprisingly, as we were passing through a green field, no more than ten minutes from the woodland setting of Greystone Tower, he called a halt.

‘This is the perfect place for a picnic!’

I shook my head at the madness of magicians.

‘Why don’t you just enchant him, Lyr?’ Adrastia asked. ‘It will save a lot of trouble in the long run.’

‘If you think I’m going to poke around in his mind…No. I’ll come out as mad as he is.’

‘If ten years in prison hasn’t sent you crazy, nothing will.’

A moment of silence in the carriage, as Flandario unpacked a picnic basket outside.

‘There’s something I must tell you, Lyr, and you’re going to hate me for it. It’s my fault they locked you up.’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #35 | Word count: 149

The Great Flandario (Lyr #34)

This is Part 34 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.


We were invited in. At the top of what felt like an unending flight of stairs, we entered a large room at the top to of Greystone Tower.

‘I am…The Great Flandario,’ our host announced.

‘Oh, great,’ Adrastia muttered. ‘That’s all we need. A magician.’

Magician’s had a worse reputation than even enchanters. Probably because they were all mad. Always.

If Flandario heard, he pretended not to. ‘I believe we are all on the same quest.’

‘To retrieve my son from the King of the Underworld?’

His brow furrowed. ‘What? No. To understand what is going on with the magic in our world. Now, come and see this.’

A cloth covering a large silver bowl was removed with a flourish. A few vials were emptied into it. ‘Look, look,’ he said, excitedly.

‘There’s nothing there but a few trees lining a road.’

‘But don’t you see? It is there we must go.’

‘We?’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #34 | Word count: 153

Greystone Tower (Lyr #33)

This is Part 33 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.


I got down from the floating carriage, and then helped Adrastia down too. When we had stepped clear of the magical device, it moved off and out of sight.

Staring at the tower, I noticed it had no doors or windows that I could see. Puzzled, I looked about. Bundles of willow withies had been gathered together and propped up against an ancient stone wall. Of whoever had collected them, there was no sign. I wondered if they had heard our approach and run off to hide in the forest.

‘Me? Run off? Hide? Why would I do such a thing? I fear neither you nor her,’ a voice sounded from the tower.

I spun round. A doorway had appeared, and standing in it was a man wearing indigo robes.

‘Who are you?’ Adrastia asked. ‘Why are we here?’

‘Tut-tut. Your tone…so accusatory. But first, no thanks for your rescue?’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #33 | Word count: 150