Friday, 24 December 2010

Handmade Presents Part 3, The Night Before Chrimbo

You know what I've gone and done.

I wrapped those bloody pressies before I remembered to photograph them.  Blast.  I shall just have to snap them when they've been unwrapped :)

Work on the teddy bears has halted for tomorrow, with one bear almost done, and six? seven? left to start.  Let alone finish.

And I must be packed and ready before New Year's Day. 

My brain is already fried.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Blip Trio

I can't think of anything to say, except HELL YEAH, LAST DAY TOMORROW!  Actually looking forward to doing some cleaning for the first time in my life :)

Must rid Holly of her doodies....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Blip Duo

I hate money.

That is all.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Blip

I have so much accumulated rubbish!

That is all.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Long Live The Talent Grinder

Do you know, fair and gentle reader, who the very first winner of X-Factor was?

According to Wikipedia, it was a man called Steve Brookstein, mentored by that vat of stinking slurry Simon Cowell.  Who dropped him because he didn't want to sing cover versions, but record his own material.

Hence the term 'vat of stinking slurry'.

Now I have heard of Shayne Ward, winner of the second series.  But has he achieved world chart domination?  Hardly.  According to Wikipedia, he has also been dropped by Simon Cowell's record company.

This is how it goes.  X-Factor exploits those with talent, it builds them up and we get to watch and call it entertainment.  And when it finishes, the winner is whisked off to a rollercoaster life that ends all too soon.

And yet they are envied.

So what will happen to Matt Cardle, who will have an album out by Christmas most likely?  What will happen when sales of his cds fall below Cowell's line of value?  He'll be dumped, in favour of the next X-Factor winner.

And every year, people will watch this conveyor belt shuffle more warbling meat popsicles across our television screens, to be consumed for our delectation and delight.

It'd be kinder to give them swords and have them fight it out gladiator style.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Harry And Holly

This is Harry C. Hamster, my sister's new pet, and as you can see he is a big boy.  He pouches all his food at once and sneaks it back into his little house.  He is a cutie though.  Very timid, keeps jumping away like he thinks I want to kebab him.
And here's another picture of Holly cradled protectively in my hands.  She's like a little ball of cotton wool :)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Decisions Decisions

I have three major magazine collections left.  Skin DeepSFX.  And Bizarre

I can't keep all three.  Its just too much paper sitting in boxes doing nothing, too much effort to move to a new abode if I'm never gonna read them again.

But which collection do I dump?  Which stack do I recycle?  At the moment I really can't decide.  All I know is I have to get rid of one, at least.

Skin Deep would make sense to keep as I want tattoos, and having a set of magazines on hand to inform me seems advisable.

SFX is my biggest collection I believe, and the one that would yield more space.  But I'd be sorry to see them go.

Bizarre is the one I think I'm most keen to hang on to, as its articles are very inspiring, and I can see myself going back to them again and again.

There are other magazine titles here and there, titles I probably won't have any hesitation in recycling.  But their total sum won't mount up to anything like my top three.

Damn, looks like my SFX collection is the one I can let go off.  Might have to discuss this with the boyfiend.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Woot!

Just reached 1,000 page views all time history! :D

The Stuff Of Life

Fair and gentle reader, tonight has seen me shredding, recycling and packing for the approaching move to the Dark Ford of the Chandlers.  Yes, that's right, I'm upping sticks and throwing in my lot with my man and his two pronged beard.

It has been arduous, and tasking.  

Now, I am a magpie in nature.  Well more accurately a recycler.  I have lots of bits and pieces of wrapping paper, knick knacks, fabric, jewellery, all collected and kept because I knew, I just knew that I could find a use for them.  Of course most pieces just end up thrown out of sight in boxes and stuffed into bags that were themselves acquirements and which once I had a tenuous reason to hold on to.

So today, I have been ruthless.  I have said 'Begone!' to the pretty wrapping paper from ten years ago.  'Adios!' to the gift bags of yesteryear.  The fabric, meh, a lot harder to let go of, but lets face it, you can do a lot more with fabric than with paper.  The knick knacks and assorted "found" objects, I am reluctant to throw in the bin, firstly because I worry that they will take an age to decompose, secondly, because I know most of them have a use, and thirdly, because once I do throw them away, I'll need them for something.  The Law of Sod really.

So my plan is this.  Put all the knick knacks and "found" objects in the one box, and aim to cut the contents down by at least half.  At least a third.  Perhaps.

And then find a use for each and every remaining wotsit or doohicky.

That'll be the day.

Insomniacs Rise!

4:32 am.  Not even remotely tired.  Decided to watch Gormenghast and do some work on presents. 

4:37 am.  Can't think of anything more to write.  Brain going mad.

4:38 am.  Sleep patterns totally screwed.  Massive sleep session yesterday help in some ways, hinder in others.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Handmade Presents Part 2, And Wot I Been Up To

I have been trying all day to look for knitting looms/nancys/spools/etc, and found some plastic ones that are just too expensive for me at the moment.  So now I am looking for suitable materials to turn into knitting looms, found an interesting web page where the creator took a simple wooden table leg and turned it into a spool by chopping it down, drilling down through it and hammering some nails into the top.

Now my thinking is that I can probably gather similar materials from round the house and use Mother's man's tools to turn said materials into a loom or spool.  Which would probably be better as the plastic looms look a bit tacky and hard to hold as you knit.

Muddling on without one though, I've managed to make a few further items of knitted jewellery, the latest a cuff which I decorated with a few pretty buttons.  I'm not sure if its finished though.  Might need to add some more beads or something.  Very difficult wool to work with as well, I'll be glad when I've got rid of it all.  Pretty though.

Let's see, what else to post.....

Phoned in sick because of vertigo yesterday, slept til 5, so not remotely tired, dammit.

Watched that episode of Babylon 5 with the thinly veiled storyline about Jehovah's Witnesses.  There was a lot of talk about an egg, the Great Egg, yadda yadda.  Want scrambled eggs now.

Seems my NaBloPoMo is going well, only missed one day, yay me.  I think I might do this more often.

Realised I want to open an alternative shop near the commercial centre of Winchester.  Middle-class conservative Winchester.  I'll be chutney bombed by the WI.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Damnation!

Had to come home early from work as Mother thought it'd be best in my gravity-challenged situation.  So I have no photos of pretty handmade things as I went straight to bed and had a nap.

Pretty sick of this now.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Handmade Presents Part 1

Ah, I have finally completed the first of my handmade Christmas presents.

The family decided that, to cut done on the hassle and expenditure of the season, we wouldn't buy presents, but make them instead.  Or give away things if one didn't have crafty fingers.

Now I was going to post some pictures but would not you know it or would not you not, the only camera in the house has a bloody flash of what looks like 5000 watts.  Completely washed all the colour out.  So I will just have to describe it.

What I did was French knit a beaded string of turquoise wool into a bracelet, sewed the two ends together and threaded the ends through a lovely button I had selected, and finished the ends with more beads and tied them off.  The beads were sort of purple and pearlescent.

I've also made a necklace to go with it.  Hopefully I can take some pictures tomorrow :)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A Grand Design

Finally!  A Grand Designs episode with not a trace of modernism or minimalism in sight.  Instead, this episode's couple are building a gothic wonder.

Their original design features a front facade that will fit in with surrounding houses, but the back, which faces a fantastic view, will be fully gothic.  They have a tower!  And a timber balcony.  Inside there will be an abundance of timber arches, arched doorways, and a giant gothic mantelpiece in the full length flag-stoned hall.

I want this house.  It is exactly to my tastes, whereas modern architecture is not.  Though I would have to add some Gaudiesque changes...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Doctor Frendo Is In Da House!

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is the annoying disorder I suffered through yesterday, which is characterised by episodes of 'spinning'.  I fell down on the bed three times as the room spun around me, a flurry of pink and yellow (my sister's bedspread/curtain and the walls). 

Positional vertigo is caused by changing the position of your head, even from side to side (which almost made me throw up last night).  Apparently it is caused by problems in the inner ear (encased in the hardest bone in the body by the way), where your sense of balance is controlled by calcium crystals called otoconia.  When these crystals are dislodged, so is your sense of balance.

Now, what makes it worse is the fact that your eyes go funny as well.  This is known as physiological or rotatory (torsional) nystagmus, when the eyes go through an involuntary twitching or beating motion.  My eyes were rolling in a 'smooth pursuit', followed by 'saccadic movement', trying to follow the movement I thought I was perceiving towards my left ear, and quickly flicking back to the right.  From what I have ascertained, this means that it was my left ear that was mostly affected.

Thankfully I didn't feel pre-syncopic (faint), or succumb to syncopy (fainting).

What caused the BPPV I am unsure of, its possible that some sort of viral infection whacked me for ten.  I have been feeling under the weather lately.

And that is all from Doctor Frendo for today, so stay safe and eat an apple ;)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

When Rooms Won't Stop Spinning

Well, I said I was going to do a post a day for my own personal NaBloPoMo, so here is the first, for the 1st of December.

I have Vertigo.

Whoopee.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Jenny At Four

Jenny was four years old, and she could not reach the light switch.  But Daddy said she should not play with the light switches anyway.
    Jenny could not sleep.  She was thirsty, she wanted a cuddle, she wanted a biscuit.
    Jenny was standing in her room with her door open.  She had not gone into the hallway, so she had not been bad.
    The hallway was dark, very dark.
    The front room door was closed, but Jenny could see light around it.
    The hallway was dark, but Jenny was thirsty, she wanted a cuddle, she wanted a biscuit.
    Jenny stepped into the hallway, away from her room and her night light that had pretty stars.
    The hallway carpet was scratchy, and the floor was creaky.
    Jenny held onto the cold banister and did not look down into the dark stairwell. 
    There were three steps and Jenny was very careful as she went down.  Mummy had said to be careful on the stairs and stop running up and down them like a mad thing.
    Jenny was at the bottom of the stairs, on the very creaky bit.  This was the landing and it had the toilet and the bathroom.  And the big mirror that Mummy would use to look at herself in, when she and Daddy were going out.  Nanny would put Jenny to bed instead.  Jenny liked it when Nanny put her to bed.  She told her lots of stories and sung her songs.
    Jenny did not like the mirror, especially when it was dark.  Jenny liked her little mirror with the blue flowers.  And Mummy’s little pocket mirror.  But she did not like the big mirror, and especially did not like it when it was dark.
    In the dark there was a little girl in the big mirror that looked like Jenny, but she was sure it was not her.
    Mummy had said don’t be silly, of course its you.  But Jenny knew she did not have red glowing eyes.
    The little girl in the big dark mirror had red glowing eyes.  Jenny could see them in the dark.  And the little girl had four very long teeth like the needle Mummy used to do her French knitting.  And her fingers looked like Mummy’s knitting needles but with bumps on them, and she only had three on each hand.
    Jenny was scared of this little girl in the big dark mirror.  She whispered mean things to Jenny.  She told her she would hurt her Mummy and Daddy with her bumpy knitting needle fingers, and her sharp curvy needle teeth.
    Jenny did not listen, and crossed the landing to the front room door.
    The little girl in the mirror said very bad things.  Things that the people in grown-up movies said.  Things bad people on the street said when it was late at night.
    The little girl in the mirror told Jenny not to bad word ignore her.  She would bad word her and bad word her Mummy and Daddy.
    Jenny did not listen.  Mummy said that if people can’t be nice to you then walk away and ignore them.
    Jenny felt a pain on her back like a very bad scratch.  It felt like when Nanny’s cat Kissy scratches her if she plays too rough with her.
    Jenny burst into tears, and cried out for her Mummy.  She came out into the hallway and put the light on.
    Mummy said to Jenny what a silly girl, what’s the matter?
    Jenny said that the girl in the big dark mirror had hurt her.
    Mummy checked Jenny’s back.
    Then Mummy screamed and screamed for Daddy who came rushing out.  Mummy showed him Jenny’s back.
    Jenny’s nightie was all wet and red and torn, and there were three deep cuts in her back.
    I told her not to bad word ignore me.

Copyright © 2010 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Mystified

Call me odd/strange/wackadoodle dandy if you will fair and gentle reader, but I am always stumped when someone buys something from my Zazzle store.

It all started when people started buying this little number.


I logged on one day and five people had bought a version.  "What the fuck?!" I cried, confused though grateful for the small amount of pennies that would come my way.

Then today, someone bought this.


It just keeps goin' on don't it!  People keep buying my stuff and I am utterly mystified as to why. 

I'm not complaining mind you...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Misfits Season Two Hoooraaaaaaah!!!

Fair and gentle reader, I write to you in the few minutes before the commencement of the new series of Misfits on E4 (squeal of delight).

At present I am sitting in front of the TV, laptop at hand and some french knitting beside me, ready and waiting to reabsorb myself into the world of the superpowered asbo holders :).

I am having goose pimples!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

And Again...

Right. Well.

That went well.

I regret to inform you fair and gentle reader, that Chapter 4 of Gallow's Play will not be posted tonight, as among other things already mentioned, I was constructing this monstrosity for most of last weekend as well.






I was Cringer for my love's godlessdaughter's Halloween party, while he came as He-Man.  It took many hours of THIS-


-before it was finished.  We got to bed at about four in the morning and got five hours sleep.

So that was last weekend.  This week I have been suffering from some form of lurgy, which has made me very very lazy (BOO HISS!).

Which means I shall now try my very very bestest to do, stuffs. :)

Oh, and I'm also making Christmas presents this year, so that'll swallow some of my time as well.  Read that as a lot of my time.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Yet Another Television Phenomenomenom

Jeebus Marvin and Yoshi combined!  Why do shows insist on playing around with their format?  Jumping backwards and forwards in time, jumping between sub-plots and making my head hurt?!  'The Event' I am looking at you, the latest in "mysterious sci-fi dramas".

There is no need for all this palava, trying to make yourself seem cool just because you overuse flashbacks to a criminal degree and drip feed us mystery after enigma after headache.

Now, we've been through all this with the X-Files, Lost, and Flashforward.  Two of these shows had a great build-up, but absolutely crashed when it came to actually bringing everything together (I'm relying on my boyfriend's opinion for Lost as I am stuck on Season 3), and the other only had the one series. 

Now what does this tell us?  That people like you and me are sick of so called "clever shows", that promise a story, and more importantly an ending, they fail to deliver?  That an EXPLANATION would be nice once in a while?  Now call me old fashioned, but I usually take my stories with a well thought out consistent CONCLUSION!  And not a wibbley wobbley mess of spaghetti letters, which I am sure, is the medium used by the colony of ants these writers have termed their "inspiration".  Now I am sure the endings of X-Files and Lost made perfect sense to their little ant brains, but not to me! (or my boyfriend).

Now for all my ranting fair and gentle reader, I will probably watch the subsequent episodes of The Event.  My excuse for this is that I probably have a streak of masochism when it comes to these things.  Ah well.  It'll probably get cancelled after one season anyway.

What Am I Doing Again?

Well fair and gentle reader, things have been a bit retarded of late haven't they.  The death of my grandfather meant that I was in no proper mental state to consider working on the next chapter of Gallow's Play, but I hope that you'll be delighted to hear that I am feeling much better, and shall be continuing the adventures of Artemis Gallow and her tiger friend Saber presently.  We'll set a preliminary date for Wednesday the 3rd of November shall we?

I'm working on a couple of short stories at the moment which I think are quite the bee's knees, and hope to publish one here, and the other over on http://geekplanetonline.com/ if they like it :)

Work on Reaper is going slowly but surely, I'm having a lot of great ideas, and might even be close to publishing a synopsis if you are lucky fair and gentle reader.

And I am also working on a secret sewing project for Halloween, and there shall be pictures after the fact ;)

And I think that's all for the moment, so enjoy your weekend and feel free to bask in my radiance :)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Llammie Nema, The Dark Folk Duo Extraordinaire!

This is awesome.


This is a photo of my love and I at Portchester Castle, taken on Saturday, which our good friend and brother Matt Dray has fiddled with and turned into the front cover of our first CD, which I didn't even know we had recorded :D


And this is the back, as you can see, some VERY exciting songs on this'un.  Expect the first single 'Sweets For My Sweet (Absinthe For My Honey)', in the new year :).  Currently I think we are recording a follow-up album, 'Songs of Sugar and Wrong, Vol 2 (Tales From The Farmhouse Dungeon)', which will be ready for release sometime next summer :)

Aren't you excited??

The Future

Normal complacency will resume in time, fair and gentle reader, so keep lounging, and help yourselves to the teacakes.

The Teeth That Grind

Gods in Valhalla confound that hamster!  She has taken to climbing onto her wheel, from there reaching up to grab onto the metal lid, suspending herself from it like she's watched Mission Impossible too many times, and chewing the damned thing, thus impeding my sleep!  I have now lavished her with bits of wood to chew instead, and crossed my fingers that she catches on.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Eulogy For Bernard Crawley

My grandfather and I were never close. 

We mostly never talked of anything past simple pleasantries when I became an adult, asking each other how we were when he would phone, inevitably in the middle of dinner to talk to my mother or my aunt.  There were the few occasions when he needed my technical expertise with computers, mainly with email, and on those few occasions we did manage to hold a somewhat stunted conversation, as most of the words we exchanged were to do with how this or that worked.

I can’t really recall conversing with him on any particular subject when I was a child and teenager.  When I would speak to him, it was to ask his permission for any particular something.  He always had a stern demeanour, a quick temper which thankfully faded with age, and he was a hard man for a child to love affectionately.  It was easy for me to fear him.

Those are the bulk of my memories of my grandad.

The others I have are different.

I remember asking him about my great-grandparents, and writing down the names he gave to me.  I remember that he let me harvest seeds from his garden to grow somewhere closer to home.  The puzzle he had started that he said I could finish.  The leather satchel and my grandmother’s old sewing box he said I could have. 

I remember the time when I was a tiny unknowing child and stuck a raisin up my nostril.  He fished it out with a pair of tweezers.  And the time when I got stuck in the downstairs toilet and he unscrewed the lock to get me out.

I have others, but I wish I had more.  Everything else I know about him is fact. 

A twin, he was born in 1926, married young, and had ten children.  He used to smoke before he had his first heart attack, and had subsequent problems with his health ever since.  He adored steam trains, built model railways, collected photos and recorded minute details in a dozen ledgers, an obsessive like myself.  When my grandmother died he moved to Prince’s Risborough, into the bungalow they had decided upon before her death.  He was Catholic, and became very devout, going to church practically every day.

I am glad I got to say goodbye to him before he left this world.  From what I have been told he was ready to go, after a long life which saw him experience a great amount, and he is finally at rest.

I cried for him, and though we did not understand each other, we were nevertheless grandparent and grandchild, and I shall miss him.

Bernard Crawley, 1926-2010

Monday, 27 September 2010

In The Works...

I've been playing an idea round my head, that I've had for an age now, and used for last year's Nanowrimo, and it feels like now is the time to start getting some serious work done with it.  It will be a novel entitled Reaper.

Quite excited about it actually, just been doing some research on the meaning behind the name Jesus, going back to the Hebrew version and the root words so I can develop a feminine equivalent with a feminine meaning.  Jesus is a modern version of Yahshua (according to sources), meaning "Yahweh is salvation" (again according to sources).  Replace Yahweh with Sarah, ie Lord with Lady, and you have Sarshua "Sarah is salvation" (I think).  Might shorten that to Sarsha or Sasha, twill depend on which I think fits the most.

I do have a timeframe in mind, I was thinking perhaps getting a first draft done in time for January.  Fear not fair and gentle reader, I will also be keeping up with Gallow's Play and the many other projects I have on the go :)

And now to bed.

Not all the bugs have been worked out of the new composing thing mind....

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A Death In The Family

Fair and gentle reader, a tragedy has struck.

Heidi the hamster was today eaten by one of our cats, we know not which, but the little horror somehow got out of the downstairs area, found their way up to mine and my sister's room, knocked over the hamster cage, knocked off the lid, and took dear little Heidi down.

Heidi was a lovely little hamster, and she will be missed by all who knew her, but especially my little sister, who Heidi belonged to.

Sadly there was nothing left to indentify, let alone bury.

Rest in peace Heidi, now you'll be able to run in your wheel to your little heart's content.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Gallow's Play

Huntress

Chapter 3

Cerberus regarded his traitorous maid without remorse. The girl had made herself red with crying and pleas for leniency, but her now former master would not be moved by her cares.

“I will not suffer your presence ‘ere any longer Mary!” he shouted, livid with anger. “Get out or I’ll ‘ave the boys throw you out!”

Distraught she ran from his study out through the main corridor, a carpet bag of belongings clutched to her chest.

“An’ you can stop that snivellin’ Jackal!” he raged, turning his attention to his errant son, who shrank from him behind Artemis’ form. “Its your fault she got the ‘eave ‘o so don’ try t’ wring guilt from me!”

Artemis spoke up for the boy. “He’s fatigued Cerberus, it would benefit him more to let him rest rather than berate him. I think it would benefit you both.”

“I don’ need you t’ tell me ‘ow t’ deal wiv me own son Artemis!” It was clear he would not be calmed. He paced before his desk, brimming with undirected fury and fear for what he had learned about Jackal’s latest escapade.

Artemis gently nudged Jackal in the direction of the living quarters, and grateful the boy made his exit.

“Get to your room an’ clean yourself up!” Cerberus roared, somewhat needlessly as his son had already disappeared behind the doorway curtain.

“He’s safe now Cerberus, and none the worse for wear. I think that in fact, the experience has enlightened him to the station’s dangers,” Artemis reasoned in an effort to calm him.

Cerberus stopped, and regarded her as if she were senile.

“The Pit Artemis! You let ‘im run ‘imself down into the goddamned Pit!”

She bristled, his words lighting her temper‘s fuse. “ If you will recall Cerberus, I did not let him out. It was the maid you vouched for that turned him loose onto the station’s byways, the one I insisted should not have care of him on her own, yet you waved aside my advice and in fact, left him with her when I had specified to wait for my return before gallivanting off on your ‘business transaction’. Was it guns or girls this time eh Cerberus?”

She failed in her original objective with definite flare. The man’s hackles were raised, and Cerberus needed a metaphorical taste of blood.

“Don’ look down your fuckin’ nose at me Artemis Gallow,” he sneered, making her name an insult with a twist of his lips. “Wiv what you’ve been up to since the war ended, I’d say there ain’ much difference between you an’ the likes ov me now.”

“I’m nothing like you, or your Doggs, Cerberus.” She spat the word with contempt. “You were nothing but a criminal consigned to die in regimentals before my mother made you better!”

“An’ as one criminal to anovver, let me remind you of the language we both share eh?!” From his waistcoat pocket he flung a wad of white notes in her general direction. It flew by Saber’s nose as he lay on the rug.

Artemis did not look to see where it landed. Instead she locked her eyes with Cerberus’ in a fight to the submission.

“Don’t believe that because I take your money that gives you claim on any part of me Cerberus.”

He had stepped too far with her, but backing off was not within his grasp.

“You want t’ know what I believe Artemis? Well, I believe that if your movver could see you as you are now, she wouldn’t be able t’ bring ‘herself t’ recognise you as ‘er daughter, for you ain’ fit t’ claim that ‘onour or carry ‘er gun!”

The fuse burned down to its goal and Artemis felt her rage ignited. She pulled her mother’s pistol from its holster and aimed between his green eyes.

Cerberus looked unmoved by the imminent threat of a bullet and the bloody new orifice it would carve in his face. But there was an insanity here that Cerberus had not foreseen, a fury that put her mother’s temper in the pale.

He could not continue to fight her, he was cornered, and knew he had to fly the white flag.

“Per’aps I should apologise for my words, spoken in ‘aste an’ a farver’s fear.”

“Perhaps you should Cerberus.” She did not lower her pistol.

His mouth felt dry. “I apologise Artemis, me words were ‘arsh.”

“Thank you.” Artemis withdrew her weapon, though her fury was not eased.

Cerberus found that he had been holding his breath, and now let go relieved.

“That’s the first time in a good few years I’ve been afeared for me own life. You’re truly unreadable Artemis, just like your movver.”

Artemis had begun to walk away from him. That last made her stop and correct him.

“I’m nothing like my mother Cerberus, nothing like her at all.”

At the click of her fingers Saber rose to follow.

“If you need us, send one of your boys to the Empress and Dragon.” And she left him to contemplate what kind of woman he had hired.


Out in the corridor she stormed past the guards lounging in boredom, playing with their knives.

As they approached the central portals the one to the right was opened, and out into the corridor stepped Wolf in a cloud of opium smoke. Saber began to growl.

A psychopathic smile appeared upon Wolf’s face at the sight of her. Leaning against the portal’s frame he crossed his bare arms to better display the brand new ink adorning his left upper bicep.

The perfect face of a hard woman with half a skull of gold, and half a head of long and glorious red hair.

Saber snarled at the sight of his partner’s face printed there on that filthy male’s skin.

“Your pusscat don’ understand flattery Artemis.” A knife sprang into being from his right hand, bisecting his new tattoo with ominous intent.

Artemis whirled on him, and Wolf found her metal fingers tight at his throat. But the madman’s grin did not waver.

“Chasin’ my farver’s bastard ‘as made you a might tetchy luv,” he managed to say with a chuckle. Artemis closed her grip ever so slightly, and the laughter became strangled.

“Tetchy does not begin to describe my attitude towards you Wolf.” Saber snarled in agreement.

The guards were perked by the developing confrontation and the prospect of entertainment.

Risking the wicked blade she could see and the ones she could not, Artemis closed the arm’s length of distance between them to spit quiet words at his hateful countenance.

“I beg the Goddess daily for you to give me cause Wolf. So save me an impatient wait and draw your damnable knives!”

“Why destroy all that’s left ov such a gorgeous face though eh?” The look in his coal black eyes made the bile in her churn.

Sensing her discomfort Saber bared his fangs with a chilling roar. “Artemis want tear with my teeth!”

“Heh heh heh, I’d luv to see ‘ow that pretty Morengellan pusscat could do that wiv ‘is lovely ivory fangs removed. Make a nice necklace ‘is pearly whites would.”

Out into the corridor stepped Greyhound on cue. Artemis took in the guns aimed at the heads of herself and Saber.

“Ever your brother’s right hand man eh Greyhound. But do you even know which end to load the bullets into?”

He wavered, confused without clear instruction. Artemis felt a spark of minute pity for his lack of intelligence.

“Now Artemis, be a good girl an’ take yer fake ‘and off me eh? Or Grey’ound will spring t’ me defence.”

Artemis regarded him, and tightened her grip just enough to be sure that her hand would leave a handsome bruise. Wolf’s face darkened to strangulatory purple before she released him to breathe the stale air once more, with his perversion of a smile still mocking her.

“Come, Saber.” The tiger paused to growl at Wolf before following his partner to the exit of the unsavoury den.

As Artemis passed Greyhound, his guns holstered and at a loss, she stopped and tried to impart a wisdom.

“Draw metal on me again Greyhound, and you shall know why I pair myself with a man-eater.”

With that tidbit to digest, she took her leave of him, and though his mental deficiency was severe, he understood when Saber snapped his huge and heavy jaws at his person. He hoped never to gain intimate knowledge of that lethal maw.


On that day Promenade Five was like any other market street of the planet-bound cities, bustling and loud with the din of trade. A shawled mother, basket and child in hand, side-stepped to safety as Artemis came fuming through the crowd, her eyes cautious and glued to the mercenary’s left arm and skull plate.

All down the promenade her appearance caused a silent stir. Knowing her employer the masses already kept their distance, but her differences marked her out to far more effect. Artemis could feel their eyes drill into her skull plate, hear the gossip accompany her passage. And in her present mood she wished them all disease and ill luck.

Saber they considered less a threat, more an interesting exotic, as tales of his wide family’s creation had spread. Why, the Empress herself kept company with a noble silvered haired polar bear that could recite any work of Shurestaffe to perfection. Children darted forward to stroke the tiger’s fur and ran away in laughter, chattering of their bravery to mothers who flapped to let them be.

They rounded a corner of the squared promenade into an area the locals had christened ‘Whore’s Avenue’, the majority of the station’s brothels being situated there. Now they moved past women and men who had seen the most of life, and would not bat a lash at Artemis’ unusual disfigurement.

In their disinterested company at least, she felt she could breathe.

Around the middle there nestled an unassuming public house, its sign a depiction of the Empress, mounted on a stallion and in full medieval armour, plunging a spear into the mouth of a serpentine Qinese dragon. Its doors were carved wood and glass to emulate its Britannican fellows, breathing warmth onto an otherwise cold metal exterior.

Before the doors Artemis asked of her friend: “You staying out here again Saber?”

The tiger made something like a nod. “Air too bad. Stay out.”

“I’d take your advice but I like the atmosphere,” she said with a smile, and looked up at the teenage girl who had been edging closer to Saber in adoration for the beautiful blue-grey cat.

“Your friend’s back Saber.” And to the girl she made a warning. “He doesn’t have any money, and he’s likely to fall asleep on you.” And with that she disappeared into the pub.


All about her was a fire lit fog of fragrant tobacco smoke, drifting round and cradling its makers in a timeless mist which cares outside those wooden doors could not enter through.

What could be seen were dark wooden panels on the walls, wooden booths with coloured glass, and a bar counter where a long mirror reflected smoke and shadow, polished off with a buxom barmaid to serve behind it.

Artemis ignored the door to the ladies’ salon in a corner beside the bar, and hooking a bar stool with her foot, propped herself upon it. Taking her mother’s pistol from its holster she laid it on the polished top near to hand.

The buxom barmaid meandered over, the cut of her bodice showing an amount of cleavage pleasing to most of her customer’s eyes, the face above motherly though her blue eyes sparkled with salacious experience.

“Allo luvvy, it’s a bit early for you ain’ it?”

“I’m not sure actually Hepzibah, do you have the time?”

The lady pulled a handsome silver pocket watch from an opening in her skirt.

“Four of the clock exactly me dear, an’ that’s Greenwich Mean Time.” She replaced the piece in its pocket. “You still wan’ a sup ov your usual ‘air o’ the dog?”

“Please.” She took a note from her waistcoat pocket as Hepzibah pumped strong dark cider into a tankard, passing it over when the lady placed the drink before her.

“That’s to pay up my tab as well,” she explained.

“Oh bless you luv, you weren’ due for anovver week.” Taking the pound note she went to put it in the till.

Artemis drank deeply at first, eyes closed, one might assume to savour the cider more thoroughly. But none looked close enough to observe that she screwed them shut as she drained the tankard of half its contents, and put it back upon the counter.

Steadied, she opened her eyes and stared at her image in the mirror behind the bar, a device to enlighten and expand the space within its view.

Day after day it was the masochism in her that dragged Artemis back to this same public house, to keep company with those who did not care for her looks, yet to confront herself with that same thing that separated her from her kind, whether they cared or not.

Artemis studied her own face with hard angry eyes, making herself trace with a furious gaze every thread thin scar crawling out from beneath the plate of gold-covered steel, each a mark of death upon her forehead and cheek. She noted too the artificial ear, a perfect twin of the other feeding sound deep into where her natural mechanisms still worked.

She reached up to run a finger round the cold edge of that lobe, and turned her mind to remembering.

A flash of fire and pain, one so quick upon the other she had no time to act. A screaming all around, and she could not tell from where it came. The image of her parents beyond all the rest, devoured by exploding flame. And a child safe beneath her broken body, a baptism of her blood washing golden hair red…


There was a commotion outside the pub. Excited voices raised to carry broke Artemis’ self-hypnotism, and almost resentfully she left those dark contemplations to her reflected counter-part.

Hurriedly she drained her tankard empty and taking her pistol rose to investigate, wherein Saber chose that moment to force himself through the double doors on a mission to retrieve her. An elderly gent near the entrance took to a fit of coughing in surprise upon seeing a tiger in his local.

Artemis come! High man here.”

Artemis cursed Mercuriel as she hurried over to save the tiger from the weight of the doors on his neck.

“Damn that man. He told us next week.” With Saber freed she rushed off with the tiger bounding beside her, whilst all through the promenade rang the glorious news.

The Prince and his entourage were coming to Asphodel Station.

Copyright © 2010 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A Tale Of Two Hamsters

Two hamsters, both alike in dignity....


Sisters you see, and currently not the best of sisters either. Holly has been establishing dominance over Heidi, by fighting and biting and generally being a bitch. Behold! The culprit....



See! Beneath that white furry innocent exterior lies the heart of a bitey nuisance, imprisoned in an impromptu cage made from a plastic box. She will have her own proper cage, fear not fair and gentle reader. But for now tis best to keep her away from her sister....



You can just see Heidi poking her dear little nose out of her bedding, but what is not obvious is the scratches on her nose and the bites on her side, for which we made an appointment at the vet to get her looked over. When Holly still resided there Heidi would not come out of the house, and took to wetting her bedding rather than face her sister on a midnight stroll over the woodchips and round the toilet roll tube.

And so this afternoon, a brand new cage is being bought, possibly with tubes and things so dear little Heidi can run around and live a happy life free of her meanie sister (we're buying her off, don' wan 'er t' dob us t' the rozzers). And Holly will get the old cage and be punished by coming to live with me and my man, heh heh heh.

And there ends our tale of two hamsters.

Or does it?.........................................................................

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Regime Change

As most of my fair and gentle readers (if any) know, I am not the most punctual when it comes to posting my work, namely the Gallow's Play serial. I have tried to make it bi-monthly, without success, whether due to my own fault (my knack for procrastination, my inherent OCD level perfectionism) or outside influence, but try as I might I just can't do it.

So, with much consideration, what I will do is this. Gallow's Play shall be a monthly release, leaving me time to work on other things as well, short stories and a children's book I'm planning to write and illustrate.

Hopefully this will mean I can relax and do subsequent chapters in a time frame I find manageable. Not everyone can write two thousand words a day like Stephen King can they, and I almosted fainted when the Honourable David Devereux told me he writes three thousand a day (excluding weekends).

In short, I hope to be more productive for having more time and not putting as much pressure on myself. :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Gawds!

Yes I know its Saturday already, but I'm still gonna say that I got Chapter 2 of Gallow's Play in on Friday :)

Even though I said it would be up this Wednesday past.

I really am trying to be better at this, I promise.

Gallow's Play

Huntress

Chapter 2

The murderous Wolf was absent when Artemis and Saber re-acquainted themselves with Promenade Five. His brother Greyhound and the unnamed guard stood by, silent without a person of wit to divert them.

Without his elder brother to require his attention, Greyhound's face was blank, his pale blue eyes lit merely by a sputtering candle flame of intelligence. Unsure of what to do, he was playing with the silver loops dominating his earlobes.

On the public side of the red curtain, Artemis covered her head once more, and addressed her new employer's son.

“I will be watching out for your little brother from now on Greyhound. Perhaps you can relay to Wolf that I will also be watching for him as well.”

With that knowledge to digest, Artemis left him and the den of the Doggs behind.


Beyond the promenade the route to the docks had become less congested, the revellers having departed to their beds at the insistence of the station's security constables.

Saber followed Artemis down clone after clone of corridor, a maze designed in times of war to disorientate an invading force, though now clearly signposted with directions. His feline mind yearned to request an answer to a question, but Saber knew by the set of her body that Artemis would not be inclined to answer it.

Presently the two exited into the thoroughfare of the harbour front, where space merchants kept shop and stock. Empty at this hour but for patrolling constables waiting for a reckless thief to brighten their long hours.

Their way to Gamma Dock was barred by a massive solid iron gate, built to admit ten men marching abreast. Telautomatic freight carts sat dormant in line to each side of the gateway.

Artemis pressed the call button on the communications pad to the left of the gate.

“Registration, class und name,” barked the Prussian accented voice of the night duty harbour master, crackling out of the pad's voice grate.

“Forty-three S C H, K G A, LIONESS Class, unnamed.”

“Mein Gott im Himmel, wie Pech....” Artemis heard him mutter. “Outbound?”

“No, and I will be residing on Asphodel for the next two weeks.”

“Your residence status vill be re-written, und you vill need to get an individual access code to Gamma Dock. Der code vill be made available to you in seven days time at der Harbour Master's Office.” And there the line died. Mechanics thundered and the gate was split asunder with a wail of wheels on the runner and the venting of steam from grates either side.

The dock was revealed as a cylindrical crescent tube ten Imperial feet wide and strategically halved from ceiling to beneath the floor with strengthened glass, giving a complete view of the immediate ships nestled within the harbour.

Walking down the left arm, their ship was gradually revealed, a GW2 long range fighter of blockish yet feline design. Patches in hull and scratches in paintwork remarked on its military history, as did the heavy guns still mounted either side and on top of the vessel. At the metal porthole Artemis keyed in the ship's registration to lift the lock on the closed iris, then spun the wheel beneath to open the way. Ducking slightly she entered the docking tube to gain access to her ship.

Inside the body there was just enough room for two pairs of bunk beds and a waste disposal cubicle, minuscule living quarters sandwiched between the more important cockpit and engine room.

Saber padded straight to his bunk, jumped up and made himself comfortable on the shredded mattress.

Artemis ruffled the fur on his head as she passed into the cockpit and switched the lights on.

“I'm just checking in with Mercuriel you know, we'll be back with Cerberus within the hour.”

Grumbling, Saber closed his eyes and took no notice.

Rotating the pilot's chair, Artemis sat down and swung herself round to the control panel, picked up the radiophone receiver and dialled their associate's number.

It took a few seconds for the line to connect, relayed as it was through the celestial abyss by a dozen Imperial radio satellites.

“Did it go well?” Mercurial answered in excitable tones, his usual manner somewhat tinged with nervousness.

“Relatively, I'll be playing the role of guard and governess, but at least it won't be for long.”

There was silence on Mercuriel's end. Now she understood the reason for his timid voice.

“He's changed his bloody schedule again hasn't he.”

Mercuriel was quick to input the new knowledge he had gleaned. “Not so much changed as put back. His chamberlain's making provisions for seven more balls on Luna, so that'll be two extra weeks til the convoy reaches Asphodel. He's still coming, just not when you wanted.” His last was an apology.

A cold fury spiked within her, but Artemis would not let Mercuriel bear its brunt.

“But you're sure the royal cort├Ęge will still visit Asphodel?”

“Hand on my heart and Amut scoff it if I lie Artemis, the Prince will definitely arrive on Asphodel, in about a month's time.”

“Alright.” Her teeth were gritted. “I'll check back in a few day's time, so keep your head down out there Merc.”

“I will. Take care Artemis.”

The receiver replaced, she sat back in her chair, thoughts at a whirl about her mind, her left hand stroking the periwinkle scarf bound against her dark brown leather waistcoat.

Her prey would be within her vengeful grasp.

A dull ache spread through her right arm, the remains of nerves in her shoulder sparking at the memory of damage wrought, tricking her mind into thinking that for one small moment, she had never been torn and broken, never lost what could not be replaced.

It was a lie she forever fought not to believe in.

*

Ascending through the Pit, away from the stokers, Artemis kept pistol in hand as she led Jackal back the way the way he had run, a route too deep and strange to him. As they retreated she kept guard against the menagerie of scum infesting Asphodel's deepest levels. Saber herded the boy easily, blowing hot air onto his bare calves if he thought the boy wavered from the path, which in actuality the great cat did more for his own amusement. It made Jackal jump so to be reminded of the giant tiger's presence at his unprotected back.

“So how did you manage to escape this time my little magician?” Artemis demanded, annoyed at his devilish ability to escape his bedchamber prison.

Jackal, though scared of her, kept quiet.

“Can't have been the vent above your bed again, Daddy had the cover welded into place. And the one in your en suite is too small even for you.” She turned on her heel to intimidate him with her ruby stare.

“Well?” Artemis crossed her arms, tapping the pistol's shaft against the curved plate of her false bicep. The sound drew Jackal's attention to that arm, the unnatural clockwork mechanics and the knife concealed within.

Bending from the waist she interrogated his wide green eyes with her gaze.

“You had help this time, did you not Jackal.”

The boy nodded.

“Who helped you Jackal?” Her breath disturbed the black strays of hair overhanging his small face as she searched for the truth his tongue would not tell. “It was the maid was it not?”

He was hesitant, loathe to betray his accomplice, but then there came a second nod of his head. Artemis straightened herself without a sound and carried on, Saber helping Jackal to move with a butt of his head in the small of his back.

Exiting the corridor they found themselves in a dark mirror image of Promenade Five, tall and wide and drenched in darkness where the ill repaired flame coloured lights could not banish it. At their appearance in this low place, the harmless forgotten scattered back into the safety of the shadows, remnants of humanity dripping constantly like the gathered vapour down through the rusty cracks of Asphodel Station.

Artemis respected their retreat, and kept her pistol lowered. The myriad eyes that watched in heightened fear and distrust marked her passing, and that of her companions.

And further along, at the foot of a column they saw the reason.

White hair, dyed red with fresh blood, shielded but half of an old woman’s wizened bruised face as her corpse sat propped against the metal, lit orange by a direct light. Her naked legs had been broken and lay in positions unnatural, while beneath her spread her body’s blood.

Artemis rushed the horrified Jackal by, placing herself between the boy and the body.

At a junction they turned off the shadowy promenade to walk down another corridor, bathed in bright white light. They came out into a shaft that soared up into the diminishing heights, a stairwell climbing as like a steel serpent up its walls.

A tiny girl with fair angel’s hair stood in the ring of light inside the shaft, her head back and mouth open to receive the condensation dripping from a scum encrusted pipe above her head. Falling drops had washed dirt from her fragile face, revealing a tone of skin untouched by light. At the puddles in which she stood, smoke grey pigeons drank their fill and cooed all the while.

At the appearance of three topsiders she cried terrified, scattering the pigeons about her to flight. Trapped, she hitched up her overlong dress and scuttled beneath the stairs into the available shadow that dwelt beneath, to watch through the gaps these strangers as they approached the exit to this dungeon realm that she could not use.

From the large leather pouch that hung at her back, Artemis took a small cubic parcel of cloth, and left it on the bottom step as she took the way up and out of the Pit.

When all three had ascended to a height far away from her, the girl reached through the gap and snatched up the parcel. Tearing off the cloth she stuffed the revealed piece of fruit cake into her mouth and chewed the gift with gratitude.

Artemis and Saber pushed Jackal on up the stairs, flight after flight of unaccustomed exertion taking an increasing toll.

It was halfway that Artemis finally called a halt to let Jackal rest. The boy collapsed to the floor, while Artemis unhooked a canteen from her belt to quench his thirst. Jackal gulped the water down without thought, and began to cough and splutter. Taking the canteen Artemis gave the boy a pat on the back which knocked him forwards.

Saber observed all from his position by the descending stairs, intrigued by the interaction between female and cub.

When Jackal had recovered himself, Artemis moved away to sit on the ascending steps. She observed him as she drank from the canteen, and Jackal sat uneasily under her eyes. Eventually he turned from her to look down through the railings to the bottom so far below.

As she replaced the canteen on her belt, Artemis posed the boy a question. “Why do you run away Jackal?”

The look he gave her was solemn, those green eyes in that dirty face so much older, so much more experienced than the boy himself looked. She knew that look, and what it took to gain that experience. She made an effort to soften her approach.

“Your father never told me, perhaps he thought it unimportant.”

Jackal turned his gaze from her, his knees brought up to his thin chest.

“Though I think that to you, it matters, does it not?” She stood and stepped over to the boy, crouched down before him and slipped her hand round to cup his cheek and turn his gaze back to her face.

“Where’s your mother Jackal?”

With choked sobs he whispered the facts. “She, died. On Elysium Station. Me….me Dad, ‘ee called ‘er a poppy ‘ead an’, an’ ’ee took me away from me Aunty Dora.”

He believed her to be a stony creature, but his words were making their way to her heart. “You want to get back to her don’t you Jackal. You run from your father, perhaps to find a way back to her on a ship bound for Elysium.”

He affirmed her words by nodding vigorously.

“Jackal, you will get yourself into the grave with your actions.”

Her words sprung tears, but Artemis knew she could not go easy on him. A lesson had to be administered.

“Death is very real down here in the Pit, Jackal. That hell’s fiend who had hold of you would have tossed you into the furnace without a second thought if Saber and I had not saved you. Below the decks familiar to you there are dozens which aren’t, and these are where people are hunted and killed for sport like that old woman, or taken for worse. That child we saw knows how dangerous it is here. She knows where to run to, where to hide when topsiders are abroad in her realm. You do not.”

Her tone was as gentle as she could make it, but the boy still looked at her with fear. “You have never marked your father’s words Jackal, but you will mark mine this day.

“You have no one else on this station but your father and I, Jackal. No one else will show you kindness unless they see the mark of your clan upon your skin or your father by your side. So from this moment on, you will never run away from me again. And perhaps we shall be friends.”

Standing she offered Jackal her hand, and for a moment he appeared unsure. But at last he reached up and Artemis took his small hand in hers. She gave him a rare true smile, and for once Jackal did not baulk at her.

“Now, we have to get going. Saber, you lead.”

The grey-blue tiger rose and shook himself free of accumulated lethargy. Artemis bade Jackal ascend with a gesture, and climbed after him, her left thumb hooked into her belts and her fingers brushing the flower patterned scarf, while her mechanical right made imprints in the railing as she went.

Copyright © 2010 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved

Friday, 20 August 2010

We're Taking The Highroad To Places Up North, Places Up North, Places Up North

Me and the Llama are off to Sheffield today.

Interesting town, Sheffield. Named after the river Shef which runs through it, and up until the 17th century, was spelt as Schef, or Sheath...

Little bit of education there my darlings :)

Take care of the place for me xx

Monday, 16 August 2010

DEATH TO ALL BUT METAL!

My lords in Valhalla, new British music is dire indeed.

I have just witnessed a re-run of the Kerrang Awards, and the Best British Newcomer award went to Rise To Remain. Who the fuck is Rise To Remain? And why are these sorely unoriginal 12-year-olds getting a fucking award for their screamo drivel? Not that any of the other nominees were stand out bands, hell's fire they were mostly adolescent pop-punk clones with more interest in sex and beer than musicianship and crafting their lyrics.

Where are today's Iron Maidens? In what dark and misty corner of this land dwell the Black Sabbaths of today? Why haven't the furious new sons and daughters of the Sex Pistols risen up in an anarchic tide and swept clean the once gloriously alternative rock music of these British Isles?

More to the point, where are the WOMEN in rock? Oh, I see, they are parading themselves in videos for the gratification of male rockstars.

The Goddess preserve us.

Fair and gentle reader, if you are like me an avid rock metal and punk fan, I hope you share my sorrow for what has been done to our scene (and secretly desire to take a pair of wicked scissors to every floppy emo fringe). I suppose the only joy we can take from all of this is that these miscreants will thankfully fade into the mists of time, taking their horribly un-rockin' songs with them to make toilet paper for the Devil and his infernal minions.

ROCK ON!!!!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

In Which New Ideas Trump The Old

I am in a quandry my darlings.

I have most of GP:H Chapter 2 written, and though it won't be posted tonight alas, if I carry on with it I can have it up by Friday.

But then another idea entered my mind, which makes more sense I grant you, but which means I would have to shunt what I have already done to a later chapter, and not get the next instalment of Gallow's Play: Huntress up until the 25th.

What to do?

And one day I shall get this right, I promise.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Perfect Ending

Toy Story 3.

Wow wow wow and it made me do a cry. I couldn't have asked for a better third movie for one of my now favourite trilogies. And really, can you say that about most others?

There was always a slight worry that it might not measure up, as who can top excellence? Apparently the Toy Story team can :)

And I cannot say much more than that. :)

Friday, 6 August 2010

GIANT PAW!!



Mister Pussycato will get you!

Friday Arts And Crafts: A Painting Of Three Siblings

I have finally finished the painting I was doing for my Mum's birthday tomorrow, and I think it looks very nice :)



It is of me and my siblings, as we are now, and as babies. I recalled that Mother dearest had mused upon the idea of a painting of the three of us, so my brain took it and squirrelled it away, then brought it out as the perfect present for her fiftieth.

And now I take my well earned rest :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

In Which I Demand To Be Split In Twain

Fair and gentle reader, it is with my utmost apologies that I must inform you that Gallow's Play, Huntress Chapter 2, will not be posted tonight. This is due to an imminent birthday, for which I have been preparing a present, a painting, and which has taken up all my brain room since last week.

So this has meant that, although I had been trying to write GPHC2 while making the painting, it just was not working. Something had to be pushed back, something that was not time dependant. And so GPHC2 was pushed back in favour of the painting, which is for my dear Mama as it is her *quiet voice* fiftieth birthday *end quiet voice*.

Though do not fret fair and gentle reader, GPHC2 will be posted next Wednesday, as Mama's birthday is this Saturday. Yes the painting was VERY time dependant, but I am satisfied with the rate of progression, if not with the painting itself (thats me seeking perfectionism when it runs screaming from my clutching grasp).

This Friday for an Art's And Craft's post, I shall hopefully be putting up some of the pictures of the painting, so you lovely lot can see what all the fuss has been about. :)

Til neverwhen my darling bunnies!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Flirt, A Book Review

This Laurall K Hamilton book was given, nay, forced on me by my good friend Graeme Flory, who implored me to take it, take and read/burn it. Poor man had to tell his contacts not to send him anymore of her drivel.

Well, I read it, in less than three hours all told. And I did not think much of it.

Firstly, this is just one in a series of books about Anita Blake, a vampire hunter and necromancer infected with several strains of lycanthropy, who has managed to collect men like some people collect graphic novels, or figurines, or insects, or or......shrunken heads? Do people still do that? I guess thats beside the point.

She has a vampire master for a boyfriend, a wereleopard for a mate, another as secondary mate, and a werewolf for a lover. Oh and in this book she enslaves a werelion. If they had kids, I'd love to hear the therapist's review.

In Flirt, the main plot is driven by a client who asks Anita to raise their dead spouse. She refuses, as said spouse would return as a zombie, and rot, so not something to keep or screw with. So this client pays a pride of werelions to kidnap her and force her to raise their dead spouse.

But the main plotline does not rear its simplistic head until about halfway through the book. Til then its sexual angst and bad, bad prose.

Huge-ass staircase? Really?

Lipsticked lips anyone?

The dialogue is worse, half of it is unintelligable and such a tangled mess that it is torture to make order of.

But the fatal mistake that Laurall K Hamilton has made is that she has put her heroine up on a pedestal for the other characters to revolve in awe around. In real-life that just does not happen, and in fiction it makes for terribly boring reading.

Apparently her earlier books about Anita Blake are better, but as this is the only book I have read, I'll have to say that its your caution you are throwing to the wind if you dare, not mine. :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Mister Pussycato!



This is Arkady, our about a year boy cat :). Most times he is to be found lying on his back with his paws in the air, doing a fantastic impression of a bunny rabbit.

Arkady came to us as a six month old kitten who had stumbled into our garden, not long after we moved in. The parental unit known as Mother heard him mewing outside in the rain, and so the family decided to investigate. We bribed him closer with bits of food, then Aunty Number 3 managed to get him inside, and he's been with us ever since, eating our food, using our chairs, consuming our attention.

As you can see, he is very adept at playing cute :)



I must note that 'Mister Pussycato' is a nickname invented by Aunty Number 3, and not of my own creation, as she will garrot me if I pretend intellectual ownership.

Friday Arts And Crafts: The Silver Slippers

I went questing for a pair of shoes that would go with the blue dress I intend to wear for the Doctor Who Proms. I knew what I wanted, something in silver, or the right shade of blue, not too expensive, and not hideous. A tall order I know.

So it was with luck that I found these!



Though alas I did not like the rainbow sequins which can't really be seen as they are so tiny. So I thought to myself, "Hey! I have some silver sequins at home, I can take these ones off and sew those ones on!"

Firstly, off came the rainbow sequins, and this is the damage done.



Then I had to sew the silver sequins on, which enabled me to stab myself in the finger as I tried to angle the needle and sew through incredibly needle resistant material.

But here is the finished result :)



Prettier I believe, though each to their own. :)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Playlist To End All Playlists

I've created a new playlist on Youtube, formed of the most incredible music (and guilty pleasures), to be found therein.

But I have no idea how to arrange it. Here is the list as it stands at the moment of conception.

1.Whitesnake - Sailing Ships
2.Deep Purple - Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
3.Kiss - Tears Are Falling
4.Wicked - Defying Gravity
5.Incubus - Drive
6.George Harrison - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
7.Stone Sour - Bother
8.Walls Of Jericho - House Of The Rising Sun
9.Van Halen - Why Can't This Be Love
10.Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia
11.Meat Loaf - Its All Coming Back To Me Now
12.Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends
13.Gary Moore - Over The Hills And Far Away
14.Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
15.Queen - I Want It All
16.Roxette - It Must Have Been Love

Okay, so not really "ballads" as such, but each balladic in their own way :)

Now, the hard task is arranging them so that they complement each other, which is no easy thing to do. How does one juxtapose Roxette with Walls Of Jericho? Kiss with Pink Floyd? Gary Moore with Wicked?

I am forseeing a hard time ahead. If anyone has any suggestions, they will be gratefully received.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

No! Its Not Right!

As me and my man were up late last night editing GP:H Chapter 1, a few things were missed, a few lines I intended to add into the final draft but forgot to do at the last minute, as these things go.

I've added them into Chapter 1 now, just thought I'd let you all know :)

Gallow's Play

Huntress

Chapter 1

8th May, 1850. Artemis Gallow first set foot on Asphodel Space Station late in the proceedings of the VE Day celebrations, the machine at her side and the metal plate on her skull hidden in the sleeve and hood of an old GW1 trench coat, with Saber silent at her heels.

Making their way through the station the woman and tiger walked subdued past merry celebrants with drink in hand, or dancing to the music made by those with the skill to play an instrument. Children ran laughing, trailing bits of coloured cloth and waving miniatures of the crossed flag of Great Britannica, with the wings and spear of Nike and Athena. Some, in particular the girls, held aloft crude makeshift spears and swords, and chased their friends and brothers over chair and under table.

The level of brevity ensured that Artemis and Saber passed unnoticed, at least by the drunk adults. A girl-child of five stared at the giant dusky cat as he passed with his mistress, then turned to wrench on the skirts of her mother, a prostitute haggling with a gibbering shrimp of a prospective client.

The throng remained close-knit til they reached their destination, a red curtained portal guarded rather loosely by three burly men who joked amongst themselves. They were distinguished from the crowd by a clan-mark of swirling blue ink, which had been tattooed over each man’s left eye, running down from hairline to curl over cheekbone and under jaw.

Whether sober or intoxicated, everyone avoided the space they held.

Artemis came to a halt before the biggest of the three, a six foot monolith of muscle and sinew topped with grease spiked hair. He regarded this woman’s intrusion with amusement, and winked at his smirking comrades. She looked down at him through narrowed eyes.

“You lookin’ fer sumfin’ love? Or’a you jus’ lookin’ fer yer marbles eh?” His two pals burst into vulgar laughter.

Artemis punched the man in the stomach, her metal fist back at her side before he hit the deck, doubled over in pain.

“I can assure you I am quite sane.” Uncovering her head she revealed her deformity to the two left standing, who were only now drawing their knives from their belts.

“My name is Artemis Gallow. I hear your chief is hiring.”

She received no answer, but it was apparent that the men knew her name. “Is that correct?” Saber appeared to add weight to her words.

They sheathed their knives and stood apart in answer. One held the red curtain aside, contrite as his fellow, and Saber followed Artemis as she entered their den.

Behind the curtain a wide corridor ran straight to another portal, this one barred by an iron door and guarded by three more men. Displays of wealth encrusted the spotless chamber, expensive arches of silk attached to various pipes running along the ceiling and walls, with statues of jade and gold placed with impeccable care on shining pedestals. Even the floor was embellished with white and black diamond patterned tiles to hide the ugly iron mesh.

The man who admitted them, a shaven haired fellow with ears full of rings, followed through and led woman and tiger down the corridor. Saber paused to sniff at the first closed door they passed, the smell hovering in the air before it making him sneeze.

“Saber, quit nosing around,” Artemis chided.

The tiger trotted back to her side. “Men mark door, smell bad Artemis.”

“Its opium Saber, try to ignore it.”

The shaven man waved his comrades aside. Their eyes focused on the giant cat as Saber growled and bared his teeth in distrust, smelling on them the same evil stench as before. Knives and guns were partly drawn in response. Artemis placed a flesh finger to Saber’s nose and the cat closed his mouth in obedience, though deep in his throat he continued his dissent.

Their guide worked the opening mechanism and rolled the door aside to reveal a grand apartment, furnished with the finest materials and ornaments to be had on the black market. Beyond a dark wood desk adorned with carved fruit, a concave window framed the star woven fabric of black nothing that clad Asphodel Station.

The shaven man gestured silently to a luxurious armchair placed in front of the desk, then quit the room through another curtained doorway in the left hand wall.

Artemis took the seat and settled herself comfortably. Distracted by this comfort it was a few seconds before she noticed that Saber was not at her side, so peered back behind the chair. And found her companion washing his stomach.

“Oi you, presentation is utmost with these people!” she hissed, irate.

Grumbling the cat levered himself off of the wonderfully soft rug he had desired to lie upon, and came to Artemis’ left side, where he downed haunches and looked effortlessly fierce and regal. By way of begging pardon she gave him a satisfactory scratch behind the ears.

They were only kept waiting a few minutes, then the shaven man re-appeared and scuttled back to his post, shutting the chamber door.

“I ‘ope you will excuse my son Mistress Gallow,” announced a middle aged man as he walked through the doorway. His hair was black, combed, and he wore an immaculate moustache. He was smartly attired in light grey trousers, waistcoat and red scarf over a pure white shirt. His clothes belied a body conditioned for labour.

“I hope you will forgive my assaulting said son. Your eldest?”

“The eldest now.” He took his seat behind the desk, presenting the idea of an elegant barbarian to Artemis’ mind. His clan mark covered three quarters of his face, all but his right cheek which bore a different mark, that of an old and ugly scar.

From a drawer he took a case and removed a pair of spectacles from its interior, polishing them with a silk handkerchief before putting them on.

Artemis waited patiently, her hand on Saber’s neck.

“Artemis Gallow.” He mused on her name, and on her person, his gaze lingering on the scars that spidered out from beneath her skull plate. “I once ‘ad the pleasure ov bein’ acquainted wiv your muvver. It pained me greatly t’ read ov ‘er deaf, an’ your farver’s too. I ‘ope you will accept me deepest sympafies.” There was genuine regret in his dark green eyes.

“Its been five years Mister Dogg, but I thank you.” On a reflex her hand wandered from the tiger’s soft stripped fur to a ragged periwinkle patterned scarf knotted about her waist, at odds with the rest of her dull coloured attire.

“Athenae’s girl must call me Cerberus,” he said with a rogue’s smile.

Artemis nodded, a small smile on her lips. “Cerberus. My mother told me of you, that you were the worst scoundrel she had ever had the misfortune to command.”

Cerberus laughed heartily, a loud brash thing. “Ah, I see your advantage now. Yer must know all about me’n my ways eh?”

“Yes, I do, and I know my mother trusted you with her life in spite of them.”

Cerberus reflected on her words. “I respected ‘er Artemis, an’ um glad I earned that off ‘er. She was a great lady.”

“She was at that.” No emotion touched her eyes, or lifted her tone of voice. Saber butted her elbow with his nose, concerned at the void in her voice. Artemis resumed stroking his fur, absent-minded again.

Cerberus leaned back in his chair. Illuminated Ares shone red over his shoulder.

“Now don’ go believin’ you ‘ave the ‘igh ground over me. I know wot you’ve been up t’ these past five years. I know the name you’ve made fer yourself, an’ it ain’t the one you go by.” He paused to remove his eyeglasses and commenced with cleaning them a second time.

“An’ don’ believe I’ve taken yer story ‘ook line an’ sinker eivver. You may ‘ave me boys believin’ you’re just after work, but you an’ me know that’s just your excuse,” saying so as he brandished his spectacles at her, admonishing his dead comrade’s daughter.

“On the contrary Cerberus, your sharp wits make things a lot easier for me. Working for you will be my cover story, as it were.”

Replacing his spectacles, Cerberus asked. “An’ do I get t’ know why it is you’re castin’ your shadow at my door?”

“If I told you Cerberus, you would try to dissuade me.” Artemis stood.

“You’re as obtuse as yer muvver was.” He left his chair and came round the desk. “An’ if she’d a said that, I’d’ve known t’ run fer cover.” He offered his hand and Artemis took it.

“I don’t give warning. That your son knows intimately.” Their hands parted.

“An’ at least you were courteous enuff t’ use words, fer which I fank you. An’ now I suppose you want t’ talk business?”

“Yes, that would be an excellent idea.”

Cerberus motioned for her to follow him, and headed for the small doorway he had entered through. Artemis bade Saber wait, to which the great cat yawned and went to make himself comfortable on the rug he had had his blue eyes on.

Through the partition doorway Cerberus took Artemis down an elegant wood panelled corridor. Its walls displayed works of art by those of fame, Turnbells, Stables, Bakers, even a Di Sinci.

Cerberus stopped by the second door on the right hand side and produced a key from his waistcoat pocket.

“You keep prisoners Cerberus?”

“Only when ‘ee won’t bloody well be’ave.” He opened the door and presented to Artemis a boy of ten, equipped with his own black hair. Though he sat on the carpeted floor surrounded by opulence, his clothes were filthy rags.

“This ‘ere is my youngest, Jackal.” The boy looked up from his lap, and Artemis saw that he also owned his father’s viridian eyes.

At seeing her visage the boy yelled and scrambled backwards into the shelter of a loose curtain hanging from the frame of his bed.

“She won’ eat yer boy!” Cerberus growled and went to haul his son up by the collar.

“C’mere you tyke an’ mind yer manners. ‘Ees soft Artemis, I do apologise. Never even seen so much as a false leg ‘ave you.” And he shook his son by the shoulder.

“I hope this isn’t what you’re hiring for Cerberus, because nannying your whelp will not make a very convincing cover story for me,” she said as she crossed her arms, staring hard in immediate dislike at the boy, red eyes to green. Which made the lad shake with nerves.

“Not’a nanny, but’a bodyguard is wot ‘ee needs.” And he tousled the boy’s hair in affection.

“You’ve met me ovver sons, Wolf an’ Grey’ound. The first you assaulted, wiv all due right, the second brought you t’ me. It’s them I need you t’ guard ‘im from Artemis.” He put his arm round the boy’s shoulder. “From them an’ ‘imself, as ‘ee keeps runnin’ away from ‘ome, an’ there’s worse’n my progeny creepin’ round this station. They’d make a clip round ‘is ear seem like ‘eaven.”

He let Jackal go, and the boy resumed his previous position, warily watching the unknown intruder on his solitude until his father quitted the chamber and locked the door behind him.

Artemis followed Cerberus back to the main room.

“Family feud?” she queried.

“Somethin’ like that. You recall I ‘inted at a fourf son?”

“Rather imperceptibly, but yes.” They re-entered the main room, and Artemis sighed to see Saber with eyes closed, on his back with his grey blue paws in the air.

Cerberus took again his chair behind the beautiful desk.

“Bulldog I named ‘im. Day after ‘is twenny-fiff ‘is body was found down in the levels below wiv ‘is skull smashed open an’ a pipe nearby painted wiv ‘is brains.”

“The work of your other sons?”

Cerberus was clenching the arms of his chair so that his knuckles were drained of colour.

“’Onestly, I don’ know fer sure, but me gut tells me Wolf killed ‘im wiv ‘is own ‘ands.”

“Why would he do that Cerberus?”

“Besides pissin’ me off?” Suddenly the man before her seemed to age a decade, the lines of his face grown deeper with fatigue. “’Ee wants the clan Artemis, an’ me dead’n buried in space. An’ that’ll depend on ‘ow patient ‘ee is, which ain’t very.”

Artemis sat as she took in the information.

“Why not hire someone to dispose of him for you Cerberus, instead of playing what is obviously a very dangerous game.”

He looked at her in disgust.

“’Ee’s my son Artemis.” But his words were not explanation enough for her.

“As long as you’re prepared for him to be the death of you then,” she answered back. “And Jackal as well if his lust for fratricide re-surfaces.”

“I don’ need you t’ sit on me shoulder an’ play devils advocate Artemis, you look too ‘eavy by ‘alf,” he said with an angry wave of his hand. “I just need t’ know that Jackal will stay safe, an’ never mind wot ‘appens t’ me.”

Artemis sighed. “It would seem you’ve grown into a big softie in your advanced years.”

Cerberus chuckled. “Will you take the work Artemis?”

A pause for thought and then she nodded and stood. “I will.” She clicked her fingers to wake Saber from his slumber. The blue tiger opened his eyes and rolled over to stand at the ready.

“I have a few effects to gather from my ship, but I will return promptly.”

Cerberus’ face lifted in gratification.

“My fanks Artemis. I’ll ask you t’ room next t’ Jackal’s, there’s a connectin’ door ‘tween the two.”

“That’ll make keeping an eye on him easier I’m sure.”

Cerberus chuckled again. “Don’ believe that m’dear, ‘ees a sneaky li’l bastard my Jackal.”

As Artemis turned to leave, Cerberus voiced a thought he had entertained since meeting her.

“If Wolf gives you cause Artemis, kill ‘im.”

She turned back to look him squarely in the eye. “Are you sure?”

It was a long time before he replied, the pain in his eyes aging his face yet again.

“Yes. Better by your ‘ands Artemis.”

“Very well Cerberus.” And before he could retract the death sentence he had passed on his son, woman and tiger were through the door and away.

Copyright © 2010 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved

Monday, 19 July 2010

Worthy Of Your Scorn Am I

Riiiiiiiiight.

You guys must be so pissed off with me.

Gallow's Play: Huntress Chapter 1, will go up tomorrow, instead of today, though what is a day compared to six months eh? Warren Ellis takes skip weeks all the time.....

Friday, 16 July 2010

Pridy Dress :)

Pridy dress, pridy pridy dress, pridy dress, dress dress dress, pridy dress, pridy pridy pridy dress :)

Yes I have a new dress, tis a Penny Dip Dye blue beach dress which I bought to wear to the Doctor Who Proms, and yes I should be saving my money for better things, like paying off my share of the new(ish) laptop, saving for shoes for the other dress I bought (which I need to slim for and take up a few inches as I am short arse person), buying presents for various peoples and other stuffs.

But I have pridy dress! :D

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Le Sigh

My man and I were cleaved asunder this morning, I being called away by the promise of earning money with which to buy more train/coach tickets.

But thanks to the more than clement weather, I had nought to do but chat with a mother who came in with her three year old twins for a few minutes (darling little things, they hardly ceased chatting to themselves). The rest of my time was spent reading the rest of Wuthering Heights.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Why Zazzle Sucks

For the second time a t-shirt I have ordered has come out crappy, though this time, ho ho ho, I had to wash it to find out just how crap it is.

The colours ran. Not on the material itself you understand, but on the DESIGN! It was one of my blue skulls, a lovely bright design. When it came out of the packaging, yeah it was alright, albeit there was white edging under the teeth and the top of the outline had been cut off, but it was nice and bright with no white striations as what happened last time.

But now, there are white blobs peeping through the blue where the top layer of ink has come off, revealing the white underlayer.

DO THESE PEOPLE NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE T-SHIRTS???? It seems to be pretty simple, as the corner shop on Turnpike Lane would have me believe, which sells t-shirts of Bob Marley and Tu-Pac so rich in detail and void of fault that I am reduced to weeping when I see the CRAP that comes through my door!

And not only would I not wear such poor representations of my designs, I would be mortified to suggest that other people actually BUY them! My heart goes out to my aunty, who I convinced to put one of her gorgeous pictures on a Zazzle bag for another aunty, and who then found out that, although second aunty thought it okay, it was faded to such a degree that mollified her and turned her to getting bags printed by another source.

Good on her I say! And Tesco's printers are so much better. I think I shall take my custom to them and sell the bags on Etsy. I've already looked into badge making machines as well...

Monday, 5 July 2010

So Let's Try This Again: Gallow's Play

That's it, I've had enough! Gallow's Play: Huntress Chapter 1 will be up in two weeks time, so I shall re-post the Introduction now, and re-aquaint you lovely people with the story.

I suppose I should just stop apologising as well :)

Huntress

Introduction

The boy pelted down the walkway, his boots pounding on the iron mesh and desperate for another avenue of escape. An intersection, or shadowy gap behind the rumbling tree thick pipes, a ladder going up into some dark hole of a hatch. But flying down this long narrow passageway, his fear grew at the realization that there was nowhere he could hide. And always the echo of his steps pursued him from out of the shadows far behind, undiminished by the feeble aethetric lights.

He ran from that sound, for this echo had weight and substance, a beast grown from out of the dark and foul air to chase him down. He could become lost down here in this twilit underworld filled with hissing grumbling machinery, but the creature that hunted would smell him through the hot pervasive stench of the burning coal.

The tears ran down his dirt streaked face. He knew the beast could hear his laboured breathing, the thing was supernatural, hellish. And it drove him on towards the infernal pit at the heart of this forgotten never where.

Ahead the shaft ended in a curving bulkhead rusted by rivulets of accumulated steam. There was a portal jutting into the passage, its heavy door closed and seemingly locked tight to the fear blinded boy. He reached it and tugged in desperate panic on the spokes of the wheel, deaf to its screeching grate as the mechanism turned easily, hearing only the crashing of the beast upon the walkway, feeling the tremendous vibrations of its loping strides shake the bones in his sockets and the heart in his thin chest. Then came the click of the lock, and he was hauling the metal door open, darting through and pulling it closed behind him. He spun the wheel’s twin as tight as he was able for a few seconds more of lead, and barrelled out of the doorway’s niche onto another walkway. And the boy was caught still in an instant by the sight.

It was not the infernal pit, but the dark and cavernous ovaline belly of a mechanical leviathan. The walkway was suspended more than a hundred feet above the sloping floor, and the boy could see as he peered over the railings the stokers small as insects round the great aethetrics machine. Between its gargantuan conical abacus and its pedestal of huge blackened furnaces rested the great sphere of glass, the pride of the Empire, outshining all others. Captured lightning crackled within, lancing out from the black globe on its column at the heart of the device to dance upon the convex curves of their crystalline cage. A cacophony of aethetric buzzing and men at work drifted up upon the stifling air. It stank with the toxic mix of metallic aether and acrid coal smoke, while far above in the domed ceiling four great turbines hummed with the pretence of ventilation.

Then the lock screeched again behind him. The boy shot off down the walkway and barrelled down the first set of stairs he came to, jumping the last few to land on a second walkway. He sprang up and raced round to another flight of stairs below the first, the increasing din of the men and machines flooding his ears so that he could not discern anything else. But he knew the beast was here with him, perhaps upon the walkway above, perhaps upon the stairs and catching him up. As he reached the third walkway with another desperate leap that jarred his body, an animal’s roar sounded out, momentarily drowning all else, and the boy looked far along the walkway to see the beast’s monstrous pet galloping to meet him with a mouthful of wickedly curved fangs.

He fled along the walkway, throwing himself down the last flight of stairs. Now he was among the dirt streaked stokers and their mountains of black glittering coal, weaving amongst them, small enough to dodge one after another of the huge bare-chested men with their heavy shovels and crude language. The heat was sweltering even here, and sweat broke out on the boy’s brow to drip into his eyes and blind him. Out of his mind with terror he took a fatal turn and a blast of Hell-heat scorched his face. He staggered back and tripped over a pipe half buried in the metal floor. For a few seconds he lay on the ground gasping for breathable air, until he felt a hard hand grab viciously at his shirt. The owner of the hand dragged him up, his feet leaving the ground behind, and the boy found himself staring into the glowering face of malevolence incarnate. Sweat glistened on the stoker’s fleshy bald head, forging clean streams in the banks of dirt caked on his leathery skin. His sneer showed a set of teeth completely cast in gold, blazing in the light of the fires, a mouthful of flame ready to cook the boy to ash.

“I’ve caught a li'l fief come t' steal the Empress’ coal me lads!” The other stokers jeered, cruel men turned so by the hardships of their lives in the pit.

The bald stoker grinned horribly. “Down 'ere boy we burn the fievin' vermin along wiv the coal!”

Terrified the boy tried to free himself from the sledgehammer hand and its death grip on his clothes, pitching his feeble strength against the muscular stoker and losing hard, until a force far superior to either boy or man knocked both to the floor. Dropping to the floor and freed from the malicious stoker, the boy scrambled away from the fearsome predator before him, the animal from the walkway.

The tiger was a giant of his race, the black barred fur a freakish blue-grey where the rest of his kin were coloured with sunfire. Standing over the body of the bald stoker, one paw crushed the thick neck to the ground. But he looked at the boy with beautiful pale blue eyes, intelligent, and self-aware. So when the tiger opened his mouth, the boy knew what sounds would emerge from that fanged maw.

“Cub safe now.” The tiger’s voice was a deep rumble, a rich magnificent sound. But the words he spoke were not for him.

“His hide look scratched?” A female voice, resonant and deadly low.

The great tiger looked away from the boy, even the small movement of his head filled with grace. “I want eat my kill, Artemis.”

“You’ve been fed Saber. Check the boy.”

At the woman’s words the tiger stepped off the dead stoker, almost petulant, and padded right up to the boy as he lay quivering against a mound of coal. That fearsome face filled his vision, and the boy felt his bladder give way.

The tiger sniffed him. “Cub mark his territory. Not hurt.”

“Oh his daddy will be pleased.” The feline moved back, and the woman came into view from over its left shoulder.

The boy shook in the presence of the beast. She stood in the light of the furnaces with ruby fire in her eyes, bright red hair cascading over her left shoulder, a giant demoness risen from the belching flames of the fat furnaces. The right half of her skull glowed bronze down to the ridge of her eye socket. Her right arm was an abomination, gears, pistons and plates of metal that barely resembled a human limb. From the back of that mockery of a hand thrust a steel blade the length of the forearm, dormant by her side. In the other hand of flesh and bone she held a pistol at the ready to shoot any stoker that moved. The hard set of her face warned them against any argument.

The fierce woman closed in on him. “I told you not to run, Jackal.” She stuffed the pistol into one of the many belts around her waist so that she could fold the blade back in on itself, and pushed it back into its encasement. Her mechanical hand disarmed, she used it to haul him up, just a piece of flotsam tossed about on waves against his will.

He struggled now against her inhuman grip. “Please don’ take me back to 'im Mistress Gallow! I beg you please don’!”

Her face remained impassive, a fire demon with a face of cold stone. “Its what I’m paid for, boy. You should understand that by now.” Brandishing her pistol the flesh and metal harridan took him away through the retreating crowd of stokers, the blue-grey tiger growling in her wake.

Copyright © 2009 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved