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About Literature / Student Premium Member Carol J Forrester21/Female/United Kingdom Groups :iconwriters-extrodinaire: Writers-Extrodinaire
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Down the rabbit hole: Rabbit hole

... I don't even know but it's kind of awesome...
“Swords!” panted Natalia, hands wrapped around her kneecaps and hunched in over herself. “Who the hell comes after a person with swords.”

“I think it was a Scottish claymore,” said Michael. “Fifteenth century and in really good nick by the looks of it.”

“I think you’re missing the bit where the chick with the pink Mohawk tried to take your head off.”

“She had a good swing. I’ll give her that.”

“HEAD! NECK! NEAR DECAPITATION!” spat Natalia! “Do I really need to repeat myself?”

“Well at least it wasn’t machine guns this time and you were rather good holding your own against her,” Michael shrugged.

“I had a piece of lead piping!” Natalia spat. “She nearly killed me!”

“But we got the hard drive,” he pointed out.

“Which crazy chick sliced in half with her sword before we took her down,” said Natalia dryly.

“More like a third and two thirds.”

“Same difference. It’s useless.” Natalia straightened up and stretched, popping her joints loudly and scowled when the muscles in her arms protested. “I really need to stop jumping out of windows,” she groaned. “It’s starting to disagree with me.”

“Well you could have taken the stairs. You were right next to the door.”

Natalia turned her scowl towards Michael.

“I wasn’t right next to the door. There was a crazy, sword wielding psycho in the way.”

Michael shrugged.

“Then you should have thrown her out of the window instead.”
“I was a watcher,” he told her, grinding his cigarette into the bottom of the ash tray and using his free hand to push his sunglasses further up the bridge of his nose. “Always bloody watching,” he spat.

She wanted to ask what he’d been watching but somehow she felt her voice was not welcome at this conversation, at least not at this time, not right then.

“I watched them all,” he said and waved a hand at the crowds milling past. It was a weekend, hot and clear so the crowds had come flocking, spilling into the cobbled streets of her little town to raid the shops and tea rooms. She curled her fingers more tightly around her watery cup of tea.

“All of them!” he yelped, voice pitching. “I saw it all, each plot, each scheme, each grab for power. Tell me,” he said leaning in. “Tell me what you see in a crown?”

She shrugged.

“Metal?” she guessed.

“Well of course, of course, but what else?”

“Gems? Diamonds?”




A tourist dressed in dungarees shot them a look and picked up his pace.

“Blood?” she said hesitantly. “Why blood?”

“All crowns are steeped in blood,” he said. “You won’t find a monarch in existence who hasn’t done something that leaves some sort of stain.”

“Isn’t that a little cynical?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“I was a watcher remember, I saw the plays of power and it wasn’t just the old ones, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Julia Cesar , it wasn’t just their sort. Power is a blood sport and that’s the fact of the matter.”

She nodded slowly, lowering her hand closer to her handbag for a quick escape.

“You don’t say.”

“Oh but I do,” he was animated now, bouncing in his seat. “It can make you lose sight of the other things after a while. All you see is the blood.”

“Sounds traumatic.”

“Indeed! I grew to hate being a watcher, grew to absolutely hate it!”

“And now?”

She watched him pause, her hand wrapped around the straps of her handbag.

“Well I’m not a watcher anymore,” he said. “You can’t hate being something you’re not.”

“You can just quit?” she asked, handbag in her lap.

“Of course,” he said. “You just get rid of your equipment and hey presto. No more watching.”

“Equipment?” she repeated. “What equipment. Cameras and stuff?”

“No, not a camera,” he said reaching for his glasses and pulling them from his face. “It’s a bit more inbuilt than that.”
I like the contrast of the three personas in this piece, and it's short length gives it a certain umph which sent me back to read it over a couple of times. However, each time I read it I still felt like I was missing something.
I'm intrigued by the use of "within", the repetition of it of course means that it stands out and is therefore significant somehow, but "within" still seemed like an odd choice to me. It's use in the second line stumped me especially, Barbarian inside the wine?
I think that you certainly have a fantastic seed to work with here but it needs a little development. It lacks an edge of clarity that would really give this short, tart piece a brilliant punch. [When I say tart I mean in a good sense, for example when you eat an especially tart piece of pie and you get that wonderful zing.]
You have me hooked though and I'd be interested to see if you do anything more with this piece. Please let me know if you do, I'd enjoying the chance to re-read it.
“I think,” said Death, my bishop clattering onto the table-top as he slid his queen across the board, “that it takes a certain type of fearlessness to defy a King.”

“Oh really?” I asked, scowling at the three pawns that were all that was left of my defence, he was just playing with me now. “What makes you say that exactly,”

“Oh you know,” Death shrugged, knuckles now pressed into his jawline as he waited for me to make the next move, “they all generally end up in the same place.”

“Maybe,” I said, “but you never know, fearlessness might simply be some greater fear in disguise.”

I watched Death falter through my lashes.

“Oh,” he said quietly. “Perhaps.”

Grinning I slid one of my pawns forward.

“You’re still losing you realise?” said Death.

“Yeah I know, but I had you stunned for a moment there so I’m counting this game as a victory anyway.”


parchmentgirl's Profile Picture
Carol J Forrester
Artist | Student | Literature
United Kingdom
Miss Carol J Forrester

Born in Shropshire, England, Miss Forrester is currently studying History at Bath Spa University.

With poems published in ‘Here and Now’ by United Press, ‘Express Yourself’ by Young Writers and a self-published collection titled ‘Before The Words Run Out’, poetry was always her first passion. However, with plans for a collection of short stories to be published within the next few months and numerous novels currently at the half-way stage; she is no stranger to prose.


Journal Entry: Mon Mar 10, 2014, 7:51 AM
What is Headquarters?

Well I'm glad you asked little person I just made up.

Headquarters is one of my current projects, a collection of flash fictions that all link in together to create an overall story.

Does that not create world building issues?

Yes. Yes it does. I'm just trying to bumble my way through them and smile as readers point them out to me.

Are you not already snowed under with work?

Once again, yes, yes I am. But anyone who knows me, knows that will do nothing to prevent me from trying to add one more thing to the 'to do' list.

Are you going to annoy readers by removing chapters and completely changing them and therefore the plotline?

No. For once. If you decide to read the current segments up in my gallery then remember they are not designed to be polished, fully thought out story-lines. I'm treating them as a writing exercise to hone my character development and writing skills. [For fun should also be included in that sentence.]

So it's all one big story then?

Sort of. I've now split Headquarters into two individual story-lines. 'Central Command' which is set somewhere in the middle of Europe and 'Safe Haven' which is set in the Midland, England. Granted this is quite a bit in the future after a war has completely reshaped all the previously organised territories.

Feel free to pop over to the gallery and have a read.

  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: The hum of my computer

Journal History


Tue Mar 18, 2014, 3:10 PM
hey im on now if you want to chat
Sun Mar 16, 2014, 9:21 AM
Wed Mar 12, 2014, 3:03 PM
And this is a shout back!
Sun Sep 16, 2012, 11:08 AM
This is a shout :la:
Wed Sep 12, 2012, 10:39 AM


Add a Comment:
Melalina Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Professional General Artist
No computer access let members know Sorry
Sanna2011 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy Birthday! :party: :hug: :cake: :D
parchmentgirl Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Student Writer
Thank you. :D
Sanna2011 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
your welcome :3
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:) Just wanted to ask if I could take a peek at your expansion of your expansion of "dirt beneath the cobbles".

I'm sorry if I have been rude or mean in any way towards you, by the way :forgiveme:
parchmentgirl Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Student Writer
No you've not been rude, sorry I haven't got back to you, I have my history exam tomorrow and alongside family dramas I got swept up. My email is if you email me with yours I'll send you what I have. It's bitty, and split into two versions heading in different directions. 
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
(nodding) I sent you the email.

:) And stay blessed. You're a wonderful writer.
Alexander-Musset Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Hi, would be nice to chat bout what you're doing with WE sometime.
But mainly was wondering if you could vote on my unnoficial poll. I am researching for a poem thanks.
parchmentgirl Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Student Writer
Hey there,

Sorry I've been a bit absent, I've got my end of year exam on Friday so I'm busy preparing for that. Once that is out of the way I'll be able to turn my attentions to the group.
anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for the fav!
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