Thursday photo prompt: Journey #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a green hill against a misty, grey sky. Across the top of the hill strides a strangely proportioned figure. His head is bowed and he is carrying a staff.

Journey

So the sons of men marched into the unknown. To meet the the Elves and the Dwarves who were gathering in the west. Their journey had begun.

All day they they traveled, the men singing songs of war to keep their spirits high.

Rachel had resumed her wolf form and joined the scouts as they rode ahead to get the lay of the land. She had stopped at a stream to drink from the refreshing water when a cry went up.”Giant on the hill” “No” cried another “It’s Death”

Rachel howled in irrigation and raced up the hill to see what these cretins were making all the noise about. At the top hill she saw the lone figure striding against the wind, striding but not moving.

Immediately she recognised what this was. Laughing inside her head at the ignorance of these scouts she ran down the hill to join them .

Pulling the cloak from the youngest of the men she shifted in to human form and deftly covering herself. “That is neither a giant nor Death ” she said calmly to the scouts as they looked on in awe at the stark figure on the brow of the hill. ” This is a warning mark , my kind erect, these figures to alert any pack of Werewolves that men who hunt us are in this area. We build the figure of a man striding the land with staff in hand, head down following our scent.

The scouts where stunned, then one ventured to ask, “There are men who hunt Werewolves? They actually hunt you, kill your kind?” Rachel looked serious and her eyes flashed, “Yes” she replied taking a deep breath. “These men hunt us but they catch only the weakest , youngest and oldest of us, they do not ever attack any of us that are healthy and strong” Flashing her eyes amber at them she added, “They are cowards.”

The men were stunned by this revelation and ashamed too. “Come said the head scout let’s return to camp my stomach thinks my throat has been cut” So they mounted up and headed back to join the army of the sons of men. The youngest man picked up his cloak from where Rachel had dropped it as she had changed back to her wolf form. As he did he reached out and ran his hand along her back. Rachel froze and was about to turn on him when his words stopped her in her tracks. ” I am sorry for my kind” he whispered, “I could never attack, the young, weak or old of any race.” Rachel spoke to him gently straight from her mind. “I believe you, you have learned a a good lesson today. One word of wisdom, never afford those feelings to a Vampire they are never vulnerable however so they appear”

The young man nodded, and mounted his horse. They all rode back in silent thought, Rachel reading their thoughts satisfied that these men at least we’re on a good journey.

**********

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Challenge.

Thursday photo prompt: Within #writephoto

The morning came cold but bright bringing hope to all in different ways. Ewan was addressing the troops. Lisa was saying goodbye to Hope surrounded by Leona’s children. Lisa turned to Leona and asked “how will you feed her I had not thought of that?”, Leona laughed “same as you ma dear see, Jem here he’s coming up eight months trust me girl I have enough milk to go round.” Lisa hugged her thanking her deeply. Leona’s kind eyes searched Lisa’s face. “Don’t worry my dear I knows this ain’t no normal child, no more so than you be a normal woman. Don’t you have any fears me grandma was one of your kind. ” Lisa’s eyes widened “then you must be too” a sad smile crossed Leona’s face ” Nay ma dear not me, grandma took me and me Ma in when I was born, Ma had been used by some passing ‘Gentry’ and she was thrown out for havin’ me!” “Oh!” sighed Lisa. ” It’s fine” smiled Leona ” Grandma was great she taught us both the ways of her craft and we did well in learning. So I know more than most about Hope. ” Lisa felt a wave of relief spread over her, ” Is your grandmother here” she asked. “Nay ma dear she left Ma and me when I got the job here, said she’d see us at some time , whatever that meant …we never saw her again. Me Ma is still here though so I have got help with the running of this place and the children, Ben me man, he is good but always busy bless.” Lisa smiled and handed hope over to Leona knowing she would be safe within this woman’s care.

Rachel was waiting for Lisa in the courtyard , she smiled as she saw her friend approaching, “Is Hope settled are you happy to leave her here, you could still stay.” Lisa took a deep breath and replied ” No I am fine, Hope is in the best of hands I could of hoped for, no I am needed, my powers and your powers will be invaluable to these sons of men.”

Ewan joined them leading two horses one black and one grey. “Ladies” he announced, ” The black for our witch and the grey for our grey wolf,” he paused for a second then added, “Do you ride Rachel, no offense I didn’t think to ask” Raising an eyebrow Rachel cooley replied. “Of course I do ” Looking at Ewan’s embarrassed face she burst out laughing. “But not all the time, as I need to run”

So with Ewan at the front of the possession they moved off across the bridge. Lisa and Rachel following then the men, followed by the supplies and the fit younger women to cook and tend to wounds. The older woman stayed behind with the children. They were a sight to behold, these brave sons and daughters of man going forth to fight evil.

Lisa looked back to the window on the second floor of the castle to see Leona holding Hope, her mother at her side, she blink she was sure she had seen a third woman there smiling …yet when she looked again she was gone.

Ewan looked back and said, “We need to meet the Elves and the Dwarves by full moon that gives us three days marching.”

*********

From within the cavaness cave Mathew looked out on the bright day he thought of Rachel and their lost child. Once again he felt the long forgotten pain of regret. Standing there in the shadows he wondered if he could keep up this pretence of being one of the hoards. A young female approached him ” Come” she said, “You have not fed for days, I have saved a couple of prize speciemens for you the female is with child too. Then I have a hunger only you can sate.” Mathew knew he was out of excuses and if he wished to remain un-noticed he would have to be seen to comply to form. So he turned and followed her to feed and satisfy her lust. All the while pushing down the self loathing he felt within.

***********

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Challenge.

Thursday photo prompt: Destination #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a path between an avenue of trees. Shadows from hidden sunlight fall across the path, but mist obscures the way forward…

Destination.

When morning took hold it was bright but very misty. Calador shivered as he watched the mist roll up to the ramparts obscuring the road ahead. Though there was sunlight is was pale and held no warmth. The trees that lined the road cast shadows across the short distance he could see.

Wrapping his cloak around him Calador felt the damp but above that he felt a dark menace that he could neither see nor pinpoint. The mist enveloped him, in it he heard the voices of thousands of Vampires, evil beyond his darkest dreams, and humans and animals screaming.

Just as this grew unbearable something touched him on the shoulder, he jumped. Swinging round dagger drawn and ready to defend himself he was shocked to see his sister, Erin.

Wide eyed she stepped back “What is it” she asked, “Are you afraid of your own shadow” she suddenly stopped speaking, hearing the voices in the mist too.

A wind suddenly threw them together, Calador dropping his dagger so as not to stab his sister. The wind dropped as suddenly as it has arisen and the two elves stood in the silence, the voices and the mist all gone.

*********

Lisa stood looking out of the castle window and watched a new day dawn over the loche, Hope, to all intent and purpose, was sleeping peacefully in a basket by the fire. The child was asleep but in her sleep she was watching over everyone.

Ewan burst in the door making Lisa turn to face him. He bowed and bade her good morning, “Has the wolf returned yet” he asked. “Not yet” Lisa replied, “But I sense she is on her way” Ewan shouted for the women who worked in the kitchen and asked for some food to be brought up as quickly as possible. This done he woke the sleeping boy by the fire and told him to stoke it up.

Lisa sighed with relief as she saw a huge wolf approaching the drawbridge. Passing through all the troops that were eating and readying themselves for the long march to meet the elves. None of the soldiers or their women approached the wolf as she loped through their mist, a few dogs fell in behind her but she saw them off with a look.

Ewan met her at the bottom of the stairs with a robe, he dropped it to the floor and shouted, ” I hope it’s your colour” as he retreated up the steps.

Rachel growled but her yellow eyes turning blue as she transformed once more to her human self, smiled. She put on the robe an electronic blue edged in gold.

Joining the others she ate heartily. After their meal it was decided that she and Lisa would accompany Ewan and the army of men to meet the elves and that Hope was to stay at the castle in care of the cook and her husband, two of Ewan longest serving and most trusted servants. The cook and her husband already had a large family of ten children, what better place to hide this special child. In a large and loving family.

Preparations underway to leave early the next morning Rachel went to sleep while Lisa cradled Hope and told her why she had to leave her here , the child already knew, she knew everything. Soon Lisa too was sleeping tired after the nights vigil.

No one, except maybe Hope knew what lay ahead or where their destination was.

******

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Aflame #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows an empty landscape beneath a blue sky. Darkness gathers above the horizon and between land and cloud, the sky is aflame…

AFLAME.

Mathew answered Rachel’s howl silently and carefully non telepathically . He knew she would not hear him but also he knew she would understand why he could not answer her.

Looking to the horizon he saw the the sunrise approaching , time to find shelter with the other vampires he was tired, obviously not physically tired but mentally. He was tired of pretending to be part of this rabble of young and surprisingly viscous vampires. Only last night he had had to take part in destroying an entire village of humans. Men women and children slaughtered, these young creatures barely a couple of hundred years old drained and then ripped apart the humans leaving them strewn around like so much detritus. They ate and drunk of the humans stores, so much that they were beyond drunk. Worst of all was how they sort out the good looking males and females and repeatedly used and abused them before draining them of their lives blood, that was at least merciful end to their torture . Not that any of this rabble had any idea what mercy was.

Corvus buzzed around Mathew’s head telling him that Rachel, Lisa and Hope had reached Ewan’s castle and than Ewan was preparing his men for battle. Good, thought Mathew and he dipped his head as Corvus flew off in to the flame red dawn. Slowly he turned towards the dark woods where they were spending this day. As he approached he could hear the screams of the humans that had been kept alive for entertainment . Why, he wondered, had they not had enough to satisfy their blood lust during the night.

The poor unfortunates were pegged to trees and the ground stripped naked and they looked terrified, rightly so, mused Mathew as he passed them. Carefully, so as not to be seen he ripped out the hearts of the younger ones so as to dispatched them without anymore suffering.

Back at Silverman beach Rachel looked toward the dawn sky was it aflame with light or fire or just a reflection of the bloody war .

Calador stood on the ramparts of the elves stronghold, wandering where and how Lisa and Hope were faring. Were they even alive, he put so much faith in Lisa’s magic and Rachel’s strength and determination. At that moment the sky became aflame with the dawn. Calador took this as a good omen, what else could he do?

********

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

**********

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt: Clarity #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a seashore with a clear, turquoise sea, bordered by small islands and a rocky headland .

**********

Rachel chose to stay in lupine form until she established what was awaiting them. They followed the boatman up the stone steps. Rachel in her present form hated steps they were difficult with paws and claws. Much worse was the smell filling her nose.

Lisa was nervous too and held tight to Hope, feeling Rachel’s discomfort she rested a hand on her back showing her she cared.

They reached the top of the steps and entered a huge dimly lit hall with a huge fire place at the far end containing a roaring fire.

Rachel looked around recognising , tapestries, a huge long table with benches either side. Armour and paintings adorned the wall, all this along with the stench she had encountered the moment they had entered the castle confirmed they were surrounded by humans.

Lisa though her sense of smell was not as keen as Rachel’s had come to the same conclusion purely from the surroundings.

As they stood in the doorway a man rose from a chair near the fire and turned to greet them.

“Ladies and Hope, greetings, come warm yourselves by the fire. I have been expecting you. Rachel would you not be more comfortable in human form?” Asked the the man smiling and gesturing to the top of the table by the fire.

“Ask him who he is ” Rachel spoke telepathically to Lisa. “We are choosy who we dine with sir, who are you” Lisa replied, adding “how do you know the wolf’s name.”

“I am Ewan king of men , I was visited by an Elf named Calador, who told me to expect you and the child Hope. I am here to help you all I can.”

A thousand questions formed in Lisa’s head the foremost being where is Calador?

Before Lisa could speak Rachel grabbed a cloth from the table and deftly covered herself as she morphed in human shape. “How do we know we can trust you? ” She demanded of Ewan.

“Mathew was here he left you this letter, he had been at the rallying of four houses of the Vampires.” Ewan handed Rachel the letter. He continued “He was well and had seen Roman and Q at close quarters… He was hiding in the throng in plain sight and was as yet unseen.” He finished and waited for Rachel to reply.

Rachel thought, then she looked at Ewan, “When he came, where had he been and where is he now”

“He had been at the gathering on Silverman beach, twenty miles from here, after our meeting he left with the savage hoards of Vampires as they headed off to war. Which is where I and my men will be heading as soon as I hear from the Elf and Dwarf warlords.” Said Ewan sitting down again.

Lisa sat down and unwrapped Hope who reached out for Ewan who smiled and took her into his arms. Lisa smiled and said ” Rachel I believe this man is honourable. Hope accepts him. I believe we may too.”

Rachel’s eyes flashed yellow, “Maybe” she said as she made for the door, ” Silverman beach you say Ewan?”

“Yes, but they are months gone” he replied.

Rachel dropped her cloth and letter at the top of the stairs , she ran down them changing to a wolf as she did.

She swam the loche, and covered the twenty miles to Silverman beach. The smell of Vampires filled her nose and lungs fifteen miles before she arrived there. It sickened her but she ran on.

Arriving just before the dawn she ran up and down the beach looking for Mathew’s scent. Finally she found it.

Again she howled at the sky. “Mathew my love where are you.”

Many miles away Mathew looked up to the horizon and answered Rachel.

**********

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

**********

This story grew from a Thursday Photo Challenge which is run by Sue Vincent of Daily Echo. Well I stopped writing this story about a year ago to think about expanding it. So far the stars or rather real life has been against me but today’s photo prompt has inspired me to pull up my socks and work on this story….. It may not be a novel but I do feel it is something.

**********

This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Castle #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a silhouetted castle in the half-light, set in a lake surrounded by hills.

The Castle.

The road had been long and fraught with danger. Yet as she stood on the shore looking out to the castle she felt she had come home.

Night was falling and the light was faint enough for her to linger a while here by the lake. As she breathed in the cool evening air the sound of bagpipes carrying across the loch.

Looking back on all that had happened in the last three years leading up to the war. Rachel wondered was Mathew safe , had Calador reached the high council of the Elves, where were Corvo and his winged friends, there had been no news from them for days. With regret she also wondered had Fay found piece since her savage and beastly death.

A muffled sound to her side made her turn. Lisa smiled at her, “Hope is awake and hungry how far is it to that castle” Rachel replied with a smile then said, “it’s about a mile around the shore but I feel there may a quicker way.”

Rachel threw her head back and howled like the wolf that she was.

To Lisa’s surprise they witnessed a boat being launched and rowed towards them by a dark figure.

The boat was with them within minutes and the robed figure assisted the three of them aboard. Rachel had assumed her wolf form. As such she was sharper, faster and stronger. So she could protect Lisa and Hope better if there was any trickery afoot.

The boatman ferried them swiftly across the loch to the covered landing stage. After he had helped the witch and her child out of the boat and the wolf had joined them. He said ” They await you in the Great Hall.”

Telepathically Lisa and Rachel wondered what lay before them up stairs in the hall. They had been traveling for six months . They were tired and if truth be told unsure of what or who they were about to meet.

Cradling Hope closer to her Lisa followed the, Lupine, Rachel up the stone steps.

**********

To be continued.

If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.

**********

This story grew from a Thursday Photo Challenge which is run by Sue Vincent of Daily Echo. Well I stopped writing this story about a year ago to think about expanding it. So far the stars or rather real life has been against me but today’s photo prompt has inspired me to pull up my socks and work on this story….. It may not be a novel but I do feel it is something.

**********

This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Span #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a a view between two trees of a rapid river tumbling over stones beneath a bridge. The banks are lush and green, and the water if spanned by a simple arch of stone, all overgrown with a green carpet and shaded by trees.

Span

He stood on the bridge and enviously watch as the water rushed and scrambled away. He had long since given up all hope of escape.

What if , he thought to himself, what if he had never found this accursed glen. Not ridden to the centre of the bridge, not halted his horse to to speak to the beautiful maid.

She had had the most piercing blue eyes he had ever seen and blackest hair, raven coloured. Oh! Her lips ruby red demanding to be kissed. She had offered him a drink from a golden Challis which he had been compelled to take.

Immediately he drank from the draft he knew all was not well. He started to feel dizzy and she helped him down from his horse. Smiling and whispering what delights she had in-store for him.

He fell into a deep sleep and had strange and wonderful dreams where she made unending love to him. When he awoke she was gone, he could not clear his head nor could he move.

He tried to move but he was rooted to the ground and his horse had turned to stone. Struggle as he may he was stuck fast as he looked down he could see he was changed. He was a tree he fought to move, he tried to shout but nothing happened. His trusty steed was frozen in stone, thankfully still sleeping.

For years he tried in vain to seek help but no one passed his way or came to his aid. He ranted , he raved to himself he cursed the day he ever set eyes on the woman . He tried as often as he could to escape but all for nought. Hundreds of years passed but still he remained.

All thoughts of escape were pointless now, he had done what had done and that which was done could not be undone. He was was here, turned into a tree, and his horse a rock by his side.

From a distance it was not easy to see him but close up or through binoculars you could make out that this tree looked like a man trying to escape, next to a stone horse with a long black tail.

No one ever visited the glen these days it was too far off the beaten track. It become over grown . If you expand the photo below you might see the Knight and his trusty horse. I wonder if we all wish him and his horse free we could save them.

This is part of Sue Vincent‘s Thursday Photo Prompt.

Thursday photo prompt: Open #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the monochrome image shows an empty corridor with several doors opening in a line, one after the other.

Monochrome

The early morning light crept along the corridor of the sleeping house. Trying hard not cause any disturbance, unfortunately not trying hard enough. Missing it’s footing the light stubbed it’s toe on the doorframe. Letting out a loud screech that would have woken the dead had it not been for the loud crash of the dawn breaking over the horizon.

Tiny jumping dust motes and mites bounced up and down rejoicing in another day. The light carried on along the corridor and through the doors entering each room gingerly.

The dark was cleaning it’s teeth in the bathroom as the light crept across the threshold. They nodded politely to each other as dark clocked out and light clocked in.

Just another day light thought to itself as it limped on.

This little piece of silliness was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Forgotten #writephoto

“Please

Don’t leave

Me standing.

Without you my

World would crumble.

It’s you makes me whole

Giving me life and soul.

If you leave me I will fall.

Together we are strong, united.

If you leave me I will be nought at all.”

So spoke the flowers to the old brick wall.

Who smiled and replied “without you I

Am nothing,without you I’d fall.

We need eachother to thrive”

So the fragile flowers

Through mutual care

Lived happily

With the old

Tired

Wall.

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Yearning #writephoto

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto. Yearning.

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a channel of water flowing out to sea, with the sun reflecting on the water

a channel of water flowing out to sea, with the sun reflecting on the water.

Is it dusk or is it dawn .

He no longer knows

Yet he see the shine on the water as out to sea it flows.

Lost to to us, he is so forlorn.

*******

Waking she wonders what will today be like

She yearns to talk to him and see recognition in his eyes

He is just like a dizzy child, who her patience tries

Impossible to cope all conversation trite.

*******

We are strangers he no longer knows us.

Though he has watched me grow for more than sixty years.

He is a prisoner now of lost hopes and fears.

We yearn to have him back.

********

Alzheimer’s is a cruel thief

We yearn for a return of memory

Like sunlight on the sea

From it clutches there’s no relief.

********

We visited my sister and brother in law today. It was a 12 hour day, full of laughter because if you don’t laugh it would be too sad. My sister robbed of her loving husband and best friend for over 60 years. Alzheimer’s is a curse it affects not only the suffer but everyone they love.

*******

#writephoto

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