Posted in books, tags

The Bookaholics Anonymous Tag

Hi guys, so I just saw this on Payton’s Book Thoughts’ blog and thought I would have a crack at it too for some Christmas fun. If you want to check out her post here’s the link:

https://paytonsbookthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/bookaholics-anonymous-book-tag/

So anyway, let’s crack on with the challenge!

1.What do you like about buying new books?

I think the main thing for me is the thrill of finding a book that I genuinely want to read. As well as I love that smell, be it an old second hand book that smells musty (but in a good way) or a brand new book that’s crisp and fresh. Wow, that makes me sound weird- but someone out there must know what I’m on about, eh?matild.gif

2. How often do you buy new books?

Too often would be the obvious answer. I’m a student in Nottingham (shout out to Robin Hood) and the place is littered with second hand and bargain book shops.

3.Do you have  favourite bookshop?

Hmmmm, not really. There’s a really great Oxfam bookshop down the road to me that has some good finds and also a shop called Fop at Broadmarsh centre in Notts city. The latter of which you can get any three books for a fiver – no matter how big or the price. I know right it’s too good to me and my addiction hehe. 😉

4.Bookstore or online shopping- which do you prefer?

boos.gifThat’s tricky, I like bookstore’s because you physically get to look around for what you want and might even find something that you didn’t even know you wanted to read. But then online shopping tends to be so much cheaper these days and just convenient. I’d say it would depend what I was shopping for- entertainment or uni.

5. Do you pre-order books?

Never in my entire life. The books I like tend to be obscure or classics…. they’ve been out for a while!

6. Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

Nope, but I really should!

7. Book buying bans- are they something you do?

When you spend more on books than on food as a student you know you have to draw the line somewhere. So yes, unless I need them immediately for my course I have taken to trying to read all the books I have lying around before buying anymore. keira-bae

8. How big is your wishlist?

I would like to say not that big because I don’t really write all the books down that I want but rather say them in the moment.

9. Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own now?

Hmmmmm….

  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

10. Tagging?

Anyone who wants to have a stab at this challenge! 🙂

 

-E

xxx

 

 

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Posted in fiction, short stories

The Mage’s Tale ~ Part Three, The Ophelia Chronicles

3

“So, let me get this straight, you lost his what?” Asked Josie as she was following my life story up to this point whilst Constantine sulked behind us.

We were winding our way through the underground tunnels inside the mountain. Me leading the way with my flame in hand.

“His recipe book.” I said moping a little.

“It must have been a really important spell book to send you all the way out here…” She said to me, imagining something far more glamourous than the reality of the situation.

“Nah, it was his signed copy of the Great British Bakeoff’s Summer Treats by Mary Berry. It was quite old to be fair- back a couple of centuries when it was only humans.” I said, and saw her face fall a little bit.

“Mary who-”

Suddenly there was a loud rumble and a screeching sound. The floor shook and licks of fire started crashing down towards us.

“Aaaaaaaaghhhhhh!” The two of them screamed and began running backwards whilst I stood there calmly.

“What the hell are you doing! Run you nutcase!” Constantine screamed out in rage and bewilderment.

I concentrated and pulled out my staff, I raised it and thought of the fire as waves of water in the ocean. I thought of the chaos of the sea, the way it rose above me, and the heat that surrounded and enclosed me dulled in temperature before being doused completely.

My body had become 100% water in that instant as it swirled around and got rid of the flames.  I stretched and my physique became more solid, moving from the form of water, to ice, to stone and then finally I was me again.

I stood, exhausted in front of the two of them as they again gaped at me.

“What is it that you two can do again, I think I’d like to know just in case a situation like that occurs again. Cause damn am I knackered.” I said, holding my hips and breathing fast.

“Well, I can world bend and shapeshift.” Said Josie smiling cheerfully.

I turned to look at Constantine, his aura telling me that he felt embarrassed after the previous attack.

“I’m a black magic wielder as you already know, so I can control minds and create illusions. Along with a lot of other unpleasant things that I don’t wish to do or go into.” He said coldly, looking at me with a face that said he didn’t want to talk about it.

“As if taking control of someone’s mind wasn’t unpleasant enough.” I muttered.

With that we carried on until we reached a point where the path dwindled into a thin sheet of ice that had been burnt through. We all stooped to evaluate the dead end.

“Well now what? Got anything for this then Miss Know It All? This is why we were in that portal, because there’s no way to get out until that thing is dead.”

“And that’s where you’re wrong Mr Doom and Gloom,” I retorted as I begun stripping my clothes off and taking all my weapons out.

“Wait what’re you doing?” He asked uneasily turning away in mortification.

I turned to Josie, “You can shapeshift into anything, right? Because I’m going to need you to turn into something amphibious and come in after me, when I give you the signal create a portal. A strong one that resembles a prison.” I was now down to my undershirt and underwear. I knew I’d look back at this moment in time and cringe but until then this needed to be done.

Gary sure as heck wasn’t getting his damn crystals that was for sure. I just wanted to get out of this place and get wasted in a tavern somewhere.

I turned towards Constantine to see him with a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips. He seemed impressed with my willpower and lack of hopelessness.

“Well, if this is happening I guess I might as well ask how I can be of use?” He smirked and I looked at him and smiled.

“Glad to see you’re on board with the plan. Here’s the difficult bit, I need you to convince that huge ass dragon that I’m it’s mother.”

“Aaaah.” He replied and I could see him immediately regretting his decision.

I started to unwind one of the many braids in my hair and chucked him a vial that was attached to one of the threads in it. Yes, I know what you’re thinking I am both fashionable and functional.

I chucked it to him.

“Here drink this, it’ll allow you to breath for exactly ten minutes after consumption. We’ll need to be quick about this or we’ll all be dead.” His face changed from bemusement to fear in an instant as we all stood around and stared into the glittering blue pool that led to the sea dragons lair. Both a land and water animal, it made our odds annoyingly low but that just made our task more the thrilling.

“3….2….1…JUMP!” We all yelled together as we jumped into the water. There was a flash and I became one with the water, my body was a mere outline as merged into the element before then reforming into something more physical and water borne.

I twisted to sea Josie transformed into…. A mermaid, of course. And Constantine was in front of the both of us, edged in darkness I watched as we all approached the Dragon’s underwater lair.

There was a shake and then the beast emerged and screeched. It was a shame it was so aggressive because in truth it was beautiful. With silver scales and piercing amber eyes it was smaller than expected. I thought all this as it came thundering towards us, like a serpent it glided through the water easily and opened its mouth wide revealing its large white fangs.

I watched as Constantine dived at the beast, wrapping it in octopus like tendrils of darkness. It stopped and its eyes glazed over, making me think that he had killed it for a split second.

He turned towards me and motioned me forward, I did so and watched as he cast the black shadow over my body. Suddenly, the dragon was no more than the size of my hand, I felt motherly tenderness wash over me as its beauty became more apparent.

I don’t know how long I was in a trance for but when I came around I realised that the now tame dragon was being ushered towards Josie’s portal. The edges of my mind were being eaten away at by the shadows. And the strain was evident on both Constantine’s and Josie’s parts. And yet for some odd reason I felt myself getting closer and closer to the dragon.

She was awe-inspiring and her name suddenly came to my mind, although I couldn’t quite translate it into this language. Something had happened, we had become one for a second and I couldn’t quite differentiate myself from her. I was floating closer to her.

Constantine saw what I was about to do and tried to stop it, but he was low on air as the spell started to cease to work.

It was too late, I rested my hand against her forehead and there was a burst of silver light that encompassed us all.

And that’s when I passed out.

END OF PART THREE

Image credit: http://sirtiefling.deviantart.com/art/Stardazzle-369409785

Posted in fiction, short stories

The Mage’s Tale ~ Part Two, The Ophelia Chronicles

2

“Is she awake? Oooh she’s got a pointy stick!” A young girls voice with a thick French accent said. 

“Josie, she’s a mage.” Said a more serious man as I came too, letting the world blur back into existence. 

“She’s awake!” Josie exclaimed in excitement and I put the faces to the voices. I rubbed my head and looked at the woman with long blue and silver hair and a dimpled smile. She was beautiful and obviously, an elf like me but of what ability I was uncertain of. Her aura was filled with charisma and energy and I could tell we were going to get on immediately.

The other guy was a lot more angsty looking. Like a member of a rock band. He had a deep Irish lilt to his voice and was admittedly very good looking with his untidy black hair and piercing blue eyes. 

The latter of which were looking at me very unimpressed. 

I scrambled to my feet and looked at the world they’d created, I had only world bounding had always been brief – I got travel sick easily.

“I like what you’ve done with the place,” I said as I took in the sunny sky and green grass outside the castle window. I then went on to ask the more obvious question, “But what’re you guys doing here? Especially at the bottom of an icy cave.” I raised an eyebrow at the two of them. 

Josie was about to answer but the guy clapped a hand over her mouth and I could tell from the look on his face that he was willing her to be quiet before telling me anything he hadn’t approved. He stepped forward and crossed his well-toned arms.

“More importantly, who are you and how did you find us. Did the Gladiators send you?” His tone was hostile and I couldn’t help but laugh at his obvious attempt to try and use tell-tale magic to get me to spill the beans. 

My laughter put him off his spell and the black tendrils abruptly dissipated as he registered my reaction. 

“No need for that, mate. I’ll tell you what you need to know. My name’s Ophelia and I’m an elemental mage- specialities water- ironic I know. And as for the Gladiators, as if they would send someone like me! Ha! In fact, I think I’m on their most wanted list at the moment.” I twirled a piece of hair around my finger thoughtfully as I walked towards the window and absent mindedly changed the time to evening and dotted stars in the sky with a mere motion of my hand.

“How did she do that?” Josie mumbled under her breath in awe. I turned and smirked at her.

“But you still haven’t said how you found us?” He challenged, raising an eyebrow at me. I twisted and glared at him.

“And you still haven’t told me what your name is. I know hers is Josie. And what class are you both?” Now it was my turn to raise an eyebrow, mocking his stern gaze. He growled a little and stayed stubborn, “Huh, sorry what was that I couldn’t make out those incoherent noises but if you’re going to be like that then I guess there’s nothing for it but for me to find out myself. Hmmmm is it Fred?” I teased him watching him shake his head. I tapped my temple and then tried again, “Then what about Dom? No, I can tell by your face you think that I’m never going to succeed-”

“Not in a million years will you guess my name, and there’s no way I would tell a girl I had known for a few minutes and who fell out of the sky.” He said haughtily, leaning against the wall nonchalantly. I could tell that Josie, his mild companion was getting bored of this entire thing and looking at him pleadingly.

“Constantine. And you’re a wizard, naturally. A black magic wielder but fighting for the good side for once. You’re on the run from the Gladiators and eh, you thought you’d use your magic to wake and tame a dragon to your command. But that didn’t quite work out did it now?” I smirked and watched as both of their mouths fell open in disbelief.

“No way.” He remarked, looking at me with a strange expression on his face. I circled him and sat down in the middle of the room, looking up at the both.

“Oh yes way, now it’s your fault I’m stuck in this situation. I was chased by your dragon friend and now you two are going to stop hiding in this place and help me.”

“Huh?” They said in unison, looking up at me with wide eyes. I smiled, I could tell this was going to be a story to tell the grand kids.

END OF PART TWO.

Posted in fiction, short stories

A Mage’s Tale ~ Part 1, The Ophelia Chronicles

1

Picture this, you’re kindly minding your own business walking through the freezing cold in a famously barren and abandoned city when all of a sudden, a strange warmth surges up from under the glassy iced ground. 

At first you might be pleasantly surprised, as I was, at having your feet warmed in the sub-zero temperature. But then upon reflection, I realised that ice really shouldn’t be that hot. And that’s when I saw a dark shape shift from under the surface. 

“Crap!” I said as the ground started to splinter around me. I started to sprint away and that’s where I will freeze frame things for a second (no pun intended… well maybe a little).

My name is Ophelia, sorceress of the south and a very clumsy one at that. I was travelling through the Desolate Parts as a favour to a wizard to find some rare crystal only found in these parts. Of course, it would only be natural for something to go wrong. 

And that something just happened to be A MASSIVE DRAGON. 

And now let’s jump back to my present situation…. 

I sprinted across the sparse plain and squinted at a fast-approaching mountain ahead. I thought I could see a gap between two large boulders and taking my chances slid to my knees and into the small crevice. Lucky I did too, as at that precise moment the dragon smashed through its icy enclosure and out into the open. 

“Phew! I was nearly dinner!” I remarked casually as I wiped the sweat off my forehead. I wrapped my long black overcoat around me and ruffled my short brown hair feeling the braids frozen into place by the winter storm outside.

I looked around the dank space in front of me and saw the glimmer of a light in the background. I clicked my fingers and a blue flame summoned itself, alighting the path in front of me. 

The space was a lot bigger than it first gave away and as I walked through the cave I saw several different trails winding off into different directions- one of which the shimmering light was at the end of. 

“This better not be another bloody dragon,” I muttered to myself as I shifted my staff into enemy mode. I surrounded myself in a energy barrier and edged forward making no noise at all as my expert training came into play.

Now I could hear the din of voices as I got to the end and there was an abrupt drop down into the murky darkness, again with that singular glow lost amongst it. 

“Okay Ophelia, here’s the plan- we’re going to use a simple floating spell and-“

Yes, and then I fell. I did say I was known for my clumsiness. 

I let out a scream as I tumbled into the darkness and just prayed I wouldn’t be dead by the end of it. The orb was getting closer and closer now and the voices were rising in pitch. 

“What the….” I said aloud as I realised too late that it wasn’t a lantern that I was falling towards but rather a portal of some sorts. 

I tried to pull back up but it was too late. My staff was a lazy thing even on a good day and right now it really couldn’t be asked to get me out of a very very sticky situation. So instead I braced myself for wherever I would end up. 

END OF PART ONE.

Picture Credit: http://sirtiefling.deviantart.com/art/Chaotic-Sorcery-508208693

Posted in fiction

Short Story: Demons

Life had a habit of screwing her over.

She was stood in the middle of the battlefield surrounded by enemies. She held her duel silver katanas in her hands and felt their power flow through her and into her bloodstream.

The adrenaline rushed over her and like a snarling tiger she leapt high into the air. The world slowed down before her as she cut through the air towards her opponent.

The black mist shifted and attempted to envelope her. Spinning her swords she shredded it to pieces and landed, with soft black pieces falling behind her like rose petals. She shrugged off the cold, dark memories that the beast had attempted to invoke and strove towards her next victim.

This one was a trick of the eye, one might look upon the supposed monster and only see a beatific vision. A mirage of sorts, she took in the glowing blue eyes and floppy dark hair and focused all her attention on getting past the quirked grin to reveal the evil hidden underneath.

“Drop the swords, and come closer.”

The demons voice was husky and deep, recreating images of lost summer days and past wants and yearns.

It was lust and greed, offering her everything she had ever wanted from a child up to an adult. It was begging her to come near, she could see a whole new world in the eyes of the demon. One where responsibility wasn’t an issue. Where she could spend money without any limits, gorge herself on food and entertainment.

Those hypnotic ice blue eyes looked wantingly at her and she could feel herself weakening.

“I can give you everything, you wouldn’t need any shields or weapons if you came with me. And I can disband the rest of your demons with just a simple click of my fingers.”

The dank dark space gave way to a ballroom atmosphere. She looked down to see her leather clad gear change into a sky blue and silver embellished ball gown.

“What the-” She started to say before suddenly being surrounded by hundreds of people all clamouring for her attention.

They were all identical looking and wearing black masks, blending them all together until they became just a babbling mass. Their screeches made her want to scream and she reached down for her weapons to find them gone.

“Shit!” She yelled at the top of her voice and started wading through the crowds, kicking and hitting anyone who got too close.

But it was no use. She was surrounded.

And then she was falling, down, down, down. Like Alice she found the ground no where beneath her.

Then there was a hand reaching towards her and pulling her up towards the light.

Relief flooded through her as she smiled at her would be hero.

When she opened her eyes, shock flooded through her system as it was the same demon that had taunted her just seconds earlier. That’s when she knew she was in deep trouble.

They were now in a single room, everything was coated in red velvet with a King Size heart shaped bed dominating the centre.

“Ready for me.” He asked with those bewitching eyes, and she realised she was unable to move on her own.

Frozen by his stare she could feel him using his power to control her movements and thoughts. She was being brainwashed.

Maybe this is for the very best, she thought to herself. I do want this, I do need this. Life would be so much easier. If she could just do things for herself for once rather than thinking of everything and everyone else.

What could possibly go wrong?

She climbed onto the bed and inched towards him. His expression was smug, his eyes spellbinding. As she gave over to him completely.

Then she grinned, just a breath away from his face, she slid the pocket sized knife from out of her shoe and plunged it deep into his heart.

The visage fell away, the make believe world collapsed completely and left a chaos ridden battlefield.

“Next.” She called out, her high heeled boot crushing the ugly beast beneath her. The glamour now gone she was able to see it for what it was.

Another demon attempting to infest her brain and break her confidence.

“Not today satan,” She muttered as the remainder of her opponents fled the scene.

THE END.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in fiction

Short Story: Running Away

Finally I was done with it all. Things had gotten way out of control one time too many and I was over it.

I stood around my tiny apartment and in a flash of fury started zipping around frantically packing things into my old russet coloured suitcase.

There was nobody anymore except for my self and I needed to leave. The city was dull and depressing to look out at, my job was dead end and not what my very expensive degree had promised. And the cherry on top of everything was the persistent neglect of my friends.

So, I did the first thing that came to mind.

I booked a flight to Canada.

I had never done anything so on the spur of the moment. So with a last look at my flat and a handful of luggage I fled the scene.

Walking towards my terminal I felt a thrill run down my back. There was nothing left for me  back there and the realisation that I had nothing to miss comforted me.

What was I worrying about? All the people that never gave a shit about me or my feelings? The constant second best status I held or being run down by others, that wasn’t fun nor being made to feel like you are constantly in the wrong.

The announcement sounded and my gates opened. It felt like heaven was extending itself to me and I couldn’t wait to see what Paradise held.

So with a final sigh and a very big step forward I moved into my future.

-TO BE CONTINUED-

-E

P.S. This is going to become a running segment as me and my fictional character go globe trotting.

Posted in fiction

Story: Wrapped in Darkness.

She sat at home and looked at the screen. The cursor appeared and disappeared repeatedly as she sought something to write about.

Fiction appeared to come so easily to some people and she had a huge imagination but it was always left unfinished, wayward and never meeting her expectations. Still, today had been eventful. Her and her knight had decided to go on a walk.

She’d worn the crimson dress, the one that layers fell like perfectly formed petals around her form. And he of course turned up in black jeans and his favourite worn black polo top.

The trees leaned over them, swaying side to side the murmurs of their conversations floating through the air and being carried away by the light summer breeze.

She turned to look at him, her brown hair fanning around her face as he shoved his hand in his pockets and grinned at her easily.

She attempted to gracefully tiptoe through the mildewed grass but tripped and fell to the floor.

Her mind raced as she dug her hands into the dirt. It turned out that the ground wasn’t a glistening emerald sea as she had been tricked into believing but rather crawling with bugs and decomposing flesh as she saw a dead rabbit being attacked by flies feasting on the creatures innards.

Oh no, oh no, oh no! The world was full of death and decomposition. Each and every being a heartless monster ready to feed on the innocent. Glancing around, her eyes drank in the dark and dreary forest and the blank eyes that looked out at her. The trees now appeared intimidating as they towered above her. And the flowers were slumped over, lying like dead maidens whose youth this forest had drank away.

She was in a deep hole, the walls of which filled with worms and bugs that clicked and cackled at her as she attempted to climb the steep incline above her.

It was a nightmare. And worse than death. She was alone, she was terrified and could feel herself falling apart. Her mouth was dry and words seemed to fail her. She tried to cry out for anyone, anything to help her but the cruel wind robbed her of  her voice. Her arms no longer worked and her skin instead of dewey alabaster seemed to flake off like dry paint, her eyes were becoming cloudy and she felt her body croak and groan as she fell deeper and deeper.

She became wrapped in darkness.

Then suddenly a hand extended  itself to her. Stunned, she was thrown a ladder down the hole and slowly but surely with the help of the hand was able to escape the pit.

It was tedious and long, the panic still mounted from time to time but it wasn’t as all encompassing as before. Someone was there to guide her out of the hell she had created.

When she finally reached the top she met a familiar gawkish grin and blinked as the darkness was replaced with the light embrace of the knight. He was unafraid and strong -prepared to keep the darkness at bay. His brown hair was dishevelled and he coaxed her out of hiding the dark parts of her, looking all the while like a spooked doe eyed deer. He wasn’t disgusted by her insecurities and was prepared to fight the enemies that grew inside her mind, fending them off with humour and wit.

Occasionally, it made attempts to overpower her, twisting her reality and allowing the fear to seep through her defences. But he alongside a small gang of rebels were always there to fend it off.

 

Just a little short story about depression and escaping something that appears so big and all encompassing. We all need a little help and I was inspired to write this after going for a long hike today with my boyfriend, anything to escape my own thoughts. Hope someone enjoyed it. This is a way I think appropriately explains my panic attacks, as something so small can sometimes send me into a tizzy of fear and dread. 

Sincerely, 

E

xxx