The Rejects, part four (fiction)

The Rejects

4

“You want to reopen the portal? Why?” Cally asked.

“You must understand I only want it opened for a brief period.” Mr. Williams explained. “It’s to find someone.”

“Who?”

“Well the reason why the attack on our world was thwarted, was that one person stopped them. They sent the invading force back through the portal and then closed it. They must have been incredibly powerful, more powerful than anything seen before. However, I also believe this person closed it while on the other side of the portal and trapped themselves there. I want the portal reopened so we can find them.” Mr. Williams said.

“But if that was years ago, wouldn’t they be dead by now? Surely if they were as powerful as you claim, they would have been able to reopen the portal by themselves and return here?” Cally wondered.

“I think something happened to them on the other side. I believe they are trapped in some sort of stasis field and are unable to return. That’s what my investigations have suggested.” Mr. Williams informed her.

“Surely we should be using our powers to make this world better, I mean, is it really so important for us to use our resources to bring someone back from another dimension when we could be doing something more constructive with it?” Cally suggested. “It also sounds like this could be extremely dangerous.”

“There is nothing more constructive we can do. My entire plan hinges on this. I need their power. After they thwarted this attack, they disappeared and then only a few years later the apocalypse happened. If they had been here, they could have stopped it. I want to bring them back and send them back in time, this is something the scientists at The Foundation have been calculating for me. They assure me it can work. Using their own power we can send this person back in time and they can prevent the apocalypse from occurring, meaning none of us will have to live through this wretched timeline of a dying world anymore.” Mr. Williams told her. Cally felt dumbfounded. Did he really mean to do this? It sounded crazy. He sounded crazy. “Don’t you understand? This is the only way we can survive.”

“You mean all this talk about using The Foundation to begin again and rebuild civilisation and the world was all just bullshit?”

“Well, it is the spiel I give about The Foundation, but yes it’s not the actual purpose of the organisation. Our plan is to stop the apocalypse from ever happening and erase this timeline.” Mr. Williams conceded. They both stood there in silence for a while. “I think it’s time we go back.”

On the journey back to the lift, Cally was lost in her thoughts. It was as if she was in some crazy dream and any moment now she would wake up in the ruins again. She wished she was back there. The place had been her home for as long as she could remember. It was all so much simpler there, though she doubted Mr. Williams would ever let her return.

Once they were back in The Foundation Cally was shown to a small room that had a bed, a table, and a few other bits of furniture. This was her space now, she was told. She sat down on the bed and wondered what she had gotten herself involved in. There was a soft knocking on the door. Cally opened it to see Sofi was there, smiling.

“Hi, I see these are your new quarters. They’re right next to mine. I was wondering if you were hungry? The other Rejects are meeting in the canteen. You want to join us?” Sofi asked.

“Rejects?” Cally asked. Sofi laughed.

“It’s what we call ourselves, though Williams doesn’t like it.” Sofi explained.

“Okay.” Cally replied.

“Great, follow me.” Sofi told her. Cally followed her to the canteen.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Previous chapters: One | Two | Three

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2023 Joanne Fisher

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The Rejects, part three (fiction)

The Rejects

3

The door slid open to reveal a large room. In the centre of the room was a table with monitors and seats around it. Around the walls were electronic equipment of various kinds, Cally thought some of it looked to be for analysing, and in the centre of the wall to the left there were elevator doors. In the room there were six other people of around Cally’s age or older. Three were female and three were male. They all looked at her.

“May I introduce Cally.” Mr. Williams said to the others. “I think she’s the last one of you to be found.”

“Hi.” Cally said. The others said hi back to her. One of the women smiled and went directly towards her with her hand held out.

“Hi Cally, my name is Sofi. I’m the one who found you.” Sofi said. She looked to be Cally’s age and was of Indian heritage Cally guessed.

“You found me?” Cally asked confused.

“I was the one who became aware you were living in the ruins.” Sofi said.

“Though it did take a while for us to locate you.” Mr. Williams added.

“You became aware I was there?”

“Yes, one day I suddenly knew you were there.” Sofi told her.

“Sofi is able to locate people. She feels their presence.” Mr. Williams explained. “We need to get you connected to the computer.”

“Okay.” Cally said not knowing what that meant.

“Follow me.” Sofi said smiling. Cally followed her to the centre table. “Put your hand on the sensor pad.” Cally followed her instructions. The sensor pad started glowing.

“State your name.” said a female voice.

“Cally.” Cally replied.

“State your full name.” the voice immediately replied. Cally looked confused. She couldn’t remember her last name.

“Just make something up.” Sofi whispered to her.

“Cally Smith.” Cally said to the computer.

“Cally Smith, female, age range 18 to 105 years old.” the computer stated.

“What?” Cally asked. Mr. Williams looked perturbed.

“It must be another glitch.” He stated.

“I’ll check the lines of code.” One of the males volunteered.

“Okay Matt, you do that. I wish to take Cally down below. You can all introduce yourselves to her later.” Mr. Williams stated. He led Cally to the elevator doors.

“Where are we going?” Cally asked.

“There’s something I need to show you.” Mr. Williams told her. The doors opened and they both got in. Cally saw the others were now huddled around a computer monitor. Sofi looked up and waved to her. Then the doors closed and the lift went down. Not long later, the doors opened to reveal a cavern. In the cavern was a cart that was mounted on tracks. The tracks went off into the darkness.

“What is this place?” Cally asked.

“Just a cavern. Get on the cart.” Mr. Williams insisted. Cally sat on one of the seats and then Mr. Williams joined her. He started up a motor and the cart began moving forwards at a steady pace.

“Where are we headed?”

“A place you need to see.” Mr. Williams answered. The cart moved through a narrow tunnel with a single light in the front showing the way. After half an hour they came into a larger cavern. Mr. Williams brought the cart to a halt. Cally felt cold and put her arms around herself to help keep warm. Mr. Williams got off the cart and beckoned her to follow.

“I don’t like this place.’ Cally remarked. Mr. Williams looked at her.

“Interesting. Maybe you’re sensitive to energy levels.” He stated. He suddenly stopped and faced the far wall.

“So what happened here?” Cally asked.

“The reason why I’m gathering all your team together is that you’re all gifted, and when I say gifted I mean you all have powers. In the old days it would have been called magic, whatever that means. Magic, or what we called magic, is the ability to change matter at a subatomic level, or so I believe. And that is something you’re all capable of doing at some level, though of varying degrees of power.” Mr. Williams explained.

“So what happened in this cavern?” Cally asked.

“Well I was getting to that. Years ago another dimension opened a portal to our world here in this exact spot. The intentions of the denizens living there was to invade our world and take it over, but at the time they were thwarted and their portal was closed.”

“I see. So what are you wanting us to do?”

“I want to use your powers to reopen the portal.” Mr. Williams told her.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Previous chapters: One | Two

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2023 Joanne Fisher

The Rejects, part two (fiction)

The Rejects

2

It was always the same dream: before her stood several figures with rubbery skin and tentacles looking down at her with cold intelligence and arrogance, and also hatred. The fact she was there, that she even existed, was an annoyance to them. They cruelly looked at her as she tried to repel them… “Cally?”

Cally opened her eyes. She was still in the white room with the sun’s light streaming through the windows. There stood Mr. Williams before her, smiling.

“Hi.” She said.

“Good morning Cally.” Mr. Williams said. “I thought today we could take a walk and you could see the facility and meet your fellow team members.”

“Team members?”

“Yes. You will be part of a team. I’ll explain more about it later. Now let’s see if you can still walk.” Mr. Williams informed her. Cally rose out of bed. She swiveled her legs over one side of the bed. Her feet touched the cold floor. Gently she tried standing up, but she suddenly began to shake and almost fell over. Mr. Williams quickly went to her side and took hold of her before she collapsed onto the floor. Cally hung onto his arm as she tried walking.

“How long have I been here?” Cally asked.

“Not too long.” Mr. Williams said enigmatically. They walked slowly towards the door with Cally clinging to the arm of his tweed jacket. They came into a white corridor. Mr. Williams led her to the right and they went past doors and windows. Occasionally Cally could see people in those rooms working on computers or writing equations on boards.

“What is this place?” Cally asked mystified.

“It’s the Foundation. I set all this up to create a new foundation for our world. To save what we can and begin a new way forward.” Mr. Williams told her. “To begin again.”

“I thought the world was dying.” Cally replied while brushing her brown hair out of her eyes with her free hand.

“It is, but I haven’t given up hope yet.” Mr. Williams answered. “So tell me how long were you living in the ruins?”

“I don’t know. All I know was that I was there scavenging food and supplies. I don’t remember what happened before that.”

“Were there others?”

“Occasionally. People would stay there, mostly from the north fleeing the famine, but they never stayed for long. Many disappeared overnight it seemed.” Cally replied.

“It’s not a good idea to live in the ruins. I’m not surprised many weren’t there for long.” Mr. Williams stated.

“I was happy there. There was still plenty of food that hadn’t gone rotten yet, if you knew where to look.”

“So you didn’t come from the north with your family then?” Mr. Williams asked. Cally frowned.

“If I did I don’t remember them. All I remember is the ruins.” Cally answered.

“Curious.” Mr. Williams replied. “You wanted to know how I know you’re gifted? You wouldn’t have survived so long in the ruins if you weren’t. The ruins were once cities full of people. These days they are places to be avoided as they are deadly for most people if they stay there too long, but you seem impervious to it.” Cally nodded at his words.

“I did know they were once cities. I don’t know why though.” Cally replied. They walked on for a little longer, and then Mr. Williams stopped at a particular door.

“Hopefully the Foundation can change all this.” Mr. Williams remarked. “Through this door are your other team members. Are you ready to meet them?”

“Sure.” Cally replied. As they stood there, the door slid open…

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Previous chapter: Part One

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Pursuit (fiction)

The Pursuit

“There’s still no sign of The Damnation, Captain.” Stryker informed her. Anne stood on the bridge still fuming. She took out her spyglass and scanned the horizon around her. Damn him, she thought. This time she would ensure Harrington, Captain of The Damnation, would be dispatched to Davy Jones’s Locker, once she caught up with him.

“I’m pretty sure he’s headed this way. Hold this course and keep scanning the horizon.” she ordered the First Mate.

“Aye Captain.” Stryker replied. Anne went to her cabin. Sitting down her eyes strayed to where her jewelry box would have been, if Harrington hadn’t plundered it. There were items of personal value that he had callously taken, and she vowed she would get it back, even if she had to personally send him to the very Gates of Hell.

It had been all due to their recent sojourn at Port Royal. Anne had let the crew go spend their ill-gotten gains in the port city, however they wished. She herself had decided to play cards at a tavern, and Harrington was there among others at the table, his ship also moored in port. He spent the evening smoking cigars and grinning at her with his grey and black teeth. That night luck was with Anne, and she walked away from the table with a considerable fortune. After leaving most of her winnings in her cabin, she decided to spend the night onshore in a decent room. The next morning she noticed The Damnation had sailed away. Returning to her cabin, she found it had been ransacked. Her winnings, that she had hidden away, were gone, though it was her missing jewelry box that hurt her the most. There was a piece of rolled up parchment on her table. Unrolling it, she read the message: Thanks for the plunder girl. Harrington. She immediately called for all the sailors to return to her ship, The Red Dagger. That afternoon they set sail on a setting she had been told Harrington had taken.

Now it was several days later and there was still no sign of his ship. She was sure Harrington had headed this way, from what she knew of him. The man clearly had no honour, and she would eventually hunt him down wherever he had gone.

“Captain!” she heard above. She went back on deck and grabbed her spyglass. There in the distance were some black sails. She had found him.

*

Anne looked through her spyglass at the ship before her. They were catching up with the Damnation and would be in cannon range within a few hours. They had spent the night following her and it had been good to see her black sails in the morning light much closer than the evening before. Anne knew her ship was more swift than Harrington’s as they sliced through the brine. She listened to the rigging straining and the sails filling with wind. The Damnation hadn’t altered course at all and seemed to be leading them on to some unknown destination. Stryker, her First Mate joined her on watch.

“We’re catching up with her. We have the wind to our advantage. Though Harrington doesn’t seem to be at all concerned we are chasing him.” Stryker observed.

“Yes it’s almost as though he wanted me to find him.” Anne agreed. She left Stryker on the forecastle so she could get a few hours of sleep, though once she was in her cabin, she instead found herself thinking about the coming confrontation. It was obvious Harrington didn’t think that Anne or her ship was a threat to him, or he wouldn’t have goaded her. He knew she would chase him, so why provoke her? Was it for fun? Or did he have some darker intentions? She intended this to be the last time Harrington would ever inconvenience her. While she thought about this, she drifted off…

*

“Captain! The Damnation seems to have slowed. We’ll soon be on top of her!” A crew-member alerted her. Anne quickly awoke wondering what time it was. She got up and staggered to the deck. There before her ship was The Damnation looking as menacing as a dark storm. She immediately went to the quarter-deck. They were almost in cannon range now. She noted the sky had clouded over and the sea was getting more rough. Then The Damnation began to turn.

“Turn to port! And prepare the cannons!” Anne commanded. So this is where Harrington wanted the battle to be. Maybe he had guessed she was getting some rest and had chosen this time to attack when their response would be slower. The Red Dagger turned, both ships now faced each other. “Fire a broadside!” All the cannons on the starboard side fired at The Damnation. Anne watched Harrington’s ship get punctured by cannonballs. Then The Damnation returned fire. As The Damnation’s cannons were higher up compared to The Red Dagger’s, the cannonballs hit the upper decks and masts.

“Captain, the broadside from The Damnation damaged our mizzenmast. Another attack like that and we could lose it.” Stryker informed her. She nodded in acknowledgement as she watched The Damnation sail past.

“Turn to starboard and keep firing!” she ordered. “We need to get closer so we can board her.” As they turned to starboard, The Damnation turned to port and the ships faced each other again. Another broadside hit The Damnation further damaging the ship, then another round of cannon fire hit The Red Dagger. This time cannon fire hit the quarterdeck where Anne stood. She found herself lying on the deck.

“You okay Captain?” Stryker asked helping her up. Anne nodded.

“Sail right for her. We need to ram her!” Anne commanded once she stood up again. Their ship made right for the middle of The Damnation. Everyone was jolted off their feet as the ships prow smashed into The Damnation. After the deafening crash, there was a brief moment of silence…

Anne drew her cutlass and grabbed hold of a rope. In one move she swung over to The Damnation while urging her crew to follow. As soon as she landed on the deck of her rival, her crew also began boarding the ship. She was immediately attacked by several of Harrington’s men. Fending them off she looked around for Harrington, but couldn’t see him. Was he skulking below decks? She signaled to Stryker to lead the assault while she looked for Harrington. Stryker nodded back at her as she went below deck.

Anne went down a narrow passageway that led to his cabin, but found he wasn’t there. She came to a door that was locked. Breaking the lock she opened the door to find, to her surprise, a young woman with long dark hair who looked terrified. She was chained to the bed, while on a table sat Anne’s jewelry box along with other treasures. Anne stood there wordlessly while the sound of fighting above got louder. They stared at each other in confusion.

“You looking for me girl?” said a familiar rough voice behind Anne. She spun round and parried Harrington’s blow.

“Harrington!” she spat out. “Interesting company you keep. I didn’t realise you had a guest staying.”

“You’re welcome to join her.” Harrington replied as he swung his cutlass at her again. She parried it and drove forwards forcing him into the passageway. Anne then swung her blade at him, which he dodged.

“I’d rather set her free.” Anne told him as she launched another attack. This time he parried her attack. He grinned at her with his rotting teeth.

“No girl can be a pirate.” He stated as he sliced at her with his cutlass. She dodged out of the way while grimly smiling at him.

“But a woman can.” She replied as she swung at him again, this time cutting him across the forehead when he failed to get out of the way. Blinded by the blood streaming into his eyes his next attack was a wild swing that Anne easily dodged. She then smacked him in the head with her blade and he collapsed onto the floor. Finding some rope, she tied him up. She went back into the cabin. The young woman there still looked terrified. Anne sheathed her cutlass.

“Who are you?” the woman asked.

“My name is Anne. I’m captain of The Red Arrow. I’m here to free you.” Anne said. The woman looked at her uncertainly.

“My name is Katherine, though everyone calls me Kate. That man attacked the ship I was on. I’m the only survivor. He’s kept me in here for days. I don’t know how long. He kept bringing jewels every time he came in here…” Her voice trailed off. She looked away while tears began to fall. Anne understood.

“Don’t worry, he’ll never bother you again.” Anne told her. Stryker, her First Mate, appeared.

“His crew has mostly surrendered. Their morale was rather low.” He informed her.

They freed Kate and took what gold and jewels they could find. Several of Harrington’s men joined her crew, while the others were put into her ships brig to be released later. Anne and a few others deliberately scuttled The Damnation. They all watched the black ship sink below the water.

“Davy Jones can have that cursed ship. It belongs in Hell.” Anne stated once the ship had fully disappeared under the waves. “How’s our ship First Mate?”

“We are quite damaged Captain, but I reckon we can limp back to Port Royal. We can always do some repairs on the way.” Stryker replied. Kate had joined them on the forecastle and had watched The Damnation sink with quiet satisfaction.

“Have you anything left of your own belongings?” Anne asked Kate.

“No. Most of my things were left aboard the ship when Harrington sank it.” Kate replied. Anne brought out her jewelry box and, after taking a couple of things out of it, gave it to Kate.

“Well this is a start.” Anne told her. Kate accepted it with gratitude.

“Is he truly gone?” Kate asked.

“Yes Harrington is with Davy Jones now, along with the remains of his ship.” Anne replied. She smiled darkly at the water. “You’re welcome to join us you know.”

“I’m not sure if I’m a pirate, but thanks for freeing me.” Kate said. Anne nodded.

“Set a course for Port Royal!” Anne called out.

“Aye Captain!” Her crew replied.

Joanne Fisher

This was a story I posted in three parts a couple of months ago.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Rejects, part one (fiction)

The Rejects

“Where am I?”

“You’re safe. We found you in the ruins. It looked like you had been living there for sometime.” Said a voice. Cally opened her eyes to see she was lying on a bed in a white room. She had never seen a room this white before. “So what’s your name?”

“I’m Cally. Who are you?” Cally asked.

“My name is Anita.” Said the woman standing by the bed. She was in white robes and had darker skin than Cally. Her hair was black and she looked in her mid 30s.

“Why am I here?”

“You’re in the Foundation. We were looking for you. You’ll be safe here.” Anita assured her. An older man walked into the room. “This is Mr. Williams. He was the founder of this facility and wishes to speak with you.” The man walked over to Cally and smiled. He looked as though he was in his fifties and had a greying beard and short brown hair.

“Thanks Miss Singh. How are you Cally? You’re looking well.” Mr. Williams asked with a warm smooth voice.

“I’m okay. What am I doing here?” Cally asked.

“We found you. You were covered in dirt and wearing rags. I’m not sure what you were living off, but it’s remarkable you survived.” Mr. Williams replied. “So we brought you here. You’re welcome to stay here for as long as you wish. In fact, we hope you agree to stay here permanently. There are others here like you.”

“Like me?”

“Gifted. The Foundation needs gifted people, like yourself.” Mr. Williams told her. Cally felt confused.

“I’m not gifted.”

“But you are, you just don’t know it. When you’re able, I will give you a tour of the place, so you can meet the others here. I’m sure you’ll like them. They are most eager to see you. It’s been a while since we found anyone like you still out there.” Mr. Williams said. “But right now I think you need some more rest.” He nodded at Anita, and before Cally could speak, Anita brought out a syringe and emptied it’s contents into a tube that was connected to one in Cally’s hand. Cally felt her eyelids suddenly get heavier and within a few seconds she was sound asleep.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

The Scarecrow (fiction)

The Scarecrow

“Do scarecrows actually work?” Cindy asked as she stuffed more hay into the scarecrows head. Jess shrugged her shoulders.

“How do you mean?” She asked.

“Do they actually scare away crows and other birds from the fields?” Cindy inquired.

“I have no idea, but they’ve been used for a long time, so they must have some effect.” Jess replied. “It’d be a bit silly to keep doing something that doesn’t work.”

“We should give him a name.” Cindy suggested.

“Him? We’re two lesbians making a scarecrow. Why is it a him?” Jess asked.

“I don’t know. I always think of scarecrows being guys I guess.” Cindy answered.

“That’s because you’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy.” Jess stated. Cindy threw a bunch of hay at her. Jess laughed out loudly.

Once the scarecrow had been completed, they called it Max and hung it on a pole in the main field where their crop of corn had just been sown, thanks to their new tractor. After admiring their creation, Jess and Cindy then headed back to the farmhouse together.

During the night Cindy awoke. After lying there listening to Jess softly breathing beside her for a while, she got out of bed and went to the kitchen to make something to drink. She looked out the window at their fields but couldn’t see their new scarecrow. She opened the door and went outside to investigate. When she got to the spot where they had put it up there was nothing there except the pole and crossbeam they had hung it on. The scarecrow was gone. Somebody stole our scarecrow! thought Cindy. Who would do something like that? She wondered. She sadly traipsed back to the house and went back to bed.

“Our scarecrow is gone. I think someone must have taken it.” Cindy told Jess when they woke up in the morning.

“I guess we will have to make another one.” Jess replied as she yawned and stretched. They went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Jess looked out the window and saw the scarecrow still hanging in the field where they put it. She smiled and shook her head.

“I guess you must have been dreaming. The scarecrow is still out there girl!” She said. Cindy immediately looked out and saw the scarecrow too. Puzzled she went outside to get a closer look. There before her was the scarecrow as though it had never been moved. Jess came out and joined her.

“I don’t understand. I was standing right here last night and it was gone.” Cindy said.

“Maybe whoever took it returned it later.” Jess answered sounding a little unconvinced. She walked off back to the kitchen leaving Cindy standing there mystified.

The next night Cindy looked out again and sure enough the scarecrow was missing again and the next morning it was back. Maybe someone’s playing a joke on us, Cindy thought. That evening she resolved to stay up all night and see what would happen…

Cindy stood in the kitchen watching the scarecrow in the darkness. For a time nothing happened, but then suddenly the scarecrow came to life. It awkwardly removed itself off the pole it was hanging on and then wandered away through the field heading towards the fence. Cindy stood there stunned, but then to her surprise she found herself opening the door and following the scarecrow through the field with her heart beating wildly.

She wandered after the scarecrow as though she was in a dream. She could see the scarecrow ahead of her in the dark slowly walking towards the fence. Then it climbed over the fence and laid down in the tall grasses. Cindy kept approaching and once she got to the fence, she stopped and looked down at the scarecrow. It suddenly sat up startling Cindy and causing her to quickly back away from the fence.

“Sorry didn’t mean ta startle yer.” The scarecrow said with a rough dry voice, like the sound of hay rustling in the wind.

Cindy moved slowly towards the fence again. There was the scarecrow sitting up looking at her with a grass stalk in it’s mouth. Her grandma had always said the land around the farm was imbued with magic and that there was a gate to Faerie in the south field, but to be fair, Cindy always thought her grandma was a little touched in the head. Now maybe she wasn’t so sure, or maybe she was a little touched too…

“Max?” She whispered.

“If it isn’t one of me makers.” Max said. “Why’d ya call me Max?”

“Er, because we couldn’t decide on your gender and Max could either be short for Maxine, or Maxwell, or Maximilian, or some other name.” Cindy explained to Max, still trying to believe she was actually having a conversation with their scarecrow.

“Is me gender that important? There be nout tween me legs cept hay.” Max responded.

‘You could say gender is actually in the head.” Cindy explained.

“There be nout in me head cept hay as well.”

“I could try to make you a brain of some sort.” Cindy offered.

“Wat do I need a brain for? No scarecrow ever went to college. All I do is stand in the field an sometimes talk with the crow folk.” Max replied.

“So why do you come to lie down in the grass?” Cindy asked.

“I need ta rest sometime. Yer have me guarding the field all the long day from the bird folk. At night I need ta lie down. Nought at night except the rat an mice folk an the owls an the fairy folk, an they not care about yer crops I guard. So I come here ta rest.” Max explained.

“Oh sorry, I didn’t realise you needed to sleep as well.”

“Yeh, but don’t worry, once the sun come up I be guarding yer fields again.” Max stated.

“Well thanks for your help.” Cindy offered, as she always believed it was best to be polite to people who assisted you, even if they were mostly made up of hay.

“You and yer pardner made me. I have ta help yer. I’m made from both of yer. You two be different tho. Jess be the doer and you be the dreamer. Jess be really sweet on yer.” Max revealed.

“Well yeah I had guessed that since Jess and I share a bed together and she helps manage my farm.” Cindy replied slightly sarcastically.

“I know her plans for yer.” Max said, seemingly ignoring Cindy’s sarcasm, if a scarecrow could recognise sarcasm that is.

“Her plans?” Cindy asked surprised.

“She want ta make an honest woman of yer. Mark me words.” Max replied.

“Huh?”

“If yer gave me real eyes, I wud be rollin them right now.” Max said shaking his head a little.

“I guess I should let you sleep, since you have a long day tomorrow.” Cindy said slightly bewildered by Max’s words.

“Much appresheated.” Max responded. “By the way, the fairy folk watch yer. They knew yer granma or so they told me.”

“The fairies watch me?” Cindy repeated. Here she was standing in the field in the middle of the night talking to her scarecrow about fairies. Maybe she was losing it. Perhaps if she went to bed and slept she would wake up in the morning and realise this was just a dream. She really hoped it was a dream.

“Yeh they help guard this land and they guard yer too. There be a vampire livin nearby, but the land be protected from them.” Max revealed. “They cannot enter it.”

“Good to know.” Cindy replied wondering what this all meant. She didn’t realise vampires actually existed. Again, she really hoped she was dreaming. Max began to stretch and yawn. “I guess I’ll leave you to rest.” Max nodded at her and then lay down in the grass again. Cindy walked slowly back to the farmhouse pondering things. When she got into bed, Jess was already fast asleep and she curled up next to her in the warm bed and quickly nodded off.

When she awoke the next morning and thought of the events of the night before, she assumed she must have dreamed it all, but when she got out of bed she noticed her feet were dirty and there was grass and hay stuck to them. She went to the kitchen. In the morning sun there was the scarecrow standing tall in the field again. Maybe it was the wind that made it look like it was waving to her…

Joanne Fisher

I wrote this story several years ago and published it here in two parts. I’ve decided to repost it in full and make some slight changes.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Final Clash (flash fiction)

Final Clash

Anne drew her cutlass and grabbed hold of a rope. In one move she swung over to The Damnation while urging her crew to follow. As soon as she landed on the deck of her enemy, her crew also began boarding the ship. She was immediately attacked by several of Harrington’s men. Fending them off she looked around for Harrington, but couldn’t see him. Was he skulking below decks? She signaled to Stryker to lead the assault while she looked for Harrington. Stryker nodded back at her as she went below deck.

She went down a narrow passageway that led to his cabin, but found he wasn’t there. She came to a door that was locked. Breaking the lock she opened the door to find, to her surprise, a young woman with long dark hair who looked terrified. She was chained to the bed, while on a table sat Anne’s jewelry box along with other treasures. Anne stood there wordlessly while the sound of fighting above got louder. They stared at each other in confusion.

“You looking for me girl?” said a familiar rough voice behind Anne. She spun round and parried Harrington’s blow.

“Harrington!” she spat out. “Interesting company you keep. I didn’t realise you had a guest staying.”

“You’re welcome to join her.” Harrington replied as he swung his cutlass at her again. She parried it and drove forwards forcing him into the passageway. Anne then swung her blade at him, which he dodged.

“I’d rather set her free.” Anne told him as she launched another attack. This time he parried her attack. He grinned at her with his rotting teeth.

“No girl can be a pirate.” He stated as he sliced at her with his cutlass. She dodged out of the way while grimly smiling at him.

“But a woman can.” She replied as she swung at him again, this time cutting him across the forehead when he failed to get out of the way. Blinded by the blood streaming into his eyes his next attack was a wild swing that Anne easily dodged. She then smacked him in the head with her blade and he collapsed onto the floor. Finding some rope, she tied him up. She went back into the cabin. The young woman there still looked terrified. Anne sheathed her cutlass.

“Who are you?” the woman asked.

“My name is Anne. I’m captain of The Red Arrow. I’m here to free you.” Anne said. The woman looked at her uncertainly.

“My name is Katherine, though everyone calls me Kate. That man attacked the ship I was on. I’m the only survivor. He’s kept me in here for days. I don’t know how long. He kept bringing jewels every time he came in here…” Her voice trailed off. She looked away while tears began to fall. Anne understood.

“Don’t worry, he’ll never bother you again.” Anne told her. Stryker, her First Mate, appeared.

“His crew has mostly surrendered. Their morale was rather low.” He informed her.

They freed Kate and took what gold and jewels they could find. Several of Harrington’s men joined her crew, while the others were put into her ships brig to be released later. Anne and a few others deliberately scuttled The Damnation. They all watched the black ship sink below the water.

“Davy Jones can have that cursed ship.” Anne stated once the ship had fully disappeared under the waves. “How’s our ship First Mate?”

“We are quite damaged Captain, but I reckon we can make it back to Port Royal. We can always do some repairs on the way.” Stryker replied. Kate had joined them on the forecastle and had watched The Damnation sink with quiet satisfaction.

“Have you anything left of your own belongings?” Anne asked Kate.

“No. Most of my things were left aboard the ship when Harrington sank it.” Kate replied. Anne brought out her jewelry box and, after taking a couple of things out of it, gave it to Kate.

“Well this is a start.” Anne told her. Kate accepted it with gratitude.

“Is he truly gone?” Kate asked.

“Yes Harrington is with Davy Jones now, along with the remains of his ship.” Anne replied. She smiled darkly at the water. “You’re welcome to join us you know.”

“I’m not sure if I’m a pirate, but thanks for saving me.” Kate said. Anne nodded.

“Set a course for Port Royal!” Anne called out.

“Aye Captain!” Her crew replied.

The End

Joanne Fisher

Earlier episodes: Chasing Damnation | Confrontation

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Blog Update

A few days ago I added the Articles page to Joanne the Geek. Over the last week I then added all the remaining articles, poems, flash fiction, and longer fiction to their relevant pages that hadn’t yet been added. I’m a bit crap at drawing straight lines with a mouse, so I apologise for the squiggly lines. Aside from a couple of articles and short stories which I haven’t included due to quality issues, all my blog posts are now accessible via these pages, aside from the serial fiction narratives of My Life in Darkness and The Sky-Pirates of Durn which have now been compiled and edited into novels. I’m still not sure what to do with either of these serialisations on the blog. I might delete them, keep them up for people to find, or add a Serialised Fiction page and add these posts to it. If you still want them to be available on this blog let me know.

It was nice to read some of my older flash fiction posts that were written almost four years ago now. I haven’t seen many of them for some time, but if I ever have the opportunity I sure would like to get the chance to edit a few of them…

Have a nice day everyone! 😎

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Porch Talk (fiction)


Porch Talk

It was a late summer evening. Jess and Cindy sat out on their porch watching the sunset while drinking beers. All their fields were full of tall cornstalks. It had been a cruel summer, but thankfully their crops had survived the heat.

“It’s still over a month until the harvest.” Jess stated.

“I know, but we should do well this year. It looks to be a good crop, despite everything.” Cindy replied.

“Don’t bank on it until we are finally harvesting it. Though the money will be welcome. Our finances are getting rather low now.”

“Shame none of your side projects have yielded much so far.”

“I still think we should give alpacas a go.” Jess suggested. Cindy screwed up her nose.

‘We grow corn. What do we know about raising alpacas? Raising animals can bring a whole host of problems we know nothing about.”

“I still think we should give it a go. We’ve got that small field we don’t use for anything. We could fence it off and try raising a small number of them and see how that goes. At least we’ll just be farming them for their fleece and not killing them for meat or anything.” Jess answered. Cindy shrugged her shoulders. “You’ve been quiet that last few days. Is there something troubling you?”

“I’m thinking about going to Faerie and seeing the Queen.” Cindy admitted. Jess raised her eyebrows.

“What?”

“Babradon told me if I wanted to get pregnant again I should see the Queen.”

“Okay.” Jess replied not understanding.

“She’ll help with ensuring the baby is carried to term.” Cindy explained. Jess began gently rubbing Cindy’s back.

“Are you sure you’re ready for that? The miscarriage devastated you. I don’t want to see you go through that again.” Jess told her.

“Well apparently the Queen can help with that. Babradon told me she helped my grandmother do the same. It’s due to my family having some fay blood, which is why I can walk through portals and see fay folk when others can’t.” Cindy told her. Jess slowly nodded her head.

“Maybe I should go with you.” Jess offered. Cindy smiled.

“Thanks. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not sure if you’d be welcome. As far as we know your bloodline is totally mortal. I should only be away a couple of days.”

“Gee thanks. A couple of days our time, or theirs? A couple of days in Faerie could end up being far longer here.” Jess warned.

“I know. I’ll try to be as quick as I can.” Jess sighed deeply.

“Okay if you really want to do this, but what about the impregnation part? Unless the Queen is going to take care of that as well, IVF is really expensive.” Jess asked. Cindy laughed briefly.

“I guess we could try the turkey baster method, but we don’t need to worry about any of that until I get back.” Cindy replied.

“Artificial insemination? Just like they do with cows?” Cindy hit Jess in the face with a cushion.

“Thanks for comparing me to a cow!” They both laughed and stared out into the darkening sky.

“When do you think you’ll go?” Jess asked.

“Not sure yet. maybe I might wait until after the harvest.” Cindy answered.

“Whenever you decide to go it’ll be okay.” Jess told her. Cindy nodded. They both sat there and watched the stars slowly fill the sky.

Joanne Fisher

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Into the Shadow World, prologue (fiction)

Into the Shadow World

Prologue

“So what do we know?” the Emperor asked. He was seated at the head of a long table. Immediately to his left was the Arch-Wizard, and to his right was the new Chancellor. Further down the table were various governors, advisors, and military commanders. Opposite him at the other end of the table was the Seer who was wrapped in black robes.

“To the east of my province the land has blackened, and it seems to be spreading. Several towns and villages have been engulfed by this blackness. We’ve also had reports of garns attacking towns.” the Governor of Antearl reported.

“Garns? Aren’t they the foot-soldiers of the Shadow Lord?” the Chancellor asked.

“Yes they are.” the Emperor confirmed.

“I’ve heard reports the same thing is happening in the south. The kingdoms below Yastell are being overwhelmed by garn armies and other creatures. There have also been rumours of large swathes of land also succumbing to this blackening, as though the land itself is rotting away.” the Commander of the Empire’s Southern Armies added. The Emperor looked directly at the Seer.

“Can you enlighten us at all with what seems to be happening?” the Emperor asked her.

“The Shadow World is trying to consume ours, and it’s speed is increasing.” the Seer replied.

“Can anything be done?” the Arch-Wizard asked.

“Possibly.” the Seer answered.

“Is there anyone that can help us?” the Emperor asked her. The Seer smiled.

“There is one, but she’s probably the last person you would want to see.” she replied cryptically. The Emperor sighed and sat back in his seat with a wry smile on his face.

“Ask her to come.” the Emperor commanded. Everyone at the table looked at him in surprise, except the Seer.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

About time I began my sequel to the Sky-Pirates of Durn…

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher