Author Update (Feb 16)

WELL, as per tradition its the last Sunday of the month. Albeit a new tradition. And on the last Sunday of the month comes an author update. It occurred to me I should probably put the month in the title so I knew what it was… OOPS!

Anyway! This month, well its been its own different kind of special. Very roller coaster. Emotionally its been an up and down month. Of course a few may be aware that this month last year I was in the process of a rather brutal break up that pretty much broke my heart. So of course this year I have been quite reflective. Though it seems the heartbreak was worth it. It changed me for the better a  lot. I feel evermore determined and less willing to settle.

Of course I will probably expand more on the past year on my birthday as an as a whole another year older what has made me wiser kind of thing. But I will probably just be very happy for the day off of work.

I’ve been reading still this month of course! I’m still muddling through the GOT series. It’s pretty good… she says trying not to sound impressed. The techniques are quite interesting.

Oh and this month I decided to add a new thing to my ridiculously over crowded schedule… I am attempting to learn guitar. Though my fingers are still baby soft. I wonder if I will miss that when I learn it enough to be able to play? Probably. I need to practice more than the once or twice a week chance  I have done the last 3/4 weeks. I want to try to do something on learning maybe once a day even if its theory?

This month my assessor on my apprenticeship changed so will see how this goes. Not long left.

This week Someone asked how arappleby.com is doing readership wise, I did shrug I honestly don’t really look much at my stats. I probably should keep an eye on it. But I did have a quick look at my stats today and notifications on here. But I did see that I have a few new followers I would love to say a very big hello and thank you! And a big thank you to all those who read the site. I do appreciate you taking the time to have a look.

Other weird stuff this month?

Well I did have some social time this month. I went out for an evening with my bro Harry. We went to a local songwriters corner event at the local pub at the weekend… It was bloody interesting. It was more a social event for me so I played cards with Harry while we listened. There was a lot of learning going on for me as I watched from the corner of my eye. So I guess I didn’t really have the time “off” of working. It seems to be that I am constantly doing something. So anyway, I learned a lot about perception. How important it is to utilize the talent at your disposal and how important loving whatever you are doing has to be. I noticed that a few of the artists, there was little differentiation between songs, something I wasn’t the only one to notice. I learned a lot and I do appreciate it and the evening. I loved hanging out with Harry again for a while. It was a great catch up.

More weird stuff?

I feel even more proactive even though I often feel like I am being lazy or slacking off. Whether its that I am watching tv or reading; I seem to forget or neglect that I am still working because I am analyzing the presentation of the storylines and the tactics being used as well as just enjoying the stretching of the imagination. Now as I listen to music I seem to do once for enjoyment, again for lyrics, again for melody, again for song build up and structure. It’s all strange like I am playing with building blocks with my imagination trying to understand things. I think that learning bug is taking over.

I am so excited and its not for something specific. I just seem to be especially excited like I can feel something coming. It’s all good whatever it is. I am just very ready and excited… Just want to know what the feeling is for… Not that I don’t appreciate it.

 

May luck and adventure be on your side!

 

ARA xxx

Counting Corvids Chapter Eight Cheeky Extras

Ivy/ Red Headed demon

 

This is a high-upper level demon. In its ranks it is highly manipulative, generally a female species that thrives on attention of men. This demon has crimson red hair and a slightly pixie like appearance.

This demon is frankly a bit psychopathic, it kills the victims after attention and drama dries up by suffocating them using a creeping ivy that binds and swallows the victim whole.

In order to kill this demon you better have time, patience and power. Ideally to kill the demon it must be starved of direct attention and burned in a lake during a full moon.

Counting Corvids Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight “Poison Ivy”

 

Tucking in a pendant on a chain Hunter knocked at the door, Willow’s father, Eric opened the door looking at his daughter’s suitor. Willow came rushing down the stairs, in the hope of leaving quickly. “Willow you look beautiful”

“My daughter is.” Her mother tucked Willows collar down creating a fuss.

Finally out the door Hunter lead Willow to a beautiful little picnic area completely made stunning by the nature around them. After paying Willow a few compliments their date was rudely interrupted by a woman with bright red hair and a pixie like appearance, in a dress of what looked like ivy. “Oh, really not cool”
“What?”
“That is what is known commonly as the red headed demon, it feeds off of attention and suffocates its victims with ivy, its also called an ivy demon.”
“Charming, yup”

“So erm, you feel like running?”
“Sure, why not?” The two sprang up and headed into the thicket of trees watching the ivy demon who began to feast on a quake demon. They turned and disappeared further into the woods. “They only feast on those with powerful magic, normally, I suspect the Quake was a snack”

“How do you know all of this stuff?”
“It’s my job to know.”

*

“Ah good, Willow, Hunter I’ve got some news, Hunter you know how you said you were adopted? I found your mother, it turns out you were kidnapped as a baby and well erm, did you want me to set up a meeting?”

“Wow, Madi, your certainly something aren’t you, I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet”

“That’s cool, that’s cool. Sorry it must be hard for you, Willow, so erm, another thing I recently discovered, how comes you never told me you were the chosen one?”
“Wow, Madi, don’t beat around the bush do you, I didn’t say anything because well, because I don’t want to be,” Willow stared at her hands holding her cup of tea. “It’s a lot of pressure and responsibility to make the alliance everyone wants.”
“I am sure you will make the right choice” Hunter smiled taking her hand.

Willow looked away for a second, “its not like you don’t have to help you should look in the book.”

“What book?”

“The book of Hecate, the book that contains prophecies and answers sent to guide the chosen one.”
“I don’t have it”

“You should”

*
“What’s the cost?”

“Two upper level powers”

“Fine, just make sure you stop her from ever seeing him and hunter can never know.”
“Fine, your bounty will cover the hit but I am at risk”
“There’s another two powers in it for you, but Hunter must never meet his so called mother”
The bounty hunter disappeared leaving Gray standing on his own in the darkness.

 

Counting Corvids Chapter Seven Cheeky Extras

“Blood Promise”

 

A way of saving a non-magical being from attack that can only be performed on a non-magical being. As seen in the chapter. The mix of magic blood acts like a ward and a cure. Though this is not always fool proof and is very dangerous.

Wouldn’t recommend the use, it binds the person to the blood giver with the magic, it often transfers the magic into the person which can accelerate mental instability. But on some occasions it can have a great positive effect.

Oh also did I mention don’t try it, blood borne diseases and all that.

Counting Corvids Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven “Marfa”

 

The girls came round in a dark cave, no longer lit by the eerie ambiance of the vampires, the only light came from the small fire in the middle of the room. The echoes of the pouring rain outside filling the cave, sat on a rock was a man, he hadn’t noticed them come round till they sat up. “I used to come to these caves to escape my home, but you look as though you’ve served your torture here?”
“What happened?” The man helped Madi up Willow watched the firelight flicker and dance on his face as he helped Madi into a more comfortable seat before turning to help Willow up. He was thoroughly handsome, as he took her hand and her breath away.

He helped her onto his rock that he had sat on and began tending to a cut on Willows forehead. “I don’t know what happened, I found you in here, exactly as you were, I came in to escape the rain in my old haunt and there you were. It’s a stormy mess out there.”

“We need to be getting back, we’ll be missed” Madi’s voice of reason brought Willow to her senses. “She’s right, thank you but we have to get home” there was a crack of lightening that traveled through the depths of the cave illuminating them for a moment. The man tending Willows head couldn’t have looked older then mid to late twenties with blue green eyes and dark brown hair, he was nothing short of stunning.

“Give it a few minutes, hey, let the worst of the storm pass” Willow and Madi agreed.

“I’m Madi by the way and she’s Willow” hoping for some attention from the man “What beautiful names” he said clearly unable to take his eyes off of Willow. “I’m Hunter, so what brought you girls here.” Both chorused that they weren’t too sure.

After a while they had begun sharing a little information about themselves as the storm thundered on Hunter revealed he had been and had come back to the area to find out who he really was, after an hour or so the storm eased just as they had begun to feel like they had almost always known each other. Helping Willow home with her very sore head and aching body they walked through the lighter down pour. Walking by what was believed to be the Gourlay compound they saw a few people watching the building surveying how to get in perhaps, they keep their heads down and hurried Willow forward. Hunter left her and Madi talking, under a sheltered alcove while he went back. Curious the girls followed him, the two people turned towards Hunter, Madi and Willow this time choosing to run, Hunter caught up with the slowest and dragged him back.

A few minutes later he revealed himself as a demon, a Colter demon to be exact. He reveals the Marfa of their master, Gray, was to appear. Hunter explained that Gray was a high level demon who was vanquished hundreds of years ago, a Marfa was an escaped spirit of an upper level demon on the hunt for a new body. The Colter smirked as he said they and the new body waiting for their master.

Hunter, Madi and Willow followed the Colter to find where his master would return, borrowing an unlocked, abandoned chevvy, they chased down the Marfa to discover a nest of Colter demons holding a man to the ground, the Marfa entered his body and the Colters cheered. Willow coming up from behind knocked the possessed man out with a blow to the head as Madi and hunter fought the Colters off, throwing the limp form in the back seat.

Hunter got behind the wheel as Madi started barking at her “I’ve heard of Marfas, they can only inhabit mortal humans, without magic”
“Great what do I do?”
“Turn him over. Oh my God it’s Ollie, its Ollie.”
“What do I do?”

“Your closest, you’re going to have to do it”
“Do what?”

“Share blood, of the two of you, you must entwine your blood and his so your magical blood can course his veins”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes now do it” Willow managed to do it not before the ball of light reappeared and sped off in a new direction.

“Its close to midnight hopefully it won’t find a body in time, or we are very much screwed” Madi’s voice was weak and hollow. Minutes later they had pulled at Willows and lifted the limp form into the house.

“Hey Ollie, come on wake up”

“What did you do? Where are those things?” Willow knelt beside him, “they aren’t here, your safe we got you away from them”

“I’m not safe am I? Not when I’m around you Madi they told me they chose me because of you, what did you do?” Madi was in stunned silence by his sudden anger, she could find no answer. There was nothing Willow could say, she got up to allow them some privacy. Minutes later a furious Ollie was out the door when the girls went to find him they couldn’t see him anywhere.

 

Counting Corvids Chapter Six Cheeky Extras

Fury (talisman)

Fury demons! Awesome, sneaky buggers. A very high upper level demon.

Willow’s father is half Fury making her quarter. They have demonic powers that are very strong, and is often exceeding most races of demons in resourcefulness. They also emit very cool violet fire.

But that is not all, they have an overall leader, a king. They are able to move around in the mortal human world with ease. They disguise their demonic traits and nature by using a very special rare custom built talisman. These things are genetically linked and come from family blood lines.

Fury’s are notorious for cross breeding, across races like Elementals or humans. The humans, well they are non-magical mules that can be used by a later generation to produce functional Fury demons. But when crossed with a magical race, they tend to prefer to make the demonic streak of the DNA more silent and so use the talismans to supress and hide this in the offspring. Generally these magical cross overs are experiments or flings. But the results can be quite amusing, well from the Fury perspective at least.

Counting Corvids Chapter Six

Chapter Six “Bite Me Again”

 

“Joseph, darling, your back tell me what news do you have?” Joseph bowed before the Queen until she gave the pardon and he stood straight. “Your majesty, to be able to take the chosen one we have to convert the friend, she is weak, we will get her to help deliver our prize.”

“And how do you to propose this?”
“Let me bite the weak one, distract the chosen one when she isn’t looking I will seize my chance.”
“Can you guarantee our prize?”

“Without a doubt your majesty”
“Go, and do not fail me”
*
“He’s late”

“I know”

“I hate when people are late”
“I know”

“If people say they are going to meet you at a certain time, they should be on time”
“I know, Willow, Chill”
“Fine”

“He will be here when he gets here”
“Fine”

“Sorry I’m late ladies, I got held up” J.B strolled in cool as a cucumber to Willows annoyance. “Apparently we three have caused a bit of a stir, the Gourlay’s have apparently hired a hit on my head, and they don’t believe that you girls could have survived their attacks without me. As flattering as that is, having a bounty hunter on your tail isn’t much fun.”

The girls stared perplexed at his casual announcement. “Right, so what do we do?”
“Well vanquish the bounty hunter of course, my gosh Willow, didn’t I explain it?”

“Well, no”

“Why don’t you go make a basic vanquishing potion, I am sure Madi will keep me safe?” Madi nodded as she handed over her potion recipe note book. Slightly bemused Willow left to do the potion. “Madi, I’ve waited so long for us to be alone, I’m just sorry it’s under these circumstances.” He lent in as though to kiss her turning at the last minute to bite her neck. Madi’s eyes flashed crimson as he pulled away. “My little crimson ruby, I need you to do me a favour” Madi nodded through her hypnotized glaze. “Bring Willow with you to our festivities, you will know how to find me and we can celebrate your awakening.” Madi nodded once more watching J.B leave. She stood once more and made her way to go to see Willow.

*

“I told him to hide out and wait for us to find him, come quickly and we can get it all over with, pass me the potion, I’ll be the better shot you might need your hands free.” Willow handed Madi the potion bottles and followed her down into a cave.

“Your majesty, she is here”
“Well done, Joseph you delivered them”
“I would never disappoint you, you will be the first to drink from the chosen one, your majesty.” A reluctant and wriggling Willow was pulled into the room, screaming obscenities, by Madi and some other scantly clad vampires dragging her to the center of the room. “How much of an honor s bestowed upon me, the Queen of these beautiful children is to convert the chosen one into her fold?” The Queen bared her teeth approaching Willow who had finally broken free. Without hesitation the Queen lashed out throwing her into the furthest wall knocking her out. Madi turned to go to help Willow back into position.

Behind her a figure appeared. That same shadowy figure from the alley. The Queen of the vampires knelt before it and her minions followed suit. Before the figure reached out releasing a bolt of lightning set to slay the Queen, her minions disappeared in puffs of smoke and Madi collapsed beside the crumpled form of the Willow, both unconscious but perfectly fine.

 

 

Counting Corvids Chapter Five Cheeky Extras

“Shimmer”

A term used to describe transporting yourself from one place to another, it is a demonic power.

If you were to witness it, the best description I can give, is that the person sort of vibrates at a high frequency and their image pales to nothing very quickly. It is a very unreliable method of transport until a degree of power is accumulated and trained and developed. Though this can occur by accident. Lots of things can unintentionally happen when “shimmering”.

But I would like to re-highlight that this is definitely a demon only thing.

Counting Corvids Chapter Five

Chapter Five “Pack Animal”

 

“Willow and I are just going for a walk be back soon honey.”

“O.k. sweetie take a jacket” Willow closed the door behind them. “Willow, you shimmered, its serious I had hoped that you wouldn’t have been able to, but it looks like I have no choice but to tell you.” Her father’s face darkened, “Willow, my father, your grandfather was a Fury.” Willow stared blankly. “A Fury, is a type of demon, he tricked my mother and well, I came about. When I met your mother I was so ashamed to be part fury I told her I was just a flame Elemental, and I hoped that the fury would make no impact when you were born. You were so tiny, but you were born able to use magic, something pure Elementals can’t do. I hoped it was because you had purely elemental, my flame and your mothers mist and earth, but when you shimmered today, I knew it was my fault.”

“So I’m part demon, great anything else you want to add?”

“You’re the chosen one, but you already knew that”
“Will your demon, will my demon side affect the alliance?”
“Possibly, it could swing either way”
“How do you hide your fury side then? Wouldn’t others be able to tell?”
“They would, but I wear a talisman”

“That hideous pendant?”

“That’s the one, they are only made by fury demons, and they are used to conceal your demonic heritage from others that must not know. Fury’s are one of the highest upper level demons, and with the help of these talismans notoriously hard to find and vanquish.”
“What’s that? What’s it doing?”

“My God, it’s a Gourlay, I haven’t seen one of those in ages you might want to vanquish it, it’s on the hunt”

“What?”

“Just, give me a hand will you, they tend to hunt in packs but this one must be the loose cannon.” Minutes later the demon burst into toxic green smoke.

Eric, Willows father lead them swiftly back to the house.

“Madi, J.B what are you doing, I thought we were meeting later?”
“We were but we thought, hey why not go out to lunch, I hope you don’t mind?” Madi smiled encouragingly at Willow trying to get Willow to agree to J.B’s suggestion. “Sure, why not, we have just vanquished a Gourlay, why not?”

Madi’s face changed to concern “was it with a pack? Where were the others?”

“I don’t know it was on its own”

“It must have been separated we need to find the rest of them, and fast, they normally hunt in packs of, well, three.”

Madi pulled Willow and J.B out the house and down the street in search of the missing Gourlay demons. A couple of roads away they heard a scream, the three burst into a run towards the scream. Coming level with the scream they saw two revolting creatures with vicious lime green eyes feasting on a body, aging it until it became withered and old before turning into a pile of ash. The Gourlays turned to face the three stood in horror. Their voice rasping as they spoke “Dude, more for the collective”
“Dude, shall we?” They chorused as they said “Dude” a final time before they edged to trap their prey.  Willow spoke out at last grimacing at the sight before them, “you take the left, you the right.”

“Ha, dude, the girl thinks they can win”

“Dude.” They cackled without hesitation Willow reduced the one on the right to a puff of vile green smoke blowing it to smithereens. Turning to the one on the left, she caught or created, she wasn’t quite sure, a gust of wind took the flames she had shot at the Gourlay and fanned them as they danced in circles around the Gourlay before pelting her with the balls of fire as she transformed into a puff of the dense green smoke.
Madi’s Jaw dropped stared at Willow. “Well that’s vanquishing in style” Willow laughed with Madi, while J.B chuckled a hollow laugh.