January Short Story :: Conjoin

This story was first serialised in 31 daily parts via the @AlternativeChat and @InternetofWords Twitter feeds at 9am and 4pm GMT respectively. It is now produced in a complete form for your long-read enjoyment.


Conjoin

This girl’s fate is anything but destined.

Celebration outside heaves and shakes its way into the fourth cycle, under light of one waxing, another waning moon: the last time this happened it took the Capitol nearly two transits to adequately return to a semblance of normality. In the small and crowded Room of Preparation handmaidens continue fussing and fiddling with the girl’s ceremonial robes. Just enough midriff is exposed as ancient runes are painted accurately on the Given’s back: gift from people of the South to their Northern counterparts. This girl, however, has absolutely no intention of being given to anyone.

Through twelve seasons of life and four of preparation, complicity has remained absolute: devotion to a cause that must finally be changed, diverted from the destructive path of repetition and oppression. Allana is a rarity: meek encircling brilliance, slight body yet keenest of minds. If she were not Given, fate would direct her as Traveller or Trailblazer. That those in the South understand her significance is as much of a rebellion as what might follow if this gambit pays off.

The Boy destined to be King has reached his eighteenth cycle: he must now forcibly take what’s given from the South. Reinforcing this power, action cements absolute and unquestionable Monarchy that then binds both disparate continents to the same man for the next forty rotations. This boy is innocent, untouched by female hand or sex. His father fiercely clings to the rock of power, infirmity slowly scarring reason. This is the longest a King has held the throne since records have been kept: prosperity and security wrought upon the lands are unparalleled.

When withered hand finally curls, which will not be long, son will inherit a misogynist legacy many in the South are keen to see crushed. His ways are not the New Truth after all, but they are tolerated through respect and necessity. Death hands opportunity to wipe history clean. Caravans have traversed roads, lakes and inland seas, carrying not simply the Given’s dowry but plans for reform and reunification. As the King’s only male heir his rights are without question in father’s mind. The four daughters that preceded his birth, however, have other ideas.

Into their ears the South chose to whisper, planting differing seeds of disquiet. You are just as worthy to rule, each brilliant in your fields: diplomat, politician, humanitarian, artist. Four sides of a robust shape, surrounding inherently flawed, outdated bureaucracy. Let us be ready to provide, the South has implored, not simply a vessel for change. We bring the consummate mix of tradition and revolution, genuine revelation. Help us to redefine what this Empire has become, and what it might yet have the potential to fulfil.

The North has, as yet unknowingly, allowed balance of power to shift downwards, away from comfort of familiarity and reason. The South, more than ready and willing to redefine tradition, brilliantly subverts the process.

This girl, lock and key, binds a New Age to her keepers.


Allana sits quietly on the bed, eyes closed, ignoring the familiar yet disturbing secondary presence in her mind. This willing intrusion does not show with obvious external signs of discomfort, yet both tickles and itches: irritation she wants to scratch but is unable to reach. That internal presence knows their target is outside, will be having difficulty fitting into his own Ceremonial Robes. Both have seen his face: handsome and pleasing countenance, yet fattened and lethargic from time in a Court close to being drowned by immoderate consumption. It is all too aware of the child’s discomfort: an unavoidable, growing disquiet. To invade the mind of someone so young was a necessary evil, and this joint reality remains intractable. The untimely death of her mother necessitated Transfer far earlier than originally planned.

It is testament to Allana they have both borne loss and unscheduled change of plans with humility and determination. She is third in the line, triangle’s final side: journey that began with a rediscovery in the Red Desert of ancient processes long forgotten by Southern Mystics. Refined and condensed, practised and replicated, they finally provided the most suitable set of subjects: three generations have given lives for one opportunity to shift the balance of power. To destroy rotations of diplomatic and scientific endeavour would be unthinkable.

It will not be long now the presence reassures Allana. This journey is almost over.

The wooden door swings open, then Prince Ferdim appears. He is a man-mountain, with his extra girth at least twice the size of his father yet kind, serene features and presence of long-dead mother. He has one task in this room, to deflower this Southern virgin, metaphorically reinforcing the relentless plundering of South by its Northern dictators, an act that has continued for countless generations without hindrance: yet the young man’s confusion and fear are unmistakable.

Both women grasp this weakness, further strengthened by realisation. Beneath those clearly restricting robes, there is no erection, has not been for some time. This boy’s weakness does not simply extend to the genitalia, but winds around an uncertain mind, increasing restriction. Ferdim is trapped by legacy, and at a loss as to how he will first subdue and then overcome his bride. Allana looks for the vial in his hand, drugs that will counter impotency and allow fulfilment of destiny, but it is her presence within that shifts body from bed to his side.

That huge bulk is shaking as a slim hand takes the vial away, without resistance. He is strong enough to toss this girl across the room like cloth, but this will not happen. Subconsciously, he is already succumbing to direction. Here and now, ancient dominance will be altered.

‘There is no need for this, my Prince. There are many other ways to please, that will not require drugs as stimulation. Come to our bed so I may look at you under the moon’s light.’

Ferdim’s fear is all too apparent, relief at being taken in hand and not having to use the drug.

‘To truly enjoy a woman does not involve pinning her beneath you. Southern minds can teach a great many things, if you will take time to listen.’

As the young woman speaks, Ferdim finally appears to relax: sitting on the bed, his wife’s true beauty is all the more apparent. Pale skin, smooth and flawless, eyes blacker than night sky, hair bluer than water that cascades from Palace fountains… chosen for purity and strength, yet so easily manipulated, as is also the case with her husband. Both are young, pliant and finally under one woman’s control.

The living consciousness of Allana’s grandmother brings both bodies to rest, slowing two heart rates. The plan had been to dominate the Prince’s mind and let her grand-daughter free, before using him to suffocate his bride; she cannot condemn her own flesh and blood this way. Her mother had killed herself when the South’s endgame became apparent, forcing grandmother into her progeny’s mind far too early. As all this damage had been wrought by the South’s blind desire for power so they will now suffer for the outrage. She would heal and control both.

Allana would think Ferdim was her, and Prince would embrace both women within his consciousness. Conscience would teach both to use desire to heal the other, then strengthen. She will gain muscle, he must shed fat. They would become tools for change, and revenge. Once inside Ferdim’s surprisingly accommodating mind, Allana’s grandmother hypnotises, then finally removes all memory of negativity and anger from the young woman who would wake next to her husband the following morning both alive and happy, yet without intercourse taking place.

The Prince would provide details to the Mystics that proved, without doubt, he penetrated his bride. He had no knowledge of such practices, but Conscience would provide the context, and memories of an experience taking place. She would protect chastity and family in the process.


Ferdim allows the presence in his head to believe she is unhindered, watching as it reassures the young woman she will not be harmed either by his bulk or via violence. Then he will wait for the moment it has settled fully into consciousness before exerting his own mind control. The North’s splinter faction knew this was coming: their renaissance already in the ascendancy. As sisters poison, then remove father’s grasp on power, Ferdim ensures the South will not rule unopposed.

Then he will ascertain if both prisoners are willing to accept an alliance…


Iron

Yesterday, after an awful lot of sorting and rearranging, I picked the project I’ll be using for serialised content later in the year.

Ironically, the project has already seen the light of day here but was never finished: mostly because it was never a complete work to begin with. I was foolish and thought it could be written as it was published, and that ended up destroying all love of the project at the time. However, a couple of things have transpired in the last two weeks to make me reassess and accept that this was a) a pretty good idea and b) is utterly worth the effort in resurrecting.

358a0-sayers

That original ‘publication’ was almost two years ago, according to my saved files, and a lot has changed between then and now, including my ability to effectively edit. I should redesign the front cover book image as a matter of priority, and there’s other stuff to be tweaked… but it’s still a decent story, has come cracking action sequences (which I’ll be able to write with far more confidence due to the Bondfic) plus a satisfying conclusion. All in all, there is cautious optimism this is going to happen.

As a result, you’ll be hearing more about this work in the coming weeks.

Still Alive

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My mini break seems a lifetime away, it must be said, after the last week, but I am now almost in a position to feel organised again. As a result, here’s the changed layout to the Website week as a result of the leaves on my Gym walk already beginning to change colour. It may not be September until Thursday, but Autumn is definitely on its way.

Monday

social-media-asides

The Great Social Media Experiment’s about to shift up a gear: as of midnight tonight my first legitimate ad campaign begins to run in an attempt to generate interest for Patreon. We’ll be following its progress, looking at how my attempts at engagement are going and continuing to demystify the sometimes murky practices within Social media.  I’m also widening the #GSME’s remit to cover a lot more stuff with general interest to those of you reading and using Twitter on a daily basis.

Tuesday

Origins

The Alt History Channel is shifting to Tuesdays, and with it comes the introduction of Great Fanfic Wot I have Wrote to pad out the fact my life’s not that interesting. Watch out for the first piece of fiction coming next week…

Write off (3)

Wednesday

Book of the Month

Yes, I KNOW I still don’t have titles up for September’s Book of the Month, but there is at least a text chosen, so that’s progress. 😀 This week’s task in what is a free Wednesday is to get an archive page up for the old Essays and Short stories.

Thursday

WiP Day.png

I’ve been struggling to get content up post essay days (as you know, brain dead after a  deadline) and it seems sensible to schedule in some breathing space amongst all the work so, from now on, Thursdays are my WIP days. This means making valuable time for novels, poetry and everything else I want to be working on but normally can’t find the opportunity to. If I make one day a week just for writing the stuff I love? How can this possibly be a bad thing?

PS: Don’t use this time to write more Bond fanfiction. WALK AWAY NOW.

FRIDAY

don't be afraid of the Dark . . .

This has become the day when I scrape my Haiku and Micropoetry off Twitter and stick it here, and hopefully this will also give more time to explain the reasoning and process behind my writing. We’ll see how that goes starting this Friday, and work from there.


That’s the schedule that will run from now until the end of October. We’ll have some special events for the UK’s National Poetry Day that happens in late September, and I’m intending to take a month out of the normal schedule completely in November to make NaNoWriMo really count for 2017. More details on those will be available closer to their start dates.

The plan remains to still take weekends off, but that may change depending on projects and desire. For now however, I have a contest deadline to hit with a 40 line poem by Thursday, so time to get back to work. I’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning.

Pulp Fiction

asides

Its been a while, my friends, since fiction was spoken about in these parts. It is not like I’ve lost the urge to tell stories, just that life has decided there were other, more pressing matters that needed to be considered first. Now they are out of the way, it is time to sit down and consider a way forward. There is, quite amazingly for me, a plan to boot.


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First order of business is to get MMXCI complete and in a workable state to edit. You’d think after seventeen years I’d have cracked this, but a vital piece of narrative development only became apparent late last year. The plan is to try and have this finished by the end of July.

Once complete, I’d like to destroy it enough so it could be offered as a potential manuscript. It remains the best original narrative I’ve ever been able to create, and I’d like to make the most of that as a selling point.

 

 


Chameleon_final.png

 

Then, there is Chameleon, still incomplete after my start on it during NaNoWriMo last year. I’ve now rethought the plot and have significant reason to extensively rewrite what already exists. What is more likely to happen is that I’ll edit to the current finish point and then continue onwards to completion.

This I’m planning to do through August and September, leaving October to consider what will get the nod for NaNoWriMo 2017. I already have an idea on the table, in the planning stage…

 


 

After that, I’m going to use the Internet of Words as the means to write short stories better. The call has gone out this afternoon for beta readers, and if you’ve expressed an interest you can expect to see a story in your Inbox early in July.

However, that’s not all there is to it: join my Patreon and on Thursdays you’ll have a chance to contribute to the following Friday’s exclusive fiction content! If you don’t know about this already, click here to find out details of how to pledge.

If you’re interested in my storytelling abilities, and original fiction pieces going forward, then please feel free to follow this Blog.

The Closing of the Year

I don’t recall being this optimistic at a year end for a very long time.

Perhaps it is the understanding that, after many years, death and failure no longer frighten me. What is of greater concern is that I won’t get everything done in the timescales that are available. There needs to be organisation, planning and ultimately sacrifice. It won’t all happen either, and so dealing with disappointment and regret need to be stuck in that mix. For me, tomorrow’s the restart proper on my Novel, and not the picking at it that’s gone on over Christmas. I have a plan for the second half all ready to go, I’ve been taking feedback on Part One from readers. Most importantly, I have a legitimate editor about to read and tell me if this is something they might be interested in preparing for me in anticipation for pitching.

These are exciting times ahead.

nanowrimo_band

This is the best thing I’ve ever written, the thing I am proudest of, and that I hope will finally allow me to become what I have always wanted to be. I have the ability and confidence not only to finish it, but to make a damn good job of it. I will do the narrative and my characters justice. They have faith in me to do so, too, so much now that they talk to me in sleep or at quiet moments and suggest improvements, make me think of better ways to do things. I am ready to get lost again in the story, and by the end of this month, Chameleon will be complete. I hope you’re looking forward to this journey as much as I am. I’ll see you here bright and early tomorrow… well maybe after a lie in and breakfast. Whatever happens, I’ll be writing tomorrow, and all will be well with the World.

Bring on 2017. I’m ready.

NaNoWriMo :: Day -1

Now that my Bond Fiction is officially finished (though not yet completely serialised, see here tomorrow for details) I can turn my attention to more important projects. Starting Tuesday, the first serious stab I’ve ever made at a long-form novel is getting an official reboot, and I’m going to start working on that whilst in tandom there’ll be another 50k’s worth of words on a different subject. For NaNoWriMo 2016 I have invented a new genre (Alternate Historical Superhero) with a story that’s been in my head now for a couple of years. Only now do I have the courage to pull it out of my head and stick it into reality.

chameleon_final_small

Except, it isn’t just courage pushing me forward this time, but the understanding I needed to be more technically competent to be able to produce this novel in a manner in which I’m happy with. Bond gave me that opportunity, allowed me to flex fiction muscles that had previously never been exercised. That’s not the whole story, however, and for that you’ll need to hope I finally get this to the publication stage. I’m also intending to do a ‘liveblog’ (not in real time, but you get the general idea) of the process, with (hopefully) some insight into how this whole shebang works. Last year I cheated and didn’t go from scratch, but this time the challenge of getting from start to finish is something I’m rather looking forward to.

This piece of music is the prompt to the place where the modern portion of my story will begin, but I realise that it won’t make sense without a fairly lengthy prologue. So, the first task is to do some research, and tomorrow’s Wikipedia pages are already open: the Tarot on my Novel’s cover is very significant, as is the Priestess’ card. However, I’m already getting ahead of myself.

There’s a synopsis, for those of you who might now be interested in this new journey:

‘And so it was written, in the time of Old Gods and New Empire, that a woman was left to die in the Temple at Delphi…’

Detective Sergeant Duncan Jackson’s life is turned upside-down when compelled to save a woman from drowning in the Thames. She’s anything but a stranger: he’s been dreaming about Alexx Francis since his teens. The country stands on the edge of a historic Parliamentary vote, preparing to accept or reject the existence of a group of people who have lived as an oppressed minority for decades, and suddenly Jackson’s forced to confront his true heritage, and that of the woman who becomes his responsibility. In doing so, a second world emerges, told only in whispers and fairy tales since the dawn of modern civilisation…

If that sounds like your cup of tea, I’ll tease you as time goes on. There’s also a fairly substantive musical soundtrack for this one (as has become the norm for my works) and I’ll show you how these work into my processes too.

For now, I’m getting ready to crack on. first thing  Tuesday morning. I look forward to seeing you there.

DEFAULT :: Part Forty-Four

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On the other side of the planet, Bond opens eyes, swearing in his head across several disparate languages. The uplink died nearly fifteen minutes ago but he doesn’t want to move, can’t as the memory of the kevlar corset consumes all rational thought. It is the only thing Ronni has worn in his dreams since Venice, accentuation of curve from rib-cage through waist to hip: hands at first trace smoothness, silken fabric under sensitised fingertips, warmth of body as he controls, manipulates. Heels set her just at the height required to penetrate, fucking without pressure, focusing purely on friction. For a man who loves definition, this stopped being animal a long time ago. It’s not sex either, and the word he’d willingly utter suddenly alters an entire landscape.

Accepting love for this woman makes the whole world a very different place.

Body remains unsatisfied, groin still primed and aching despite two orgasms in under an hour: the last time he did this for real was with the woman who’s insane half brother has now murdered to the top job in the western world’s most notorious criminal organisation. It’s a memory he’s well on the way to erasing, but will need work, and not simply by the redefinition of this relationship. Veronica had become arbiter not simply for his ashes, but their future, multiple points of connection to begin a mission combined. His life had been returned by her: after penance for a decade of sins it seemed only appropriate to offer himself to another’s care, once and for all.

004 was determined, brilliant, funny and utterly dedicated, without equal since Vesper. No, she was better, because Lynd had deceived: Flemming’s honesty was both refreshing and beautiful. He doesn’t care that for a third time hand grasps engorged flesh and that he’s allowing imagination to blossom, wondering if she’s still doing the same, in the abandoned farmhouse on the western Italian border. He imagines her still naked, lying alone, fingers insider her own body, thumb stroking in a slow, firm rhythm outside, and his whole body shudders with the thought of someone else’s arousal.

Then he detaches from the Hotel, focusing solely on imagination merged with history: wearing just his dress shirt, hips pinning to the bed, rocking backwards and forwards, audible gasp as he recalls the skill at her internal control. He tries to postpone the orgasm but it’s arrival is instant, panting for air as he comes, hard and long, feeling body ache with a memory he’d forgotten. That first night together, in the dark, making him talk when he’d normally just fuck. Pushing him as she had every day since: always questions; thoughts and queries, assessment meshed with consideration.

She made him laugh in a way he couldn’t remember with anyone else, reflecting back his outlook, questioning attitude at every opportunity. It isn’t just her body he craves but the mind that it carries, because when both exist in his grasp there is nothing else he needs to be happy. Once upon a time he’d not grasp that significance, but now the truth is inescapable. This is the only person he never compromised to prove a point, or succumbed to under pressure. This woman was unique, had made him something better; rediscovery of soul thought ruptured forever.

Bond’s not sure how he exists when they take the designation away, but understands that if he is to survive after all of this is done, someone is needed to help maintain an equilibrium. In forty-eight years on the planet, only one person had ever fitted that bill so completely, and now he grasps that should he tell that woman that he loved her, this would effectively destroy the life worked so hard to create. There has to be a better way, and he needs to find it when all this is done.

For now, her future is what keeps him moving forward.


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OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:

Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.