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Firstly, wow. Not only did I love this book, but I loved it from the very get go. Which is more than I can say for many of the books I ...

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Well, today was the last day in our old place (for my boyfriend and I). We finished off cleaning and packed what we needed to into a moving van (biggest thing I've ever driven and it is AWESOME) . So now I'm staying with my parents for one final night before we finally take all of our stuff down and move in to our new place on Wednesday.
I'm both excited and scared. Moving from the bush to the city is going to take a loooot of getting used to. Also, I might not be online frequently over the next two weeks while we get internet all sorted. So my replies, comments etc. might be slightly delayed. 
Well... here we go!

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CHAPTER TWO

‘Where’d you say you hailed from again ma’am?’

The creaky old carriage continued to bounce along the road as its driver, Pollard Avery, threw a glance backwards into the open curtain. Within, sat a young, small and relatively gaunt faced. Plain-looking at best, many would say, but still- there was something about her. The sad gentleness held in her gaze was somewhat enchanting – well, enchanting enough to see her gain a free two day passage from the small town of Wulfrim to the capital city of Nilfgar anyway. The trip so far had been spent in silence, as his passenger had slept a great deal of it. Now however, she appeared awake and alert, and so Pollard couldn’t pass up the opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Word of mouth was the only bit of advertising he got. And nothing left an impression like a good conversation.

Pollard glanced back at the lady once more at her lack of response, only to find her looking right at him.

‘I didn’t.’

Her voice was as soft as her gaze. It carried gently to Pollard’s ears, as sweet as a songbird, yet deceptively so. There was a certain defensiveness which subtly sharpened the edge of her tone; an indication that perhaps Pollard had slighted her.

He had obviously crossed some line. Perhaps it was a touchy subject? Certainly not great for business.

Pollard quickly tried to cover his stumble. ‘Oh, beggin’ your pardon. I don’t mean to pry. Just being friendly is all.’

The woman sighed loudly and lifted her hood to let a cascade of chestnut brown hair flow down her back.

‘No, I apologise,’ she said, ‘it has just been a long time since I’ve called anywhere home. There is… really nowhere to name.’

The defensive edge had dissolved, relieving Pollard somewhat. He decided to cautiously push on.

‘Oh I see. Life on the road, eh?’

When he again received no immediate response, he continued, eager to carry the conversation along. At the front of the carriage, Pollards’s steed whinnied excitably, indicating the nearing of their destination. It was a pattern the horse followed meticulously. The allure of the city’s famous toffee apples had imprinted on his mind and now he picked up pace as if he were chasing the apples himself.

Pollard cleared his throat and raised his voice, just so as to be heard above the horse’s excited exclamations.

‘And so what brings you to Nilfgar this time of year?’

A brief moment of silence passed, while Pollard waited patiently, only vaguely aware of his held breath.

‘I’m- here to see an old friend,’ the woman said softly, her head turning to survey the passing landscape. She sat like that for many moments, seemingly caught up in her thoughts, before she finally turned her attention back to Pollard. All the while Pollard waited patiently.

‘And what’s your name?’ He asked once he had regained her gaze.

‘Fayen.’

‘Lovely name that,’ he said with an appreciative nod. It was true he did like the name, and perhaps some buttering up was what was needed to illicit a response.

‘Thank you.’

Or... perhaps not. More silence ensued. Pollard began to whistle absently, eager to fill the void. Even his over energetic horse had quietened down, which was strange. The closer they got to Nilfgar the rowdier the steed usually got.

Perhaps the weather has subdued him, Pollard thought. The sky had certainly darkened somewhat, and a large fog had gathered in the near distance. It was a strange sight for a summer’s midday, but he had heard that the weather had taken a bizarre turn in the area recently. He thought nothing of it.

‘It’s Pollard, right?’

Pollard nearly reeled in shock at the woman –Fayen’s – gentle prompt. He turned his head to look at her, worried that he had imagined it. But her expectant expression confirmed that the question had been real.

Pollard internally preened himself, feeling like he had won some large prize. What a charmer, he thought of himself. He could get even the most introverted to talk eventually.

‘Aye,’ he confirmed, shooting her a toothy grin, ‘that it is.’

‘Thank you for granting me passage.’

‘Is no problem,’ Pollard assured her, ‘least I could do for a lady in need.’

A smile from a happy customer was all the payment he needed this day and looking back at his passenger saw him paid in full.

Then silence once again took the atmosphere. This time however, Pollard let it be. He was satisfied enough. And so the silence floated comfortably between them, and with his horse’s familiarity with the landscape, he felt comfortable to lose himself to his thoughts.

Many hours passed, during which Pollard drifted in and out of sleep. The roads to Nilfgar were safe enough. They didn’t need his undue attention. Behind him, his passenger slept soundlessly. As they continued, the air grew colder. It nipped at Pollard through his thin summer cloak. Eventually it became uncomfortable enough that Pollard finally took notice. He shivered, and his eyes shot open.

Immediately, Pollard’s gaze was snatched by the surroundings, and a mystified frown accosted his face. He shivered again, only this time it was not the cold that made him do so. Fayen’s next words were stolen straight from his thoughts.

‘Something’s wrong.’

It had come on slowly. So subtly that Pollard hadn’t noticed. But he noticed it now. The fog had grown, morphed into something… otherworldly. It was like something out of a book; one of the ones his grandfather used to read to him that involved withered trees and impregnable mists. He stared at his surroundings, his expression a bemused calm.

A clunk indicated the abrupt stop of the carts continuation. The horse whinnied and pawed the ground nervously. Even though their ascent had ceased… the fog’s approach hadn’t. It appeared to creep closer, moving towards them at a quickening pace. It engulfed the horizon and then the ground beneath it as the dark mists spread. Immediately Pollard felt a chill run through him, and his pulse quickened, matching his shallow breaths.

‘I- I think we should retreat…’

He kept his gaze on the horizon, but was aware of movement as Fayen edged up to sit beside him.

‘Yes. We should.’

Pollard gave his reigns a flick.

At the gesture however, the horse reared. It bucked and thrashed, its eyes blazing with panic.

‘Faust!’ Pollard shouted.

But it was no use. The horse was beyond all comprehension. It broke free of its bindings, bolting
‘Faust!’ Pollard shouted again. But the horse was long gone; a dot in the distance within mere moments.

Panic gripped Pollard as his eyes darted back to the horizon. It was an unreasonable, unthinkable panic. It was only fog. A bit of precipitation. Nothing ominous about that.

Still, his breath caught as unparalleled fear now immobilised him.

A hand gripped his forearm and his head snapped to Fayen’s face. She was wide eyed, eyebrows raised, her usual gentle gaze suddenly hardened and serious. Still, she was calm.

‘Pollard?’

Pollard nodded absently, transfixed by her gaze.

‘Pollard. We need to go. We must abandon the cart.’

‘I-yes. Yes, yes.’

Reason was restored.

Boots crunched on dirt as he leapt from the carriage, his heart in his throat. Behind him he heard Fayen follow.

‘But ma’am. This will take us further from your destination.’

Fayen turned, a soft smile complimenting her face.

‘Your dedication to your duty is commendable,’ she said, her even tone reassuring, ‘but we have other concerns now.’

‘Wha-what is this?’

‘I’m not sure,’ Fayen said, ‘but I have a hunch.’

‘A hunch?’

Fayen then abruptly stopped and turned to him suddenly, her eyes wide with what seemed like a sudden realisation ‘you need to follow your horse.’

Pollard blinked.

‘But- ma’am, what about you?’

‘Follow your horse please.’ A hint of desperation had edged its way into her voice, though her tone still resonated with a calm, even pattern. ‘He knows the way out. He will show you.’

‘What about you?’ Pollard repeated, his thoughts struggling to catch up.

‘I... need to be here.’

‘But- I don’t…’

‘Leave now!’

The fog was moving at an alarming rate now. It was engulfing everything in sight.

‘Run… Just… RUN!’

Pollard was rooted to the ground, his eyes transfixed by the ever approaching blanket of darkness.

Pollard!’

She tried to shove him. But her stature and strength was no match for his much larger physique. Her efforts were in vain. It was no use. The fog was ever approaching – too fast to outrun. It would be upon them before they even thought to step.

His ears were deafened by his pulse, pounding in terror.

And then… Silence. Absolute silence. An unnatural silence – the complete absence of noise. It was short lived however, as a voice suddenly sounded out. The noise was deep, gravelly, and sounded from every direction. It was agonising. Pollard clasped his hands ever his ears, but the action had no effect. No mere material object could stop such a commanding voice from filling every pore, every space, every person. It was everywhere and everything. And Pollard was but a blubbering child in its wake.

Like a pig to its slaughter,’ the voice said, ‘foolish woman.’

Pollard was on his knees. Inexplicably so- he did not remember it happening. He glanced up at Fayen, who stared back. She could do nothing to hide the sudden terror in her eyes. They swam, threatening to spill over in a tide of tears.

‘Pollard, I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.’

But in that moment her words were lost on him. A…creature... as black as the night and riddled with large spines had suddenly appeared behind her, rendering Pollard completely dumbstruck. His breath stopped. His eye’s widened. And his mouth gaped in a silent scream. For before him was a monster which could only belong to his nightmares; easily double his height, with scaled skin that covered the entirety of its body. It was humanoid in shape, and bipedal, but the similarity stopped there. Large claws, easily the size of its forearm tipped each of its five fingers. A barb ended tail, swished impatiently from behind it. But what terrified Pollard the most, was the creatures face. It was truly grotesque; the face of a human man, but one that had been tragically melted beyond recognition. Wild, bulging eyes sat in their sockets, tainted red. Below them, the nose remained absent. Instead, the creature’s mouth was crammed up into the space, pushing the bottom lids upwards, as to cover half the eyes. The mouth itself was twisted into a perpetual smile, and stocked with seemingly unlimited rows of teeth. Atop the thing’s head was a pathetic mop of wispy brown, attempting to grow against all odds.

Taking all this in, Pollard’s scream vocalised, at the end of which the man gave a gurgled sob, and dropped the ground. He had fainted.

Fayen watched the man tumble over with her breath held. Then she glanced upward as another creature appeared behind him.

Two of them?

She was well aware of the other behind her. Its stench was overpowering, and it’s breathing a laboured wheeze. But her attention was fixated on the beast that approached Pollard. It stopped once it got to his unconscious figure, and started down at him, wild eyes unblinking.

Another to act as your shield? I grow tired of killing these pathetic beings.’

The creature didn’t speak, rather the area around it did. It wavered slightly as the horrid voice rang out like a mirage of heat.

The creature then bent over, its clawed hand grasping at the thick bob of hair atop the man’s scalp and slowly pulled him off the ground.

‘No, don’t hurt him!’

But it was as useless as screaming at the deaf. The creature continued to lift him up until he was head height, his feet dangling uselessly in the air.

It looked at her then, its smile wider than should be possible with its number of teeth. ‘We have waited nearly thirty years for you this time. We deserve blood.’

And then, with a violent howl, the creature tore the man’s head clean from his shoulders, spraying the area with blood.

The sight ripped a scream from Fayen’s chest as she watched wide eyed. Her breath caught as the man’s headless body plummeted to the ground, blood spurting erratically from its neck. It hit the surface with a sickening thud, and immediately began painting the ground in its sea of red.

The man’s head then landed beside it, facing towards her. It was a peculiar sight; eyes closed; mouth closed… Like he was peacefully sleeping…

The illusion was short lived however, as Fayen’s eyes drew to the abrupt end of flesh where the neck had been crudely twisted and morphed put of shape. Below, part of the windpipe was exposed sitting unceremoniously in the dirt.

Fayen looked away with a sob.

‘I’m sorry…’ she whispered again, her eyes drifting back to the man- Pollard’s- face.

Then she took a deep breath, stepped forward, and looked the offending creature full in the eye.

‘Well’- she held out her arms, twisting her hands expectantly- ‘here I am.’

The beast then lunged at her and the three of them disappeared in a mist of swirling black.
Your ideal superpower?
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6 deviants said My power is.... (Comment)
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No deviants said I don't have any powers (Liar!)
You know how I've been whining over the last few journals about how we were struggling to find a place? Well... We got one! Huzzah! We move to the city next week. So between now and then I need to find the biggest vehicle I can possibly drive on road with a regular old drivers license (to move our stuff down) and then we're all set. Oh...and we need a fridge, since our old one is no go. THEN we're all set. OH, and there's packing. Still need to do that. THEN we're DEFINITELY all set.

I also got my hair cut today and now have a fringe for the first time in forever. It's already bugging the hell out of me. I now remember why I grew it out.

As far as writing goes... Well. Stuff got in the way and I haven't made much progression at all. But my short story, 'The Splitters', is now going to be novel length (forgive me, gods of writing. But I promise ONE STANDALONE BOOK ONLY) and Plight is steadily getting there. I'm on chapter seventeen of Plight now. So only a few more chapters and they FINALLY get to Capita (if you've read my story you'll know what I'm talking about). When I get round to it I'll put up the prologue of The Splitters for you all to read (if you want to). I've written it, but I'm unsure about whether or not to put it up yet because... well... firstly, I haven't ironed out the plot 100% yet, and secondly, I'm still unsure about whether to write it in first person or third person (not to mention it probably needs some technical tweaking). The prologue is in third person currently but I'm not sure whether to stick with it or go with a first person which alternates between two characters. Ah, I'm sure I'll work it out.

Aaaaannnnd I've done basically nothing on The Blood Crown... even though I said I would. Whoops :s 

I think that's all I've been up to? Eh, if I think of something else I'll put it in the next journal.

Oh! I also apologise if I haven't been super quick to comment or answer replies lately. 

I'll leave you all with a question: What's the worst haircut you've ever had in your life?
You know when you write a short story and you spend AGES creating a whole world for it but none of it really gets mentioned in the story? Then you end up with your story only scratching like... 5% of what you actually thought up and created? 

I started writing a short story called The Splitters a few weeks ago and I'm trying really hard not to turn it into a never ending novel.

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Rhelna

Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Australia
Me in a nutshell:
:bulletblack: Aspiring writer
:bulletblack: Geology student
:bulletblack: Occasionally tries to do art
:bulletblack: Perpetually lost

Don't be afraid to say hello! :dummy:




Current writing projects:

*********************************************

The Plight of Magic (Epic Fantasy)

Currently working on: Chapter 16

*********************************************

The Blood Crown (Fantasy)

Currently working on: Chapter 10

*********************************************

The Splitters

Currently working on: Chapter 1

*********************************************




Writing projects on hiatus

*********************************************

From the Moons to the Stars (Romance Fantasy) - Ernest Latoil is a rich kid kicked out of home, kicked out of his magic studies, and ultimately down on his luck. And things only get worse once he finds himself indebted to a reckless gutter girl with big dreams.

Currently working on: Chapter 2

*********************************************

The Electric Earth Effect (Science Fiction) - Homo sapiens sapiens, a species hell-bent on survival, faces extinction on a world which can no longer support it. That is, until a new engineering project is approved that may potentially save what's left of the human race.

Co-written by Rayukiri, this story follows two characters, Lawrence Atlas (written by Rhelna) and Eina Drayden (written by Rayukiri), as a series of events sees them thrown into the thick of it, where every man, woman and child's survival depends on their actions.

Currently working on: Chapter 4

*********************************************



Oh, and one more thing! If you are also an aspiring novelist then it's worth your while to check out this group: :iconthe-novelists:. Please note that the group only accepts original, novel-length and/or multi-part story prose.
Interests
You know how I've been whining over the last few journals about how we were struggling to find a place? Well... We got one! Huzzah! We move to the city next week. So between now and then I need to find the biggest vehicle I can possibly drive on road with a regular old drivers license (to move our stuff down) and then we're all set. Oh...and we need a fridge, since our old one is no go. THEN we're all set. OH, and there's packing. Still need to do that. THEN we're DEFINITELY all set.

I also got my hair cut today and now have a fringe for the first time in forever. It's already bugging the hell out of me. I now remember why I grew it out.

As far as writing goes... Well. Stuff got in the way and I haven't made much progression at all. But my short story, 'The Splitters', is now going to be novel length (forgive me, gods of writing. But I promise ONE STANDALONE BOOK ONLY) and Plight is steadily getting there. I'm on chapter seventeen of Plight now. So only a few more chapters and they FINALLY get to Capita (if you've read my story you'll know what I'm talking about). When I get round to it I'll put up the prologue of The Splitters for you all to read (if you want to). I've written it, but I'm unsure about whether or not to put it up yet because... well... firstly, I haven't ironed out the plot 100% yet, and secondly, I'm still unsure about whether to write it in first person or third person (not to mention it probably needs some technical tweaking). The prologue is in third person currently but I'm not sure whether to stick with it or go with a first person which alternates between two characters. Ah, I'm sure I'll work it out.

Aaaaannnnd I've done basically nothing on The Blood Crown... even though I said I would. Whoops :s 

I think that's all I've been up to? Eh, if I think of something else I'll put it in the next journal.

Oh! I also apologise if I haven't been super quick to comment or answer replies lately. 

I'll leave you all with a question: What's the worst haircut you've ever had in your life?

Your ideal superpower? 

100%
6 deviants said My power is.... (Comment)
0%
No deviants said I don't have any powers (Liar!)

Quote/lyrics of the week.

"When your spirit's broken, when hope is hard to find, when everyone's on board the life train but you got left behind..."

-Sammy J and Randy

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AnneMarie1986 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconthxfavplz:s:hug:
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AryaWinterHeart Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thanx for all the faveeees xxx
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No worries! :)
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Thanks for the fave!
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No worries :)
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Welcome to :iconunderrated-requests: Where we do our best to help both writers and other artists alike! :la: :dalogo: :la:
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for such a warm welcome! :)
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thanks for the fave XD
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Rhelna Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No worries :)
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Thanks for enjoying my tutorial! :icongoingdownplz: Hope it's helpful! Share it with your friends, your enemies, or even random people you meet on the street!
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