Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Red Snow on Whitechapel-xmas special 2014

A little short story for Xmas! Introducing life after DN, the Guild's Midwinter Day celebrations, and the Sun Sector!! Enjoy, and merry Xmas from the Guild! ;)


Red Snow on Whitechapel
    The cab sped through the London streets as if the very fires of hell chased it; horses galloping as if unaware of the treacherous weather. One or two heads turned, eyes peered from under hat brims and over spectacles, but most knew not to pay any mind to a suspicious black carriage in this area…it was safer to pretend not to have seen it at all. Those who knew not where it was headed (which accounted for most people) had dark suspicions which had the same effect.
    I twitched the purple velvet curtain back over the window, quickly tiring of watching the general public pretend we were not there and sat back in my seat, raising one eyebrow at my colleague, James.
    “You don’t suppose this one is going to cost me any more blood, do you?” I grumbled.
    “I should hope not!” He replied, “We’ve done quite enough for one year, don’t you agree?”
    “I’ll say.” I murmured, wincing as the bones of my corset jabbed at one of my less ignorable wounds.
    I was far better than I had been…oddly; dying, or half-dying had that effect on me. So what did my dear friend Avangelene think was a perfect mission to help me find my feet again after being stabbed by a psychotic Vampire? Meeting up with a psychotic Vampire. Of course.
   James leaned forward in his seat and took my hand in his, “You’ll be fine, Cye. You’re just not quite back to your old self yet.”
    I couldn’t help but smile at that, “Well, you would know that more than anyone.”
    He allowed a smile to creep across his own features, but did not reply. Our little secret was ours alone for now.
    The cab continued to speed on, the streets growing darker and quieter as we turned to more obscure surroundings. Eventually, we came to a halt, and there were dull taps and scrapes on the walls of the carriage as the driver climbed down to open the door for us.
    As we descended, we were greeted with the sight of the aforementioned psychotic Vampire.
    Jessie DelAmor smiled sweetly in greeting. She was dressed head to toe in a deep purple silk gown and fur lined woollen cape. Her silver, unmistakably Vampiric eyes peered out from beneath an angled, veiled hat. I noticed that the umbrella her black, leather gloved hands gripped tightly had an unusually thick handle, and deduced that it concealed a hidden blade. Classy.
    “Cybelle, I am glad to see you well once more.” She greeted me in her bright, sharp voice, “And James.”
    “Miss DelAmor.” He nodded, placing his hat back on his head and gripping his own concealed blade-cane. They were useful things, concealed blades…I should get one.
    Jessie took a step towards the driver who had brought us, “Thank you for escorting my dear friends here.” She began, “But as far as you are concerned, this never happened. And of course if you begin to allow people to think this has happened…well, I may be forced to resort to desperate measures.” With this, she leaned in close and continued in almost a whisper, a wicked grin turning the corners of her lips upwards, “I could kill you with my mind.”
    The driver attempted to remain composed, but failed to hide a small, nervous gulp as he nodded and scrambled back up to his carriage.
    Jessie whirled around, her dress making a soft track in the snow, “I love telekinesis, it’s so useful.” She said brightly, and motioned us to follow her.
    “And they say Vampirism is a curse.” I replied as we turned a sharp corner into a little alley. She giggled at that, a giggle reminding me of our own dear Lizzie before a hunt.
    After a few moments, we came to a small door. It looked as if it led into some kind of shack for it was such a tiny building, but when Jessie held open the door, and warm yellow light flooded out from beyond, it’s secret was given away. This was the Sun Sector’s Whitechapel base.
    We stepped inside, and a petit, wavy haired Witch with soft features stood up and smiled at us. “Cybelle,” She said, “and James! How very long it has been!”
    “Indeed it has, Loretta.” I replied.
    “I heard about the Aristocrat.” Her face changed into a sympathetic frown, “He really took a chunk out of you.”
    “It’s alright, we gave him a great crevice in return.” James concluded, blunt as ever.
    Jessie bolted the door and propped her umbrella up against the wall, “If we are quite done with the reintroductions, we may turn our minds to the matter at hand.”
    The three of us crossed the room to the desk at which Jessie now stood, spreading out some newspapers for us to look at.
    “Oh, Vampires in Whitechapel. That’s new.” I sighed, picking up one of the papers.
    “Now Cybelle, I expect better of your observational skills.” Jessie replied, “I appreciate that you are bitter by nature, but please do try to…look alive.”
    “Excuse me, who in the room has just been stabbed by a fatal weapon off the Elder Promises? Oh just me then, allow me a little scepticism.” I knew that I was milking it, using my condition as an excuse to snap, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I had no attention for mind games and mysteries, I wanted a nice simple target to get me back into work. I think Pierce’s riddles had extinguished any attention I might once have paid to such a challenge.
    “Hark at this, the Night Sector appear to have become far too accustomed to picking and choosing their work!” Jessie remarked, and then she sighed and looked at me straight, clearly having mustered up any scrap of sympathy she was capable of, “I know these missions are a pain, but if we get the damn thing done, we can all be back home for mulled wine and fruitcake in time for Midwinter Day.”
    “It’s fine.” I muttered, “I hate taking time off, it’s left it’s mark on me already.”
    James rolled his eyes, but seemed to decide that whatever challenge he was going to make could wait for later.
    “Well, that’s all fine and lovely for you, but some of us like our holidays.” Loretta replied, but not sharply; she was attempting to lighten the mood.
    “Now, if you please, do try to concentrate.” Jessie requested, and passed a couple more of the newspapers over to us, “Do you see the abnormality?”
    “Let’s see,” James muttered, “Victims drained of blood, left in obvious places… Scotland Yard baffled-naturally…”
    “All signs point to a new-born except…” I read on a little to confirm my theory, “Yes, some had signs of reanimation! This was an experiment made up to look like a new-born feeding fest!”
    “Well observed, Cybelle. I apologise for doubting you.” Jessie replied, “Now, this is a suspicious occurrence, not that I need tell you. I fear that some kind of disgraced high Vampire or an awfully powerful Necromancer is on the loose, attempting to recreate the Kiss of Blood on these poor unsuspecting humans. The reason? I would rather not know. As much as I could not care less what happened to the little beasts…”
    “The creator needs to die before the dominoes fall.” I finished.
    James looked over the papers again, “Anything could happen if we left them to it.” He mused, “I doubt they would succeed but it’s a pitiful waste, and it’s attracting too much attention. We’re the stuff of penny dreadfuls already, best not to fuel the fire.”
    “Particularly not after one of our own has killed a high, and Council Member Aristocrat.” Jessie pointed out, “Not that I blame you, he was a slimy little shit.”
    Loretta crossed the room to remove a bulky hand gun from a bracket over the fireplace. I had seen that thing before, a commission that had been made of Emma a couple of years ago. It was a clever little contraption that shot wooden spikes, small enough to wound but not kill a Vampire…a fantastic tool for obtaining information. She turned around, loading it with one of those spikes and looking at the rest of us, “So what now?”
    Jessie narrowed her eyes, “Could you point that thing elsewhere, Loretta?!” She sighed, and the Witch did as she was told with an embarrassed flush, forgetting her companion’s Aristocrat blood, “Now we wait for cover of night, not that it means an awful lot here in the beautiful streets of Whitechapel, but it will conceal us from human eyes if we obscure our faces.”
    “And presumably, we find this would-be leech and stick them as quickly as possible.” I suggested, “Simple enough. Although I don’t doubt Loretta’s little toy could get some interesting facts from them first.”
    “Yes, that’s true. We should interrogate before we kill.” Jessie agreed.
    “Well, that settles it then.” Loretta concluded. “We have a few hours before we set out, anybody care for tea?”
    “Now there is a proposition.” I replied.
    ***
    “You really never celebrate Midwinter?” James asked of me. We were all sat around the fireplace awaiting the time for our mission, and I was on my third cup of tea. Loretta made bloody good tea.
    “No.” I replied, “I never quite felt the need. It was something my family used to do many years ago but…I suppose it means nothing to me anymore.”
    “I always wondered where you went off to. You should stay this year, celebrate with the rest of the Guild.” He suggested, glancing at the scar on my shoulder, “You’ve earned a break.”
    “I never thought of breaks as a good thing, but perhaps.” I sighed, “I remember little of the tradition.”
    “That hardly matters around here I think.” Loretta pointed out, she was leafing through the newspapers again, circling odd street names to aid the search, “Midwinter at the Guild is very much like the Guild itself; thrown together.”
    “We do the Goddess proud on her day.” Jessie added from behind the desk, “I presume it is the Moon Sector’s turn to host?”
    “It is.” James confirmed, “Speaking of which, I hope Emmett remembered to hide some of the spirits from Avangelene…”
    “Of course he won’t have.” I corrected him with a smile and a shake of my head, “Anyway, the time is drawing near. Did we intend to travel in uniform? It would be practical but…”
    “Reckless.” Jessie finished for me, and stood up, “Travel light, but casual. It is as white as something Vampiric out there and we shall be spotted a mile away. Should anybody find our presence unusual, then it would be worse if we were dressed like music hall harlots.”
    “Thank you.” I murmured, “Alright, shall we depart?” I set down my teacup and retrieved my cloak from the hook nearer the door. It was longer than Jessie’s…in fact exactly long enough to conceal a pair of katanas with little trouble. With a holster for my revolvers over my arms, I looked like a perfectly respectable lady with it on.
    “We should waste no time.” Jessie agreed, and retrieved her own cloak and put her leather gloves back on over a pair of silver tipped knuckledusters. She needed few weapons really, her telekinesis could cause chaos enough without, but she like to be prepared.
    James and Loretta followed suit; James hiding one of Emma’s specially designed retractable swords under his trench coat, Loretta hiding the Vampire gun in her own.
    “It had better be a Necro.” James uttered, “I’ve had it with bloody Vampires! No offence meant, Jessie.”
    “None taken, James.” She replied, “Your wit knows no bounds.”
    With a frown, she held open the door, leading us out into the night.
    ***
    The four of us stalked through the midnight, occasionally breaking off to search odd alleys and side streets. I didn’t think much of the mission at the time…of course it was odd, and I should have known much better, but I suppose recent events considered, I had forced my mind back into routine. A job needed doing. I had the upper hand and I’d get it done. Simple as that.
    “Nothing here.” Loretta said lowly, sweeping back out of another alley.
    “This is becoming longwinded.” Jessie murmured, “If I just knew what the buggar looked like, I could bring him to us.”
    “There’s not much point in ifs.” James pointed out, “We just have to do some things the old fashioned way.”
    We turned into a new street, and I stopped in my tracks.
    I smelled blood.
    I could tell by the way she tensed and her eyes glinted that Jessie had noticed it too. Vampiric instinct kicked in and both of us crept closer, fangs elongating a little, poised to attack.
    James had noticed too, once he had come closer, his head shot up and he looked around, surveying the scene. “I think we’ve got them.” He whispered.
    Loretta took out her gun.
    Reaching for the hilt of my sword underneath my cape, I tracked the smell to a small alley leading off into darkness. I mouthed at the others to follow me, and we crept closer, Vampirism allowing most of us complete silence, skill for the others. The smell had gotten stronger, and though Jessie was experienced and could handle herself very well, she could not help her fangs lengthening and her eyes changing. Her transformation went much quicker than mine. She gripped the handle of her umbrella tighter, ready to unsheathe the hidden sword.
    “I wondered when you would get here.” A voice purred in the silence, “The famous Assassin’s Guild…and Misses DeHamphir and DelAmor no less! My…I am privileged.”
    Though it was pitch black, even to immortal eyes, we could tell that the owner of that voice was smiling grimly. There was a soft thud…the sound of a body falling to the cobbled, snow speckled floor beneath…I could not help the minute sharp breath I drew in that microsecond at the memory the sound brought up.
    A figure rose from the shadows. Phantomlike, and clad in a black leather overcoat and tall black top hat. I could tell from his movements and sarcastic tone that he was clearly a Vampire…probably some sort of noble judging by his attire…but fallen, his coat was torn and hat battered, I could now make out straggles of dirty blonde hair beneath it. I gave a short glance to Jessie, and she shook her head once. We were right, not an Aristocrat.
    I used my Witch’s elemental powers to ignite a small flame in an old lamp hanging on the wall, flooding the little alley with light and illuminating our Vampire. Convenient lamps, I love it when that happens.
    There was a small, tattered figure slumped in the corner. It looked like he had been busy.
    “So.” Jessie said, folding her arms, “Anything to say for yourself before we begin?”
    The figure bowed low, “Francois Lecroix.” He introduced himself.
    “You don’t sound French.” James observed.
    “You don’t act like a Lovett.” Francois replied.
    “I don’t give wolf shit where you’re from or what your name is, Fran.” I hissed, “Why are you trying to turn Vampires, you’re no Aristocrat. You can’t perform the Blood Kiss.”
    Francois sniggered, and Loretta barged forward and shot him in the arm with a wooden spike, making him screech.
    “Do you want to try that again?” She challenged.
    Francois staggered back and tore the spike out of his arm with anther howl, throwing it to the ground with shaking hands. He looked at all of us for a long moment; Jessie with her eyebrow raised and hands poised to take out her blade, Loretta, gun pointed firmly in his direction ready to shoot, James, sword swung casually over on his shoulder ready to swing, and me, sword outstretched and glinting in the flickering light.
    Slowly, he reached into the pocket of his coat.
    When he took out his fist and released it, a small glass phial fell to the floor (clearly magically enhanced, as it did not shatter) and rolled along the cobbles. Keeping my eyes on Francois, I bent to pick it up.
    Jessie looked at it, and her eyes widened then narrowed furiously when she caught sight of the symbol inked on the phial’s label. It looked like a viper wrapped around a bottle, it was something she had seen before in her long years…something that had once been in the hands of some brave but idiotic Vampire Hunters.
    “You disgusting little creature.” She whispered, “You pathetic being…”
    Francois smirked, “I wondered when you might come to reclaim your blood, Jessica.
    “How did you come by the venom?” I growled, lurching forward and pressing my blade against his throat.
    “Same way you came by that pretty Jade bracelet, Cybelle. I stole it.”
    “From who!?” I demanded.
    “None of your business.” He replied, “Trade secrets, you should know.”
    James marched forth and joined me, standing over the Vampire, one hand on his sword, the other grabbing him by the collar, “You listen to me, pig.” He growled, “You will show some respect to Miss DeHamphir. Wipe that pathetic smirk of your face, answer her question and maybe, JUST maybe, I’ll let you live.”
    Francois saw the angry flash in James’ eye and gulped. “Fine.” He murmured, “I stole it from some Hunters. The council had arrested them for questioning and I had this feeling they weren’t coming out again.”
    James shoved him and I pressed my blade a little harder, drawing blood. “And this!?” My partner cocked his head in the direction of the body in the corner.
    “Experiment.” Francois choked, “I wanted to be the first to make a Night Walker of a Human.”
    The four of us looked at each other, and then back at the captive. “That information is most useful.” I said slowly, and removed my blade.
    James let go of his collar, dropping him to the ground. “Leave.” He commanded, and Francois scrambled to his feet and ran. Before he could even clear the alley, I had taken one of my revolvers and sent a bullet chasing after him.
    The bullet won.
    “I said if he paid some respect to Cye, I’d let him live.” James said absently, “I never said Cye herself would let him live.”
    “I take back everything I said about you, James.” Jessie said, looking impressed.
    “…You said what about me?” He replied.
    “Oh, nothing at all.” She concluded, and led the way out of the alley, lifting her skirts to step over the Vampire’s decaying remains.
    ***
    I have no idea how it happened, as I had never any intention of actually doing it, but James, Jessie and Loretta somehow managed to persuade me to come back to the Guild for Midwinter celebrations.
    I swear, this “new reason for living” thing was making me soft.
    So, if you were wondering what force of the supernatural had me standing out in the cold in front of the Guild that night, it was James and his incredible persuasive talents.
    “The Night speaks!” Called Emma on the other side of the door. She sounding happy…oh dear. I wondered which bit of the Guild house had suffered for it.
    “I am it’s voice.” James answered. The door swung open as usual and we were let inside.
    The Guild was quite a picture. Everybody was in, Sun Sector and all…There was Loretta deep in conversation with the Bennetts about weapons, Jessie coming down the stairs with a goblet of something in her hand.
    Avangelene came over and greeted us, “Cybelle! You actually turned up…what happened, London out of convicts to chase?” She winked.
    “How are you?” I smiled, “How is…?”
    My old friend allowed herself a small grin and she lowered her voice “A boy.” She said, placing her hand on her stomach, “I saw it! It’ll be a little boy.”
    I still was not used to the idea of Avangelene settling down like that, having children and getting married, but she looked happy. For once all the hell was taking a break, and something good could happen to her. I was glad. It disturbed me a little, but I was glad.
    “Anyway, I’m sure you two will want some time alone.” She said, nodding at James, “I’ll be around.” At that, she wandered off.
    Lizzie thrust a chalice at me as I walked past, “Drink.” She said, “Judging by the month you’ve had, you need one.”
    “I’m alright, Liz, but thank you.” I said, but took it anyway…well it wasn’t wine. I hadn’t fed recently.
    “Just helping my fellow Vampire.” She said airily.
    “Really?” I raised one eyebrow.
    “Really.” She confirmed. “…Emmett made me do it. He promised me cake.”
    James stifled laughter as Lizzie swept away once more. “I swear, the only time you see some of these women smile and do things like that, you always miss it!”
    “I think Emmett lied about the cake.” I whispered with a stifled giggle myself.
    We headed to the back room, our intention (or at least my intention, this was something of a mad little get together) to simply sit around, have a drink and talk a while. Perhaps people may allow me to forget my run in with Pierce for five minutes. However, I could tell by the great, mischievous grin on James’s face as we paused in the doorway that he had other ideas.
    “What is that look for?” I asked, and he slowly looked up and back at me.
    I followed his gaze and saw this ridiculous twig hanging in the doorway. I was about to ask what the devil it was doing up there when Emma called over the room; “You COMPLETELY FELL FOR IT!” and began to laugh. Oh, a prank then. Charming.
    James sighed when he saw my blank expression. “Cybelle,” He said, “Let me teach you a little Midwinter tradition.” He still had that grin.
    “What kind of tradition?” I asked suspiciously, although his smile was contagious as usual.
    “Well…” He said, and turned to face me, clasping both our hands together, “When some idiot (at this, he glanced at Emma), hangs that in the doorway, it means I get to do this!”
    With that, he took me totally by surprise and planted a kiss on my lips. A surprise indeed but…I can’t truthfully say it wasn’t nice...
    I could feel my witch side, being particularly present today, trying to blush. When I realised the world was still there around us, I laughed as the Guild let out whistles and cheers in jest. I’d have been bitter at being made a spectacle but…
    “That is not a bad tradition.” I said as we continued inside, away from teasing chants.
    “Told you!” He replied, and we both smiled again.
    We sat down on the window seat looking over the back of the grounds. It was gleaming outside, the white of the snow conquering the darkness.
    James took my hand in his again, watching me in thought. “It’s all over now.” He said, “It’s all going to be fine.”
    “It’s never all over.” I sighed, and took a sip of my drink (how the hell had I managed not to spill that?), “Not here, not for us.”
    “You know what I mean.” He said, “So what if Lowell goes back to the council? They’re not psychopaths, they’re politicians. We will just work around it. I know you’re anxious, I can see it in your eyes.”
    “Really?” I said, meeting his eyes right then.
    “Really.” He confirmed, “It’s all gone, we can be at peace now, don’t worry.”
    “…I believe you.” I managed to smile, and he pulled me into an embrace.
    I could, to my surprise, believe him. This next year was going to be different…well, of course it was. If you’d have mentioned last year to me that I would have found love, then I would have called you insane. If you’d have told me that my closest friend would be pregnant I would have sent you to Bethlam, no questions asked! But it was a good change, and I would savour it.
    Yes, this year would be fine. For once, we would be at peace.
    And nobody would have to worry about dying. little short story for you! Introducing life after Dead Night, and the Sun Sector! :)


Saturday, 13 December 2014

DEAD NIGHT IS OUT!!!

Dead Night has officially been released!!! At long last after much work and everything going mental, we're here (and it's crazy)!!!

So, if you want to buy yourself a copy, they are on amazon and my personal site (if you live in the UK, please go there if you can)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Night-The/dp/1502377292/ref=gfix-submit-correction-product-detail

http://imolaverick.wix.com/deadnightofficial#!shop/cdzj



Alternatively, you could come down to Dudley library (again, UK readers!) where I will be giving a talk and signing from 2PM!




Love and tea and happy holidays from the Guild,

I. I. Laverick

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Book shipment has arrived!!!

Just in the nick of time, the books have arrived for the launch! I have fifty copies in my house now and they're gorgeous.
If you want to be the first to get your hands on one, I'm launching at Dudley Library at 2PM! However on Saturday morning, I will be revealing the links to buy copies online too! Stay tuned also for different versions (audio book ebook), and I am also working on a special short story for Christmas.

Now here is a photo of the books! (And me collapsing in them because I'm so happy they made it on time!)



Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Book Launch and the Proof Copy






It's all been going on here at 'DN HQ'!

First of all, it gives me great excitement to announce that there will be an official book launch for Dead Night!!
The launch will take place on the 13th December 2014, At Dudley Library (West Midlands, UK for those of you who aren't from around here). The library's 1st floor will be transformed into a Victorian Vampire tea room and will feature a talk from the author (yours truly!) and many Victorian and steampunk themed crafts and goings on including a tea duel!
Copies of the print book will be available for purchase and signing on the day, as well as other DN merchandise.
The tea room will open at 2 o'clock and close at 4 o'clock

For any questions regarding the event, please call 01384 815560 or message me and I will tell you what I can


Also, I am over the moon because the first EVER copy of Dead Night arrived this week! Keep am eye on my YouTube channel as I intend to post a short book reading when I can!




Photographs and cover design by A. T. B. Foster
Printed by Createspace

Love and tea,
I. I. Laverick

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Dead Night Live Action Trailer is Here!

That's right! You can watch it on YouTube!
A bug huge thank you to everybody involved! love, hugs, tea and hats to you all :)



Thursday, 3 July 2014

the audiobook is go!

Hello there!

Adam and I have been working very hard this week to bring to you the Dead Night audio book! My voice is killing me, the early mornings are a pain, but it sounds wonderful and it's all going to be worth it!

So, where we can't give you a preview if the actual thing yet (too much editing to do of the finished tracks) we CAN show you what the recording process looks like! (Although we don't have it here, imagine it with considerable screw ups on my part!)

Enjoy!


Love and tea x

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

updates on everything

Morning all!

Its been a while and I have LOTS of updates, so if you'll be a dear and bear with me.

Dead Night Release date
Mark it on your calendar! Dead Night comes out in print on 13th December 2014. It LOOKS like this time, it will come out on time.

New website
I'm in the process if building a new website which will then be the MAIN site for DN. I will keep the blog going but that's a little more on the personal side, the official website will have more of a professional feel. Also, you will be able to read the first chapter of Legacy of Night as soon as we go live, so watch this space!

New art
So, with new comic and the novel coming close to release, there will be plenty of new art. I will do my best to keep it up to date here but I seem to be having technical difficulties (again) so keep your eye on http://takarayuuki.deviant art.com and the new site when it's out. Information on merch and prints will follow closer to the date.

Trailer, soundtrack, photoshoot and interview 
Are all in progress and I will update here as and when. The trailer and the interview are going up on YouTube.

Audio book
Week commencing 30th June! Its going to sound amazing, I've employed Adam's help once more to get it sounding all professional. This will be available along with the eBook around the time of the print novel, but I shan't release a date, because we aren't sure if we're going to stagger the releases.

Legacy of Night 
I promise, we're working on it.... New art to follow.

Other stories
I shan't promise anything, since I finished my exams, I'm dabbling in whatever inspires me.

Site updates
-Preview of the novel has been updated to the newest version
-I'm looking to update the Seven Sins stories, but give me time, because they need a lot of reworking
-Updated Guild profiles
-Looking to update the gallery, but bear with me, I have to do it from my laptop
-Might make a Legacy of Night page
-Might make a personal portfolio page with more of my non specific work on it
-I'll update the contents page soon, it's about two posts behind


Thank you for being patient with me as I rush to get everything released on time!

Love and tea
Madam T (I. I.Laverick)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Guild is back! Raised like a phoenix!!

I'm sure my last post didn't cause too much alarm, I'm not that popular *cue Galinda* but yes, Dead Night had taken a turn for the worst. I had a long period of writers block and artists block and was quite a horrible person to be around, particularly when given a laptop and a forum (I don't even like forums..........); but now I'm back, and a writer with a plan!! So, here's what is going to happen.

First of all my friend, on whom the character of Avangelene Wright was based, and I will be collaborating on a script taking place many years before the events of Dead Night; this will go through each member arriving at the Guild for the first time (beginning with Avangelene and Emmett, who founded it), and each chaper will be a glimpse into the character's history. I will then turn this script into a comic, called (working title) "Legacy of Night", drawn in all traditional methods, and release it chapter by chapter, the prologue coming up shortly.

With this in progress, I will also take the advice of everyone I have spoken to and use the year to make sure the book is exactly right, re-editing again. We will also continue with the posters, interview, trailers etc that were originally planned, and a soundtrack to acompany the book will be composed (but as for release, I shall speak to it's wonderful composer nearer the time)

Meanwhile, when not on the Dead Night front, trying to keep the jewellery business in the air and attempting to get into university, I'm working on several projects, some of which you may recognise. Instead of promising as I always do and then finding something else, I will tell you simply that any of the following could crop up over the next year:

-Eternal: A Story of Clockwork (a three part steampunk dystopia, but it's running away from the dystopian route!)
-The Eternal Opera (an experemental steampunk industrial musical based on the first book of 'Eternal')
-The Curious Cases and Eventful Adventures of Miss Lenora Lacey (an airship pirate novella written for my EPQ last year)
-On Crimson Coloured Tides (the swashbuckling adventures of Captain Genevere Van Hagen (from Lenora Lacey) and her pirate crew)
-The Chronicles of Madam Takara (a fictional account of my *ahem* 'life')
-Reign of Hearts, A Modern Alice in Wonderland (an adaption of my favourite book)
-Purgatory* (A collaboration with three of my college friends- 4 deaths, 4 heroes, 1 quest!)
-Heart of Glass* (A fantasy tale inspired by Tolkein, but very little like Middle Earth)
-????? (a new project aimed at a younger audience with the help of a new writing course I'm working on)
-various poetry, flash fiction, short stories, etc
 ........and probably others!

It's SMASHING to be back!

Love and Tea,
Madam T! x






*=working title

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

It's over...

The book isn't going ahead.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me, the Guild, my local writers group, everyone....  but Blurb, the company who was supposed to be printing the books is frankly being pathetic. I'm too young by a year to use it as I can't use paypal and am not American. I've spent years looking for a way to publish my book the way I wanted, and if it's not going to be perfect, it' not going to happen...I'm not selling my soul to a big money hoarding publishing house and I'm not going straight to e-book, so Dead Night is... well, dead.

Of course I'm going to keep writing. I have to or else I'd go insane. Don't expect a lot on the blog for a while though, I'm going to be working on other things, like my poetry and flash fiction. The Guild will go on for new adventures, they just won't be published yet, and of course Alyss and the Resistance of Cai-Terra have a future too. As I said, I can't stop writing. Maybe one day things will turn around, and we can perhaps try again next year or something. Clearly regardless of the actual content of my work, the company dissagrees with me, and will soon be receiving a very strongly worded letter.

Sorry to anybody who actually wanted to read it. And thank you again, especially to the original Guild.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

New fangled whatjamacallit fan club

SO for those of you that don't live here in 1880, I have a fan club. Well, if you ask it's manager it's an "acompanying page" but it's basically a fan club ;) Well you should know by now my opinions on facebook, and so I am completely unnasociated with it, but it is run by my editor who is also my number one fan so for accuracy, it'll be quite good. ^_^ I personally have nothing to do with it though, so go and um... like... or whatever you do with those funny plastic touch screen devices of yours... I beleive it goes by "The Dead Night Saga"

oh modern things.... I think I'm going to have to go and lie down...

Monday, 1 July 2013

DN merch!

Greetings all! ^_^

First off, we've just begun the major final 'rhino charge' edit on the book! :D And I've started bringing out DN things on my etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/madamtakara
If you would be so kind as to stop by some time, I have mini DN book jewellery on sale now!

Also whilst I'm here I'm going to update you on the poster series for the book, hand drawn by me. Here is Avangelene, Seer of Judgement

^Avangelene Wright's poster


Monday, 27 May 2013

Things to come...

SO time for a Dead Night update!

I'm still editing and adding the new scenes in the book, but my 'editor' and I have now started going back through and finalizing now, so not far off!

We have a soundtrack in the making! It's full of beautiful instrumentals based on the book by Adam who also designed the cover of the book, which is also finalized.

We have a trailer in the making, to Dead Night's very own theme! You'll be able to watch this on my youtube channel very soon, it'll be out before the book. I'll keep you posted for the date!

I'm also being interviewed! It'll be on the old youtube.
We're looking for questions from readers actually so if you've read the book. and want to know something you know how to contact me! Email, dA, or leave a comment here ^_^

Finally I'm taking the book down from this blog on 1st June or thereabouts, and it will be replaced by a preiew of the updated vesrion.

Well, that's everything so here's an owl:
,___,
(0,0)
(,_,(\

-I. I. Laverick

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Stepping into character's shoes...

Evening all! Very sorry again for inactivity, but I've had to swat up for my History exam which was today... honestly, I'm just hoping it went well but enough about that.

I actually wanted to show you what some friends and I have been up to lately; cosplaying as my characters! I might make a page for this, but it depends what happens. We're (well, me anyway) really hoping to shoot a book trailer to promote Dead Night when it comes out! Although of course I won't be wearing the big foofy dress I chose for MCM Birmingham comic con! So here... have some 'concept art' (big thank you to my friends and Adam for taking most of the photographs you will see here!)


Dead Night (Cybelle DeHamphir, James Lovett and Lizzie Vice)

^ Cybelle DeHamphir, Chimera ball concept and rapier taken at MCM Birmingham comic con 2013
 ^Elizabeth Vice in Assassin Uniform (1) taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
 ^Lizzie Vice Assassin's uniform (2) taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
 ^Cybelle De Hamphir formal attire taken at MCM Birmmingham 2013
 ^Cybelle DeHamphir and Lizzie Vice with weapons taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
 ^Cybelle and James time jump! (Thanks a million to the chap dressed as the Master Cheif, he was getting harrassed for photographs quite frequently!) Taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
 ^Cybelle and James time jump.... a little bit more! Taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
 ^Cybelle DeHamphir masquerade taken at MCM Birmingham 2013
^James Lovett (an old one because at the last Expo he was on the other end of the camera for most of it XD) Taken at MCM Birmingham 2012
 
 Un-named project and Night history/folktales, Ezlorea Rose Dawnstarre, Lady of the Amaranth
 ^Ezlorea taken at Middle Earth Weekend 2013
 ^Ezlorea taken at Middle Earth weekend 2013
^Ezlorea taken at Middle Earth Weekend 2013
 
 
 
Just a couple of updates before I go and sleep off that damn exam!
  • I am indeed still working on Dead Night and currently I am around half way in, and writing a brand new scene for Miss Avangelene. Around July, the full book will be taken off my blog and replaced with a preview to stop lazy people. ;) I am also in the process of designing art posters and jewellery inspired by the book, and will be sold in Madam Takara's.
  •  
  • Reign of Hearts is also still in progress but I have taken a break from it in order to focus on my exams and then Dead Night. It will be continuing, just not yet. ^^
  • The first installment of the 'Eternal' series is in progress and you can see the illustrations on my dA account at the moment. It won't be a fast writing process though, it is likely to end up being a paving slab.
  • Madam Takara's is now selling fantasy portrait commissions for £10; will draw OCs and existing characters. See the shop for details. www.etsy.com/shop/madamtakara
 
Until next time :)
 
Love and tea
-I. I. laverick

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Re-opening of Madam Takara's Jewellery, book news and RoH 3

Sorry to keep you all waiting so long for updates, the past few weeks have been hectic!

So my first bit of news is that I am re opening my etsy shop, Madam Takaras, so you will now be able to buy my fine art and steampunk themed jewellery once more (and the prices have been lowered from last time, I am also doing a lot of made to order peices). Please check it out at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadamTakara


Currently you can get Dead Night themed peices through my custom fine art pendants, but hopefully when Dead Night is out, you'll be able to buy more themed jewellery, cameos, and maybe special signed copies of the book! So stay tuned :)

Also, Lenora Lacey... the draft is finished but I'm submitting it for EPQ and then having nothing to do with it for a few months. I'm sorry, it's just not ready. However, this means that I am now focussing on having Dead Night edited and ready for the publishing in a few months, and I'm starting a new trilogy whilst I have a break (because I want to savour writing the DN books :)). It's a post apocalyptic dystopian steampunk called "Eternal" and the first installment is called "A Story of Clockworks". This one is hopefully going to be fully illustrated, so keep an eye on my deviantART for details! (I'll add things here when I decide how it's all happening)

Anyway, I must go! Things to do, things to edit ;)
TTFN
Love and tea.
-I. I. Laverick <3

P.S Thank you everyone who watches me and this blog, I've just gone over 1000 pageviews!!! :D

The Reign of Hearts Part Three, A Curious Little Affair


Part 3, The Curious Little Affair

    I fell embarrassingly, face planted the ground and ate a good mouthful of grass I hadn’t quite wanted to eat. Jez obviously had a similar experience about two feet away, because she muttered “bastard” and began to spit.

    “Now that’s hardly ladylike, Miss Jezabelle.” Said a familiar voice whose owner I really wanted to hurt at that moment.

    “BASTARD.” Jez shouted even louder, “Don’t Miss Jezabelle me!”

    “I do believe they’ve fallen on their heads.” Said another voice, smaller and squeaky, “Don’t you worry, you’ll fit right in!”

    I looked up to see the cluttered and stained table with it’s checked tablecloth and odd array of dishes containing things I had never been brave enough to taste. There was a tall, elegant looking woman sat at the head of the table, with piercing green eyes and dead straight red hair. She wore a curious purple top hat with feathers and pins which completely clashed with her hair colour. She smiled and lifted a chipped china teacup to her lips. Hatteress Lunicie.

    Beside her was a great hare wearing a monocle and a waistcoat, and he was currently trying to stuff the owner of the second voice, a similarly dressed dormouse that could have fitted into the palm of my hand, into a teapot.

    I sighed and got to my feet, brushing down my dress… Oh god, they could have at least done away with the bloody dress! “Now play nice, Hare.” I warned the monocle wearing fiend, and seized the dormouse in my hand, placing him back into his tiny armchair, perched on top of a pile of books.

    Jez’s right eye twitched when she realised the change of dress, and she marched straight up to the table to confront the hatteress, and to be honest with you (although she’d surely kill me for saying so), it was rather comical to watch her do so in petticoats, Mary Janes and a frilly embroidered apron. Her face was as red as the hatteress’s hair with pure rage.

    The hatteress only raised one shocking eyebrow in amusement. “But green suits you dear.” She said, which was a really stupid move when Jez was already fuming.

    “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU’VE DONE!?” She screamed, “We were fine! We don’t need you! We will never need you!”

    Lunicie laughed, the chirpy sound making her name ever so fitting. “Then why on earth are you here?”

    “Because of you!” I snapped, although I’m sure Jez was about to say so herself. “We have a life you know.”

    “That’s funny, miss Alyss.” Lunicie commented, “Because we need you. Besides, if you didn’t need us, we wouldn’t need you and therefore you would not be here.”

    “She’s mad again…” Hare said, busy playing a tone deaf tune on a set of cups and saucers with a spoon.

    “We can see that.” Jez muttered angrily and glared at the hatteress.

    “The trees grow gingerbread and the rivers run with tea, we are in a true wonderland and the jabberwocky is gone. My dears, what on earth is wrong?” Lunicie almost sang.

    “Your mind.” Jez shot back. “You’re madder than usual.”

    “Your mind.” Echoed the hatteress, and then her face fell. “Oh dear, dear, Miss Jezabelle. How did he die?”

    Jez seemed to resist throwing a brick at Lunicie. She honestly would have if she had a brick at hand. “None of your business, I’m fine.” She hissed.

    “You’re here.” Lunicie replied calmly. “And dear Alyss, your family…”

    “That was a long time ago.” I snapped.

    “Ahh, then you should have no troubles whatsoever then.” Lunicie said with a manic grin, “The reign of Hearts will be at an end soon my friends! We shall walk free from the Queen’s asylum so very soon my friends!” At this she flung her arms around Hare next to her, and removed her hat in order to take out another teapot.

    “Asylum?” Jez repeated. “She doesn’t get any saner does she?” She sighed and looked at me, although I knew her far too well to mistake the momentary flash of fear in her eyes.

    I shrugged, and looked back to the party of fools before us.

    Lunicie held out her hat to us, “Take your weapons, my beautiful knights!” She exclaimed, once again only gaining a look of confusion from the both of us.

    “Of course.” She shook her head and reached into her hat herself, taking out familiar blades that could not possibly have fitted in there, but it was not like we were somewhere that paid any attention to logic. “Remember my dears, the Vorpal blade is swift and keen, it goes snicker snack and leaves them dead!” Lunicie giggled.

    “So we’re pissed at her, and she gives us swords.” Jez muttered, shaking her head.

    “Look around, ladies!” Dormouse said sleepily, “Do you not notice anything different?”

    There was a pause. Jez and I looked at each other, glanced around half-heartedly and turned back to Dormouse with a shrug.

    I lost it this time when Hare began his teacup tune once more, “NOTHING has changed since we left! It’s all the same!”

    “Look closer.” Lunicie said calmly.

    “At WHAT?” I shouted back, apparently impressing Jez, “What are we supposed to be looking for? One of your bloody hat pins in a god damn haystack?”

    I turned back to Jez, expecting her to back me up again, even though the arguing was getting us nowhere, but she hadn’t noticed… she was looking up at the sky, and as I followed her gaze, I suddenly understood why we had been dragged back to our own personal hell.

    We had completely disregarded the fact that the sky wasn’t blue. It was white actually, and as far as the eye could see, a great series of interlocking bars and chains littered the sky. Some resembled a familiar symbol that nobody really wanted to acknowledge. I contemplated for a moment how on earth Lunicie’s party had taken our attention away from that.

    “Oh I see.” Jez muttered bitterly, “Is this meant to be us fighting our way out of the obstacles of life or some crap like that?”

    I wished we could just put it all down to something so simple. “I’m sure if it was, we wouldn’t have eaten the grass.” I replied in a murmur. She chose to ignore.

    Lunicie seemed amused at this idea, picked up a clump of green blades and nibbled experimentally. Apparently, she liked it no more than we did.

    At about the moment I considered looking for a cliff, or somewhere to prop up my blade so that I could fall on it, a voice belonging to someone who (if he had a neck) we would both have happily strangled, giggled and uttered it’s opinion. “Well, my dears, I can’t say it’s particularly bad, but I’ve been trying to have turtle fix the glitch in the portal for days, I assure you!”

    Jez and I glared at the floating smile in the sky. It laughed lowly and slowly the rest of Messenger the Cheshire cat materialized on top of Lunicie’s tall hat, where he thought we wouldn’t be able to reach him.

    “I’m going to kill you.” Jez growled.

    “Really. I was rather hoping I could advise you otherwise my dear.” The cat said dismissively. I got the feeling that his disbelief got on Jez’s nerves.

    “I’ll do it.” I added.

    “Precious. Now if you can hold back on the violence for five minutes, I have some important information for you.” Cheshire continued, settling down on top of Lunicie’s hat and resting his head upon his paws.

    “This had better be good.” I folded my arms and sat down on the grass. “How about you start with explaining this?” I suggested, gesturing wildly at the sky.

    “It’s quite simple really, my dears.” Messenger explained with a sigh, “You play chess, do you not?”

    “Well never.” Jez replied with a roll of her eyes.

    “Oh, well then. All you dears have to do is kill the Queen.”

    “What?” We said in unison.

    “Indeed. Kill the Queen. Come and find me when you’re done!” And with this Messenger disappeared again, but a floating giggle on the wind.

    I stared down at my reflection in my sword.  “Quite simple indeed.”

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Logic of the Night- Metamorphasis

"Warewolves are not people who sometimes look like wolves, they're wolves who sometimes look like people." -Daughters of Darness by L J Smith

Sooo, decided to do another 'Logic of the Night' having finally found another subject. As you will know if you've read the book, the Shape Shifting beings of the world of Night aren't exactly your usual horror film types. So here's the lowdown on each type of Shifter, and then some info on *ahem* specific cases.

Warewolves
There isn't a lot to say about them as no REAL werewolves appear in the story yet.Obviously, their key difference to Lycanth Wolves is that they can only (and have to) change on a full moon. They also tend to struggle more in the personal battle between self and Wolf. Often the Wolf wants to take over their host completely, and very occasionally (out of the ones that don't kill themselves under pressure), the Wolf can win this battle, and on that full moon, the host will not demorph back into a human, and will stay a Wolf for eternity. And it is eternity, because they're immortal. As you can see, there is a reason (or several) for lack of Werewolves in Dead Night.

Lycanth Wolves
A little like Warewolves in the way that they can only ever shift to a wolf's shape, however, they are the only Wolf that can part morph (although most choose not to as it looks repulsive), and unlike Werewolves, they can choose when they morph. The process is the same though (and I'll go into that later). You'll notice that there are more of these (ie, James (in part), Marrok, the Bennetts). They're an easier Night being to exist as most of the time, as the Wolf side is more one's self than a seperate personality. However, the animal instincts are still there so a Lycanth will still have trouble controlling themselves (this, like most other Night creatures' contitions is enhanced upon a full moon), although in this case, they're more of a danger to the people around them than themselves.

Standard Shape Shifters
These are basically like Lycanth Wolves but can shift to any animal they choose (that is of a particular size, not an elephant or a small turtle for example) by studying it's bones and obtaining it's DNA. They also tend to suffer from the condition Werewolves do, but only when in the form of a particular animal, it doesn't take over their human self. They can't shift to a human form (far too complex), Their morph is more painful depending on the animal and it's bone structure in particular.

Human Metamorphs or 'Dopplegangers'
Like Shifters but can only take human morphs, they suffer no psychological symptoms from their morph, but are usually deceptive and cruel in nature. It has not been proven, but many beleive that they have no soul at all. These rare creatures are to be avoided at all costs.

Fhearies
Pure Fhearies are usually quite petit in size, although not tiny like in the storybooks; they can be taller if they have other genes such as Elven or Witch in their family. Fhearies only have a part morph; they can summon wings. For pure blooded Fhearies with no other genes in their past, these wings are always insect like in appearence, however this is the only morph that can be polluted by other genes, akthough a case of this is incredibly rare. There are also no psychological symptoms associated with Fhearie morphs.


***Note- All Wolf related shifts mimic the colour of the human form's hair, and have red eyes in at least Wolf form.

How Metamorphasis Works
It's painful because the body has to rearrange itself. The animal like morphs are far too complicated for even me to fully explain to you, but it's to do with rearranging and rapidly growing/shrinking (ahem, CRUSHING) the bones. Also, theres a lot of morphing/regenerating/growing/excluding of various other parts of the body such as skin and hair. It's...strange.

Special and unusual Cases...

Cybelle DeHamphir, the Sirith Mage
Cybelle's morphs are endless, although she chooses to ignore them for all the pain it takes. However, occasionally, she will use Wolf and Fhearie morphs. It should be noted that though she does have a 'Doppleganger' gene, she will not access it (probably by choice). Same as Shifter. Her Fhearie morph has been distorted by a mix with her Vampire and (maybe) Shifter genes, and rather than insect like wings, she has a pair of massive bat wings. These, due to the nature and size of them, are INCREDIBLY painful to summon. Her wolf, as usual, mimics the jet black colour of her hair.

James Lovett, the hybrid white Wolf
James's morph is interesting, and nobody can pin it down accept for an unproven theory of Vampire pollution (although this is highly unlkely because Wolves can't be blood polluted and it affect their morph). When he morphs, his Wolf is white, even though his natural hair colour is brown.

Verity Harman, the last Fey Witch
Verity rarely morphs as it is not neccecary, practical or painless, but should she choose to, the Witch side of her has polluted her morph to become a pair of feathered dove like wings, all black.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Site updates and stuff.

My dear Nightlings,

Just a couple of site updates! Sorry I havn't much news of other things, you got all that in my last post!

So as you can see, there's been a bit of a re-vamp. The old background was pretty but not fitting... in two ways, I mean...since my blog's width was expanded, it physically didn't fit... besides, birds don't have a fat lot to do with assassins. I liked the style of my old blog, which was quite a bit more Victorian, so it has been changed to the pattern that was originally that of the Cai-Terra Archives. If only it came in red!

Also, you will see that I have added a page called 'The Guest Room' which showcases DN art by other people, because they deserve the shout out! Feel free to poke around. :)

I am afraid that is all! I shall keep you posted on Dead Night and Lenora Lacey as I know things.

-I. I. Laverick

Saturday, 9 February 2013

RoH ad Dead Night news!

Good Evening my Nightlings!!

(I should start calling you that, it'd be like EA ad her Plague Rats :3)

    Anyway, I'll start with site updates. As you can see, the next chapter of Reign of Hearts is up, although I'm sorry it wasn't earlier, I released in on deviantART a few weeks ago! This is a pathetic excuse, but the deadline for Lenora Lacey has been pushed forward so I've been running around like a headless android trying to finish it! Also, you may have noticed that the Guild's study has been updated to reveal info on the blog's stories ONLY! So I hope you got those spoilers while you could!

    Anyway, the main news! The first ever publication of Dead Night has been confirmed! You will be able to buy copies some time this year from Blurb, and I am also taking orders for signed copies (which obviously, cost a bit more in delivery, depending on where you live because I have to order the book to me first, and then send it to you). Of course, Lenora Lacey will theoretically be published first, but as an e-book, and I shall keep you posted on that. In fact, while you are waiting for Dead Night, my Nightlings, Lenora Lacey is worth the read, you may even get a special surprise part way through!

    Anyway, I leave you on the biggest release, THE COVER! Created by my most woderful boyfriend, Adam who is a excellent photographer, and has cruelly deleted his blog, so I can only give you hid dA xD To be fair, there is more of his work on there anyway: http://takeshi-toga.deviantart.com Also, if you like Dead Night, you should read The Black Heart, his own novel which is a more contemporary vampire story set in Japan. It's amazing, so if you do, please tell him so because he doesn't beleive it!

    Anyway, this is what it will look like! 



Until next time!
-I. I. Laverick x

The Reign Of Hearts, Part Two, The Sound of Madness


    The next morning, I was rudely awoken by Aiden’s elbow in my back.

    “Owww…” I muttered sleepily, blindly waving my arm intending to swat him (but it wasn’t noon yet, so I had trouble opening my eyes).

    Apparently he dodged because I didn’t hit anything, and planted a small kiss on my forehead, “Sorry, Allie.” He apologised, and seemed to leave the room. I was too tired to object, and he had redeemed himself after all.

    I wrapped myself in a cuccoon of duvet and slowly, the thought sank in that I had work tonight and uni the next day, and I had done no concept sketches in a week. Great, Luelue’s going to be impressed. For a blissful little moment, everything was normal and my greatest worry was my lecturer quite fittingly, giving me a lecture.

    The events of the previous day leaked back into my mind after a few moments and I groaned into the pillow.

    “Hey, wake up darlin’” Aiden laughed, and wafted a cup of tea under my nose. “Somebody has work to do.”

    “It depends.” I murmured, opening one eye with a little strain, “Do you have chocolate?”

    He set down a packet of caramel digestives on the bedside table… Crafty. Now I had to get up. I took the mug and sat on the bed, curled into a ball of weariness and bad hair. I rolled my eyes when I finally looked at Aiden, he hadn’t bothered to dress properly himself yet, he was wearing black jeans and no shirt and naturally, he showed the fact that he didn’t believe in shoes. “Go and put a shirt on for god’s sake before sis yells at you for being such a man.” I grumbled, although it was only specifically for that reason, Jez never let him hear the end of it, but I didn’t have any preference… honest.

    “Yes Ma’am, zombie chief, Ma’am.” He laughed and flung open the wardrobe in search of something clean. I don’t know why we bothered sharing chores, they never got done.

    “Cheeky.” I muttered, but smiled at his good mood. I dunked my biscuit in the tea while he wasn’t looking (his turn washing up and he hated it when I did that), and then reached for my sketchbook under the bed. “I had better cough up an idea…”

    “You’ll think of something.” He said, and came to sit next to me, now wearing a faded Iron Maiden t-shirt. “Why don’t you let me help?”

    “Need a boss for the game…” I said and shook my head, “I’ve used all of the good ones.”

    “That’s a question…” He admitted, and gently seized the dog eared book from my hands, flicking through it. “Perhaps you should wake up properly first.”

    I sighed and grunted in agreement, reluctantly slipping out of bed, setting down the half empty cup and diving into my own separate wardrobe (I was weird about the condition of my clothes, I owned some awkward-to-store dresses).

    My outfit that day consisted of corset top, lace shrug, leather skirt and fishnets, all black and topped off with coffin shaped earrings and a necklace to match. Possibly tactless, but I was too tired to realise. I quickly ran a brush through my black and red streaked hair and didn’t bother beginning the long process of applying all that makeup.

    We both entered the living room, finding no signs of life, meaning Jez was probably still asleep, and upon this discovery, Aiden slumped into the sofa, and turned on the TV to the first sci fi channel he could find, startling Kurt (who was asleep next to it) awake to the sound of Star Trek.

    He sighed and smiled at the poor creature, “Well it was a daft place to go to sleep!” He protested, and scratched him behind the ear. This seemed to compensate for the rude awakening, and Kurt then proceeded to slope off for some breakfast, which I prepared and then sat down next to Aiden.

    “Ignorant bastard shift tonight?” He asked me, rolling his eyes at the adverts.

    “No kidding.” I replied.

    At least it was normal so far, even if I did have a night of dealing with the general picky public ahead of me. I worked in a coffee shop you see, but I was really not the social kind of person, it just meant that I could pay my third of the rent. The ‘Ignorant bastard shift” as Aiden and Jez always called it (and me when my boss was out of earshot), was the Saturday closing, when pretty much every asshole and his dog came to cause trouble. I couldn’t wait to graduate, honestly.

    “Anyway, this boss battle.” I muttered and stared at the wall.

    “How about that sleepy, crazy monster that takes the shape of my girlfriend every morning?” He suggested, a quite conspicuous grin on his face.

   I half-heartedly swatted him but somehow, and I wasn’t surprised, we ended up on each other’s lips… Just as Jez shuffled in in her jeans, tank top and bunny slippers.

    “Ugh…” She said with a shake of her head. “If I had a penny for every time I’d walked in on this!” She smiled though as I sat up and attempted to cover a violent blush with my hair, (perhaps the makeup would have been a good idea after all) and she went to prepare toast.

    I gave it a minute, and then followed her, motioning for Aiden to stay where he was. He knew by now that when girl talk was the issue, he had best keep his distance.

    “So.” I said, digging in the cupboard for my personal supply of chocolate flavoured cereal, “How’re you feeling?”

    “Pretty shit to be honest with you.” She replied, matter-of-factly as always. “God, I can’t stop thinking about it, it’s invading my mind.” She added, and slammed the jam jar on the counter so hard I thought it might shatter.

    Somehow, I got the feeling that she wasn’t talking about Liam’s funeral. I found myself contemplating telling her about the letter, but resolved that it would probably make things worse.

    “Sorry.” She murmured and sighed, “I think I need to get out of here before I break something.”

    I gave her a hug, which seemed to do only the tiniest bit of good, and abandoned my breakfast plans. “Want to go for a walk then?” I offered, “But… you’re going to have to lose the bunny slippers first.”

    She smiled faintly, staring down at said bunny slippers for a moment, she nodded, and then pointed out uselessly, “But not the god damn park.”

    ***

    About half an hour later, after I had thrown on my makeup, boots and coat, tossed a vague excuse in Aiden’s direction and Jez had indeed swapped the slippers for a shabby pair of trainers, we set out on an aimless wander through the street.

    “I’m mad.” Jez declared after a few minutes of silence.

    I felt inclined to reply with words that were not mine, but belonged to the Hatteress, we’re all mad here, you’ll fit right in… But instead I kept my tactless trap shut and decided on: “Why do you say that?”

    “Because my fucking dreams are sending me letters.” She growled, “I must be mad.”

    My heart stopped and so did my feet, and that was a mistake because the uneasy look on Jez’s face changed to one of horror which she was trying to cover with her cool mask. However, with the events of the previous day, that mask had been cracked and crumbling and hardly held in place anymore.

    “Not you too…” I whispered, not even wanting to say it aloud.

    “Bloody Hatteress doesn’t know when the hell to leave us alone.” Jez said bitterly, her hands curling into fists. “She doesn’t get it, we don’t need them anymore.”

    “Well apparently they need us.” I replied, twirling one of my red streaks around my finger, which was a stupid habit I had when I was nervous. Jez knew this, and I saw her shoulders relax a little and the anger on her face change again, but this time to concern. She awkwardly put her hands on my shoulders, acting the brave big sister, and make me look at her.

    “They can’t make us go back.” She assured me, although I don’t think either of us believed her.

    We had left them in a state of security. No Queen to dictate, no battle to be won… We had slain the beast that had terrorized them, what more could they want?

    What more could they want? That question spun around my head for what seemed like an age, and honestly, I wish I had never asked it.

    A peculiar flat birdsong sounded from a distance away. It didn’t quite sink in properly for a moment, but I knew I should be alarmed.

    And then we caught sight of it. A large black bird sitting in the tree above us, looming like an omen.

    Jez looked at me, wide eyed, and then back at the bird. Before I could even try to convince myself we would be fine, and this was all just a creepy coincidence, Jez yelled, uncaring for the many people in the crowded street, “Run!”

    We did indeed run. We ran like all hell was chasing us, and to be honest, it possibly was. It depended on what your idea of hell was.

    We pushed, shoved, and stumbled our way down the street, and I made the fatal mistake of looking back to catch a glimpse of the raven… at the same time as Jez. God damn it, it was a good thing neither of us drove, our attention spans sucked.

    We went hurtling forwards into the window of an old curiosity shop. Without breaking the glass.

    “In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.”