All posts by The Princess Bard

About The Princess Bard

Author, writerinplay, creator of the Wiccad & Shadow of Avalon, conduit for 1001 other voices. The Power of Words compels you. Buaidh No Bas.. #thevoicesarereal

theprincessbard.com

Welcome to the end and the beginning.

That’s right, this will be one of the last posts for here. I have a brand new blog babeh! Actually, a whole new website which is quite epic!

Come and check out theprincessbard.com and sign up to the blog via email or WordPress.

All the short stories, drabbles, and lyrically inspired tales are easily readable now on the new site, poems too. All the blog posts from here have been carried over, and even most of the comments. So fantastic.

Coming soon to theprincessbard.com will be character pages, series pages and most amazing of all….A SHOP! That’s right, all my crafts and Wiccad products will be available for sale on the site. And soon we’ll be organising a big competition with fantastic prizes. So remember to sign up so you don’t miss out on that.

So come enter the kingdom of theprincessbard.com. It’s faebulous!

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The Sacrifice

Today’s story is a bit special because it’s a gift for @shewhoshipsCS aka @thegreatshipcaptainswan aka Jeannie who is having a Hatchday today. So since I can’t be there, please enjoy this wonderful story written for you.

His father’s old rocking chair moved gently back and forth and the motion had put her to sleep. She was safe in his arms. She was safe in the dilapidated house they’d made their own. Safe from the outside world and the wicked people who walked it.
But the gentle rocking and the comforting arms could not keep her mind from finding danger.
Zena cried out and twitched in her sleep.

“We have to go back.”
The two men reined in their horses and looked back down the road the way they had come, down beyond the wagons that remained and the people that still lived. Charles and Matthew had to lead their people to safety now; their father was among the dead. Everything had changed and it had changed so fast.
The two brothers had been fighting when the first arrows had whistled through the air. Had it not been for Matthew’s good hearing, an arrow might have ended up in Charles’s back. They had been trying to beat each other senseless, trying to hurt each other over a young woman whom they were both in love with.
A young woman who had been left behind. One life to save many. And she had been the one brave enough to make the sacrifice. She had been the one to urge them all to go, to save themselves. She had been crying but resolute as they rode away.
“We have to get our people to safety first. Our duty comes before our hearts.”
“How can you say that!” Matthew snarled at his brother, ready to restart the earlier fight. “She is back there and in danger.”
“And what of these people? What of the children? What of Louisa’s Grandmama? Would Louisa forgive us if we left them to fend for themselves and returned to her?”
Matthew opened his mouth to argue but then he saw the pain in his brother’s face. This was eating Charles up as much as it was him.
“But what if they…”
Charles gritted his teeth and looked at the ground. He could not answer his brother’s question. He could not bear the thought. But he knew what was required of them, and what Louisa had begged them to do. He would not dishonour her bravery by breaking their promises to her.
“We need to keep moving, the sooner we reach the city and safety, the sooner we can go back,” Charles replied after the silence had stretched out.
“But you said…” Matthew looked sideways at his brother.
“I said we have to do our duty first, I said we had to get our people to safety first.”
“Oh,” Matthew grinned at his brother and then spurred his horse on, a wild excitement taking him to be done with duty and rescue their girl. “Well, come on, brother. Get a move on.”

**

Louisa had never thought herself to be a very brave person. She screamed at spiders and needed to light a candle before she could move her feet out from under the covers at night. Today she had found a bravery that she had not known, she had stood up to outlaws and negotiated freedom for her people.
Just two hours ago she had been sitting in the back of a wagon loaded with fabric, negotiating with David and Lea for some maroon lace for a dress she wished to make before the next moon festival. She wanted a pretty dress to wear in hopes that someone might finally find enough courage to make his intentions clear.
Now David and Lea were dead, their wagon emptied of all the expensive fabric they had planned to sell. The wagon had left filled with people. Many of the horses remaining with the outlaws, as Louisa did.
The brothers had not wanted to ride away and leave her behind. She had not wanted to be left behind but she had made the bargain and made them promise. In tears, she had made the two men promise to ride to safety with their people and leave her to her fate.
Because of it, Louisa had found out she was brave. She had found out that she could be a hero like in the stories. Without sword or shield, she had stood up and become a hero. People lived because of her courage.
She would have been proud of herself if she had not been so terrified.
There were at least a dozen men in this gang of criminals. They were not the outlaws of noble heart, robbing the rich to give to the poor. These were terrible men, scar covered and violent, and each looked at her in such a way that her skin crawled. There was violence in their hunger, and Louisa had heard stories…
She knew what was to come and her mind raced as to how she could avoid it, or at least buy time. Not for rescue, she had sent the two men that might do so away. She hoped to buy time for her escape. Hours had passed already and there had been no chance to escape. The men squabbled over the spoils of their attack. They seemed to fight over everything.
That gave Louisa an idea.
A hand rubbed over her back and Louisa jumped, turning she found a gap-toothed man leering at her.
“Are you the leader of these men?” Louisa asked.
“Ha! He wishes!” Another man laughed loudly.
“So,” Louisa said turning to the laughing man. He reminded her of a rat with his long, thin nose. “Does that mean you are?”
“There are no leaders, we are all equal,” another man said. He looked at the others with an expression that made Louisa think that he thought he should be the leader.
“But if there is no leader, then who will I give myself to.”
“All of us!” Another of the men yelled with great enthusiasm and made a lewd gesture. The others all laughed.
“Oh, that won’t work. I want to give myself to the strongest of you, the leader. Only to the strongest will I give myself to willingly and with great passion. So, which one of you is the strongest?” Louisa moved to a tree stump that was clearly often used as a seat by the gang; the wood was smooth. She crossed her leg up over the other, her torn dress flashing her legs.
“I am the strongest!”
“No, it’s me!”
All the men began to yell each other down. Louisa pretended to be unconvinced by their words. Maybe even a little bored. Inside she was terrified and it was all she could do not to shake in her seat.
The yelling turned to pushing and shoving. Punches were thrown.
Louisa watched the men descend into their darker nature. Knives came out and Louisa nearly screamed as one man stabbed another.
They were trying to kill each other, and it was over her! It was insanity. Louisa took no pleasure in the fact nor in the way they were hurting each other. It was awful. But fewer men meant her chance of survival, of escape, increased.
“Whoever is left standing gets me. And to find out what I can do with my tongue.” Louisa called out the words and smiled, gesturing for the men to keep fighting. She had no trick with her tongue but she had heard one of the women say similar in the last town they had visited. The woman had been trying to get Matthew or Charles to purchase her services. Louisa had thrown an apple at the back of Charles’s head, as he was turned away from her. It had served to ruin any moment that might have been happening.
It was that woman that Louisa now pretended herself to be as she waited for a chance to run.
And then the moment came. There were no eyes on her. Four men lay dead and still the others fought on. Louisa slipped from the tree stump and around the trees, she found a horse. One of her own people’s horse. It knew her and knelt for her to get on. She straddled the horse easily in her torn skirt.
The men did not take long to realise she was gone.
Louisa had been born to people that rode, she had been riding since she was tiny and this stallion was young and strong. He moved swiftly taking them back to the road and hopefully to safety. Louisa rode as hard as she could, never looking back.
Perhaps she should have, she heard a rider approach suddenly. How he had appeared so quickly beside her she did not know. She glanced at him and did not recognise his face from the camp and the fight. They must have had others still out on the road waiting for new travellers. Louisa had not thought about that possibility.
The rider leapt from his horse and knocked Louisa from hers. They fell hard to the ground and rolled. The rough ground damaged clothing and skin. Louisa hurt everywhere. She felt as though all the breath had been knocked from her body and she could not draw more. She rolled around on the hard ground clutching her knees up to her chest as she tried to breathe.
More horses approached and Louisa knew her gamble had failed. Now they would not fight over her. Now they would not leave her free to escape. At least Louisa had tried.
Louisa rolled to her knees and tried to crawl away. The man from the horse grabbed her by the hair and pulled her backwards. He tugged her back beside her before striking her in the face. Louisa scratched his face in retaliation and punched him in the throat. He let go of her.
“Leave her alone!”
Louisa looked up and was surprised to see that two of the horsemen bearing down on them were coming from the wrong direction. She was more surprised to recognise them both. It had been Charles that had yelled out. He was in front of Matthew and he leapt from his horse while it was still moving.
A sound behind Louise made her turn back to her attacker. She found a pistol aimed at her face. She had never seen one up close before. None of their people were allowed to carry one.
“Wench!”
The man pulled something back on the weapon that Louisa could not see and then fired. A figure moved and the figure hit Louisa instead of the bullet.
Charles was struck in the shoulder and he lay against Louisa on the ground, bleeding. Matthew yelled as he leapt from his horse, and his blade ended the other man’s life before he could reload.
Louisa cried out. She did not know what she was saying. She cried out over and over, her arms flailing around…

“Zena, Zena, wake up, wake up. It was just a dream.”
She opened her eyes, she was back at their sanctuary, no horses, no bad men. Just them. Zena snuggled in against his chest and sighed. “Charles will find us again, Matthew. I know he will.”
Her best friend looked at her strangely. He shook his head and cuddled her tightly. “You’re safe now, Zena. You’re safe.”
And she felt safe. The dream was fading away and there was nothing else but the rocking chair, the sound of the rain and his arms around her. She was safe now, she was always safe with him.

 

Busy, busy and coming soon

So, things have been a bit quiet around here. Though luckily, we haven’t reached tumbleweed status. I’ve been pouring a lot of my energy into the website and working on myself. (I’ve started a six-week course called Big Love. It’s epic so far).

I might be a bigger work in progress than book one of Faeted Tales. (Though I change my mind about what I’m doing there more than I do about myself.) (But every change makes it better.) (I guess the same can be said for me.)

I’ve been thinking overnight about my cards and crafts. See, I keep thinking about just selling them but they were always meant to be about more than that. They’re about making others feel stellar, feel faebulous, feel Wiccad. That is what I want to achieve and somehow, I keep forgetting that. They are meant to be personalised, individual, motivational, from me or one of the other lovelies I play conduit to. They were never meant to be something to just sell.

I am here to make a difference!

Oh yes, the writing. My brain keeps jumping around with what I want to be working on. Overnight my brain was on the story for my witchywolf wives. Yesterday it was on the Faeted Tales. The day before it was all about Megea and a new glimpse into history.

So many stories to get down.

My to-do lists are generally between twenty and forty things per day so it’s hard to put all the time I want to into my writing. Lately, a lot of my time is being taken up by the new website. Yes, that’s right, The Princess Bard is getting a pretty website all of her own.

And what a lot of work it is. Transferring the blog posts over was the easiest part and even that was complicated with weird issues. But yay, I haven’t lost years’ worth of effort and posting.

It’s going to be amazing. I won’t add the clause “when it’s finished” because I have a feeling it will always be a work in progress, but it’s going to be amazing. There will be a shop eventually. And I’m excited to get working on the epic character pages and story pages. It’s going to be faebulous!

And there will be a competition when the new site goes public. So, keep an eye out of that.

I’m excited, you should be too.

Which means it’s time I got to work. Gotta do the work if I want to be Wiccad.

So, until next time…

Be stellar, be faebulous, be Wiccad. I love you.

The Big Elephant in the Room

So, Lisa O’Neill talked about Big Elephants at her talk and I’ve just read that part of ‘Juggling in High Heels’ today. Big elephants are the ones who guide us, teach us, support us, mentor us. I had some wonderful Big Elephants growing up in some family members and some teachers. (I had heaps of people who could have been wonderful elephants but ended up just being shit machines. A certain school springs to mind, but anywho…)
Now that I am grown I need and want new Big Elephants and I struggle to find them.
I thought I had found a wonderful Big Elephant in the writing world. Someone years ahead of me with much knowledge to share and help to give, and we seemed to get on so great. Unfortunately, I chose wrong and the helping hands just dropped me. She had no real interest in helping or supporting me, she gave great lip service but actions spoke louder than words and I let go to look elsewhere.
There are heaps of people I’ve found online with so much knowledge to share and I learn so much. But I long for a personal connection, and I’m struggling to make it. I don’t know if it’s an unrealistic desire or something to do with me, but I want it. I long for a Big Elephant to guide me, support me, mentor me but most of all to care about me and want my success.
I have chosen to pursue dreams that are not the easiest in the world. Every George and his Shep wants to be published, wants fame, fortune, and recognition. And living in a small town in a beautiful small country does make the slog even harder. But I am not giving up. This is my dream and, obstacles or not, I am going to make it happen.
And I would love a Big Elephant in front of me to help guide me along and help bring me to independence so I can become the Big Elephant for others.
And I really long for that too. To be a positive force in someone else’s life and help them find their greatness and their dream. Well, such a thing would be a dream in itself.
So. If you are a Big Elephant who likes the look of this little elephant, please cross my path. I am officially asking the universe for an elephant.

In cold and cloud
I speak aloud
These fair words of desire
I seek aid and guidance this day
Someone to help me find my way
A guiding force to help me soar higher
I ask for this without demand
I ask for this with open hand
Willing and ready to do what I require
Help me to achieve what I desire

A dress fit for The Princess Bard

A slightly different post today but I had to share this dress. Isn’t it so perfect for a Princess Bard? I would love something like this, or even just a top that I could wear. And yes, I’m wondering how hard it would be to find the means to make one. Being that I am not a sewing goddess, it might just be a pipe dream. But look. Look at this gorgeousness.

What a gorgeous dress.
The detail is wonderful.

Via Steampunk Tendencies

Dress by french artist Sylvie Facon
Additional credit: Morgane E. Grosdemange

Can I have one? Please?