EX/WHI :: Part Nineteen

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If he says so himself, this is a damn fine job.

Putting down the black marker, Chris stands back to admire the completed, joint work. Massive expanse of wall is packed with two people’s reasoned observation, allowing moment of expectation that now completed, the aliens could yet wipe the whole thing clean and Ami won’t get a chance to read it. Nothing happens however: Chambers takes this as indicator there’s no need to wake up his partner just yet.

Her exhaustion is even more apparent in sleep: hardly moving, yet eyes rapidly flickering. She’s been through at least three cycles of REM sleep already, grateful a couple of moments of clumsiness failed to rouse her. He’s tired, could do with a comfortable place to sit… There is a chance alone to consider feelings, previously left well alone for a reason. Her link with the aliens is obvious, ability to empathise and gain favour… is he jealous of her ability to do so?

When they’d touched him, or moved body about, he could sense presence, yet never personal or focussed. This was very much the unseen hands of gods, controlling destiny and directing fate. Ami possessed something different, more personal and visceral, and there shouldn’t be annoyance they didn’t pick him as their conduit, but right now that’s what’s surfaced. He’s nine and annoyed his sister’s Prom Night preparations are pulling all the attention away from his Soccer tournament final…

This is not a healthy emotion to be experiencing at any point in proceedings, and Chris needs to deal with it.

He sits on the larger of several sofas scattered around the large area that absolutely weren’t here before. They must have appeared whilst the last of his notes were added: he’d like to think it’s because the chairs that initially were supposed to be here, reproduced in simulation, are hard, uncomfortable wooden seats that nobody in their right mind would ever actually manage longer than 15 minutes working on…

There’s the moment of revelation. He’d though the chairs were hard, then considered what would be preferable. Something yielding but not too soft so he can stay awake and still be on guard. The means to relax but not switch off, like the couch in his soon to be ex wife’s apartment. That whole thought process all took place in subconscious, before aliens reached inside a mind unaware of the intrusion and provided the wish. Ami asked out loud for the change of clothes and food. He hadn’t needed to, and was now comfortable.

On reflection, this feeling isn’t jealousy at the responsibility Ami carries, Chris grasps with more than a measure of reassurance. There might be the hint of discomfort he can’t predict what’s going to happen, but if the means exists within to conjure what is required to make his partner’s task easier, that ought to be the way forward. Look after her above everything else: keep mind focused, stress to a minimum, so that if anything important does need to be communicated from however far above them these zookeepers were, it happens in the most efficient way possible.

Ami’s stirring now, light sleep close to wakefulness: Chris knows that if he moves again, she’ll surface, so in his head comes recall of last time in London with Alex West, MI6 liaison who could be a celebrity lookalike for that guy who plays 007 in the movies. He’d been here for training and intelligence briefings but had ended up with a dozen pints of passable lager and fantastic curry at Spitalfields Market as the more enjoyable result.

Taste suddenly ignites on his tongue, magic trick that then unfolds in front of his eyes beyond impressive.

His memory of the restaurant is reproduced down to the finest detail, part of the space transformed with a corner booth, ambience and decoration exactly as remembered. However it is the smell that hits nostrils from food that steams invitingly doing things to both brain and stomach that Chris is powerless to ignore. It’s not just him either: Ami’s awake, sitting up and staring with considerable amazement at her wish made real.

‘Am I still dreaming, is that really-?’

‘Chicken Jalfrezi, Lamb Bhuna, plain and pilau rice, plain and peshwari naan plus a section of sides and poppadoms. I’m a man of my word, Ami, and have just worked out how I can make life better for both of us going forward.’

‘How did you -’

‘I’ll explain while we eat, because I’m not waiting around in case it all vanishes. Shall we…?’


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EX/WHI :: Part Eighteen

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She dreams of their child, created by aliens.

Foetus grows in an opaque, circular space, suspended mid-air, culmination of this bizarre experiment. A child is ‘born’ from her egg and Chris’ sperm, no worries in subconscious that part of this equation is impossible to complete. Unseen beings are not bound by the same rules as the humans that have now become their scientific research: theatre show to be watched, characters manipulated.

Ami comprehends without doubt that this will be her child, created as nature intended.

The presence inside subconscious is risking a fair deal by
confirming possibility as fact.

For millennia their kind have returned to Earth, caretakers of humanity’s fledgling intelligence. Each time the dominant population appeared capable of causing major damage to surrounding ecosystems, an intervention had resulted: reason why they had now returned. Her planet was at a tipping point, moment when decisions must be made: is this iteration of humanity worthy of continued, unrestricted ransacking of resources, or is it time for an inevitable reckoning?

The presence in Ami’s head offers stories grasped as previous truth: Atlantis washed away, Egyptians sandblasted out of history, Pompeii buried to prevent evil that would have risen and altered history… but then finds herself compelled to respond subconsciously with images of Auschwitz, Baghdad… New York’s Twin Towers. How were your interventions so important and yet these other horrors allowed as acceptable? She expects no response and when one comes, its dispassionate commentary is not nearly as surprising as expected.

The significance of particular events alters when viewed from a distance.

If linear time is only her prison and not theirs, a wider overview would pinpoint exact moments for interference, consequences were it not to take place. However, possibilities from this moment must be infinite: how could others arbitrarily make decisions in this fashion? The being in her head remains silent, undoubted uncertainty generated in the space where they sit. Dream imagery fades until all that is left is warmth and comfort, reassurance provided for a reason.

Keep acting on instinct, remain yourself. This strength will see you through.

There is a version of her future, tantalisingly placed just beyond Ami’s reach, echo of what could be should they succeed in these tests. This is a game, after a fashion, means by which the rest of the planet would be judged. Scenarios require thoroughly completion with no room for error or fear. This is the job she is now charged with; prize is not simply her life, returned better than it was.

The alternative, also offered without comment, is as chilling as it is now fully believable. Should she fail, her World will have humanity wiped from it. Everything else would remain: plants, animals, all natural wonders and even geological uncertainty would continue untouched and vibrant. Her brethren, wilfully destroying existence, completely eradicated in a breath as anything related to mankind’s influence was irrevocably eliminated.

The taint of pollution, global warming, globalisation, deforestation… all would cease to exist: planet left as it had been before the first apes evolved, stumbling out of their caves. This can still happen, unless she sacrifices everything. If Ami is prepared to give her life to ensure that future does not come to pass, so much more will be possible.

She must die, allowing planet to survive.


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January Short Story :: Conjoin

This story was first serialised in 31 daily parts via the @AlternativeChat and @InternetofWords Twitter feeds at 9am and 4pm GMT respectively. It is now reproduced in a complete form, a number of small edits and corrections made to improve narrative flow and maintain correct continuity.

WARNING: This story deals with adult themes and should, as a result, be approached responsibly.

Enjoy.


Conjoin

This girl’s fate is anything but destined.

Celebration outside heaves and shakes its way into the fourth cycle, under light of one waxing, another waning moon: the last time this happened it took the Capitol nearly two transits to adequately return to a semblance of normality. In the small and crowded Room of Preparation handmaidens continue fussing and fiddling with the girl’s ceremonial robes. Just enough midriff is exposed as ancient runes are painted accurately on the Given’s back: gift from people of the South to their Northern counterparts. This girl, however, has absolutely no intention of being given to anyone.

Through twelve seasons of life and four of preparation, complicity has remained absolute: devotion to a cause that must finally be changed, diverted from the destructive path of repetition and oppression. Allana is a rarity: meek encircling brilliance, slight body yet keenest of minds. If she were not Given, fate would direct her as Traveller or Trailblazer. That those in the South understand her significance is as much of a rebellion as what might follow if this gambit pays off.

The Boy destined to be King has reached his eighteenth cycle: he must now forcibly take what’s given from the South. Reinforcing this power, action cements absolute and unquestionable Monarchy that then binds both disparate continents to the same man for the next forty rotations. This boy is innocent, untouched by female hand or sex. His father fiercely clings to the rock of power, infirmity slowly scarring reason. This is the longest a King has held the throne since records have been kept: prosperity and security wrought upon the lands are unparalleled.

When withered hand finally curls, which will not be long, son will inherit a misogynist legacy many in the South are keen to see crushed. His ways are not the New Truth after all, but they are tolerated through respect and necessity. Death hands opportunity to wipe history clean. Caravans have traversed roads, lakes and inland seas, carrying not simply the Given’s dowry but plans for reform and reunification. As the King’s only male heir his rights are without question in father’s mind. The four daughters that preceded his birth, however, have other ideas.

Into their ears the South chose to whisper, planting differing seeds of disquiet. You are just as worthy to rule, each brilliant in your fields: diplomat, politician, humanitarian, artist. Four sides of a robust shape, surrounding inherently flawed, outdated bureaucracy. Let us be ready to provide, the South has implored, not simply a vessel for change. We bring the consummate mix of tradition and revolution, genuine revelation. Help us to redefine what this Empire has become, and what it might yet have the potential to fulfil.

The North has, as yet unknowingly, allowed balance of power to shift downwards, away from comfort of familiarity and reason. The South, more than ready and willing to redefine tradition, brilliantly subverts the process.

This girl, lock and key, binds a New Age to her keepers.


Allana sits quietly on the bed, eyes closed, ignoring the familiar yet disturbing secondary presence in her mind. This willing intrusion does not show with obvious external signs of discomfort, yet both tickles and itches: irritation she wants to scratch but is unable to reach. That internal presence knows their target is outside, will be having difficulty fitting into his own Ceremonial Robes. Both have seen his face: handsome and pleasing countenance, yet fattened and lethargic from time in a Court close to being drowned by immoderate consumption. It is all too aware of the child’s discomfort: an unavoidable, growing disquiet. To invade the mind of someone so young was a necessary evil, and this joint reality remains intractable. The untimely death of her mother necessitated Transfer far earlier than originally planned.

It is testament to Allana they have both borne loss and unscheduled change of plans with humility and determination. She is third in the line, triangle’s final side: journey that began with a rediscovery in the Red Desert of ancient processes long forgotten by Southern Mystics. Refined and condensed, practised and replicated, they finally provided the most suitable set of subjects: three generations have given lives for one opportunity to shift the balance of power. To destroy rotations of diplomatic and scientific endeavour would be unthinkable.

It will not be long now the presence reassures Allana. This journey is almost over.

The wooden door swings open, then Prince Ferdim appears. He is a man-mountain, with his extra girth at least twice the size of his father yet kind, serene features and presence of long-dead mother. He has one task in this room, to deflower this Southern virgin, metaphorically reinforcing the relentless plundering of South by its Northern dictators, an act that has continued for countless generations without hindrance: yet the young man’s confusion and fear are unmistakable.

Both women grasp this weakness, further strengthened by realisation. Beneath those clearly restricting robes, there is no erection, has not been for some time. This boy’s weakness does not simply extend to the genitalia, but winds around an uncertain mind, increasing restriction. Ferdim is trapped by legacy, and at a loss as to how he will first subdue and then overcome his bride. Allana looks for the vial in his hand, drugs that will counter impotency and allow fulfilment of destiny, but it is her presence within that shifts body from bed to his side.

That huge bulk is shaking as a slim hand takes the vial away, without resistance. He is strong enough to toss this girl across the room like cloth, but this will not happen. Subconsciously, he is already succumbing to direction. Here and now, ancient dominance will be altered.

‘There is no need for this, my Prince. There are many other ways to please, that will not require drugs as stimulation. Come to our bed so I may look at you under the moon’s light.’

Ferdim’s fear is all too apparent, relief at being taken in hand and not having to use the drug.

‘To truly enjoy a woman does not involve pinning her beneath you. Southern minds can teach a great many things, if you will take time to listen.’

As the young woman speaks, Ferdim finally appears to relax: sitting on the bed, his wife’s true beauty is all the more apparent. Pale skin, smooth and flawless, eyes blacker than night sky, hair bluer than water that cascades from Palace fountains… chosen for purity and strength, yet so easily manipulated, as is also the case with her husband. Both are young, pliant and finally under one woman’s control.

The living consciousness of Allana’s grandmother brings both bodies to rest, slowing two heart rates. The plan had been to dominate the Prince’s mind and let her grand-daughter free, before using him to suffocate his bride; she cannot condemn her own flesh and blood this way. Her mother had killed herself when the South’s endgame became apparent, forcing grandmother into her progeny’s mind far too early. As all this damage had been wrought by the South’s blind desire for power so they will now suffer for the outrage. She would heal and control both.

Allana would think Ferdim was her, and Prince would embrace both women within his consciousness. Conscience would teach both to use desire to heal the other, then strengthen. She will gain muscle, he must shed fat. They would become tools for change, and revenge. Once inside Ferdim’s surprisingly accommodating mind, Allana’s grandmother hypnotises, then finally removes all memory of negativity and anger from the young woman who would wake next to her husband the following morning both alive and happy, yet without intercourse taking place.

The Prince would provide details to the Mystics that proved, without doubt, he penetrated his bride. He had no knowledge of such practices, but Conscience would provide the context, and memories of an experience taking place. She would protect chastity and family in the process.


Ferdim allows the presence in his head to believe she is unhindered, watching as it reassures the young woman she will not be harmed either by his bulk or via violence. Then he will wait for the moment it has settled fully into consciousness before exerting his own mind control. The North’s splinter faction knew this was coming: their renaissance already in the ascendancy. As sisters poison, then remove father’s grasp on power, Ferdim ensures the South will not rule unopposed.

Then he will ascertain if both prisoners are willing to accept an alliance…


Iron

Yesterday, after an awful lot of sorting and rearranging, I picked the project I’ll be using for serialised content later in the year.

Ironically, the project has already seen the light of day here but was never finished: mostly because it was never a complete work to begin with. I was foolish and thought it could be written as it was published, and that ended up destroying all love of the project at the time. However, a couple of things have transpired in the last two weeks to make me reassess and accept that this was a) a pretty good idea and b) is utterly worth the effort in resurrecting.

358a0-sayers

That original ‘publication’ was almost two years ago, according to my saved files, and a lot has changed between then and now, including my ability to effectively edit. I should redesign the front cover book image as a matter of priority, and there’s other stuff to be tweaked… but it’s still a decent story, has come cracking action sequences (which I’ll be able to write with far more confidence due to the Bondfic) plus a satisfying conclusion. All in all, there is cautious optimism this is going to happen.

As a result, you’ll be hearing more about this work in the coming weeks.

Still Alive

autumn schedule.png

My mini break seems a lifetime away, it must be said, after the last week, but I am now almost in a position to feel organised again. As a result, here’s the changed layout to the Website week as a result of the leaves on my Gym walk already beginning to change colour. It may not be September until Thursday, but Autumn is definitely on its way.

Monday

social-media-asides

The Great Social Media Experiment’s about to shift up a gear: as of midnight tonight my first legitimate ad campaign begins to run in an attempt to generate interest for Patreon. We’ll be following its progress, looking at how my attempts at engagement are going and continuing to demystify the sometimes murky practices within Social media.  I’m also widening the #GSME’s remit to cover a lot more stuff with general interest to those of you reading and using Twitter on a daily basis.

Tuesday

Origins

The Alt History Channel is shifting to Tuesdays, and with it comes the introduction of Great Fanfic Wot I have Wrote to pad out the fact my life’s not that interesting. Watch out for the first piece of fiction coming next week…

Write off (3)

Wednesday

Book of the Month

Yes, I KNOW I still don’t have titles up for September’s Book of the Month, but there is at least a text chosen, so that’s progress. 😀 This week’s task in what is a free Wednesday is to get an archive page up for the old Essays and Short stories.

Thursday

WiP Day.png

I’ve been struggling to get content up post essay days (as you know, brain dead after a  deadline) and it seems sensible to schedule in some breathing space amongst all the work so, from now on, Thursdays are my WIP days. This means making valuable time for novels, poetry and everything else I want to be working on but normally can’t find the opportunity to. If I make one day a week just for writing the stuff I love? How can this possibly be a bad thing?

PS: Don’t use this time to write more Bond fanfiction. WALK AWAY NOW.

FRIDAY

don't be afraid of the Dark . . .

This has become the day when I scrape my Haiku and Micropoetry off Twitter and stick it here, and hopefully this will also give more time to explain the reasoning and process behind my writing. We’ll see how that goes starting this Friday, and work from there.


That’s the schedule that will run from now until the end of October. We’ll have some special events for the UK’s National Poetry Day that happens in late September, and I’m intending to take a month out of the normal schedule completely in November to make NaNoWriMo really count for 2017. More details on those will be available closer to their start dates.

The plan remains to still take weekends off, but that may change depending on projects and desire. For now however, I have a contest deadline to hit with a 40 line poem by Thursday, so time to get back to work. I’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning.

Pulp Fiction

asides

Its been a while, my friends, since fiction was spoken about in these parts. It is not like I’ve lost the urge to tell stories, just that life has decided there were other, more pressing matters that needed to be considered first. Now they are out of the way, it is time to sit down and consider a way forward. There is, quite amazingly for me, a plan to boot.


MMXCI_2_small.png

 

First order of business is to get MMXCI complete and in a workable state to edit. You’d think after seventeen years I’d have cracked this, but a vital piece of narrative development only became apparent late last year. The plan is to try and have this finished by the end of July.

Once complete, I’d like to destroy it enough so it could be offered as a potential manuscript. It remains the best original narrative I’ve ever been able to create, and I’d like to make the most of that as a selling point.

 

 


Chameleon_final.png

 

Then, there is Chameleon, still incomplete after my start on it during NaNoWriMo last year. I’ve now rethought the plot and have significant reason to extensively rewrite what already exists. What is more likely to happen is that I’ll edit to the current finish point and then continue onwards to completion.

This I’m planning to do through August and September, leaving October to consider what will get the nod for NaNoWriMo 2017. I already have an idea on the table, in the planning stage…

 


 

After that, I’m going to use the Internet of Words as the means to write short stories better. The call has gone out this afternoon for beta readers, and if you’ve expressed an interest you can expect to see a story in your Inbox early in July.

However, that’s not all there is to it: join my Patreon and on Thursdays you’ll have a chance to contribute to the following Friday’s exclusive fiction content! If you don’t know about this already, click here to find out details of how to pledge.

If you’re interested in my storytelling abilities, and original fiction pieces going forward, then please feel free to follow this Blog.

The Closing of the Year

I don’t recall being this optimistic at a year end for a very long time.

Perhaps it is the understanding that, after many years, death and failure no longer frighten me. What is of greater concern is that I won’t get everything done in the timescales that are available. There needs to be organisation, planning and ultimately sacrifice. It won’t all happen either, and so dealing with disappointment and regret need to be stuck in that mix. For me, tomorrow’s the restart proper on my Novel, and not the picking at it that’s gone on over Christmas. I have a plan for the second half all ready to go, I’ve been taking feedback on Part One from readers. Most importantly, I have a legitimate editor about to read and tell me if this is something they might be interested in preparing for me in anticipation for pitching.

These are exciting times ahead.

nanowrimo_band

This is the best thing I’ve ever written, the thing I am proudest of, and that I hope will finally allow me to become what I have always wanted to be. I have the ability and confidence not only to finish it, but to make a damn good job of it. I will do the narrative and my characters justice. They have faith in me to do so, too, so much now that they talk to me in sleep or at quiet moments and suggest improvements, make me think of better ways to do things. I am ready to get lost again in the story, and by the end of this month, Chameleon will be complete. I hope you’re looking forward to this journey as much as I am. I’ll see you here bright and early tomorrow… well maybe after a lie in and breakfast. Whatever happens, I’ll be writing tomorrow, and all will be well with the World.

Bring on 2017. I’m ready.