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Secrets of Arkana Fortress Release Date

Hi all,

I hope this post finds you well.

As you can tell from the title of the blog post, I have set a release date for the novel. It will be on October 10, 2 weeks after my 29th birthday. Happy times ahead! This will give me enough time to get a pair of fresh eyes to go over the book, as well as get the cover art done for it :-)

I know I have been absent a lot over the past year or two, but I’m now very fed up with my own procrastination and levels of depression that have plagued me for years. It’s time to take this by the proverbial, and get it over and done with.

I will be self-publishing via Amazon Kindle Direct, as I have had no luck in finding suitable publishers (I think I wasn’t looking hard enough!). Anyway, I am looking forward to finally being able to call myself a published author :-D BIG SMILES!!!

Here is the link to the Facebook event – feel free to join! Secrets of Arkana Fortress Launch Party Link

I will reinvigorate myself and churn out a lot more. I will also put more effort into networking with all of the lovely people on Twitter and Facebook.

Take care everyone

Flash Fiction – A Drink for The Divine

Hi all,

Here is a flash fiction for all to enjoy (hopefully :P)

 

A Drink for The Divine

He looks. He stares. He examines. What will become of this prodigal man?

She looks back. She stares back. She assesses. How will she take the day-to-day life of a reality she does not want?

They both lock eyes. They both create a pedestal for the other to be stood upon. How long can a fantasy last?

Destinies entwine, and a merger of life and desire is to stand until the blanket covers the eyes.

Life battles on. Death will always win. A soul for a soul, and a life for a life. The soul feels torment every second of its existence, pleading for a resolution and a sense of serenity that is literally impossible to everything that exists.

“Come to me,” the voice of eternity utters through an enticing hiss of breath that is only heard on the final breeze that passes through the soul before the corporeal form retires for good.

Save yourself a penny for the ferryman.

Upon the eternal white pedestal they will sit, drinking from the Messiah’s simple chalice that gives them a never-ending happiness they sought through their tangibility, but never found. A divinity will always keep them safe; and they will always have, love, and want one another.

Looking down upon the generations, and protecting their needs, is all a soul will need.

Take a drink, and see the effect of a divine afterlife.

Returning Flash Fiction

Here is a flash fiction – the first I have written in a long time. Enjoy!

 

Flash Fiction – Intensity

I look down upon the jade surface; it’s many slender soldiers pointing up at the sun, yearning for action. One stain of crimson, a second… and a third. What is this? I glance to my right hand, seeing the hardened edge of the Reaper’s touch in my grasp. A whirling sense of regret ebbs through the tunnels of my heart as I realise the events of moments past.

Things were once so sweet and intoxicating I could not resist the allure of the embrace – a lover’s embrace. I had lived in pure bliss, if not but for a moment amidst the eternity of the cosmos, and I did not want for anything else. The abrupt flash of her final image haunted my waking moments; leading that coffin to where it was to be last seen by all who loved her; breaking down as I ran my finger along its edges after placing it down – there was then an emptiness that nothing would ever fill up no matter how willing my soul was.

What lay before me was the thing I had grown to hate, the person whom I had learned from a young age to be my worst enemy. I stared wearily into the face, twisted and strewn with inexplicable pain and anguish – a mere reflection of some of my own torment. His stature was flowing in its resting place; the intense blue eyes still living, burrowing into me with a piercing look of resolve and disbelief. Something was stirred within me from this moment of timelessness – why are you doing this? You are killing me, and yet you are the one who has culminated from these feelings? If you do not stop…

I realised then that I stared into my own eyes, trying my damnedest to be the saviour of my own existence.

He pleaded… I pleaded.

In A Dark Place

I have been in and out of a dark place for months. I have been absent both mentally, and physically. I have not been looking after myself in these ways either. Sometimes things are easy, but then a few moments later they are not. I still yearn to become what I feel I can easily be; but when I sit in that seat, grip the steering wheel, and turn the keys in the ignition… nothing happens. I have been sitting in that driver’s seat for a long time. I am starting to re-develop the urge to open up, and have a look at the engine in an attempt to get the damn thing running.

I know many will not have even noticed the absence, but to those who have done; and who have messaged me; I thank you :-)

Depression Awareness – A Slice Of Me

The cold winter sun bleeds through the curtains in the morning, rousing me from an alcoholic slumber. I grumble with a dry throat and cover my face with my forearm in a futile attempt to block it out. Sounds of clinking beer bottles and the scraping of empty cans along the wooden floor was followed by a hungered whimper and a nuzzling at my elbow. I glanced out and saw Harry, my soppy old black Labrador, wagging his tail halfheartedly at me.

“You want something to eat, Harry boy?”

He barked, understanding that I knew what he wanted. I rolled slowly onto my side and looked across the floor – a sea of bottles, cans, dog ends, and pizza boxes. I reached for one of those boxes and found some pizza still inside, barbecue bacon I think. I slid the box at Harry and continued to doze on the sofa. He didn’t make much noise as he cautiously sampled the cold meal. I knew something like that wasn’t good for him, but I really didn’t care at that point.

Where was the remote for the stereo? Ah, I was lying on it. I pushed a few buttons and stuck on something heavy; the lyrics suddenly echoing my mind as I listened to them.

“My mind is a cage, trapping my every thought and emotion. Will this ever end? Will this ever die? If it goes on then I will be the one to die. It is like a battlefield inside, my hopes and dreams like soldiers – dead and scattered, never to be reborn. Someone help me; someone kill me!”

I cried myself back to sleep, the whole time aware of the pain and torment that clouded my mind.

I woke up later on in the day and shuffled my way into the shower. It was hot and somewhat refreshing; maybe the scalding heat would melt my troubles away. It was there that I questioned myself like I always do: Why am I so depressed? What the hell has caused this? I have nothing to be depressed about – I have a wonderful job, lovely fiancee, and we’ve recently moved into our own house… so what the actual fuck?!

I don’t think about ending my life; I don’t think about anything. My mind is so fuzzy and clouded, and has been for countless years. I don’t get excited, happy, or bothered over anything anymore. Sometimes I think I have just died inside and what walks around is just an empty husk that feels the remnants of the suffering my soul has been ravaged by. I want to be happy, and I know I have things to be happy about, but telling myself this never does any good. I think I am destined to drink and eat myself into a state where I fall over dead from a heart attack. Even though this scares me, it does promise some essence of peace.

Flash Fiction Series – The Calling of a Myth (Episode Five)

A bit late, but finally got around to publishing this new episode :-)

 

Episode Five

‘I have been told that the two investigators are at the military post near the city gates,’ informed Xander as he perused a fruit-laden market stall outside the tavern he was staying in. ‘I suggest we make our way there now.’

Justine retied her mass of blue hair into a ponytail as she watched people going in, out and past the tavern. A horrid silence had befallen her after the silver haired Evenian divulged the gruesome details about the Dark Blade assassins and what they were about. She had been shocked into silence by stories of these agents performing despicable tasks such as the killing of children, raping of girls barely of the legal age, and the slaughter of entire families. What made these tales worse was the fact that half of them were performed just for fun. The nauseated feeling she felt set in was still hanging in the pits of her soul.

As they both hurried down the cobbled paths toward the front of the city, Xander eyed his companion’s discomfort. ‘I’m… sorry; sorry you had to hear such stories, but you must know what we are up against if you are to decide whether or not to help me.’

Justine gritted her teeth as she hesitated to look him in the face. ‘I… I just… I can’t imagine the mentality of such acts – it’s sick!’ She kept her attentions on the road in front of her, a troubled sense of determination bleeding out into the street from her presence.

Xander lowered his head and bit his lower lip hard. ‘Nothing about their mentality is understandable; I, of all people, know this.’

***

Tenrian removed his green hood as he entered the office of Captain Relphea, the officer in charge of the city’s guard posts. Fiona followed closely behind her comrade, her face stern and tight-lipped.

Relphea looked up from her desk and the paperwork she was scribbling on. Her long black hair cascaded around her neck like a curtain that revealed nothing of what it hid. She wore a captain’s insignia on the chest of her dark grey and gold uniform, a position that was hard to obtain unless someone was willing enough to work for it. Relphea had been nicknamed ‘The Unwavering’ due to her seemingly unshakeable resolve in getting things done.

Fiona addressed the captain, cautiously avoiding the piercing stare of her strong blue eyes – something she always did as she felt a certain degree of discomfort around her superior. ‘Captain…’

‘Fiona, Tenrian; what news from the latest attack?’ The captain’s voice was solid and unnaturally calm; a tone that could break stone without any resistance.

Tenrian folded his arms and weighted himself on his left. ‘We came across something, at long last, that could give us a clue as to who’s instigating these raids.’

Relphea put her quill down and leaned back in her chair, an expectant look on her face.

The hunter reached down to his thick leather belt and detached a small pouch, opening and placing it on the desk in front of the captain. ‘We found this residue around a wound on one of the corpses at Pisca – I believe it to be a rare and exotic poison.’

Relphea arched forward to inspect the sample of the poisonous leftovers, but quickly recoiled from the pungent smell that wafted up her nose. She covered her face; her eyes closed and near watering point. ‘And the barbarians have used this? Unusual…’

‘I do not believe the barbarians used this,’ Tenrian explained. ‘I suspect that someone other than a barbarian was involved here, and I think the same person has had a direct involvement in the other raids.’

The captain eyed him with an indistinguishable scepticism. ‘Who exactly?’

Fiona ended her silence. ‘Ma’am, I’m afraid we don’t know that vital piece of information, but the evidence before us at the scene led us to conclude that someone could very well be motivating these tribes to attack the villages under our jurisdiction.’ She fell mute again as she caught Relphea’s stare.

After a few moments contemplation the captain stood up from her seat, signalling Tenrian to cover up the foul smelling poison residue, which he did so swiftly. ‘I will have you leave the evidence with our alchemists on your way out. Until we have an answer I am afraid you two will be twiddling your thumbs, so use this time to relax and have a break.’

They were dismissed with the wave of a gloved hand.

***

‘You’re looking rather nervous,’ remarked Xander as he leaned against one of the sandstone pillars outside the guard post.

Justine scraped her nails against one another idly, her eyes fixed on the entrance as they waited for the two investigators to emerge. ‘I hope you’ve been told correctly, Mister.’ She could feel the presence of her Evenian counterpart all around her as if he was the very air that she was breathing.

‘Relax,’ he cooed. ‘I’ll do the talking.’ He flicked his silvery mass of hair out of his eyes before tapping Justine on her shoulder. ‘What made you decide to come with me anyway? Was it idle curiosity? Or is there something else?’

Her breath wavered as the question sank into her mind like water into a sponge. ‘I…’

Xander unfolded his arms and turned, still looking at the back of her head. ‘You…?’

Justine huffed to herself and hung her head. ‘I suppose idle curiosity is a part of it…’

‘But?’

Her eyes closed. ‘But… I dunno. There’s something about this situation I really don’t like. Maybe I’m looking for some kind of truth.’

‘What is it about the situation you don’t like?’ He moved so he was in front of her. ‘Tell me – you can trust me.’

She lifted her head cautiously and looked at Xander’s face before her mouth opened to say what was on her mind. It was then that her eyes darted to one side as she observed two figures, which were not dressed like the other soldiers, exit the guard post. One was a blonde haired woman with an exquisite set of light flexi-armour and a dark blue and silver cape; the other was a man judging by the build, with a dark green hood and tight-fitting green tunic that had two thick, brown leather straps crossing diagonally over the chest, a single silver chest plate, dark brown trousers and boots. Justine assumed it was the two Xander was after.

‘I believe they are the two we’re after,’ said Xander as he turned his head and watched them trudge off into town. ‘We’ll have to tail them.’

‘Why not just go up to them? It’d be much easier, not to mention quicker,’ suggested Justine.

Xander shook his head as they made their way after the two investigators at a safe distance. ‘Doing that in front of everyone would cause unnecessary attention to be had. It’d be better to approach them in a more deserted place.’

Justine raised an eyebrow. ‘Oh yes, because that wouldn’t put them on edge.’

‘Just… trust me, OK?’

They followed the two figures down a variety of crowded streets and wide roads. It seemed as if they were toying with them, or maybe just sightseeing aimlessly.

It got to a point where Justine became uneasy. ‘I suspect they know we’re following them.’

‘You reckon?’ Xander pulled his hood up and kept a sharp eye out.

‘Well they’ve been wandering around the city now for the best part of half an hour and they aren’t really stopping to look at anything or talk to anyone.’ Justine was beginning to let her nerves overtake her, her heart beating furiously like a caged angry cat.

They saw their targets take a sharp turn into a side street and they pursued as quickly as possible… only to find an empty passageway.

Xander clenched his fists together as he looked behind them, up into the air, and then began to check the dark shadows in front of them.

Justine, on the other hand, had begun to let her nerves get the better of her. ‘I can’t see them anywhere,’ she exclaimed in a soft panic.

‘How did they elude us so quickly?’

It was then that Justine breathed in sharply, her eyes turning towards Xander. ‘They’re still here…’

A sudden scuffling of feet, unsheathing of metal, and grunts of painful confrontation ensued until Justine was pressed up against the wall with a gloved hand over her mouth and a knife against her throat. Xander had been kidney punched by a metallic fist before he felt the tip of a longsword pressed against his chest.

‘You’ve been following us for over half an hour,’ Fiona growled firmly, her voice never once losing any control in its command. ‘What are you after?’

Xander had his hands nursing his side as he looked up at the ferociously resilient warrior woman. He slowly removed his hood and gazed into her eyes. ‘We’re here about your investigation.’

Tenrian glared at Xander from within the refuge of his green hood as he held the shivering, blue haired girl firmly. ‘What do you know of our investigation?’

With a tearful quiver, Justine spoke. ‘He… knows who’s behind it all.’

 

What’s Been Going On…

Hello all,

As most people on my Facebook will know, my life is finally going through a positive streak after months and months of agony. I have recently secured a new job that actually pays well – enough for me to stand on my own 2 feet! I am currently awaiting the contract to come through the post and then after that I will be employed full time by a globally recognised company (not going to be doing any name dropping by the way). This, of course, means that I will be going through a period of adjustment and sorting my life out at last. I will do my best to write, read, blog post and #walkcast as and when I can. I thank you all those people who have shown their support and who have made me feel truly blessed by their kind words :-)

Speak to you all soon!

Andy

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