Which Way Alice?

As promised!  Here is the final result of my procrastination, as mentioned here weeks back–> Procrastination, Thesis Diaries Part 4? I had to wait a while to upload it for two reasons: 1) I’ve been busy.  Busy, it seems to be the common denominator for every fraction of each day that comes.  So while I schedule well, some things just take time!  And making sure I credit every person whose stock resources made it possible, required ALOT of time.  I’ve always found linking to be such a pain, but well, they all deserve credit!  2) I had to wait because I had three other works to upload first.  And it seems I’m a bit of a sucker for doing things in a particular order.  My water photomanipulation series needed uploading before I could upload Which Way Alice?  since after all, I did create them first: Sweet Surrender, Euphoria, and Emancipation.

Here it is:  Which Way Alice?  The completed version!

And also, to go with it, a micro poem I wrote on Twitter:

She stared at the pathways

Running away from her

Stretching terrifyingly into the unknown…

Which Way Alice?

The above is a photomanipulation, which, were I much better at painting with a brush and a canvas, I would have love to do by hand (but alas, I am not good at all with a brush, lack the patience and skill to do it by hand, and do not think a finelined version would be worthy, thus, I went to my trusty laptop, opened up photoshop and decided to go from there).  Although I called this ‘Which Way Alice’ this one isn’t really an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scene.  But rather, it’s based on the idea of Alice in Wonderland, and grew to be something else entirely (as one has probably gathered if you’ve read my Procrastination post).

When I started out with this, I began with two thoughts:
1) An Alice image, a girl in wonderland.
2) An image about a girl who has a number of choices in front of her, all looking decidedly positive and good..  But which one is the right one?

I had a thought of making this available as a print on DA, but as I’ve never before wanted something printed, I don’t know.  But maybe, if I get enough views, I will seek out the necessary permissions and make this available as a print.  As for now!  This has been made as a 1366×768 sized wallpaper (and of which is currently set as my laptop wallpaper, as I’ve mentioned previously, I love being able to make my own wallpapers and really loving them too).  Hmm I’d actually love to have this as a jigsaw puzzle lol.  Maybe one day, for my kids if I ever have any! Haha.

Of course, I could still improve on this!  But this is the first time I’ve done something so detailed in terms of photomanipulation.  I never thought I could, but well!

Credits: Please go through to my DA page for the credits: Which Way Alice?

The Last Wish. Andrzej Sapkowski.

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The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.8 Stars–Not quite 4 (I was sooooo disappointed in the last short story, I thought they were going to kill each other, but they didn’t!!!!), but it was still a really good read over all.

This book series was recommended to me by a friend. I didn’t think I would start reading it so soon, but then I did. Though because it’s a series of short stories interwoven into a bigger story, I put it down and picked it up every so often. Not to mention I was reading the ebook version, and lord knows I generally find reading on a screen a pain in the butt. However, I finished it. And I did like it. I would definitely read the second, and the third, and more just to see where it goes.

The character, ‘the Witcher’ fascinates me, though in this book there is a lack of depth to his character. At the same time, you couldn’t say there was no depth either. It feels like in this book, Geralt is a figure, slightly blurred, somewhat a mystery. We have insights to his past through the short stories, but that isn’t the focus of the short stories. Not really. Yet also, really, since with each story, you learn a little more about the Witcher, about his choices and regrets. Particularly in the short story The Lesser Evil, where the Witcher had to choose, and ultimately hadn’t made the right choice, and in the story, A Question of Price in which more is revealed about Geralt’s character.

Geralt the Witcher is the main focus of the whole book. The last short story in the book, highlights the title of the book, and bloodyyyyy hell that was some story! (More in a minute on it!) Geralt’s job is to essentially exterminate monsters–demons, malicious supernatural beings, etc. And hence, with each short story, you see him performing a task. He is a Witcher by destiny, and not really by choice–something I want to know more about. As a fan of backstories, in depth character building, and plot twists that tie the character in with the story so deeply, I just drooolll, I really want to see the moment when I find out everything about Geralt’s past. Specially after hearing this about him from a secondary character in A Question of Price:

He knows the law better than anyone else, because it applied to him once…. He was taken from his home because he was what his father hadn’t expected to find on his return. Because he was destined for other things. And by the power of destiny, he became what he is. (At 49%)

Little things like that know how to snatch at my heart and catch my interest. And like always I kind of really hate it.

In the beginning, I had very little, close to no expectations of this book. I generally don’t, specially if they’re recommendations. Not to mention in beginning this book, it was kind of slow, and the switching between short story, and present telling, was kind of confusing. However, once I got into the flow of the story, and when my mind decided to wake and click to the fact that the short stories are related to the little in between pieces that are being told in the present, I became more invested in this book. Sometimes I have no idea what catches my attention, let alone, what the hell I’m reading even though I’m reading it. This was one of those times. But when things started clicking, and I read the Lesser Evil, I started to really like this book. It had my attention that’s for sure (though admittedly the use of short stories had me putting this down every so often since, after all, why should I read all these short stories at once? I felt like hoarding them for a bit!) and I was definitely engaged to read all the way through to the end!

However, and this is the problem with adopting this method of narration–a major plot, with short story intervals–is that the short stories end. And sometimes they end kind of awkwardly or whatnot. Not that Sapkowski’s did. I won’t lie, I AM STILL BUMMED BY THE WAY THE LAST WISH SHORT STORY ENDED, WHY DIDN’T THEY KILL EACH OTHER???? Am I cruel? There was just so many mentions of Yennefer prior to that short story, and
I thought it was a bad thing…..then again, in that short story, it ended well. I just really got the impression that something else happened….

Either way, it was still a good short story, and the ending of the whole book was still good, with promise of more adventure and witcher duties in the next one.

My biggest desire for this series, is to see what happens to Geralt and how he grows. Therefore, I will read the next book primarily for that reason. While it’s not the best fantasy I’ve ever read, it’s not the worse either. THIS main character does not want pity or forced sympathy from me unlike Kvoth from The Name of the Wind–I really didn’t like him, or that book much, even though it’s not a bad book. The Witcher, is just what he is, the Witcher. He’s not overdone, his weaknesses are real and believeable, he is confident, yet he is also not confident. He doesn’t brag or boast, but is modest about his skills. He actually uses his brain too, and falls prey to his own desires and missteps. He has a crutch that prevents him from doing some things, and you know what, he kind of reminds me of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell portrayal) from the TV Show Arrow–well that interpretation!

View all my reviews

Wondrous Knight.

The wondrous knight,

Carries his sword gallantly,

Striding through the moonlight,

With his horse and man in tow.

He will save any damsel in distress,

With one hand,

He will take the damsel in red dress,

And carry her away to safety.

But wondrous knight,

So seemingly wonderful,

Glowing in the light

And fighting like a gallant warrior,

Against the signs of darkness,

And supposed decay.

She is the damsel,

Not so in distressed,

Watching as he carves

The life out of lives,

The breath of last breaths,

A blade too sharp,

And gallant, not quite so,

And she cries,

Cries,

As the red,

Deepens in her dress,

The material, silk,

Caressingly close to her skin,

The wondrous knight,

Does not know,

That his beauty,

His gallantry,

His knighthood,

Does not hide,

The core inside,

The core of unforgiving,

Turning the yin and the yang

A neverending circle,

Of good deeds,

And brewing hate.

Oh wondrous knight,

The damsel should cry,

But she does not.

Instead,

She holds unto her heart,

The burden of the sorrows,

And whispers to the pains,

That she will,

Undoubtedly carry away,

As she runs,

And runs,

From the so-called Wondrous Knight.

Like a Friend. ‘The Diamond of Truth’ Part Seven.

First of all, it’s unbelievable of me that I forgot about this series.  And when I looked back through all my blog material, I was like, omg~!  So I am going to finish it.  It is completely unacceptable that I stopped this abruptly.  SO here are the six other parts:

Like a Diamond.  Part One.

Like a Fire.  Part Two.

Like a Storm.  Part Three.

Like a Breeze.  Part Four.

Like a Light.  Part Five.

Like a Memory.  Part Six.

 

And in continuation here is Part Seven, at long last, hopefully you enjoy!  If there are any inconsistencies (let me know!!!) although I made sure there weren’t.  But I might have missed something.

 

Like a Friend.

What was her father doing?  Her head was aching now.  But Fel had to find him.  They couldn’t stay here anymore.  She turned back pulling the thin shawl around her body, up and around her head.  It had been a long time since she’d felt like this.  When had it been?  Was it before meeting Dallas?  It must have been.  There was not a moment after she’d met Dallas that she remembered anything pleasant between her and Gevrid beside the odd moment or two where he helped her.  But those were rare, not with his position as Captain, he couldn’t do anything more.

She stopped in an alcove for a breather.  Her head ached.  Her hands felt clammy against the cold concrete wall.  And she took that moment to take a seat.  She hugged herself, pulling her knees to herself.  There, she breathed.  In and out, the air seeped into her soul reinvigorating her heart.  And she stood again.

As she strode out of the alcove, she felt a shift, a ripple through the air, and the diamond burned against her chest.  She jerked the shawl away and looked at the glowing diamond.  Feelling eyes on her, she looked to the left and found the younger Felicity staring at her.  On her chest, her own diamond reacted.  And Fel moved to moved, jerked forward by surprise.  But time shifted and Fel was no longer looking at Felicity but at someone else.  Someone across time and space, who could see her, but if he tried to touch her, he would only grab air, doomed to wonder if she was dead or not.

“Felicity,” He said in shock.

“Gevrid,” she replied, the faint touch of water in her eyes.

They stared at each other.  The air shimmered between them, but it didn’t feel muggy and suffocating like most hot air.  Instead it felt cool, gentle, and beautiful.

“I forgot,” she said.

“Forgot what?”  He said confused.  “When did you get back?” Fel walked up to him, reaching out to touch him.  Through time, he felt so alive, so warm.  And he was startled.  As startled as Fel.  But he wouldn’t show it.  He wouldn’t tell Fel that he was as startled as Fel.  Fel just knew.  Because she always knew.

“I forgot us.”  A stray tear, crystal blue, slipped down her cheek.  She wasn’t clutching her head anymore.  There was no more pain, no more ache.  Just clear white snow blanketing her heart and mind.

“Fel?”  He was suddenly awake, and not under a daze.  Had he always been under a daze with her?  He reached up to touch her, but like the effects of time, she was in the past, a ghost of her former self, and therefore, transient to him.  “Fel?  Fel, where are you?  This isn’t your ghost is it?”  He started to panic.

“Gevrid,” she’d said it with an unintentional smile.  She stroked his cheek, relieved.  “Gevrid.  Don’t worry I’ll be back soon.”

“Fel!”  He screamed, but he was already fading.  The diamond on her chest, cooled, and slowly, slowly, the headache returned.

As he faded, Fel wondered why she wanted him to hold her, caress her, touch her hair and her skin the why no one else was allowed to.  Memories came back to her, little things she forgot suddenly seemed as bright as the sun.  She remembered where she lost the hanky Gevrid gave her to wipe her eyes.  Looking forward, she saw herself.  The younger Felicity was staring with the kind of eyes that would forget later on.

The young Felicity looked at Fel with big wide eyes.  She was so full of awe, Fel wondered if Felicity had even noticed the diamond on her chest.  If she had, it was lost under the sea of grief, fear and awe.

“Who are you?” Said Felicity.

“Just a dream,” said Fel.  Fel took a shaky step forward, touched the little girl on the head and walked away.  As she passed the little girl, she whispered, “Grow and love, live as you want, don’t hold back.”  And just as quietly as she came, she left, leaving nothing but a whisper of an impression in the young girl’s mind.  Fel knew, as living proof, that Felicity wouldn’t remember the face of the woman who said those words that had drawn her away to Dallas in the first place.  Felicity would only remember the words.

She couldn’t find her heart as she ran looking for her father.  There was nowhere for that elusive beating centre to hide in her body, but it wasn’t just a “thing”, it was a raging river of abstract notions such as “love” and “hate”.  It was calm for contentment and violent when upset.  It was unrestrained, abundant, almost overflowing on occasions.  Fel was hurt.  It ached where it had been passionate, in the times she’d needed to feel passion the most, it had been unrestrained and rebellious.   Now, now the pain was overreaching, rushing down the river without any bounds, there didn’t seem like a moment it would let up.

Her father was talking to her mother.  Fel doubted her mother knew it was him from the future.  But her father had aged harshly and his lines were deeper.  He slouched now, when he walked, but he was still proud.  And Fel thought, that must what her mother was seeing.  Because her mother didn’t even shrink away.  And her father was being so gentle to her.  He must have reverted to his younger self.

“Father.” He turned slightly at the faint sound of her voice.  This man she was seeing, was the man who should be running the kingdom.  Not the king at the moment, not the one who’d pushed her to the edge, and taught her the meaning of passion.

But her father still had a long way to go, for he was not the friend she had before, for Gevrid was a friend she had lost, and for the fact that she cared.  Her father was more like what a king should be.

The Book of Tomorrow or Temptation.

Little Snow walked along the dusty road, holding in her hand the Book of Tomorrow.  There was sweat forming beneath the heavy armour she wore, and she was afraid that it would rust before she reached the end of the well worn cart road.  But there was no helping it.  She must hand over the book to the Chaplain so that he may care for it.

It was heavy.  Though leather bound with an intricate design on its cover of triquetras and ellipses, it had thousands of fine filmy sheets of paper.  It was the size of her torso, and perhaps weighed as much, as it sat in the oilskin pouch that hung on one shoulder.  But then she also carried a heavy broadsword and the cape she insisted on wearing.

The further she walked though, the more tired she became.  And the stronger the hum of the Book of Tomorrow called to her.  She had already succumb to the temptation, and what she had already read seemed harmless enough.  It was just a story, nothing more.

So she stopped, and like she had done before pulled out the book and flipped to the last chapter.

‘The princess walked along the final corridor, at last the burden in her heart would be relieved.  But she staggered.  The weight of some unknown force forced her down.  That death to be imminent…she should have foreseen it.  She was the carrier of the Book of Tomorrow was she not?  And yet, it came, bitterly sweet, crushing her future, taking her past.  All that was left was that moment of the present.

‘But still she trudged onwards, taking her burden to the priest.  The priest would take it, he had said, it was his honour and consensus.  If he could not take that burden then he would have no right to call himself a priest.

‘Yet as the weight turned to stone, squashing her hope just a little more, she pushed the door of the church open, and a shadow loomed above her.  This shadow wore a robe of a priest, but its face was that of a demon.  Startled she drew her sword, but found herself crushed by the burden she had been holding.

‘The demon laughed and asked leeringly, ‘Do you know why it’s called the Book of Tomorrow?’

‘She moaned, but could not stand.  ‘It’s because it’s a book of the future, and no one should ever read it for fear of knowing their death.  Now do you know how it ends?’’

Little Snow looked up from the pages.  There were no more words.  Just blank pages as though the story had ended.  As she wrapped the book up once again, she went to continue her journey.  She had disobeyed the order given to her and had read the sacred pages of the Book of Tomorrow.  But it had called to her, begging her, making her fingers itch.  And she had read every page.  Until the last.  Now, walking, the fear resided in her, building and festering as she reached the end of the road.

No one had seen her read, but that did not mean that it wouldn’t be known.  If the ending of the book was anything to say about it, then she had everything in the world to fear.

She waited at the gate to the holy ground at the end of the road, near the sacred building with its towering spires and gothic architecture.  The gargoyles seemed to laugh at her from their watchdog positions at each corner of the building’s roof.  She waited for the chaplain, with the foreboding sense of the princess’s fear hovering about her.

The evening came and she set up camp, still waiting at the gate.  Though there was a church here and a sacred ground, she did not know when the chaplain would come.  When the Bishop had given her this mission it had been with the command, ‘Take this to the chaplain on the land known as the Holy Land.  Bring it straight to him.  Do not lose it, or read it, just go directly to him and wait for him.’

And she did as she was told, taking the book with her.  She had heard of its sacredness, but she hadn’t ever seen it.  Honoured, she carried her journey on dutifully, acting her part as the warrior Little Snow.  No one had ever given a female such an honourable job before.  In fact it had been unheard of.  And yet, here she was at the end of the journey, without a failure in sight, well, except for the reading of the forbidden book.  But where was the harm in that?  She thought as she chewed on her meat.

Though, she had wondered what had happened to the others before her.  It seemed that many had undertaken the journey to take the book, many male warriors, but yet they all had failed.  And the book had returned to the bishop.  Why, Little Snow didn’t know.

At last, the night turned his head and faded into dawn and Little Snow saw a figure of a man waiting by the doors of the sacred building.  Jumping up, she grabbed the bag with the book and headed to the gate where he ushered her in.  As she stepped past the gate though, she felt a fiery sensation creeping up her legs, like a hot flush of the cheeks that slowly creeps up when embarrassed.

Elsewhere, the bishop sighed, the Book of Tomorrow had reappeared on the podium.

He said, ‘Of course a woman couldn’t face temptation.  I suppose I must give her credit for at least finishing the journey, too bad she’d done so after she finished the book.’

He waddled off in search of another warrior, muttering, ‘What about a child this time?  An obedient one maybe…’

The Dream Weaver.

It came to my attention this morning when I was looking through my Word document where I keep all my 55 fiction, that I had not posted this particular story yet.  Haha I was certainly surprised, but nonetheless, here it is for you!

Now, I have to make note several things first.  This image I’ve attached to it, is one I drew a while back.  This same image is on my deviantart page (click here to view).  What’s more, I also made use of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe (since he’s just awesome :p), but it probably isn’t viewable – depending on how big the image turns out, sooooo I have another link (click here to view the full poem, Dreams by Edgar Allen Poe)

The Dream Weaver (She who creates the colours and weaves of dreams)

She who creates the colours and weaves of dreams

The girl rolled about in her sleep.  Her dream tormenting her fragile soul.  A shadow descends over her, the figure’s hands wrapped in string.  She wove.  Light poured out from her hands and a thread snaked through the air to touch the girl.  The girl sighed and rolled once to cuddle her blanket.

“Dream well.”

Like a Storm. ‘The Diamond of Truth’ Part Three.

The diamond hung from a chain on her neck.  She could feel the fire burning around it.  The storm raged around the safe house.  Dallas was sending out messages while Fel let the magic curl around her hands and arms.

Her father was looking for her.  It wasn’t public knowledge, but it was in the rumours.  Everyone knew the Princess had disappeared.  Only recently they’d heard the ridiculous rumour that the King had turned his own daughter into one of his famed ice statues.  But how was that a surprise when she had taken the King’s most precious diamond.  Anyone who dared to his diamond, let alone steal, faced the possibility of being called a traitor.

She brought her hands together and took a deep breath.  The spark of the storm flared intensely in her consciousness.  She stiffened then pulled away.

“Well?”  Dallas looked at the young Princess.  Dallas was a rebel, but she was also the Princess’s most trusted ally.   She knew the Princess was planning to show the Kingdom what her father kept a secret.

The storm battered their walls, but Fel ignored it.  Like she ignored everything else.  She twitched her nose in case, but nothing restrained it.  She was free to pursue her magical ways.  Dallas girls waited for them under the shelter of the extravagant litter, specially prepared for Fel, to her disgust, by her father for her return, for all of them to return to the palace with the diamond.

“Let’s go,” she said pushing the heavy yet rotting wood door.

The rain dissipated as she stepped on the cobble road.  It formed a shield around her, drenching her companions where it did not touch her.

On her chest the diamond glowed.  It felt hot against her skin.  She laughed as the thought of her father’s gift to her burning up as her punishment.  But alas, the heat of the diamond didn’t affect the physical world.  It only affected the metaphysical.  She turned apologetically to look at Dallas and her pretty warrior girls.  They turned heads in their garish and unprecedented clothing both military-like yet fashioned to fit their curves.

Unlike her they wore pants and knee high boots with short, highly tailored jackets.  Some were in red, some in blue, some in green, but all decorated in purple twist frogs.  Their lips were red and their hair tumbled over their shoulders.  And Dallas was their captain.   Fel smirked.  Dallas was a rebel.  But she had once been trained to be a royal guard.

“Let’s get this shit moving!”  She said with as much vigour as she could muster.

Dallas snorted and tossed her thick blonde hair over her shoulder.

“Your enthusiasm Dallas, never ceases to amuse me.  Really, please reconsider my offer to you to guard me personally.  At least then the King won’t look quite too harshly on you as my friend.”

Dallas snorted again, shaking her head.  While Dallas and her small band of warriors were rebels, they were perceived as harmless to the crown.

She hated the carriage.  She hated the super comfy padding within the carriage.  She hated the beautiful gown he sent.

The King, was feared by his people.  Fel was not afraid of him though.  Not because she was his daughter.  But because she was the only person in the Kingdom who could face him down, well, she thought so anyway.  Her last little run in with the ice statue certainly wasn’t going to deter her.  Though it had shaken her to the core.  Even if she wouldn’t admit it.

Felicity reached up to touch the diamond.  It was hot.  It was always hot.  Looking into its centre, she saw something the purest of diamonds shouldn’t show.  She saw the storm.  It whirled about the diamond, spinning faster and faster, its energy pulsing in her hand taking away time.

The carriage slowed when it approached the never ending steps that lead to the palace above.  Dallas opened the door but Fel stepped out without assistance, her skirt bunched up, but when she stepped out, it bellowed around her, spreading its royal blue colours, vibrant in the overcast daylight.

Her father, the King sat on his pedestal at the entrance to the palace.  Behind her the carriage was drawn away, her father lifted his right arm.  Fel scowled.  She didn’t have to be up close to hear the words he spoke.  Because it was the same to what she was about to say.  She didn’t quite want peace, but if she wanted to show the people the truth, she had to.

She thrust her hand to the sky and said the words of Kyrinian prayer to the sky lord.  “Oh lord above us who casts his wrath where those who walk beneath him, release us.  Give us our peace for just one day.”  Showers and spurts of silver sparks burst forth from her arm; above her the same occurred with her father.

And slowly, oh ever so slowly, the diamond burned on her chest and the rain around them stopped pouring down.

There was no magic stronger than those of the royal family.  When the rain at last faded away, Dallas and her girls took formation behind her, though they intended to climb the steps with her, Fel considered telling them no.

But even as she considered the thought, each girl put their hand on her shoulders and in the silence that pursued, pledged their allegiance to her.

Her father’s scowl could be seen from a mile away.  She smirked.   She’d made her father pissed mad once again without even lifting a finger.   Serves him right, she thought.  He should never have frozen her like a common traitor.

To her surprise, Gevrid appeared at her side, offering one hand to her.  “Gevrid,” she said surprised, but nonetheless taking his arm.

“My lady.”  He was unflinchingly calm.

“Did my father free you?”

“No.  I awoke on my own, it seems.”

Fel looked at him.  It wasn’t possible, was it, that her dream had seeped into life and that life had become a part of her dream?

At the top of the stairs, she curtsied low to her father.

But he was like the breeze, sometimes he brought a gale, and sometimes he bought the calmness, but most importantly he brought change.