Walls Part Four

For those of you, like me, who have completely forgotten what happened in this (like I did), you can find the last little section of this serial-thing here.

“Aleks!” Tom shouted as he watched his friend walk out of the flat. He put a hand to his head and sighed — he’d really messed this up. And now he was going to have to do something drastic, like tie Aleks up in the hope that he’d have more difficulty escaping or hurting himself.

He followed his friend out of the flat and onto the stairs that would take him down and out into the real world. Aleks was stood on the first step down, his hands trembling.

“Just come back inside, Al. It’s not safe for you out here.”

“Nowhere’s safe,” he said, his voice constricted. “That stupid little bedsit isn’t any less dangerous than outside — I can still get hurt from in there. I can still be betrayed.

“But you’re a lot less likely to be killed,” Tom pointed out drily. “So why don’t we go back inside? I can leave, if that’s what you want. I’ll go stay with Tam, and just come here to bring you shopping and the like.” That was never going to happen; he couldn’t trust Aleks when he was in this condition. But somehow, the lies just kept building up. “If you’d prefer, I can try and find you a bigger flat.”

He shook his head. “Why can’t it be me that leaves, for once? Why can’t it be me that has control over where they are and who they see and who sees them?” His hands curled into fists.

Tom sighed. “You know why. When the Revolution–”

He snorted. “The revolution? You really think that’s actually going to happen? They burned him at the stake and no one gave a shit, Tom. Do you think some puny little group of do-gooders can really fight that? No, they can’t. It’s just going to end with all of us dead — so I might as well speed the process up a bit.” He stepped onto the second step.

“No, Aleks. Tam can do this. And you know why? Because she has you as her martyr. Her people make up nearly twenty per cent of the Fey population. And it’s all because of you — because we all remember what it was to be human, and to have that stolen away. We know that we need to care for the newly turned, not punish them for breaking rules that are still foreign to them.” Tom took a small step forward, careful not to do anything that might spook Aleks into running. He could have just grabbed the kid — he was strong enough — but he’d learnt from experience that if Aleks didn’t work out his problems now, he’d work them out at another time, most likely when he wasn’t there to help.

“Martyrs tend to be dead, Tom. And I wasn’t the one who came out worst, was I? Why isn’t he the martyr?”

Tom rolled his eyes at his own idiocy. Why didn’t he see this one coming? “Let’s just talk about it inside, okay?”

Aleks turned round, his eyes burning and his face red. “No. Why isn’t Rath the martyr, Tom? Tell me.”

“You know he and Tam had a bit of a rocky relationship, Al. She just found it easier to remember you than him.”

He shook his head. “No. No, that’s not it. You’re lying again. Why, Tom?”

This was going to go badly. He stepped forward, his hands placating but ready to grab Aleks when he bolted. “No one liked him, okay? That’s it. They weren’t going to rally around someone they were pretty glad was dead.”

“No! You’re lying!”

“Aleksandr –” Tom began, but Aleks had already grabbed his hands and was pulling him forward.

“You’re lying,” he whispered, letting go of Tom’s hands just as he was stepping forwards to regain his balance. He lost his equilibrium and fell down the stairs.

Break My Bones

‘Sticks and Stones’, that’s what you say –
Emotional pain is nothing
To the Bully, the Liar, the Friend who’s become wolves’ clothing.
The person I didn’t know you’d be.

But you don’t know what I feel
Because it’s inside me.
And these walls between who we are
And what the world expects
Are hard to break down, even for
The wolf in friend’s clothing, the person you trust.
Still, I let them fall.
Just for a moment.

I let myself fall.

The sneers and the fear,
I opened myself up to every last bit of it.
I stood there in front of you, bleeding and broken
As I had been since the day I’d realised
That love was a four-letter-word
When you asked for acceptance.

I stood there in front of you
Honest as I’d never truly been
And you laughed.

I cried.

But not on the outside; no
I’d already made that mistake once.
I cried on the inside and my heart became petrified.
I shut myself up behind those walls,
Those walls that had felt so suffocating before
And were now all that kept me safe.

But it was too late; you’d seen behind
These walls, and you knew me.
Or you thought you did –You were clever enough to see the tears, at least, and you said,
‘Sticks and Stones.’

‘Sticks and Stones’, as if that changed my life,
As if you really meant an olive branch and my heart.
‘Sticks and Stones’? How about
Hatred? How about hatred of yourself,
Fear of yourself — lack of a self to hate or fear
Because you’ve hidden it behind so many walls
That even you can’t find it?
That you don’t even want to find it?

If I told you what you’d done,
Would you still laugh?
Would you look at my walls differently?
Or would you laugh and say ‘Sticks and Stones’?

If I was brave enough, I’d explain it to you,
Break down the walls with a hammer of my own self-confidence,
Throw the remnants at you and see how you liked
Your ‘Sticks and Stones’.
But I’m not brave enough.
Because of you.

One day, I won’t need sticks or stones
To make you see your mistake.
One day, I’ll just need my smile
And a glance that says ‘Do I know you?’

Until then, I suppose you’ll just keep breaking my bones.

Watch Out for the Canons, Moffat!

Sorry about the last few weeks — things at school sort of piled up. To make up for it, you will (possibly) be getting two updates this week! Yay!

Today, we are going to delve deeply into the philosophy of writing, so hold onto your hats and other precarious pieces of clothing as I ask you a very important question:

What is canon? Continue reading

Walls Part Three

Sash sighed as he typed the final word that he wanted to write. Panic flashed through him for a moment as he realised that he had forgotten to be discreet but, reading it back, he breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed like he hadn’t said enough to give himself or the Revolution away.

He stared at the screen as he waited for a reply.

Ten seconds, thirty, a minute. Two. Five.


He wondered if he’d sacred the woman off — it wouldn’t surprise him. After all, he’d scared his parents a million times over; his brother was terrified of him now, he knew. Even with Tom, he occasionally saw a flash of fear in his eyes. It was as if they were scared that what he had would catch.

Something came up on the screen. She was finally replying.

Aleks, it’s me. I’m sorry I lied to you; this was a mistake. A really big one. I’m coming home now — please, just wait for me to get back. Then we can talk about this. T

He read it ten times before he understood what it said. Tom had made it all up? It didn’t make any sense. Tom knew that he could ask him anything. Anything. He might have difficulty telling him, but he’d try his best.

He hadn’t felt this betrayed since Tam had locked him up on… on that day. He trusted Tom. Or at least, he had. Now… Now he didn’t.

There was a bad side of breaking down the wall inside his brain, and he was on it. He looked around desperately, not even sure what he was looking for.

Before he could find it, Tom ran through the door.

“Aleks –”

“No.” His voice was rough with suppressed tears. It felt like years since he had cried.

It’s going to be okay, Sash. Don’t cry.

“It was a mistake, Aleks, I know it was. But I’m worried about you.”

Sash shook his head. “Aren’t you always? Isn’t that what this is about? You worry about me, I mope? It goes around in circles until one day — you hope — the circle stops? After all of the things that have happened…” He looked away, unable to watch Tom realise that what he’d done was worse than he could ever imagine. “He told me that he’d make it. Annie told me he’d be fine. Lies. Everyone I love lies, and I’m sick of it.”

Tom sighed behind him. “We do it because we love you. They were trying to protect you.”

He snorted, turning back to the man that had found himself picking up the pieces from that ‘protection’. “And that went so well, didn’t it? Protecting me?”

“They tried.” Tom glanced up at Sash, his eyes showing discomfort. “Aleks, I’m just trying to protect you. What you said about the voices, I just –”

“If you’d asked me, I would have talked to you. Because I trusted you, Tom. But not now. You don’t get to tell me what to do, either,” he added, the final, crumbly bits of wall exploding outwards from the intensity of his rage. He took a moment to adjust to the idea that he’d be able to feel again and walked straight out of the flat.

This is more of a cliffhanger for me than for you, I’m afraid, since this doesn’t come with the context that Sash going out means people recognising and killing him — oh look, you have context. To be continued…

Shade of Misinformation

This week, you’re getting what seems to be a bit of a recurring theme on my blog. No, I’m not talking about my fangirling (though I should cut down on that, I agree). Today, I want to talk to you about the responsibility of YA authors.
In my last post about this (if I remember rightly), I said that no, authors don’t have a responsibility. They shouldn’t preach to us; they should use their love of words to show us things that they think we need to see. However, every now and again, there is a thin line between not being preachy and perpetuating cycles of misinformation and stigma that some authors just don’t know the right side of.
I am writing all of this specifically about a couple of books I read lately, part of the Shade of Vampire series. I’m not reviewing it here, so I’ll quickly skip over the general flaws, tendency to have giant plot twists that are somehow just not interesting at all, and the fact that the books barely deserve to be called novellas let alone novels because they’re less than two hundred pages each. What bothered me most about these books is the stereotypes and outright lies that were used.

Continue reading

Walls Part Two

I apologise for the non-existent post last week, but things just weren’t happening. Today however, they are. As the post title probably gives away, this is a continuation¬† of my post from two weeks ago. Also, this is quite depressing, even for me. Be warned.

It was cruel of him, and he knew it.

Tom stared at the screen in front of him as Aleks’ thoughts and feelings came flooding through the odd, new contraption of the internet. He’d always thought that new technology would lead to evil, and finally he’d been proved right. There was no Pink Fey therapist waiting on the other end of the line. It was a shitty fake website that he’d made in about two seconds for exactly this purpose.

He glanced around the Costa guiltily, feeling as if everyone was watching him doing wrong. He’d only just earned Aleks’ trust — it had taken the tending of various serious wounds to do it, but he’d got there — and now he was throwing all of that away just because he was impatient to get his friend better?

He shook his head. This was wrong. Cruel. Evil. And if Aleks ever found out…

He took a deep breath, ignoring all his worries as he stared at the screen, trying to make sense out of Aleks’ crying-jag-fueled ramblings.

I don’t know how helpful this is gonna be, but.. um… hi.¬† I can’t feel things.

I.. not like that. I don’t mean it like that. I just mean that — I don’t know why he is making me do this, I’ve written all of this in my diary (I don’t mean he’s making me do this, of course not, he told me it was my choice) — I feel like there’s a wall between me and my feelings. I put it up a while ago. Someone really important to me … well, something bad happened under terrible circumstances, and it was awful and I couldn’t stand it and I found myself building this wall to keep my feelings away. Or was it the drugs that built the wall? I can’t remember but I know that there’s a wall and it’s falling down now and at first I thought maybe that was a good thing but after all of the things that I’ve done and that have happened I don’t know that getting my emotions back is a good thing. I don’t know that it’s going to go well or if I’m going to… it hurts. So much. And this kind of thing is a lot easier to write in my diary than to say, even to a stranger. I don’t know how to put it into words to be honest with you. I feel trapped sometimes, but then other times I feel like I need protecting. Restless and lethargic. Sad and… ridiculously happy. He makes me smile and laugh and it makes me feel even more broken inside. It makes me miss… the person that… horrible things happened to. It makes me feel guilty for being able to laugh. It makes the voice in my head say mean things.

Tom stopped reading there. He didn’t think Aleks had ever told him about this, about a voice telling him what to do. He would have been a lot more worried if he’d already known about this. He cursed the estrangement that had seemed to occur between his friend and his niece. Annie could have helped him if they would talk to each other. Perhaps it was Tom telling Aleks about his link to Annie and her brother that had done it. He’d not painted the nicest picture of either of the siblings — partially to shake the worship-like love that his friend held for Rath, but partially because he was bitter about what they had done to their mother. Either way, he couldn’t have made any of this more of his own damned fault if he’d been Aleks’ disgusting father, or his Maker, or Rath himself.

At least if he was Rath, he wouldn’t have to see the aftermath of what he’d done.

He sighed and carried on reading.

Well, it seems I’ve started writing a serial thing. With lots of spoilers for the few snippets of novels I’ve written for this. Grand. Next week will hopefully be back to relatively normal scheduling — as for this, expect the next episode every fortnight, because why not?


This week I am, as always, stuck for something to write. And then it struck me: I haven’t done anything — at ALL — with Saving Grace/Holistic Collection in months. In fact, I can’t even remember what I renamed it. And so I decided to write a little flash fic about a few of the characters. If you want to learn more about these cool people, check out the ‘Meet the Family’ page up top.

Sash tapped nervously at the keyboard. He’d never known that people used the internet for more than finding out things about humans. Rath — he shook the name off like an uncomfortable hand on an uncomfortable, painful shoulder — had never told him that they had a whole community on here.

“It’s anonymous, Aleks,” Tom said with a thoughtful smile. “I wouldn’t have let you on here otherwise. Make sure not to name any names… or talk of specifics…” He sighed. “I know it isn’t perfect, but if you won’t talk to me or Annie about it, and you won’t let me tell your brother… I just hoped that you might talk to someone hidden behind a screen. Annie checked her out for me, and she’s not part of the House. We’re pretty sure she’s Pink Fey, although it can be hard to tell sometimes. And she’s well qualified, especially in talking to people with our particular issues.”

Sometimes I think we’re all a bit crazy — that something about the turning —

Sash blinked and wished that Tom wasn’t in the room — not only that, but that his friend had never found him in the first place. Neither of them spoke about the way his emotional walls had started to crumble, but they both knew that the incidents were clear evidence of it. With the crumbling came the emotions he hadn’t wanted to feel, that Tam had drugged him to get rid of. In some way, he missed the oblivion that they gave him — if he’d still been taking them when he moved into Tom’s place, he would have been safe from the incessant sarcastic humour and understanding that drove him mad enough to let feeling back into his icy heart.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to, Al. You know that.”

If there was one thing that he didn’t mind about Tom’s ridiculous attempt to fix him, it was that he never ever used the name he’d taken when he came to England, the name that had been said by dozens of people and just one person in particular. He much preferred ‘Aleks’. No one called him that; it was comforting to be able to forget his past.

He looked back up at the screen. It was all written in an ancient language that Tom insisted was Fey-ese. That had made him laugh — a short, sarcastic bark.¬† Tom had told him that it meant ‘Psychiatry Service for Fey’, and, as unlikely as it sounded, Sash trusted him. He trusted that Tom had his best interests at heart, and that, by some miracle, this new form of ‘help’ would actually… well, help.

And so he started typing.


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