The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the thirdd chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Three

Now

Katie

“You know you’re doing it wrong?”

The interruption… I feel my eyes roll when I put the bookmark in place and look up at the face grinning at me over the fence. I can’t help but feel suspicious. The grin turns to a smirk on his face, “you’ll never get a tan like that. What is it you’re doing anyway?”

I feel the bubble of discomfort and anger knotting its way into my throat. “Biology homework.” I feel blunt. I feel interrupted. I want to be left alone. “You look confused; homework is that thing we have to do to avoid detention. You should try it someday.” I know that stung. His smirk faltered. For a millisecond I feel bad, until he opens his mouth. “You have to be joking, I barely follow what the teacher says.”

My irritation is rising, and I can’t stop myself. “Yeah and don’t we all know it.” I start to pack my books away, saving my pages netting them together.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wow, did I actually offend him? Surely not. That question wasn’t said with sincerity and I am not in the mood for this, when I agreed to the favour I didn’t agree to the obnoxious prat. “Heaven forbid that anyone actually wants to learn something. But yeah, sure, you go on coasting by, pretending not to give a flying monkeys even though you and I both know you could actually pass, if you tried.”

I pile my books onto the ledge near the door and collapse the rusting chair and push it under the ledge, stuffing the plastic cover around it.

“Tutor me.” And there it is. What he wanted to ask. What I had known was coming. Mr Thomas had warned me. But the words still felt strange to hear. It wasn’t even asking. Not really. “What?” I respond not turning around.

“Tutor me. Please?” I begin to turn around, slowly, I am not going to lie, it feels a tiny bit satisfying. “You say I can do it, so teach me how. Help me pass, please, Katie.” I turn back towards the door, just a fraction. “Katie! Please.” The pleading in his voice was such a nice touch.

“Fine. Ok it with my parents first, as long as you do the work, I will help. But you can’t copy my work.”

~ * ~

Dad put down his knife. “So Mary stopped me on my way in this evening.” He was directing that at me, even though mum looked up like her neck would snap. “Apparently you are tutoring Chris today.” I nod, trying to ignore the reluctance that would seep into my voice stopping me from speaking.

Mum begins to busy herself picking up the plates. Her voice is tart, “You will need a hammer to get anything through his head.” Dad laughed but it never met his eyes, it’s no secret I don’t like the boy next door, it’s no secret what happens at school. “Good luck, and if he puts even a toe wrong, let me know.”

I roll my eyes and nod. “Yes mum” my tone feels flat as I help get the plates from the table into the kitchen. “What time was he meant to be coming?” I call out to dad. Who is twirling the knife in his hands, playing absent minded, he shrugs, “ten minutes ago.”

“Oh great.” Slips my lips. The knock on the door catches my attention. I slump away down the hallway a few thumping steps that feel like my feet are made of concrete. I pull the door open and Chris is leaning against the wall, lazily dragging his bag. It’s a wonder it doesn’t break. I think to myself ‘start as you mean to go on’.

“You’re late” I snap, “shift it.” Chris steps past me but waits for me to close the door and lead my way upstairs to my room. My desk is strewn with homework. I step inside and wait for him to follow but he is standing in the hallway.

For a moment I see him taking in the sight of my room, he’s never seen it. The purple, black and cream splashed everywhere. He makes his way to my desk now. The alcove covered in “aged” (tea stained) paper so that I can stick things to my wall without pulling off paint and bits of wall with the sticky tack. I watch him examining the posters of west end shows, my doodles, photos of my childhood. My childhood feels like a millennial ago and yesterday all at once. I feel like the little girl is not me, like that person no longer exists. She doesn’t. My recent photos are a secret life he doesn’t get to see at school.

I snap out of my own thoughts and pull out a book and push it in front of his face. “Here, get on with question one for a start and see if we get the same results. At least then I can find out where you actually need help.”

I can feel him want to say he doesn’t need help, before he can the next words slip through my lips “and show your work” I twitch a smile and sit on my bed. I’m continuing where I left off earlier. I’m on the last question of the homework. I take a quick glance up from my page and watch Chris tapping his pen looking at the wall.

“This is stupid. I’m wasting my time.”

I snap, “no, you are wasting my time.” I pull myself up off of the bed and stand behind him and look at his work, he is essentially right, but the presentation, well that is where he is getting lost. I guide him through the simple structure. He follows it and rewrites it out, and stares at how it is meant to look as though I just showed him my plans to poison him.

“Do you actually not want help?”

“I just, I hate the hoops they make us jump through.”

“I just obey them, hate them, and then reward myself with the knowledge that there is only a limited time left in that hell hole. Now if you don’t mind. Question two.”

~ * ~

I haul the book out of my bag, rummaging around the bottom of the bag to find my pencil case that has gone on a wonder about in my bag. Chris brushes past me, I feel his fingers brush my blazer sleeve. I look around and shake my head looking back at him. I know he is smirking. Even with his face turned from me so that all that I can see of him is his copper hair, so light that he could probably get away with calling it ‘strawberry blonde’ unlike mine, a true red.

I pull the pencil case from the bottom of my bag and sit down in the nick of time. Mr Thomas strides into the class.

“Come on class, sit down… Today” he puts down the register and smiles. “Right. Homework folders in the air and start the assignment on the board.” I put the folder in my left hand and bend my elbow resting on the table so that the folder is up in the air and my right hand can work as he makes his way around the class. I watch him from the corner of my eye as I work, he flicks through the folders and begins to make two piles. One pile has just two folders. I can see the exasperation on his face. He is frustrated, I can just tell, he’s going to flip.

“Why is there just two folders with homework in?” His voice echoes through the room. He takes a deep breath. Putting his hand in his pocket, he has the classes rapt attention. “Katie, Chris, come here please.” I feel my heart thumping in my chest, for some reason this feels like a punishment. As we reach his desk he puts a couple of coins into Chris’ hand, and my own. I try to hand them back; this feels like a trick as much as it is a reward. “Thank you for actually doing your homework.” I feel like a deer in headlights, I thank him and follow his request for us to sit back down.

I can hear whines around the room that “sir it’s not fair” and the like.

Mr Thomas is having none of it. “I expect your homework tomorrow the rest of you.” I glance back over my shoulder at Chris. He is staring at me; he mouths the words “thank you” to me. I just nod. This is weird.

I can feel the tension as I continue the assignment, the room now reduced to no more than the scratches of pens on paper, the odd clicking of the top, the odd the sigh. I daren’t look up from my work. I catch Mr Thomas’ eye. As he walks past my desk to deal with the ruckus in the hallway.

***

Then

Enya

“You look beautiful today Lady Enya.” I look up from my sewing to see the familiar face of Broderick. I smile and thank him before returning my focus to the cloth in my hands. He sits beside me. “You really can’t sew can you?” There are loose threads mapping a rough guide for what I want to do.

“I am sure it will look fine when it’s done.” I am coldly polite; I don’t like being disturbed. I pack away my sewing and pull the parchment with my rough sketch. My plan for the cloth, a circle of rope with a weaving loop of eight, an infinity symbol crossing through the centre of the circle. I tuck it away. The rain continues to pour down in the courtyard even as the sun shines.

I stand and excuse myself taking my sewing to my chambers. I slip out from my chambers with my cloak covering me, moving as swiftly as possible I stride down to the stables. Ready my horse myself, the stable boys are running errands, as usual at this time. I don’t have long. No one willingly goes riding in this weather so I know they probably won’t notice for a while. I get out onto the flats of the cobbles of the courtyard. With some encouragement the horse and I are off and out the gates, I hear a little shouting but I am already gone. The rain whipping at my face as we gallop for a few minutes. As we near the shelter of the trees I jump down and walk beside the horse. Continue reading

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The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the second chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Two

Now

Ethan

As life-changing moments happen to go, this is perhaps my best work. The most hidden, insignificant moment in this teenage boy’s life.

“Christopher Giry. Sit.” I keep my voice cold and bored, even if everything is riding on this moment. My office is a mess; it is basically a cupboard nested beside a high traffic stairway. It’s cluttered, I know, full of books, papers, folders. As it happens the evenings I spend in here marking stacks of repetitive boredom is matched with bad coffee.

Since my permanent selection for detention duty, my social life drained away, and I spend more hours in my office than any other teacher. I am a jar of “Marmite”, you will either love me or hate me.

But it seems no matter what, I like to discover all kinds of potential. Christopher, as yet, is untapped. A key that’s stuck in the draw. He is sat in the cheap plastic chair opposite my desk. This time he is being held back after detention for my chat, and I know his slouch and mask scream indifferent. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the first chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

 

Chapter One

Whenever

The Wordsmith

Hello old friend.

It has been such an awfully long time, or perhaps it is none at all? Time after all, is not always what it seems. Time has such a beautifully subjective quality; it is easily mistaken as a fixed entity.

It is as though, perhaps, there are two beginnings to every story. There is the one that you know like your own heartbeat. And there is the one, that clever, ever so beautiful one that conceals the very secrets of its existence. That is of course, not to say that neither one can be true. It really does all depend delicately upon the perspective from which you are looking.

This is why I should introduce you somewhere closer to the end, rather than the traditional beginning. Although… they may be one in the same, a confusing blur. This could even be the very middle. The centrefold if you will. Perhaps we may discover the answer, or ignore all questions completely, but I must warn you, there may be a time for a time outside of our own, to leak into what I am to tell you. As memories go, it has become a tangled lace, a web of intertwining events as everything becomes over time. It is becoming clearer to me, slowly, as these words appear on the page before me that I have no real idea where I should begin, or understand what to say.

The exact moment where we will cross that unknown between a stranger, a narrator, a story teller, or the voice to the words that you read will disperse and become something else entirely. A connection will grow through the bonds of adventure and we will embark upon a friendship; destined to explore the old and the new, the strange and the surreal, the normal and the mundane moments that will inflict themselves upon this tale that I tell.

After all, it is the smallest of things, a butterfly’s wings that can change the world. So as we steal and sneak our path through private moments, secret conversations, hidden thoughts, fantasies and regrets, we will discover their secrets and rudely pry into the privacy of other lives. Take my words as my hand, guiding you through the adventure (and I hope you brought the snacks).

Let’s walk through the twisting path of time and discover the untold story hidden in the recesses.

We will intrude upon the memories, long forgotten, and reawaken for us to devour, word by word.

And so I fear, it is time to cease our introductions and begin.

Counting Corvids Chapter Thirty-Seven Cheeky Extras

The magpie and the crow.

Well the magpie and the crow are significant of course as you will by now know. Crows are Hunter’s spirit bird and minions in a way of the bird world. Here representing the darkness. Personally I quite like crows… But I love magpies more.

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret

Never to be told

Eight for a wish

Nine for a kiss

Ten for a bird

You must not miss.

 

That is why my love of magpies crept in to become Willows spirit bird.

The link to purchase the full story on amazon… OUT NOW!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GEBKVUM

Counting Corvids Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Seven “Back Where It All Began”

 

Willow sat cradling her baby in the middle of the circle resting in Oliver’s arm, watching the magpies flying around the circle tightly, dancing through the air. For a few minutes they were sat blissfully happy, exhausted but happy.

Beyond the magpies the all too familiar figure of Hunter arrived, struggling to get through the magpies. In a surge of power he had summoned his friends, his own birds, crows started attacking the magpies, disrupting their formation and flight.

Scattered just enough Hunter forced his way into the circle. Hunter summoned the little baby wrapped in its blanket asleep. Screaming at his touch Willow pulled herself from the ground and took the crying baby from him, instantly quietening the crying. Willow handed the baby to Oliver and made him promise to keep the baby safe no matter what. Willow strained and exhausted summoned a cloud of magpies that sheltered and protected Oliver and her baby before facing Hunter. “You can’t take that baby away from me forever, or are you forgetting something?”
“She’s not yours”

“What?” Truly volatile he struggled to comprehend her words.

“She’s not yours, she never was” Hunter made to go for her but found himself under attack of Willows potions exploding against him. In plumes of black and violet fire he fizzled into nothingness. The crows disappeared.

Willow relaxed the enchanted magpies and touched Oliver’s shoulder, he stood and kissed her holding their daughter between them. Willow Caroline Weyward-James, Oliver James and their little girl, Halina Gabriel James shimmered away against the setting sun as the moon shone a little blue against the stone circle while the final streaks of ruby red sunset disappeared.

The link to purchase the full story on amazon… OUT NOW!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GEBKVUM