Lage’s Game: Chapter Thirteen, Part One

Lage handed the bag of souls to me. I pulled it open and investigated. There were three tiny spheres. One white and silver, one grey, and one black. Well.

I drew the black one out. It was feeble, tainted, ad worthless to me. Mere filler so they could say that they were giving Lage three. I dropped it, crushign it under my heel.

With a squeal and sigh, the soul was free. Their thanks and relief poured into me, and I nodded graciously. You’re welcome.

Then, I looked to the other two in my palm. The gray one was next. I tossed it up and caught it in my mouth. It tasted sweet, fruity, and had a tang of spice to it.

I spat it out, satisfied. A good soul, but not worth my time. Be gone.

The soul scurried away, whispering thanks and all that.

Finally, I held up the silver-white one. Who are you?

I tossed the ball to the ground, ordering it silently to show itself.

As it struck the ground, a silhouette appeared above it. A hologram almost, one could say, or a ghost of a shape. It was the shape of a man, dark like onyx and bearing a striking resemblance to Rebella. Yet where she seemed merciless he seemed softer, wiser. He had long locks that were drawn back and let to fall down around his cloaked shoulders. He was dressed royally but not frivolously.

He bowed slightly to me, proper as could be. “Greetings,” he said clearly, a difficult thing for a spirit to do.

“Serve me,” I ordered. I could sense his power. Noble lineage, good fighting skills, yes, I wanted his service. He would build me a proper army, be a good general.

He hesitated. “What goal are you reaching for? What purpose?”

“I will destroy those who upset the bonds between the worlds. I have come to end the game,” I said.

He inclined his head. Lowering his gaze, he seemed to think.

“Join me,” I ordered again.

His eyes rose to mine, somber. “What you seek is no easy path. I will join you – if you pledge to keep my line safe. Especially Rebella.”

My lip curled in disdain. “Fine,” I snapped a little too swiftly.

We bowed, and the pact was sealed. As I straightened from the bow, he vanished in a flicker. I picked up the sphere from the ground and placed it back in the pouch. I tied it to my belt, and decided my time was done.

Like a cold deluge, all my heat and power drained away. I felt the biting snap of cold on my toes. I felt the sharp winter on my face, my hands. I was suddenly a thirteen year old girl, cold and in a strange land.

Shaking, I looked around as if seeing the grounds for the first time. Lage stepped forward. “It’s you again,” he said gently, crouching down before me. He took my shoulders. I gaped, looking at the bodies around. They hadn’t even had the chance to fire their guns. Or had some supernatural force held them back?

“I did that?” I asked, my voice trembling.

“No,” he said, blue eyes clear and honest. “It wasn’t you.”

“Who?” I looked down at myself. I felt so small compared to that power, that confidence, that I had been filled with just a moment before.

He sighed. “I’m not sure. But you must go somewhere safe.”

“Get her out of me!” I ordered. I knew for sure it was a woman, intuitively. How, I was not sure. But she was a ‘she’.

Lage straightened, hands still on my shoulders. “You can stay with me -”

“You work with them!” I yelled, wrenching free.

“I do not,” he said sternly. Looking around, he sighed, as if looking for some escape. “I merely do my job,” he muttered.

A shaky breath came through me. I felt like a scarecrow, just rattling with the wind. “I want to know,” I said. “I want to know- everything.” Who could I trust? What was going on? “I want to know!” I raised my voice, almost yelling.

Lage looked down at me. “You’re so young.”

Fury boiled in me – but this wasn’t the same that brought power. This was plain anger, unfuelled by that ‘other’ sense.

Then, as if the thought summoned it, I felt it wave up through me. I felt taller, haughty, and ready to take on Lage in all his own power. I didn’t care if he was the main player-

“Main player?” I asked, suddenly brought out of the trance by the jarring knowledge. “What – what does that mean?”

Lage’s eyes narrowed. I felt a sense of humor in the back of my mind, like part of me was laughing at him. I wanted to tip myhead back and cackle. Yes! Be afraid, Lage!

Lage took a step back. “Leave me,” he said sharply. “Take her with you. I can’t save you from her.”

“Fine,” I heard myself say coldly. Struggling, I tried to push aside that coldness, that haughtiness. “Lage-” I said, forcing myself to become myself again.

He shook his head and stepped back. “I can’t help you.”

“But!” I felt myself failing. I needed him – I needed someone!

Lage turned around and walked away. I stood there alone, listening to the sound of his boots crunching in the snow.

“Come back to me,” said a voice from within. Rebella. “I can tell you, everything.”

Fury boiled up within me. I yanked the dagger up from the snow where I had dropped it. I shoved it clumsily into my belt – giving myself a tiny cut on the thumb for my carelessness. Then, turning, I stomped back the way I had came.

I walked for five minutes, following the snowmobile trails, before I realized I could take one of those and save myself the hours of walking. Turning around, I trekked back to the snowmobiles and took their keys from the dead bodies. Gulping down bile and ignoring the fresh smell that was staining the air, I clambered onto the smallest snowmobile.

I drove considerably slower on the way back than we had come. I didn’t want to end up crashed against a tree, and I doubted my parasitic spirit’s bravado would save me if I did have a smashing accident.

By the time I arrived at the city’s outer gates, the sky was turning a deep shade of greyish black. At the gates, proud and pleased, was Rebella on a horse at the head of a handful of guards.

“There you are,” she said as soon as I let the engine choke to an end a bit away from the horses. I stepped off the thing, scowling at her. She smiled like she was so pleased. Like I was her special gift. “Come,” she nodded to the left. “I have a horse for you.”

Still scowling, I marched to where a guard was waiting with a soft brown horse. They helped me up and I found myself sitting directly beside Rebella. She was still smiling at me. With a satisfied nod, she wheeled her horse around and entered the city.

Clumsily, the horse doing more the following than I the guiding, we made our way after her. The guards cocooned around me, following Rebella. These guards were not jesting or joking about me any longer. There was a wary look to their eyes and silence to their lips. I wondered what had changed – and realized that I would probably find out soon. Very soon.

Lage’s Game: Chapter Twelve, Part Two

Rebella took me through the castle and to a hall. It had an arched ceiling that lent it all an air of grandeur, except that was wasted, for the hall seemed to have lost anything worth mentioning. It was empty, really. There was a throne, guards, but the walls were bare. The throne was a stone seat, but it had pockets and chunks missing from it, as if gems had been pried off it. Rebella’s sister was pacing before the throne, and before here were ‘them’.

Oh, I could recognize them alright. There were three of them. They weren’t the same ones as had been sent after me before, but they had an air of familiarity to them, what with their polarized fleece winter coats and thick snow boots. They wore reflective sunglasses, hats, and lots, lots, of guns.

“I found her,” announced Rebella, dragging me into the hall after her. With a haughty tip of the head, she presented me to ‘them’. “Here you go.”

“How do we know it’s really her?” asked the man who was standing in the front of the other two.

“That’s not our problem,” said Rebella sharply. “You should have known what you were looking for.”

The man tilted his head to the side, and I wondered if Rebella was about to earn herself a hole in the head. Did I want that to happen?

The closest ‘them’ took a grip on my shoulder and wrenched me to their side. He held up a device to my shoulder, and it beeped. He nodded to the others.

“We’re going,” said the head one to the Queen. She nodded, obviously relieved.

“Have a nice trip,” said Rebella with a smirk.

The goons looked at her. I was beginning to sweat. My stomach was doing flips in my chest. I was cold, hot, and wanted to be done with murder – if I could bring myself to do it.

Where was my anger? Where was that blood-infused strength? I didn’t have it now.

They dragged me after them, marching out of the hall. My heart was pounding in my throat. The world flickered on and off, and I was just registering glimpses of what was around me. It was all happening too fast. I wanted to stop, to pause, but it was all too much.

They loaded me onto a snowmobile where they should have been riding horses. Servants watched earnestly. I felt a cold knot in my stomach, and I was trembling.

The engines revved. Servants startled away, and we zoomed off.

The city flashed by, the cold wind slapping and biting me in the face. It brought me back to life.

I was going to die, I realized. Or worse. These people meant business – and I realized I had two options ahead of me.

Screw Rebella, I could go with these ‘them’ and settle things once and for all. I could go to their nest, their boss, and slay him.

Slay him? I was rattled from that thought by the foreign-ness of it. Who was that, thinking that in my head?

But now I was cool, calm, and unafraid. I felt composed, ready. Beneath it all was a boiling anger, a power that was just waiting to surface. I was there.

As I realized the presence of this… presence? Within myself, it slipped back over my mind.

Coldly, I thought again of my options. I could kill them in their nest. Slay their chieftain. Or I could slay these ones and flee. Flee again! I was tired and sick of running. But did I have a choice? Was I strong enough, at one, to defeat them in their nest? Would they let me close enough to utterly destroy them?

They first gates, those of the castle, whizzed past. Horses and people were now jostling out of the way. We had to slow, and that gave me precious time.

Two paths, so clear, lay before me. All involved death and bloodshed, but I was settled for that. It was nothing to me now, just another consequence of life. But was there a third path?

Lage, I thought. I swallowed his card.

Nagging, in the back of my mind, I knew that meant something enormous. Gigantic. Could I call upon him like these other spirits? Would I be able to summon him to my aid? I was not sure, and certainly did not know how.

Then there was Ekundayo’s necklace. But what good was that? I dismissed it almost as swiftly as it had come up.

No, two paths it was. Which one?

Guards rushed, people screamed, and we were at the final gates. The guards watched nervously, and we whizzed past them. The warm stench of the city was now gone, and we were out in the biting cold. Snow churned up around us.

Now, a voice called out within me. It called, if such a thing was possible, through my chest. From the stone, I realized coldly.

Rebella, you bitch, I thought. You’re watching me.

Distantly, I heard her laugh. Come back to me, she ordered.

I held my stillness. I was still not sure which path I was to take. In fact, I was beginning to drift towards the first. Not only because it was delayed action, but because I wanted things to end. Let me have closure. Let me close this chapter.

The forest, black trees on a white background, it all went by within the deafening roar of the machines. A familiar dolmen appeared, then grew in the distance. Beside it stood Lage, wrapped in his cloak with a spattering of snow atop his shoulders.

The snowmobiles drew to a jarring halt before the dolmens. “Here,” said the goon in charge. “We pay the toll.” He drew a pouch from his pocket and handed it to Lage. Lage, looking tired and drawn, accepted the pouch. He pried it open and looked within.

I heard a strange whispering, the cries of souls on the wind, and felt a sense of whimsical homesickness. How I missed having my own souls, being paid my own tributes.

Shoved off the snowmobile, I returned to my senses. I was just a kid, a teen. Fear seized me. Cold bit through me. In a flash I wondered at what was happening in my mind – what was this presence taking over me?

But then I was cool again. Controlled. I rose to my feet as the goons, the soldier I realized they must be, dismounted their snow machines.

My eyes met Lage’s. In a flash I knew he didn’t want this. He would help me – if he could.

Then help, you bastard, I thought. And he heard me. He lifted his head, holding up the bag. Cleared his throat.

The goons looked at him. It was a fleeting distraction, but it was enough.

In one fluid motion, I drew the gun from the holster of the guards’ hip. Bang, bang, bang. I heard the shots, but didn’t so much register what was happening. In a blink, I heard yells. Heard the almost silent thud of the gun hitting the ground. Felt the touch of the dagger in my hand.

I came to, wiping my dagger clean on their clothes. Lage stood there still, the bag now closed in his hands. Three heads lay at my feet, still bearing their sunglasses. Should I keep them? Did I want these souls as mine?

“Thank you,” I heard myself say to Lage. I turned to him.

“Who are you?” he asked softly.

I felt humor come over me. I laughed, and the voice was jarring. Again, I shifted. Panic swelled over me. Was I-? Who was this in me? What was this feeling of – otherness?

But then it slipped back over me. I was calm, controlled. I held out a hand. “Give me those souls,” I demanded. Not that I needed the food. But a girl likes an army, doesn’t she?

Lage’s Game: Chapter Twelve, Part One

I caught Rebella by surprise. There was a smear of blood on the Grandmother’s lips, but it was tiny. Rebella spun with a yell, but I had the dagger.

I stabbed blindly – but she caught my arm.

And we were stuck. Me bearing down on her with all my strength, her sitting, half falling backwards, bracing up against me and the dagger. The dagger which was so, so, close to her eye that it was maddening.

Fury pumped through me. I willed this with all my might. To murder her.

“Guards!” Rebella yelled as her hands slipped ever so slightly. The tip of the dagger grazed her cheek, cutting a slim line.

It was not enough! I wanted her dead!

The door behind us burst open. Hands seized me and I was flung back, the dagger wrenched from my hand.

“What on earth are you doing?” yelled a voice. As my mind spun, I came to on the floor at the foot of a guard. Before me was the tall figure of the other princess, who was holding Rebella by a blood-spattered wrist. “What are you doing?” she screamed.

Rebella wrenched free. “What needs to be done!” and she turned to her grandmother.

The moment seemed to stand still. Rebella gasped. Her dagger clattered to the floor, splattering my blood across the planks.

“No!” gasped Rebella, shaking the elderly woman, who now bore a slight smile on her face. But the woman was limp. “No!” Rebella screamed, shaking her some more. Desperately, she smeared blood on the grandmother’s lips – only to be wrenched back by the sister.

“Don’t do that! You can’t!”

“I can and I will!” screamed Rebella, wrestling free from her sister. “I don’t care! She can’t die! We need her!”

“Stop being so selfish!” screamed the sister, grabbing at Rebella again. “It’s not about you! Let her rest!”

“No!” Rebella screamed, stamping a foot. “We need her! I don’t care if it curses us all! We need her!”

I staggered to my feet, determined to try again. The sister turned, our eyes meeting. Her eyes swept me up and down – and she nodded to herself. “Guards! Take this one to the healing ward! And this one-” she gestured to Rebella. “To her room! And keep her in there!”

“No!” Rebella yelled, but the sister yanked her forward and away from the Grandmother. A squabble began, but the guards quickly seized Rebella. With a slam Rebella bodily shoved one aside, punched the other in the visor, and stamped past me out of the room.

“See to it that she stays in her room!” called out the sister at the guards who rushed after Rebella.

I was left in the custody of one guard. They picked me up in their arms, limp and head spinning. The last thing I remembered was watching the ceiling twirl above me – and then nothing.

Time passed in lurches. I saw darkness, then I was beside Lage, watching him fish in the ice.

“You’re here?” he asked. “So soon?”

Then, the world lurched. Ekundayo was beside me, humming as he drummed happily with a stick on a rock. “Child, child,” he said, shaking his head with that strange grin.

Then, I spun downwards.

With a gasp, I sat up. My chest was seizing with pain. Two pairs of arms belonging to robed people were stretched above me. They were chanting incoherently. A sense of panic was crashing over me. I had to get out of here. They were going to pullt he card out of me!

I lurched to the side, falling clean off the bed and before a pair of feet. I grabbed onto a hand and helped myself up – and was faced with a sneering Rebella.

“Well,” she said.

Hatred swelled in me- but I was pushed backwards onto the bed.

“You should sit,” said Rebella nastily.

I breathed, heart hammering in my chest. Rebella. How I hated her. The monks, healers, whatever they were, lowered their arms. A sense of static electricity left the air, and my panic left me. Cool calm came over me. I focused on Rebella, wonderign how I could kill her.

But Rebella wasn’t herself. She was fidgeting, looking from me to the door beyond the curtains that framed the bed. “They won’t think of coming here,” she murmured. Then, to the healers, she snapped “Get out!”

The healers bowed, scraped their feet back, and shuffled away without another word. Rebella followed them. Once the door was shut, she latched it shut. Then she pressed her back to the door nad glared at me.

It dawned on me then that this wasn’t an infirmary. The room was small from what I could see, but – it was a personal room.

Rebella marched towards me. “Who are you? Why do they want you? Hmh?”

She was now at my side, drawing out a dagger from her belt with a hiss of metal. She held it between us, eyes flashing.

“They?” I asked. “They’re here?” Could there be more than one ‘they’?

“They want you,” said Rebella angrily. “They are saying they will kill the new Queen if we do not hand you over.”

Her hand was trembling. Her eyes flicked over me like a spider darting all over.

“Who are they?” I asked, feeling a sense of control. A sense I could finally get some answers.

“They?” she hissed. “You know them! They are the Associates. They rule your world, or so they say.”

I made a face. “They do not,” or so I hoped.

“Why do they want you?” she hissed, prodding the dagger at me. But I knew she wouldn’t hurt me this time. She was too uneasy. Or maybe that was the danger.

“Where am I?” I asked, drawing back the curtains from the other side of the bed. My fingers barely grazed the fabric before my shoulder was seized by Rebella. She shook me, making sharp daggers of pain burst in my chest.

“What do they want?” she hissed rabidly. “You- who are you?”

She had dropped the dagger in my lap. In a flash I knew I could take it and slash her throat- but somehow I chose not to. I grabbed her wrists and pried them off me.

“I am no one!” I answered coolly, shoving her back so I could stand. “I-”

“They wouldn’t threaten my sister for just anyone!” and the dagger was back between us. Then, with a flick, she slid it back into her belt. “Tell me – or I will bring you to them!”

That stilled my heart. That meant … “If I tell you?” I asked cautiously.

“I will keep you safe from them,” she said too swiftly. Nodding to herself,she held out her palm. “Word of honor.”

There was a catch. Obviously. But I didn’t want to be turned over to ‘them’, did I?

I looked around the room, hoping for some escape. I gripped at my robe, a strange flimsy white thing. I was barefoot, too. I wouldn’t get far.

“Five,” declared Rebella. “Four,”

I scowled at her. What a stinker she was.

“Three,” she said, challenging me.

“I ate Lage’s card,” I snapped.

Her jaw fell. A choking sound came out of her throat – then she turned to disbelief and started laughing. “You did what now?” But then she tipped her head back and laughed.

Humiliation burned over me, but she seemed relieved when she was done with her laughter.

“You idiot,” she said happily. Then she clapped a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “You are stupid, you know that?”

I fueled all my anger at her through my eyes, choking up on words. How I wanted to tell her that I hated her right then. Maybe I should try and kill her again.

“Don’t worry,” she clapped my shoulder. “I will keep you safe. Now,” she pressed a finger to her lips and looked me up and down. A smirk drew itself on her lips. She looked smug. “We need to find you some clothes. Come.” She snapped her fingers at me and motioned me to follow her.

We drew to a large chest, from which she drew out some old clothes. They were worn through in their colors, but still solid looking. Several shirts were held up to me until she found one that she found suitable. From there she gave me a tunic to put over, a sort of bra to wear under, and pants. Boots – she gave me some soft slipper-like things in leather.

“They will have to do,” she muttered, cluckign her teeth. Then, she gave me a belt. It was set with a snake biting its tail worked into the metal ring. She set a dagger on it and set it about my waist. “Here,” she said. Then, stepping back, she looked me over. “Good,” she declared.

I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. Something about the satisfied gleam in her eyes. I felt like a pig being dressed for slaughter.

She took a gray cloak trimmed in white fur from the chest. It was old as well, but fitted me a little largely. It occurred to me that I must look like a younger version of her – was I to be some decoy?

“Now,” she took a white globe from down her shirt, fishing it out with some difficulty. “Hide this in your shirt. Don’t eat it,” she added with a chuckle.

It was cold like ice, so much so that I almost dropped it. It was marble perhaps, smooth white with shoots of glimmering gray woven through it.

“When you are ready to escape, call out the name-”

“Escape?”

“Of course, I’m going to hand you over to them. Then you will escape.”

There it was. The betrayal. “But you had promised-”

She held up a finger between us. “I can’t hide you. If I do, they will sack the city. No, I will hand you over. You have my dagger, and my spirit-weapon.” she closed my fingers over the white ball. “Call their name when you are ready to kill them, and they will appear and fight with you.”

“Kill them?” I gawked. I’d never killed before!

“You must strike the killing blow,” she said softly, “and don’t leave it to the spirit to do.” Then, sensing my dismay, she added “You must kill them. If you don’t, they will follow you back to the city. Killing them will buy us time. Take it,” she pushed my hand to my chest. “Kill them. Then come back to me.”

On remote, I put the ball down my shirt. Then, numb, I felt myself turning to ice. This couldn’t be. It was too awful to be true.

But it was. Rebella whispered a name to me, then nodded. “Come back to me, and I will take care of you,” she announced.

Like hell I would.

Picture Share! Princess Rebella!

So, wifey built me a new computer! It has windows 10 and the ensuing krita on it, and I messed around on it. And ohhh, I actually like this picture!

I have to say, the single thing that has helped my art the most (beside my wifey’s critiques) is doing my own makeup studiously. Y’all, that REALLY helps figure out how to paint a face. Blend, blend, blend, contour!

Lately, I’ve been drawing the characters from Lage’s Game, and I gotta say, I really do like this picture of Rebella! Yes, that nasty princess will be quite important in the story I feel… I have some idea of what kind of future she has in the story, but I’m not sure. Things can change so much! But yes, she will be important!

Anyways, I am well, and have spent a lot of time art-ing around 🙂 so enjoy this picture, let me know what you think, and have a great evening/day!

Take care y’all, much love to you all ❤

Escape! ~ Lage’s Game: Chapter Nine, Part Two

I stared at the nearly invisible creature. Of course I wanted to get out. This was a trap question. Of course I wanted out – but what would it cost me? I peered so hard at the creature, trying to think and guess at what it wanted – and then it laughed.

It was a clear, high laugh. Menacing? Cold? It sent chills down my spine.

“I said! Enough!” the guard marched over, banging a thick sword against the bars. “You there!” and he rounded on the last cell, the one with the monster in it.

“Are you talking to me?” the hoarse voice asked. The shape twisted upwards, stretching up, up, up until it was like a tall human, facing the guard. “Do you want to fight?” It was curious, questioning like a child. The hands wrapped around the bars before the guard. But the guard had brought a lamp with him, and I finally saw the creature as he held it aloft.

It was a humanoid shape, wreathed in a large purple cloak with silver-white embellishments shrouding the eyes in a fringe that hung down to the cheekbones. The skin was black like the darkest hue of nighttime, the lips were thin, the nose hooked, and there was a grace to its smile.

“Stand back!” barked the guard, banging at the bars where the creature’s hands had been.

“Oooh,” murmured the creature. “Frightening.”

The guard paled. “Enough!” But he had already lost this battle.

“Shut up,” hissed the creature, turning away from the guard to face me. Beneath the cloak I saw a fluttering of a grey robe, a sash from which hung dozens of braids, and boots. But then the cloak was drawn fast around the creature once more.

It is probably a human, I thought to myself, but I wasn’t sure. Was it?

It crouched again before the bars separating us, its dark hands coiling around the bars. “Who brought you in here, child? Far from your world, aren’t you?”

I didn’t answer, huddling on myself. The guard bellowed again. “Quiet!”

The creature turned to him, then back to me. It was a strangely silent movement. Their fabrics barely rustled. They sat down and crossed their legs before themselves. They must be human.

Breathing a sigh, the guard turned and walked away. With him went the light, and some semblance of safety.

Once the guard was back at the other end, the creature whispered. “I was brought in for murder. But you can trust me. I’m an assassin.”

I wanted to clap my hands over my ears and curl up into myself. I wanted to block out this entire strange world.

“I kill in cold blood. I don’t make them suffer. I’m not like them,” he whispered.

My senses prickled. Them? Did he know- he couldn’t, could he?

I found myself turning to look at the creature. His tilted eyes were glowing faintly, just enough to be discernible. He had a hand reached out for me, palm up.

“Come with me,” he whispered. “I can see who you are. I can tell-” and his voice dropped to barely a whisper. “What you’ve eaten.”

My breath caught. The creature chuckled. “Yes,” he murmured, coaxing me on. “Come with me, child. You won’t be safe here once they bring you to the priestesses. What they will do to you – even I wouldn’t.”

I shuddered. Now that I was looking, I couldn’t take my eyes away from theirs.

The hand drew back, and I felt that they were satisfied. “Tomorrow, no- tonight. Soon. Brace yourself, child. Rest. We will be free soon.”

I looked away then, feeling caught and guilty. Would I run with them? Was this some trap? It couldn’t be – I hadn’t given them anything! And I could still change my mind, couldn’t? Besides, how could they get me out of here?

I found myself curling up on myself, my head between my knees. As if following orders, I fell asleep fitfully.

I dreamed of Lage. I dreamed of Mother, of Father, of Kayla and her final bottle smash. It was terrible.

I woke screaming, to find the air silent and cold. There was a crispness to the air that smelt of the outside.

I looked around, wondering where I was. For a moment I was completely lost, baffled, and it wasn’t helped by what I saw.

To my right, where the creature’s cell was, a silver light was glowing. It expanded, radiating out with a breath of coolness and frost out into the cells. Then it swept back in, shrinking somewhat. It was someone’s breath, I realized. The creature’s breath, their form hidden as a shadow behind this glowing frost.

I slunk backwards, looking around for some sense of normalcy. No one was coming. No one seemed to even notice that something strange was happening.

For what felt like an eternity, I sat there with my arms around my knees. I reached out within myself, pleading with the world for help, for something.

With my head burrowed between my knees, I was jolted from my thoughts by the creature shouting. “Guard! Guard! Come quick! The girl is dead!”

I jolted up, lifting my head and looking around. The creature was standing by the bars, their glowing breath now gone. There was the sound of cursing and feet running. The guard rushed into view, lamp in hand and keys in the other.

I just sat there, frozen. Wondering what was happening, even as it unfolded before me.

It was a trap. The guard rushed up against the bars of my cell, and the creature reached out through his and yanked the guard close. In one yelp and a snap, the guard was over. The keys were now jangling in dark hands, the lamp smashing to the floor.

The silence that followed was punctuated only by the hammering of my heart in my ears. Then, the door grating open. The flames licked at the oil on the floor, lighting up the creature as he stepped out. He was a ghastly shape, tall and strange as he stepped over the fire to unlock my door.

“Come,” he said sweetly. Then he turned and walked away.

I had a choice. I could sit in this cell, or move. I moved. I didn’t know what the princesses had in store for me, but neither did I know what this creature wanted. At least with the creature, I could hopefully still run away. Find my way back to Lage, then go home. But what home was there to go back to?

I shoved that question aside as I stepped over the smoldering flames and beside the dead guard. I was going home. That was that.

As I made my way down the corridor, the creature was unlocking some doors, ignoring others. Then, as if to spite everyone, he tossed the keys into the far corner of an already locked cell that held only a skeleton.

Prisoners were rushing out, pouring and stumbling towards the stairs that led away and up. The creature turned to me. He flashed a smile of immaculate white teeth.

“Here,” he drew a cloak from the guards’ chair. “Put this on.”

Remembering the biting cold of outdoors, I did, wrapping it clumsily around my shoulders. He nodded, and we turned and ran after the vanishing prisoners.

Lage’s Game: Chapter Eight, Part Two

The walk felt endless. I wished more than once that I’d taken Lage up on his offer of his cloak. But regrets were pointless and I trudged on, refusing to be dragged by the guards. I would stand on my own two feet.

After what felt like an hour of walking, we emerged from the forest into a clearing. There, towering up out of seemingly nowhere, a gated city with a tall castle stood.

It was like something straight out of a fairytale. The walls were of white stone, two stories tall, with ramparts. There was a thick trench dug before them, filled with spears and what looked like a small frozen bed of water. There was the drawbridge that was lifted up. But before this drawbridge, on our side of the moat, was a solitary guard and several waiting horses.

“Take her on your horse,” Rebella ordered one of the guards before mounting her lovely dappled gray horse. I wanted to touch the horses, to take in all their colors – for I had never seen one up in real life before. But now was not the moment to be in awe. I was hoisted up to sit before a guard, and Rebella whirled her horse towards the drawbridge.

“Lower the drawbridge!” she called out. “The princess orders it!”

Clankings answered, and the drawbridge lowered swiftly. Rebella ordered her horse forward with a click of the tongue, and we followed her as a cluster of guards.

We passed beneath the thick of the wall, and we entered the city.

I was struck by the sight first. There was myriads of houses toppled together, stacked upon each other, and clustered in shapings that seemed to suit people of all sizes. There was some that bore tiny gnome-like doorways that were round. There were some that seemed just a little too tall, and lopsided at that too. There were others that seemed svelte and elven.

Yet the people before us couldn’t have looked more bland. They were dirty, browned with sun and exhaustion. They were monochrome in their blandness, their clothing all turned to the same shade of brown and dirt as they were. Their clothes were tattered and thin. They hastily rushed out of the way of the princess’s horse. It was that or be crushed, I guessed, for Rebella stared straight through them and seemed to pay no heed to anyone. Her horse marched on, and the people scattered like ants. The guards had their hands on the pommels of their swords, and glared angrily all around.

Whispers rose, fingers pointed, but they were far away. No one dared come near to point at me.

As we proceeded through the city, the stench let itself be known. The air was in turn crisp and cool of winter, then it was the moist warm stench of fecal remains. Then it was mold, then crisp again with another gust.

This place stinks, I realized grudgingly.

And yet, the castle that towered before us did not look like it ought to belong in a place of stink. It was tall and spired, it was magnificent. It had handfuls of turrets, towers, and pointy-topped roofs straight out of a novel. It was made of the same white stone as the walls were, and it looked surreal. I wondered if the stink would get better as we approached.

After a good hour of riding through the thick of filthy people, we were met with another wall, another gate which Rebella ordered opened – and which swung open inwards for her. Again, she rode onwards as if the world owed her something.

It was in here that the stink finally let up. Here there were snowy gardens, fluffy bushes that were topped with red winter berries. Fruit trees that were bare save for ice and snow. Here, the poor were obviously not welcome.

We rode onwards, our breath misting icily before our faces. Colorfully dressed people were seen walking about here and there. They curtsied as Rebella passed, and turned their faces away from the guards – and turned quickly back to gawk at me. They rode on horses as well, trimmed in fur cloaks and richly decorated clothes.

Finally, we had crossed the gardens. The castle stood before us like a multi layered cake, the immensity of it mind boggling. It was tall as a skyscraper, taller than I believed any medieval palace had ever been. Here, at its outer edges, it was already three flights high, and it only grew taller and more multilayered towards the middle.

Rebella dismounted, landing gracefully like a cat. People rushed forward from an open doorway, and they were not dressed in furs. They were simply clothed, and seemed to be servants. Rebella tossed her horses’ reins at them in disdain, and turned to face me.

“Bring the girl,” she ordered the guard behind me. “Hurry up!”

The guards clustered around this horse, several of them holding me while the guard behind me dismounted. Then, by several hands, I was passed down and placed on the ground like a very precious lump. Or a lump they believed might run away. But that was stupid. Where was I to run to?

With one scowl from Rebella, she turned and marched into a large doorway before us. The guards hastily followed, three of them clustering around me to hold my shoulders and half-carry me forward.

Inside, the corridor was dark, lit by the occasional lamp. The lamps were gorgeous! They had an oriental flair to them I supposed, looking all blown glass with leaves and elaborate people painted onto them and the wood pieces holding them carved as well with swirls and motifs.

Rebella paid this no heed. She marched straight on, her cloak billowing about her. I stared from one lapm to another until I saw spots. Then, as I was blinking spots out of my eyes, we reached a doorway.

Rebella shoved it open with a bang, and we were flooded with light.

We were let out into a courtyard, and I had to blink and blink to be sure it was real. Of course it couldn’t be – nothing int his world seemed to be – but it was.

It was green. There was grass, fruits trees, and so many bushes of fruits and vegetables in clusters here and there in spiralling pathways. It stretched on in all directions for a good hundreds of feet, like a small field. Up, above, a domed ceiling lined with metal spires held up twinkling glass that made this all possible.

Rebella was drawing off her cloak. She tossed it to a servant who rushed to her side to catch it before the white fur touched the ground. Turning, Rebella seized me by the shoulder and began to march forward, straight into the heart of the inner gardens.

There, a cluster of people were attending to a large chair. On this chair, lumped up in silks and fabrics, was a wizened elderly woman.

She bore some traits of resemblance with Rebella, but there was a softness to her that Rebella did not have. Also, she was half dead. Literally.

Decay clung to one side of the woman’s face, revealing bone and teeth beneath. The eye on that side was white and half lidded.

There was a strange, putrid, decaying scent as we marched through the garden towards her. SERvants stepped aside from the cluster, and Rebella thrust me forward to the elderly woman as we reached her.

“I’ve brought a card collector!” Rebella announced loudly, but not triumphantly. It was merely a fact.

A woman, middle aged and robed in vibrant red, stepped forward from the side of the throne. “Why would you disturb mother with that?” She had gold earrings, gold paint around her eyes, and hair that was intricately shaped in coils atop her head.

“Maybe she can tell us how to cure mother,” said Rebella coldly, not looking at her sister. Instead she was looking somewhere aroudn their grandmothers’ knees. I could not see what there was to look at there.

“You’re disturbing her,” snapped the sister, but she silenced as the Queen, I supposed she was Queen, lifted a hand. This hand was good, not rotten. It had long nails that were immaculately cared for, and several gold bangles around the wrist.

“Come here,” said the old woman, her one good eye trained one me.

A New World~ Lage’s Game: Chapter Eight Part One

By ‘home’, Lage had meant a hut, really. It was just a bulge of twigs and leaves among the snow and trees. I suppose he was trying to be nice, taking me to his home. There, he had said in the brisk walk over, he would make me a good hearty stew.

There was to be no stew.

Before the hut stood several figures. They were conspicuously not made of stone though they stood as still as it. They were alive, and that was to be trouble.

There was one woman, tall with onyx skin like pearls, bearing a white fur cloak and hood that draped to the ground. Beneath, I caught glimpses of a green dress and metal accents. She bore a staff that was sculpted and carved intricately. The way she held her head and stood gave off a sense of royalty.

To her left and right were guards in medieval tunics and cloaks, complete with shields and swords drawn.

Lage muttered something unintelligible under his breath as we stepped from the trees into the small clearing before the hut. Reaching out an arm, he drew me slightly behind himself.

“Lage,” said the woman with the white cloak. Her words were icy.

“Rebella,” said Lage cautiously, tilting his head downwards not so much respectfully as carefully. “What can I do for you?”

Rebella did not answer, her eyes flickering to me then back to Lage.

“There has been some trouble,” said Lage slowly.

Rebella’s lip curled. “As usual. The bonds ought to have been severed centuries ago.” With a nod to her guards she said “Kill the girl.”

“No!” exclaimed Lage, drawing his sword and punting me behind him with a swipe of the leg. I fell over, tumbling into the snow.

“You don’t want to do that!” Lage was saying as I scrambled back up to my feet behind him.

“Oh? I’m certain I do,”said Rebella with a sneer.

“I will tell the Queen, and you – you will suffer the consequences!” Lage barked.

Rebella sneered again, but seemed to reconsider. “Card collectors cause nothing but trouble,” she said to me “And they have no rights here.”

“Unless they are invited by a card bearer,” said Lage. “I invited her! She is a guest between worlds. You cannot deny that! Would you cause a war between worlds for your vanity?”

Rebella moved to the right, so gracefully I was entranced. Her eyes were fixed upon me in utter disdain. “There has been trouble that you know not of,” she said icily. “I think we ought to kill her.”

“Whatever trouble, I doubt it’s her fault! Don’t murder a child!”

There seemed to be a light behind Rebella’s eyes. “Her soul is hardly young.” But she gestured to her soldiers, who had drawn their swords. “Put your swords away.” To Lage she said “The Queen is ill.”

“The crown will not pass to you,” said Lage slowly, wary as he lifted his hand from his sword.

Rebella sneered. “I would not be here if I’d done the poisoning. No, rather,” she reached under her cloak and drew a pouch out from her belt. It was of soft brown leather, but held something clunky and pointed within. She waved it before herself. “Guess.”

Lage made a sort of shrug. “The Tael poisoned an arrow?”

Rebella laughed. “I would not want a card collector dead if so.” Ruefully, she drew the pouch open and drew out a black handgun. Lage gasped. A shudder went down my spine. ‘They’ were here. It had to be. Were they everywhere?

The gun was tossed to the ground between us. Lage jumped back and I flinched. “Be careful with that!” Lage muttered.

“The worlds have been crossed,” Rebella said angrily, glaring at Lage. “Murder has been attempted – on our Queen no less. War must be declared. A line is to be drawn between us, and them. Make your choice, Lage.”

I looked to Lage, then Rebella.

Lage heaved a breath that misted out between us. “They are after the child as well. They murdered her family. She,” he placed a hand on my shoulder. “Is one of us.”

“’Us’?” Rebella asked pointedly. “You think she can join? That I would permit that?”

Lage hesitated. “Her soul is old, like you said,” he started.

Rebella lifted her eyebrows in an angry question.

Lage looked down at me. More hesitation.

“Say it!” barked Rebella.

“She has an ancient soul, is all I’m saying,” said Lage in an obvious fib. A smile played on his face. “What more can I tell you? I think she would be an asset. To you. To this kingdom.”

Rebella’s gaze narrowed. “Who is she? The Fool? The Emperor? Tell me, and I might let her live.”

Lage rolled his eyes. “Not all old souls are known to you. Besides, I-” he hesitated again. Then, shaking his head, he continued. “She is but a child now.”

“I don’t care!” yelled Rebella. “If I want her dead she will be dead!”

Anger surged in me. A tingling came over me and I decided that Rebella, for all her grace and beauty, was my enemy. For all my admiration, I wanted to murder her.

Rebella’s eyes landed on me. “Do you sense that?” she asked. Lage nodded, looking down at me glumly.

“She is an ancient,” murmured Rebella in awe. Greedy awe. Stooping over, she peered even more at me. I wanted to punch her.

“Maybe an Annunaki,” suggested Lage playfully, and I felt he was gambling with something, or goading her on.

“Shut up!” Rebella snapped. “You wouldn’t know them if one punched you in the throat.”

Lage sighed and squeezed my shoulder. “As a matter of fact, I think I have been punched by one-”

“What part of shut up don’t you understand?” barked Rebella, straightening. With a nod, she ordered her guards. “Take the girl. I’ll keep her.” With a sneer to Lage she said “Mine now.”

Lage lifted his hands to his shoulder in a ‘not my problem’ gesture. Then, eyes widening, he stooped over me and, cupping a hand to hide his mouth, whispered in my ear “Don’t tell her you ate my card!”

The next instant, the guards were dragging me away from him. “What did you tell her?” Rebella was shouting, marching up to Lage.

Lage held up his hands to his shoulders. “Not to make you angry. That’s all.”

“You wish,” hissed Rebella before whirling around and marching away into the trees. The guards followed, hauling me along by the arms. I took one look back, and Lage waved miserably at me.

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez on Pexels.com

Kayla’s Finale ~ Lage’s Game, Chapter Seven Part Two

Kayla took the bottle and pressed it against the side of her head. The man looked to her, and I watched them both.

“What is Gwenevarnia?” asked Kayla, sounding, as she herself would put it ‘tired of this shit’. “Is it some gang territory?”

Lage leaned across the table, palms pressing into it so hard his hands turned deathly white. “This is not about gangs. This is beyond them. This is about worlds.”

Kayla just shook her head. Lage turned to me. “Do you know what I am talking about?”

I held my silence. He shook his head and turned to Kayla. “Do you know that there are other worlds within the tree of life?”

Kayla’s eyebrows raised. My heart skipped a beat.

“I come from Gwenevarnia,” he repeated. “That is another world. This one is named Argv-”

“Another world?” interrupted Kayla. “Are you mad?”

“I am not!”

“Of course he’s mad. Whey else is he dressed like that?” I asked, daring him to reveal more. Show us what he could do by disbelief.

He looked from Kayla to me and then back. “I swear-”

“Prove it,” snapped Kayla.

“Why else do you think all this is happening?” he demanded, leaning across the table again. Kayla recoiled with a crinkled nose.

“Her father got messed up in gangs. That’s all!” She waved a hand at the man. “You’re messing with us.”

“I-”

“Get out!”

“I swear-”

“Out!” Kayla lifted the vodka bottle as a weapon.

The man scowled, brow creasing. I rose to my feet. “Wait.”

Both adults stared at me. I sat back down now that I had their attention. “How do we make them stop?”

The man hesitated, still in his seat. “I do not know. They usually get whatever they want and,” he paused, looking to Kayla. “That means they usually don’t stop. I’m sorry.”

Kayla cursed under her breath. I looked to the man. “Prove yourself.”

“What?” he asked, eyebrows raising at my command. I glared him down with all my inner power.

“Prove Gwenevarnia exists. Prove that you are not mad. Prove it!”

He leaned towards me. “The card you ate – it has special powers. You will not be well until we have another one crafted. If we can.”

“That proves nothing,” I said staunchly.

He closed his eyes with a sigh. Then, when he opened them – had they always been brown? I startled. Kayla frowned, eyes narrowing.

No one heard the man arriving from the living room until the gunshot blew through Kayla. Blood spattered across Lage and I gasped, terror and ice seizing me. It was like needles in my skin, shooting through me.

One of the goons was in the entryways to the kitchen, gun in hand. Lage was seizing me by the wrist and dragging me to his side. Kayla was laying across the table, gasping as she clutched at her bleeding chest.

I realized that I loved Kayla very much. She had tried her best for me.

Our eyes met. Then she looked to the man. “Take her and go,” she hissed. The man nodded. She seized the bottle of vodka. Spinning, she lunged and threw herself at the goon. He yelled, the gun firing. A large hand covered my eyes, turning my head and crushing me into the green cloak. There was a smash of glass thudding and shattering – and then nothing.

The hands slowly lifted from my eyes. Around me, pine trees stretched. There was the tinkling sound of a stream. A cool breeze wafted over us. There was snow on the earth, just a thin sprinkling of it.

“Kayla,” I said, trembling but not from the cold. Kayla.

“She may yet live,” the man said from behind me. His hands squeezed my shoulders protectively. “But now you are safe. That is the important part.”

I stared ahead, unmoving. Or no – I shook. The cold began to nip at my fingers. A section of the cloak was wrapped around me. “Here,” he said, pressing me against himself. With a fumble, he drew the cloak off himself and began to wrap it around me.

In a fit I threw him off, flailing at the thick fabric. “I don’t want it!” I screamed, spinning to yell it at him.

He seemed shocked, maybe hurt. Then he softened. “Alright,” he said, drawing it back around himself. “But we have some walking ahead of us.”

“I don’t want to!” I hissed. “Take me back!” Once more, anger began crackling over me, rising like heat in my veins. I felt the power, the adrenaline, surging. I was going to destroy something. The hacking with the knife? That would be pithy little once I had my hands on the one who had shot Kayla!

He lifted two hands to placate me. “No. She wanted you here. You are safe.”

I shuddered, a sob tearing through me. I doubled over, feeling sick. The world swam. When it stopped, heavy hands were holding my shoulders.

I looked up. He smiled unsteadily at me. “My name is Lage,” he said gently.

Something clicked in my head. I squinted at him. “I ate your card.” But not ‘his’ in that it belonged to him, ‘his’ in that …

“Yes,” he said, eyes shifting blue once more.

I looked around. Behind him stood a tall stone, a standing stone of sorts. There were inscriptions on it, and I recognized it as the image on the card I had eaten. I stared at it. He turned, placing a hand on the stone while watching me. “This is my menhir,” he said. “Our version of the cards.”

“The cards?” I felt all this information, the implications, swirling within me.

He seemed to pity me. “Let’s walk,” he said. “My home is not so far.”

Wherein Nothing Gets Explained At All ~ Lage’s Game: Chapter Seven Part One

“The police are coming,” said Kayla hastily, looking from the medieval man to the man on the floor

The goon began cackling. “Think that’ll stop us?”

Kayla’s face turned into an angry, closed, shape. To me, she turned and said crisply “Get another shirt on. Wipe that blood off your face.”

The sirens were getting closer.

“Go!” she ordered. I ran.

Over the unconscious men, I raced up the stairs, then into Kayla’s bedroom. It felt like an eternity as I dug out a shirt, raced to the bathroom, and wiped my face down. Then, I changed.

When I ran back downstairs the goons had been moved out of view of the door, stacked into the living room. They were all unconscious now.

I skittered into the kitchen just in time to see Kayla wipe the blood off the counter. Blood I had drawn with the knife that was now in the sink, water running over it to wash it clean. The medieval man was nowhere to be seen.

Knock knock. The police had arrived at the door.

Kayla turned around “Where is he?” she whispered.

“He’s gone,” I said, looking around.

Frowning and not understanding, Kayla went to the door. There she put on her best smile and opened the door.

“Nightmares,” I heard her say. She gestured me over, and I glumly walked near the doorway. The police officer was blonde and blue eyed, and had a big frown on. Kayla began going on about how my mother had had this accident and I was staying with her for now.

The cop left, frowning deeply.

Kayla kept that smile on, marching into the kitchen. Out came the vodka, and the green man was at the table now.

“Jesus fuckin’ Christ!” hissed Kayla at him. “Do you always disappear like that?” She poured out a glass of vodka and drank it straight. Then she eyed him, looking around the kitchen. “Where did you go?”

“In Gwenevarnia,” he said stoically, hands resting on the table. His eyes flickered from Kayla to me, and I sensed… apprehension. Like he was looking at something dangerous. Kayla? No, me. I was the dangerous one.

“So,” Kayla set down the vodka. Then, rethinking things, she offered it to the man. “Want some?”

“No thank you,” he said softly.

Kayla poured herself another drink. Then, she sat at the table. “I want to know what’s going on,” she said.

I joined her at the table. Oddly, the man was on the right, Kayla on the left… and I had taken the head of the table. It felt prophetic somehow.

Indeed, the man looked heavily at me. Then, he turned to face Kayla squarely. “How much do you know? You are the girls guardian now, I suppose?”

Kayla nodded. “And I don’t know anything.” To me, she turned. “Do you know anything?”

I didn’t answer. I stared from her to the man. What was I supposed to say? Was he worthy of trust? Was he – would he cause more trouble? Was it betrayal to mother and father if I told him of the board game?

My silence took too long. He returned to looking at Kayla. “There is a board game.”

Kayla glanced to me. “Wasn’t that – you were talking about that once?”

The man nodded. “She ate a very important card.”

Kayla frowned, nodding. Again, she glanced to me. I waited in silence, hands folded in my lap and back straight. I silently dared the man to say something new. Tell me something I didn’t already know.

The man hesitated. Again he looked to me. “How much do you know?”

I held my silence. Instead I tilted my head to the side. He wanted to be sure not to tell me more than I already knew? Well, two could play at that game.

“How much do you know?” I asked tartly.

He smiled in a flicker. “How much did your parents tell you?”

I held my silence again. He looked to Kayla. “There was a boardgame.”

“So? She ate the fucking card, it’s over with! What more do they want?” Kayla burst, her words slurring slightly. She ran her hands through her hair, messing it while trying to smooth it back.

The man frowned. “It was a very important card. It possessed – powers.”

Kayla squinted at him. The man let out a breath. “The boardgame was magical.”

Kayla squinted some more, tilting her head to the side, like one of them was a chimpanzee doing a magic trick. The man looked to me. “You ate something very precious.”

“Sue me,” I snapped.

“Yeah, well, okay. She did. So now what?” Kayla reached for the vodka bottle. The man took it gently from her grasp and set it farther away.

“Now, is entirely up to you. You are her guardian. She can come with me, into my world. I could keep her safely,” and he hesitated. “Until the situation calms down somewhat.”

“What situation?” asked Kayla. “Who are these people – who would hurt a kid over a fucking card?”

“A precious card,” said the man.

Kayla shook her head. The man continued. “You need to take her somewhere safe. They are after her. She will have inherited the cards’ powers.”

“Powers?” Kayla had dropped her head into her hands and was now peering out of them at him. She looked at her rope’s end.

The man looked to me. “You feel different, don’t you? Since eating the card?”

I didn’t answer. He raised his eyebrows. Then, reaching under his cloak, he drew my rabbit out from his side. He presented it to me with a smile.

I glared. I’d purposefully left that rabbit upstairs when the goons arrived. How had he gotten it?

Kayla caught her breath. “The rabbit on the front door. Was it you or them?”

“Me,” the man said calmly, adjusting in his seat to face Kayla again as I hugged my rabbit.

Kayla looked at me, her face crinkling in disbelief. “How did you-” she looked at him. “Do you work with the police?”

The man smiled. “I’m from Gwenevarnia. Not the police.”

Aggressive Self Care

Apparently it’s a term my psychiatrist had never heard before. Aggressive self care. But it’s what I’m trying to do, haha.

Lately, I’ve been trying so hard to take care of myself. If it was a technique, or a strategy, it would definitely be called aggressive. Proactive at the very least.

I’m trying to make myself actual food. No cake for lunch kind of deal. I’m trying to drink water. I’m trying to do the five daily prayers as a way to consciously take 5 minute breaks of zen. I’ve even been trying to limit my desserts and only take them when I self care.

So far, it’s been helping. I’m getting back on my feet. Im trying not to push myself too hard to write though, hence my not cranking out so many words lately. Im very sorry for anyone who’s looking for some of the Circlet story. I just cant seem to write it, and Lage’s story is just coming to me easier these days.

I have been working on my children’s activity book too, and am about halfway through it. It’s going to be huge (to me, haha)! Its going to be over 70 pages of activities and colorings to do! All pagan themed! I cant wait to see what you all think of it!

What else has been happening in my life? I’ve been coming to terms with some difficult things, family wise, as well as trying to spend time with my loved ones. Rough things are happening, but we will get through this. I’m really just trying to heal right now.

Also, I’m working on a special birdie project that means so much to me, but it’s a secret so far. At least I dont remember posting about it before, and dont plan to until its finished and I can finalize it. Knowing me itll take quite some time to get it done, but it’s in the works. Good things are coming, yall.

Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone and anyone who has bought my books. I am very touched by all the sales I’ve made, and am considering celebrating them by offering signed books for a price. Would anyone be interested? Or some bookmarks?

I’ve been thinking of holding a contest for my birthday, where I could send out a book to one winner, bookmarks to the second, and something else to the last one. Would anyone be interested in it if it was a writing contest? Or just a “share the page and like” sort of contest? Give me your thoughts! I miss hearing from you all!

I hope you are all very well, and wish you all the best in these hard times ❤