Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Wordy Wednesday!

This weeks Wordy Wednesday word is;


- A balance of forces or interests.
- Even distribution of weight.
- Balance, Equilibrium.
- Counterbalance.

Equipoise originally comes from the Latin verb pendere which means 'to weigh'. It entered English sometime in the 1600's.

'The three houses had been at odds for years, and many battles had been fought between them, now however they hung in an unexpected equipoise, suffering an unwanted truce, for the time being.'

Can you use this word in a short piece of prose, flash fiction or poetry?
Comment it below and share the creativity!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Writing Prompt!

Tuesday is writing prompt day and today's writing prompt is a series of six words!

Your story can be any length and any genre but you must use all six words throughout the story. The words do not have to appear in the same order that they appear here.

"Bottle, Dog, Ship, Orange, Sword, Run"

If you would like to share your writing please leave it in the comments section for more fantastic inspiration for others, or if you would like to submit any of your work to this website please visit the submissions page.

Happy Writing

Rach x

Monday, 28 November 2016

Motivational Monday! Atlantis Short Story Contest

"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. 
I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." -Ken Venturi

This weeks Motivational Monday! post is for anyone that fancies a challenge! Because this weeks featured competition closes in two days, on the 30th of November.
So this week we're featuring The Atlantis Short Story Contest!

This competition is for an original short story up to 2,500 words long. There is no set theme or genre so any is accepted.

First place will recieve $300, Second place will recieve $100 and Third place will recieve $50.
The top 15 stories will also recieve an in-depth review and the top 40 will be listed on the website as finalists and will recieve a certificate.

The closing date for this one is the 30th of November so if you want to enter you'll need to get writing or polishing fast!

Please remember to check the website for formatting guidelines and more information.

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit Atlantis Short Story Contest.

Happy writing

Rach x

Friday, 25 November 2016

Artel 15. An Unwanted Visitor

It was mid afternoon and the hot sun was high in the clear blue sky when Millon heard the shouts echoing through the village, tearing from throat to throat as each villager alerted the next to the news.
Another one. They'd found another one.
A puzzled frown wrote itself slowly across Millon's face. Another one? Another what? What had they found? He started across the field he'd been turning, leaving his spade stuck in the ground like an angry arrow, making a beeline for Tella, who he could see emerging from the cow shed. She, too, was making her way slowly towards the village, looking to see what the commotion was about. He quickened his pace, wanting to reach her side and be the person that she shared this unusual and exciting experience with... whatever it was.
She turned at the sound of his voice and his heart fluttered at the sight of the smile that lit up her pretty face. He broke into a jog and within a few seconds was at her side.
"Hi Millon, have you heard? They've found another one! I cant believe it, two, in just a span of several moons, usually no one makes it through the forest, let alone all the way out here to us!"
"Wh... what do you mean no one? What is it they've found? Who've found?"
"You don't know? Silly Millon, it's another you, the hunters have found another stranger from beyond the forest!"
 Millon's frown deepened. Another him? Another stranger from beyond the forest, when strangers rarely made it this far... another man for the village to get excited about, to vie for Tella's attention. But that was silly, petty. Then another thought slipped into his mind, 'usually no one makes it through the forest,' that's what she'd said. What if Artel had made it after all, and had somehow found his way here? He'd recognise Millon from a mile away, even with different clothes and longer hair, he wasn't stupid, he'd be angry Millon had left him, and he'd make him continue their quest, make him leave the village he had just begun to call home. A wave of cold fear washed through him but he gulped it back and smiled at Tella, who was patiently waiting for a response.
"Oh," he began, "that's amazing, I would have thought more people would have made it here?"
Tella shook her head and laughed a little.
"No way, it's hard to get through the forest, I think most of those that try probably don't know about half the things that lie waiting in there to surprise them, I reckon there's no other forest in the world like that one. And if you don't get eaten or captured by the things you can't imagine then the darkness comes and takes you for it's own."
Millon thought of the night he and Artel had shared round the fire, when the blackness of night had risen into the air and descended upon them, he had stabbed it but he had known that wouldn't kill it, something like that couldn't be killed by any normal weapon. He shivered at the memory, it was not a nice one, and followed Tella off the farm and into the village, half interested and half fearful of what he would find there.

There was already a large crowd of people gathered around the hunting party making their way slowly through the village. At first sight no other person was visible, but it soon became apparent from the crowds mutterings that the person they had found was unconscious and lay on a makeshift sling carried between two of the hunters. Millon and Tella followed the ever swelling group of villagers through the streets up to the hut where the elders met, trying their hardest to see past the mass of bodies but unable to. They stopped briefly outside the elders hut, there was some hushed conversation, then a bent old woman shuffled out and joined their procession, leading them to her own hut, Nanuka the healer. Whoever the man was he must be hurt bad for Nanuka to be called out. They stopped outside Nanuka's hut and the hunters hissed at the villagers, signalling for them to back away while the person, a man, was lifted from the sling and carried inside. Millon craned his neck, a feeling of dread filling his stomach as he caught sight of a very familiar pair of leather boots. It was definitely a man, and he was the right shape and size, and he thought he had seen a flash of brown hair. Nanuka's door closed leaving just one man stood on the doorstep, a hush fell across the crowd. Sicca turned and eyed them with his steely gaze, then puffed out his chest.
"My hunters and I have indeed found a man, not far from here, barely conscious, severely dehydrated and malnourished. Nanuka will do her best to heal him, but we do not know if he will survive. If he does, then he will be welcome to stay until he is healed, but we have already accepted one outsider into our midst this season and cannot go accepting any more. If it does not look like he will survive by moon high tonight then we will end his suffering, quickly and painlessly."
Murmurs rippled through the crowd and Millon felt himself go cold. End his suffering, painlessly and quickly. What if it was Artel? If so, he couldn't let the hunters end him. What if it wasn't Artel? Then it was none of his business. But if it was and he didn't say anything, then it may as well be him that drew the sword and plunged it through his chest. And if it was and he did get better, then he wouldn't want to stay here anyway, and the villagers might know something useful about the power hidden in the mountain, and despite his reluctance to leave Millon still cared about the fate of the world he had called home for so long. Besides, Artel might not mind if he stayed in the village and let the knight go on alone, it wasn't like he'd ever really been much help anyway. Artel could tell everyone back home that he had died in the forest, fallen victim to some creature or poison, that would be perfect, then no one would ever think to look for him, not that he thought anyone would come looking for him anyway.
He stood still, deliberating as the crowds of villagers dispersed, back to their tasks, their routines, their farms and workshops and businesses. A tug at his arm brought him back to reality and he looked round to see Tella urging him to go with her back to the farm, back to work. He turned to follow her, then realised he couldn't, he just couldn't leave his master, the knight he had sworn to protect, his companion, lying in there, maybe dying. He owed him that at least. Millon shook his head.
"Tella I, I think I might know the man, I must speak to Sicca."
Tella looked confused but only nodded, accepting in her beautiful, simple way, that some things fit together no matter how unexpected.
Together they walked towards Nanuka's hut, the door of which was now firmly shut. Nerves coiled in Millon's stomach, but no matter what the outcome he knew he was doing the right thing.
"Sicca!" Millon knocked three times on the hardwood door as he called out to the chief hunter, then waited, a long pause stretching out. He raised his fist and was just about to knock again when the door swung inwards and Sicca appeared, his grisly face sporting a unhappy grimace.
"What? I gave information, what do you want?"
"I think, I think I may know this man."
Sicca raised an eyebrow and regarded Millon.
"And how's that now then? You leave him out there for the crows did you?"
Millon balked. "N... no, of course not! I believe he may have been my..." He hesitated, he didn't want to say master, not in front Sicca, and not in front of Tella who had stayed with him and stood just inches behind him in the doorway. "Companion. We were travelling together, but we got separated, I searched but I thought he was... lost to me."
Sicca sniffed, casting an disbelieving eye over the two of them.
"You best come in and have a look then I suppose."

It was Artel. As sure as day was day and night was night. There was no mistaking his well set frame, his high cheekbones, his unruly brown hair. Though his face now sported a dirty growth of beard and his body was thin and angular, starved, withering. His cheek bones caved into his face and the faint rise and fall of his chest seemed somehow pathetic, as if it were hardly worth the effort it took. He looked half the man that Millon had known, and twice as old, yet he was still, undeniably, Artel. Millon only nodded at Sicca and Nanuka, not trusting himself to speak out loud, then knelt by Artel's side and took the knights now almost skeletal hand in his. An unexpected rush of emotion shot through him and he had to blink back the tears that pricked at the corners of his eyes. What had happened to this man, this man that he had sworn to accompany and protect to the best of his abilities? He should have stayed, he should have stayed in the forest, searched until he found him. All the time he had spent here happy in the village when Artel had been out there, fighting for his life, struggling through the Gods only knew what kind of hell, alone. Guilt racked his chest and Millon laid his forehead on the side of the makeshift sickbed, sure that he had never felt so wretched in all his life and wishing that there was something he could do about it, anything.
"He is very sick, I am afraid there is not much I can do for him."
Millon looked up and spoke with a fierceness he did not know he possessed.
"You will not let this man die, and you will not end his suffering. This man is a fighter, more so than any man I have met before now. He has fought his way out of whatever hell he has inhabited for the past moons, and he has fought his way to us, let him fight his way back to the living!"
Nanuka and Sicca exchanged a look, a look containing a conversation Millon would never be privy to. Then they parted, Sicca stalking out of the hut while Nanuka turned her wrinkled face back towards Millon.
"Very well."
"Thank you."

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Raven

The moonlight shimmers across her dark starry eyes, glittering and dazzling against the night sky. It dances and flits, slipping across the glistening surface like ice skaters across a rink. Gliding, effortlessly, easily, in recurring patterns that change and break and refract and reform. I am lost in those eyes, in the vision of beauty held captive for a moment before me, reflected, I know, in my own eyes. In that second my heart breaks, shatters into a thousand pieces like a broken crystal, spraying across the floor in a thousand deadly glittering shards. This is pain. This is what it really feels like to hurt. But at the exact same time it mends, healing and growing, the tiny cells and particles reaching out to each other and sewing themselves back together, welcoming their broken halves with open arms. This is joy, beauty, happiness. This is what it really feels like to love. I am still, in the thick oily darkness of night. And although I am clothed I am naked as a new born child, stripped bare in front of the eyes of the universe, staring out at me from a face I am sure cannot simply be from this earth. Her moonlight eyes shine down upon me, asking me over and over a question that I cannot answer. My mind turns over on itself, folding and crumpling like an unwanted piece of paper, with a crackle and a rustle barely audible even to my own ears. She is everywhere, all around me, filling the space both outside and inside of me, filling me up like a noxious gas, entering through my mouth, my nose, my eyes, my ears. I am lost in her eyes, drowning in a beauty my tired brain cannot begin to comprehend. Is this it? I feel like this is it, as if some door has been opened and I've been allowed, for a brief second, to gaze upon the wonders of the universe, to access all the secrets of life. Yet as I stand here gazing into her moonlit eyes, drinking in all the secrets they hold, I find I cannot begin to comprehend any of it. I am being offered that which I can never hope to attain, for the simply chemistry in my brain does not allow it, will not allow it. I am lost, wallowing in a pit of information I cannot hope to glean, full of the sorrows of heartbreak and the joys of love. I am at the same time one with all around me, and yet so distant that I may as well be lost in the vast openness of space, wandering and alone. Yet even the feeling gives me leave to wonder, after all I have seen today, if even space is as empty as it may at first seem to our eyes. Maybe we simply do not have the eyes to see, and so we are unable to perceive what stands before us, in front of us, all around us. I am falling. I can feel it now, the motion slipping past my inconsequential body, like soft silk passing across my dry skin. Down I go, further and further, slowly tumbling through the darkness surrounding me like a thick black cloth blocking the light, like a raven obscuring me from sight wrapping my body in it's many black feathers. I let myself fall, it is not such a bad feeling really, quite calming, relaxing, almost like sinking into a hot bath. Let the raven take me, I think, let the raven take me.
I blink and I am back in my body, standing across the hall from the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, watching the moonlight dance across her dark starry eyes.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Writing Prompt!

Today's writing prompt is an image. (And I really like this one, I think it's got oodles of potential!)
What's the story here? How did your characters wind up here? What are they going to do next? Where is this?

Mesa Arch III

If you would like to share your writing please leave it in the comments section for more fantastic inspiration, or if you would like to submit any of your work to this website please visit the submissions page.

Happy Writing

Rach x

Friday, 18 November 2016

Artel 14. Home at Last

Millon woke with a start and lay in the dark silence listening to sounds of the wind blowing against the small hut. Now that he was awake he wasn't sure what had woken him, only that he was truly and definitely awake. Long moments passed in the darkness and he rolled over, squeezing his eyes shut and imagining himself asleep again. It didn't work. His mind ticked over and his eyes eased open again, staring into the darkness. He sighed to himself, he needed the bathroom but that meant leaving the warmth of the blankets that covered his small bed. Slowly he pushed them back and clambered out, reaching across the floor for the woollen jumper he had discarded the night before and gratefully pulling it over his head. While the days here were warm the nights had a clean coldness to them that sparked across his skin, leaving goosebumps and shivers in its wake.
He shuffled out of the small room and into the main living area inside the hut, a room barely bigger than his own, and pulled the door slowly open, careful not to let it creak too badly. Outside the full moon shone down on the sleeping village, casting a white glow that left everything looking ethereal and somewhat otherworldly. He slipped around the outside of his small hut and made his way into the bushes where he gratefully released his stored pee with a soft sigh. Afterwards he stood next to the hut, strangely not tired and marvelling at this world he had found himself in. Dawn would break soon, he could see it in the slight lightening of the sky. The dark blue black would recede into a lighter purple blue, which would in turn give way to the clear blue of the daylight sky. Somewhere in between the sun would rise and that would send sparks of green and yellow and orange and red and pink across the sky, lighting it up like some kind of strange firecracker. He had never seen a sunrise so beautiful until he had come here, had not known that it had existed. Decided, Millon walked slowly round the back of his hut and climbed up the side until he reached the top and pulled himself on to the flat roof. He supposed you probably weren't supposed to sit up there, it probably wasn't good for the structural integrity of the building, but he was sure it would hold, he wasn't that heavy after all, and it was the best place in the village to watch the sunrise.
Millon pulled his tobacco and a small wooden pipe out of his pocket, filled the pipe, then lit it and began to puff. This is what life is all about, he thought as he watched the sky above him slowly start to lighten, this is what life is all about, sitting up here watching the sun rise above my home while enjoying a smoke. Perfect.

He had found himself at the village several weeks ago, half starved and delirious from walking through the desert with no water. He'd hardly known what words he'd been trying to mutter, and hadn't really believed it was real. But the people had been great. They'd taken him in and nursed him back to health, showing him a kindness that no one in his whole life had ever shown him before. When he'd been well enough to talk again they'd asked him where he'd come from, how they could help him return, they could supply him with travelling clothes and food for the journey, maybe even spare a horse. But he'd politely declined, telling them he had no home to go back to, no home that he wanted to go back to anyhow. They hadn't understood, but they hadn't asked any more questions and they had given him a bed in a big shared hut in the middle of the village that he could stay in until he decided what he wanted to do.
Another week had passed and he was on his feet again. He'd started helping at the farm, feeding the chickens and collecting their eggs, milking the cows and turning the soil for planting. He liked the work, it was the first thing he had ever done that he was good at, and the people seemed grateful, especially the pretty milk maid who had first shown him how to correctly pull on the cows teats in order to release the milk. She'd blushed as she'd shown him and he thought the pink glow that spread across her simple face might just have been the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
A week later he'd plucked up the courage to ask the village elders if he could stay. He told them how he had no home to go back to, that he loved life in the village and was willing to work all the days the Gods granted to him. He told them how beautiful their world was, and how much he longed to be a part of it. That this was the first place in his life he'd felt like he had fit in. The elders had deliberated for a moment, they did not usually accept outsiders into their village. But Millon had been grateful, and had already proved he could be hard working. He was granted leave to stay, and given a small hut on the outskirts of the village that he could call his own. The old lady who had lived there had died a few moons before and nobody had claimed the small hut so it was his if he wanted it. He'd never been so happy in his life.

He'd settled into village life easily, getting to know the locals and working hard on the farm. For the first time he felt relaxed, and for the first time in his life he had friends, people who appreciated him. He found himself laughing with the customers at the local store, chatting amiably with the milk maid at the farm, and sharing an easy understanding with the animals he worked with. Some mornings he woke, afraid that if he opened his eyes he might discover it was all a dream, but it never was.
All thoughts of Artel had been driven from his mind. The former knight had been lost somewhere in the forest, he was gone and there was nothing Millon could have done for him, he understood that now. And the lands here on this side of the forest were peaceful and untouched by the war that had ravaged his home land. It was probably won now anyway, by one side or the other, his quest was obsolete. Besides, why should he try so hard for a life and a people that had always pushed him aside, always viewed him as worthless, useless, an irritation they didn't know what to do with. This, village life, this was what he had born for, this was his home now.
As he sat and watched the sunrise turn the skies into a mirage of refracting colours he wondered absently about the quest he should have been on. The quest that was merely more than legend anyway, that had most likely been born out of folklore and was nothing but the tales told by old wives to their babes in the night times. Yet still he wondered. Somewhere in the snow capped mountains that he could see far the west was a place, if the legends were true, a place that held an unimaginable power, a force of nature so great it most likely could not be tamed. If it was true, if it did exist, it was probably best left buried at the heart of the mountain. No man should have the chance to wield that kind of power, it was too great for him. Yet still he found himself wondering what it could have been. The tales were incomplete, pointing towards a great power, a great energy, yet none of them told of its nature. But it was a mystery he would have to live with. He had no intention of ever leaving the village he now called his home, and although he found he harboured a secret curiosity, he had no desire for power. He was happy here.

Millon watched the sunrise fade into the clear blue sky of morning and puffed easily at his pipe. As the lights slipped away and the sun rose he climbed down from the roof, stashed his pipe in his pocket, and pulled on his daytime clothes. A new day was beginning and he had chickens to feed, eggs to collect, cows to milk, and earth to turn. Not to mention a pretty young milk maid to woo.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Good Morning Winter

It's cold out here,
Beneath the grey stormy clouds,
Hanging in the sky like a thick foggy fungus,
While the rain patters lightly,
Upon the concrete floor around me,
Droplets slipping sliding down the sides of grey mountainous buildings,
And in the distance bare topped hills brave the worst of the weather,
And trees wave the tips of their branches above the faraway rooftops like tiny dancing stick insects,
But the sky there is grey too,
Grey and dull and dark,
Like lingering damp on a ceiling,
Growing and spreading and darkening with each day that passes,
Winter is on its way,
Cold and dark and wet,
Not like the snowy 'scapes infused in our brains as children,
All white fields and red breasted robins singing in the snow laden boughs,
While the full moon above shines down from a clear star strewn sky,
Winter here is dark and chill,
Full of cold drizzling raindrops oozing from the ever dark sky,
And winds that howl and tear and rip,
Pulling at your clothes and your hair and your sanity,
It's a damp that swells and clings to your boots and seeps into your socks,
Invading the privacy of your body and soaking into your bones so your no longer you but winter instead,
You can smell it in the air,
It's a soft wet smell,
Like wet dog except its heavier and hangs in the air like a thick permeating smoke,
Pushing its way into your mouth and up your nose and down your throat,
It's wet England,
It's the smell of damp and mould and mushed up leaves and earth all rolled in together and rotting in a barren landscape full of naked twisted trees whose gnarled branches stretch into the ever grey sky like desperate fingertips reaching for a salvation that never comes,
Good morning winter,
It's good to see you again this year,
Perhaps tomorrow will bring the crisp bright sunlight that glitters across the frosty fields,
Sparkling off the frozen mud and iced over puddles that line our sweet country,
Perhaps tomorrow will bring the sharp sweet stillness of the clean winter air,
The light blue streaks that break the grey monotony of the dirty skies,
And the miniature icicles that cling to the slim blades of grass bending in the fields like elegant dancers,
Perhaps even if it doesn't it may still be beautiful,
In a damp, grey, English kind of way.

Rach x

Monday, 14 November 2016

Motivational Monday! Overland Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize


This weeks Motivational Monday! post features submissions for The Overland Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize!

This competition is for an original piece of fiction up to 3,000 words long. There is no set theme but your story must not have been previously published, including online, or be partway through the process of publication.

The competition is open to writers all across the world however submissions must be in English.

There is an entry fee of $20 for anyone not currently subscribed to Overland or $12 for those who are. If you wold like to subscribe and enter the competition at the same time you can pay a one off fee of £56.

The winning stories will be published in Overland in Autumn 2017. First place will also receive $4000 and two runners up will each receive $500.

The closing date for this one is midnight on the 20th of November so if you want to enter you'll need to get writing or polishing fast!

Please remember to check the website for formatting guidelines and more information.

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit Overland Neilma Sydney Short Story Prize.

Happy writing

Rach x

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Seer In The Tower

By Matt Murdoc

The Seer in the tower sat quietly, writing in his volgen with one eye on the liquid surface of his silver divination dish. The Altar was set to the ancient measure - no better standard could be achieved.
His name was Ramthar. He was an adept, a sage - and yet - he was a broken man.
Now, as he sat peering through his scrying glass, the ethers swarmed and danced through the gulf of his perception. Once again though - nothing. Only frustration and failure.
There were so many things that he had yet to do, alas - so little time.
His familiar, a small Nenderling Pig by the name of Grenchen, sat content next to the burning grate of the stone fireplace - gnawing on a sweet turnip.
The Seer was desperate for a sign. The spirits around him were tied to the past, no spark of of a new form had manifested in these three long nights  - and tomorrow the cold bloody moon would close the astral door for another long, bitter cycle.

To the left hand of the Seer, on the altar before him, sat a pewter goblet containing his last remaining draft of the elixir, which could either save or damn his task.
Three, maybe four precious gulps - that was all.
The Crone had forsaken him once again. A year had passed with no word from her.
He had owed her a life debt for these fifty long years. A debt born of deception and wickedness.
She would provide the ether - but only on the condition that he would scry the depths of the phantom void for her.
He did not know back then, when he first fell doomed into her spell, that the elixir of sight would only be his by way of the witch. She would never give up that method, never would he learn the esoteric knowledge of the crucible and cauldron.
If only he could know the secret of brewing the elixir - if only. So subtle a method - he was sure of that, but so precise an incantation was required that even the master Apothecary had failed to mimic the brew.
He so craved that secret, and dreamed to be the master of his own sorcery - then he could be free of the old hag forever. He could pass through the vail of the ether and become of himself anew.

Her name was Setestia. She had come to him all those long, cold years ago as a maid, a ruse of course, a hoodwinking visage, conjured by the foul crone to ensnare the young scholar within a cage of mystical imprisonment - to forever doom him to be incomplete and subservient to her every whim.
He would never see the fruits of his own labors, he would never feel the warmth of his own accomplishments, nor the sanctity of acceptance from any other soul.
Forever a slave - alone - and never to be absolved of this burden of darkness.

Beyond the silver forest, across the lake of tears, a winding path so rarely tread, lead to the Iron hill. A place of fear. A place protected by ancient and powerful dark spirits.
There, in a grey cottage carved from bones, the witch, Setestia, sat at her spinning wheel.
Down and up, slow but sure the dips and rises of her rhythmic foot counted the pace of the spell. The old enchanted spinning wheel, so gross and distorted from the years of it’s poisonous bidding  - did the rest.
She sang her durge of incantation, alone and shrouded in her purple shawl of omens - invisible to the world of men, chanting her song of sorcery - her prayer of deception.

“Come to me, mine darling ones, my dearest puppets, my precious sons.
Come thee here, your flesh and bones, your all, your soul, now mine alone.
Come now naked, be stripped of hope, your mind and body, come to mine home.
Be thee mine, in dream and kind, in flesh and spirit, ye are - now mine!”

She stirred her copper chalice with a burned Owl bone, three times to the left for the ages of womanhood - Maid, Mother and Crone.
Then, she spat into the infernal mixture before stirring the potion once more. Again three times, this time to the right, for the ages of the man enslaved - Squire, Father and Hermit.
Finally, she added a drop of water from the pool of Goetia - the mirror pond of the underworld, and she stirred then again, this time three times up and down in the form of a cross. “Three, - times three, - times three - Mine gods below me - So mote it be!”

As she sealed her spell, far away in the prison tower, the Seer fell, bent doubled on the ground, his silver dish filled with honey and water fell clattering to the ground and the scrying glass fell backwards upon the altar, fading into darkness as the portal of vision closed upon the Seer once again.
Grenchen jumped in shock and spat the turnip from her mouth as her master fell powerless and mewing to the hard stone floor beneath the altar. The small Pig pounced forward and ran to her dear Master's side.
“Master! My poor Master! Be strong and stay ye here by my side! I beg thee to stay in charge of thine heart! Do not leave! Do not fade! I beg thee Master! Please remain!”
“I remain my love.” Said Ramthar as he writhed weakly upon the floor in the scattered altar dressings.
“But now the ethers have gone once more - the witch contains us here forsaken again. The bloody moon has risen. Now we must rest again. I must think. Go now Grenchen - fetch the pot and bread. - We must eat and gain strength  - before the new sun rises.”

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wordy Wednesday!

This weeks Wordy Wednesday word is;


- A ludicrous descent or anticlimax from the lofty to the commonplace.
- Insincere pathos, sentimentality or mawkishness.
- Triviality in style.

Bathos comes from a Greek noun of the same spelling which means depth, and it entered English in approximately the 1630's.


Comment a short piece of prose, flash fiction, or even just a sentence, using this word!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Writing Prompt!

Tuesday is of course writing prompt day here on Breathing For Words and today's writing prompt is a series of six words!

Your story can be any length and any genre but you must use all six words throughout the story. The words do not have to appear in the same order that they appear here.

"Peace, Dinner, Stone, Moon, Silver, Castle"

If you would like to share your writing please leave it in the comments section for more fantastic inspiration for others, or if you would like to submit any of your work to this website please visit the submissions page.

Happy Writing

Rach x

Monday, 7 November 2016

Motivational Monday! Tell A Tale

Tell A Tale in 500 Words

This weeks Motivational Monday! post features submissions for Theatre Cloud's Tell A Tale competition.

The competition is running to celebrate the work of Charles Dickens and to mark the company's Autumn 2016 tour of his famous work, 'A Tale of Two Cities', adapted by Mike Poulton.
Dickens believed that writing short stories helped people release private emotions and fantasies that couldn't be placed in longer narratives, much of his work also focused on his concerns about the social inequalities he observed around him.
This competition challenges you to write 500 words on the theme 'Making Change Happen.'

The winner of this competition will recieve £300, a runner up will also recieve £150. A third prize will also be awarded for the tale that is most popular online, however it does not state what that prize will be.

Everyone that enters the competition will also recieve a £10 ticket off to see the performance of 'A Tale of Two Cities' at thir local theatre.

Please check the website for formatting guidelines and more information on the theme.

The closing date for this competition is the 19th of November at 6pm UK time!

To read the rules, find out more and to enter please visit Tell A Tale.

Happy writing

Rach x

Friday, 4 November 2016

Artel 13, Oblivion

Artel blinked, the harsh sunlight cutting through the soft skin of his eyelids. It was morning, past sunrise, he had overslept. He felt groggy, more so than he would have anticipated, maybe it was the stress of his capture finally catching up with him, or the fact that he hadn't eaten since he'd escaped the underground warren of the strange creatures. He shook his head, hoping to clear it, and pushed himself to his feet. He needed to take a piss, badly, but his head was spinning and the world seemed to be shifting uncontrollably. He managed a few stumbling paces away from the burnt out fire before he nearly lost his footing and decided to stop while he was ahead. He stood still for a second, looking blearily around him at the empty landscape, then he undid his trousers and took a leak, the relief from that simple action coursing through his tired body. When he was fnished he looked around, unsure quite what to do next. He supposed he should pack up his small camp, but that seemed so inconsequential right now. What was it he was supposed to be doing right now? He drifted for a moment, then blinked and found himself back in reality.

How long had he been travelling now? How many days ago was it that he had left the forest? He couldn't be sure. He imagined he'd seen three moons, made four fires, slept twice. Maybe he was going in circles, maybe he was losing his mind. He peered into the distance, his eyes earching for the village that he knew was there. Long moments passed, one after the other after the other. Then he spotted it, the telltale smoke rising slowly into the blue sky, curling over itself, twisting and turning and rising, always rising. That was it, that was where he was headed, where he needed to be. He turned slowly and picked up his cloak, disturbing the pile of leaves and brush he'd haphazarly scraped together the night before to make a bed. Then he looked around, nothing, he had nothing else, the underground creatures had taken everything else from him. He sighed and rubbed his forehead. He didn't really want to walk further, the village was so far away, he didn't have the energy. But he couldn't just stand there staring into the distance, and he didn't fancy laying down to wait for death. What else could he do? Walk. One foot in front of the other, until he could walk no longer. He let out a sigh, pushed his hair out of his eyes, and put one foot in front of the other.

The time passed in the way that time often does, slowly and steadily and somewhat hazily. The sun rose and hung and set, then he slept. And the next morning the sun rose and hung and Artel finally felt all sense of hope slipping away from him. The world around him swam in front of his eyes. His head hurt, his brain hurt, his body hurt, his self hurt. He dragged himself forwards, slowly, so slowly now, one foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. The plains moved, jolted, floated, in front of him, out of focus, just out of reach. He could feel his stability failing him. One foot in front of the other, except this time it didn't work, this time his foot twisted, his ankle wobbled, and he hit the floor. Pain shot through his left side as he landed and he felt the wind knocked out of him. He heard a cry, was that him? He gasped, sucking in air, but his head was spinning and the world was already going black. There was something in front of him, two somethings, three? Noises, the somethings were making noises. The black was calling, softly calling his name, willing him to join it. He didn't have the strength to fight, couldn't remember why he should fight it, it was so inviting, so warm.
As the figures drew closer he gave in. He din't care any longer, couldn't understand enough to care. He let the darkness take him, enveloping him like a familiar blanket, pulling him down into it's warm, comfortable depths. He sighed, a last release as he slipped into oblivion.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

I Love It!

Morning fellow NaNo's!

So it's day three of NaNoWriMo, which means we've all had a chance to get started now - even those of us who didn't start until yesterday!
So, how is your novel writing going so far? Are you loving every second? Or are you tearing your hair out in frustration because those pesky words just don't seem to want to be caught and tied to the paper?
Have you had a NaNo disaster? Or is everything going pretty well for you so far? What's your word count? Are you on track to meet the 50,000 word target, are you aiming for more than that, or are you miles away?
I didn't get to start on the first day, which rankled me quite a bit because I was really looking forward to getting stuck in! But the day jobs have to be maintained no matter how much we wanna slip back into our stories. So I didn't get to start until yesterday morning, where I had a two hour window in which to get as much down as possible... I stared at my notes, (my incredibly vague notes), and I stared at the blank screen in front of me, and I wrote the title, and I wrote the name of the first chapter, and I made some coffee, and I wrote some words, and then I deleted them, and then I made some more coffee...  
This was already a lot harder than I thought, this didn’t usually happen to me, most of the time I just throw words at the paper and it seems to work out. (With a good edit afterwards of course!) I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn't find the right words to say it, how could this happen, I was already behind!? Anyway, to cut a long story short I managed to get just over 1,000 words down before it was time to go to work, and they definitely weren't the best 1,000 words I've ever written. But they were a start! And that was exactly what I needed. I spent all afternoon at my job thinking about my novel, my characters, what I wanted to happen next, who I wanted them to talk to etc, etc, and by late yesterday evening I was sat in front of my computer again, raring to go. But would the words come? Would they fuck! I finished the first half of that first chapter and it took me hours and it was painful, like pulling teeth painful, cringeworthy! That first bit is going to need a heck of a lot of editing before anyone other than me even so much as glances at it!

I was gonna give up then, call it a night, come back to it tomorrow, but my word count was still pretty rubbish and I had some good ideas I wanted to get down. So I started on the second half of the first chapter, which is from a different character's POV... and the words flowed like little rivers all racing downhill towards the ocean below, faster and faster until my fingers could barely keep up with my brain and my character took on a life of his own... he even insisted that I change his name!
For the next hour or so I lost myself in the story and that is the part of writing that I love, when it's coming out of you so fast it feels more like you're reading it than writing it. And when you get to the end and you're full of that beautiful feeling of success, the success of having made something, having created something, having breathed life into those characters and made them dance.
That's what I love most about writing, and that's why I know I'll always be a writer, even if my NaNo novel turns out to be absolute rubbish, even if I never get published and no one but me and you lovely people ever read any of my words. It will all be worth it, ten times over, because I love it.
I love it.

Happy Writing! & Good Luck with your NaNo novels!  

Rach x

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Writing Prompt!

Today's writing prompt is a person, a place, and an emotion.
You must use the given person, place, and emotion, but it is up to you how you use them and where you take your character. Your story can be any length and any genre.

A 15 year old boy, a cave, and trepidation.

If you would like to share your writing please leave it in the comments section for more fantastic inspiration, or if you would like to submit any of your work to this website please visit the submissions page.

Happy Writing

Rach x