Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Marina had jumped when the explosion went off and had since tried to calm down.  “I don’t think he is coming.”
                “I can walk you home, it is sort of along the way, it would be no trouble.”
                “Thanks, but I think I’ll be fine.  Don’t worry,” she said getting up from the bench.  “Thanks for waiting with me.”
                “Hey, listen.  How about I walk with you until I need to get to my house?”
                I kicked myself for sounding inarticulate. “Until our paths diverge we can walk together.”  I said slower and more pronounced.
                She gave me a funny look, then said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”  I missed my ‘diverging path’ by three streets as I walked her to her door.  We hadn’t talked much on the way and the roads were very quiet, so we consciously walked by each lamp post for comfort.  A few were unlit, and the few strides between each seemed cold in the dark.  We eventually reached her house, which was fairly large, even for Northside.
                “Well, goodnight, Marina.”  I said on the pathway leading to her door, making sure to say her name.
                “Yeah, thanks for walking me back.”
                “Oh, it was no problem.  I’ll see you next week.”
                “Yeah,” was all she said.  Then I kissed her.  I bumped her nose, and for one awful second I thought she was going to push me away.  But, thankfully, she gently put her hands on my shoulder and kissed me back.  When it was over I looked towards the ground at first.  She had tiny feet for a girl nearly my height.
                “I hope your servant is here.”  I said, finally looking at her.  She smiled and said he should be.  I mumbled something about getting home and we said our goodbyes again.  I nearly ran home, with a huge grin fixed upon my face and still dodging the shadows.

Monday, October 18, 2010


                Three days before my brother died I kissed a girl for the first time.  It was our turn to serve our country by staying after a Redarian Youth Meeting to clean the tables and trashed pamphlets.  I was seventeen and it was the last time I would have to clean that damned place.  Marina was still sixteen and did not have to worry about making the choice between family or army for a couple of years.  After we had finished with our chore, we waited outside for her servant to escort her home.  I had offered to walk her back, but she said the servant probably had already left to pick her up, and she would not have wanted to get him worried if he arrived here and she were gone.  So, we sat there waiting while I tried to think of something to ask her as she stared across the newly paved stone road.  Distantly we could hear the clangs of commotion from the Sernian Undercity.
                “So, um, where are you from?”  I finally was able to ask.
                “I live in Northside, like I said.”  Her voice was quiet.  I was more accustomed to seeing her lively and animated and this more melancholy disposition was slightly unnerving.
                “No, no, I mean where were you born?”  I hastily clarified.
                “Oh.  I was born in Redaria City, can’t remember much of it though.  I moved out here pretty young, after Dad had said the city was safe.  Funny enough, he was dead within the year.”  She added the last bit in a dead tone.  I mumbled an apology, half expecting her to say something witty about how I shouldn’t be sorry because I didn’t kill him, or she hated the bastard anyway. “Yeah, thanks.”  Against there was a silence which I interrupted only with scuffling my feet.
                “I heard you were Halfs,” She said after a while.
                “Yeah, my mom is Sernian.  High class merger is what my brother used to joke around with about their marriage, but I think they do like each other.”
                “You can tell,” she oddly said, and I confused this for a question.
                “You can tell you are Halfs, you have nice skin.”
                “Oh, thanks,” then I added, “so do you.”
                She laughed, and then said “I suppose leathery red is your favourite colour then?  No, my skin is miserable in this heat.”  My face flushed red, but thankfully neither of us were looking at each other.
                “I think it’s nice.”  I said meekly.
                “Well, thank you Cinder.  I appreciate it.”  As soon as she said that a massive explosion shook our bench.  The Lower City of Serna had a lot of activity at night, and these heavy noises had become common as of late, however that specific one was quite momentous, and I assumed that there would be arrests tomorrow.   Town criers made the news of the state heard anywhere in Upper Serna and they also proved to be competent in waking all of us earlier than anyone would want.  Because of this, I understood Upper Serna to be so quiet at night because people needed their sleep and the Lower City did not have these boisterous town criers, the worst Redarian invention.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


When I was young and first started reading proper books, I was immersed in the fantasy genre.  As with most people, it started with Lord of the Rings, and to a lesser extent the Chronicles of Narnia.  For the years I spent reading various fantasy paperbacks I never really understood until I was done with them as a whole that nothing could ever be as good as the Lord of the Rings.  Lord of the Rings also occupied a realm which seems almost void of any other texts that I have, with the exception of the Chronicles of Amber, where fantasy and serious fiction collide.

Setting that point aside, my own writing began really early in my life and up until about midway through high school/secondary school mostly consisted of mimicry rather than creation.  In 7th grade I even started my own 'epic fantasy' which abruptly ended as I lost interest.  In my small high school, I was always the best at creative writing no matter what I tried, but when I started university, many people were much better writers than I was, and I stopped writing when the praise stopped coming.  Eventually, and this is a very quick version of the self-transformation, I realised why I had stopped writing and began to just write for my own enjoyment.  Which brings me back to the first paragaph.  Despite many of those fantasy fiction novels lacking an outstanding literary merit, for what they are, I quite enjoyed them.  And so, without dwelling to much on my thought process, I began to write a sort of fantasy story, but I sought to make it one that could easily be transposed onto a real world setting, striving to make only the world and the details foreign, but the characters, and for the most part the plot, a recongnisable possibility for the real world.

Literary criticism is welcome, but it is not with an air of modesty when I say that despite me disregarding pulp fantasy, this will be worse than most of those books and writing this is not for literary recognition, but enjoyment.