Fiction Friday: The Story – End of Part One

I’ve decided that we’ll leave the first part of our story on a cliffhanger. We’ll resume with Part Two sometime after Christmas. Well done Lauraducky for your chosen entry (and for giving us a great mystery to solve)!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

* * *

~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘You have come a long way, boy,’ the knight said. ‘Beset by enemies at every turn and hunted by those who desire your power.’

Aleks could feel Naia’s fear. He kept his blade between him and this stranger. ‘And you?’ he said. ‘Do you also desire it?’

The knight laughed and it sounded like a swarm of locusts cutting through a desert. ‘What I desire is none of your concern. What the Knights desire, however, will soon become apparent.’

Naia put a protective arm in front of Aleks, shooting the knight a dangerous look. ‘Tell us what to do,’ she said. ‘Tell me what you need.’

The Knight chuckled malevolently. His deep voice didn’t quite fit with the surroundings, as if he didn’t exist. Maybe he didn’t, Aleks thought desperately. Maybe this was all a hallucination. Then he looked at Naia’s frightened face and decided otherwise. He could never dream that up.

He looked back at the Knight. The Knight opened his mouth as if to shout, though Aleks could hear nothing. Naia, however, doubled over as in pain. Her hearing was far beyond that of a normal human. Aleks realised that the Knight was calling the other Knights, and a shiver of fear ran up his spine. Escape was impossible now.

An instant later, the full troop of knights stood before them in gleaming armour. They looked so similar that Aleks could no longer distinguish the first one from the rest of them. There were twelve of them in all, standing motionless before them.

Naia sucked in a deep breath. “Knights of the Last World,” she said. “Give us your demands so that we may give our answer.”

End of Part One

The Top 10 List of Fantasy Famous Last Words

Welcome to this week’s Epic List of the Week! As always, you can let us know if you agree/disagree with our list by leaving a comment below.

We missed last week’s Fiction Friday: The Story, but rest assured it will be along this week!

  1. ‘Hmm, I’m not sure if you should touch that sword. It’s glowing an awful lot…’
  2. ‘There’s no way you can hit me with that bow and arrow from all the way over th–‘
  3. ‘Zombies? Yeah. I’m 100% sure you stake them through the heart.’
  4. ‘Werewolves? Trust me on this. Get the garlic crusher.’
  5. ‘A sea monster? Well, I don’t see anything… apart from this huge dark cavern.’
  6. ‘If you’re really a demon prince, why don’t you prove it?’
  7. ‘What kind of giant evil chicken god are you? Why, you couldn’t even squash a fly! You chicken or something?’
  8. ‘It’s our last chance to defeat evil! Just put that cursed amulet in the slot on the pedestal and pull that lever.’
  9. ‘When the wizard said it was a bad idea to experiment with our powers, I’m sure he wasn’t referring to genocide… right?’
  10. ‘A horse? Nahhhh! I want to ride that huge thing with the spiky back!’

Come on, I dare you to tell me those were rubbish!

The Top 10 List of Magic Objects

Welcome to the second Epic List of the Week! I want to hear your suggestions to add to the list, so drop a comment below.

  1. Excalibur (King Arthur)
  2. The One Ring (Lord of the Rings)
  3. Stormbringer (Elric)
  4. Frostmourne (Warcraft)
  5. The Infinite Gauntlet (Marvel Universe)
  6. The Flying Carpet (Aladdin)
  7. Elder Wand (Harry Potter)
  8. Dagger of Time (Prince of Persia)
  9. Necromantic Bells (Abhorsen)
  10. Hermes’ Winged Sandals (Ancient Mythology)

Got anything to add?

Author Interview: Tim Marquitz

Welcome to another Monday morning, the start of a new week and a brand new interview with author Tim Marquitz!

Me

Tim is the author of the Demon Squad series and a myriad of fantasy and horror stories. He once worked as a gravedigger, loves martial arts and is a familiar face on fantasy forums across the web.

I’m really excited to have had a chance to pick at Tim’s thoughts. Read on to discover what he had to say… Continue reading

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 7

It’s that time of the week again… it’s episode seven of our ongoing fantasy story! Congratulations to Flowerfarie, who concludes last week’s thrilling installment. It’s going to be a short piece from me this week, because I want to leave the next twist in the story mainly up to you guys.

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

* * *

~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘Just what we need?’ Aleks said. ‘What do you mean? You told me we would find it. The answers I want are there!’

‘Hush!’ Naia hissed. She put a finger to her mouth and her ears seemed to prick up. ‘They’re here,’ she whispered, eyes wild.

Aleks glanced about him, searching in the darkness above and below for unseen enemies. ‘Where?’ he said. He drew his short blade, though he knew he was vastly under practiced with it.

As if on cue, a rushing, roaring noise came from all around them and evil, disembodied voices wailed out of the chaos. Aleks swung wildly, trying to destroy whatever this strange force was, but to no avail.

Naia reached out and took Aleks by the hand. ‘We’re getting out of here!’ she yelled. She closed her eyes, recited something under her breath and the world as the pair knew it fell away. They had evaded the hunters once again… but how long could they keep running?

Naia peered through the clearing mists of transition. She’d made a mistake; which really very rarely happened.

‘Where on earth are we?’, Aleks looked at the bright blue sky and the burning orange sun. The colours were vivid and he thought to himself that it was the most beautiful place he had seen in a long time. A river flowed out in front of them, the water sparkled full of diamonds; the trees and grass were lush; and he immediately felt his vitality returning.

Naia couldn’t understand it. This was not the place she’d had in her mind.

The gauntlet was still in her grasp; and the stones that decorated it were glowing strongly. As she examined it closely she recognised the intricate decoration that was only now becoming visible. ‘The magic this contains’, she said shakily, dropping the gauntlet to the floor, ‘ Is that of The Knights of the Last World’.

Aleks saw the confusion on Naia’s face. She was usually so sure of herself; but now she was pale and had never looked so vulnerable.

‘You should have realised that when you first saw it, Naia, I know it’s been a very long time; but I had hoped you would remember us’.

The voice belonged to a very tall, thin being who suddenly became visible to them. Dressed in the unmistakable uniform of the Knights; the armour clad man smiled and introduced himself to Aleks.

Episode 7

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘You have come a long way, boy,’ the knight said. ‘Beset by enemies at every turn and hunted by those who desire your power.’

Aleks could feel Naia’s fear. He kept his blade between him and this stranger. ‘And you?’ he said. ‘Do you also desire it?’

The knight laughed and it sounded like a swarm of locusts cutting through a desert. ‘What I desire is none of your concern. What the Knights desire, however, will soon become apparent.’

Naia put a protective arm in front of Aleks, shooting the knight a dangerous look. ‘Tell us what to do,’ she said. ‘Tell me what you need.’

Now it’s your turn to tell us where the story goes next!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Writing For Children: World Within a World

Welcome to a brand new subject area here on the blog: Children’s Fiction! You’ll find all future posts like this one under the Children’s Fiction category or you can just do a search from the top of the blog.

One of the things I see time and time again in stories for youngsters is the idea of the world within a world. It’s in Harry Potter and it’s in Artemis Fowl. It could even be argued that it’s in the Young Bond and Alex Rider books, too. Essentially, it’s something fantastic or impossible, existing within the confines of Earth as we know it. The reason I think it is so used and so successful, is because of the following reasons:

  1. It’s so versatile
  2. It gives the reader familiar references
  3. It makes our boring world feel more fantastic

You only have to look at concepts such as Diagon Alley and the Ministry of Magic to know that it’s such a great concept to use in children’s fiction. You can literally take anything from the real world; be it school, home or something as generic as a forest and transform it into a place only possible in the reader’s imagination.

Personally, I feel this concept works the best when reality is tweaked very slightly. For example, a secret restaurant for London’s pigeons hidden at the top of Big Ben. The environment and landmarks are all there, we’ve just changed one tiny thing, but it’s something that could never possibly happen… or could it? There’s the beauty. Nobody really knows whether pigeons have a restaurant at the top of Big Ben, because nobody ever looks. You need to make children believe that these fictional things could possibly exist in the real world. Take Harry Potter as another example. You had tourists trying to push trolleys into a solid brick wall at King’s Cross Station, between platforms 9 and 10.

How many hopeful geeks out there occasionally wave their hand about in the hope they have been granted superpowers? Loads, I bet. There’s the secret – make people believe that something could be real and you’re onto a winner.

Remember, you’ve only got 3 days to leave your entry for Fiction Friday: The Story! Episode 6 is at this link!

~ James

Follow The Blog:

Twitter: @JWShortland
Facebook: Fantasy In Motion
Reddit: Cirias

The Top 10 List of Fantasy Little People

Here’s our new Monday feature, Epic List of the Week! I’m sure I’ve missed out some famous characters and some personal favourites of yours, so join in and let everyone know who else should be included in the list! You can leave a comment on this post underneath or you can click ‘Leave a Comment’ just above.

  1. Tyrion Lannister
  2. Bilbo Baggins
  3. Gotrek Gurnisson
  4. Gollum/Smeagol
  5. Muradin Bronzebeard
  6. Dobby the House Elf
  7. Gimli, Son of Gloin
  8. Frodo Baggins
  9. High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque
  10. Gilius Thunderhead

Don’t forget, you can still enter the Fiction Friday weekly contest! You could have your writing featured on the blog on Friday! Just visit this link.

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 6

Here’s episode six! Only one entry this time *sad face*. Congrats to Lauraducky!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

* * *

~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘What do we do?’ Naia asked.

Aleks took the gauntlet in his hand and studied it closely. He could see no markings or insignia which would bring him closer to its creator or owner. Perhaps it had never had an owner? What if it was meant for him and him alone?

Naia reached out a hand to touch the gauntlet, but Aleks snatched it away, scowling. ‘Get away!’ he snapped. ‘It’s mine!’

A rush of blood went to his head and he suddenly felt dizzy and sick. Naia was looking at him as if she’d never met him before in her life. Suddenly, her face contorted into a frown and she slapped him hard across the face.

‘How dare you?’ she cried. ‘Remember your place, boy.’

Aleks’ face stung, bringing him back to his senses. He shook away the rest of his annoyance, knowing it was irrational. He felt as if the gauntlet had somehow been controlling his emotions. The shame hit him like a wall, and he felt his ears heat up. Of course Naia was justified in looking at the gauntlet.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

With some reluctance, he handed over the gauntlet. Naia smiled at him, but he thought there was a patronising edge to her smile. She turned it over in her hands, peering closely at it. Her expertise, he knew, would be valuable.

Naia smiled. “This is a very powerful magical object,” she said. “It could be just what we need.”

Episode 6

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘Just what we need?’ Aleks said. ‘What do you mean? You told me we would find it. The answers I want are there!’

‘Hush!’ Naia hissed. She put a finger to her mouth and her ears seemed to prick up. ‘They’re here,’ she whispered, eyes wild.

Aleks glanced about him, searching in the darkness above and below for unseen enemies. ‘Where?’ he said. He drew his short blade, though he knew he was vastly under practiced with it.

As if on cue, a rushing, roaring noise came from all around them and evil, disembodied voices wailed out of the chaos. Aleks swung wildly, trying to destroy whatever this strange force was, but to no avail.

Naia reached out and took Aleks by the hand. ‘We’re getting out of here!’ she yelled. She closed her eyes, recited something under her breath and the world as the pair knew it fell away. They had evaded the hunters once again… but how long could they keep running?

Ok, you carry it on!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

A Shoutout in the Name of Fantasy Fiction!

I thought I’d do a shoutout for my newest WordPress followers and raise a clarion call to get some entries in time for tomorrow’s Fiction Friday: The Story.

Here goes:

If there’s one thing I want all you readers out there to do today, it’s take a look at the post below and leave an entry:

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 5

Check back tomorrow for Episode 6!

~ James

Follow The Blog:

Twitter: @JWShortland
Facebook: Fantasy In Motion
Reddit: Cirias

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 5

It’s time for episode five! We had three entries last time and it was really difficult to choose between them. Nevertheless, I had to choose one, so read on to find out whose got chosen…

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

* * *

~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

Aleks carefully shimmied down a shallow slope and touched down on a wide ledge. He could see what Naia had meant when she said that something was lodged down here. ‘What is that?’ he said. ‘It’s huge.’

Naia joined him and shifted effortlessly back to her human form. ‘I-I don’t know,’ she said, stumbling over her words. ‘Is that what we’re looking for?’

‘It can’t be,’ Aleks said, scratching his head. ‘Can it?’

Naia squinted at the object, trying to make out what it was. “I can’t see anything,” she complained.

“I’ll make some light,” Aleks replied. He hadn’t wanted to because it would drain his energy reserves, but being in total darkness was beginning to make him feel uncomfortable.

With a flourish (which he later realised nobody could see) he clicked his fingers and a bright orange orb of light appeared above their heads, illuminating the crevasse for the first time. The light had an ethereal quality to it, making the black rocks around them seem smoother and shinier that they actually were.

As their eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, Aleks heard Naia quietly gasp. The curiosity within him burnt even brighter at this, and he took a closer look at the object in front of them.

Nestled within a huge bed of pure crystal which shimmered in the orange glow was an intricate gauntlet made of a bright silver metal. What it was doing there, neither Aleks nor Naia could tell, but it seemed to radiate with power. It seemed like a strange thing to do, to leave a single glove deep below the ground in such a deliberate spot. It made Aleks think that someone had wanted him to find it, but who? He could think of no such person.

Episode 5

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘What do we do?’ Naia asked.

Aleks took the gauntlet in his hand and studied it closely. He could see no markings or insignia which would bring him closer to its creator or owner. Perhaps it had never had an owner? What if it was meant for him and him alone?

Naia reached out a hand to touch the gauntlet, but Aleks snatched it away, scowling. ‘Get away!’ he snapped. ‘It’s mine!’

A rush of blood went to his head and he suddenly felt dizzy and sick. Naia was looking at him as if she’d never met him before in her life. Suddenly, her face contorted into a frown and she slapped him hard across the face.

‘How dare you?’ she cried. ‘Remember your place, boy.’

There you go. Let’s see what you can come up with!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday (Thursday): The Story – Episode 4

I really must apologise for not putting up episode four last Friday. I had a week off work (a rare occurrence) and I let it go to my head ;) Here it is, on a Thursday. Episode five will be up tomorrow as usual, so get your entries in fast!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

* * *

~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

A few hours later, the pair came to a huge split in the ground; a crevasse that seemed as if it had torn a painful wound in the world itself. Aleks slowed and carefully approached the edge. Naia circled overhead, having taken the shape of a hawk, and let out a cautioning cry.

Aleks, she said, her voice somehow in his head but not audible. I sense something terrible inside that tear in the earth. I don’t like this.

Something terrible? Aleks was sure his friend was just being overly cautious, but she had been right about such things in the past. He took a deep breath and shimmied gingerly over the edge into the unknown.

The rock was slippery, and Aleks feared for his life as his feet struggled to find purchase on the icy walls. Naia guided him where she could, and slowly but surely he navigated his way down. It seemed to take forever, and he began panting heavily after just a few minutes. Every metre he would look behind him into the freezing darkness, wishing for some light. This was starting to seem like a bad idea.

Naia had changed into a bat, and she hovered anxiously behind him. “I told you it was dangerous,” she said, her mental voice rising in pitch.

Aleks ignored her. “Can you see anything down there?” he asked.

Naia flew around behind him, clicking at a frequency too high for him to hear. “There’s something lodged in this crevasse,” she said. “Not too far now.”

Episode 4

This week in Fiction Friday (Thursday): The Story…

Aleks carefully shimmied down a shallow slope and touched down on a wide ledge. He could see what Naia had meant when she said that something was lodged down here. ‘What is that?’ he said. ‘It’s huge.’

Naia joined him and shifted effortlessly back to her human form. ‘I-I don’t know,’ she said, stumbling over her words. ‘Is that what we’re looking for?’

‘It can’t be,’ Aleks said, scratching his head. ‘Can it?’

Oo, mysterious, no? Your turn!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 3

It’s time for episode three (I promise you, it won’t be as bad as Star Wars: Episode 3)! We only had one entry this time around, so make sure you participate if you enjoy reading the story :)

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

Every week, you will all have the opportunity to continue the story by leaving a comment on this post. I will then choose my favourite entry and add it to the story for next week, at which point I will continue the story from where you left off.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

The sea lion considered the question a moment and slowly nodded its head. ‘Aye, I did. The red rage came upon me… I just couldn’t–’

‘It’s alright,’ Aleks said. He placed a comforting hand on his friend’s nape. ‘Come on, we should make ourselves scarce.’

The odd pair took their leave and proceeded across the dunes, away from the beach and back onto solid earth. As soon as they were out of sight, the sea lion let out a cry and started to change even as it waddled along. Slowly, its features began to twist and morph and it started to resemble a human. Whiskers retracted and the leather-grey skin smoothed to a supple pink. The strange girl that now walked beside Aleks gave him a wry smile, her eyes dancing and impossibly black.

‘At least you decided to wear clothes before you shifted, this time, Naia,’ Aleks said.

‘Yes,’ Naia replied, flushing. ‘That was an awkward moment, wasn’t it?’

Aleks smiled wearily as the familiar fields stretched out before them. There was precious little energy left to take from the soil beneath them. The grass was already beginning to brown and die in patches.

“We’ve been too long in this place,” he said in a low voice.

Naia breathed deep, searching, and frowned. “We’ve still not found it.”

The two walked a while longer in silence, contemplating their predicament. They had to move on soon but if they did… would they ever be able to return? A hunter was dead. Soon more would come to see what had happened. Yet that for which they searched was somewhere in these lands, perhaps hidden in a villager’s home, perhaps forgotten in some cave in the mountains.

Naia sensed his struggle and put a comforting hand to his shoulder. “Come,” she said. Aleks could hear the dull clicks of bones changing as Naia began to shift. “Let us continue.”

Episode 3

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

A few hours later, the pair came to a huge split in the ground; a crevasse that seemed as if it had torn a painful wound in the world itself. Aleks slowed and carefully approached the edge. Naia circled overhead, having taken the shape of a hawk, and let out a cautioning cry.

Aleks, she said, her voice somehow in his head but not audible. I sense something terrible inside that tear in the earth. I don’t like this.

Something terrible? Aleks was sure his friend was just being overly cautious, but she had been right about such things in the past. He took a deep breath and shimmied gingerly over the edge into the unknown.

Right, let’s see what you can do with that! Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday Episode 3 is Coming!

Hey everyone! Due to an unforeseen event this morning, I’ve not been able to compose anything worth reading on here. However, I do have an important reminder for you all!
Fiction Friday: Episode 3 will be here in 2 days! That means you only have a short time left to add your contributions to the story for this week. Just follow the link below and leave a comment with your entry. It doesn’t have to be perfect, long or even remotely intelligible – just write whatever you want!

>> Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 2 <<

And if you encounter any difficulty leaving a comment on the post, just contact me with your entry and I’ll consider it with the rest!

I’ll see you on Friday. Be there or… well… don’t be there!

~ James