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Even Now (Chapter One)

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  • tdwendella
    Here is one of my story s that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy. Canvases of sparkling golden,
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 7, 2009
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      Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.

      Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
      Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
      From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.


      Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
      "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
      "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
      "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
      "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.


      Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
      The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
      "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
      "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
      "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
      "You act as if you not happy to see me."
      "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
      "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
      "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
      "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
      "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
      "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
      "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
      "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
      "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
      "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
      "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
      "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
      "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.

      Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
      While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
      Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
      "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
      "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
      "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
      "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
      "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
      "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.

      A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
      "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
      "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
      "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
      "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
      "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
      "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
      "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
      "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
      "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
      "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
      "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
    • albiaicehouse
      Wendy, Your piece is firmly in the past tense, until at ... a peaceful courtyard garden beckons you switch to the present tense. There are other instances
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 7, 2009
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        Wendy,

        Your piece is firmly in the past tense, until at "... a peaceful courtyard garden beckons" you switch to the present tense. There are other instances of this. Make a game out of finding them all.

        At: "Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life," I assume you meant "hesitate" where you said "haste" unless there is an arcane or ancient meaning to haste of which I am not aware. Also, you can eliminate the word "that" from this sentence without losing the meaning.

        Try jumping into the crux of the matter in the first sentence and leave the scene setting to be mixed in as you dole out the setup with the king in mental agony while the queen is in physical agony.

        I admire the emotional hook of this opening. I am drawn in by wondering what will happen. The situation is common to many people and it is a matter of lives and death.

        Rod
        aka albi

        http://www.cairdeas.webs.com/
      • Jerry
        Dear Wendy, I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I m a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 10, 2009
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          Dear Wendy,

          I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."

          Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.

          I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.

          As always,
          Jerry


          --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@...> wrote:
          >
          > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
          >
          > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
          > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
          > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
          >
          >
          > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
          > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
          > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
          > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
          > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
          >
          >
          > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
          > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
          > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
          > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
          > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
          > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
          > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
          > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
          > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
          > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
          > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
          > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
          > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
          > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
          > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
          > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
          > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
          > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
          > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
          >
          > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
          > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
          > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
          > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
          > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
          > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
          > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
          > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
          > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
          >
          > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
          > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
          > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
          > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
          > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
          > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
          > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
          > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
          > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
          > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
          > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
          > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
          >
        • Susan Donahue
          Dear Jerry, Those of us who are up at dawn can confirm that the phase of the moon is not altered as the moon sets. If it is a quarter moon at midnight, it
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 11, 2009
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            Dear Jerry,

            Those of us who are up at dawn can confirm that the phase of the moon is not altered as the moon sets. If it is a quarter moon at midnight, it will still be a quarter moon at daybreak.

            You are so seldom wrong that I hate to mention this, but you will have the ticket2write members up all night watching the sky to see what happens.

            Your friend,

            Suzianne

            --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Wendy,
            >
            > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
            >
            > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
            >
            > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
            >
            > As always,
            > Jerry
            >
            >
            > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
            > >
            > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
            > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
            > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
            > >
            > >
            > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
            > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
            > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
            > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
            > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
            > >
            > >
            > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
            > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
            > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
            > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
            > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
            > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
            > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
            > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
            > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
            > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
            > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
            > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
            > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
            > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
            > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
            > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
            > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
            > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
            > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
            > >
            > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
            > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
            > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
            > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
            > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
            > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
            > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
            > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
            > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
            > >
            > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
            > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
            > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
            > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
            > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
            > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
            > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
            > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
            > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
            > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
            > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
            > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
            > >
            >
          • tdwendella
            What I was getting at in the beginning was, when the sun starts to rise it seems as if the moon disappears, because the light from the sun is blocking it or
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 11, 2009
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              What I was getting at in the beginning was, when the sun starts to rise it seems as if the moon disappears, because the light from the sun is blocking it or the moon has moved in orbit.
              --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Wendy,
              >
              > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
              >
              > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
              >
              > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
              >
              > As always,
              > Jerry
              >
              >
              > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
              > >
              > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
              > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
              > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
              > >
              > >
              > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
              > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
              > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
              > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
              > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
              > >
              > >
              > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
              > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
              > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
              > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
              > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
              > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
              > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
              > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
              > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
              > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
              > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
              > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
              > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
              > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
              > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
              > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
              > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
              > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
              > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
              > >
              > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
              > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
              > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
              > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
              > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
              > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
              > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
              > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
              > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
              > >
              > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
              > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
              > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
              > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
              > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
              > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
              > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
              > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
              > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
              > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
              > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
              > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
              > >
              >
            • albiaicehouse
              Suzianne, If you see a quarter moon at midnight, it must be on one horizon or the other. If east, its rising in the sky, in its last quarter, and waning day
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 11, 2009
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                Suzianne,

                If you see a quarter moon at midnight, it must be on one horizon or the other. If east, its rising in the sky, in its last quarter, and waning day by day. If west, its setting, it is in first quarter, but waxing day by day.

                I think the original description is confusing.

                Does the moon "disappear" because it sets? If so, Jerry is correct, only a nearly full or full moon sets with the rising sun.

                Or did the original description mean the moon, which happens to be a quarter moon, is fading in terms of its contrast with the sky as more and more of the sun's light fills the sky with diffracted sunlight. That moon doesn't really disappear but does fade seriously. Maybe the description can be adjusted to fit this later situation.

                Rod
                aka albi

                <a href="http://cairdeas.webs.com/" >http://cairdeas.webs.com</a>




                --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Donahue" <suzianne411@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Jerry,
                >
                > Those of us who are up at dawn can confirm that the phase of the moon is not altered as the moon sets. If it is a quarter moon at midnight, it will still be a quarter moon at daybreak.
                >
                > You are so seldom wrong that I hate to mention this, but you will have the ticket2write members up all night watching the sky to see what happens.
                >
                > Your friend,
                >
                > Suzianne
                >
                > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear Wendy,
                > >
                > > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
                > >
                > > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
                > >
                > > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
                > >
                > > As always,
                > > Jerry
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
                > > >
                > > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
                > > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
                > > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
                > > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
                > > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
                > > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
                > > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
                > > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
                > > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
                > > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
                > > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
                > > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
                > > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
                > > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
                > > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
                > > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
                > > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
                > > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
                > > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
                > > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
                > > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
                > > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
                > > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
                > > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
                > > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
                > > >
                > > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
                > > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
                > > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
                > > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
                > > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
                > > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
                > > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
                > > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
                > > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
                > > >
                > > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
                > > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
                > > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
                > > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
                > > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
                > > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
                > > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
                > > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
                > > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
                > > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
                > > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
                > > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Jerry
                My dear Suzianne, Never let it be said that I would gainsay a lady such as you, but I must point out that I was not referring to a partial moon at midnight.
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 12, 2009
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                  My dear Suzianne,
                  Never let it be said that I would gainsay a lady such as you, but I must point out that I was not referring to a partial moon at "midnight." I spoke of a FULL moon at moonset and sunrise (though it could just as easily been of sunset and moonrise).
                  I could lecture about planetary ballistics, but I would much rather invite you to sit around my firepit this coming full moon and experience the `moonset/sunrise' and then in the early a of m we could watch it again at the `sunrise/moonset.' I promise not to get you too inebriated. (lol)
                  As always,
                  Jerry



                  --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Donahue" <suzianne411@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Jerry,
                  >
                  > Those of us who are up at dawn can confirm that the phase of the moon is not altered as the moon sets. If it is a quarter moon at midnight, it will still be a quarter moon at daybreak.
                  >
                  > You are so seldom wrong that I hate to mention this, but you will have the ticket2write members up all night watching the sky to see what happens.
                  >
                  > Your friend,
                  >
                  > Suzianne
                  >
                  > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Wendy,
                  > >
                  > > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
                  > >
                  > > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
                  > >
                  > > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
                  > >
                  > > As always,
                  > > Jerry
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
                  > > >
                  > > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
                  > > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
                  > > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
                  > > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
                  > > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
                  > > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
                  > > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
                  > > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
                  > > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
                  > > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
                  > > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
                  > > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
                  > > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
                  > > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
                  > > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
                  > > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
                  > > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
                  > > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
                  > > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
                  > > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
                  > > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
                  > > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
                  > > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
                  > > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
                  > > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
                  > > >
                  > > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
                  > > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
                  > > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
                  > > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
                  > > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
                  > > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
                  > > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
                  > > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
                  > > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
                  > > >
                  > > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
                  > > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
                  > > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
                  > > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
                  > > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
                  > > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
                  > > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
                  > > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
                  > > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
                  > > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
                  > > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
                  > > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Jerry
                  Dear Wendy, Thank you for clarifying what your vision of this quartermoon. Although even a crescent moon may be seen during daylight hours, it is faded and
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 12, 2009
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                    Dear Wendy,
                    Thank you for clarifying what your vision of this quartermoon. Although even a crescent moon may be seen during daylight hours, it is faded and pale in comparison to being seen at night.
                    My intention was not to disparage, but rather to inform. If it was a quartermoon at sunrise, then it would have hung directly overhead in the sky. The brightening of the sky and a bit of haze or some cloud cover could easily make it fade into oblivion.
                    Once again, thank you for posting this piece. It was a fun read. (smile)
                    As always,
                    Jerry

                    --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > What I was getting at in the beginning was, when the sun starts to rise it seems as if the moon disappears, because the light from the sun is blocking it or the moon has moved in orbit.
                    > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Dear Wendy,
                    > >
                    > > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
                    > >
                    > > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
                    > >
                    > > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
                    > >
                    > > As always,
                    > > Jerry
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
                    > > >
                    > > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
                    > > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
                    > > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
                    > > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
                    > > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
                    > > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
                    > > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
                    > > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
                    > > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
                    > > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
                    > > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
                    > > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
                    > > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
                    > > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
                    > > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
                    > > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
                    > > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
                    > > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
                    > > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
                    > > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
                    > > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
                    > > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
                    > > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
                    > > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
                    > > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
                    > > >
                    > > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
                    > > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
                    > > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
                    > > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
                    > > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
                    > > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
                    > > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
                    > > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
                    > > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
                    > > >
                    > > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
                    > > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
                    > > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
                    > > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
                    > > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
                    > > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
                    > > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
                    > > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
                    > > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
                    > > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
                    > > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
                    > > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Susan Donahue
                    Dear Jerry, That sounds good to me! I will bring the graham crackers, Hershey bars and marshmallows. Suzianne
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 14, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Jerry,

                      That sounds good to me! I will bring the graham crackers, Hershey bars and marshmallows.

                      Suzianne


                      --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > My dear Suzianne,
                      > Never let it be said that I would gainsay a lady such as you, but I must point out that I was not referring to a partial moon at "midnight." I spoke of a FULL moon at moonset and sunrise (though it could just as easily been of sunset and moonrise).
                      > I could lecture about planetary ballistics, but I would much rather invite you to sit around my firepit this coming full moon and experience the `moonset/sunrise' and then in the early a of m we could watch it again at the `sunrise/moonset.' I promise not to get you too inebriated. (lol)
                      > As always,
                      > Jerry
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Donahue" <suzianne411@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Dear Jerry,
                      > >
                      > > Those of us who are up at dawn can confirm that the phase of the moon is not altered as the moon sets. If it is a quarter moon at midnight, it will still be a quarter moon at daybreak.
                      > >
                      > > You are so seldom wrong that I hate to mention this, but you will have the ticket2write members up all night watching the sky to see what happens.
                      > >
                      > > Your friend,
                      > >
                      > > Suzianne
                      > >
                      > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <jerry5849@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Dear Wendy,
                      > > >
                      > > > I enjoyed reading this piece, but of course I'm a sucker for fantasy works. (lol) One item bothered me though. In the first paragraph you mention how "…a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light."
                      > > >
                      > > > Perhaps in this fantasy world things are different, but when the moon is setting as the sun rises (or vice versa) the moon is full. This might work had there been a very tall mountain range to allow a quarter moon to drop behind except for the next sentence where this scene is unfolding along a sea.
                      > > >
                      > > > I don't mean to be too critical, but this struck me as I tried read this story and I thought you might wish to amend this in a final draft. Good luck with the story.
                      > > >
                      > > > As always,
                      > > > Jerry
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "tdwendella" <tdwendella@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Here is one of my story's that I am working on. I would love to know what any of you think about it. Also, my name is Wendy.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Canvases of sparkling golden, auburn hues were splashed against the horizon, as a distant quarter moon appeared to vanish slowly with the beginning of early, morning light. Cool, crisp November breezes drifted softly through the practically defoliated trees, while a fine mist sprayed up the relentless sea of waves that pounded the north side of the Windamir cliffs.
                      > > > > Nestled on the edge of that cliff was a majestic castle of purest white, glistening like freshly fallen snow on a cold winter night. Lofty towers soared toward the heavens, while spectrums of color from the stain glass windows of an opulent ballroom danced across a cobblestone pathway and a peaceful courtyard garden beckons with its fragrant bouquet of beauty during the spring.
                      > > > > From within those castle walls, the agonizing screams of a difficult labor were wrenching the heart of a very distraught king. For the fourth time King Christian Winterstone, found himself endlessly pacing the long, narrow corridor, with a found hope of hearing the joyful wail of babies' first welcoming cries. Regrettable, fate interceded the last three times by deeming the Winterstone children to become angels up in heaven and the entire kingdom wept with morning. Alexandra his beloved queen wanted nothing more than to make him happy and provide him with an heir to the crown. Christian knew down deep in his heart that she would not haste to sacrifice her life, if that was what it took for their child to thrive. What truly terrified him was the real possibility of watching her parish if this child was going to meet the same fate. Why didn't they stop trying after the last time, Christian kept asking himself? The answer was simple; it was because Alexandra had been so sure that this time was going to be different. Abruptly, Christian stopped his endless pacing and fell down onto his knees, while clasping his hands together and fervently prayed for this child to survive.
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Sweat was drenching the queen's brow, while the midwife continuously spoke kind words of encouragement. Alexandra gritted her teeth and pushed for what appeared to be hours, before a robust cry echoed throughout the castle walls. Prudence, the midwife, had just placed the tiny infant into the eager queens, waiting arms when the king came barging into the chamber.
                      > > > > "Your majesty!" Prudence declared in a startled tone, before dipping into a curtsy. Christian did not even notice her, for all his eyes beheld was his lovely wife cradling their new born son. Who could blame him for Alexandra was a true vision, with her creamy white skin, pale rose lips, soft curls of chestnut brown hair that falls down around her shoulders and adoring eyes of liquid molasses.
                      > > > > "Congratulations, your majesty!" Prudence declared, as she began to leave the room. It was only than that Christian realized that she was there.
                      > > > > "Wait!" The king exclaimed, just before Prudence closed the chamber door.
                      > > > > "Tell my herald to send out a royal proclamation to the entire land that there is to be a joyous celebration at dusk in the great hall to honor the birth of Nathaniel Winterstone, heir to the throne!" In response to this command Prudence just curtsied and left the chamber, closing the door behind her. Alexandra placed the infant carefully in the king's arms, while staring at them both with adoring eyes. A sigh of passion passed through her lips, as she gazed into her husbands regal aquamarine eyes. For her it was the same pleasurable experience, as their first meeting. In her heart Alexandra fell in love with him at that very moment and never stopped. It was hard not to for Christian was a very desirable man with rich maple brown hair, angelic face with a well-trimmed mustache, broad shoulders and an athletic physique that even the Greek gods would envy.
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Twinkling twilight was merging into the dusk of night while the sound of trumpets ushered all of Glendora a joyful welcome into Winterstone Castle. The massive great hall was being filled with elegantly clad men and woman of all ages. The hall had all the wonderfully pleasant trimming to enjoy the night's festivities. Along the left-hand wall, a long line of tables was brimming with rich deserts of very kind and the delightful aroma's of the dulcet foods was enough to entice the senses. Skilled string musicians were creating a romantic atmosphere, as their music drifted softly couples began to gracefully waltz across the smooth marble surface. Long white candles flickered within the dangling brass chandeliers and the royal banners embossed with the Winterstone family crest were proudly displayed. Even the gallant knights, who were busy keeping guard to partake in the joyful celebration, had been a sight to withhold. All twelve stood perfectly still, as if they were life like statues, attired in calf length black books, black tights, the royal deep purple tunic and matching long sleeve top.
                      > > > > The night continuously progressed with lovely grandeur that is until and unexpected hush suddenly encapsulated the entire hall. The silence which ensued was deafening, for time seemed to cease. That is until a figure emerged out of the darkness. A hooded, black cloak concealed the late arrival, which seemed to float across the threshold. An astonished gasp pasted threw everyone's lips, when a hand came into view and revealed that their guest was a seductive woman. Captivating did not befit this exquisite beauty. Tightly spun curls of long, luxurious raven black hair framed her elegant face, compelling amethyst eyes with flecks of sapphire which were glistening in the candle light, soft red lips and a sensuous, voluptuous figure that was garbed in rich robes, indicating that she was royalty. The over-robe was a deep, dark rose with a square collar that showed a hint of cleavage with flowing sleeves that went a little bit past the elbow, underneath that there were tightly fitted pearl white long sleeves with silver and gold threading weaved into tiny diamond shaped patterns and a panel of silky pearl white satin which cascaded gracefully down to the floor.
                      > > > > "Who is she?" Was the whispering echo's of the question that passed through everyone's lips, as she strolled across the marble floor. The mysterious arrival sashayed through the crowd taking in every detail, in quick sweeping glances, only pausing for the briefest moment. It was in that moment that her eyes held the twelve gallant knights of Winterstone court. The stood perfectly still in rows of threes, but it was the one in the middle of the first row that held her gaze. She could tell by the look of him that he was the commander and a very attractive one at that. Their eyes meet for only a flicker of a second, but it was enough, for she knew in her heart that she had found her one true soul mate at long last. When she approached the king and queen, she did not curtsy. The king however narrowed his eyes and stared at her with puzzlement, as if somewhere in the back of his mind he knew who she was.
                      > > > > "It has been many years since you have seen me, but I don't think you could have forgotten me so easily." The woman stated softly, when the kings eyes popped open with recognition and stood up from his throne.
                      > > > > "Asenath Ellsworth! Why have you come?" Christian asked, taking just a step towards her.
                      > > > > "You act as if you not happy to see me."
                      > > > > "I am NOT!" Christian bellowed.
                      > > > > "Come now, we both know how magical that night we first meet had been, but of course it does not compare to the sorcery that is weaved into my soul." Asenath laughed, ahs she began to chant some strange words.
                      > > > > "Knights, stop her!" Christian shrieked. The knights who had been standing to the right of the king's throne came rushing towards her. With a single wave of her hand, they were blown back and knocked unconscious. The guests began to panic and tried vacating the great hall, but the heavy oak doors suddenly closed with a loud bang and would not budge no matter how hard they tried. Alexandra clung to her son, fearful of what powers this woman might use on him.
                      > > > > "What's going on?" Alexandra asked, as she looked up at her husband with fear in her eyes.
                      > > > > "I'm sorry, Alexandra. I should have told you this year ago, but I had thought my past was behind me." Christian sighed heavily and stared into her adoring eyes. Just as he had opened his mouth to explain, a blinding flash of light filled the great hall. The king's eyes were the first to slowly adjust, but though the haze he beheld a welcoming form standing before him. That winsome face with furrows along the sides of his mist filled cobalt blue eyes, a long, thin mustache, bushy eyebrows and slightly balding silver gray hair was unmistakable, for it could only be one man. Christian's trusted friend and advisor, Dorian Camillus, but most importantly he was a very powerful wizard.
                      > > > > "Asenath, you are no longer welcome inside these walls." Dorian stated, while staring at her squarely in the eye.
                      > > > > "I am still a member of this kingdom and just like everyone else her tonight, I've come to celebrate the birth of the future king." Asenath stated in a breathy whisper and curtsied with graceful fluidity, but Dorian noticed the sly smile that had formed on her lips. He grabbed her by the arm, forcing her to stand up straight and looked upon her with a narrowed gaze.
                      > > > > "What have you done?" He bellowed, his voice echoing though out the great hall.
                      > > > > "I don't like what your insinuating." Asenath pouted, as she turned her head away from him.
                      > > > > "Don't try acting innocent with me, Asenath. I may have been beguiled by you and your mother in the past, but I vowed to never let that happen ever again."
                      > > > > "Well, Dorian! You made sure of that didn't you!" Asenath stated with a venomous glint in her eyes, before continuing with an explanation.
                      > > > > "You were so threatened by the fact that my mother's powers exceeded your own, that you had to have her publicly executed. But, to make matters worse, I believe she was falling in love with you."
                      > > > > "Oh, please! She just used me to get you on the Winterstone throne as its queen!" Dorian bellowed. Only Asenath could not help noticing his mist filled cobalt blue eyes gazing off into the distance, with this dreamy content's on his face. A mischievous grin appeared on her lips, as she quickly whispered an incantation before Dorian could notice. In a blink of an eye, images began to project on the stone wall directly behind Dorian's head. The vision was depicting a tiny stone chamber doused in flickering candle light, while a slender, curvaceous female gradually loosened the laces on her bodice, allowing it to slip down her shoulders, crumbling into a pool of satin around her feet. The desire which blazed within a younger Dorian's eyes was a welcome invitation and even though her face concealed in shadow, you could see that a coy smile played on her lips. She strolled over to him with a genial swaying of the hips and with one powerful thrust; he had pulled her into his eager arms. He pressed her body close, before claiming her mouth in a shouldering kiss that caused the pair to tumble into the canopy behind them.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Only the mother's had thought to quickly shielded their children's eyes, while everyone else was preoccupied and astonished by what was being portrayed, they failed to notice that one of the knights was beginning to regain consciousness. His blurred sight was causing him to see triple, but in his minds eye he beheld a most desirable sight, the enchanting sorceress Asenath Ellsworth. Out of all the kings' knights, Sir Gareth Breckenridge was the most loyal and nothing would ever impede him from his duties, not even this one woman to whom he would have freely surrenders his heart to, for it was he that Asenath had first notice when she arrived. With a heavy hearted sigh, he staggered to his feet, but quickly regained his footing the moment this fingers clutched the hilt of his sword. Gareth's sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes blazed with determination, as he sauntered across the marble floor with a commanding stride. He possessed a regal deportment of regimental decorum with his tall, lean masculine physique and broad shoulders. The well trimmed waves of sandy brown hair complimented the soft lines of his sensitive mouth and the kind, caring contours of his Anglo-Saxon face.
                      > > > > While Gareth tentatively approached the sorceress, Dorian had retrieved his wondering mind back into the present, but for some unknown reason he had betrayed the gallant knight by glancing in his direction. Asenath spun around so rapidly; that no one was able to see what had transpired until it was too late. Clutched in her hand was a silver dagger, which had sliced across Gareth right cheek. Gareth dropped down to his knees, not from the lack of crimson blood which stained his hands, but because of the sense of guilt that weighed on his heavy heart. If his mind and eyes had been focused on the task at hand, he would not have failed in his royal duties and for that he would never allow forgiveness of any kind, especially from himself. For in his minds eye, he had been having visions of Asenath and a future that he knew that he would never have with her.
                      > > > > Dorian was rapidly uttering something unrecognizable, as Gareth was becoming irrevocable compelled to gaze up into Asenath's eyes. He tried to turn away from her, but Gareth's light green eyes were immersed within their depths. Time ceased to have meaning, before Asenath had vanished into a cloud of smoke and a playful wink of an eye. At that precise second the mesmerizing contact was broken, Gareth was forcible lurched forward to the point were his head and shoulders were practically touching the floor. His breathing was coming hard and fast, as slight beads of sweat trickled down his brow. The presence of a hand on his shoulder rattled him back to his senses and leapt to his feet. Those sharp, but keen charismatic light green eyes darted about the room, assessing everything in those sweeping glances. Thankfully, the remaining knights had regained consciousness and were leading the last of the kingdom's inhabitants out of the castle. Most deterring of all was the winsome face of the wizard, whose wrinkled hand still resided on his shoulder. His eyes bored into Gareth's soul, unnerving the brave knight. It was said that Dorian was able to perceive the heart; Gareth just hoped that he shifted his gazed before the wizard had a chance to use that power on him.
                      > > > > "That's a nasty cut Asenath bestowed upon you, but I can easily heal that."
                      > > > > "No!" Gareth snapped, as he slapped the wizard's staff away from him, while spinning on his heels and headed straight towards the king. Just as he was abut to knell, the queen bust into a well of tears while vocalizing the questions that were worrying her troubled mind.
                      > > > > "Will somebody please explain to me who that woman was and what she wants?"
                      > > > > "Of course, your majesty!" Dorian stated with a slight bow of the head, as he approached the thrones.
                      > > > > "Asenath Ellsworth is a cunning sorceress of some immense powers and charms, who will not hesitate to implement them in order to obtain the things she really desires. To truly comprehend her malevolent nature, you must first glimpse into the intricacies of the departed soul of her mother, Nathalia." Dorian paused, his eyes where in a deeply cogitative state, which the queen had been watching intensively. Something had flashed in Dorian's eyes in that instantaneous moment when he had mentioned Asenath's mother and for some unknown reason it had racked Alexandra's frame with a disturbing chill, but had disguised it by cradling her new born babe close to her heart. She looked to her husband for some reassurance that these feeling were unwarranted, but discovered him in a relatively similar condition as that of the wizard. Before Alexandra had a chance to properly cogitate about the possible ramifications of this, Dorian Camillus continued to tell his tale once more.
                      > > > > "To make a long story short, my lady. Nathalia, Asenath's mother, vehemently believed that I had something to do with the deaths of her parents and her beloved husband, Duke Valkrin Ellsworth and sworn ultimate vengeance. Also, included in this oath were any living Winterstone's, for reasons only known to her. Apparently, Asenath intends to carry out her mother's plan, but I have a feeling that her main focus in going to be on me. So, you need not worry." That last statement however did not dispel Alexandra's fears, for she never totally trusted him and knew better than to confide this to her husband who believed in him completely.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > A short time late the wizard Camillus enters his chamber and with a slight wave of his hand the candelabra sparked to life. Minuscule candle light from a low wick flickered across the stone walls. The room was spare with only a canopy bed, an over stuffed arm chair and few tables. Mostly there were tattered old books which covered a good bit of the floor.
                      > > > > "Asenath is so naïve. She did not think I noticed when she whispered that incantation that revealed to everyone the night her mother and I got very inmate. I wanted them all to see it. Those fools will believe anything I say, but the Queen does have me worried. I did not like the way she was staring at me. I may have to do something about her, for if she somehow discovers the truth about all the stuff I've done, I'll be finished." Dorian thought out loud, in a soft whisper, so as not to chance being over heard. So, concerned by this he began to pace the eerie chamber while stroking his mustache. Abruptly stopping and stared at an object in the far corner. With quick, easy strides he stomped over the pedestal which had a gleaming crystal ball which resided on a red velvet cushion. Dorian gazed intently into its depth, while rubbing his hands over the smooth surface. A white fog rapidly swirled within, but was quickly becoming clear as the voices and images of the royal couple appeared. With a half smirk playing on is lips, Dorian spied on them.
                      > > > > "What is the matter, my love? Are you still troubled by what had just transpired?"
                      > > > > "Yes." Was the queen's only response, as she carefully placed the new born infant in his cradle.
                      > > > > "You need not worry yourself. Dorian will protect us." Christian replied, thinking that this would elevate her fears. Alexandra slightly bit her bottom lip and kept her back towards him, before expelling a heavy hearted sigh.
                      > > > > "I am sorry, beloved, but I do not trust him." Christian walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
                      > > > > "Why did you never speak of this before?" The king asked softly.
                      > > > > "He's your trusted advisor and friend."
                      > > > > "And you are my wife." Was the king's only reply, for he thought that explanation was enough. Alexandra did not say anything at first, but after a few moments she began to speak.
                      > > > > "This will probable sound silly to you, but ever since I first meet him and until this very day, I get this uneasy feeling every time he is around me. All my senses keep telling me that Dorian is not worthy of your trusted faith or friendship." Alexandra wanted to say so much more on the subject, like she felt as if he was deceitful, sneaky, and cold hearted.
                      > > > > "I have known Dorian since I was a young boy. He has always been there for me, especially during those hard times when my parents passed away." Christian paused for a moment, as he turned Alexandra around to face him. Cupping her chin gently in his hand, he tilted her head up.
                      > > > > "If you can not trust Dorian, then put your faith in me. I will never let any harm come to my family." Alexandra smiled, wrapped her arms around his neck and lovingly kissed him. It was at this point Dorian had seen and heard enough, so he rapidly waved his hand over the crystal ball to dispel it magic. Slowly, Dorian walked over to the plush arm chair and sunk down into it. He poured himself a half glass of port from the crystal decanter that resided on the tiny table that was next to the chair and leisurely savored every drop. For the rest of the night he remained there, contemplating what he heard and what he was going to do about it.
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