Archive for the ‘Myths and Tales’ Category

It was my thirteenth birthday and I was spending it with my Aunt Lola. She was a quirky old lady who had known me since I was born. She wasn’t really my aunt at all but she had been such a close family friend she earned herself the title. I had come to live with her after an unfortunate accident with a moose and a very high cliff claimed the lives of my parents.

Well Loopy,” she said. (This was just a nickname she had for me. My real name is Lucy) “I can’t believe you are thirteen years old already.”

Given that I was so accident prone, having broken several bones several times, I was pretty mesmerised that I had reached teenage years too. Aunt Lola always made a big fuss of me on my birthday. She had no children of her own so all of her affection was aimed towards me. She gave the most random and strange gifts each year so now that I was a little older and a little more ready for her antics I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. She put an envelope into my hand and kissed my forehead. “I hope you like this one.”

My hands began to shake. Given my aunt’s fondness for all things odd there was no telling what the envelope contained. Therein could lie the secret to a number of mysteries. It could hold the key to eternal life. It could be a coupon for 10% off at any local clothes store. I tore open the envelope excitedly. A shining slip of paper fell onto my lap. I picked it up allowing the coloured paper to delight the eyes. On that special paper read the words, ‘Special Access to the Museum’. Well it wasn’t the secret to the universe but it was a great idea none the less. I was the strange kid who would rather sit in the corner of the playground reading about battles of old than play with the other children. I would much rather hear what ancient Greek philosophers had to say than my fellow classmates who stood at the edge of the football park picking their noses.

There was no time to lose. I had heard on the radio the week before that the local museum had just opened a new exhibit on Ancient Egypt. I grabbed my shining red rain jacket that was water proof but still light and airy. I pulled on my backpack which had the emblem of several superheroes embroidered on it. Aunt Lola had been complaining of what she called ‘the hardships of older ladies’. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant but to combat it she had to lie with her feet elevated and a piece of silver on her forehead, counting backwards from one hundred.

I decided to leave the Egypt exhibit to the end. It had been busy when I arrived with business men awing at the new set up and mothers being dragged by their progeny because they thought it looked ‘cool’.

The day began to wind down. The museum emptied itself of the day trippers and quietened. As I walked through the main foyer the rubber soles of my shoes squeaked. I saw the fresh sign that directed the way to Ancient Egypt.

There was a lot of gold around. The walls were covered In hieroglyphs. I couldn’t tell if the curators had actually read the hieroglyphs or if they were merely there to impress the visitors because from what I could read they told of a bathroom disaster somewhere off the banks of the Nile.

As I absorbed all of the knowledge that the exhibit had to offer I heard the doors to the section close. I was the only person around, living at least. The lights dimmed except on the large mummy that was encased at the end of the hall. His face had been preserved all that time in a stern expression. The accompanying information explained that his name was ‘Ahmose’. He had been a fisherman but not a particularly good one. His people saw him as cursed, a jinx if you will. Ahmose was responsible for all the ill fate that befell them. Poor Ahmose. It seems he was accident prone like me. Because he had bumped into a builder, causing him to fall, destroying the temple that was in construction it seems he was now preserved for people of my year to gawk at his stupidity. They took jinxed folk very seriously in those days.

My head was buzzing with all the warmth, knowledge and dusty artefacts that the museum had to offer. I made my way back out to the main hall intent on catching the bus home. I pulled open the door but it was locked. ‘Surely they would check everyone had gone before they locked up,’ I thought. There was a heavy smash. My heart leapt from the steady thud of a tortoise to the gallop of a hare. I could feel a presence looming behind me but I couldn’t bare to look.

Argh!’ cried a dusty, throaty voice.

Slowly I did turn. Ahmose was now standing upright for the first time in many years. The paper that gave me special access to the museum slipped from my pocket. Ahmose reached down to pick it up with a crunchy crack of his mid section. He clasped it between the remains of his fingers and held it out to me.

Leave me alone!” I screamed. “Help!” Surely the museum wasn’t deserted.

Argh!” Ahmose replied.

With a quiver of my extremities I reached into my pocket and took out my mobile phone which Aunt Lola insisted I carried in case of emergencies. I was pretty sure that being attacked by the undead could very well be considered an emergency.

Hello?” Aunt Lola answered.

Help me!” I cried out.

What’s wrong?” she asked still calmly balancing the silver on her forehead.

A mummy! Its came to life. I have to get out of here!”

Most people when they tell their aunt something like this they either think they are crazy or attempting a practical joke. Not my aunt. She returned as though it was an everyday occurrence. “Do you like him?” she asked.

Like him? Its a mummy! He’s going to kill me!”

Aunt Lola groaned. “Oh don’t be so dramatic Loopy. He’s your birthday present. Don’t you like him?”

I stared at Ahomse. He stumbled backwards almost tripping over his own left foot. “Argh!” he groaned again looking at his left leg. “How many people can boast having their own mummy,” continued my aunt.

Not many,” I agreed.

Enjoy,” she said and hung up leaving me alone with the dial tone and my mummy.

Ahmose lifted a piece of pottery from the shelving. It slipped from his fingers and smashed on the floor.

My most immediate problem was devising a plan to get out of the museum that looked possibly locked, take my mummy on the bus and get home whilst not getting caught for thieving from the museum.

Next birthday I’ll just ask for clothes?

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I was just a little kid when I first realised I had the power to bring things back from the dead. It’s not a skill that I would put on a job application or anything but it is definitely something not many people can do.

My beloved gerbil, Flower Pot, died and like most kids losing a pet I was distraught.

We’ll put him in a nice box and bury him,” mum had said softly.

Just put him in the bin.” My elder brother was not so sensitive.

I hadn’t been able to bring myself to move Flower Pot. When he started to stink we all agreed the time had come.

I lifted Flower Pot from his cage.

He was a good gerbil,” I muttered ceremoniously. Then I felt his little foot twitch.

Don’t be silly,” said dad. “That gerbil is long gone.”

I was almost at the point of agreeing when Flower Pot twitched again. I almost dropped him when he flicked his little ears, opened his beady eyes and turned over.

He’s alive! He’s alive!”

Mum, dad and my brother all shared a shocked expression that could only have been heightened if it had been me who had come back from the dead.

I grinned. My pet was safe and sound. His furry little body was warm again. He gave a squeak. I gushed. Then he sank his teeth into my finger. I had to shake him off. It took dad and my brother’s strength combined to pull the blood thirsty rodent from me. Flower Pot fell to the ground. He ran across the room. In the commotion the chair was knocked over, landing on the gerbil. Flower Pot still ended up in a box in the yard that day.

When word got out that I could bring pets back to life I was inundated with requests. I tried to explain that Fluffy and Snowball wouldn’t be the same but people were so attached to their animals who was I to stop them?

When Mrs Albot at number twenty four asked me to bring back her boa constrictor George, I had to call it quits. There was already a monster rabbit terrorising the local kids and a vicious goldfish in the pond in the park. We really didn’t need a 7ft reptile with a taste for flesh slithering around.

I hung up my walking dead pet business and life carried on as normal. That was until I met Harry.

Walking home, clutching the straps of my backpack and whistling to myself I passed the church. There was a teenaged boy sat on the steps. He was weeping behind a mop of black hair. His arms were tucked inside the sleeves of his hooded jacket.

Are you okay?” I asked. I loathed to see a stranger in trouble.

He looked up at me teary eyed. His eye liner had smudged.

It’s my girlfriend Zoe. She’s gone!”

He removed a photograph from his pocket. It was of a girl who would have been very pretty if it weren’t for the black curtains of hair almost concealing her entire face. Two blackened eyes peered out and black painted lips pouted.

She was so young. There was so much ahead of her.”

I felt sorry for him. My aunt said my ability was a gift. I wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t seen Flower Pot almost rip my finger off. Then again, I hadn’t tried it on humans before. Maybe this time it would be different.

The boy led me to the open casket that Zoe lay in. She looked peaceful. Her face was as pale as it always had been. She wore her signature black. Judging by the photo the girl had been preparing for her funeral her entire life.

I touched her forehead. Harry gave a gasp that echoed through the church as her eyes opened. She sat up like a villain in a vampire movie. Zoe reached her hands out and Harry helped her out of her satin bed.

It was quite a romantic scene really until she lunged forward and tried to chow down on his neck.

Yeah, she may get a little bitey,” I warned.

Are you feeling okay?” he asked her.

Urrggh,” she replied.

Harry turned to me. “What is wrong with her?”

Considering she was dead not a few moments ago I think she looks great,”

Urrrrgghh!” she agreed.

She won’t make much of a conversationalist and you will have to stop her biting people, but all in all you have her back. She looks zombielicious!”

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Into the world of imagination you delve.
The glow of the computer screen drawing you nearer.
Picking out the words letter by letter.
Each click released into the air like a virus.

At the entrance to imagination lies a warning etched in stone.
Do not venture too far or you may not return.
The world looks different watching from within the mind.
All the same sights but with a hazy yellow glow.

The streets you walked once familiar, now strange.
The same objects you spied many times before, now odd.
Those faces you have known, every wrinkle, every scar.
Now their eyes glare with suspicion.

Take a chance, walk those silent alleys once more.
Your imagination will never fully clear.
Fill the empty windows with images of your own.
Let the birds sing with a song of your own composition.

Fill the lonely streets with whatever you please.
The laughter of children. The cries of pain perhaps?
There are no rules in the land of imagination.
No morals to govern the comings and goings.

Be free to express your deepest desires.
Don’t be shy to shed a tear.
Grit your teeth, relieve your frustration.
For when the computer screen blinks into darkness, the streets are abandoned once more.

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Run child as fast as your feet will carry you.

Don’t pause for a breath or stop to tie your shoe.

You can look around, cry for help if you like

But this is one time the monster will strike.

You can run deep into the forest, you can hide in the dark,

But we will always find you, for you have the mark.

You will never survive; you’ve already begun to rot,

You can gather wood, set camp just like daddy taught.

It all seems so fruitless now, so close to the end,

When a monster lurks behind every bend.

Our paths are made from the bones of the others,

Somewhere waiting for them are weeping mothers

You will discover as they did, there is now way out,

Burst your little lungs trying to scream and shout.

Just listen please

To the noise of the trees.

They will warn you of what lurks in every inch of this place.

Creatures waiting to snatch you, all eager for a taste.

They won’t wait long, for they are hungry indeed.

Only the blood of a child will fulfil their greed,

All roads lead to the same place in the end.

We all go without a coin, a care or a friend,

So look up child and see what lies in wait.

Thank you little child, for taking the bait.

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Did you know that there is an inspirational message behind THIS PLACE?

Click HERE to read more!

I was once told a tale of two sisters in despair, the made quite an odd and opposing pair.

The first was named Jane, who had a small child.

The second was named Sally, who walked for miles.

Through the dark forest, to the furtherest end,

Sally took comfort in the quiet round every bend.

Sally listened to the rustling in the leaves.

She had memorised the songs of the birds in the trees.

There in the woods, lay a special place.

For it was there that their mother had fallen from Grace.

Deep in the forest, past the first gate,

is where their mother had met a grisly fate.

Sally would return day after day,

even though Jane had warned her to stay away.

For Jane life went on as much as it had,

protecting her child from all that was bad.

Online she had met man she really did like,

So she arranged to meet the stranger who called himself Mike.

Talking and talking, they had done for days,

not really knowing each other’s ways.

With her sister distracted, Sally continued her walk,

with no one to disturb her, no one to talk.

Jane was warned not to meet a stranger,

unknowns on the internet had led to such danger.

Jane took no notice she was sensible after all,

Mike was a good guy, he had it all.

Jane carried on, straightening the house as she went.

Her last thoughts being, what Sally had meant.

She tried to contact her sister a lot,

but Sally was drawn back the murder spot.

Sally found the tree, where it had all went awry,

where her mother had given her final cry.

There had been a lot of blood, or so they said,

when they found the mother, torn, cold, dead.

The river had run red in the pale blue dawn,

for the two sisters, the mother was gone.

While Sally was drawn closer to the horror,

Jane couldn’t wait to meet her new lover.

‘Get some rest before the meet,’ she said.

Her child was content so she slipped off to bed.

Sally could still smell her mother’s perfume,

It had followed her mother into every room.

But alas there was nothing that could bring her back,

just the memories of that fading dirt track.

Had she been cold when she fell into the water?

Did she realise what she had done to her daughter?

Sally could only hope that wherever lay their mum,

she could see what both her daughters had become.

The time drew nearer for Jane to meet her new friend,

closer still was her inevitable end.

With a draw of a blade, the two sisters became one.

Jane now lying comfortably with their mum.

For a very long time Sally had waited,

to be alone in the house, she claimed to have hated.

But wait … another body stirs.

The life of the little child will soon be hers.

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There was no one sent to help him so he had to find the stables himself in the dark. His feet sank heavily into the mud. Mercy was still limping although the bold steed that she was, she never complained. As Edgar felt the warmth of the hay that he fed to Mercy he was in two minds whether to return to the house or settle down beside the animal and be off before anyone awakened in the morning. He even got as far as throwing his hat onto the ground before a shiver fired up his spine to remind him just how cold it would get. 

When he returned to the house he found that the rear entrance was open. Had it been left open for him or had it been open all night? He didn’t know. The staff saw him approach yet he still politely knocked on the wooden frame of the open door. A man with a large protruding stomach tucked behind a well pressed white shirt zipped past him almost knocking Edgar back outside. He was among the household staff. Edgar had never had staff of his own but it looked like the staff were mixing with the guests far more than was socially acceptable. 

“Miss Abigail has had a plate prepared for you, sir,” the rushing man called to him over his shoulder. When the only response Edgar could give was a vacant stare he placed the plate he carried down on a table and pushed Edgar from the kitchens with a firm hand on his back. Edgar spotted Abigail. She wasn’t sat in her place at the table but stood behind it. An empty seat was beside her with a fresh plate of stew awaiting the new comer. Hunger pangs gargled in Edgar’s stomach. He sat himself beside the Mayor’s daughter. 

“Daddy!” Abigail rudely called across the conversation being passed back and forth. “This is the man who came to the door. Edwin…”

“It’s Edgar.” Edgar murmured beside her.

Abigail looked down as he found his seat. “I’m sorry,” she said. “This is Edward.”

The Mayor was a tall, slim man who still held a great deal of vitality despite his progressing age. His hair was snow white and he had a full white beard. “It is nice to have you with us Edmond. Enjoy the food. Perhaps you can tell us all about yourself. Where are you from? What brings you here? We don’t tend to get many passersby in these parts.”

It was too late to correct it now so Edgar went along with the name change. “I’m from Elgany,” he said. “I was travelling through on my way to the trading ports in Navaria.” 

A man sat directly opposite him sneered down his  thin pointed nose. “But you have nothing to sell!” he said noticing Edgar was empty handed. 

All eyes now became fixed on the stranger among them. Edgar shuffled in his seat. “I was going to purchase supplies. I have my own trading post back in Elgany,” he said.

The man was relentless. He leaned forward on the table and affixed his beady black eyes on Edgar. His pointed elbows pushed his plate away from his looming  body. “You decided to travelby horse? It would have been much quicker and much easier to sail down the coastline.”

Edgar’s gaze quickly surveyed the others and his surroundings before returning to the man  asking him the questions. “It would have been but my horse – she’s out in the stables – was one of the things I was selling. She doesn’t like the water.”

“So what happened to you Ed?” asked the woman next to the man with the beady eyes. She was much more forthcoming. She had a rounded face and her hair hung close to her scalp in tight curls. Edgar assumed she was the wife of Mr. Beady Eyes, judging by their closeness and body language. 

“Unfortunately on the road I was attacked by highway men. I had to divert and that’s when my horse was hurt.”

The man with the beady eyes raised his top lip slightly in a sneer. “There are no highway men about here,” he stated. 

The woman patted her hand against his arm as though scolding a small child. “Now Bryan, stop giving the boy a hard time. He has been through enough.”

“I’m only trying to find out where he came from Martha,” Bryan ‘Beady Eyes’ complained. “I would only give a hard time if he had something to hide.”

Edgar affixed his most pleasant smile. “No harm done,” he said through gritted teeth. 

Martha and Bryan returned to their own conversation leaving Edgar alone. The rest did likewise. Edgar stabbed a fork into the meat and had a small piece. He had lost most of his appetite and just wanted to sleep. He turned to Abigail to find she had rested her head in her hands on the table but her eyes were firmly closed and a soft wheezing was escaping from her nostrils.

Edgar managed to clear most of the food on his plate, just through politeness. When he wanted to excuse himself he approached the Mayor. It had been the first time since his arrival he had managed to have an audience with him alone. The Mayor had spent most of the evening dancing with the local women and singing bar songs with the men, including little ditties with the staff. 

“I just wanted to thank you for your hospitality. I’m very tired from the journey now, if I could trouble you for somewhere to sleep for the night?” Edgar enquired politely. 

The Mayor looked up at him, large white teeth made a wide grin. The room on the first floor, second on the left should be vacant. Do you need someone to show you the way?”

Edgar shook his head the negative. He was just approaching the doorway that lead upstairs when Bryan called after him. “I am surprised the Hangram didn’t get you…”

Edgar turned back. His patience wearing to the thinnest it had been all evening, including when the robbers were behind him. “Excuse me?”

“The Hangram  hunts down criminals.”

Martha smacked her husband’s arm again. “You are scaring the boy!” she exclaimed. “You don’t know he’s a criminal.”

In the midst of the conversation Edgar hadn’t noticed the music stop. Everyone was staring at him again. He had never before felt more like a stranger. Even Abigail had stirred from her slumber and was watching him with blurry eyes. 

“What … The hell …. Is the Hangram?”

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I was incredibly proud of Myths and Tales Volume 1. I always loved short stories and poems so to write my own was a thrill.

First off the bat was the poem – THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE. It was the first poem to be added to the collection and it was also the first that was ever read out loud to those who were kind enough to listen.

It is amazing to hear from readers who, after all this time, are still reading Myths. It is ambitious in that it caters for a variety of tastes and different genres so hopefully you can all find something enjoyable in it.

“The tried to rid of him, it took twenty tries,

For he was the man who would not die!”

Click HERE to read the full poem!

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