The Horror of Humhyde – Part 3

“It’s hard for me to say. They might have been stolen weeks ago, or immediately after they were put into storage. Considering how much is missing, it was probably over several weeks and several raids in the night. While we keep a careful stock on the meat, we don’t often check the other goods in that shed. Rather we did not notice until we were taking an inventory in preparation for the harvest, sir.”

“Several raids?”

“It is possible, but as yet I no idea how they managed to do it, sir.”

“And what are your guards men armed with?”

“Farming equipment, clubs, and a few axes, sir.”

“Any armour?”

“No armour, sir.”

Randall took a moment to consider all this.

“If I needed a band of fighting men, how many could you muster?”

“Sixteen fit young men, and maybe another twenty older men still able in body enough to fight, sir.” Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 3”

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Thorns – Part 8

Sorry this is a day late, I had an unexpected event last night!  Humhyde part three will be up later today as scheduled.

 


 

School classes did not start right away. We had a week of orientation left because all the Delphorian children were being collected from around the different nurseries. There were about forty of us and we were all born within the same month of each other. When all the other boys who were born this month finished arriving then we would begin our classes together. Since we had only just been thorned this was the first time we were allowed outside. Because we were born at different times of the month that meant for those of us who arrived before the end of the month we had some time to just wander around the school and play on the equipment.

There was not actually much to do on the playground. There were a few high iron bars and other acrobatic equipment, but most of us were feeling too sore from being thorned. We gathered around a set of monkey bars and all stared at it, there were about twenty-five of us new boys just looking at the bars but no one had the courage to try playing on them first. In retrospect, this was peculiar, because a week earlier at the nursery the children would race to get to the play equipment to climb all over it. Yet something about the buzzing pain in the side of my face was sapping away all my enthusiasm for play. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 8”

The Monk – Part 6

Oriana arrived at the doorstep of a house just a couple of blocks from her father’s factory. She ran up to the door huffing and wheezing from the exertion. She rapped the large wooden door soundly until she heard the sound of the door’s bolt sliding. In the doorway a red haired young woman with bright blue eyes and big teeth popped into view.

“Ahna!” she cried, “What are you doing here? Have you lost your phone? I didn’t get a text from you to say you were coming over.”

Oriana shook her head as she was fighting to get the breath to speak.

“Golly, Ahna, did you run here?”

Oriana nodded exasperatedly. This was her best friend Kelly whom she shared all her adventures with. They’d been friends since primary school and considered each other’s home to be their own. Kelly was the athletic adventurous one while Oriana had been the brainy nerdy one.

“What’s wrong?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 6”

Thorns – Part 7

Elwin waited for Erian to come out of his trance. It was not uncommon for him to go into these trances and Elwin was used to them. Rather nervous ticks, hallucinations, and trances seemed so common among the Delphorians it was simply accepted they were a degenerate people full of such defects. Elwin was used to Erian’s bizarre habit of going into a poetic trance that he knew confidently that in a few moments the thorn embedded in his right temple would start to sting and he would snap out of it.

“Agh!” cried Erian clutching his right temple. The thorn swelled up into a putrid black boil.

Elwin waited for Erian’s pain to subside and then he questioned him straight away on what he said about water washing away sins.

“Oh that was just something I heard some crazy fool in tech school muttering once. No one took him seriously. Although, I do wonder if that’s the key for removing these thorns.”

“Are you sure we won’t get the plague if we pull out all of these thorns?”

“Elwin, I am sure of it, we were not meant to live like this. We were meant to be rulers.”

“The Kelites say that when we were rulers that we were cruel and arrogant. Maybe we deserve these thorns. Maybe the thorns are justice for our people’s sins.” Continue reading “Thorns – Part 7”

Writer’s Diary: Market Facing Author

The age of the Internet has done something to writing that hasn’t been the case ever before in history. In the past writers were extremely limited in their ability to reach an audience. If I had to use clay or stone tablets to reach my audiences then I would need to spend most of my time learning the art of making these tablets and only a fraction of my time on actual writing. Even with paper and the printing press it was still difficult to spread ideas. There have always been gatekeepers preventing writers from sharing their creativity and they’ve mostly been economic: the availability of clay was the gate keeper for the author of clay tables, the availability of parchment the gate keeper for the dark age author, and so on. When the printing press came along it was the publishing company that was the gate keeper. Do you want your writing published? Then it needs to find a publisher who will approve it for you first. With the internet though, this has all changed. For less than a day’s salary you can buy a domain name and publish your own work and it can potentially reach everyone who can read.

However, how am I to earn a living being an author? Patreon is exciting to me because in the past artists needed to either have plenty of money themselves or they needed to have a wealthy patron to fund their creativity. The idea that hundreds of people could each chip in a few dollars for me each month and that I might be able to actually make something of a living from my hobby is quite exciting. Of course, I haven’t actually made any money from this yet and probably won’t for a long time. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained as the saying goes. I enjoy writing and it is meaningful for me to share my work. Now that I have this site, and I’ve decided how I will run it, all I need focus on now is producing good quality writing. Writing that people will actually want to read. Writing that people will think, “it was worth my money supporting that guy!” So what can I do to be in control of this? How can I make this site a success now that I am a market facing writer, not a publisher facing writer, because the only gatekeeper left is the reader. Well, I have a few goals at the moment for improving my writing: Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Market Facing Author”

The Psychology in Mythology: Apollo and Daphne

On a whim last week I picked up a copy of (Thomas) Bulfinch’s Mythology from Costco. Purely for the inspiration it might give me for my writing. However, after reading out a story to a friend it occurred to me it might be amusing to share my analysis of the characters from a therapist’s perspective. This is at the risk of coming across as one of those people who can never detach themselves from their work and just relax! Anyway, because this post relates to both my writing and the therapy work I have decided to post to both of my sites.

My professional website: philosophicaltherapist.com

My writing blog: sophisticatednonsense.blog.

Apollo and Daphne

The first line of a story is important. It sets the entire scene. In fact, the first line of a story should be the last line the author writes in my opinion. The first line of this fable tells us this: “Daphne was Apollo’s first love.” Here we have the word ‘love’ used and it is important to keep in mind that ‘love’ is a weasel word. It can mean almost anything to anyone. It might mean, “like” in the context of “I love ice cream”, it might mean sexual lust, “I love that babe in the swimsuit over there,” and it might mean a willingness to self-sacrifice, “the soldiers died for the love of their nation.” In fact love can mean just about anything a person wants it to mean: “if you loved me you would say ‘yes’ to me” versus “it’s because I love you that I say ‘no’ to you.” What does it mean that Daphne was Apollo’s first love? The reader should keep this question in mind all the way through this fable. Continue reading “The Psychology in Mythology: Apollo and Daphne”

The Horror of Humhyde – Part 2

In the centre of Humhyde, Heinrich and Otto were discussing the village’s troubles.

“I don’t know how or even when this happened, but nearly all our supplies of pig fat and offal have been taken,” exclaimed Heinrich.

“What? Did they steal our meat too?” asked Otto.

Heinrich shook his head, “No. That’s the thing. The bacon and the hams were stored in the same shed, yet they didn’t touch any of that. They only took the fat and the offal. They took it from the vats, and then resealed them so no one would notice.”

Otto laughed, “Someone must be playing a joke on us. What kind of thief breaks in and goes to that much trouble to steal pig fat?”

“It’s not funny. The offal doesn’t matter, it was going to be used as fertiliser, but we needed that pig fat to preserve our food supplies for the winter. We might not have enough to store enough food properly this year. We might have to ration this winter out.”

Otto frowned and placed a hand over his belly. He was a woodsman and like most woodsmen he was a tower of a man. Easily the tallest and strongest in the village as his job required him to cut down trees and haul the logs by hand through the forest. The forest was not a safe place for most people; only big men like Otto could work in the forest with some degree of security. Only a fool starts a fight with a giant. However, the problem with being so big and strong like Otto was that he needed to eat more than most men and no one suffered more from rations than men like Otto. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 2”