Thursday photo prompt : Glow.

Thursday photo prompt: Glow #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a frosty dawn, seen through the bare branches of trees. The sky is aflame, dappled with pink clouds, deepening to orange and gold. On the horizon is a small hill crowned with trees, behind which the sun will rise.

Glow

The stag finally finally reached the only surviving group of Werewolf Lupines. He gently put Rachel down in the snow and told her they had arrived at her destination. Rachel now in her werewolf form asked him how he knew where she was going . The stag replied he had been asked to help her by Alicia.

Nudging her gently he suggested they should approach the one hundred packs of wolfs in the valley together and with stealth. He also asked that she let him do the initial talking. Rachel agreed to this readily as she was weak from hunger and still shocked from what she had seen while she had slept on the journey here.

So together they walked towards the wolves. There were fires and the smell of cooking and Rachel saw shelters too, which looked welcoming these creatures were all in human form. Looking up at the stag Rachel asked him if he was sure these were indeed werewolves. He just smiled down at her.

As the neared the encampment four huge wolves barred their way. They looked incredulously at the two unlikely travelling companions, an emaciated wolf and a stag . “What do you want, have you brought us dinner” Asked the largest male, baring his teeth “No ” Replied the stag telepathically . “I am Thraun leader of my kind and I have been tasked by Alicia Queen of the witches to bring Rachel here to meet and speak with your leaders. The wolves though not stupid were taken aback by this stag that could talk inside their heads. They started to back away all except for the female among them who approached Rachel.

Rachel stood her ground as the older female spoke gently to her. “How have you managed to survive on your own and why do you have a stag as an escort and why are you on a mission for the Queen Witch?” Rachel looked this female straight in the eyes and replied “It is a long and dark story and if you will forgive me I would prefer to only tell it once and to your leader” Feeling suddenly tired again, Rachel sat , “Please take me to the elders” The three male wolves made to disagree but the female silenced them and with Thraun leading the way she escorted Rachel towards the camp . As they approached Rachel looked the warmth and human looking creatures. Then Rachel’s eyes were drawn to the sky and the horizon . To the beautiful glow of a new dawn and maybe new hope.

*********

To be continued.

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

Thursday photo prompt: Balefire #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a hooded figure in the darkness, silhouetted against flames that echo its shape. The figure holds something in its hand that may, perhaps, be a wand…

Balefire

*******

As Rachel slept she felt a warmth seeping through her body. She felt safe on the back of this huge stage as he galloped through the enforced winter.

After a while Rachel felt another heat, direct heat coming from a fire. She opened her eyes and found herself stand in a clearing, the stag was gone, she was alone.

Her senses came to life, there was a huge fire within the clearing, made from bales of hay, the type humans made when the harvested their fields. Rachel sniffed the air, she could not smell the scent of Werewolf, those she was in search of. Unsure of what scent she was picking up she moved down wind of the smoke from the fire. As she moved she felt the swish of clothing around her body, and cold wet from the snow on feet? How, had she morphed in her sleep? Irrigation filled her body her human form was of no use to her here in this weather.

Down wind now she began to recognise the scent that filled her nostrils. It was Vampire.

Pulling her cape close round her and covering her head she looked back to the fire. There she saw hoards of Vampires for as far as the eye could see, they were baying for blood. Looking up she saw humans impaled on poles around the fire, the were all alive, some screaming for mercy but most of them silent in fear, shock and pain.

In the foreground she saw a body pinned spread eagle on the ground, naked in this cruel bitter winter. As she looked a this figure in the fire light she was struck by an horrific realisation. It was Mathew.

Rachel tried to run to him but she was rooted to the spot unable to move. Transfixed all she could do was watch as a hooded figure in the darkness, silhouetted against flames approached her Mathew. It looked like the figure was carrying a wand …. But it was not. No it was a spear tipped with silver. In horror Rachel watched as the younger vampires ran forward and bit and ripped at Mathew’s beautiful body. He wailed in agony, this broke Rachel’s heart but she could not move.

For what seemed like hours the cursed souls ripped and bit and feed on the body of the Vampire that she loved.

Then the figure in front of the fire raised his spear and shouted, “Enough” slowly they approached Mathew’s body. He raised the spear and brought the it down to where Mathew’s heart would be. Once the spear was in a line of golden light escaped from what was left of Mathew’s body. The light shot upwards full of black specks, an unearthly scream escape the body just as it turned to ash and it was blown away by a sudden wind.

“Traitor ” shouted the figure, traitor, traitor chanted the Vampire hoards.

Filled with pain and grief Rachel fell to the ground, she had witnessed the death of her lover, her hope, her future.

Hours later she came too, on the back of the stag.

What had happened, had it happen, had it been a dream .

**********

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 prompt. #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Calling #writephoto

The Calling

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a snowstorm with the silhouette of a stag watching between two trees.

******

It had been five weeks since that day. The battle had been long and bloody. There had been but a moment’s warning, the Vampires had masked their arrival and Alicia and Lisa had only felt their presence seconds before their arrival.

It had rained blood. Rachel had seen carnage before but not like this. Bodies strewn across the valley, abused and tortured horrifically. When the Vampires arrived they had been whipped up into a blood frienzy by their leaders and refused permission to feed for days. They did their worst.

The women who had accompanied the army of men had been carried off to a worse even fate than their men. Their screams and pleas falling on deaf ears and dead souls.

Alicia and Lisa had protected Ewan and Rachel and seeing that to fight anymore was of no use had escaped the battlefield. Ewan had lost his soul, the horror of what the Vampires had done to his people had made his mind flee into some dark recess. His eyes dead and empty he sat by the fire back at his castle, unable to communicate or control any of his bodily functions.

Alicia and Lisa had left him in the care of his loyal staff, while they had set off to unite all the men, dwarves and elves that they could find before it was too late.

Rachel has been sent North to find the werewolves and convenience them to join their cause.

All was silent, all was white, a deep winter covered the land, it was so cold the unearthly Vampire winter was now unstoppable.

Rachel had been traveling for weeks now and was exhausted.There had been no trace or hint of her breed and she was ready to lay down in the snow and die. She had not eaten for three days, stopping only to catch her breath.

Suddenly she just collapsed into the snow, sleep she needed sleep. The urge to give in was overwhelming her emaciated body. Then she heard a voice. Looking up Rachel saw a stag in the distance, though the trees. It crossed her mind that it might save her if she killed and ate him. Then she laughed at herself, the state she was in he would dispense with her with a flick of his antlers.

As she lay there the stag approached , she heard him snorting, saw the hot mist escaping from his nostrils then felt him nuzzling behind her ears.

Faintly Rachel felt more than heard the stag, call her by name. “Rachel” he said, “I know who you are and who you seek, let me help you.” Too tired to answer she let the stag cover her with his weight and she relaxed as his warmth touched her body.

In the morning when she awoke the stag was still by her, she felt his warmth. Again he spoke to her but without a voice. He asked her to get on his back and let him carry her. Rachel complied and while he took her to the where here brothers and sisters were gathered she fell into a deep sleep and her body gained strength.

*******

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 prompt. #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Poised #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a leaf-strewn flight of stone-cut steps descending into a hole in the ground. Poised to ascend…or descend… is the dark silhouette of a strange figure.

Lisa finally awoke as the sun rose in the East. Apart from where Alicia’s spell held, it carried no warmth.

Lisa immediately recognised Alicia as her Queen and was eager to add her magic to the summer spell to keep the army of men moving through the unholy winter. She told Rachel what had happened at the lake, and they both were relieved that the Vampires were no longer inside her head.

The next day’s march would bring them to meet their allies , the Elves and the Dwarves. They would be a force to be reckoned with once joined together.

Ewan and his armies were poised for battle. The war had begun in earnest. Reports of battles and skirmishes were constantly arriving. Losses and gains. For now the Vampires had the upper hand.

Rachel approached Alicia mid morning as they traveled towards the elves strong hold.

“Have you heard anything of my race, they seem to disappeared” Rachel enquired bringing her horse alongside Alicia’s. Alicia looked at Rachel and smiled, “they have all travelled north, sick of being hunted by men and Vampires alike” she took a breath and then said. ” Do you think, Rachel, that they could be persuaded to join us against the Vampires” Rachel looked at her long and hard. “I doubt they would listen to me, they cast me out for loving Mathew and being pregnant with his child.” Alicia, reached out and touched Rachel’s hand. ” You have been true too your race, you have lost Mathew’s child I feel they will listen to you. They do not trust men as far as they can throw them but they have always been close to the Dwarves and Elves. I know you can win them round Rachel. They will all be killed by Vampires unless they unite with us.”

Rachel thought and then agreed to search out her kin and do her best to win them over.

Rachel lowered her head and thought, then replied quietly.” I will try. ”

Just then Lisa joined them, she looked pail and frightened. Alicia shouted to Ewan, “Vampires, Lisa and I can feel them they are almost here.” Then sky grew dark and it was raining blood, the Vampires were upon them.

*******

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 prompt. #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Poised #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a leaf-strewn flight of stone-cut steps descending into a hole in the ground. Poised to ascend…or descend… is the dark silhouette of a strange figure.

Tick tock pocket watch

Who’s coming up the stairs

Tick tock stop the clock

Alice’s new friend appears.

Moving fast, Hurry hurry

Milliners licking lips, in a flurry

Time for tea, guests unaware

All laced with Mercury, mousey sleeping in his chair.

Jam tarts Queen of Hearts

Keep her smiling don’t let things fall apart.

Tick tock, chip Chop

Look out it heads off.

Alice is sleepy now

Home in bed wipes her brow.

Tick tock pocket watch

Who’s coming up the stairs?

**********

This is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.

Thursday photo prompt: Mirror #writephoto

For visually challenged writers, the image shows green trees that ring a still pool. The sun shines brightly through the branches, casting a perfect reflection…and on the surface of the water, rainbows dance.

Mirror.

Lisa was missing Hope she had not been separated from her since she had given birth to her. It had taken all her strength of will to leave her with Leona.

As the sun rose higher in the sky she went to fetch water from a near by pool. When she arrived it was silent and still, the water deep and blue. The trees and the bushes reflecting green with the blue sky framing the pool. Lisa was captivated by the stillness and the beauty of pool.

Setting down the pots she had with her she knelt and looked into the water. Of a sudden it went black and Lisa felt cold, colder than she had ever felt.

The waters began to swirl and bubble before clearing. As she watched the water she became aware of four faces looking straight at her.

Lisa jumped back in horror realising that she was looking at the faces of the Originals of the Four Vampire Houses. At first she thought they could see her, and she drew back in fear.

To her relief they seemed not see her. she could hear and see all that they could. Following their line of sight she saw that they were inside a cave, filled with thousands of Vampires, some sleeping, some feeding on poor unfortunates, some having sex but all looking evil, so evil. Really this concerned her because she knew that individually they where not wholly evil. Mathew he was tender and gentle with Rachel. But these creatures of the night seemed to be infected with a hate and disregard for all except themselves. Their eyes devoid of all feeling or any soul. they might of had left in them. Any vestiges of humanity that they might of had was now long nollified by sheer blood lust.

A chilling thought struck Lisa, Mathew had been traveling with these soulless creatures. How was he fairing, was any of his tiny new born spark of humanity left.

As she watch she heard the ancients discuss their plans though she could not understand everything they said because they were using the old language.

She listened carefully to what they were saying committing every word she recognised to memory.

As she sat there a mist seeped into the the clearing unoticed by Lisa. Encircling and chilling her to the bone. Too late Lisa knew what was happening. The four ancients looked straight at her from the pool their eyes glowing red . The mist engulfed her and she felt the coldness of thousands of hands clawing at her and heard a thousand voices screaming for blood and war.

At that point Lisa fainted. Of a sudden the mist was gone and the pool cleared . Once again it became serene and beautiful a mirror reflecting it’s green and blue surroundings. A perfect rainbow danced on the water and all was calm under the sun.

The waters parted and a woman emerged from the centre of the pool. She approached Lisa, she washed Lisa’s blooded body then lifting her, she bore Lisa and her pots back to were the army was camped.

***********

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: 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

The Moon and the Sun

nemet1

My

Love for

You spans the

Whole universe

It is a pleasure

Though it is so perverse

I rule the silver night

You the golden day so bright

Passing eachother just touching

Souls burning we reach out for each other

*****

The sun and the moon star crossed lovers inspired by the fabulous art of Sue Vincent

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.

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