In a quiet sleepy place nestle a few tiny houses, a bridge, and a handful of shops. Unknown to Peter, on one particular morning – the morning of his tenth birthday –will reveal more than just the usual collection of presents. Stumbling into a secret place, he travels through many hidden worlds and embarks upon a fantastic journey. Hally the lifelongian, Arnica the maiden, Wind Sail the white witch and a beautiful elf called Slip will all guide him on his quest.
Searching through the Purple Forest, Peter makes haste to rescue a friend, which proves more difficult than Peter could ever imagine. The gentle tale soon finds its way into some very dark places as the evil Cirinian and her followers try to thwart Peter’s progress. Guards, ghosts, spirits and vampirism add to the unknown dimensions that Peter encounters.
A creation of surreal places and characters, Peter: A Darkened Fairytale is an exciting and imaginative fantasy trip from beginning to end.
A drawer is a drawer, and a door is a door, one way in and one way out. What… not sure? A time in space has now arrived for some readers passing by and travelling through in a blip of time, goes so quick, like this rhyme. The thoughts one thinks may not be real and sometimes they will make you squeal. Biting, scratching, tastes hang true, inside this story you’ll meet things new. Must be careful, for if you fall those evildoers will seize all. Taking bodies and minds of prey, trapped, entombed as darkness flays. If by chance you are done, chase the light chosen one. Staring from those eyes so bright, view things given with new sight. For all that see, avoid the dark, a new path is shown near the park. A secret there for all that be, if you’re brave enough, open me!
For all those imaginative souls
A fascinating tale takes the reader on a true flight of fantasy into amazing far-off lands, dramatically expanding the imagination and touching the heart. An exploration of the senses is tantalised through the many unusual characters, while exploring alternate realities. A placid opening of the mystical realms should not be underestimated as they soon lead off and reach into some of the darkest corners of the mind.
A gentle fairytale twists along its path into an unusual and disturbed adventure.
Targeted Age Group:: Rough age range 11-13, fun for adults too!
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have always been drawn to the metaphysical and still retain a childlike vision of the world – it seemed to be the perfect solution.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Touches of the real word brushing with the spiritual created the fantasy characters.
Peter began to cross the slippery ice, slowly and carefully hoping that he would be able to reach the island. A frosty wind swirled around his face, making his already cold cheeks feel as if they had been trapped in a drawer. Peter ran his sleeve roughly under his nose, which had begun to run as though he had a bad cold. Two huge vultures circled overhead. They stared at Peter, almost as if they knew something that he didn’t, and he only hoped they were not considering him potential lunch for the day. The birds made Peter feel uneasy as he continued across the icy plane and listened to the vicious flapping of their wings in the translucent sky. A pressure was growing near from above, teasing the ice as the white floor creaked and moaned underneath. Peter prayed the ice on the lake would hold until he got to the other side. He got down on his knees and began to crawl on all fours, as it felt a little safer.
A movement in the distance made a small figure become clear as it came skating along toward him from the island.
“It be cold on eve’, aye!” said the unpleasant-looking creature, who was poised at an acute angle and speaking in a deep voice.
“Yes, very cold, to be precise,” answered Peter.
“Do you mean ‘precise’ or ‘exact’? As you could be exact about your comment but not precise, and you could be precise, although not exact! You should be certain in what you state; it may be important at a later date.”
Hmmm, thought Peter, not really understanding. “May I ask who and what you are?” he said, examining the speared-eared little man.
“Cold it be, aye; aye, cold of the coldness; very cold you see, aye! I am an imp, Arry the imp, full of mischief, so I am told,” said the vertically challenged skater. “Believe this is yours,” he said, pulling out a brown satchel that looked exactly like Peter’s own.
“Oh! How did you get that?”
“Ahh, well, I might have nipped along and removed it from you – mischievous, you see. Aye, mischievous!” he said, hopping about on his skates. “When you were not looking, aye! Peter should be watchin’, should be watchin’, you see, aye!”
Peter looked up, shivering slightly. “I was, well, sort of, I … I … it just disappeared! Oh! Give me back my bag!”
“Progressin’ quite nicely, eh? So, where you off to, then?”
“To the island – now give me my bag!”
“Doin’ well, eh? Guess you’ll be there soon,” said the imp.
“I do hope so,” said Peter.
The imp dropped the bag and skated off, chuckling, on his way. Peter put his bag on his shoulder and started to press forward. The vultures had decided to fly away, possibly because the cold air might freeze their wings, or maybe they had gotten tired of waiting for lunch. Peter thought it was rather fortunate that it was so cold, because the island was totally surrounded with ice, and he certainly didn’t want to swim. The imp jumped out from behind a tree close to the edge and skated over.
“Ahh, Peter! So nice to see you again, but you know what they say, one more straw …” and his smile grew wider. “Aye, I will be seeing you, Peter.”
“What do you mean?”
The slimy imp gave out a loud laugh, and the ice started to crack beneath his feet as the imp skated away.
Peter’s heart started racing as he tried to scamper off the ice. The entire area shattered into smithereens as Peter fell through … through and through. There was no water underneath, nothing at all, as Peter rapidly descended. Plummeting toward ground, he had fallen hundreds of feet below the surface of broken ice. The speed of the fall was increasing, so Peter decided there was only one thing to do.
Frantically searching in his satchel, Peter pulled out the jar of purple grease that Wind Sail had pushed into his hand. Peter looked at the label: “Blight for absolutely bodacious flight. Apply grease liberally. Contains omenikz feathers.” Unscrewing the lid, Peter dipped his fingers into the purple, lumpy grease and smeared it across his right leg. Peter’s skin began to react, and his leg began to swell as he dropped nearer and nearer to the ground. Twisting and toppling around in the sky, he fell – as a bird’s beak and cerise feathers began popping out of his leg. Within seconds, part of an omenikz had formed. As the floor grew closer, the wings began to flap, lifting Peter up just in time and gently placing him on the ground inside a cave. Oh, how he did look strange with part of a bird growing out of the side of one of his legs!
Grateful and happy for a safe landing, Peter caught sight of the fortress in the distance, high up on a rocky landscape.
The castle was balanced upon a massive rock formation in the shape of a cone. Peter wondered how he would ever get up to that great height. The adjoining area was cradled with candlelit stalactites. They were as sharp as the ears of the horrible imp which had dropped him through the ice. Unsure of his footing, Peter considered his fate while finding a way out of the dark place. The walls were encrusted with rough amethyst, which emitted violet sparkles in the darkness as he made his way. Peter heard a tapping noise coming from a round bullseye window set within the rock, and a man’s face appeared. The window swung open, and an old man stuck his head out.
“Quick, quick – no time to waste,” he exclaimed as he reached out for Peter’s hand. He pulled him upward right into the opening, and Peter squeezed through the window. The window slammed shut as Peter fell hands-first onto the floor.
“Phew! Now, that was a close call,” said the old man. “It’s the guards, you see. They don’t get enough food from Cirinian, and they will eat anyone they capture,” he added, scratching several times. “Would I be correct in assuming you came through the ice? Most foreigners do – well, the ones that survive.”
“Yes, I had some Blight,” Peter said, pointing to the partial omenikz protruding out of his leg. “Unfortunately, I don’t know how they can be removed.”
“Oh yes, I see. Standard omenikz-wing remover is what you will need.”
“What is that smell?” asked Peter as he looked around the room. “I don’t think that I have ever smelt anything so disgusting in all my ten years of life. It smells like something has died in here.”
“The aroma you are enquiring upon is me, and you get used to it after a while,” he said, wiping a stale chicken under his armpit. “For your information, that smell is why you are not in the middle of a pie right now. The Iriyacks are allergic to chicken and prune juice. So they will not eat me, and as they hate the smell so much, there is no chance of them entering this room. Now you see how I have lived down here to the ripe old age of 362,” he said as he gulped down a beaker of prune juice.
Holding his nose, Peter looked around the rock room. “I can see why they wouldn’t want to come in here – it pongs!”
“I never wash, either. Keeps the smell good. You never know when the guards will turn up. I do remember having a sponge down once when I was 102.”
There was a branch sticking out of the wall, from which four bats hung upside down. “What are those doing up there?” asked Peter.
“Ah, bat droppings. Good for all sorts of things. Batdrop wine, sandwich paste – and it helps to clear my sinus problem.”
“You really are the most disgusting man I have ever met! Bat-pooh sandwiches – no wonder you smell!”
“Well, you are most insulting, considering I have just saved you!”
“It is not an insult, only an observation. You are very charming in your own way.”
“Thank you. I suppose I should take that as a compliment, considering your politeness of tongue and slight sarcasm of mouth. My name is Mr Tosis, Hally Tosis – Hally to you,” he said with his arm outstretched.
Peter shook his hand. “Pleased to meet you. It is a nice place you have got here, very … rock-like.”
“Thank you again. Once you start with compliments you can’t stop, can you? Got any more for an old man?”
“I do like your coffee table; it is most unusual,” he said, dusting off the top.
“That, like most other things down here, is not as it seems.” With that, the coffee table moved.
“Why did the coffee table move?” asked Peter, looking most anxious.
“It is not really a full-time table, only in the evenings.” The table moved again. “May I introduce you to my friend, Bob? He is a giant turtle.”
Bob poked out his head, and the apparent coffee table began to walk around the room on four dumpy feet.
“Say hello to Peter,” said Hally, supping some more prune juice.
“That’s about all you’ll get out of him today. He doesn’t take very well to strangers. Bob will be able to carry us where we need to go when it gets dark.”
“Where is that?” asked Peter.
“We will go and see Myling to get you some omenikz remover. For now, you had better get some rest, because it will be dark soon. When night falls, most of the guards will have gone from the tunnels.”
“Hally, what is that scratching noise?”
“I can’t hear a thing. Can you Bob?” The turtle just stared.
Hally pulled two chairs out for them to sit down.
“Would you like some food?” he asked, pulling his tatty dressing gown together and hiding his string vest.
Peter hesitated. “What sort of food?” he enquired while taking a seat.
“Don’t look so worried. I have a supply of human food, too, not just lifelongian food!”
“So, you are a ‘lifelongian’. You look human, but how are you different?”
“Have you ever known a human to live to over 300 years of age? Certainly not! We have a special type of immune system, which has evolved through living in strange places and eating types of foods you wouldn’t entertain. I am only a child like you when compared with the wise elders that can live to over 3,000 years old.” Hally placed some chicken sandwiches and jam doughnuts on the table, which had suddenly decided to stop moving. “You will have to eat the chicken to repel the Iriyacks. Also, here’s some prune juice. I am afraid there is no other option to avoid the guards,” he said, wiping some of the juice from his grey beard.
Peter started to eat his sandwiches, which were balanced precariously on the turtle’s back. “Are you sure there is nothing dodgy on these sandwiches?” he asked, looking inside.
“Most positive. There is no reason to ever doubt a lifelongian’s word. I always keep a supply of food, as you humans fall down occasionally – although not quite as often nowadays. My good friend Myling replenishes the food an a regular basis in exchange for batdrop wine. Eat up or those guards will eat you up.” Hally ran some chicken fat through his hair. “Never can be too careful.”
Peter was so hungry that nothing could put him off his doughnuts, not even chicken fat. Eagerly he licked the sugar from his fingers.
“So, where am I, and why have I fallen down here?”
“You were on your way to the fortress, and no one gets in, unless invited. It is that simple. Someone made sure you didn’t make it across the ice,” laughed Hally. “Now you are at the cavern entrance to the amethyst mines, and there are guards everywhere. Most individuals that come from the top lands fall to their deaths. You are one of the lucky ones, as even the survivors are generally captured and eaten.”
“How can I get out of here? I need to get into the fortress and help the sacred shylong. An omenikz has captured the shylong and taken him away, right up in the sky. I was very worried, until I got to the land of ice and snow, where I met Wind Sail and she told me she could help me. The witch gave me two crystals that work like a key and operate a portal inside that can transfer her into the fortress.”
“Oh my, you are brave, but you will need some help,” Hally said as he tightened his belt. “It is nearly dark, we need to prepare to set off and see Myling.” Picking up a small bag, Hally slung it over his shoulder as they departed through a trapdoor in the floor.
Climbing down a rusty ladder, they entered an underground passage, which was crawling with long-tailed vermin. Peter’s stomach began to turn as rat’s claws frantically scraped over his shoes and tails curled around his ankles.
Hally grabbed a flaming torch from a bracket on the wall. “These are the staple diet of the Iriyacks. Roast rat! Quick, climb on Bob before you are swamped.”
Peter felt as if he were going to be sick on top of the Iriyack’s gourmet food when he pictured the slippery rodents sliding down their throats. The turtle didn’t seem to mind much as he waded through the river of rats running over his vermilion feet. Hally’s torchlight began to flicker, and it highlighted the beautiful colours of the turtle’s shell. Moving forward, they eventually reached what appeared to be a dead end in the tunnel. A large, craggy mound of rock blocked the passageway.
About the Author:
Living in a small village in Lancashire, England, the author has written a number of books based on the tale ‘Peter’.
In the 1990s, the author had twenty-one articles published, both nationally and internationally. After gaining an honours degree in Geosciences, doing post-graduate study in Occupational Health and Fitness, and earning a masters degree in Science Communication, he developed an interest for simple communication.
A passion for writing again emerged, and combining various interests in fine art, museum exhibition display, biology, geology, poetry, and the mystical led to the story of Peter: A Darkened Fairytale. The author still retains a childlike vision of the world, which is conveyed throughout his books.
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