The Wrong Spell by © Jacqueline Miller 25.8.2014

Here is the next instalment of my cartoon, The Wrong Spell by Jacqueline Miller.

I hope you like it.

Jacqueline

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How It All Began. A Cartoon by Jacqueline Miller

How It All Began. A Cartoon by Jacqueline Miller

Today, I started drawing the back story to my cartoon The Wrong Spell. I’m also writing it as a graphic novel and a regular novel. Today’s cartoon took ages as I had to use several apps on the iPad.

This shows the moment Janey and Gerald meet for the first time.

I hope you like it.

Jacqueline

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Written by: Jacqueline Miller
© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oh, Please Be Mine! A Medieval Love Poem From A Knight to the Princess He Loves by Jacqueline Miller

Today I wrote a poem for day 11 of the writing challenge I’m participating in for Mythic Scribes.

I hope you enjoy reading it. It’s humorous, but I also found it sad because it was about a pure and true love, and the poor knight was imprisoned in a dungeon.

Jacqueline

Day 11-Bard Prompt-Write a story about the worst bard in existence.

Oh, Please Be Mine!

A Medieval Love Poem From a Knight To The Princess He Loves by Jacqueline Miller

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a kingdom far away, lived a knight who fell in love with a beautiful Princess.

The Princess fell in love with him, too. They wanted to marry but her father, a greedy King, sent the knight away on various quests to prove his love.

( The author of these tales of Zanderlands has previously written a Valentine’s poem about their love; but this authentic poem was found in the Kingdom of Verucka, written on the wall of a dungeon in the fortress of the King of the Goblins. The author has translated it from the old fashioned form containing such words as ‘thou’ and ‘thy’, and updated it to this modern version.)

The Princess Fenella found a copy of this poem written inside the flyleaf of a book gifted to her by Sir Lanceypot. These words were also discovered written on the wall of a dungeon as stated above.

Oh, Please Be Mine!

Oh, Princess Fen, you are most fair
With lustrous shiny golden hair
I’d know your perfume anywhere
Oh, please be mine!

Your father is a noble king
With lots of gold and everything
I’d serenade if I could sing
Oh, please be mine!

You live inside a castle tall
I’ve watched you dancing at a Ball
You are the fairest of them all
Oh, please be mine!

And while inside that castle tall
We danced together at the Ball
You are the sweetest one of all
Oh, please be mine!

We kissed outside the castle grand
We stood together hand in hand
We even listened to the band
Oh, please be mine!

Your father is a greedy King
He loves gold more than anything
I’ll have to give you BOTH a ring
Oh, please be mine!

But now he’s sent me on a quest
To kill a dragon in the West
I’ve told him I will try my best
Oh, please be mine!

But should I die and not come home
You know my love’s for you alone
I’ll love you, Fen, where ‘ere I roam
Oh, please be mine!

I trust my love is not in vain
I think that you still feel the same
I hope that soon you’ll share my name
Oh, please be mine!

I hope you feel the way I do
You know I want to marry you
I swear to be forever true
If you’ll be mine!

The words in the dungeon were by Anon

But Princess Fenella’s copy was signed,

‘Sir Cedric Lanceypot, with love.’

Written by: Jacqueline Miller

© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ethelbert The Wise And The Old Assassin By Jacqueline Miller

Here is my story for day 9 of the Flash Fiction writing challenge that I’m participating in on Mythic Scribes. I wrote two stories for this one as I found it quite difficult. I’ll post the second one at the end of this one, although I wrote it first. The second one is very short!

I hope you enjoy reading them!

Jacqueline

Day 9-Assassin Prompt-Write a story about an assassin’s last job before retiring

Ethelbert the Wise and The Old Assassin by Jacqueline Miller

(460 words)

“And so,”Ethelbert the Wise, was saying, “the king would like you to repair this cabinet.”

“Bit of a mess, ain’t it?” said the carpenter. “Cor! What ‘appened ‘ere? Looks like it’s been

burnt.”

“It’s from dragon fire,” Ethelbert explained, beginning to feel irritated.

He’d spent all morning interviewing carpenters and goldsmiths in the throne room without

any help or support from the King.

The artisan scratched his head.

“Ooh, that’s going to cost ya. We always charge double to repair stuff wot’s been damaged

by dragon fire.”

Ethelbert made a face. The man, who was short and stout with a ruddy complexion, stared

back at him, then pointed a grimy finger at the Royal Adviser’s charred and ragged beard.

“You look like you need repairing from the dragon fire, yourself!”

Ethelbert made a mental note to tell King Norbit not to employ this man. He disliked people

who made personal comments. Besides, he felt his services would not be cheap.

“Thank you. Just write your estimate in the Royal Book of Quotes over there and I’m sure

the Master of the Royal household will be in touch.”

“And who might that be?” asked the man.

“Oh, never you mind!” Ethelbert replied. “Just don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

“Is that so?” said the man. “Right. Well, here’s my card, anyway.”

Ethelbert took the card. On it, in bright red ink, was written,

“Ade’s Assassins! No Job Too Small.”

Ethelbert began to splutter with surprise.

“Assassins? But I’m looking for a carpenter!”

“Oops, sorry, wrong card!” The man snatched it back and handed Ethelbert a card printed in

brown ink.

“Ade’s Carpenters! No Job Too Small.”

If Ethelbert’s eyebrows had not been burnt off by the dragon fire he would have raised them

now.

“I like to keep myself versatile,” the man explained. “I retired from being an Assassin last

month after my last job. I found it too emotionally draining.”

“Indeed,” Ethelbert said.

“Although, of course if the King required my services, I’d be more than ‘appy to ‘elp.”

“Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Ethelbert took both cards.

After Ade had signed the Book of Quotes and departed, Ethelbert examined the cards again.

At the bottom of the Assassins card he read:

“Monsters, Goblins and Dragons Our Speciality.”

Day 9-Assassin Prompt-Write a story about an assassin’s last job before retiring.

Very Short Assassin Flash Fiction by Jacqueline Miller

(18 words)

Before retiring for the night, John, a mercenary assassin, squashed a small spider that had been bothering him.

Written by: Jacqueline Miller
© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Knight and the Case of Mistaken Identity by Jacqueline Miller

Well, I’ve reached day 6 of the challenge on Mythic Scribes. As you can see, today’s post was another difficult one to interpret. I didn’t have any idea where this was going to go. I started off with the image of a knight waiting outside a cave with a sleeping monster inside and let the characters take it where they wanted!

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Jacqueline

Day 6-Monster Prompt-Write a story in which a monster works amongst humans.

The Knight and the Case of Mistaken Identity

By Jacqueline Miller
(860 words)

The knight approached the place carefully. He remembered that this was where the creature hibernated during the winter. Brown and yellow leaves blew across his path. They were the first signs of the passing of autumn.

As he paused to listen, he heard a loud wheezing sound that merged then soared above the noise of the wind. He moved forward and stood next to the dark entrance of a cave.

With his sword at the ready, the knight slipped into the dim cavity, his armour clanking softly.

The grey light from the doorway illuminated a large, lumpen shape, that rose and fell as it snored. It was the source of the wheezing sound that had drawn him towards the cave.

The knight stood still, silently contemplating the creature. It would be so easy to kill it- all he had to do was thrust his sword and the deed would be done. But the moment passed as he recalled the well known saying:

“Always let monsters and sleeping dogs lie!”

Instead, he moved to the back of the cave where he found only rocks.

“How odd, “the knight muttered. “Last time I was here there was a huge pile of gold. Where’s it gone? Perhaps it’s hidden it under its blanket.”

High above him, hanging on hooks at the back of the cave, he could see a couple of skeletons. The smaller of the two looked strangely familiar, with lustrous golden hair. As the knight stared, he noticed the familiar talisman on a chain around the skeleton’s neck. He reached up, grabbed the chain and tore it off, then gasped with horror.

Something had stirred behind him.

He turned around.

From under the blanket a shape was rising.

The blanket fell away, revealing a purple monster with two heads, amber flecked green eyes and red mouths that flickered like traffic lights behind jagged yellow teeth, dripping with saliva. Long, lethal, purple claws reached out to grab him.

The knight swiftly lifted his sword and chopped off one of the monster’s arms.

“Take that you ________ brute!”

The monster screamed in pain.

“I’ve come to get my revenge!” cried the knight.

“What the ???!!!! Ow! “yelled the monster, as the knight sliced off one of its heads.

“Don’t do it, Derrick!”cried the monster, weakly, from its remaining head. “You’re making a dreadful mistake!”

“That’s for killing my sister!” Derrick cried, swinging his sword to detach one of the foul creature’s legs below the knee. “Did you think I’d not recognise her?” He held up the talisman on its chain. “I thought you were my friend, Belga, but you’re just like the rest!”

As the beast fell to the ground, Derrick grabbed his dagger and plunged it repeatedly into the monster’s two hearts.

The monster collapsed with a sound like air escaping from a balloon. It lay in a puddle of sticky green blood.

Its wheezing ceased: it was dead!

Derrick turned to see an amorphous two headed ghostly apparition rising from the depths of the grey blanket.

The ghost was pointing a gnarled green fluorescent finger at him.

Derrick sprang backwards, screaming in fright: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Oh, evil knight!” screeched the ghost, opening its mouths to show several rows of vampirish, sharp yellow teeth.

“From now on, Derrick Bertilak, you shall be cursed! Known only as the Green Knight, you shall wander this Earth, unable to die and never to know Peace! Prepare to meet thy doom!”

There was a wizzing sound, a bit like a washing machine in spin-dry mode, and the ghost began to turn around in a terrestrially charged vortex.

The knight screamed again: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

Raising his sword for protection, he tried to escape from the cave.

“You’re a monster amongst men!” screamed the ghost. “You’ve killed Agra!”

“No, I’ve killed Belga!”Derrick replied, angrily.”I’ve got my revenge for the monster’s murders.”

He ran out of the cave. The ground trembled beneath his feet as loud footsteps approached.

He tried to hide in the shadows as another two headed purple monster strode towards him.

“Oh, hello Derrick, I’m so glad you’re here!”the monster greeted him, warmly. “I’ve hidden the gold and got my brother to rescue two humans from the lair of our enemy, the Goblins of Verucka.

Unfortunately, he was too late to save them as the goblins had already killed them. But you can give their remains a proper burial in your family vault. Agra couldn’t come with me as his asthma’s real bad, today. Come meet him: he’s sleeping in the cave.

Hey, what’s wrong, Derrick? Speak to me, my friend!

Derrick, why are you crying?

Derrick, where are you going?

Come back!

Derrick!”

Written by: Jacqueline Miller

© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Green Knight Helps the Princesses Prepare for Battle by Jacqueline Miller

This is my third entry for the challenge I’m doing on Mythic Scribes. I’ve had to write 3 stories, today, just to keep up!

Day 3. Battle Prompt – Write a story about a battle in which no one’s feet touch the ground.

The Green Knight Helps the Princesses Prepare for Battle by Jacqueline Miller

(1053 words)

Princess Fenella stood on an upturned box and so did Princess Charmane. They were in the stables and the Green Knight was giving them a lesson in swordsmanship.

“My teacher always told me to stand on a box,” the knight explained. “He believed it enables you to balance and to thrust with your sword without falling over. Look!” He jumped onto a wooden crate nearby and waved his sword around above his head then thrust it down into the ground.

“I did such a stroke, earlier, to kill that rat.”

“Yes, that’s what impressed me to ask you to meet us here,” Fenella said.”Few swordsmen could kill a rat so cleanly and with just one swipe.”

“The animal would have felt little pain,” the knight agreed. “A swift death is a kind one.”

“But you can’t take part in a whole battle like this, can you?” Charmane asked. “How will you find a box to stand on in a battlefield? I don’t see the purpose.”

“Neither do I,” said Fenella. She sprang lightly off the box. “I knew when I saw you execute that rat earlier, Sir Knight, that you have the skills I need for my company. But we do not require a pretend battle. My sister and I must equip ourselves for a real war.”

The knight looked surprised. “Of course, you would need real armour and swords if you were to go into battle,” he explained. “But this is just for fun, is it not, fair lady, sweet maiden? We have just had a pretend battle where our feet did not touch the ground.You are not contemplating fighting a real war but are just having some fun at my expense!”

“Indeed we are not!” Fenella replied. “Why, I spoke to the blacksmith earlier and he is forging suits of armour for us now.”

The knight looked perplexed.

“But armour is expensive,” said he. “Why, only noblemen can afford to become knights.”

Fenella and Charmane looked amused by this statement.

“Do you not know that we are rich noblewomen?” Charmane asked.
Fenella smiled at her sister. “Why, I believe this knight does not know who we are!”
The knight shrugged and wiped his brow.
“You are but two wenches that live in the palace. What are you: ladies in waiting?”
“We are the heiresses to the kingdom of Zanderlands,” said Fenella, indignantly.
“Actually, to be precise, I am,” Charmane said, “as I am the eldest. Whoever marries me shall be husband to the future Queen!”

The knight looked at her plain countenance and appeared to be perplexed. Then realisation seemed to connect with his brain and he bent his knee. He looked acutely embarrassed as he said:

“Forgive me, your majesties, for I did not know you. As I said, I am new to this kingdom and was just passing through. Although, I had heard mention that the King had two daughters, I knew not that you were they.”

“Arise, Sir Knight, you are forgiven,” Fenella said. “I am the Princess Fenella and this is my sister, Princess Charmane.”

“What’s YOUR name?” Charmane asked, rudely.

“My enemies call me the Green Knight, but my friends call me Derrick,” the knight replied.”Derrick Bertilak at your service.”

Just then the door to the stables opened and Doran Rustin entered. Princess Fenella thought he looked much smarter than when she had seen him in the stables earlier. He wore clean clothes and a new pair of boots. His hair appeared to have been washed and brushed.

Fenella asked to be excused and went to speak with the squire. If Derrick had doubted that the fair lady was indeed a princess he was convinced now that her words were true, for the squire bowed and spoke to her with much reverence and respect.

It was clear from their conversation that the princess was rustling up a company to go to the Wilkielands to try and rescue the knights who’d been kidnapped by the goblins of Verucka.

“I sat in on the King’s war council,”Doran said, “but they were very indecisive. Your father seemed more intent on stealing the Geranium cup from the dragon’s den than rescuing Sir Lanceypot and his company from the goblins.”

The squire looked up then and noticed the Green Knight eavesdropping on their conversation. In a moment his hand had grabbed the hilt of his sword as he cried,

“Who is this stranger?”

“Oh, that’s Derrick,” Charmane replied. “Known as the Green Knight.”

The squire raised his sword.

“Who are you?”he demanded.

“I am the Green Knight! I come to serve the Princesses of Zanderlands in their hour of need.”

Derrick turned to face Fenella and her sister. ” I would be honoured to join your company,” he said. “For I, too, have been wronged by the Goblins of Verucka, and wish to effect my revenge.”

Doran Rustin did not seem impressed by this speech. He spoke to Princess Fenella.

“Your majesty, I don’t believe your father will allow you to fight,” he said.

“That’s why we shan’t be telling him,” the princess replied. “Charmane will have to pretend she is going to marry the goblin king, while we travel behind and rescue the knights, defeat the goblins and kill their king. Then all we will have to do is capture the Geranium Cup from the dragon so that I can marry my dear Lancey.”

“Do we have your support?” Princess Charmane asked, jumping down off her box and landing like a sack of potatoes on the straw.

“It sounds fun!” said the Green Knight. “I love a good old fashioned quest.”

Doran Rustin sighed.

“Very well.”

The two princesses spoke in unison.

“And remember, don’t tell the king!”

Written by: Jacqueline Miller
© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The DC Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths

Sourcerer

Happy new book day, everyone! Today, I’d like to continue the trend I started last week and talk a bit more about DC Comics’s somewhat convoluted multiverse structure to help make it more accessible and understandable (and certainly less daunting) to both new and experienced readers. Please remember to keep last week’s post handy as a reference for some of the concepts and jargon I’ll be using as I move through this phase of the column. In order to make this task more manageable for all of you as readers and me as the authority (or something like it), I’ll break down these posts by universe-altering event (usually called a Crisis), and work my way through the most salient of them from over the past few decades.

Cover to The Flash #123 (September, 1961) by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. Image courtesy of DC Comics and found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6e/Flash_v1_123.jpg Cover to The Flash #123 (September, 1961) by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. Image courtesy of DC Comics and found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6e/Flash_v1_123.jpg

I’ll…

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FORAY at the HAUNTED HOUSE

hocuspocus13

the TOWN OF KILKENNY

THE YEAR 1324; THE PLACE THE TOWN OF KILKENNY IRELAND; THE SEARCH FOR DAME ALICE KYTELER.
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I WALK UP THE PATH TO THE DOOR OF THE COTTAGE, IVY COVERED, NESTLED IN THE WOOD. I KNOCK 3 TIMES…IT OPENS… IT’S DAME ALICE KYTELER. SHE GREETS ME, INVITES ME IN. SHE TELLS ME SHE HAS BEEN EXPECTING ME. SHE HAS SOME COMPANIONS HERE, I’M INTRODUCED. I MEET, ROBERT OF BRISTOL, ELLEN GALRUSSYN, PETRONILLA AND
EVA DE BROWNESTONE.

WE JOIN TOGETHER FOR FOOD AND DRINK AROUND THE TABLE. WE TALK ABOUT MANY THINGS, WE LAUGH,
WE TALK ABOUT THE SORCERESS OF KILKENNY.

THE NIGHT GETS TIRED, MY TRAVEL HAS INDEED MADE ME WEARY. I SHALL FIND THE ANSWERS I DESIRE TOMORROW. FOR WHAT BETTER PLACE TO BEGIN BUT TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED, AT KILKENNY. NOW WE REST SO TO BE RENEWED FOR THE DAY AHEAD OF US.

MORNING…

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The Green Knight by Jacqueline Miller

Here is my entry for day two of a flash fiction writing challenge. I hope you enjoy it.

Jacqueline

Day 2: Knight Prompt- Write a story in which a knight kills for the wrong reasons.

The Green Knight by Jacqueline Miller

(800 words)

While King Norbit’s knights were planning to go to war against the Verucka Goblins and the dragon, poor Princess Charmane sat in her bedchamber in floods of tears.

“Why must I be sacrificed in order to save the kingdom?”she sobbed. “It just isn’t fair! How can I marry the Goblin King? I haven’t even met him!”

“I agree,” Princess Fenella replied.”But it’s your own fault, Char, for getting Roger Pigasso to paint that portrait of you. It didn’t look at all like you, except for having black hair.”

“Well, how was I to know it would get into the hands of the goblin king?”Charmane wailed. “I wanted Prince Andrew of the Wilkielands to see it and marry me. It’s not fair!” She stamped her foot, angrily. “It’s usually you who all the knights fall in love with, Fen. Why hasn’t anyone at the court ever fallen in love with me?”

“I don’t know.” Princess Fenella twirled a strand of her long golden hair around her delicate fingers. She’d had to deal diplomatically with Charmane’s jealousy all her life. “But they’re wasting their time,” she said,”as I’m not interested in any of them. The only man for me is Lancey; but because of father’s obsession with gold, he keeps sending my darling Lancey off on quests to fetch more and more golden cups, instead of letting us get married.”

Princess Charmane could not suppress a small pang of guilt as she heard her sister’s words.

She remembered that she had been instrumental in persuading King Norbit to send her sister’s betrothed to fetch the golden Geranium Cup from the dragon’s lair. She had not cared that the brave and handsome knight had only recently returned from a quest to fetch another golden cup from the evil Harpies who’d lived in the West of the kingdom.

“I think most of the gold in the throne room has melted,” Charmane said. “Maybe Father can have it made into a golden statue of himself, then he can gaze at it all day!”

Fenella shot her a warning glance.

“Don’t suggest that to Father, or he will be sure to think it a good idea and have one made.”

Charmane smirked, and turned her misaligned green eyes in the general direction of her sister.

“Why not? He can send it to the court of the Verucka goblins and maybe their king will fall in love with HIM!”

Just then, they heard a snarling noise outside the window.

Fenella looked out and saw an enormous rat being chased by a ginger cat across the castle courtyard. A knight wearing unusual green armour was striding past. Looking up,he noticed the fair Princess Fenella at her window. Then he looked down and saw the rat crossing his path. Lifting his sword, he decapitated the foul creature with one swipe. The cat gave a cry of alarm, its ginger fur bristling as if it had been given an electric shock. It leapt over the bits of bloody dead rat and bounded out of sight.

The knight wiped his blade clean on a nearby patch of grass, then looked up at the princess and bowed gallantly.

“Good morning,” he called.

“Good morning, brave knight,” Fenella replied, with a smile. “Thank you for helping us rid our kingdom of vermin.”

“Oh, no problem. Actually, I was just trying out my new blade,” the knight continued, “and my new suit of armour. Do you like it?” He turned around clunkily so she could have a good look.

“It’s an unusual colour.”

“Who are you talking to? Who? Who?” Charmane demanded curiously. She hurried over to the window, shoved Fenella out of the way, and looked out.

“Who are you?” she demanded of the knight.

The knight, having completed a turn of 360 degrees, seemed shocked at seeing Charmane’s ugly face instead of Fenella’s beautiful one at the window.

“Er…just call me ‘the green knight’,” he replied.”I’m new around here.” He began to move away but Fenella pushed her sister aside and looked out again.

“Come meet me in the stables in ten minutes,” Fenella shouted.

“Sure. Right. Yes. I’d love to!”

“But can you reveal your face so I can recognise you?”

The knight took off his helmet then. He had fair hair and a strong, rugged sort of face. Not as handsome as Lancey of course, but not bad, Fenella thought.

“Cor, he’s a bit of all right!”Charmane said, loudly, peering through the window.”But what are you up to, Fen?”

Fenella withdrew her head from the window. She had a thoughtful expression on her face.

“I have a plan. I think this knight may be able to help us…”

Written by: Jacqueline Miller
© Jacqueline Miller 2014: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.