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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:48 pm

Yeah the law of copyright is dodgily confusing at the best of times and on the net it's really easy to breach it without even knowing that you did.

Broadly speaking if you always attribute any quotes (or even images you use even if they 'only' form part of a new one you make) to the original source or author then you can't go far wrong - however if you plan to make money from anything you use be really anal to the point of mania on accreditations, as this is where you stand to get well and truly clobbered even if you did not intend be 'maliciously acquisitive' :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:41 pm

I am not prepared to give the title of the story, but I hope you like this Prologue. It does have darkness in the story, which is why I am only posting the prologue, if you have any further interest I can send it to you via email as an attachment, and if any one knows anyone who can edit and is trustworthy, then I will appreciate them to check grammer, story points and so on... please, what is your opinion?


Prologue

Hank glanced out of the window of his country cottage. His eldest girl was playing in amongst the shrubbery with her younger sister and cousin, Cody. He was preparing a sermon for his Parish. He had finished some parochial duties. Mrs. Blake was organising an Am Dram society and wanted to know how the local Priest thought about such ‘frivolity and fun making!’ Mary had crawled out of the shrubbery; the childish shrieks could be heard through the single paned windows. He shivered and shrugged on a blanket. He blew on his fingers and stared at the blank piece of paper and blinked. He could not think of a single thing to talk about … maybe he should discuss forgiveness. No, he had trouble with
that himself these days.

Rachel walked into his study; she set a cup of coffee down and rubbed his shoulders. She leant down, kissed his cheek and sighed as she spotted the blank sheet of paper. He squeezed her hand and wished to take her to bed with him right now. Hmm, sex … carnal desires, good subject! He looked up the passages on Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Interesting, you did that last week,” Rachel murmured in his ear. “You know, the Parish of Calkley might think you have sex on the brain.”

“With you as a wife, it is amazing I get to do anything,” he joked.

“Come on, Ralph and Philip want to talk to you.”

“How are Julia and Anna?”

“Fine,” Rachel said.

Hank stood up, shaking the blanket off. He loved the way the bushes at the corner of the garden seemed to change in different phases; the corner was a rainbow of golds, reds, yellows and greens. The pond in the middle of the garden was decorated with the vari-coloured foliage. Mary and Rebekah were playing kiss-chase with Cody.

“I don’t mean to be anti-social,” Hank said taking his collar off so that he could relax properly. “Calkley is a very busy place.”

“You mean Mrs. Blake has nothing better to do than to commandeer my husband.”

“She’s lonely.”

“She’s a bore,” Rachel said.

“Charity, dearest.”

“I am only expressing an opinion,” Rachel sighed. “We’re all entitled to one.”

“You should try and be more Christian towards her,” he patted her bottom.

She pulled him closer towards her. “Yes, dear. Maybe that should be your theme.”

“No,” he sighed. “Don’t worry I’ll think of something.”

She picked up his cup of coffee. “Come on. Your sister is desperate to see you.”

“You sure she’s not just desperate?”

His wife gave him a withering look. He smiled and took her hand. They exited the room to enter the lounge at the far end of the cottage. Anna and Julia were watching some more of the brood.

“Where’s Cody?” Julia asked.

“Playing with Mary and Rebekah. Kiss-Chase I think,” Hank replied. “Cody definitely likes Mary.”

“I hope it doesn’t happen all over again.”

“It’s all right,” Rachel said. “They aren’t too close related. Not as close as some.”

“Comment directed at me,” Anna sighed.

Philip and Ralph had entered the room. “We’re pleased you do still exist as a human being,” Philip said. He scratched at his arm.

“I do,” he said. “It’s just that I have parochial duties to attend.”

“Mrs. Blake, in other words,” Rachel murmured.

Philip made his way to Anna he needed a hug from his wife. “How are Lucy and Eowyn?”

“They are sitting upstairs in the spare room reading.”

“I’m worried about those two, they hardly say a word.” Anna said.

“What about Jonathan?”

“Jonathan is fine; he talks, laughs, plays and pinches girls like a normal boy.”

“Identical twins can have silent communication. Sometimes one talks and the other lets her,” Ralph said. “Louisa is doing a study on them.”

Hank stared around his family; he could still hear the squawks of happy-go-lucky children gambolling about in the garden.

“What was that sigh about, Hank?” Philip asked.

“Did I sigh?”

“You did,” Ralph said.

“Well,” Hank hitched his trousers up. Philip admired the colour, he loved black. He could not believe his cousin was a Church of England Priest; in the country no less, and somewhere so beautiful he had often thought of uprooting his family to join him. The Forest of Dean was a magical, enchanting place full of dark corners for wonderful scenes of wilful heroines, ordinary heroes and dashing villains. “I was ruminating on our lives. How did we get here? I mean, with all we’ve been through! How?”

“How we’re still friends?” Ralph asked.

“How we’re still smiling?” Anna said clinging onto her husbands’ Nightwish tee-shirt.

“How free we are?” Rachel concluded.

“Well, I was just thinking on the plain ‘How?’ but you all have different emotions attached to this don’t you? I am just wondering how we all ended up so—happy.”

“Well, HE is no longer with us, and hasn’t been for ten years!”

“I carry the guilt of taking his life,” Hank said.

“We’re not going to repeat this again, are we?”

“I know what the Law says. Adrian keeps reminding me of it. The police still refuse to shackle me in chains.”

“That’s because in the eyes of the law you have done nothing wrong,” Anna said. “Now stop beating yourself up.”

Hank glanced at his cousin. “I did that to you, Phil. How can you look me in the eye?”

“I jumped in the way. This is my fault!”

He tilted his head to where a limb used to be. The brain sometimes thought that it still had a right arm.

“You had no choice, Hank. It was either you or HIM. As far as I am concerned you made the right choice!”

Hank gazed off into the distance. His eyes glazed over. He still felt guilty, whatever anybody said. The straight facts were he killed a man! Hank never hated anyone. Whilst he despised the creature that had robbed him of his innocence and taught him a lesson he could have lived his life without knowing, he knew, deep in his heart that he had never wanted to take the man’s life.

He was vaguely aware of his friends and family peering at him. He laughed; it was humourless, dry and bitter.

“Most of us here, you know!” Phil exclaimed. “Maybe I ought to get the story written down. That way then we can finally convince Hank that he has done nothing wrong.”

“What a great idea,” Anna said. “It’ll be like Dracula where all the characters have a say in the story!”

“It might also give us an understanding into the whole matter too.”

“It’s a good thing mum kept HIS case book … or as he terms it, the bible of an Earthly God!”

Even Ralph shuddered at the blasphemy of this statement.

Hank mulled this conversation over in his mind, it wouldn’t hurt. He still found the idea of taking a life, no matter how despicable wrong and Godless. He respected life! But, as he found out, there was a fine line between love and hate, right and wrong, even black and white weren’t what they appeared to be.

Philip opened his lap top. “Let’s start at Grandma’s funeral, hey? That seems to be the starting block to all this!”

Anna sat down and began to type. “First we need a title.”

“We’ll come to that when we’re finished. Let’s start with Hank’s birth and carry on from there, let the fingers decide how to tell the story, shall we?”

Mary, Rebekah, Cody, and Jonathan had come back inside, breathless from their rough and tumble in the bushes and trees. “We’re going to see if the twins are okay, mummy!” Jonathan said.

“Good boy. And the four of you have a nap now okay. We’ll wake you when it’s dinner time.”

The children ran up stairs their feet vibrating through the ancient cottage.

“Childhood - oh for those halcyon days again.”

“Well, we’re going to capture those halcyon days on software now.”

The autumn sunshine streamed into the cottage giving it a warm, fiery glow. “We were in a church. Let’s tell it like it was someone else’s story.”

Hank wished it was someone else’s story. He longed to be rid of the nightmares that assaulted him nightly, the constant unclean feeling in his mind. The story ought to be told, if only to purge the bloodguilt from his conscience. He sighed, clasped his hands together and began the story slowly so that Anna can type every word he said. Already he began to feel the cleansing process taking effect.

This would not be the first story of its kind but by God, it certainly won’t be the last! He longed to be able to have it different—to have a second chance. Still he couldn’t change facts.

“Innocent or guilty, we’ll let you decide!” Anna said as she began tapping on the keyboard. “Hmm, like the sound of that.”

This is my story, my characters and my world. Please, remember I am not Terry and this is only the Prologue.

Calkley is a fictional place that I made up. Nightwish is a band that I absolutely adore. I have yet to ask their permission.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm

I found that intriguing, although I have to admit that I panicked when I first started reading it as there were so many names! I quickly realised that I wouldn't have to remember who was who and that made it easier to enjoy the writing. :D

Interesting - you've certainly grabbed the reader's attention and made them wonder what the big mystery is and how it happened. Thanks for sharing. :wink:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:45 pm

Lucy and Eowyn :D - they're the creepy identical twins?

Once over the intro paragraph you've captured my attention pretty quickly with the easy conversation between Hank and Rachel and then their continuation with his sister and husband. Really the only 2 things I picked up on were with the scene-setting and this bit - He was preparing a sermon for his Parish. He had finished some parochial duties. - which I would have tended to combine into one sentence or else to tag 'some parochial duties' onto the following sentence about poor Mrs Blake. But it's a minor niggle and not too important in the scheme of things.

The second thing is really down to my age more than your writing I think :) And I'm the same generation as Tony as well... You threw in a lot of names, mainly of the children who were all 'off-stage' to some degree? Nothing much wrong with that although also no reason to bring in such a lot of characters into the mix so early perhaps, but I did end up getting a little confused as to who was who and which family these children belonged to (Hank's or his sister's)?

Silly on my part really but there's a lot of characters being written about and I was left unsure of how many people were socialising after Hank was pulled away from his sermon. I thought just the 2 couples at first, but then realised that there was Ralph as well as Philip - who's married to Anna, Hank's sister? And Ralph and Philip are brothers and Hank's cousins?

It's the prologue so things are bound to be a little hazy - which is good and it certainly had me interested, but it also was taking my attention away from this awful incident of self-defence that should be the reader's focus at this point? Lot's of emotional scarring evident as well the physical so I would certainly go on and want to find out more about this horrible experience the men (and Anna?) had been through and much more about the wicked HE to!

Looks to be an intriguing piece and I'd like to read more :D
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby cols » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:05 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:The second thing is really down to my age more than your writing I think :) And I'm the same generation as Tony as well... You threw in a lot of names, mainly of the children who were all 'off-stage' to some degree? Nothing much wrong with that although also no reason to bring in such a lot of characters into the mix so early perhaps, but I did end up getting a little confused as to who was who and which family these children belonged to (Hank's or his sister's)?


I too found the initial influx of names a little daunting to get through and found it a little difficult to keep track of who was who.
After this though I enjoyed reading it and will be intriged to read more on the event which has evidently scarred them yet perhaps bonded them too?? And am very curious to read about Him ,

Magrat , I hope these comments encourage you to show us more and that the fact that we have all commented on the initial intro will help rather than hinder :D :D
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Postby chris.ph » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:50 pm

i enjoyed :)
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:11 pm

Wow, guys you are GREAT!!! I have put this on several forums but none have welcomed this story the way you have. Maybe that was why I have some intial worries - I will think about it as some of the story is graphic not at the beginning but as the story progresses it gets edgier and darker, and there is a LONG progression. So far it is the length of Martin Chuzzlewit on the handwritten version (I'm on volume two of leverarch file about four narrow ruled 100 sheet pads!)

It could be as bad as LotR in length!

You make me :oops: !
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Postby Tiffany » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:35 pm

I agree with Tony, Jan & Cols, Magrat. There are too many names in it, but it has got me wanting to know more. :)
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:18 pm

Tiffany wrote:I agree with Tony, Jan & Cols, Magrat. There are too many names in it, but it has got me wanting to know more. :)


Sorry about the amount of names, it will come clear in the next chapter, I will post the first four chapters on this site, then we'll see. First they got to go through my beta/editor.
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Postby cols » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:53 am

Looking forward to reading them Magrat :D
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Postby Kade » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:07 am

Very interesting read and I enjoyed it!

Hats off to you Magrat!
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:55 am

cols wrote:Looking forward to reading them Magrat :D


You may have to wait a while.

Thanks for the support, I eat, sleep, drink literature. I have been searching for an intelligent forum for AGES, and now I have found one. And I will go back and read other peoples writings soon enough, when I get over the posting frenzy I am on at the moment.

Thanks again for the support. I will divulge the title in due time ... see how the first three chapters go and may be I can take suggestions as I love the title I have but I am open to new ideas.

Love this forum! 10/10 Tony Black and Jason!
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Postby mspanners » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:21 pm

I have just finished a Novelette and will be posting soon, just a warning to anyone who has not read all the books there are references to previous books spread through out my tale, so spoilers..... :shock:

PS:- There is a un-posted post after this post... like last time when I tried a long post here.. but not me this time as I did not do it! :D

PS PS :- My story is in Nineteen Parts.
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Postby mspanners » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:26 pm

Part One

----------- End of line -----------

The Thing was a Nightmare, it had travelled to many Worlds and the results had always been the same....... Death, destruction and pain. It was a parasite of the worse kind. It hid inside the victims and festered....... slowly it would spread its DNA throughout the population gradually turning the hosts into incubators. When the point was reached where the populous were unable to recover from its insidious attack it would show its self, then the Horrors would begin. It would use the enslaved to round up the uninfected and force its DNA into them or eliminate any that showed resistance. Once established on a world it then stripped the environment of all useful elements and once the World was barren it would cast its seed into space to float for Eons until another opportunity arose. That world would be destroyed, the creature had learned a thing or two in its life span and a device so incredibly energetic would create a Black hole and ensure nothing of the creatures existence was left behind to warn others of its exsistance.

But this time something had gone wrong, the device detonated prematurely and the spawn had all been dragged back into the emerging Black Hole.......... it was the last of its line. It had been blasted into the void inside a host and had frozen solid, its light sensitive skin exposed to the vacuum via empty eye sockets, seeing, searching slowly and waiting for a World.

And now it found the Disc... it felt the pull of the Mass and was pleased. In its almost robotic mind it sensed Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, Water.. heat. It could configure its metabolism to work here....... Carbon Based creatures were rare in the Universe, but it could cope here.... Silicon was its natural state so if there are any Rockatious animals here it would prefer to use them.

And now its host was entering the Atmosphere, thin jets of flame scorched the outer rocky surface of the long Dead host........ the parasite extended parts of its body into the thickening Air, thin wispy threads extend from the empty eye sockets and formed a pair of parachutes. The creature and host slowed to a mere Hundred Miles an Hour, below a cityscape approached. The thing used the Parachutes to steer toward an open part of the City....

BANG......

It impacts with some force and the Host shatters, but this is normal for it was still hyper-frozen from the long Eons in the dark....... what can only be called a Head because it has eye sockets in it is flung down range...... it bounces and rolls until it impacts the stone wall, it sits there in shadow and waits. After so long in space the Thing can be patient, all it needs is a scavenger to come close and it's stinger will do the rest................



...........It was a clear night in Ankh-Morpork........ which is not the norm. The norm is drizzle, mists, smoke or all of the aforementioned at once.

A short skinny figure walked out of the dark, whistling a little ditty and puffing on a Fag end. He is counting small change in one hand and scratching His nose with the other........... and at first did not notice the strange looking skull in the dark.

"Bloody ell what we got ear?" said Nobby Nobbs to no one in particular.

He sidled up to the thing in the shadow, its eye sockets dark pools of dread that looked blindly back at Him. Then there was a motion so fast it was nearly impossible to see, a thin White tendril had shot from the left eye socket of the skull and struck Nobby on the cheek........ it stung.

"OW AGHHHhhh, you ***ing Tw*t" screamed Nobby as his hand went to the reddening boil that was developing with alarming rapidity on His already spotty face.

His kicked the skull with force and vengeance, the steel toe capped boot smashed into it scattering the inside goo across the wall and street.......... the goo wiggled wildly and screeched....... then went limp.

"Some of the crap that escapes the University is just too much, I will be paying them a visit one of these days!" shouted an upset Nobbs. He then stood very still as if in a trance.....

"Oh ya, I remember now, I was going for a Cuppa and a Sarnie." He spoke, again to no one in particular.

"But first thing first....." He reached into His pocket and removed a Mirror which He propped on the wall, Nobby moved so He had a good view of the swelling Boil on His face in the dim light and with experience He placed a finger either side of it and squeezed....

A green jet of puss splattered across the glass.

To this Day Nobby was never sure if He had imagined it but the puss screeched and wiggled on the glass like a jelly fish out of its elements might........

Then it melted away like ice cream on a sunny pavement, leaving a sticky slime. And that was the end of a Nightmare, the Thing had been in combat against armies, fought the greatest of minds and survived in places that would have killed most organic beings....... but it had met its match in Nobby Nobbs and His germ infested fingers.....

Nobby picked up the Mirror and wiped the slime off on a trouser leg, stowed it back in His pocket and gave the remains of the skull a final departing booting. Thus Hero's are born.........

But alas there was to be another visitor to the Disc this Night, following in the same trajectory as the Thing.........
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Postby mspanners » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:29 pm

Part Two

------------- The Duty ---------------------

The dark halls hissed as the life timers measured their way through the Forth Dimension, line upon line, shelf after shelf............... Click Click Click ............. Death walking along the passages between the shelves empty eye sockets examining the sands of Time........ Select.......... a tiny timer no bigger than an egg timer that may be found in rustic Kitchens ............. select............ a larger timer with a smaller timer inside the bottom chamber sands almost run out in both ........ Mother with Child thought Death and sighed....... well it had to be done, it was His Duty..........

And now in front of Him whole shelves of emptying timers of all sizes from the smallest to large dust covered ones... mostly Human and Dwarf, but one or two from other races. A troll here and a Golem there.......... Death waited in the centre of the Hall and listened.

There was a lot less noise.......... a wavering figure shimmered into sight before Death.

"We see you have noticed then?" the Auditor spoke.

"YES."

"This is not the extinction event We requested but it should push them back to a age before Science and Magic, We will control them though their fear." Whispered the thing floating in the Higher place.

"POSSIBLY."

"You have no confidence in our plans?"

"THEY HAVE DEFEATED YOUR PLANS BEFORE."

"Well this is the fate that fate had dealt us. You do your part and we will prevail."

"I ALWAYS DO MY PART." said Death

"Just make sure you do, and no interfering this time. We recall your part in the Hogfather incident. No interference this time..... you have been warned."

Death held a odd shaped time up for the Auditor to view, it was indistinct and wavered...

"THIS ONE IS YOURS. I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU WHEN THE TIME COMES."

The figure faded in and out of focus...... and in an annoyed voice replied "Just do your part. And yes we know we will meet again........ when the Universe has reached the final cold bland state that we want, no belief, no uncertainty ......... everything predictable. We will be ready........"

"NOW GET OUT OF MY DIMENSION. I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO."

The figure faded and was gone.

Death reached out and one at a time and all at once plucked the remaining near empty timers from the shelves and stowed them away in the inter-dimensional folds of His cloak.

"ALBERT." He called.....

"Yes master." came the distant reply.

"PLEASE READY BINKY.............. AND ALSO PACK EXTRA FEED IN THE SADDLE BAGS. I MAY BE GONE FOR SOME TIME."
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