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Repeater (posted on: 28-11-14)
Chapter two

Chapter two

A little less than 2 hours later I found myself standing in sire Lammal's study. His house was large and well furnished and far neater than I would have expected of a great, burly oaf such as Lammal. His study was full of oak. Oak lined walls featured oak bookcases. There was a huge oak fire surround in which coals still glowed red and wood blocks still smouldered. At the far end of the room was placed a grand oak desk, embossed with maroon leather and green piping. Various brass menageries adorned the polished surface of the desk; a lamp, a desk calendar and several paperweights featuring mythical creatures in menacing poses. The two fellows who had earlier knocked at my door were again standing in the doorway of the study. They had brought me here post haste after giving me only the bare amount of time to recover my wits after the shocking news that I was still refusing to believe. 'I would like for you to show me why you foolishly believe my father is alive sires.' I said in cold tones. 'If you view some of the documents over there on the desk you may find evidence enough to convince you.' said the rotund one whose name I had discovered was Mears. I attended the desk and found scattered across its surface many sheets of official looking paper and several ledges and diaries open at what appeared to be random pages. The ledgers were filled with neat rows and columns of numbers while the diaries contained the swirling, elaborate writing that I assumed was made by Lammal's hand. I picked up a diary and read an entry but I discovered nothing to enlighten me. I tried another and found only the dreary lamenting of someone who seemed rather miserable by all accounts. One entry read: "It has occurred to me that the path I have chosen was not one of my better decisions. I fear it is too late to alter things. Many have been hurt and it seems I can no more alter the future than I can the past. Things have gone too far now." Another entry which was dated less than three days prior read: "Someone once said that 'The future is dimmed by the shadows of the past'. I now believe this to be true. The time has come for me to banish these shadows - or else die trying." I thumped the diary down onto the desk. 'All this tells me is that sire Lammal was a lonely sap harboring regrets over how he has conducted his life. If you do not show me evidence to support your claim then I fear I must bid you good-day and depart.' Mears said nothing but his thin counterpart walked over to my place by the desk. I smelled the faint aroma of something sickly sweet as he leaned over and flipped the diary I had just read closed so that I could view the front cover. For the second time that day I found my legs tremble and had to support myself against the sturdy oak desktop. Two words were written on the front cover in the same swirling hand used within. Amos Thom - my father. Some minutes past in silence and the two fellows possessed the courtesy to let me gather my ragged thoughts. After my breathing gradually slowed I found I could begin to think a little more logically. 'This, this doesn't mean that my father is alive. ' I muttered. ' Anyone could have written those words.' 'Why would anyone write a diary and sign it in another's name?' 'I'm sure i don't know.' I answered. 'But I tell you my father died 10 years ago. It could not be him.' 'What If I tell you that your father has been sighted this very week and not a crow's flight from this place?' 'I would say that the seer was mistaken. That the person seen was but a ringer for my father; doppelganger if you will.' 'A doppelganger who answers to the name Amos Thom?' At this point I found that my legs were pretty much useless at supporting me and I finally buckled backwards and was rescued by a fortuitously lambing chair into which I slumped. 'This is just too much!' I could feel my hands trembling and must have look a worrisome sight as both Mears and his counterpart were harbouring expressions of great concern. 'Perhaps you would like a small tot of something to calm your thoughts?' Mears said, his voice expressing genuine concern. I held my trembling hand to my spinning head and found it was all I could to nod weakly. 'Mr Peerpoint, would you fetch a noggin of brandy from that decanter for Sire Thom please?' The thin chap did as instructed while Mears approached the oak desk and began running his fingers across the loose leaf pages and notes that were scattered haphazard. 'I should like to ask you more questions sire when you have regained your wit. I apologise for causing you much consternation; it was not our intention but you must understand how this looks?' 'You have shown me nothing that would confirm your claim that my poor father is responsible for this vile deed. A diary entry and a book with a hand written scribe displaying his name does not amount to irrefutable proof that a once dead man now walks among us.' The thin man Pierrpoint handed me a shallow tumbler and I swirled the honey coloured liquid briefly before drinking back the contents. A warmth filled my throat and soon I felt the calming influence of what I feel was a full bodied and mildly tart pomace that was almost certainly of eastern provenance - But I digress. 'This is true.' Mears said, 'and perhaps we are guilty of haste and assumption. But Alas we do have more evidence which, at this time we cannot explain but still points to this being the work of your father's hand.' 'Then pray, provide me another noggin and perhaps I should be ready to aid you further with your inquiries.' 'First, would you mind if we gain some history of your father, lay the foundations so to speak, so that we may build up a picture of the events that surrounded your father's apparent death?' 'Apparent?' I said. My voice an octave higher from this surprising accusation. 'There is nothing apparent about my father's demise sir! He died then and he is dead now. Should I suggest a visit to his graveside? Allow your eyes to peruse his epitaph and confirm his date of departure?' I could feel my face flushing due in no small measure to my frustration and anger with, perhaps, the brandy playing a small part. 'Indeed sire, we will make that visit in due course but first let us establish the details that led him to his... grave.' 'My father was a geologist of some standing. He was eminent in his field with an unblemished reputation and impeccable scholastic credentials.' 'He was a teacher?' 'Indeed. He also provided expertise to scientific and government agencies as well as several prominent business organisations.' 'Is it true that your father and sire Lammal were business associates?' 'They were indeed partners in business.' 'And what was the nature of their business?' 'Primarily mining, metals and other Earth resources. My father was coveted for his scientific abilities.' 'And business was good?' 'I would say yes but I have little knowledge of such details. Alas my father was not really interested in the art of making money.' 'He was not of a business mind?' 'No, that was sire Lammal's canton. The fellow was apt in the art of profit.' 'Did Lammal study under your father?' I gave a snort of brief hilarity. 'Lammal is.. was a hayseed. He couldn't discern granite from a granary loaf. But he was a genius at exerting blood from rock; to wit, a capitalist.' 'How was their relationship?' 'Difficult. Strained toward the end.' 'You paint a picture of two incompatible individuals. Why should they instigate such an unlikely partnership?' 'The circumstance of their union is a story for another day. Suffice to say that their relationship started off poor and deteriorated to quite intolerable levels for my father.' ' You suggested earlier that you feel sire Lammal was in part responsible for your father's death?' 'Aye.' I scoffed at the irony of my next thought, 'And now here you are telling me that you are of the opinion that the opposite has occurred.' At this Mears gave a sad smile. 'They are assumptions at present.' 'Assuming is supposition without proof whereas to presume is supposition on the basis of probability. I would suggest you have neither proof nor probable cause at this time.' 'Well, that is what what we are here to discover.' I rose unsteadily from the chair and walked to the fire and felt its weak warmth. On the mantle was a large Waterbury clock which showed the wrong time. I was about to turn the hands to their correct position when Peerpoint surprised me by uttering the first words I think he'd spoken. 'No Sire. Do not touch that. It is evidence.' I returned my hand to my waistcoat pocket while giving him my best stern expression. 'Now that I have furnished you with some of the background dealings of Lammal and my father, perhaps you would be so kind as to explain your, to be frank, preposterous theory of how my father, dead these past 10 years, has come to be accused of sire Lammal's ruin. To Be Continued.
Archived comments for Repeater


Mikeverdi on 28-11-2014
Repeater
Richard, in the first chapter you broke the story into paragraphs...any chance you could do it here to help us read it? Maybe separate the dialogue.
Mike

Author's Reply:

richardh on 30-11-2014
Repeater
Thanks for the comment. I've reformatted the layout and corrected a few errors.

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 03-12-2014
Repeater
Hello again, so sorry to be so long with my comment, you must be having a bad day as you posted your reply in the comment box; we dont get emails from that to tell us HaHa!

I like the story, for me it flows well. Maybe some would say a bit log winded to get to the point, I was thinking that this was due to the 'old wording' and way of talking. I like the style myself. Hits and comments are down at the moment, this is a shame as your work deserves more attention. I hope all this doesn't put you off. I am sure you will look hard and prune out bits...we all do that 🙂 keep it coming.
Mike
Thanks for sorting the spacing out!

Author's Reply:


Repeater (posted on: 28-03-14)
A murder mystery set in a fantasy land.

A corpse in a copse (started May 23rd 2009) I'd gotten to the point when my life was all but perfect. But then my best friend was killed. Murdered in an horrendous fashion. Well, I say 'best friend' but he was more accurately described as my enemy. Every one's enemy in fact. he only became my best friend after his death. Now this may all sound very confusing and contradictory but I'm sure that as we progress you will begin to understand things a little better. Let me introduce myself. I am Charles and I'm not human. I'm not a monster either but I suppose I am a little frightening on the eye when you first meet me. On the other hand my enemy, turned best friend, was indeed a monster. Perhaps I should describe this monster as my best fiend instead? A clever turn of phrase which will make the telling of this story a little easier. Anyhow, as I was saying, my best fiend was murdered and news spread across the village and realm very quickly. It happened some years ago but it is only now I find I have words enough to tell the story. In fact until a few months ago I didn't have any words whatsoever - I had been literally struck dumb for the past 7 full moons. Let me tell you that a full moon in this quarter does not come along very often - as you would say in your quarter 'once in a blue moon' we in our quarter quote 'once on a full moon'. And not only was I struck dumb I was also struck 'literally' dumb, that is to say I could not utter words nor write them down. A most difficult way to live for 7 full moons worth of time. Oh, a word of warning. This story isn't for the gentle of heart or delicate of nature. It happened truly and I will tell it truly even if it means telling of some unpleasant situations with unpalatable descriptions. So if you are looking for a happy, gentle tale to while away your evening then I fear you should put this book down and move along the shelf. And so back to the story. let me take you back 7 full moons. To summer in fact and to my tidy little study where I was contentedly thinking how my life was pretty much perfect. I had a fine wife - Avora, a fine house situated at the centre of my thriving aluvo plantation (I'll tell you about aluvo later). I had many fine friends and lots of extended family scattered far and wide - in fact further and wider than I ever realised at that time! I was fit and healthy with a vim and vigour that only good living provides. I had little inkling of the events taking place some miles away on the east side of the village. A child, hunting for mushrooms stumbled upon the grizzly sight of my best fiend's lifeless body. A corpse in a copse if you pardon the pun! And in this corpse was a dagger, protruding from the neck like a deadly exclamation mark. This dagger is important to the story as it connects things that seem totally random at first glance so remember the dagger if you can. [PAGEBREAK] The corpse on the sharp end of the dagger was my best fiend - at the time a sworn enemy named Lammal. He only ever had one name, no first or last name just Lammel which as you can see reads the same in reverse - an interesting tit-bit of information but not overly important. Now Lammal had no friends and many enemies. He was the type of soul who looked for trouble anywhere he went and if trouble was not found he would make it. He was big - huge in fact and not many in the village or realm had the muscle to match and so it was easy for Lammal to antagonise and terrorise any and all who had the misfortune to get in his way. Lammal used his considerable bulk to his advantage and there were those in the area who paid him for the services he was apt at providing. This village is not all summer fates and afternoon tea. There are things that occur behind the scenes that do not make comfortable reading. I found this out after I became involved in searching for Lammal's killer. Until then I was of the opinion that not only was my life all but perfect so too was the village I lived. As an aside I can tell you the village has gone. More of that later. Now I have a notion that you are somewhat puzzled by the early details of my story. Don't worry, you will begin to see that the loose threads of this tale create a clear patten on the fabric as I weave them into a story of quite amazing danger and adventure. the fact that I'm still here to tell this tale is neither here nor there but like me some of the characters survived the ordeal - alas some did not. So, the corpse, the dagger, Lammal's shady dealings and my good self are all ingredients that become entwined together to spoil my 'perfect life'. Let's get started! Like I said earlier, unbeknown to me the folk of the village found Lammal's body after an unfortunate child got more than he'd bargained for on a mushroom hunt. Lawmakers were quickly called and it was not long before two lawmakers came knocking on my study door. Oh how I rue that day. I opened the door while holding a cool mug of ale in one hand and a half eaten aluvo in the other. Aluvo cannot be equalled as an accompaniment to ale but that's just my opinion. The two lawmakers were a curious duo. Both were of equal height yet one was narrow while the other was wide. the pair made a perfect '10' framed in my doorway. The round fellow of the duo possessed an accent of the Old Country. An accent that is vary rarely heard nowadays. This told me he was of an age great enough to have been born as far west as it was possible to go and more to the point he was not by nature overly fond of our part of the county. He seem to be the one in charge and he spoke with purpose and authority. 'Sire. I beg forgiveness for this intrusion but we have a situation which requires your attention.' I allowed the two characters to explain their visit from my front door. I'm not in the habit of entertaining visitors and few folk make it across my threshold. He continued. 'We bring news of a death in the village and our investigation so far suggests that you, sire, may be in a position to help with our inquiries. 'I'm sure I do not understand the nature of your visit!' 'You are aware of a landowner that goes by the name Lammel?' 'Aye, I am aware of the fellow.' 'He was found dead some hours ago in a most frightful manner. Our initial search of his property has provided us with information that you might be able to aid us. 'What information do you seek?' I asked with much puzzlement. 'It would seem that sire Lammel and your father Amos are business partners.' 'Were business partners.' I corrected him. 'My father died many years ago and you will find that sire lammel was in part responsible for my father's death.' I felt my face begin to flush at the thought of that horrible time many years ago when I was faced with burying my beloved father. The two fellows at my door exchanged glances before the rotund one continued. 'it would seem sire that your father is very much alive and we would like to talk with him in relation to sire Lammel's murder.' My furrowed brow was enough to tell the two fellows that I was not at all following the thread of this conversation. So the thin fellow who had up until then remained mute uttered a final sentence that made my legs buckle. 'Sire, we are of the opinion that it is your father, Amos, who is responsible for Lammel's murder.
Archived comments for Repeater
richardh on 07-07-2014
Repeater


Author's Reply:

richardh on 07-07-2014
Repeater


Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 28-11-2014
Repeater
I've come back to read this as I missed it the first time posted, I see you have a second chapter posted now. It looks and reads a promising tale, maybe a few to many explanations, I'm looking forwards to the next chapter. In the beginning you mention that the name 'Lammel' can be read backwards...and then it doesn't; although it does some of the time 🙂 is this a typo?
Mike

Author's Reply:


test (posted on: 15-09-08)


test
Archived comments for test
Andrea on 15-09-2008
test
I'm absolutely blown away by this Richard. For me, the title says it all, and the brilliant way you have used the word 'test' to rhyme with...er...'test', is just stunningly clever. All you poets out there - a definite lesson to be learned here!

A truly excellent and masterful piece!

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 15-09-2008
test
I particularly admired the assymetrical synchonicity of the form, and the paradigm shift part way ...

majestic!

Author's Reply:
this is a test reply
test
test

test

another test
any email notifications?

Andrea on 15-09-2008
test
Oh, quite! Surely it deserves a nib?

Author's Reply:

richardh on 15-09-2008
test
just not funny the both of ya 😉 A pair of glasses... it's

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 15-09-2008
test
Oh, so this is what it takes to get a nib? Well, color me jealous and on my way to create my own version...

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

sirat on 15-09-2008
test
There are times when old fogies like me become cynical as to the quality of the poetry on UKA, but this completely vindicates, in terms of accessibility and gravitas, the average UKA poetry submission. Clearly experimental in its intent (as indicated by the word 'test') it succeeds in exploring the frontiers of the literary form by offering a self-referrential commentary on its own layout and a strikingly visual ending that evokes an image of Pamela Anderson on a pogo stick. Profound and thought-provoking – definite Anthology potential.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 15-09-2008
test
This poem started as a piece of 'Erotica' with obvious reference to spherical objects. But the censors decided to excise the word's ending.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 15-09-2008
test
Take particular note of the last stanza. I give you:

'wibble
wibble

wobble

wobble
wibble'

Stunning stuff indeed!

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 15-09-2008
test
when ice 'icles' hang by the wall,
and Dick, the shepherd blows his male ...

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 15-09-2008
test
Oh, but I am distraught! Where has page 2 gorn?

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 16-09-2008
test
Dick has removed them, as he did the 'icles.

Author's Reply:

artisus on 18-09-2008
test
Richard I'm sorry but your prosetry sucks big time. You may be good at stories and very good at PHP script (enviously good), but... you wrestled with an angel here.. and you lost.





Author's Reply:

admin on 18-09-2008
test
Network Timeout







Gawd, that's a bit harsh Nic! I'm troubled by how the mechanical mark-making of the purity of line spatially undermines the substructure of critical thinking, though









Author's Reply:

admin on 18-09-2008
test
Also, with regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the spatial relationships brings within the realm of discourse the distinctive formal juxtapositions, I thought.

Author's Reply:

artisus on 19-09-2008
test
there is perturbation, can't say there isn't. maybe I was too strict last night..

Author's Reply:

Scapegoat on 24-09-2008
test
The sad thing is, this probably WILL make it into the anthology.

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 24-09-2008
test
Er no...it won't



Author's Reply:
testing testing 1 2 3

richardh on 05-06-2012
test
test 2012

Author's Reply:


Armaya Ch. Two It's (posted on: 02-01-04)
The second chapter....

Two Fin left school during lunch and got the bus to Newly. From there he caught the number 44 to East Frankstone. The Lady Isobelle Nursing Home was a short walk from the terminus and it loomed from the horizon like an imagination coming to life. The last time he'd visited was six months ago on his eleventh birthday. Mom visited twice a week but they all agreed the children did not need to see dad until he started getting better. The corridors were decorated in pastels and light wood veneers and everywhere there seemed to be putchers of fresh flowers, on tables, shelves and in hanging baskets. Sunlight streamed through the windows and pleasant music played quietly. Fin caught himself thinking it wasn't a bad place for him to end up before pushing the thought from his mind quickly. He reached a set of locked doors but next to an intercom button was a sign which invited visitors to 'push for assistance'. He was about to turn and walk away until the door opened before he had a chance. An oriental lady dressed in a smart lilac suit emerged. On one lapel was a badge which read 'Janice Ito' Assistant Manager. She looked only slightly surprised to see a school boy attempting to infiltrate the premises. Fin was searching for a way to present himself. "Hello young man!" she said in a clipped voice. "You must be Finlay Purcel's son, Fin Junior is it?" Fink blinked but didn't answer. "We received a call from your mother to say you were visiting today. I'm very glad you decided to come, it will really benefit your father I'm sure." It took a moment for Fin to realise Trish's deception. Yet again she had done his thinking for him. Miss Ito explained a few details as they walked, in particular that his father may or may not remember him and his tendency to talk to himself in wholly irrelevant monologue. She gave assurance that he was happy and having some good days. She didn't explain what "good days" meant, but Fin was comforted by her positive attitude. Mr Purcel was sitting in an upright chair with a pair of round glasses perched on his nose. He was looking at a newspaper and it was only when Fin drew close that he noticed the paper was upside down. The headline concerned the debate over Caldwell Pike. A picture of Councillor Whitelaw and a large headline professed "Board sides with residents". Fin had read the article with interest during breakfast. It seemed that after years of threats the Caldwell Pike Reservoir was finally being replaced with a modern reservoir three times its size. Unfortunately the site was being earmarked for redevelopment and to the dismay of the east side residents Charter Turst had approached the cash strapped council with an offer too good for them to refuse. The reservoir had long been a barrier between East and West ever since West Turst was built in the mid seventies. Galstree, Fins town, had seen a steady rise in crime and it had been hoped that the reservoir would be turned into a conservation area. This option had the benefit of maintaining a natural barrier as well as enhancing the West's badly eroded reputation. Conway Turst, the owner, was a man of unparalleled charm. He wore chunky gold bracelets and gold spectacles on a chain around his neck - the spectacles were more an adornment and never came close to being worn. Turst was the man with unnatural white teeth. His 'vision' was to turn the reservoir and surrounding area into a new district called Turst Valley and his blueprints depicted a gleaming landscape of modern housing and excellent recreational features. A cinema, health and fitness centre, hotels and kids play centers and his pride of place (and deal clincher) an Astroturf football stadium for the use and enjoyment of Turst Valley residents. The problem was that in the seventies, he had made the same promises for his proposals for West Turst. 'Fin, there's someone to see you.' Miss Ito, placed her hand on Mr Purcel's shoulder. After a moment he raised his eyebrows and gave a weak realising smile. 'Well, I'll be'Mr Purcel said gently. Then his expression changed and his brow lowered. 'I told your mother to keep you away. I don't want you seeing me like this'. 'Like what?' Fin said 'Ill and stupid.' Miss Ito gave Fin a warm smile and walked away and he sat on a soft comfortable chair next his father and perused the room. 'It's nice here.' He acknowledged clamping his hands between his knees and rocking slightly. 'Yes it is. They look after us well here.' 'When will you come home?' 'It's so nice here I don't know if I want to come home.' His face had the dusting of a smile to confirm his dry wit but his expression soon turned serious again. 'I can't be a strain on your mother, she's got enough to do looking after a house and family without having to look after a doddering fool like me.'. 'But you seem all right to me. I thought you might not remember me. I was expecting you to be ranting and drooling like a mad dog.' 'Is that how mom described me?' 'No it was just what I was expecting.' 'I have good and bad days, you just caught me at my most sensible.' Fin watched other patients walk by dressed in housecoats and tracksuits. His father spoke again. 'So what brings you here?' 'I need to talk to you.' 'Your mother tells me about the problems you've been having. You should listen to her more, you must keep going to the doctor they're there to help.' 'Dad, I want you to tell me about your dreams.' Fin's father looked surprised. 'You know about that do you?' 'Mom told me you suffered with dreams similar to mine when you were young and that you won't tell anyone about them even her.' 'Well that's.' 'I need you to tell me.' 'They were only dreams Fin, nightmares like losts of kids have. You'll grow out of them, like I did' 'You stopped having them?' Fin's eyes were expectant. 'Well..no.. I sort of got used to them..' 'Do you still have them?' 'Occasionally.' 'Will you tell me?' Fin's father looked reluctant. He took a sip of orange juice from a Styrofoam cup and considered the question. 'I've had these dreams for as long as I can remember. When I was a boy, perhaps about your age, your grandmother Crip told me a story. It concerned an episode that happened to my father and grandfather about six months after I was born. I think if you were to tell me your dreams I would guess there would be some pretty start similarities.' 'Did granddad have the same..problems?' 'He experienced troubled sleep but only after his father disappeared.' 'Disappeared?' Fin repeated. 'Where to?' 'Well that's the story grandmother Crip used to tell me. It was her pet theory about why I was having the dreams. I remember some of the details butit's hazy. She used to tell it like a camp fire tale, every time she would add a bit more to make it different - more spooky. Most of it was pure fantasy, but think she knew the real reason. He took another drink. 'I think you should visit grandmother Crip.' 'I don't think that's a good idea.' Fin commented. 'We haven't seen her for years. Not since she and mom fell out.' 'Oh, yes, it was over and that rancid butter wasn't it? You know, it's funny. I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast most times, but I can remember things that happened years ago. Yes she's a stubborn old woman your grandmother, easy to offend difficult to mend. Your mother's the same, both proud and strong minded. They're like opposite ends of a magnet, I don't think they'll speak again. Still, I think you might benefit from talking to her, she's cantankerous and cranky but she's also a wise old crow'.
Archived comments for Armaya Ch. Two It's
Sunny on 2004-01-02 18:28:05
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
I like how this story is going and look forward to reading more.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-02 23:44:26
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
I'd like to read more, too. This is well done and suspenseful - I like the boy and his father, and dialogue, setting, story and pace.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-02 23:47:08
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
Oh that's you, Richard of Richard UKA! Just looked up the author of this nice story and found out! I didn't address you properly, then - I LIKE YOUR STORY, RICHARD!!!

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2004-01-03 15:52:07
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
Crawler!


Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-04 00:05:06
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
CRAWL CRAWL!!!!!!!!

Richard, once I started reading this, I forgot it was Chapter Two. I haven't read the first chapter but this for me makes a fine Chapter One.
It explains very little: (and so?) it's very mysterious and intriguing.

CRAWLS OFF

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-01-07 04:38:15
Re: Armaya Ch. Two
Hi Richard

Enjoyed reading that. I've made a note of a few things I noticed whilst going through this chapter. Hopefully, some of it might be useful when you come to polishing it. Here goes (I'm putting my comments in brackets):

'...everywhere there seemed to be pitchers of fresh flowers,'

(that line is a bit vague - 'there seemed to be' - either there were flowers or not, so I'd rephrase it e.g. Pitchers of fresh flowers filled the room...or something similar)

'Miss Ito explained a few details...'

(This whole paragraph would work better as dialogue. Let's hear her explaining to Fin about his father's health and memory problems, and let's see his response.)

''Ill and stupid.’ Miss Ito gave Fin a warm smile and walked away and he sat on a soft comfortable chair next his father and perused the room.'

(I'd put the speech on its own as that's the father talking - you don't want to confuse your young reader into thinking it's Miss Ito that's spoken here.)

'His face had the dusting of a smile to confirm his dry wit'

(the phrase 'to confirm his dry wit' is a bit adult-speak and can be removed without spoiling any of it. I think the reader will be able to pick up on the sarcasm in his voice by what he's said and by the line: 'His face had a dusting of a smile.' )

'You should listen to her more, you must keep going to the doctor they’re there to help.’

(Would read better punctuated thus: You should listen to her more. Keep going to the doctor. They're there to help.)

'They were only dreams Fin, nightmares like losts of kids have. '

(little typo - 'losts' = lots) (Also, could be punctuated/rephrased: They were only dreams, Fin. Nightmares. Lots of kids have them. )

‘Will you tell me?’ Fin’s father looked reluctant. He took a sip of orange juice from a Styrofoam cup and considered the question.

(Again, split this into two paras. Fin's speech on one and the father's reaction on another.)

'...you were to tell me your dreams I would guess there would be some pretty start similarities.'

(I'm not familiar with that phrase 'start similarities' - could you mean 'stark similarities' perhaps? I'd take out the word 'pretty' too. Put a comma after dreams. Take out the first 'would', so it reads: ...you were to tell me your dreams, I guess there would be some stark similarities.)

Also, Richard, I do feel the adult author is apparent by the language and phrasing used throughout. My tip would be to go through it again, but forget you're an adult. Make yourself an 11 year old boy again(!) and put things in a way an 11/12 year old would, well as much as possible (and it's not an easy thing to do). A reader of that age also needs to create a close bond with your main character, so we need lots of info about Fin - little reminders of what he looks like, his habits, his mannerisms etc - everything that makes him unique and alive in the reader's mind and not just a name on a page.

Sorry this is so long! Hope it's been of some help.

DQ 🙂


Author's Reply:

wfgray on 09-04-2006
Armaya Ch. Two
A lttle bit disjointed. There really should be some more to read

Author's Reply:

richardh on 24-07-2006
Armaya Ch. Two
a test

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what's the last test?

Andrea on 24-07-2006
Armaya Ch. Two
Testing, testing, 123

(just to get me own back...)

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Andrea on 29-11-2006
Armaya Ch. Two
test

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admin on 30-11-2006
Armaya Ch. Two
Testing yet again...

Gawd...

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Andrea on 10-03-2007
Armaya Ch. Two
Using poor Armaya to test again 🙂 Sorry, Richard...

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The Brightest and the Best (posted on: 07-03-03)
'Turn that torch off before the batteries go altogether'. Larry demanded to his younger brother.

'But I don't like the dark!' Simon sniffed sullenly.

'Well you've picked the wrong hobby then!' he said throwing the final bits of paper on an already diminishing fire.
'Nothing like this has ever happened to us before has it Laz!'
 'It did to me last June. Remember that search party dad called out?' Simon gave a realizing smile and Larry began to tell of his adventure in the Dover caverns.
'It happened in just the same way as today. The two of us, me and Mo exploring the caves at Dover ridge. And we lost our way in exactly the same way.' Simon's head lowered. It was his fault the map had dropped down the crevasse and it was he who'd panicked and made Larry take that bad fall.
'Tell you what', Larry said noticing Simon's gloom return, 'we'll play the game me and Mo thought up while we were waiting for help. It's called "what if.."' 'What?' Simon frowned screwing up his nose.
'I ask a question I know the answer to and you've got three chances to guess. First one to ten.' Simon sighed, not at all keen to co-operate even though he normally loved a game.
'Okay', he huffed, 'you start.'
'Right. What is Cody Adams middle name?'
'God knows!' Simon shrugged.
'Well come on! Guess. It begins with 'M'.
'Mary?'
'No.'
'Melissa?'
'No.'
'Marjorie?'
'No. You've had three, it's Marie.' Simon tutted and hugged his mackintosh tightly, signifying that the cold was once again beginning to beat the puny heat of the fire.

'What is... a Griffin?' Larry continued. They played for almost an hour until Simon was yet again stumped by Larry's "what is the brightest thing known to man" question. 'I don't care'. Simon snapped, 'this is a rubbish game and I don't want to play any more.' A tear overflowed his right eye and Larry knew some brotherly love was called for. 'Don't worry', he said placing an arm around Simon's trembling shoulders 'They'll find us soon.' Hours passed and Simon finally slept, quietly huddled beside Larry. Above them, condensation had formed on several large stalactites and now the rhythmic dripping of water tapped the seconds away. Looking at his watch through the fading torchlight, Larry noted that they had been trapped for almost fourteen hours. It was now three in the morning and he too was becoming more and more fatigued. Larry didn't know how long he'd been asleep when Simon knocked him back to consciousness. All he could hear was the frantic hysteria of his brother and at first thought something terrible had happened. 'What? What is it?' he blurted hobbling to his feet. His trousers were soaked and his bottom was numb through sitting on the hard rock floor. 'Look up there!' Simon squealed almost falling over his eagerness. A laser fine thread of light was streaming through a crack only visible now the morning had dawned. 'A way out!' Simon said peddling up the ragged rocks. 'No you don't!' said Larry grabbing at Simon's climbing harness. 'I'II check it out, you stay put.' After snatching up a rope and hammer axe, he began to ascend towards the light with Simon's hopeful gaze following all the way. The crack was about two feet long and only inches wide. It was far too narrow for a body to pass through, but with luck, and a sharp piton hammer, Larry felt he could widen the opening sufficient enough to squeeze out. It took ages before the first chunk of granite thudded to the floor, splintering on impact into dozens of sharp slithers. 'Move away stupid!' Larry shouted. 'And get your helmet on.' Eventually, the crack was wide enough for Larry to attempt the squeeze to beat all squeezes. Simon looked on wide-eyed and helpless as his brother's legs dangled precariously from the crack. After minutes of grunting and heaving his whole body disappeared from view and Simon waited in yearning silence. Then, from the crack fell the orange rope, followed by Larry's ecstatic call.
'I'm out.'
All their worry and panic evaporated as they gleefully hugged the Sun soaked cliff top, laughing and whooping with utter relief.
'The sun!' Simon suddenly exclaimed, through frowning closed eyes.
 'What about it?' Larry said with a wry smile.
'It's the answer to your 'what is' question... what is the brightest thing known to man!' he said rhythmically. 'The sun is the brightest thing known to man.'
They both laughed once again and as the reality of their situation sunk in, Simon added gratefully,

'The brightest... and the best.

Archived comments for The Brightest and the Best
e-griff on 2003-03-07 06:31:49
Re: The Brightest and the Best
well, look Richard, everyone knows what a Griffin is. It's when someone knocks on my door and I answer it.

I'm not letting you off the hook because you can sabotage all my work if I annoy you (gulp). all I'll say is
picky:-
'demand of' not 'to' or just demand.
realizing smile ? Hmm.
and
what was it about? (yes two men in hole get out, contrast of bright sun, free from dark prison, fear.) but what? Could have had some revelations in the cave, old antagonism, forgiveness in face of imminent death, confession? Go on back and write more into it, man! let's have more character, conflict.

No major errors, though.
apart from that, it is a work of staggering genius (more points, eh?) (Please?) I didn't mean it........


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e-griff on 2003-03-07 06:33:42
Re: The Brightest and the Best
and how did he see the tear in his brother's eye when (presumably) the torch was switched off or dead after an hour?

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Andrea on 2003-03-07 06:53:34
Re: The Brightest and the Best
Night vision?

Oooh, your goose is well an' truly cooked...

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richardh on 2003-03-07 07:02:09
Re: The Brightest and the Best
Agree completely griff.

Was written 10 or 11 years ago for a competition asking for short stories (750) based on the title 'The Brightest and the Best'

Anyone remember Hudsons book shop? (changed name to Dillons and was taken over by Waterstones).

I'll do better next time. Promise!

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e-griff on 2003-03-07 07:27:05
Re: The Brightest and the Best
you'd be surprised how many say something like that when challenged! I give you three weeks to rewrite and improve it. Now that's a challenge! I shall be waiting!

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Andrea on 22-11-2005
The Brightest and the Best
Well, not re-written then, Richard? Tsk tsk...

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admin on 27-11-2006
The Brightest and the Best
A work of literary genius, so it is.

(actually it's just a test to see if the comments notifications are working yet :-))

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Remember Me (posted on: 10-01-03)
Just something I wanted to write

I.. was there on your first day I watched as she cut off your cord when you opened your eyes for the first time I finally believed in the Lord I soothed and removed all your fevers I gently erased all your pain you slept on without even knowing in the night when the tooth fairies came My job was to make your life happy to brighten you when you were sad when you wanted to play or you had a bad day you could always rely on your Dad I was there to chase off all your nightmares at night when you called out my name I turned all your worries to sweetdreams and helped you sleep calmly again Whenever you need help or comfort when you're fearful and want someone to care think of me always Remember me always I'm your Dad and I'll always be there. THE END

Archived comments for Remember Me
Easyray on 2003-01-13 00:21:54
Re: Remember Me
It's never going to win any prizes, but it's kinda sweet and it rhymes well.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 2003-01-14 17:38:28
Re: Remember Me
I agree about the prizes, but who needs them when you've got something like that to give to your kid. Beautiful. Put it in an envelope and give him it on his eighteenth birthday. Bet you a fiver he cries.

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Andrea on 29-12-2006
Remember Me
Well, you need to put a few single quotes in, to really test, don't ya?



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Armaya Ch. One (posted on: 28-05-02)
The first chapter of a childrens mystery novel.

Fins nightmares had been a mild hindrance at first. 'Night frights.' his mother had called them. 'A stage.' Trish had offered. But the night frights had not subsided, the stage had not passed, on the contrary, they were getting worse. He had finally had to face the possibility that he was destined to end up like his father. For the first time in as long as he could remember Fin was quietly crying into his pyjama sleeve. He heard the door open and wiped the dampness from his eyes. 'You're up early!' Fin said to his sister. His voice broke the silence like a gun shot in a monastery. 'Walls have ears!' she said quietly. 'and thin walls have bigger ears!' 'Don't tell mom Trish, please! She'll only send me to the mind reader again.' Fin, you can't go on like this. Just look at the state of you.' She paused and brushed her hand through Fin's damp hair. 'Was it a bad one?' Fin's chin twitched and he tried to hold his emotions in check. He nodded minutely, choked and unable to talk. 'Tell me about it. It might help.' Fin didn't respond right away. The gagging feeling in his throat was hard to control and opening his mouth would be like opening a floodgate. He waited for the postman to make a drop at number 23 - Patrick Wilson, Fin's best friend. The Postie avoided number 25. No mail for the Purcel's today! A gentle breeze brought with it the sound of light traffic, a kind of hush that would increase in volume as rush hour commenced. 'I think I'm going to end up like dad.' Fin sighed. 'It must be what doctor Hardy told mom.' 'A mental breakdown?' Fin nodded and watched a sparrow fly from the front lawn up to the eaves of number 26 carrying a limp worm in its yellow beak. The early bird, thought Fin. 'This is what dad went through isn't it? The dreams, nightmares and visions. It's how he started and now look at him!' 'Dad is ill. It's not the same thing.' Trish sat on the edge of the bed and a spring twanged somewhere deep inside the mattress. She continued, 'What was last nights dream about?' 'Same as the others really.' Fin shrugged. 'Except it felt more urgent.' 'Urgent?' Trish echoed. [PAGEBREAK] 'Yeah. He seemed to be pleading, begging for help or something.' Fin did not have to elaborate for Trish knew Fin's dreams almost as well as he did himself. They contained the same elements, always the same single character. A tortuous man with waxen skin and a hollow, terrified glare. He held his arm in an awkward position, stiff and bent like it was suspended in an invisible sling and he always appeared from the darkness of Fin's mind like a character in Scoobie Doo. Except this character was much more sinister. Gradually the dreams turned to nightmares where loud rushing water, a feeling of suffocation, terrible pain and coldness often caused Fin to jerk awake in a cold sweat. Sometimes Fin would dream he was running along a tunnel, trying to escape from a snarling hound. Most time he would wake before being caught for which he was grateful. Other times, however, he would run for a long time sensing the hound closing upon him. [PAGEBREAK] He would reach the same point where the tunnel divided into two and he always took the wrong turn. The dog would catch him, sinking its teeth into his calf and bringing him down swiftly. The dog lacked an eye and the empty socket had sunk to form a black void. Saliva dripped from yellow fangs onto Fins face and the moist sickening smell of dog breath filled his nostrils even after he had woke. 'I tried to talk t him last night.' Fin said. 'I know, I heard you mumbling in your sleep.' 'He doesn't listen to me. I have no control over events. It just gets worse.' He hugged his knees against the chilly breeze. 'It's like he's taking control of me.' He started to cry silent tears so Trish crossed the room and hugged his head to her chest. A moment passed and Fin began to collect him self. He wiped his nose on a piece of crumpled toilet tissue. 'I need to speak with dad.' he said. 'I don't think mom will let you see him. He's still not well.' 'I know but I feel as if he's the only one who might be able t help me.' 'Fin, mom told you about his prob dreams.' She corrected herself. 'She told me what he had told her, which wasn't much. He refused to talk about it He lived with it until' his voice trailed off. 'Until he got sick.' They watched the man opposite start up his trusty old Land Rover. It chugged to life like a piece of farm machinery and a plume of blue smoke belched from the exhaust. All at once it seemed like the day had started. 'Don't tell mom.'
Archived comments for Armaya Ch. One
on 2002-06-12 23:21:41
Re: Armaya
liked this, it looks like the start of an interesting mystery.

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2002-09-05 22:36:17
Re: Armaya
An interesting beginning. I would like to read more.

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2012 it's

richardh on 2002-12-21 06:01:05
Re: Armaya Ch. One
comments test

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sputnikstar on 2003-07-15 02:05:33
Re: Armaya Ch. One
i think you have begun the story very nicely. hope you keep writing it and we get to the end of it before i begin chewing my nails and finishing the lot.
great job!

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Andrea on 08-12-2006
Armaya Ch. One
test from richard via Andre's account

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SugarMama34 on 21-02-2007
Armaya Ch. One
Hi Richard, I liked the start of this very much. It keeps the reader gripped and wanting to find out more about the dreams and what his dad has gone through. It makes the reader ask the questions: What illness? For how long has he been like this? Why won't his mum let fin see his dad? Those are all good signs, which adds more mystery to this chapter, it will make the reader want to turn to the next page and carry on reading. The only thing I did wonder was how old Fin actually is? I noticed a couple of typos, but nothing major.
A good story for kids I'd say and adults, as I have enjoyed this from stat to finish.

Cheers, from Lis'.xx

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