Sunday, 13 November 2016

Book Review - Book of Lies

Back in March on World Book Day I won a signed copy of Book of Lies by Teri Terry! I'm so grateful to have won such a fantastic book by the author herself! I got a chance to read it over the summer and it's incredibly gripping... I'm hoping you guys will read it soon too!

(On the subject of World Book Day, I'm hoping to share my Q&As from this year's WBD Teen Fest too - a bit late I suppose but I still haven't got round to collecting them all up yet haha!)


Book title: Book of Lies
By: Teri Terry
Rate: 5 stars

 
Summary:

Book of Lies tells a story from the perspective of twins, Quinn and Piper, who were separated from birth but are still tied together by destiny.

They soon discover that their lives have been very similar, but their fates are very different; they are torn between two different forces, one good and the other evil.

While Quinn is reluctant to return to Dartmoor for fear of what lies there, Piper insists that she must meet her grandmother, the place her mother grew up and learn more about their family heritage. Little do they know that they are being pulled back into a family curse that has lasted generations and that this darkness will cause life-changing events.

Only one twin will be able to put an end to the curse; who will it be?

 
My review:

It’s been a long time since I read such a beautifully written and fantastically crafted book as this one. The style in which it opened and wrapped up was even better than I could have possibly imagined!

The atmosphere of this novel is very sinister and powerful – once you pick up the book, there’s no putting it down! While it has a lot of dark elements, the relationships between the family members, such as Quinn and Piper, are emotionally intriguing. I especially love how Piper desperately wanted to bond with Quinn after being separated for so long, unknowing what danger this could cause and the true reason behind them being separated.

Moreover, I found it really interesting how they both took on such different paths; how Quinn lives such a harsh life with her grandmother in Dartmoor; whilst Piper lives a cosseted suburban life with a boyfriend, going to school and socialising with her school friends. Not to mention, the way Piper has a certain charm and mysterious way of controlling her peers.

Overall, the climax between truth and lies in the darkest depths of Dartmoor is so compelling. I can assure you this book is not for the faint-hearted!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween vibes excerpt? (More Fariza)

Now is what I call the "Dark Months" in my book series. xD And the Halloween vibes made me post this today despite the fact that I intended to check out/comment on the 30+ posts waiting for me first. Gosh am I mean. But I promise I'll get to all of them soon and reply to all the lovely comments! <3 I just wanted to post this before it was too late. :D

I started to write this during the summer holidays but finished it just recently! It's exploring more of the theme about Fariza and the Dark Villain.

On another note, I'm also happy to announce that I completed Inktober 2016! I'll be sharing my drawings on my art blog but first I'm hoping to comment on all the new awesome posts waiting for me!

(Please don't feel obliged to comment!) Enjoy!~ C:

---
 
What was that rustling? Those continuous footsteps momentarily whispering in my ears? I sucked in my breath, listened. Didn’t dare move. My thoughts stilled, all concentration focused on the brief noises above. My eyes darted around the darkness wrapped around me; another eerie layer on top of my now hot and sweaty blankets preventing me from breathing clearly.

I tried to think about what kind of response my brave, fearless mother – the one and only Kalila – would give me. It’s just your imagination, my dear. You must learn not to be affected by those old bedtime stories hence the darkness will be afraid of you.

And I would hold back, Thanks Mother, dear. I am no longer afraid of whoever might be trespassing on our rooftop.

A thud! Light movements! I shuddered, heart racing. I concealed myself further beneath my burning blankets, barely able to breathe… silence. As the sounds were hushed, I could not decipher what kind of person or thing was up there. My bedroom was pretty grand, me being the rich, “precious princess Fariza”, as the chauffeur would put it… but now the room felt tight around me, squashing the breath from my lungs. All was bracing for the attack…

I didn’t dare throw off my hot-as-a-burning-pan duvet, didn’t dare peek out from the top, didn’t dare move; an inch. Look on the bright side, Fariza, my mind told me. At least if you stay under the blankets the murderer can’t see you.

But he’ll see a lump under the covers and know I’m under there somewhere!

Perhaps, but if he has a knife, your blankets will shield you while you run for your life.

What if he has a gun?

It was the click that abruptly ended my thoughts. That one, brief sound that I’d know anywhere. I opened my mouth to yell for my father, whose bedroom was at the far end of the corridor, but my voice refused to co-operate. What if I don’t call loud enough for him to hear? What if he’s deep in his dreams? Or what if the scream triggers the Dark Villain’s presence?

I considered lifting my head from under the covers, but didn’t dare. A long, sinister silence followed. Every second that passed by felt like eternal oblivion.

It was several minutes after the click and only small, insignificant shuffling and scratching on the rooftop that I wondered if it was the Dark Villain at all. He would surely have broken in or long since made a creepy apparition in the room wouldn’t he? What if it had just been a night bird hunting for insects?

My doubts still remained, however. The silence could be a trick! I stared, helplessly, at the blankets encircled around me, thinking… I had witnessed much, much, worse incidents than the ordinary childhood nightmares hadn’t I? I was supposed to be Fariza, a brave warrior at the one and only Moonlight Tribe, a place meant only for the worthiest and most fearless… only I wasn’t… or was I?

All of a sudden, I heard a bash by the window. I tensed up.

Turn on the lamp.

I can’t! The light will leak out of the window!

Just do it.

I took action. In a flash, I swished out my arm to the switch on the lamp. “DAD!!” The light spilled all over the room. I scrunched my eyes, trying to make out everything around me in the blinding bright light. “DAD?

The noises outside had stopped abruptly as soon as the lamp on my bedside table had been switched on. By the time my dad had burst in with a torch I’d already adapted to the light in the room.

“Ugh, Daddy, I heard noises!” Instantly, I felt a sense of comfort as my father entered the room.

“Monsters under the bed, eh?”

“Monsters on the roof,”

My good-humoured father took that as a joke and let out a chuckle, placing the torch down on my desk. He walked to the far side of the room by the window. “Turn off the light, Fari,”

I did as he said, watching silently as he carefully pulled open the curtains and looked outside. He opened the window. Nothing. No signs of the enemy or any kinds of dark monsters with guns up there waiting to attack. He locked the window shut, closed the curtains and I turned back on the lamp.

“Ah, it’s just the birds, dear,” Dad assured me. “Nothing to worry about. I recall pointing out a nest by your bedroom to Shams the other day. He said they were probably lured by the princess’s charms!”*

I tried to imagine grumpy old Shams the chauffeur uttering such a compliment. Oh, how sweet of you, my dear chauffeur. No, it had to be a sarcastic, dirty comment for sure. Shams had no respect for anyone, after all.

My dad assured me everything would be fine and left the door to my bedroom ajar just in case I needed to yell once more. For extra precaution, I checked beneath the sheets hanging over the lower part of the bed, taking the 'monsters under the bed' comment further. But of course there could be nothing.

I hopped back into bed, shifted under the cosy blankets, propped my head back against the plump pillow and… had a nightmare.

“Who are you really?” a boy of my age demanded “What’s the catch?”

He seemed to be a boy I recognised.

The atmosphere around him felt far more sinister than the one that followed me… as if it were the home of oblivion or an endless void.

Swoosh! A ghostly spirit, perhaps doomed to an eternity of slavery to the Dark One passed by… and the boy’s face shifted into focus.

It was Amir, clutching his shiny, obsidian sword, knuckles white and eyes narrowed. “Tell me what you want or I’ll slice you to pieces,”** he threatened.

“Oh, but you wouldn’t, would you?” The dark villain said, tauntingly. His voice was much deeper, scarier, echoing to the far depths of my soul. It seemed to pierce me with fright more than it did when I had encountered him before.

And I was petrified. It was as if I was there, in the dark void, a spectator watching them live. Am I trapped? Where am I? How do I get out?

I wanted to run, but my legs felt like glue, stuck to the ground. No, that was a lie… I didn’t even have legs… or arms… or a body. I was floating… just like the other ghost that had passed by! Great Kalila’s doves! What’s going on?!

“This can’t go on,” Amir said through gritted teeth.

“Oh it can, so long as I’m in control. You see, the power of Evil is more powerful than any of the other puny fools... Not even Time proved to be a good match! I'm afraid you have to face the facts… Evil always wins.”

The power of Evil. That was the answer… that was the reason behind the dark villain’s presence! The dark villain had been meddling with Evil all this time! And if he had… I was in more trouble than I could have ever realised… but what on Earth was Amir doing confronting him?

I wanted to scream at Amir for doing such a thing. Confronting Evil was the equivalent of facing Death. And although it was Amir who was in the face of Evil, I myself felt as though the pain were injecting itself from him to me. Terror and anxiety flooded through my soul. Amir would die.

The Dark Villain smirked. It was hard to make out, with the nightmare being so vague, but it was more than obvious. He seemed as though he was about to laugh like a hyena.

He cackled. “Oh dear. My apologies. Those who meddle with the business of Evil face slight consequences…”

Slight consequences.

“I have a sword made from the finest metals and I’m not afraid to use it in the face of those consequences. Not even Death will stop me from finding out the truth.”

Amir, no!

The Dark Villain burst out into evil laughter. “Au revoir, my dear friend!”

All of a sudden, the Dark Villain vaporised himself and darkness pierced straight through Amir. He yelled out with pain. Pain so dark I felt as though it were creating an earthquake. 

I tried to scream, tried to open the soul’s mouth if it even had one, but watched as helplessly as a spectator as Amir’s sword clattered to the ground and he collapsed, a crumpled body left on the dark floor.

Right there and then, I hoped I was dreaming.

Then, like a tsunami rocking the ocean, the darkness wrapped all over the room and washed over me, not a speck of light or hope left. Before the spears of darkness could erase me, my eyes fluttered open…

The scream that had been stuck in my throat this whole time let go. It shook the walls of the house… and I realised I was sitting upright in bed, my covers spilled all over the place.

In seconds, the lights were switched on and my father hurried into the room, a torch in his hand. “What’s on Earth is the matter?” he asked.

My breath came out in ragged gasps and I stared at him, allowing everything to sink in.

But only pieces of my nightmare came back to me… the Dark Villain… the power of Evil… what else? My head was furious, desperately trying to find the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle but to no avail.

“I… I… I had a nightmare. It was horrible.” I shivered, a shockwave of pain passing through my body.

“It’s okay, Fari, Daddy’s here,” he came over to sit on the side of my bed. He saw me staring into space. “It’s just a nightmare, let it go. Do you need a glass of water?”

My mind refused to give me answers. But something had gone wrong… What was it?
 
---
* so naïve
**  like shams! 8)
 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Extra Excerpt (Fariza/Shams)

*Once again, I apologise for not replying to comments/commenting on posts! D:* (I have so much to do and I hope to get to all of it soon!) As I mentioned in the previous post, I've finally posted all the writing tasks I did in practise for the exams. :D So now that it's still summer break (for me anyway xD) I'm hoping to write more excerpts for myself and stitch together these loose ideas about the "dark villain" (I acknowledge that I'm neglecting the real story with Selina as the main character but Fariza is one of the most developed characters I've written about in the Selina universe, so. *shrug* Hopefully I'll get back to Selina, Ali, Adam and the rest of the crew soon though once I figure out what to do! xD Let me know which character in the Selina universe you like best/want to see more of! :D).

Anyway, back to the excerpt~ this is indeed a free-style writing thing I did myself, not for the exam at all. :3 (I think I wrote it on a weekend during term time.) It's a continuation of this writing task I posted a while ago.

Please don't feel obliged to comment - sorry I'm posting all of this without replying to comments first! ;-; (I'm SO grateful to everyone's really nice comments that they posted on my artwork/writing - it means so much to me! Thanks guys, y'all are the best! :'D)

---

Shams clearly didn't look very happy... not that he ever was. Building after building blurred by as the limo charged down the street. I was anxious... not by the dangerous speeds we were whizzing at, but by something different... something very disturbing and strange beyond thought.

"I give up," Shams said, bitterly "What is it with this dark villain that continues to follow you around, eh? I have a hard time understanding you... teens." He said that one word rather as if was unsure of using it; as if he had intended to use 'foolhardy rich imbeciles wandering around blindly in the open city'.

As the car skidded round a corner and continued speeding down the busy streets, I reflected back on the events about what had happened that afternoon; Kiera had dragged Amara and I to see a new film that had just been released in cinemas and something rather extraordinary had happened... something that had sent me sprinting to the bathrooms and sending another emergency call to Shams...

The dark shadowy man from my nightmare that I'd encountered previously on a shopping trip in the city had plotted his return... and must have decided that the darkness of the screen room in the cinema was just perfect.

"STOP!" I yelled at Shams.

The limo skidded to a halt right in front of a zebra crossing where an elderly woman had just been about to cross the road.
"What now?" Shams grunted.
"You nearly ran over that poor lady!" I said, irritatedly.
"Big deal," Shams yawned "You're talking to your father's professional, expert driver. Besides, you were escaping from a criminal mastermind were you not? ... Oh hurry up, you." Shams held a firm grip on the wheel in an impatient manner while the elderly pedestrian slowly crossed to the other side. The chauffeur had almost turned into a fireball when she'd finished.


I rolled my eyes, unimpressed, as Shams hit the accelerator and vroomed on. Show off, I thought disapprovingly. One day he'll find himself behind bars.

As we drove on the route home, we soon found ourselves inconveniently jammed in the busy Brighton traffic, herds of cars engulfed around us. Shams impatiently drummed on the wheel, muttering irritatedly and occasionally cussing at the other drivers who attempted to swerve in front, while I silently texted Kiera to tell her on my way home.

I tucked my phone away into my handbag and whistled, massaging the bruises that trobbed their way up my legs from my recent enouncter with the dark villain. Bored, I looked out of the window, my eyes darting between the endless rows of vehicles slugging by every time there was the slightest room to inch ahead. Shams cursed and slammed his fist on the horn as another car tried to squeeze in the small gap in front.

Sighing, I glanced at the side mirror for a quick glimpse of the cars behind us. Then my eyes froze in place, fixed on a certain vehicle behind. An army of goosebumps rose up my arms. I blinked. No... no, no, no... I gasped. My heart thudded. I yelled at the top of my lungs.

"Oh would you just shut it!" Shams snapped at me, throwing me an irritated glance he meant to flash at another driver. He was clearly not in a good mood stuck in all this traffic. But Shams's needs and wants was certainly not the priority now.

I lowered my window down and stared back at the figure in the dark cloak, dark boots, dark everything on the jet-black motorbike just a few cars behind us. My head shot back inside and I immediately raised back up the window. I looked ahead... there was no way Shams could manoeuvre the big, black limousine through a cramped crowd of cars just like that, professional chauffeur champion or not. But the dark villain!

He's back, my thoughts raced, wildly. He has returned already! We're stuck! What do we do?

Shams still had his eyes focused on me strangely, his nose wrinkled and his expression glum.
I stared back at him. "Get out of here," I ordered.
"That's not part of my contract, madam." Shams sighed, his eyes fixed, defeatedly, on the mob of vehicles ahead, obscuring our view.
"No, you fool!" I shouted "That morbid beast is right behind us! Drive, you idiot!" But then as I said that, I realised there was no hope; as I threw a glance back at the mirror I noticed the dark villain was expertly manoeuvring his stolen, shiny motorbike through the chaotic crowds. Adrenaline rushed through my bones. He's close-by!


Shams swore. Exasperated, he threw his hands in the air, sitting slumped on his seat. "Since when in my contract did I agree to: 'deliver the petulent princess away from the baddie'?" he grunted.
"Oh stop talking about your stupid contract and drive!" I yelled, waving my hand at the jammed cars blocking the way in front. 
"As I was saying, would you kindly make that imbecile lose himself already! I'm quite sure I've had it with your 'little princess faces her nightmares' game!"
"You think this is a game?" I snarled "Step on it!"

We were losing valuable time arguing; the dark villain appeared to be only two or three cars away and was slowly but surely making his way towards us. Any more loss of time and we'd have to ditch the limo in order to run for our lives.

All of a sudden the cars shifted forwards slightly. A gap appeared in the row of cars next to us as the traffic there lessened and the vehicles began to inch successfully further forwards, engines working again. The chauffeur snatched this brief chance of escape and dangerously swerved in front of the oncoming car. I bit into my lip as the driver behind honked their horn and Shams delightedly raced ahead...

A loud motor revved behind us... the dark villain on his motorbike! But Shams had already begun his dangerous speeding down the high streets and we were soon beginning to lose the deadly man as the chauffeur expertly swerved down the streets like a criminal in a car chase. I was wary of the safety concerns in these antics but I kept my thoughts to myself, teeth gritted and fists clenched as Shams commanded the limo downtown.

We were soon nearing home and the dark villain was still on our tail, although a long way behind. I flinched as Shams dodged a corner. "We can't let him see us go down the drive of all places!" I yelped over the loud engine roaring.
"You want Daddy's chauffeur to drive faster, am I right?" Shams guessed, his eyes keenly focused on the view in front.


What else was there to do? I realised Shams would only carry out the orders I gave him and would certainly continue heading home if I could not come up with a new command... "Go to the highway," I said "We'll lose him there."

Shams gladly went along with the idea, although to my reluctance; he took great advantage of the clear roads on the highway to accelerate with a higher velocity. Any car cutting in front would have been hopelessly flattened like a pancake. Obviously, driving down a clear, fast route was the equivalent of being let free from a cage for Shams and he very much enjoyed this exercise.

After what felt like a century of dangerous driving and me feeling sick and giddy, we soon realised the dark villain was no longer pursuing us... I was quite sure he wasn't incognito or playing illusions; I had to admit Shams's professional driving skills had outwitted him long since.

"I'll need a good old break with a nice, strong, black coffee as soon as we get back if you can text your maid*. I feel like my expertise is starting to wear off." Shams claimed, still maintaining unhealthily high speeds.
"And I'll need a good old break from your driving discipline... because you have none," I pointed out.
"So it seems," Shams muttered, shifting gears "And what about you keeping your word of no more confrontations with this morbid beast?"
"Well I never said anything about an agreement!" I laughed, dryly.
Shams murmured something under his breath, perhaps another dirty comment, but said no more.


Finally satisfied, I gave a thoughtful look out of the window. "You know," I said "I think it would do us good taking a nice coffee break at the café, you and I."

Quite like I had expected, Shams had no objections against a good coffee break.


---
*the maid has a name, sir u_u

More coming soon! Thanks for reading! <3

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Writing Task (final) - "...and then the door slammed shut!"

For: "... and then the door slammed shut!" Write a story, ending with these words. Okay, I know I already did this one before but that was back when I didn't actually do the full paper for it so I ended up re-doing it again. This was also the last practise writing task I did preparing for the English exam, so yes, I've posted them all now. >:D (I've got some freestyle writing though I did with lots of Shams in it left.)

Anyway, here I introduce y'all to Amir! :3 I've never actually written anything about him for my blog before despite the fact that I've written a lot about him (for instance, being Fariza's helpful Wikipedia for the all the knowledge about the wand in the spinoff thing I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2014 and getting poisoned in the second Selina book I wrote x'D). He's also supposed to be Fariza's crush. I feel ashamed not to have shared anything about him before. xD (I did mention him in this though? <:D)

Imo, Amir shouldn't be blundering into the affairs of the dark villain just to help poor princess Fariza bc he's at great risk as a part of the Moonlight Tribe; the only one left in the power of Time. :0 (But heyyy they'd make a good team don't ya think? Since Fariza actually likes him after all.)
---

I could not argue with my father's chauffeur's persistent reluctance to allow me to stumble blindly into such a dangerous situation. I, myself, had no doubt of the various kinds of calamity that could arise from the darkness, but I insisted that the site was well-guarded... Amir was in a dangerous position himself was he not? The last in the domain of the master of time! What could possibly go wrong?
 
I was aware of something else that kept throbbing in the back of my mind... how on Earth did Amir know my mobile number?* I had never offered it to him... in fact I never even talked to him much, timid as I was around that boy. Nevertheless, my head spun with excitement and joy, no fear penetrating my thoughts yet. I had actually been invited to Amir's house! It just couldn't get any better than this!*
 
Meanwhile, I was waiting alone on the white, marble doorstep to the huge mansion before me, a gift clutched under my arm. The mansion could quite possibly have been more imposing than the huge, rich household my father owned back home.* My fingers tingled with excitement as I gently pressed the gleaming doorbell. Looking back, I would have thought of it as a dangerous, red button... should I have pressed it?
 
I was warmly welcomed by one of the many servants who worked in the vast mansion. A long, wide corridor stretched ahead of me.
 
"I have come to see Amir," I said, a hint of excitement in my voice.
"It's so great to see you! Amir has been waiting. Come along, come along!"
I nodded, automatically pulling off my warm, fluffy coat, my heart fluttering with excitement like the flapping of butterfly wings.

 
I was soon standing outside Amir's enormous dorm room, a timid expression on my intrigued face. Amir's friendly servant left us, and Amir lead me to a giant, scarlet-coloured couch with plump cushions neatly arranged. I already felt at home as I gazed around at his endless collections of expensive ornaments, clocks ticking away and a maze of catchy posters cluttered on the high walls.
 
Amir glanced around him attentively, a frown on his face. "There's something I need to tell you," he said, a hint of tension in his voice.
"Why what's the matter?" I asked "Why did you bring me here? And how do you know my number?"
 
I decided it was not a perfect time to give him the gift; Amir appeared to be deeply troubled. A shiver crept silently up my spine as I waited for him to tell me what was the matter.
 
"You must listen carefully," he said, quietly "I don't have much time."
"Why? What's going on?" I queried, very confused indeed. He hadn't warned me about anything!

 
That was when I heard it. A click! Another click! I watched as Amir bit anxiously into his lip.
My eyes widened. "You have to get out of here!" I blurted "There's this evil person coming for us! I can sense his presence! You're in great danger! I haven't got time to explain!"
"No, you don't understand!" Amir hissed "I know all about him! That's why I called you!"

 
Then the lights flickered off. The dramatic sensation washed over me. We were drowned in darkness. Amir rose from his chair. My heart thudded like an audible, loud drum beat as my brain made an attempt to figure a way out. Amir stared into the darkness.

"What's going on?" I questioned.
"Listen," Amir said, authoritatively "You stay here. Don't move."
"You're going to leave me?" I squeaked.
"Just stay," Amir ordered, dominating the situation.

He ditched me alone in the stark darkness of the room, the door left ajar.
As soon as he retreated, I heard a rhythm of clicks. Click! Click, click! Click, click, click!
No, I thought. No it can't be!


My head swam with the foreboding sensation of that I was being swallowed by a void of utter darkness; no escape.

My fingers drummed nervously on the gift I had previously planned to give to Amir. He had told me to stay! Stay? How could I? The dark villain had plotted his return!

Suddenly, there was a moan and the dark villain revealed himself out of the blue... or the blackness. Instinctively, I backed away, but ended up stumbling over the edge of the couch, in a great cacophony of sound. My stomach sunk into my shoes and I bit back an ear-piercing scream that was building up my throat.

The dark villain of shifting powers and master of illusions approached me... and then the door slammed shut!


---
in chronological order:
*Let's ask the real question: how does the dark villain track you down every time girl? Besides, Amir knowing your number ain't important considering that y'all have magical powers.
*Obviously.
*I wonder if Amir has a grumpy chauffeur too.

Writing Task - "Shadows"

For: Write a story entitled "Shadows". (Obviously xD). Just want to get this one and the last one out of the way quickly before I forget... (One good thing about doing all these writing tasks is that I could include Shams but only pieces of him at the very end... which sucks. ._.) Anyway~
---


October was, without a doubt, a hard month for mages... or perhaps a catastrophical season for a teenage girl like me who possessed neither physical strengths nor decent courage.
I breathed out a sigh of relief as I exited the classroom after finally retrieving my last textbook... how on Earth had I lost it? Last I remembered it was sitting in my handbag! Not only was I late for returning home; I had missed the bus and... it was dark... not just dark, but cold and unwelcoming.

To make the situation worse, my good friends, Kiera and Amara, were not here to accompany me. My spine tingled as I carried on down the wide path that led to the exit of the vast, now-empty school, my bag packed to the brim with a bundle of books.

I was engulfed in darkness, except for a few dull, dim lights shining behind closed curtains; clearly only tired teachers marking their students' work. I decided there was no good reason to call Shams to pick me up straightaway; the impatient chauffeur would be waiting in town before I could even reach the exit of the school, would he not?

Meanwhile, I was soon pacing my way downtown when I heard a clicking sound, like the click of a key unlocking a door or nails drumming on a surface. Click, click! More clicks... a rhythm of clicks?!

The realisation hit me when there were as many clicks each second as bees in a beehive; I bit back a scream as I realised I had fallen into a trap... the dark villain! It was him! My heart flew into my mouth and goose bumps ran up my spine. I froze in place like the statue of a gargoyle and didn't dare move. What do I do? I panicked. Where do I go?

The answer was in my pocket: my phone. Without thinking further, I tapped in Shams's number. My thoughts raced madly as I did so... the dark villain is back! Click, click, click. I have to get out of here! Click, click, click. What do I do? Click, click, click.

A sinister spectral play of shifting shadows had surrounded me before I'd even finished dialling the number. I gulped... I backed away... I stopped as I realised a ring of shadows circled around me. I stood, silently, bracing for an attack. But nothing happened. What now?

Five minutes slowly slugged by but it felt like an eternity of endless waiting. That was when I heard a hiss and stared, scared out of my skin, at the dozen nightmares that awaited before me. I blinked. Still nothing happened... why didn't they just attack me and end it all? I was doomed, right? What were they waiting for?

I was starting to question if I were hallucinating when I heard a series of honking horns and a loud, vrooming engine far off in the distance*. Shams! I thought. He'll be waiting outside the library in a matter of seconds!

I forgot the sinister, shadowy figures in front of me and pushed through them... only to be stopped, caught by the arm. A hiss. "Did you seriously think you could get away this time?" The tall figure with the long, dark cloak murmured through the black neckerchief concealing his mouth. His voice sent icy chills coursing through my body, dragging me into the void. My eyes widened as I realised it was the first time the dark villain had spoken... but something about his voice seemed eerily familiar, causing chills to circulate my mind, trying to crack this only clue and discover who he was. It was too ambiguous. But it was not only his voice that alarmed me; it was also his presence that rung bells in my head. I shivered. Then he appeared behind me and caught a grip on my shoulders. I grabbed his gloved hands and threw him violently, sending him flying a long distance down the road. Without a doubt, that judo flip would have been famed in the record of the best performed moves. But I didn't have time to appreciate that.

I sprinted down the deserted street like I'd never done before. I almost crashed into a cyclist, uttered a quick apology and continued racing ahead.

The shadows were already back on my tail when I reached the long-since closed library to find the limousine pulled up unhealthily on the curb. A cacophony of music was exploding out of the open window. Shams might as well have been in a disco shut out from the rest of the world. I have to get in, I have to get in! My head whirled like a tornado. I could almost feel the shadow man's grip tightening on my arm, about to lock my wrists in silver chains.
Almost tripping over the cobbled pavement, I yanked open the door and dived in before another shadowed figure could jump in with me. "GO, GO, GO!" I yelled at Shams who appeared to be calmly relaxed with his feet up over the wheel, reading a newspaper. In a fraction of a second, he pulled down his sunglasses, noticed the shadowy creatures, dumped the newspaper on my lap and immediately began revving the engine and speeding down the streets as if we were a bunch of escaping criminals on the loose.

"Really?" Shams grunted "Again?"
"This time it was not my fault," I assured him "They appeared out of the blue... literally... so I won't accept anymore complaining on your side, dear chauffeur."


I breathed a shaky sigh of relief despite the fact that Shams was driving at the same speeds that existed on the motorway. That aside, I was safe and glad to be heading home.

What a nightmare! More shadow figures to deal with than I could have imagined! Who were they? And who was the shadow man really?*

---
*hm, I wonder who that could be
*my examiner should know the answer to that. B)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Writing Task - "The Fall"

(Thank you to those who commented for all the lovely comments on my blogs! It means so much to me! <3) I should really be replying to messages/commenting but I thought I might as well dump the last of my writing tasks here and get them out of the way, so. <:D (sorry! ;-;) This was for yet another paper, with the task: Write a story with the title "The Fall". Now, if I were re-writing this, I'd sure write about a physical fall rather than an internal defeat because this doesn't make a lot of sense... and it doesn't fit too well. xD Small bit of Shams yelling at the end (man, I'm doing him no justice and he's my favourite, whoa ;-;).

NOTE: This isn't totally canon, it was just written for a writing task! Fariza doesn't actually lose her powers of course. xD
---

An ordinary person would question themselves if they were hallucinating and take a trip to the doctor's. But this was no illusion. My nightmare was injecting itself into reality... The dark villain had returned!

I fumbled my fingers nervously under the desk, my eyes dashing around the classroom encircled around me. The master of illusion had appeared as people sitting at the desks beside me, but very time I looked... he was gone. I sensed his eerie, empowering presence tingling in the atmosphere tangled around me.

"Mrs. Smith!" I blurted, waving my hand urgently "I need to use the bathroom."
She turned to me, her hand sweeping away from the whiteboard. "Alright, but make it quick."


Without uttering another word, I stormed out of the classroom, racing down the corridors to the front door of the school. I burst out into the cold, dark, late October afternoon and inhaled a sharp breath of ice-cold air. My eyes widened with fear. I turned around in a circle, bracing myself for an attack... A click! Another click! He's here...

I hurtled down the wide alleyway that snaked its way to the exit of the school grounds. Swoosh! I ran and ran onwards as fast as my legs could take me.
I was already out of breath by the time I had neared the exit, but the deadly presence behind me had vanished. He'll be back in no time! I thought with panic.
I sprinted down to the busy town, my spine mingling with fear, my head spinning with tension. My heart hammered madly against my chest as I turned a corner and... I was trapped!

No going back... No going forwards... I could only wait. The air around me tingled with foreboding, frightening fear. The cold, sharp air around me formed a knot in my throat.
A swish! I turned. Nothing. A shadow! Still nothing. Then he grabbed me. I stumbled backwards in a fit of kicking and punching. The dark villain's grip was too tight. What could I do?

A sense of horror crossed my face as I felt my powers being sucked away. That could only mean one thing... they had always told me if you felt your powers being drained from you it meant the fall of your powers. The end. I could not let that happen at any cost!

I thrashed murderously as the morbid man attempted to chain my wrists. My head danced giddily as if I had just exited a rollercoaster ride. I couldn't breathe!
"Who are you?" I wheezed, my breath escaping in huge gasps. It was the first time I had talked to the deadly creature.

The tight grip around my wrists loosened. The dark figure retreated into the shadows. I fell to the ground. But who was he really?

I took that to my advantage, scrambled upwards and ran for my life. My head vibrated with empowering, agonising fear and hurtling down the street was as easy as running a marathon after coming off a wild fun park ride. My speed could have undoubtedly been that of a slow sloth.

Nevertheless, I had soon progressed enough from the site I had witnessed the presence of the dark villain to call on my father's chauffeur to rescue me. Problems were arising fom the danger of the fall of my powers. I couldn't feel them... couldn't sense them... a dire cataclysm beyong thought.

Meanwhile, Shams was soon speeding down the street, dangerously pulling up on the curb at a force which could lead to the consequences of a broken vehicle. But that did not concern me for the minute. My internal self shook with the pathetic notion of realising the pain that had overcome me... my powers might be gone for good!
"What IS it with you?" Shams yelled as we sped down the busy Brighton streets almost as fast as a steam train.

"The dark villain... he's... he's back!" I said, breathing frantically.
But of course Shams had no intention of hearing about the frightening recount. Neither did he care about the loss of my powers. What a grumpy chauffeur!*
We skidded downtown like convicts escaping from a criminal scene and were home in no time.
Home at last! That was a pleasant thought was it not? But for me, home didn't appear as home when I was clustered with the thoughts of an evil, morbid monster... and the fall of my reputation as a mage.

---
*You don't say.

As y'all can see, there's also some Fariza yelling at the dark villain, demanding who he is... oh but the writer knoooowwwwsss.











thx bye

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Writing Task - "I never thought that I would survive it" (aka this calls for some Shams)

(I haven't posted here since April?? O.o)  I have two more writing tasks left to post and another free-style thing I did myself (which has more Shams in it... he's my fave *-*) This was for: Write a story with the title, "I never thought that I would survive it!". In my last English exam I chose out of the three optional tasks something along the lines of writing a short story with the title "The truth". It fitted really well with the reveal of the dark villain and everything so I jumped straight in. ^_^ Unfortunately, I doubt that I'll get it back (they don't give your paper back unless they want to showcase your work I think? xD), but since the examiner won't know who the "dark villain" is, I had to re-introduce the topic from scratch, so it's not fit for the true reveal (I admit it was a good piece but it doesn't quite fit in as well with the story since it was for exam purposes). In that case, I think I'll rewrite it better! :D I had an idea of who the dark villain's alter ego is in my head for a long time so I'm glad I got to write about it in my official exam paper. C: (Alternatively, the "dark villain" is someone's alter ego xD)

Back to the story! You guys might have noticed that Fariza doesn't have the same (true) first-person style in these writing tasks that she has in the spinoff piece I wrote, Fariza and the Mysterious Wand for NaNoWriMo 2014. The reason for that is because these tasks were timed and I had to write in decent English. :\ (you have to put "it is" instead of "it's" for example and I couldn't really include much colloquial language that she'd use xD) Anyway~
---


The last place I had a desire to visit was the cinema watching a pegi-12 film chosen by my friend Kiera, who had been anticipating the popular horror movie for a long time.
It had not occurred to me that the dark screen room was a perfect weakness to my vulnerable side; a spectacular spot indeed for the man of shifting shadows to become my predator.

My nagging doubt was not enough to compete with the power of Kiera's stubbornness and she was soon dragging Amara and I downtown like puppets in her possession.
"Oh, come on!" she gasped, spinning round with excitement "Us three haven't taken a trip to the cinema for an eternity! Trust me, you will love it!"


I had no doubt thinking that I would not enjoy this "ideal" cinema trip. Why did it have to be a horror film? Surely Kiera knew I was scared of watching such movies at the cinema of all places!


Meanwhile, we were comfortably seated among the rows of red chairs, piled with bags of chunky popcorn and fizzy drinks. Kiera was bouncing unnervingly on her seat, in deep conversation on a topic about the thriller that I could not comprehend.

I sat nervously in my cramped chair, feeling as if I had just taken a trip to the foreboding Underworld; a world that I could not escape from no matter how hard I tried. The bore of advertisements and trailers flashed by and by the time they had come to an end I felt as if I were in the dizzying motion of my own daydream.

Suddenly, we were engulfed in darkness... They had dimmed the lights! The film was about to start! I tore my teeth into my lip nervously, anxiously waiting for the boom of the entrance to the creepy thriller.

It felt like an eternity when we were about halfway through the film and I sensed the presence of something mysterious by my side. We had reached the climax of the scares in the frightening film and Kiera and Amara had their eyes glued to the big screen. There were ear-piercingly loud screams exploding from the speakers, sending earthquake-like shockwaves that melted my ear drums.

A flash of darkness! A hiss! In the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a dark figure seated passively in the once empty seat to my right. When I looked, the mysterious figure was gone. Then he appeared again as I glanced the other way... and again... and again...
I realised that I was in a catastrophical calamity when the figure appeared thrice, silver chains dangling from his gloved hands... No... no, it can't be... My heart raced and a shiver crept down the steps of my spine. The man of shifting shadows inched closer...

"Kiera," I hissed, shaking her arm vigourously "Kiera!"
"What?" Kiera said, irritatedly "We're at the really good part of the film!"
I racked my brain for a convincing excuse.
"I... I... the fizzy drinks... I feel sick... I need to go to the bathroom..." I lied.
"Oh," Kiera said "Do you need assistance?"
"No, no, I'm fine," I lied again. The shadow man had vanished into thin air, but he would appear any second now.


I realised with horror that I would have to venture down the empty path to my right to escape - the very path the dark villain could appear, chain my wrists and create a dark illusion so no one would ever know.

My pulse quickened. I drew in a sharp breath, leaped and tripped. My had was caught... I was caught... he had me! My eyes widened with fear and I bit back a scream, kicking forcibly. No one heard over the loud voices escaping from the mega speakers. The dark figure had tightened his grip on me... I was doomed.

I lashed out and bit into the villain's hand as fast as a lightning flash. I was free! Only for a moment... I tripped again and scurried out of the row as fast as my legs could take me.
I glanced back hesitantly and realised that the man of shadows was not pursuiting me; he had disappeared into the darkness. A startled expression crossed my face as I felt my heart plunge... he would appear in front of me any time he wanted and catch me for sure.
I bolted out of the screen room at the speed of a professional athlete. I had to get out! I had to get out!

A member of staff by the door questioned me, asking if I was alright.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine!" I lied once again "I need to go to the bathroom."

The morbid man on my tail almost had his grasp on me when I hurtled through the doors into the lonely hall of bright lights. Lights at last! But that could only take the dark villain down one rung of the ladder... he was a master of illusions, was he not? He could trap me anywhere!

My gaze spun madly, left and right, with tension. Where was the bathroom? I nearly jumped out of my skin as the man of shadows appeared out of nowhere beside the door. He had seen me! He was clearly regaining energy from the dark realm of the screen room. Oh, but he would be on my tail in no time.

I sprinted down a maze of doors to the girls' bathroom and breathed a quick sigh of relief as the massive door swung shut. I snatched my phone out from my coat pocket and speedily tapped in my father's chauffeur's number, my hands shaking wildly as I held up the phone. My head was spinning like a tornado as I waited for Shams to answer.

The chauffeur had expertly given a guess that "poor princess Fariza" had witnessed something catastrophic before I had been about to ram him in with all the details.

Lightning-fast Shams was wildly ringing the horn outside like a hooligan before I knew it. Just then, something strange beyond thought occurred... a flash of a ghostly hand swept in through the not protective door, slicing through it like a knife through butter. I froze like an ice cube. His grasp had caught my neck... I was going to be strangled!

I felt both soul and body being sucked in. I was hopelessly stuck like a mouse dying in a cage; I was going to be taken prisoner and there was no two ways about it. I had started to succumb already.

Then before I knew it, the tight grasp around my neck loosened. I hit the floor and the morbid beast vaporised himself.

Standing behind me was the chauffeur, Shams himself, brandishing a strong, shiny, silver sword.

"You're always so slow," Shams remarked, lending his hand "Now get up. You are going straight home and I have no doubt of thinking that your father is going to ground you, precious daughter or not."

I couldn't wait to get home... had I really survived it?


---
Aye, poor ol' Shamsey didn't get much reading time. But who knew he had a sword?

I had coffee today and I realise it's no wonder Shams has the reckless energy to exceed the speed limit. 8)

I also have an idea for a quick comic inspired by +Captain Nathat's wonderful carrot juice idea. xD

Yup, I still have lots of comments to make - I'll do my best to get to all of them soon I promise!

You may give some constructive criticism for this in the comments below if you wish. ^^ Thanks for reading! <3