The Juvenalia

An update to inform you all of my plans regarding my collection of stories and poems, ‘The Juvenalia’ which I’m working on at the moment.

Basically, it’s composed of three stories (although two of them are long enough to be eBooks themselves) plus a collection of 6 poems. I’m thinking of laying it out as follows:

1. What Is Built: a novella in two parts. It is set in a fantasy world where, at adolescence, one is given the choice to either join the Osren (a race of fish-people) or the Nuvgol (a race of bird-people). The first part, called ‘Doe’, is already complete. It’s about a young woman called Elkett who is torn between the two choices. Two men, one of the Nuvgol and one of the Osren, are vying for her love. When civil war breaks out between the two clans, it seems as though Elkett’s fate is decided for her, though this is not the case. The second part, ‘Phoenix’ sees the Osren, the Nuvgol and the land-dwellers unite in a war against the neighbouring Palrin, whose society is far more conservative in nature. What is at first a simple land dispute escalates into full-scale ideological warfare. ‘What Is Built’ is the longest part of ‘The Juvenalia’

2. Bloody Tulip: A short story about a young man who is drawn into fighting as part of a religious Crusade. Over the course of the story, he comes to realise that the “noble warriors”‘ alongside whom he is fighting are no better than “The Enemy”, whom he has been taught to hate. The shortest part of ‘The Juvenalia’.

3. Heroism: A long short story/short novella which is told from the perspective of Linmar, a fire mage and member of a “band of brothers” who venture out on epic quests, get the girl(s), etc. Linmar lives in the shadow of Rathor, the almighty Hero who leads the group. Through an informal perspective and a certain acerbic wit, Linmar comments on the hypocritical nature of values such as “honour”, “nobility” and “Heroism” (all of which enrapture Rathor) as they journey into perilous caves, battle fearsome dragons and brave dangerous waters.

4. Diary of a Juvenile: A collection of six poems which detail my progression from a naïf boy into a young man. Most of them deal with my sexuality in some way. They are entitled ’13’, ‘The Week’, ‘Love of the Forest Faerie’, ‘Language Barrier’, ‘More’ and ‘This Is the Closest I Can Get’.

I shall put extracts from each of these parts on my blog soon!

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To Taste the Sun

“It’ll be fun!”

“It’ll be dangerous!”

“Don’t be such a baby!”

The determination in your eyes twinkled in the dim orange sunlight. It was the last day of summer, and we were sitting at the lonely pier, the place beyond the Do Not Cross signs that separated the brave from the boring. Our legs dangled over the edge of the concrete harbour, and when the waves were tall enough they patted our roughened toes and tickled our feet with salty softness. We had sat at that spot every day that summer, but we never went into the sea. It was one of the few things you were afraid of. The other two were big dogs, and our school-teacher, Mrs Thomas.

“I’m not being a baby, I’m being sensible!” I whined.

“But you promised! You said at the start of summer that you’d climb the tower with me this year!”

You were right, I had promised, but I had hoped that you would forget; climbing the tower meant facing my fear of heights. Besides that, the tower was huge and unsound. Even from where we were sat we could hear the wind creaking through the gaps in its wooden walls. I said nothing, but shot you a look of apprehension which you ignored, as usual, persisting in a voice that was always far too boisterous for a girl your age, “You’re not going to break your promise, are you?”

I said nothing, widening my eyes in a plea for rationality. What I received in return, however, was certainly not what I had hoped for.

“But it’s so tall! When we reach the top, we can touch the sun! Yes, I’m sure we can! You can, even, it’s that tall!”

Trust you to bring my height into this. I could do little to restrain the giggles as you continued. “I wonder what the sun’ll feel like. I reckon it’ll be like hot treacle.”

“What’s that?” I inquired, wiping my eyes. Your face stretched as you beamed widely, accentuating your summer freckles. You always took great pleasure in knowing something I didn’t.

“One time, when my mam was alive, she baked me a big hot treacle cake. When it was cool enough, I stuck my fingers in. It was like a gooey sea, but with sugar instead of salt, and warm instead of cold. That’s what the sun’ll feel like, I think – What’s so funny, may I ask?”

“Oh, nothing,” I said.

“Well, come on then!” You jumped to your feet, threw the ice lolly stick you had been toying with into the swirling sea, and grabbed me swiftly by the arm. I still don’t recall agreeing to this, but moments later we were running – barefooted, arm-in-arm – to the wooden tower at the pier’s corner. It seemed to me that no time had passed before we were standing beneath its hulking shadow.

… Read the rest here. Don’t forget to vote and to ‘fan’ me! :)x

Story protected under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence (find out more).

The Vampire & The Dead Boy synopsis

Zäk lives in a small hamlet in the middle of a vast desert wasteland known as Híkhherra. After his mother, Elnà, dies in mysterious circumstances, Zäk leaves with his newfound friend, Agrénnà the desert vixen. Soon he learns that he is a vampire, a member of a small race hiding deep in a forest from a group known as the Cleansers, who exist to ‘purge’ these ‘monsters’ from the desert. With the vampires, Zäk learns that it is his destiny to free the trapped soul of a dead boy, named Ashein. Together, they set out to liberate Ashein, to solve the mystery of Elnà’s death and to end the genocide of the vampiric race.