Posted in 2017, Fantasy, Fiction, The Shadow Stone, Update Post

Shadow Stone update – August 13, 2017

I’ve been thinking about the order of events in this series for a little over a week now. Soon there will be enough content for it to be novel length. Today I’ll write about two things related to the series.

The first of these is the title. The Shadow Stone is only a shortened form of the title. The entire title is “The Final Chronicles of the Shadow Stone”. This is because the story I’m writing is only a small portion of the story of the shadow stone, as well as the ending to its story. Unfortunately this means that you will know roughly how the story ends as soon as you read the main objective of the central characters. Fortunately this is one of those stories where the journey is more important than the destination.

The second thing I want to write about is the setting of the series. The Sekkan kingdoms are a group of small countries to the east of the mountains that separate the kingdoms from the Ingrewian Empire. They are called the Sekkan kingdoms by Ingrewian because of the misunderstanding that everyone from the kingdoms is a follower of Sek, the being of evil from the Ansin religion. This is not the case. There are many religions in the kingdoms.

Many people in the Sekkan kingdoms believe in the fractured empire. They believe that once the kingdoms and the Ingrewian Empire were parts of a much larger empire that collapsed upon itself. Ingrewian don’t share this belief and believe that such an empire is destined to be created in the future after the Ingrewian empire has conquered the Sekkan kingdoms.

Because of this you can see how individuals from either side of the mountains see individuals from the other side.

See you next Sunday when I’ll give you all another preview of the Shadow Stone. Maybe I’ll be ready to write about one of the main characters.

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 6

“Won’t you sit down?” The bald man asked her. “We have so much to talk about and I would hate for you to be sore afterwords. Good. Good. Now let us begin.” He smiled showing off what Rowan believed were sharpened teeth and a split tongue. This man looked almost reptilian except for when his mouth was closed and he looked perfectly normal.

“I am Edmund Skyscale though you can call me Edmund. I’m the head of the Council of the Hidden in this area.”

“The hidden?” Rowan looked at him blankly. A couple of the other members glanced at him briefly out of worry.

“Yes. The hidden. You may not realize this but there are creatures other than humans in this world who are both sentient and humanoid. Some people call us monsters, others myths. We live among humans and hide ourselves to keep ourselves safe.” He sighed loudly. “God. I sound like someone from a poorly written supernatural romance novel. I’m sorry we expected that you would already know this stuff. I certainly didn’t expect you to know nothing.”

“I don’t understand.” She stammered.

“I didn’t expect you to. It is a lot to take in all at once.”

“That’s impossible. I’m sure I’m just being pranked. I should probably go.” She stood and backed up to the door.

“Who would have pranked you?” A woman asked. She had long white hair and her eyes were covered with a scarf. She removed the scarf revealing bright purple eyes. “It certainly wouldn’t have been the man you call father. He doesn’t even know where you live. He believes you live in a better place than you actually do. It’s not like you have anyone else either. Humans tend to be scared of you. So who could be prank in you?”

“Scar.” Ordered Edmund. “Stop scaring the poor girl.”

“That is all stuff you could have learned through a little research.” Rowan exclaimed. “It means nothing.”

“Is it? Sorry I had no idea.” Scar chuckled.

A woman with bright red hair stood up. Flames jumped behind her eyes, or so it seemed. She held a hand up and it erupted in flame. “Please don’t go.” She begged. “We need you to help us.”

“Pyra.” Warned Edmund. “There is absolutely no reason to scare the poor girl.”

“If only there were more qualified people in this area. Than I wouldn’t need to deal with things like this.” He mumbled to himself.

“Hey.” An unremarkable woman with grey hair and blue eyes exclaimed. “We are more than qualified.” She looked at Rowan and smiled. “I hope my little Albin treated you well.”

Rowan still stood staring at this bizarre group of people. “How… How is that possible? No one should be able to do that.” She finally managed to say.

“How is this so unbelievable.” Asked a man with brown hair and gloved hands. “From what I understand you aren’t a stranger to strangeness.”

“B… but how?”

“Now look what you’ve done.” Edmund mumbled to himself. Aloud he addressed Rowan. “We are the hidden of course this is possible. Scarlet is a see of sorts. Pyra is a phoenix, and believe it or not but Greg here is a Memory Thief. I understand that you’re able to read the memories of objects. Is this correct?”

“I mean I do see strange things whenever I touch old objects. But that’s not normal. Im delusional. There is no way I’m one of you.”

“Yet you are. In fact you are one of the most prized type of hidden in our society. You are a rememberer.”

“A what?”

“A rememberer.” He replied.

“Is that even a word?”

“Of course it is. It’s just not a very common word. Essentially you are able to read the memories of objects, but you can’t read the memories of humans, any living creatures, or anything that was alive within a year ago. Your kind usually acts as private investigators, police; and help keep our society from turning chaotic. At least you did until 40 years ago.” He explained. 

“What happened 40 years ago?”

“Something terrible. An entire family of rememberers were found murdered in their own home. A few days later it happened to another family and then another. The remaining rememberers went into hiding. We have been unable to find any to help us solve this case. That is until now of course.” Edmund smiled. “And that is where you come in. We want you to use your abilities to find the killer or killers. We will pay you handsomely.”

“I don’t know if I can even do what you want, but I’ll at least try.”

“Good. Then we have a deal.” He held his hand out. The other Council members watched with interest.

Rowan stared at his hand with minor amazement.  When she noticed everyone else watching she grabbed his hand firmly and shook once. “We have a deal.” 

Posted in 2017, Fantasy, The Shadow Stone, Update Post, Writing

ShadowStone – update post – August 7, 2017

I have been working on The ShadowStone for the past couple of days. I’ve begun on a first draft which I’m writing in one of my writers notebooks. It’s been such a long time since I’ve written a first draft in a notebook rather than on a computer. 

I’m so happy with how this is turning out so far. After I’m done the third draft and posting The Rememberer chapters I’ll start posting The ShadowStone.

I also wanted to try something new. Each week, as long as there is enough new progress, I’ll post a sneak peek here on my blog. It’s only a first draft so don’t expect much.

This week I’m posting an image that contains some general backstory to the plot.

See you next week.

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 5

Mr. Hoffmann wasn’t joking when he said they would leave at dawn. Rowan had only gotten a few hours of sleep when he rudely shook her awake.

“Come on. Wake up. We must leave immediately.”

She groaned. “Are they even going to be up at this hour?”

“Of course they will be. They’re up when they need to be up and they sleep when they need to sleep.”

Rowan rolled her eyes. She had had enough of this man’s nonsense. He kept on spewing words that only worked to make her even more confused.

“Fine. Just leave my room. I need to change.”

“Oh. Okay. I’ll leave then.”

He stood outside her door as she changed. She knew this because she could hear his occasionally cough. She prayed that he wasn’t somehow peeking in on her, but from what she had already learned about his personality that was highly unlikely. 

It was as though he knew what she was thinking because he called into her room. “I won’t peek. Don’t worry. The Council will know if I do and I can’t have that. 

She ended up choosing one of her many pairs of blue jeans with a black t-shirt to wear to this meeting. Not exactly the best outfit to wear when meeting a group of people who call themselves the Council, but it would be good enough because everything she had that was even remotely fancy was dirty.

She opened the door when she was done.

“I’m done. Let’s go.”

Mr. Hoffmann raised his eyebrows. “Wow. You look great.”

“Really? It’s just a t-shirt and jeans. It’s nothing special.” Though that compliment creeped her out a little bit she still ended up blushing.

“Yeah I know. It’s just that I was always told I should complement a woman on what they’re wearing no matter how casual it is.” He smiled.

“That’s an outdated thing to do you know.”

“Really?”

“Yes really. I’m not trying to look nice so you don’t need to say anything.”

“But it did make you happy. Did it not?”

Rowan decided to ignore his question, mainly because it did make her a little bit happy when he said that and walk over to her door after grabbing her purse off the kitchen table. Gladly nothing had gone missing while she slept.

“Let’s go.”

“Okay. I’ll lead the way.”

They walked through the same city streets Rowan had walked through for the past few years. She had been there since she left home to live in the city. This was a decision that she often regretted. At the time she believed that everything she could ever dream of was in the city. A good paying job, many friends who cared about the same things as her, and someone who loved her more than anyone else. She thought everything could be found here, yet when she actually moved to the city she could barely pay her living expenses. But she couldn’t move back in with her father. She didn’t want him to think less of her.

The stores were still closed. The sun had just barely risen above the horizon and already she was a good distance away from her apartment. She usually didn’t wake up before noon. She was exhausted. Normally she wouldn’t have done something so crazy like this, but she didn’t have much of a choice. Her most prized possession had been stolen away by Mr. Hoffmann and she had to get it back.

But thinking this made her start wondering about how he had known that she cared for this necklace. It’s not like she reached for it once while he was talking to her. It had actually been hidden underneath her shirt. She shivered at the thought of him reaching into her shirt to grab it off her unconscious body.

They walked up an alleyway and stopped next to a large blue dumpster. Large areas of paint had peeled away showing the red rust underneath. Mr. Hoffmann took a key out of his pocket and unlocked a door next to the dumpster. They stepped into a darkened room. Dim light shone through slits in the boarded up windows.

He walked up to a door on the far wall and knocked. A thin bar of light shone out from beneath the door.

“Rowan Winters the rememberer is here.” He announced.

“Let her in.” Another voice called.

He opened the door and beckoned her inside. When she walked in he closed the door behind her.

She now stood with a room lit by a mixture of old-fashioned torches and flashlights. It was so bright in here that Rowan had to blink a few times to get used to this new brighter light level. Across from where she stood twelve people sat in chairs. They all stared at her in interest.

“Welcome Miss Winters.” A bald man with golden eyes with slit-like pupils in the middle exclaimed. “We have been waiting a very long time for you to come.”

Posted in 2017, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 4

Rowan woke up in her own bed. Her warm quilted blanket sat on top of her. It was actually too warm and she was sweating heavily. Her throat was sore. She sat up, tossing the blanket onto the floor. On the nightstand next to her sat a steaming hot cup of tea. She knew that she had made no tea that day and even if she had it wouldn’t still be steaming hot. This was something her father would do;make tea when she wasn’t feeling well. But her father was not there. He was far away. She did not drink the tea. Besides the night was too hot for such a beverage.

She carefully got up and tiptoed to her closed door. She opened it just a crack so that she could see into her living room. Something didn’t feel right to her.

On her couch sat Mr. Hoffmann, his back turned to her.

She slammed the door open instantly. “What are you doing in my apartment?” she demanded.

He was noticeably startled. Quickly he turned to look at her and he smiled. “Good, you’re awake. I was getting a little worried there.”

“What. Are. You. Doing. Here?” she seethed. “I barely know you.”

“Oh, well you see you fainted right there in the doorway. I couldn’t leave a lady such as yourself in such a position now could I. I carried you inside and put you in your bed then stayed to make sure you were alright. I was about to call an ambulance because it was taking too long for you to wake up. I did nothing wrong” He sounded sincere.

She suddenly clutched her head. The pain was only slightly bearable. “What did you do to me?” she demanded once more. “What do you want from me?”

“I did nothing to you and as for your other question all I want from you is for you to allow me to do my job. Failure is not an option in my line of work.”

She raised an eyebrow amidst the pain. “What exactly is your line of work?”

“I’m a servant of the Council of the Hidden.”

“What does that even mean?”

“You will know in time. Soon if I bring you to them now.”

The pain faded away. “Are you sure you didn’t do anything to me?”

“Of course I am. I think what happened is that one of the members of the Council reached out to you through the memories in my jacket. His name is Bruno and he’s an intensifier.”

“Reached out?” She was now completely confused.

“It is definitely possible with your kind. You are a Rememberer. The Council will tell you more about your heritage when you finally meet them.”

“I am not going anywhere. I need to stay here to wait for a possible call for a job offer.”

“Oh. You already got that call. They wanted me to tell you that you did not get the job.”

“What?” she ran to the phone and looked through the call history. Sure enough she had gotten a call from the high school just hours before. She also realized just how late it was. The time was 2:43 in the morning.

“And also I think you should know that I cleaned up around here while you were unconscious. Man was this place a mess.”

“Of course it was.” She snapped. “Someone broke in and left a raven corpse in front of the door.”

“What.” He stood up. “It’s even worse than I thought. They’re coming after you now. It won’t be long until you are yet another one of their helpless victims. You need to talk to the Council about this asap.”

“I won’t be telling anyone anything.” She moved to her front door. “Now leave before I call the cops.”

“You won’t be calling anyone.” He held his hand out and dangled Rowan’s necklace from his closed fist, smiling mischievously. “Not when I have this.”

“You stole that. Give it back.” She demanded frantically. That blue stone was the only thing she had from her life before she had been found by her father. It was worth more to her than anything else she owned.

“I won’t give this back until you talk to the Council.”

“Fine.” She gave in. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”

“Good.” He put his hand down. “We leave at dawn.”

 

Posted in 2017, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 3

Rowan Winters looked at the man who stood now in her doorway. He was dressed in a dark suit that looked both expensive and practical. He brushed a lock of sandy blonde hair out of his blue eyes and he smiled for some reason that Rowan could not fathom. 

She knew for sure just by looking at him that she had never seen him before, yet somehow he seemed familiar to her. Maybe she had glimpsed him a few times as she walked down the street. Yes that had to be it. It could possibly also explain the reason as to why she felt he could be trusted.

“What do we have to talk about?” she exclaimed after he had spoken. She glared at him suspiciously.

He sighed. Placing his hand on his forehead. “I guess I was a little misleading there. Really most of what needs to be said to you is going to be explained by other people. I am merely the messenger.”

“Messenger?”

“Yes.”

“For what?”

“Well it would probably help a little if I were to actually introduce myself. My apologies” He bowed slightly as though he were a prince and she a princess. “I am Albin Hoffmann, a proud Geist in service to the Council of the Hidden in this fair city. I have been sent by the Council to br8ng you to them as they know of your heritage and they wish to ask you a favour.”
Rowan tilted her head. What he just said did not make her trust him any more than she already did, not that she trusted him any more than her instincts already did. In fact, it somehow made her trust him even less. “My heritage? No one knows where I came from. Not even me, so why would some people I’ve never heard about know. People tried to find my parents long ago but they couldn’t even find any record of me. I don’t have a heritage.”

He chewed his lip. “Well…” he looked her straight in the eye, all fear suddenly gone. “You don’t know what you are, do you?”

“What I am? Ha. You can’t be serious. I’m a human of course. What else could I be?” She started closing the door.

“Wait.” He begged. “You do in fact have a heritage and there are some things I need to explain to you so please wait.”

He tried to push himself in. Rowan tried pushing him back out, but in the process, she touched his jacket.

She gasped as memories forced their way into the forefront of her mind. These were not her own memories, they were clearly someone else’s. This was something that happened all the time to her, only this time it was much much worse. She saw people who could not possibly be real. Were these the memories of a crazy person? But objects xouldnt be crazy. There were people with the wings of birds, with tails. People with scales and strangely coloured eyes. What she was seeing could not possibly be real. It was all a delusion, one that she had had all her life. This was a mixture of her own delusions and those from someone else.

“What did you do to me?” she asked weakly as he vision began to darken.

“I didn’t do anything.” He replied calmly. “It must be Bruno.”

As the world faded around her she heard the man say something.

“You have officially been  summoned by the Council, Rememberer.”

Posted in 2017, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, The Rememberer, Writing

The Rememberer – Chapter 2

“What do you mean they think I did this?” Rowan protested after the police officer had told her something that couldn’t possibly be true. “Someone must have heard something. I have an alibi.”

“Unfortunately Ma’am, no one heard anything. Surely someone would have heard a burglar making such a mess. You have no alibi for the half hour you claim it took you to walk home. It’s only a ten-minute walk from here to the high school where your interview was. For all we know you could have snuck in yourself and made this mess before calling 911 for the insurance claims. Your neighbours all think you would do something like this— “

“But I would never do anything like that.”

“Again, I’m sorry Ma’am. This is not something we can investigate further. Don’t worry, I won’t charge you for insurance fraud this time. Just don’t do it again.”

The police officers all left without saying a word. Rowan wanted to protest further but at that point speaking up would only make it worse. She did not want to get charged for something she didn’t do.

The fact that her neighbours had all blamed her for the mess and the dead raven on her doorstep said volumes about her relationship with the people who lived near her. Most of her neighbours were younger people either still in university, or have just graduated. Her closest neighbour was studying for exams and had been in her room when this had all happened. She must have lied about what she heard.

There had been a few times in the past where she woke up with terrible nightmares. They were always the same. A family lay murdered on their living room floor. Blood soaked into the carpet. She was hiding in a closet. A man walked around calling out for her. She knew he had a sneer on his face, his fingers tapping lightly on the knife her carried. The dream would always end with the man finding her and bringing his knife down upon her. She would wake up screaming hysterically which did not please the neighbours.

Not to mention the fact that they all thought she was an eavesdropper. Rowan didn’t know how she knew so many details about their personal lives, but she definitely didn’t find these things out by listening in on her neighbours’ conversations.

Now she had to clean up. She would get no help, she would have to do everything on her own. First she dealt with the books because she never had a an organization system for them. This is when she noticed something strange about all the objects that had been strewn across the floor. Usually when she picked up an object with her bare hands, especially objects as well-loved as these books she would feel memories that were not hers nudging themselves into the center of her consciousness. When she picked up the books she felt nothing but the memories that had just been made. She had always believed that she was delusional. This was never brought up to anyone because she didn’t want to be the crazy girl even though that’s exactly what she became. If she felt nothing when touching her things than something must have changed.

Someone knocked loudly on her door.

Mr. Streer stood on the other side. He looked as though he was going to explode. He was an older man with a receding hairline, except he had dies what hair he had left a bright blue. He had stretchers in his ears, and a nose ring.

“How could you waste my time like that. Do you know how much time I lost because I had to talk to the police? Huh. Do you? Because far too much of my time was wasted all because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut.”

“But—“

“No buts. Not only did you waste my time but you several of your neighbours at risk. Next time this happens you will no longer be living here. Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear.”

Rowan stood there for a second frozen. Her jaw was clenched, tears were filling her eyes. “Uh. Yes. Yes sir.” She mumbled.

“Good.” He smiled menacingly.

He turned leaving her staring into the hallway out of shock. After about a minute of standing there she closed the door and slowly got back to cleaning. She finally finished picking everything off the floor and was about to attempt cleaning up the mess in front of her door when yet another person knocked on her door. She contemplated whether or not she should answer it. The last two people who had visited her had been less than pleasant and it was unlikely that anyone else would want to talk to her without being angry with her. Most likely her neighbours just thought that she was just being her usual crazy self so they wouldn’t come. Maybe it was a Jehovah’s Witness come to tell her about his religion. Yeah maybe she shouldn’t answer.

When the person knocked again she sighed in annoyance. She had to answer eventually. What if it was important? What is the police had returned with some evidence that proved she was innocent? She began to day dream about all the good things that could be waiting for her at the door. Now she just had to answer.

A tall man around her age with sandy blonde hair stood in the doorway.

“Are you Rowan Winters?” he asked in a gentle voice.

“That is me.” Rowan replied apprehensively. She did not expect someone like him to be there. He actually looked like a nice guy and he wasn’t looking down on her like most of the other guys she knew would.

He smiled. “That’s good. Because you and I, well, we have a lot to talk about.”