Quote #78

I don’t know if I should really call this a quote, since I’m quoting the entire poem.  Guess I can?

John McCrae in uniform circa 1914.jpg

From John McCrae (In Flanders Field)…

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This is one of my favourite war poems that I studied in yr 11.  I really understood poetry at that moment, strange~

The Countess.


She strode across the courtyard distancing herself.  She peered into her reticle, ignoring all others.  She was the centre of attention, as she drew out a piece of paper.  It had been placed there, somewhere between home and here.  And she could guess how.

It read, meet me in forest at noon. I’ll be waiting.




Inspiration is the water that clings to cobwebs;

The rain that pours down mercilessly;

The sun that shines unforgivably;

The wind that blows heartily;

And the snow that falls softly.

It is the chocolate éclairs that melt in the mouth;

The smell of dinner wafting from the kitchen;

The feel of calluses that grew from hard work;

The sound of sweet music from a friend’s guitar.

Inspiration is the friend who says hello;

The boyfriend who gives kisses;

The girlfriend who makes lunch;

The mother who tucks you in.

It is the scene from the window of a passing train;

The everyday scene of the tram you catch every day;

The scene of kids messing about on the bus;

The peaceful river scene you see as you walk to school.

Inspiration is a rose from the garden;

A shadow in the bedroom;

A letter in the mailbox;

Or a candle in the bathroom.

It is the thought you got when you watched tv;

A song that was played on the radio;

A funny story on the internet;

An intriguing article in the newspaper.

Inspiration comes in our dreams;

Wakes us from our daydreams;

Becomes our living fantasies;

Takes us into our nightmares.

It is the flow of water trickling down the stream;

The thunder of lightning on a thundery day;

The crashing of waves along the Victorian coastline;

The sweltering heat on a scorching summer day.

Inspiration is nowhere,




Lauren Oliver.

Lauren Oliver

Dear Lauren Oliver I hate you.  Kidding!!!  But seriously, I envy your work.  As most readers of YA out there would know, Lauren Oliver is the lovely author behind Before I fall and Delirium.  

Before I Fall   Delirium (Delirium, #1)   Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)   Requiem (Delirium, #3)

With an extremely expressive turn of phrase, her novels are beautifully captivating and entrancing.  One moment, the first page is flipped, the next, you cannot believe it’s finished!

Matched (Matched, #1)I remember the first time I ever picked up one of her books.  I’ll tell you it was Delirium and after Matched by Ally Condie (Not that it was bad, but really, it was a slight bit of drag that felt really dense in the process, and the only bit of action occurred right at the end – But even so, Matched was still a worthy read! – once you get through the denseness of the first 2/3), and I was not really ready for another dystopian focused on ‘love’, because really in the end they’d all be the same.  Buuuuutttttt!

As always, the word to use when there is an additional condition to add; but, I prided myself as a reader (and writer – hopefully in the future – professional author – but that’ll be some time yet, I think) not to judge a book until I’ve read.    And with that kind of reading, and impulsive desire, I ended up reserving four hundred and eighty paged mass paperback at my local library.

And Bloody Hell!  I was seriously blown away.  I’ll I expected as much with the plot and the characters, they were, impressive and unimpressive at the same time.  I both loved and hated them.  But my biggest shock of all, and the reason why now I can say I absolutely, unbelievably adore her writing, was that Oliver completely caught me, hook, line and sinker, with that ‘voice’ of hers.  I was completely drawn in by her writing.  There was absolutely no holding back with her.  Absolutely none!

But you know–and I don’t know about anyone else, but I do about myself–when I find an author who can write so well and make such an impact on me, I have to go find out if he/she’s written anything else.  It would be a a shame if I didn’t!

Elsewhere     The Lovely Bones      The Five People You Meet in Heaven

So I looked Ms Lauren Oliver up and wha-la, yes, she had written one other book at that point in time.  And that book was Before I fall.  Now I love books about people dying and generally they go back on their life (such as Elsewhere by Gabrielle ZevinThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom), see if they could change something, or understand some aspect of themselves that they couldn’t understand before.  I don’t know why, but I do.  And so I picked it up with no qualms, unlike the ones I had for Delirium.  

And I loved it.  I didn’t know that I would, but I did.  Before I fall was even more emotive and earth-shaking than Delirium, and seriously, I really hate it when books make me cry.  I hate it because crying is messy and dramatic and really cliched, but Before I Fall was just too good.  I was absorbed by the protagonist’s voice, so much that I very nearly cried–I managed not to, since I’ve learned to hold my tears, but if I hadn’t that special skill, I would have been bawling!

Believe me when I say the protagonist of Before I fall was dislikable to the hilt!  She was bitchy and mean, and totally popular all over, and yet, Oliver portrayed such a dislikable character with such a likable and related voice that the reader, in the should not be able to resist falling in love with her!

Ms Oliver, you are amazing.  Seven hundred and fifty cheers for you for bringing to this world, and to me, your beautiful, beautiful worlds.  Thank you for amazing writing.  I look up to you with the same kinds of eyes my friends had when they teased me about being their nerdy hero (I was quite smart in highschool ;p).  So thank you.  I just love, love, love your writing.


Nina at Wordsthatflowlikewater!

My Country by Dorothea MacKellar

My Country by Dorothea Mackellar.

It’s a poem that most Australians will recognise.  It’s gentle prose praising Australia’s beauty.  One of my favourite poems, it’s iconic and patriotic, but it’s also a very beautiful poem.  I couldn’t help but fall in love with these verses:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

I remember these lines from when I was kid.  I always remember “I love a sunburnt county, a land of sweeping plains”.  I can’t remember when I first heard it, but I know it’s been with me since I was a kid.  Whenever I hear those words, I can help but think about how much I admire Dorothea Mackellar‘s prose.  It’s funny that even as a kid, I knew just how amazing those two lines were.  I’m not a poet, nor do I take much time to read poetry unless it’s relevant to the literature I’m studying.  It’s hard for me to be motivated by poetry, even if I want to be a writer, because I know I can’t write like that.  Poetry seems a long way away to me, and yet I call myself a writer.  Maybe, I think I fear that I’m not good enough as a writer.

But every time I think about this poem, and I read these verses, I feel, surprisingly, that I can do it, that I can turn prose as fine as this.  Hmm, well, I still have some time before it comes to that stage.  Anyway, this is one of my favourite poems of all time.  I just love the turn of prose and the iconography.  I love the brilliant imagery and the personification.  It makes me love Australia even more!

(Oh my bad, what kind of post is this?  haha, I didn’t even say anything particular except blab on about how great this poem is.  Lol!  Anyhooo….!)

Book Spine Poetry #2.

I decided to try this again since it’s a) fun and b) I didn’t really like my first one.  I like this one a little bit better, though I suppose I get why this is so much fun.  If my collection of books contained more then just the idea of putting together books so that their spines tell a story is fun!  Hehe, unfortunately my hand shakes a bit too much so all the photos I take are slightly shake!  So my apologises! Enjoy my second book spine poem :).



Die for me.


Great Expectations.

The Book Thief, 

Carrier of the mark.

House of Mirth.

Books used in the creation of this poem: Eona and Eon by Allison Goodman, Die for Me by Amy Plum, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Quote #2

English: Young Daphne du Maurier (about 1930) ...

English: Young Daphne du Maurier (about 1930) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



From Daphne Du Maurier

“Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.”

Like a diamond. ‘The diamond of truth’ Part One.

Felicity couldn’t move.  Her whole body was frozen like ice.  She felt like she was ice.  The king’s pretty little ice statue.  A statue that wasn’t even a statue.  She tried to wriggle her fingers.  Nothing.  She tried to wriggle her toes.  Nothing again.  Frustrated with her immobility, she tried one last time, and wriggled her nose.

It moved, she could move!  Her nose moved, with the freedom the rest of her body lacked.  She was ecstatic.  Her body tingled with pleasure as she wriggled her nose more.  She didn’t care if she looked like she was going crossed-eyed, not when the focal of her sight was the simple pleasure of watching her little nose wriggled.  Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle.  She could totally rap to this. Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle.  Wriggle.  Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wrrrigggle.  Haha!  No beastly king could best her if her nose wriggled!

“Stop that infernal wriggling!”  Fel squealed within her frozen form.  The sound muffled, reflected the height of the octave in which it sounded.

It was Gevird.  She scowled, again the sound was muffled by her annoying armour.  Stupid armour.  So she resorted to glaring at the menacing captain of the guard.  If it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t be the captain!

There was not a day in which she regretted her rash action.  She should have left him to die on the streets where the horses pooped and the carts trundled without any concern for their surroundings.   She didn’t have to help him off the cobbled ground into her safe house.  But she did.  She didn’t have to give him some food.  But she did.  She didn’t have to do anything because she had her own brothers and sisters to look after.  But she fricking did!

“What do you want?”  She said.  Though the question was muffled.

He cocked his head.  They were in the King’s statue room where he put his punished subjects.  All around Fel were the people she had grown up with, known or admired from afar, maybe even despised from afar.  Each and every one of them had been put here because they had done the King a wrong.  It was a blasted room.  There was no music; you’d think the King would at least treat his prisoners to some privileges.  But no.  The King was no kindly warden when it came to his frozen subjects.  No, the King was cruel and unforgiving.  Anyway, he didn’t think his prisoners would live.  But their eyes, and noses (as she learned), were not covered by the magical prison, so she could still live.  The others could not.  Some were pardoned, but most were frozen for eternity.   It wasn’t that she was immune to the magical ice, but because of who she was.  If Gevird hadn’t betrayed her, then she wouldn’t be here.  But he had.  And she was.

Too bad her presence would be missed soon enough.  She was exceedingly patient for a person where patience was generally considered wanting.  But when the moment was worth it, Fel had all the patience in the world.  And right now.  She wanted Gevrid to know just how patient she could be.

Now that her nose was capable of free movement she knew the rest of her body would slow respond within its shell.

All the while Gevrid stood there.  Why couldn’t he just go away?

As he watched her he slowly lost his sharp demeanour.  All the hard edges which had been there a moment ago and bled together to leave behind a softer solider.  What Fel meant, was a softer, liar of a solider.  But whatever right?  She was stuck and he was not.

Fel could feel the diamond in her boot.  It was too big to unmissed but her little spell certainly drew her captives, and the King’s most trusted me to assume there was nothing in her boot.  It was a shame really, since it was so big, it was obvious.  But Fel had always been more capable than the King and his men put together.

They laughed as the King’s magic washed over her.  But she was the one having the last laugh.  She had stood exactly still.  She didn’t need to run.  She wanted the King’s ice on her.  So far she was his biggest traitor, but so what?  That was all part of the plan.  He’d put her here to die and therefore, forgotten.  But Fel wasn’t going to die, nor was she going to be forgotten.

She could already hear the voices in the diamond.  Dallas and her girls were coming.  As she watched Gevrid watching her she smirked.  Her skin already heating like the fire in a dragon’s breast.  Gevrid was wrong.  He couldn’t stop her.  Not even his last words to her when he took out would save him now.

The water filled her shoes, drenched her skirt and sizzled in the small space between the ice and her.  Like the ice, this fire was no ordinary fire.  It burned with a heart of magic.  Fel had always been more powerful than her father.  Too bad his ego was bigger than his brain.

“Sorry Gevrid,” she said as the ice turned to water pooling around her feet leaving her skin dry.  “But the King is not going to keep me now.”

The shock was evident.  And Fel knew better than to miss the opportunity to run.  But as much as she despised Gevrid for tricking her, she would not let him suffer for something that was not his fault.  Because well, Fel knew, he was just the King’s man.

She called the diamond to her hand, the magic that swirled within familiarly warm.  She cupped the diamond, big for its kind, but small in her fist and pressed it to his forehead, pushing him down.  The energy ripped from her soul, ripping her close to pieces as she called on the magic of the world to transform the stoic guard.

Dallas burst from above her head just as she finished up.  Dallas caught her and drew her away to the litter they’d brought for the getaway.

Neither of the two women looked back at the kneeling soldier, his face expressionless, but handsomely carved.  Amongst the ice statues, he was nearly indistinguishable.

But he was diamond, not ice.

On the Ocean Floor.

The stories of mermaids tell always the same thing.  They dwell in the water, beneath the rippling waves in the deepest part of the ocean, where the temperature is warm, and life unknown can be seen.

They dwell there.

I am half-mermaid.  I grew into my legacy when I was sixteen and I’ve been hiding it for two years.  But how much longer can I hide such a secret?

The beach has always been my home.  The ocean, mere steps away.  My boyfriend always wondered why I swam at night.  And why I swam alone.

But it was my secret.  Not his.  He knew that.  And respected it.  Otherwise we were perfect.

Too perfect a couple some said.

But I didn’t care.   I loved him, and he loved me back.

So why did I stand on the beach with the water caressing my ankles?

I imagined the scaly, slimy feel of my tail sweeping me off my feet throwing me into the water.

I imagined the rippling, scraping, emerging sensation of the scales as they seeped out of my skin, bursting with the shimmering, mother of pearl sheen the scales possessed.

My legacy would come when I called it.  I was the one in control.

“Arianna come back inside.”

I turned to find my mother standing where our house met the beach.  There was fear and cause of fear all over her perfect face.

My mother was a mermaid turned human.  She knew what I was.  She knew I had to swim every night to feel alive.  She used to do it too until I was born.  When I was born, she lost her ability to be a mermaid.

I turned back up the beach, casting the swelling curves of the sea once last look.  She was still my mother; I had to dine with her.

Dinner was quiet.  As usual father was away on business.  Whenever he was gone mother was sombre and quiet.  I knew the story between them.  It was the sweetest romantic kind, which I would envy if I knew where in the world I belonged.

Mother was a mermaid princess.  Father was a wealthy business man.  She saved him from a shipwreck in her mermaid form and brought him back to shore staying with him while he remained unconscious.  She sang to him.  He heard.  She ran away before he could ask her name.  He never saw her either.

Back in her kingdom she begged a witch to give her the means to find her love.  In exchange she lost her voice.  On land mother had legs and yes she caught father’s attention.  Things went swimmingly until the witch showed up, beautiful and undeniably entrancing.  The minute she opened her mouth, father went to her entranced.

Mother was broken hearted and aimed to return to the sea having lost him.  It took the coaxing persuasion and convincing of her closest friends for her to return to land to retrieve her love and voice.

The story ends happily.

But mine?

I don’t know.

Mother says I’m human.  I believe her.  But I think I am also the sea.  I feel the sea in my bones, my blood, my heart.  It is in my ear calling to me, calling to the inner sea in me.  Sometimes I give in and I swim where my human friends cannot.  Sometimes I hold back because I love the life I have.

Does Poseidon, God of the Sea know what he meant when he created his creatures of the sea?  Did he know that someday the creature would wish to be human?  Is that why he created the witch?

I stand on the beach again.  I’ve been doing this so much more lately, ever since the passing of my eighteenth birthday, everyone knows where to find me.

My boyfriend comes and wraps his arms around my waist.  What would he say if he ever knew about my darkest secret?

I rest my hands on his and brush my thumb over the familiarity of his touch.

I would miss him if I went.

“What are you thinking of?”  He asks me as we watch the sea push up, holding for a moment, before sinking down and swelling up again.  It sighed in between and once again the ocean song filled my ears.

“I’m thinking of the ocean.”  His hands tighten in their clasp around my waist as though he is trying to hold on to me.  As though I am already deep beneath the ocean, skimming along the ocean floor.

But I’m not.  I’m still here.

He says nothing.  For once I wonder if my mother mentioned anything.  In all our arguments about my legacy, she made it very clear that for me to go beneath the sea would inevitably be the end of me.

I was only half-mermaid.  I cannot live below the water surface forever.  Just like mother should not live on land forever.  She might have lost her ability to transform, but she will always be a mermaid.  I see the hunger in her eyes when she watches me swim in the ocean in my mermaid form.  I cannot blame her.  I am what she is not anymore.

Shortly after, my boyfriend leaves me promising to see me tomorrow.  His parting touch relunctant.  I knew he wanted to stay, but I wanted him to go for once.  He couldn’t be here.  I needed him to go because what I would do next would break his heart.

I watched his disappearing figure.

When he was gone I walked to the sea once again.  My head turning to the house I was leaving behind.

“Goodbye,” I whisper.  It was a whisper that would haunt my mother’s dreams when she figured out what I’d done.  But this was my legacy.  I had to go.

The familiar sensation rippled over me, gills sprouted below my ears and the scales shimmered down my waist.  I walked further into the water, until my tail was submerged and there was nothing human about my bottom half anymore.  Then I dived.


Faeries existed all around us.  I knew that.  Mum made sure I did.

She said, “stay away from the ring of toadstools that stand alone on the hillside. ”

“Don’t step inside it and count to three, spinning so that your skirts fly.”

“Don’t make a wish.”

“Don’t believe in it.”

“Don’t ever go by yourself.”

That’s what she said.  Those were the rules.  They were always the rules.  Maybe I thought they were bull.  Maybe I believed in them just a tiny bit.  But overall, I wanted to see the ring for myself.

“Oh come on Emma, this is what you wanted.”  I looked to my pretty but senseless friend.  Robyn Puca Lokianna was her name.  Or at least so she said.  I wondered if it was true.  Who had a name like that these days?

“Oh come on Emma,” she said, drawing me to her with her hand.  Her wide pretty grey eyes focussed only on me.  Just beyond the next meadow was the hill that mum warned me about.

“I don’t know Ro.”  My voice quivered unexpectedly.  Hardening myself, shaking away whatever fear it was that was holding me I looked at her.  “Mum said…”

“Pooh!  Screw your mum!  This is the twenty-first century Emma, not the fifteenth.  Like there are such things as faeries!”

Robyn was so convincing. Her argument made some sense, or at least that what my brain was agreeing with as it forced me to nod my head, however jerkily it may have seemed.

“Okay…I guess you’re right.”

“Yay!” She said gleefully jumping up and down clapping her hands.  “You won’t regret it!”

Somehow I doubted that.  The thing with Robyn is that well, she’s perfect.  I mean she’s not the hottest or the most beautiful girl at school, but she is pretty.  I always called it her ‘charm’, her ability to get people to listen to what she had to say.  Because believe me, they always listened.

One time she didn’t do the essay we had three weeks to do.  Later after she spoke to the teacher, she told me that she got an extension.  I believed her.  Even though I never saw her hand it in.

When we were small, a little boy fell of the monkey bars, Robyn was right beside him when he fell.  The teachers asked if anyone saw what happened, but no one did, even though we were right there.  All we knew was that the kid had been sitting cosily on the monkey bars talking to Robyn.  He also happened to be the guy I liked.  So I was jealous enough to imply that I might have seen Robyn do something.

But later when the teachers took Robyn away, she came back flouncing, her skirts flying like she was the happiest person in the world.

She stopped in front of my desk and just looked at me.  I didn’t like the look of sadness and defiance on her face.

“I thought we were friends Emma.”

“We are.”

“Then why?”

“Because you know why!”  I remember whispering harshly.  God I was only eight then.  Even so, I didn’t forget the blossoming amusement on her face.  She laughed then she asked if I could keep a secret as though we hadn’t argued at all.  Since I regretted telling on her I nodded, and she said, “People like listening to what I tell them.  Besides he wasn’t worth it!”

Maybe I looked horrified, maybe I looked like I didn’t know what I was hearing, but I knew something was not quite right.  I knew because the teachers never mentioned the little incident again.  Just like the guy in year nine English three years ago had a scared look on his face every time he saw either Robyn or I.

He’d tried to kiss me when I hadn’t wanted to be kissed.

Robyn had saved me.

It was a shame, I’d liked him too.  But turns out he didn’t like me as much as I thought he did.  He just wanted some action more than anything.  So he forced himself on me.

It was Robyn barrelling through the bedroom door like it wasn’t locked, crying, “touch her again and you’ll wish you never did.”

The thing is, to me, Robyn looked like Robyn when she was angry.  And I was so bloody grateful she’d come barrelling in.  But when I looked at him.  He looked terrified.  I was so sure he pissed his pants because I could smell urine in the room.

He never spoke to me after that.

Robyn pulled me through the meadow, not caring about any earthy potholes or my ankles for a matter.

“Robyn!  Slow down!  What’s your rush?”

“We have to hurry Em!  Being by the faerie ring when it’s not exactly noon will make this a pointless venture.”

“What’s so special about noon?”

“Noon is the faerie midnight.  The toadstools become a portal then.  They sparkle!”  Her eyes gleamed.  I didn’t like that gleam.  It frightened me.

Robyn was frightening sometimes when she was determined.

“There it is!”  I followed her pointing arm.  Yes, there is was, a solitary ring of toadstools.  It circled the hill top.  This ring of tiny red toadstools.

“Let’s stand inside.”

“Robyn!  No!”  I pulled my hand out of her grip at last.  “What about what mum said?  What about noon?”

“Oh come on.”

Robyn was reckless.  Mum was cautious.  And I, well, I was timid.  “But what happens if I forget one of mum’s rules?”

“I’ll make sure you don’t.”  She was already standing in the centre of the circle.  Her skirt billowed about her.

I shivered.  The sun had disappeared for a moment.  If we only stood in it for a moment, it should be okay, right?

“Your mum said never to go by yourself, right?”  She asked.  I nodded.  “Well you’re not alone.  I’m here.  I’ll keep you safe.”

Her smile was dazzling.  There was something about her words that made me believe everything she said.

“Okay then.”  I took her offered hand and stepped into the circle.

“Oh wow.”  Everything about the hilltop changed the moment I stepped in.  The light was brighter, the air was warmer, and the toadstools, the toadstools sparkled.

Horrified I tried to get out, my head was empty but for the fear.


But when I turned around, Robyn wasn’t there anymore.  Instead, a shining, inhuman figure stood outside the ring.  “I’m sorry Em.  But you should have listened to your mother.  Even if most of her rules were fiction.  You should have at least listen to the first rule.”


In my mind I see things, hear things, think things; things that aren’t real, great or spectacularly life inspiring.  But they’re there.  Telling me, whispering to me, sneaking into my mind.

I stumble to the stairs, cold and metallic, they clang beneath my heavy boots.  My head throbs.  Ba-dum.  Ba-dum.  BA-dum!

I climb with my hands and knees, feeling for the next step to haul myself up.  I’m blinded by the sight that I cannot see.  I’m blinded by what my brain tells me.

The vision has always followed me.  It has always preceded me.  I wondered  had all those who’d died had known whether they were going to do it?

Death follows me.  He shadows me as I walk, as I crawl, as I climb.  He knows my fate. Perhaps he has known it for years.

Destiny finds me too.  But unlike Death, Destiny does not stay.  Destiny comes and goes, straying to my right shoulder while Death waits by my left.  They are patient and unassuming but they wait, reminding me all the time exactly how much of my fate they already know.

I shove the heavy rooftop door open.  It weighs more than the world and the burden on my shoulders.

The night is cold against my skin.  The sound of silence but howls in my ears.  What have I left but than to edge my way slowly over to the top of the summit?

Death hovers by my side as I find my way up the roof.  I look for handholds and footholds.  The tiles were gritty against my calloused hands.

Halfway up I stopped and turned.  Breathing, my breath fogging up the night, the cityscape stretched all around me.  My eyes looked down.  Only a hill as high as the one my house sat on could show me this unbelievable sight.

“Why do you want me to climb the roof?”  I ask to no one in particular.  Death never spoke, but Death could hear.

And like always Death was quiet.  Death and Destiny never interfered.  Death and Destiny stood aside to watch.

I looked at the short bit of roof I still had to climb.  It wasn’t far.  But it wasn’t like I climbed roofs for a living.  I breathed again.  My breath surrounding me like a cloud.

“It is my destiny isn’t it?”  I asked.

The silence from Death was all that surrounded me.

Fate had led me here.  Fate had always been leading me.  Fate took me to school to watch my peers.

The visions didn’t show me my future.  Even though at first, I always thought it was mine.

But I see her now, standing on top of my roof.  My younger sister, thirteen.  It was her in the visions.  Not me.

And now Death walked beside me, Death and Destiny.  Fate followed behind me.  He watched broodingly, because he was Fate and he knew what my sister didn’t.  He knew, as did Death and Destiny what I will find.

I hauled myself over the apex and sat down uncomfortably.

“Rela, don’t.”  I breathed hoarsely looking at the slender girl in front of me.

When I’m ready I stand.  I almost feel Death offer a hand of kindness or was it Fate?  But it was a wisp of darkness that brushed faintly over my elbow, that barely supported me at all.

My house is stranger than most.  It has three stories; the fourth sitting at the very top.  It is an attic with an old-fashioned roof.  The rest is metal and highly resembles a maximum security vault.

It was supposed to be safe.  But like everything else in this world, it wasn’t.  I should have known.

I bet others didn’t have this problem, this supernatural calling of the horrid, horrid angels of Destiny, Death and Fate.

They didn’t have the visions I did or the freak headaches I had within my own house.  It was the house, this house.  Why did I live in this house?  Was it the house?

“Rela please.”

“Do you know, it’s like fate put us here.  That this house, the only house in the suburb should be the one with the faulty security.  How does it feel?”  She sounded manic.  I had to stop her.  Rela was my only flesh and blood left.  Mum was gone.  Dad was gone.  But Rela was here.

I cursed this world of fear and oppression.  I cursed their want of power.  Their ability to make us think the way they wanted us to.

“Rela please!”  I lurched forward grabbing her.  She screamed and jerked back throwing me off balance.

“Rela!”  I screeched, feeling my foot slip off the roof.  Her eyes widened as she recaptured her balance.

“Faith!”  Her eyes were wide with absolute horror as she lurched forward to catch me.

But I was already falling away.  Her hand brushed my arm.  But she was too far to grab it.

I fell for the time it took to live a lifetime.

Ba-dum.  Ba-dum.  BA-dum!

I gasped as the ground embraced me, my arms and legs sprawled out in all angles.  There was no pain.  There never would be.

“FAITH!!”  Rela’s strangled cry would fill the air with sorrow.  She was only thirteen.  And now she had a whole lifetime to live.

Fate touched his lips to mine, Death watched with Destiny as Fate pulled my spirit from my body.  Then he pulled away, his hand never straying from my arm.

Fate had never been happy with the outcome because he had known.  The difference being, of the three angels, their wings surrounding them, encasing them, that Fate spoke to me.

It was but a voice in my mind, but I heard it like a whisper even as I looked up at my distraught sister.  The neighbours were already coming.  In my heart Fate whispered to me.

This was your fate…as it was hers, she will be safe…

He was right as I could see.  Our next door neighbour was already taking Rela safely in her arms and taking her away.


Cat.  You are my closest companion.  Don’t ever leave.  Why do you walk away?  You wound me.

Cat.  Walks away, climbs a tree, laps its milk.

Cat.  My endearing, beloved feline, why walk away when I am right here?

Cat,I command you to stop walking away!

Cat: “I guess you should have got a dog.”

The Reaper.

The gun fell loose in his hand.  It dangled there beside him as he contemplated the city spread before him.  What part of the human brain, or was it the heart, that recognised the true value of the life that swarmed in those cluttered streets; those perfect apartment buildings; the gritty grotto slums?  Which part understood that for one to survive, the other must exist?  Was it the heart or was it the brain?  Which part?   The voice in his head taunted.  Oh that voice.  That voice that had haunted him since his first blooding.  It would never leave him.  Not in this god-forsaken city with its swarms of leeches.  They were the voices in his head.  They who had watched his every act, who had condemned the choices he made.  Didn’t they understand that with every death he dealt, there was a reason for it?

No.  They didn’t.  But it wasn’t them who had driven him to the rooftop with his prized weapon of death in his hand.  It was everything else.

“One, two, three…” he murmured stepping onto the ledge.  The bitter breeze of the deepening night blew his short dark hair in puffs around his head.  His girlfriend would have admired that.  That single image of him on the ledge, with that bitterly black gun dangling from his hand.  She would have liked his legs parted, standing strong, his back ramrod straight.  She would have draped herself off him and dared him to drop her.  And he would stare back with those iridescently cold blue eyes of his and she would pull back.  She wouldn’t show it, but she would be afraid, afraid of him and those cold emotionless eyes… but she would also hunger for him; for the white shirt that billowed about him leaving his chest bare to weather the cold.  For the way his dark denim sat neatly on his hips.  She would hunger for him.  If only it was him she hungered for.

He cocked his head to the side and stared at the atoms that paced the walkways.  He watched the tinier than tiny citizens going about their nightly leisure pursuits.  Each and every one of them knew who made it safe for them.  They knew he watched their every move.  Watched them until they made the wrong move.  And then they would meet the reaper.

They would know what it meant to meet their maker, to meet the reaper, not a person, not breathing or even rotting.  The reaper that sat in his hand.  They would know what it meant then.  When the dark barrel was pointed into their face and they were force to look into the darkness of their death.

He would clean the body up afterwards.  That sacred duty that he reserved only for himself.  He would let no one else touch the bodies he killed.   Not after the reaper had seen to them.  It would deface the work he had done.

The inhumane actions he took it seemed enraged those he protected.  The people believed he did more harm to them than good.  But no, he treated the bodies with the respect any human being deserved.  Because every being, when they’re dead, had no soul, no life anymore, in death, he surmised, they were all the same.  All equal, all bad, all good, all the same.  And thus he cleaned the bodies and prepared them for burial, wrapping white gauze around the body so they may be returned to their families.  Some say he is the kindest of all those who sat around the table.  Some say that he was least monstrous of them all.

But he was no kinder than the others.  He just had the one piece of humanity that the others had cut out of themselves after their first blooding.  They couldn’t handle the voices.

You can’t handle the voices!

“I can!”  He murmured to himself.  The lights dancing in the street below.  Some festival was happening.  He wondered if it was the summer or the winter one.

“One, two, three…” He edged closer to the edge of the ledge and gripped the butt of the gun tighter.

“One, two, three…”

The voices came after his first blooding, but he couldn’t tell it to go away.  He had wanted it to go away.  Every fibre of his body, of his heart, of his mind, of his soul cried out, “Go away!”  But the voices stayed.

The others said, “There is always a ritual.  Give your conscience away, give to a new born child.”

He remember looking at the little girl.  He’d been eighteen at his blooding.  And the girl, the girl had been twelve.  Innocent, with wide eyes, he had known she was the type of child to spend her time studying.  The type of child who was afraid of something, something that she would inevitably hold secret until the day she died.  She was the kind of child such conscience should be given.  But he couldn’t.  Not with those eyes watching him.  Not when they stared at him so widely innocent.

So he sent her away and acquired his girlfriend.  A girl whose heart was as cold as the innocent girl had been innocent.  She had thrived for the attention and he had given it to her.  Bit by bit her nasty presence took away his conscience, reminding him of his place, his chosen future, of the reaper.

Then her body lay on the table him and the voices, those horrible voices, they came back.  With every wipe he smeared on the dead girl, the conscience returned.  She had saved him, and he had not saved her.

The reaper looked so homely now.  Firmly gripped in his hand.  Could he do it?

Of course you can, the voices whispered deviously.

Just pull the trigger.

Pull it!

Pull it!

Pull it!


Oblivion was so pleasant.  He thought the reaper was gone, that his hand was empty, but when he opened his eyes, he knew what his hand stroked.  It seemed to whisper to him, One, two three…

One Day.

One day can change everything, and change nothing.  One day is the centre of the heart and the heart of the centre.  You cannot change one day if that day has already begun.  That day is done, and done it has been.

Walk.  I walk along the river.

Feel.  I feel the breeze amongst my hair.

Think.  I cannot change a thing.

Life is a bittersweet memory.  I stop and look to the river, its wide expanse stretching beyond the distance that my eyes can see.  I look.  The bridge is not so far.  I walk.  To the bridge to cross the river.

I stop again and knee, expecting with every moment that I will see the birth of ripples spreading over the water caused by the boat of Charon.  But when I look up there is nothing there.  Evidently.

Then I dip my hand into the water.  It’s cool and polluted, but I do it anyway.  I am so small beside the river whether I am sitting, standing, or kneeling on the river edge.   Just like I am but an insignificant being in this vastly populated world.  So what difference would one day make?

I look at the water, it’s dark and murky, unpleasantly unclean.  I have no doubt that it would stain my body and health with its black mark of death.  I watch in silent horror as the surface changes.  It doesn’t reflect the sky and its blueness.  Or the sky and its puffy white clouds I’m so far away from.  Instead it shifts and changes, and morphs into something else.

It is a mirror, a bowl of water, with a crystal in the centre.  It calls to a past I want to forget.  It calls to the days that are insignificant.

I walk to the bus stop and say hi to the girl I call my friend.  She laughs and says hi then pulls me along the bus to the back where all the boys are.  Then she flirts with them while I sit next to here, trying control my blush as I talk to the guy on my other side.

He’s nice.  I like him.  I’ve liked him for a while.  I tell myself I’m not nervous because he’s talking to me.  I tell myself I’m nervous because I’m afraid of what I’ll say.

The bus stops and the idea of class at nine hits me full force.  There’s still forty-five minutes until it starts, Les drags me to the canteen where she stacks up on unhealthy but absolutely delicious breakfast foods before plonking me into a chair with a bunch of rowdy guys.

They roared and punched her in the arm while their hands reached for her food.  I batted them away for her.  Like always.  She was incapable of keeping them out of her food.  When I wasn’t around, she’d end up with nothing but one or two.  And this was why she loved me.  Because I was her wingman, her best friend, her buffer, her food saver.

If we hadn’t been the only two loners in year seven too quirky for the rest of the class, then we’d never be friends.  But I know this is the reason why we were friends in the first place.  Because neither of us could really ever truly be the best friend of someone else.  Nor could we get along too well with a bunch of other girls.  We had our secrets, and we had the reasons why we could not go out like the other girls.  And we bonded in that way, even if we never actually told each other why.

We trusted each other.  Somehow indefinitely, and because of that our fates seemed entwined together.  But I was still me.  I was still the only.  I was still alone.

When class began, I sat in my usual seat beside a random friend.  She chatted unnecessarily about some party or another.   I nodded and smiled, it was customary, familiar, repetitious.

The teacher started speaking then and her talk was drowned out.   Thank god.

I scribbled mercilessly all over my book.  Touché I didn’t actually write anything.  Recess passed like a breeze.  Les buying a chunk of food, and me buffering the hoard of people trying to take her food.  She flirted again.

Maths was the bane of my existence.  Why not?  Since the reason why I was in maths in the first place was because I was egotistic enough to think that I was good enough.  But I couldn’t back out now.  No matter how much I hated it.  The rowdy guys from this morning flooded the seats next to me and around me and badgered me all lesson.  I wasn’t surprised, they needed my help.  So I did my work ahead and helped them in class rather than doing my work.

Too bad, I was such a pushover.

Lunch came and they all dragged me with them even though I might have preferred to find a quiet place, far away, a place that doesn’t exist.

I buffered for Les again.  She was forever always in my favour.

Then the day ended with another class, again, I was doing nothing more than scribbling in my book.  I was too far ahead for the teacher to comprehend.  Too bad.

And when the day ended, I had received more than the norm in invitations to parties, Les looked at me.  I gave her a sad smile and put them in the bin.

The scene disappeared, and the river was once more a river.  It was as it was.  Flowing and fluid.  Liquid darkness that could poison me bit by bit.

I took off my boots and pulled off my socks.

The water was warm.  I pulled off my other boot so that I could stand on the stairs, with my feet in the water.  It seemed to call to me.  It seemed to want me to swim.  The other side of the river wasn’t so far.  It couldn’t possibly be as far as walking to the bridge to cross what I could cross now.

Great Aussie YA.

I love Australian YA fiction, nearly every book I’ve read has met my expectations.  There isn’t one that I haven’t enjoyed!  So here are some Aussie fction for you peeps out there!

Obernewtyn (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #1) Burnt Snow Mercy (Mercy, #1)  Halo (Halo, #1)   Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1) The Singer of All Songs: The Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy, Book 1   Sabriel (The Abhorsen Trilogy, #1)  Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon, #1)

Fury   On the Jellicoe Road

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (Dystopia, must read for all those who are obsessed with YA dystopia.  You will not be disappointed!)

Burnt Snow by Van Badham (A surprising supernatural fiction that is both horrifyingly terrible – in a frightening sense, not a this is a bad book sense – that should be read by anyone who calls themselves a connoisseur of supernatural fiction.  There is real substance in this story!)

Mercy by Rebecca Lim (Love angels?  Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.  Lim knows how to weave a tale.  I am going to be a little biased here – but it definitely has more substance than Fallen.  (Or at least the books that follow as the sequels of Fallen.) )

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (Not my favourite particularly, but people seem to enjoy it.  I think it’s longer than it needs to be.  Halo, for those who love books about angels.)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (One of my favourite fantasy reads!  Marillier’s writing is as delicious as her story.)

The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable (I read this one early on in highschool and I really enjoyed the story.  It was later I learnt the author was an Australian.  I was enchanted, so hopefully others will be too!)

Sabriel by Garth Nix (Garth Nix, the god of fantasy?  Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration but his books are high fantasy and definitely worth the read.  If you’re after a novel that is both fantasy and extremely well written then pick up Garth Nix – anyone of them will do!  The old Kingdom series and The Keys to the Kingdom are both excellent!)

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Allison Goodman (An Australian author setting her book in an ancient Eastern era was a big surprise for me.  But a pleasant surprise.  She knows how to write.  If you enjoy fantasy and eastern settings, this is the book for you.  Even the protagonist is strong!)

Fury by Shirley Marr (This was a riot!  Marr creates the most comical character that I’ve hadn’t had the pleasure to read about in a long time.  I absolutely loved Fury.  Although mind you it’s Eliza Boans retelling of a murder she commits, but it also is a story about the strength of friendship bonds.  Marr’s Eliza is a well developed character.)

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (This story is extremely confusing at first, but once you get the hang of the plot and the multiciplicity of characters, you start to fall in love with the story itself.  Any of Marchetta’s book are amazing; this is only one of them!)