Category Archives: Folklore

The Misfortune of Sea Monsters (part three)

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Part One: The Misfortune of Sea Monsters

Part Two: The Hafgufa and The Harpoon

NOTE: if you have not read parts one and two (links above), the following will make little to no sense. I am trying my hand at a serialized story, and you really do need to read it, part by part. Thank you.

… And now ladies and gentlemen, for your reading edification, the further exploits of Young Ned and his harpoon.

Chapter 3: Thus Sundering, and The Call

The Return groaned as the coils of the Hafgufa tightened around the span of the ship. As it tilted and cracked, Young Ned held onto the rail with one arm while he jabbed with his razor sharp weapon. The many tentacled creature screamed its rage with each piercing. The thrashing beast of the deep blue continued its crushing actions.

Many of the crew members put up a valiant fight but were soon tossed into the sea…many losing their battle immediately. The stronger swam away; too many were swept under by the beating of one tentacle or another. Capt. Magnus had strapped himself to the wheel of his ship, brandishing his cutlas with  accurate and deadly aim. The realization that all was lost for The Return came upon him almost too late.

“Save yourself Young Ned!,” yelled the captain.” The Return is lost.” and, cutting the straps that held him to his beloved vessel, the captain dove into the waiting seas.

Young Ned would not go so easily. As The Return  tilted and broke apart, Young Ned continued his battle against his most hated foe. Even dangling from the rail he would not give up. It was not until the ship’s began to break into kindling that Young Ned was forced to cede this horrible skirmish and find shelter in the cold waiting waters.

Swimming as if his life depended on it, which it did, Young Ned strove to haul himself as far away from the ship as he could. The Return began its descent to the bottom of the sea, being escorted by the Hafgufa. It squelched and ripped and tore apart the once mighty ship, and there was nothing that could save it. Many of the seamen went down with the ship, caught in the whirlpool of the returns drowning, and their own lack of strength. Young Ned, the last in the water, made excellent headway and was saved from going down with the ship.

Yet, there was no land in sight. He had out swam the flotsam and jetsam of the dying ship. As strong and determined as he was, Young Ned could not but grew tired. For a while he alternated between floating and his failed attempts at swimming for a non-existent shore. It took a lot to discourage him, what with all that he and his family have been through. This, though, seemed to Young Ned to be his last hurrah. The last of his strength ebbing away, Young Ned laid his arms at his side, still holding onto the tool which he still hoped, as he drifted away, would slay the Hafgufa.

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Young Ned was prodded awake with something sharp in the side of his head. Rousing himself, he got up on one elbow and found himself to be on dry ground; a copse overlooking the sea. Looking around he was startled at first by the empty landscape in front of him. Poked again from behind, he was equally startled (if not more so) than what was now before him.

” You do know, I would think twice before eating you.” She smiled, and the smile sent shivers through Young Ned… But not in a good way.

to be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Misfortune of Sea Monsters (part two)

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Part One: The Misfortune of Sea Monsters

NOTE: if you have not read part one (link above), this  will make little to no sense. I am trying my hand at a serialized story, and you really do need to read it, part by part. Thank you.

Part Two: The Hafgufa and The Harpoon

Captain Magnus tried to stop Young Ned from leaping to a certain lost cause, but he was too late. The Return swayed, but no man was more made more steady on his feet than a captain whose ship was an extension of himself.  The large ripples the beast made, as it bore Meigs down, tried their best to topple him. He heard some of his men falter and gasp, but he would have none of that.

You’re a fool, Young Ned. A brave one, but a fool all the same.” The captain stayed at the side of his ship, speaking to an uncaring sea, waiting for any sign.

The foolish Young Ned was far below, swimming downward. His labor was fierce, as the creature tunneled the water as it  should, and Young Ned was handicapped by the harpoon he knew he must have. Meigs was a rag doll in the monster of the deep’s tentacles, and his mate, his friend,  felt it was already too late, but this feeling only propelled him to swim faster.

The “Vanishing Island” (for so the Hafgufa  has been called) belched a stream of, what Young Ned thought would be if one could smell underwater, noxious fumes.  Stopping it’s descent, it turned towards Young Ned, its eyes locking onto him. A tentacle was thrust towards him, then another and another.  Each time the attack was thwarted by a true blow of the exquisite sharpness of the harpoon that Young Ned wielded. Both he and the monster scored points, but none were as deep or as ruinous as what came from the well placed harpoon.

He was fast losing the last of his air reserves when a well placed jab freed the sea undulating body of SM Meigs. Young Ned grabbed his comrade and began his ascent. The creature, leaking foul fluids from the many contact hits delivered,  sent out a spasm of its own pain and struck Young Ned across his back,  sending the harpoon spiraling out of Young Ned’s  hand and knocking him unconscious.

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The deck of The Return was hard and wet under Young Ned’s back,  as he coughed up the bracken sea water. Retching was a rude awakening, but any revival from what seemed like certain death was a good one. Captain Magnus gave his one good hand to Young Ned and helped him stand. Young Ned politely shook him off, bent at the knees, and expelled the last of the wretched substance.

Standing up, Young Ned looked around him. There, amidships, by the mizzenmast, lay the body of SM Meigs. Nothing was said: he knew Meigs was dead as sure as he knew the Hafgufa would pay, and pay dearly. Young Ned also noticed one other thing: the harpoon he carried into battle lay at his feet.

Puzzled, he bent and picked it up. “Captain, how…” he began.

“I know, lad, I know. You should have been as dead as poor Meigs.  Too much time had passed, and the lads and, sadly, I, had given up all hope. The sea waters were thrashing for all to see, then they went still. I had said my prayers and sent you Godspeed to Davey Jones embrace, when…well…”

“What? Please Captain. I don’t understand why I am still alive, here on deck. I felt a blow across my back, a shattering pain lanced through, and I felt the sea enter me as I quickly lost all awareness.”

Captain Magnus stared hard at Young Ned. He turned his head and spat over the rail. Turning back, it was the first time the captain would not make eye contact.

“You know me for an honest man, as honest as the sea will allow one to  be. The crew saw this too, or I wouldn’t have believed it myself. We had given up all hope, but…the mysteries of the seas are deep. The still water broke apart, Young Ned, and you, Meigs and that harpoon were on the back of a narwhal. This one was male, a lovely helical tusk, as woven as a twisted knot of hair. It floated long enough for us to retrieve you and poor Meigs. We thought you were gone too, but, well, you coughed up the sea as it coughed up yourself.”

“The narwhal?” Young Ned inquired.

“Slid away and gone. Come…no use scratching our heads about this. You are alive, Young Ned, and I am glad that I can keep my promise to your sister that you stay that way. Well, at least for today.” Captain Magnus smiled, slapped Young Ned on the back, and turned, barking orders to set course for land and home.

Walking over to the body of his friend, Young Ned knelt and said some prayers. He also vowed, in these moments of silence, to seek vengeance, so dreadful and sincere. Lost in his moments of grief, it was only the collision of the boatswain, Mr. Diggs, that brought him around to a deck that was beginning to tilt and the noses of men in a panic.

“Diggs…what is it, man?”

The boatswain, face ashen, said “Look starboard; look what you’ve brought upon us!”

Pushing the man away, harpoon still in hand, Ned rushed starboard an pulled himself up and looking over the rail:

The Hafgufa’s tentacles were climbing the sides of The Return, tilting the ship. One passed by his head and twisted onto the mizzenmast behind him. One solid jerk, and the Hafgufa and Young Ned were staring at one another, connected by sea, wood, and bone.

The Return cried a mournful sound upon the waters.

to be continued…

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The Rule of Three Blogfest for 2011 is done; voting will soon be open, and our long list of finalists can be found at our brand new Welcome to Renaissance blog page!!!  Eleven great writers/stories out of about 60 participants. It was not easy. Please read the stories in order (links will be on the above link). ENJOY!!!!

My Life On The Amazon!

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“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

ANNOUNCING…

My very first solo eStory on Amazon

My first solo eStory!!

Flash Over is only the first (hopefully) of my ePublications. I hinted at this before, and now it’s the start of the reality.

Thanks to the fine people at Trestle Press I now have an eStory published that is not part of an anthology. It’s 4,000 words long, and it costs just $ .99. I get 70% of that, so…yeah, the more the merrier. Won’t you make me merry? ;)

Product Description: Seth had been devoured by fire. What does a man do when the life of flame becomes as real as his waking life? When the sound of fire is the beat of his blood through his body? When what he sees he lives?

You can find it at Amazon: Flash Over

I have two more stories published, both in charity anthologies, supporting Doctors Without Borders through Ethics Trading (two great ladies: Thank You Sarah & Catrina). You can find them on my brand new Amazon Authors Page. Two volumes, both $3.99, and both support a worthy cause. Please give them a try.

After Dark has my paranormal luv tale of two Trolls and the Ferryperson who tries to come between them. Tongue in cheek fun, with some punnery from me.

Seven other authors make out this wonderful volume of paranormal fun.

Only $3.99; proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders!!!

Dawn of Indie Romance was the first anthology I have a story in. Redhead Riding is, yes, a romance, from ME. That might surprise those who enjoy my creepy stuff.

Again, seven other writers lead to a great book.

As above, Only $3.99; proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders!!!

More to come as I journey down the Amazon.

Prompts and Circumstance: Final #REN3 Prompts

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First…it is the Final  Countdown…

And Now…The Week Four Prompts

Remember: you must use at least one of these prompts.

  1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted.
  2. Relationships mend/ are torn asunder.
  3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
  4. There is a new arrival in town.

Don’t forget: At the TOP of your post, please include the following:

  • Links to all three previous stories
  • The prompt(s) you are using for this last section
  • Word Count

What Comes Next:

  • In November, Damyanti, Lisa, JC and I will be going over the stories, choosing our favorites, sending them back and forth, and choosing our shortlist entries. We have a number of prizes, but they are limited. We have a LOT of great stories, and this is going to be tough. Really, really tough.
    • (Now is the time for Bribing the Judges!! ;)  )
  • The poll of the shortlisted entries will go up on the 2nd of November (Wednesday). On this date,  we request all participants to sign up on this new linky list  for a  Postmortem/analysis/reflective feedback post.
  • You will then be able to also vote on your favorite of the shortlisted stories. 
    • The voting will close on Wednesday,  9th of November.
    • Winners will be declared on Friday, November 11th.
  • We also have a few other surprises to announce…well, one really big one, which we’ve kept under wraps, and another that has been hinted at. So… stay tuned and look for an email or two before it’s announced  on our four blogs.
      • (Hope that has gotten our writers excited. I SO want to tell you, but I’d have to kill ME if I did that).

Contest News:

CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of  Chapter Three of my story (click here)?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, in the comments section of This Weeks Posting, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” Mississippi Lil gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  be  descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive.  ;)  Just be specific. I don’t need a storyline, just that “thing.”

Post those thoughts in the comments section by 5:00 pm (EST), Sunday October 23rd.

On Sunday night, I will post a poll for  you to vote on. The poll will only be open for  24 hours (from when I post the poll-time tbd): it will close on Monday evening October 24th.  The item that gets the most votes will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it. I’ll start the story after the poll closes.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your website, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.

Stu

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Gid (#REN3 Part Three)

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The Shared World of Renaissance:

Part One: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil

Part Two: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Doc Stovepipe

The Prompts for Week Three:

  1. The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
  2. Betrayal is in the air.
  3. Relationships unravel or strengthen.
  4. A long-kept secret is revealed.

Word Count: 594

Part Three: “…the only truth that sticks.”

Gid looked at both men, and did not like the way they felt.  Something was very wrong here. Lil held onto his arm in a bear hug way. He liked the way her body pressed into his, bringing back instant tactile memory of their recent coupling, but he did not like that she brought him to Doc Stovepipe. He especially did not like Digger, who all in Renaissance knew as trouble, and Gid had stayed out of his way.

Gid invoked a silent protection chant. He saw Lil look at him just then. “Huh?,” he thought. “She felt that. Lil’s more than she lets on.” Gid tried to put some space between him and Mississippi Lil, but she was not letting him. Physically she held onto his arm. Magically, she had bound him. Gid felt it, deep.

She whispered in his ear: “When you came, you came to me completely. Don’t doubt that for a second.” Out loud, she said to Doc and Digger: “He’s mine, so let’s get this over with.”

Digger laughed a dry dirty guffaw and got up. Doc glared at Gid, then rose and put on his Stovepipe hat. He picked up his mug of Renaissance Brown Ale and downed it in one swig, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his coat. Gid noticed this, disgusted, hating the man even more, which  he thought would have been impossible.

Lil had told him of the sexual degradations Doc had imposed on her. Gid took great affront to all she told him. He knew she wasn’t chaste, and Gid wasn’t a choir boy himself, but he never once forced himself on anyone, never beat a woman, never treated one like a slave.

When he looked at her, first on that stage, and then later, he thought he felt what love at first sight must be like. Lil was nothing like the girls he knew in Renaissance. There weren’t that many his age, and he hadn’t felt much of anything about any one of them. Lil was different, and he had hoped…

Gid was compelled to follow along, side by side with Lil, behind Digger and Doc. He tried to yell out to Amy, the bartender, or any of the other few patrons he knew in The Last Stinkin’ Battalion, but his mouth would not work. “Shhh, lover…don’t get all worked up. Remember, Lil has a plan all of her own,” she said into his ear, as the group made their way through the darkened town streets.

The foursome make their way out of the town limits and wound up at the base of the Main Gauche mining hills. The opening to Heriot’s Pass had been boarded up; Doc and Digger were undoing that now, removing a few planks. Enough for all of them to squeeze into. Gid noticed Digger had a lantern which he had not noticed before; they must have had this here already, and planned out, he thought alongside the inner chants he hoped would give him some chance of escape. Gid was kicking himself for skipping out on too much of his trainings.

They came to an opening, where four tunnels branched off, and Gid noticed the chalk markings on the rocky ground. “Damnation, Doc’s a Schiavonaist,” he wailed inside, finally finding a fear he held off. Digger came and extracted Gid from Lil’s deathlike embrace, putting him dead center of the markings…but not before she had passed him something cold and hard into his hand.

Lil caught Gid’s eye and nodded, mouthing to him “Use it well!”

End of Part Three

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CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of the story?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, below in comments, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” she gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  or descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive.  ;)

Post those thoughts in the comments you leave and I’ll either choose one OR have you all come back to vote on the choice (Poll time, I think), and the item that gets chosen will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your webrsite, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.

Stu

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Part Four: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution (coming 10/26/2011)

Last Prompts: Friday, October 21,  2011

Special Side Story: Renaissance: Missing Air (this is set in the future and has ties to the Doc Stovepipe story)

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The following two stories have nothing to do with the Doc Stovepipe stories above, but are set in my Renaissance world:

Renaissance Teaser: Prissy’s Story

Renaissance Teaser: Jewel’s Story

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil (#REN3 Blogfest, Week 1 )

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Renaissance was smack in the middle of nowhere, as far as Lil felt. She was tired of being run out-of-town after town, them taking unkindly to Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine show rolling in and fleecing the rubes out of their money.  Renaissance looked like more of the same. They had passed through a sparse forest (Doc called it The Culdees), but she just wanted to keep on passing through. Home was north, past the mountain range, and for the first time in years all she wanted to do was go home.

“…and now, the paragon of deliciousness, the temptress of all men’s dreams-ladies, watch your husbands!-the cream of feminine beauty, our very own…MISSISSIPPI LIL!” Doc waved his trademark stovepipe hat with a flourish and Lil came out from behind the draped sheet to a cacophony of applause and whistles (the men) and gasps of outrage (the women). She couldn’t blame the women: she wasn’t comfortable, really, with what little she wore. Calf high laced boots, stockings, a too short flounce black skirt and a red trimmed bustier that had seen better days. Her shawl of a feathered boa protected her chest only so much. Tall feathers also adorned her hat. They gave her some shade and a prop to use, especially if there was a problem with her costume during the dance. There always was one.

Lil danced to the percussive tapping of Doc’s feet and his banjo picking fingers. He was gifted, the bastard, she’d give him that. It had just been a long time since she had loved him enough to run away with him. Lil sang, she acted in his little skits, she was flirty. All things  “good” Medicine Show acts needed to be.  She looked for diversion while she forced the smile that would help sell his piss water elixir. She had to if they wanted to eat tonight. Lil had other plans besides eating dinner as well.

Not that one. Nope. OK…kinda cute… nope…she’s clinging too tight and oh, the language. Nope. Nope. Hummm...” Lil thought all along, as she scanned the men. One stood out. “Not too tall, not short at all, a worker, by the looks of him. Not one to be in a store. Good.”

While hawking, Lil sidled up to the young man-younger than she was by a good ten years, she figured-and found out his name was Gid. Gid Jacobs, farmer’s son, farmer’s hands and back and arms. But clean, no dirt under his nails, and fairly well-groomed. His mama did a good job with him. Lil approved. She felt the strength of his arm, grasping it when she “accidentally” stumbled into him. “Meet me behind the wagon after the show,” she whispered to Gid. He nodded, transfixed, as she had brushed her breast against him before passing the hat around the crowd.

Doc’s routine to seek out a saloon after a show served her well. Lil seduced the farm boy, letting him take her against the buckboard. She promised him more of the same, much more, if Gid would just do one little thing for her. Gid said he would, that he had never in his life seen anyone as pretty or as wonderful as she was. He told her he loved her.

Mississippi Lil smiled as she folded her arms around Gid, pulling him against her as he shuddered. His head drooped onto her shoulder and both of them closed their eyes, panting.

Doc saw the whole thing, out of plain sight, hiding  behind a shed.  The magics sparked off of his clenched  fist.

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Welcome to Renaissance, the shared world setting for The Rule of Three Blogfest. As one of the hosts of this month-long writers challenge, it’s been with great anticipation for this to begin. Please visit and support my co-hosts:  Damyanti Biswas Daily (W)rite , Lisa Vooght Flash Fiction, JC Martin, Fighter Writer.

While of course I am not eligible for any of the prizes, it’s still a blast to write something for this challenge. Comments are always wonderful and I DO hope any and all of my readers will take a look at the other postings. Click on the silly face icon below to find the other writers who are part of this.

The next prompt posting will be on Friday, October 7th (check back here for the prompts) and then the next section of the story will be on Wednesday October 12/13. Stay tuned for part two of Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show.
Our list is now closed, but you can follow the other writers of #REN3 Blogfest by clicking below:

All Things Wept

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A Tale of The Norse Gods…and so it came to pass one day that Baldr the Undying was dead. Baldr, son of Frigg, Queen of Asgard, and Odin, King of the gods, the All Father. Baldr was brave and  beloved by all, and most especially by Frigg: as Queen of the gods, she made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe which she found too young to demand an oath from.  Baldr, who was slain by the hands of blind Höðr, Frigg’s other son. It was not Höðr’s fault. It was a conceit of the gods that felled Baldr, for in sport they were amused that nothing could harm Baldr. That one weakness was used by the treachery of the trickster god, Loki. He was the one who gave the mistletoe to Höðr, in the shape of an arrow, that last morning.

“I really, really don’t like this,” Huginn cawed. He had been to Hel, the goddess of death,  and back,  in a bid for the return to life of one so loved by the woman he accompanied. He was cold and miserable, and did not think there would be the outcome she desired.

I know,” Frigg said, ignoring him as best she could. Both she and Huginn were drenched. Her clothing and hair were sodden and plastered against her, and Huginn’s feathers clotted with the wet. None of this discomforted her as it did Odin’s minion. She was relishing standing in the Rain of Tears for what it would bring; he, not so much.

Frigg called on all things to weep for Baldr, her son. They did, they all did (or so she thought), and the tears washed down upon her.   Hel, goddess of the dead, those unclaimed into Valhalla, were hers to do with as she so wished. Frigg begged for this boon, and Hel had only one condition to be met: all things must weep for Baldr.  Hel had promised the return of her son to the living if that would be accomplished.

One did not break a promise to Frigg, Queen of the Æsir. Especially a promise about someone she loves so completely.  Frigg stood with arms outstretched, chin raised to the heavens above the heaven that she resided in. Waiting. Waiting for Hel to return Baldr to her.

Huginn, the raven of the moment, thought that something was wrong, knew it deep down inside his hollow bones. His beak pecked at the rocks, tasting the tears that fell.

“Frigg, there is something wrong. Not all things weep. There is one who does not.” Frigg looked down upon Huginn, and if he was a creature that knew fear he would have felt it then, and deeply. “A giantess, Thökk, does not weep for Baldr.” She waved him dry, and he flew off to Thökk’s cave.

Seeing through Huginn’s eyes, speaking through his beak, Frigg said to Thökk:

WHY ARE YOU NOT CRYING FOR BALDR? HE WAS MOST TREACHEROUSLY TAKEN FROM HIS LIFE BY LOKI, WHO HAS PAID FOR THIS DEED. HEL ASKS ONLY FOR YOUR TEARS!”

She replied:

“Thökk will weep
waterless tears
For Baldr’s bale-fare;
Living or dead,
I loved not the churl’s son;
Let Hel hold to that she hath!”

Huginn flew off, looking for a place of safety, to watch and have a report for the All-Father, Odin. Frigg appeared, full of fury, and the battle that ensued was fierce.  Thökk was strong even for the race of the giants, but she was no match for the queen. Yes, she used her magics, crafts of stone and wood, flinging them against the Queen. Her spear was fashioned by the dwarfs, magical and powerful, and while it did Frigg some damage and drew ichor, it was not enough. Frigg was finally able to wrestle the spear away and broke it across the giantesses back, felling her. Straddling Thökk, Frigg demanded the weeping needed for Baldr while choking her. Still the giant refused, and in this refusal Frigg lost all restraint. Taking the two halves of the once mighty spear, Frigg tattooed a devastating rain of blows upon her fallen foe.

Beaten and broken, Thökk did weep, and this was enough for the agreement. All things wept for Baldr, wanting or not. Hel released him, and Baldr appeared by his mother’s side. She rushed to him and embraced him, and he returned the gesture and the affection. Kneeling, he thanked Frigg for what she did. She placed her hand on his head, and the Rain of Tears ceased.

“Who is this, mother?” he asked as he rose, firmly planting his feet again among the living.

“This was the one whose tears brought you back to the Æsir. Remember Thökk in this way, Baldr.”

Baldr bowed his head in thanks, and then arm in arm he and Frigg returned to Fensalir, her realm.

One last drop fell from  the eye of Thökk. Huginn noted it, went to drink from this tear, and flew off to report back to Odin. Huginn appreciated the skill and power that was expelled, and thought enough of it to make note for the bards, so that they would craft a piece that would bring all to their feet in the halls of Asgard.
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Magpie Tales provided the photo prompt that heads off this very special episode of Tale Spinning.

Thökk’s answer to Frigg is cited from the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning and is copied as it is translated. The rest of this story is mine.

Video Trailer 2: The Rule of Three Blogfest

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Join Us In The Rule of Three Writers Challenge BlogFest!

Final Day to Sign Up: Monday October 3, 2011

I am co-hosting an exciting creative writing blog challenge, and I hope you will join the over 40 writers participating!

During October 2011, venture into the shared world of Renaissance (information below). You will create three characters set in that world: any genre, any time period. During the course of four weekly postings you will craft your tale where your three characters interact, or not, winding up in one great cumulative story. Each Friday, you will be given a set of prompts to move you along until you reach your climax. There is the chance to discover new writers, see a different side of ones you already admire, and hopefully have tons of fun doing this: you might also win some prizes (listed below as well). Read on!!
REN3<a href=”http://wp.me/P1mecg-bV”><img src=”http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/Jc_Martin/RuleofThreeshield.jpg&#8221; alt=”REN3″ width=”242″ height=”242″ /></a>

Grab this code for the badge created by the wonderful Portia Burton, Concept by the equally wonderful Lisa Vooght

The Shared World: Renaissance

An outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes (the TARGE, KRIS, and VILLEIN are the largest of routes, but not the only ones) pass through or by the town. The SCHIAVONA  Desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once lush forest (the CULDEES) lies to the East and South. A large river, the ESPADON,  runs through the forest of ASSART (to the north) but it is not close by. The ROUNDELI Mountains are also to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or not. Closer by are the smaller hill chain, the MAIN GAUCHE and the MINOR GAUCHE, that fed the mining, creating caverns (the KASTANES)  and passages (one particular passage is known as  HERIOT’S PASS) lie underground.

The town has had a number of identities throughout it’s history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to it’s Ghost Town standing); a  town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.

At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.

EVERYONE has a secret!

Welcome to Renaissance.

Enjoy your stay.

For Full Guidelines & List of Prizes: Click Here

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…and:

Announcement: The Doll is a horror novelette by J.C. Martin that has only been read by a limited audience so far. It will be FREE for anyone who signs up on the Rule of Three linky list. We will email participants on the linky list with the direct link.

My Teaser Stories Set in Renaissance:

Renaissance: Prissy’s Story

Renaissance: Jewel’s Story


Syndrome of the White Knight

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Shelly was a hot mess, and Robert was in heaven. She was a damsel in distress: tied up in knots over past relationship indiscretions; a dragon sized horror of a boss; bill collectors moving in on her like speeding locomotives; and she was hanging off a cliff waiting for a diagnosis about a medical “female” problem.

Shelly also had mild OCD, was forgetful (“early senility,” he thought, “though she’s only 32.”), appeared to be dyslexic (she had “trouble reading“, she said), had a number of phobias, and a slew of other things. Robert saw it as his right-Man Right!-to not only come to the rescue but to hold all the answers and to TAA DAA! save the day!

Robert could not have been more wrong.

This was Shelly’s pattern. Used to it as she was (for she was a very introspective hot mess) she used Robert as a means to an end. His White Knight symptoms got in his way again, clouding any sound judgment he might have had. He paid her bills, ran interference with Shelly’s ex (who punched Robert in the nose, breaking it), and got himself fired by calling in sick too often to take care of his “damsel” and her ogre of a boss. The Doctor was out of his range, but it amounted to a big case of “nothing much” and it was easily forgotten by Shirley, after a visit to a walk-in clinic.

Once he lost his job, he lost Shelly too. She texted him that she was back with Frankie (the one who broke Rob’s nose). “Thanks for everything, but blah blah blah. Oh, and could you pay one last bill for me?”

He did.

And this was Robert’s pattern. He’d fall head over heels for any woman most would consider damaged goods. Illnesses, ill luck, illogical stories that afterwards made no sense but had Robert riding in on his white charger. He had learned American Sign Language in the hopes of falling in love with a beautiful deaf woman. He volunteered at soup kitchens, hoping to find that love of his life down on her luck.

When alone, Robert lived in his books of King Arthur and felt he was born so out of time that he would always be alone. The moments he was “needed” was when he shined, his inner goodness polished to a brilliance that sparkled. Those moments didn’t last too long, and the chinks in his armor were beginning to wear Robert down. His ideals of love were getting tarnished. It was becoming harder to bounce back with each sounding defeat.

Three months after Shirley’s betrayal (he saw all of the betrayals months later) something different happened to Robert. He met an un-needy woman.

Diane was healthy, intelligent, funny, strong (both emotionally and physically), was her own boss with a healthy income, had no Daddy issues, all ex-boyfriends were out of the picture, she owned her own condo, had solid investments, and the only thing that Robert felt was wrong with her was one huge honking thing: she liked Robert. He was baffled by this concept, and the fact that he liked her too, but he wasn’t sure how to go about dating her. Let alone be in a relationship.

That all changed on their seventh date. They had had a great time at the movies (a little bit of a make out session in the dark that Diane instigated). Dinner was an experience: an Indian meal that almost burned his tongue and mouth lining out due to severe Lamb Vindaloo (Diane plied massive amounts of Raita into Robert’s mouth, not letting him touch the water glass he originally went for). Once he cooled down and the sweat stopped pouring out, he did admit it was the tastiest food he ever had. It didn’t hurt she played footsie with him. They walked hand in hand, arm in arm, leaned against and poked and snuggled and snogged (she loved that English term).

It was while they were walking back to her place that their tickling of each other became an almost Dire Consequence! Laughing so hard while they chased and connected with each other, they started to cross the street. Neither saw the white Chevy Suburban careening down the street towards them. The driver, a platinum haired bimbette from Norwalk, was on her cell phone with her boy toy and  paid only the slightest attention to her so called driving.

This is what happened in a flash: the driver noticed Diane and Robert, braked and honked; Diane heard the honk, saw the behemoth out of the corner of her eye and hip bumped Robert towards safety; and Robert, hip bumped, threw out his arms, caught Diane, and pulled her to safety onto the sidewalk they had just left.

They were left panting and frazzled as the driver just drove off (she did get her head handed to at another time, but that is another story). Diane had her arms wrapped around Robert, and his were around her. His eyes gleamed with pride, saving a woman who really did not need saving, and his curse was thus broken. As long as Diane would have him, he was hers.

Diane’s eyes gleamed with pride too. She saved a man who so needed to be saved, and he was in her arms.

The white knights went up to her condo and rode the night away in glory…

…and they lived happily ever after.

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Announcements:

First: I am proud-REALLY PROUD-to announce that I will have a second story published come October 31st, 2011!! My story “Trolling for Loving” will be in a new Paranormal Anthology (title and ordering information TBA). I have a few other submissions out there right now, and I am writing a few more while semi-neglecting my novel (not for long: I have a new burst of energy for that). This is being ebook published by the same wonderful people at Ethics Trading and all proceeds go to charity.

My first published story, “Redhead Riding,”  is in Dawn of Indie Romance, and can be ordered on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.  Please support the very worthy cause…and me, too. Eight stories to whet your romantic whistle.

Second: I am co-hosting an exciting writers challenge in October called The Rule of Three Blogfest (you’ll see the badge on my sidebar). At this moment, on 9/21/2011, YOU  have TWELVE more days to sign up. Over 40 writers who blog have taken this challenge…and there is plenty of room for you.

I really hope that more of my readers take part in this. We have a lot of great writers participating, and there are also prizes!!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Under the GoblinTree

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(c) Kasey Sorsby  Tanglewood Thicket Creations

Laundry swirling, almost  done, now the Goblins shall have their  fun!

The piles of mismatched socks were strewn about the Goblin abode, stolen by the nightmares O’ so bold.  Dancing and cavorting, each Goblin took a sock,  had a bite, then threw that sock behind in pure delight. What follows, then, is quite a mess, for chewed up socks can cause distress, and Goblins-tall and large and tiny and small-are not beyond to have a brawl; when the Goblin lair is all astir with bitten socks at the roots of their Fir.

Jareth came down off his throne and said “Enough! Desist with this feast, you shiny ugly little beasts. Can’t you once, come washing day, leave the stockings in pairs, you horrid Fae?”

Like struck with lightning, or a strong stiff boot, the Goblins ceased and looked at their ill gotten loot. They sniffed, they snarled, their eyes darted around, but eerily, without much sound (well, no sound a Human would hear; for that they would pay quite dear), but the Goblin King, he heard quite well, and around him the noise did swirl.

“Sock!” they shouted. “Sock galore! Pairs you know we all abhor! One by one, one by one, the gathering of sock must be done!” They chanted, they howled, they threw a fit, and on the pile of sock they did sit, and fume and fuss and sang quite sadly (and Jareth thought, “yes, and quite badly”).

Palm to palm, not in a kiss, but The Goblin King did ask but this: “I will not begrudge you this delicate treat, but press upon you: You Must Be Neat! This kingdom mine in which you dwell, the roots reach down but the socks do swell, and cuts the essence of the earth, so keep it neat, Goblins dear, be of good mirth.”

Nodding “ayes” and neatly stacking, the Goblins to a one went cracking. When done was done, and no more a mess, a small Goblin changeling with one curling tress, approached the Goblin King on his lofty throne.

“Hmmm?” he murmured to his drone, “Look what comes near. What shall we hear?”

Silence.

“Well?”

“Your majesty, come what may, ’tis soon for us a special day…the mortals up high do talk like days of yore, on September 19th, their calendar marking, for sure. May we not partake of the sock that Pirates favor, so that flavor we may savor?”

Jareth smiled, for the joke he knew, but allowed his Goblin to continue through. Straight man to Goblin, he nodded his noggin’, and asked “What sock be this, my fine young Goblin miss?”

The Goblin grinned with a toothsome mien: “Arrrrgyles, my lord, one and the same!”

All the Goblins laughed uproariously in glee as Jareth put the little one on his knee.

“Dance, Goblins, Dance!” he commanded quite profoundly, and all through the night they danced true and soundly.