Carpe Noctem

Chapter Two: Leianna

“Are you certain?” In truth, this is all a wild guess and I am trying to live up to expectations. There is no guarantee, there never is when it comes to eavesdropping, there never is when you are trying to infiltrate an organisation that would happily destroy you if they only know the truth. But there are chances that must be taken.

“Yes” I respond trying to sound as steady, certain and in control as I could be.

“You are ready? This is the one shot, one chance, no do overs. One trip and they won’t tell the difference or care.” I know what I am risking, my life. But reminding me doesn’t help the suffocating pressure or wanting to snap back. But a risky shot means risky company. Instead I take a deep breath and a half smile I let the false face of relaxation fall to reveal a confident expression of warning and control.

“I know what I’m doing.” I feel the corner of my mouth twitch, no doubt right now, I won’t let it sink in. This is the moment I have waited for, the cold sweats in the night are coming to fruition.

“I hope you realise, this may be the beginning of your undoing, asking me to unleash them.” I see it now, his pallor under his tan, he doesn’t fear for me. Perhaps if this were a normal friendship. No, he fears them, letting them loose could be linked back to him, but that is only if the touched decide to find a cause, and if he gives me up… Well that won’t be pretty, there is too much at stake. An almost lifelong friendship won’t change what I have to do. Failure is not an option.

“I need you to trust me. Can you do that Henry?” I ask trying to soften my features enough to look concerned. I know he will trust me.

“Lei, have I ever failed you?” He tries to act nonchalant stirring the sauce into his milkshake.

“No… but that doesn’t mean you can start now.” I smile finally enjoying the cold sweetness of the blue ice cream. I don’t doubt that my lips have turned colour from the ice cream.

A few minutes of quiet passes by. “So once they are summoned you have a small head start before they start coming after you and them. You have to move quick and make sure you are in the right place.”

“How many?”

“For what you want, to make it look genuine, to make running the only option? You won’t like it, but it is better you don’t know.” I feel the dread rise, I hate these creatures at the best of times, but timing has to be perfect. We go through the plans another couple of times before we leave the café, I hop into Henry’s car he drops me a few feet from where I need to be. I make my way towards the graveyard and wait in a dingy little pub nearby. The angel statues feel as though they watch me at the further edges of the hallowed ground, cold stone eyes. I watch Trova, a mirror of myself in what appears to be every way stride inside the gates. I slip out of the back and into the carpark. A couple of minutes to walk around the block. I didn’t need the buzzing in my pocket to warn me, I could feel it, the cold, the sound of wet flesh and the smell of damp. The shadows are alive, right now, so am I. I remember what I have to do, I run to the corner of the road. I count it in my breath, five, four, three, two, one and their alarm would have gone off, we are close enough now, heading towards the grave yard. I hate running, I hate the way my body feels when I run, like I can feel my muscles jerk and bounce, and the weight I can’t seem to loose reminding me I should exercise more and eat less crap. But it doesn’t matter right now. Just keep moving. Continue reading

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Author Update (January 2019)

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I hope the first month of 2019 has treated you all really well.

As you can see there has been a little change to the content of arappleby.com after a lot of consideration I decided to make this site much more me. If that makes sense, so to me that meant including some of my other passions, namely knitting at the moment. It’s something I do to relax but it’s also something I am proud of even if I am still learning after nearly 20 years on and off, new patterns, stitches and difficulties. I am still passionate about writing, without a doubt.

The new feature,  Carpe Noctem has been exciting to write and I am still going with it, I really enjoy the new way of testing out the waters on new techniques and ideas that I am working on. Speaking of writing… I am trying a new schedule, or at least I am hoping to come up with making this a much more manageable year for writing. I think last year I set lots of expectations for myself that I couldn’t meet because I made the goals too hard to achieve realistically. That of course had a knock on how much time I would spend doing something that was meant to be fun that ended up stressing me out. So this year, my two set writing days I am going to split a bit more evenly between my projects. Today is obviously website day!

Well I had the start of January off of work, the first week at least. I spent it relaxing, I didn’t write once, but I did have some quality time with my other half which was great. We managed to spend time cooking together and getting to relax, it was also his birthday! Which was lots of fun, he had a good day which was all I wanted for him. He got a bit spoiled but isn’t that what birthdays are for.

Back to work blues hit in pretty hard. I’ll be honest, I want to spend more time writing, but I need to afford to live a life. It was ok a few years ago when I didn’t have these same goals and things I needed to save for, I could make the sacrifices that I now can’t afford to. But also at the same time writing was largely a form of therapy and I desperately needed that time. This year is going to be all about finding my balance. Writing and work.

I’ve done a little bit of writing this month which compared to the past few months with all the Christmas hubbub has been a good change, not at the writing rate I want to be this year but I am making progress onto the amount of time and quality I am aiming for. A regular set day or two for writing a week is a good thing.

This month has really triggered a “no more spending” ruling after looking at the things we are doing this year… lets see how that lasts… Time to start saving up again.

Nothing changes here in terms of throwing plugs in for my amazon books on my author page… I haven’t lost my hope just yet.

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA

xxx

Knitter Knatter

Welcome to the first ever Knitter Knatter. I’m already super excited and I can’t wait to show you what I have been working on recently.

So, what has been the project that is in my favour? A spiral knit blanket.

 

So as you can see I started it with so much energy…. Using five colours all brought from Poundland. There is peach, mint, pink, cream and blue and it follows that colour routine all around. It’s very soft because I decided that going with baby wool would give a much sweeter finish to the project.

 

As you can see in the early stages it was quick and easy to knit, but that shortly changed and the more I knitted the longer finishing a side felt like it took. I really like how the spiral is turning out and creating the neat little ridge was a really sweet addition. I think similar patterns are found using the keywords “spiral knit blanket” these can be found on Ravelry or even on youtube. I’ve done this blanket style a few times so I never follow a pattern and go with whatever looks best at the time. Continue reading

Carpe Noctem

Chapter One: Petrova

I pulled Ward from the hallway into an empty room. “Trova what are-” the surprise on his face transformed as I cut off his sentence. I had moved swiftly but not swift enough that he hadn’t caught my hand on the way up to wrap behind his head. He smiled toying with me pulling away a little, his hand holding my wrist still, he leant in a little, lingering just out of reach. He released my hand smiling. Challenging me. I wrapped it behind his head, running my fingers into his hair as he leant into me, our lips barely a distance away, his breath warmed my lips as I held his steady gaze. I felt playful and full of mischief, something he loved about me, when he went to kiss me I pulled back just a little and smiled at his frustration before I leant back in and pressed my lips to his, the warmth of his touch spread. My focus detached from our mouths warm and hungry against one another. I felt his hand fall from near my wrist, down my arm tracing it to my shoulder. Settling his palm against the small of my back pulling me closer. I could feel every point our bodies pressed against one another. I took his other hand in mine and wrapped it around me, letting go of his hand now pressing against me. I rested my now free hand on his shoulder. His kiss growing hungrier, I can’t help but smile. Our breathing quickened by the kiss.

There was a warmth, a strange sensation spreading from every point our bodies touched. Something inside of me flinched. A reminder to not lose control.

I ended the kiss. Pulling away felt like a cold sobering shower. Whatever frustration was on Ward’s face faltered on seeing mine. I hadn’t wanted to stop, not really. Had I not pulled away, I don’t know if I could have stopped. But an empty room in the lecture building doesn’t often remain empty for long. I peered out of the door into the hallway, no one would notice us exit the room, I didn’t doubt the bustling hall would be perfect cover as we slipped out of the room. We headed to the next lecture. Taking our regular seats, we sat waiting for the others to join us. Our friends came in next. There was a handful of us taking the class for a genuine reason others took folklore as an easy fun elective, for us, we had to as part of our training.

Let it never be said that the protectors of humanity had no formal training. This was the way it had to be. Physical training was something we had endured our whole life, but when it comes to education, well our parents have always wanted to keep us alive as long as possible, and there is that old cliché. Information is power. Continue reading

Carpe Noctem

Chapter One: Leianna

“Trova you have to be careful.” The words ring in my ears, the name rings in my ears. The name I have heard before, so many times, the echo in my ears throughout my entire life, the name, the girl I cannot shake. The girl I must shake. The girl I am told is meant to be better than me, no that is not the word. The girl who is meant to be good, to be pure, to be raised and blessed. Practically an angel on earth. Then there is me, her own personal counter balance. Today I will meet my own nemesis or so I am told. So it has been planned and schemed for me. I have to go meet the girl who has been the other side of my life that I have never met, an illegal bond. I am about to become the anomaly. Someone’s own personal nightmare or so I am told. For I am the unworthy one… or at least compared to her and them, I will be.

“Good morning my princess.” My mother greats me with that smile of hers, so sharp but charming all at once. She is in a good mood, a bit prickly, that wouldn’t be considered unusual if it wasn’t for that nervous glance at me when I sit down at the table. A huge breakfast is put before me. “It’s a big day for you.” Like I could forget with the weight of her smile.

“Let her eat in peace dear, she will do what needs to be done.” My father’s words are heavy this morning; I know what I have to do. Turning another soul dark, but not just that, turning mine permanently. I have twenty-four hours to set my soul on a course for the rest of my natural life. Not just my own soul either, it is not just my soul the darkness is calling for, it wants her too. The name that haunts my life. Trova faces the same twenty-four-hour window to set her soul on course for the rest of her natural life. That is if she knows, just because I am aware of what I am.

Finally, I speak “If she is unaware then it will be easy.” I try to sound confident stuffing a fork full of food in my mouth trying to force myself to eat. To remain composed. I don’t want to eat but I can see the expectancy in their eyes, watching me, measuring me, I cannot falter or fail now. If I do, later I stand no hope.

“Have you decided how you will… persuade her?” My mother has that familiar mischievous glint in her eyes the kind she has before she does something embarrassing and morally reprehensible. Not that my own moral compass strictly points the path to the right thing. I shake my head no and put my fork back down.

“There is no point in a strict plan until I know what I face. A general idea is enough for me, until I know the enemy how can I begin to thwart it?” I ask so nonchalantly my father beams with pride, like he could see every image of his own self in me. But I am not my father. Nor my mother. Nor am I him. Despite what is expected of me, what is demanded and wanted and desired of me I am not him. I want to rage it from the roof tops, every time I see that look in their eyes. That waiting for the first sign of showing what they call my true colours, my true nature. Followed by that flash of disappointment. Continue reading