27 Flight

You spread out your wings. The world shrinks beneath you as the wind carries you up through the clouds to where the sky goes on for ever and ever and ever.

Where the light is everywhere.

And it is bitterly cold.

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Wind

An invisible ferocious animal attacks me. It tears at me. It bites my cheeks. It almost takes the tip of my nose off. At my feet small brown somethings. They dance, they pirouette, they hurdle and clamber over each other to escape the predator, only to be paralysed with fear, to freeze solid for a moment and after a short interval continue their wild flight.

Angel

Every night I look down on their houses as they turn out their lights, and wish that my wings had never been clipped.  Sometimes I even wish that he had just let me fall, like the others. Instead of this hiding and clinging to stars.

I am so close to the sky. Sometimes I think that if I could just remember exactly how it was to soar through it, I would be able to again, and I could soar up, up all the way to heaven and then maybe he would…

Maybe he would strike me down,

Maybe clip my wings again.

Maybe he would just destroy me and have done with it.

Perhaps that would be better. To have it over and done with. But, where do angels go when they die?

I cling to my star.

A Witch, an old building and a lamb

The door swung open at his touch and he had a strange feeling that somehow it was inviting him inside. Behind it was a spiral staircase, leading up to the church spire perhaps? He glanced over his shoulder. On the other side of the pews, his mother was studying some old painting of a man with a ruffled collar. She probably would not mind if he just nipped up to the top and back again.

He left the door open and ran up the stairs. After a short while he had to slow down, the stairs were rather steep and the steps were too high for him. At least he did not have to force Bacon up all these stairs.

‘Baaah!’

He looked up. There was a black lamb on the stairs above him.

‘Hello,’ he went up beside the lamb and stroked its soft wool, ‘you look a bit like mareep.’

‘baah…’ it said.

‘Where did you get to?’ said a woman’s voice from up the stairs. He considered running, perhaps he was not even allowed to be here, but the voice sounded soft and warm, like the lamb’s wool. So he stood still, waiting, until a woman with long curly hair gathered together in a ponytail showed up. She looked much younger than his mother, but still like a grown up. She had a crooked smile on her lips.

‘Hello,’ she said, ‘how did you get in?’

‘Door,’ he pointed down the stairs.

‘It opened for you?’ she shook her head, ‘silly question, of course it did, or you would not be here.’ She went down the last couple of steps, her long black dress rustling, and picked up the lamb. ‘Gotcha, and I won’t let you get away again,’ she scratched the lamb behind the ears the way that Bacon liked.

‘Who are you?’ he asked.

‘You can call me Cynthia if you wish,’ she turned back up the stairs.

‘Where are you going?’ he said.

‘Up the stairs.’

He looked down the stairs, would his mother be worried? Nah, he had not been gone long. He followed Cynthia up the stairs.

They soon reached an open door which led into a large room with a large black cauldron and all manner of herbs and dried things along the walls.

‘If you’re coming in, would you close the door behind you?’ said Cynthia.

He closed the door. Looking out of the window he could see to the edge of town.

‘Wow, we’re high up.’

‘Can’t argue with that,’ said Cynthia as she rummaged around in a corner, the lamb still on her arm.

‘What are you looking for?’

‘Ah, here it is,’ she pulled out a long curved knife and he felt his heartbeat quicken as he backed up against the door.

‘Wh-what’s, what’re…’ he stammered.

‘The blood of a black she-lamb, for protection, and of course, a girl has to eat,’ she smiled wide and drew the blade across the throat of the lamb. Dark blood spilled out over her hands and he grabbed the door handle.

‘Wait!’ her fingers, warm and sticky closed about his wrist. He twisted his neck to look up at her face where he was surprised to find an expression his mother always had when she told him to be careful.

‘For protection,’ she dragged two wet fingers across his forehead; they left a flaring pain in their wake as if his skin was on fire. Then everything went black.

When he woke, he sat with his back against the door to the stairs and his mother was kneeling in from of him.

‘Was it really that boring?’ she asked, ‘come, we’ll go find some lunch.’

He staggered to his feet, his forehead still burning.

100 posts! Also, Germany

Last Friday I realized that I had just posted my 100th post!

But then I went off to Harzen in Germany and therefore I did not get any celebratory post done. And since I only just came home today, Wednesday was also postless. But now I am back and to make up for it all, (yes, you guessed it) I’m going to publish two posts today! (The madness!)

First of all in this my first of two posts today, I want to say thank you. Thank you to you. Yes, you. For reading my blog and keeping my hopes up that someday many more like you will sit down and read something I have written. And hopefully be happy that you did.

Also, I want to say thank you to all the people who have commented on my posts. I love answering comments!

And especially a great big thank you to those 184 people who pressed the follow button and now receives emails every time I am productive. Thank you very much all of you, just looking at that number gives me motivation 🙂

Thank you!

Now after those well deserved ‘thank you’s I would like to share a bit of Harzen with you.

A  bit of Harzen

It is a very beautiful area famed for their witches. However, the witches must all have modernized their outfits or perhaps they were hiding because the only ones I saw in traditional “witch garb” were dolls.

Witches

Another thing I saw was a stalactite cave called Hermannshöhle, very fascinating. They introduced some amphibians to the cave about a hundred years ago, but they never bred. Which was not really odd because, as they found out later, they were all males…

They are having a party.

I also went to Goslar where they have plenty of beautiful old buildings.

Goslar, church

Goslar, church (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

On my last day in Harzen I took a walk from Hahnenklee to Lautenthal.

There I found a café where I could have lunch and I was served the tastiest lamb I have had for a long time. It was served in an old black frying pan and very VERY yummy.

The next post today (I will publish it sometime this evening) will be a bit of flash fiction where I have given myself the tag words: Witch, old building and lamb.

I hope you will enjoy it!

Review: Temeraire (or His Majesty’s Dragon)

Temeraire. Also published as His Majesty’s Dragon.

Temeraire by Naomi Novik is the first book in an ongoing series of seven books so far. The eighth book is on its way and the author has planned to end the story after nine books. It is set in a world very like our own; the only great difference is that dragons are a natural part of that world. The story takes place during the Napoleonic wars and begins at sea where the captain Will Laurence boards a French ship. On board he finds a dragon egg and the dragon within becomes the cause of many problems and much happiness. The story is 332 pages. The appendix is another 8 pages.

This dragon has absolutely nothing to do with the dragons in the series, I just drew it for fun a couple of days ago and wanted more pictures in my post 🙂

The book is written in a simple style which flows naturally and is easy to read. There are also no long inner monologues or philosophical reflections and this allows the plot to move forwards smoothly at a brisk walk.

The story has a good mix of calm and action. In the calm scenes the world and characters are shown in more detail and greater empathy is established with the reader. In the action scenes, great turns of the plot take place often with grand battles in the sky between the raging dragons.

The appendix, although not part of the story, is interesting to read. It explains in some measure how dragons came to be as they are in this world and also gives a small discussion of dragons’ weight.

The best thing about the book is the relationship between the captain, Will Laurence, and the dragon, Temeraire, which is both touching and interesting. It develops into a very strong bond that sometimes resembles the bond between a child and its parent, and it is not easy to tell if Laurance is the parent or the child.

All in all, Temeraire is both an entertaining and enjoyable read which is fast paced enough to keep most readers hooked throughout the story.

Throne of Jade. Number two in the series.

Tags: Friendship, dragons, war, social norms

This would be a good read for: Children and parents, people who like dragons, people who like a quick paced plot, people interested in altered history

This would not be a good read for: People who prefer long descriptions and lots of detail, people who prefer realistic novels, people who do not like series

Suggested further reading: The rest of the series. Number two is called Throne of Jade.

Somewhere far away…

Somewhere far away there is an annoying beeping sound, so I sit up in my bed punch at the alarm until it is silent and slump back down on my pillow, pictures already forming in my head, taking me with them away from the cold light outside the window, pictures which seem so much more important than clothes, breakfast and other such nonsense, and as the pictures strengthen, the ache in my limbs weaken to a distant nuisance which is soon swallowed entirely by the dreams.

Namé Hara and her Brother (Marcus)

’Do you want me to beat him up for you?’ Marcus leant back in the sofa.

‘What?’ said Namé Hara.

‘These babies haven’t disappointed me yet,’ he flexed his very-average-for-a-twenty-one-year-old-man biceps and gave it a kiss.

‘I don’t even know what you are talking about,’ she said.

‘You look like someone let you down,’ said Marcus, ‘who is it? I’ll beat him into next week.’

‘What if it’s a girl?’

Marcus opened his mouth, closed it, leant towards her with one eyebrow raised.

‘Then I’ll seduce her with my manliness.’

‘That I’d like to see,’ Namé Hara laughed.

‘What?’ a look of feigned disbelief on his face, ‘it’s my freckles, isn’t it? I’m telling you they’re all the rage with the ladies.’

‘Like that “girlfriend” you had?’

‘She’s still my girlfriend.’

‘Does she know it yet?’

‘Nah, I’ll tell her when the time is right,’ he winked.

 

A Walk in the Park

A runner comes towards me and I concentrate on her face.

… making it a countable union of countable sets and therefore countable Q.E.D.

I wish I knew what that meant. I stop and watch as she passes me by.

… if we let x belong to the sigma algebra…

But Sarah is getting ahead now, so I cannot stay to hear the rest.

We continue around the small lake in the park and pass by a man feeding the ducks. He has a strange smile on his face.

… eat up my little flea-bitten ones, you won’t taste the cyanide before it’s too late… 

Poor birds. If only I could tell Sarah, but I could never make her understand. Perhaps if I just gave him a small push, let him fall into the lake, just to give him a fright. But then Sarah would be angry with me, and she would probably even help him out of the lake even if she got wet doing it. She might even get a cold or a fever. And she looked close to dying last time she had a fever. I shake myself. I cannot let her get sick ever again. I trot up beside Sarah and look up at her face.

… does it have to be so cold? The summer’s barely over…

Oh, dear, she is already cold. I find a bush to pee in, so that I am ready to go home at once if need be. When we reach a divide in the path, where the first branch continues around the small lake and the second goes around the other larger lake first, Sarah stops.

… been some time since we went for a long walk, but it’s so cold…

I take a few steps down the first path and look back at her. She smiles and follows me.

When we get home, I leave my stick outside and rub my paws on the mat, like Sarah always does. She kneels down to unbuckle her shoes.

… Where did I put my slippers?…

I hurry into the living room, dig her slippers out from beneath the sofa and bring them back to Sarah. I drop them in front of her and wag my tail.

‘Sometimes it’s almost as if you can read my thoughts,’ she says, ‘thank you, you’re the best dog ever.’

And I feel the warmth spread throughout me. I am the best dog ever.

 

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I have not written much this week, but next week I’ll try to write some more Namé Hara scenes. I hope you enjoyed this for now 🙂

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