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Out of Context: new weekly writing prompt

As you know from my previous posts, the weekly Weekend morning writing activity came to an end upon reaching the 50th week, but that doesn’t mean I will stop from posting at least once a week. What I will do, is just change the rules with a new series that I hope you’ll find interesting.

So here are the rules:

  • the genre must be fiction, preferably fantasy
  • the content will be based on one random sentence I heard during the week (in a conversation I wasn’t part of)
  • the post must be weekly, during the weekend, but there is no longer the restriction of posting only in the morning
  • the length is flexible (it can be as short as a haiku or as long as a short story)

That’s it in a nutshell. If you have any suggestions on how I can make this writing activity even better, I am eager to hear each and every one of your ideas!

Posted in An author's view, Out of Context

You, my dear, have an especially interesting background! – Out of Context #1

He had found her. Too bad she didn’t want to be found, and especially not by him. So much for hiding in the woods. Good place to hide, they said, lots and lots of land and hiding places, they said. But the villagers didn’t know the person she was hiding from was proficient in natural magic. Up until now, nor did she.

The girl woke up tied to a tree. She hadn’t been moved from the place she had been taking a nap, but nor could she move now if she wanted to. Standing in front of her was the man she ran away from, her to-be master, who reached to grab her by the chin and stare into her black eyes. With his grasp on her, she found it hard to speak, but tried nevertheless, her voice fragmented and hoarse from not drinking.

“Why won’t you… just let me… go?”

“Because then, you would be a waste to this world. When you looked into the mirror, you saw how magic was swirling in your eyes. Instead of embracing it, learning to control it, you ran away.”

The girl shook her head abruptly and broke free from the grasp on her chin. She swallowed her saliva, then spoke on a tone she hoped would appear confident. She certainly didn’t feel confident.

“I don’t want magic! I want a simple, normal life.”

“Want all you may, but it won’t change the fact that you, my dear, have an especially interesting background. Both your parents were masters of the Academy of Magic, which is a rare thing to have. You have magic in your blood, and there’s no denying it.”

“Magic got my both my parents killed!” Tears fought their way down the girl’s cheek who hurt with the memories.

“You don’t understand. You must learn to use magic. Since you can’t run away from it as you cannot run away from yourself, your only option is to learn to control it.”

“Or else?”

“Or else it will kill you.”

The girl went pale, but the man before her looked dead serious. He had never betrayed her in all her childhood, always stood beside her when times were rough, and never forced anything upon her. Until now that she was finally of age to be taught. She knew he was right, he never lied. He would go to great lengths to teach her the magic to protect herself.

“I will cut down the rope now. Whether you come back to the Academy or run off is up to you, but if you do leave, know that there will be no one out there to protect you from outside harm, and especially not from yourself.”

There was a long silence between them as the man untied the ropes carefully and helped the girl up. They stood face to face for a long minute, waiting for a reaction from the other person. The man looked with pity deep into the girl’s black eyes, full of smoky patterns that marked her as a potentially powerful magic user. The girl, even as she stood up, had to lean her head backwards to look up at the man who was to be more than her tutor and finally spoke:

“Let’s go back, Master. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine, but next time you want to leave the Academy, at least tell me. You are by no means forced to reside there, even if you’re only ten. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do. I am here just to guide you.”

“Yes, Master.”

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #50

For the last (but not least) writing activity of this kind, I’ll choose the following song: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Starting next week I’ll be trying something new that I am yet to discover the rules for, but I’ll give you a little spoiler: it implies plenty of dialogue. Unless I change my mind in the meanwhile, that is!

But now, let’s enjoy the moment and make the best of this last post with music lyrics as source of inspiration.

Enjoy!


Screams went out in the distance, vibrating through the air into the children’s ears. The twin sisters were facing the sea with confused looks.

“I always thought that mermaids sing nicer than that,” said one of them.

“Me too. Oh, wait, look!” The second one raised her hand to point to the vicious waves that came a long way to crash into the stones they were standing on. “I see something. But I’m not sure it’s the mermaid papa told us about.”

“Maybe it’s the one we saw sleeping on the beach last week. Do you think it’s her?”

“No, it’s not a mermaid. Look, it’s getting closer, whatever it is.”

The girls waited and looked, their eyes squeezed in hopes they might see more clearly. The screams they heard earlier now seemed more like singing, still, a weird kind of singing.

“It’s a boat!” shouted the second girl full of excitement.

“A boat! What’s it doing here?”

“I don’t know, but it’s heading for the beach. Let’s go and see!”

As gracious as cats, the two girls climbed down the rocky area they were sitting on to watch the waves. In only a matter of seconds, and with seemingly no energy lost, they began running for the sandy beach not far from where they were. The sand was cold, so despite all their want to sink into the soft floor of nature, they kept their boots on. There were, after all, plenty of fractals of ice mixed in.

It wasn’t a long wait once they reached the dunes that the boat grew nearer, until it fully stopped not far from them. They could see the shape clearly now. A massive and unusually narrow wooden ship, decorated with what looked like shields.

“Do they look like pirates to you?” asked the first girl in a whisper. They both stood still as they watched the men and women climb down, splashing through the water until they reached the shore. Each and every one of them was dressed for battle, but their weapons were not in sight. The twins held still even as the strangers walked past them, as if they weren’t even there.

“I don’t think they’re pirates,” responded the other in as much of a whisper.

“What, then?”

“I don’t know.”

They continued to watch, and although they were surrounded, fear hadn’t overcome them. Those people, although looking menacing, seemed peaceful, even kind. In the distance they noticed two of them laughing after another had said a joke. Plenty were finding their way to an empty space so they could sit down and relax. Only one of them, a man dressed evermore warrior-like, seemed to acknowledge their presence and even approached them. Although his weapon was not in sight, he was holding a shield.

The girls looked up to the man, who was massive in comparison, but held still. Now, however, the girls were squeezing on each other’s hands and gulped, unsure what to expect. They only grew less tense after a moment of panic, when the man made a sudden move. Less than a step away from them, he trusted his shield into the sand, until it fixed into a vertical position. The girls smiled when the man fell to one knee to be on eye level with them. His hands were casually held one atop another over the shield and his head fell on them, making the menacing-looking man look a little more innocent.

“Are you two girls lost?” His voice was kind. Clearly used to speaking to children. Was he a father, then? They wondered.

“No. We came for a walk. Who are you?”

“My name would mean nothing to you, but what I can tell you is that my people and I come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.”

“If you want to find something warmer, you found the wrong place. Look, it’s late summer and the sand is still full of ice. We never even managed to go swimming because of the cold.”

“Poor you. But what if I told you the land we come from is even colder than this? It looks like a winter wonderland, but in all its beauty, it is also malicious. Even so, the weather was no reason for us to come here. We are used to it all.”

“Why then? Are you looking for someone?”

“How dear you are. No. The one I lost is not to be found here. We came in search of new lands. We came to fight, to sing and cry.”

“Fight!” gulped one of the girls in surprise and sudden fear.

“So you came here to harm us.”

“No, no. I wouldn’t harm you lovely girls. Nor would my people. But one day, there might be other people who would. Tell me, do you know how to protect yourselves?”

The scared girl remained frozen, while the other, more courageous, shook her head in honesty.

“Would you like to learn, then?” He now focused his eyes on the more responsive girl, almost ignoring the other one who would never even flinch now. As answer, he received a nod, which caused the other girl’s eyes to go wide with shock. She remained silent yet. “I can teach you if you like.”

“You would do that?”

“Yes, but not here, on lands foreign to me. I can only teach you in the lands of my people. I don’t know if your family would agree that you leave, however.”

“We have no family left.”

“Oh, poor you sweet things. I know how it feels, I’ve lost my family too, but I was older than you two are. At least you have each other to look out for.”

“I don’t want to go,” murmured the other girl, startled when the man’s look fell on her again. Her sister watched her in surprise as well.

“Why not? I want to go!”

“I like it here, I know the places and the people. Sis, please don’t leave me.”

“I really want to go. You know I always wanted to learn to fight. I want you to come with me.”

Noticing the tension between the two sisters, the man prepared to walk away. Before he did, he told them one thing: “If you decide to come, we are leaving at nightfall. Think about it.”

The girls argued for the better part of the day, remaining on the beach while the group of menacing strangers left for the green fields. They were heaving for their village, but neither of them stopped to wonder why. They had barely noticed they were gone until they were already returning, a good part of them full of blood. The girls didn’t know it wasn’t the warriors’ blood that had been spilled all over and thought they were injured. By that moment, they had reached a decision.

The braver girl decided to join those people and begin a new life, one that she had chosen for herself, while the other one would remain in her home land that had nothing more to offer her. The fear of the unknown left her without anything, even when all she had left was her sister. Now she was gone too.

“You made the right choice,” said the man who had talked to them earlier. They were already on the ship, sailing north into the night.

“I hope she’ll be well.”

“There’s nothing I can do for her. But you, you are now under my protection. I will adopt you as my daughter, and should anyone harm you, they shall answer to me.”

She hugged him. He hugged her back. For the first time in her life, she felt safe.

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #49

It’s time for the last but one weekend morning writing activity. Remember, this series of fiction ends at #50, which is next week. I propose we make the best of what’s left.

For this weekend, I’m choosing a song from The Script, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.

Enjoy!


I’d go back to the corner where I first saw her. Oh, how I would!

But sadly for me, I’m known as the man who can’t be moved. The man of stone in all but heart. The man forever lost in the depths of the Cement Catacombs. I know I’m not moving from here, trapped and isolated until the stone my flesh has become would crumble to bits.

I never should have accepted that contract, but the pay… of the fortunes I could have received, the riches I could have shared with her, my loved one. But now, I was never to see her again. What wouldn’t I give to catch just a glimpse of her for just one moment and know she is doing well…

All I could think of in the cursed eternity that I had left to suffer was how my lover’s heart would be broken when she saw I never came back to the corner we first met. How she would stay there, not moving from place, waiting with lost hope that I return as promised.

It’s been days since I ended trapped down here. Some of my teammates for the contract were down here as well, for as much as I knew, only trapped in different parts of the Catacombs. It was funny and sad how I could have been able to speak to them, despite having been turned to stone, but I couldn’t since they were taken away. The only one I could speak to was my trapper, the Curse Maker. She especially enjoyed torturing me by reminding me of my loss.

One day, however, the turn of our usual topic surprised me.

“She’s here, you know.”

“Here? No, that can’t be.”

“Oh, she is. The stones just told me. Barely went through the entrance.”

“Please, don’t hurt her too!”

“Don’t worry. I won’t touch her. For now.” I didn’t answer, which encouraged my nameless trapper to continue with the mocking. “She’s halfway through the first corridor, going slowly. She’s scared. I expect she’ll turn around and leave.”

“So she is not trapped?”

“Not yet. I want to see how far she’s willing to go for you. Oh, she increased her pace. I’m starting to like this girl of yours. I might just be nice and let her leave.”

“Please do. I wouldn’t have her trapped here as well. Having me is bad enough.”

“Oh yes, her heart truly is ruined. She came in here in tears.”

“How do you know all that?”

“The stone speaks to me.”

“Were you aware of all these things when I came in as well?”

“Of course, my dear. I traced your every step since you crossed the threshold.”

“So it’s all a game to you, one where you’re the only winner.”

My captor let out a genuine smile, but at the same time wicked to my eyes. Her hand was then on my stone shoulder and slid down my arm. Her face was close to me when she spoke next. Sadly for me, I couldn’t back away.

“Yes, you’re exactly right, my dear.” Only a few moments later, she spoke again, giving me more news of my loved one. “She’s already in the labyrinth. I think she ran through the Skeleton Theater because she passed that quicker than most do. Scared or not, she is brave to not have turned back, even for a split second. I like your girl. I might just keep her as my new pet.”

“No, please let her go. Let her live her life if I won’t. She’s so young, she has so much she can see, so much she can do!”

“If you keep on pleading, I might get frustrated.”

I remained silent after that. I knew my words only had a negative impact on myself, although to some extent they amused the Curse Maker. It wasn’t long before she spoke again.

“Oh, how quick she is! She’s almost here.”

“Here?” My eyes, the only part of me that could move, went wide.

“I’m surprised too. She didn’t miss a corner. If I didn’t know better, I’d be wondering why.”

“What did you do?”

“Oh, just some simple illusion. Some extra walls to guide her on the right path, not much.”

“You want her to…”

The door to the room I was trapped in suddenly opened and had me go silent. I stared at my love who was standing only a few steps away from me, but she only glimpsed my way once. Her attention was focused on my trapper.

“The Curse Maker. It’s you.”

“Yes, a pleasure to meet you. Cousin.”

The door behind my love slammed shut with an unseen force. I knew it was the Curse Maker who trapped her in here too. She didn’t even flinch, however, as if she expected it. There was a certain personality in my lover that I would only get to see now. Something I never would have guessed on my own.

“Cousin. I always forget how my blood family is sided with the evil.”

“I haven’t seen you since you were a baby. My, how you’ve grown!”

“We can leave these talks for later. Free him.”

“Or what?”

“Cousin, don’t forget you are not the only one with magic here. I have cast a spell myself. It forces either me or him out of the underground. I know it’s me you’ve always wanted here, so free him and let him live his life.”

“You would sacrifice your eternity for the short life of a mortal?”

“If you don’t free him now, you will lose me forever, cousin. The spell will soon take effect, and if he’s made of stone he can’t leave. Then, I will, and I shall never come back. Decide.”

“Fine.” The Curse Maker waved an arm and the spell that had me turned to stone vanished, and I crumbled to the cement floor, all limp flesh and bones. I felt exhausted and knew I was going to lose consciousness in a matter of moments.

The last thing I remembered was my lover kneeling next to me with my head in her lap, crying, and looking up to the Curse Maker, her cousin, thanking her.

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #48

There’s only 3 weekends left for this writing activity, you have been warned. After hitting #50 I will begin another kind of set of fictional writing, but what that will include is yet a secret.

But now, how about we enjoy the moment? This weekend we’ll jump and scream with a smile on our lips to a song from The Offspring: Takes Me Nowhere and, of course, enjoy a fantasy flash fiction.


Whenever the day begins, I wonder if I’m gonna see the light. I keep hearing stories of how the weather is nice, the sky clear and the birds singing, a cool breeze caressing the leaves. The only thing I had was a windowless mansion, all to myself.

But I hate being trapped here. The person holding me in isolation calls himself a scientist, but I know better than to take his word for it. He’s a man imbued with magic. It wouldn’t even surprise me to find out he were a demon in human flesh.

With every day, I feel how I change and become somebody else, something a little more monstrous than the previous time I was conscious. Keeping track of time is impossible in here, so counting the days would be a blasphemy.

It wasn’t long after my waking up that the “scientist” walked through the open entrance door. I couldn’t see on the other side, unfortunately. A spell was cast on my eyes to perceive only darkness if I were to peek outside.

He found me contemplating my fate before a chimney fire, as usual. He smiled with sharp teeth every time he found me there, in plain sight and looking hopeless, unlike the first days of his bringing me here. I used to hide in the wardrobes, behind doors and curtains. Once he caught me sneaking up the chimney. Things ended up badly for me every time, therefore I stopped hiding and trying to run away, knowing he would find me with the greatest of ease. I assumed he had cast a tracking spell on me. Running or hiding took me nowhere.

“Hello, Pet,” he called me. “Have you been awake for long?”

“Hello, Demon,” were my only words, which set him smiling. I refused to answer his question. He didn’t care for an answer anyway, because he would put me back to sleep regardless. There was no mistaking he would force me to watch the wreckage of the night. It was always the familiar, mind disturbing dream. Disturbing because it was empty. Like a cage, one in the middle of starless space.

I was motionless and silent as I let him tie me to the armchair in the living room. He claimed it to be for my own safety, as I had a tendency to go wild while unconscious. After a while, I stopped caring and fighting back, but every day I wondered when it would end.

As always, he prepared to place two of his fingers on my forehead and induce me to sleep, but right before he did so, I asked something and he paused midway.

“Will I see some light this time? You promised you would show it.”

“Not today, but soon.”

“Soon,” I whispered, already groggy from the spell he was casting on me. I closed my eyes in an instant and my head fell to the side.

The next thing I knew was that I wasn’t restrained anymore, but couldn’t move nevertheless. Not that I had where to go to. It was again that familiar dream. Trapped in empty space, as if blind and incapacitated. I could feel how the world was spinning around me, not that I could see it. My head hurt and there was pressure on my shoulders, pinning me to a floor that didn’t exist. Sometimes I felt like I was falling, other times spinning round and round like a dog chasing its tail. Moving, however, was out of the question. I was an victim who had no say against what was being done to him.

I never saw a way out of there, but how I wished I did. I knew how it would end. It would end as it always ended, with me screaming.

I woke up again in a sweat, on the furry carpet of the living room. The fireplace was cold, and I was alone again. As trapped as always. With every waking, I felt a little more madness within me.

I was curious when I would explode and let it all run loose.

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #47

It’s time for some music and some fiction. Yes, you guessed it, it’s weekend again, so I’ll create a fantasy flash fiction with a song as inspiration. The song I choose this time is Got it in you by BANNERS. Be sure to give it a listen!

Without further ado, let’s jump straight into fantasy land!


Inside the globe, there was darkness. But it wasn’t the darkness of a sleeping soul, it was the darkness of a devastated one, a hopeless soul. I knew immediately my fellow wizard’s mission had gone ill.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I grabbed my cloak for chilly days and ran out the door of my study. I went down several flights of stairs so quickly that it was amazing I didn’t stumble and fall. Soon enough, I was at the main gate, my hood blown all over my face by the wind. I could hardly see Firoth through the blizzard. He was trembling. A warmth spell should have been simple for him to make, but he hadn’t. He didn’t appear fatigued in the least either, rather depressed. Things didn’t add up.

He refused to speak to me for a long time, and I knew better than to push for information. I invited him back inside the fortress, the soldiers’ and maids’ eyes gleaming on us, but we ignored them. Once we reached the wizard quarters, away from prying eyes, I lit up a fire to warm Firoth and offered him some tea. He took it gladly, but spoke no more thank a plain thank you. I looked away nervously, wondering how to approach the subject of his mission. Whatever happened, it couldn’t have been good, but I needed to know.

Before I found my words, I heard my fellow wizard speak, no more than a whisper tingling my ears.

“The witch cursed me.”

“Cursed?” I received a nod and no explanation. “What do you mean, she cursed you?”

“She took away my powers.”

My face was blank for a moment, as if I were a child who was struggling to understand the meaning of the words. For all my knowledge, I had never heard of magical powers being stolen away before, it was absurd!

“Now I feel… it’s so strange. It’s like I’m drowning. I gave all that sweat and blood for my work… but it all came to this. I’m drowning in it. I had hardly breathe. It’s like parts of my body are missing.” He paused and looked at his body as if searching for missing limbs and unseen wounds. He was whole, physically.

“Firoth, listen to me. Whatever she did, there’s no way she could’ve taken your powers. Such a thing is impossible. You still got the magic at your fingertips, you only forgot how to see it. How to feel and use it.”

“I don’t… there is a tingle. But it’s surely from the hot cup of tea.”

“Look at me in the eye. I know you think your fire is running out, but I still see you’re shining through. Magic hasn’t left you, it’s just sleeping. You got it in you.”

“I would know if that were the case.” He looked away from me, then closed his eyes and sunk deeper into the armchair he was sitting on. His knees here brought close to his heart, and he curled up into a ball.

There was nothing I could do today. When I left, I saw a tear rolling down his cheek. At that moment, I took my decision, one that would probably make him hate me for a long time, but I didn’t care. He was my brother, and I needed to help him.

While he was asleep, I wrote him a letter saying I was leaving. I packed my things and was gone before the blizzard even decided to take a break. I still had a few hours before the cracking of dawn, which made advancing difficult, but I couldn’t wait. Every moment counted.

If it was true that Firoth couldn’t find the magic at his fingertips because it was truly gone, then I would find a way to get it back to him.

I was going to see the witch.

Posted in An author's view, Bookish stuff

Reading update

I’ve been a bad blogger and neglected telling you about my latest achievements in the world of literature. But I’ll make up for it, and come in strength with four, yes, not one but four books I want to present to you briefly.

I care to mention that although some of them are already read, the others I’m still working on finishing. You know, slow and steady steps.

If you’ll look at the picture below, you’ll see books of all colours and sizes. From left to right, they are called:

  1. La terre sauvage by Julia Verlanger
  2. La Théo des fleuves by Jean Marc Turine
  3. Stupeur et tremblements by Amélie Nothomb
  4. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

It just so happens that three quarters are in french, but that’s because I’ve been very implicated in francophone activities lately, and that included some literature sprinkled every now and again.

Now I’ll tell you their chronological appearance into my life. It’s really scrambled, I warn you!

  • I received The Assassin’s Blade as a Christmas gift
  • At a francophone reading competition, I won La terre sauvage, and later on (after having finished other books), I began reading it. The process is very slow because much of the vocabulary is new to me. Didn’t even get a quarter through it, but the story is good!
  • Began The Assassin’s Blade because I wanted something more quick to read, and in english. Note that I only have the last bit left to read 🙂
  • Picked up Stupeur et tremblements for a university assignment (that I did like a month early because I’m simply crazy) and finished the book in two days. It’s not only that the story was short and without too much unknown vocabulary, but I also enjoyed it, therefore making my reading experience a little more sped up
  • Then there’s La Théo des fleuves. Here, I have an especially special story, because I didn’t go through this one the traditional way, literally reading every single word. Yesterday was a reading marathon at the local (and sole) french library, Kyralina, and this was the book we were set on reading. Therefore, much of the book’s contents I only heard, but plenty I read myself (it goes without saying that my throat was burning towards the end, but I was set on being the one to gloriously finish the book)

So that is basically it. In a nutshell, I still have La terre sauvage and The Assassin’s Blade left to finish (funny, because these were the first books I picked up from this list of four. I warned you it was a messy story!)

What about you? What stories do your books tell? I am talking about stories from the real world, not from their contents, like the memories they bring you. I’d sure love to hear from you! ❤